When, where, and why was Alien started?
Mike Hill: September, 1990. Dayton, Ohio.
Chris Carter: The main idea was to do things independent of restrictions or scrutiny.
MH: It seemed like there was another way of doing things with your own company.
Has there been an on-going goal or direction that’s driven Alien over all the years? Do you feel like you’ve been consistent in your direction, or has there been much change?
MH: I'd say the only goal or direction has been to do what you want, for whatever reasons, without paying mind to what others are doing. Change is unavoidable throughout 18 years, but the internal guts of what was started still spills out.
CC: We’ve also always strived to provoke thought while creating an unmistakable identity.
What do you look for in a rider? What makes somebody worthy or not?
CC: Personality and ability. It’s the combination that makes someone interesting to us.
MH: A skater has to fit the Workshop's trip on the world in their own way, and be someone who the other team riders respect. CC: They have to mesh with the rest of the team, and the feeling is normally unanimous amongst the riders whether or not someone fits.
More than half the current team has gotten on since the last video—do you feel like you’re in a new era for Alien?
CC: A new era of team riders perhaps, but the ideals remain the same.
MH: It comes down to a huge amount of actual work. Being immersed in AWS since the beginning takes care of what it is “supposed” to be. Greg had worked extensively with the team for the three years prior to the editing, filming, and traveling, and that funneled into boiling it down in an intense, focused three months of compiling the project. Chad Bowers and myself built rigs in a back room to create as many in-camera visuals to contribute to the effort. We were driven by the team’s skate footage and Greg's commitment to the video. All of us felt an unspoken responsibility to create something for everyone involved with the Alien Workshop that would stand the test of time.
How has being physically apart from the rest of the industry factored into making Alien stand out?
CC: We have four seasons of inspiration! MH: It's our life and we live in Ohio, so naturally it's going to come off differently than California-based brands. We're dealing with snow, ice, and dark days in the winter, just like 90-percent of the skaters in the States. The struggle, exclusion and bipolarism can't help but come out in the wash of the Workshop.
Why did you decide to sell Alien after so long, and how has and will that change what you can and can’t do?
MH: We just did what we wanted to do, as we’ve always done, and nothing's changed in terms of creative freedom.
What does the future hold for Alien, and how will you guys personally factor into that?
CC: Working together to maintain the high standards set by the Workshop, and creating an experience for our customers different than that of our competition. MH: More projects, keep things moving forward. There is no escape. It's in our hands.