"INTERVIEW WITH MAURICE
(By Carmen Borgia, Crossfire Magazine, January 2002)
Fresh from the World Cup, Carmen Borgia
had a chance to sit down and chat with Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees and newly addicted
paintball player. Here's what he had to say.
CB: How did you get exposed to paintball?
MG: I first played in 1984; it was called Survival and there was a bunch of us who
all decided to try it. It didn't have the goggles or the protection, but it was all very
low velocity so no one really felt anything when they hit you. I used to see [the
paintballs] come out of the barrel - they were that slow. I got into it then and I loved
it. It was more of a woods scenario.
CB: How did you hear about it?
MG: I heard about paintball from some Australian thing I saw on television where
they were marking sheep from a helicopter with [markers] and some guy decided to start
playing games with them. I thought it looked like fun. I found someone who was doing it
here and I just asked around. Someone told me they were doing it right here in the
Everglades, called Survival. So I bought all camouflage and a pair of glasses that protect
your eyes. I just went out to the field and played, and I loved it.
CB: Did you just play that one time and hold off for a while?
MG: No, I played for about a year, but then I got really busy and couldn't get time
to do it. Also, the fields weren't lasting long, people really weren't that interested.
The fields were closing up so when I went back to play they were gone.
CB: What got you interested in playing again?
MG: I was having lunch with Frederick Renucci my friend and teammate who
keeps me safe, organized, and makes it all happen for me. One day and I asked him if he
ever played paintball. He said no, but that he had heard of it. So we checked on the
Internet and a lot of sites came up - I'd never seen anything like it. With all these
wonderful masks and protective gear and markers, it just blew me away. I thought we've
just got to do this again. I'd heard about a field called Rough and Tough, which is
located in Florida and run by Pete Bofil who is also a pro player from Team Rage. It was a
nice wooded scenario and two obstacle courses.
CB: What is your favorite marker to play with?
MG: My favorite gun is definitely the Angel, particularly Rocky's version of it
[from Warped Sportz]. I love that one because it's very light and very accurate. I got a
new one at the show this year, which is fantastic. So now I just use the two Angels.
CB: What other markers have you used in the past?
MG: The very first I ever had was the Black Angel. I like the Intimidators, I have
two backups of those, and two E-mags. I have about nine markers in all.
CB: How did you pick your team?
MG: People like Ken, who is a great favorite of ours and a great team member,
started showing us things. Eventually we all became a team. There was about six of us -
Ken, then Dad, and Jason - and we could see who was passionate about it by who turned up
every Sunday. Those who were dedicated became Royal Rat Rangers.
CB: Is this your first tournament together?
MG: The World Cup is our first tournament. We didn't know whether we'd win anything
or not, but we just wanted the experience. I thought, If I never do, then I'll never
know.' This year we were definitely going to do it. So, we practiced as much as we could
trying to get our moves, communication, and codes down. Communication, I've learned, is
really the most important thing. For a novice team to go out with 300 points we
never thought we'd get 100 points.
CB: When was your biggest fear encountered?
MG: My worst nightmare, of course, at the World Cup was that I would get left alone
out there and get bunkered to hell. And guess what? The first game I turned around and all
my guys had gone, and I went running. It was All American I think, and they got me good.
But I experienced it; after that I wasn't worried anymore. To tell you the truth, I think
their air was a bit low.
CB: Can you compare the adrenaline rush of performing a live concert to the rush of
MG: The greatest thing in my life is having a natural high. The greatest natural
high besides my wife and kids is going on stage, performing, recording, writing the songs,
and then releasing it to the world. It's the same kind of rush with paintball because it
makes me feel young and alive. It's exciting, it's safe, and it's fun. The stress relief
is unbelievable. My favorite shower of the week is when I finish playing. I'm just in
another world and so relaxed. I am still, two days later, floating. I love the fun of it
all. It's not being dangerous, it's not being stupid, but it's like being a kid for the
day. And the camaraderie!
CB: When I saw you last year at the World Cup, were you just checking it out?
MG: We got there too late, unfortunately, on the last day. I was intimidated then,
and I thought, I can't play them, these guys know what they are doing. They've been
playing a hell of a lot longer than I have.' But then we all decided to have a go at it.
We have pictures from this year of the guys walking the field, looking so worried. Then
after the first game, everyone looks so relieved and happy.
CB: I wondered if you were really into playing paintball.
MG: We are. We've been doing this just under two years now. We want to play as many
tournaments as we can, even if I can't play every time, the team is going to. We've got
replacement captains and all that.
CB: What do you see your team doing for the next year? What are your goals?
MG: Next year? To be the number one team. We will do that? I'm going to have lunch
with Avalanche to talk about it.
CB: As far as circuits, which tournaments do you think you'll be attending?
MG: I'd like to eventually get to the status of a pro team and play as many of the
tournaments that we can possibly play.
CB: Do you think you'll be going to all the NPPL events?
MG: Oh yeah.
CB: Do a lot of your peers in the music industry know you play?
MG: Yes, most of them do. I've talked about it to people and of course the first
question they ask is, Does it hurt?' I said, Well, Elton,. Let me put it this
way: You can't wear that.' But seriously, a lot people have asked and I said to get
bunkered is like getting hit with a wet towel. You're just so annoyed that you got hit
that you don't think about it.
CB: What is your favorite band or favorite type of music?
MG: Well, I listen to all sorts, I don't really have a favorite. It depends on the
mood I'm in; I like all kinds.
CB: What are some of your hobbies besides paintball?
MG: I love photography, editing videos, and experimenting with sound. My hobby is
really electronics - gadgets and making things work how they are supposed to work. I'm a
computer freak too, so I love computers, especially with digital photography.
CB: Musically, what has been your best moment?
MG: I think it was when our very first record went to number one, which was
CB: And how about your greatest paintball moment?
MG: My greatest paintball moment was playing in this World Cup. It was one huge
moment and one of the greatest weekends I've ever had.
CB: I've seen the Gibb story on A&E and I think you're the same guy I saw in the 70s.
It's very cool for me to see you playing paintball.
MG: Well, thank you. I always have such a good time. I was afraid that I wouldn't
get accepted, but I really felt at home. I chatted with a lot of the teams and players
like Rocky, and everybody was so nice and helpful.
CB: As captain, what do you talk about to the team?
MG: I talk about the most important things: speed, communication, and the
excitement. It's not necessarily motivation to win, but to do the best. The top thing is
to have fun. I won't tolerate negativity. Learn from it and move on.
CB: What kind of strategy changes do you think you'll make in the team after the World
MG: Once again, we've learned from other players, by watching them and how they
interact with each other. I know that when we take the field this Sunday, we'll be playing
a lot different than before the World Cup. We learned, and we have a different confidence
level too. It put a lot of confidence in the players.
CB: You looked like you were just really enjoying yourself.
MG: It just amazed me. All the camaraderie, the chemistry of the people, and
everyone was ready to help. I wasn't going to go into this thing like we were a pro team
when we're not. We were novices, and we wanted to learn.
CB: You're taking the right steps, and you seem very open-minded about it.
MG: I'll tell you something, none of those guys have egos. We just want to have fun
and see how far we can go. The more we win, fantastic, but we're not going to let it get
us down just because we didn't win one year. We have to build it and it's going to take
CB: You surprised a lot of people, and I'm sure yourselves too.
MG: I was so proud. They did everything the way they were supposed to, it was
perfect. When they came out and lifted their masks, they were all sweaty and red with
pride. That alone made the trip worthwhile.
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