a skateboard culture special edition.
For sale and distribution of Fully Flared please contact Girl Skateboards at: 800-948-SKATE / ad #104 / www.lakai.com / www.supradistribution.com
FEEBLE TO FAKIE. BLABAC PHOTO.
MODEL FEATURED: RYANSMITHâ€™S PRO MODEL, THE SMITH 1.5 SE.
FOR MORE INFO: WWW.DCSHOES.COM
[ o ] NICHOLAS
SANDRO GRISON DYLAN DOUBT
editor / creative director
DAVID KO NICHOLAS BROWN
BEN TOUR SAELAN TWERDY illustrator
JENNIFER MACLEOD STAFF WRITERS circulation
mike christie matthew meadows
MILA FRANOVIC STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER fashion
CRAIG ROSVOLD RHIANON BADER
advertising director email@example.com
STEPHANIE HOFF CHRIS BARIL
advertising sales firstname.lastname@example.org check out “they took things into their own hands”, fashion feature on 104.
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS alberto polo, alex connor, alex irvine, andrew koronovich brian caissie, brian gaberman, dan mathieu, dan neufeld olivier croteau, pederick urtz, richard odam, scott davis ken nagahara, kyle desaulnier, leo sharpe, oliver barton ian snow, jeff comber, jeff thorburn, joel dufresne downhoney, geoff clifford, gordon ball, harry gils andrew norton, arkan zakharov, brayden olsoon scott mcclellan, sean peterson, shane hutton tadashi yamaoda, ted power, tyler mckenzie
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS alex connor, andy mueller, armin bachman, brock thiessen mark e. rich, quinn omori, roger allen, sam mckinlay chris dingwall, jay revelle, kenny reed, leah turner sebastian templer, stacy gabriel wordsby sandro grison
If there was one message we wanted to leave in 2007 it’s “do it yourself!” For me it’s been a five year thing. I’ve felt for myself and the people around me a total influx of DIY energy as of late. I did when I decided to start this magazine and I did about five years before that, but the time between those points seems to just meld together. I’m calling it right here and now, 2008 is going to be interesting. I’m really excited about it because I know we’re going to see something awesome happen. Society is well settled now with Blackberries and iPhones. Magazines are looking tight now that we’re free from the shackles of staples, I think even Metallica chilled out at this point and the music industry seems to have figured out how to handle the whole download epidemic that was going on five years ago. We’ve all seen a lot of growth in the first half of this decade and one change that’s become very significant here at the magazine is the digital age. I think I’ve said it before, but it still blows me away when I think that our first year of publishing (which was 2003), we didn’t use digital photography. Go back through and check it out. It wasn’t all that long ago. Photos were submitted as negatives or as prints. We spent a hell of a lot more time in a darkroom and a lot less time double clicking. So we tried to take it back a bit this issue, revisiting the attitude that we went into this business with and pulled out of the hat an elusive young fellow who many photographers would love to shoot with. Kyle Desaulniers seems to stick to himself most the time, shooting often and solely with a welcomed visitor from Australia. His skateboarding has taken precedence over school and at sixteen he’s living independent from his parents, teachers, and most all of the typical banter that goes along with it. Studying from home and he-himself shooting photos and video in his spare time seems to be working for him though. He’s even managed to hold on to that French last name of his without taking on a more industry-friendly phonetic spelling. He’s relatively unknown until now and sometimes it’s all you need, but a ‘stage name,’ to break in to this industry. We talked to Kyle about his views on skateboarding today, mustaches, photography, and doing it all on your own. Check out his interview shot 100 per cent on film, by Alex Connor. I’m bored. Don’t let that confuse you though because I mean this in the most productive way. It’s more like when that girl says to you that she’s ‘just bored,’ she needs something new. Only I’m not going to leave you, and I’m not going to be in a relationship that’s ‘not working.’ Instead I’m going to sit back and enjoy this bored feeling that I’ve missed for five years because the last time I felt like this, out popped Color Magazine. I think I’ll sit this one out though, I can’t wait to see what the kid who was 14 when our first issue premiered is going to make. You can expect a lot more from us this coming year and I hope you appreciate the hearts and ‘soles’ in this Special DIY Edition of Color, made by hand in Canada by people just like you. 8
CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS aaron winters, cody hudon, evan hecox, fighting, fontski kyle shura, mannfred, niall mccleland, rick meyers shayne ehman, todd st. john
PRE PRESS ian sargent, joel dufresne
INTERNSHIPS shawn lennon newstands: disticor.com | magamall.com
Publications mail agreement No. 40843627 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: fourcornerpublishinginc. 321 R AILWAY STREE T, STUDIO 105 VANCOUVER, BC V6A 1A4 CANADA p.604 873 6699 f.604 873 6619 email@example.com DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are not neccessarily shared by fourcorner publishing inc. or Color Magazine, but by the author credited. Color Magazine reserves the right to make mistakes and will do so on a bi-monthly cycle without liability. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form [print or electronic] without permission from the publisher. The publisher of Color Magazine is not responsible for errors or omissions printed and retains the right to edit all copy. The opinions expressed in the content of this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views of Color Magazine. Color Magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any advertising matter which may reflect negatively on the integrity of the magazine. Color welcomes submissions for photo and editorial content, but is not responsible for unsolicited material or liable for any lost and/or damaged material. Please provide a return envelope with postage with your submissions or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Color Magazine is published by fourcorner publishing inc., printed six times yearly and distributed direct to retailers throughout Canada and to newstands by Disticor Distribution. Subscriptions can may be ordered individually or in bulk by retailers for resale. Subscribe: 6 issues for $39.99 in Canada, $59.99 CND in the United States, $89.99 CND for all other countries. Contact us at 604 873 6699, email@example.com with any subscription inquiries or visit us online at COLORMAGAZINE.CA
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Committed to Skateboarding. www.C1RCA.ca
CHRIS WARDLE fiver A little research brought Andrew Norton the instructions on how to modify his medium format film back to shoot 35mm panoramics. A little sawing, cutting, cardboard and glue, and a lot of trial and error bring us a couple nice contents pages and hopefully a little motivation to take matters into your own hands.
It’s been a minute since a skater has earned the status for the Shazam title. Kyle encompasses all that is shazam at the promising age of sixteen with hammers and style. The token am-shades and his do-it-yourself attitude was what really sealed it though. We introduce to you Kyle Desaulniers, photographed by Alex Connor.
76 SIX DEGREES OF KENNY.
22 FLIGHTS OF FANCY.
Bryan Wherry’s passion for the board took him to a place he’d never dreamed. Flying solo, Wherry met up with his Cliché Skateboards’ international counterparts in Lyon, France for a month of skating. For Bryan, new people and new surroundings proved to only fuel his precision on a skateboard.
“Gran Canarias Bro trip and prepaid preplanned demo/skate/signing tours are different. Starting with planning you get to choose where to go and with whom you’re going. All the MONEY is coming only from you on the bro trip, which I prefer sometimes as pressures of where to be and when don’t exist save the airport. When you get like-minded people together the destination and most things in between come solely from the air of inspiration. When a gust comes the trip has possibility to change course in any direction. That’s what I love about it. Also there is a closer experience with local skaters and getting to spend more times with them in their scene.” –Kenny Reed
81 STRICTLY GLOWING LINES. The art of Shayne Ehman.
93 FINDING THE FIX.
Writer, Mike Christie digs deep into the bondo that holds us accountable for what is, and/or what isn’t acceptable in today’s ever-changing and evolving skateboard landscape. With insight from today’s predominate names in the game, we address the growing debate of traditional street skating vs. man-made or fixed spots.
Always the best in motor-driven photography. This issue we give you the stuff we might have been holding out on you with all year long. Mike McDermott, Marquis Preston, Cory Wilson, and the very ripping Ryan Smith.
48 64 66
The Daniel Menche interview.
An interview with the harsh-noise enthusiast and accomplished master of hate and sound, by Sam Mckinlay.
ARTISAN: Tyler McKenzie.
It used to be ‘skater first, photographer second’. Then it was photographer first, skater second. Today it’s craftsman first – let us be the first to show you why.
LIFERZ: Social Registry Records.
Saelan Twerdy writes on the predominant record label out of Brooklyn, New York, doing it for the love and coming up hot.
MIKE MAINS 360 flp [ o ] norton.
This fashion feature is the result of three untrained girls showing up to Gordon Nicholas’ studio to model. With a little spare time between shots, and the right tools, Shea, Lauren, and Robyn walked in as models, but walked out photographers.
114 SALAD DAYS.
While most of the products tend to be somewhat the same, skateboard companies today come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes. Any brand started in the past 15 years would probably share in the challenges of owning and operating an skateboard company, but one particular detail sets Father, Homegrown, Kitsch, Manik, Manual, Smash Hit, Studio, and Sub-Genus a part from the others. The owners of these companies have done it all on their own, while never giving up their first passion that is skateboarding. We have 14 pages of skateboarding by the business minds behind our favorite independent deck companies and Roger Allen got the skinny.
When there was no skate park, we fought to have one built. But when the city tried to justify skate-proofing the streets we fought back. Today’s diverse skateboard landscape consists of many things: street spots, skateparks, plazas, and now more than ever —D.I.Y. parks built with passion/built for locals. Dylan Doubt covers one of the more recent do-it-yourself projects built in Vancouver thanks to the Until We Get Leeside fund and Antisocial skateshop.
100 CHINA CREEPS.
East Vancouver’s freshest band has a classic skate-punk sound. We asked them to do their own spread, but fuck it, just listen.
171 TATTERED 10. with Chet Childress + FULL SIZE ART REPRODUCTIONS Wise words from old man skateboarding’s Luda Crooks.
146 STAYING FREE.
Black Mountain blasts out of the darkness and into the future. Saelan Twerdy interviewed singer/songwriter Stephen McBean about their newest album and staying free.
From Quiet Life artists Evan Hecox, Cody Hudon, Todd St. John, Rick Meyers as well as Fighting, Aaron Winters, Fontski and Kyle Shura.
departments = 8 intro/credits, 12 contents, 16 inspiration bound 26 product toss (30, 36), 28 show, 34 faces n’ spaces 44 anthrax, 52 contest, 132 fotofeature, 160 contributors 162 soundcheque, 164 trailer, 167 last nite, 174 over&out 14
With a Camera From Marc film por vida! books, #1 (jai tanju) Marc Johnson gave Jai Tanju a camera. Well, I guess it’s not quite that simple. It was a bit of a mysterious gift, and it took a couple of wine-soaked visits before the gift materialized. But it did, and with it Jai embraced a new outlook on the way that he had been shooting film. This book is a bit of an epic thank you note to Marc, starting with the history of the gift and moving quickly into the work. Street photography, portraiture, and even some skateboarding, this book is a nice reminder of how satisfying simple photography can be. The book is well laid out, images juxtaposed in an ode to good times, friends, skateboarding and life well lived. Entirely self-published through lulu.com, it is available only on Jai’s website. This is a warm book that inspires, and if you have any interest in photography or skateboarding your bookshelf should not be without it. Jai also has a really incredible print exchange program going on. You can learn more about it at filmporvida.blogspot.com. LULU.COM/JAITANJU.COM
THE CHINESE MYSTERY HAND allister lee (alist) This zine was made using a black and white laserjet printer. It includes a two colour silkscreened cover with an outside back cover gatefold maze design by Tom Messenger. It comes with stickers, buttons and a custom-graphic balloon. The text includes a mish-mash of photographs of storefronts, faded signage and window displays, as well as found objects and typography samples from Seattle’s District of Chinatown. From black marker illustrations typical in Alist’s signage renderings to secret triad hand symbols ensure there’s something for everyone to grab on to. While the purpose of the zine was to catalogue Allister Lee’s Chinatown World Tour, Seattle exhibition at Goods, he went the extra step to make this extension of the show not only displaying the works from the installation, but layering them in a way that makes the catalog an entity in itself. Keeping with the Chinese theme, this book comes cello-bagged. The man does great work and takes no shortcuts. Right down to the nitty gritty details like the serrated outside trim. It’s great to see this much energy on display for 88 people to hold. What, you thought it was a limitless edition? ENTERTHEALIST.COM
CONCRETE SKATEBOARDING kevin harris (ultimate) I’ve watched as this magazine grew from a stapled stack of black and white newsprint, to the perfect bound, glossy, full colour magazine it is today. Still free of charge, Concrete is the bi-monthly magazine I’m sure not to miss. Stationed directly in the thick of skateboarding, with Ultimate Distribution and former Powell pro Kevin Harris in the publisher’s chair, I don’t think we need to worry about this magazine disapearing any time soon and it’s a good thing because how can you argue with ‘free’? Pick up your copy of Concrete Skateboard magazine in most Canadian skateboarders’ bathrooms. CONCRETESKATEBOARDING.com
How to Make Books potter craft (esther k. smith) I found this book on a recent trip to SF. I ducked into a store to try and get some time away from my overly chatty travel companions (if you’re reading this, I don’t mean you Carm and Hommie) and was pleasantly surprised to find this how-to-make-a-book, book. It has step-by-step illustrated instructions on how to make books out of anything from postcards to sheets of aluminium. The actual book itself is a wonderful example of what you will be able to create once you get this guide in your hands. Look for a review of one of my creations in some future issue. pottercraft.com
CREATE SOMETHING lifetime collective You can’t get much more “DIY” than the blank page. A notebook is something that should accompany any trip, whether you are going to the mall or through the Amazon. Write your own story, illustrate your own book, right? Mine always end up more as epic collections of stickman drawings, phone numbers and “TO DO” lists, which are, I guess, point form diaries themselves. A novel in well-spaced nonsensical columns. It is always interesting to note how optimistic the lists can be, or how little gets crossed off. There is more than one list that begins with a good breakfast, or a nice coffee… we do of course need to get the mental state up to deal with the tedious tasks that follow. 1. Delicious coffee, 2. Write a list (you’ve already crossed something off…) The books are available in both lined and unlined versions, but then lines suggest order, and who would want order to get in the way of all that good chaos that distracts? LIFETIMECLOTHING.COM
WHERE THE SUN REPOSES senka kovacevic (tulip press) This is a book of poems accompanied by photographs decades old from an archive of family photos some of you only wish you had. It’s available at only a handfull of stores around the world, and has made an equal amount of people cry. To read this book all you need is: a cup of tea, honey in your tea, a smoke, a dog to be your only dependable companion, a chair outside of a farm in a remote location, nostalgia, and some rain to wash away the tears. Oh and a lighter, and maybe a one way ticket to Serbia.
MARTHA STEWART LIVING martha stewart Before you judge, consider this. Martha probably collected fallen trees from her own acreage, ground them up into pulp and made her own paper for the magazine. Then she probably used berries and veggies from her garden and cooked up some natural ink for printing. Not only does the DIY queen create a beautiful mag, she also gives helpful entertaining tips too. Learn how to put an uninvited guest into a sleeper hold and get some lovely drink recipes too. Moonshine anyone? MARTHASTEWART.COM
CINEMA SEWER: THE ADULT’S ONLY GUIDE TO HISTORY’S SICKEST AND SEXIEST MOVIES! robin bougie (fab press) Robin Bougie truly loves filth. Since 1997, the Vancouver-based zinester/comic artist has been trolling the depths of the film and video underground for the rarest, weirdest, and sleaziest film and video artifacts ever produced in order to fuel Cinema Sewer, his hand-drawn, hand-lettered journal of porn, horror, and exploitation. Even if you’re not a fan of vintage skin flicks and gore-fests, the Bougieman’s maniacally contagious enthusiasm makes this an entertaining read. His R. Crumb-ish illustrations of bizarre characters like amputee porn starlet Long Jeanne Silver and naked Japanese superheroine Kekko Kamen (to say nothing of his vivid renderings of bloodbaths and cumshots) are bursting with a perverse glee for physical gross-out that extends even to his own numerous self-portraits, in which our oddly loveable tour guide portrays himself as a sweaty, slobbering pervert, transfigured by his gleeful passion for the sleaze that he revels in. Aside from the sheer abundance of unimaginably twisted footage that Bougie digs up, he also offers an encyclopedic knowledge of his subject that makes for some genuinely provocative journalism, as in the case of his exhaustively-researched articles on snuff films (and why they’re a myth), the way Deep Throat changed America’s legal system, and the phenomena of live T V suicide. This 192-page book collects Cinema Sewer’s first 12 issues, plus over 80 pages of all-new material, making it well worth the cover price. cinemasewer.com
R2 Magazine zoe roberts (rowan yarns ltd.) This magazine is a how-to knit instructional guide. Constructed with notepaper, hand written text and fashion photography with the likes of Terry Richardson. Every issue is crammed full of garment ideas for you to try to make. It made dressing like a drunk japanese student and knitting like a grandma on LSD look cool. KNITR2.COM
PRISON NOTEBOOKS quintin hoare and geoffrey nowel (international) This is the first English translation of Antonio Gramsci’s writings on history, culture, politics and philosophy. Gramsci (1891-1937) was an italian Marxist, one of the greatest theorists of his time. He was a founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy. He was physically handicapped from what I understand was a pretty harsh hunchback. If his luck wasn’t bad enough, Mussolini’s Fascist regime imprisoned him. He made good use of his hard times though, writing an unprecedented amount of theories in prison about things that were illegal to even think about at the time. He’s regarded as a highly original thinker and best known for coining cultural hegemony as a means of maintaining the state in a capitalist society. He points out that our common sense, although it helps to deal with little everyday things, inhibits our ability to grasp the larger more fundamental problems such as sources of social oppression. This book isn’t the easiest read and if I ever get all the way through it, I’d probably start back at the front and read it again and again. But it’s a must-have for anyone at all interested in socialist thought. INTPUBNYC.COM
The Perma Rhyming Dictionary permabooks, ny (langford reed) The Perma Rhyming Dictionary for all your rhyming needs, this baby sure ain’t ordinary, it’s certainly quite extraordinary. A book, worth a look, makes use in the various words and blurbs you which to write and recite. You might find yourself a copy, in an old beat up jalopy. Just don’t lift it, rather thrift it.
Photo: Vincent Skoglund
wordsby jay revelle
photosby leo sharpe
However, there is another facet of activity out there in which my overall lack of precision has actually done me quite well: the art of travel. I call travel an “art” only because when the act of displacing oneself is done lacking any precision at all, it can sometimes evolve to such a grand masterpiece that, to all outward appearances, it would appear to have been carefully crafted. I find that when one chooses to throw themselves into the unknown at the mercy of the Universe, one’s absence of precision and abundance of passion is often the perfect recipe for deliciously memorable mayhem and henceforth, the discovery of the magical. With all that said, there is another experienced man of passion whose name recently leapt to the top of my crown when recounting flights of fancy: Canada’s own Bryan Wherry. For this delicious recipe, Wherry threw his passion for life and skateboarding into a suitcase and mixed it with a dash of precision from Supra Distribution and Cliché Skateboards. He then walked onto a jumbo jet headed for France. Without
really knowing how it all happened, Wherry found himself in Lyon staying with the Cliché team, who invited him as a Canadian rider to join them for a month’s indulgence within Lyon’s skate playground. Founded as a Roman colony in 43 BCE, Lyon is the second largest metropolitan area in the country and widely known as the silk capital of the world. Numerous extremely old buildings dominate its landscape giving the city a feeling of being steeped in its own culture for ages. Bakeries are everywhere, and it’s easier to eat healthy than not. Cliché’s flat was located downtown, within spitting distance to Le Voxx, a well-known café/pub and an establishment full of quaint French hospitality. Le Voxx is Cliché’s daily hangout, and it was there that Wherry and the team started their days with coffees and ended their nights with beers. Every day and every night, Wherry hit the streets with Jeremie Daclin, Joey Brezinski, JB Gillet, Thibaud Fradin, Charles Collet, Sam Winter, and David Lee Young. Hotel De Ville, one of J.B. Gillet’s favourite ledge spots, was also a stone’s throw away.
ILLUSTRATION BY BEN TOUR
he greatest private investigator the world has ever known, Darryl Zero, once stated: “Passion is the enemy of precision.” I tend to believe this statement, being a man largely ruled by passion, as I’ve experienced numerous instances where my lack of precision has caused me to falter. Passion vs. precision, heart vs. mind; it seems it’s all the same.
BRYAN WHERRY nollie flip
As Wherry’s first time travelling overseas, he began to realize in many small ways how great being Canadian really is. He noticed how motivated he became when visiting local spots. It seemed that, as a Canadian, he had gotten used to skating chipped-up or rough, wintered spots—his standard wasn’t as high for what made a spot “perfect.” Therefore, everywhere in Lyon was “perfect.” But that’s not all. Having been taught French in public school, he surprised himself with how much he could communicate. “I had an amazing time. Lyon had the best spots I’d ever skated, I made a bunch of new friends, and the hospitality from Cliché was amazing,” recounts Wherry.
Passion may be the enemy of precision, but one could also argue that passion breeds precision. Actually, I know it can. But then where is the poetic play of light and dark, good and evil, and heart and mind with which to indulge myself in? And what about Darryl Zero? His whole world and philosophy would come crashing down, and I don’t think I can do that to him. For now, let’s keep passion as indeed the enemy of precision, and upon reflection of this gallant’s short tale of his ardent thrust into the loins of France, we could assume that Bryan Wherry is just the right combination of both.
SKATEBOARDS| CLOTHES| SHOES FEATURED PRODUCT
DOUBLE DOWN TANK, TARTAN SHORT, GRIGGS SHOES
LEVI BROWN PHOTO BY ELEMENT ADVOCATE BRIAN GABERMAN|ELEMENTSKATEBOARDS.COM/ADOVCATES
In the early nineties, when most skaters were tired of wearing bulky, hi-top skate shoes, and before they had figured out that they could just as easily skate in lo-top sneakers like Adidas Gazelles and Puma Clydes (though long before anyone would be caught dead in a Nike Dunk), they took matters into their own hands, putting shoes under the knife. The trimming of shoes resulted in the coming of such legendary skate kicks as Airwalk Ones, Etnies Lo-Cuts, and perhaps most obviously, the Vans Half-Cab. Things have come full circle, and most skate brands offer an array of hi-tops again. The shoes are sweet enough in their own right, but we couldn’t resist the opportunity to trim them down a bit. Just wait until we tap into some homemade massive jeans trimmed just above the ankle!
IPATH bigfoot element omahigh emerica romero
DC radar wr fallen rising sun lakai telford
CIRCA tre És jasper VOX navarrette vamp Video grabs from Rick Howard’s Questionable part (Plan B) and Daniel Castillo’s Love Child part
(World Industries), 1992.
