When Whalebone Magazine asked me to interview someone for their Interview Issue, I chose Campbell Milligan from Monster Children magazine. Mainly because he is one of my best drinking buddies. He also happens to make a living from doing cool, fun, creative shit with like-minded, interesting, creative people—something that truly inspires me. But did I mention he’s my drinking buddy?
First of all, can you tell the audience who you are, where you live and what you do with your time?
My name is Campbell James Milligan; I live in Woodhill Mountain, two hours south of Sydney, NSW, Australia. I mix my time up here mucking around in the bush and working as the Creative Director at Monster Children magazine.
Where in the world are you right now, and what are you doing?
I’m on the floor in front of a fire, sipping on some booze answering these questions cos’ you waited till the last possible minute to send them to me.
Take me through your day yesterday.
I was trying to organize a surf trip to Sumatra with Stephanie Gilmore for our next issue; it’s tricky. Not-so-much her, just organizing filmers, still photographers and also making sure that we tick all the religious boxes as far as keeping Steph covered up, so we don’t cause any uncomfortable moments with the locals. 2016 surf trips can be tricky. Apart from that, hung out with my son Coda, watched a few cartoons. Nothing wild.
For anyone who may have no idea… what is Monster Children?
A pain in the ass. I guess we always said that it all stemmed from skating and surfing, then all the interests that stem from those sports: photography, art, film and music. It changes issue to issue but in general that’s the basis of it for now.
Who and what inspires you daily?
Family and friends, but I seem to get really inspired when listening to music… something about music and the creative process. I like it loud and in many varied genres.
Did anyone in particular influence you when you were growing up?
Nirvana—I was in my last year of high school and randomly heard them early one morning on a music video show; it changed it all. Just that rage and anti everything else that was happening at the time, really struck a chord and led me down a path to where I stand today.
For you, what are the hardest and most rewarding elements of Monster Children?
Working out someone you want to work with, say like Mike D for our guest issue. then trying to track him down (this part usually is the most fun), then him saying ok, then working on an issue with someone you admire and respect and the result being something you’re both proud of.
What’s inspired the birth of Monster Children and how did the magazine start?
My partner, Chris Searl (aka Hollywood) and I had done some work together. He’d take photos and I would do the design. I’m not sure the exact moment or anything like that, but we had discussions about how it would be cool if there were a mag for a skateboarder or surfer or whatever that didn’t focus on just riding a skateboard or surfboard. We both borrowed five grand from our parents, and went out and did it.
How did you meet Hollywood (Chris)?
We both worked on a film together for a magazine I worked at called Waves. That was maybe 2000, I think.
What is on the agenda at Monster Children headquarters at the moment?
Our next Guest Editor Issue with Steph Gilmore, that and replying to emails like this.
Monster Children had a successful gallery. Ever had to deal with any loco artists?
Aren’t they all? Yeah—I’ll need valium to go into that though in more detail. We do kinda still have one, and just did a show with Barry McGee, so that struggle continues.
Any other projects in the works for you?
Working on a brand with Dane Reynolds, Dylan Rieder, Austyn Gillette, Craig Anderson and Warren Smith. It’s going to launch in November. I think it’ll change things up a bit in the surf/skate/fashion industry.
Ever been starstruck?
I was meant to meet Thom Yorke once, but as soon as I saw him enter the room, I slinked out the back.
Favorite trip and why?
Japan last year with Jason Crombie (ex-editor) and Dale was all-time, met some great people and hit the lemon sours like wild bastards. Tokyo is just an awesome spot to visit, hang with a couple of good local kids and some close friends; you can’t go wrong.
Just had a long week and you’re flying down the highway, windows down to your farm down the coast in Australia. The weather is perfect and a little swell just hit the coast. What are you listening to?
Free Bird—Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Any closet talents or hobbies?
I’m useless at most things; I wish I could play guitar and take a decent photo, oh and illustrate well. I’m pretty good at gardening if that counts.
Give us a little rundown on Monster Children USA and where that’s heading?
Ah fuck. New studio space in Chinatown this year, I’m not sure. The creative side of the business might have a solid crack over there, a few more parties, a few more flights to and from. It’s a slow burner, but it’s burning.
You are often in NYC. What do you love about it?
Last time I was there was over a year or two ago. I love it so much I banned myself from it for a year or so. I love that you can land in NYC, walk downstairs from your hotel room and just get amongst it; it’s one of the few cities in the world that lives up to its reputation. Everyone there is fantastic and always keen to help with anything that you have going on. I dig it.
You ever been to Montauk? If not, how do you imagine it?
I don’t think I ever have, to be honest. I wouldn’t go to New York to hit the beach; we have those here, and they’re pretty good. I’ve seen photos, looks like it gets ok ever so often, but fuck walking to the surf through snow.
Favorite surfboard and surf spot?
I grew up at Burleigh Heads, so there and right now, I’ve been riding a CI Sperm Whale and this Gato single fin that’s been going pretty damn well.
The girl/robot from Ex Machina. Talented with a cute smile.
A photo posted by Monster Children (@monsterchildren) on
I know you guys are passionate about print media, right? What are your thoughts on the internet?
It has flashes of brilliance, but mainly it’s a great big wormhole of shit.
Instagram… are we all doomed?
Yes. Check the top ten people on that thing; I guarantee you they are no one to care too much about.
What’s your deepest darkest secret?
No way you’re getting that. I’ll keep that under lock and key for another few years or until you get me boozed and pry it out of me.
Best advice you were ever given?
Just do it.
Any advice you’re going to pass onto your grandkids one day?
Appreciate the ground you’re standing on, try to encourage them to really respect the planet and understand their surroundings.
Stay up to date with our favorite wild bastard + his creative offerings via the Monster Children website and Instagram. We also recommend you scoop their print editions and sign up for their newsletter. They don’t suck. Thanks Campbell.