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ISSN 1920-0404

art / fashion / music / film / life / skateboarding /

Jesse Landen, Reuben Bullock, Ethan Fowler, Terell Safadi, Dale Evans danny fuenzalida | aaron suski | peter ramondetta | alien gabe morford | sandy plotnikoff | soft kill $7.99 CND/USD

a skateboard culture quarterly.


INT RO DU CIN G TH E MJ ECH ELO N. SEE ALL CO LOR S AT LAK AI. CO M sup rad ist rib uti on. com lakais tic ker s@ sup rad ist rib uti on. com

heelflip. photo by colen

The predominant design ideal of Lakai Footwear places peak skateboard function as priority number one. Fashion follows a close second, but performance has always been our driving force. With the introduction of Echelon, we now have a category that allows us to flip these ideals from time to time, encouraging fashion to become the primary design focus. The branding for these styles has changed, but the commitment to excellence remains the same. Echelon is Heel to Toe quality, fashion first.





DAEWON 12’er


Scan this for a discount code for C1RCA products at

issue 2


COVER: Antoine Asselin drops the real deuce—ollie over the rail and stairs at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium park. photoby kasey andrews

Graffiti has been described as “spray rap”. In Britannia Beach you get the best of both worlds, rap and rock all wrapped up amidst some of nature’s best work.

Soundtrack Mind


nyone who has ever watched a skateboard video knows: when a song fits, it just fits. There is an almost audible click. The skater’s personality, their style, the speed and rhythm of their skating, everything just seems to be perfectly complimented by the song. This is because music and skateboarding just go together. They just do. Sure, silence has been tried (Silence is Golden!), but there is never a chance of silence replacing the normal mash-up of music and skate sound that is the skate video standard. Music changes things, it elevates, it heightens the excitement and drama, or contrarily, it undercuts it, by contrasting expectations, by giving you what you never knew you needed. How many great skate careers have been launched by a remarkably well-chosen song, or sunk into obscurity by a musical misstep? Like it or not, the music chosen for a skater’s part ends up defining them. Maybe that’s why skaters are so into discovering new music, we all want to find the most amazing song ever for our next part. Or maybe it’s just because music gets us psyched. Either way, we here at Color make it our mission to bring you the good stuff. And if you haven’t already guessed, this is our music-themed issue, and we’re happy to report that to assist with our exploration of all things musical, we’ve enlisted the absurdly talented Justin Gradin as our guest music editor. A prolific artist, drummer, and not to mention



ripping skater, Justin is also a tireless scene-builder and founder of the Vancouver underground venue The Emergency Room. Mr. Gradin has helped us piece together a veritable buffet of musical delights. Check out our featured skater, Antoine Asselin, who just dropped his first major part in the much-awaited Since Day One, a video that carries on a long tradition of iconic soundtracks from the Real camp. Or Roger Allen’s thoroughly awesome investigation into the current state of “skate rock”, or Dane Pryds’s Daniel Johnston obsession, or Mish Way’s exposé on the notorious Abbott Jam Space, or Isaac Mckay-Randozzi’s interview with S.F. neo-skate rock heavies Hightower—something in this issue is guaranteed to make you want to bark your trucks and sing along. Yes, you’ll find in this issue that skateboarding and music have enjoyed a long history together. From the crude VHS overdub—skating on the left channel, music on the right—to taping skate videos onto cassettes to listen to them later (I actually did this), to the digital editing of entire videos where every trick is landed on beat, there is something about the rolling board, the skater’s precise movements, the unexpected slam, and the miracle of making a trick that just demands a soundtrack. No, it doesn’t look like we could ever keep skateboarding and music apart. Like we’d want to. Now all you have to do is turn this page to press play, on our music issue. Mike Christie, senior editor







Kickip Nose Stall Transfer

distributed by Ultimate photo: Hendrick

McCrank Haslam Rojo

Momentum Wheel Co. is proud to welcome Willow to the team! Darwin Series - artwork by Andrew Pommier

Scorching a 1,478 mile an hour ollie to front truck skid, aka nosegrind. See this in The BRAINWASH video, available in the shops that have a clue - and on iTunes...

Photo by: Aaron Smith

distributed by Ultimate word extracted

I wanted to draw a rope or swing in Leo’s hand on this photo, or maybe a lightning bolt but I didn’t want to mess up the picture. I wonder if anyone will take the timeto read this? Maybe you are on the toilet giving birth to a fine log of rejected fast food, or you are in class at school, or more likely detention and reading every word in the magazine. That would be great. If anyone is actually reading this while turding or in detention, please write a comment about it on our website. We have some local commenters who would love to hear about it. This Toy Machine Bloodsucking Skateboard Company advertisment is a powerful marketing tool, if you look at it backwards in a mirror you will see a hidden message like the back-masking on a Led Zep record, and the message will put you into a trance that will only allow you to stay a loyal consumer of Toy Machine for the rest of your life. Parents, we control your children. They are ours. Not yours. A Benevolent Overlord of a corporation has taken their brains. They can do whatever they want, but they will always buy Toy Machine, and never quit skating. Well, if you made it this far don’t you feel like you wasted your time? I doubt this paragraph was worth your precious time.





H E AV E N ,

H E ’ S


S PA I N ... S O





S H O O T.


“We just wanted to go with the streets of San Francisco theme—that was as far as we got with the concept. Never could we have imagined that 20 years later one of the world’s most talented editors [Dan Wolfe] would recreate our mess, almost shot for shot.” —jim thiebaud

THE MUSIC ISSUE (12) — 18 contributors 22 inspiration bound 24 cmyk 30 anthrax 34 red flagged: Aaron Suski 38 squatting in squamish 43 product toss 48 gallery 70 helter/shetler 86 liam mitchell 96 xpat: Danny Fuenzalida 113 next/best: Peter Ramondetta 116 fotofeature 128 soundcheque 134 trailer 132 show: Sandy Plotnikoff 135 last nite: SXSW 138 tattered 10 140 credits (141) over & out

Max Schaff takes one step back and two steps forward, playing the role of a lurker from the original Real Video remake, paid tribute in the newly released Since Day One video. Check the DVD bonus to watch both versions shown simultaneously. morfordphoto.




contributing writer/photographer

contributing writer

contributing writer/photographer

Ben Marvin moved to Vancouver after being raised in Calgary, Alberta, until the age of nineteen. Instead of considering the photographic process as a means of reproducing a moment or space in time, Ben considers it more a process that allows him to see an unassuming beauty in simplicity. 86

Mish Way is a Vancouver-based writer who spends most of her time listening to The Replacements and brushing her hair. When not on tour with her band White Lung, she is an editor and staff writer for the New York-based online women’s magazine Hearty. Her work can be found in Vice, Black Book, Vancouver Magazine and many others simply by googling her name. 73

Keith Henry is a 21-year-old from Vegreville, Alberta, who is now comfortably stationed in Vancouver, BC. He’s been shooting photos and listening to Ja Rule for years and he’s really got a handle on both. If you run into him in a loud situation­­—bar, hockey game, riot­—you will have no problem hearing what he’s saying. Keith is everyone’s best friend, and he is a talented guy, on and off the board. 70





contributing photographer

contributing photographer

I grew up in Winnipeg, started skating when I was in 7th grade. When I graduated high school I moved down to San Jose, met some people in the area and bought a camera. Been taking photos for four years now. Have been living in San Francisco for the last two years, shooting ever since. I mostly just skate, work and shoot photos, with a few beers in there somewhere. Time for some token influences? Carrol’s part in Modus, Drehobl is really good, Wayne’s World and Fubar win best movie, and Doobie Brothers and Hank III are on the playlist. 102

Magdalena Wosinska was born in Katowice, Poland, in 1983. In the early 90s her parents and her two older sisters moved to Arizona. There as a child she started skateboarding and shooting skate photos and attended art school. At age 19 she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career. Magdalena now shoots photos for various clients such as Lee Jeans, Tee Pee records, and Nylon magazine. She also plays guitar in a metal band Green & Wood. She now resides in East L.A. in Highland Park, where she lives in an old hunting lodge with her British pointer, Capitan Pickles. 64 MAGDALENAWOSINSKA.COM



MATT FRENCH guest typographer

MATT MACLEOD contributing photographer

One and a half score and seven years ago, Matt French was brought forth onto this earth. Climbing the high reaches of evergreen trees did more to injure the health of onlookers than he himself, so he moved onto more deciduous fare. Maple trees had a way of tossing his carcass to the ground, and he’s been astride maple and rolling ever since. At some point, while raising pen for the cause, Matt was drawn close to skateboarding in both creation and devastation. Amidst the wind and the abounding sky, he rages forward on paper and pavement. He has made art for Volcom, Flip, Pocket Pistol, and Lib Tech, to name a few. BLOG.MATTFRENCHART.COM

Matt MacLeod is a freelance photojournalist who is originally from Port Alberni, British Columbia. He first became interested in photography in his grade 11 media class. When he developed his first roll of film, something grabbed him there was no turning back. Matt went to university for two years before dropping out to shoot photos and moved around BC and Alberta before settling in Vancouver. After few years of living and shooting in Van, Matt decided that he was very interested in the business side of the skate industry and has recently moved to Victoria to finish his post-secondary education. Matt loves skateboarding, is full of positive energy, and is always ready to get productive! 52

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2 0 1 0









R V C A . C O M T I M E B O M B T R A D I N G . C O M F A C E B O O K . C O M / T I M E B O M B T R A D I N G



volume 9 issue 2

any day now: the london years 1947-1974

something in between

Faesthetic #13

Sergej Vutoc of Bosnia collaborated with Carhartt to bring together this gorgeous book of black and white illustrations and photographs. Vutoc’s images remind me of the documentary style of Robert Frank, while his print style is strikingly similar to that of Fred Mortagne. Capturing skateboard culture, along with life in subways and diners, Vutoc takes a very multi-exposure approach to his photography. I don’t mean this in the sense of layering images, rather he shows a number of individual viewpoints of the same subject, offering the viewer a more in-tune sense of the moment and movement. Printed on heavy, uncoated paper, these 104 pages are filled with gritty, scratchy, smeared, and dark images, each digitally reproduced from handmade prints that Vutoc created himself in his darkroom. This is a truly raw and unfiltered look into the skateboarding subculture in Europe, and an impressive collection of photographs indeed.

Not too many magazines have kept me interested as long as Faesthetic has. With a permanent place on my bookshelf, beside Arkitip, I’m often caught marvelling at the fact that all three publications (the third being Color, of course) were printed under the same roof, in Winnipeg, Manitoba—home to the now non-operational printing house Westcan/Printcrafters. It saddens me to see printing houses close their doors—they were also responsible for printing Girl/Chocolate’s Wallride catalogue and many more of the magazines previously stolen and reviewed here— while it delights me to see well-curated books rising to the top due partly to the competitive marketplace. All business aside, this issue of Fasethetic has the bidness! Mike Giant, Tiffany Bozic, Cody Hudson, Porous Walker, Chris von Szombathy and Mark Mothersbaugh top it off in this issue organized around the theme of luck. Perhaps the greatest art and illustration journal of our time, Faesthetic just reached a major milestone—10 years of independent publishing! And that says more than any number of words I could put down here, the night before deadline, procrastinating while half-buzzed, gazing at the pages of this book rather than finishing the one you hold before you.

sergej vutoc snoeck in cooperation with carhartt

—gordon nicholas

dustin amery hostetler fast aesthetic

kevin cann adelita ltd.