K E E G A N S A U D E R | K E V I N “ S PA N K Y ” L O N G | L E O R O M E R O | N E S T O R J U D K I N S | R AY M O N D M O L I N A R
A U S T I N S T E P H E N S | C A I R O F O S T E R | D AV I D R E Y E S | E D T E M P L E T O N | E T H A N F O W L E R | J O S H H A R M O N Y
R V C A C L O T H I N G . C O M | R V C A A N P. C O M
TH E B A LA NC E OF OPPOSI TES VOLUME 01 | C H A PTER 01 KEV IN “SPA NK Y ” LONG IS N’T R ETIR ED ... Injuries and hospitals are a nightmare for anyone, but they are even worse for a professional skateboarder. Over the last year, Spanky’s had his fair share of injuries… but then again, what skater hasn’t? Some would call it bad luck, but for Spanky recuperating is just an excuse for traveling, spending time with friends coast to coast and somehow finding time to design a signature line for RVCA... and still skate.
R V C A C L O T H I N G . C O M / B L O G / S K AT E
wordsby leah turner images courtestyof art metropole
Art Metropole, Oct 5 - Nov 4, 2007 Alynne Lavigne, Amy Lam, Andrew James Paterson, Anna Banana, Annie Dunning, Art Metropole, Art Rat, Bill Burns, Caitlin Gallupe, Carl Stewart, David Gilbert, Demian Petryshyn, Drue Langlois, Edwin Varney, Eldon Garnet & Brian Trevers, Eric Metcalf (aka Dr. Brute), Fastwürms, GB Jones, General Idea, Geoffrey Farmer, Helen Hill, Paul Gailiunas, Francis Pop Gailiunas, Image Bank, James Lee Byars, Janis Demkiw, Jason McLean, Jinhan Ko, Jonathan Monk, Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan, Juergen Staack, Julie Voyce, Katie Bethune-Leamen, Kelly Mark, Kevin Immanuel, Lucy Pullen, Marc Bell, Maura Doyle, Maurizio Nannucci, Micah Lexier, Michael Gehrke, Michael Klein, Nestor Krüger, Rainer Ganahl, Ray Johnson, Rick Myers, Robert Fones, Robin Klassnik, Ryosuke Cohen, Sally Peanut & John Jack, Sandy Plotnikoff, Shayne P. Ehman, Struts Gallery, Terry Piercey, Terry Reid, Tyler Clarke Burke, Vid Ingelevics.
eyond the impetus to self-publish, produce and manufacture, the DIY art-making ethic involves the attempt to circumvent conventional modes of display and spectatorship. In the 1960s in the United States and Canada, a whole generation of artists formed a radical network of collaborative artistic exchange, conducted via the postal service. Mail-art, or correspondence art as it is alternately termed, came in many forms, as artists like New York’s Ray Johnson, Vancouver’s Eric Metcalfe and Kate Craig, and the Toronto-based artist collective General Idea mailed each other illustrated letters, drawings, hand-made or altered postcards, collages, subscription services and ephemerally based conceptual projects. Constituted as a gesture of rebellion against the commercialisation and institutionalisation of art, correspondence art sought to create an alternative system of distribution. With their rejection of the gallery system and the commodification of the art object, these early correspondents sparked a social exchange and political project that, if the work in Goin’ Postal is any indication, has endured and transformed itself within the contemporary context represented in this exhibition.
Founded in downtown Toronto by General Idea in the early 70s, Art Metropole began as an artist-run distribution and publishing centre, and quickly became one of Canada’s foremost collections of international conceptual art, with a focus on artists books, multiples and video. Since Art Metropole has recently donated their complete collection to the National Gallery of Canada, Goin’ Postal is comprised of mail-art borrowed from artists’ collections, attesting to the continued vitality and intimacy of this artist-driven medium. An interesting element of Art Metropole’s rather simple, straightforward presentation is the invitation to compare contemporary work with its historical precedent. Early mailers from Ray Johnson are notable for their handmade, low-tech quality; photocopies that stand in stark contrast to Micah Lexier’s minimalist, beautifully printed A Minute of My Time postcards from 1997. It seems that Johnson’s handmade approach is instead continued by the mailed 28
Marc Bell mailart, sent to Jason McLean, 1999.
exchanges between artists such as Marc Bell, Jason McLean and Sandy Plotnikoff, consisting of among a wealth of material, collaged, illustrated envelopes, evidence of an interest in transforming everyday, mundane materials into aesthetic, often absurdly funny objects and ephemera. Rainer Ganahl’s Use a Bicycle from 2004 illustrates the subversive possibilities of mail-art with boldly détourned World Trade Centre commemorative postcards. Ganahl glued handmade stamps inscribed with phrases from post 9/11 American rhetoric, such as “shock and awe,” “homeland security,” and “axis of evil” in the place of legal stamps. The nature of the postal service’s circulation makes projects like Ganahl’s infinitely more interesting than the limited context of the gallery exhibition. His project conveys a clear pleasure in the con; duping the system that controls the distribution and flow of economy. Who knows how many people overlooked these political statements disguised
as postage stamps because, apparently, all but one card arrived at its destination. As the exhibition’s promotional material makes evident, correspondence art is an exclusive, mutual exchange, dependent equally upon the artist as it is upon the recipient, and it is rarely publicly displayed. Because this is a semiprivate social interaction, mail-art may ultimately foil an outsider’s understanding. Goin’ Postal is thus partly an exercise in decoding the inherent, perhaps unavoidable insularity of the genre, and consequently, one often feels like they are left out of the inside joke.
In between seasons, at times it may feel like you’re frenetic. But just remember that there is nothing wrong with that, and sometimes it can be cute to dress like an 18 year old. So grab your most worn out shirt and other clashing best worn articles of clothing and hit the streets with your mojo workin’. It wouldn’t hurt if you cut the sleeves off your shirt and sewed your pants tighter.
ladies outfit from top to bottom: QUICKSILVER marvy blk hat Roxy atomic tortoise sunglasses CIRCA pale death t shirt fallen cobra hoody Roxy brooks color denim dc Girls eileen belt Nixon tribella watch CIRCA select slips VOLCOM high roller stirrups
dude outfit from top to bottom: vonzipper elmore sunglasses FRESH JIVE breed hat stussy deluxe kenton jacket LIFETIME bulletproof vest/step aside tank fallen thomas signature cords stussy deluxe card wallet Dc miner wr mx shoes NIXON ceramic player watch
ETNIESSKATE.COM TIMEBOMB DIST.: 604.251.1097 STICKERS@TIMEBOMB.BC.CA THE RECOGNITION SERIES SHECKLER 2, ARTO 2 AND BLACK LABEL FACTION. AVAILABLE ONLY IN SKATE SHOPS.
words and photosby dylan doubt
he faces are the Gilley brothers (no, there is no relation to “Birmingham Barbarian” Zero madman Ben Gilley). Blake, 13, Patrick, 15, and Spencer, 17. The space is the basement of their parents’ house, a 20 x 80 foot paint splattered workshop that they share with exercise equipment, tools, the second fridge and laundry supplies. The company started in 2005 with Spencer screenprinting some of then 10 year-old Blake’s sketches in his grade nine art class. A friend suggested that they start selling them, and with help from local artist, James Nizam, and support from Antisocial skate shop’s Michelle Pezel, the Basement brand was born.
Spencer does some design work, keeps the website running, and provides When asked about the future, their plans are simple: Blake: “Brown paper bag money.” Patrick: “Blow up… metaphorically.” Spencer: “Green pants, more stores, more fun.”
inspiration for Blake. Blake does most of the drawings, and helps out with blow drying, ironing, tagging, washing etc. Patrick does just about everything else, but he is particularly proud of his efforts to line up the screens with the centre of the shirts. They are optimistic about the brand growing, have had requests from as far as Turkey and Denmark, but printing the shirts one screen at a time, they are in no rush for business to pick up too quickly. There is a loose production schedule, designs pop up in complete disregard for the seasons that dictate most brands lines, and the inconsistencies of each print are part of the charm that runs through everything they make. The brand is a testament to how little you need to get something together and make it awesome.
This could have been the easiest hardgoods product page to put together ever. Here’s how you too can create this collage. Step 1. Collect a stack of catalogues. Step 2. As your deadline creeps up, stare at the stack of catalogues as they sit on your desk and think, “It’s going to be so easy, I’ll do it later.” Then go for lunch and forget to do it. Step 3. Get yelled at by the boss for not having your work done by deadline and, in a frantic rush, start tearing out your favorite pages and throw them at your graphic designer as you run for the door. Step 4. Take all the credit for a job well done!
1. zero f*cked deck 2. thunder thomas red voltage trucks 3. independent gold trucks 4. girl spoke wheels 5. black label childress people eater 6. POWELL 68mm bomber wheels 7. enjoi barletta petting bear deck 8. hubba 50mm capsule wheels
9. krooked mccrank guest deck 10. expedition welsh menthol deck 11. ALIEN WORKSHOP stabbing deck 12. flip penny psychedelic deck 13. LISTEN! gonzalez deck 14. clichÉ 50mm wheels 15. royal zine trucks 16. tensor mullen trucks 17. HABITAT gall jersey devil wheels
360 shuvit www.royalskateboardtruck.com www.supradistribution.com mike mo capaldi / mike carroll / justin eldridge / danny garcia / andre genovesi kerry getz / austyn gillette / jerry hsu / raymond molinar / cale nuske / brad staba / kevin taylor
MIKE MCDERMOTT switch backside kickflip [ o ] barton.
MARQUIS PRESTON bigspin heel [ o ] gaberman.
CORY WILSON ollie up, kickflip, frontside 180 [ o ] doubt.
RYAN SMITH backside lipslide [ o ] snow.
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COLIN LAMBERT smith grind [ o ] doubt.
We always ask people where they first came across Color and what they like/don’t like about the magazine. This letter came across my screen and was so nice that I wanted to reward the person who took the time to put their thoughts down and click ‘send’. They will be getting a coveted Color sticker pack in the mail for their efforts. Send in your thoughts and opinions to win some stuff. Take a chance, write something that makes us laugh so hard that someone pees themselves. Don’t be afraid to tell us what you really think. We won’t get mad… but we might get even. Send in your letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org or, Letters c/o Color Magazine, 105-321 Railway St., Van, BC, V6A 1A4, canada Facebook account: Color Magazine Myspace: myspace.com/colormagazine Dear Color, I came across your magazine by chance one day as I was looking through some skate mags. I was drawn by the cover of issue 4.4 (yeah don’t judge a book by it’s cover...) and as I leafed through the pages, was immediately hooked. This wasn’t like any of the other skateboarding mags I had been used to reading. And since then I haven’t been disappointed. Skateboarding is much more than tricks. There’s an entire culture that has been surrounding this art from its beginnings, and Color captures that exactly and binds it inside its pages. So, thanks!! I wanted to buy a few back issues to catch up on what I had been sleeping on for quite a while, and will definitely be getting a subscription soon. —Mariza, via email
These SBs are made up of pieces from previously released dunks. They were only made available in the cities where Nothing But the Truth premiered, but if you want to do some searching on the web and don’t mind paying a month’s rent then you’ll probably be able to grab a pair. NIKESKATEBOARDING.COM
Tired of the struggle to find pants to fit his massive thighs, Colin Lambert has taken matters into his own hands and started his own clothing company. He is hoping to make clothing for the people who would still be wearing a No Class shirt when it’s covered in holes and blood. Basically it is a company for dirt bag skaters just like him. Having his own team is one of the main reasons Lambert started the company, but he is in no rush. Team or not keep an eye out for this new line, which he will be dragging across the country soon along with a vanload of skaters and tents. “No prissy skaters, no complaining, all shred.” Colin also promises.. “If anyone wants penis shirts, send me an e-mail and I’ll make you a penis shirt.” So there you go. NOCLASS.CA
Ben Tour AT FIFTY24SF
THE QUIET LIFE TURNS 10
NIKE SB WHAT THE DUNK
[ o ] NAGAHARA
This former small project that used to put out only a couple of designs a year has grown into a worldwide distributed brand that puts out two seasons a year. But that’s not to say that their designs are any less special or limited. To celebrate their 10 year anniversary, The Quiet Life is releasing a series of shirts designed by 10 of their favorite artists, called QL10. THEQUIETLIFE.COM
Our favorite staff illustrator Ben Tour has been working hard to get ready for his upcoming show, titled Underbelly, at Upper Playground’s gallery, Fifty24SF. He will be presenting a mural installation, paintings and framed and drymounted works on paper in his own style of Contemporary Portraiture. If you’re in the SF area in January, make sure you stop by for a look and show your support. The opening reception is on Jan 10th at 7:30. thetourshow.com
ADIDAS X EA
Together with EA’s game of SKATE, Adidas has put out some Gonz Superstars and Busenitz Gazelles that feature the skaters’ game characters on the soles. These very limited shoes (500 released) are being produced in special colourways. You can get a pair when you find the hidden triggers within the game and are rewarded with a secret code to plug into the Adidas website. Pull up the recliner and get the mini-fridge handy ‘cause there’s no telling how long this may take. SHOPADIDAS.COM
UnderSkatement is a (kind of) annual touring film festival that focuses on short films made by skateboarders. Films of all kinds are shown with the only two stipulations being that the film be made by a skateboarder and that it (usually) not exceed seven minutes in length. The festival producers, Andreas Trolf and David Franklin say their goal is to promote creative endeavors within the skateboard community and, hopefully, to bridge the gap that (unnecessarily) exists between skateboard films and “legitimate” cinema. The festival has already hit a city near you, but hopefully you got the chance to see this year’s lineup. UNDERSKATEMENT.COM WWW.MYSPACE.COM/SKATEMENT
Watch the Shoot to Thrill videos
SKATE TEE CONTEST WINNER
After a very successful STT tour of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal we’ve decided to put all 5 of the videos online. This way, those of you who made it to the premieres but got too sloshed to enjoy the movies and those of you who got too sloshed before the premieres, passed out on your couch and missed the parties altogether, can watch them. If you’re our Facebook friend (Color Magazine) we have them posted in our video section. You can also find them on YouTube under the “ColorMagazine” account.
Sometimes we sit around the office and wonder why more people don’t enter our contests. Is it something we said? Be careful what you wish for. We were lucky enough to be swamped with entries into our skate tee graphic contest. The winning design was done by Mannfred, of Truro, Nova Scotia. When asked to describe his reasons for creating the graphic he said it shows “my fondness for bright colours which kind of go hand-in-hand with the 80s short shorts and banana board. The 3-D glasses are there mostly because I had been needing an excuse to draw 3-D glasses for a while. As for the fish... I’m not really sure, I wanted something to do with nature is all I remember.” I guess the judges like all those things too. Congratulations.
Oakland artist Chris Lindig is working with Antihero again. He has created these new graphics for the latest series from the brand. ANTIHEROSKATEBOARDS.COM
Gonz for Cliché
In celebration of Cliché’s ten year anniversary they have partnered up with Mark Gonzalez to produce a special “Brothers of Light” series. You can get everything from boards to scarfs with Gonz’s art work on it. CLICHESKATE.COM
ZERO OR DIE!
Our Canadian brothers at Zero join the rest of the dirty dozen with their own signature colourways. Congratulations to Sheldon and Keegan on their first boards to bear their signatures, the boards are the shapes and sizes and concaves that they both ride and come in a stunning army green and figure skate blue respectively. Both shralpers are also well back on the road to recovery from each of their run-ins with the knife. Welcome back gents! ZEROSKATEBOARDS.COM
The Lakai factory floor must be the cleanest one around. Their Recycled Shoes series uses excess shoe materials that would otherwise be thrown away, but are instead applied to select styles. They also feature soles comprised of new gum rubber mixed with regrind rubber waste which reduces new material use by up to 50 per cent. LAKAI.COM
[ o ] DOUBT
wordsby sam mckinlay
“I consider myself a shepherd of sorts, gathering the beastly sounds and arranging them in a fantastic choreography of intense physical dance.”
hen leading sound artists, or noise artists for that matter, come to mind – there are a few names that are always splashed around to try and describe the genre as a whole. Names like Masami Akita/Merzbow, Masonna, Hanatarash, Francisco Lopez, The Haters – and none other than Daniel Menche from Portland, OR. One thing that Daniel is a master of is strength and purity in the creative world. His sincerity in the sound, be it heavy ‘ambient’ build-ups or a virtual avalanche of harsh noise, is always articulated with real drama and power. Daniel not only takes sound art/noise very seriously, but also the whole entity of the skate-and-destroy lifestyle. As a teenager, Daniel’s obsessions and dedication resulted in being a professional juggler, but that eventually gave way to Black Flag cassettes and skateboarding; the vicious and raw qualities of the skateboard eventually translating into his noise works. Daniel recently made a rare trip to Vancouver, BC, in order to play at the esteemed Western Front. Via his mic’d piece of steel that resembles a machete against his throat, various analog effects pedals, and a simple metal cup with chains, Daniel managed to almost sonically level the building and it’s spectators to the ground. The next couple of days with Daniel were full of skateboarding at China Creek and Bonsor – and one thing is for certain, his enthusiasm for avalanches of noise is only matched by his excitement for the shred stick. After the dust settled on the Western Front PA and the bowls alike, I had a chance to ask Daniel some crucial questions: (continued on page 149)
As you flip through the pages of this DIY issue, you should be getting inspired to make something with your own hands. Volcom presents this zine contest, inspired by Shayne Ehman’s art and his how-to-make a zine instructions. Follow his steps and show us what you can come up with. Anything goes, as long as your zine is made to specifications (same as p.82, S.P. Ehman’s zine). Your finished zine should stand at (or near) 4.25 x 5.375” tall. Entries will be judged on content, construction of the ‘zine, and general creativity around the project. Packaging is a bonus. The winner will get a Volcom prize pack, stuffed to the seams with all kinds of goodies and a subscription to Color. The top 5 entrants will also receive a year’s subscription. Mail your entries to: fourcorner publishing inc., Zine Contest, 105-321 Railway St, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1A4, Canada. All entries become the property of Color Magazine and may be used in future online and print materials.
SEND IN A ZINE FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THIS AMAZING BAG OF VOLCOM AWESOMENESS!
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words and photosby alex connor interviewby stacy gabriel
s today’s up and coming skateboarders are finding it harder and harder to keep up with the latest trends and standards, constantly rising with each and every 20 stair handrail or flipin flip-out trick, a sole individual by the name of Kyle Desaulniers is finding his own path toward something new. Maybe not to be the next Jamie Thomas or Danny Way, but someone completely different with incomparable characteristics. Someone with a fresh talent and a personality that’s often seen as snobbish, Kyle is a shy 16 year old who lets his skating do most of the talking. However other skateboarders or the general public want to view him, be sure that he’s not going to fall into any of the latest fads or be following instructions on how tricks should be done, because Kyle does everything on his own and in his own way. If success comes to those who go out on a limb and constantly push their own boundaries, which Kyle hasn’t been afraid to do as shown by the photos in this interview, then you can bet this isn’t the last time you’ll be seeing the likes of him. Kyle warms up with one kickflip on flat and a smoke. The high school girl’s soccer team was waiting to start their practice next to the landing and their attenion quickly moved to what we were doing. This always makes a session 10 times harder to deal with. Fortunately his frontside flips don’t seem to mind.
Moving backwards scholastically, Kyle finds himself haunting an elementary school playground. Frontside rock on tall chainlink long after the bell has rung and no one remains but the janitor.
Stacy Gabriel: First of all, you’re not very old, although Yeah, I’ve been living with my brother in Whiterock [BC] for you look a lot older than you are. You’re like a man-child about six months. We tend to throw some mad shakers from if you want to call it that. How young are you right now? time to time. Kyle Desaulniers: 16 years young, going on 21. Where’s mummy and daddy when you throw these shindigs? So when did you start skating and what helped you Dad’s probably passed out in a ditch, Mom’s living the progress so goddamn fast? dream [laughs]. No, my dad just moved in like five minutes I guess I started when I was living in Cloverdale, BC. I had some Wal-Mart board or something that my mom got me for from my place and my mom lives in the UK. I go visit her a few times a year which is definitely sick because I get to skate Christmas that year. I would just skate in front of my house all the London spots. She also comes back for a couple of for like six hours a day with my friend Joey. He had a box and I had a flatbar that we would shred lots. Then I realized months in the summer but she stays on Pender Island. there was a skate park not five minutes from my house, once What’s it like just living with your brother? I started skating there I just couldn’t stop. I love living with [my brother] Whiterock. We can just wake up and go skate every day, no problem. Plus it’s sick to have Was it a Nash that had a shiny alien on the bottom? someone to chill with at night time. Nah, I think it was Dragon Ball Z with Goku on the bottom. That show used to have so much hype when I was in Your dad bought you a kick-ass camera, didn’t he? elementary. Well, he got me hooked up with the right people to buy from. Alex Connor: So I’ve come understand that you live at He’s super into cameras. He makes documentaries about plankton or something. home alone, is this true?
Rounding out his penchant for educational facilities, Kyle throws on the shades and frontside 180’s one of UBC’s famous roof gaps.
Like they say, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Speaking of that, you met some random dude when we were out shooting the other night. You want to elaborate? We were downtown shooting photos at this spot with some cracked out girls lurking and this random dude walks up to us and starts talking about Barcelona and how he lives there and it’s amazing for skateboarding. I told him I was going there in January for a skateboarding trip. Well anyways, I guess he’s a huge soccer fan so he takes down my e-mail and says he is going to get me and my friends tickets to a game while we are there. He hasn’t e-mailed me back yet and I doubt he will, but who knows. I was especially stoked on the crackies [that night]. Those bitches were out of their minds. One minute they were hugging, the next they were punching each other in the face. Love/hate relationship.
Scooter robbed me of 150 bones in two rounds of C-LO. I don’t gamble anymore.
SG: You recently went on a trip to Vancouver Island with Circa. How did you like hanging out with all your teammates and was this your first team trip? Yes, it was my first team trip! It was a really fun time, we basically just skated, camped and had fun. Everyone on the trip was super chill and I really like them all, even though
So now that everyone’s finding out about your skating and seeing more of you, are you getting used to having to film everything tight and cutting out sketchiness? Yeah, for sure. I hate going out skating and wanting to film a trick and not having a filmer. So I end up getting whoever is around to film, which is chill but I’d much rather go out
Harsh! Ok, so we have determined you’re young and already you have a good style in skateboarding. Who do you look up to in skateboarding? Who, in your mind, is the most stylish? That’s a tough one, there is so many. My top picks are Sheldon Meleshinski, Jimmy Carlin, Stefan Janoski, and Nick Trapasso. They are all doing something right style-wise the way I see it. AC: From the posters in your room I can tell you have much man love for Jon Allie, wouldn’t you say? Yeah, Jon Allie and Mark Appleyard are my favourites. I’m also really stoked on Scott Decenzo. He’s gotten so good so quickly, it’s unbelievable.
“I don’t want to be worrying about being bombed while I’m skating. It throws me off a bit.”
No generator, no lights, and a car in the landing area. Lucky for us we found a couple of pieces of wood to protect the car doors from the flying boards. Kyle is a trooper. After ten hectic minutes we walked away with this banging last minute frontside crooked grind.
