RALPH STEADMAN ISSUE 125
JOHN JOHN FLORENCE
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ENDLESS GOOD STUFF Mammoth is the place to be for big mountain winter fun. From laughs on the lift and fist pumps in the park to amazing outdoor adventures on snowmobiles, snowshoes and snow tubes, the winter fun never expires.
BLISSS MAGAZINE // ISSUE No. 125
#125 18 // RANDOMS 22 // PRODUCT: WETSUITS 24 // JOHN JOHN 2X CHAMP 26 // WILLIAM FORT 28 // MARIO MANKEY 30 // SUPER TASTE 32 // BEN THOUARD 38 // THE ART OF RALPH STEADMAN 46 // LEE LEAL: PHOTO PROFILE 52 // NOA DEANE INTERVIEW
58 // BOOK OF JOHN J. 62 // 2017 SURFER AWARDS 64 // BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS 66 // DEW TOUR BRECKENRIDGE 68 // MICKEY AVALON X LANDON MCNAMARA 70 // POWER LUNCH 71 // MUSIC REVIEWS 72 // GROMS
P H O T O :
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ISSUE No. 125
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JASON KENWORTHY, DOMINIC PETRUZZI, DANIEL RUSSO, TOBY OGDEN, TOM CAREY, BRIAN BEILMANN, JACK COLEMAN, ANDREW MAPSTONE, ADAM MORAN, DAVE NELSON, PAT EICHSTAEDT, JULIEN LECORPS, RYAN BOYES, ZACH HOOPER, TIM PEARE, MICHAEL LALLANDE, BOB PLUMB, PETER MORNING, BRYCE KANIGHTS, ARTO SARRI, ANTHONY ACOSTA, CAMERON STRAND, BRIAN FICK, DEVILLE NUNNS, GAGE THOMPSON, DEREK BAHN, TOM COZAD, BRUCE BEACH, ROBBIE CRAWFORD, RYAN DONAHUE, JOE FOSTER, SEAN SULLIVAN, STAN SIEVERS, CHRIS LOMENZO
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ISSUE No. 125
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RANDOMS // ISSUE NO. 125
01. ETNIES CYPRUS SC
This past month the etnies crew dropped the release of their latest, the Cyprus SC. It’s an off-the-board shoe designed to be lightweight and packable for wherever your next adventure might take you. Inspired from their oh-so-popular Scout and featuring Foam Lite 1 insoles, thin co-molded rubber outsoles and their Lyvra spandex inner-sock, it’s hard to believe that you’re even wearing shoes when you slip these on. The first release comes in signature all-black or all-red colorways by Ryan Sheckler and pink for the ladies by Coco Ho. Get yours where finer shoes are sold or direct from www.etnies.com.
02. GRIFFIN COLAPINTO WINS VANS TRIPLE CROWN
Seems like every year there’s a “first” of something that happens in the final contest of WSL that keeps it fresh and exciting. This year was no exception, as San Clemente native Griffin Colapinto has become the first Californian to ever win the Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing. This is one stat that has really caught our attention as it’s hard to believe that after 34 years running there hasn’t been one of our own atop the podium. And at the ripe young age of only 19 it’s even more impressive. Congrats Griff, way to represent and stoked for ya.
03. BILLABONG X IGGY POP
We’re not sure if many of today’s youth are even aware of how influential Iggy Pop and The Stooges were to rock ‘n’ roll and pop culture, but if you’re not then you should familiarize yourself. Iggy Pop is a living legend who is about as badass of a human as you can find. He and Billabong recently collaborated on a line of clothing including tees, a hoody, a wetsuit jacket and boardshorts that are popping off the shelves. The Iggy Pop X Billabong Collection is available at select retailers and online at www.billabong.com so get your hands on some LTD gear before it’s all gone.
04. IMPERIAL BARBER PRODUCTS
Industry vet and longtime friend of the magazine, Raul Montoya, is back in action and working for the good folks at Imperial Barber Products. Coincidentially we’ve been using their Fiber Grease and Matte Pomade Paste for years already and we’re stoked Mr. Montoya is up in the mix. For those of you not familiar with Imperial, they make high quality hair and barber products ranging from the usual pomades, pastes, body washes and shampoos to badass travel and shave kits. But the very best thing about Imperial is that it’s all made right here in the good old U.S. of A. Check out all they have on offer at www.imperialbarberproducts.com.
05. YETI HOPPER 20
One of the best things about shopping for Yeti Coolers is that they don’t come in traditional gallon/liter sizing, but instead by number of beers [ok, cans] that comfortably fit in each cooler. Now that’s our kind of sizing. We’ve been seeing more and more of these beauties everywhere we look. One of our good buddies has the Hopper 20 that he takes with us every time we’re on the boat and he’s dubbed it the “Yeti Vuitton.” We get a chuckle every time it’s said. Anyway, there’s not a cooler that does it better and keeps it colder so get yours today.
06. ENJOY THE LIFESTYLE
SOKFY [Sport Of Kings Forever Young] is a lifestyle brand with an authentic story, rooted in the beaches of Southern California. The brand captures the true essence of the surfing culture. Each capsule is inspired by the endless miles a surfer travels for whatever lies at the end of the road and each piece is designed to provide comfort along the journey. Flagship store number one is already up and running in Pacific City, Huntington Beach. Opening January 2nd is flagship store number two, at USC Village in Los Angeles. For more info on SOKFY be sure to visit there website, www.SOKFYbrand.com and Instagram, @SOKFY.
RANDOMS // ISSUE NO. 125
01. PRO-LITE X BALARAM STACK
Our very favorite New Yorker, Balaram Stack, has just inked a deal with California’s original surfboard bag manufactuer, Pro-Lite. He joins the ranks alongside top athletes Josh Kerr, Mitch Crews, Timmy Reyes, Keanu Asing and Cam Richards as a global ambassador to the growing line of Pro-Lite signature products. Never one to sit still, Balaram is a perfect fit as his travel schedule has him on the constant hustle and we’re sure his new Micro Dot signature pad they’re working on will be a banger.
02. TRAEGER GRILLS
The wood-fire revolution is on, and for those of you that are about to jump on the bandwagon may we introduce you to Traeger Grills. These amazing little units use 100% pure, natural hardwood pellets, giving you that amazing authentic flavor with minimal effort. And the Traeger pellets range from sweet cherry, savory mesquite, maple hardwood to hickory BBQ and everything in between. But the real bread and butter [in our humble opinion] are the hundreds of easy-to-use recipes and instructions available through www.traegergrills.com, making even the novice seem like a top chef. With the addition of Timberline 850 Grill [featured here] there are over a dozen different grills to choose from so there’s a perfect fit for every backyard, get yours now.
03. FORMULA FUN BOARDS
With the new year comes new boards as we just received a sneak peek at the first-ever locally sourced, American-made, 100% recyclable high performance soft boards – Formula Fun. With over two years in development these new “soft tops” come with all the bells and whistles: wax-free deck pads [absolutely no wax required], leash plug, performance rails and Future Fin systems. But the real kicker is that they are 100% recyclable, meaning you can turn your old beat up Formula Fun in at there facility and receive a $50 credit towards your next board. And starting at just $250, expect to be seeing quite a few of these in the lineup in the near future.
04. COR X REEF MCINTOSH
Pipeline specialist, big-wave charger and longtime friend of the mag, Reef McIntosh has just added yet another sponsor to his already long list of believers, COR Surf. COR is one of those under-theradar surf brands that have been around for over a decade, silently growing their empire of surf products. What started out as custom wood surf racks has turned into the largest surf and stand up paddle rack supplier in North America. Nowadays expanding business into the soft goods market, COR recently released their edition of the microfiber changing pancho – perfect for swapping in and out of boardshorts and/or your wetsuit. Be sure to check out everything they have on offer at www.corsurf.com.
05. VINYL JUNKIES
In an age of streaming services, downloads and bitcoin, Vinyl Junkies Record Shack wants to give you the real thing. VJ’s owner and record vet, Eric Howarth has partnered with local legend Tim Mays from San Diego’s rock mosque, The Casbah to create a beautiful new store in the walking neighborhood of South Park, at 2235 Fern Street, San Diego. Along with the best record selection in SD, the store hosts DJ nights and in-store band performances. Owner Eric Howarth says, “Records are a great way to enhance our lives through developing new relationships and deepening friendships. Collecting for the sake of collecting has its place but to me, using records to foster community and a mutual appreciation for the music contained on the record, with the social, economic, political messages inherent in the artist’s work, is more important than how rare that first pressing UK LP is. And that’s the sort of attitude we want to have with the new store, not losing sight of the big picture of how music enriches our lives.”