33 1/3 series

The skateboard video has almost done to David Bowie what Martin Scorsese has done to the Rolling Stones—that is already used up nearly his whole catalogue! Everyone should remember Heath Kirchart and Jeremy Klein skating to “Under Pressure” in The End, or Bryan Herman’s destruction set to Bowie’s “The Width Of A Circle.” How about when Marc Johnson skated to “Unwashed” and “Somewhat Slightly Dazed” in Emerica’s Yellow. Bowie songs have graced Lakai and Girl videos and had regular appearances on the Berrics. It was a pleasant surprise back in 1995 when Jon West skated to the brilliant “Andy Warhol” in ATM’s Come Together, one of many bangers off of the brilliant album Hunky Dory, which will forever be counted as one of the great perfect albums. Steve Olson skated to “Quicksand,” another track from that sucker in Tentacles of Destruction, another video part that makes its way onto my all-time greatest video part compilation. Stop searching for Hunky Dory, and take a minute to watch how Steve can turn sketchiness into something beautiful. If memory serves, his part kicks off the video, before the intro even. In fact, I just took a break from writing this for a screening myself, and it still holds up. Any Day Now, is a chronicle of David’s early years, from childhood up to his most interesting era, from early jamming pop to the gender-bending, tripped-out glam of the 70s. There’s no doubting Bowie’s position as a fashion icon. Remember Jason Lee’s shirt in Video Days? Or his Aladdin Sane graphic? And Jim Greco definitely took a page from Bowie’s kit book. Yes, David Bowie’s spot in skateboarding is firmly rooted, and this beautifully produced and captivating book presents him at his very best. Now go get yourself a copy of Hunky Dory, and cue up the skate video mixtape. —dylan doubt

Have you ever got so into one particular album that you just couldn’t stop thinking about it? Did you obsess over details like its methods of recording, its multitudes of meanings and references, and its ultimate station in the pantheon of music? Well, the folks at Continuum Press have managed to create the perfect outlet for the obsessive and nerdly musings of you and other music geeks everywhere with this their 33 1/3 series. Published in small, slim, numbered volumes, each of these books is specifically dedicated to one landmark album, each providing a writer’s take on why this album matters, and what it makes it so important. Or, as Rolling Stone put it, “Ideal for the rock geek who thinks liner notes just aren’t enough.” With the featured albums ranging as widely as Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, to Slayer’s Reign in Blood, to Public Enemy’s bombastic masterpiece It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, to the most recent offering that celebrates Fleetwood Mac’s much-overlooked Tusk, there is sure to be something here for music devotees of all genres and stripes. After reading a few of these I found that my appreciation, even for albums that I’d already loved for years, was totally enhanced and deepened by the experience. I listened to Reign In Blood with new ears, now knowing that it was produced by the notorious hip hop producer Rick Rubin, and that its frightening cover was painted by someone who was actually insane. There is something about music that makes us want to share in our enjoyment of it, something that makes us want to find out if our friends were as affected by a particular song as we were. And it’s wonderful to see that there is now the perfect place for this kind of exchange to happen. Continuum are currently on book #77 of the series, and with their recent foray into supplementing their smartly designed print editions with some pretty gorgeous-looking ebooks, here’s hoping they make it to at least #10,000.

continuum press

—sandro grison FAESTHETIC.COM

—mike christie





ERNIE TORRES nose manual nollie flip [ o ] hlavacek.



TJ ROGERS crooked grind nollie flip [ o ] odam.

PAT BURKE bigspin flip disaster revert [ o ] j-hon.



MIKE VINCE 180 switch nosegrind [ o ] comber.

the franski

S.F. LOVIN’ MAPLE LEAFS We’re not the only ones who’ve got a soft spot for San Francisco—Canadian ex-pats Lee Yankou and Justin Gastelum have made themselves at home in this hilly haven, and can be found skating the Bay area at any time, day or night. See them rip in a lil’ video shot by Isaac Mckay-Randozzi in our featured videos

RULE, BRITANNIA! Not only is there a great history to Stuntwood’s Britannia Beach ramp (become enlightened on page 38), but of late it’s been the go-to spot for many a great “Let’s get the hell outta town!” sessions. Catch Rick McCrank, Quinn Starr, and Colin Nogue doing justice to this golden boy of ramps in our videos section of the site.

NDG 9.1 RELEASE PARTY Montreal’s No Damn Good skatepark and shop was the location of our east coast release party, and Color’s Landon Stirling and artist Ben Tour made the trek out to hang with the locals. With Ben’s gnarly illustrated visage as a backdrop, PBRs were on hand as the park was shredded ‘til late and the party took to the streets into the wee hours. Check for more photos of the event.

OSKAR MATERIAL X COLOR MAG X CRAWFORD The release of our first issue of volume 9, “The Art Issue,” coincided with the launch of Oskarmaterial, starring Jesse Landen, Alex Neary, Terence Goddard, Brandon Del Bianco, and more, so we decided to hold two events in one place on one night! Toronto’s newest skate-friendly bar The Crawford was the jam, and everyone was hyped on both the mag and the video. Unless you happened to be in Toronto that night, the only place to catch the video when it premiered was on! Missed the grand event? The full film is still up on the site for your viewing pleasure, and reviewed in this issue on page 134.




As sounds overwhelm Ladies will turn it up high With a covered ear Amongst all the rad headphones that have been on the market recently—WeSC, Nixon, Matix, Urbanears, and so on—these Nikita headphones cater specifically to the feminine music listener. They rip pretty loud, especially from a brand not known for making electronic devices. These headphones will make it even easier to scoot up that one annoying hill on your bike this summer, or even just sit around making up poetry when you should be working. NIKITACLOTHING.COM



The much-anticipated Real Skateboards video Since Day One premiered across North America this spring, with the first and biggest event held in San Francisco. We teamed up with Supra Distribution and DLXSF to offer someone the opportunity to head down to S.F. to be a part of the action. After correctly naming the four original Real team riders (Jim Thiebaud, Henry Sanchez, Rob “Sluggo” Boyce, Tommy Guerrero), Vancouver’s Josh Bradley won a free trip down to the premiere, where he got crazy with product at the Deluxe warehouse, and hung with some of the Real boys themselves! Photos from Josh’s trip are up on our site and read a full review of the Real video on page 134. COLORMAGAZINE.CA

After a quick Google search, we found out that Victoria, BC, has a secret catacomb of tunnels under their Chinatown. Okay, this may not be true, but if anyone has some concrete evidence, send ‘er in! Victoria is also home to a ton of stoking skaters, and they’ve put together a video simply titled 204, which you can now get your hands on directly from the Corner Store section of our site. No, the tunnels may not be real, but this video is 39 minutes and 46 seconds of 100% real, pure Canadian skateboarding at it’s finest.

FREE TRIP TO THE DARKSIDE In case you missed the newsflash, we partied with Quiksilver to put together these limited edition t-shirts, featuring artwork by the infamous Mr. Gabe Stone. Gabe was responsible for the sinister artwork in our piece on the Beast of Gevauden in Color 8.4. Get your hands on one for FREE when you subscribe to Color! [Sidenote: we made a sick back patch from this shirt.] COLORMAGAZINE.CA/SUBSCRIBE




MARK TWAIN AHEAD OF HIS TIM3 Summer’s around the corner and we’ll soon all be heading down to the ol’ swimming hole with our ragtag gang of misfits. These KR3W house pants are made to be doing exactly that. Nice lightweight denim and a drawstring belt make for a Huck Finn-casual feel. Perfect for skating barefoot and shirtless down to the corner store, or lying back with a fishing pole, chewin’ on a piece of straw, watching your homies do backflips off the dock. KR3WDENIM.COM

SHOOT IT BLACK You know how you’re so bummed whenever you forget your camera, ‘cause so much rad shit happened while you were out? Lucky for us, Jimmy Fontaine isn’t a forgetful guy. Recently, Comune hosted Everything Went Black, a solo photography show by Jimmy, a San Diego native and now N.Y.C.-based fashion photographer. A visual diary of the past 10 years of his life, the exhibition features punk shows, fashion, music and skate culture, all through Fontaine’s eyes. Now we can just insert these photos into our memories and pretend that we never left home without our 35mm! Comune is a great platform for supporting like-minded artists through their Drop City gallery space, by aiming to inspire the same sense of community as 1960s artist’s communes. Groovy. THECOMUNE.COM




England’s psychedelic artist Pinky was Technicolor dreaming when he designed these two rad t-shirts for Altamont’s Spring 2011 collection, in a loud white and a mellower black version. With solo shows in East London, Brighton, Berlin, and numerous locations in the States, Pinky’s been travelling in a yellow submarine with wizards and dark nightmares in his wake. These wickedly surreal shirts are perfect for anyone who likes two scoops of electric in their Kool-Aid, or a dose of magic in their mushrooms.

We’re no stranger to controversial views (ahem, Fuck the Olympics anyone?), and are pretty much stoked on anyone who speaks their mind. Bobby Puleo is one such fellow. One of the most stylish and legit street skaters ever, he has recently become a pretty opinionated dude about the state of skateboarding today. He started up Victim Brand a couple years ago, which has the underlying tone of an anti-establishment joke on mainstream corporate culture. Check Puleo’s trademarked tees while you’re cruising for rants on world issues, but just don’t get into a battle of words.

If you’ve even been remotely involved in skating over the last 20-plus years, you’ve probably had your hands on a piece of Marc McKee’s work at some point or another. With their new release The Art of Marc McKee, Seen Unknown have compiled some of McKee’s best work since his start at World Industries in 1989. Edited by Enjoi’s Winston Tseng and with a forward by the legendary Rodney Mullen, this book features everything from raunchy illustrations, rare decks, cease and desist letters, to an interview with the man himself. Did we mention the raunchy illustrations?






Snap, listen, ride, grind. Color compadre Isaac McKayRandozzi is a man who knows his way around a camera, a pen and paper, and, above all, a skateboard. This spring saw the launch of Isaac’s second collaboration with the Stereo Sound Agency for two limited edition decks, featuring a few of Yong-Ki Chang’s [Solitary Arts] prized record players. We’ve been eyeing some turntables for the office, but think we’re gonna hold out ‘til we find one awesome enough for Isaac to photograph.

Some would argue that shoes are simply a practical foot covering, made for getting you from point A to B. Others are firmly planted on the other side, saying shoes are made for style first, then function. Along comes this Jim Greco pro model from Supra Footwear to please all parties. Sleek and durable, high or low, produced in suedes, greys, or chambrays to match any lifestyle. With full insole foot impact resistance and vulcanized soles, like Jim Greco himself, these kicks are not just a pretty face.

With this being “The Music Issue,” we thought it was appropriate to include this So hoodie as it features drawstrings that are actual earbuds. That’s right, fully functioning, machine-washable earbuds. Just plug into the pocket and head out the door! We gave this zip-up a test drive around the block, and have to say the audio is pretty tight, although we felt a bit dumb cruising around with drawstrings in our ears.






volume 9 issue 2

Aaron Suski

Socks: My buddy gave me these Swiftwick compression socks so your ankles don’t swell on the plane. A little uncomfortable but they work. No one likes swollen ankles.

Bodiwrap: The night before I came, I got back pain so I bought this body wrap. It was nice but it made me a little sweaty—that was weird.

words and photosby matt meadows

Books: My art book, just something I like to do. And Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, read it sometime ago. Little 5 Boro sticker on there. Tricks and Twists by André Kole. I tried this dollar [magic trick], but I ended up just losing the dollar… holy crap wait it’s fucking autographed! I did not even know! That’s insane! Four bucks too! What a steal!

On the list of skaters with a grind named after them, Aaron Suski is a suprising inclusion. This is because he’s so low key, so well respected by everyone, an underground ripper, a skater’s skater. You may remember when he blew our collective minds in Emerica’s ‘This is Skateboarding’, and he continues to rip any and every obstacle set before his board. Recently, I was fortunate enough to join some of the Volcom crew on a snowboard trip to Mont Tremblant, just outside Montréal. Cross-border travelling can be a nightmare, and the customs agents love nothing better than to pick on a single skater travelling over the border by himself, especially for a mere couple of days. After picking Aaron up at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport, my poor American counterpart informed me that he was just grilled by our less-than-happy customs agents. Needless to say, I can only hope that since this was the second time a Canadian grilled him with these now probably familiar questions, hopefully this time was a little less stressful.

So, Mr. Suski, what is your citizenship? [laughs] You know my citizenship! Polish-American! What are you up here for? Have some fun, go snowboarding, and pretty much just hang with the homies. How long do you plan on staying in the country? Two nights and one day.

Health: Snack attack Cliff Bar, Emergen-C, oh this is great just to show what an idiot I am: American Spirits and my asthma inhaler. I don’t use my inhaler that often but once and awhile my chest gets tight.



Do you known any Canadians here? I do now! My friend Matt [Meadows] here. Besides that, before I came up here I only really knew the two other guys Floris Gierman [Dutch] and Herbie from Valient Thorr [American]. But since I have been up here I have befriended several Canadians. It’s been spectacular.

Personal Hygiene: Tom’s deoderant. Lavender is good, it’s a calming herb. It’s all-natural. You can also get lavender pouches. Cinnamon toothpicks from the health food store. Once I was on a demo in New York and we were stuck in traffic. Everyone was starving so I gave them all tooth picks. It was just good to keep their minds off things.

How much cash did you bring with you on the trip? A hundred bucks, then I got another hundred bucks per diem so I think I am making money on this trip. Thank you Volcom! Are you planning on leaving anything? Nope taking it all back with me. What’s something that you hope to take home with you? Memories. But hopefully I won’t drink them all away. What have you learned about Canada? That Montréal has a mountain. You told me some stuff. What was it? The “Battle of the Plains of Abraham” at Québec City?