“I like to pretend I’m Heath Kirchart if I’m skating a rail at night, maybe punch myself in the head a few times.” filming with someone who knows what they’re doing. I gotta start answering my phone. Yes, yes you do. Are you one of those skaters that demands perfection with their tricks? For the most part I like my tricks to be somewhat clean but I’m all for picking up change once in a while. All hesh-like. Does skating change for you when you film at night or in the middle of the day? Surprisingly, yes. For some reason skating at night is a lot more fun. I like to pretend I’m Heath Kirchart if I’m skating a rail at night, maybe punch myself in the head a few times. You haven’t been night skating for a little while now though, what happened? Alright, here’s how it went down. Me and Whiterock went to Home Depot all stoked on getting a generator. We buy one and take it to the gas station and fill it up and take it home. Right when we got back we fired it up. It was running great for about a minute but then all of a sudden it sounded like shrapnel was being launched from it. Then it died. Apparently you have to put oil in it. We took it back and using tactical lies we got our money back and I got a fisheye for my hVX. Way better than a generator. You said you were going over to Spain next year, what’s that for? Basically just going to film and have fun. The weather in Vancouver is so wack during the fall and winter so I try to get away for at least a month or so. Have you been over to Europe before? Yeah, I went to visit my motherbot a few times last year. It’s so good over there. I basically skated South Bank the whole time I was there, had a bro down with the locs. How do you find skateboarding in the States vs. Vancouver and England? Is there a place you would choose out of the three? Definitely Vancouver. I mean California is sick and all but it’s way too hectic in the US. Like I don’t want to be worrying about being bombed while I’m skating. It throws me off a bit. Vancouver is my home and I don’t think I’ll ever leave. SG: I noticed you had some cameras set up in your room for shooting photos. I know you’re into photography which is rare for a young chap. What got you into photography and is there anything specifically you like to shoot? It was probably a combination of my Dad and my friend Joey. My Dad does a lot of studio work but I’m not really interested in that. I like shooting stuff that is happening around me on a daily basis but that I don’t necessarily take the time to even notice unless I have a camera in my hand. Things happening around you? Does this include skateboarding? Just regular everyday things that I don’t really notice when I’m out skateboarding or whatever. Do you see yourself getting into skateboard photography? Maybe shooting for magazines one day? I surely don’t shoot skateboarding seriously at this point, but yeah, after I’m over skateboarding I’d love to get into shooting it. I’m actually more into filming skateboarding. AC: Desaulniers is a strange last name what country does that come from? French toast is so delicious. I’m pretty sure it’s French. I’m pretty bummed on it though, because everyone has
“At this point I know enough about taking care of myself and also the direction I want to be moving in. What more do you really need?”
trouble saying it. However I think my mustache compliments it pretty well. Yeah, that dirty mustache is going to get you into some kind of trouble one of these nights. Yes, but it aids me in getting older women. Like you know, cougars… SG:Yeah you are pretty mature, that’s probably why your face decided to grow a stash. [laughs] I’m guessing you have seen that picture. People say I look 25 with that thing on my lip. AC: You should maybe hold onto that mustache for the older ladies... Just in case the boarding decides to go south. I have a mustache down south as well. SG: You’re in a position where your forced to make your own decisions. Your parents aren’t always around to show you everything. What are some things you have learned being so independent most of the time? And if your parents decided to move far away do you think you could do everything on your own? I guess the main thing I’ve learned is to trust myself and really listen to my intuition. I mean, it’s not like there’s much more you are going to know when you’re 18 as opposed to 16. I feel at this point I know enough about taking care of myself and also the direction I want to be moving in. What more do you really need? In an older issue [Color 4.2] you had a photo of a frontside flip down the UBC 14 and I think some people did not realize that it was you. And your latest photo was a flip back fifty on the nipple high PNE rails. At your age and with what you have accomplished so far, I think you are headed somewhere with this. You have a good personality that gets anyone stoked to skate and I think everyone is looking forward to more Kyle D. To end it off let everyone know who you thank for getting you where you are. First and foremost I want to thank my mom and dad as well as my step dad Wayne for being so supportive of what I want to do with my life, Cloverdale locs, Quilchena locs, Dominique, Elliot, and Mike at C1RCA, everyone at Ultimate for Independent Trucks and Toy Machine bloodsucking skateboard company. Alex Connor, Dylan Doubt and everyone else at Color Magazine. Kaylon, Whiterock, Nelson, AJ, Mark, Hoang, and Joey and Stacy Gabriel. Thanks!
Desaulniers is currently filming for an upcoming project by Zach Barton and Angus Borsos as well as a video of his own which will feature Stacy Gabriel. In addition, a fresh new face in the game — Kyle Gherman — is in the early stages of production for a video which will feature Desaulniers’ skills. Desaulniers himself plans to produce a video in the not too distant future.
After trying to hardflip the famous black double for three straight hours, Kyle came to the conclusion that maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Two weeks later we visited another famous double set. This one is referred to as “Van Canyon.” He left happy.
wordsby nicholas brown
ometimes limitations are the biggest opportunities we can look forward to. Most of us have them heaped upon us, forcing us to react—others opt for the road less traveled, deliberately harnessing less convenient, but ultimately more rewarding pursuits. The latter includes Tyler McKenzie, whose limitations began with his early days shooting skate photography in Victoria—where attempts to shoot conventional photos were thwarted by a somewhat sparse group of subjects—and ended with his choice of a series of increasingly cumbersome camera options, decisions based more on an eye for art photography than on action sports. But that was only the beginning. Wanting to shoot 6 x 12, but lacking the means to afford the steep price tag of a Linhof, McKenzie took on an even greater challenge, drawing on his interests in woodworking in order to build the camera he wanted. In McKenzie’s words, “all I had to do was learn how to machine metal, invest some time and I’d come out on top with a medium format panoramic camera and some heavy machinery. Win win.” Needing to accommodate all of his large format lenses, McKenzie designed the blueprints starting from the film plane and moving outward. Needing it to be compact, he designed a bellows system with hinging rails. All that was left was to buy some aircraft grade aluminum, black walnut, and start cutting. Now that he has his camera, McKenzie already has his sights set higher towards a new swing lens camera, as well as a furniture building practice that is well under way. But first things first, McKenzie explains: “My number one project is getting a woodwork shop going. I need my own space. Not sure how I’m going to pull that one off.”
wordsby saelan twerdy
hether you want to talk about it in business terms or cultural terms, it’s pretty hard to argue that “indie” means much of anything anymore in the music world. Between the ongoing implosion of the major-label recording industry and the ballooning success of the middlebrow bands that soundtrack our ads, TV shows, and movies, “indie” has become big money these days, and the virtues that made the DIY scene of the 80s and 90s so vital – community-mindedness, critical awareness, and a healthy disregard for careerism – have largely disintegrated in the present era of blog-hyped young bands hungry for the iTunes-commercial dollar. Which is why I’m grateful every day that labels like Social Registry still exist. One of the few bastions of old-fashioned credibility, the good people at Brooklyn’s Social Registry records have been working tirelessly since the beginning of this decade to help great music survive America’s global economic tendencies. By prioritizing creative vision and autonomy over the bottom line, founders Rich Zerbo, Joe Gaer, and Jim Colvill have managed to build an indestructible reputation in a very short period of time with a roster that was initially composed of artists from various New York undergrounds, but has since come to embrace new acts further afield in Los Angeles and the UK. They’ve already put out stone-cold classic albums by unclassifiab le psychedelic adventurers like Gang Gang Dance, the lo-fi party-rock purists of Blood On the Wall, new-school space-rockers Psychic Ills, and free folk veteran Samara Lubelski, and the coming year promises their finest crop yet, with new full-lengths from their core bands, new debuts, and a freshly-inaugurated monthly 7-inch club. So, how did you get into the record business? I started Jews, Starlight Walker. managing a used record store in the sticks of Brooklyn when Velvet Undergroun d, White Light/White Heat; 13th Floor I was about 16 after a short stint at Nobody Beats The Wiz’s Elevators, Easter Everywhere; Throwing Muses, Hunkpapa; music department. I was going to Brooklyn College a few The Jesus and Mary Chain, Psychocandy; Game Theory, years later and life was getting pretty dull so I called Shimmy The Big Shot Chronicles. Disc records and Smells Like Records to try to get a job. After Aphex Twin, Selected Ambient Works 85-92; The Fall, Hex a short stint at Shimmy Disc I started taking the path train out Enduction Hour; Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Don’t Stand Me to Hoboken to work for SLR, eventually quitting school and Down; Jeff Mills, Live at The Liquid Room; This Heat, This moving out there to be there full time for a few years. After Heat. I got burnt out on that I moved back to Brooklyn and took a lame yet horribly profitable job for a few years while the Social If you could pull one band out of the past to record a Registry ball got rolling. new album for Social Registry, who would it be? I came at it after DJing radio at various different levels and Unwound. also being a music journalist. Obvious answer The Beatles. Less obvious: Killdozer. By getting drunk with Rich Zerbo. I think of you guys as some one of the few really What are the particular qualities that make you say, vital torchbearers for the old-fashioned (okay, 80s “I want to put out a record by this band?” I think that the and 90s) idea of an indie record label, so I’ve always element that draws me into doing a project is usually slightly liked that your slogan is “Purveyor s of Modern Music more of a question of personality and vision over anything and Antiquated Ideals.” What are those ideals, in a else. I can think of a few projects that we started on way nutshell? I came up with modern-music-antiquated-ideals before they were even that tangible; bands that we started idea early on. It had something to do with music that was working with because we believed in what they were going inventive (that being the modern part) and creating a sense to do more than what they were doing at that moment. of community while creating an outlet for musicians to make music at their own pace with complete control (the Do you think the ongoing iTunes-ification of music is antiquated part). going to be good or bad for labels like Social Registry, Music of various genres with a belief in the artist and not in the long run? Digital distribution levels the playing field hopping on the latest trends. in some ways for an indie label like ours. It creates a scaleDo you have particular labels (past or present) that you able, global supply chain where our music is available to look to as models? Def Jam. you whenever you like and wherever you are. Though one F-Note. downside, which may or may not be true, is that our fan What are your top five records NOT on Social Registry? base tends to be people that listen to a lot of different music, John Coltrane, Coltrane; Yoko Ono, Fly; The Beatles, and with the proliferation of free downloads on the internet it Rubber Soul; Public Enemy, Fear of a Black Planet; Silver probably doesn’t bode well for sales. It’s amazing for bands
though. More people listening to more music is never a bad thing. Good – people still need someone else to sift through the wealth of music being produced. How did you get involved with the Bloomington, IN axis (Bellwether, Jagjaguwar, Secretly Canadian)? I had met Chris Swanson and Ben Swanson while working for other labels. At some point I was selling records out of the trunk of my car and my apartment. Thankfully those guys were squinting at our operation and stepped up to turn us into a (slightly) pro operation. What album that you’ve released has been the most overlooked? TK Webb’s Phantom Parade. Hall of Fame’s Paradise Now. Considering the gallons of ink spilled on so called Freak Folkers, this is an album by people who were doing something much more interesting while no one was paying attention Blood Lines: XX. How’s the scene in Brooklyn right now? Blossoming like a hundred flowers. What’s coming up next on Social Registry? Is there
“Bands that we started working with because we believed in what they were going to do more than what they were doing at that moment.”
a date for the new Blood on the Wall album? What’s lined up for the 7” Social Club? The first half of 2008 is shaping up to be some of the best days the label has ever seen. In January, we have Blood On The Wall’s third record, Liferz, set for release alongside Growing’s first substantial release for TSR, a mini-album entitled Lateral. In February, we release 59.59 from UK based Sian Alice Group. 59.59 is probably the strongest debut record we have ever seen at TSR and in the course of making that release it’s become obvious that they will become a major fixture on the music scene in 2008, which is really exciting to be a part of. Psychic Ills are prepping a 12-inch and album, both of which will come out sometime before June. Finally we’ve got a new artist from Los Angeles, Douglas Armour, whose songwriting sensibilities are beyond comprehension; pure pop brilliance.
(left to right) Joe Gaer, Jim Colvill, Rich Zerbo. Photo by Scott Davis.
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words and photosby dylan doubt
he people’s skateparks are popping up pretty much everywhere these days. By “people’s skatepark” I am talking about the park that doesn’t have time for political handshaking and petitions. Getting the right people together, finding the right spot and fucking building it yourself. Burnside is pretty much as famous as it gets, but I am sure there were people pouring concrete under bridges long before that. The FDR park in Phillidelphia has done its best to shake the “philly-side” label, but other parks like Daewon’s homepark, “Pedroside” (channel street), and Vancouver’s own Leeside are happy to embrace the nod to the park that inspired a movement. There is no way that I could reference every bit of concrete that deserves mention, but some standouts include Washington Street in San Diego and the as yet nameless tight trannied wonderland that exists on Seattle’s waterfront. Pontus Alv has been pouring concrete all over Malmo, Sweden. Jose Noro’s crew is guilty of pouring concrete in Barcelona (the last place you would think that it would ever be needed) and Tony Miorano and friends have been laying concrete all over the Bay area. The pinnacle of all this being a highly secret park located in Oakland, who’s future is unsure (the community embraces the exchange of hardworking skateboarders for crackheads and rummies, the city is seeing nothing but insurance risks). The whole ideology being to build first and ask questions later, or better yet build it and answer questions as they arise and deal with consequences as they come. It really doesn’t take that much to get the ball rolling, and once you start it is hard to not get carried away. There is always that dude who gets more stoked on building than skating, and that is a brother that you need to take advantage of. We tracked down Seb Templer, who has laid enough concrete to bury us all and asked him for some tips…
Quinn Starrfrontside ollie
One thing to keep in mind when you are pouring concrete is to plan for the future. In this case that means not necessarily building the obstacle in the perfect spot, but rather somewhere that will enforce the building of another one. As perfect as this quarter pipe may appear, it is getting there that is half the battle. That makes Chris Connollyâ€™s footplant the icing on the cake.
Another great thing about this kind of park is that you are forced to work with what you have. This is a good candidate for well placed concrete. Take off lump, and landing lump. What more do you need? Sheldon Meleshinski waits out a rather long five-0 to fakie. Brilliant!
Shown in the Lemon Canvas colorway. To see all the other colorways go to DVS-GIRLS.COM Supradistribution.com
(here) Catching some serious z’s proves to be a challenging thing to accomplish when travelling. Luckily has plenty of practice, mastering the sheep-counting technique. (opposite) Doing it yourself kind of takes the pressure off as far as being a “productive” skater. I guess that would make kickflip backside treeride almost free.
o here I am, staring at this blank computer screen, with a three hour deadline given on a couple days notice to write about a trip from six months back. To top it off, this is all for a special DIY concept issue; a subject that may be foreign to what is normally documented in the skate media, albeit the only way of doing things for the majority of us. Seriously, what the fuck is per diem? This particular vagabond voyage was as spontaneous as it was nomadic. The destination was the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa, with rumours of copious amounts of natural tranny spots being the primary point of seduction.
Armin Bachman slips a quick rocky front nose in between manning the bbq, making street sandwiches and knocking back sweet sweet Spanish wine.
There is no arguing that Kenny Reed is the most well traveled skateboarder around. When he invites you to go on a trip, you’re a fool to say no. Palmride backside nollie out on one of the islands’ many natural tranny spots.
“Serously, what the fuck is per diem?”
The crew itself had no discernible point of reference, but was more or less drawn together through ‘six degrees of Kevin Bacon’, or in this case six degrees of Kenny Reed, who played the role of cultivator for this footloose excursion. Kenny, being the renowned transcontinental transient that he is, is no stranger to the DIY mantra, funding a good amount of his voyages out of his own pocket in search of untrotted terrain. Fred Gall happened to be in Barcelona, the point of departure. Being the East Coast warrior that he is, Fred was down without a second thought. He is a fucking savage, and I mean that in the best possible way. One of the last people to crash each night, and usually the first one awake in the morning ready to rip it. The third shredder of the bunch was Habitat International’s Adrian Morales. This Spanish workhorse brought the flavour to the table, both on the board and on the grill. Rounding off the crew was the more media minded types including myself, the mild mannered Mike Fox, and photographer Alberto Polo. Alberto played host of sorts, since he was the only one to have taken previous visits to this island paradise.
Not many of us really had any clue what we were in for, but the first few hours of consciousness upon landing proved to be a precursor of the mythical adventures that would soon follow. The earliest sign was found at our first watering hole after a late night arrival. It was pretty much a locals only club, where we ran into the flight attendant staff from the airplane we stepped off of barely hours earlier. As seemingly uneventful, and not particularly special as this may sound now, we took it as a token for a sign of good times to come. Fueled either by fresh island air or sheer excitement, we were able to make an early start the following morning. We found out quickly that the rumours of abundant street tranny spots were indeed true, and we spent the good portion of the day at this plaza with bizarre tiled waves, hips, boobs, and even a tree ride. We finished off the session in true Euro DIY style with a picnic at the spot fully equipped with street sandwiches and that sweet Spanish wine. Eventually we skated on to explore the streets and see what else Las Palmas had to offer. .brotrip
“... A glorious feast of carne assortments, all set to the bromantic atmosphere of our hotel penthouse terrace facing the sensitive seas.”
The following morning we rented two cars in order to lurk further inland and see what else the island had to offer. Not to get too sensitive, but the extraordinary diversity of the landscape was simply beyond justifiable description. In only one hour’s drive south to the next city we saw the scenery change from a Mediterranean coastal metropolitan built at the foot of a bizarre mountainesque chasm, to grandiose expanses of sand dunes that resembled that one planet from Star Wars, then to grazing prairies sprawling with massive windmills all leading up to the boundaries of lush green forests. Supposedly, the island has a nickname of being “The Miniature Continent,” and it’s definitely the first destination I’ve been to that actually lives up to its travel agency alias. During the course of events during the all too short four-day adventure, the one thing that was consistently spoken of was to have a rooftop BBQ session before it was all over. Finding the proper grilling gear proved to be a difficult endeavor. For some reason, cooking meat in the street doesn’t quite have the same appeal on these Spanish islands as it does in North America. But, diligent thinking and perseverance pays off. Our final night in paradise was consummated with a glorious feast of carne assortments, all set to the bromantic atmosphere of our hotel penthouse terrace facing the sensitive seas.
Freddy Gall is always down for last minute adventures. Boardslide to fakie at another of the island’s shocking spots.
[ o ] DOUBT
1. Rip out the top half of page 84 2. Rip out pages 85-90 Now you're ready to put together your very own zine of art by Shayne Ehman. 3. Take page 85 (form 1) and fold the top over on dotted gray line horizontally, then vertically. if it says "Any Jemimah Piles" in the top right corner of the first page, you've done it right. 4. repeat step 3 for Form #2 (p.87) and Form #3 (p.89). if you folded form 2 correctly your top piece of art will read "my hobbies Include going through your recycling at inappropriate hours".
when you've folded Form 3 the top page should be the second half of the signs spread and reads "Jaguar Eight" in the bottom right corner. 5. put two staples in the spine of each form. 6. stack them so the folds are at the top. 7. trim off the top, trim off the top, bottom and right sides. Now you're ready to perfect-bind your zine. 8. cut out the cover and fold on dotted gray lines. 9. apply rubber cement generously to the inside of the spine. 10 stick your 3 folded and stacked forms into the inside of the spine staples first and apply some weight to ensure a solid bond. allow two hours for glue to dry, then voila!
Your very own copy of Spandex Rumplestiltskin by S.P. Ehman
wordsby nicholas brown
hayne Ehman is the stuff of myth. At 33, he’s been showing consistently around Vancouver and across the world for over a decade, his work ranging from tiny drawings and zines to large-scale installations at the Vancouver Zoo, infamous rap and poetry readings around Vancouver’s East Side, and a current ongoing series of animated videos chronicling his cross-Canada hitchhiking tour entitled Asphalt Watches (with Seth Scriver). While he is notorious amongst a group of Vancouver artists best known for works on paper— including Jason McLean, Jeff Halliday and Marc Bell—he is also easily the most elusive. Spending half of his time outside the citybound art world, harvesting mushrooms in remote Northern Alberta and the Yukon, Ehman’s constant “off the grid” status has likely helped to build his mystique. A self-proclaimed “amateur mycologist” whose interests in mushrooms range from harvesting, drawing, photographing, and, yes, consuming, Ehman would seem a likely candidate for the status of “outsider artist.” But it isn’t nearly that simple.
[ o ] DOUBT
Ehman hasn’t deliberately cultivated this sort of mythology, nor has he actively shied away from showing his work publicly. For the last nine years or so, he has exhibited extensively in galleries such as the Or, CAG, Antisocial, and Blanket Gallery. His reputation seems to come from the delicate balance between being there and not there simultaneously. Hardly a recluse, Shayne is constantly making and showing work, and remains actively involved with artistic collaborations in and outside of his local community. But he is nevertheless an artist more concerned with drawing amongst friends than advancing his career, and this may explain why his is not yet a household name. Perhaps it’s this critical underexposure combined with a satisfyingly large and varied body of work that explains the almost mythical reputation. Or, maybe it’s that for someone who deliberately avoids the public eye, Ehman seems to put so much of himself and his community into his work. His drawings, sculptures, poems and animations are littered with references both intimately personal and outwardly projected upon the world of pop culture and art history. His characters reference the Vancouver neighbourhood of Strathcona and the adjacent Downtown Eastside (along with countless other geographical and cultural locations), melding instantly accessible characters with their buggy eyes and wide, lumpy bodies, amongst heaps of seemingly nonsensical words and phrases rendered in beautifully hand-rendered type. His bug-eyed characters even made their way into a collection of quilts Ehman made in collaboration with his mother, Gloria Taylor (he designed the figures, which his mother used as references to produce the Ukranian-style geometric patterns). But while endless nickname dropping and inside joking might seem alienating for those outside Ehman’s immediate circle, the artist offers an equally great volume of pop-culture references and otherwise simply absurd phrases to confuse and delight: “tea from the nipple tree”; “crunch masters anonymous”; “organ donair”; 84
OUTSIDE BACK COVER
“highly advanced pac man”… the list goes on. Whether inside jokes or improvised word salads, Shayne’s web of references has the unique ability to render accessible even the most bewildering significations. One risk that comes with discussing Shayne’s work in a print publication lies in an overemphasis on the visual, as anyone who has witnessed his live performances, poetry readings or heard the now legendary Knob Central and Staked Plain projects can attest (the latter stands as the only group Ehman has been in that actually produced a record, circa 1996). In fact, the drawings, for which he is perhaps best known, gain added layers of meaning when associated with the sound of Ehman’s voice. Due in part to the fact that many of his word drawings directly reference lines from songs by Knob Central and other spoken/ rapped pieces, every piece comes to endlessly reference some other part of the artist’s oeuvre—it becomes nearly impossible to fully differentiate one part from the whole. Additionally, sound installation pieces like Free Jazz Pinball, which was shown at the Or Gallery in 2002, reveal the many facets of Ehman’s practice. The piece consists of a pinball machine, which the artist constructed out of wood, metal and plexiglass, in order to amplify the sounds made by the ball through huge speakers, creating a free jazz drum soundtrack to the gravity and motion of the game itself. What is so intrinsically connected to Ehman’s process is less the game itself than its application—at one point during the opening, the artist explains, “Some heavy musicians sessioned with the game using instruments such as guitar and saxophone.” Jamming as a creative process is at the core of everything Ehman produces, and as such this installation would appear the perfect realization. That the arrangement of speakers on the machine formed a buggy eyed face that mirrors his characters par excellence further affirms the interconnectedness of Ehman’s vast body of work.
