When I did the On the Horizon interview with Andy Chapman about Tree, we talked about who to interview from the team. Eben was the first to come up and for obvious reasons. He has a real good view on things and it is obvious why he is on Tree. However, like most pros he still has to work and he has a pretty interesting job. So this is Eben’s interview. Leave him some love in the comments!
Eben Frank Fischer
The past year and half I’ve been living in beautiful Bellflower California but was born and raised in Quincy Illinois.
Tree Bicycle Co., Bellflower Bicycle Shop
Having a clue what was going on and reading magazines like 12 years
What was it that first sparked your attention for BMX and what keeps you motivated today?
Avoiding our parents my older brother and sister took off the training wheels when I was three and I guess I got addicted. Once I rented the movie Rad there was know turning back. I think riding becomes so much of a part of your life, its fun, exercise, hanging out with friends, meeting people, traveling. So thinking about it like this I can always find something to motivate myself to ride.
How are things going with Stolen? Will there be any changes to the “E-Train” frame or other signature parts coming soon? How about trips and videos?
I actually just quit on good terms. It was hard quitting or seemed dumb when you have a signature part let alone a frame but after talking a couple times with Dave (part owner of Stolen) he understands my reasons and agreed it’s a good time to move on. I’m into there bikes/ parts and they have some really original products coming out. I just felt like I’m getting older and my goals I would like to achieve riding weren’t being reached so it was time to move on. I had great time and would like to thank Dave Wooten and Revel again for giving me the opportunity to be a part of Stolen last couple of years. I love road trips and have always wanted to film a part in a full length video but neither where something with my previous sponsors really focussed on.
What’s it like riding for Tree, what are some things you are looking forward to with them?
I’ve know Sam the owner of Tree since I was about 15 and grew up with his right hand man Andy Chapman. There’s nothing better than being able to support your friends who are doing something your into. Sam has always hooked me up with product and I even tagged along on the first Tree road trip in props without officially being on the team. I’m excited about being a part of Tree because they put time into making quality products with their own little touch while promoting the company in their own ways. They also have an awesome team of people with their own personality who all get along. I’m looking forward to getting the whole team together this year including Sam for some type of wild road trip and helping design some T-shirts.
Being one of the few dudes out there running two brakes, how do you feel about the whole brakeless trend these days?
I’m all about riding how ever your bike feels good to you and motivates you. I think brakeless makes some things more challenging and others feel smoother. I think kids who have started out riding brakeless just because the trend should at least try a brake or two. You look how much brakeless riding and free coasters have been pushed the last couple years and I think a lot of kids who never even tried a front brake could come up with some original moves really push riding in a different direction. I think a lot of people relate front brakes to old school stiffer none stylish riding but thats only because not many kids even try a front brake let alone long enough time to really have fun using it.
What are some of your favorite spots to ride from all the places you have had the chance to ride?
That brick tranny building in Baltimore Maryland and the pools at the Salton Sea are both really fun spots. I like to ride weird trannys and pools a lot.
Where do you want to go to ride sometime soon? Any trips you are looking forward to this year or next year?
I really want to go over seas anywhere with a different culture something new and exciting being their let alone the riding spots. I just got invited on a Blackout Distribution trip in November I don’t know much about it but it sounds exciting.
Who is included in the typical crew you ride with these day?
The majority of the nights after work I ride with the locals at the Houghton skate park and weekend street sessions with Morgan. Lately some friends from Quincy have been staying with us getting ready to move here.
Is there any dudes out there who are coming up that you think should be getting coverage?
I’m stoked on Bobbie Altiser and Morgan Long but It’s hard to say who deserves coverage with all the crazy dudes coming up.
When can we expect to see a new web video of you?
I was back in Quincy a couple weeks ago so Bobbie and I threw together a little Tree web edit of front brake tricks.
What is one trick that has been giving you the most trouble?
I still can’t figure out supermans.
If you could go on a road trip with 5 people, who would you bring, where would you go, and why?