Ipod: A staple, although mine is a little old. Chargers and phone. This phone is probably at least 6 years old.






volume 9 issue 2

Brendan Flanagan

image courtesy of the artist.

wordsby leah turner


rendan Flanagan’s latest series of oil and acrylic paintings (shown recently at New York’s Thierry Goldberg Projects and Toronto’s Angell Gallery) see the young Torontobased artist trading landscapes for interior views. What might be considered tame subject matter, until one is faced with his strange, surreal, epically scaled panels. Working within a long tradition of figurative expressionism (think the tortured, alienated characters of Edvard Munch and Francis Bacon; Julian Schnabel’s 80s neo-expressionism or more recently, Daniel Richter’s thermal-tinged tableaux), Flanagan’s wildly clashing compositions, at their best, evince similar psychological affect.



Comprised of two panels and installed at a right angle that only heightens its unnerving, claustrophobic perspective, Ornas depicts a group of mute, anonymous figures, standing stiffly in waiting, with arms crossed, the ceiling encroaching from above in distressed, viscous drips of fluorescent paint. Crisp, flat airbrushing contrasts with more chaotic, unexpected moments of high-relief purple, yellow and chartreuse brushstrokes. Narrative is suggested but remains oblique; Flanagan’s strength instead lies in eliciting emotional response. His scenes are macabre, at times apocalyptic, with a violence that stems from their own indeterminacy. Deriving his subject matter from various photographic sources, Flanagan injects turmoil into scenes of relative stillness through these varying, often clashing techniques and violent contrasts of shape and line. Figures are molten, while others erode and decay. These surfaces have lifespans.

Costume Party, 2010 oil and acrylic on board, 48" x 72"



volume 9 issue 2

wordsby sandro grison

photosby landon stirling


long the Sea-to-Sky highway that runs from Vancouver to Whistler, sits a lone, abandoned, barn-like structure, an open concrete shed left unused by the now closed Britannia Beach mine, which currently serves as an unlikely temporary home for skateboarders seeking solace from the rain. It began as a dumping ground for ramps needing a home, eventually garnering donations from ramp builders and connoisseurs awaiting such a cause. But it all wasn’t just handed over on a copper-mined platter. When Stuntwood skateshop owner Mike Quesnel got into the project in earnest, he found himself inundated with friends who wanted to help out, namely Brian Forbes, who helped arrange, brainstorm, labour, and pool funds together with a number of Squamish locals. Renting moving trucks and hauling in donated ramps from Antisocial and the former LBC/Sweatshop ramp, finally, they went for it. They ordered wood and molded coping to create the first and best wood-bowl in the Vancouver area since Antisocial’s “Until We Get Leeside” installation of 2006. These days, running an independent, core skateboard shop is anything but easy, but Mike Quesnel insists that it’s projects like these that make it all worthwhile. Dave Kerr Frontside wallride



No stranger to the DIY ethos, while working at a pulp mill Mike Quesnel saved up to start his first skateshop in Kamloops, BC. And later campaigned to raise $500,000 in funds to build a skateboard park in Hinton, Alberta. “I had met Jim Barnum at Slam City Jam,” Quesnel recalls, “and asked him what I had to do to get a skatepark built and he pointed me in the right direction.” A couple years later, Quesnel phoned Barnum up to say they were ready to go. Barnum didn’t know what hit him. “It’s really rare to get a phone call, especially from a skateboarder who’s got their act together,” Barnum remarked on Quesnel’s ability to follow through, adding, “That’s one of the raddest things about Mike, just how much he has done and how much he has created. He’s a doer [and he] gets things done.” When asking Barnum of his knowledge of the Britannia project he replied, “I was really excited when I heard about it because it’s just such a rad location! It’s real skateboarding. It’s not a skatepark, it’s not a controlled environment. It’s punk rock. Skaters taking control of their world and saying, ‘Hey man, we’re going to build something here.’ It just has such a rad vibe and I think stuff like that is critical to skateboarding

Colin Nogue backside disaster

[ o ] FELLER

Mike Quesnel

“The Britannia Beach shed is finally being inhabited for good rather than greed.”



While enjoying the nearby outdoor skatepark in Squamish, Mike pointed out for me the canyon eroded into the side of a mountain known as The Chief—native legend being that it was a giant childeating serpent that formed the chute. Perhaps what the natives were referring to was the avalanche of 1915, to which many women and children were lost. If that wasn’t enough, after they rebuilt the town, it burnt down, and then in the same year after a heavy rainstorm took out almost half the homes again due to poor dam construction by the mine. Reconstruction in the 1920s produced the third mill that stands today, although rain would send another flood over the river’s damn in 1991. Given the area’s catastrophic history, one would think the government of British Columbia and the mine officials might turn a blind eye to, if not support in facilitating, such an honest and positive desire to skate. However, there is recent talk that the Ministry will be putting the kybosh on the use of the concentrate shed. Color tried reaching Neal Curtis of Crown Lands, but he was unable to speak on the situation, adding only that there is still a mine permit in place. Curtis directed me to Public Affairs in Victoria, who knew nothing of the current situation in Britannia Beach. The problem seems to be that neither the mine nor the province wants to take full responsibility for the shed. The idea of using some reclamation funding to restore the decayed wharf has been proposed, but nothing has come of it. Especially since the mine that built this small community called Britannia Beach was the cause of one of the biggest environmental tragedies in North American history, when pollution caused by mine waste products had aftereffects to the tune of 4.5 million dead salmon. “The community itself is so stoked!” says Quesnel. “They love that [this is] something positive and constructive for their children to do. They have already noticed an increase in traffic, and are happy with how much respect the area is getting!” Notable Britannia Beach native, skater Rory Fulber, remembers growing up there in the bay, near the woods, “We’d ride motorbikes and stuff like

that because there was not much else to do.” Britannia’s idea of urban is the quasi-corner store and a blue fish and chips bus near the road. As for skate spots, there are two parking lots, that’s it. Rory, along with his friend Ryan Cook and their brothers, made up the entire skate community in Britannia Beach in the 90s, building some of the original ramps in the shed. “The rain would drip down and would be kind of gnarly, and the ground is just terrible, right, but that was like the only little bit of cover we had.” Their ramps would only last a couple days before they would find that the mine manager had chainsawed them in half. “Having an actual place to go and hang out, and to have a little bit of cover over your head with something to skate, like actual ramps, meant a lot,” Fulber adds. “For younger kids in Britannia, having something of that caliber there is pretty amazing.” In regards to the community’s response from a local’s perspective, Fulber is optimistic. “Even the president of the Community Association, Lynn Cook is backing it. It’s just the liability issue that they have to deal with.” Adding that he feels the bowl isn’t going to do anything but good for a community now utterly dependent on tourism. While retaining the architectural integrity of the historic mining structure, the Britannia Beach shed is finally being inhabited for good rather than greed. Now in this quaint little community, for the first time since the mine closed almost forty years ago, men have returned in their work pants and flannels, this time with the sole intention of enjoying and discovering the gem that is Britannia Bay’s new wood bowl. At the time of publication, the skaters of Squamish and Britannia Beach have complied with the demands of Crown and mine officials and chained up the ramp, in good faith that somebody will step in to allow the skating to continue. Stuntwood also offers free skate camps for kids, offered absolutely free throughout the summer months at Squamish skate park.

volume 9 issue 2

Sunshine Sound No one wants to remember that their first experience listening to Ariel Pink was in the predictable safety of their own room. So when you’re in the woods setting up your vintage tent that was handed down to you by your girlfriends dad, remember: it’s always better to hear new music while on your back, watching the stars play nature’s original visualizer.

(clockwise from white shorts)

MATIX rockaway shorts KR3W union shorts VANS jaquard belt VOLCOM droppin beats cami top C1RCA valeo shoes

DC teak s shoes DEATHWISH shades sunglasses STACKS mushroom cruiser deck ROYAL tweet mo trucks



Chillwave Who doesn’t like to soak up some rays at any one of this summer’s music festivals—but don’t forget plenty of water and sunscreen. Now you can be chill in colours that won’t draw too much attention to yourself, so you can focus your attention on more important things, like riding the wave of sundrenched good times.

(clockwise staring with deck)

TOY MACHINE templeton all seeing eye sect deck

KROOKED diamond eyes headphones CONVERSE trapasso mid shoes DVS daewon 12er shoes VENTURE orange crush trucks PIG swirls wheels HUF plantlife sox ENJOI zippo lighter EMERICA jamestown top ALTAMONT fields tshirt SITKA slim jim jeans



Cosmo Disco

(clockwise from chicken)

SHAKE JUNT chicken wax SECTOR 9 skate or cry youth tshirt QUIKSILVER alex olson jeans SPITFIRE trippers wheels ALTAMONT drizzle shorts INSIGHT reality bites womens shorts GRAVIS reider shoes ADIDAS obyo kazuki plants shoes DEATHWISH tie dye gang logo deck



You’ve got to think both day and night when you are getting ready for 17 hours of not being at home (or the house your renting when you’re away from home.) Here are some nice pieces to keep you way above average, whether you’re watching ’Lil B in the dome, or if it’s 10 a.m. the following day and you’re checking google maps for how to get home.

distributed by Ultimate

volume 9 issue 2


The Photography of Gabe Morford



James Hardy, Nose bluntslide.

volume 9 issue 2


risco photographic legend Gabe Morford has been shooting photos of the Real and other Deluxe teams since these companies began. Aside from his own noteable skateboard skills (the guy 50-50’d clipper! Earning him the curtains in Chomp on This!) and his putting together alongside Mike Martin some wildly popular fixie films with MASH SF, Gabe Morford remains one of the most skilled and respected picture-takers in the game. Truly an embedded photographer, Gabe has been travelling with the Real team all throughout the five years they’ve been filming Since Day One. This 100-page book, included as an accompaniment to the Since Day One Collector’s Edition DVD, is beautifully printed on glossy paper set in a neatly hardbound book, and includes an introduction written by none other than Max Schaaf. In the book, Gabe has managed to showcase in thrilling detail the trials and tribulations of what it takes to put out a full-length skateboard video. Some are creepy, some are strange, some are stunning, but all of these images are hard to pull your eyes away from. By far one of the best DVD package combos I’ve yet to see, this is definitely one worth picking up at your local shop. You won’t need that airline ticket to San Francisco, not when you’ve got this collector’s edition sitting on your shelf. Gabe was even kind enough to send us a selection of some of his and our favourites for your enjoyment. —gordon nicholas



Jamie Tancowny nicholasphoto.




volume 9 issue 2

wordsby mike christie

photosby matt macleod


n the sleepy city of Victoria, where you can still treat yourself to English high tea and visit some of the most obsessively manicured gardens on the planet, lurks perhaps the most vibrant and underrated skate scene in Canada. And central to this new guard of ragers, who are only beginning to make their mark on skateboarding, is Dane Pryds. He’s a kid who, frankly, looks like a stoner, but he isn’t. Actually, hiding behind those whipping locks and nervous glances hides a smart articulate kid, and a motivated one, too. Living up to the reputation of Victoria’s British influence, Dane is also a dedicated tea drinker (I’d expected more of a taste for PBR or Pilsner). But he’s not taking high tea at the Empress Hotel—the Queen’s favourite place in Canada. No, Dane prefers his tea green. Un-sugared. And actually, he really prefers his tea to stay in its cup, or its mug, I mean he really, really prefers it that way, but you’ll have to read the interview to find out why.



(above) Somestimes you’re lucky and get to pop the cherry. Tailslide in un-charted territory.

So how did you pick Daniel Johnston for your part in the 204 video, or did you pick it? Well basically, for pretty much a few years now he’s fully been my favourite dude, I’m just super hyped on him. So it was a pretty obvious choice for me to want to skate to him, you know? I really wanted to try something different. Obviously a lot of people aren’t into it, they’ve told me so, but I don’t care.