When asked to remark on this uncanny quality with which his work endlessly references itself, Ehman gets philosophical. The thread running through all of his work, the artist attests, is “the glowing line.” He explains, “I really feel the work which holds the meditation and the strictly glowing lines is the strongest, most expressive and most worthwhile.” This isn’t merely a question of lines on paper, but something experiential, such as the three months Shayne spent life drawing with Jeff Halliday at the Vancouver Flea Market (an institution for these artists along with other collaborators like past featured artist Corey Adams). “You watch the wildest people and the nutiest stuff and wait,” he explains, “then sometimes the fluorescent lights and the old paper start tingling and getting kind of fuzzy and then a pop and boom! and there they are! Strictly glowing lines! The drawing is alive in itself and all you got to do is patiently trace the glowing lines.” Such an explanation might come across as excessively abstract, or even the product of too much time spent consuming his harvest (the artist admits having spent a full three months under the influence of magic mushrooms in the late 90s), but Ehman is quite specific about how the glowing lines manifest themselves. “I believe these kinds of lines may be geographically dependent. On the west coast amongst the big cedars and juicy rainy mossy knolls I see really buggy eyes and smooth curves and up in Alberta where the trees are smaller and it’s dryer, the lines are gnarlier and thinner as a result. This seems true in a lot of first nations traditional drawings and paintings and definitely true for me from my experience. The plants, temperatures and moisture are not the only factors, of course, magnetic fields, celestial influences, pollution levels, intoxication levels, unknown forces, variously huge and subtle as well. If there was ever one thing you were forced to remember, remember! What? It’s all the same same same same.”
ART BY SHAYNE EHMAN
Itâ€™s hard to ever hate on anyone that takes the time to pour concrete. Taking advantage of the low river, a crew of dudes used stones and debris to build this less than perfect kicker. Beer, friendship, and a labour of love. Ryan Machan, . [ o ] COMBER
[ o ] COMBER
wordsby mike christie
“Since I was a kid I felt the need to wander and find new spots, once you find all the spots it’s time to build your own.” —
his being the DIY issue, we got to thinking about what results when skaters take this type of approach to spots. Making spots more skateable or even creating them is something skaters have always done (waxing curbs, draining pools, building ramps, etc.) and lately are forced to do more and more (especially in Vancouver) now that everything is either knobbed, completely played out, viciously security guarded, or just plain built to suck.
But is there such thing as doing too much yourself? Can this approach be taken too far? This is a question we’re faced with all the time here at the magazine when evaluating photos. We all know that nobody wants to see a skatepark photo in the feature section or in an interview unless the trick is so insane that no one gives a hoot where it was taken. But Burnside photos are rad? What’s the difference? How about plywood laid down for a landing? Or the run-up? Or putting ‘sleeves’ on rails? Is that more lame than cutting the kink at the bottom off? Or less? What about bringing a bench you made to a spot and setting it up? Or a jersey barrier? Or a massive booter? Or is that not as interesting as setting up something with what’s available at the spot? And is fixing cracks cheating, especially if someone has already filmed stuff on it with the crack?
Mike Bald, Here it is folks, the infamous landing on plywood. But what about if you live in a small, flat, architecturally challenged Canadian city that has no good rails to skate? In some places there’s no choice but to make spots work by any means necessary, otherwise you’d be slappying the curb out front of WalMart all day. [ o ] ODAM
Equally as legit is working with found objects. But then, in our fickle world of skateboarding there are still rules as to how much a spot can be manipulated, and what kind of make-shift obstacles cut it. Case in point, the kicker (or in Canada: the “booter”)... Dangerous territory, but I guess the flat bank isn’t too far off... or is it? Hilliard Sulpher, ollie. [ o ] DUFRESNE
What results from these questions are some pretty time-consuming and nerdy discussions, where we find ourselves asking even more questions that boil down to: “Is this legit?” “Is this rad?” or more specifically, “Is this skateboarding?” as we try to define what amount of Doing It Yourself is acceptable and what isn’t, and often we end up more confused than when we started. When I was a kid, there was this dude on my block named Ken who actually wore fingerless leather skate gloves and used to tell me and my friend we were poseurs because we waxed curbs. “It’s cheap bros, wax doesn’t feel like a grind,” I remember him saying right before he’d go and do loud, growling layback backside slashers on his own curb that was dry as a bone. Actually, I think he might have had Z-Rollers, but whatever, you get the point. People hate. Myself included. I hate on the mega-ramp (not the ramp specifically but the stunt-boarding it stands for) and to this day, when I see someone landing on plywood with no concrete in sight and I think about snowboarders doing rails and landing on those little patches of 94
snow and I feel a bit nauseous. Where do these feelings come from? What are we trying to protect? The ‘realness’? The purity? The soul? Our fragile egos? In all of our confusion we thought we would make a feeble attempt to answer the the definitively unanswerable question – How much DIY is too much? We put out a call to a whole bunch of different people: skaters, filmers, photographers, whoever, and asked them for a second opinion. As the responses poured in, we realized lots of people have been thinking about this question too; that it’s almost kind of like skateboarding’s dirty secret. We also noticed most of the responses people gave fell into a number of categories, or kind of like general theories about how to judge what is legit. We also noted how a person stands on this issue has a lot to say not only about why they skateboard in the first place but also about how they choose to live their life. So to go along with the responses we’ve selected some photos of ‘fixed’ or built spots. You can judge for yourself as to their legitimacy.
“Apparently Caswell Berry ollied the stairs beside this rail, I took the chicken shit way down.” Without ten minutes with a hacksaw, there would be no “chicken shit” option. Colin Lambert, ollie. [ o ] NEUFELD
“If you slam and end up with grass stains then you’re not really street skating are you? Save the fucking salad grind for something else, dick weed.”
“Fuck it. I say go Adam McNatt with it. Jump ramp to full manmade roller coaster.” —Jeff Landi .findingthefix
gotta do what you gotta do
“I don’t care if you got to spray buster grease on a ledge, land on a piece of plywood, cut a chunk of a rail out, etc. If you want to be original and skate something different you’re going to work for it, mentally or physically. That’s why us boarders got brain power that these other fools will never see. We see architecture. We ride that shit... luda crooks.” —Chet Childress 96
Antoine Asselin, noseblunt SLIDE RIGHT OFF THE GODDAMN END!
Cinder blocks (always legit) − Police Barrier (sort of played out) + Good Form = Dope. Adam McLaughlin, switch lipslide. [ o ] GILS
There may be an equation for the amount of materials used in relation to the amount that any particular spot benefits from it. In this case it is high and well deserved. I don’t think anyone would front on that little dollop of concrete that made this spot and this trick happen, do you?
Rumour has it that the city came down to Third and Army and ripped out this concrete quarter pipe that had been there just long enough to generate a handful of ripping ads. But then, maybe it was the ledge police objecting to such cement work at one of the world’s most renowned ledge spots... Rumour also has it that the next day, they returned to build a new quarter pipe four times the length with hipped ends and a loveseat. Which raises the question that has plagued civilizations for centuries: Who decides what should get built and what shouldn’t? Mike Rusczyk, bluntslide. [ o ] DOUBT
[ o ] MATHIEU
“If it aids in the search for the ultimate stoke and the search for the Animal Chin, do it.” —Keegan Sauder “As a skateboard photographer, I feel like spots have issues that wouldn’t be seen in the photo anyhow, so why not bondo or lay wood out? At the same time, I don’t want to see wood in a photo.” —Allen Ying
“I can show you how to make a gravity bong, motherfucker. Shit, or shake and bake pork.” —Brad Staba “Fixing or creating spots is a necessity in skateboarding, skaters get bored, we have to learn new things all of the time.” —Rick McCrank “I think when people make spots, or fix spots, it’s awesome. That’s amazing. I don’t know how people wouldn’t like that. It’s skateboarding. The more things to skate the better.” —Brandon Biebel
Hugo Balek, backside smith. [ o ] GILS (opposite) Grant Patterson, frontside popshove crooked grind. The sleeve is as equally hated on as the wood landing. The difference is that the sleeve is a reaction to skatestopping, rather than making something skateable that wouldn’t otherwise be (in this case taking back one of the best rails anywhere) so why hate on it? The sleeve has been called a ‘rail condom’ by some, maybe it’s because the amount of planning that goes into attaching it can kind of ruin the mood. [ o ] ODAM
“People get tripped out when people build spots and pass them off as natural, but skating something that’s been built is rad if the photos and video tell the story or make it obvious that it’s built. Like that slab in Atlanta, Grant Patterson’s kickflip from boob to boob, no one’s fronting on that, cause it’s obvious it’s been built, but Berra tried to fool everyone so everyone’s hating on it.” —Jamie Thomas 98
To be honest, after reading what people had to say, we kind of agree with everybody and nobody all at the same time. If you don’t know a spot is fixed, or built, does it hurt you? Or is it important to make clear exactly what you are up to? Is skateboarding just a popularity contest where whatever the cool kids do is cool and whatever the not cool kids do gets dissed no matter what? I hope not. Though sometimes it sure seems that way. Do we really have to build spots or are we just too lazy to find new ones? And what are we so worried about anyway? Clearly some people aren’t. It’s just skateboarding isn’t it? Well, maybe we can all agree we love skateboarding dearly and would hate to see it get boring, or stagnant, or ridiculous, or turn into a series of carefully planned, expensive televised stunts. “Skaters by their very nature are urban guerillas: they make everyday use of the useless artifacts of the technological burden, and employ the handiwork of the government/ corporate structure in a thousand ways that the original architects could never dream of.” Craig Stecyk wrote this a long time ago and although it’s a little (okay, a lot) grandiose, I think it describes the spirit or what I like to think is the beating heart of skateboarding quite well.
Maybe we’re worried that in all our DIYing we’ll stop using cities and start building everything that we skate, or alter things so much that we are no longer adapting to them, then we will have lost something vital, probably what made skateboarding cool in the first place. The same as if we end up just skating spots that only look huge, or difficult, to the cameras I mean, and just be doing shit for how it appears, not how it feels, then we’ve lost the only reason to ever step on a skateboard in the first place. But I get afraid when I feel the urge to defend the purity of skateboarding from the hordes of people who I think want to ruin it, afraid I sound like Z-Roller Ken from my block or who is possibly Z-Rolling all over some dry curb right now, posting on skate message boards about how real he’s keeping it. When you go and try to make a set of rules for what sucks (like wax or plywood landings or portable booters) it’s almost like you’re doomed to be proven wrong someday by someone breaking these rules in a rad and innovative way. So what can we say? Maybe it’s better to look at what is cool about skateboarding and just try to focus on that. Using what’s available and adapting to your environment
is cool. So is innovation (watch the new Lakai video for an example of how stoking this can be). Taking back spots that are capped/sticking it to the man is cool. And so is building spots out of stolen (sorry stolen is just cooler) concrete and garbage. And spots made to last are always better than something rigged for the day. And most importantly, people who skate for themselves are always radder and more fun to watch than those who don’t. There’s this tired old quote: “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture” and I think it totally applies to whenever we discuss the finer points of skateboarding. Attempting to explain what makes one photo rad and one photo not is fun, but ultimately pointless; really you either get stoked by it or you don’t. Maybe it’s only in the office of a skateboard magazine, where you stare at photos for so long, and agonize over the decision of which to publish and which not, that you ever actually end up thinking about this stuff consciously. In the end, maybe there are only two rules we can safely make: 1. Please, God, keep skateboarding interesting, and 2. Shake and bake as much pork as you are able.
Color: How long hav e you guys been together? Dave: A little over a yea r. We met at Antisocial’s ramp ope ning in 2006. What’s the essence of skate punk? What does it take? Baxter: Just music tha t makes you want to skate. What else is there to do? You can get marrie d and have a kid, I guess.
staunch hina Creeps are est, old e th of es devote atesk of ol purest scho rude, d, lou ’re ey Th . punk they play and violent, and ngs that are so e short, abrasiv ly the finer on concerned with g fun, causing vin ha : life in s thing on your ng tti ge d an trouble, The band’s . rd oa eb fucking skat (vocals), t at M four members, (bass), and il Ne s), m ru (d Dave d eat, breathe, an Baxter (guitar), named ey th : ing rd oa piss skateb r one of the city’s themselves afte k, ots, China Cree oldest skate sp e in song liz ta or m im ey which th 7-inch (pressed on their self-titled the first 50 yl, vin on puke-green me wrapped ca ich wh of s copie ), and they have in neon grip tape r-pipe that te ar qu a three-foot ows. Since the they bring to sh year, their hand beginning of this en plastered be ve ha s er fly drawn les all over the on telephone po a le one depicted ab city – a memor on p ta ail cr a ing skateboarder do eelchair-bound wh the head of our ’ve llivan – and they mayor, Sam Su for e m na a ch su already made Skull Skates has themselves that t a China Creeps ou t pu to decided r, inducting be m ce board in De guished tin them into the dis that have had s nd ba of ny pa m co Skates boards in their own Skull Distortion, The l cia So the past: Youth, Gang d te Vandals, Was . The Black Halos , uh d, an n, ee Gr er ov ps ee Cr e th th Color met up wi bon in ur Bo e Th at s some beer ey before a show th Vancouver just s, cle Cy s iou Vic played with The st (and probably Vancouver’s be band. cle cy or only) mot
What’s the opposite of music that makes you want to ska te? Dave: The anti of ska teboarding music is songs with wedding bells in them. Wedding chimes? Tha t’s probably what you don’t want to hear when you’re grinding coping . Except for that one Cock Sparrer son g called “Bird Trouble”. That one’s not bad. So where can people buy your 7-inch? Matt: Antisocial and Skull Skates in Vancouver, or my van . Also, Scratch and Red Cat. Are you selling it onl ine? Matt: Sure, through our myspace. People can just contac t us and we’ll figure something out. There’s no more left with the grip tape, though. Are you planning on
anything else? Matt: We’ll be recording probably in February, either a 7-inch or a split 7-inch or two split 7-inches with another band. The Truck Racks from San Diego are into it. you Any plans to put out a CD, or are all about vinyl? Matt: It’s more important. CDs are out like garbage now. Anyone can put a CD. Are you going on tour? tle Matt: We’ll do Portland and Seat g in the winter. We’ll be hopefully takin next the 7-inch down the West Coast summer.
a lot I guess the West Coast makes more sense than a cross-Canada tour. to Dave: Yeah, man. There’s nothing it skate, and our van wouldn’t make across the mountains. myspace.com/chinacreeps
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By GORDON NICHOLAS
Stylist MILA FRANOVIC hair brendan hopper Make-up jessica venturI AT THEYEP Models SHEA WITH ROBYN AND LAUREN OF Richards
Robyn has on a RVCA tank over STUSSY crew neck sweater, with tight RVCA sateen cement Lauren wears BOXFRESH burnout detail dress over the knit smoke top with DC ice skating skirt.
Robyn wears DC audrey tank tops layerd over eachother with BILLABONG spray one piece swim suit and RVCA bubble jersey dat skirt. Lauren wears STUSSY storm tshirt, RVCA collins high waisted walking short and WESC tea windbreaker.
Lauren wears BOXFRESH chromeo dressy boy shirt peeking out from the STUSSY helena knit top, all packaged into WESC tanya corduroys in contrast to the VIS VIM black g. mowat moc patent shoes. Robyn has on a MATIX kino top with wesc tanya jeans.
Shea wears VOLCOM aztechno sheer tee.
Robyn wears MATIX kino top with tanya denim by WESC.
Shea wears BOXFRESH hypnotize mockneck buttoning down both shoulders paired with VOLCOM dynasty skinny jean in black. Lauren has on EZEKIEL high contrast print joell top peeking out of a vintage grey fluffy mohair sweater with VOLCOM firebird matchstick super drainpipe jean.
Shea has on a mens diaries tank by RVCA under white EZEKIEL eryn drawstring waist parachute jacket and black barcelona genie pants, all cinched with a LOYAL LOOT fancy belt.
Lauren wears STUSSY storm tee, RVCA collins high waisted walking short and tea windbreaker by WESC.
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It used to be that a skateboard company was only taken seriously if it was operated by a CEO. Today, we see the opposite. More and more, people put their trust in skateboarders first, business second. DIY companies stand out because they have the freedom to forge an aesthetic and mission for their company. They are in the streets with the skaters, and often times are the skaters. DIY causes changes within skateboarding - it shifts the concept of the skateboard company, art, attitude, construction, and location. It shifts it away from the majors to have much more meaning than money. The low to no cost of using accessible media, such as Facebook, Myspace and Icelounge now allow any sized company, regardless of budget, to promo videos, web sites and skate tours to the numerous skaters invading the parks all over the country. Although larger skate companies rarely take the DIYs seriously, it becomes harder to ignore when seasoned pros would rather ride for themselves than the giants. Smaller outfits hold shit together and keep stuff happening on the local level, while the big guys are focused on other things. DIYs can adapt quickly to people’s feedback and make changes, which spurs on the creative department pretty well. DIY board companies appear all over the world and each with a solid connection to their market and a sensibility to help each other. DIYs are personal and interesting: these are real people with real reasons for creating skateboards. Skateboarding has always been about staying away from what’s mainstream. So now that skateboarding itself has entered the mainstream market... what are we to do? Many skaters have chosen to go out on their own, forging new and innovative ways of building and showcasing skateboarding and a brand of their own.
“We have the brain power to inspire the new breed by doing things the opposite as all the rest.” —Corey Sheppard, sub-genus skateboards switch frontside wallride
[ o ] PETERSON
“As cliche as it sounds if you don’t do it, who will?” —Jason Masse [ o ] COMBER
ot unlike most small companies, Sub-Genus is very much about “doing things their way.” Veteran pro from the late, but elite A-Team, Gershon Mosley, former pro of Blind Skateboards, Corey Sheppard, and Canadian am Paul Otovos were tired of not being able to do things the way they wanted, so a year and a half ago they joined forces to create Sub-Genus. A traditional California based skate company, Sub-Genus offers pro decks made by skaters for skaters. The team riders are all recognizable names that choose to ride for their own smaller company rather than the predictable major players – but being based in California doesn’t mean a free ride to success. They focus on elevating the fun of skateboarding by sponsoring events over mass advertising, which can, in the end, mean more work and less play.
The benefit of owning and running their own company is simple: being real skaters allows decision making to be based on actual experience and respect for the culture. The entire team gets involved with decisions regarding boards and graphics, but the majority of the designs are handled by Sub Genus’s exclusive artist, Foof. They currently produce skateboards, t-shirts and sweatshirts, with the intensions of expanding their products list as cashflow permits. They’re also currently in the works of a promo video which will feature all their ‘team-players’. We had a chance to talk with Corey Sheppard, Jason Masse, and their artist Foof about the delicacy of forging out on their own.
Do you think your graphics are more informed by the fact that you have actually skated so much and have watched the appearance of skating change over the years? CS: Yes, in many ways. As an artist myself [and] having been skating for more than 18 years, I have seen a lot and know a lot about the world of skateboarding. As a former pro from Blind I got the insight on what the bigger companies are doing. For example the target marketing of where and who you’re actually selling your product to, although I would like to expand that and sell to everyone who is interested in our product. FOOF: The graphics and aesthetics are definitely a response to the changes that have taken place within skateboarding over the years. We’re basically just trying to do something new that is not based off of latest trends or any of the bandwagons that many of the big companies jump onto. When everybody’s doing the same thing it takes all the flavour out of skateboarding so we’re just trying to put some ingredients into the mix. Is there a particular song or group or art movement that you think of when you think of your company? 116 subgenus.
FOOF: There is not one particular style or movement that we are associating ourselves with but we are definitely trying to align ourselves with all the really amazing music and art talent out there that is undiscovered or not getting proper recognition. We’re trying to support anybody who is busting their ass at what they do and has real talent regardless of what their style is or how popular their name is. CS: No, and I truly think that that is a wonderful thing. We have the freedom to create what we think is a great product. We are the movement in a sense. It’s us. Doing it yourself, thinking for yourself. Do you feel that you can make a difference and affect people? CS: Yes I do, like I just said we are here doing what we want to do, it’s not for everyone—got to remember it’s skater-owned and that being said I think we have the brain power over here to reach to all, and inspire the new breed by doing things the opposite as all the rest. And for the older generation too. Do you think the major skate companies want to deal with small companies? CS: That could go both ways such as, do we want to deal with bigger companies? Bottom line, we are not some
rich dude that wants to suck skateboarding dry, this is what we are and know, and for say a company like Prime [Manufacturing]—they know we are small and are willing to give us a chance, based on that. Do you think the indie skate companies are a money based community or goal based? If goal, what is the goal? CS: Well to answer that we are not a money based company, I mean to be honest it would be nice to have a little more money, like anyone, but that’s not our goal. Our goal is to do things our way and to help the skateboard community by adding something different. Being more creative and like I said doing it our way and staying away from what’s hot. Have you encountered any situation where people who felt they had nothing to offer were able to develop a talent and contribute to the early stages of your company? JM: Well, to be honest I feel really inadequate sometimes. I’m not the most tech guy out there I can hardly send an e-mail correctly but I try and do the things that I can do well and find help with the things I can’t. Do you feel that there is more mistrust in larger board companies?
[ o ] PETERSON
Corey Sheppard, 360 flip
CS: Yes I do, I have heard countless times about larger companies taking advantage of skaters by not showing numbers, or even as far as making only enough product to meet the minimums, and to not give royalties. It’s a real weird world out there and people can get real greedy. I’m sure it happens with any company. Is there a sense of helping out other small companies that are supporting skating or music and art? Or do you find it to be competitive? CS: I think it benefits both parties to help each other out, even to help as in where they get their product made, doing demos with each other... When it comes down to it, we love skateboarding and that’s what matters and to know that they also are small it gives a sense of doing things right. Are you conciously spreading the word on DIY skating?
JM: Skateboarding to me has always been a do-it-yourself type of thing you want to skate something that is unskateable you rip the bush out, you knock a fence down. I remember when I first learned slappies I saw all these dudes doing crazy double sided slappy curb stuff. Well I didn’t have a double sided slappy curb so I dug, with a screw driver only, a little four inch gap out of the grass behind my slappy curb so I could try and simulate the spot and tricks being done in the videos at the time. As cliche as it sounds, if you don’t do it who will? What are some secrets to keeping the tour going when you are in a far off town? JM: We haven’t toured a whole lot yet, but finding new things to skate is always motivating. Copious amounts of sex, drugs and alcohol work as well. How much input do the team riders have on the graphics and direction of the
company? FOOF: I’m a control freak when it comes to graphics because if I feel that it does not go with the direction and image of the company then I’m not going to do it no matter what. However, I definitely take in the rider’s input and do my best to create graphics that they will be happy with and that also go with the look of the company.
