In this sense of the phrase the gap is a positive. Rob and Jeff come from two sides of the track but mesh beautifully when it comes to the creation and production of Weekly Drop, a podcast show that interviews cutting edge, artists, fashion designers, graffiti artists and anyone else who is putting out quality product that has a purpose. The spin is that Weekly Drop hosts all these interviews, but with a critical eye, allowing the intervieweeâ€™s to really delve into the purpose of their art and why the consumer should be aware that itâ€™s out there. With the goal of taking Weekly Drop to satellite radio and the hope of developing Weekly Drop radio, this Outkast like tandem is well on their way. Peep the story behind the formation of Weekly Drop and why this is something everyone needs to listen with a careful ear.
Format: First thing I noticed is the age difference, how did yaâ€™ll actually meet?
Rob: Ok, Sneakerpimps 2004. I had written my first article for Sneaker Freaker and I was hammered at Sneakerpimps runnin all around. Somehow Jeff approached me, I think it was through L and my girl and they were like oh this guy loves sneakers to and I was like ahh. And Jeff goes, â€œhey I read your thing in Sneaker Freaker about the sneakers in prison.â€ And I was like, â€œoh really,â€ because I had never met anybody who read it. Itâ€™s a magazine from Australia. Jeffâ€™s like, â€œyeah it was really good, itâ€™s not true.â€ Iâ€™m like what? I got this old punk telling me I never went to prison! He was like, â€œit was a great story and you have a great imagination but it ainâ€™t true.â€ So thatâ€™s how we met and then I got his email and didnâ€™t talk to him probably for a full year, and then I re-found his email right before Sneaker Pimps 2005 and I was like, â€œ hey crusty you going to this thing?â€ We started a little bit and then it happened.
Format: How did you guys decide to form Weekly Drop?
Rob: Here is exactly what happened. I was messing with as many magazines and as many anythings as I could to get some kind of job or some kind of anything about sneakers. Someone came up to me and said you know what the future is, podcasts. Iâ€™m like you know what I donâ€™t even own an ipod whatever. Three days later Jeff Carvhlo comes up to me and says, â€œdude lets do a podcast.â€ I was like wow, youâ€™re the second person in a few hours to ask me that I donâ€™t know where to start. So he showed up to my house with a laptop, recording equipment and a case of Corona and we did it.
Jeff: I actually own some technology and prior to Weekly Drop I used to run a music magazine website years ago. My thing is Iâ€™m always looking for the next outlet or useful form of media to explore — something more exciting and doing media really early on. The main thing is nobody has been doing it and from my side of the story I know people are coming up trying to do podcasts and I think the difference between us and them is we actually did it. It really doesnâ€™t matter that itâ€™s a podcast. This could be done on satellite and aside from that they are listening to the content, theyâ€™re listening to Rob and I talk, and [our] personalities. Really podcasts is a medium, but what people are really vying in on is the conversation.
Format: So how did you guys get introduced or baptized to the sneaker culture and the sneaker game?
Jeff: I think we come from very different backgrounds. I remember wearing kicks but I always remember a point in the mid nineties where I started to really pay more attention to kicks, and I think part of that was what I was into musically. Being in Boston I was definitely wearing some Jon Fu Hung back in the day and you can take it or leave it at this point, but I think at this point there are so many kicks out there and what did it for me, was bringing some individuality to my usual jeans and t-shirt thing. What I realized is that there were so many different schools of kids doing this. There were hip-hop kids, there were skate kids, there were rock kids, there was kids rocking Converse only, there were kids rocking Jordanâ€™s only and they you sort of get fascinated by it and it grew from there for me. How bout you Rob?
Rob: My father bought me a pair of Jordanâ€™s, the Jordanâ€™s Iâ€™s from 84. I trashed them because I was five or six years old and he swore to never buy me another nice pair of sneakers again. So every year in school it was oh look what I got and I did not have that. Going to the mall, youâ€™re looking for girls, you play Mortal Kombat, you go get an ice cream but you always went to Foot Locker to see what was out. I think I was rather ignorant as to you donâ€™t think a lot to the whole corporate company side of it. There was actually a plan behind this and they know what sneakers are coming out years ahead of time and as a consumer you donâ€™t know, you just go in the mall one day and there it is. And youâ€™re forced to buy what they have.