Have you ever seen that documentary about Daniel Johnston? Oh, yeah, it’s awesome! The Devil and Daniel Johnston? Yeah. It’s so sick dude, that was the best. He was in like a little plane with his dad, who was flying it, and he got this crazy schizophrenic idea that he was like Superman or something, and he grabbed the keys out of



the plane and turned the engine off and then threw the keys out the window! And then they totally crashed his Dad’s plane, but they were both fine! That part was insane! I’ve been doing a lot of skate-video soundtrack stuff for this issue, and I remember when I was a kid, and I used to record just the sound of my favourite videos onto a tape, so I could like listen to it when I was skating or walking to school and stuff. And you’re way younger than me, but I’m just wondering if you ever made like a mix or a playlist of the songs from a video? Oh for sure! I think every kid did that. Or still does it. Just download the full soundtrack to a video and put it on a CD or a playlist on your Ipod and just go out skating and listen to it. Just pretend you’re all those dudes. Rad. I’m happy that’s still happening. Do you ever skate with headphones on? Skating like around town, to the park and stuff. But when I’m skating with my friends, I try to skate with them, not just around them, you know? I always think its funny when someone who is wearing headphones does a really rad trick, and everyone cheers, and you know that he totally didn’t hear it. Yeah, or I hate it when … well I don’t hate it, but I always notice when … somebody in a video has that little piece of wire coming from their pocket running underneath their shirt. Do you think that listening to music while you’re skating, changes how you’re skating? Oh for sure. If you’re skating something big, you want to get stoked, and stoking music will do that. I don’t know, I listen to Daniel when I skate that kind of stuff, but like, still, music can make you get into different moods.



(opposite) Sometimes you need to take it back to the schoolyard to get things done. Noseblunt afterhours. Everyone should have a little kink in their lives. Drop-in 50-50.

That’s cool. It’s probably why you skate so much, and why you’re so good! [laughs]

How did you find out you were getting the first part in the 204 video? Well, basically we’ve been filming for it for like two years, without any idea of who was getting parts, and how it was going to be laid out, or what kind of style it would be. And maybe six months ago we started putting it together, and I guess just like the way the style of skating worked, and just the amount of footage, it worked out to being either me or Conlon having last part. And then just like music choice, and I hate to say it, but just like last trick potential and stuff, determined that I should have first part.

Did you ever own CDs? Did you ever buy CDs? When I was super young, like before I skated I definitely had like a Limp Bizkit CD, and Big Shiny Tunes, all that terrible stuff. But I’ve kind of grown out of that now.

I’m always most stoked on the first part, seriously. That’s always been my thing, like Brandon Westgate in Stay Gold. So you’ve skated in Victoria for all your life? Well actually I grew up in Sidney, which is like half and hour outside of

Do you ever go to live shows? Because Victoria has got a pretty good music scene, since way back. Oh, are you even nineteen? Yeah, I’m twenty-one. But no, not really. Because I’m not really a party dude, I don’t drink that much or anything like that. So it’s not really my scene to go out to like bars and stuff. So I guess I don’t really know much about local music.



Victoria. Skated there for like nine years, just me and my friend Zach Barton. And then we’d come to Victoria, almost every day. So I’ve pretty much been skating Victoria all my life, the Victoria area anyway. When I first went there, I was surprised by how many really gnarly skaters were there that I’d never even heard of. Yeah, nobody here gets that much recognition. It’s crazy. Why do you think that is? I don’t know. There’s no real like industry here. Aside from a few skateshops. And for a long time there were no photographers here, aside from Matt McLeod who came recently. So we had to put this interview off for a few days, cause you got hurt and were at the doctor. What happened? Basically, I just woke up one morning, I believe it was the morning after I did that crooked grind that’s maybe in this interview, and I made a pot of tea like I always do, because I drink a lot of tea. And yeah, not even thinking about it, I poured the boiling water over the tea in one of those glass A&W mugs. I don’t know, I thought it would work fine. So as soon as I sat down on the couch, it suddenly shattered right over my lap. Just the glass couldn’t take the heat, I guess. And I just jumped up, like ripped my pants off and just ran to the bathroom, in like the worst pain that I’ve ever felt. And when I got there I could already see the skin peeling off of everything, it was the worst. Like actual skin coming off your … stuff? Oh yeah, for sure. Whoah. Yeah, my hips and my balls and everything, it was the worst. So what did you do then? I draped like a robe over myself. And my friend Ben drove me to the hospital and as soon as I got there they just like put bandages over me and gave me so much morphine and stuff, it was crazy. I stayed in the hospital for four days. Just so they could like check on the bandages and make sure it’s all going well, just cleaning it up nice every day. And even after they let me out, I still have to go there once a week to make sure everything is all healing perfectly. So there will be like… no lasting damage or anything? Oh no, I’ll probably have a pretty big scar on my hip, but that will be it. Wow. That’s lucky. Did you say what kind of tea it was? It was green tea.

Dane was actually Leo's stunt double from Shutter Island. Heelflip up and over.



(opposite) Night is tight. Crooked grind while the janitor sleeps.

Crazy. Are you ever going to drink green tea again? Of course. I have to come back even harder now, show it who’s boss. They served me tea in the hospital that day. I’m just a little more careful now. Where did you get the A&W mug? My roommate, Sparta, stole it I believe. People suggested that I try to sue them or something, like that one episode of Seinfeld when Kramer sues the coffee shop for giving him a faulty lid. I don’t think that would fly though. Was that like the worst thing that ever happened to you? Oh by far. It was just unbearable pain, and just like not knowing what’s going to happen with my dick, it was the worst. What degree of burn did you get? Did they say? Second degree, which is when it goes pretty deep into the skin but

doesn’t hit any nerves or anything like that. It all blistered up pretty quickly and then it was just raw after that. One morning when I woke up, I had to pick away at half-dead skin just so I could pee. They would make me take showers everyday which was pretty much the most uncomfortable thing I’ve experienced. It’s all better now, except a scab on my hip. So this happened at pretty much exactly the same time you got this interview? Oh yeah, Matt MacLeod called me the night before and said it was probably going to happen and we should go and shoot some more stuff. So I was like, “Rad,” and we went out that night and got a trick, and then the next morning I’m in the hospital for four days. And you totally can’t skate right now, obviously. Actually, I just started skating the other day. And I’m feeling pretty good.




volume 9 issue 2


rom the early days of backyard shows and ramp jams deep in S.F.’s Mission district, Hightower have developed a devoted following. In those early days, they were unable to get gigs in local venues, and took to the road in order to build up a name, only to later break back into their own hometown once the buzz started. There is just something about Hightower that grabs you by the short and curlies. The heartbeat, Shane “In Blood” on drums, pounds away and sets the pace, while the massive mop of hair, Puppy Breath aka Jake, plays his guitar with a ferocity that belies his size, and Dave, a tall pillar of metal monk weaves bass lines like Grant Taylor skates a pool, and holds the frenetic energy of Shane and Jake together. Even those who don’t like their type of music can’t help but listen. Their tonal quality is something guttural, hitting something universal and true. Once described as “Street Metal,” they will play anywhere they can: from S.F.’s street corners to skate parks along their tour route. Dark and menacing, fast paced and driving, their sound hints at influence, but is all their own. Intentional or not, their songs work nicely in skate videos, and have been featured in Anti-Hero’s Tent City and various Thrasher projects. Most recently, the folks who made the Natalie Portman-starred indie film Hesher used one of their songs in the film’s trailer. Who knows what the future may hold for this decade-deep band. One thing is for sure, they’ll be skating and playing for as long as they can. Devotion and passion run deep in this trio. Color: When was the first time you three played together? Dave: 2001. I met Shane and Jake skating and told them I was in a band and they said they used to be in a band and we ended up playing at the 1040 house. Shane: We had a drum set next to the kitchen and amps and we were able to throw down. Jake: And it was right next to my room. Shane: It was a thirteen-person skate house at one point. Many noteworthy Canadians came through: Dylan Doubt, Keegan Sauder, Johnny Olsin, Michelle [of AntiSocial] and others.



you at all? Jake: Yeah, of course. There is always good music being made. Shane: Arrangements and stuff, different approaches to bridges and parts.

words and photoby isaac mckay-randozzi

“We’re going to tackle the topics of today, tonight!”

How many bunk beds were on the top floor? Shane: Loft central, two lofts. Moving on. [Nervous laughter] Jake: I’m glad I don’t live there anymore, but I’m glad I did. Shane: It was great, a great crash-landing house in S.F. When did the first 7-inch come out? Jake: Buckets and Brooms, 2001. Dave: We put out the 7-inch first by ourselves, then the CD by ourselves. A Canadian record label put out the first record, Hit the Deck Records out of Calgary. What was the first tour you went on? Jake: Arizona was the first tour, our first out of town show. Shane: The first clubs to book us were in Tucson and Vancouver. Our first show was in our backyard. Jake: We went to Tucson because we couldn’t get any shows in San Francisco and we could get a show in Tucson. Shane: Up till then we threw our own shows at the skate house with the mini ramp, Gnargoyles mansion. You played the corner of 16 th and Mission

I remember. [A notorious intersection where crack smokers greet commuters with clouds of smoke and public displays of nudity and foul language.] Jake: It was great, crackheads loved us. Shane: We should do it again. Is there still a plug available there? Dave: Naw, it got taken out when they changed the place, it’s not the same. Shane: The new go to spot is the Protrero Park, but I don’t know if that plug is still there. How much do you look to influences for reference? Dave: When we were first writing we’d definitely say, “This part sounds like this and this part sounds like this,” and now it seems like we don’t really say, “Let’s do a Metallica part here.” It just kind of comes naturally and it sounds like this. Shane: I was just learning how to play drums when we first started so I’d go and reference a Metallica part if we had a song and I didn’t know what to do.

Do any contemporary bands influence

How were you introduced to S.T.R.E.E.T.S. [Skateboarding Totally Rules Everything Else Totally Sucks]? Shane: Johnny Olsin was on a solo trip down here and we had some mutual friends so we went skating and he ended up staying at the house for a week. He busted his foot when we were skating the Bruno banks and he was healing up playing acoustic guitar on the couch. There was no Hightower, no S.T.R.E.E.T.S., just friends through skateboarding. Jake: He showed up in our backyard. Dave: We saw him later and said, “Hey we started a band!” and he said, “Hey, we started a band!” We started the band the same time they started a band. Shane: We were skate bros originally and then the bands came and we were like, “Let’s go for it!” Vancouver – San Francisco, turn of the century metal!” Dave: [Laughter] Two years after the turn of the century. We don’t go up there enough anymore. Shane: Ask Michelle and Hoops and Georgia Street. After ten years, do you think there is a message behind what you’re doing or is it something else? Jake: It’s still fun somehow. Shane: I think we bring unity, as long as people keep coming out to our shows… we’re about coming together and having fun, celebrating life. Dave: The reason I wanted to be in a band was so I could travel and play music and skateboard. The best way to travel is be in a band, meet new people and go to new spots, and that’s still kind of the motivation behind it. Shane: Skateboarding is the best flag to fly worldwide. So it wasn’t about fame, fortune, chicks, drugs… Jake: We’ve had that, it’s all gone now. [Laughter] Dave: I have no septum left, I’ve got ghonahencephalitis...

(continued on p.130)

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volume 9 issue 2

PHOTOGRAPHY magda wosinska




(left) Scarlett is wearing black jeans by MATIX. (right) Scarlett is wearing a sheer grey tank by RVCA, indigo shorts by J BRAND long beaded necklace by QUETZAL CREATIONS. TIFFANI RAE gold pyramid necklace Cassy is wearing a dress by MEGHAN, black leather vest by VOLCOM, gold necklace by AK vintage. Kelly is wearing a one piece by STUSSY, nude ripped vest by RACK 75, distressed bell bottom denim by SOLD DESIGN LAB, gold snake bracelet by ISHARYA.

left: Kelly is wearing a one piece by STUSSY and vintage jacket. right: Scarlett is wearing a tassel vest by KAREN ZIMBOS and high waist short by INSIGHT, necklace by AK VINTAGE and gold and ring by CC SKYE. Cassy is wearing shorts by QUIKSILVER and earings by AK VINTAGE.

Kelly is wearing a tshirt by DEATHWISH, shorts by VOLCOM. Cassie is wearing a red and white striped tank by RVCA, denim shorts from JANEY LOPATY vintage, shoes by SEYCHELLES and gold necklace by AK VINTAGE. Scarlett is wearing a custom COMUNE shirt, shorts by J BRAND and SEYCHELLES shoes.



Cassy is wearing a RVCA tank, white play suit by RAQUEL ALLEGRA, beaded earrings by QUETZAL CREATIONS by TIFFANI RAE. (opposite) Scarlett is wearing a STUSSY chambray button up, RVCA socks, gold and turquoise arrow ring by CC SKYE and gold necklace by AK VINTAGE.



volume 9 issue 2

The Palace

words and photosby keith henry








he Palace, as it’s rightly coined, is home for Spencer Hamilton, Ian Twa, Bryan Wherry, Joey Williams, Caine Cripps, and Wade DesArmo. This two-level house comes equipped with a large solarium, two decks (a small one next to the front door and the other next to the roof), two living rooms, a ping/beer pong room, and six bedrooms. It’s located in East Van, only a few blocks from all the necessities, and is just down the hill from the newly built Kensington skatepark. The road out front is smooth enough to skate flat, and if you’re feeling motivated, there’s even a box you can drag onto the road. In the summer, most of the time is spent on the rooftop deck, or simply the roof itself. Catching some sun, drinking a few beers and having a birds-eye view of the mountains and surrounding neighborhood always makes the deck an ideal spot to chill. When the rain hits, the main living room upstairs is the go-to spot where you can watch TV, spin some records, lurk YouTube, and do plenty of other things. Despite the large number of housemates, The Palace seems surprisingly spacious. There’s even enough room for people to crash on the couch if the party gets out of hand, but be cautious: you may fall victim to the sharpie.






