"What it is all about. If you have gearhead tendencies and want to see the sort of one off bikes being put together in the basements, garages, and woodsheds around the world, the bikes fondled by the wild-eyed and sleepless. . .then here you are on the right path to two-wheeled glory." Dice Magazine
Matt Davis and Dean Micetich are the creators of Dice Magazine and best friends. They have been gathering content, imagery, and attending global events for the past eleven years. We have watched numerous print magazines vanish over the years, but Matt and Dean have done quite the opposite with Dice Magazine. They’ve eliminated the small zine version of Dice Magazine and went to a larger format since issue 50. Matt and Dean are personal friends of ours and we felt it was relevant for us to work together. Over the next few months, we’ll be debuting “From Dice Magazine’s Archives” bike features. We recently spoke to Matt and asked him for a little insight. Enjoy!
Photo borrowed from Loser Machine's blog
When did you and Dean become friends? It seems like yonks. I reckon about 20 years.
How many years have you and Dean been working together? Dice just clicked over in to its eleventh year so....11 years.
Where did the name Dice Magazine come from? I can’t really remember. We wanted a name that was short, didn't want something like say 'Chops 'n' Bobbers", which was a name we came up with and thought about for a minute or two before deciding it sounded to 'old fashioned'. Dice sounded quite modern back then. I had red dice valve caps on my '53 Triumph bobber so it could have come from that. Not really sure. The mag was just a hobby fun thing to do at the time. Those first issues had basically all of our friends in them. We really disliked the current motorcycle magazines of the time and wanted to create something that was much more what we, and our friends, were all about and featured the types of bikes we were all riding around on.
What are your responsibilities for the magazine? Dean and I do pretty much everything, from laying out the pages, writing articles (and taking photos for some of them), worrying about paying all the bills at the end of month through to standing in line at the post office once a week with a lot of the orders we have received, and also making the tea. The only reason we have survived for this long is by doing as much as we possibly can on our own. We have always had, and still continue to have some amazingly talented photographers who contribute to Dice. These friends are as passionate about the subject matter as we are which really helps.
How do you attain content from all over the world? People email us and ask if we would like to run a feature on their bike. It’s as simple as that. Also see the last question, a lot of our contributing photographers send us stuff all the time. It’s always a great pleasure for us to open all of those emails.
How often do you travel for the magazine? As much as we can afford to. The theory is pretty basic. Buy a couple of flights, try to attend as many events as possible on the trip, find somewhere to stay, drag some very heavy suitcases onto planes, buses, trains and on some very long walks. We then set up a booth and hope to sell enough merchandise to cover the cost of the trip. Simple. It’s also a fantastic way of meeting many old friends and making lots of new ones too.
Congratulations on 11 years of print. What have been the biggest hurdles to overcome with the magazine? It's hard to say really. We really enjoy what we do which I think makes a big difference. Hurdles become just small steps when you enjoy what you're doing. I guess if I thought about it would the shipping of magazines around the world. USPS, UPS, FEDEX, The Royal Mail (especially the Royal Mail!) they all suck; they all over charge and pretty much don't give a shit. The biggest complaints we get from our readers by far are the mailing costs.
What do you feel are the biggest accomplishments for Dice Magazine? Ah...erm... not really sure. I guess it was nice to have been there from the beginning. Not too many people were into the sort of bikes we featured back then. After we ran out of friends bikes to shoot it was hard finding material. However looking back we were part of a large groundswell of the motorcycle culture that all know and love today I guess, so bikes were starting to get built at about the same rate as were putting an issue together. From bike lift straight to the pages of Dice, literally.
Dice Magazine started out as a small zine magazine, why did you move to a larger format? Quite simply because of the quality of the photography. I'm a big fan of photography. It was the only subject I was interested in at school. I tried it as a career when I left school at age 16, only to find that it was almost impossible to make a living, so I took up plumbing instead. But that's another story. So yes, most of the pictures we were running in the mag were so amazing, so beautifully shot that we felt the smaller size was not doing them any justice at all, they were sort of lost in there. Just too small. Going up to the bigger size meant we could show them in all their glory. Be nice to go bigger still but its going to get out of control expensive.
How is the motorcycle scene changed since Dice started? At the beginning there it felt like it was just one movement. People who were into it liked all sorts of bikes, cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, street trackers and everything in between, just like we did. We featured, and still feature, all of the kinds of bikes I just mentioned. We love them all. These days, due to the scale of the culture it feels as though it’s fractured into different camps. Chopper people, cafe racer people etc with their own magazines, merchandise, tv shows etc etc. I think it still feels like one big family, as it always has done, but I worry that that might come to an end at some point. The social media hasn't helped, so much bitching out there. Motorcycles are fun and are meant to be ridden. There is nothing better than going for a ride on a warm summer’s day, nothing. It doesn't matter if you're popping up the road for a ham sandwich or riding across country. It doesn't matter if you've been ridding for 30 years or 30 minutes. Nothing matters when you're barreling down the road on two wheels.
What types of events do you enjoy attending? All of them, they all have a uniqueness to them, all over the world. No one is better than the other, just different. I could list them all here but that might get a bit boring.
Where do you see Dice Magazine in 10 years? Yikes!! Gawd knows! As long as I can still make my rent we will still be here. It’s hard at times. Dice is our whole lives, it fills our every waking moment. It’s our passion, we love what we do. It would be heart wrenching to have to let it go.
Anyone you would like to thank? It goes with out saying that we would like to thank all of our readers over the years, our advertisers, our contributors and our families. Without any of you we are nothing, Thank you.
Dice Magazine has just updated their website, blog and online store. If you're ever in Southern California, check out Tri Co. which is Matt, Dean, and Wil's psychical storefront . Tri Co caters to many well-known brands of the industry and is located at 4657 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Be sure to follow Dice Magazine on Instagram and Twitter, and grab Issue 61 which is out now. Thanks!
Cover artwork by Sam Turner