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Basic Bunch Interview

The Basic Bunch is a crew of riders mainly based on the east coast with a few riders other locations around the country. The crew members are David Cappetta, Ben Kowalski, Mark Williams, Trevor Pritchard, David Coe, Grant Schofield, Mike DeJong, Parrish Isaacs, and Jona Humbel. I noticed them from the well made videos David Cappetta films and edits. I was glad to see people riding street in New York City again. It made me think of the old Scoo York videos. I recently went to New York City and met up with the most prominent members of the crew David Cappetta, Trevor Pritchard, and Ben Kowalski. I was able to spend a few days with them to get a few photographs. Since David Cappetta created the crew and is the head of it I decided to interview him and see what was behind the hype of the Basic Bunch.

When and why was the Basic Bunch started?

Well back in 2010, I was influenced by my local skateboarding scene to get into filming. I lurked skateperception really hard, and learned about cameras and how to use them to your advantage, and what it meant to make productions the right way. My local skate scene also taught me another valuable lesson, which has brought me to the path I am on today. They helped me see the image that I wanted to pursue in scootering, something really tight. These skaters werenʼt the dudes youʼll see on the thrasher magazine cover, but they were just so sick to watch, and I go back to watch their videos frequently. Iʼve been trying to translate that kind of crew video style since the day I got my first DVX setup in 2010, and here I am in 2013 really happy with where everything is.

 

The Basic Bunch was an idea Iʼve wanted ever since those 2010 days, but after I took a solid break from scootering during late 2012/early 2013, I really got down and focused on what I wanted. The crew was started locally at first, and with the sole purpose that I wanted to make videos not of crazy tricks, but of good overall video production, and that the bangers would come later on. This was kind of a new idea in scootering because there were so many killers out there, but with some exceptions the scooter videos just lacked so much. Not saying I was making great videos when I started out filming, but it was just kind of a goal that I set for myself as a member of the scooter community. A goal to get the scooter community more aware of video production, and to make it a bigger priority in the sport. So thatʼs the real origin of the crew, our motives and mentalities, and kind of the reasoning behind starting Basic Bunch.

We tried to escape the rain by going to this spot under the bridge. It turned out it was also wet but David stuck to the wall just fine.

Where did the name come from?

Itʼs a funny story actually. After I picked up a scooter again in April 2012, I sat down and said I really wanted to do something for real this time around. I hit up my buddy John Eron (dude who made those Black Momba videos), who was going to be a co-filmer for this new crew. We were on facetime for about an hour just spitballing stuff out there, and the word Basic really stuck. Mostly because our tricks were pretty basic, but we didnʼt really care because the focus was on the production effort and not the tricks. But not just basic, so John threw out a couple words that would kind of represent a “crew”. I think it was between Basic Bunch and Basic Bundle, but Iʼm glad we decided on Basic Bunch.

What goes into the process of picking somebody to be in the crew?

Well usually, If I grow to know somebody well, and I back them and their footage hard, and if they have good filmer(s), Iʼll throw it out there to them, and ask them if theyʼd be down to stack and be a part of Basic. Iʼll get messages on occasion asking to be in, but that kind of makes me think people view it as some sort of team or secret society, but really itʼs just dudes I can call my brothers, dudes that ride scooters for the right reasons, and dudes that have the “Basic Bunch mentality”.

After getting kicked out of a dunkin donuts for rolling too deep everybody was deciding where to go.

Ben Kowalski getting “disrespectful” according to a guy who tried to kick us out. He kept trying it for a good photo and got it.

The crew is all over the country. Is it hard to make videos of everybody since they arenʼt in the same place?

I mean itʼs not exactly as easy as packing up the car and going out filming, but we all do our part filming in our own areas, traveling to other areas, and stacking on our own. When I feel its necessary to drop the next montage, I will post up in the top secret Basic Facebook group about a month in advance, telling everyone to start picking out what clips they want in it, usually about 3 lines and 4 singles per rider. Then I spend a day or two editing everything and drop it. So itʼs not exactly easy to make a video, but everyoneʼs down for the cause and we get it done.

The whole Unfair USA team is made up of only people in the Basic Bunch. Was it a package deal?

Unfair is a really cool rider-owned company from Australia that values the crew/ family mentality. When they decided to go to the US, they hit up a good friend of mine Kirk Svensson, and he directed them to us. At the time, Basic Bunch was only 5 dudes, Ben, Jona, Trevor, Alex Donaldson, and myself. Alex hit a rough patch and moved on to filming and riding skateboards.

Was there a point when you decided to start taking it more seriously?

From one year ago to now the production and riding of the montages has gotten better. Almost a year ago in January 2013, I decided to put together the first montage and I saw everything coming together a lot more, and we started getting more recognition and started getting bigger. That was definitely when things started turning around for the crew, and its only getting better from this point.

What was your influence to make The Satori collaboration video?

Well it was all kind of spontaneous actually. It was one of the last days Ben and I were in Chicago, and we were at the infamous Burnham Skatepark, with the Satori boys. Justin Lacosse proposed we film the Basic x Satori video, with the one restriction that there wouldnʼt be any barspins or tailwhips. This made filming the video fun, and editing was really funny as well, because I was able to make my impression of the beloved “trippy editing”.

The dudes who I think of when I think of Basic Bunch. From left to right David Cappetta, Trevor Pritchard, and Ben Kowalski.

The crew is always deep.

What makes Basic Bunch different than all the other crews of people your age riding street and making videos?

Basic Bunch has the unique mentality thatʼs been around before this sudden crew wave. Itʼs about making quality videos and riding scooters for the right reasons, which I believe differentiates between others out there. Donʼt get me wrong, I back Peachy and some other select crews out there, but I think that not all crews are in it for the right reasons, which makes Basic stand out for sure.

Since you are from the east coast you can take the train to any major city easily. Do you travel often to ride and film?

Before I acquired my drivers license, I relied on trains to get me around Connecticut, where I live, and to places like New York City. The bus system is also really good too, thatʼs gotten me to Boston and other cool places. Now that I can drive though I have been venturing to new spots that are harder to get to, and I plan on going back down to Philadelphia to the fish house with the northeast guys when Jona trips up there from Florida.

Trevor Pritchard cruises on all rails including this curved one.

Do you have any future plans for montages or products?

As for the montages, stay on your toes because I donʼt think that weʼre going to stop making those. However, weʼre all really keen on making some sort of full length video. As the main man Iʼm a little skeptical about it because Iʼm not sure were ready for it yet. Reasoning behind that is if Iʼm going to pursue a project as big as that, to represent the name, I want to make it right. Not ruling it out completely, I just need to find a bit more time and inspiration. Until then, weʼre still reaching out to new areas and having fun riding scooters. As for products, Basic Bunch stickers are in production, and expect a tee shirt as soon as we solidify plans.

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