THE BRILLIANCE! > Maestro! Whats the word today? Where are you ri ght now?
LEVI MAESTRO! > Hi, how are you? I am in BOSTON!!! =)
TB! > As we always open it up - what did you grab for breakfast this morning? You seem like a dude who eats an actual real breakfast, yeah?
LM! > Essentially yes but I don’t always because of time. Today I think I’m going to my friends mom’s house and eating pancakes?
TB! > If this interview had a theme song what would it be?
LM! > Ummmm Marvin Gaye “Just To Keep You Satisfied”
TB! > For those who aren’t familiar with you or your show “MAESTRO KNOWS!” can you fill them in a bit?
LM! > MAESTRO KNOWS is many things you may have seen before without being any of those things at all. It’s the constant story of my life in video format that is going to re-define television.
TB! > And also, I’m really into asking people about how they grew up, where they grew up lately. Can you share some of that?
LM! > Unfortunately I spent the majority of my growth (teen) years in Las Vegas. I moved to a city called Carlsbad (CA) when I was 18 and then up to LA when I was 19.
TB! > Do you think how/where you grow up has a huge influence on shaping who a person becomes?
LM! > It depends. In my case Las Vegas did not influence me in any way whatsoever, it has no culture, no character, for a creative person it really has nothing to offer. I always outsourced influences, skateboarding, magazines, music, etc. However if someone grows up in a major city or town that has history and qualities, then yes absolutely it will have an impact on them.
TB! > The name of the show, “MAESTRO KNOWS!”, I remember that being why decided to really do this interview in the first place. Explain the name, I found it interesting.
LM! > MAESTRO KNOWS refers to me using my knowledge and style of film and what was familiar to me to expand and create something greater. So for instance, when I stopped trying to create in the style of other people that I liked and decided to use my own style developed through skateboarding, it made sense because that’s what I already KNEW how to do.
TB! > When you started the show vs. where you are now. Whats different? And maybe, what expectations did you have when you started it?
LM! > I’m now in a different city every week, spending time with people that I appreciate and want to uplift, meanwhile they are doing the same for others. When I started the show my goal was to show so many of the great things in the Los Angeles area but now I’m into just showing great places & people behind great efforts all over the world.
TB! > How important was schooling and education to what you’re doing right now?
LM! > To be honest, not important at all. Everything I’m doing right now I figured out by trial and error plus quite a bit of day-dreaming. HOWEVER, that’s just my scenario, that is not to discredit an education.
TB! > Favorite color?
LM! > I really like Grey, it’s neutral.
TB! > How long does it typically take you to edit a show?
LM! > The entire process could take anywhere between 10-16 hours. I’m not playing games over here, this is real work.
TB! > You use vimeo, which is my personal favorite as well, anything you would change about that service?
LM! > Probably but I don’t even like the internet so I don’t really even think about that stuff.
TB! > Crisp jeans or personally worn in jeans?
LM! > A nice medium, I don’t like them soft but too crispy just doesn’t even seem logical. My favorite is brown denim, that’s my one favorite articles of anything you could put on your body, but you will rarely ever find someone make an ideal pair.
TB! > Name 5 influential people in your life.
LM! > God, my family, Justin Stephens, Anthony Hamilton & Kanye West.
TB! > Twitter, facebook, the internet! You’re using it really well - but when we chatted in Chicago you mentioned you couldn’t wait to not have to use it, etc. I guess I’m curious on your view of the whole social network thing and building a brand, personal brand, through it and what it means to you.
LM! > I don’t like any of it because it takes away from REAL life, but if I was not using it I’d be a dummy. I just don’t like when people put out work before they even know what they’re doing, like yo the internet is a great platform to show the world what you doing, but develop your craft some and then offer it to the world if you really want to be respected or gain something from it. I’d been shooting an editing for at least 5 years before I let anything of mine land on the web.
TB! > Where do you see the trend of “traditional blogs” going?
LM! > In the trash can. Most people without knowing it create a blog as a learning experience, there’s rarely any effort put into them, it’s usually something imitating something else. It’s unfortunate.
TB! > I actually referred to you as a bit of an ambassador to this whole “niche culture” a while back. Super point blank, what makes you different? Why do you think out of a sea of people doing stuff in niche culture that you’ve begun to “matter” to the scene?
LM! > I am not setting out to make anything for anyone else. I’m doing this for me. However, because of the way I’m creating, it’s actually making a difference and creating change in other people’s lives and well as my own. That is why I constantly tell people that when I work, there must be a mutual benefit because then we all win.
TB! > First skate video for me that changed my life was Second Hand Smoke. What is for you?
LM! > Transworld videos. Amazing.
TB! > Favorite lunch spot?
LM! > Haha, yea right.
TB! > Favorite skate spot in the world?
LM! > It was probably the original Adio warehouse a couple of years ago.
TB! > Do you have an apple TV?
LM! > Nope, I haven’t had a TV ever since I moved to LA.
TB! > You fly a lot, favorite airline? What airline do you have the most frequent flyer miles on? Worst TSA experience? Things you can’t fly without?
LM! > One of those planes with the sofa beds in them. Well I always have my headphones with me I guess or I really like when they have internet on the plane, gives me something to do. Still waiting ti finally end up next to a pretty girl on the plane, do pretty girls not fly?
TB! > What magazines are on your coffee table at home?
LM! > Glow In The Dark book, this dope book on the history of VANS sneakers and a bunch of magazines.
TB! > iPhone or Blackberry? Oak trees or palm trees? Chick-fil-a or Buffalo Wild Wings? Headphones or speakers? Stairs or elevator? Vans or Nikes? Supreme or Chanel?
LM! > *Paycheck*. Oak trees. Haha I mean I have In-n-Out at home. The speakers in my car! Elevator. VANS! The Gap.
TB! > Who would you love to collaborate with that you haven’t yet?
LM! > Donna Karan. She is very nice.
TB! > When do you think you’ll get your first intern or assistant - or do you have one already?
LM! > As soon as I see someone that I’m taken aback by. I would like both soon.
TB! > What are the top 3 sites you check every morning without fail?
LM! > Unfortunately…twitter, facebook & my wordpress. Man that is why I don’t like the internet.
TB! > What kind of sofa do you have? Its like shoes, gives a lot of insight to the person.
LM! > I don’t have one but I did just get this really dope modern fiberglass pedestal half egg shaped chair. Wow, what a description.
TB! > You got any tattoos? If not what would you get?
LM! > I don’t. I had my friend draw me the name Jesus in what looked like Chocolate skateboard’s “Chunk” text, I would get that on my forearm. God’s name is the only thing I would want on my body forever.
TB! > Your T-shirt release. What’s the marketing stragety? What are your plans to capitolize on yourself as a brand.
LM! > Again mutual benefit, allow my supporter to purchase something I made for a low price, help drive some traffic to my friends that own stores and then release online for worldwide availibility to make my money back. The real brand will come later on down the line when I have the proper time and effort to give, cause I have too much respect to just be messing around.
TB! > It’s 2 years from now, whats going on with you?
LM! > A bunch of dope stuff that I use to dream about.
TB! > The one we always end with: had you heard of THE BRILLIANCE before this interview/we met? What were your thoughts on it?
LM! > I had stumbled upon it and didn’t really understand why it looked the way it did considering the quality of content it had but then you explained it to me =)
Instead of our tradtional/standard photos, Maestro sent us these stills from his Hawaii episode. We think its pretty fitting for him.