photo: andrew maso

America is a country full of weirdos, so it takes some real oddballs to accurately tell its stories. For the last ten months, a three-man crew with some old cameras, ill-fitting suits, and an RV have been scouring this crazy country and doing just that, going behind the lines to bring you the most authentic and interesting journalism out there today.

Kind of similar to a skate crew on a low-budget tour looking for spots, they’ve hit Flat Earth conventions, beach parties, rocket launches, and major protests in Portland and Minneapolis, putting themselves in awkward–and sometimes straight-up dangerous–scenarios to speak with the people on the ground. Their series, “All Gas No Brakes,” is real deal journalism without the agenda.

To learn a little more about what it takes to make “All Gas No Brakes,” we hit up Nic Mosher, one of the filmers in this trio of enterprising journalists, and the only one of them that skates, who shared some secrets about how the news is made out of an RV without a working toilet. (If you want more behind the scenes info that also happens to intersect with skateboarding, they’ve got a new podcast where they talk to figures who inspire them to do what they do, with the notorious Neckface as the inaugural guest.)

Most of the people who appear in front of Nic’s old shoulder-mounted camera might seem wildly outlandish and unrelatable to some viewers, but believe it or not, these are the authentic faces and voices of the American people–raw, mostly uncensored, and real, just like “All Gas No Brakes.”

Do you have to mentally prepare before you go to these turbulent events or cities and interview people?
Not really. We try not to overthink it. There’s no preparation, on purpose. It would ruin it.

So at a rally or a festival you just cold interview strangers basically?
We just ask, “Hey, what’s going on?” or “What’s on your mind?” and if there’s something there they’ll just launch into it. It can help to have some foundational knowledge though. Like if we’re interviewing someone and they say that Bill Gates is part of the Synagogue of Satan, we know to ask them about CIA organ harvesting or adrenochrome so they keep going and maximize their ideas.

Have you guys been sued yet?
Almost. It’s been threatened a few times. A few months ago some bros in Alabama hired a private investigator to intimidate [host] Andrew [Callaghan]’s family with vague phone calls.

There are a lot of shows that use humor to get information out there like “The Daily Show” or “Last Week Tonight.” Do you want your show to be a place where people get news and information from?
I think it already is. But in a much different way from those shows. When we cover serious events like Minneapolis or Portland people watch our show to see what it really feels like to be there.

Everywhere we go we see solo reporters get out of their car, set up a tripod and give dry monologues from the sidewalk, and then they fold it all back up and drive away [laughs]. Like, nobody is actually talking to anyone. They’re just not paid enough, or they’re not allowed. The whole piece is envisioned before they get there. I’m happy I don’t work at a traditional news station.

So far in the protest coverage, no “real” news outlets have been in the middle actually talking to the real people involved like you guys have.
The realest guy in Portland was this homeless man wearing avocado pajama pants who was dancing solo in a cloud of tear gas because he had consumed so much he had become indestructible.

Portland seemed pretty fucked up – what was it like trying to hold a camera while also hearing all the explosions and stuff?
It was pretty hard when the tear gas started flowing. The first night we filmed we showed up with no respirators or eye protection so we got fucked. There’s an unused clip on the drive of me choking and crying from the gas.

Do you think anyone from like the “Border Security Expo” or any of the other places you’ve been to watch the show afterward? Has anyone reached out about how they came off in the videos?
Recently we interviewed this guy at Sturgis bike week in South Dakota who said, “I would rather die than wear a mask,” and, “We need to return to the gold standard.” Later, we get a message from the guy saying he’s so excited to see the clip come out and that he’s been a Patreon subscriber for a long time. He pays us five bucks a month to laugh at people and also can’t wait to see himself on the show.

There’s three of you that work on the show, what’s your role and how did you get hooked up with the show?
I film it and keep track of Andrew’s debit card. Also since he got addicted to whippits I do most of the editing. Before the show, we hitchhiked together and we were on the beach in Miami and we had an idea for a traveling interview show that we sort of tested out while hitchhiking. A few months after our trip he had procured an RV to make the show, and he asked me if I wanted to film it and keep track of his stuff.