Sub-Genus mutants/skaters include Jason Masse, Paul Otvos, Gershon Mosley, and Corey Sheppard. (left) Paul smacks a nollie backside heelflip somewhere in Ontario.
The HG team consists of Bruce Treby (NS), Ian St. Aubain (TO), Bud Patterson (Van.), Jon Sturge (Van.), Nik Sexton and Joey Maher (both in TO). New to the team this year is Adam Wade of Goosebay, Labrador. Some major contributing artists to Homegrown include Scott McClellan, Labrona, Jesse Jacobs, Felix Berube, Nick Wilton, Logan Amos, Adam Cassidy, Selwyn Sharples and Jesse Watson.
Ten years in, Homegrown is still a small business – he would sooner close up shop than have the decks manufactured somewhere else. Jesse feels the more mainstream and mass-produced skateboards get, the more it becomes clear that pursuing quality and not quantity is what is missing in skate culture. Of course, getting supplies in and out of Nova Scotia can be expensive, but supporting the tradition of manufacturing with high quality Canadian products is what is important to these communityminded skaters.
“Younger generations don’t realize the only reason we have our skatepark was because we built it ourselves.”
esse Watson is no stranger to the DIY approach. Growing up in Nova Scotia has always meant building your own scene and creating your own culture. But where Jesse takes it further than most, is not only the fact that he started his own skateboard company Homegrown in 1996, but that he also actually manufactures a wide variety of deck sizes including two old school shapes, and limited edition guest artist decks. Homegrown only press their boards from pieces of local veneer and buckets of glue now, but the production experiments started in ‘94 when he was developing decks with jigs and glue for just his friends. Since 1996, Homegrown Skateboards continues the tradition of fostering the skate scene that Jesse and his buddies grew up in. The Homegrown company is based in a 106 year old warehouse situated at the mouth of the LeHave River, and in true Nova Scotia fashion the workshop sits on pillars overhanging the ocean, above his family-owned bakery.
What made you want to start your own company? At the age of 15 or 16 it was a big deal to save up enough money to buy a pro deck (buying blanks at that time was not the way, even if you were broke!). After checking out every single deck on the wall, I would decide what to buy based on graphics, pro names and reputation for quality. During these early years, I realized that many of the big US brands were using Eastern Canadian Rock maple (known globally as the best maple veneer available) in their West Coast manufacturing, then selling it back to us in deck form. This inspired me to start messing around with car jacks and researching the lamination process. Using local materials to build a local product independent of the industry defines the core philosophy of Homegrown. What makes your company different? We only press decks for the Homegrown label. This is unique as most manufacturers produce for other brands in order to have the volume needed to stay in business. We build our decks in batches of 100 or so at a time. The equipment does not run constantly as it would in a larger operation. What plans do you have for the future of the company? Providing more variety in designs and shapes, going further with guest artists, more team trips, strengthening the online connection with Homegrown supporters, and completing all the little pieces of the puzzle that make up a skateboard company. It is more important than ever that we support Canadian manufacturing. The current situation of producing skateboards and related products overseas for our market is not sustainable or healthy. The answer is to support and promote companies who produce here at home. Is there something in particular that influenced you to start Homegrown? The Plan B Questionable video and that era
of skate culture deeply affected my sense of esthetics, respect and admiration for the pros of that time. Before girlfriends or parties my skate crew soaked in what was happening in California’s scene in the early 90s. Big pants and small wheels—that was our time. That influence combined with the older local skaters definitely became a foundation for forming our own identities both personally and through our own projects. Watching all those vhs’ and reading every mag we could get our hands on really made us feel part of the subculture at the time, I have high standards in what I do as a result. Being the ambitious entrepreneur that you are, do you feel the affect you have on the people around you? Doing it yourself definitely affects people. It opens their eyes to what is possible and how they can take action and bring something to the scene or culture they belong to. People of all ages come to our shop and get inspired. They see how hands on it really is when I’m printing decks next to a stack of veneer with kids skating the ramp in the other room. This leaves a lasting impression of what we do and how that sets us apart from everyone else. Do you think the DIY skate companies are a money based community or goal based? If goal, what is the goal? I would think DIY companies are more goal based than financially d riven. That’s the whole idea Isn’t it? To do or provide something unique that you take pride in. This takes a ton of work and community based it takes a framework of likeminded people to make everything come together. Money keeps it rolling but it is not the goal. Those that make things happen in the scene go above and beyond the financial gain, that’s the deal if you are truly into it. Do you ever say to yourself I’m doing this for the scene? To keep skating going, to make it like I remember. Making stuff and skateboarding are dear to me, but a lot of the reasons I’ve stuck with it are tied into supporting skateboarding and getting regional talent out there, developing the local scene and passing on the meat and potatoes of skateboard culture is my duty. God knows the kids need it! A lot of the DIY attitude is missing these days. The younger generations don’t realize the only reason we have our skatepark was because we built it ourselves. Homegrown is currently compiling footage for their second full-length video, although some teasers and short tour video projects will likely be on the go over the winter. HOMEGROWNSKATEBOARDS.COM
KITSCH. Tech legend Geoff Dermer’s Vancouver based company Kitsch has only been around for about a year, but he has years of experience repping other people’s skateboards. Making the switch to owner has allowed Geoff to do everything he had been doing for other companies for himself, plus he has incorporated the family business of sheep skin slippers to brand a Canadian skateboard company with some original products. Currently fifty stores carry Kitsch and by applying his experiences and love of skateboarding Dermer has spread his distribution of Kitsch by traveling with his team to just about every small town in his home province of British Columbia, but also to far off places like Japan. The time on the road is paying off - the team of long time friends know it is not only about the individual, but about the team building up the brand.
How does running a company compare to riding for a company? For me running a company has been a lot more work. Setting up the demo tours and paying the bills each month has put more pressure on me than getting a photo in time for an add, but running Kitsch has been much more rewarding. With years of riding for someone else and giving them all my footage in exchange for a spot on a team and a part in their video, it’s just different. Now I really enjoy getting everything made, doing the sales and shipping orders out. Also now that Kitsch has a solid team when we are out filming, we each know that if one person gets a photo or films a trick then it’s good for the brand as a whole, it’s not all up to us individually, it’s less stressful in that way. Is there a particular song or group or art movement that you think of when you think of your company? Quannum is a crew/record label that was started by Blackalicios, Lyrics Born, and DJ Shadow etc. Blackalicious’ first album NIA is probably my all time favourite, I remember being about 20 when they dropped the sequel to that album, called Quannum Spectrum, on the pull-out insert inside the CD there was the story of how they had each had gotten tired of trying to deal with being on someone else’s label, and so they had invested $212 each and started their own. After reading this I was even more inclined to buy all their albums. Years later I’ve now gone to a bunch of their shows, and watched how they sold out the Commodore and sold all their t-shirts and CDs, and these guys are underground and independent and have a positive message, I have always looked up to them I guess. Doing it yourself, thinking for yourself, do you feel that you can make a difference and affect people (skaters) and change and inspire people? Yeah, to inspire more kids is one of the key reasons I started Kitsch. We have each had times when a kid at a demo has comes up and said “hey , I never thought of this trick until I saw you do it in your video part and then I went and learned it too.” Now that we have come together as a team, we plan on doing the same thing we have always done only under our own name. I hope this way more kids will get inspired to keep skating for fun, and to also start thier own companies as well. Do you think the DIY skate companies are a money based community or goal based? If goal, what is the goal? It’s simply not a good investment if you are trying to just make money. The goal of any of the skater run board companies I know is to just be able to do something positive, to contribute and add on to skateboarding.
Kitsch Skateboards is Mike Hastie, Arron Johnson, Cory Wilson, Jesse Booi, Sean Macalister and owner Geoff Dermer. Russ Morland is the art director and has designed all the graphics and logos so far.
We want to attract more kids to it, but out of our love of skating though, not for more money in our pockets. Do you feel there is mistrust in larger skate companies by skaters? Not so much with the board companies, but if you just flip through a BMX or Surf magazine and you’ll see basically the exact same clothing and shoe adds with surfing pics instead of skating pics, not sure if kids know or really care at all but that always seemed a little weird to me. Is there a sense of helping out other small companies that are supporting skating or music etc? Do you hear from other people they did a demo in some small town and the scene was cool so you check it out too, spreading the word between other small companies? Yes, when setting up tours this past summer I have had friends have let me know what towns to definately not bother going to, as far as putting on a demo goes. It’s so strange how some towns nowadays literally have no older skaters at all, and the younger skaters literally only want free stuff or to see you glide off the parks only set of stairs. What are some of the more inventive methods you have used to spread the word on your company? Making Kitsch Sheepskin Slippers was one. It meant a lot
more orders going out in the middle of winter too. How much input do the team riders have on the graphics and direction of the company, what makes you ask an artist to collaborate or create a graphic for you? I’ll always ask the guys on the team what they think about anything that we produce to get their opinion first, so far we’ve all been really hyped on the ideas Russ [Morland] has been coming up with. We have not done any collaboration’s yet, so it’s hard to say what would make me collaborate with another artist, I’d have to either really like their work or know them personally. How do you utilize new media to spread the word? In the past it may have been done with spray cans and stickers. As far as the media we are relying on the traditional way of the team getting coverage in the magazines and parts in the local videos. As Canadian skaters I am amazed at how much we do follow our own countries videos and magazines. Every time a new local vid or magazine comes out, it gets seriously studied by the kids in the small towns, people do remember the things that stand out. I like to think someone will see an interview with one of us wearing a Kitsch T and then mentioning the brand, and then check us out on the computer, youtube, myspace, facebook. search Kitsch and you’ll find us, we’re all up on there.
How much of an influence on your starting a brand did your family’s business have? Seeing the opportunity to start a brand myself seems like it was a natural coming of age thing for me. My first real job was selling US brands for the distributors up here to all the skate shops, this gave me the opportunity to set up my generation’s first demo tours: the old Mad Dash. Years later when Creation Skateboards gave me my fifth ad and were talking about giving me a pro board, it just started to seem strange, being the token ‘Canadian guy’. I’d been to SF quite a few times and I just figured I was happier living and skating here. Filming the Port Moody Blues video for example, we had a real team feeling the whole time and I really wanted to create that feeling again. It just hit me one day, that in order to do that I had to start my own board company. The fact that my family has had a small business for twenty years importing sheepskin products from Australia has helped a lot. I’ve been able to set up a little warehouse for Kitsch and the family business, and this winter I figured I’d use that connection to make some Kitsch slippers and hats. So far everyone agrees it was a good idea. It’s a natural product, and hey it’s cold here so why not? KITSCHSKATEBOARDS.COM
Twelve Ounce Distribution
inquiries: 514 389 8885 firstname.lastname@example.org
[ o ] PROCTO
ost grunge Seattle saw the first days of Adam Brown, Nin Truong and Eric Green’s Manik skateboards, a company that emphasizes creativity over bangers. Every skater knows that graphics play a big part on what board they ride, Manik chooses artists over pros to rep their boards—they even have an artist in residence program. The artists asked to work for Manik are given full creative control. Although they may not be the expected artists, they do have work that speaks to the skate culture. Evidence of this can be found in Seattle’s own Charles Peterson’s photographs of bands like Nirvana and Mudhoney reproduced on decks. Manik also organizes and tour art exhibitions that display the work of their wide array of up and coming and established artists, a stark contrast to the usual anonymous artist identities from larger skate companies.
What disadvantages do you face being a skateboarder-based company? Adam Brown: Owning a skateboard company and having no time to skateboard because of it. Do you have any trips planned? My next trip is to Fed Ex, Kinkos, the bank, Post Office, pick up shirts, deliver embroidery, Taco Truck, back to the office and hopefully a trip to Inner Space Skate Park to skate if it’s not too late. What plans do you have for the future of the company? Just keep doing what we are doing ‘cause skateboarding is all any of us think about and all we wanna do. Hopefully we can bring something positive and inspiring to the skateboard industry while having fun in the process.. Is there a particular group or art movement that you think of when you think of Manik? I can’t really come up with one group or any certain movement. We just want to stay creative and put things we are into out there in the industry. It just feels good to have no boundaries on what we are doing and not having some investor or boss dictating what we do. Who wants to clock in and out everyday for what someone else is trying to do when you have all these ideas for your own stuff?
Doing it yourself, thinking for yourself, do you feel that you can make a difference, affect, change and inspire people? Our intention has never been to influence people into thinking our way or anything like that. We just put our stuff out there and hope that people will enjoy and appreciate what we are doing. We aren’t trying to reinvent the skateboard company just want to do it our way and hope enough people feel it so we can keep doing it. I hope it inspires more kids to design skateboards, to make t-shirts, to take photos, make videos and to paint pictures. Do you think the major skate companies want to deal with small companies? I don’t think any major companies want deal with smaller guys, ‘cause ultimately it’s taking dollars from
Manik is preparing for a few different art shows that coincide with their Artist in Residence series, and their Push Project show is still touring the US. They also just released a promo video last August.
them in one way or another, but it would get real boring if it was just the same 15 major companies out there doing things that look the same all the time. Kids are always looking for the next cool thing and they need it to keep skateboarding progressing and evolving. Every major company starts out small at some point. Do you think the DIY skate companies are an money based community or goal based? If goal, what is the goal? Manik never started with any certain goals in mind, just as a creative outlet for everyone involved either through skateboarding, photography or any medium of art. Any small company with dollar signs in the their eyes are not going to last through all the BS it takes to keep these projects going.
Do you feel as a owner and skater that you know where board designs, graphics and marketing are at, over larger companies, can you tailor your approach to promotion because of it? This is what we do so it’s easy. You can tell if a company was started by some douchebag whose nephew skated and thought they could get some money out of starting a neon wrist guard company. Fuck those guys. I think the advantage we have is that we want to protect the integrity of skating from shit like that, we want just want to make the thing we love better. So I think anyone who thinks that way has an advantage to reaching kids who also love skateboarding. Do you feel a sense of nostaligia—a desire to recreate a skate-scene equal to or greater than you had? For sure we are just doing what we want to do and trying to make the Seattle skate scene as good as it can be. Trying to keep kids from buying into some of the bullshit out there.
How much input do the team riders have on the graphics and direction of the company, what makes you ask an artist to collaborate or create a graphic for you? Everyone on the team, the owners and even the kids
working with us in the office have input on graphics and our direction. As far as the artists we collaborate with it’s usually us seeking out this person because we like their work. We tend to lean towards artists that haven’t done anything on skateboards yet. We are really lucky to have Nin Truong as our Art Director here cause it seems like he has an endless group of amazing artists for us to work with as well as all his amazing stuff. How do you use utilize new media to spread the word? In the past it may have been done with spray cans and stickers. You gotta have a lot of respect for people who have done it without the internet in the past. The web has been a huge asset for us. The ability to use all those photos, video, to promote not only product but you can get people involved in you entire scene. Friends we have met across the world can interact with us in a more meaningful way. It seems although art plays a major role in your brand rather than having token pros. Why did you decide to go that route? Manik uses an artist-in-residence program just to add more excitement to our brand. It keeps everything we do fresh and allows us to work with new ideas constantly. It brings a new group of friends together for every collection we do. We get to work out new ideas for skateboards, shirts, hats and we have added books, coffee mugs and pillows to go with some of these collaborations. For Manik, the artist series also helps take the place of our pro decks. We are working with a team that is growing with the company and were not trying to just put someone’s name on a board where it doesn’t need to be. We understand the value of professional skateboarding and will take that step seriously when we get to that point. Our art director Nin Truong has brought in a number of the artists, some have contacted us and we have just found a few others. Manik continues to do our own boards and we still try to take the same approach. We try to do something different every time and see what we can do to make it unique. MANIKSKATEBOARDS.COM
JUDD HERTZLER hippy drop [ o ] urtz.
SMASH HIT. A
[ o ] URTZ
aron Harrison’s company may soon be celebrating their one year anniversary, but the brains behind Smash Hit is a veteran to the California skate scene. Smash Hit was formed around the idea of keeping the Sacto scene progressing both in skate and art culture. In comparison to the major players in Cali, Smash Hit aims to keep things fresh by emphasizing style over fashion and utilizing the diversity of personalities on their team. They have one video out and one on the way called “Pinch and Roll” as well as boards and tee’s. The team has each others’ backs and all have a hand or at least say in the way the graphics and boards appear. They must be doing something right, because small budgets don’t interfere with good word of mouth for this tight knit crew.
(here) Aaron Harrison, co-owner/skater. Other Smash Hit skaters include Judd Hertzler, Luis Martinez, Sean Stout, Tristen Moss, Mario Guel, Ped Urtz, Koby Newell and JR Diaz.
What made you want to start your own company? JH: Aaron asked me to be involved. I rode for Unbelievers and that came to an end and I really didn’t have any direction. I was helping Matt Rodriguezís company, Frontline, with the graphics side too and I thought, “Damn, I can do this for a company I believe in a bit more.” What makes your company different? AH: I’ll never use the term “it’s just business.” I think that’s a total cop out for doing something shitty to someone. If friendship didn’t come first, this company wouldn’t exist. What disadvantages do you face being a skateboarder-based company? JH: I believe it’s a full advantage being a skateboarder running a company. All of the skate companies I respect are run by skateboard pros. I guess the only disadvantage would be is having to be a part-time salesman, something both Aaron and I hate because that’s not our personalities. Would you like to grow into a big worldwide company, or do you see this always being a small project? JH: I don’t think I would like it if it became this huge company. I’m really bad with pressure and expectations these days because I’ve taken on so many different responsibilities in my life. I like just going out with the Smash Hit dudes on the weekends and trying to skate new spots. If it became this full-time gig again, I would get burnt out. 124 salad.
AH: As long as all the heart is still in it, either way, it will be good. Where are you based, and how does that effect what you do? AH: We’re in Sacramento California, so we do pretty good in northern California. Since I don’t have a full sales staff, huge advertising budget, crap loads of money for other promotions the shops that are outside of nor Cal have had to contact us. Thanks guys, you rip. How does running a company compare to riding for a company? AH: Just more responsibility. I’m looking after a whole team, getting product, selling it, shipping it, and skating myself. Dudes on the team help with art stuff like ads, website, board graphics, and logos. riding for a company you basically focus on skateboarding, and your hairstyle. Do you feel that you can make a difference and affect skaters and change and inspire people? AH: I don’t know, everyone is different. It seems some people think for themselves, and some don’t. Just figure out who you are, I don’t want everyone to be like me. Freedom to do what you want is inspirational in itself. As skater first, company owner second, do you feel you have an advantage over other brands?
AH: With a smaller company, and smaller inventory, you can change stuff when you need to. I hate when things get stale. What are some secrets to keeping the tour going when you’re in a far off town? AH: Don’t wipe boogers on the van. How can we ensure to keep skateboarding alive and constantly fresh? AH: I think as long as it’s left up to the skaters, artists, and musicians to do their thing, it will always be changing and new. I think it’s when money and big business and people getting involved that don’t take part in these things that it gets lame. they’ll run an idea that used to be cool into the ground because it’s been proven to sell in the past. I don’t know about you, but I hope I never ride another board with a skull on it again.
Smash Hit has plans to break into Zumiez in the future in order to expand their brand. In the meantime though, they’re looking at maybe sponsoring a retirement home for skaters. SMASHHITSKATEBOARDS.COM
TREVOR RIBEYRE crooked grind transfer
[ o ] NICHOLAS
f you go to Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, ask for Trevor Ribeyre, and you’re liable to find the man — the only real way to learn more about this elusive brand that’s been lurking under the feet of many well-known Canadians for the past seven years. The transition from team rider to owner of a company is an unconventional shift but that is what Ribeyre did when he took over the reigns of Manual Skateboards. When former owner Jeremy Ricketts wanted to move on to other things it was a natural fit to pass the company on to Ribeyre, who at that time had been riding for the company. He had basically been apprenticing while working and skating for the company. Being a small town skate company based on Vancouver Island, where knowing the locals is a must, Ribeyre’s background of being from the hood allowed the day to day business of steering the ship to continue smoothly. The advantages of the Island allowed for little local competition and tons of opportunities to visit every local town to promote their boards and get people stoked on Manual. The Island has a flourishing skate scene and Manual is all about skating and keeping it local. The Manual team consists of Michael Chalmers, Trevor Ribeyre, Jeremy Ricketts, Gordon, Durie, Drysdale, and Hooney.
What’s it been like making the shift from skater to owner? I haven’t exactly shifted from being a skater to an owner, because I still think of myself as a skater or whatever and I actually try to keep them separate. The main shift has occurred mostly in my life, like now I can’t sit around all the time when it’s wet out or whatever blazin’ down, playing video games, I’ve got to be more productive with my time and I like it. Sure having to provide the boards instead of just receiving the boards comes with a few extra headaches, but it’s a mission I’ve accepted and I’m loving it. Can’t wait to see what’s to come.
Tell me about your team? We’re a pretty mellow bunch, but when we’re rollin’ deep lookout! Michael Chalmers hailing out of and residing on the Gritty Sunshine Coast. Mike is the longest standing honorary member of Manual next to Jeremy himself, plus he’s just one hell of a good buddy. Jeremy Ricketts, just a great example for any skateboarder, over twenty years of skating. As former owner, Jeremy is Manual. Jason Gordon lives in Saskatoon and he just recently became the owner of a shop there called Ninetimes. can’t wait to see Jason again. Will Durie comes from Courtenay but he lives in Van, he’s a madman on the board. He’s just a great guy to have around. He’s truly devoted himself to skating which is rad. Caellan Drysdale is one 126 saladdays.
[ o ] NICHOLAS
Getting something accomplished within the company can be just as rewarding as throwin’ down on the old board, and at the same time you can feel just as lost and frustrated as when your legs ain’t working right. So they’re comparable, I guess. Then again I’m fairly new at the ownership thingy so this may all be a bunch of bull.
of the newest members to the roster, he’s outta Courtenay and he’s headin’ to the big city of Vancouver. His skating blows my mind and you’ll be seeing what I’m talking about soon enough. Pat Hooney is one smooth operator coming out of Nanaimo, he’s also new to the roster. Looking forward to more travels with Pat, “Trevor Ribeyre grow some balls you chauch.” Do you feel there is mistrust in larger skate companies by skaters? I know Jeremy has and since I’ve been around it has happened, just on a small scale. Overall I’d say people either like or dislike a company, not so much distrust.