06. RIDE LOCAL, RIDE BEAR
2018 is here and that means the local mountains are in full swing and up-and-running. The beginning of the 2017/2018 season hadn’t seen too much natural snowfall but that hasn’t stopped the Bear and Summit crew from blowing the manmade on the daily. We hope all that changes by the time this ink is hitting your fingers but either way that’s not gonna be stopping us from making the hour-long drive to our local mountains every chance we get. Hopefully Santa treated you right this year and it’s time to get the new gear up and on the mountain, we’ll see you there. ISSUE 125
WETSUITS // ISSUE NO. 125
4/3 Furnance Comp Chest Zip Fullsuit // $309.95
7 Seas 4/3 Fullsuit // $224.95
Neo Revo Jacket // $90
Advantage Plus 3/2 Fullsuit // $250
2016 Mens Comp TDC Eco 3/2 Fullsuit // $319.96
Red Cell 4/3 Slant Zip // $489.99
R1 Lite Yulex Front-Zip Fullsuit // $329
4/3 Highline Series Chest Zip Fullsuit // $324.95
Alpha Shield 333 Zipless Hooded Fullsuit // $489.95
Hyperflex_Vyrl Front Zip Fullsuit // $159.95
RB1B Rubber Bones Fullsuit 4/3 // $385
Full Neoprene Back Zip Wetsuit Jacket // $90
BLISSS MAGAZINE // ISSUE NO. 125
JOHN JOHN 2X CHAMP:
JOHN JOHN WINS WORLD TITLE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW
WORDS // SPENCER PIRDY - PHOTO // WSL
The current state of the World Championship Tour is an exciting one. John John Florence just clinched his second World Title on the final day of the season at his home break. It was a storybook ending, if you will, and exactly what surfing needed. Maybe some don’t see it this way, but there’s more than a few reasons why John John deserves this more than any other surfer on tour right now. Raised in the tide pools of Pipeline, John John has been in the spotlight since he’s been in diapers, or that cute little O’Neill spring suit he used to wear in movies like Thicker Than Water. We could all see at that point that he was destined for greatness. So, what makes what he’s accomplished feel so good and incredible? Well, let’s start with coming from a fatherless home. There are far too many stories of child prodigies who had their careers go down the drain because they couldn’t handle the fame and fortune thrown their way, or because a broken home life had caught up with them. John was able to navigate the pressure and distractions in a way few really have. Maybe it was the way John’s mom raised three boys, making a point to take them traveling all over the world and exposing them to different cultures and ways of life. Regardless of what it is, John John finds ways to consume his time that are extremely healthy and unlike any other professional surfers before his time. John enjoys sailing from island to island with close friends, flying planes and expanding his level of knowledge as much as possible and in his own way. These are unique and healthy outlets that John chooses while others might opt for the party scene. Then there’s the competitive drive that John has within him. For a while his ferocity and determination in a jersey didn’t seem to be present. Then, that all changed. The best part of his competitive side is that he allows his pure surfing to do the talking. Unlike other competitors, there are no blocking tactics deployed, no illogical head games used. He just lets positioning, paddling and prowess do the talking. If that’s not good enough, and often times it hasn’t been, John doesn’t kick and scream. He keeps a calm demeanor, he does his interviews in a respectable fashion, and he gives credit where credit is due. He wins and loses like a man. And that’s commendable. Basically, what John John Florence exudes is a close to picture-perfect role model for today’s youth. This is what we need, what we want and the type of surfer that should be winning World Titles if we want this sport to be taken seriously. We should be rooting for him, because he is the American surfing dream. All hail John John, and let him reign until someone who deserves it more can dethrone him.
BLISSS MAGAZINE // ISSUE NO. 125
WORDS // LIZ RICE MCCRAY
Welcome William Fort, a super talented artist that produces pencil and charcoal drawings in which he explores the realm between the serious and the ridiculous… Rendered with an unsettling amount of detail, his drawings often contain wordplay and juxtaposition, which give them an absurd quality. Make sure to check out all of his art at www.williamfort.com and read our interview if you are so inclined. Many thanks to William for taking the time to answer our questions. Hi William, let’s start with the obvious, why art? I’ve always loved drawing when I was younger, but I never thought of it as an art form. It was only after discovering work by artists like Robert Longo, Eric Yahnker and Karl Haendel that I realized that drawings can be art too. So in recent years drawing has almost become something obsessive. I’m always thinking about the next big piece or how to improve my skillset. It’s something that occupies my mind 24/7 and it’s just something that I have to do.
So what comes first the drawing or the title? Will you tell us about the process of conception? This varies, but usually the title and idea for the drawing come at the same time. For me the title is just as important as the drawing, because that usually gets the laugh. It’s kind of like the punch line to a joke. The Ideas or titles for drawings usually come to me when I’m not drawing. When I think they’re good I’ll write them down on my to do list and just let them sit there for some time.
Where are you now? I’m in Antwerp, Belgium, trapped in my home due to a snow blizzard.
What sort of effect do you hope your art will have on viewers? I just want to get a laugh and some amazement out of my audience. I think the art world often takes itself way to serious and my work is a sort of reaction to that.
We are smitten with your pencil and charcoal drawings. Will you please tell us about your latest ongoing body of work? My latest solo exhibition was entitled “The End Is Here.” It featured mostly absurd and satirical large-scale drawings about the big world problems that we face these days. Nuclear war, Trump, global warming and bad matches on Tinder were just some of the subjects in the exhibition. It is also the first time I tried drawing with charcoals and pastels.
Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process? Before I start drawing I usually go to my to do list. If the idea for a drawing is still funny or smart after some time (for example a couple of months), I’ll probably draw it. By taking some time between the mental conception and the execution of the drawing, I think I avoid making work that’s only good in the moment. So when I’ve decided on what to draw, I start collecting reference material and making some sketches. Once decided on basic composition and working material, I just start drawing. I also tend to work on more drawings at once if they are bigger. This keeps the drawing process more varied and fun.
Would you call yourself a perfectionist? I am absolutely a perfectionist. For example, I can spend hours on a drawing just to get the smallest detail right. But by doing this I unfortunately lose a lot of time. So currently I’m training myself not to be so detail oriented, something which is not so easy. What kind of art do you like? Do you collect art? I’m not that big of an art collector myself but I like art that’s smart, funny or really skillful. Some of my favorite artists are Robert Longo, Maurizio Cattelan, Robert McNally… If you were not an artist, what do you think you would be? I’d probably be a professional hand model. Very last question. Any last words for our readers, shout outs, declaration of love or hate. Thanks to BL!SSS and R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen, we miss you!
Jeremy Jones // Utah photo // JP Walker
ENJOY THE JOURNEY. LEAVE NOTHING BEHIND.
BLISSS MAGAZINE // ISSUE NO. 125
WORDS // LIZ RICE MCCRAY
Welcome to the mag Mario Mankey. His moniker, a combination of man and monkey, toys with the ideas of manifesting the underlying contradictions between human and primate. Working with human behaviors to uncover the disturbing, Mankey focuses mainly on the eternal contradictions of the modern individual as a result of their ambitions and limitations. Make sure to check out more of Mario Mankey’s art at www.mariomankey.com. Hello Mario Mankey, how about we start with your name, how and when did it evolve? Hello! I started writing graffiti on 2001 as Mankey, painting chimps doing reprehensible human stuff. Around 2014 I added Mario, to manifest the latent contradiction between the person and the primate. Where and what are you doing currently? Currently I’m living and working in Berlin, and sometimes I spend some weeks in my hometown, a little coastal city close to Valencia. I haven’t been to Berlin in years, what’s the current art scene like there? I can talk mostly about the street art scene. It’s still interesting, the gentrification still didn’t kill the scene at all, we are surviving, but I guess not for so long. Other creatives are coming from the cities that are already gentrified. Let’s see how it goes and how far the politics want to keep one of the idiosyncratic aspects of the city. I can also say the city still has the power to free the minds. That’s nice for life, and of course helps to develop a daring art scene. So tell us what are some human behaviors you find disturbing? That’s a long list, but it can mostly be summarized with careless, unconsciousness and selfishness. I also expected to see us being better prepared humans for the challenges of this 21st century.
I really enjoyed your Installation in room number 502 in The Haus, “Ego Erectus,” will you tell us about that project? Thank you. I’m happy to have done that installation. I tried to do it in an abandoned factory in the Berliner Winter three years ago; made out of paper, and of course it didn’t work. So, on The Haus I had the opportunity to do it well and with a great audience to share it with. It was an important opportunity because the concept would not be well understood on a smaller scale or with a different technique. What medium do you mainly work with? Currently I spend more time painting with oil on canvas. Ten years ago I used to paint a lot of illegal murals. I wanted to explore techniques and new ways of aesthetics but I never had enough time to experiment on the level I would liked to have. So, on canvas I can explore, break and cover, it’s where I feel more comfortable creating. But my dream is to paint a big nice wall, with the quality, metaphors, deepness and aesthetics as I do in my paintings. Where can our reader check out more of your art? Digitally, I use Instagram to update all the new works, @mariomankey. And the artworks are available for viewing through Swinton Gallery in Madrid and The Art Union in Berlin. Any last words for our reader? The saddest thing in life is wasted talent. And those words can be as deep as you are… Thank you, please keep in touch.
