12-time X Games FMX medalist and current Monster Jam Rookie and driver for the Metal Mulisha Monster Jam truck Matt Buyten sits down and speaks to the El Paso Herald-Post about his career, his passion and new adventures.
While his name may not be a household name in the Monster truck racing world just yet, Matt Buyten is well known in the world of Freestyle Motocross. Fans have seen the name Buyten on their screens, performing a vast array of Freestyle tricks and taking his motorcycle to new heights against the likes of Legends Jeremy McGrath ,Carey Hart, Brian Deegan and Travis Pastrana.
Buyten is know for his passion, his competitive spirit and looks to leave his mark in the Monster Jam world.
EPHP– You have been riding Motocross and the X Games in the Past, what has the transition been like to go from Freestyle Motocross and now into Monster Trucks?
Matt Buyten- “Yeah i definitely had a long freestyle Motocross career and been riding bikes my whole life. Its been my heart and my passion and you know you cant ride forever. An about five years ago I knew that this day would be coming you know, starting to end my riding career. I’m going to always ride but, being not the X Games and stuff.
Its gotta come to an end eventually…and every athlete has there shining moment, but it all comes to a sweet bitter end you know at the end of the day. X Games the last 13 years and transferring into Monster Jam has been like Awesome and a whole new dream come true. I’ve actually been like – you know a lot of athletes – I finally know what they are talking about when you kinda battle a little bit of depression when your leaving…when all you worked for as a kid and like…it doesn’t matter what sport you’re in – basketball, football or anything – I kind of understand it now.
I started to get pretty bummed that my riding was coming to an end you know. It’s all we know and you put your heart and soul and passion into it and then it comes to the end and you are like, not what in life? Life is a lot longer then just those few years of doing what you love for a passion. So five years ago I starting digging into wanting to drive a monster truck.
I’ve done a lot of Freestyle motocross shows at Monster truck events and stuff so I was like, you know that’s kinda like my style, I want to do that I like motorsports and I like horsepower.
So Monster Jam has given me a couple opportunities to do some training classes and stuff and I was able to just kinda stayed with it, dedicated to it and shown them that I am really interested still and they finally gave me a chance. I’m just like…I’m floored you know I gotta live one dream and have a good successful career in freestyle motocross, 12 medals and 13 years of the X Games, a lot of people cant say that, and I am pretty proud of that.
I’ve all over the world and just met so many good people and having fun, my sponsors have been great. and now I get to do it a second time over. Man its just…I’m pretty dumbfounded by it, you know to have all those feelings again like when I was 22 (years old) and started taking off riding,
I’m 37 (years old) now and getting a whole rebirth of that feeling is like… humbled and speechless. You know, I have been here before, so I am planning to capitalize on my opportunities.
You know a couple of guys gave me a chance on freestyle Motocross, got a couple of chances at the X Game qualifiers, and I capitalized on those. So I am a vet in that, so that’s what kinda of cool , I’m older and more mature – I think…a little bit – so I get to bring it over my knowledge and experience of traveling and dealing with fans, dealing with sponsors…you know its a lot to take in if you ain’t ready for it it’s pretty intense being in front of 40-60,000 screaming fans and to keep you composure and race good, drive good stay out of the wall.
The safety of the fans is what Monster Jam really thrives on…it’s their number one thing, and putting on a good show. I’m just trying to bring all that knowledge over to Monster Jam and doing the best I can.”
EPHP– What has been the difference and similarities between the Motocross crowd and the Monster Jam crowd?
Matt-“The difference between the fans , is like Motocross fans they just like to see the bikes and stuff, they know the riders but what I’m noticing with Monster Jam fans is, like they are really really deeply passionate about each and every truck.
Like NASCAR its like a similar thing, that’s the best way I can relate it. People have like Earnhardt or Stewart they have their drivers. And that’s what I am learning here that there is big passionate motocross and well in Super cross they have their main super cross racers and its similar in that.
The fans here really dress up in monster jam and are so into it and it just makes it funner that you can just stoke people out. To me like you ride your motorcycle and you can make people happy and to me that is just amazing and awesome you know…to come over to the Monster truck and do that too you know…I’m really liking it.
A lot of the monster jam fans are coming up to me and asking me great questions. They have done their research and stuff and ask me a lot about my motocross stuff , and its really cool to me to have both of them together and its just a dream come true.
Can’t believe its happening and I’m stoked!”
EPHP– Is there any pre-show ritual stuff you do before the show to get your mind mentally right, listen to any artist or songs?
