Ever wonder what it’s like behind the scenes testing cars? It’s not all shrimp scampi and free booze at launch events, sometimes we actually have to get out there and brave the cold to bring you the best road test conclusions. Our man in Montréal Will Clavey is one of the best, and so I decided to sit down to interview him about his process, how he linked up with his photographer Myle, and chat about his favorite cars of 2016.
I then scrapped that idea and just decided to ask him just how in the hell he can look like such a bad ass motherfucker every time he exits a vehicle? Just look at this shit!
Byrd: Thanks for joining me today Will, these shots are fantastic! But, they have to be staged, or at least set up ahead of time?
Clavey: They aren’t! Any good photographer will tell you that the best shots are always the unexpected ones. The ones that aren’t staged, where the subject is at its most natural, usually in the middle of a particular action, not aware that they’re being taken a picture of. My photographer, Myle, understands this very well.
Byrd: That shot above, tell me what you were thinking? Did someone cut you off? Did your DVR miss a Gilmore Girls episode that you were looking forward to?
Clavey: Believe it or not, that’s my natural face. All of these have been taken when I didn’t expect it. Usually it’s just me coming out of the car to ask Myle “How is it parked here? Is this good?” That’s what I was about to say on that shot up there. Instead, I look like I’m about to come rip someone’s face off.
Byrd: Fascinating. And terrifying. Let’s go photo by photo, I have some more questions.
Clavey: Sure, let’s rock.
Byrd: Great, don’t hurt me. We don’t have universal healthcare.
Byrd: I think this clearly shows that you are actually a BAMF, you turned your back on a Mustang! Where was this, and what were you thinking?
Clavey: It was taken in the Eastern Townships region, Québec. And as you can see, I was ingesting way too much creatine at the time. I figured I could take her if she got mouthy.
Byrd: This one is dark and sort of gritty, all the things an Audi is not. Tell me about this day, did the Audi upset you?
Clavey: Ah, the Audi S3 loaner. It’s the shot that got me a shit load of right swipes on Tinder. In this shot, we were in a filthy alley in Old Montréal. I was actually stressed out in this pic, cause it was one of the first press cars I had gotten, and everything was a potential threat to the S3. Even those pigeons I was eyeing out down the alley.
Byrd: Fascinating, I’d swipe right for sure.
Byrd: This seems like a departure for you guys, why the bleak backdrop? Was it intended to match the car?
Clavey: This is a good one. Taken again in the Eastern Townships. I remember it being fuckin’ cold that day. And windy. And wet. And complaining to Myle that the Chrysler 300 should have been shot in front of an industrial background – not a frozen corn field. This was where I was starting to realize that no matter what I do, and where I exit a car, I end up looking like a BAMF.
Byrd: Truth! I like the confidence.
Clavey: This is a particularly interesting one. You are right, I am actually entering a car, not exiting. This time, it’s in an Acura TLX SH-AWD during what was probably the coldest recorded day in Montreal this year: -42 degrees Celcius! Ok global warming. I do remember not feeling my face after this shot.
Byrd: I hear it’s warmer in other places, let’s not make this political Clavey.
Clavey: Uh…no. It wasn’t. This is a funny one actually. First: we notice how uselessly tiny the Mazda CX-3 is next to my BAMF frame. Second: I was standing on pure ice in that shot and fell on my ass seconds after the click. Still worth it. Because exiting a car like a BAMF.
Byrd: I bet the ice lost.
Clavey: You’ve seen this Lexus ES one in my other photo above, but it’s a good one. Taken downtown Montréal, I do actually look like an Italian gangster that’s about to go talk about road construction with a corrupt bureaucrat. Business as usual in MTL really.
Byrd: Indeed. Gotta take care of business.
Clavey: A little softer than the others, but still properly BAMF I’m told.
Byrd: No diggity. No doubt. Let’s wrap this up, you’re scaring me a little bit.
Byrd: This one may be my favorite. Almost no one can look like a BAMF in shorts. Period. While you may be a little pale, you nailed it. You could be the most badass automotive journalist, you think that’s true?
Clavey: Even when I do everything I can to not look like a BAMF, I fail miserably. There’s nothing here that implies violence. Retirement home. Summer. Shorts. Maxima. Yet, I still manage to look I look like I’m about to go murder someone’s grandma because they didn’t pay their dues. And yeah, I think I can take most of those pansies, yourself included, check those skin color comments son.
Byrd: I’m properly terrified right now. So I’m going to end this interview while I’m still in one piece. You all can continue to watch Will Clavey exit cars (and expertly review them) right here on Right Foot Down.