BLISSS MAGAZINE // ISSUE NO. 125 photography / dominic petruzzi / @dominicpetruzzi model / megan samperi / @megan_samperi agency / no ties / @notiesmodels
refine it, “test it,” etcetera?
BLISSS MAGAZINE // ISSUE NO. 125
Being raised by a sailor lends opportunity for a clear path to share in your
fatherâ€™s passion for the sea and turn it into your own. Frenchman Ben Thouard was fascinated by the ocean since day one, and with the help of his parents and siblings he was given enough knowledge to pave a career of his own. This photographic career, which began when he was only 15, saw Ben relocate to French Polynesia and collect worldwide recognition. Ben captures images that a normal photographer canâ€™t, and even in a picturesque place like Tahiti he has proved time and time again that he can re-invent the wheel of photography with his own style and stamp.
BLISSS MAGAZINE // ISSUE NO. 125
Couldn’t help but notice from your Instagram that you were in our neck of the woods a little while back, what goes on over here for you? Oh yeah, good eye. LA was on my route as I was on my way to France for a job and decided to stop over for a few days. I had a few people to see in Cali and wanted to enjoy a few days here with my family as well. Always cool to stop by and show my work to some people and work on projects. Tahiti is a beautiful place but very isolated from the rest of the world. You currently live in Tahiti right? Where did you grow up and how did you land in Tahiti? Yes correct, I’ve been living in Teahupoo, Tahiti for the last ten years but I was born in the South of France originally. I’ve been a surfer since a young age, discovered photography as a teenager and traveled to Maui, Hi for the first time at the age of 19 to start shooting windsurfing photos. This is where everything started for me. Following that, I traveled the world alongside the best windsurfers to shoot travel stories for magazines. At that time I had a flat in Paris because it was close to the airport but I would spend ten months a year travelling. This is how I discovered Tahiti in 2007 and somehow I never came back and it became home. How did you get into photography? I picked up an old camera from my father at home, just for fun, somehow got attracted by it and bought a few rolls and started shooting my friends surfing. I’ve always been amazed and inspired by the photos I was seeing in surfing magazines and wanted to capture some of my friend’s greatest moments.............................................................................
Photography quickly became a big passion and very soon became
my whole life.
I did a photography school in Paris but did not go all the way to the end. I built my own water housing and flew to Hawaii instead. That was it for me, I was hooked.
Whose photography inspired you growing up? And whose photography inspires you now? There are many names in photography of course, but talking about surf photography I was really inspired by the work of guys like Jeff Divine, Aaron Chang and more. When I was younger, seeing photos of the waves from Hawaii or from far away destinations would make me dream. Later, when I started getting interested in photography, guys like Scott Aichner would just blow my mind. Like many, I was speechless looking at his crazy angles. Today, I really enjoy the work of guys like Chris Burkard for the adventure and Paul Nicklen for his engagement into environmental preservation and of course my friend Ray Collins, whose work inspires me everyday. What really gets the juices flowing for you when it comes to shooting these days? I’m really into ocean photography more than ever. Shooting water from the water basically. Spending time in the ocean to get new images is where I get my inspiration.
Just being alone out there and shooting what I want is my thing. I’m currently busy on a personal project that I’ve been working on for the last two years and should hopefully be released in 2018. I’ll keep you posted on that.
PREVIOUS SPREAD // RAINBOW TOP LEFT // JOHN JOHN FLORENCE, TOP RIGHT // HEIARII WILLIAMS, BOTTOM RIGHT // DION ATKINSON
Who’s your favorite subject to shoot at Teahupoo? Huh, tough question. There are a couple really good surfers out there, but I love shooting with my friend Michel Bourez and we always try to score good conditions together. Working with him is really easy and I love it. There are some younger and killer locals such as Matahi Drollet and Tikanui Smith that are really pushing the limits. But when it comes to Teahupoo, I mean there are so many good and stylish surfers who come over every year that in the end my favorite subject is just Teahupoo and its amazing shape.
conjuresup a verycompleteandhighlyfinishedpiece
Who are five of your favorite surfers that you’ve had the opportunity to shoot during your career? Definitely Michel Bourez but also John Florence, Kelly Slater, Dane Gudauskas and Raimana Van Bastolaer when it’s big. Looks like most of your shooting is done in the water, do you shoot from land much? Yeah, I love shooting in the water and this is where I spend the most of my time. Shooting in the water is like really sharing the session with your mates. I love feeling the water moving around me and positioning myself in the right spot to get the shot. It’s a challenge for every wave and it’s endless. Shooting from land or from the boat is different, you don’t have the same connection with the surfers and the ocean but it can give you a different and pulled back perspective that you can’t get from the water. I shoot from land for that kind of angle. I like both but I would just rather jump in the water with my camera, and shooting from land in Tahiti is rarely an option. Do you have a favorite all-time photo you’ve shot? Probably my
underwater photo of Landon McNamara, that I’ve named The Silver Surfer. What’s your camera quiver look like? Are you trying out new gear often? I have a main camera body, Canon EOS 1DXmII, and a second one for different shooting or as a back up camera, Canon EOS 5DSR. I mostly use prime lenses. In the end, shooting in Tahiti often requires the same lenses or maybe it’s because of my choices and me. I mainly use a fish eye, a 24mm, a 50mm, and a 70/200mm for 90% of all my photos. All this gear locked in an Aquatech Delphin and Elite housing with all kind of different front ports. I don’t really buy new gear very often. I like the gear that I know and own. It just depends on what comes out and what I need to shoot but nothing would ever beat a good old prime 50 lens. Where’s your favorite place on earth to travel? The Tuamotu Archipelago I think. I mean, there would be many unreal places but because it’s close to home and such an unreal destination and trip every time I go there.
I’m always amazed by these islands and the lifestyle there, it’s so unique. Any books or shows in the work for you? Yeah, it’s still a little early to say much about it but there should be something interesting coming out in 2018. So stay tuned. Be sure to check out his website, www.benthouard.com, Facebook (@Ben.Thouard.Photography) and/or Instagram, @benthouard.
LEFT // RAIMANA VAN BASTOLAER
What would you expect when two idiosyncratic, creative, passionate, courageous, engaged, mischievous and curious jokesters
collaborate on an important endeavor together? Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy’s latest contribution to the literary world offers one wonderful answer, the unexpected. They have managed to take on the very serious topic of environmental crisis with upbeat, humorous, informative and beautiful abandon. Following their previous works, Extinct Boids (2012) and Nextinction (2015), Critical Critters is the third collaboration between artist/cartoonist Ralph Steadman and filmmaker/conservationist, Ceri Levy. The “Gonzovationists,” as they call themselves, hope that through this epic trilogy covering extinct and critically endangered animals, they can awaken and spur other Gonzovationists to action
Ralph Steadman is a Welsh-born, world-renowned artist
with a wide and wild repertoire from truculent political caricatures, book illustrations, beer, wine and musicians’ labels to the numerous books and articles he illustrated for his old creative partner (counterculturist and founder of the Gonzo journalism movement) Hunter S. Thompson. Known for his unique, spontaneous, and uncompromising style, Steadman is the recipient of numerous awards including the “Francis Williams Book Illustration Award” for Alice in Wonderland, the “American Society of Illustrators’ Certificate of Merit,” the “W H Smith Illustration Award” for I Leonardo, the “Dutch Silver Paintbrush Award” for Inspector Mouse, the “Italian Critica in Erba Prize” for That’s My Dad, the “BBC Design Award” for postage stamps, the “Black Humor Award” in France and several Designers and Art Directors Association The charming Ceri Levy is a writer, filmmaker, producer and catalyst – bringing together talented people from various fields to promote awareness of important global issues. He started with directing music videos and moved into documentaries and now writes for various venues. In Critical Critters his style is marked by his tendency for “beastly sneers and callous observations,” as noted on the books cover.
INTERVIEW // LIZ RICE MCCRAY
Together Steadman and Levy aspire to awaken and inspire the layman to get involved in the fight to protect our furry and feathered friends who share this beautiful yet broken habitat with us. As in their prior works, the book weaves in diary-style a record of the creative madness that inevitably ensues when these two brilliant minds work together. Via their preferred avenues of satire and raucous wit, s, they plan to drag coupled with Steadman’s explosive, sometimes gruesome but always captivating illustration delicate species the for you into their world, the one in which we all live, and to enlist you irrevocably into the fight time to answer the taking that we are rapidly losing. Many Thanks to the lovely Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy for importantly most and our questions. And special thanks are in order to Rachel Ewen of Bloomsbury Publishing happen. interview this Sadie Williams for making
We’re always curious where people are at the present time that we interview them; will you please describe where you are right now? This way everyone reading along can imagine the setting. Ralph: I am in the kitchen eating a home grown apple and cleaning my dear daughter Sadie’s pie dish, in which she cooked us a delicious potato dauphinoise. I was determined to clean off every last burnt area of milk burn from the pottery impressions on the dish. Ceri: I am sat at my computer drinking a cup of filthy tea from a cup that Ralph hates and looking out over the garden on an ingloriously miserable damp grey English September morning. It’s meant to be late summer but we have bypassed the whole summer season this year and we are heading into the darkness of autumn. Cheerful, huh?
