Paul Roberts is the voice of BMX. His passion has brought him where he is today. And he's everywhere. Paul knows BMX, Paul is BMX and having an MC at the contests that is that into it is a good thing to have. MC-ing is a tough job. It usually means you have no voice left at the end of the weekend. You need to make the crowd get into it. You can try that by acting like a "koekwaus" but Paul doesn't need to put bunny ears on his head and change closes three times a day to entertain the crowd. It's the voice that matters and when Grotbags is on the mic when you arrive at a contest, consider yourself lucky because he's the man for the job.
How many everts do you do a year and which ones?
Paul Roberts: I try to do all the ones that I didn't get fired from last year. I really do whatever I'm asked. I always do Ian Morris' contests, Jay Miron's Metro jams and last year somebody was foolish enough to let me do the big American comps suchs as the X-Games, the Gravity Games, Triple Crowns, it was nice. It means that I don't really need to get a real job.
So basically MC-ing is what gets you by to live?
Paul Roberts: Exactly, I do that and I still do a bit of photography, it's the same way as riding, I don't really put myself in a position where I have to do that. I don't have to get a certain amount of pictures or have to ride my bike. I kind of like doing it because I like doing it rather than just having to do it. And I also bounce.
Paul Roberts: I bounce at an Irish pub. I know it sounds stupid and it is pretty stupid. It's an Irish bar in Huntington Beach where I live now, it's just down the road from my house, I know the family that ownes it. My dad used to do it. My dad used to make X amount of money when I was a kid by working the door at a night club. I've been around bars quite a bit. Everybody who knows me knows I'm not weighing 250 pounds or am crazy muscled.
But you can talk?
Paul Roberts: Don't get the impression that I'm a crazy brawling dude. I don't go out looking for trouble. The way I look at it and the way my dad used to look at it is that if you are doing your best job when there is no fights. You're not doing your job when you're getting in a bunch of fights that you're involved with, you're doing your job when you spot the trouble before it happens and make sure there is no fight. It's fun, it's at an Irish bar and it gets wild sometimes.
Do you live in the USA or the UK, you seem to travel between both countries a lot, can you explain?
Paul Roberts: What I do is, I got an apartment now in Huntington, I've had that for a while and I've been in the States for the larger percentage of the time since the beginning of 2000. I always used to go for three months in the winter so I could ride and then I decided to go longer and then Ian at Seventies and I guess Mark Noble at RIDE BMX magazine helped me out getting a visa so I can travel. I have to scrape by a little bit and I have to be a bit creative with money and stuff but it's pretty cool. It means I can get to come back to England. A lot of my friends live where I live [Cali], the Europeans, they're just over staying and that means you can never go back, and I don't want to be in that position. I still get to see my parents, I still get to see my friends and with the jobs that I do, I get to travel between both continents a fair bit to hang out with everyone.
How can contest organizers get a hold of you?
Paul Roberts: People who know me know that there are some things that, I'm not sure if it's because I'm older now, but there are some things that I don't really like, like cell phones. I know that might sound old school or stupid or whatever, but when I'm out, I'm out. The last couple of years that I was in England and I lived at my parents' house, for two months the phone rang too much, at least for my parents. I'm s
ocial and everything it's just that I don't want to disappoint people that are calling me out of the blue and stuff. I've got a really nice life, I live at an amazing place, I get to go to amazing places, I have a lot of friends. If you want to get a hold of me, you can. You know the people who know how to get in touch with me and they know the number of wherever I am. I just like not having a phone. Once you get me on the phone, you won't get me off and yeah, apparently I'm bonkers.