Interview | The Simpson Brothers

Sparrow Knox interviews Jake and Joe Simpson

Mass Culture and Project HijinksJoe and Jake Simpson are probably two of the most entertaining snowboarders on the globe – everything from their outfits to their riding is creative and we can’t wait to see what the boys have got in store for us this season.

“When we suggested an interview with the Simpson Brothers, the boys were out filming with the crew and thought it’d be a rad idea to have Sparrow Knox do the interview”

Instead of a full-length film, the brothers are filming ‘Combo’, a series of epic snowboard edits. They’ve just dropped the first episode, and we’re stoked that there’s more to follow and keep us hyped on riding throughout the whole winter.

When we suggested an interview with the Simpson Brothers, the boys were out filming with the crew and thought it’d be a rad idea to have Sparrow Knox do the interview. Even if this suggestion filled us with an equal amount of horror and amusement, we gave the boys the go-ahead, praying, that the outcome wouldn’t be a bunch of snowboard jibberish.

Luckily, our prayers were answered, and we’d like to say that this might be one of the most amusing interviews Whitelines has ever had the pleasure to transcribe (or decode as Sparrow puts it). Sparrow, if you’re ever considering a career change, please make sure to give us a shout.

Sparrow: Right, fuck, I’ve never done this before so whoever is decoding this, erm, what the fuck is the… Transcribing this, I feel sorry for you.

[followed by a lot of undefined words and laughter]

Sparrow: So, what’re your names, how old are you and where are you from?
Joe: Our names are Joe and Jake. I’m 23 and Jake’s 20 and we are from North Wales. Bodelwyddan.

Sparrow: Is there good surf there?
Joe and Jake: No. It’s in the hills, in the valleys.

Sparrow: Joe, you’re the older brother, is Jake a liability at times?
Joe: No. He’s not. A liability. Anymore.
Jake: Yes, I’m in the good books!

Sparrow: Jake, what is it like to have an older brother you can ride and film with?
Jake: I couldn’t ask for anything more. We have the best time. We just get creative together and push each other in such a good way. It’s real good. Real fun.

Sparrow: You both mentioned Maison de la Source. Give me a rough insight into your upbringing.
Jake: Mum and dad moved out of North Wales to the South of France when I was six and Joe was nine. They really wanted to go off the grid, so they made a house in the forest, with solar panels.
Joe: Seven or eight years off the grid completely, solar panels and the whole shebang.
Jake: Lived in a cabin for most of it. And then moved into an actual house.

“We can think of a spot and also know how it’s going to shoot and edit”

Sparrow: Do you reckon this has influenced your lifestyle?
Joe: I’d say so yeah. We take things a little bit less seriously and don’t worry about the smaller things. There were some fun times in that cabin that’s for sure.
Jake: And then we had to choose the least eco-friendly sport known to mankind…

Sparrow: What’s it like to be riders and filmmakers?
Joe: Super fun! It definitely brings a level of creativity. We can think of a spot and also know how it’s going to shoot and edit. You kind of open your mind up to different ways of making videos and riding spots because we’re thinking about how it’s going to look before we’ve even landed it.

Sparrow: You both mix and match clothes, combined with a really creative style of riding. Do you ever mix and match women?
[a lot of laughter]
Joe: It has not happened yet…

Sparrow: Who’s the cook?
Jake: Joe is the cook!

Sparrow: Who’s the driver?
Jake: Joe is the driver.

Sparrow: Who’s the early waker upper?
Jake: Joe…

Sparrow: Jake, what do you do then besides rip?
Jake: I do the editing. Most of the editing.
Joe: A lot of the editing.
Jake: And just the good vibes really. Making the jokes, making everybody laugh. Joe is a bit of a downer most of the time, he’s a bit too serious in my eyes. So, I just kind of bring the fun side to it. And I’ll be getting my driver’s license by the end of this winter so I’ll be driving everywhere after that!

Sparrow: It would be pretty shit to be the cook and the editor wouldn’t it. You wouldn’t have the time.
Jake: And I name the shots.
Joe: Hey I name a lot of shots mate!
Jake: Yeh Joe’s been doing it this year too but normally I name the shots.

Sparrow: This winter you’re doing an episode series. How has this been compared to the full projects in the past?
Jake: It’s been real fun actually. When we’re filming full movies, you’re concentrating on probably 20 to 25 shots that you want to be bangers. But with the series, you can kind of get a bit more creative. You can look for smaller spots and just have a bit more fun because you’re just trying to get as many shots as possible. Obviously, you want the bangers on the side, but it’s opened up a whole new section of spots for me and Joe. We’re pretty hyped on it.

“Joe is a bit of a downer most of the time, he’s a bit too serious in my eyes”

Sparrow: Combo’s going well so far?
Joe: As good as we imagined. And more.
Jake: And we’re only filming episode two. And it’s not even February yet.

