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RULE BREAKERS Mama Nature ignored the set seasons and finally delivered winter with FEET of snow for a #MammothMarch. Not only did it feed the need for deep pow turns and face shots, it also set us up for stellar spring shredding conditions. Grab your board, babes and bros and get up here for some classic mountain fun under the sun – it’s going off.











No. 128 Editor-in-Chief




Creative Director


Art Editor


Snow Editor


Music Editor





Disclaimer: Although all best efforts are made to avoid the same, we reserve the right to publish unintentional mistakes and/or factual errors which may occur on a monthly basis. No responsibility is assumed by the publishers for unsolicited materials/articles/letters/ advertising and all submissions will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright and/or appropriate licensing purposes subject to Blisss’ right to edit and comment editorially. The views and opinions expressed in this magazine reflect the opinions of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of the publisher or the editorial team. Blisss Magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any advertising matter which may reflect negatively on the integrity of the magazine. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form [print or electronic] without prior written consent from the publisher.

ISSUE No. 128

FUTA R O M I TS UK I If your favorite shop isn’t receiving BL!SSS Magazine please contact













Taking a page from skating’s past, Hurley has just released their very own Hurley Team Pro Series – in which their CT riders have their very own graphics, like the skate gods of the 80’s. They’ve teamed up with world-renowned artist Julio Battistelli to work with the athletes on bringing their inner spirit animals to life. The results are amazing, we’re particularly fond of the Filipe Toledo design – we just really feel it encompasses all that Toledo is. Check them all out for yourself, available now at your local shop.


The biggest name in surfing [so nice you have to have to say it twice] John John Florence, has just inked a deal with Electric California. It’s a fit made in heaven and we couldn’t be more stoked for Crano and the Electric crew. Like everything he does, John John will have a heavy hand in design and development of the new JJF X Electric signature products that’ll surely drop in the near future – we’ll keep ya posted.


It’s said that a photo speaks a thousand words. If that’s the case, what thousand words would you think are appropriate for this photo above? Words that jump into our mind are “rugged,” “western,” and “tough…” and we believe that’s exactly what the crew behind Seager Grit Company were going for. Inspired by the grit and ruggedness of the old west, Seager is the union of four friends who wanted to convey their lifestyle through timeless and quality products. And convey it they have, it’s always nice seeing like-minded friends doing something they love and that comes naturally – kudos to you all.


With the failing health care system we’ve been seeing more and more nontraditional medicines coming to market. Latest to catch our eye, Elixicure, arrived at our office via Logan Dulien – who has somehow got his hands in this magical elixir. It’s a hemp-infused, pain relief, roll-on stick that blocks pain receptors and is great for sore muscles, joint pain, arthritis, back pain and inflammation. Nonaddictive, GMO-free and made right here in the good old US of A with organic ingredients, it’s our new go-to for pain relief. Get some for yourself at or wherever finer medicines are sold.


A staple in the Raen Optics lineup, Luxury Wig, has just been re-released with some updated pop-color acetates just in time for summer. Luxury Wig is a collaboration with Alex Knost and taps the Figurative, Ashtray, and Flatscreen silhouettes. What all this means is that it’s a really, really fashion-forward, kinda cat-eyes frame that’ll make you just as cool as mister Knost. The sun is shining so be sure to check the entire collection at and in your local shops.


We just absolutely love comfy, felt, corduroy slip-ons and are beyond stoked at what’s on offer by Roberto Vincenzo. And ode to yesteryear with updated designs, there’s a little something for everyone. Whether you’re into weed leafs, palm trees or the Virgin Mary, RV has got you covered. This street couture brand represents timeless fashion within the street wear culture and gets our seal of approval. Check all they have on offer at












I can’t tell you how many Instagram posts we’ve read that say, “The best surfer in the water is the guy having the most fun.” If that’s the case, it’s safe to say that when Hank Gaskell is in the water he’s most likely the best guy out there. And we’re not the only ones thinking this as Formula Fun has just inked a deal with Mr. Haskell. The 5’3” Black Fish is his sled of choice and is more than ideal for when the conditions are not. Get yours today and discover how fun surfing can be again.


The Regulus by Nixon, is the byproduct of the Nixon design team consulting with U.S. Special Operations personnel. With a goal in mind to loose the fluff and keep the essentials, the Regulus is simple to use, purpose-built and completely element-proof, ideal for any situation you may find yourself in. Key features include dual time, dual chronographs, adjustable LED backlight display, waterproof up to 100 meters, a five-year battery life and most importantly, it’s tough as nails. They’ve really did a great job cutting out the non-essentials and keeping this beauty simple, even designing the buttons for easy use underwater, making it a must-have for anyone wanting a dependable, simple to use timepiece.


Always pioneering future shapes and must-have boards for every quiver, Matt Biolis and …lost Surfboards have been releasing some new models that have really caught our attention. Latest to join our racks is the Uber Driver. Designed to further blend the barriers between hybrids and performance boards, this board has been designed to be a little more forgiving up front and in the back. Ultimately, this door is designed for uber-ripping fun for everyone. Pick your very own at Catalyst Surf Shop or where finer surfboards are sold.


Simply Gum is not just simply gum as they moved into the mint game as well. We got a nice little care package delivered to our headquarters last month and thought it worth sharing with the masses. Made with simple, organic ingredients that you can actually pronounce and are already familiar with, it’s probably the only mint/gum company out there without the catch-all term “gum-base” [read aspartame] listed on its ingredients. Our favorite part of their packing has got to be the post chew wraps (nice little wrappers to dispose your ABC gum in) that are included with each box. And with unique flavors like mint, ginger, coffee, maple, cinnamon and fennel licorice there’s something for everyone. Get yours where finer retail products are sold or online at


April 23rd marks the 10th Annual Tilly’s 2018 Charity Golf Tournament. It’s where the entire surf/skate/snow industry comes together on the Mission Viejo County Club for a great cause. This year golf portion of the event sold out in record time but the real draw tends to be the cocktail party and auction that goes down after the 18. All proceeds go to Tilly’s Life Center, a youth-focused nonprofit empowerment program for teens, so you can walk away with warm and fuzzies after the festivities. Always themed, it’s time to bust out your overalls and five-gallon hats for this Till-billy, backwoods-country extravaganza, we’ll see you there.


While April may indicate spring for the majority of the rest of the northern hemisphere, April is a true indication of music festival season on the West Coast. Be sure to rest those livers and get your sleep in early as Vestal Village is back for the ninth year running and bigger and better than ever. This four-day, private, invite-only event takes place from April 12th through the 14th at an undisclosed location outside of Palm Springs during the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. It’s a nonstop pool party during the day and an exclusive barn party come nightfall – all the while live, intimate performances by your favorite musicians. It has become the party to be at during Coachella and dubs as a communal living environment with VIP camping. The BL!SSS team will be on hand documenting so be sure to get your ass there and you might even find yourself in the next issue of BLISSS Magazine.









Anya Janssen’s work is formed by her absolute fascination for other people, their emotions, behaviors and mutual relationships. In series of narrative oil paintings, drawings and sometimes photographs and videos, she achieves a very intimate, direct relationship with her subject matter. The painted objects, bodies and places are given a simmering tension below the painterly surface. Her meticulous style lets her imbue lifeless objects with a balanced sense of both whim and resignation. She uses the word ‘begeesterd’ or spirited for the essence of the physical world that she captures. Many thanks Anya for taking the time to answer our questions. Dear reader, if you would like to see more of Anya Janssen’s art go to Your paintings could be described as case studies – observation of character, human behaviors, almost an obsession to resolve secrets and understand your subject. Your fascination for other people reflects in your paintings, giving us the viewer a very intimate glimpse of an underling narrative. Will you tell us about your process to connect with your muses and how you choose them? Well, actually I don’t choose them, they choose me. All my projects arise because of my obsession for other people – their lives, their emotions, behavior and mutual relationships. I sometimes feel like a stalker. It’s important for me to achieve a long-term and intimate relationship with my subject matter. Traditional contradictions, such as “me and the other,” “power and vulnerability” and the “nature vs. nurture” controversy are being questioned over and over again. In series of oil paintings, drawings and sometimes photographs and videos I tell tales through impressions and observations. In my early work I used my own body as a metaphor for human behavior and to show that we are all monsters with animal urges (although we pretend to be led by our ratio). After this series my focus shifted from the behavior of human mankind in general to one specific human being. I studied psychology for two years, in order to get a better understanding of human behavior. At that time my models were friends and relatives; they worked under my direction within a fixed scenario. I created images that were totally my own. But after I met identical twins that changed. The people I painted became muses; they entered and ruled my paintings. I let myself be guided to a great extent by the reality in which my muses live. I go with their flow… I have gradually come to the realization that connecting with someone means letting a fragment of their being become part of me. He or she becomes part of my being and vice versa. I am far less autonomous than I believe to be. The others are of great importance for my existence, to understand things, to fathom myself. A porous identity replaces static “I” with a fluid “we.”