What’s it like living and working in the RV?
The cabinets are flying open right now as I’m talking to you [laughs]. It’s not the smoothest. The right rear tire has a flat spot from too many RV powerslides. But all together, living in here is the best. It smells bad. I think we need to dump the septic.

Were you ever super nervous hitchhiking or sleeping outside? Did it ever get super sketchy?
One morning in Wildwood, Florida we were trying to hitch a ride outside of this truck stop. It was almost 100 degrees and every car was driving right by us. No smiling or waving at us just whizzing by like we didn’t exist. Almost four hours go by and Andrew yells out “Oh shit! Fucking ants! Red ants!” I look down and our legs and all our bags are swarmed with red ants.

We were flailing at our shit hopelessly and then boom. A car pulls up and offers us a ride. We were so grateful to escape the freeway on-ramp so we jumped in the car without inspection and the dude started driving. The interior of the car was terrible, like rotting, and I was crammed in the back with the guy’s dirty socks and receipts. He said he would drive us to Tifton, Georgia but didn’t say anything else the whole time. He just chain-smoked menthol cigarettes with the windows up for 400 miles. Our adrenaline was rushing so much from being in this fucked up car that we completely forgot about the hundreds of red ants we had shepherded into the car.

About 30 minutes in, we started getting bit by the ants. So the journey became this game of concealing our pain from the driver. It was an intensely uncomfortable three hours. Eventually, we made it to the Chick-Fil-A in Tifton, Georgia and we burst out of the car to safety.

“The right rear tire has a flat spot from too many RV powerslides.”

Do you guys have a shower in the RV?
We do, but it’s full of tripods and smelly shoes and blazers and suit pants. Its a closet now, it’s not a shower.

How hard is it to take a dump on the road?
It’s not bad once you get used to public restrooms.

Oh, you’re not taking dumps in the RV?
No, never. Actually, Andrew took a shit the other day. He’s the shit homie.

Is that a crew rule?
It’s a rule but we also don’t really have the water working so if we were to take a dump it would just sit there.

I’m sure you guys stop at a lot of rest stops and stuff, so what’s your go-to food at a rest stop?
It used to be trail mix and a banana, but as of four months ago, I could never eat trail mix or banana again. Now, I don’t even know, I think we’re at the point where we’re buying weird shit, like whatever could possibly taste a little bit different. Like pickled carrots from 7/11.

It’s crazy, gas stations will carry a new addition of roasted nuts or canned food and we’ll notice immediately. There will be a new line of pickled gas station vegetables and we’ll notice them. But mostly, a lot of McChickens, yeah. Depends where we’re at.

After you guys film and go back to the RV, how long does it take to edit an episode?
Sometimes two hours sometimes three days. It depends on the subject.

How much more raw or raunchy is the Patreon, where you post unedited clips?
It’s mostly just longer cuts. But if someone says they’re gonna sue us we won’t put it on youtube. But there’s a secret video that we put up on pornhub. Andrew interviews people while they do porn.

I actually found out you skated after seeing your name in the Rocket Launch video. Does Andrew or Evan skate, too?
Andrew has been putting in work. He keeps stealing my board and honestly he’s getting pretty good. The other day I saw a video of Future skating the Hollywood stars in a red leather fit and it was hard to watch. Andrew’s better than Future.

How often do you get to skate while you’re on the road?
We’ll be in like, Lansing, Michigan and I’ll dip off and make friends with 12-year-olds at the park. Usually, I skate at a Walmart though. We usually sleep the RV in Walmart parking lots, like 90% of the time. So in the evenings I’ll hop out full speed and pretend I can nollie flip.

“Sometimes I think about how skating is the only reason I ever picked up a camera, and how that eventually led me to film this show.”