A couple guys I grew up riding with Nathan Parker, Arthur Wagner and some new younger guys from the Quincy area Josh Schieferdecker, Bobbie Altiser, Codey Cambell and my roommate Morgan Long. That’s 6 but I like the last minute trips when everyones broke and it’s crowded with no real schedule. I’ve haven’t been out east for a while so maybe driving from Cali to Jersey just riding and camping.
Got any crazy stories about security/cops/homeless people/hookers/pedestrians attacking while out riding?
I heard all these crazy stories about the Houghton skate park in long beach. I ride there a lot at nights after work but nothing much happens. One night I’m riding the park my buddy morgan was grabbing his helmet from the car and gets jumped by two gang bangers. I look over he’s on the ground legs around his bike trying to block punches while the other guys trying get the bike. It was really sketchy and everyone in the park ran over to help. The guys just slowly walked out into the street to a van full of gang bangers then just keep walking. It felt like a situation where someone was going to get shot but they never got the bike.
What does BMX need more of and what does it need less of?
It’s seems pretty well rounded maybe a little less clones.
What do you think you would be up to if you never got into BMX?
Definitely would have followed though and went to an art collage. I can’t complain I got into airbrushing from friends though riding so maybe I’d be a starving artist trying to sell paintings instead of a full time job painting crazy automotive vehicles.
From my understanding you do some airbrush work on cars?
How long have you been doing that and what got you into that?I started airbrushing in 2003 with a friend who already was into custom painting.
Is there anywhere people can check out to see some of your work?
I’m working on a site but for know sometimes Tree will posts some pics in their news.
Did you go to school at all for it or was it just something you worked your way into?
I grew up painting with paint brushes and messed around with spray cans. My friend was always getting his grip tap airbrushed at this shop who was looking for help and told them I was an airbrush artist. I was 20 and never even touched an airbrush but got a job spraying T-shirts. I picked it up pretty fast leaving a few months later to work for a friend who just started an automotive paint shop. We started working out of little storage unit and my first real job we tricked a custom motorcycle shop into believing we do high end bikes. He’s a good body guy and painted cars but never done a motorcycle. We pulled off that job and I fell into a career.
What ever happened to the dreads? Any plans on those blonde things coming back?
My mom offered me 100 dollars to shave my head and I needed money to move. I don’t know it’s so much work starting dreads but who knows maybe someday.
What are some things that have impacted your life the most?
My family, friends, art, bikes, music.
Have you ever been in a fight and did you win? Or arrested ever and why?
No serious fights but I did get arrested for riding a cement park. We where at all nighter at the old ramp riders in St. Louis and ended up having an early morning session at this public park in Belleville. First time riding the park and lived like three hours away the cop says we arrest people from out of town two. This cop was impossible to reason with taking me straight to jail. I had to bail myself out and everything it was really lame. Then last year a cop went crazy at the Santa Ana banks screaming almost firing off his tazzer gun. That ended up being over a 300 dollars fine for just riding away when we saw a cop pull up.
If you could commit any crime and get away with it, what would you do and why?
I always thought it would be a wild experience to be in a bank robbery and come out unharmed so maybe robbing a bank and ending up with a lot of cash.
What are some things you would like to accomplish in the next few years?
Try to keep building my self as a airbrush artist while still spending even more time riding and traveling more. Hopefully get the chance to do some video parts and have fun living life.
First song that comes to mind?
If I can find a clean shirt by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.
First movie that comes to mind?
The last one I watched which is Untraceable.
If you could only eat one thing for a month, what would you choose and why?
Burritos because there cheap and filling.
Who or what have been the biggest influence on your life?
God, Family, friends, art, getting the chance to take art classes from Rose Pritchett growing up.
What is the best advice you have ever been able to give somebody?
Think for yourself don’t just follow other people though life.
Do you have any shout outs or thanks?
God, Mom, Dad, brother, sister, Coby, friends, Sam and Andy at Tree, Dave Wotten and kurt for the interview, any one I forgot thanks.
Anything else you would like to say?
Life is too short don’t waste it, go riding.
Front Brake Magic from andy chapman on Vimeo.