I’m curious where are you at this very moment while I’m interviewing you. Will you describe where you are right now, this way everyone reading along can imagine the setting and have a visual? In my studio – a big, light, white space on the second floor of my home, with northern light shining through the windows. I’m sitting on a transparent chair at my glass table; in front of me on the wall are images, photos and texts that inspire me or deal with the current project I’m working on. Next to me sits a display cabinet with skulls, skeletons, taxidermy and animals in formaldehyde (my hobby since I was a child, an ‘Arc of Noah’...). A few little enamel paintings on aluminum on the table, big paintings leaning against the opposite wall. I like to work on several paintings at the same time. The painting itself is a slow, almost meditative process. The works often have up to ten layers of paint, and each glazing layer needs about one week to dry. I want to be surrounded by the work, so they communicate with each other and me; they are part of one story. And then there is always the music, varying from punk rock music to Japanese Gagaku.

In your series Double-Edged you use identical twins, please tell us about this series? I was planning on making new work to investigate mirroring, reflections and duplication, when all of a sudden I stumbled on the red haired, transparent skin identical twins in the streets of my hometown. I immediately realized they were the ones for the project called Double-Edged. They were sent from heaven. My twins are “mirror-image twins,” their appearances mirror each other symmetrically. The personality of the twins was determined by a life in which religion and tradition played an important role. The complex situation in which the girls lived caught between the rules and values of a religious life on the one hand and the modern world on the other - caused the two to form an alliance, which was tightly closed to all outsiders. The project expresses the relationship between the twins, their relationship with their environment, and the precarious position of the identical twin as an individual personality. For five years I worked with them. We still see each other and I’m still photographing them. So who knows, one day I’ll start a new project with the adult twins.

So tell us what is the process you use to conceptualize a piece, refine it, “test” it, etcetera? The more I try to control, the less magic I get. So I try to stay open and surprised, without a fixed goal or destination when I’m starting a project. So I walk a lot in the forest close to my house; that’s where I get the ideas for new paintings. In my studio I study randomly images on the internet, photo/art books and magazines, I read poems and nonfiction and fiction books, then I write down sentences or words that come to my mind. I make circumferential movements in my studio. Then slowly things are starting to unfold and I can start to paint or draw. It’s a bit like when the first explorers filled out the empty plains of the world with the things they encountered: trees, mountains, rivers, villages, life drawn in scale. I capture moments; glances and details that eventually will form the complete image.

Where can people check out more of your art? At my website, Facebook and Instagram, at www.pattymorgan. net, and at Torch Gallery in Amsterdam and Janine Bean Gallery in Berlin. Many thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Any last words for our readers, shout-outs, declaration of love or hate? The revolution will not be televised - Gil Scott Heron. And the first four sentences from William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence,” which are tattooed on my right upper arm. “To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour” Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.


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Maxwell McMaster was born in Sacramento, California and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. His work typically takes inspiration from his native state. Maxwell uses color shape and texture to enhance and deepen scenes from his travels and everyday life. The result is typically abstract and minimal in design but somehow complex in appearance. The images invite the viewer to reflect on life and its mysteries while reminding us of the beauty in it. Perhaps you could describe where you are at this current moment, and I will describe where I am. This way everyone reading along can imagine our settings, and feel like they’re right here with us. I will start – I’m sitting in the BL!SSS office freezing, so I’m wrapped in a dirty Mexican blanket that I found in the back of my car. I’m not sure why it was in the car or how dirty it might be, which troubles me a little. Ok, I’m intrigued, where are you? I’m sitting in my studio in downtown LA; it’s a mess from projects I’ve been working on. The sun is setting and the light is making some nice warm tones in the space. Ok, now that we have a visual let’s start. When people ask you what kind of art you do, how do you answer them and explain your art? I typically say I’m a painter and I make abstract illustrative work then I quickly offer to show them photos because it’s a hard question to answer. Your art is very uplifting. We read somewhere that it is primarily inspired by precious moments, a reminder that life is beautiful and to cherish it. Which is much appreciated when there is so much negativity out there. Will you share with us some of your good vibes, intentions? The work is often a narrative of my life but I try to tell it in a way that others can relate to. I like to connect with people through my work. I’ve had many bouts with depression and the work is often a way for me to combat it. I like to make my work uplifting and focus on positive things because that’s what I like to see more of. Agreed, it’s nice to see positive things. Will you give us some insight to your creative process and explain the steps of creating one of your paintings. When I’m lucky a picture will come into my mind, these tend to be the more inspired works. Other times it starts with a drawing in my sketchbook. For those I try to have fun with it and let things happen. If something happens that I like or surprises me I’ll try to refine it further into a painting.



Will you talk about your color pallet and how you compose the play of light in your brain? My color choices start digital, similar to the drawing. I play around with options on the computer for hours until I get to a place I like. I’m usually trying to find something that feels right, I’m not sure how else to describe it. I tend to like colors that make me feel good and have a calming affect. What kind of art do you like? Do you collect anything in particular? I like all kinds of art, it’s hard to pin down what I like the most. I typically collect my friends’ work the most. I like it more when I know the person and I understand the work on a personal level. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an artist? I wouldn’t say there has been any one challenge that stands out. Becoming an artist is not easy. I think the biggest challenge for any artist is to keep going, there will always be challenges you have to push through fears and doubts at all times. Tell us do you have any vices? Pizza. Ok, very last question, where can people check out more of your art and do you have any last words for our readers, sage wisdom? My Instagram is the best way to keep up on my art, @maxwellmcmaster. Words of wisdom – “Be Thankful.” Many thanks for the feature! ;) Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.




We recently had the pleasure of interviewing artist Alex Kiessling, who lives and works in Vienna, Austria. To read the full-length interview please go to our website at www.blisssmag. com. Make sure to check out more of Alex Kiessling work at, you won’t be disappointed. Many thanks Alex, for taking the time to answer our questions Please will you start by giving us insight to your reality and environment, a brief if you will, on your existence up to this moment? I was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1980. Vienna is still the city where I have my studio and do most of my work. After my studies at the University of Applied Arts I worked in a gallery as a director but was able to start my artist-career at the age of 26, one year after working there. Since then I live as a self-employed artist and try to push the limits of my figurative acrylic paintings. I love to try out new techniques and explore new paths that stimulate my brain.

What do you reference for your paintings? In the past, even though I wanted to keep the stories in my paintings as open as possible, I used to work in a very narrative way. Some years ago my artistic development slightly shifted away from that and I found more and more satisfaction working in the here and now. In conversations about my art, I always said that I consider myself as a theaterdirector and my models act like actors in a play. That completely changed. I am now totally focused on the person in front of me and do portraits of real people or real circumstances.

Will you describe where you are at this present moment? So we have a visual during this interview. Right now I am working on a painting series called “shifts,” which I started to modify around one year ago. I almost totally changed my approach on how to work on my paintings and I think I really can say that this was the most exciting 12 months in my studio that I have ever had. Every painting is an experiment and its final outcome is not predictable. I love that – especially because I used to plan my earlier paintings pretty precisely and now it feels extremely liberating that in this series this is not even possible…

What mediums do you mainly work with? All kinds of mediums. But my paintings are all made with acrylics. I like the speed; I am not a slow painter with a lot of patience. But I also used industrial robots for drawings, 3D printer for sculptures, adhesion foils… whatever works best. 
And of course I love photo shoots. I enjoy the interaction with people. When I am painting I am mostly alone in my studio, so this is a very welcome variety for my social life.

In short, you define the foundation of your artistic work as being the examination of the complexity of man’s levels of existence? Will you elaborate for our reader? I think it is important to live in the present – especially as an artist. Awareness for certain developments in our times is extremely important to me. It shapes my view of the world and generates plenty of ideas for my art. I
 am fascinated by technological and cultural developments and knowledge and try to link these influences of the past with the present or maybe even the future. My focus is also on the conscious and unconscious patterns of behavior in our species, which shape our perception of reality. But art is not an empiric science – I am allowed to be poetical and symbolic, and don’t have to be precise, when it comes to the translation of these thoughts and ideas into art. It depends what type of person you are, but for me, I found out that listening to my instincts and feelings, aligns me much more with my work, rather than approaching it for a too conceptual or intellectual standpoint. If you have to put to words the subjects in your paintings, what would you say? Perception and concepts of reality. The absurdity of existence, time, patterns and humans. Us.



Do you have any upcoming projects you can share with us? This autumn there will be a small solo exhibition in Vienna. But mainly I will preparing for three major solo shows in 2019. Beside that, I was able to work on two covers for music-albums for two different musicians/bands (DJ Antoine / KoneaRa). Both will have their album release this year, and I am very proud and excited about that because both are really fascinating projects, even though they are completely different. And there will be some group shows, charities (btw – one in the beginning of June in Los Angeles) and sculptural projects in summer and autumn. Beside that, we will finish our house, and some weeks ago our second child was born. So there is enough to do and to work on – it will not be boring… Where can people check out more of your art? I regularly post stuff on Instagram (@alexkiessling) and Facebook – so feel free to follow me. For getting in contact and more information about me and my art please visit my website, Many thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.