Is there a sense of helping out other small companies that are supporting skating or music etc? Do you hear from other people that they did a demo in some small town and the scene was cool so you check it out too, spreading the word between other small companies? No, that hasn’t happened and I don’t think it ever will happen, because as far as I’m concerned, between and within DIY companies, originality, respect and loyalty are numbers 1, 2, and 3. So once something has been done, it’s done and it should be more or less be their thing, at least for a while anyways. Like I’ll buy eggs
from a local farm over the supermarket, and I’ll buy a CD that a local made, but for DIY skateboarding “to each his own.” Do you ever say to yourself “I’m doing this for the scene. To keep skating going, to make it like I remember?” Definitely not doing this for the scene, but yeah keeping it like I remember for sure. Not much of the scene type, never actually been a part of the scene. We’re going to keep doing this for ourselves because skating is in our blood, and for anyone else who’s down and I’m going to have a good time while I’m doing it.
FATHER. [ o ] CROTEAU
Father Skateboards is driven by passion and life experience, a company that emphasizes family and fun over profits. Micke Lemay and Yanick Nolet started the Quebec company in 1997 paying homage to Micke’s father Jean-Pierre Lemay, who passed that year. Since that day, the two owners strive to keep the passion and fun of skating alive with their friends, and to share that inspiration with others. Hailing from the town of Trois-Rivieres, located between Montreal and Quebec city, Father’s skaters refer to each other as brothers rather than just teammates. Unlike many of the other companies from a decade ago that grew too quick or just gave up, Father is smaller now than five years previous and they’re okay with that. Being small is beautiful and it allows them to stay true to themselves while remaining a part of the skate industry.
[ o ] MAT HIEU
“Once you’re on, you’re a son for life.”
Tell me about how you got started. YN: In August 1997, JP [Lemay] left Micke with his future and his passion. For Micke , skateboarding was a way to stay grabbed at the life, skateboarding saved my life, he says. October 1997, a new FATHER is born, since then he’s never looked back and has gotten himself and all the Father crew inside an amazing adventure that’s been breathing for 10 years already.
ther saved my life, by being involved mentally and physically on my boards. We made my father live for life now with this Father Company, and JP would be proud to see how great the image of the brand is and the good values it represents.
What projects/videos do you have in the works? To celebrate our 10 th anniversary, Father will hold an exposition showing all the boards produced since the beginning, all the coverage Father had in 10 years and finally, a video called 10 years of having fun skateboarding will be playing. But more coming up for 2008 includes a new DVD project and probably a book gathering the 10 years of Father Skateboards. Stay tuned!
Do you think the DIY skate companies are a money based community or goal based? If goal, what is the goal? Absolutely goal oriented, Father skateboards was started by skaters, proud to represent a small town about one hour’s drive away from Montreal. We were kind of forgotten, we decided to take our place by sharing the passion and the positive message that Father is representing. And make more kids stoked on skateboarding and staying focused on life, appreciating good times, good people, family and friends.
Doing it yourself, thinking for yourself, do you feel that you can make a difference and affect people (skaters) and change and inspire people? ML: Not me really, but the Father story, yes. This story is deep and it touches a lot of people in the same way. I know that the new Father family haas always been there for me as support in this unfortunate ordeal. Skateboarding and Fa-
Have you encountered any situations where people who felt they had nothing to offer were able to develop a talent and contribute to the early stages of your company. Sure, everybody was, I mean we started unesperienced with only the passion for back up. We all developed ourselves with Father. The business side of the company brings us maturity, and everyone discovered that they had great
talents. From skateboarding, to design, to sales - every rider and owner involved with Father boards now has his tasks and specialty. We make sure every year, every season, we improve and try new things. Creation from zero is the best part. Do you feel there is mistrust in larger skate companies by skaters? ML: I don’t feel it at all, I feel new skaters see the money and they’re running to turn cheques into cash. As for big companies, they often need skaters to have an image, they choose riders here and there and it’s a team for them. but some companies are family first, where riders are faithful and happy to be part of the company. Father is more than a brand or a team, I mean, we are all brothers. Once you’re a part of Father it’s for life. YN: We all have friends, but Father gives us Brothers. It’s a tight family, but once you’re on, you’re a son for life. ALL the Father team are original. Appreciated by your (faithful) brothers. FATHERSKATEBOARDS.COM
[ o ] BALL
ormer Zoo York teammates Jai Ball, Darrell Smith and Ryan Blaxall started Studio Skateboards in the summer of 2006 out of Montreal with a proudly Canadian emphasis. Taking a page from companies like Cliche and Blueprint, Studio showcases local talent and gives skaters the inspiration to stay based in Canada while promoting their products and talents to the world. Studio aims to expand as much as they can. From east to west, theyâ€™re for the skate rats young and old, the city kids and the ones stuck out in the sticks. Currently the three owners are spread out across the country in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. We caught up with the three team riders/partners for a first-hand glance into their world of Studio skateboards.
DARRELL SMITH pop shove [ o ] gils.
Approaching tricks as he approaches business, Jai Ball crushes an alleyoop nollie frontside tailslide in Montreal, Quebec. (below) It’s important to keep cool when doing business and not flip out. Ryan Blaxall fixes for a long switch nose manual by switch heelflipping in.
[ o ] DOUBT
“Support Canadian brands and we’ll deliver something we can all be proud of.” —Jai Ball
[ o ] GILS ER [ o ] CO MB
Who are you and what do you do? Ryan Blaxall: I work on sales, deal with suppliers, accounts and, I guess, rider. Jai ball: I’m the marketing director/ west coast sales guy, rider and partner in Studio skateboards. Darrell Smith: I am one of three partners in Studio Skateboards. My main role is Art Direction. What’s your company about? JB: I guess fundamentally, Studio is about making a Canadian board company that people actually take seriously. We want to create something skaters in Canada will feel is theirs and want to be a part of. We’ve got the magazines, the distributors and talented skateboarders, we felt it was our time to help with a good board brand. DS: All of us grew up on the east coast and were influenced by east coast skateboarding. We wanted to bring a company to Canada that represented our style and culture. What made you want to start your own company? RB: Darrell and I talked about it for awhile and finally decided to do it last summer. JB: For me, I wanted to do more than just skate. I’ve always liked the creative business side of things and thought it was time to do what I’ve always dreamed of.
“When you own a company you have so much [more] pride for the boards you ride and the clothing on your back. —Darrell Smith
What disadvantages do you face being a skateboarderbased company? JB: For me personally I’ve always had a job and skated at the same time, so to make running a company my job beats anything else I could be doing to make money. It’s all positive in my eyes. DS: Time is definitely a factor. When I was just a sponsored skateboarder, all I did was skate. Now most days I head into our office at 9am and don’t leave until 8 or 9pm. Lately though I’ve been trying to make more personal time for myself.
How does running a company compare to riding for a company? JB: Well riding for one, especially an American company in Canada, you’re at the mercy of certain variables that can sometimes leave you feeling a little out of the loop. When it’s your company, you feel more involved and responsible for your life and the direction of your skateboarding. DS: Riding for a company was great. I really appreciate all the help everyone has given me over the years. But when you own a company you have so much [more] pride for the boards you ride and the clothing on your back.
Where are you based, and how does that effect what you do? RB: We’re sort of a tripod at the moment. Jai Ball is living in Vancouver, Darrell Smith is in Montreal and I’m in London [Ontario], possibly making the move to Toronto soon. Having everybody so spread out is good and bad. We can cover more of the country this way but we rarely get to sit down and talk in person, or go skate together. Jai will be in Montreal next spring though so that will (hopefully) make it easier to do that.
What projects/video’s do you have in the works? JB: Our main focus right now is our first video entitled, Mood Lighting. We’ve got some trips lined up for that, east coast U.S. and Europe. DS: We are going to be taking a trip to Scotland soon for a filming trip.
What plans do you have for the future of the company? RB: Finish the video, get it out there for people to see and try to get people psyched on what we’re doing.
Studio Skateboards continues to develop their brand with focus on offering something more to skaters that they can’t get riding for a distributor. They’re currently working on finishing up their second video Mood Lighting, due out this fall. STUDIOSKATEBOARDS.COM
132 ARTO SAARI nosepicker [ o ]
ADAM MORGESON frontside boardslide transfer [ o ] gils.
MAGNUS HANSEN 5-0 [ o ] caissie. 135
JESSE BOOI backside tailsldie [ o ] doubt.
RILEY BOYLAND drop-in [ o ] thorburn. 137
138 NYJAH HOUSTON ollie [ o ] yamaoda.
WILLY LAVIGNE kickflip [ o ] 139
DAN ARGET taildrop [ o ] gils. 141
BRETT GIFFORD bluntslide [ o ] nicholas.
142 GLENCOE HOGLE tailslide [ o ] clifford.
words bysaelan twerdy
illustration byniall mcclelland
For most of Stephen McBean’s adult life, East Vancouver has been his kingdom and home to the many bands he’s played in over the last fifteen-odd years: noisy punk bands, wired indie-rock bands, sparse and dirge-y folk outfits, and most recently, the miniature empire of Black Mountain and its related projects. East Van is also home to Canada’s most troubled area code, the Downtown East Side where four out of Black Mountain’s five members work for a nonprofit social organization that finds creative ways to house and care for the most down-and-out: the addicts, ex-cons, and homeless that have nowhere else to go. It’s no surprise, then, that Black Mountain plays heavy, heavy music. What is surprising is how McBean’s songwriting talent has matured over the years, how he seemed to hit upon a magic formula during the transitional period where his old band, Jerk With a Bomb, turned into Black Mountain. Transcending and combining his roots in punk, metal, folk, and indie-rock with a new-found ability to channel the best musical ideas of the 60s and 70s, McBean seemingly found a way to make rock music classic again. Recognition for Black Mountain’s self-titled debut came almost instantly and McBean and company found themselves picked up for an improbable tour opening for Coldplay and a spot on the Spiderman III soundtrack. Now, nearly three years later, Black Mountain has grown from an impromptu collective to a bona fide, road-tested powerhouse, and they’re prepping an epic, double-LP sophomore album that’s set to catapult them to the lofty, laser-show heights of the godfathers that they constantly reference in their lyrics and song titles. Sabbath, The Stones, and Pink Floyd are the start, Neil Young and The Velvet Underground are the heart. In other words, they cover all the bases. .blackmountain 147
“Sometimes I get jaded, but sometimes I feel exactly the same, you know: that excitement when things go right.” So far, the only problem is that, even after almost a year spent in and out of studios, the band’s label is still waiting until January of 2008 to release the album. Its title, In the Future, could almost be a joke about the oft-repeated answer to “When is your new album coming out?” Undaunted by red tape, however, the band are taking off on tour to bring their music to the people and, as a bonus, they’re carrying a touronly 12” with two non-album songs. “I understand the business side of putting out records a bit and I go along with what I can,” McBean concedes gruffly as we sit sipping coffee in one of Vancouver’s Italian cafes, lightly populated with soccer fans. “But there’s certain things where it’s just like, you want the people that like your band to hear things. But it’s also kind of cool, with the 12-inch there’ll be some piece of paper or something with a code on the web, so that the first people that go to the shows and buy the 12-inch will be the first people that get free mp3s from the new album.” McBean has played a handful of shows over the last year with his other project, Pink Mountaintops, but it’s been nearly two years since Black Mountain did a proper North American tour, so the band is antsy to get back in the van. “We played a couple festivals and it kinda stunk,” McBean admits. “It’s exciting to get flown to these festivals but actually, you don’t feel like a real band. We want to be just playing and on the road. Same kinda thing as the 12-inch. Touring to play music rather than promoting a new album. We want to play shows.” McBean’s consuming love of rock n’ 148 blackmountain.
roll is just part of what makes him such a magnetic personality. At the age of 38, with cigarette-voice, a long, greying beard and hair to match, you could almost mistake him for the kind of burnout that he helps out at his day job. Either that or a wizard going robelessly incognito. In any case, he’s not the kind of guy you usually find fronting a shit-hot rock band with a breakthrough album. Amiably hungover when we meet up, McBean is reflective and soft-spoken, exuding the kind of calm experience that automatically makes you want to ask him for advice. He’s already seen and done most of the things that the rock n’ roll lifestyle has to offer, and he’s moved on to a more serious and mature perspective: “If this had happened when I was 20, it would have been hard to keep things in check,” he muses. “We get debaucherous on tour – in the past more so than now. A friend who was in a band with me when we were younger told me that if we had gotten popular, he would have died. ‘It would have all gone up my nose,’ or whatever.” For McBean, this is the perfect time in his life for his career to take off, now that he’s got the know-how to make the most of the opportunity. And, given the explosive power of In the Future, with Josh Wells’ thunderhead drumming, Jeremy Schmidt’s Rick Wakeman-esque starship of synth pyrotechnics, Amber Webber’s smoky, torch-lit moans, and Matt Camirand’s sledgehammer basslines – to say nothing of McBean’s own metal-tinged, pickslideheavy guitarwork – it would be pretty much inexplicable if the album didn’t blow up
enormously. As good as they’ve become, Black Mountain are the anti-Wolfmother: a true rock band that makes a vintage approach sound meaningful today, with rousing songs that could fill a concert hall with the glow of a thousand lighters, every fan with a hand in the air because they want to be a part of a real anthem, not just a knowing joke about the excesses of the past. Chalk it up to the shit he’s seen and dealt with, or just to good instincts, but McBean has become a songwriter for the history books. His tunes resonate with a rugged sort of depth, conjuring a world where the sky is always stormy and tyrant forces dog your every step, where all you can do is keep faith with your underground and try to stay free. His imagery is drawn from the building blocks of classic rock – the lawless outsider warring with the repressive forces of The Man – but where Black Mountain’s first album cheekily lifted riffs from Sabbath and lyrics from the Rolling Stones, In the Future aspires not only to reinterpret classic rock, but to be it. McBean credits this evolution to the fact that, in the beginning, the band was just a collection of friends, thrown-together, and the songs were written as they were recorded. “Now we’re a band that’s been together awhile and spent a lot of time on the road,” he notes with justified pride. “It’s just more expansive.” After all the years and work that Black Mountain have put into perfecting their craft, it looks like things are finally going to go their way, and looking back on his
punk past, McBean seems almost amused by how happy he is now. “Some of my old friends were like, ‘Why don’t you play punk any more, or play metal?’ One of the songs I really like from the first record is ‘Set Us Free’, because after awhile, it’s like, dude, the world is so fucked up, I can’t scream about it any more. I want to almost celebrate it more. There’s decent people, people aren’t generally bad. People are fucked up and confused.” Rather than rage against tradition, McBean has come around to the greatness of classicism. “The problem with music and rock and roll,” he laments, “is that it was pretty much perfected in the 60s. Like, you put on the White Album or whatever, and nobody’s ever going to come that close again.” Of course, McBean’s being modest, and even if he’s right, it can’t hurt to try. Maybe the best way to deal with the passage of time is to get inside tradition and carve yourself out a niche. Then you can ride the wave of change into the future. “When I was seventeen,” McBean says, “I remember thinking, in the year 2000, I’ll be dead. I’ll be dead before I’m thirty. All kids feel invincible, like, ‘I’m not gonna get old.’ And sometimes I get jaded, but sometimes I feel exactly the same, you know: that excitement when things go right.”
In the Future is out January 22nd on Scratch in Canada and Jagjaguwar in the US.
Photography by Kyle Desaulniers. See page 56.
(continued from page 48) Color: Your noise is deeply rooted in the physical and the visceral – how is that important to your works and how would it relate to skateboarding? Menche: Sound is physical and possibly the most powerful force to our senses. How often is it that a sound or a piece of music can affect someone more so than an image. Sound generates feeling so intense that it does become physical and even metaphysical at times. I see sound as a beast. Some large and some small, very wild and savage and also calm and peaceful. I consider myself a shepherd of sorts, gathering the beastly sounds and arranging them in a fantastic choreography of intense physical dance. A circus trainer with wild animals of sorts rather than a music conductor. I am “for the beasts” and I mean that in terms of the whole “music vs. noise” debate that instigates nausea arguing about. Some would debate that music should be for the angels and divine but noise is on my side that is the beasts I choose to gather and dance with.
what we ourselves do not have. The blood of others. It could be noise music or any music. Slicing all the fat off and exposing the lean meat and blood of an artist is what “We” desire inside. It’s all ancient and primordial really. You want blood? You got it!
You have quite a quiver of SkullSkates boards all for different styles of shredding – can you get into your favorites? I love SkullSkates so much! Ever since 1985 when I got my first Skull board. The simple one with just the Skull logo. Maybe it was the skull and black theme that sold me but also functionally the boards were also the strongest. I still have one of the original mid-80’s Skull board. It belonged to my best skate buddy in the 80’s. “Steve Queeb” died in 1988 in a car accident. His family gave me his Skull skateboard at the funeral. Twenty years later I still have it and it’s the classic Skull deck. It’s very precious and sentimental to me and of course I’ll never ride it but I still have it as a memorial to him. It’s true that his gravestone is completely unseen-able by overgrowing grass. So this Skull skate stands stronger of a tombstone than his own stone one. People who choose Skateboarding instead of popular My skate buddy and myself were both Skull skate fanatics. competitive sports are types who wish to dance with beasts as well. The beasts of utter chaos and destruction of Possibly the only ones in Portland. We were the weird ones. physics. A true skateboarder will be repulsed by the bullshit So that was a sad one when he passed away. That Skull deck still brings back beautiful memories for me as a teen of modern sports with the ego competitions, the vanity orgasms and the marketing schemes that are spread all over skateboarding with my buddy. the sports section of a newspaper. Skateboarding is noise to what other sports is just pop music on the radio. Nothing You have participated in the world of sound art and noise with some pretty heavy hitters. Who are the is more poetic than the lone skateboarder riding for thrill of ones self with the skateboards physics and ones own body. people you respect most? I’ll have profound respect for anyone who has that intensity The only competition there is competing with gravity and in his or her eyes. Young or old and regardless of a heavy physics. Ramming horns with the gods of force and speed is skateboarding to me. I have always vehemently despised hitter fame or not. I respect intensity far more than any notable or legend status. None of that status quo shit popular sports and as much as utter disgust for popular radio music. Noise is the sound of the true individuals blood impresses me. Intensity is everything to me. It doesn’t screaming out of the veins. And I see Skateboarding as the matter how many recordings one has or where they have expression of the inner beast within-dancing and thrashing traveled. Whenever I travel to NYC I always get a disgusted repulsion of the whole pretentious experimental art/music about in total chaos and grace. Noise and skateboarding scene there. I honestly hate all of that garbage that the share the same rules... and that there is no rules! magazines and the ignorant drool over. As always I would find myself in the subways and see a kid banging away on A strong expression that I’ve heard you splash around plastic buckets and sweat pouring all over. Blistering fast when getting into harsh noise and sound art is blood. percussion from some kid who has intensity so atomically How would you expand on this term? furious that it makes all those idolized NYC art stars look It comes down to that polluted concept of “inspiration” on like naked and shit-covered emperors. I never have enough why one creates music or art. I really don’t like that word. Rubs me the wrong way. Blood is the reason and the cause money to throw in the kid’s tip jar and I never have enough middle fingers for the pretentious intellectual art world. that sound is presented in its purest form. So much of Anyone who has that intensity running through his or her today’s music is completely polluted with genre pleasing and or impressing others when the whole time it’s all about blood, I will have profound respect for. I will eagerly hang out with intense skaters over any famous sound/noise blood. Or it should be, that is. When I ask, “What does musician. It’s really about who has or has no bullshit about blood sound like?” I really mean that as a direct question them. Speaking of that and to really answer your question: to anyone with a pulse. We are born with an unique and the respect I have for a few noise/sound musicians is mainly individual blood type that no one else has and it flows in a due to the fact that they are completely no-bullshit about direction and pattern that no one else has. their music. Zbigniew Karkowski, Masami Akita, Kevin Drumm, Francisco Lopez, Lucas Abela, Peter Rehberg to So it’s your blood! What to do with it? Bleed! How many name a few. I really respect these artists just for the basis times have we heard or read artists explain why they do that they really, truly don’t give a fuck about any bullshit. such and such because they were inspired by their record collection or their ego? Today’s art schools ram this bullshit They just create powerful noise music and that’s all. There’s a strong parallel with skateboarding and noise too. My intellectualism down young people throats (and take their profound respect for certain skateboarders contains the money too), brainwashing these people in thinking that for same aspects of my favourite noise artists. The best or one to do art one must find inspiration in other legendary purest skateboarders are the ones who convey “no bullshit” artists and that’s all bullshit because you really don’t need with their skating and not their aesthetic fashion or “cool” “inspiration.” You have the blood so now starting bleeding! words. They just shred it. Nothing more to it than that. Go Go Go! Remember that 80s Zorlac Skates quote on their shirts and These “tourniquet artists” as I call them are everywhere and boards with Ronald Reagan plugging his ears? “Shut up and usually they don’t last long. Why? Because people can smell Skate” was the saying. That was all the philosophy I needed their bullshit far away. People want blood. They wanna hear as a young skater back then. Still holds true with music. Just “Shut up and listen!” it, see it, feel it. It’s an inner desire in us all to experience .backpages 149
152 RUSS MILLIGAN kickflip [ o ] shura.
Raised in the Midwest, Andy Mueller is a Los Angeles-based creative kingpin who maintains a long list of artistic pursuits and triumphs. Graphic design and photography seemed innate from an early age, and his creative horizons broadened with his 1993 establishment of OhioGirl, a small design/photo/film studio. In 1997, he brought us The Quiet Life clothing and zine, which has since grown tremendously. Mueller is also well known as a full-time member of Girl Skateboard’s infamous Art Dump. There, he performs art direction for Lakai Limited Footwear, designs deck graphics for Girl and Chocolate, and shoots for Fourstar and other Girl brands. Add these to many other pursuits under OhioGirl and Mueller barely makes time for a wife, a baby, and all other essentials, such as ping pong. THEQUIETLIFE.COM
Todd St. John
Todd St. John is a designer, animator, and filmmaker who began his career in Hawaii producing music, sketches, and even videos and animated shorts by the time he was 10. In 1994, he brought us Green Lady, initially producing small runs of shirts and prints, finally growing into a yearly series of designs selling to select shops in the US and Japan. In 2000, St. John moved to New York City and founded HunterGatherer, a studio involved in a wide range of pursuits including design, film, video, and product design. He is also one of the ten members of Andy Mueller’s 10th anniversary The Quiet Life t-shirt series. His work for that anniversary can be seen here on the opposite page. HUNTERGATHERER.NET
Best-known for his design work with Chocolate Skateboards, Evan Hecox is an artist and graphic designer with pages of credits and shows to his name. He has had solo shows in galleries all over the world from Seattle and Los Angeles to Tokyo, and has had group shows in New York, Paris, London, Chicago, and San Francisco. His work is very recognizable, as he has a knack for peeling away the darksides of urban landscapes, making them refreshingly beautiful and attractive to any eye. He prefers to produce drawings, paintings, and prints, which are keen interpretations of streets, people, and signs. Since 1997, Hecox has produced over 200 skateboard graphics for Chocolate Skateboards. He is also one of ten members of Andy Mueller’s 10th anniversary The Quiet Life t-shirt series. His work for that anniversary can be seen starting on page 156. EVANHECOX.COM
Rick Myers is a graphic artist and designer hailing from Manchester, England, who is known for his use of simple, understated materials and processes. He enjoys experimenting with obscure mediums like mobiles, hand-detailed prints, wooden diagrams, and paper sculpture. His work has been shown across the globe from Manchester to London, the US, Germany, and Sweden. Myers has also had his hand in album cover design, working for such artists as John Cale, Doves, and Dinosaur Jr. Myers has collaborated with Nieves, 2K, Channel 4, Gladtree Press, Commonwealth Stacks, Hammer & Tongs, and The Quiet Life, in which he is one of the ten members of Andy Mueller’s 10th anniversary t-shirt series. His work for that anniversary can be seen starting on page 158. FOOTPRINTSINTEHSNOW.CO.UK
Cody Hudson contributing artist
Cody Hudson is a Chicago-based commercial artist and painter. Working under the name of Struggle Inc., he has designed snowboards for Burton, record covers for Chocolate Industries, books for Also Known As, t-shirts for 2K, and footbeds for Gravis. He dabbles in a multitude of mediums with impeccable simplicity, ingenuity, and emotional fortitude, creating images strong in satirical social and political content, all of which have been enjoyed in galleries all over the world. His spare time is spent ice fishing and admiring things made of wood. Hudson is also one of the ten members of Andy Mueller’s The Quiet Life 10th anniversary t-shirt series. His work for that anniversary can be seen starting on page 161. STRUGGLEINC.COM
AARON WINTERS contributing artist.
