“Who Wouldn’t Want to Ride on the Moon?” – The Infinite Trails of Danny MacAskill’s Imagination
In Episode 1 of the What Does It Take podcast, Flatland World Champion Matthias Dandois dives headlong into the boundless depths of street trails rider Danny MacAskill’s mind. Along the way they unearth Danny’s recipe for mind-boggling bike edits; his unrelenting pursuit of the perfect trick and next best location; and find out what it takes to become, in Matthias’s words “the best human on a bicycle.”
“It was like being on the Truman Show”
They kick off with a muscle and sinew dissection of Inspired Bicycles, a medley of cutting-edge street biking that would change Danny’s life forever. He went from a humble bike mechanic, to an Internet sensation and pro rider courted by the likes of Ellen DeGeneres overnight. And it was an edit that would change the media landscape of action sport forever and inspire a generation of athletes to get filming. Some even say it was the making of the Band of Horses and the song The Funeral, but Danny thinks that is pushing it…
“The guy in the bike shop”
450 million views later and Danny is still referring back to the grease monkey he once was to keep him in check. The “guy in the bike shop” litmus test of credibility keeps “core biking” front and centre of every new project, whether he’s riding a rolling hay bail or front flipping off Edinburgh’s castle wall. “Always do the best riding you can and show off street and mountain bike trials” is the Danny’s mantra. And, if that doesn’t work his old mates and the bike crew he still shares a house are there to keep him in check: “If I went home, trying to be Billy Big Balls, my friends would definitely knock me down a peg or two…”
“Everything for me is like an edge…”
Danny sees the world as one big bike park, even when he’s not on his pedals. Even the “slant of the mic” he’s talking into becomes an obstacle off which his imagination can flare. “Trails is all about edges,” Danny explains. “You’ve always got to have an obstacle to gap to…” It’s why a drive of 300-mile drive from Edinburgh to Skye for the edit Way Back Home took 17,000 miles. Because to make THE next best video Danny’s brain is forever spinning and the search for the next mind-blowing edge in perfect light is without end. In Matthias’ words: “Cheers to your brain Danny.”
“If I had no fear it would make life so much easier…”
With over 30 broken bones in his body it’s certainly not the fear of injury that gets to Danny. In fact, even on the way to hospital Danny recons “you’re thinking about what you’re going to do when you get back on your bike…” Perhaps the fear of not doing something perfectly is why Danny makes life for harder: It is why he’ll try for six days to nail a trick that equates to six seconds of footage and why he has pushed his riding to such a level “until one trick was taking hundreds of goes…” But that isn’t ever going to stop him.
Matthias is right when he describes Danny as a “Swiss Army Knife”. The guys got so many assets up his sleeve you can guarantee his next tasty cocktail of core riding, storytelling and concept building is going to set the internet ablaze and raise the bar on biking to the next level.
Catch this and other groundbreaking interviews on What Does It Take, with Matthias Dandois every Wednesday at 6pm CET, from April 1, 2020.
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What Does It Take is produced by ASI Media Events and Maniac Studios for Red Bull Media House.