Cognitive State

DANIEL

DANIEL WAKEFIELD PASLEY, PORTLAND, OR

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Q: Introduce yourself, I know a bit about you but I’m sure that the world of DWP is full of little secrets! I heard something about you having a kid, and something about trying to skate… therefore spare no details!
A: My name is Daniel Wakefield Pasley. I was born in 1972. I grew up outside Annapolis, Maryland. I moved to Los Angeles when I was 15 to become a professional skateboarder. That almost happened and I can still land a kick-flip on the first try. I moved to Portland, Oregon in 1997, when I was 26 or some shit, to be poor and to be somewhere, anywhere, other than Los Angles California; a place I still love, especially for the grit and streets and the neighbourhoods and a cuban place called Versailles, but a place I’m incompatible with on account of anger and issues related to reality, entitlement, and vapidity. I have two eight year old boys. They love soccer and camping. And shitty house music. They are good at being awesome. Oliver, the oldest, the one with longer hair, just got 100% on his spelling test featuring words that end with the suffix “ness.” I live with my girlfriend Keiran. We more than like each other, a lot.

Q: You are involved in two of my favorite websites/projects; Yonder Journal and Manual For Speed. How did they came to be? Also if you had to only choose one, which one would it be?
A: After a number of unrelated-but-related careers; valet, bike messenger, grip, marketing, copy writing, etc., I am a partner in two website project—Yonder Journal & Manual For Speed. One is about anthropology and exploration of Outdoor shit. The other is about the culture and spectacle of the sport of Road Cycling. If I had to choice between one or the other, and trust me I think about this all the time, I couldn’t. I just cant. I am physically and mentally unprepared to chose between them. They are two similar-different. I mean, Yonder has more potential long term, to like get weird and do art and really write about shit, and go deep. But cycling is the greatest sport in the world, and Manual For Speed is trying to be the greatest cycling publication in the world so…..

Q: L.A. Sweat huh? Tell me more about that!
A: L.A. Sweat is two things. It’s a little bit confusing. First of all, our friend Kelly Samuelson has a pro women’s team that we helped name, and that we (MFS) are doing all the “art direction” and branding for. We love her, and her team, and we’ve wanted to support a domestic team for a few years now, so it just worked out.
L.A. Sweat is also a line of clothing we’re developing. It’s women’s clothes for men and women. Inspired by Los Angles, Sweat, and the Future.

Q: Ok let’s focus on Manual For Speed for a moment. There’s a whole operation going on when you are covering a certain event, how does this look like, who’s doing what? For example when you are in Europe, preferably not getting arrested by the Italian police.
A: So the rough of anatomy of MFS goes like this: Daniel Wakefield Pasley (me) photographs and writes a lot of the race reports. Emiilano photographs a lot of the races too. He also 90% runs our social media efforts; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. He also manages our product game. Kevin Edward Brown is our editor and web master and photo editor and page layout design hustler. Kyle Hoetzendorff does a lot of writing for us when he can, he also thinks for us and helps Emiliano with Product. Ian Marshal works at Castelli, but he’s our handler and point person, he travels with us a lot. Raoul lives in Amsterdam, he produces and organizers all of our European race logistics. Klaus, rarely travels with us, he is our historian, and resident cycling analysis provider. Thomas Slater is this British illustrator that we love, he does a lot of work for us too.

Q: For how long have you been making a living taking photos and writing stuff? Did you study any of those things or was it just something that came as a hobby and turned out to be much more than that?
A: I did not go to school. I’m winging it. I think we’re doing well… it’s hard to know. Traffic is up. We get lots of positive feedback, and shit feels really good. But also, even though we are only five years into MFS and one into YJ, Emiliano and I have been working at this in one incarnation or another for what feels like well over a decade. It’s a lot of work. It’s worth it. But it’s difficult. Also, it’s one of those things you never feel like you’re doing it right. I mean, just the other day I got arrested in Italy. Was that a good idea or a bad idea? Who knows.

Q: Of all the YJ projects, which one brings out the best memories?
A: Last year we did something on YJ called Western Recreation. It was by far the biggest and most organized project to date. We’re printing a book soon. I loved it. All of the mountain hunting work I’ve done was amazing. And most recently, this Dead Reckoning thing we’re doing is big, real big. It’s not the most creative or conceptual thing we’ve ever done, but it’s really ambitious, and so far it’s been SO FUCKING challenging. In good ways, and bad. It feels like something we’ve been preparing for for the last 10 years. So it feels like we’re doing it right. Which is SO RARE. And so welcome. So it feels hella tight.

Q: I’m not a camera expert at all but let’s talk about gear nonetheless! What do you use when you’re covering Giro and what do you use when you are bike packing in let’s say Bolivia, how often does your gear go to hell?
A: NO CAMERA TALK!!!!!!!! For most shit I shoot a canon 5d mark iii with either a fixed 50 or that 24 to 70 jammer. Most of my work up until the last two years was shot on a Mamiya ii. Hasselblad was my first real camera. I shot and still own something like 4500 polaroids…. I started shooting polaroids in my early 20s. That’s it, no more camera talk. I don’t shit about cameras. I like shit that works good, that’s about the extent of my interest.

Q: I remember how big of an inspiration YJ was for me when I started to get interested in writing and photography. About two years ago I sent you an email with a link to one of our sites and I’ll never forget how positively you replied, I wasn’t even expecting a return email but what followed was a long exchange of thoughts and ideas that’s still going on. I’m 100% sure that I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it wasn’t for you and that email and I’m forever thankful for all your help. So let’s end this with a throwback to the beginning of 2013 when we “met”, MFS and YJ were not as big as they are now and you probably had a whole different life going. So…do you have any last words or whatever?
A: I got nothing else really. Hi mom! Except that…I’ve always been a big fan of yours. You are young and prolific and talented. So please keep doing what you’re doing. Also, I’m happy that we get to work on this Specialized project together.