Approaching his craft with a broad understanding of the artistic pursuit, Aaron Winters is the man behind Abide Visuals. He has completed many different projects handling many different roles, such as curator, publisher, promoter, web designer, graphic designer, illustrator, fine artist, musician, and even toy designer. Check out his work with Smash Hit Skateboards and on page 125.
contributing writer. Currently based in Vancouver, writer Sebastian Templer is no stranger to skatepark design, and has had a large hand in the Vancouver spot known as Leeside. Built to commemorate Lee Matasi, the victim of gun violence, Leeside is now an amazing DIY skatespot. Templer sheds light on this unique place with his story, “Concrete Vengeance: Building the People’s Park”, starting on page 70.
staff photographer. Gordon Nicholas was born in Massachusetts, grew up in Kamloops, and now resides in Vancouver. Currently working toward a BAF in Visual Arts at SFU, Nicholas is fond of capturing contemporary culture. He prefers to shoot nothing contrived; his subjects as natural and un-posed as possible. In this issue’s fashion editorial, Nicholas let the models shoot themselves and documented it all in “they took things into their own hands”, starting on page 104.
FIGHTING contributing artist.
Under the moniker “Fighting,” with Lukas Gernomous, Niall McClelland is a Vancouver/Toronto-based artist, designer, and illustrator, as well as the publisher of the zine, Graves. McClelland’s mediums are many, and can range from used matchsticks to pencil, capturing a wide range of images and shapes, never ceasing to be surprising and admired. Fighting’s work can be seen on pages 150/151, 146-148.
FONTSKI contributing artist.
The artist behind this issue’s cover, considers himself to be far outside the realm of the blue collar artist. A graduate of Illustration from the esteemed Sheridan College, Font’ now spends most of his time freelancing for a multitude of projects, infusing his passion for impulse and inspiration into everything he touches. Fontski Buchnea resides in Ontario, where he paints full time. Check out some of his work on page 145.
contributing photographer. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Alex Connor now resides in Vancouver. A lover of a “drink or two” and anything that has to do with skateboard or snowboard magazines, his recent arrival to Vancouver has given him the opportunity build a solid reputation from his skills behind a lens. On page 56, Connor helped coax the incredible skateboard magic of Kyle Desaulniers straight into his shutter.
contributing writer. Armin Bachman originates from Albany, NY, and has mastered pole jams. He even backside no-complies them. His interests include wallrides, symmetry, and the audio of wheels screeching on the cement, among many other things. He also enjoys writing. Check out Bachman’s Six Degrees of Kenny Reed: En Las Gran Canarias, starting on page 76.
dr. no’s oxperiment (stones throw)
Phosphorescent pride (dead oceans)
If you’ve got a taste for earnestly bearded, Bible-borrowing folkies like Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Iron and Wine’s Sam Beam, you should waste no time scoring a copy of Phoshorescent’s Pride and hunkering down with a bottle of bourbon in a dark room. Night time is definitely the right time for a set of bleary fever songs like this. Making a choir out of shimmery reflections of his own voice, Phosphorescent’s Matthew Houck plays all the instruments here, though the hymn-like moanings of his vocals really take center stage, with blurry harmonica and the flickering shadows of shakers, tambourines, and distant, scattered drumbeats as a moving backdrop. When Houck actually does emerge from his cloud of atmospheres and slow-pick a ukelele melody on “Wolves”, the results are knee-bucklingly beautiful, anchored by a rich organ tone and ornamented with electric guitar flourishes so sustained and burnished you might mistake them for a funereal horn section at the best wake ever. Phosphorescent’s not the first to mine this seam of dirge-y Americana, but as this slow-grower of a record proves, Houck is the genre’s new royalty. —Saelan Twerdy 162 musicreviews.
Music reviewers have been going nuts for the new instrumental album from Stones Throw’s Oh No. Not least for the novel, geographic origins of its samples: not just any funk, but funk from the Eastern Mediterranean. This cheeky melange of American hip-hop with foreign rhythms is not quite the brave new sonic world folks make it out to be, borrowing as it does from the ADD soundscapes of J Dilla’s Donuts and the touristy conceit of Madlib’s recent Beat Konducta installment, In India. “Heavy” opens the Oxperiment with a startling interplay of electric guitar and Middle Eastern wail, and the best tracks (“Higher,” “No Guest List,” “Emergency,” and “Fast Gamble”) let the overseas sounds dig deep into the beat. But the remainder mixes the two worlds by rote, spicing meat and potatoes boom-bap with some ersatz ethnic flavor. Tasty, but falafel it ain’t.
Bands turning to the ’80s for inspiration is hardly new; in fact, it’s pretty tired at this point. Yet Sweden’s Tough Alliance makes this worn-out practice surprisingly fresh again and actually worth your time, if not your money. Drawing heavily from OMD, KLF and Hacienda-era rave music, the duo’s album, New Chance (whose cover looks suspiciously like OMD’s “So in Love” single), delivers a jaunty, beat-driven sound that’s loaded with excessive optimism, tongue-in-cheek lyrics and hooky, getstuck-in-your-head vocal lines. It’s all a bit familiar, yet at the same time, something new altogether, with the group’s influences being twisted, blended and wrapped into a shiny, new package that’s as modern as it is retro. And while the contents may go best with neon and headbands, Tough Alliance thankfully has enough musical muscle to keep New Chance from just becoming another fashion accessory. —
LCD Soundsystem’s 45:33 is a bit of a strange one. It originally hit iTunes a year ago as a digital exclusive. It was commissioned by Nike. And it came as a continuous mix based on “an arc designed for running”—one that would gradually build, hold some climax and end in a long, euphonic comedown. However, it hardly mattered whether you used 45:33 to work out, as James Murphy’s spaced-out disco/ funk patterns (many of which would later appear on Sound of Silver) were enticing at any heart rate. Perhaps this is why now, a year later, DFA has released this “exercise companion” on CD and vinyl with three B-sides tacked on, yet minus the original artwork (which shamelessly duplicated the chessboard-pattern cover of Manuel Gottsching’s E2-E4). And while this release may not reach the same heights as Sound of Silver, it does work as a nice companion piece, making 45:33 a fine addition to any LCDS fan’s collection. —Brock Thiessen
new chance (sincerely yours/ summer lovers unlimited)
night drive (italians do it better)
It might seem like a big step to go from spastic, no-wave noise punk to icy-smooth euro-disco, but with Night Drive, the fulllength follow-up to last summer’s amazing “Nite” single, The Chromatics have made it seem as natural as putting on a different outfit to go the club. Like Glass Candy, the Chromatics left their old label, GSL (once an unfuckwithable bastion of art-punk coolness, these days a dumping ground for Mars Volta side projects) for upstart imprint Italians Do It Better to form a united front of new-school disco apostles. Rather than stark punk arrangements and blasting feedback, you get starkly elegant synth grooves ornamented with prickly, mournful dance-punk guitars. The highlight of Night Drive, though, is Ruth Radalet’s vocals, which manage to wring a shocking degree of poignancy from material whose emotional range is generally limited to drugged heartsickness. The mid-album cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” is the album’s undeniable peak, with Radalet’s restrained delivery carrying across all the weight of the original without any of the frilly drama. —Saelan Twerdy
all hour cymbals (we are free)
Here’s an aptly-named band. Yeasayer seems bent on not saying no to anything: it’s just one yes after another with these guys. The first thing that gets the nod is big, harmonized, multitracked chanting, a la Animal Collective or Akron/Family, then you can hear them saying yes to the kind of effects-heavy rock n’ soul practiced by TV On the Radio, and if you wait a little longer, you’ll hear them saying yes to itchy, high-pitched keyboard funk in the style of Prince. Okay, right? That would make for a normal, if pretty eclectic, indie rock band. They don’t stop there, though, they’ve got a lot more things to say yes to: African guitar? Yup. Celtic mandolin? Sure. Romantic 80’s-style synth atmospheres that recall sophisto-cheesers like Kate Bush and Talk Talk? Why not! They’re aiming for nothing less than all-inclusive world music and the whole point of it is to take in everything and forget the whole idea of uncoolness. So I can’t exactly tell you that it sounds “cool”, but I can guarantee that you’ve never heard anything quite like it, and that’s pretty amazing. —Saelan Twerdy
Dillinger Escape Plan
ire works (relapse)
With their latest album Ire Works, Dillinger Escape Plan has continued their mathematical onslaught within the hardcore/metal/mathcore genres. Nothing less than one dandy of a metronome and scientific calculator will get you through this album now, as you try to mentally comprehend the band’s intricate timing changes and patterns. However, there are some new elements in this album that I suspect the band’s fans will like. Of course, different isn’t always better, but different that is actually good is, well, great. If you hold any second thoughts, I think Robert Hamburger put it best when he said: “Do you want to be that boring guy at the shoe store who just takes whatever shoe the lady gives him? Or, do you want to be that badass dude who just laid a log on top of a fax machine for no reason at all? I think the choice is simple.” Good advice. —Jay Revelle
Musically, Modern Tribe splits the difference between the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (after they got less noisy) and TV on the Radio, which is fitting since YYY’s guitarist, Nick Zinner, and the bulk of TVotR lend a hand on Celebration’s second full-length effort. The drums resonate with the same tribal bombast that Brian Chase uses to propel YYY’s cuts, while the stabs of organ on the record swirl around the mix like TVotR’s guitars tend to do. There are enough original quirks here and there to keep things from becoming a direct amalgamation of the two indie stalwarts, but it’s Katrina Ford’s vocals that truly give the band its own identity. Her chameleon-like pipes shift from low, almost androgynous, growl to soft coo to shrill scream, effortlessly adding some much needed dynamic to the slow burn of the instrumentation. —Quinn Omori
Om return with their third album of meditative stoner drone and they sound better than ever thanks to the engineering help of Steve Albini. His immaculate and thunderous drum production has helped drive the band towards the mecca that they have been seeking for half a decade. Pilgrimage’s first half is a slow building and sludgy momentum that is built up and released on the album’s opus, “Bhima’s Theme.” The twelve minute track invokes the stoned spirit of their previous band, Sleep, while steadily propelling them forward to the center of metal nirvana. Om have arrived at the end of their pilgrimage and found that perfect balance between stoner metal and drone that will give both fans of Black Sabbath and Terry Riley a reason to rejoice. —Mark E. Rich
bangers & ca$h (downtown)
Apparently Spank Rock has described this collaboration with Benny Blanco as their “2 Live Crew tribute.” Considering the debt that the foul-mouthed MC owes to Uncle Luke and his compadres, it’s fitting that he’d pay homage on this five track EP. While things sometimes fall on the wrong side of the fine line between tribute and mimicry (were two 2 Live samples and an interpolation necessary?), this kind of thing is hardly arty, and if you think too hard, you’re sort of missing the point. Rather than be cerebral, Bangers & Ca$h plays to your ass more than it ever tries to play to your brains, although, the two tracks that Amanda Blank blesses with her dirty words are bound to get the wheels in most people’s heads turning. —Quinn Omori
Various Artists/ DAVID SHRIGLEY
It might be worth mentioning that Alice Coltrane was the great-aunt of Stephen Ellison (aka Flying Lotus). I don’t know how many other people in his family have a gift for music – maybe Ellison got the whole legacy. Regardless, this EP (his first release for Warp Records) is a heavy step up from the album he put out last year and certainly one of the finer albums of instrumental hip-hop beats you could hope to hear right now. Like Oh No, who’s been garnering a lot of praise for his latest album, Flying Lotus can’t avoid comparisons to Prefuse 73 and the late J Dilla: the first track here, “Tea Leaf Dancers”, uses a cut-up female soul vocal that wouldn’t sound at all out of place on an early Prefuse disc, and the whole album is shrouded in cloud of woozy processing that throws beats off-kilter in the same sort of deliberately rough and messy way that J Dilla and Madlib are both fond of. Obvious influences aside, however, Reset has enough personality to be worth your attention on its own merits. Plus it’s just nice to see Warp getting back to their forte – experimental beats – after a couple years chasing indie-rock acts. —Saelan
Spank Rock & Benny Blanco
pilgrimage (southern lord)
Almost overnight, The Clips have become one of the most popular unsigned bands in Vancouver, with wild live shows that are selling out almost every gig. This debut album, long awaited locally, is not only some of the best indie-pop in the area, but one of the best albums by an unsigned band that I’ve heard in a long time. The Clips’ ambitious approach to indie-pop is as fun as it is creative, with a three-keyboard attack that recalls the streamlined pop hooks of Spoon, the unpretentious dancefloor grooves of Hot Chip, and the icy electronic soul of Radiohead’s more emotive output. “Space Kidz” is the obvious hit here, with Edo Van Breemen’s cinematic piano line and swooping, echo-y vocals played against a massive grunge-y guitar hook and a discopunk rhythm that’s familiar but rarely as much fun as this. It’s not flawless, of course – like the cover art, the lyrics occasionally come across as amateurish – but The Clips have made a very worthy first step, and it’ll be worth your while to see where they go from here. —Saelan Twerdy
modern tribe (4ad)
brazil 70 – after tropicalia: new directions in brazilian music in the 1970’s (soul jazz)
worried noodles (tomlab)
In 2005, deadpan doodle artist David Shrigley put out a “songbook”, a record sleeve with liner notes and lyrics (but no actual music) that used ideas for songs as a vehicle for Shrigley’s blackly humorous drawings. The Tomlab label wasn’t about to let all those ideas go to waste, however, so they assembled a collection of bands both popular and obscure to record tunes based on Shrigley’s sketches. So you get Grizzly Bear singing about the pleasures of blackcurrant jam, Deerhoof imagining themselves as dogs playing fetch, and Franz Ferdinand just saying “no” a lot of times in a row. The lineup of bands is pretty excellent (there’s music from Hot Chip, The Liars, Final Fantasy, Islands, Trans Am, and The Dirty Projectors, among others), but the main problem with Worried Noodles is that Shrigley’s deliberately naïve style is half childlike and half mentally disturbed, which can be hilarious and surprisingly profound on paper, but turns out to be either unbearably cutesy or straight-up irritating in song. There’s some good music on here, but Worried Noodles is mainly worth your money as an art book, not an album.
Last year, the impeccable tastemakers at London’s Soul Jazz label put out a fantastic compilation documenting the freewheeling, late-60’s Brazilian art/music/political movement called tropicalia. It was so wellassembled that the only possible complaint you could have had was that it didn’t cover anything beyond the movement’s implosion in 1969, when a crackdown by the military dictatorship saw a rise in censorship as several of the movement’s leading lights were deported to England. Thankfully, with this second volume in the series, we’re introduced to the Brazilian music of the 70’s, as tropicalia morphed into MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira), incorporating hard rock, funk, prog, and samba with Brazilian folk genres like frevo, choro, and carioca that you’ve probably never heard before. The old guard of tropicalistas (Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Tom Ze, and Rita Lee) make appearances, but the album is mainly oriented to obscure acts that were totally unknown even to a hardcore aficionado like me – which is all for the best, as this collection is wild, breezy, and absolutely fantastic front-to-back. —Saelan Twerdy
—Saelan Twerdy .soundcheque 163
ty evans, spike jonze, cory weincheque (girl films)
People always call videos anticipated, but Lakai’s Fully Flared is genuinely one of the most looked forward to videos to come around in a long, long time. This video exceeds the hype, it’s a bright shining reminder that the Lakai team has basically cornered the market on radness. For all you innovators, there are more NBD tricks in this thing than have been in all the videos released this year. Guy Mariano, Marc Johnson, and a startlingly good Mike Mo all have highlight parts. And Ty Evans has shed the cheesier scratch edit impulses of his past to put together a consistent and actually pretty emotional (can we say this about a skate video?) piece of work. If you skate, you’ve definitely already seen it, and if you don’t, watch it for the intro alone, which is as hilarious as it is visually stunning. If only all videos took this long to make…
VIAJEROS LOCOS edited by ricki bedenbaugh (rig-atoni productions)
As I sat down for a late breakfast and to write this, I witnessed a middle aged couple order nothing but six beers for lunch. That must be the ultimate life for some people. My ideal time would be hanging out with my friends, skating across the globe and having fun, which is what Viajeros Locos is all about. No skits, special effects or stress montages, just good music, spots to make you jealous and amazing street skating with friends. Listen’s first full length video features full sections from Brian Brown, Rodrigo Peterson, Gabriel De La Mora, Danny Montoya and Rob Gonzales. Brian Brown skates to one of my favorite songs ever and opens with a no-push line for skate nerds to swoon over. Gabriel De La Mora skates some of the most beautiful rubble heap manny spots I have ever seen. Danny Montoya is as precise as ever on a ledge, and Rob G. wraps it up with power and grace. So tomorrow I’d like you to get up at 11:00am, go down to your local skateshop (it will be open sometime around 11ish), pick up Listen’s Viajeros Locos, hit the beer store for a sixer, crack one, watch the video, go skate with your friends and enjoy the leftover five later. Best of both. 164 videoreviews.
Supper’s Ready ryan mcguigan
Young Folk liam mitchell (sub par productions)
Supper’s Ready is the latest nugget of skateboard cinema born of the brilliant and disturbed vision of Ryan McGuigan. This video is quite a departure from the stylish and clean aesthetic of Modern Love, which was sort of reminiscent of Stereo’s A Visual Sound. This one actually reminds me of some great videos of the early 90s like Memory Screen or 101’s Falling Down. Harsh edits and random clips of insane footage Ryan has spliced together to create this sort of schizophrenic whirlwind of wickedness. And the skating is amazing. Pretty much everybody has a great part. Oh, and for the first time in skate video history, Kyle Robinson performs a steevolution right before your very eyes! Travis Stenger is still, well, Travis-fucking-Stenger. And everybody else rules too. Extra special mention for Mike Vince, who apparently got insanely good in the past little while, and Joey Williams, whose part is jaw-dropping good and whose comeback makes us all look like big whiny babies. Wow, this review is biased. What do you expect? We’re talking about my buddies here.
The Young Folk are Nate Roline, Kyle Robinson, Stacy Gabriel, Derek Swaim, and Kellan Chillibeck. I am probably going to hear about this statement, but Edmonton sucks. Any city that sucks that bad is bound to produce some good folks. The other good thing about living somewhere that sucks is that you find yourself searching the world for places that may not suck as much as where you live. This has us finding our young friends ripping the streets of Barcelona, Lyon, Japan, California, etc. Liam Mitchell has put together a friendly little unassuming video with ample shralping. The friend’s section is peppered with familiar faces, and even has a sprinkle of Edmonton’s favorite son, Baby Jamie Tancowney who finds himself pushing rather mongo in the middle of an epic stair line. Good shit all around. Oh, and sorry about the Edmonton jab, it’s just a joke. Edmonton is great. Hell, some of the young folk aren’t even from Edmonton. Shit. The more I think about Edmonton, the more I like it. Yeah! Edmonton fucking rules! Keep doing what you do brothers!
The Habitat videos are almost always about the spots and Inhabitants is no exception. That isn’t to say that the skating isn’t mind blowing because, of course, it is. Silas Baxter-Neal kicks it off with the part that we have all been waiting for and until Stefan Janoski finishes by wrapping things up, you are pummeled with epic shredding. Newcomers Austyn Gillette and Guru Khalsa keep us hopeful for the future and Freddy Gall even manages to pull another ripping part out of his ass. What I am getting at is that it is incredible the way that this team manages to find spots that are so undeniably “Habitat” spots. They must have a team of midgets that scour the earth taking notes. The dvd comes with some nice bonus bits including a trailer for the next most anticipated video, Alien Workshop’s Mind Screen, and an International section complete with some jaw droppers from Canada’s own Mike McDermott.
[ o ] IRVIN E
Both the Royal Family and the French Connec tion hold their own in the most highly anticipa what may be ted video of the decade . Lucas Puig reminds is nothing wrong with us that there a nice switch backsid e tailslide.
WORLD INDUSTRIES BOX SET (world industries)
The early days of world industries was as d.i.y. as a skate company can get. Steve Rocco had no idea what he was doing, and flew by the seat of his pants. The box set starts with “rubbish heap” which arguably changed forever the template of the skate video by handing the camera to the skateboarders, and all hard and fast rules were thrown out the window. This classic is followed by the little “two world industries men”, “new world order”, “20 shot sequence” and “trilogy”, all with commentary so you can hear first hand about how much everyone regrets the fashion choices of the day. Bonuses include never before seen outtakes and an amazing slideshow of epic World Industries ad campaigns. This one belongs in the reference library because one day my friend, we will all be old men.
Vert skating is rad. You don’t hear that anymore. I don’t think we see enough of it. I don’t mean the crap you see on TV. I mean real vert skating, where they aren’t just doing a standard run to score major points. And Tony Hawk is still one of the best. Not sure if you are aware of how long he has been good. Trust me he is not just doing Sirius Satellite radio shows and collecting pizza pops checks, actually better yet buy this video and see for yourself. One thing that is a must see is the Todd Falcon bonus feature. If his section doesn’t stoke you to go out and skate, you must be dead. Is there even a name for any of the tricks he does? Readers Bonus: Name the trick done outside of my office window and I will personally send you a prize.
birdhouse skateboards (blitz)
preston maigetter (high speed)
Ten things you can always count on in any thrasher video… Shitty/Awesome/Ripping soundtrack Gritty edits Transitional destruction Park dudes taking it to the street The dude that may not be getting featured in the next tws video doing shit that should be getting him featured in the next tws video The word “beer” in the title Clips of dudes drinking the “beer”, to justify the title Epic ditch tour Camping Antiheros
Filmed mostly on the video mode of digital still cameras, Naughty is a refreshing change of direction from the influx of highly produced skate videos. But don’t be turned off by the rawness, the skating is incredible. The rigged fisheyes look amazing, and remind me of the sketchy footage of early videos. Gonz himself filmed and edited the bulk of Naughty, and I’m stoked on his trippy opening montage of psychedelics and meat slabs. This truly is a skater’s video showcasing good friends doing what they love. .trailer 165
photo: Dan Zaslavsky
Mr. Ritchie Ritchie presents... presents...
picture. aaFilippone Filippone picture.