So when someone asks, “What do you do?” how do you answer? Ralph: Attempt to change the world with every line – and I have succeeded! It is now worse than it was when I started. And Ceri is the cause of my stiff neck from all the signing we did at a talk we did in Rutland as I realised that it hurts when I flick my wrist. Ceri: I always get the blame for everything and here we go again! That’s my role at times, to bear the weight of Ralph’s barbs! I guess I would say I do whatever comes next. As I have got older I have found it exciting to This has led to interesting projects appearing. So I guess I would say I’m a filmmaking writer of a Gonzovationist!
say “yes” more than to say “no.”
You two have such a creative, humorous, mischievous and productive relationship, how did this collaboration start? Ralph: I answered his [Ceri’s] request to produce one extinct bird drawing for an exhibition and I did 99 approximately!
You both have been very informed and far from naive about politics. We take seriously your noting that global environmental issues are the most important political concern at this time. How do you hope Critical Critters will address this? Ralph: We are all animals – we are supposed to be the most intelligent but I don’t think it’s true. If anything, I think we are getting more idiotic by the year. Some of the pictures inform a reader/viewer by expression sometimes accidental and with the aid of Skype we have managed to chat things through and I say to Ceri, write that down. Unfortunately we did think of the funniest joke ever and I did not tell him to write it down. When we had finished laughing we could not remember it! If you find it, do let us know! Ceri: It actually was the funniest joke ever! Possibly too funny for the rest of mankind. It could have led to the collapse of the modern world, which may not be a bad thing. Our wildlife may get a chance to survive again. I hope Critters inspires people to look into the world around them and see what they can do to help the world around us survive a little better than it is at the moment. How about an attempt at explaining what a “Gonzovationist” is, and how it differs from an environmentalist? Ceri: “I’m a Gonzovationist, an alternative conservationist.” I believe a Gonzovationist is any normal regular person who decides to support and help conservation continue its work. We are the untrained who care. We are the people who want to mobilise but need to know what to do. This is the problem with conservation today. Everyone wants you to tick a like box or donate $3 a month for this cause but that is not enough for us. We want to participate and conservationists have not really addressed how to utilise the many people who care. It is not enough to stand by and watch in this age of instant information. We want to be hands on. That may be as simple as planting a particular bush that butterflies like, or certain plants that appeal to great pollinators. It could be signing up for voluntary work to help adapt land for the benefit of creatures… It could be anything as long as it gets us out of our armchairs and connects us with nature.
sometimes accidental enlightenment,
Ralph: Well, the attitude that I explain of which is what it is, makes the surprising discovery into a Gonzotic experience and I don’t know if you know this but the word “Gonzo” is Portuguese and means “hinge,” so Gonzo is unhinged.
Ceri: I remember waiting for months for a reply from Ralph and when it came I wasn’t disappointed. At first, he replied, “I have no idea what you want from me but it sounds intriguing! We should talk.” And we haven’t stopped since!
Why use humor to address such a serious question to [as you have said] “massage the message?” Ralph: If you can introduce a smile into such a serious subject it makes people think and it attracts others who may not bother to look if it were that serious. Ceri: Exactly. Get them laughing and the audience engages and the payback for laughter is the serious knowledge that follows. Well, that’s the idea and sometimes it will work and sometimes it won’t. Though your previous books were indeed very lively and humorous, they also included many interesting facts. What information is included in Critical Critters? What assumptions of the reader might be challenged? Ceri: That everything is all right! We live in a period of time where big business runs the world. Businessmen now run countries and by the laws of business will deny there are problems within the world such as climate change. This is an economic age where every cent is important, much more so than the life of a bee or a wolf or the ecosystems of the world. We need to regress a little but I fear that will not happen until it may be too late. Economics are not progress.
Damage is done to find the dollar.
Ralph: A lot of people will hopefully say, “Damn, now I will have to give up my membership of the shooting club.” We are dangerously close to making terrorist attitudes a more everyday experience and that includes animals as well as humans. Mr. Steadman, how does your creative approach to drawing animals and bird species differ from drawing politicians or other questionable people? Ralph: I started using my dirty water technique. I throw dirty water from the water I wash my brushes in, down onto white paper, 300gsm, and wait three days at least for it dry. The surprising result and effects encourage me to use my inventive aptitude and it challenges me to draw something that simply would not be there before.
There is nothing more challenging than a white sheet of paper. Mr. Steadman, you are legend and your portfolio is massive. The scope of your work is so impressive, spanning decades, can 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? Ralph: I tried everything else first. Is there a project that sticks out in your memory as pivotal to launching your career as a world-renowned artist? Ralph: Meeting Hunter S. Thompson in 1970. He was the one person in the entire world (oops, excuse me, my wife has just sneezed) who I needed to meet. So I bought the ticket and took the ride!
How has your style changed and your attitude to your work over the years? Ralph:
It has become much freer.
Have there been mentors, people (past or present), circumstances or life events that have and/ or continue to influence your creativity, approach, outlook, etc.? Ralph: George Grosz, Andre Francois, Picasso and my dear teacher and mentor, Leslie Richardson. You have a crazy list of people you have worked with. Will you tell us a few of your favorites? Ralph: Hunter Thompson, Tim Robbins, Will Self – from whom I learnt the word exegetical. So for example, feeding the 5000 was an exegetical story. What artists are you really into right now and do you collect art? Anything in particular? Ceri: I collect art and sometimes Ralph looks at it sniffily. But I do love some of the modern artists around and at the moment I am particularly interested in Augustine Kofie and have recently bought a large canvas by him. He’s one of L.A.’s finest! I’ll send you a picture and Ralph likes it too. I also collect art from the 60’s including South American op artists.
What would your theme song be… or song to take into the fray of activism to help change the world? Ralph: Bob Dylan’s “There’s something going on, but you don’t know what it is, do ya’ Mr Jones.” Ceri: Today’s tune that works for that is “Have Some Love” by Childish Gambino. Ralph’s track is actually called “Ballad of a Thin Man.” Mr. Steadman, I just received your 7” vinyl record, “The Man Who Woke Up in the Dark,” and really enjoyed the song. Are you the one singing? Ralph: Yes, I am the one singing. I was a choirboy! I learned to play the guitar with Alan Hodgkin who played with Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France. Django played with only two fingers. Will you give some words of wisdom about life, the environment, politics and creativity? Ralph: Doesn’t matter how thick a pane of glass is, you can always break it with a heavy hammer! Ceri: Do it so you mean it. This may be a depressing question but when it’s all said and done how would you like to be remembered? Ralph: The man who swam every day in a very cold pool! Ceri: To be remembered is not a bad place to start. Do you have any upcoming projects you can share with us? Ralph: The book that has no pictures, I am working on. Also there is a retrospective of my work planned next year, touring the USA. It starts in Washington next June. Very last question, any last words for our readers, shout-outs, declarations of love or hate? Ralph:
You can shout by all means but not in hate.
Ceri: We want everyone to shout out, “I’m a Gonzovationist!”
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Texas is the reason.
It’s home to the biggest skatepark in the USA. You can find this month’s featured photographer Lee Leal there to capture the stoke. It’s not easy trying to juggle and multi-task a handful of duties. Lee acts as photographer and team manager for Embassy Skateboards, a Texas based skateboard company that he manages along with his wife GiGi and John “TEX” Gibson. He’s been putting his camera to work since the 70’s. “My first camera was a Yashica. Shooting with film was always fun,” says Lee. He says his early influences were James Cassimus, Ted Terrebonne, Glenn Friedman, Jim Goodrich and MoFo. One of his most memorable images is the Chris Miller shot at Upland that J. Grant Brittain took. At the time it was so creative to put the camera on a stick. Lee is always up for a road trip. “Getting to travel around the globe doing what I love has been a blessing.” Every year he takes his Embassy crew to Australia, Europe and Brazil. “I’ve never been to Asia, so that’s on the bucket list. Taking action photos is no easy task. There’s so many variables that come into play: the lighting, angle, place, skate trick and camera, along with so many other variables have to be perfect.” One of his proudest moments is having his picture of Tony Hawk displayed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. “It’s a picture I took at the 80’s ALL DAY in Orlando, Florida. I was in the right place at the right time.” He’s doing a tuck knee invert.
What made you get into skate photography, and at the time, did you think this was gonna be a career move? The first time I saw Steve Olson skate a pool in the mag. I’ve always loved taking pictures, I consider it an art form. I always knew I’d be involved in photography. Now I have to keep up with the “Joneses.” Keeping a presence on social media has created that job. Always being in demand of updated content (for Embassy) keeps me busy. Currently I shoot for JUICE Magazine, World Cup Skateboarding and AIS, just to name a few.
We had the first metal vert ramp EVER, the “Kahuna,” built for speed, feel the steel.
