Hello, and welcome to another jam-packed edition of The Hot Seat. In case you missed last month's story, each month we take a person who has been a vital part, a mentor, or made some significant impact in the scene, and expose him or her and make them blush for your reading enjoyment.
So sit back, light a match, do a courtesy flush, and enjoy this month's installment.
* If you have an idea for someone you want to see in The Hot Seat, email email@example.com with your suggestions, questions, or comments, and maybe your favorite person will be our next victim!
This month, we bring you Max Fish from Bio Kustumz. If you don't know him yet, you're about to know it all!
Full Name: Maximilian Joseph Fish
Place of Birth: Banning, CA
Current Residence: Dirtpeople Land, CA
Daily Driver: 1999 4WD Tacoma
Who Are You?: Owner of Bio Kustumz
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: I read too many different mags to list them all so I'll just tell you my faves: Juxtapoz, High Fructose, Robb Report Motorcycling, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Engine Masters, World of Rods to name a few.
Q: Tell us one thing people either don't know about you or would be very surprised to hear?
A: I am a total geek. Not the broken glasses and pocket protector type, but I want to learn everything I can about anything I can. I'm a self-proclaimed plethora of useless information. Also, I used to take square dancing lessons in high school; figured that would start things off in the right direction as it's gotta be good for a laugh or two at my expense.
Q. Do you have any tattoos?
A: I have one tattoo on my right calf of the little boy from Where the Wild Things Are. His name is Max and it was my favorite childhood story, so I figured that I would be safe having it for the rest of my life.
Q: What is your favorite show of all time?
A: I will never forget Endless Summer and Spring Splash. They were shows that everyone tried so hard to get their current projects to back in the day. The scene was changing immensely and the excitement for it was more than I think it ever will be again. Those were the good ol' days for sure.
Q: What got you into the scene?
A: Probably money or lack thereof. Being broke means that you work on what you have and what I had at the time was a Taurus Wagon. It didn't really fit the scene all that well, but being on air and running 17-inch wheels back then was enough to fit in with the minitruck crowd.
Q: We heard a rumor that the "Master of Suspension" recently lowered a Cadillac by heating the coils. True or false?
A: I guess no good deed goes unpunished, does it. I was helping out a friend lower his car and it was caught on camera by a snitch. And that's all I gotta say about that!
Q: Sadly it seems most of our past victims have fallen victim to this as well, but we still have to ask. Have you ever been "cheated" by what you thought was a fart?
A: I have been. Luckily the witnesses were only my lovely wife, her sister and a close friend, so the emotional damage was minimal. It still gets brought up every now and again just for good measure though.
Q: Your hair is very long and well-kept. How do you take care of all that hair?
A: I only wash my hair in a shampoo that is made from 100 percent organic fruits and berries, and then finish by letting it sit in a placenta-based conditioner for 5 minutes. Once a week I have one of the top stylists from Vidal Sassoon stop by the shop to give me a scalp massage, a deep conditioning, and a quick trim. I will never color or straighten my hair because it is far too damaging.
Q: While we are on the subject, have you ever had one of those crazy beards?
A: Those crazy beards? Hmm, I've had a beard with no rhyme or reason before. I didn't trim it in anyway; I just let it grow all terrorist like. It was a little out of hand, not quite my style now, but it was fun at the time. Gunther's is way crazier than mine was for sure! Here's to Gunther!
Q: Do you have any pets?
A: I have one animal that I claim as my own, it is a Bengal cat named Stymie and he is my buddy. The other three horses, four dogs, six chickens, and 1,000 fish are NOT mine. I'm looking into getting a Sphinx hopefully by the time you read this.
Q: Were you an Ozzy fan growing up?
A: I was a really big Ozzy fan in grade school. Way before he became all mainstream and my mom thought he was funny, along with the President of the United States and everyone else in the world. He's the Prince of Darkness, he is not supposed to be funny!
Q: Were you into any extra curricular activities in high school? Sports? Band? Talent show participant perhaps?
A: I never played sports, but I did join the band. There was this cute girl in band that played clarinet, so I thought it would be a good idea to play the clarinet too. I did one talent contest my junior year of high school where we played Boys II Men "Did It All for Love." Don't laugh, you've all been there before and you know it!
Q: Rumor has it that you owned a "wobby" and that your pillow cases and blanket are rather cute?
A: Haha! My wobby! You must have talked to Sarra. Yeah, I had one blanket that I took anywhere that I was going to sleep. It wasn't a security blanket like Linus rocks or anything, it was just a properly broke-in quilt, but after about 15 years it was time to retire that poor thing. I have managed to keep my Garfield and Snoopy pillow cases from when I was like ten or so. My wife Sandi will switch them out for me every once in a while. I will also have to admit that the current "comfy" blanket that I'm using is a Mickey Mouse quilt. Busted.
Q: What are you scared of? Clowns? The dark? Frost?
A: I'm scared of falling and heights sometimes. It depends on the day; I haven't figured it out though. I know what you're getting at with the frost thing though-Sarra strikes again. The idea of dry frost makes me feel like most people do with nails down the chalkboard. Sensodyne commercials are the worst! I don't know where it came from, it just happened one day and it's only getting worse. I believe the fear of frost is called pagophobia.
Q: We heard you live in "The Land of the Dirt People?" Where can we find that on our GPS?
A: "The Land of the Dirt People" is the name that mister "South Bay" himself Johnny-O has lovingly coined as the proper name for Hemet (and anything east of the 15 freeway for that matter). You know how nicknames are, they are tough to shake and Johnny is not going to give it up very easily either.
Q: You must travel a lot with all your skills and your job. How many airplane trips would you say you have taken over the years?
A: I have flown only once. I don't know if you would consider the four different planes that it took to complete my trip to Tennessee as flying four times or as once, but that was my only time flying thus far.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job? Favorite place you have traveled? Any regrets?
A: I really love the fact that I am able to help out as many people as I have. I would say that Texas is my favorite, but only because I have only been to a few different places. I love Oroville, California, also as Bob has been kind enough to entertain me during my northern trips lately. No regrets-I think everything is an experience, good or bad.
Q: Who do you look up to in the scene?
A: I don't really look up to anyone, but there are a lot of guys out there doing some amazing work that is pushing the scene to new levels. I truly enjoy seeing it evolve like it has.
Q: So tell us about some of your weird OCD compulsions? We hear peanut butter has something to do with it?
A: As far as the peanut butter goes, let's just say that for a good sandwich, a jar of peanut butter is only good for one week and ONLY the top layer is useable. I generally can only make about five sandwiches before the rest of the jar is added to the stack of "unusables."
Q. Finally enough embarrassment. Any plugs and/or thank you's worth mentioning?
A: First off, I'd like to thank my wife Sandi. She has been through everything with me and she never gets the credit she deserves for putting up with me and the shop. My mom and dad-I love you guys and thanks for letting me take everything we owned apart. And to the rest of the guys that don't get thanked enough; Steve Wilk, Ernie Macias, all the Mikes-you know which ones you are- thank you all for your help and support!