Bryan, Spenny, Caine, and their friend Richard hanging out on the roof. A great spot, with a greater view. 2. A Jazzy Jeff Starter poster in Bryan’s room. He loves Starter hats more than anyone else I know and has a solid collection so far. 3. Bryan revived this calligraphy on a recent trip to Japan. It’s a prayer for his knee to recover, handwritten by his girlfriends grandmother. 4. One of the many great things on the walls of the house. No cigs inside. 5. Wade’s infamous dog, Banks. He’s even got a DGK board with the lil guy on it. 6. Spenny’s bread and butter...his turntables and record collection. 7. A small selection of Wade’s favorite pro-models over the years. 8. Ian’s death defying cat, Penny. 9. Classic OG Ghetto Child wheels from when Joey was a young buck. 10. An Ostrich Egg Joey received from his mother from her trip to South Africa.


volume 9 issue 2

Black Mold Hole: Vancouver’s Abbott Jam Space

wordsby mish way

photosby michelle ford


ancouver’s Downtown Eastside is infamous for its visible repulsiveness. To outsiders, it’s the armpit of Canada’s West Coast, but to most Vancouver musicians, it’s the place where we work, live and play. Standing alongside the old hotels, dive bars and crack deals is the Abbott Jam Space, which for the past five years has been home to almost every Vancouver band worth mentioning. Black Mountain, Shearing Pinx, Blood Meridian, Sex Negatives, The Organ, Pride Tiger and many more have spent countless hours in this below-streetlevel cave, toiling over songs, making videos and recording albums. Every time I unlock the door to the Abbott Jam Space in Vancouver, I am greeted by the smell of old piss. Old, beer-infused piss left sitting in the uncleaned toilets that are flooded, again. I usually chalk the piss up to the two all-male punk bands at the far end of the building, The Jolts and Bogus Tokus. Even though all the doors to each individual jam space are shut, I can hear muddled guitars and drums fighting all the way down the hall. A mix of punk, thrash and country battle it out, though other bands like Nu Sensae, A Pale Blue and Peace seem to be oblivious to the war that their songs are fighting for space within. I kick an empty can of Happy Planet down the echoic hallway to The Shilohs’ door because I know it was left there by guitarist, Mike Komaszczuk. I unlock the door to the room where my band White Lung is waiting and get ready to scream along with the war.

THE SHILOHS “I’d like to make it clear that I don’t really like jamming down here,” admits Johnny Payne (guitar/vocals) of the country-rock outfit The Shilohs, “say what you will about the history and all the great bands and shit.” Dan Colussi (bass) shakes his head at his band-mate’s statement. Colussi has been jamming in this space for over five years, ever since his old band, Blood Meridian, took the room from Black Mountain. At the Abbott Space the rent is dirt cheap. The ceilings are rotten. The bathrooms have not been cleaned in over fifteen years. There is blood crusted on the walls. The black-mold is a health risk. But maybe it’s the combination of these things that has kept the high turn over of talent rolling through the dingy rooms. Colussi remains optimistic even though he was once accidentally locked in one of the unusable bathrooms for a few hours in the pitch black, until the band Timecopz heard his screaming and let him out. “Yeah, but if [the landlords] fix the leaks, the mold and the rot, they up the rent,” he retorts. “I’ll go on the record and say I like it down here.” Payne smiles and shrugs, “You gotta pay your dues if you want to sing the blues.” The Shilohs make the soundtrack your mom reminisces about her young adulthood to: sing-along country rock that when heard through the Abbott hallways can warp you into another time period. “My mom is the biggest Beatles fan and for some reason I chose to play that style of music instead of rebelling with a punk band,” admits Payne. Mike Komaszczuk (singer/guitarist) pipes in, “The Shilohs is actually a tribute band for her.”





Originally childhood friends from Edmonton, the boys of Peace met again in Vancouver and decided that if they were going to get girls, they needed to start a band. Instead of living a life like Mötley Crüe, Peace have been playing what they describe as “exclusively bad shows” like bike helmet fundraisers, pancake breakfasts and even a Linguistics BBQ for children. “Seriously,” laughs drummer Geoff Dembicki whose eyes are as glazed as a doughnut. “The band that opened for us was a bluegrass children’s band that covered “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails but changed the lyrics to make it kid friendly. When we played, I remember seeing an old man in the audience actually reading a hardcover book.” Despite this, Peace have created one of the most interesting albums of 2011. My Face (Pop Echo Records) is a freakshow of bouncing bass lines, illogical guitar and diary-style lyrics that reference everything from Jonathan Richmond to tea bags. The members of Peace look like a bunch of high school chemistry teachers, but act like the last drunk standing. Similar to their complicated music, how Dan Geddes (vocals/guitar), Michael Willock (guitar), Conner Mayer (bass) and Dembicki function in the adult world is a complete mystery. Halfway through the photoshoot, Dembicki and Mayer admitted to being high on mushrooms while Geddes confessed that he had been drinking all day. “So, are we like the hot boy band in the space?” asked Willcock obliviously, while Geddes cracked both a beer and an awkward smile. Yes, you definitely are.

“I don’t think I’ll ever stop playing music,” admits Shira Bluestein (vocals/keyboards) of the country-grunge band A Pale Blue. Bluestein, Andy Bond (bass), Bryce Janssens (steel pedals), Jon Redditt (guitars), Galen Rigter (drums) and Brock Allen (guitars/vocals) share thirty-plus years of mature, musical ability, plus a bunch of them have spent years in the Abbott space with their past bands. Bluestein, who first paid rent at the space with Blood Meridian (including Dan Colussi of The Shilohs), reminisces about a music video they shot in their old room (now belonging to Sun Wizard and The Shilohs) that included Black Mountain and Ladyhawk. “We started tracking our second record in the space,” says Bluestein. “It will have a real Abbott Street feel to it.” She reminds me that one of the main reasons Abbott has been an epicenter of creativity for Vancouver musicians is that, like amps and guitars, precious things get passed down. It just makes sense.

“When we played, I remember seeing an old man in the audience actually reading a hardcover book.” —geoff dembicki (of peace)






“We want to start a day care in here to cover some of the rent,” says lead vocalist of The Jolts, Joey Blitzkreg. “We’ll just lock [the kids] in our room and I’m sure they’ll learn to play music if they sit down and try.” He and his band mates, Josh Atomic (bass), Matt Dander (drums) and the latest member Matt L. Snakes (guitar)—who met the band when he killed Atomic’s $250 exotic spider with a pair of BBQ tongs—laugh at this idea in their room, which is a mess of spray painted walls, amps and broken drum parts. Plus it reeks. Since they formed in 2004, The Jolts have released two EPs: Jinx and Haute Voltage, which gained international attention stretching from Winnipeg to California. The Jolts make three-chord, poppunk music about “Comic books and prescription drugs,” but their latest effort has yet to be released because they can’t afford to get it mastered. Like true, Ramones-tothe-bones punks, The Jolts don’t mind the cracked ceiling, rats or mold in the Abbott space, and they all nod in agreement when Atomic says that you can’t grow too old for the punk rock lifestyle. “Or it’s like if you want to make money, you grow out of punk rock ASAP,” adds Joey Blitzkreg in between a puff of pot. Broke but happy, The Jolts make music for the right reason. Because it is fun.

My band has a long running joke with Sun Wizard. We tell them they sound like Blue Rodeo when we are blind drunk and then they graffiti the door of our room. James Younger (vocals/guitar) of Sun Wizard even told us we should “ditch the witch” we have drumming for us and hire him instead, so we stole their doormat. Sun Wizard formed a few years ago because Younger was “lonely” and “debilitated” playing folk music by himself, so he rounded up Frank Lyon (bass), Malcolm Jack (guitar/ vocals) and Ben Frey (drums) to join him in his quest for drug-rug pop. Sun Wizard recently signed to Light Organ Records, an offshoot label from Vancouver’s infamous 604 Records. Their debut LP Positively Fourth Avenue debuts on March 29th. Although Younger refuses to read reviews of his band, Frey did come across one scathing write-up that slagged everything but the bands music. “I think one of us must have fucked the writer’s girlfriend or something,” says Younger, slightly sarcastic. Although Younger doesn’t think his band is part of the Vancouver scene, Frey quickly disagrees. “We’re a pop band in a non-pop scene,” he offers. “There are always great bands coming up.” To which Younger replies, “It’s very hard to play shows in this city. It becomes lackluster. Most people don’t give a shit. They’d rather go to a DJ night.”

Nü Sensae make the noise of ten people with the power of two. Praised for their most recent LP TV, Death and The Devil (Nominal Records) and previous home-job seven inches, Nü Sensae have carved a name for themselves in the MRR culture with their progressive, sludgy punk melodies. Andrea Lukic (bass/vocals) and Daniel Pitout (drums) have toured North America a million times over, despite the fact that neither of these little punks can drive. “It’s not hard to convince people to come on a road trip,” shrugs Lukic. Pitout and Lukic share a brother-sister bond that is obvious not only because they have known and played music with them for years, but because they tease, fight and laugh like siblings. When Lukic said she thought that this jam space used to be a Chinese restaurant, Pitout told her she was mental. Pitout and Lukic are quick to point out all the mold growing on their belongings: amps, drums, even the giant disco ball. “It’s really bad,” says Pitout. “But where else can we go?”

(above l-r) Peace, A Pale Blue, The Jolts, and Sun Wizard



Because when you play music you don’t do it because you think it’s going to make you enough money to support a family, buy a house or even just survive. In fact, playing music in a band often sucks every penny you have when your amp breaks or when your van falls apart on tour. There is a reason parents don’t want to buy their kids drum kits and it’s not just an issue of noise. But like any passion you do it because you don’t expect success or even really consider it an option. You do it because no amount of recognition ever looks as good as music feels.

Nü Sensae




se SP11 - 1.5yr



Spring 2011

event: lasVegas skate trip - 2011 photo: cliffordLidell c o n t a c t

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Something Better Change

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volume 9 issue 2

wordsby leah turner


river at dusk, lights twinkling on the horizon. A boat floats lazily, slowly downstream, carrying a large, seemingly precariously mounted projection screen. In the boat, a lone figure is seated, his back to the viewer. Mournful orchestral strings fade in, signaling the beginning of Peter Jackson’s cinematic adaptation of Tolkien’s epic fantasy trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Throughout the next 11 hours and 30 minutes of his single-channel video Epic Journey, Kevin Schmidt journeys the length of the Fraser River from Fort Langley, nearly reaching the mouth of the Pacific Ocean while projecting the trilogy in its entirety.



images courtesy of Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver BC.

Epic Journey, 2010 single channel hd video with stereo sound 11 hours 30 minutes

(opposite) Aurora with Roman Candle, 2007 c-print 8" x 10"

Epic Journey, 2010 single channel hd video with stereo sound 11 hours 30 minutes

Within the last decade, Vancouver-based artist Kevin Schmidt has garnered much attention for photography and projected film installations that offer compelling investigations into spectacle, popular culture, and the landscape genre. His performances are often staged against sublime backgrounds, as in his best-known work Long Beach Led Zep (2002), an 8-minute video that documents Schmidt playing “Stairway to Heaven” on a Fender Telecaster on a stretch of beach at sunset. As virtual fabrications of the sublime, his works could be read as critical interventions into the construction of spectacle or as ruminations on modern disenchantment with the natural world, but crucially, at the heart of Schmidt’s work is the making of allegory, to prompt scrutiny into the nature of desire. Arguably one of the twentieth century’s greatest feats of artistic and literary imagination, The Lord of the Rings is an epic, mythological fable about fate and free will, hope and despair, and the deep bonds of friendship, where two unlikely heroes find themselves on a quest against impending forces of evil. The quintessential work of the fantasy genre, it’s a story that arouses almost total imaginary (or sometimes not-so-imaginary, as legions of LARPers might attest) identification. Jackson proffers an incredibly cohesive universe with virtually no reprieve for the viewer from the film’s rather alchemical presentation of spectacle, swashbuckling action, heroic archetypes, sublime landscapes and a relentlessly rousing musical

Autonomous Projection Room #1, 2010 tarp, portable garage frame, carpet, roxul, projector, home stereo system, screen, batteries, inverter, camping chairs 181" × 60" × 105"

score. As Schmidt explains: “The Lord of the Rings, both as a novel and as a film, really tries to pull you in, to make you inhabit its universe. I take this request literally in Epic Journey, by having my own adventure in parallel with the movie. I often use material or forms that are encompassing, like music or landscape—things that envelop you. It’s a kind of representation that takes over and tries to become reality.” In Schmidt’s video, a camera crew in a second boat films the action from behind, panning right-to-left, and lapsing in and out of focus thereby setting a lulling, dreamlike pace. Waves lap against the side of the boat, while sirens and distant train whistles intermittently pierce the air. Watching Epic Journey takes two levels of attention. I scan between watching LOTR alongside Schmidt (the visual quality akin to those pirated theatre films slouchily recorded on camcorders), and tracking the artist’s unfolding journey down the river, in all its ambient detail. He’s made use of every possible device of distraction to disrupt the film’s otherwise seamless drama, inhibiting the viewer from gaining complete entry into the narrative universe of Jackson’s films.