Takes Off 08! with with appearances appearances by by RussRuss Milligan, Milligan, Dylan Dylan Thorstenson, Thorstenson,Nathan Nathan Evans, Evans, Leks Leks Baris, Baris, JoeyJoey Williams, Williams, Mike Mike Vince, Vince, Rory Rory Fulber, Fulber, Sascha Sascha Daley, Daley, Spencer SpencerHamilton, Hamilton, TonyTony Ferguson, Ferguson, Geoff Geoff Dermer, Dermer,Paul PaulTrepanier, Trepanier,Ted TedDegros, Degros,Wade Wade Fyfe, Fyfe, JeremyJeremy Reeves, Reeves, Bradley Bradley Sheppard, Sheppard, Galiea Galiea Momolu, Momolu,and andfriends. friends.
L AST NITE.
shoot to thrill montreal premiere. words and photosby sandro grison
he Red Bull Shoot To Thrill videos premiered in four cities during the last half of November, 2007. Each region’s parties were very unique. Vancouver played host to a packed house at the infamous Omnimax theatre in Science World. Toronto’s core skate crowd got together at Adrift Skate Shop to see the videos play for the first time in Ontario. And Calgary was different still, with a more intimate showing at Weed’s cafe. It was Color’s honour to travel to Quebec, being that there were two teams [Tarnished Goods and Team Hendy] hailing from the city of Montreal.
The venue was Foufounes Electrique — the most obvious choice with an indoor mini-ramp, foosball, pool, and of course, plenty of beer and Red Bull/vodkas. There was a ton of support from Montreal and everyone from the teams were in attendance and eager to see the other films. Attendees were greeted by a photo slideshow running on television sets around the different rooms in the club and when the time was right, all filed in to the presentation room (sure why not? This bar has way too many rooms...) where all 5 films were screened between an insightful introduction of each team by Jay Revelle. After that, it was time to announce some winners, release copies of Color 5.5 and give out some cash. Somehow the DJ was on the same page as Barry Walsh, because when handed the mic, he treated guests to an impromptu freestyle. (left to right) Barry Walsh, Eric Lebeau, Marc Tison, Dan Mathieu, Alex Gavin, and Color’s Jay Revelle up top. (right) After presenting Lebeau with the prize for Best Video, he took us for some seriously traditional poutine located conveniently directly beside his apartment. I ‘m not sure what neighborhood that was, but the blood splattered wall, tagged up door, garbage and vomit certainly gave it character.
Congratulations to our winners and to Team Hendy (MTL) Jeremy Elkin, Geoff Clifford, Ryan Decenzo, Phil Knechtel and Andrew McGraw. Group C (Calgary) Rob Thorpe, Ian Snow, Devin Morrison, Reuban Bullock and Kevin Lowry. Licenced To Thrill (Toronto) Thomas Morrison, Andrew Norton, Nathan Olokun, Lee Yankou and Jeff Folgmann. Knife Fight (Vancouver) Corey Adams, Dylan Doubt, Rick Mccrank, Quinn Starr and Mitch Charron. Tarnished Goods (MTL) Eric Lebeau, Dan Mathieu, Alex Gavin, Barry Walsh and Marc Tison.
ROW 1: elysha bastien (rugged riders) and shoot to thril emcee jay revelle. girl gets points for not stickering the bar, so we didn’t get fined. dan mathieu (tarnished goods team/ expose mag) and ‘best skater’ team mate alex gavin. ROW 2: tarnished goods filmmaker eric lebeau and the elusive carl lebelle. kevin greenwood, adam green and dude representing. gav’ and dan divide up their winnings... near $3000.00. ROW 3: eric mercier (vans), Color’s matthew meadows and big pete (krew/supra/diamond). darrell smith (studio skateboards) and photographer geoff clifford (team hendy). ROW 4: the microphone photographer felix faucher. temple teams up with mehrathon in a game of foos. team hendy’s ryan decenzo (red bull), phil knechtel, and filmmaker jeremy elkin (xample films).
lakai’s fully flared premiere, vancouver. photosby joel dufresne partypicsby andrew koronovich
(left to right) Eric Koston, Alex Olson, Ty Evans, Guy Mariano, Cairo Foster, and Rick Howard.
ABOVE (outside in) will ‘stash’ durie / supra’s nick nicholson. rick howard / peter sullivan. supra’s matt soder and kate. cairo foster, ty evans and the beta tape sandro almost spilt a drink on. BOTTOM LEFT tony ferguson, eric koston and a whole lot of sushi.
As I grow older and maybe even a little wiser, the appeal of going out to a crowded theatre to fight for a decent seat or to see a screen at all just doesn’t have the same appeal as it used to. It also feels like there isn’t as many video premieres these days—probably because there’s just not as many ‘big budget’ skateboard videos being produced that might warrant a premiere. But what is a big budget for a skateboard video anyhow? The money isn’t poured into special effects and certainly not stunt-doubles. These men are paid handsomely to do what they do best, skateboard, and that’s exactly what they did. They did it best, in fact probably better than any of those who were at the premiere could have anticipated. We met up with some of the Lakai team to enjoy some sushi and appetizers at El Furniture Warehouse, a bar just down the block from the theatre where Fully Flared would be showing an hour later. The bar was packed with excited familiar faces including Glenn Suggitt from Edmonton, Brendan and the boys from Empire (montreal), Sean Mo from Supra east (Toronto) and a slew of others who flew into Vancouver for the privilege of being ‘that guy who already saw Fully Flared’ when they returned home. The video started fashionably late, but it gave everyone a chance to talk about who might have last part, what Mariano’s part would
ABOVE (outside in) mike vince and kevin wu with some tall boys. blue tile lounge’s noel and kevin with mike mcdermott. bobby gascon was there all the way from montreal just to lean on this blue pole with kevin mccoubrey. man of the hour alex olson and supra’s marco feller. BOTTOM RIGHT sean mo and dylan doubt get crunk.
be like, who Carroll would use for his song, and what the whole title of the film was about. It wasn’t the rowdy bunch of vagrants I was used to hanging (and joining in with) at past premieres. People were pumped, but it was almost as if after waiting for three years since we first heard about the video being made, we were prepared for what we were about to see. We couldn’t have been more wrong. After the video played it was still relatively early but everyone was feeling a little thirsty. The rain let up so we decided to walk to Shine where the after party would take place. We stopped off at one of Vancouver’s only Mexican fast-food joints and Cairo and Alex refueled with with some familiar cuisine. The club was packed with inspired skateboard fans and soon the hometown refugee Rick Howard would arrive with Eric Koston and Guy. Guy didn’t stay long, but Rick was at home and made himself comfortable thanks to the oversized bottles of beer being served and the good selection of music. The rest is a blur, but for the record, Howard will deny he’s ever even heard of a ‘Rickflip’ and definitely isn’t taking credit for something called a Howard Flip. Humble words from a man who produced and skated in one of the most important videos skateboarding has ever seen. LAKAI.COM
KENNYREED ODESSA . UKRAINE
WEAPONS GRADE ALUMINUM INFO & FREE STICKERS > D E S T R U C T O T R U C K S . C O M
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ONE TIME FOR THE GHETTO.
tattered 10 with chet childress
Q: When are you going to start doing heroin? A: When I turn 70 I plan on it. If I make it to 70, which I highly doubt, there’s not going to be anything else to do but fucking shoot heroin and die. Because I won’t be able to skate, I won’t be able to surf and I won’t be able to do anything that I love. Maybe paint and make art and shoot photos, but I won’t be able to get my blood flowing, so I’ll start around then.
illustrations bynike sb team interview bysandro grison photos bydownhoney
t’s just after 3:00am and we’ve arrived at the loft of a girl we met at the club we were partying at all night. The spacious studio apartment is massive and we all gravitate to the rear of the place where there sits a cozy corner with lazy-boy style chairs and a sofa. Behind that is a wall of kitchen cabinets, and between sits Chet Childress and myself at a small wooden table near an open window that leads to a fire escape. Resting comfortably, undisturbed by his foreign surroundings— it’s clear he is a confident man. We were at a club tonight, just two blocks from the Color office that I’d never been to before. It’s been about 10 hours since I first met up with the Nike SB team for the premiere of their film Nothing But The Truth. We got our first round of drinks at the club and stationed ourselves by the wall. The walls have peering lights shooting from small peep-hole looking circles, and there was a dance floor of bright disco-esque tiled lights that are raised from the rest of the floor high enough that you might trip over it if you aren’t careful. Stefan Janoski asked me if I went there a lot. It’s clearly not a ‘skate bar’ and I think that was his polite way of saying he felt uncomfortable. An empty club is an awkward atmosphere for anybody, but the Nike SB team took to it well. It was only around 11pm so people were just starting to trickle in. I’ve hosted a lot of teams of skaters when they pass through Vancouver (at least I try to). There always seems to be the one guy you can tell doesn’t want to be there. Maybe they’re home stick, or maybe they’re just tired of meeting new people and having to adapt to new surroundings all the time. Keeping quiet and looking unimpressed are sure signs of this guy on any tour, and I was getting that from Omar Salazar. I walked up to the bar again
just to break the tension… and maybe get a drink while I was at it. When I looked back, Omar with his leather motorcycle jacket and gelled hair was doing a jig on the giant light fixture of a dance floor. It reminded me of a scene in Pulp Fiction. The Travolta resemblance couldn’t be ignored. So I guess if he really didn’t want to be there, he would have gone back to the hotel with Lance Mountain, Brian Anderson, and Grant Taylor. Chet jumped on there soon enough and I think some gangsters were clowning them. This is a rather new club, but it has quickly gathered a regular crowd/following and they didn’t look or act anything like us. Chet threw his arm around the guy and said something smiling, probably asking him to join the dance party. He looked like the kind of guy who didn’t like to be touched even by his closest friends, so it might have shocked him a bit. Soon Wieger, Todd Jordan and a few girls joined the floor and the place filled up quickly. I don’t think anyone left the dance floor all night other than to get a drink. It’s all a blur that seemed to have happened in a blink of an eye, but somewhere in there we lost Omar to the bouncers and he was outside with a reason to be bumming. The other guys went back to their hotel with an 8:30am wake up call for their flight to Melbourne, Australia to look forward to. Hunter Muraira, Mark Goldberg, and Chet Childress came with us to continue the party, but it was just me, Chet and a bottle of homemade wine left by the end, with all our new friend’s houseguests passed out on her comfy chairs and sofa. And so we continued what Dylan Doubt started while we were waiting for the video to start earlier that day. It’s hard to believe we’d already been partying for over 12 hours straight. 1. Do you think today’s professional skater has a responsibility to be finding new spots? That’s what I went for in my video part. I said I just want to go find the sickest spots and make people want to fucking search man. I might not have the techist gnarliest moves, but I just want realistic skateboarding so realistic people can connect and have fun and don’t think they have to be super heroes. Even if you have to work a job, skateboarding isn’t just kickflip back lips down 10… it’s not, it’s everything. It’s about the search still, you know what I mean? For me the best thing about my job is going across the country on my own. You know, I get a little help from my sponsors… I go look for this rad shit. Myspace is sick because kids will send me spots on myspace and be like “yo man, I think you’ll like this” because they know how I skate, they know what I wanna do. And I think the big point of skateboarding for me is, I don’t want to be number one, I want to be number last. I just want to be that realistic
skater that people can grab on to and be like “I can do it, I don’t have to be a super hero anymore.” But how can you maintain your professional career if you’re number last? My sponsors seem to be feeling what I’m doing, you know what I mean? Like Nike, they respect what I do. I come home with rad spots. Black Label… I’m 32 dawg, I thought at 27 I’d be working at a fucking go-go mart, I didn’t think this shit would even be going on and now my job is to be a spot hunter. All I want to do is chase down old-man street spots. Bank to walls, banks, rad shit. Like to be honest, I couldn’t care if I skated a ledge ever again. I’m just kinda over it. I already did that, I already skated vert ramps I already skated handrails, I’ve already done that. 2. What was skating vert like for you? Skating vert ramps was cool, I was living on the coast of North Carolina. Reggie Barns gave us a vert ramp and it was fun, but after a while it was like back and forth, back and .tatteredten 171
forth, then up the stupid stairs, you know what I mean? It’s not like now when I go skate and I push around hard and I bomb the hill to Burnside and I skate in traffic. I beat traffic to the stop light alright, I’m beating traffic to a light and then I go to the spot and drop in and it’s just skateboarding. I don’t have to have pads, I don’t have to check in, it’s not about having a routine. I will say that skateboarding has handed me a nice role, and I know that. There’s not a lot of people that are going to get handed the role in skateboarding that I got handed, you know what I mean, it’s like the right place at the right time, you know what I mean. You know, I was there, I tried to push a point, and it worked out. 3. When did you know you were going to skateboard for a living? Well, I got this call one time from this sponsor… I’m not going to talk shit about them, but they were like “Chet, we just want to you to pick street or vert” and I was like “Dude, I’m a skateboarder, why are you trying to tell me I have to pick one or the other. I just want to skate whatever’s in my way and have fun.” That’s when skateboarding was weird. Now skateboarding is so open to cool shit, but at that time it was at that pivotal point. And you know what, one day I said this to myself: I’m just gonna do what I do and if people absorb it and like it or love it, and if not I’m gonna go get a job and I’ll work. And somehow I got this sick lottery ticket [Black Label/Six Gun/ 51] and it worked. 4. I seem to remember you competing in contests, how come you don’t enter them anymore? When I first turned pro, the only way to travel was to go to contests. So I’d go to all these dumb world cup contests and I’d be judged by all these faggots, you know what I mean – I’d try to skate different and do my thing and sometimes they’d let me in the cut, like “oh this dudes sick” and sometimes they wouldn’t, but I always looked at it as a big demo because the crowd was always stoked. Because you’re flying around, hauling ass, you’re having music playing, you have attitude… but you know, the greatest thing about getting older is not going to contests and just having attitude. My favorite thing about being my age is having attitude, talking shit and calling people out and not having to do what normal people do. Not having to go to a Mountain Dew contest. Not having to go to the X Games and just being in the heart of skateboarding. People came at me hard when I started skating for Nike, like “yo, you’re a sell out” blah blah blah, and all these people are computer internet nerds that don’t even skate. And most real skaters are like “Nike is sponsoring this scumbag?” And it was like that, you know what I mean. They gave me a chance. I rode for Vans for 10 years, they never gave me an ad, Nike put me on the team and those dudes who were on the team were obviously working, but I worked harder and I stepped up the ladder so obviously Nike put me up to the next ladder and from there I’m sitting here talking to you, I’m in this movie…
different; we didn’t want to be like everybody else. It’s bullshit. I think it’s time to say goodbye to contests. I kinda wish they would just kinda disappear and I wish it would just go back to skate jams. Like one day in the parking lot, just radical shredding… not a logo, not any of that bullshit. Filming takes up so much time. Is it all just having fun, or did you really need to focus and prepare for it? I had a really good girlfriend, she dumped me, and like I spent one year of heartache, but now I think god that she dumped me because I put my life in line man and I got so much shit done. And if she would have loved me then she would have understood what I’m going through. Like she would have understood I’m trying, and where I stand at Nike, you know what I mean. This is like my first real chance to show the whole real skateboarding world. The real people that watch the Black Label video, you know, like,
parents are fucked. If my dad wouldn’t have been such an asshole, my mom wouldn’t have moved me and my brother to the beach we wouldn’t have found skateboarding, we wouldn’t have found art, we wouldn’t have found all this rad shit. 7. And now you live in Portland, Oregon… that’s seems like an unlikely place for you to end up. All the kids I grew up with now are moving to hell. They’re buying houses, but you’re moving away from your friends and you’re moving away from life. Like I know it’s cheaper and it’s all that, but it’s like you’re moving away from life. I fucking love that shit. I ride my bike every day in the city and just love city life. I fucking love that shit. I ride my bike every day in the city and just see weird people and get pumped off it, you know what I mean. When I’m not on tour, you know what I mean. I grew up in suburbia where you gotta drive everywhere to do
something. And then there was a phase where I was living in North Carolina and I’d be riding my bike and people from high school would pull over and be like “Yo dude, what’s up, do you need a ride?” And at the same time, I’m like traveling the world and I Yeah, it’s great man. Your parent’s must was just riding my bike just for fun because be proud of what you’ve become. I was bored. Like I’m a [pro] skateboarder I don’t really need you to suck me off, I just [and] kids in high school didn’t have a clue, hope it looked different compared to those like they thought they were the shit, like “Yo, other kids. If my mom wasn’t in heaven, if she was here dude, I’m worried about you,” you know what I mean? Like I’m riding a bike, what are it would be awesome. My mom was always you doing, you’re driving your nice Accord. like, “Yo, do your shit.” My old man is still I had a car, I had a Volvo, like a nice S2000 just a weirdo. Volvo, but when I lived on the coast of North Carolina all my friends worked so I’d 6. Sounds like he doesn’t really get it. ride 4-10 miles a day because I’d be bored What does your dad do? waiting for my friends to get out of school. He’s a farmer. Yeah, he’s a farmer in the So then I’d have people from my high school mountains of Virginia. He called me, I’m 32 and he called me… He called me when I was pulling me over, like “Are you okay, you poor skateboarder.” I was like “No dude, I’m just 18 and he bitched me out like “You gotta riding a bike because I have time to.” grow up, you gotta get your life together… you’re riding this fucking toy…?” You know 8. Do you ever ask yourself if you’re still what I said? I said “Hey Dad—click.” learning tricks? I’m learning how to ride up weirder shit, It must have been difficult to do that. better. I kinda gave up man, for a while I really Not really because I’m a momma’s boy and tried hard to be a street skater, I was like, “I his opinion will never matter. He never paid child support and my mom was a nurse you want to be a street skater.” And it was weird, know what I mean, and even to this day he’s it just wasn’t me. And I was trying so hard and 5. You make money off skateboarding, I realized you know what – it’s not me, and I like “Oh I got this land I want to give you” and contests mean money. So how can was trying so hard and it doesn’t even look and I’m like, “I don’t even want your land you not support that? cool. And like I said before, I’m gonna skate Yeah, I make money without having to go to dude, I don’t want any help from you.” He’s what I skate. If people like it or if not, then I’ll my dad and I respect him because he did a contest. I think it’s faggot shit. The thing fucking disappear, yo. Cause I’d rather leave get my mom impregnated and I love him is that we started skateboarding because for that, but I want to leave it at that. It’s not skateboarding with integrity instead of trying we didn’t want to be soccer, we didn’t to prove to somebody like… I’m not gonna harsh you know, some people they whine want to be any of that shit. Like me and my give any names of street skaters who are friends, we did it because we were anti, man. about their lives, like “Oh my parents are trying to be the dude, but I’m like, “yo – my fucked” but you know what, I’m happy my We were like, punk! We were trying to be 172 chetchildress.
we have our crowd, but I mean like all these people. I don’t want to come out sucking, I want to come out with rad spots. You think it worked out? You think it’s alright?
job is to make people skate.” You know what I mean, like, our age group. You don’t have to quit at 21. You don’t have to quit at 25. 9. Okay, well what pisses you off about the skateboard industry? Dudes sitting in ads and not skating. And I understand the point of ads where you have to focus on your brand, but after a while it gets a little old, looking at dudes. You know what I mean, like standing there… chilling. But we all have to do them. Ryan Sheckler, no hard feelings, but your show sucks, you’re done, I mean obviously. Go do your Mountain Dew thing, but you shouldn’t have signed the agreement to do that show. Jereme Rogers, you shouldn’t have got a tattoo that says “Fear No Man” on your neck – That’s disgusting. I don’t know, anyone who goes to fucking contests every month is even worse. Man, and it’s just so scripted, like, you signed off on this script? I think the hottest thing to do would be to get Ryan Sheckler’s mom impregnated and take all his money. That’d be tight. I mean, no offense to Ryan Sheckler, he’s fucking making money and kids his age are listening to him crying when he has one of the best lives ever and these kids have to listen to him whine about bullshit material. It’s like, all skateboarders come from dysfunctional families. Dysfunctional families create the best skateboarders. I don’t like all these dudes that are like bling bling, or faggot ass skaters. I like skaters like, my homies skate everything. That’s the raddest thing about Black Label, is like, our team. Shuriken Shannon will lean to tail on a 10 foot quarter pipe then nollie heel over a rail. And he’s a black dude! You know, like hello! You know what I mean. I don’t like skaters who have excuses anymore. I’m 32, I’ve got excuses ‘cause I do what I do, but like these new kids, they’ve been handed the best pallets of life, man. Like from when we grew up skateboarding, they’ve got the best shit ever now. Skateboarding is so acceptable, everyone loves skateboarding. When I graduated high-school in ’93, people hated us. Still to this day I have people who come up to me from high school and they try to be my friend and what year is it and I’m still like “Fuck you. Remember in 93/94 when you were a hater and you hated on me and my friends for rolling down the street?” It’s like, “what are you doing now?” I’ve walked into grocery stores [back home] and dudes are like butchers and they’re like the biggest bitches ever and I just laugh at them because me and my friends, we roll on toys and I kinda get hyped on it. I just love putting it in people’s faces. They’re out working and all the people that hated on you in high school, you’re like “oh rad, well you know what well I’m flying to Europe tomorrow with my homies and um, we’re gonna go skate.” And they’re like “oh are you going in a contest?” I’m like “No, we’re going to shoot photos and film. I’m going to shoot photos with my homies.” What Magazine is this for? Color, and we’re just about done. Do you have anything else you want to say? I want Color to say thank you for listening to my bullshit and my main aspects of skateboarding are do what you do and love it, you know what I mean, because skateboarding is so broad and I think it deserves the craziest kids that think they can do the highest airs and I think skateboarding deserves the kids that can barely skate. And I think there’s a place for skaters that are in between to show them that you don’t have to be a super hero to skate.
KEEGAN SAUDER/QUINN STARR doubles [ o ] doubt.
This page is dedicated to anyone we pissed off or annoyed due to errors or omissions in last issue, Color 5.5. Nicholas Brown for the typo in his credit for the St. George Marsh piece he wrote. (It must have been the lack of vowels in Kinsey’s “BLK/MRKT” gallery that got the best of us. Quinn Starr’s (shown above) epic line in Knife Fight’s Ming Juice for Shoot To Thrill was a nollie up, fs 360, then backside 360 off. That huge switch frontside flip in CMYK was Tim Breen. And what happened to the Brah Boys video review in Trailer?... Ask Jason Jesse... Do forgive. 174 5.6
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