BLISSS MAGAZINE // ISSUE NO. 128 photography / dominic petruzzi / @dominicpetruzzi model / elizabeth elam / @elamelizabeth agency / mp management los angeles



We first discovered Mike via Instagram when we stumbled across his crazy GoPro shot of him standing tall in the roundest Wedge barrel we’ve ever seen. That shot has to one of the best GoPro tube shots of all time. After checking out his Instagram we discovered he’s not only a really good surfer but also takes some pretty good photos too and apparently he’s only been shooting surf for about a year. So we decided to give him a few pages in the mag to show off his work. Hope you enjoy.





Where are you from, and where do you currently reside? I’m from Southern California, born, raised and bread in Huntington Beach and still there. I love living in Surf City USA. So you’re pretty new to the surf photography game, what got you into it after being on the other side of the lens for so long? Last summer I injured my wrist and couldn’t surf but wanted to be in the water, so I figured, I might as well get in the barrel with the camera. After a few sessions at the Wedge on some big days, my passion for photography reignited and I couldn’t get enough. After 40 years of surfing, all of a sudden I was experiencing the same stoke (in a different way) with a camera in my hand. Are you ever tortured between what to do, surf or shoot? Every time I pull up to the beach now and look at the surf I’m trying to figure out what to do, surf or shoot. I wouldn’t call it a curse, it’s just trying to choose between two things that bring me a lot of joy. I just go with what I’m feeling in the moment. If I’m feeling like surfing I ditch the camera and surf, but as of late I find myself grabbing the camera more than the board. Surfing is an amazing thing, but sometimes it’s just as fun watching a friend get the wave of the day or pulling into an insane barrel. The prize for me is getting the shot.



Would you rather be shooting from the water or from land? Where’s you’re favorite spot to shoot? I defiinitely prefer shooting from the water. After being on swim teams, water polo teams, lifeguarding for years, and surfing my whole life, I’ve found that water photographer has come vary naturally. You need a lot of stamina, strength and confidence to put yourself in critical positions in order to get the shot you want. There’s a strange thing that happens when I’m behind the lens; the elements move to the back of my head, no matter how cold it is, or how long I have to wait, or how strong the current is to fight against, or how big it is, at that moment nothing else matters except getting the shot. The camera makes you forget you’re there because your so “focused”. I actually forget about fear when a camera is in my hand. Then the excitement of getting to my computer and downloading the images and seeing what was created is all part of the experience. I guess it all comes down to having a love for the ocean and wanting to be in the water as much as I can. What’s the dream scenario for you when it comes to shooting these days? Well, a boat trip in the Mentawaii Islands sounds pretty good. with some of my closest friends having a blast. Who do you enjoy shooting the most? Well, my favorite people to shoot are my three kids, simply because I love them more than life itself. When it comes to surf photography, I love to shoot some of the local rippers in HB like Teddy Navarro @shreddyhb , Tom Rezvan @rezzy76 , Keanu Igarashi @keanuigarashi Brett Simpson @brettsimpson …. Just to name a few. I’ve heard it said that it’s more important to “click” with people then to click the shutter, I believe that’s true, you get better images all the way around..

PREVIOUS SPREAD: Tunnel Vision THIS PAGE - TOP: Orange Crush, BOTTOM: Green Eyed Lady OPPOSITE PAGE - TOP: Casey Wheat slaying it, BOTTOM LEFT: Teddy Navaro - Cylinders cave, BOTTOM RIGHT: Blue Blur



THIS PAGE: Keanu Igarashi - Blue Room OPPOSITE PAGE (LEFT-RIGHT): Tyler Stanaland - Backwash Beauty, Keanu Igarashi, The Promise Land, Morning Glory, Colin Moran - Wedge Wonderland, Double Blessing



Who’s photography inspired you growing up as a surfer? Who’s photography inspires you now that you’re behind the lens? Growing up I never really paid attention to the photographers taking the images. I was just a little surf rat that was frothing on every surf mag I could get my hands on. I would usually get two of the same mag, one to archive, and the other to rip apart in order to tape every picture I could to the walls in my room. After I ran out of wall space I would thumbtack surf poster to the ceiling. It wasn’t until I picked up a camera that I started to get inspired by those on the other side of the lens. Guys like Arron Chang, Jeff Divine, Brian Bielmann who set the pace in the 80’s and 90’s. Now days I’m always intrigued with those guys who are getting the different angels, like Zak Noyle, Todd Glaser and Brent Bielmann.

How many GoPros have you lost pulling into those bombs at Wedge? I haven’t lost any GoPro’s yet because of my Kung fu death grip. I hold on tight because I don’t want to let go of my money to buy a new one. But now that I’ve said that, I’ve just jinxed myself, now I know I’m going to lose one….hahahaha

When it comes to local photographers here in the OC, I’m getting a lot of inspiration from the GoPro Guru Robbie Crawford, who has been doing amazing things with the GoPro Fusion, Craig Larson and Larry Beard’s wave art is also something to strive after. Honestly, there are too many great photographers now-a-days. I get inspired by all of them.

Any good advice you’ve been given by a photographer you look up to? Education first, gear second. Shoot for yourself, not everyone else. Find your niche, Spend less time looking at other people’s work and more time shooting your own. Have fun, and Practice, Practice, Practice!

Do you have a favorite all-time photo you’ve shot? My favorite image is ever changing because every day is different, every wave is different, every situation is so different and beautiful in its own unique way. That’s what’s so exciting about waking up in the morning and jumping in the ocean, you’re guaranteed to be rewarded. Even if you don’t get the shot, there’s reward.

What’s your camera quiver look like? Are you often trying out new gear? All that I’ve been using in the water this last year is a GoPro 5 Black. My theory is whatever you have in your hand is simply an extension of your passion and vision, so make it work. Obviously having a DSLR in a water housing with multiple ports for different lenses give you more options. But if all you got is a wide angel GoPro at 20 foot wedge, then go for it and get the best shot you can get. I also have Canon 5D Mark III, 100-400mm lens, 70200mm 2.8 , 8-15mm Fisheye 1.4, 16-24mm, 85mm 1.2 , 24-70mm 2.8 and a few more.

What’s the plan for the future? My plan for the future is to keep shooting, keep learning, keep looking for new angels, get a water housing, and to remember that at the end of the day it’s not about being a great photographer. At the end of the day it’s all about being a good Dad, a loving Husband, a faithful friend and being a humble servant of my Lord Jesus Christ. If those things are on the top of the priority list, then everything else falls into place. ISSUE 128








PREVIOUS SPREAD: kocho LEFT: samurai, RIGHT: herisson

This month we welcome Japanese artist Futaro Mitsuki and his stunning traditional Japanese portraits to the cover of BL!SSS Magazine. Mitsuki blends ink, acrylics and pencil utilizing pointillism and mythology to carefully craft hyperdetailed monochrome drawings and colorful paintings. Traditional Japanese portraiture that combine a modern twist of time, merging Japanese culture with western influence. Born in Tokyo in 1970, and in 1998 Graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, Futaro Mitsuki lives and works near Tokyo in his private studio. “Futaro Mitsuki expresses the excitement and sensation of when an imaginary human in gorgeous costume encounters items from other cultures and other times,” Gallery Korgue says. “From that, the costume as the forms of portraits, sometimes like a slow motion, and sometimes as a dubious portrait. His expression of the Japanese kimonos he loves the most is overwhelming. The pointillist paintings he carefully creates dot by dot, taking hours of time to gather viewers from different culture in today’s world in front of his work.” Note, this interview was originally conducted in English then translated to Japanese, transcribed back into English and then back to Japanese and finally translated into English. If anything was lost in translation, we apologize. Futaro Mitsuki is a mystery; his work is a true testament to his artistry. After some searching (actually, a bunch of searching) we were pleased to be able to track down Futaro Mitsuki and ask him a couple questions. Many thanks to the lovely and talented Futaro Mitsuki for taking the time to answer our questions and to see more art from Futaro Mitsuki go to his website, Hello, I’m always curious where people are when I interview them. Will you please describe where you are at this present moment? So we have a visual during our interview. I am currently in my own atelier near Tokyo. It is a space where I can live. I have lived here for over 20 years, but this is only a secret space for me. Even my parents and brothers have never entered my studio. How did your interest and inclination towards drawing start? Will you tell us a little bit about your early beginnings as an artist and how/when you knew it was what you wanted to do for the rest of your life? I heard from my mother that I was always drawing a picture in my young age. Even during class at school, I enjoyed having scribbles in textbooks and killing time. I was pleased that my friends were pleased when I painted a picture. I did not study even before the exam and the examination, and enjoyed doodling. My pictures at that time were the same monochrome miniature pictures as my present pictures.