Installation view, Catriona Jeffries Gallery, 2010

“I made A Sign in the Northwest Passage as a test of art’s possibilities to convince or motivate.”

(top r) For Paul, 2010 watercolour on paper 15" x 19"

Long Beach Led Zep, 2002 single channel video from dvd 8 minutes 42 seconds

Representational codes and forms exist here in several layers, causing one’s frame of reference to pass between the stylistic conventions of Hollywood cinema, Schmidt’s own video documentation and the final exhibition within the white cube of the gallery. This final presentation, too, is malleable and subject to revision. For its first showing, held at Catriona Jeffries in Vancouver, Schmidt projected the film inside a tent-like structure (Autonomous Projection Room #1, itself a uniquely conceived work), whereas it was shown in a more conventional black theatre box setting for the most recent staging at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. (It will be shown for the third time this summer at Toronto’s Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, where Schmidt will have a solo exhibition of recent work.) In these presentations, Schmidt seeks to make the actual production of his work visible, to draw a distinction between the fantasy produced within the white cube (and by extension, the cinema) and the world outside. Exploration and adventure are central to Schmidt’s work, born out either as themes or comprising an integral part of his process, in a manner that allows him to (rather enviably) combine art and life in what he refers to as “embodied experience.” Several of his key works were produced during trips to Canada’s frozen North. In the photograph Aurora with Roman Candle from 2007, Schmidt aims Roman candle fireworks at the Northern Lights. Wild Signals, a 10-minute video projection from the same year, shows



an empty stage set (complete with lighting rig, speakers and smoke machine) on a frigid Yukon landscape at dawn. The speakers blast Schmidt’s cover version of the theme song from Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the entire frenetic, artificial scene working in competition with the natural light show of the Aurora Borealis above. In the recent major work A Sign in the Northwest Passage (which exists now as a photograph, accompanying journal-like photo book and series of watercolours, all shown alongside Epic Journey at Catriona Jeffries), Schmidt returned to the Arctic, driving north from Vancouver to the fabled northwest passage beyond Tuktoyaktuk, where Europeans originally crossed to what is now North America. This site is a highly contested one, due to the deep-sea oil reserves that lie below. Working with a team of local guides, Schmidt installed a large unanchored cedar sign, engraved with excerpts from the Bible’s Book of Revelations. Heralding absolute destruction and death, the rough, hand-wrought text reads “men slay each other…the sun turned black the moon turned blood red…1/3 of the earth, 1/3 of the trees, and all the green grass burned…men gnawed their tongues in agony…birds eat the flesh of all.” Schmidt relates that this work originated in that definitively American roadside attraction, the evangelical billboard: “The idea first came from driving through the States, and seeing a handmade billboard

A Sign in the Northwest Passage, 2010 lightjet print, cedar frame 64 1/4" x 49"

A Sign in the Northwest Passage, 2010 photobook 8 1/2" x 11"



“By drawing his material from the various cultural forms that fantasy occupies—be it landscape, cinema, music or religion—Schmidt highlights our fundamental desire to escape, to find excitement, adventure or solace in the promise of total abandon.” along the side of the highway. It was interesting to me that an individual would feel enough conviction to make a replication of the billboard form. Not that this individual had their particular religious conviction for the content of the billboard, but that they had enough faith in this form of advertising—that a billboard along the highway would be effective in convincing someone of something—to make their own billboard by hand, cobbled together out of wood. I made A Sign in the Northwest Passage as a test of art’s possibilities to convince or motivate.” Left set into the seasonal ice-bed, the sign was intended to drift away with last June’s spring thaw. As far as he knows the sign has yet to be spotted, its warnings of fire and brimstone presumably reaching none but polar bears. The sign’s now likely a wreck, “Either crushed by breakup, or smashed on a shore somewhere. That was always my intention—to make a wreck like The Sea of Ice by Caspar



David Friedrich, which Friedrich made after reading Sir William Edward Parry’s journal of his second attempt to find the Northwest Passage. The attempts to find and navigate this passage are great examples of human hubris. I wanted my sign to embody this.” By drawing his material from the various cultural forms that fantasy occupies—be it landscape, cinema, music or religion—Schmidt highlights our fundamental desire to escape, to find excitement, adventure or solace in the promise of total abandon. Ultimately, he presents us with these particular places and experiences as an allegory for art, which we also routinely expect to transport us elsewhere. If artmaking is as he believes, fundamentally about creating desire, here fantasy in its various popular guises offers a seductive analogy for contemplating art’s weightiest question: Desire for what? And to what end?

Wild Signals, 2007 hd video 9 minutes 42 seconds




wordsby alex hudson

photosby brian deran

volume 9 issue 2

“I feel like the attitudes or the pervading energies of both of those places really comes out in the music.”


play in another band,” explains Noah Lennox, as if we didn’t know already. As well as releasing celebrated indie pop under the moniker Panda Bear, Lennox is a member of another project that you might have heard of: Animal Collective. For the first three months of this year, the band has been holed up in a practice room in Baltimore, MD, writing new material before heading out on tour later this year. Before we hear anything from his ‘other band,’ however, Lennox will release his fourth Panda Bear album, Tomboy. Recorded in his adopted home city of Lisbon, Portugal, the new LP pushes the songwriter’s sound into skewed, guitar-heavy terrain while still retaining the reverb-soaked atmospherics and Beach Boys-style melodies that have become his trademark. During a night off in Baltimore, Lennox answered Color’s phone call to discuss how Tomboy compares to his landmark 2007 album Person Pitch, working with Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom, and the plans for a new Animal Collective album. How did the making of Tomboy compare to that of Person Pitch? The biggest difference probably was the environment that I made the two albums in. And the gear set-up. I had a really specific idea, both times, of what I wanted to do, gear-wise. Person Pitch was made in my apartment in Lisbon. We were up about three floors in this building. The rear of the apartment faced out across the city and there’s a lot of light and big windows in the room. Tomboy was made [after] I found a studio near the centre of town. It’s like a bunker. It’s deep down in this basement and there’s no windows. There’s this weird acoustic foamy stuff on the walls, so it’s this weird, really tight-sounding space. It’s almost like a vacuum. I feel like the attitudes or the pervading energies of both

of those places really comes out in the music. In what ways do you hear the influence of the surroundings in the albums themselves? Person Pitch sounds really open to me. There’s so much in there. It’s this big soup of sound. If I had to compare it to the space, it’s like seeing so much of the city. I can see parts of the river. It feels like this communal sort of thing. It seems like there’s a lot of people involved or something. It’s that kind of vibe. Whereas Tomboy has a very solitary sort of feeling to me. How has your technology shaped your songs? The technology really dictated the types of songs I could do, both times. It was a more severe sort of thing with the samplers on Person Pitch. In terms of the process I would use—using short little clips of sound that were repeating and kind of building a bunch of those little clips and trying to fit them into these repetitions—you can’t really get a whole lot of chord changes in that sort of music. So essentially all the Person Pitch songs are drone songs. There’s maybe one chord change in there, but for the most part it just goes, even melodically. The singing forms the melody of the song. There’s nothing else that supports that, really. When I finished Person Pitch and started thinking about the next thing, I knew I definitely didn’t want to use the sampler.

I started to feel like I was writing the same song over and over again, because of the limitations of that process. Which at first were really exciting, but after a while I just felt like I had reached the limit of what I felt like I could do with those things. So I knew I wanted to use a guitar. I got really excited about writing songs on a guitar, because I hadn’t done that for a while. But I wanted to filter the guitar through this sequencer thing, and have the sequencer be the brain of all the sounds. The effects in that sequencer box were slapped over everything. Not haphazardly. Some of the drum sounds have just a little bit of it, and then the guitar will be really saturated with it. But I wanted something that tied all the sounds together. Spaceman 3’s Sonic Boom remixed and reworked the tracks. I had done a bunch of the songs as singles, and even the songs I hadn’t done as singles, I had made what I considered to be final mixes of them. But what I did with Person Pitch and the record before that [2004’s Young Prayer], was have somebody or a group of people come in at the very end of the process and give an outside ear to it. They were always people that I totally respected, and people who knew a lot more about producing records than I do. I don’t really feel like I’m super good at that. So this time it was Sonic Boom. What I did was, I took my mixes and condensed them into ten to fifteen parts. And then that was his template for making his own mixes. How much of a role did he have in shaping the sound of it? In my opinion, he did two things. One was that he just made all of the songs come alive. The sounds—he made them way more vibrant and feel like they had more

meat. They’re more three-dimensional to me. And the second thing: we spoke so much about the songs and about the album before we started working on stuff. He wanted to know everything. He wanted to know all the lyrics, what everything meant, when I wrote the songs, what instruments I used, how I recorded the stuff. It was ten emails a day for like a month. We were really going back and forth. I didn’t really know him before that, so it was kind of cool getting to know him before working with him. The second thing he did was that he really figured out what was the strength of every song, and focused his mixes around that in a way that I definitely didn’t. What’s the story behind the title, Tomboy? After I had written three or four songs, I started to notice how all of the lyrics dealt with, at least in some small way, a theme of self-conflict, or something that was two opposing things at the same time. So the tomboy became this overarching image for that idea. What’s the plan for the new Animal Collective album? I don’t think we want to spend a whole lot of time touring before we record, just because I feel like a couple albums ago, we took a long time. And by the time we went into the studio to record the songs, we all sort of lost perspective a little bit on the songs. When you grind it into your head so much, it’s hard to be objective about it anymore. With Merriweather Post Pavilion, it was probably like a year of touring before we recorded, and then we did more touring after that. I think we’ll probably follow a similar path to that, because that worked out pretty well.


Video for “You Know I Can’t Lie” by the Whitsundays. A perfectly crafted, sun-drenched, softly focused accompaniment to this Edmonton fivepiece, who produce reverby, vintage-sounding soft psychadelia in the Zombies vein.

words and photosby ben marvin


ast summer Vancouver based skateboarder/filmmaker Liam Mitchell and myself, visited the L.A. Skate Film Festival where he was one of the nominated finalists for best independent film. The last night of the festival before the awards ceremony we took the train to Hollywood. We got there a little early and decided to go grab a tall can from the corner store and drink it in a parking lot adjacent to the theater where the awards ceremony was. We got about half way through the beers when two officers jumped out of a squad car and yelled that we turn around and put our hands above our heads. We realized that the cops where not pulling our legs when they put us in handcuffs and searched us, emptying our pockets and wallets on Hollywood Blvd. When he found my camera and placed it on the curb next to us, I glanced over my shoulder and politely asked the officer if he would take a picture of us in the cuffs for my mom. After he took the picture, he relaxed for a minute and asked why we where so far from home and drinking beer in parking lots. After Liam explained, the officer turned to Liam and mentioned that his brother was living out in Hollywood trying to direct films. We patiently listened to him describe the premise for his brothers latest film, which also played in a film festival, as we both nodded our heads assuring him that we had heard of his brother’s film. After running our passports in their squad car, he took the cuffs off and picked up the beers that where sitting next to us. He felt the weight of the cans and realized there was still a sip of High Life in them and told us to “Slam ’em” before they got back in their car and drove off.



“I glanced over my shoulder and politely asked the officer if he would take a picture of us in the cuffs for my mom.”

