Pete Harvieux, Midwest’s winningest rep, talks about his new board brand Interior Plain Project and gives us a little inside on how Pete became Pete.
Initially I was going to write this real flowery, intense intro but I don’t feel it’s appropriate anymore. Aside from giving Pete the worthy introduction he deserves, I am going to let this interview just ride. None of that flowery action is necessary. You are free to form your own opinions of him, however, let me say Pete is the shit man. That’s it. Straight OG. Pete has it together. Aside from being the Midwest’s most notable rep, Pete has taken a chance. He put it all on the table and launched a new board brand. I’m here to tell you the shit is sick. Mr. Harvieux is now entering his 2nd season as captain/owner/founder/ creator of the “Interior Plain Project”. A board company that is as raw as it gets. Zero bullshit. IPP is a Midwest based brand that supports Midwest snowboarding and not just with a t-shirt or limited edition pair of whatevers. The brand puts on Midwest shreds, snowboards Midwest resorts, and supports the culture that is us for real. How he finds time to do this while repping for the likes of Ashbury, Holden, Howl and Neff is mathematically mind boggling all while being a dad. Clearly he is busy as all get out which is why we are so stoked he took the time for us, but he is rad dude so… why wouldn’t he? I want to point out something Pete says in this interview that absolutely blew my mind. Sure it was insightful and so right on, but it’s the kinda thing you don’t catch kids saying these days. In a time where snowboarding has become insanely competitive and the kids are copping shit attitudes you would never hear something like this even murmured. If nothing else I say this quote is motivational.
“I was just like most young riders with dreams of being sponsored or being hooked up. Growing up at Troll I saw friends and fellow Troll heads that were riding at a much higher level. It didn’t take too much to realize that I didn’t have that same ability level. But that didn’t mean I had any less love for riding. I just decided I may have to find my own line.”
That being said… here is Michigan Boarder’s interview with Pete Harvieux of Interior Plain Project.
You are a snowboarder first and foremost. We know this.
How, when and where did it start?
My neighbor introduced me to skateboarding in 1986. That winter, after seeing snowboarding in skate mags we cut bungee cords and screwed them to our skate decks and waxed the bottoms. Then we went into the field and took turns pushing each other off a small cornice trying to land “tricks”.
Who did you look up to?
At that time we just looked up to pro skaters, Gator, Hawk, Powell and Peralta, Vision – we didn’t know pro snowboarders yet.
What was your first deck?
Besides the skateboard setup, I bought a 155 Burton Elite from a girl from Somerset. That only saw side country, never a resort. First resort deck was a Burton Air 161 from 88/89 season.
I grew up shredding Trollhaugen in Dresser, Wisconsin. That was 20 mins from home, super fun resort, plus there was a strong group of riders there then. Today, I guess I’ve been riding Buck Hill in Burnsville, Minnesota most of the season with a strong splash of Afton Alps to keep it fresh.
When and why did you get involved with sales in the industry?
My friend Mark (Sparky) Williams used to pick me up to go to Troll and got me an instructor job before there were instructors like you see today at resorts. We both went to college at UW – RiverFalls (Moo U) and my sophomore year I was a little lost. I didn’t like school (never did) and I saw Sparky making things happen with Ride at the time. He kinda gave me some advice as to how to try to make snowboarding more a part of the “full time”. I was just like most young riders with dreams of being sponsored or being hooked up. Growing up at Troll I saw friends and fellow Troll heads that were riding at a much higher level. It didn’t take too much to realize that I didn’t have that same ability level. But that didn’t mean I had any less love for riding. I just decided I may have to find my own line. So after considering moving “out west”, I finally took Sparky’s route and interviewed at a local shop called Aljohn’s. I got the job and went on to be manager of one of the Aljohns in a matter of months. From there, a friend of mine had been helping at another shop and suggested I try to help out there. So with Aljohn’s getting sketchy, I went to Fobia and meet Joe and Chris, the owners. They had it held down, but I started to put in some time to help those guys get out for errands. That worked into a part-time, then a full-time, and eventually a General Manager job. After running shop with Joe for years, we got offered a rep job for a footwear brand, and we started that together in 2002 along with a skate brand Joe had started called Iota Skateboards. I later (2003) was offered Rome Snowboards as a friend had given me a strong recommendation (thanks Mike Neville) and I started repping that for Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. That was kind of how it all shook out; Fobia was massive in my life. The life and times shared with the people involved helped to allow me more opportunities than most people get at such a young age. We worked for it, we lived it, we ate it, Fobia 4 Life.
