Matt Blashaw from DIY Network’s ‘Yard Crashers’ talks lumberyards, skateboard ramps, Ultimate Crash, and what it’s like being the Clay Aiken of DIY
Theresa: And you are inside MyFixitUpLife with my husband Mark.
Mark: And my wife Theresa. And crash, boom, bang.
Theresa: You don’t sound like you’re excited about crash, boom, bang.
Mark: I’m excited.
Theresa: That’s not very excited.
Mark: If I go all the way with crash, boom, bang you’ll tell me that I’m too excited, and I need to calm down.
Theresa: Well I think you do need to calm down. But I’m excited because we have Matt Blashaw on the line right now who is a ‘Yard Crasher.’
Mark: Host of DIY Network’s show with the same name. Matt, how are you doing?
Matt: Great. I think we need to rename a show ‘Crash, Boom, Bang.’
Mark: Done. I’ll do the voiceover on that.
Theresa: Crash, Boom, Bang.
Matt: Yeah, definitely. I don’t even know what it would be about but it’s gonna be awesome.
Theresa: It would be like an ultimate deconstruction I guess, like taking things all apart. It would be just about tearing things up, ripping things up. And we wouldn’t build anything.
Mark: I wonder if we know anybody that knows anything about that stuff.
Theresa: It would be like an explosive show.
Matt: That’s how I started in this industry was tearing things apart. Building it is fun, but tearing it apart is just so gratifying.
Mark: Isn’t it incredibly satisfying to take something that’s terrible at the beginning of the day and by the end of the day find it in a dumpster?
Matt: Ha ha, that is called anger management. Sometimes you just don’t want to deal with things, you know what I mean? And you have to throw it away, but I’m into this new term — you’ve heard of upcycling?
Theresa: Oh yeah.
Mark: Ok that would be one of us.
Matt: Upcycling is like the new fad now. I love dumpster diving now. So the stuff that I’m throwing away in the dumpster is going back into the backyard and into the houses. So I’m loving it.
Theresa: I love that whole thing too because what you can create from someone else’s trash and make it into a treasure that you love and you can make a new life for, it’s very creative and it’s unlike Mark’s whole thing where he doesn’t have to pay a therapist for his anger management. It’s kind of meditative in a way.
Matt: I could take Mark’s therapy and make it beautiful.
Theresa: Ha ha. You’re on. You are on!
Mark: If you build anything in our area, you’re up for the challenge.
Matt: That’s a lot of baggage.
Mark: I will drive to the job in a 30-thousand-pound excavator.
Theresa: I don’t even really know what to do with this. But I do want to ask you a question. You know we’ve talked to you a few times before in the past, but I didn’t know that you grew up actually inside a lumberyard. I read that in your bio.
Matt: Yes, my dad actually owned a lumber yard. That’s how I got started in home improvement is that I believe it’s in the blood. I got it from my dad. He’s an engineer but he worked as an export packer so we filled these giant boxes so he had this huge lumberyard, so of course I had everything at my disposal at 10, 11, 12 years old. These giant saws and I was using pneumatic nailers and everything, so I just really found that love for it. And the more I worked — and he didn’t pay me of course — but you know I worked and I found my passion for it and when I got home I just started saying well I can do this. Because everything is just so mysterious and then I was able to open an electrical outlet or I’ll do this for mom, and then I just got my love for it. I just found that I had this passion and I believe, I really believe the biggest mistake that people make in home improvement is never trying something. So I just tried everything and you know made what I am today.
Theresa: Well I have two things that I want to ask you about. One is can we see any of those early projects on your Facebook page? And two, I wanna know, because I want to ask before we get further into our conversation, was it you or someone else who decided to enter you into Stud Finder?
Matt: Ha ha, you’ve uncovered the Stud Finder competition.
Mark: Yeah we uncovered it on DIY Network.
Matt: Well to answer question one; I don’t really have any old stuff on it because I never really took any pictures. And what’s funny is how I really started to build is I built giant skate board ramps in my backyard.
Theresa: Oh cool.
Matt: Yeah I loved skateboarding, so I had a half pipe, I had a quarter pipe. Of course I had many broken bones and of course my mom just hated it but I brought all that wood back to my dad’s house so I just loved — that was like my early, early projects was skateboard ramps and I kinda got my woodworking skills there and off we go. And the Stud Finder competition it was funny. That was like five years ago. I don’t know if anyone knows this but DIY has a Stud Finder competition. They were looking for America’s next top handyman to have his own show. And my wife, I think she came about it in Craig’s List, and she was like ‘Matt you’ve got to do this, this would be right up your alley.’ And I was like I don’t want to do this, it sounds ridiculous and you have to make a video. And she goes ‘I’m going to divorce you unless you put this video in.’ And I went ‘Okay well I guess I better put the video in.’ So I did this corny video and I thought it was so stupid and she looked at it and goes ‘You can do better than that.’ So I went out, took my video camera and did this again. Just tried to be myself and ended up getting like one of 40 contestants and then I got down to like one of three and my wife actually went with me to Minnesota when we did this Stud Finder competition. I actually lost it. I think I got like second place but six or seven months later they called me back to do that show ‘Deconstruction’ so I auditioned for that. So I consider myself like the Clay Aiken of DIY.
Mark: Ha ha.
Theresa: The Clay Aiken of DIY.
Mark: I’m not sure that sentence has ever been uttered in English, ever.
Matt: Never before, and it never will again.
Mark: Yeah that’s a first and potentially last.
Theresa: And for Stud Finder too, that’s pretty special.
