Embracing the Chaos and Destruction - The Doomed Story
"It's a shit show out there and most of us don’t have a clue what’s going on"
An Interview with Paul Robinson and Jordan Godwin | Images courtesy of DOOMED & Tom Price Jenkins
There are people out there that simply find it too hard to keep every creative idea confined to the insides of their skull, it’s like a disease and if they don’t literally rip it out of themselves then it’s just going to eat them up inside. For Jordan Godwin and Paul Robinson, Doomed served as the perfect outlet for their artistic demons to do just that. It’s been 16 months since their self pro-claimed 'Doomsday' and the brand itself has now grown into something raw and un-missable that works at its own pace and, like the best and most influential that have come before, operates by its own rules.
Jordan is based in Wales, UK and deals with the majority of the audio visual work while Paul, based in the North of England, remains glued to a scanner and spending wild red wine nights cutting and pasting. Together these two are building one of the most exciting brands in BMX with their own take on that tried and tested pure D.I.Y. BMX ethic.
What was the inspiration to start a clothing company?
Paul: The worlds a fucking shithole right now lets face it, Trump, Brexit, Boris, Global warming and all that right wing propaganda bullshit... it's a shit show and most of us don’t have a clue what’s going on because it’s every day streamed into our eyeballs, so after a while you become numb and need some kind of escape. In a kind of sub conscious way, this was the reason. Everyone needs a creative outlet and we needed to do this, at this time, I guess. I think to have a non-serious viewpoint as well is the most sensible thing we can do right now, that and the recycling.
Jordan: Yeah I think to have a laugh and not take this thing we do too seriously is also what inspires us.
Paul: Did I mention the recycling?
"The world's a fucking shithole right now lets face it, Trump, Brexit, Boris, Global warming and all that right wing propaganda bullshit..."- Paul Robinson
You guys seem to have a very defined release plan when it comes to clothing drops. Was this always the plan? Can you explain more about the reasons for that?
Paul: I think we didn’t want to get all rusty, so keeping it new with drops just makes sense. It’s not anything new, just makes a lot of sense. I don’t even know if we will continue like this, we might change things up, or do it whenever we do a new design. I think if you try not to follow then it becomes more exciting. Right now, for us, the concept of creating is enough.
Jordan: Yeah I think this was one of the plans from the beginning just try to stay consistent and make every drop as important as the last cause we are buzzing on everything we are putting out but there is no defined rules or shit, we will do what we want to do.
Who designs everything and what is that process?
Jordan: It’s a team effort from myself and Paul but it’s just back and forth ideas until we find something that works really. The best ideas happen around 2am and involve a series of texts and screenshots sent back and forth haha. We both have some freakishly anti social hours of working.
Paul: Yeah, we both handle that, most of the fun or weird stuff just goes into stickers actually, clothing is hard I think - you cant just create a big fucking drawing of a kid with a butchers knife, slap it on a tee shirt and expect it to work, I mean you can try, but generally it has to fit the constraints of a piece of clothing. That’s often why a lot of the designs are pretty simple. If this country continues to go fucking dire, then expect our designs to get worse and worse until we ultimately screw everything up.
"It has no other motive than to serve as a bucket for the brain vomit that’s getting hurled out of us."
- Paul Robinson
Where did the name come from?
Paul: Watching the news every-fucking-day. Polluting our brain cells and getting brainwashed by the media. You know, normal stuff.
How did you go about picking a team? Did you always know who would be involved?
Paul: I actually had no real part in this. I said the guy who handles the pasta could handle the team because he can handle the pasta so well. But I can confirm this is the greatest selection of humans even though they are all off their heads.
Jordan: I guess it is a team haha! It was actually an easy choice, I just wanted a group of people that can go on a trip, get pissed, ride bikes and have a laugh. We had already met these people along the way so it just seemed like a good idea to put them all together in to one supersonic alcohol fuelled unstoppable dream team.
What’s the plan with the DVD - when will that be released? What can we expect? Any other future endeavours on the cards?
Jordan: Plans are “take it as it comes” and just choose a destination and go and see what we get, but there’s a few cities we want to hit along the way, big smoke is on the cards for sure this summer. As for what to expect from the DVD - probably some banging riding from all the boys and some half decent filming and fantastic B-Roll.
Paul: The B-Roll levels are high. In fact the DVD might not even have any riding clips in it. Just 4 hours of B-Roll.