What birthed Interior Plain? What is the emotion behind it?
Well we had been makin things happen at Fobia with the skate team and the snow team was pushing to film a video. Forum, Shortys, and these brands had cool stuff around their teams. So of course inspired by my surroundings I started to think about starting a snowboard line. Local brands like Roots and Supernatural were gaining regional hype, and it was inspiring. Also I always loved the idea of Alien Workshop- this brand that wasn’t just some skate brand but a whole concept of unique visuals and styling’s. So that was what was running through my brain. Also, my freshman year of college I went to this really interesting black box theater play where a writer goes to a small town to investigate strange happenings only to end up finding this house in town holds a tear in dimensions which is letting beings from other parallels to snatch people and what-not. That’s what the name is branded from. I didn’t want snowboard brand A or B- just not interesting to me. So after throwing a few names out, The Interior Plain Project is what it became. To me the name allows the IP Project to be whatever one sees it as. I’m looking to be creative, inventive, open, and honest. I’m interested in a lot of things, not only snowboarding, I feel like The IP Project is a way to connect ideas and action through a product built to ride.
Talk about the Interior team.
I love the “Pilots” as we call them. We’re all friends from snowboarding the Midwest. Boody takes his own line, rips so hard and is an awesome guy. I can’t really say enough about the guy- really proud he’s shredding the sticks. Makes me happy to think about now. Thorblood is a complete wildcard- loose, hammer wielding, under the radar ripper. He went to college out of high school in Montana so while his local crew was exploding on the scene, he was learning how to shred pow and live in/around Bozeman. He was coming home, and I’m hyped to have Turnt on the squad. He’s legit and always down to be the life of the session. He surprises me all the time- love that shit. Mertes is the OG. He worked for me at Fobia and he’s been ripping for years- moved out west and had a part in Bear Mountain’s first videos, Team Thunders Last, styles for days. He’s also slaying a lot of design and graphics for the brand. Plus, he tends to be my sounding board for working through ideas and issues as they pertain to the IP Project. He’s helping so much it’s awesome. Thanks Joe! Also, we’re adding three new riders this summer. Watch for our welcome edits sometime this summer.
What’s new for 2014 with Interior you are excited about? Explain “futuristic antique”.
After droppin the “Dark Meadows Collection,” I’m excited to be on the second collection of “Antique Futuristic”- all new look with different vibes. We’re not trying to be put in a box visually. We want to make and engage different themes, styles, and looks if you will. “Antique Futuristic” is inspired by future looks and styles from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s. Think “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, “1984”, and “Sky Captain and the World Tomorrow”. It’s your past’s future now. Dropping Fall 13 at the finest shops.
What can somebody expect performance wise from your two boards? What are both models designed for?
We’re striving to build boards that are what we define as “premium medium”. The Honalee is a 9mm cambered board designed and hand built to be an all-terrain vehicle, loaded with a triaxe glass to give you edge to edge pop, coupled with a precured carbon stringer center line in the nose and tail for added snaps. We also profile the core specifically to balance the triaxe with longitudinal flex to the board- we call this “proper profile”. This, all blended, helps achieve a “premium medium”. That really means a board that is intended to be ridden in all conditions and styles. This holds true for the Harrow as well, but the glass is a blended weight for a slightly softer flex blended with the “proper profile” and “minimalist camber” which is our 2mm camber. Both models are finshed with a sintered base for optimum speed and durability. The Honalee comes in 152 and 156 while the Harrow is available in 147 and 152 for this coming season.
When you are in Michigan what places do you shred? What does Michigan have going for it if anything compared to the other Midwest states?
I ride a bunch of spots in Michigan- Mt Holly, Mt Brighton, Marquette Mtn, and BoyneMountain I’ve ridden them most. I think Michigan offers either the most resorts or second most in the US. So many spots to ride. It’s rad that between Wisconsin and Michigan, the Midwest hosts two of the largest resort lists in the country. I mean Michigan is host to the ropes and the up north vacation style spots. A little of all styles, plus great snowfall to hit the streets and side country if you so desire. Plus Michigan people are general really good people, with that positive Midwest attitude.
What’s wrong with snowboarding?
Posers in positions.
What’s right with snowboarding?
Strappin in and riding.