There’s certain characters that come to mind when you think of the Nitro Circus crew. Jeremy Rawle is one of those characters, better known as Tenacious J and one of the legends of Nitro Circus. What many people don’t know about Jeremy is that he is one of the 3 co-founding members of Nitro Circus and that he is the producer of the show.
We had the privilege of chatting to Jeremy and asking him some questions about his life, Nitro Circus and the Nitro Circus Live South African tour. See what he had to say.
Being the producer of Nitro Circus, what does your job entail?
I play a lot of rolls. I wear a lot of hats. Produce, direct and done my fare share of stunts. I’m somewhat the mother hen trying to keep everyone alive.
What are you expecting from SA and the Nitro Circus shows in our country?
I’m excited to get down there, it is set to be our biggest show ever. The best way to answer what to expect from the show is that we feed off the energy. The more people we have, the more energy the show has. It is set to be the perfect storm.
What can SA fans expect from the shows and have you changed anything up specifically for these shows?
We’ve haven’t necessarily changed anything. The tour has been so well refined with sold out shows in the USA and is so well developed, it has become the best of the best. It is so dialled in that SA gets the benefit of a show that has a great rhythm. People have never seen anything that will be seen in this show. It is the best of the best. You would have to see 7 years of X Games to see what’s in the Nitro Circus Show. There are stunts that you wouldn’t expect. Everyone gets pushed by everyone.
A question that everyone is asking. With Travis Pastrana breaking his leg, will he still be out here in SA for the shows?
Yes, he is still coming out. The show is designed by Travis and half of what he does is be the ring master. What people don’t realise is that Travis isn’t always riding in the shows but he is featured and will be talking on the mic and pushing the crew.
“Imagine controlling a group of action sports athletes that all have attention deficit disorder”
How did you end up meeting Travis Pastrana and becoming a part of the Nitro Circus crew?
Along with Godfrey and Pastrana, I’m one of the co-founders of Nitro Circus. Godfrey and I are childhood friends, we have the same DNA as all of the guys, constantly pushing each other. In the mid 80’s we would going skiing and huck jumps while filming it with those big old school camera’s. Godfrey went to film school and I studied to be a lawyer. Godfrey made his first MX film and that’s when he met up with Travis, things just went from there. Godfrey talked to Travis about the Grand Canyon jump, Travis wanted to do it but wanted to wait until he was 18.
Did you ever imagine where and what Nitro Circus would become?
Honestly, I would have never guessed that we’d be doing what we’re doing at sold out stadiums around the world and with a TV show. 12 years ago I was packing DVD’s onto boxes from my garage. It is a beautiful mistake!
What is the craziest thing you have experienced during the years with Nitro Circus?
There are so many moments. The Grand Canyon jump upped the anti. Travis gets carried away and pushes himself, he wanted to do the canyon jump again this time backflipping with 7 spins. When he jumped off the bike was still above him and he had to get away from the bike deploying hid parachute at the final millisecond. He hit the ledge. Over the radio I heard “Travis hit” then there was radio silence for 2 minutes, that will give you grey hair.
What are some of the crazy things you have done or been forced to do that you thought you’d never attempt?
I get whipped up in the frenzy. I had done a triple Backflip on skis so Travis decided I would be the perfect candidate to double Backflip a dirt bike. Travis talked me into it, I jumped 40ft high and got 1 and a half rotations before jumping off mid air. Also the sky scraper blop jump we did in the Nitro Circus 3D movie was terrifying.
Do you guys have anything planed while in South Africa in between shows?
Yes, we’ll be filming for the 4th season of our Nitro Circus Live TV show.
When you think of South Africa, what comes to mind?
All sorts of stuff, wonder and amazement. It is somewhere we’ve always wanted to go.
What is a day in the life of Jeremy Rawls like?
I spend my days in 3 ways! Trying to create chaos and create interesting scenarios, make sure no one dies and basically heard cattle. Imagine controlling a group of action sports athletes that all have attention deficit disorder.
Explain the Nitro Circus family in 5 words?
A dysfunctional family of fun.
Jolene van Vugt is the only girl in the Nitro Circus crew. Are you looking for more girls to join the crew and push the boundaries?
It’s not like we’re a boy club on purpose and there is no job application. Nitro Circus is a snowball that gathered the right people and spat some people out on the way, Jo was one of those people that stuck. She is a hardcore and talented person. We’d love to have more girls, it adds a nice touch.
What would you like to say to the SA Nitro Circus fans before you get here?
I mean this with all sincerity. It will be a show that no one has ever seen before. It is 2 hours of jaw dropping, hilarious, interactive and inspiring entertainment in one night.
For more info and ticket booking details for the Nitro Circus Live South African tour click here.