You’ve been doing this [taking skate photos] for longer than a lot of readers have even been alive, what are some of the pros and cons about the digital era we live in today? And what would you say you miss the most about shooting film? Personally, I haven’t discovered any cons yet with DSLR cameras. Everything is at your fingertips. You can review the shot real time. It’s easier to setup the “slave mode” when shooting wireless flash. Most DSLR’s are equipped with video capabilities, and HD. It’s a good time for taking pictures. With shooting film, the margin of error is very thin. The film had to be certain speed. Faster 400, 800, 1600 shutter speed for action or dark lighting situations. Film has to be developed. I learned how to use a darkroom and chemicals in high school. There’s also the element of surprise, when you have 24 or 36 shots and only five are good. The final outcome using film cannot be matched with digital photography.
n they e to get confin-
So Lee, tell us what you think about the current skate scene in Texas and how that’s all changed in last few decades? Let’s go back three decades during the vert renaissance. We had the first metal vert ramp EVER, the “Kahuna,” built for speed, feel the steel. The culture has changed, and it’s always evolving. Street skating has become mainstream. We grew up with punk rock blasting out the speakers. Nowadays it’s Hip Hop. Texas is home to the biggest skatepark in the country. It’s a Grindline build park and has the huge bowl shaped like Texas. The scene is strong in Texas. “Kingsfest” is something to look forward to each November. It’s our version of “Skatopia”. There are DIY spots popping up everywhere, the STOKE is real.
Embassy Skateboards, tell us a bit about them and what your role is for their growing success? I actually wear lot of hats with that. We started Embassy in the heart of the recession in 2009. John “Tex” Gibson is my business partner. I grew up with most of the OG Texas dudes: Gibson, Ken Fillion, Todd Prince, Craig Johnson and Troy Chason. We built the foundation on the history and the Texas vibe. Henry Gutierrez from Virginia Beach brought me Collin Graham at a Jeff Phillips Tribute in 2010 we had in Dallas. I’ll never forget. He said, “Lee, I brought you a present.” Collin kills it! Social Media plays a big part in developing a brand. We’ve been blessed to have a top shelf artist in Shane Munce. He and I get together and develop the graphics. His style is perfect for us. It’s a total group effort from everyone involved. I wanted to have the Texas Outlaw Renegade feel to it. There are 20 rippers on the roster from every time zone, from Dave Duncan in Cali to Ivan Federico in Italy. We’re a little ole’ brand from Texas leaving a trail of dust in the wind.
The walls are bigger th were ten years ago and I li loose so spray paint is too ing for me.
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“I wanted to have the Texas Outlaw Renegade feel to it… We’re a little ole’ brand from Texas leaving a trail of dust in the wind.” Who are some up-and-coming skaters that we should keep an eye on and what makes them so special? In the vert world, it’s Moto Shibata from Japan; he’s from another planet…. Jimmy Wilkins, Alex Perelson. Up and coming, I’m a Kiko Fransisco fan, pure style and creativity.
When it’s all said and done, how would you like to be remembered? Everybody wants something positive. I’m just a simple guy, living by the Golden Rule. I do it with integrity, honesty and a big attitude! Anyone you’d like to thank or give a shout-out to? I’d like to thank Chris Ortiz and BL!SSS for the opportunity. Everybody that is true to the core, who keeps the vibe alive. And all the OG photographers for the inspiration.
If you could shoot just one last session, who would it be with and where? Jay Adams and Christian Fletcher surfing perfect left barrels at Pipeline.
Texas is the reason. Texas is the reason.
Texas is the reason.
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INTERVIEW & PHOTOS // TOM CAREY
Noa Deane might currently be the most publicized surfer of modern times.
His whirlwind of a career and loose attitude has landed him in hot water on more than one occasion but what’s undeniable is his ability to grab, and hold, people’s attention. Whether it’s his uncanny ability to ride a surfboard like he’s at a skatepark, his nonchalant attitude or the fact that he absolutely rips the guitar, there’s no denying that Noa is here to stay. We first met Noa more than half a decade ago, on a trip to Australia, around a campfire in Byron Bay. As I walked up to the group of groms who were drinking beers and talking shit my brother mumbled under his breathe, “You know who that is?” After a blank stare he then said, “Don’t worry, you will.” That was my intro to Noa Deane, before his Surfer’s Journal cover and before many knew who Noa Deane was across the pond. Now a full-fledged surf super star, we asked Tom Carey to track him down and pick his brain about
where life has brought him since then.
- Joey Marshall
“It was actually Jim Beam though, when we were like 16 or something, because the club was sponsored by Jim Beam…”
Are you psyched to hang around those Volcom skaters like Jackson and Dollin when they’re around? They’re all so sick. All so nice. You get star struck around those guys? Ya, literally. Dollin definitely. I’ve looked up to him for ages. He’s such a fucking legend. And he’s just so nice though. It seems like you’d get star struck around him and then you meet him and he’s just so nice and you meet him and you don’t really think about it. You’re just so psyched to hang out with him. Kind of like Ozzie (Wright). You’re like, “What the fuck.” Ozzie’s just the biggest legend.
Tell us about growing up on the Goldie, what was it like growing up there? I grew up at Snapper pretty much. And I just surfed a shitload as a grommet and went to school and that was pretty much all I did. I was pretty young. My dad got me into it and I just loved it so much and I then I guess I just kind of fired it up, you know. When did you start going to comps? I think I did my first ones when I was like 10 or 11? I think it was the Occy Grom Comp I did. I did club comps before that but I think my first proper comp was Occy’s Grom Comp. Were you in a boardriders club? Ya, I’m in Snapper. And you’re still in that? Ya. I haven’t been to a club round in a while, but ya.
Do you believe that help your surfing a lot when you’re a grom? Growing up in one of those clubs and of all the legends that are involved in it? Ya, I think definitely. Every comp that we had or where the boys were around the comp, like Joel or Dean, which was pretty sick when you were a grom, like 12 years old. That was pretty fucking sick. At the end of the year there’s a big comp where everyone got to surf verse each other. And I think that was a really good one that pushed everyone. It would be pretty cool to surf a heat against someone like Joel or Deano, when you’re like 12, you know? Would you come out of the water and drink a few beers with those guys as a grom? Ya, haha, ya. It was actually Jim Beam though when we were like 16 or something because the club was sponsored by Jim Beam, I think. It was pretty fucking heavy. When did you start skateboarding? I started pretty young I think. But I kind of did the same thing I did with the guitar I think. I started and then stopped and kind of picked it back up when I was 16 or something. Me and my friend Sam were bored because the waves were so shit in the summer at that time and we just said, “fuck it” and fired skateboarding back up and just got really into it. And I kind of just haven’t stopped. Who are your favorite skaters? I think Brian Herman is my favorite of all time. He’s so sick. I just love Baker 3 and watching Andrew Reynolds and Dollin (Dustin) and those guys are just so psycho. And Jim Grecco as well. And now Ishod Wair has been skating so good. Also, the Aussie dudes like Jackson Pilz are sick to watch. There’s just so many good dudes to watch now.
How was it living with Ozzie and being on the team with him? It was pretty fucking funny, eh. Like we’d just hang out in his garage and talk shit and go for a surf and I’d just watch him do art or we’d just jam. It was pretty fucking cool, eh? Has he helped you musically and/or artistically? Ya, I think so for sure. I think for the most part if you’re unsure about something, Ozzie will back you up and make you do it. He’ll tell you you should do it and not be a pussy about everything. Or not even being a pussy. But do stuff and not be too judgmental about things. It’s your life and everyone’s going to like it or it doesn’t matter if they don’t. You know what I mean? He’s just so positive and not in a bad way. He’s not all weird about it. He just wants to fire shit up. Which is just the best person to have around. Which makes everyone else just want to fire up as well. He found the fountain of youth somehow. I don’t know how but he did. It’s pretty crazy. Ya, he’s insane, huh?
What’s some of the music you’re listening to right now? I’ve been listening to heaps of Sonic Youth right now. And heaps of Dinosaur Jr. and some Jesus and Mary Chain as well. Kind of just those two right now. But heaps of it. They’re so sick. Dinosaur Jr. is so sick. How much do they influence your band? I’d say a fair bit. Cuz I think it’s just real guitar heavy stuff, you know? There’s a lot of guitar in there and I think that’s what mine is like too, you know? A lot of guitar going on in there. How’s your band doing? I got a new album coming out. Or I think its coming out. Its called “Bouncy Ball.” It’s kind of weird trying to put it out on your own. I was just about to ask Droid (Andrew Doheny) how he did it. Because I wanted to get it on my Spotify and not just BandCamp. Have you ever been booed off stage before? No, I don’t think I’ve ever been booed off before but that would be sick. A couple of times I’ve played too loud and made peoples ears bleed and it just fucks them up. And I don’t think they were too stoked. Which is pretty good. What are some of your favorite songs to cover? Um… I like Jesus and Mary Chain, “Head On.” That’s my favorite one to cover. And I’ve only done it with Droid a couple of times but “The Pash.” I can’t remember who it’s by, but it’s on Doped Youth (surf flick by Ozzie Wright) and I’ve only ever played it with Droid but it’s a cool one to cover. I’ve maybe covered a Melvins song a couple of times.
