Last Tuesday, I got the chance to catch up with Quest Crew after the live taping of episode two. If goes without saying that all the members of Quest Crew are extremely talented individuals, but after speaking with them, I can safely add a few things more to the list: hilarious, friendly, humble, fun-loving, down to earth, determined, adorably boyish—okay, I’ll stop there…
TJL: About your performance tonight, it was very clear that you made some nods to martial arts films—The Matrix bit being the most obvious. What I want to know about is that b-flick kung fu bitch slap at the end! It was pretty comedic—
Hok Konishi: [laughs] —bitch slap, yes!
TJL: I was wondering if any movies inspired you to do that, or was that all you?
HK: I think, as a whole, we always get inspired by just watching movies and clips on YouTube—
Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval:—yeah man, and video games.
HK: Yeah, and [we] try to put it all together and really try to show it in the way we would. So, yeah, it’s not like a specific—
DS: —pretty much anything we see, anything we get inspired by—we try to use that as us and try to transfer it and make a dance… anything in life.
TJL: I understand a few of you met up because of So You Think You Can Dance, right? But how did you meet everyone else, and how did you guys get together?
HK: We were actually friends before So You Think You Can Dance, and it was like the other way around, and we all happened to make it, but I knew him [Dominic]—
DS: —yeah, I actually knew him [Hok]. We knew each other a year before we were on season three [So You Think You Can Dance], and actually, me and Victor are from the same area. We were in the same breaking crew, and he was already in their crew at the time, so we all knew each other.
Ryanimay Conferido: It’s a coincidence that we were all in the show [So You Think You Can Dance].
TJL: As for you [Hok], what brought you to LA? Was it for art school?
[RC makes cooing gestures at Hok]
HK: [laughs] No, in the very beginning, it was school, and honestly, one of the biggest reasons was because, living in Japan for eight years, I was scared I was going to forget English, so I wanted stay in a place I could actually use it. And dancing, too—I don’t know how good I can go with dancing, but in my heart, I really want to do it, so I’m really happy to do what I love right now.
TJL: Do you miss the UK or Japan, or do you want to settle here?
HK: Yeah, I do miss ‘em, but I’m out here for a reason—
DS: —you really miss it, man? [pouts]
HK: I’m here because I just want to do what I want to—
RC: —and we have J-town, anyways, so—
TJL: That’s right, although it’s tiny. So, as far as dancing—I’m sure you guys are always dancing—but what do you guys do in your down time? I understand everyone is creative in your own little ways…?
Steve Terada: Yeah—wait, do you want us to go around and say?
[Dominic begins to speak]
ST: You want to go last? [Dominic] [laughter]
Ryan Feng: Actually, I went to school for art, but even though I spent most of my time dancing in college, when I came out of it I really wanted to use some of it [photography]. So, when I’m not dancing, I’m actually working on photography. I’m actually a freelance, so when I’m not with them [Quest Crew], I’m trying to find work in freelance photography to support myself, and it’s what I love to do, too.
TJL: About the hair, did you learn that by yourself?
RC: Yeah, it’s all amateur stuff.
Victor Kim: Most of my time was on, actually, studying economics, but now that that’s done, I like to play a lot of guitar, but basically, all my time is with these guys…!
HK: Yeah, right now that is…
VK: And I spend time with my girlfriend!
TJL: There we go… the truth!
HK: I went to school for art, too, and I actually started drawing when I was one. I love to draw, paint, do illustrations, just think…
Brian Hirano: Pretty much mine is already dance. I deejay as a hobby—
TJL: —it goes hand in hand.
BH: —yeah, I pretty much make mixes to dance to.
[Steve and Dominic make iron-pumping gestures]
ST: (And he pushes weights)
BH: And I work out a lot… but it’s pretty much dancing. I play video games. I’m pretty good at the wii, PS3, Rock Band…
TJL: “I pretty much rock…”
HK: Not to brag…
ST: I’m pretty into video games, too. Usually, playing against Ryan, playing all types of fighting games, but he’s really good, so it usually takes me about, like, fifty times to beat him, but anyways, I also do—
[mumbling and laughter]
ST: Well, I mean, much respect, man. You gotta train for that, man! Forreal! But I also compete internationally and nationally for martial arts. I’m on a team called Paul Mitchell’s National.
TJL: That butterfly kick was awesome, by the way… [episode two performance]
ST: Yeah, yeah! A lot of my dance and breaking is very inspired by martial arts and the different genre of tricking, which is, you know, something separate from just traditional. So, I’ve been working a lot on that and trying to mix the two and try to incorporate it with Quest. I’ve been training with them [Quest] for like, years now. It’s been a great experience for everyone.
TJL: What are some of your favorite video games? Some of our readers are really into video games.
[They proceed to list titles in glee and in rapid fire]
All: Call of Duty…
HK: (Not Call of Duty!)
All: Rock Band, for sure.
HK: Any Megaman. Megaman!
All: Final Fantasies, strategy, role-playing…
HK: Just like nerds… [laughs]
All: Um, puzzles…
BH: I like Tiger Woods
TJL: Oh wow, that’s pretty nerdy.
BH: Oh, thanks…
Stay tuned for pt. 2, where we’ll find out about Dominic’s list of favorite sites, his Valentine’s Day plight and what the crew is looking forward to in 2009.
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