Michael Sieben

Michael Sieben

Suburban Youth Pop Quiz #12 — Artist, prankster and Thrasher magazine stalwart, Michael Sieben dips into a memory book of his (urban) suburban youth.

To celebrate Huck 45, curated by artist, skateboarder and chronicler of teenage California Ed Templeton, we are having a Huck website summer takeover dedicated to Ed’s longtime muse, suburbia.

In this regular series, the Suburban Youth Pop Quiz, we ask characters from our world what their suburban youth meant to them.

Rounding off a dirty dozen is Austin-based artist, Roger Skateboards founder and Okay Mountain art collective member Michael Sieben, aka the funny guy at Thrasher whose legendary video series, The Internet Shack, was making us LOL through our lunch hour way before the mega-hit generation of YouTube celebs could tell their iPhone from their elbow.

Where did you grow up and can you describe it in three words?
Seguin, Texas. Small, conservative, nostalgia.

Who was your weirdest neighbour?
They were all pretty normal, but I vividly remember finding a porn stash in my neighbour’s grandpa’s workshop when I was about eight years old.

What was the most important record you owned?
I’d like to say New Order ‘Power Corruption & Lies’ but it’s probably Dead Milkmen ‘Eat Your Paisley’.

Where did the bad kids hang out?
Joe Mitchell’s house.

Biggest teenage fashion faux pas?
Pre-teen: buying a pair of Winner’s Circle checkerboard slip-ons and thinking they were Vans. My more-clued-in friend was very quick to point out that I was wearing knockoffs. I never wore them again.

Who was your first celebrity crush?
Alyssa Milano or Winona Ryder. Can’t remember who came first.

Describe your first kiss.
So you’re supposed to lick her tongue?

What happened the first time you got drunk?
Coors party ball at a friend’s pool party. I tried to do a wheelie on my bike on the way home and busted my ass.

What is the naughtiest thing you did as a suburban youth?
I didn’t grow up in the suburbs, but I remember going to a mall in San Antonio, TX and having a contest with my friend to see who could steal the most shit. We added up the dollar amounts in the car in the parking garage. So lame.

What was the best party of your teenage years?
Even at the time I thought that going to a keg party in the woods was kinda rad. Still do.

What’s your most embarrassing suburban youth memory?
When my stepbrother told me that most of the kids at our high school thought that I was a fag. His words, not mine.

What was the greatest lesson you learnt during that time?
That it was okay to be alone.

Who would you most like to see at a reunion?
Hai Nguyen.

What was your first car?
1987 Chevy Cavalier.

What was your food of choice?
Taco Bell for sure. Free refills and you can shine your pennies with their hot sauce.

What was the biggest fight you ever had with your parents?
My mom died when I was 15, and I had a lot of unsupervised years before and after her death. Not a lot of fighting going on. If your mom is close, give her a hug.

What book/film changed your teenage life?
Thrasher magazine.

What posters did you have on your bedroom wall?
Powell Peralta posters and pages ripped from skate magazines.

Any hobbies you didn’t give up?
Skateboarding, drawing, laughing, curiosity, crying and dreaming.

What smell reminds you most of the suburbs?
Again, I didn’t grow up in the suburbs, but anytime I fill up a used coffee cup with water, the smell launches me into the early ’80s. Dad stuff.

See other interviews in the Suburban Pop Youth Quiz series and buy the Ed Templeton issue at our online store.