Liam’s latest project is a music video he is doing for a band called the Whitsundays from his hometown of Edmonton. It’s the second video he has done for the band, an arrangement that came out of a long friendship with the bands manager, Scott Gallant. He grew up skateboarding with Scott and began working with him creatively after finishing a cinematography program in Vancouver. The first video he did for the Whitsundays was the first music video he’d ever shot, and soon after was asked to provide the Beta tapes necessary for broadcast on Much Music.

Liam’s promising career in film is backed by a genuine passion for the whole process, from start to finish. When he embarks on a project, he is one of the most focused people I have ever met. It’s not uncommon for him to tell me about the McGriddle he got from Macdonalds right when their breakfast menu started at 5 a.m., while on his way home from spending the night working at his studio. Be sure to check out his Vimeo and the release of the Whitsundays new video for, “You Fell For It”, which should be out late March, 2011.

volume 9 issue 2

wordsby roger allen


kateboarding was derived from surfing, and in turn, skaters adopted surf music. The guitar-driven instrumental music that was the soundtrack of the beach also began to migrate further inland, to the skateable hills of Torrance, California. Soon skateboarders began looking to distinguish skateboarding as its own cool subculture, and films like Skater Dater (1965) presented a soundtrack with aggressive songs like “Skaterdater Rock” and “Skate Out.” Magazines such as Skateboarder started featuring music sections, and the idea of “skate rock” existing as its own genre continued to grow. Early on, the majority of the music skaters were listening to was not performed by skateboarders, leading to many corporate characters trying to cash in on the scene. Countless awful bands were formed by companies who merely recorded disco and funk tracks with skateboard imagery slapped on the album covers. To counter these lame musical attempts, skaters in the eighties turned to different types of music to reflect their skateboard subculture. Ska, hardcore, new wave, rap, and punk began to influence the look and sound of skateboarding. Bands like The Big Boys used skateboard imagery on their handbills and records, showing what most skateboarders actually looked like—a mix of punk and hardcore, and not the California dayglow fluorescent style popularly portrayed in mainstream media. By the mid-eighties, the big three skate rock albums were released: Thrasher Magazine’s Skate Rock 3 compilation, Pushead’s hardcore offering Cleanse the Bacteria, and the metalinfluenced compilation Welcome to Venice, released by Suicidal Records. These albums were recorded largely by people who actually skated, and this punk/hardcore/metal sound went on to define skate rock throughout the eighties and nineties. Canadian bands like DOA, Beyond Possession and SNFU also made a huge impact on the skate rock scene, and that tradition in Canada was carried forth into the 2000s by band like S.T.R.E.E.T.S., China Creeps and, more recently, the “dub-skate” sounds from The Sorcerers. Skate rock today is influenced by many things, and no one sound defines it. Original Bones Brigade Tommy Guerrero’s punkinfluenced yet soulful music can appear beside Andrew Reynolds and The Goat, Lavar McBride’s rap, or Darren Navarrette’s Shed. The originators of the skate sound might not recognize the current ambassadors of skate rock. Easy accessibility of media has caused current skaters to be influenced by broader types of music, and what defines skate rock today is less the sound of the music, and more the fact that real skateboarders are creating it. We’ve tracked down some of the hardest shredding musicians and asked them how their two arts have collided.

Ethan Fowler, Nose manual. broachphoto.



Terell Safadi, Backside smith grind. dufresnephoto.


hen you wake up in the morning, how do you decide: music or skating? That’s a hard question. Sometimes my mind and body decide for me. I’ll wake up and see it’s nice out and have no choice “gotta skate.” Other times I’ll just be vibing and write music all day looking out the window. It’s cool to have both though. When I’m sick of music I have skateboarding and when I’m sick of skateboarding I have music. Did you grow up listening to skate rock? Favorites? I grew up always hearing it at the indoor skate park when the older dudes were there skating, and hearing it in videos. I always knew what it was, but I didn’t come up on it personally. Skaters often think of skate rock as punk or hardcore, how do you feel skate rock has progressed? I think it’s progressed into an international form of music. It started in Cali and went nationwide, then international. Also, people who don’t even skate get thrown under the title of the “skate rock” genre. Is there one song that’s always going through your head when you roll up to a ledge, gap, rail. Different songs for different stuff? “Big Things Poppin” by T.I., or “I Go Hard” by myself. Those are my tracks for a gap or a rail or something gnarly. My homie Stash skated to “I Go Hard” in his last part. I skate to more chill music for ledges and lines and



stuff like that. Different tricks call for different tracks. Has travelling influenced your music? Or do you feel it’s more about where you’re from. It’s a lot of both. I write about real life stories and good times that I’ve had, a lot of those times have been on skate trips or with my skateboard homies when we’re touring living the life and having fun. It’s still about where you’re from, there’s plenty room for both. Are there any skater musicians that influenced you? Is there a song from a skate video that you felt perfectly? When I was younger I thought it was cool that Chad Muska was doing beats and skating. Kareem Campbell would be another person I looked up to in that aspect. Even Spanky and Andrew Reynolds were influential even though they are different genres. I would have to say Paul Rodriguez’s Yeah Right part. “Get Down” and “Made you Look” by Nas, those got some heaving rotation back in the day. You’ve actually incorporated skateboarding and skateboard gear into your lyrics and videos. How important is it to you to show both sides? It’s very important, that’s where the “Kick Push Grind” came from. I want to give people the visuals of my skateboarding references so that they can really see that skateboarding is something I’ve actively been a part of for most of my life.

“People who don’t even skate get thrown under the title of the ‘skate rock’ genre.”


ave you ever slammed and thought, that’s it for music? Not really, some close calls. I did break both my wrists at the same time once, but I was younger and not as involved with music. It is a toss up though. I am always worried about it both ways. Rolling my ankle away from skateboarding or breaking my wrist outside of playing music... it’s hard to say which one would be worse.

What’s shooting a music video like compared to a skate part? Music videos are definitely easier. All the ones I have worked on have just flowed. I also haven’t ever directed my own music video­—that might be more challenging. A skateboard video has so many variables. I wouldn’t compare the two too much. Both have been fun to do though. Filming skateboarding is much more challenging. Skaters often think of skate rock as punk or hardcore, how do you feel skate rock has progressed?

I think that skateboarding as a whole has really expanded. The trends are harder to trace, and people are into everything these days. When I think of skate rock I think of Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Jets to Brazil, J Mascis, it’s probably different now... that was a while ago.

The eighties were the high water mark for skate rock. Here’re a few albums you need to have in your collection:

I remember a New Deal video where Neil Hendrix skated to “Buffalo Tom” and Dave Duren skated to some Smashing Pumpkins. It had a totally different vibe and really showed a different style of skateboarding, technical and mellow. Do you feel your music is a soundtrack to your skateboarding? I don’t think I would soundtrack my skateboarding with my music, but they are quite similar though. It is funny how things translate. I probably play and write songs with the exact same approach as I skateboard. That might just be because skateboarding is the only other thing I have put so much time and emotion into. Also what frustrates me with skateboarding is the same thing that frustrates me with music. If I have another video part (currently working on it) it will probably have a Roy Orbison song in it.

Has traveling influenced your music or do you feel it’s more about where you’re from? Traveling has influenced my life, and that tends to influence the things I do. I definitely contribute life experience into the songs I write. Skateboarding has given me some life experience beyond my years. I think any skateboarder can agree with that. Are there any skater musicians that influenced you? Not particularly. Ray Barbee, Tommy Guerrero... and I was always stoked to see skateboarders involved in things outside skateboarding. The further I stray from riding a skateboard, the more I feel my connection to it. Watching skateboard videos was really what sparked my interest in music. Searching the credits for music and looking up bands.

J.F.A. - Blatant Localism, 1981 Jody Fosters Army are believed by many to be the first skate rock band. Everyone in the band skated, they used real skateboarders for album imagery and they sang about skateboarding. Blatant Localism is all about school sucking, skating pools, and eating junk food – snotty suburban skate rock at its best. They released a series of other records during their most prolific era the 12” Valley of the Yakes; an untitled 12”; the Mad Gardens 12” and the Live 1984 Tour 12”.

BEYOND POSSESSION - Tell Tale Heart, 1985 Beyond Possession, a Canadian band that toured with Suicidal Tendencies and appeared on Thrasher’s Skate Rock 3 and had songs with titles like “Skater’s Life”... what more do you need to know?

THE BONELESS ONES - Skate For the Devil, 1986 + Gang Green - Skate To Hell, 1986 The Boneless Ones’ “I’m a Skater” and Gang Green’s “Skate to Hell” are two songs you should hear together. Straight up metal influenced skate punk with satanic lyrics, how can you go wrong?

Reuben Bullock, Ollie over 5-0 grind. snowphoto.

DRUNK INJUNS - Frontside Grind, 1987 This mysterious band made up of masked characters, that are apparently Indian ghost warriors, The Drunk Injuns were created by Thrasher contributor Morizen Foche. Drunk Injuns appeared on both of Thrasher’s Skate Rock 1, and 2, and in contrast to most punk skate rock bands the Drunk Injuns have a dark, brooding sound that is hard to classify, but are considered one of the founders of Skate Rock.

“The further I stray from riding a skateboard, the more I feel my connection to it.”

(continued on p.94)




ouse music does not show up in skate videos very often. Do you feel your music and skateboarding relate? My music and skateboarding relate in the same way that any style of music and skateboarding relate. As skateboarders, we’re pleasure seekers, and the same goes for musicians. Both music and skateboarding are fun and they’re both very hedonistic pursuits. I think it’s natural for someone who’s spent their whole life pursuing skateboarding to have other creative interests. Eventually most skaters realize that they won’t be able to kickflip forever, but if they play music, or do anything else creative that gives them the same gratification as skateboarding, but is less strenuous on the body, then they’ll be able to do that other thing for a lot longer.

Have you ever felt pressure to play music differently for skaters, or have you ever felt tremendous support to continue playing the way you do? The majority of support I’ve gotten for my music has been from fans of electronic music who don’t know me as a skater. I never wanted my small shred of local fame as a skateboarder to influence people’s perception of my music. That’s the whole reason I chose to release tracks under the Dale Evans alias, because I wanted people to value what I was doing based on the merit of the music alone. I never wanted what I was doing to be pigeonholed as “skater beats” or something like that. [ o ] O’MILES

Was there a moment where you were skating and you realized you liked house, or were you into house and thought I can skate to this? When I first got into making electronic music it was more of a reaction against the typical rock and roll lifestyle that most of my peers were living. I get a weird pleasure out of being subversive and doing things differently than the people around me, and I think I owe that to skateboarding. I guess it

started as something to do in the winter when you’re stuck inside, you can’t skate, and you’re desperate for something fun and creative to do. My mom is an artist who has always used technology in her work, so I grew up surrounded by technology and really learned to embrace it at a young age. I think that’s part of my fascination with electronic music as well. It was also sort of an evolution of my taste in hip-hop instrumentals. Both hip-hop and house music are basically the same sounds: drum machines, samples and synthesizers. They’re just arranged completely differently.

(continued on p.130) [ o ] COMBER

When you say “skate rock” to me I would assume you’re talking about a thrash, punk, or hardcore band or the Thrasher tour. But if you just mean music from skateboard videos, then I would say that many different genres fit under the term. I don’t think there are any limitations anymore on what kind of music should go with skateboarding because if it works it works. Is there one song that’s always going through your head when you roll up to a ledge, gap, or rail? I think about a good song from someone’s part a lot, but its not always skate rock you know? I remember being so stoked on “Halloween” by the Misfits in this dude Micah Matson’s part in a 411. “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues that Heath Kirchart skates to. Josh Kailis skating to “24hrs” by Freddy Foxx. Those are three very memorable songs I heard through skateboarding that always got me hyped on a session that I would think about while trying shit.


hat’s scarier, rolling up to a rail or walking onto stage? I think my only real fear for both those things is feeling unprepared. What did you listen to growing up? I listened to a bunch of Pennywise, Gob, Mellincolin, Primus, and NOFX when I first started skating. I was also looking for giant green pants that would cover my feet during that stage. Skaters often think of skate rock as punk or hardcore, how do you feel skate rock has progressed?



Are there any skater/musicians that influenced you? I’m always keeping an eye out in skating for others who enjoy playing and writing it as much as me. I mean I could write out a list of people I’ve heard music from who skate, there’re actually quite a few. I don’t think it’s too surprising, playing an instrument has similar kinds of repetition as skateboarding. I always thought Muska making his own song in Fulfill the Dream was pretty awesome. [laughs] Have you ever felt pressure to play music differently for skaters? For sure I have felt pressure to play different. But at the same time I sort of started playing music originally as a bit of an escape from skateboarding. I think going out and trying to please skateboarders is an impossible task so I’m probably just going to stick to whatever it is I’m feeling at the time. I actually think now more than ever I would be likely to make songs that are sort of “skate rock” friendly.

