Matthias Giraud’s top tracks for the slopes
7th February 2017
Radical BASE jumper and extreme skiier Matthias Giraud is a rock star on skis. He’s always listening to music to get his adrenaline flowing and to prepare for those moments where he needs to make a leap…quite literally. We asked him about his top tracks that pump him up and bring back memories from his most epic jumps. This is his playlist…
Punkrocker – Teddybears feat. Iggy Pop:
I first heard this song in the fall of 2007 right after I started BASE jumping. In February 2008, I did my first ski BASE jump off of Mt Hood, which also ended up being a first on Mt Hood itself. Last thing I know my phone is blowing up with calls from CNN and Good Morning America. It was super exciting to do my first ski BASE jump and see that it was so well received! I remember driving home with Mt Hood in the distance jamming to this song and realizing it was the beginning of a crazy adventure!
Röyksopp Forever – Röyksopp
In the fall of 2012, I ended up going to Iceland for the third year in a row. This time, I went traveling on the southern road of the island with big wave surfer Mitch Corbett. The weather gets a little unpredictable in Iceland. After arriving, we realized that we had only one day of nice weather. We had to get after it to pile up as much as possible during one day. We started by surfing at sunrise 45min away from Reykjavik for a couple hours, got out of the water and drove straight to my friend’s skydiving school to take Mitch on his first skydive right in front of the volcano of Hekla. We landed, jumped in the car and drove to a cliff near by to score a BASE jump to end the day. As we reached the top of the cliff, the wind picked up and we ended up not being able to BASE jump. The next day, we drove to the glacier lagoon further down the road and paddled our surfboards around icebergs. The song from Röyksopp ended up playing on repeat in the car the whole time and became the soundtrack to our trip.
Built To Survive – Suicidal Tendencies
The night before hitting the road to go to Telluride and film Heaven’s Eleven with Superdry, I got a last minute ticket to a Suicidal Tendencies show that was playing in my town of Bend, OR. I have been listening to their songs for a long time but hearing Built to Survive before doing the ski descent and BASE jump off Heaven’s Eleven was perfect! Before dropping in to the face I remember thinking about this song and telling myself: “That’s right, you’re built to survive. Let’s do it!”
Pursuit – Gesaffelstein
December 30th 2015, I had a last minute photoshoot on Mt Hood. I jumped in the car and starting cruising towards the mountain. It is just under a 2hr drive from Bend so I was hurrying up. I was jamming on Pursuit, got carried away ended up with a speeding ticket! I still made it to Mt Hood on time but the lifts were shut down because of strong winds. We ended up climbing for 4 hrs in 60 mph winds and -17 degree F windshield, got to a spot called Illumination Rock right at sunset and shot 1500 pictures in 45 minutes with ski photographer Richard Hallman. We skied back down in the dark, hurting but stoked. As Richard looked through his camera, he told me “these are the best shots I have taken on Mt Hood in the last 20 years”. Perseverance paid off that day.
A New Level – Pantera
The winter of 1998/ 99 brought some of the heaviest snowfall ever recorded in the Alps. In February 99, my friends Jürgen, Fabio, Ulrich and Anick came from Austria to my home resort of St Gervais/ Megève in France.
We had 2 weeks of epic skiing in the deepest snow I have ever seen in the Alps. The song a New Level is the first song on the album “Official Live: 101 Proof” from Pantera. We would wake up to that album every day before going on the mountain and it quickly became synonymous of getting ready for the ultimate shredfest!
An Open Letter to NYC – Beastie Boys
In April 2009, I got a call from my friend Matt Skinner down in Telluride. He spotted a cliff on Ajax Peak, which you can see from downtown Telluride and said “you need to come here and jump off this thing”. It was just after the death of my ski BASE jumping friend and hero Shane McConkey. There was going to be a memorial at Squaw Valley his home resort but I figured that doing a first ski BASE jump off a gnarly mountain and dedicating it to Shane was the right thing to do instead.
The morning before climbing up the face to access the cliff, I was looking at the jump from my car while listening to this song over and over again. The ominous beat helped me get in the zone and I ended doing the first ski BASE jump in Telluride without any problem.
Phantom Bride – Deftones
This is my favorite song on the latest album from Deftones called Gore. I have been listening to their music for the last 15 years and it has been on of my favorite songs while driving up to the ski area lately!
Stranded – Gojira
I saw Gojira for the first time in 2001 in Lyon, France when they were opening for Machine Head. I was blown away by their performance and they made me fall in love with Death Metal. 15 years later, they came to play in Portland, Oregon and my wife got me a ticket for my birthday. I drove up to Portland, made a pit stop to go skydiving and went to the show with ski mountaineer and death metal addict Dave Watson (Dave has climbed Everest a couple times and is the highest skier on K2 – a total badass!). The show was unbelievable and Gojira was playing in front of a massive screen with pictures of iconic mountains such as the Matterhorn. We got to meet the band and partied with them until 3am. Stranded is one of my favorite songs from the album. It is so good they even got nominated for a Grammy awards in both Rock and Metal – go see them live, you won’t regret it!
Holiday in Cambodia – Dead Kennedys
The Melt Down Project by Mack Dawg Productions was my second favorite movie. I was astonished by the creativity of snowboarding at the time and it solidified my desire to do that on skis (or my own interpretation at least). Holiday in Cambodia was the opening song to this movie and it allowed me to see that there was so much more to mountain sports than the frame that was imposed to us!