Which one? “Night Goat?” Ya, “Night Goat.” Sick. That’s my favorite song. Who’s your biggest influences musically? I like obviously Thurston Moore and J Mascis because they’re just the sickest guitarists. And I like heaps of other people too. I like Hanneman (Jeff Hanneman of Slayer) just because he has badass riffs. Like real badass. I like heaps of other people too. Fuck ya. I love Hanneman. Evil. Ya, so gnarly but his riffs are punk-like too, which is sick. And I really like the way Droid plays as well. He’s definitely one of my biggest influences as well. He’s so good. Did you go out to the East Coast and play together? Ya, but we didn’t practice at all, which sucked. We played like three of his songs and four of mine. I don’t know.
So what are you working on right now? I’m working on clips for my new clothing range coming out next year. I think it’s called “Noa’s Noise.” Ya, I’m just trying to make a super clip-heavy release for it. Where have you been filming? So far I’ve only filmed near home at the points and at Tallons. And I’m hoping to go to West Oz or Indo to get some slabs. So far it’s just been airs and turns. What was your first year on Volcom like? So sick. It was fucking so crazy hanging out with all of the boys. It was like I was a on a proper team now with Balaram, Coleborn, Ozzie and the couple of trips I did with them. And the Euro trip I did was fucked up. Even what we do with you Tom, and Richie is so fun. Getting the whole team vibe. Does your dad still make you boards? Ya, I’m trying to get him to make me more. They go sick. He does really good big wave boards. Like semi-guns and stuff. Can you critique your pops? Ya, he’s sweet. I just don’t think he can be fucked shaping 50 boards a year for me. He handshapes them and glasses them himself too. I kind of just get boards that are gonna last from him. He made me a couple concave deck boards and some bigger short boards that go pretty good. So it’s pretty sick to get boards from your dad. When I was a grom he was making me so many. Do you think that helped your surfing as a kid to have your dad shaping your boards? For sure it did. Having an understanding of your boards as a kid let me know how to talk to other shapers growing up and knowing what to ask them and what to tell them to change in a board. Have you shaped your own board yet? Ya I’ve shaped heaps. Maybe like 20 already. How’d they work? A few of them work but most are complete plugs. Would they work though for the average surfer? Are you being hard on yourself? Maybe, but I reckon a couple wouldn’t work for anyone. But the last one I shaped went all right. I kind of like it. What was it? It was a 6’3” with a rounded tail, heaps of rocker and pretty thin. And it was kind of a longer board for surfing points. And it actually goes pretty good. Kind of a cool hand shape. What would you name your surfboard company? You know, like Merrick is Channel Islands and Biolos is Mayhem. Actually, I kind of have a name with my dad already. It’s Snapper Rocks Surfboards. Ahahahaha. That’s too good, huh? Pretty fucking funny. That’s unreal. Hahaha. Ya, it’s pretty mental and the logo is kind of sick too. Ya, it’s some huge logo. It’s pretty torched. I’ll shape you a craft. Haha. ISSUE 125
So you didn’t catch any beatings over it? Nah. If you had said that stuff anywhere but Hawaii nothing would have happened. Ya but I get it. There were little kids around and I was swearing on TV and shit. Ya, the Hawaiian people were pissed. Are you gonna get the wildcard into the Volcom Pipe Pro? Ya, possibly. I’m psyched I guess. I don’t know how to surf comps very well but I’m looking forward to getting a good one at Backdoor hopefully.
“A couple of times I’ve played too loud and made peoples ears bleed and it just f*cks them up.”
Were people psyched on the East Coast to see you play? There was one show were only two people showed up to hear us play. And they sat in these big lawn chairs next to a cooler and they just sat there and listened to us play and drank the whole time. It was so funny. It was actually so sick. It was so hot out there and they probably hated us but they had their beer so they were so stoked. And then Droid played “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton and they were so stoked on him.
Let’s talk about Hawaii, are you cool to go back there? [Google Noa Deane 2014 Surfer Poll Awards] Ya, I didn’t wait to come back. And everyone was stoked that I came back and faced the music. After a year or so everyone seemed to forget about it.
How hard is it to get a wave out there by yourself? It’s so hard. Only wave I’ve gotten out there is when it was like closed out Off The Wall or waiting for a small one when it’s maxed out. Or a day when it’s usually only Pipe and a random right comes in, you know? Otherwise it’s impossible to get a wave. It’s crazy. And if you catch a wave you can paddle like ten feet and get right back out in a minute. People that surf it good deserve credit.
What are you going to say in your post heat interview? I love the WSL? Ya, totally. Haha. I think I’m gonna say what everyone else says. “Ya, I got lucky on a couple…” and just say something like that. Because fuck making any work for yourself these days.
I know you’re making a new “Rage” movie. How’s owning your own traction pad company? You guys doing good? Making some money? We’ve paid off what we’ve put into it if that’s what you mean by making money. We can make some super weird shit now and no one can tell us not to. But I’m sure no one will buy it though. Haha. What are your goals coming up? What’s up next for you? I want to get back into more of a routine of making videos you know? For a while there I was on a roll, going on strike missions and getting shit done. There was a lot of shit I was putting out that I was stoked on. And I want to keep that rolling. “Candle” I just put out and I was stoked on it. I just want to put out more stuff like that. Where it’s just s urfing and people are stoked! Ok, let’s wrap this up. If you had to pick one song to describe yourself, what would it be? Like mine would be “Amish Paradise” by Weird Al Yankovic. What would yours be? I don’t know? Maybe the Titanic song? I will always love you? Hahaha. Ya, the one by Celine Dion. I guess that one. It’s pretty good. Hahaha.
Sean Kerrick Sullivan
photos & words
Who is John Jackson? You might want to find out, but so does John Jackson. We know John is one of the best snowboarders out there, a big-hearted friend, an ethical businessman, a wild hippy, a hard worker, a teacher and a student. He’s the last person to make claims and he will tell you that he’s still trying to figure it all out,
just like you and me.
In a fake-it-till-you-make-it kind of world, where trending pro-athletes polish every turd they come home with, John strays far from the crowd, walking the path of do-it-till-you-make it. In the second season of his TV show, “The Book of John J,” viewers are invited to ride along behind the scenes with John on the road for the winter as he evolves as a human, and snowboarder. Heavy riding is the name of the game, but what you don’t see in other movies are the inevitable highs, lows, and self-discovery on the road as a top backcountry pro in a homebrew RV for six months, chasing the white wave. I spent over a month with John, Bjorn Leines and Shandy Campos in the heart of Interior BC for a few episodes, snowmobiling into the Alpine out of our home base in a tiny town with a population of something like 40. Every day it snowed and every night... it snowed. For about a month. It was isolation at its finest. A tight crew, working out of a small cabin with an ancient wood stove and nothing but pow and pillows to hunt every day. That’s what we like to see, but truthfully, I only felt sunshine on my skin for a grand total of 30 seconds the entire trip. It wasn’t easy. Bjorn and John ripped the place to shreds and we would have stayed forever but a warm spell blew in and when a school bus sized pillow peeled off of a face we were shooting and exploded towards the crew, we knew it was time to get back on the powder highway.
Every day it snowed and every night... it snowed. .
For about a month.
It was isolationat its finest.
A detour to Whistler got Johnnyboy some sunshine and powder, some of the best days of the year, but that ended as quick as it started and it was April, meaning time to migrate North to Alaska. We convinced Johns brother Eric to join us and the stoke was high. Our first top in Stewart revealed epic terrain basking in sunshine, but was absolutely destroyed by the wind. To add insult to our injury (we had drove 14 hours or something to get there) John’s snowmobile blew up, leaving us high and dry. And for the record, Stewart is in BC, on the Alaska border, and is notorious for skunking crews. It’s known for the worst mountain weather in North America, so to have even seen it under blue skies was a treat and we all were grateful for that. Two or three more days and nights of non-stop driving made up for the time lost in Stewart and as we pinned it to Valdez the northern lights guided the way every night… We were driving all the way! There are a lot of rights of passage in life and snowboarding, but the magnitude of the opportunity to hit this road with our crew was not lost upon us, as civilization fell further behind us, the natural world took us into her fold, the magnificence of the Yukon and Alaska is truly biblical. Words and photos will always fall short. We pulled into the Alaska Snowboard Guides parking lot around 2am. Welcomed with warm food and beverages, lead sled guide Justin Befu showed us the brand new snowmobile they had waiting for John, and showed us his maps. The weather was good, too windy to fly in the heli, but it was cold and the skies were blue. So if we were down to climb mountains and traverse glaciers on our snowmobiles, he would get us on the goods. You know we were down and with Japanese legend Shin Biyajama joining our crew, Ejack and John J went on the warpath, sled throttles pinned, blasting across multiple 10+ mile glaciers at 70pmh, hiking heli lines and staying out in the Chugach until after dark each night. Alaska had been destroyed by a month-long wind event that season and we had to go deep to get the goods. But had it been a normal year we would have had the same experience as every other paying heli client, albeit a little wilder, but we’ve all done that, and the opportunity to take the sleds out into the Chugach was one-of-a-kind. To look back and sum it all up, we spent more time learning about ourselves than we did actually snowboarding, but that’s the way life is supposed to be, it’s just funny to me that these days most people won’t admit it.