Where did you grow up skating?
I got into skating around 10 years old, but when I was 12 or 13 I started going to Potrero in San Francisco because my Dad lived nearby. I remember one morning watching Tony Trujillo puke on the hill, then chugged a tall can and rip the bowl while his dog followed him [laughs]. And he had the Motley Crue back piece. That was an inspiration. Basically I learned to skate by trying to snake old drunk guys at Potrero.

Those are my best childhood memories. Learning to frontside grind while Andy Roy yelled at everyone. He doesn’t know who I am but he screamed something at me a couple of times. Probably like, “Don’t be a pussy!” That’s a repressed memory [laughs].

Did you ever film skateboarding?
Yeah. I bought a VX when I was 18, so five years ago. Damn. Sometimes I think about how skating is the only reason I ever picked up a camera, and how that eventually led me to film this show.

What would you say is the most difficult part of your job?
Definitely dumping the septic tank in the RV. One time we were parking the RV outside a friend’s house in Tucson, and we had to do this epic ten-point turn. When we hopped out we noticed a terrible smell, and then realized we had left a 10 point trail of septic waste on our friend’s residential block. We started freaking out. The septic was leaking and we had to dump immediately. There was no proper dumping hole around so we drove to this dark lot nearby.

We ripped the cap off and it just shoots out like a geyser and were yelling and plugging our noses. It was awful. When it was fully drained we got back in the RV and we’re like “Go, go go!” We felt hella bad for dumping on some random lot. But, on our way out of the parking lot we see a sign. The sign says “Elementary school for the deaf and blind”. So bad. That was terrible.

Have you ever felt like you were in too deep in a sketchy situation?
Yeah, sometimes our subjects don’t know that we have a comedic angle because we are dressed so fancily. One time we were undercover at the Flat Earth Conference in Dallas interviewing people about the Flat Earth. We were asking a lot of pointed questions like “Why do you hate NASA?” and “Why do you hate Bill Nye?” After pursuing that rabbit hole for a few hours we discovered that the Flat earth Community hates Jews. There were all these hushed conversations about holocaust denial, Jewish backed media, talking about “Hitler was demonized…” Basically they think there is a “Jewish Banking Cartel” that has been hiding the truth about the Flat Earth so they can maintain control over the world.

Shortly after uncovering this, we got approached by these enormous bald guys who were the self-proclaimed enforcers of the event. They were ready to beat us up but we diffused the situation by expressing our hatred of Bill Nye and Jimmy Fallon. But after convincing them of our allegiance to the Flat Earth they insisted on punishing us with conversations and flat-earth rap performances.

photo: andrew maso

Do you have any big takeaways from working on the show so far?
Everyone wants to feel good about their identity. Kids in rural Missouri just want to shoot at ducks in the woods and ride through puddles of mud on their ATVs. They wear a Trump hat but that doesn’t mean they hate anybody. They’re just from Missouri. Same with a lot of radical kids in places like Portland. A lot of identities just come from circumstances and past that most people could be on the same team. They’re all laughing at our videos.

Being that you’re such a young show what more do you guys want to accomplish?
We want to keep covering new types of events. We’re also gonna take it internationally soon.

I heard you guys are going to be doing something with Tim and Eric backing you guys?
Yes, we’re making a television show in the near future. Everything is going at snail speed because of the pandemic.

Does that just mean it’ll be the same show with a bigger budget?
Yes. The whole team will ride Bones Swiss.

Comments

  1. A Skater in the Magic City

    September 15, 2020 12:47 pm

    Fourth to last answer was spot on: “A lot of identities just come from circumstances and past that most people could be on the same team.” This has been my experience as well. Wish we heard more of this sentiment in our national conversation.

    Great piece, Jenkem.

    Reply
  2. nu-tang

    September 15, 2020 1:27 pm

    enjoyed this

    Reply
  3. davoud

    September 15, 2020 1:55 pm

    Excellent. Well done.

    Reply
    • Leave a reply

  4. Just a schmuk

    September 15, 2020 6:10 pm

    This was great to see on the site. Love Jenkem and love AGNB. Keep up the good work both y’all independent folks.

    Reply