Mark: Holy smokes. Okay, so you’re on ‘Yard Crashers’ now? And you’ve got these giant projects — everything from grass and decks to outdoor kitchens — and all these different structures and elements. So I’m going to read a list that I wrote.
Theresa: You’re reading a list?
Mark: Yeah I’m gonna read a list that I wrote, and tell me which of these things that you are not on the show. Okay so: host, yes. Where’s my list? I’m looking at the wrong paper.
Theresa: Oh he doesn’t even have his list.
Mark: Host, yes. Cheerleader, contractor, problem solver, heavy lifter, and head muckity muck.
Theresa: Head muckity muck.
Mark: Which of those things are you not?
Matt: Did you say head muckity muck?
Mark: Yeah that’s an official term.
Matt: Wow that is a — you gotta go to school for that.
Mark: Yeah you’ve got to get a certification.
Matt: I would say all of those things. Cheerleader — yeah I guess. I guess you could be a cheerleader.
Theresa: And you don’t need the outfit and everything.
Mark: And I mean cheerleader in the William Wallace Braveheart what would you do without freedom sense of cheerleader. Not…
Theresa: Not ‘Gooo team!’
Matt: Not pom poms and triangles.
Mark: No, unless that’s your thing, Matt.
Matt: I’ve never done a pyramid and you know what maybe ‘Yard Crashers’ needs a little pom poms. I’ve always — and this is what I love about this show and why it’s so cool — is that yes it’s all of those things and you just get to stoke somebody out. You get to go and find these people and give them the backyard of their dreams, and I can’t help but be pumped. You know what I mean. You’re charging these people up and when I start these projects I want to get them motivated, but I want to get people excited. Whether they are getting the renovation done themselves, or watching it on TV, I want them to be excited, I want them to watch the end of my show and think you know what, I want to do something. I want to inspire somebody and that’s why I just love home improvement. I absolutely love it. From start to finish I love everything about it and I want to just kind of share that passion. And now that I’m a part of ‘Yard Crashers’ which I think is an amazing show and an amazing franchise, usually I was in the kitchen, I was in the bathroom, and you have this certain sense of creativity but you can’t go crazy. In the backyard, you can do whatever you want. You want to make a chocolate fountain with firecrackers out of it, that’s fine. I mean you can do anything you want in the backyard and I think that’s the coolest thing. So when I go, yes I cheerlead and I ‘head muckity muck’ the whole thing.
Theresa: So I want to know, does your wife allow the chocolate fountain with the firecrackers in your yard?
Matt: Ha ha. It’s on the honey do list.
Theresa: It’s on the honey do list. Oh okay. That’s awesome.
Matt: Right after the cat walk.
Theresa: And I want to say for everybody listening too, you have to definitely check out all of the episodes because the new ones are airing on Monday nights at 9 on DIY Network. And you can see re-runs in the mornings so if you’re hanging out in the morning you can watch it at 9:30 in the morning too.
Matt: Have you ever heard the term the cobbler’s kids go barefoot?
Theresa: Yeah, that’s like our motto.
Mark: We don’t even have shoes at our house.
Matt: Ha ha yeah I know. People go ‘Your backyard must be sweet’ and I go ‘Yeah, no.’ It would be nice. I’m making everyone else’s backyards really sweet. And then mine is like…my wife is just like oh my god. I think I just actually — we went out the other day and bought some patio furniture and a barbeque.
Theresa: Wouldn’t that be hilarious if like someone else from the crash franchise crashed you, and crashed your yard. And you went and you crashed like Alison’s kitchen or something like that, like you crashed each other. I would love that.
Matt: Well we kind of did in ‘The Ultimate Crash.’ I mean it’s similar to that. I’ve got a great idea for the show. I wanted to do like a Father’s Day or Mother’s Day special where we go crash each other’s like their mom’s house or whatever, like you crash their family member.
Matt: I think that would be real cool because we all have these like crazy skill sets: Josh Temple with ‘House Crashers’ and of course Matt with the bath and Alison with the kitchen. But we all can give pretty much everything so we all get together for this thing we call ‘The Ultimate Crash’ and we find this one person, and it actually starts off crash week I think it’s coming up in July on Sunday, but you find one, a lucky homeowner, and you crash four rooms in their house. So the bath, you do a living room/dining room with Josh, then the kitchen and the backyard. You’ll see us all working together and sometimes I tell you it’s like oil and vinegar. So I think we should keep it to like one show a year.
Mark: That would be funny because I can see you driving a skid steer through the living room saying ‘Josh I’ll be out of here in a minute.’
Matt: Oh don’t think it almost didn’t happen. You’ve talked with Alison Victoria right?
Theresa: Yes we’ve talked with her.
Matt: So on the show, and she’ll tell you this, she’s accident prone. She broke her finger during demolition. I wanted to distress a piece of wood you know give it that distressed look, so we have this brilliant idea of tying it to a truck and then having Alison floor it, and she floored it. And she almost went through about three other trucks. So when you see it you’ll see that when we all mix together and all our personalities, sometimes it just leads to danger.
Theresa: Well that would be the ultimate crash is if someone actually got into a car crash on ‘The Ultimate Crash.’
Mark: Well I hate to say it but this could not be more a proposed.
Theresa: We have to go to break.
Mark: Crash, boom, bang.
Theresa: So don’t forget to go to Facebook and go and like Matt Blashaw. Go to mattblashaw.com, follow ‘Yard Crashers’ on Twitter — @YardCrashers, go and check out ‘The Ultimate Crash’ on Sunday July 8th on DIY Network and…
Mark: Check us out after the break. We’ll be back with more MyFixitUpLife.