For our 13th installment, we join Keith Goldman as he interviews Dave Shaddix, usually one of the first to comment on these very interviews. As with Soren, Dave uses a few words that our more sensitive readers may find offensive. Once again, you’ve been warned. Take it away, Keith!
Unlike previous entries, this week’s builder isn’t a crusty 10-year veteran of the hobby, media magnate, self-stylized reverend or even Australian.
Instead I bring you an everyman from Anytown, U.S.A, who might be known better for his quick wit and devil-may-care attitude than for his growing library of great models. Dave Shaddix isn’t exactly a noob, but he also hasn’t been around long enough to be as jaded and rigid in his way of thinking than many of us gray-beards.
I sat down with Dave 2 miles from the US/Mexico border in Dave’s home state of Arizona. We talked about the Gadsden Purchase, Sabbath with Ozzie vs. Sabbath with Dio and what really happens to all those tourists who go missing every year in the Grand Canyon. We also talked about LEGO.
Keith Goldman: Like many builders out there, you’ve got a long term project going on. How long has your Papa Roach stage been in production and what are the challenges of a long term build from a relative newcomer’s perspective? Is your cousin and Papa Roach front-man Jacoby Shaddix involved in the process?
Dave Shaddix: I’ll first define ‘relative newcomer’ so that we’re all on the same page as far as timelines are concerned. I started building again about nine years ago with my oldest son; yeah it’s the DUPLO brick that brought me out of my dark age. As he grew, I started buying and building more age appropriate sets with him which eventually led me to the internet where I quietly trolled sites like Brickshelf and MOCpages from around 2006 to 2008 when I started posting on MOCpages. Arizona’s first LEGO retail store opened in the summer of 2008 and our LUG formed up immediately after. In short, 2008 is the year I became an actively-engaged AFOL who was fully out of the closet. Now that we have my own private definition of ‘newcomer’ out of the way, let’s move onto the question.
I started planning the Papa Roach project in October of 2009. It was pretty vague at the time and I was heavily leaning towards minfigure scale. I realized that the project needed to be all about the motion and mood of a live concert early on and I decided on a scale that is about 2x miniland. I began putting bricks together around October when I started building the band members.
The more I worked on the project, the more I learned and the more I had to build. Project creep started taking its money-draining grip on me and before I knew it I was looking at a structure that is more than 150 studs in width and almost 70 bricks tall and making whirlwind trips to Los Angeles to talk to the band and get detailed photos of them, their equipment, and the crowd. Given the scale of this project, you can guess that money plays a huge role and has slowed me down considerably. I guess the biggest obstacle that I will need to overcome is how to decide when enough is enough.
As far as the guys being involved in the project, they’re busy men and I try to leave them alone to do their jobs. That being said, Jacoby, Jerry, Tobin and Tony are some of the coolest guys you’ll meet and have answered every call and question I have asked. Whether you like their music or not, they are a kick-ass band and incredibly down to earth. I am lucky to have what little of an inside track as I do. I was given full access to the stage during sound checks to photograph the equipment; I mean I actually got to sit at the drums. When they were touring with Motley Crue, I was actually given a ‘Crue Skag’ for my birthday. Skags aside they are pretty excited about the project and want to see it finished as much as I do.
KG: I think it is fair to say that everywhere except LEGOLand (who just refuses to get on board) the all powerful minifig, and minifig-scale rules both the product line and the hobby in general. As the outspoken leader of the anti-minifig movement, would you care to outline your patently ridiculous stance?
DS: Anti-minifig, Keith? How could you do this to me? Twist my words… I thought we were friends! Saying I am anti-minifig is like saying that someone who is pro-life is anti-choice. I love those little dudes as much as the next guy! And I really like seeing the new diversity LEGO seems to be finding with its torso types and new flesh colors. I’ve done more than my fair share of vignettes like my armed robbery and ‘LifePod 23” and minifig only posts, ‘Blackstronauts’, “Boy Band” and even a concept for your ‘Fear the Black Planet’ contest. There is really a lot more fun to be had with the minifigure, and I am not going to count myself out of that action.
My gripe with the community is how much they seem to embrace minifig scale and none other. And even then, I think they have the scale all wrong. LEGO is a great medium and it often seems a shame to me that the majority of builders out there limit themselves to the worship of a little plastic doll. I would love to see more miniland scale MOCs and more sculpture produced on a regular basis.
More of Keith’s interview with Dave after the jump: Continue reading