I used to get ripped for wearing a fleece at school. Are they really cool now? Can I wear one again?
Jordan: I seen a picture of a man wearing tobacco pouches as slippers the other day... So yes I think you’ll be just fine wearing a fleece now.
Paul: The first time I saw a fleece was when my dad took us up the famous mountain ‘Ben Nevis’ in the 90’s and we had to walk back down just over half way cos he needed a shit, it was hilarious. At least that’s the memory I have. He wore a banging fleece as well. I always liked those Felix Prangen-berghaus fleece things too and the Batenbergonia ones. They keep you well toasty in the winter and we have winter like every month except July when it’s still kind of winter, just you wear shorts.
In your opinion what were the top three BMX clothing brands of all time?
Jordan: I haven’t really been in BMX super long so I’m probably gonna miss out on some of the super OG brands, (please forgive me older generation) But for me it’s gotta be Marie jade, Ciao crew, Dub, The trip, Antidote…
That’s five actually, I couldn’t narrow it down, sorry, and also that’s in no particular order, all five of these brands are cool as fuck in my eyes and they are all run by some of the sickest dudes!
Paul: Yeah all those brands are amazing, I used to love Poorboy haha, I had a rucksack and it lasted like a week before my 17mm socket ripped a hole in it. Little Devil was amazing, and I don’t think a clothing brand in BMX has ever even got close to the success they had. Right now though I’m into what Ciao are doing and The Trip too.
Is supporting BMX stores with DOOMED important to you or do you plan to do more with direct sales?
Jordan: I think its good to put stuff in stores just because they keep the shit alive, if you think of a city as the human body, then the shop is the heart, take the heart away... and well yeah, you get the point.
Paul: However shops decide to operate and however they manage their online sales vs. in store sales - we support them because we believe in what they do for BMX, I remember as a kid I took 3 trains to visit Batley Cycle sport just to look at bike parts I couldn’t afford, I just wanted to hang out in a BMX shop basically, I wanted to belong (haha). We know that BMX shops struggle, we know that it’s harder than ever to get those same kids to make those journeys but if we give up on them then we lose the magic that they create, so stop buying fucking cranks on amazon, pay a little extra to the bike shops because that money goes back into the scene rather than paying for Bezo’s big divorce.
"I think its good to put stuff in stores just because they keep the shit alive, if you think of a city as the human body, then the shop is the heart, take the heart away... and well yeah, you get the point."
- Jordan Godwin
Do you ever worry that subcultures like BMX are taking too many cues from generic ‘alternative’ mainstream fashion trends? A BMXer just looks like a regular inner city art student these days. The lines feel more blurred than ever.
Jordan: I don’t worry about it because if it wasn’t for them, we would be taking it from somewhere else, not that I think we look to those kids and go “hey lets copy that”, it's just shit that we aren’t really setting trends ourselves, but I think that’s due to our overall exposure to the mainstream world, we're a sub culture which has it’s up and downs I guess.
Paul: I don’t even think as doomed as a fashion brand, I know that might sound dumb as we make clothing but for me its just a thing we do, an outlet for the shit inside our brains. It has no other motive than to serve as a bucket for the brain vomit that’s getting hurled out of us.
"this was one of the plans from the beginning just try to stay consistent and make every drop as important as the last"- Jordan Godwin
Kicking out against the ever increasing shambolic state of the world (and the feeling of it’s inevitable collapse) is something that aesthetically, and in popular culture at least, goes back to the start of punk and hardcore music in the late 70’s (Note: Artistically it goes back way beyond that of course). What do you think it is about the inevitability of chaos and mayhem that’s still so appealing creatively?
Jordan: For me it’s the raw honesty of it, and accepting that we're all fucked at some point, but just laughing about it, kinda embracing the chaos and destruction, then that inevitably reflects on the aesthetic of a person.
Paul: Imagine how boring we would all be if we all walked around with a happy smile like fucking R.E.M telling everyone how motivated they are and then sticking quotes like “awesome vibes” on our t shirts or a fucking “distressed” image of the Brooklyn bridge. Let’s just be really realistic, the world isn’t bad, but the media portrays it so, they do all the fucking controlling, and above that is a bunch of rich cunts sat in a boys club wanking over digestives and laughing at us all because we believe everything we read, like Jordan said…just embrace the chaos and destruction.
"something more than family"
Two years, and lots of blood, sweat and tears...