Matt– “My pre-show stuff I like to get in my zone and go over my movements. at a freestyle motocross event, I would focus on my run, what tricks are what, and if this does happen whats my back up plan. And that’s what good about my experience about that contest aspect is I can bring it over to here. I just listen to some good music and just try to focus at the task at hand and get in the zone.
Every stadium is different and you gotta know how to drive the truck into each corner or when to let off. You got to be alert where all the tires are, your so strapped in there and all that you can see is what your eyeballs can move in your head, and you cant be turning your head like your changing lanes on the road.
The trucks are 12,000 pounds its a beast – and the tires are 63×43 inches so they are really big tires – So you got to be really alert where the tires are.
You know I don’t really have any rituals, I don’t need anything, I don’t put my left sock on first or do anything weird. I respect everybody that wants to say a little prayer before, because you know motorsports are dangerous you know, but that’s what we love to do.”
EPHP– What has been your favorite career moment so far?
Matt– “You know my favorite career moment is probably, I just got goosebumps thinking about it, ah is my very first X Games in 2003. I was framing houses, busing table up in Carson City Nevada and riding dirt bikes when i could. I’d pull weeds at the local track, so I worked very hard, I have some serious heart and passion in to where I’m at today…so at the 2003 X Games I couldn’t believe I made it to the X Games and out of the qualifiers 50-60 guys and I ended up making into the top 20 to be in the X Games.
I was in like the biggest awe and I couldn’t believe it was all happening, it was a lot to take in…I happened to win the Step up contest the night before, and that was like my first event and Tommy Clowers is the man and I’m going against all these like Deegan and Metzger and all
these legendary freestyle motocross guys , and I’m ‘like oh crap, I look up to them,’ and next thing I know I’m against them and then next thing I beat them, I win the damn thing – my first event in X Games and I qualified for freestyle also.
So probably the radist moment was that night before just that week. I went into freestyle contest the next day and Dropping into the LA Coliseum with all the lights going off and all the flashes in front of 60,000 people, man I will never forget that feeling. From there I have been able to run with it , definitely happy and looking forward to all them same similar feelings.
I haven’t had that spark in years and its been nice to get a rejuvenated here in Monster Jam.
I’ve been having a great time, everyone is awesome, the crew guys and everyone that works in the office behind the scenes, its just fun I love it.
I love being around Motorsports and its a good time.”
EPHP– What tricks do you have in mind, or been wanting to pull off that you haven’t been able to yet in Monster Jam?
Matt- “So yeah some tricks i want to do eventually , you know I want to back flip – I back flip a dirt bike, so I am ready to flip you know. It is hard for me to hold back, I come from a wild sport Freestyle Motocross is no joke… you have to be a Man in that stuff.
You know we land on our faces, our bodies get destroyed. I’ve held one of my buddies as he died, like its real, its hardcore so you gotta have a wild mentality and you gotta be able to step up and work through. I’ve gone out to contest and a buddy crashed…you go out help him get off, kick dirt over his blood and go out and ride my show.
It’s a war zone, its gnarly and that’s kinda of my attitude and I want to come out here and flip a monster truck for sure, there is no holding back if i want to do something I’m going to do it. I plan to get there but I respect Feld’s decision, they have there policies and they have the way they do things. they are putting you inside the monster truck to trust you, and I have to build their trust and I respect that and I am a rookie and I have to work my way up…it’s all good but eventually I hope to flip that thing.”
EPHP – Where did you get the nickname ” B-10 Bomber”
Matt– “Yeah a little bit behind the meaning of the B-10 Bomber is my agent back in the day, I think he kinda named me that, Rick Swisher,
I think because I’m a little bit of a wildcat, you know i got a little bit of a heavy foot in the truck and I like to get wild and you know I’m coming in hot probably like a B-10 Bomber.
My last name is Buyten and you know people were struggling with saying my name, so I started the “BUY10” and then people started doing it short B-10 and then it got turned into B-10 Bomber…I’m a feisty wild little fellow so…I got little man syndrome but that’s just me and I love to entertain man. Its fun, there ain’t nothing like hearing a big ol’ crowd roar like and seeing those little kids happy.
It’s what I live for and cant get enough of it.”
EPHP- What do you want the El Paso crowd to take from and leave with from your performance this weekend?
Matt– “I’m actually happy to come here to El Paso, there is a big Latino area here and I think that going to a South America and doing some shows in the past from Freestyle motocross I know that they get wild. I know they get in there, I know the crowd will be roaring and I plan to feed them. I want to give them what they want and make some noise. I’m happy about El Paso, so come hang out and have fun!”