Interview: Shred All Fear Talks Mullets, Mustaches, and Mountains

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Kevin Corrigan
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We first learned of Shred All Fear from their video, “Moab Madness!!!”. In it, the “band” climbs Ancient Art with magnificent mustaches on their faces, masculine mullet wigs on their heads, and electric guitars on their backs. It’s ridiculous and amazing. When we reached out to Shred All Fear about an interview, they responded with this list of demands:

1. Everyone always wants to know about the thousands of nameless groupies we party with on tour, but we will NOT comment on our sexual adventures. Let’s be professional here.

2. Any mention of the words “mullet” or “mustache” will be preceded or followed by the appropriate adjectives, e.g., magnificent, glorious, overwhelming, sensual, masculine, etc. [ed.: see above.]

3. If any exclusive photos are requested for the article, we will need you to fly Kenny f***ing Loggins to us for the shoot. If Kenny is not available, Tom Cruise will do.

4. And finally, a mixtape of all of your favorite high school heartbreak songs we can jam to on the next tour!

Rex “BonerJamz” Mckenzie and Brock “Freedom Ain’t Free” Steel were nice enough to waive demands one and three, but the following interview was paid for with an eight-song emo CD plus postage.

Describe Shred All Fear for people that aren’t already familiar.
Rex: If you aren’t familiar, you must be living under a rock, because everybody’s heard of Shred All Fear—
Brock: [interrupts] A f***ing goddamn rock!
Rex: Shred All Fear is a climbing duo from Saturn, whose sole mission on Earth is to climb rad rocks, support the super stoke, and spread it throughout the solar system.

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And where are you currently based?
Brock: We are currently held out in the Midwest, specifically Kansas City, Missouri, doing odd jobs so we can make money for the next trip.

Tell us about your guitar setup.
Brock: They’re two beater electric guitars, but instead of normal guitar straps, we put bolt hangers on each end, and then custom-sewed runners—almost like rabbit runners—to the guitars. It goes: bolt hanger, carabiner, rabbit runner. They’re full-strength.
Rex: When we did Stolen Chimney (5.10) on Ancient Art, we climbed everything with the guitars. I led the last pitch with a guitar. A hold broke on me on the corkscrew, and I took a really big whip. We decided that if we were gonna be jerks, we weren’t gonna be the jerks who dropped a f***ing guitar on someone.

That’s a popular route. Was there a big line behind you?
Rex: We knew we were going to be assholes going slow with the guitars. We got up super early and hiked up there really quickly to be the first ones out there. By the time we rapped down, the next parties were just starting.

What’s it like whipping with a guitar on your back?
Rex: Like any other whipper, you don’t really have time to think about it until you’re done whipping. We both just kind of looked at each other, and my first thought was, “Is the camera on?” And it wasn’t!
Brock: I saw him getting kind of sketched out up there, so I turned the camera off and actually attempted to give him a good belay.
Rex: I still think I would’ve preferred the camera being on.

Any plans to get a drummer?
Rex: Our motto is that we’re two lead guitarists and that’s all you need.
Brock: We’re battling for lead guitar. Can’t let the other one have full lead.

What’s your craziest tour story?
Brock: After topping out Ancient Art, we were hiking out toward the parking lot, and there was an H&M photo shoot. Twenty people and two models. The photographer flagged us down and said, “You guys have to come and shoot with these models.” And we’re like, “Yes!” We’re not idiots.
Rex: Brock walked straight up to the models, turned around, looked into the camera, and said, “Kiss my bicep.” The model, who’s been on the cover of GQ, acted as if she’d been waiting for this her entire life and kissed it. And we got the photo. It was perfect.

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Any advice for our readers?
Rex: In magazines and videos, you always see super-crushers, pulling V16—whatever the hell that is—crimping on minuscule things, and you wonder, “Is this the only way?” We want to put it out there that climbing is not all about super-crushing; it’s just about going out and having a good time. If you’re doing desert towers, have a good time. If you’re going to the gym, have a good time. Put your ego aside, put on a mullet, and go climb.
Brock: And just take guitars because you’re gonna have way more stories to tell at the end of the day anyway.
Rex: Your beer tastes a lot better when you’ve been climbing with a guitar all day.

Follow the ongoing adventures of Rex and Brock at shredallfeartour.blogspot.com.