Extreme Soundtracks Vol. 8: FMX Legend Javier “Astroboy” Villegas

Extreme Soundtracks Vol. 8: FMX Legend Javier “Astroboy” Villegas

Extreme Soundtracks is a column profiling professional extreme sports athletes and the role music has played in their life.

Created by twin sisters Stefanie and Suzanne Sanche

Motocross legend Javier “Astroboy” Villegas is South American world-class athlete conquering and still charging it in the motocross world!  Villegas has accomplished so much, but not without overcoming struggles and challenges. The Pier Magazine gets to have a chat with this driven human, on his start to present with the sport, and of course love for music!

Courtesy of XPilot

TP: For those not inclined to this amazing sport, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from & a brief on your career? 

JV: Well, the best way to describe myself is that I’m a 40-year-old kid that’s still trying to impress that 17-year-old kid that dreamed about being a professional dirt bike rider. I was born in Chile, South America where being a professional athlete was a silly dream, unless you were a soccer player. I raced motocross from age 9 till 20 chasing that dream but knowing that down that path was gonna be very difficult to achieve. By age 16, I started learning tricks just to decompress after every hard practice session and by age 17 got a shot and taste on what FMX was. And after that it became an obsession. For 10 years fought and climbed my way into the bigger events.

In 2004 and 05 me and my wife organized a Latin American contest, and I won both years. But I wanted to compete against the very best in the world. until the end of 2010 when I got an invite to the World championships and from then on things got spectacular for me. In 2011, I was world champion. 2012 and 2013 as I got X-Games medals and podiums at X-fighters. And then got hurt badly and lost all that momentum I was building. Took me some years to get back in shape and in 2017 got a silver at Nitro World Games and the hunger to be among the best got reignited.

Courtesy of XPilots

TP: Looks like you’re traveling a lot! You’re riding with the Nitro Circus team?
JV: Yes, I’ve been traveling a lot lately, hence why I took so long to get to this interview.  Yes, I have also been doing a lot of the Nitro Circus Tours and one off shows it’s always amazing riding with them.

Most of these guys are always pushing it so hard beyond their limits that it feels skewed to not try something new every time I ride with them. I’ve improved the most while touring with them and their new ramps, that really helps a lot.

Sometimes I look at the things we’re doing, and I realize that I would’ve never imagined myself still pushing it this hard at this age.

TP: How do you think Music has influenced you in your life and the sport?
JV: It was my sport that influenced my music taste. I used to listen and enjoy to whatever my parents were listening, until the first moto videos came into play, then all the punk rock from the 90 infected my brain. Started enjoying Pennywise and the Offspring, and it stayed around that kind of music for over 2 decades, until my older son started playing guitar and I rediscovered my love for 70’s and 80’s rock and metal. But it’s what gets me in the right mood for riding, love to listen to some of that on my way to practice, as it motivates me and makes me feel pretty damn indestructible.

Courtesy of XPilot

TP: What’s the scariest experience you’ve had in this riding so far? Injuries?
JV: I can’t think of many that scared me enough to say this was the worst, at the moment that they’re happening in pretty upset that I got myself into that situation and then I spend most of the healing time just focusing on getting out of them. My main concerns when they happen are how am I gonna support my family if I can’t work or how’s my family gonna overcome hardship if I’m not here and why do I put them through this. And all of them get me through that same mind set, never once I was scared of an accident to the point of calling it my worst. The only time I thought I was gonna die on my way to the hospital it was when I was trying to learn front flips and I landed on my head .I was struggling breathing and I thought that was it, my only concern at the moment wasn’t the fact that I thought that was it, it was the fact that my wife was driving me to the hospital and I didn’t wanted to traumatize her like that. So I did my best to stay awake and catch a breath, but then turn out that I couldn’t breathe because of the pain of some broken ribs and vertebrae, once they gave me pain killers I was all good to go again, took about a month off tho

TP: Favorite alt., punk or reggae bands?
JV: As I mentioned before, punk rock was my mood back when I started developing my musical taste, in one of my racing trips to the U.S., one of the guys that was on my group bought the album Smash from The Offspring, and I got hooked on come out and play and genocide, since then it has been my favorite band. And when I got back to Chile, I started to look for local bands with a similar style and I discovered Tronic and both of those are what I listen the most still to this day

TP: Favorite music to ride to?
JV: As much as I like punk and pop punk, sometimes what really does it to me is anime rock, brings me back to a childhood when I thought everything was possible if I trained hard enough, just to be better than myself and if I put family and friends first. I do have a playlist of my favorite anime openings and endings that normally get me on the best mood to learn new tricks

TP: Three Guilty pleasures?
JV: Watching anime would be number one, since when I was a kid watching anime wasn’t popular and I was made fun for it, second would’ve buying anime related toys and collecting them and number three would be making sound effects and imagining amazing fighting scenes when I’m posing my figures.

Courtesy of XPilot

TP: You must be stronger than ever mentally/physically. What advice do you give to others thinking about getting into this sport? Is there a workout physical/mental routine you go through?
JV: The best advice I can give, which is the advice I give myself, is don’t try to beat someone, if you try to be better than someone else, once you achieve it, you lose your motivation, instead, just try to be better than you were before, that way you’ll never have a limit on how good you can be.

TP: Something you’d like to advocate for
JV: I would love to advocate against greed, I’m so exhausted to watch a small amount of people taking it all in while the rest of us just get by with crumbs. I think there’s enough for all of us to have happy and fulfilling lives. But greed keeps taking away for people that don’t even need it, leaving so many with nothing. I’m just so over that

TP: Words of inspiration? 

JV: It’s only hard if you think it’s hard. Act like you know exactly what you are doing. Most of the time that works just fine for me.