The Fiend 'Mills' Frame: An Interview with Lewis Mills
That Lewis Mills has rocketed to notoriety in such a short timeframe is incredible, yet unsurprising. For most people, the first time that Lew's name came to mind was likely after his 2017 video part, a skinny kid from Sydney with undeniable skills that were still so far from peaking. Maybe come 2023, with X-Games gold, sponsors aplenty (roots and corporate), a NORA Cup 'video part of the year' and an insane amount of video parts to his name, maybe now we approach the height of Lew's talents. Or maybe not.
Yet another milestone for Lew is a now mounting collection of signature parts, including a partnership with Fiend to produce the 'Mills' frame. The following piece is a discussion with Lew focussed on this achievement, where we also touch on Aussie hip hop and creative outlets.
Having been out and about for a couple years now, the frame has been sincerely put to the sword, giving you the confidence to trust its durability and strength. It also just looks good. With the certification of Fiend boss Tony Ennis and Garret Reynolds, this is a proud moment for Lew as well as all of you that are involved in Australian BMX.
If you're on the lookout for a new frame, you'd do worse than taking a peek at the 'Mills' frame, up on the LUXBMX online store. While you're there, you might as well take a look at our massive selection of frames available under the BMX parts section.
Ya boy, steely gaze. Taken from the Eclat website
Hey bro, whadda ya know?
Before we get into this, the boys up my way are reppin’ Posseshot strong and I’m seeing your head pop up in that scene. Love the hip-hop x BMX crossover. Tell me more?
It was summertime 2021 in California and I was out there filming my Fiend part. I was sitting on Gazzas balcony and stumbled across them on Youtube. l listened to "blood in blood out" and it was the first time I have ever heard music that I could relate to, in some sense. It was the first Aussie rap track I listened to and instantly fell in love with. It was a super good feeling. I honestly thought the day would never come haha. I chucked it in a little Instagram that night and in the morning had a video sent to me from Polly, Bayzand, D Street and Jimmah with KHA & MR MUSCLES all partying and picked up a little shout. it was a funny message. It straight away gave a great vibe about them.
It was more special because leading up to the editing process of 'LEW IS FIENDING' I wanted everything to make sense. I was getting super anal about all the details behind it. The music had to suit us, everything had to be perfect. But overall, I think the main thing for me was recognising and supporting Aussies doing their thing. It was the first time I had made a conscious decision to put certain music behind me. I was saying to KHA the first time we met, " I could have put a one four song in because it was Sydney but it's just not us" . I think he liked that.
Since then, I've been to a few shows and I love it, they are awesome fucking people. KHA and Muscles, shoutout to them man, fuck!
Check out Lew with the Posseshot boys in the below video, filmed at the famous Prahran skatepark
2022 was obviously huge from your perspective, the Fiending part, X-Games gold and the NORA Cup video part of the year. What have you been up to in 2023 and how has your life changed since all this success came your way?
Yeah looking back it was huge, it was a super exciting year. That whole time has given me confidence and great experience. This year has been slow to start due to a few injuries but I'm keen to ride out the rest of the year and release another video.
Prior to this, and perhaps equally significant, you found a spot on the prestigious Fiend program and are now gifted with a personally designed, signature frame - the Fiend ‘Mills’. Can you detail how this came to be and your involvement in how it looks, feels and rides?
The frame design came about in late 2019 (maybe), I can't remember. The first sample I got was June 2020 and it was awesome to see it in person and feel it. Tony Ennis was really the mastermind behind it. He knows so much about the Fiend boys and what we ride and perfectly shaped this frame to suit me. If anyone knows me they know I'm terrible with bike mechanics. At the time of the first design I didn't really know anything about sizes or why things are a certain way. Tony quickly realised this and took the reins haha, thank god.
Tony and I still laugh to this day about how well the frame came out without any sort of testing. When I first rode it, it was fucking unreal. I swear it was the first visibly high standover frame and it did wonders to my tricks and overall style. It was all so quick. Life's a gamble.
The design was recognised as being supportive of all styles of biking, although best suited to street riding with the short backend and slightly higher standover at 9.5 inches. Can you attribute your riding abilities to this particular geometry or are you generally able to pick up any bike and get to work?
I think the Fiend frame definitely helps. You can adapt to other stuff, but it doesn't look right sometimes.
A Lew special, Tony Montana as Scarface, as seen on the Fiend 'Mills' frame. Photo from Lew's instagram
Lew in action, Vans slip, tatty slip, hot angle. Photo from Lew's instagram
You're noted in the BMX world as being a gifted artist, having created many incredible paintings in your distinctive style. The Fiend ‘Mills’ frame borrows ‘Scarface’ inspired graphics from your collection and is backed with associated items, i.e. t-shirts, air freshener and keychain. Must feel pretty good to have combined both practices?
Yeah, I've always wanted to incorporate my art in riding for a while now and to do it with fiend was perfect. Keen to keep making more stuff with them in the future.
The frame has been out for a couple years now. Have you updated it at all after putting it to work and what is the plan for the design in the future?
Nah not much, just keen to crack into new designs and have some fun with that. Geos don't need to change a lot in my opinion.
Long and high rail, shit stairs, crazy feeble hard. Photo from Fiend website
The 2022 DIGBMX photo book, look who it is with that full pager. Photo from the LUXBMX facebook
What does Fiending mean to you?
A fucked up family.
Family, friends, Mrs, Chippy Patrol, yew.
Let's finish this with Lew's 2022 NORA Cup winning part, 'Lew is Fiending' filmed by Ben Norris and now approaching half a million views. Love that.