From the high school days, contrary to before, I studied hard. I thought that I would take a job related to dyeing or design in the future. During my college years, I learned Japanese crafts, especially dyeing techniques. At the same time, I kept painting at home. Later, I felt that drawing was the most suitable for me. At that time, I started to feel that I would become a painter at last. Then I will be in a period to seek out what kind of picture I want to draw. It’s been about 15 years. I think that I am still on that extension line. After painting colorful paintings, making prints applying dyeing techniques, making three dimensional works, trying various work creation, at about 35 years old I finally reached a place close to the current style of painting. I tried the technique that suits me and selected it; I chose the material, chose the color, lost the line. There were only black small points that remained. After all, I returned to my childhood graffiti. From that, I can now draw pictures naturally again. ISSUE 128


“I WANT TO MAKE A MOMENT WHEN THE CONTRAST BORN WHEN MIXING THE DIFFERENT THINGS AND THE OPPOSITE THING CREATES BEAUTY.” Your art references the beauty and harmony of Japanese culture mixed with a modern twist. Will you talk about your influences? In Japan, a vast amount of culture and records exist. And those cultures are still living. There are also hidden cultures. However, since the Meiji Period, Japanese people rushed too fast to Western culture. Many things that have been thrown away or destroyed, I think that is very MOTTAINAI [wasteful]. At the same time, the Japanese have also unexpectedly and successfully absorbed Western culture. There is unnaturalness and uncomfortable feeling in that figure, but I express the beauty and harmony arising from that with my pictures. Being born in Japan itself is the most important influence given to me. Everyone who was born in any country, I think that point is the same. What mediums do you work with? Pigment ink, pencil, acrylic paint etc. Your work is captivating; it combines many elements with historical references of duty and honor. Can you tell us a little bit about that dichotomy? I try to see things from both sides – history and modern times, past and future, from foreign country to Japan, from Japan to foreign countries, the earth and the universe, up and down, nature and artificial, etc. I want to make a moment when the contrast born when mixing the different things and the opposite thing creates beauty.

Will you give us some insight to your technique and creative process? Pencil drawing on white paper. I do not prepare a sketch. I draw a picture thinly with a pencil and strike a dot of ink. I use a drawing pen. Since the point is black and the size of the point is nearly constant, I draw it only with the density of the point. The difficult part is where you can draw the three-dimensional feeling and identify it with only the same black point. As the number of points increases, points and dots will be visible in the illusion of the eye. Adjust the placement of the points while coping with it; bring the picture closer to completion. The end of the work is mostly out of time at the deadline. Your drawings must require an incredible amount of patience to create; do you have strategies to sustain interest, enthusiasm and concentration? There are many stories to draw. It will not run dry for a while. I am in a natural state when drawing a picture, so I have never thought that patience is necessary. But I do not have enough time to enjoy my life, so I always think I should have 30 hours a day. Kind of cliché artist interview question here, but where do you draw inspiration from? From momentary beautiful facial expression, nature, printed matter such as magazines, photographs, history, narrative, theater, Noh, kabuki, movies, etc. Any last words for our readers, shout-outs, declaration of love or hate? If you have read this article and have someone who was interested in my painting, I would be pleased if I could see you someday. Thank you very much. Very last question. Where can our reader check out your art? In January next year, I will be exhibiting at the group exhibition in the gallery in US as well. THIS PAGE - TOP LEFT: samurai, TOP RIGHT: herisson komurasaki, BOTTOM: sharaku OPPOSITE PAGE: monna lisa





Interview by Tom Carey Making a name for herself at the deadliest wave in the world, Christa Funk has become a staple face in the lineup at the world famous Pipeline. With fifteen years of competitive swimming and fresh out of the Coast Guards, she’s been logging hours upon hours honing her water photography skills around the waters of the Hawaiian Islands. In an ultra-male dominated profession it’s a breath of fresh air to come across so such a laidback, eccentric woman risking life and limb to bring us these fresh images – which, we’re sure you’ll be seeing more and more of in the near future.






PREVIOUS SPREAD: Kaimana Henry THIS SPREAD: Jake DiPaola RIGHT - TOP: Ezekiel Lau BOTTOM: Leah Dawson



State you name and where you are from and how old you are. Christa Funk, Colorado and I’m 27. How did you get into surf photography? I saw photographers in the water at Pipe and I thought, “I can do that.” I’ve swam my whole life and love being in the water. I came out here and started surfing and body surfing and I’ve always done photography so that was just like a combination of all my activities into one. So I went for it, but I tried to do it in a smart way, starting small and then building up to things. So you were in the Coast Guards and then got stationed over here [Hawaii], is that right? Uh huh, I went to the Coast Guard Academy for four years and then I got stationed over here. Right after I finished the Coast Guard Academy they had me on a boat for two years and then I did three years at a land unit. So I had all five years that I had to do active duty on Oahu. So how did you get into photography before that? Were you already shooting as a hobby and how did it all cumulate into water surf photography? Was there a certain person, a surfer or a photographer, that helped you out? I was in an eighth grade computer class and I kinda got ahead in my work and my teacher asked me if I wanted to learn Photoshop and if I wanted to borrow her film camera too and I said, “Sure.” She gave me a picture of her golden lab with a Christmas hat on and she said, “Make my lab black and white and leave the Christmas hat in color.” That’s where I started learning Photoshop and then I started taking pictures with her camera and scanning in the negatives and that really became a fun class for me because she just let me do that on the side. It was good because she let me take out an old video camera too and let me use all the old tools to do stills, so that was good. And then you came over to Hawaii…? Coming over to Hawaii yeah… I was always doing that kinda as a hobby, I kept doing photography from like eighth grade through high school and then college. Once I finished college I would just kinda do it every now and then. My friend, who I surfed with a bunch said, “If you like shooting pictures you should shoot after your sessions and right before the sunset. You should take a look at surf photography and maybe get into that.” Then I started doing that and would see the guys in the water and I ended up talking to a guy who was about to swim out at Pipe, Kenji Croman, and he said, “Yeah, if you wanna do it there are not really any woman out there and going for it. And I’ll take you out to Sandy’s when you get your water housings and we’ll start there, just get in contact with me.” It was a swell in April, so it was late season already. So we went out to Sandy’s and then he coached me along and then when winter came around I started out going to Rocky Point and then he said he’d swim out with me for my first swim at Pipe. So he’s the one who taught me how to go out, how to come in – kinda the basics of it. Tell us about being the only female photographer at Pipeline; is Pipeline your favorite wave? You seem to be out there on every swell. Is it intimidating being the only girl out there, have you caught any flack, any good or bad experiences you’d like to share with us? It definitely seems to be a male-dominated sport, please tell us a little more about that. As far as that goes, going to the Coast Guard Academy the majority of the people there were guys so the majority of my friends ended up being guy friends. Even working in the Coast Guards I’ve always been in a very male dominated environment. So transition that to going out at Pipe, it’s that same kind of environment that I was really use to and even the humor that goes on, I’m not gonna sit there and get offended by things that get said in the water. Just as long as you go out there and you’re not cocky and rude and you position yourself well and you make an effort to not sit in front of people it’s not a super aggressive place. But if you’re cocky and rude people will call you out on it, regardless if you’re a guy or a girl. They might just say it a little nicer if you’re a girl but that’s kinda the gist of it.

Any beat-downs or anything… any bad stories or scary moments? Oooo, yeah. One time there was a guy that was pretty close to me and we were in the zone and we had a wave come, a sneaky one, that caught us both off guard and when we were tumbling in the whitewash his body just slammed into my shoulder. I felt my shoulder go out of place. We came up and there was another one ready to land on us again and he went more to the shoulder and I didn’t want to put myself right behind him again so I went more to the worst part of it, I guess. I felt my shoulder go back into place during that part and I came up and I was so disoriented. I got washed in and I kicked over and came back out to try to shoot and I was just so out of it that I just called it a day. Evan Geiselman got hurt on that same day, it was after it happened, it was a weird session. Tell us about your favorite photo out there, or your first published photo. Are there any other girls that shoot out there? Who are some of the other photographers you look up to and who has helped you out a lot? Let’s see, favorite moment out there… funny enough it’s actually the guy I’m dating right now, Jake DiPaola. When we started dating he was like, “Don’t shoot pictures of me, please don’t shoot pictures of me surfing.” It was not last October but the October before and it was an early season swell and it was too big in the morning but it really turned on in the afternoon. The wave spit twice and in the pictures he’s getting spit out and he’s soul-arched and in the pictures he is just absolutely, supremely stoked on all parts of it. It was a heavy wave and being able to give that to him and watch him get that wave, it just meant so much to him. And even if he wasn’t my boyfriend I would have been so amped to give that to the surfer and have them have that memory because it was just so good. It was afternoon light too, so it kinda glowing. Let’s see, so… other female photographers out there…? There’s Maria Fernanda, she goes out there but she’s just been injured this whole season, she busted her knee up pretty bad at Puerto Escondido and she really hasn’t been able to come out because she’s been in recovery. That’s why you may not have seen her recently. And photographer’s that have helped me out – Tony Heff has helped me out a bunch. I remember sending him my first photo submission and I look back on those and am like, “All right, yeah, I’ve made some improvements.” He would just give positive feedback like, “Hey, it’s good to see a woman doing this. Keep it up and keep working at it.” So he’s helped me out… Erik Ipple has helped me out too. He gives me shit too and that’s good to hear because sometimes that’ll get me into more challenging sections. There was that El Nino Jaws swell and I saw him in the airport and I had zero plan for how to get out and shoot that and he helped me along the way. I ended up being able to get out there both days and swim and jump on the back of skis, it was good, so that’s another person. Ok, so you’re finished with the Coast Guards right? Yep, finished. Finished in May. So is this your fulltime job, shooting surfing now, or just a hobby or side project? Tell us how you support yourself. I shoot surfing when I can and when I have the opportunity. Luckily, right now I have a part time job with a mother and daughter photography team, which I absolutely love. I edit their wedding photos and they’re really flexible when I come in. They’ve told me that when the surf is good to go shoot surfing. And then I do side projects as well – I started shooting freediving over the summer and I got the opportunity to work with Kimi Werner a bunch. So I’ve been shooting her some and doing projects with a company that she started called Keep Wild, and shooting product shots for that. It’s been a lot of fun. So there are a lot of side jobs, I’ll do real estate and kinda anything that’ll put the bills through and it’s been working for me so I don’t have any complaints.