PREVIOUS SPRED // British Coumbia has some of the worlds deepest snow. If you try to call our phones in January or Februrary, please leave a message. THIS SPREAD - TOP LEFT // Scott Serfas has shot 25 TWS covers, hands down the most legendary lensman in snowboadring. TOP RIGHT // John J. Spine of God. LEFT // John Jackson surveys his handiwork while Shin Biyajama completes his line. ABOVE // Scott Penner, one of our good buds, showed us not only the goods, but how to ride them without bindings. Powsurf or die. ABOVE RIGHT // Bjorn always runs that blaze orange, funny how we end up flying around in a blaze orange heli. I think his sled was really happy to hang with that heli. RIGHT // Kooteney-style trailhead village. ISSUE 125
EVENTS // ISSUE NO. 125
2017 SURFER AWARDS:
JOHN JOHN AND CARISSA TAKE TOP HONORS...AGAIN - 12/06/2017 The Surfer Poll awards are an epic night on the North Shore and a one to look forward to during the winter season. Much like the WSL Awards at the beginning of the year on the Gold Coast, it’s a time for the best surfers in the world to get looking’ dapper and let loose for the night. This year’s Poll Awards were hosted by none other than surf comedian/impressionist Tyler Allen, along with the Matteson 2 – who for the second year in a row put on an epic performance. The night was not really full of surprises. We all nodded with most of the awards that Surfer gave out in a sense of saying, “Yep, we saw that coming.” The AI Breakthrough Award was quite possibly the most motivating award given out. Young San Clemente native and freshly qualified CT’er, Griffin Colapinto took home this esteemed award for going all out at Haleiwa and Sunset during the Triple Crown. Griff’s speeches and attitude are just as valuable as his surfing and he’ll be a true pleasure to watch on tour next year. Ian Walsh took the tube ride of the year for his in-the-jersey Jaws behemoth that immortalized him as one of the GOAT’s [Greatest Of All Time] in big wave surfing. In one of the “Surfer Salutes” of the night, Albee Layer finally received recognition for putting life and limb on the line for years and won himself the Maneuver Of The Year Award. John John Florence and Carissa Moore took home the top spots in each side of their respective polls and in one show of local support the North Shore Lifeguard Association won the Agent Of Change Award, and rightfully so for saving and protecting countless lives each year. Thanks to Surfer Magazine, Turtle Bay and the North Shore for always spicing up these awards and keeping things fresh each year.
PHOTOS // GRANT ELLIS left to right: Carissa Moore & John John Florence with the win / The Maui Boys / Ian Walsh - Best Barrel / The Irons clan with Griffin Colapinto for the A.I. Breakthrough Performer award / Kai Lenny Heavy Water / Albee Layer - Best Maneuver / Julian Wilson - Best Performance / North Shore Lifeguard Association- Agent of Change
EVENTS // ISSUE NO. 125
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS:
JEREMY FLORES 2 TIME PIPE MASTER - 12/18/2017 Normally the hype is never really lived up to as much as it’s proclaimed to be in sports. The NBA finals, the World Series, Stanley Cup or the World Surf League always seem to be previewed as much more grandiose events and then fall drastically short. This year’s Billabong Pipe Masters, although swell and conditions never coincided, was an exception to usual overhyped banter. With so much on the line and four surfers in the mix, there were sides being taken and bets wagered far before most of the top 34 even landed on the rock. If you had to really narrow down the frontrunners it was clear that Gabby and John had most votes and momentum. The first days of the Billabong Pipe Masters were fairly lackluster. In fact, the whole event was heavily slanted toward the opposite direction of Pipe and a Backdoor specialist event was in the works. In the early rounds regular foots like Julian Wilson, Jeremy Flores, Ethan Ewing and, of course, John John Florence were able to find gems in what looked to be seemingly playful Backdoor tubes. On the final day of competition everything was still on the line, but only the expected two of John and Gabriel were remaining for a chance at the title. Although John was on his home court you wouldn’t have believed that to be true by the sheer number of Brazilians cheering Gabby on the beach. Gabriel found a way to make it happen heat after heat until he ran up against Jeremy Flores in the quarterfinals. Jeremy is a former Pipe Master and knows the reef between Off the Wall and Ehukai better than most non-locals. Whether it was Gabriel peaking in the heat before, the lack of waves in that particular heat, Jeremy’s talent or a combination of all three, it was not Gabby’s day. Jeremy was the hero of the North Shore by the time their quarterfinal heat ended and John John was gifted his 2nd World Title as an early Christmas present. In the final, Jeremy and John John took one another on in what seemed like it was going to cap off a dream day for the Florence camp. However, with 30 seconds remaining and needing a 8.23 Jeremy Flores pulled a rabbit out of his hat and became a 2 X Pipe Masters Champ. Griffin Colapinto became the first Californian, even after missing out on a spot in the Pipe Masters, to win a Triple Crown and the AI Award. When it comes down to drama unfolding, the script could not have been written any better. Whether you are a fan of John John or not, he possesses a unique gift and lets his pure surfing do the talking. That’s someone that the sport of surfing needs atop the podium, and a face and class act that we can all support. Congrats, John!
PHOTOS // WSL left to right: Jeremy Flores victorious / Jeremy Flores / The Pipe Master and the World Champ / Kelly Slater / Julian Wilson / Joel Parkinson / Gabriel Medina / Ian Gouveia / John John Florence
EVENTS // ISSUE NO. 125
DEW TOUR BRECKENRIDGE:
WORDS // SKYLER WILDER
PHOTOS // ORTIZ
A few injuries, a lot of upsets and a new event format spun Dew Tour Breckenridge into a different direction December 14-17. Whether it is the progression of tricks and elite level of riding or the fun spirit of creativity and camaraderie with friends, snowboarding is rad. But competition has often butted heads with the laidback and loose lifestyle of carving lines on snow. Dew Tour, though, constantly works to keep things fresh, and this past weekend of competition reiterated their efforts.
left to right: Slopestyle champs Chris Corning, Max Parrot & Mons Roisland / Max Parrot for the win / Mons Roisland / Ozzy Henning / Superpipe champs Scotty James, Jake Pates & Ben Feguson / Ben Feguson / Jake Pates / Stale Sandbech / Team Challenge podium & Rome Snowboards for the win / Rene Rinnekangas
TEAM CHALLENGE, SUPERPIPE & SLOPESTYLE - 12/17/2017
First of all, Dew Tour relaunched their one-of-a-kind event, Team Challenge. Yeah, snowboarding is an individual sport, but there are definitely teams out there that make it fun to represent a group that you vibe with. When Burton Snowboards won the inaugural event it came with little surprised – they’re stacked with talent. Then, Rome Snowboards defeated them in year two. What made year two different? In addition to different riders representing for their team on rail sections and then jumps, the Superpipe came into play but it wasn’t the same old pipe. Modified Superpipe was the name of the new game, which came complete with a hip feature in and multiple rails to jib, and as head judge Tom Zikas said, “If we see a stock pipe run without hitting any of those features, it is likely going to get scored lower.” Get the full Team Challenge story on www.DewTour.com for the details on how Rome Snowboards’ non-pipe rider Rene Rinnekangas outscored greats like Danny Davis and how a final showdown between Mark McMorris and Stale Sandbech on the jumps locked in Rome for the win and relegated Burton into runners-up. The first big shocker of the men’s Superpipe finals came during the qualifier when Shaun White failed to advance. So, leading into the final it was wide open for the Ferguson brothers to leave their mark. Ben Ferguson, the elder of the brothers, qualified first while his brother Gabe qualified third, which reaffirms Dew Tour’s attention to creative style in events. However, the 19-year-old, Jake Pates outscored everyone in the final when he unleashed a trick he had never done, a backside double cork 1260 tail grab. Similar to Superpipe, the most dominant rider for Slopestyle in recent years had a hard time. Mark McMorris did manage to snag the final transfer spot into the final, but by the time the event was at its end he was ranked at eighth overall. Instead, Max Parrot was in an intense battle with seemingly lesser-known Chris Corning. Corning is well known within the slopestyle and big air field of regular competitors because he has been shown up and shut them out this past season on a couple of occasions. But Parrot had plans to take the win at Dew Tour, and he edged out Corning to do exactly that. “I’ve been doing Dew Tour for seven years, and in the past I’ve always tried to push it with runs that are a little bit too hard,” admitted Parrot. “This year I really took a step back and thought through every single trick I would do… That’s what I did, and it put me on top.”
