Born a poor white military brat, Jeff was hustled from state to state until finally settling in the area of Rockville, Maryland. There he defied his parents on a regular basis and got into all sorts of ne’er-do-well activities such as skateboarding, BMX, reggae music, and art. In 1985, Jeff was booted from the parental nest and landed in St. Louis. There he attended Washington University and committed the most egregious act of his life – joining a fraternity – although he still contends it was a “cool fraternity,” whatever the fuck that means. Anyway, he did the fine art thing and graduated in 1989.
Diploma in hand, Tremaine headed out west and slid into the layout jockey position on Go, the soon to be dead magazine that was a result of a collision between Freestylin’ and BMX Action. When the BMX industry took a shit akin to something that might’ve fallen out of King Kong’s ass, Tremaine briefly waffled over to Snowboarder magazine. Then in 1992 he was hired on as the art/editorial director for Big Brother, a fledgling skateboard rag that had gotten off on the altogether wrong foot with its first issue. In time, however, his leadership took Big Brother to new and exciting levels of distribution, notoriety, and an all-encompassing sense of stupidity not normally tolerated in any industry (excepting Hollywood now.)
In his occupational downtime, Tremaine actually put all those fine art skills he learned in college to good use. Throughout the ’90s, prior to a debilitating cell phone condition he contracted in 2000 with the co-creation of jackass for MTV, he was quite adept with the brush, creating rather large and unwieldy works of art. In short, he would spackle a sheet of plywood with papier-mâchéd beer labels, birdseed, sand, moss, or whatever other material he could get his hands on, and then paint a pretty picture on top of the whole textured mess. Many of these paintings wound up on snowboards and skateboards for companies like Blind, Plan B, 101, Prime, Division 23 and Original Sin.
In addition to helming the jackass juggernaut, Tremaine has served as Executive Producer and Co-Creator of Wildboyz; Executive Producer and Co-Creator on Rob and Big; and director on music videos for Turbonegro, Andrew WK, and The Sahara Hot Nights.