What’s some advice you’d give to other women that are coming up shooting? For the women, I would just say, I feel like so many other women get hung up on the fact that they are a woman. And maybe I’m gonna have a feminist throw her bra at my head for saying that, but you can’t just bogged down by that or be like, “I’m a woman doing this!” I’m not trying to sound like an asshole here but I just don’t want that to be a defining thing for me. I don’t want people to be like, “Her pictures are good for a woman out there.” But just to any woman who’s doing a male-dominated thing or who hasn’t worked in a maledominated environment, don’t be super intimidated by it and just be relaxed and be nice to people. That’s about all, don’t be a douchebag and you’ll go places and it’ll be all right. Guys might block you and this, that and the other; just keep a good attitude… Surf photography to me is kinda like surfing – sometimes you’re in the right spot for a wave and you’ll catch it and it’s good and sometime you’re in the right spot for a shot. And then there’s some waves you’re just not gonna catch them or you’ll have guys in front of you that’ll be hooting because they got the shot and you didn’t get it. You know, you get some and you don’t get some. Just go for it – if you wanna go do something that’s male-dominate just go for it, prepare yourself well for it and do your research and your homework – that’s all you can really do.


THIS PAGE - ABOVE: Mother and Son, BELOW: Devon Howard OPPOSITE PAGE - TOP: Balaram Stack, LEFT: Flynn Novak, RIGHT: Kim Molina, BOTTOM: Dolphins1



Do you train for shooting out here? You swim on some really big days, probably bigger days than I swim, or is it something the Coast Guard really trained you for? What was the Coast Guard like? Was it really intense and did you have train a lot and swim a lot? We see it in a bunch of movies but I’m not sure how accurate that really is… Gosh, Coast Guard Academy – your freshman year they have you doing twenty-two credit hours but you don’t have full-time job to worry about or having a place to stay, all those kind of things are taken care of. But I was always doing swimming and always on the swim team and I really like how I feel when I’m in shape so just balancing that with school and balancing a workload and training all the time. So I did have that in my head. And when I was on a boat for two years you’d go out for three months and then you’d be in port for three months and I didn’t wanna get super out of shape on those patrols so I’d take any time I could squeeze and just go work out in the gym. It wasn’t the greatest thing but you could definitely put a workout in so I could come back and be good to go. That kinda stuck with me, I’ve always liked working out and swimming. And now to train I’ll wake up at like five in the morning and do a workout, I’ll do that for a couple days and then I’ll have a morning where I do yoga a couple days. That’s what I do now and in the summer time, being on the North Shore in the summer time when it’s flat, it’s like being in a giant lap pool. And it’s gorgeous too, so I’ll swim in the summer and run on the beach a lot too. But then in the winter I’m usually ready to shoot so I’ll do something in the morning and then I’ll either shoot or surf the rest of the day. So you wouldn’t come out of the academy super comfortable in big surf, like ready for Pipeline, you had to train yourself for that? Yeah, and that’s the thing, I was a competitive swimmer since like age seven through college and even that, that’s not like swimming in an ocean. Mark Spitz, after he won all his Olympic medals came out to Makapu’u and Mark Cunningham told him, “Hey, there’s a crazy current,” and just let him kinda know what was going on. He went out and then he had to get rescued by the lifeguards. And he’s a fucking Olympic swimmer, so it’s like building up that ocean knowledge and really making sure you listen to people when they talk about currents and things in different spots – that makes a big difference. Yeah and straight outta Coast Guard Academy, no fucking way I’d be able to handle any of this.

Ok, any last words? Or let’s end this with a better question – what’s something that no one knows about you? I’m gonna go kinda deep with this one. Both my parents… oh god, don’t take this as a sob story, they both had to deal with cancer. My mom got through breast cancer and one of things that’s really kinda just kept with me and really stuck with me is that she used to hate having birthdays. As she got older she just didn’t want celebrate it and acknowledge that she was getting older, and then that happen, and it became a shift in her mindset. All of sudden she was like, “I’m celebrating that I had the opportunity to be alive for another year.” And so, that’s really stuck with me, not being afraid to get older and be grateful to be given the opportunity to live. That’s something that people might not know about me. So that’s what drives you? Yes, definitely. That drives me. And just seeing both of my parents work so hard and that kind of mentality is something I always got to see throughout my life and I think that’s a big factor on where my drive comes from.







Your art is very stylized, how would you describe your style? I always loved dynamic and complex pictures. In every piece I have tendency to analyze movement and perspective views. Generally I’m always trying to merge figurative and abstract elements. Human figure always takes the first place in my narratives. During the years I’ve been changing my style from more academic and anatomy analysis back to pure kinetic compositions. And it’s still changing from time to time. Generally my goal is catching the movement and freezing it in dynamic compositions, which always have some small narrative aspect. For many years I’ve been working with animated films and this discipline has seriously infected my painting. Will you talk about your early beginnings as an artist? Like in most of the cases it came in childhood. I think it got me more obsessed when I was around 8-9 years old. Drawing and painting was always an easy and nice thing to do. It started with tons of papers covered with childish doodles. When I was 10 my parents brought me to the first drawing and painting classes. I started to practice different techniques and motives. These classes introduced me to analyze the objects from still life and so on. In the early years I was also making lots of copies from comics, photographs and manga productions. Then, in 2002 the graffiti period started. Designing the letter styles was serious introduction to abstract composing. During the years, I started to work more and more with imagined pictures. Year after year, the technique came itself.



Please tell us about your hometown, Bydgoszcz in Poland, and the marks it has left you with. What were its best and worst? Bydgoszcz is quite small, boring, post-industrial city. Actually, there’s nothing inspirational over there. Of course I still keep many sentimental memories, old friendships and so on. I was attending artistic high school there, which was really heavy training of art in the years 2000-2005. The best memory from my painting past is that I was the first putting graffiti over there. I also made my first large-scale murals. In 2005 I left Bydgoszcz and moved to twice bigger city of Poznań, where I took my studies on Academy of Fine Arts. I still live here today. Now Bydgoszcz is just a place where I’m coming to visit family and friends. Worst thing is that time has stopped there, especially in my old neighborhood. Kind of cliché artist interview question here, but where do you draw inspiration from? Generally people and all their psychological problems are my main point of interest. Also the cityscapes, I just love to turn the urban structures into abstract interpretations. So yeah, people and the city. I also take much inspiration from other artists. Now the Instagram gives us the chance to see the process and the studio of many great players. It doesn’t mean that I copy them. The mechanism works rather this way, “Wow, he/she made it so great! I have to do something better by myself!”

PREVIOUS SPREAD: ‘Alarm clock’ 137x188cm acrylic on canvas 2016 THIS PAGE: ‘Things you didn’t tell me’ 180x180cm acrylic on canvas 2017, OPPOSITE PAGE - L-R: ‘re-dawn II’ 200x150cm; acrylic on canvas; 2015, ‘undo’, ‘chaos/rebel’, ‘friuli 1976’, ‘entering babel’

What materials do you work with in your outdoor and studio practice? Nothing spectacular. I work only with acrylic paints. Just the tiny difference is that outdoor I’m using the facade paint, different brush sizes and paper tape to lead the straight lines. I used to work a lot with spray paint in the past years but at some point it just occurred to have many limits. Spray paint has solid, graphic line and covers kind a flat. In the opposition, brush is way more complicated. By one touch you can mix a few colors at the same time, use different amount of water. This brings more results with touching the wall or canvas. And way more often it makes you play with an accident. As it comes to concept process, I never use photos. It’s always based on simple composition sketches and all the details are imagined. I just got tired with making copies of the objects. It’s much more fun to create the motive out of nothing. What’s your biggest accomplishment as of now, what are you most proud of? And don’t feel shy, please brag about something. It’s hard to pick the concrete piece; I produce pictures all the time, almost every day. Surely there are the paintings I like more and other less. Generally my biggest accomplishment is that I’m fully dedicated to my artwork and it pays my bills. Seriously, for many, many years, I didn’t expect that this could be my daily job. Now I just keep receiving invitations to different projects and exhibitions. Things are rolling really well. I support my family with the most incredible job I could imagine. And I don’t have a f*cking boss. So yeah, being independent is the thing I’m mostly proud of. That is a giant accomplishment, where can our reader check out more of your art? I just have a three public channels, my website (, Facebook (robert proch) and my Instagram account (@prochrobert). I think it’s enough. Very last question, any last words for our readers, shout-outs, declaration of love or hate. Just do what you love to do and don’t copy anyone. Good answer, thank you again!





interview & photos / bob plumb



“Watching the dudes ride in that contest had a huge impact on me as a little guy and I think I put the skis away forever after that. From then on snowboarding consumed my life, and I can’t imagine life any other way.” - On watching the snowboard halfpipe event at the 2002 Olympics.

