Hello, and welcome to another jam-packed edition of The Hot Seat. Can you believe it's already been a year since the very first edition?
That's right; this issue marks the one-year anniversary of this column, so we decided to do something special. We chained Mike Alexander down and MADE him answer all of these questions for your reading enjoyment. So, what are you waiting for? Read on to find out some very interesting things about our one and only editor.
If you have an idea for someone you want to see in The Hot Seat, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions, questions, or comments, and maybe your favorite person will be our next victim!
This month, we bring you Mike Alexander, Editor of Mini Truckin' magazine; if you don't know him yet, you're about to know it all!
Full Name: Mike Alexander
Place of Birth: Santa Maria, CA
Current Residence: Lake Elsinore, CA
Daily Driver: Just got the Bob Grant original-Twisted Metal (Toy-Blazer)
Who are you?: Just a dood tryin' to get by!
Q: What is in your toilet tower/lavatory library? Be honest, not the obvious ones like Mini Truckin', we want to know about the US Weekly, the Better Homes & Gardens and the Luscious Large Woman mags.
A: Mostly car, truck, and lifestyle mags like, Rod & Custom, Tattoo, Snowboarder, Guns & Ammo, Martial Arts, Watch Times (I love watches), and a few foreign mags that are pretty killer.
Q: Tell us one thing people either don't know about you or would be very surprised to hear?
A: I'm actually part bionic man. Part of my "ninjaness" comes from my indestructible leg. I have a titanium rod in my right leg and pins from my hip to my knee. I almost bit the big one snowboarding a few years back and hit a tree at 30 mph. I shattered my femur, broke my hip, and messed up the entire right side of my body pretty good. I lost a lot of blood internally and almost didn't pull through, but thanks to God and my family for sticking by my side I'm still here. Oh, and another thing NO ONE except my closest friends know, I was in gymnastics and martial arts as a youngin and became fairly talented. I wanted to be a stuntman until all my injuries forced me to quit.
Q. Do you have any tattoos? If so, what is it, and do you regret it?
A: Tons! I don't regret any of them. I have to thank Ernie Macias for actually sitting through my first one with me in Japan. He started my addiction and now I'm working on a full sleeve all done in Japan, an entire "Gangsta Jesus" back piece done here in So Cal, and a few others going on including a Grant Kustoms logo tattooed on my chest as Bob Grant is the reason I first fell in love with minitrucks.
Q. What got you into the scene?
A: When I was in middle school a buddy of mine brought a Mini Truckin' and I saw one of Bob Grant's first creations and I was instantly hooked and haven't looked back since!
Q. We hear you and the infamous "One Sleeve Steve" played in a pool tournament in Kentucky? How did you do?
A: I think I did alright. Something about popped collared retards gets my blood boiling. Jager and I don't mix well with those pop collar idiots! But my boys Harv, Grommit, and Prick took care of me.
Q. So have you ever had any custom license plate mishaps? Don't lie, we know the truth!
A: Haha, you suck SO bad! All right, here it is for the entire world to read. About ten years ago I ordered my very first custom license plate. It was when they first came out with the shapes so I wanted to do the "Heart 2 B LOW". Well, when it came back as "Heart2BLOW" with no spaces let's just say I returned it and went on my merry way.
Q. What is your favorite part of your job? Favorite place you have traveled? Any regrets?
A: My absolute favorite part is all of the great people I can now call my friends and all of the amazing places I've traveled around the world! I love every second of it, even the long hours and deadlines to get you your favorite mag each and every month. No regrets at all, but it is definitely hard turning your passion into a job, as anyone in the biz knows. For example if you install car stereos ALL DAY LONG the last thing you want to do is go home and put your buddy's stereo in for him. It gets pretty taxing and yes, sometimes a break from the shows and trucks is needed to keep me going strong!
Q. Who do you look up to in the scene?
A: I really look up to Bob Grant who literally started it all for me. He inspires me to this very day, and his work is truly one-of-a-kind. I have come to call many of the best builders in this industry my BEST FRIENDS! Bobby Martins from Sadistic Iron Werks, Aaron Iha from Chassis By Aaron, Jamey "HandMade" Jordan, Max Fish, Joel "Grommit" Sadenwasser, etc. all share true joy in building some of the baddest stuff on the planet. On the editor side, Courtney "Tito" Halowell, Mike Finnegan, and Johnny O have all been through a lot and have helped me develop through the years. There are so many amazing friendships that we have all formed through the years, and I'm truly humbled to call some of my heroes, friends.
Q. What inspired you to make minitruckin' a career? When and how did you get bit by the infamous minitruckin' bug?
A: Like I said before, I saw the mag in junior high around 1993 and was hooked. I worked retail all throughout high school. When I graduated I became a GM at Circuit City. I met Mike Finnegan while he was still at MT and hit him up about what it took to become an editor. I was tired of working every weekend and missing all the shows, so I bought a camera and applied for the job since he transferred over to Off-Road magazine. After a fairly intense hiring process I was selected and have been busting my ass on this same mag ever since.
Q. Are you EVER going to finish a project?
A: YES! And PS... I hate you, haha!
Q. Everyone wants to know how do you get your truck featured in this great magazine?
A: If you build something cool WE WANT TO FEATURE IT! It takes the complete package, there's no "magic" recipe. Just build what you love, and if it fits the bill we will make it happen. The one thing not a lot of people know, is that we generally want to be first to shoot and feature your truck, so if your dream is to have a feature in THIS magazine then it's best to hold out and not let others run your truck until after we do to guarantee the best chance of making it in MT.
Q. Have you seen the movie The Notebook? We heard you can't even watch TV sometimes unless there is Kleenex nearby-is that true? Could our fearless leader really be a big softy?
A: Man, you really did your research for the one-year anniversary edition, eh? Yup, I'm a giant baby! I cried like a little girl when I watched Marley and Me. I'm a huge dog lover, and whoever thought it would be a great idea for dogs to die at the end of dog movies should be shot.
Q. Do you eat healthy? We heard you only eat broccoli with a truck load of mayo, we hope this is only a rumor.
A: Man, you must have talked to my chick to dig up this kind of dirt! Haha, she tries to cook all healthy for me and even packs me lunches, but I always find a way to make it unhealthy again.
Q. So we know you are a hip, happening guy that is always on the go, your closet must really be a mess! Not like the ladies, who are closet OCD, with the hangers having to match the shirts and such.
A: YOU DID talk to the lady! Yup, I'm worse than a girl. Hangers all have to be the same color and evenly spaced apart, more shoes and designer jeans than most chicks...I know, I know... I'm a girl!
Q: So what is your drink of choice when you are at the bars? Shot of Jack? Vodka on the rocks?
A: Damn, you got me again! You know I'm going to go home and KILL the old lady now, right!? Haha, well in honor of my good buddy Chad Lucas, I have adopted the fruity drink ordering duties in SoCal. I love a good blended strawberry margarita any day.
Q. And finally, the plugs...anything you want to add?
A: First and foremost I want to thank my girl for being super understanding and very supportive of the long hours and traveling this job requires. Also, to my G-Ma and G-Pa who have been there for me through thick and thin, they have earned the "G" in their names by truly keeping it gangsta! I really just want to thank everyone out there for being so supportive of our hobby and lifestyle. I really have some of the best friends a guy could ever ask for, and I look forward to many more years of service. See you out there!