EVENTS // ISSUE NO. 125
MICKEY AVALON X LANDON MCNAMARA:
RVCALOHA TOUR 2017 - 12/08/2017 Being on the North Shore of Oahu during the winter season has become one of our favorite times of the year to visit Hawaii. Not only is their typically bombing swell on tap, but it’s when all the big surf companies invade the island and every night seems to have something amazing going on. A decade ago it was all about the big name surf brands and extravagant house parties but lately the boys and girls from the RVCA camp have really taken over and have dubbed their invasion RVCAloha. And with no set definition of what RVCAloha actually is, we’ve come to interpret it as the six weeks that the RVCA team makes the North Shore their home and welcomes everyone with open arms to participate in surfing, skating, creating art, music, training and spreading the RVCAloha. This year was no exception, and to make it all a little extra special, RVCA founder PM Tenore curated a free musical performance by the likes of longtime RVCA advocate Mickey Avalon, Mangchihammer [band of world-renown artist David Choe] and local charger/up-andcoming reggae phenom Landon McNamara. It wasn’t in some concert hall or StubHub venue in Honolulu but more gorilla warfare style, in the thick of things, directly across the street from the Billabong Pipe Masters, underneath tents and standing room only. The entire night was nothing short of spectacular as the community showed up in droves to enjoy the musical performances and spread the aloha. And this we feel is a big part of the RVCAloha vibe, it’s about bringing the local community together and sharing a good time and having a positive influences. And you could see it on the faces of everyone in attendance, smiles and shakas throughout the entire night. Thank you RVCA and thank you Pat for showing everyone how it should be done, #RVCAloha.
PHOTOS // DELON ISAAC left to right: Mickey Avalon & Landon McNamara / David Choe / The ladies having fun / Mangchihammer / Mickey Avalon / Curren Caples, Colin Moran, Nate Leal & Zak Noyle / Bruce & Koby Irons / Good times
TRADITION MEETS PROGRESSION BIGBEARMOUNTAINRESORT.COM
When did you start playing music? Andrew – I started playing guitar when I was about nine, then my brother and I got in a fight, he broke the strings off my guitar and since I didn’t know how to put them back on at the time, I didn’t start really playing again until I was about 15. Power Lunch, tell us about it. Who all is in the band and when did you guys start playing together? It’s got to be hard to practice in Newport, yeah? Andrew – Matt Tromberg and I started messing around/ INTERVIEW // MAX RITTER jamming together about PHOTO // MAURO DIAZ six years ago. We played a couple shows under a few different names and a few different bass players until we stopped and began playing as Power Lunch. Yes, it is extremely hard to practice around Newport.
I think a lot of people want to know why is Metal Jimmy not in the band? Is the Jimmy song about him? Is he a guitar tech of some sort? Metal Jimmy is our friend that introduces us with his war cries and helps carry some gear from time to time. Yes, the Jimmy song is about Jimmy. It’s a funny story/ joke song. He is our only fan in our rehearsal space, head banging to whatever out-of-tune, shitty song we happen to be playing.
What are some of the things/people/bands that influenced Power Lunch and made you want to play in a band along with your surfing and shaping? Andrew – We like to separate surfing and playing music. There is no real connection. When we are surfing, we are surfing, when we are playing music we are playing music. Getting together thrashing around, releasing any type of anger we have. I don’t know we just like to get together and play as loud and obnoxious as we can. Release some anger. We don’t really think about much else.
Where and who did you guys record the EP with? Is Tromberg really that good at drums? He is kind of ripping on there. Andrew – We recorded in our friend’s living room on a Tascam 16 Track over a two-day period. They are two dudes that go under the name The Cobra Cult. Yeah, I think Tromberg is good at drums. People might think different, neither him nor I care, I think he shreds.
Where do you find all these super fucked up sunglasses you wear? Black Flys, more or less. Any shows or more recordings coming up? Yes! Any shout-outs? Not really, haha… Wait, yes, BL!SSS Magazine. Thanks for the interview, and the love!
“Getting together thrashing around, releasing any type of anger we have. We don’t really think about much else.”
LIVE SHOW // ALBUMS // ISSUE NO. 125
IGGY POP & WASH
REVIEW & PHOTO // MAX RITTER
NORTH SHORE, OAHU // DECEMBER 8TH, 2017 Yes this really happened! Iggy Pop joined Creed McTaggart’s band Wash on stage for a few songs during a party at the Billabong House out on the North Shore. He did three songs including “The Passenger,” “Search and Destroy” and “Raw Power.” Hard to believe at seventy years old this guy is not missing a step. Iggy rules.
REVIEWS BY MAX RITTER Iggy Pop and Jarvis Cocker / Red Right Hand (Single) / Rough Trade E.T. in the river! Speak of the devil. Iggy Pop and Jarvis Cocker (Pulp) recently recorded a particularly nasty version of Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand” for the fourth season of the Netflix series Peaky Blinders. Junior Murvin / Police and Thieves / 4 Men With Beards Junior Murvin’s roots reggae classic “Police and Thieves,” originally released in 1977, is getting that reissue treatment and even if you don’t love reggae (like me) you’ll probably still love having Junior Murvin in your collection. His interesting falsetto voice is just plain beautiful and timeless. Lee Scratch Perry produced and wrote or co-wrote many of the songs on the album. The now famous title track “Police and Thieves” was once covered by The Clash. Pressed on opaque blue vinyl. Various Artists / Habibi Funk: An Eclectic Selection of Music From the Arab World / Habibi Funk Records Habibi Funk is a label dedicated to curating funky music from countries of the Arab world in the 1970’s. The label’s latest compilation explores Algerian coladera, Lebanese AOR, Egyptian disco, Moroccan funk and more. It’s largely popular western influenced music with it’s own regional flair. Yaeji / EP2 / Godmode E.T. phone home. Musician/visual artist Yaeji, from NYC, will whisper to you in Korean and then you’ll be like, “Yeah, duh I listen to house music.”
REVIEWS BY ROB MOLT Heron Oblivion / The Chapel / Sub Pop Records You step over a sleeping man as you make your way down Valencia Street. The sun has set over San Francisco as you tuck your trusty mirrored sunglasses into your torn vest pocket. The Mission District isn’t what it used to be; tech companies have infiltrated and turned what were once dirty art lofts into e-commerce hubs, whatever those are. But that’s not your trip man. Standing out front of a music venue a thin woman in a flower dress offers you a toke. This part of town still does have some grit, as you take one last pull from the paper wrapped beer. The Chapel is a 1914 mortuary converted into a bay area rock club. The music pouring out is beautiful, heavy psych, colorful and strong. Oakland’s Heron Oblivion has started a 50-minute set, which is being rerecorded by celebrated local engineers. Massive warbly guitar solos fly around the beautiful voice of the powerful female drummer. It takes you back to what this part of town might have sounded like before all the squares moved in… Power Lunch / Single + B-Sides / The Cobra Cult I know this drug dealer in NYC, Lil Johnny. His peak hours were during midday. He would drive all around the Financial District selling blow to stock traders. If they had a good morning trader hotshots ended up drinking by the afternoon, rarely going back to the office. They called these “Power Lunches.” Even though I won’t tip my hat to corpos, I’ll give them a slight nod for their lunch game. Orange County’s Power Lunch has released a three song EP. It’s three hectic, noisy guitar songs that sound like the Melvins, David Yow and Sonic Youth thrashing a financial institution, fun stuff. Nexus 4000 / Space Magic / Self-Released. Among the tight-knit San Diego Jazz scene, Gabriel Sundy is the favorite forward-thinking tenor sax man. The well-traveled musician has played with all the rock and jazz heavies locally and can be heard on many wide-ranging albums coming from San Diego. Nexus 4000 is his new joint, his baby. The 7-piece band tears through 40 minutes of progressive rock jazz fusion, with a lean to the experimental years of the late 60’s and 70’s. Sundys’ nervous energy and attention to detail can be heard throughout his extended compositions. When you add the band’s improvisations and masterful solos this debut gets pretty far out. Thanks Gabriel. Kohti Tuhoa / Pelon Neljas Valtakunta / Southern Lord I don’t care that I don’t understand what Helsinki’s Helena Hiltunen is screaming while fronting this Finnish hardcore band, Kohti Tuhoa. I think I’m in love with her and them. The quartet delivers an acerbic old-thrash punch with an angular sound to keep things sounding violently fresh. Think Discharge with desperate, frustrated female vocals. For how heavy it is, it’s incredibly catchy, you know. If you can handle Finnish hardcore. I know I can. Now I just have to meet her.
BLISSS MAGAZINE // ISSUE NO. 125
PAtE S @jakepates Age: 19
Hometown: Eagle, CO
Favorite Riders: Ben Ferguson, Nik Baden & Nicolas Muller Photo: Ortiz
Sponsors: Burton, Rockstar Energy, Oakley, Ethika, US Snowboarding