So give us the low down, where are you from? I was born in Salt Lake City, UT and grew up just up the canyon in Park City. How did you find snowboarding? I found snowboarding mostly because of my brother Zach. He and his homies had been skating and snowboarding for a while by the time I was a little grommie. I learned to ski at a pretty young age and remember trying out for the ski racing team when I was five years old, and I hated following the teachers around and would always break off from the pack and try and hit all the side hits on the side of the hill. To make a long story short, I didn’t make the team and always wanted to try snowboarding because my brother did it. I actually learned how to snowboard at Mammoth Mountain in California while my brother was competing at a snowboard contest there at the time. Then, I did both for a bit and kept skiing less and less every season because I liked snowboarding better. Then, I remember the Olympics coming to SLC in 2002 and my parents got my brother and I tickets to the men’s snowboard halfpipe. Watching the dudes ride in that contest had a huge impact on me as a little guy and I think I put the skis away forever after that. From then on snowboarding consumed my life, and I can’t imagine life any other way. Who stood out for you that Olympics? Should Team USA have gone 1st, 2nd and 3rd? Yeah, I think the USA dudes shined in that contest, I remember Ross Powers going so big. But honestly, the dudes that stood out the most for me was Danny Kass and Heikki Sorsa because of his badass mohawk. Haha, yes, Heikki was insane at that contest. Sounds like that contest influenced you a lot, did you compete? Yeah, they definitely did. I loved watching X Games and US Open’s when I was a grommie. I competed from when I was about nine till about 15 or 16. I am so glad I grew up competing since I got to make so many amazing friends all around the west, but it eventually started giving me too much anxiety and I started to not enjoy it as I got a bit older. Did you have crew that you would go to the contest with? Our USASA contest region was pretty big compared to most places, I think it included Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. So I ended up meeting Sam Taxwood, Sage and Blaze Kotsenburg, Blake Paul and Cam Fitzpatrick from a super young age. Then when we started doing a bit bigger contests I eventually met the Warbington brothers, Ben Ferguson and too many friends to list. We ended up going to contests with James Jackson and all traveling together. We always had more fun riding around the resort before and after the contest, which eventually led most of us to stop competing. Was this the birth of Lick the Cat? Um… not fully, most of us stopped competing since we were heavily influenced by snowboard movies and magazines. My brother had integrated snowboard movies into my life from a pretty early age, and due to growing up near SLC there is a pretty big snowboard scene outside of the contest world. So we all just started riding Park City and eventually met Jeremy Thornburg, aka Jerm, who started making these random handy-cam edits for fun and they ended up getting quite popular. I just think he did an awesome job of capturing everyone just having fun, and when we all get together awesome and comical things manifest. So what’s up with Lick the Cat? Are you guys really making a movie? We are flying by the seat of our pants, but we are trying, haha. Hopefully the movie will be pretty entertaining.



“We always had more fun riding around the resort before and after the contest, which eventually led most of us to stop competing.�



I mean let’s be honest, is Jerm capable of making a movie? Jerm has actually been really impressing me this season, especially outside of filming. He is so motivated and knows how to get everyone rallying even when we are all burnt out. Sage and Jerm together are the power duo, and aren’t scared to pull the trigger on crazy ideas and trips. Let’s be honest, trying to organize all of our stubborn asses around isn’t easy. Haha true! Who’s in the movie? The main roster is Sage Kotsenburg, Zak Hale, Nils Mindnich, Max and Gus Warbington, Spencer Schubert, Sam Taxwood, Mike Bogs, and myself. Hopefully Blake Paul and Ben Bilodeau grace us with their presence soon. Do you have any good stories this year from going on trips with all those guys? Seems like a lot of people to have on a trip. I could go on forever: like crazy nights in Tokyo, exploring crazy small towns in the Italian Alps, Euro Spas, drunken mishaps, spontaneous bailing, broken down vans and many more. This has definitely been a winter I will never forget, I feel very fortunate getting the opportunity to travel the world to go snowboarding with my best friends. WHATTA TRIP! Oh yeah, we roll deep, probably not the most productive way to film a snowboard video, but it sure is a good time! Sounds like good times. How is the backcountry scene? How many guys have you seen hit the same jump? Backcountry scene can be pretty ridiculous, I see it as us just getting better at landing since you only have like one or two tries, because if you don’t land the first try you might have to wait for 6 dudes to hit the jump before you get another shot, haha. Damn, one and done. How do you fit into the mix? Are you hitting these jumps? Are you getting these guys out split boarding with you? Are they getting you back on the steel? I have been trying to get in the mix, I am definitely not the best at hitting cheese wedges and they aren’t on my top priorities but it has been super fun nonetheless. So rad watching Sage and Nils, those two are wedge gods, they never fall! Sometimes, most of the dudes are bit too lazy to come out on the split, but Nils will occasionally come out with me, he’s actually the person who took me on my first tour. The boys get a bit distracted by the wedges, but to each there own! We are all so different in our snowboarding pursuits but I think that’s what is so special about our crew, it is quite the eclectic bunch. I was born on the steel baby! Always down for some jibbin.’ Any more trips on the horizon? Wait… come to think about it, who’s paying for all these trips? We are heading to Norway for a Nitro Snowboards trip in April that should be pretty fun! More like a life trip with pretty snowboarding in it! Quiksilver and Nitro Snowboards have been fronting the bill! Couldn’t do it without em! And also, thanks to Bob for putting up with our shit and bailing on other snowboarders to come shoot photos of our dumbasses.



“...crazy nights in Tokyo, exploring crazy small towns in the Italian Alps, Euro Spas, drunken mishaps, spontaneous bailing, broken down vans...� - When asked about stories from this years trips.





Following the first CT event this year, crowds gathered to celebrate what was deemed the best Kirra has been in over a decade. The after-party went down at the Dust Temple, caddy corner from the Firewire factory in Currumbin, Queensland, Australia. Installers built a half pipe at the space and tore it up all night. The next morning the half pipe disappeared with the rising sun, much to the dismay of local skaters planning to pick up where they had left off the night before. Argentinian-based artist Julio Cesar Batistelli, known as “Yaia,” installed a wall of four hundred posters printed at Hurley’s print shop in Costa Mesa. The prints featured six different graphics, each one symbolizing a different spirit animal for Hurley’s C.T. riders. All graphics were available as onsite embellishments via screen prints and or patches. 1978 World Champion and native of the Gold Coast, Rabbit Bartholomew, presented Julian Wilson, Ace Buchan, and Lakey Peterson with awards for their outstanding performances. If you couldn’t make it, look for more fun to come from Hurley throughout the year around their Team Pro Series.


PHOTOS // LWA left to right: JohnJohn Florence Kolohe & Maddie Andino Dust Temple walls adorned with Julio Battistelli’s art Michel Bourez Lakey Peterson Brandon Guilmette & Dane Zaun grows frothing on their new shirts Ace & Ruby Buchan Aussie chicks feeling the vibe Filipe Toledo





Celebrating the life of professional snowboarder Jeff Anderson, Mammoth once again played host to the sixth annual JLA Banked Slalom event this past month. His legacy is alive and well as Old Man Winter blessed the event with over four-feet of fresh snow and epic blue bird conditions. There were more than 200 participants that took place in the two-day extravaganza at Lower Dry Creek with divisions ranging from groms, pro, legends and even a couple special divisions for the moms and coaches. The entire event has been designed to keep Jeff’s legacy alive by celebrating his life and raising money for the JLA Project, which is then given right back to that same community of family and friends with proceeds going to the JLA Brothers Skatepark in Mammoth. The JLA Banked Slalom is all about having fun and remembering the importance of the “soul of snowboarding” and those who have paved the path for the future. Jeff’s older brother, Billy Anderson, hosted the award ceremony [and happen to win his division as well] and first place results are as follows: Boys 6 and under, Tora Komiyama; Boys 7 to 9, Jonah Johnson; Boys 10-12, John Connolly; Boys 13-15, Levi Brown; Girls 6 and under, Kinsley Klassen; Girls 7 to 9, Spencer Anderson; Girls 10-12, Natalie Partridge; Girls 13-15, Super Applebaum; Coaches, Morgan Medove; Moms, Yuki Tomiyama; Am Men, JJ Johnson; Am Women, Sandra Sperry; Pro Masters, Billy Anderson; Pro Groms, Cody Beavers; Pro Men, Harry Kearney; Pro Women, Mariah Dugan. It’s been 15 years since the untimely, tragic passing of Jeff but with the biggest and best Banked Slalom to date, it’s easy to see that his spirit and community values live on. And in a time where it seems snowboarding has shifted more and more to corporate level, it’s events like this that are needed more now than ever. Big thanks to all the sponsors who participated, Mammoth Mountain and the entire Anderson family for bringing together the community of Mammoth once again for another great time.