Prison is what really set it off for me because I was exposed to so many different cliques, niches, and lifestyles all in one where the only thing to define you was your sneaker. Like if you came in with Jordanâ€™s it was a pretty good bet you were doing alright in the street. If you came in barefoot it was a pretty good bet you got caught in a ditch doing a sex crime. I learned that these gangs like these certain types of sneakers and that this neighborhood only wore retro Jordanâ€™s. I saw the original Jordan Iâ€™s that someone was still wearing and the reason they lasted so long was because he was arrested in 85, got life and he only wore them walking to the medication line because heâ€™s a crazy weirdo and its all concrete and not outside so itâ€™s like a sneaker time capsule.
Format: What are the differences youâ€™ve witnessed in the sneaker culture between then and now?
Jeff: I donâ€™t think much has changed. The one thing Iâ€™ve noticed in the last few years is the amount of kids that come to me like Iâ€™m some sort of sneaker consultant and theyâ€™re asking me what kicks they should be buying. To me thatâ€™s like acceptance which means some people are trying to spend some bucks and get out of the mall boxes and rock some good shit.
Rob: I was in Bolton which is like a Ritzy town outside of Massachusetts. I wasnâ€™t ritzy, my father married some bitch whatever so, and I find out about the skater dress style and I had to find out about all these companies and they were doing parodies. Instead of printing the t-shirt right in the center they printed it off to the side. I was like oh shit they donâ€™t even care their printing it where no one is going to see it. It was learning about it constantly buying stuff from the cheap skates catalogue and Burtons and just keeping up with everything. You wanna hear some shit because I completely had ADD. If you cut out the skateboard deck out of the deck pictures–we would cut them out with razor blades and we would cut out grip tape–we made our first finger boards like that. Thereâ€™s that same excitement today, trying to figure out that new company or the new mix match and wearâ€™em and all that stuff. Now there is a lot more to the kit. Before it was a t-shirt and your Airwalk sneakers but now you need the New Era, you need the hoodie, the 500 dollar jeans.
Format: Where do you see Weekly Drop going to reach its plateau?
Rob: Satellite radio and we get our own station. Whether it be the entire fashion channel or only a few hours, or if we just get a Weekly Drop station and when weâ€™re not doing the brand new shows we replay the old ones 24/7.
Jeff: The big thing is weâ€™re trying to establish ourselves as being in this game, not for the short term but for the long term. Weâ€™re here because we want to be here. We love it, we love the discussion, we love the people we talk to, and weâ€™re not fly by nights. Weâ€™re going to use what weâ€™ve done in print to an audio show and donâ€™t be surprised if you see a Weekly Drop network in the future.
Format: Is there anything that repulses you about the fashion or sneaker industry?
Jeff: Iâ€™ll take a line from Rob, stop the over matching.
Rob: Yesterday there was this guy that walked in. He had the UNDFTD hat and it wasnâ€™t the good UNDFTD hat. There is this awesome one and then there is this next to awesome one and then there is the one that is super gay. He had that one. He was wearing a Bape windbreaker with and these cream Dunk Hiâ€™s with the blue and the stars and his Hundreds shorts must not have arrived yet because he had these Dickies shorts that were all the way up his ass. The dude is probably about 40 years old which is cool I guess but then I asked him if I could help him and he was like nah, like he knew more than me! I was like motherf*&% I own a computer too.
Format: With the internet do you see the US catching up to the fashion industry?
Rob: Unless youâ€™re talking about Gucci and Versaci and Italian stuff but in sneakers we had it. The reason the rest of the world is crazy is because when we came out the with the Jordan Iâ€™s, they only sold them in America because they didnâ€™t think anyone in America would buy a hundred dollar pair of sneakers never mind in Bolivia. So all the other countries go crazy for it and they pay a ridiculous amount and they start getting them in.
Jeff: From my vantage point people are really going back to the old brands, going back to the old influences and thatâ€™s one thing the US had is a mecca of vintage. We have more vintage here to be dug through to be found, you know we have 6-800 million people in this country and most of them have bags of clothes in the basement that they have forgotten about, and its all here we just have to find it. We look to Japan, we look to Europe for influence, but everything that theyâ€™re doing I would say 60-70% of that is shit thatâ€™s already been done.
Format: You say you want to bring together media and fashion, what would the perfect scenario look like for you?
Jeff: I think there is no perfect picture. I think itâ€™s a learning game and we try to bring to the forefront new shit. We bring it to the kids and give them a clear picture of what they are vying into. I think what we do is push that line because we are willing to critique it. I donâ€™t think there are a lot of people talking about fashion the way Rob and I do.