Sparrow: Mass Culture. Joe, can you explain?
Joe: Mass Culture wow. Up until this one we were talking that Mass Culture winter was the best one. We went to Andorra, got an apartment with our mates. Didn’t work, hardly drank, and snowboarded the whole time. Just filmed the whole time. It was amazing. Full four months of snowboarding. Can’t complain, I mean what more do you want. Sparrow came down and visited us for a week and we got some heavy shots. And we had a few other friends that came down too. Yeah, that was a super fun summer. Winter. Wrong season.
Jake: It was the first time ever kind of filming street in extent and we just fell in love with it after that. That was fully our own project.

Sparrow: Did you have anyone backing Mass Culture?
Jake: No.

Sparrow: How about Project Hijinks, can you explain about that Jake?
Jake: So, after that winter, we got involved with Rusty Toothbrush for Project Hijinks. We hooked up with all of the Rusty Toothbrush crew, Alex Stewart and Dusan Kriz, and Davide Boggio and Tyler Chorlton. We just went on four or five trips, getting clips and having a good time.

“We work better when we’re at our own speed”

Joe: That was different in the way that we had a bit of budget for that, so the trips ended up being a bit bigger and going to different places. That was super fun learning that side to it too. In Andorra, we were just kind of at home the whole winter chilling, whereas last winter we did loads of big trips kind of. I think it was super fun.

Sparrow: What do you prefer – when you have full control over it or production with other riders and you’ve got less of a say?
Jake: We definitely prefer doing it ourselves since we’re pretty laid back and snowboarding has always been about having fun, obviously. If there’s someone ‘above’ us directing what’s going on, it sometimes puts us in situations we don’t really want to be in with snowboarding. We just want to go with our own flow.
Joe: We work better when we’re at our own speed. Maybe that’s a bit slower than some peoples but it works for us.

Sparrow: Right so give me some tunes to dance to!
Jake: Groove is in the heart, Deee-Lite!

Sparrow: Tell us a song to make love to?
Joe: Use Me – Bill Withers

Sparrow: You guys are based in Morzine, the French Alps. How long do you think you’ll be based there?
Joe: Well, free rent in our Mum’s house is always a pretty nice thing so, probably until Mum’s there. Think that will be for at least another three years.
Jake: And we’ve got a lot of mates there.

Sparrow: What’s the scene like?
Joe: The scene is a little bit more partying than snowboarding, but the snowboarding scene is coming up and the parks are getting better and better every winter. It is getting really good. It’s getting really fun in Morzine, and it’s starting to feel like home now for sure.

Sparrow: What do you guys do in the summer?
Jake: After last summer when we were down in Hossegor, we kind of decided that the tent life and surfing has hooked us, so we’ll probably be down in Hossegor…

Sparrow: Whose idea was it to make a series?
Jake: Both of us. I think we’ve just been talking about it for a while, so we decided to just do it.
Joe: It was also opposed to being just riders, we’d have to edit the movie all summer, so it would be a yearlong job. Whereas for the series, when we are finished with this winter, we are finished with this winter. We can prepare for next winter, make the winter after even better, talk to all of our sponsors and also do loads of surfing and skating.
Jake: Being out in Hossegor, that was one of the things… We love editing but it takes a lot of time and it’s a lot of pressure, you got to make it exactly how you want it. And at the beginning of the summer we we’re having way too much fun, so it went down to the last month and a half and we were like ‘oh shit’.

Sparrow: What is the combo experience?
Joe: Different combination of riders, and different trips, creating a unique video every time.
Jake: Wow, where did that come from, was that in your brain, just waiting to say that?

Sparrow: Where would you love to travel this season filming for combo?
Jake: Somewhere with snow.
Joe: Anywhere with snow would be amazing. Will [Smith] was hyping Oslo up, and I’d love to go over to the States and Canada too but that’s not for this season.

“Who takes down more girls?”

Sparrow: Who’s helped to support combo this year?
Jake: We are obviously, now on Vans, which is real cool. They’ve helped us out a lot. And Drake. Drake has sorted us out. And the Morzine local bars, café Chaud has sponsored us, which is cool. And Man and Wolf Beer, they’ve helped us loads.
Joe: And Bro! Clothing has hooked us up too.
Jake: So, shout out to all of those guys! You’ve made this all possible.

Sparrow: What’s your main aim with these episodes?
Jake: Creativeness. And just get people hyped on going shredding.

Sparrow: Who’s a better filmer?
Joe: I’d say Jake’s better on fisheye and I’m better on a long lens.

Sparrow: Who takes down more girls?
Joe: Jake.

Sparrow: Any thanks?
J & J: Mum and dad, always.
Joe: We wouldn’t be doing what we are doing without their support.
Jake: Stewart Monk, Sam McMahon…
Joe: Bruno, Vans, Alex Stewart at Drake, Nick at Bro, Kyle at Café Chaud, and Gumby at Mand & Wolf.
Jake: Sparrow.
Joe: And Julien Mounier from Banginbees.

Thank you, Sparrow, Joe and Jake.

If you’re keen to get your hands on the gear, both Jake and Joe are riding the Drake Urban 153, Drake Reload Bindings and the Vans V66 Boots.

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.