PHOTOS // KEVIN WESTENBARGER left to right: Mariah Dugan Woolly & the groms Pro Masters Champs Karen Fisher Billy Anderson Jimmy Goodman Mariah Dugan – Pro Women Winner Unbound Champs Groms were having the time of their lives Am Girl Champs





It was a day that won’t soon be forgotten for amateur, now pro, skater Jagger Eaton as he became the 4th person ever in the 24 years of the Tampa Pro to take home top honors in both the Tampa Am and the Tampa Pro event. His skills also landed him a pass straight into the semi-finals of the 2018 SLS Pro Open courtesy of the Monster Energy Pro Open Pass, as the highest placing non-SLS pro. And this is no easy feat by any means as others in the finalist consisted of Filipe Gustavo (2nd place), Ryan Decenzo (3rd place), TJ Rogers (4th place), Louie Lopez (5th place), many Santiago (6th) and so many other heavy hitters. But it wasn’t just the Street Jam, Saturday night also played host to the Converse Concrete Jam where Trey Wood took top honors and impressed the crowd by dropping into the concrete bowl from atop the roof. And the coveted Independent “Best Trick” went to Florida native Jamie Foy for his NBD frontside bluntside that had the crowd absolutely going nuts. It’s a weekend that’s become legendary in the skating world as Brian Schaefer and Andrew Cannon from the Skatepark of Tampa have created one of our favorite events of the year. Big props are in order to The Skatepark of Tampa, Monster Energy, Converse, Independent Trucks and all the other badass sponsors that make this weekend possible. FINALS 1st – Jagger Eaton 2nd – Felipe Gustavo 3rd – Ryan Decenzo 4th – TJ Rogers 5th – Louie Lopez 6th – Manny Santiago 7th – Zion Wright 8th – Kelvin Hoefler 9th – Axel Cruysberghs 10th – Yuto Horigome 11th – Luan Oliveira 12th – Alex Midler CONVERSE CONCRETE JAM 1st – Trey Wood 2nd – Cody Lockwood 3rd – Zion Wright 4th – Ben Hatchell 5th – Tom Remillard INDEPENDENT BEST TRICK 1st – Jamie Foy 2nd – Sewa Kroetkov 3rd – Yuri Facchini 4th – Felipe Gustavo 5th – Adrien Bulard

PHOTOS // CHRIS ORTIZ left to right: Felipe Gustavo - Kflip Krooks Cody Lockwood - CONS concrete jam Awards - Ryan Decenzo, Jagger Eaton & Felipe Gustavo Ryan Decenzo - Fs FLip Jagger Eaton - Bs Smith Louie Lopez - Fs Feeble Zion Wright - Fs Krook Alex Midler - Gap Bs Nblunt





ANDY NIEBLAS regularly spends time walking up and down his surfboard out in the water. On land he walks in our new and improved double layer classic rubber sandal. We improved the quality of the closed cell sponge rubber and filled the tubular jacquard strap with recycled material creating an easier entry for your foot to go in. Once you put your foot in this sandal you’ll know why we reinvented the wheel.

Today, our goal remains the same: producing high-quality sandals that don’t end up in landfills. That commitment doesn’t end when our sandals leave the store. If your Rainbow®’s are nearing the end of their run and are past warranty, but still have some life left, please return them. We will repair and donate each pair to people who need them throughout the world.




ASA Entertainment wrapped two days of action-packed snowboarding contests and live music concerts at the Toyota Supergirl Snow Pro at Bear Mountain Resort on March 18th and 19th. Hosted by 4-time Olympian and 10-time X-Games Gold Medalist, Lindsey Jacobellis, the event showcased many of the top-ranked snowboarders in the world, including 3-time Olympian Faye Gulini, who took first place in boardercross, and the event’s cohost, Hannah Teter, who took first on the halfpipe. Top amateurs competed alongside their heroes in a one-ofa-kind pro-am format that included team competitions in both disciplines that paired the pros with amateur snowboarders, as young as eight years old. Day one of Supergirl Snow Pro featured the first-ever all-female boardercross (SBX) contest. Designed by Jacobellis, the custom-built pro-level SBX course was created to showcase elite talent, while also providing a platform for young competitors to learn from their heroes. In addition to competing and claiming second place overall, Jacobellis spent much of the event mentoring the next generation of up-and-coming riders. “This event was my dream come true,” said Jacobellis, who worked closely with ASA Entertainment to design the event’s formats. “I want to thank ASA, everyone at Big Bear, and all the pros who came to support and mentor these young snowboarders. We had snow, sun, it was gorgeous … I just couldn’t be happier!” In the pro boardercross contest, the field included US Team members Faye Gulini (1st place), Lindsey Jacobellis (2nd place), Colleen Healey (3rd place), and Meghan Tierney. “In this event, what’s most important is getting the young girls involved and the camaraderie with all the female riders,” said Gulini, the Toyota Supergirl Snow Pro SBX winner. “Although I was super excited to cross the line first, I didn’t expect it because there were so many talented athletes out here!” Supported by both the USSA and the USASA, the event also featured a mini halfpipe pro-am competition with throwback obstacles, rails and jibs that pushed the riders to get creative in their runs. In fact, SBX riders Tierney, Healey, and Gulini all decided to jump in on the action, where Gulini surprised the judges with her innovative runs to reach the podium twice, also taking 3rd place on halfpipe. Second place went to Anna Valentine, with Olympic Gold Medalist, Hannah Teter, earning 1st place and the coveted Supergirl cape. “I was blown away by the level of riding,” said Teeter. “Most of us pipe riders have only been riding super-pipe all year, so for us to come out and do a fun mini-pipe with rails in it was next level. It pushed everyone to think outside the box. I had no idea I was going to win because everyone was riding so well and throwing down stuff I don’t normally see these girls do. I’m super excited to walk away with Supergirl gold!” 2018 TOYOTA SUPERGIRL SNOW PRO RESULTS DAY 1: BOADERCROSS PRO 1st - Faye Gulini 2nd - Lindsey Jacobellis 3rd - Colleen Healey 4th - Isabella Gomez PRO-AM TEAM BOARDERCROSS RELAY 1st - Colleen Healey, Riley Rivera, Lorena Kelley 2nd - Isabella Gomez, Jayda Hammond, Reese Rivera 3rd - Meghan Tierney, Lea Logal, Zoe Johnson 4th - Anna Miller, Natalie DeBelina, Abby Belton DAY 2: HALFPIPE PRO 1st - Hannah Teter (Score: 86) 2nd - Anna Valentine (Score: 74) 3rd - Faye Gulini (Score: 72) PRO-AM TEAM HALF-PIPE 1st - Zoe Kalapos, Lexi Simsovits, Reese Rivera 2nd - Taylor Obregon, Tessa Maud, Abby Belton 3rd - Hannah Teter, Riley Rivera, Lola Cowan For the full list of AM winners in each category, please visit


PHOTOS // JEROD HARRIS, PETE SANTOS, FUTO & ASA ENTERTAINMENT left to right: Am Boardercross (SBX) Competitors Halfpipe Winners: Anna Valentine, Hannah Teter & Faye Gulini SBX - The Step Down Halfpipe - Faye Gulini Halfpipe Champ Hannah Teter Boardercross Winners: Lindsey Jacobellis, Faye Gulini & Colleen Healey Halpipe Pro-Am Crew Halfpipe Competitor Natalie DeBelina





SPENDTIME PALACE Just to give the readers some backstory and a better understanding of where this interview is taking place. Spendtime Palace, along with myself and three others (nine people total), are currently in the Vestal bus making the long haul back home from SXSW in Austin, Texas. After living with each other in such tight quarters for the past six days everyone in here is pretty much ready to lose it. As you can imagine, it’s been a long week full of back-to-back shows, never-ending nights and minimal showers so hopefully I’ll be able to get some answers out of them on this 20+ hour drive. First off, what do you guys think about SXSW and traveling on a tour bus for the first time? Austin was a crazy place to be over the last week. There was so much going on everywhere we went; it almost got a bit overwhelming. Aside from that we had a great time playing out there and seeing fans come out from different places. It was also nice seeing so many friends/bands we already knew and meeting people that we wouldn’t have met anywhere else. I can sum up the bus with two phrases: PBJ sandwiches and body odor. All joking aside though, this experience was truly a luxury and there is no way we can complain about traveling this way. We had always toughed it out with our own cars when leaving town, which isn’t unusual for a lot of bands. Although, after doing it both ways we would much rather be doing it on the bus, haha. We all endlessly appreciate Johnny and Vestal for the opportunity, and of course, putting up with us smelly guys for the last week. You guys have gained a pretty crazy following since I met you as ‘Playdate’ a few years ago. What led to the initial name change from ‘Playdate’ to ‘Spendtime Palace,’ and is it true you almost got sued by a children’s band? Hahaha man, that was an ordeal. Personally, I thought we had outgrown the name as far as maturity goes, especially considering we were making the transition out of high school and into the real world of music. Although this viewpoint was shared among most of us, not everyone agreed to making the change, and we needed a unanimous vote for that big of a decision. Fortunately (which sounds weird given the circumstances) we received an email from the lawyer of another band called Playdate that basically said we had to change our name or we would get sued. After getting that email it made our decision to change the name a lot easier to say the least.




