Words/Interview: cko

Photos courtesy of Ski Time Magazine.

First off, a little background for those that haven't been with NS for the long haul. Newschoolers was started in Ottawa way back in '99 by a young Mr. Matthew Harvey. He built the site for almost five years into the glorious temple of love and expression that we enjoy today. Last fall Harvey made the trek west-ward to work with Freeskier magazine. Since then, he's gone from online editor to heading up his very own rag for the company. Since both Harvey and I probably spend an unhealthy amount of time in front of our computer screens we decided that e-mail would be the best way to get caught up. That and it saved me taping a telephone conversation and then having to transcribe it. Yuck. So without further delay, here are the goods on the upcoming Ski Time mag straight from the man himself.

Warning: For all you ADD'ers out there this is what might be considered 'a lot of reading' but this is Harvey we're talking about so suck it up and deal.

Harvey puts it all together then takes it to the streets, he's even got his own paparazzi these days.

Ok first off, we all know that when you departed from NS you headed over to Freeskier Magazine, or Storm Mountain Publishing to be more exact. Was Ski Time in the works when you arrived or was that something that came about once you arrived? What were the circumstances that led to the creation of the new magazine?

Ski Time itself wasn't in the works when I moved from NS to FS. When I was first supposed to come down here, it was strictly for web stuff, but a couple months later, when I finally got here, I'd say my job was split pretty much half and half for web and print. From there, talk of a new magazine started popping up more and more and everyone was super stoked on the idea. The next thing you know, Ski Time is born and I'm given the mothering responsibilities.

So what's Ski Time all about for you, in general and internally at Freeskier?

The whole idea behind Ski Time is really quite simple. We're just creating content for kids who know their shit and want to read something put out by people who know theirs too. There are a lot of interviews and profiles and obscure trips that really wouldn't fit anywhere else. I can't truly speak for the rest of the people here, but I know they're super stoked on this project because it gives us an opportunity to do whatever the hell we want and produce content for the kids that know what's up.

Who have you brought on to help with production?

The three main people putting out Ski Time are myself, Ethan Stone and Jay Michelfelder. Ethan came here this summer and has been crushing it on both Freeskier and Ski Time. Jay is just... well, Jay. You'll get to know him eventually.

Beyond Ethan and Jay, have you worked with any other notable people, athletes, photogs, writers, etc.?

OC is on the program 100% which is rad. His photos will be all over it - stoked on that! From the athlete side, guys like Peter, TJ, T Dizzle, Coker and Corey, to name a few, have helped out a bunch. The team mangers have been super supportive and are helping do the interviews with their athlets and stuff like that (Novotny interviewed Corey for his feature in issue 1 for instance)... it's kind of like a big family project. With the noteable exception of one company who I had hoped would be a big partner in this, everyone is offering help from all sorts of angles.

The Team: Ethan Stone, Matt Harvey and Jay Michelfelder avec Charlotte Rayner-Brown and Lesley Betts.

Which company was that?

They know who they are and since the kids on NS are so damn smart I'm sure they can figure it out too.

What role would you like Ski Time to play for the newschool scene, young and old, as you guys envision the future?

The role it plays will be whatever people want to make it. We know the mag that we're making and however it fits into the whole scene of things... welp, time will tell.

With our niche in the ski industry maturing each and every year, do you think there's merit to the way that Storm Mountain has used only age limits to segregate Freeskier (18-30) and Ski Time (12-18) to advertisers? Does this split mirror the way content will be tailored to the two magazines?

We're just making a magazine for kids who are obsessed with park, bc and urban skiing -- and a lot of them happen to be 15 year olds but I'm psyched if 50 year olds want to read it too. How the publishers divide up the market is their own deal. I really don't care about that.

I've heard various things about free subscriptions and a super-core distribution network for the mag, can you fill us in on the details and explain why you've decided to take this route?

Yeah dude. Subscriptions are free. If you want to get a sub, all you have to do is sign up on skitimemag.com. That's what makes this whole project so rad-- if you want the mag, you get it. That's the distribution. That's it! It's all very exciting... is that still your signature?

Actually I recently changed it to "two miles an hour so everybody sees you", it's originally a lyric from Will Smith's Summertime back in the day but Ludacris gave it some new life on his most recent album. What have you been listening to these days?

I've been listening to the usual random assortment... Elton John to Tupac. You should download Thugs Mansion. It's a good one. Oh and the Mars Volta is pretty rad. Yup.

Are there any concrete influences that you've used to gain direction in production, such as other magazines, or media in general?

I read magazines all the time (mostly skate and snow) -- in fact I've become obsessed -- so I'm sure there is a lot of influence coming from those. I guess if I'd have to pinpoint some sort of concrete influence, I'd call out Thrasher.

Has there been anything specific that you've taken from your outside influences and made a conscious effort to put in the magazine, something that you feel skiing's been lacking up until now?

Do you really think I would admit to the things that I'm blatantly ripping off from other magazines? No but seriously, I don't think so. I'd say the influences are more intangible. The magazine's feeling and vibe are what are most influenced by outside things... or at least my amalgamation of all the influences I have in my life. I was really hoping I could use the word "amalgamate" in some fort or another in this interview.

What's it like having that much creative and editorial control over an entire magazine?

It's crazy man! One day, it's super exciting, the next day it's scary... it's a bit of a roller-coaster, that's for sure. It's more of an up lately though now that things are actually coming together. Photos are in, stories are written, designed pages are posted on the wall -- it's going so well that most of my fears have been turned into permanent excitement. WEEOO!

A little tease of what you can expect to see.

How does it relate to what you were doing here at Newschoolers?

Well, I don't have to code anything anymore! Thank God (and Paul). I also don't have to file tax returns or any of that boring shit. The whole part of like, going to competitions and covering them, doing interviews, making stickers... that's all still there. So really, the "product" is for the same people, and I still write stories about the same stuff, so that is pretty much identical. I just don't have to deal with as much crap anymore.

So it's two issues coming out this year starting in October, have you had any time to plan beyond that or will the fate of the magazine rely on how well it is received this year?

I've never really been that good at planning ahead, but the idea is definitely to blow this thing up and go to four or five issues next year. We'll see how it goes this year and go from there!

What's the best way to get a hold of a copy?

Go to skitimemag.com, click on the SUBSCRIBE link at the top and get a FREE sub. Sign up your friends too. You need to go subscribe right now though cause there are a limited number of free subs. Do it! DIG IT.

That's it, thanks Harvey.


Interviews/Profiles