I know you guys get asked about this a lot but maybe if you answer it in this interview less people will have to ask. How did you meet Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things and how did he end up directing and starring in your latest music video for ‘Sonora’? Well said, haha. Finn had discovered our music through our friend and director/comedian Josh Ovalle. I actually remember the moment Josh told me that Finn Wolfhard had been listening to us I just about shit myself (being a fan of Stranger Things). Apparently, Finn wanted to break into the world of directing and after some talking between him and Josh they started brainstorming a video idea for one of our songs. The only real point of conflict was we didn’t want to do a video for the initial song they chose, so we pitched them a demo of one of our new ones. Thankfully they were really into it and immediately dove into producing a storyline for the song. After months of pre-production and planning, the video was shot over the course of a weekend and we ended up with our first music video. Overall, it was surreal watching an idea that was so far-fetched for us (filming a video with Finn) unfold into a reality. The kid is a real go-getter and we’re really fortunate to be able to work with him and Josh.

album, we plan on doing it with Kyle Mallarky, out in Topanga Canyon. To our knowledge the dynamic of recording out there is somewhat of a ranch vibe, which is a totally different approach to recording than what we’re used to in a studio. Normally, we’re so rushed on time with other studios it can feel forced, so naturally we’re looking forward to a more relaxed and thorough approach. We’re also really excited to be working and collaborating with Kyle. Growing up we had heard a lot about him, being that he had recorded so many bands that we look up to. Our heart goes out to Levi and the members Gantez for hooking us up with him. What do you think will differentiate the new album from your last one? There are a lot of different components going into this album compared to our last works. The first being that instead of having one person bringing songs to the table, we have everyone bringing in their own compositions. Personally, I love being able to give input on other member’s material, just like they had been giving to me over the years. Everyone is progressing so heavily, it is truly amazing to watch and be a part of. Overall our various tastes in music have made for a pretty interesting mix of songs for this next album. Take this into account with Has anything changed since then? Do you feel any incorporating a new producer and studio and you have somepressure to live up to the hype of the ‘Sonora’ video? thing that is going to be truly unique. Don’t get scared off by all Haha, well I would be lying if I said we hadn’t picked up a this change though, we’re still the same group of rowdy Costa great deal of fans and opportunities since the release. We Mesa boys we were six years ago when we made our start. had always done well around where we lived but it really helped us branch out. I must say, now that we have seen the So, what should fans expect to see from you guys in the near success of our last project we do feel pressure going into future? this year trying to follow up with our new album and music For 2018, we have our new album coming out (All Inclusive videos. I won’t deny that Finn has been a point of interest Romantic Getaway) followed by an East and West coast tour to for a lot of fans; I just hope that fans maintain an interest for support the LP. Sprinkled in the middle we have got some new us and our music rather than assuming that we’re going to music videos in the making and some random shows in the work with a celebrity every time. All of that aside, we really mix. It’s hard to account for everything that is going to happen do have confidence in our new material, and we have gotten in the year because there are so many last-minute opportunia good response from the people who have heard it. ties that come up in our agenda. I know you guys are working on a new album right now. Lastly, any advice to up-and-coming musicians? What’s your current recording situation? When it comes down to it, you’ve got to work. What you put The past couple months we have been getting as many in is what you get out and you always need to stay on top of songs as we can down in our home studio so that we have a what is thrown at you. When you’re not getting opportunities good variety to choose from when we get into a professional (which can be the case a lot of the time) you need to go out and studio. Aside from having a variety, demo-ing in the home get them. It is not a job that stops when you “leave the office.” studio really helps us work out as much of the details as we Being involved with a band is something that you are always can on our end so that the producer can build and push it thinking about and trying to accel at, whether you’re at school, further on his end. As far as the final recording goes for this in the car, out with your buddies or at your day job.





THE CASBAH, SAN DIEGO, CA // MARCH 10TH, 2018 Hidden from the dark rain, I joined the rock worshipers assembled within the catacombs of our jam temple, The Casbah, to celebrate another sonic séance that is the San Diego Freak Out. This is the concoction of spell casters Mike Turi of the Wild Wild Wets and renowned visual artist Andrew McGranahan, and tonight they’ve conjured Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Wild Wild Wets, The KABBs and Spooky Cigarette with Visuals by Stranger Liquids and DJ Bang. Savages and sirens drink and sway as I speak with Chris of The Mad Walls, “This is our first Freak Out, and the first time playing with these guys, its rad.” The Mad Walls have new music finished and coming out shortly. Fresh off his set, and between hugs Mike says, “We decided to build a platform for the dark party arts we thrive on, simply bringing together great bands, DJs, projections, and groovy folks.” Exactly. Later, after the full-blast and frantic set by headliners, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, the ceremony ended and I raised my cloak hood to step back into the wet streets, clutching my new hand-screened Freak Out tee, of course. Thanks to the soul capture sorcerer, Rick Perez (, for the photos.

REVIEWS BY ROB MOLT The Messthetics / Self-titled / Dischord Records The two things I remember from seeing Fugazi back in the 90’s was vocalists Ian McCaye and Guy Picciotto always yelling at us between songs and the incredible power and urgency of the rhythm section. About the first thing, San Diego crowds were notoriously, let’s say, misbehaved back in the day. I remember thinking during my second Fugazi show that everyone seemed to be getting along OK. That’s when Ian told us to all stop dancing and just listen to the songs. No one like that. He followed by telling us he didn’t know what radio van was parked out front but that Fugazi did not invite them. Whatever dude. Fugazi ended in 2003. Now the second part, their bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty are easily one of the most formidable and tightest rhythm section to exist in the post punk landscape. When you add D.C. jazz guitar virtuoso, Anthony Pirog, you have instrumental music expertise. As The Messthetics, the power-trio make experimental sounds that re-envisions punk as an outlet for the sort of heady riffage found in ’70s rock, without being yelled at. Soccer Mommy / Clean / Fat Possum Records. I’m a sucker for every artist on Fat Possum Records. They are all honest sounding, straightforward and lacking any tricks. A perfect example is Soccer Mommy: Nashville-raised singer/songwriter Sophie Allison crafts songs of a young girl coming of age through the usual mellow drama and “I wanna be cool” format. It’s an incredibly strong debut from a crowded scene, where rising to the top is doubtful and if you look around she’s done just that. And just like her talented label contemporaries, she sounds relatable and with purpose. Add some bright guitar flourishes and the walking though the flowers aesthetic, and she’s got you. Well, at least me.

Preoccupations / New Material / Jagjaguwar Maybe some of you remember the band Viet Cong? The massively unpopular name of the Canadian indie-rock pros? I do, I was rooting for them to keep the awful name of the brutal insurgent military group, just to see if they could do it. They couldn’t. They are Preoccupations now. “New Material” is pure progressive indie-rock, complete with moody, industrial atmospheres and warmly melodic vocal lines. Think Interpol with a little bit more sad vulnerability in the data dystopia age. Iceage / Beyondless / Matador Records We are really going to miss ice. Years from now, while sitting in our San Bernardino oceanfront apartments chest deep in seawater, drinking warm beer, we are going to say, “Man, I could really use some ice right now.” Too late bros, the polar icecaps are gone and Riverside has some of California’s best 90-degree sand bottom point breaks. It’s not crowded because so many of us have died off, and don’t even ask where the girls are. Both sexes have mutated, and we can’t tell each other apart so no one wants to risk it. “Beyondless” is the 4th record from Copenhagen’s Iceage, and even after only hearing two of the tracks, one which features Sky Ferreira, this is their wooziest and best post-hardcore material yet. You don’t want to know what happened to Denmark...

REVIEWS BY MAX RITTER Snail Mail / Habit / Sister Polygon Maryland native Lindsey Jordan wrote a song about me and became famous. It’s called “Thinning.” Distractor / This Time I Got It Figured Out / Burger Records What Tractor? The Story of Distractor is a pretty incredible documentary that band member Will made about his best friend and founding member Glen. I loved it. You have to watch this! Rest in peace Glen! This Time I Got It Figured Out is the band’s new record out on Burger Records. Charge It To The Game / Dark Girl / Ghost Ramp Charge It 2 da Game is an album by Silkk the Shocker. Charge It TO THE Game (spelling) is a rap group including Fat Tony and producer Kyle Mabson and their new single “Dark Girl” is an ode to gothic chicks. You need one in your life… Willie Mitchell / The Many Moods Of / Hi Records/Fat Possum Willie Mitchell been chargin’ it to the game for a long time too…






TWeLLMAN @c_twell

Sponsors: Monster (flow)

Age: 15 Hometown: Laguna Hills, CA

Favorite Skater: Miles Silvas Photo: brian zelandi



BL!SSS Magazine | April 2018 | #128