Jesse Landen, Feeble grind. comberphoto.

the music is polar opposite

[ o ] GROSS


“I play guitar, I ride a board. That’s about all there is to it.” Yeah I did. But never took the time to learn the names of the bands, guess it didn’t get me that hard.

Nope and since the tunes we did for the Stereo video were tongue-in-cheek, I consider that I still have not.

Not sure really. Think you hit the nail on the head there, bud. All kinds of music gets soaked up, so it’s hard to say exactly. Everything from Debussy to Death.


The sound found me. The things I was playing all started to come together in a particular way, all of a sudden. So I just went along for the ride and let my fingers do the driving. Far as video parts go I just tried to use whatever I was diggin’ on at the moment, sometimes it worked, sometimes not.

Nope, no pressure, wouldn’t give a shit anyhow. I’ll just do what I do no matter what, unless I decide it’s bullshit. Then it stops.

If there is any connection I’m not aware of it. I play guitar, I ride a board. That’s about all there is to it.

Yes. In many different ways. I wouldn’t consider Green & Wood skate rock. Not sure what defines that really anyway. We haven’t been invited to any skate rock events yet so I guess that about sums it up. I recall a lot of Fugazi and Sonic Youth. I think Ed turned me on to Sonic Youth even. A Visual SoundNope, there wasn’t anything intended by that at all. I had been on a fairly devoted bebop kick for years at that point, and that video was just a natural extension of it.

It’s pretty shitty by and large, probably got worse.



Welcome to VeniceCleanse the BacteriaSkate Rock 3I think they would sound best on cassette.

distributed by Ultimate

volume 9 issue 2

Danny Fuenzalida

words & photos by gordon nicholas


truly travelled and international gentleman, Danny Fuenzalida has had the strongest experience of diaspora I’ve yet to stumble across. Originally from the prison colony of Australia, Danny spent his youth crisscrossing the globe with his family. His father worked in the mining industry, and Danny found himself in places as different and far-flung as Chile and Port Hardy. Already an expatriate of a fistful of countries, it’s no wonder he’s grown so attuned to travelling, life on the road, and enjoying and relishing in the oddities of odd places. Danny’s Canadian connection grew even stronger when he spent a year of school just outside of Victoria in Mill Bay. Drawn in by the allure of outdoor concrete skateparks, Danny quickly made friends with us locals and hasn’t stopped coming back, even since his now more permanent landing in Miami. I caught him during his latest journey that had him returning to our commonwealth in order to renew his American visa. So rather than taking the multi-day trip to his Ozzie birthplace, Vancouver seemed like the logical embassy to visit. Color: What made you decide to finally locate yourself in Miami? Danny: I fell in love with Yesenia, my Cuban-American girlfriend that is from here. So I’m just super down to be here for her. Has it been a worthwhile choice? I’d have to say yes. I live on South Beach, love my lady, and swim and chill on the beach as much as I can until I get burnt. It’s always nice to know that just because you don’t live in skate Mecca land, you can still do this for a living. You’ve relocated quite a bit with your family while growing up, would you say this has led you to be a more adventurous and travel-ready person? Understatement. For sure. I started leaving home with just friends and no adults at 14. I know most parents wouldn’t let that happen. But they knew I’d be fine since they had taken me around the world already. What’s the best part about coming back to Canada for you? Friends I’d have to say. And memories. Great memories! Plus I usually go to Vancouver, so there is a huge melting pot of food and culture. I love that.

Is there anything you find that America lacks? Hhhmmmm, sometimes maybe a little more heart. Self-interests are overwhelming here. But there is a lot of everything. Do you miss free healthcare? Miss health care? In Chile health care was free until you’re eighteen. That was rad to just walk into the best clinic for free whenever you felt a little messed up. Now it’ll cost ya! Or me. So yeah. Considering you spent your childhood in a number of different countries, is there one in particular that you have a strong affinity or preference for? Chile, I would have to say. Just because I matured there and made lifelong friends there and started skateboarding there. Where will you be travelling to next? The west coast of Florida. Spain I’m hoping either this month or the next. Do you think you’ll live anywhere else in your life? I’m always willing to try something. So I guess if I had to, I would. Plus, if there was some kind of business proposition…

(opposite) Wallride.



volume 9 issue 2

wordsby bobby lawn

photoby eden grace


“soft kill” is a term used for when you attack an enemy with the intent to slow them down or disable them, and not kill them. In most instances a soft kill will be an attack on an enemy’s computer systems, disabling their radar and weaponry. In this case we have an attack by music. Jangling and romantic guitar lines with pulsating synth melodies, and impassioned vocals all throbbing away to a minimal, pounding drumbeat, San Louis Obispo’s Soft Kill draws much of its approach from its name. Disabling your mind, and attacking your senses by merging punk idealism and 80s goth intensity into dark and beautiful songwriting, Soft Kill have emerged from the ashes of numerous past projects to release their first full length LP An Open Door on Portland, Oregon’s Fast Weapons records. Color spoke with Soft Kill’s Shiloe Alia and Tobias Grave on the phone from their ranch in California. Color: How did you come together to form Soft Kill? Shiloe: We had played some shows together in the year prior with our separate solo projects, and had communicated through the months. We both had talked about dissolving our other projects and we decided to join forces and write some music together, and I had asked Toby[Grave] to play with me for a show at the MIME [L.A. art and performance warehouse space], and rather than working on songs that I’d already written in that project, we decided to make new music and decided on a new name. And Toby had an album he was going to record up in Portland, and it just grew into us trying to fill some gaps in songs that he needed, and for both projects, creating a completely new project. You guys have played in a lot of bands in the past [Night Wounds, Blessure Grave, Total Fang, just to name a few]. How do those bands influence or differ from Soft Kill? Tobias: Basically, in all previous projects, especially the most recent ones, we wrote stuff solo, and I know that from at least my standpoint it was pretty negative, hopeless music. It wasn’t so much about being a control freak, it was just being, like I just didn’t have any inspiration to work with anybody else. So, this is definitely a lot different and colORMAGAZINE.CA

kind of therapeutic to handle just a piece of the pie, instead of trying to carry all the weight, or fill in all these gaps. You were talking about writing this really negative music before, but with Soft Kill I have heard it referred to as an “open love letter” in the songwriting. Is that sort of the idea you are going for? S: Yes, definitely, and it evolves, you know, from the record the songs reflect different stages in our relationship. You know, like with some of the earlier songs, like “Sea of Doubt,” it’s like reflective of where we were in courting, and just dealing with the normal fears, and issues, and stuff that comes up in starting a relationship. I feel like with the new songs we’re working on, we’re definitely progressing with more confidence, and not just the aspects of us courting each other. We’re definitely in a more confident place, and we don’t feel that this is something so new and fragile. So you guys are the core of the group, doing all the writing, but you seem to have a rotating set of band members. Is this a conscious thing, or a convenience thing? S: Uh, it’s definitely a convenience thing. The fact that we live together, and wake up and start writing music together, to be able to incorporate other people in to that would be

“We’re definitely in a more confident place, and we don’t feel that this is something so new and fragile.” a bit of a challenge, and I think it would slow down the creative process. But it can be a bit tedious. T: It would be weird to have a band that is “an open love letter” to one another with other people writing songs. Group sex letter! T: Yeah, exactly. It’s one of those things where, I don’t feel when we sit down in a room and play music together that there’s anything necessary to be gained, or that anything is missing not having anybody else there, and I really like the formula of that. When we try to play these songs live with the various people that we’ve played with, they’ve all kind of added their own little twist on it, and that’s been a fun experiment. That is as far as I think we want to take the collaboration aspect of it. Speaking of group sex, simultaneously you both play in a project called GROUP HEX. How does that band differ from Soft kill? S: That differs because GROUP HEX is

definitely based more around me. It’s just a really strange formula. We’ve said before that GROUP HEX is a bit like exorcizing our demons. It’s starts off with me, like, making this sculpture of sound from the drum machine and the synth. It just starts from a very different process, kind of like a really dark journal. It’s just kind of this weird exercise I’ve always had. And Toby’s been able to incorporate these twists on it… T: Minimally. S: But we never write things with the intention of interpreting them into this big live experience. It’s definitely more minimal and introverted. How did signing to Fast Weapons come about? T: Matt Green sent the owner of the label, who is Nathan Howdeshell from the Gossip, a demo that I’d done of a song on my last solo project, and he liked it and it just kind of opened up dialogue. And I had loose contact with him since around 2004, so it was kind of like, yeah we should do something. And that 7” became an LP, and as time progressed,

(continued on p.130)

dennis busenitz Congratulations Dennis on winning Tampa Pro. Frontside Bluntslide to Fakie in San Francisco, California in the Grey & White Busenitz Pro.

Š 2011 adidas America, Inc. adidas, the trefoil logo and the 3-Stripes mark are registered trademarks of the adidas Group.

volume 9 issue 2


he truth is we’ve been dying to make this interview happen for a while. Antoine Asselin is hands-down one of the most stoking up-and-coming Canadian skateboarders around, and with his part in Real’s justifyably much-hyped Since Day One just dropping, and another full part also forthcoming in The Dime Store Crew’s newest, The Deuce, we knew we needed to get this kid on our pages.

Born in France, raised in Quebec and now residing in Montreal, we were happy to learn he speaks English fluently and he definitely speaks Real’s language, because Antoine recently landed himself a spot on their team. That’s right, the real Real team. When we called him up and asked about how it all went down, he had this to say, “I actually found out in S.F. when I went back for the premiere. Darrin [Howard] told me right before the showing—I was like daaaaaamn.” We went on to ask if having an accent and stuff makes breaking into the States more difficult. “I don’t think it matters man, it’s just about being there and being able to speak to them, that’s all it is.” He continued, “honestly, sometimes I feel like being french, being from somewhere else, almost kind of helps cause it helps being different. It puts you aside from everybody else.” When asked about his part in the video, whether he was happy with it, he remained modest, and said, “I’m stoked to just be in there man, it’s like a big honour for me cause I’ve looked up to those dudes for a long time.” We’ve all seen his part (and his photos), and you no doubt will agree: he delivered. But after all of this, it seems like he would maybe feel like he deserved some time off? A holiday? “No, no man, I don’t think you should really ever stop. First of all skating is fun, but I mean I just kept skating—I’m in Montreal and the weather’s nice again and I don’t see a reason to really stop.” And stopping he is not. There will be no time off, in fact. With the ink on the DVD cases not even dry, there are already some new projects in the works. “I’m going to stay around Montreal for a bit, just do short trips here and there. I know I’m going to be filming for the new Dimestore video, number three, Real is starting a new project also already. It’s going to be different from this past one. It’s going to be sick.” Since Antoine is dropping two parts and living in these two worlds, we thought we’d enlist one of his homies, someone who knows him best, Phil Lavoie, Montreal resident and the mastermind and creative engine behind the illustrious Dimestore Crew, to delve into Antoine’s mind a little further. Enjoy.

interviewby phil lavoie


portaitsby dan mathieu


Antoine is a great skateboarder who likes to record his manoeuvres on videotape. Sometimes, he will even get somebody to take pictures of them. The first time I played a game of SKATE against Antoine, I defeated him. That was the highlight of my skateboarding career. This was back when he was still wearing tight pants and doing big-ass front boards down 14-stair rails, and I was all G and shit. I wasn’t actually all G and shit, but compared to him, I looked like Juelz in 2003. Since then, I don’t think I ever won again. He has footage in the new Real video that’s about to come out, so at least I got a good excuse for losing for all these years. In addition to executing fine skate manoeuvres, he also works on making skate videos with the greatest filmmaker in history: myself, which I guess makes him the second best filmmaker ever. I recently had the chance to interview this genius. —Phil Lavoie PL: What’s up? AA: Not much, you? Not much. Tell me how drinking can play with a skateboarder’s career? I don’t know, it depends. It’s good until you blow it. What exactly do you mean by blowing it? Well, for example if you’ve been planning a month-long trip with your homies and a few days before, you drink so much that you fall from the second floor straight onto your cranium, and fracture it. Then push the trip three months later. Things like that can affect you.

Antoine smokes blunts, whether or not that has anything to do with noseblunts is yet to be determined.

.interview 105


106 interview.


(opposite) Hurricane over the grow-op.

A kickflip is always a good introduction to any slide. Kickflip backside noseblunt.

If music sucks or doesn’t fit it can make some amazing skating look boring. The same way a good song can make a part golden.

We’re talking about you though, not me, idiot. I know you had some bad experiences. There was some, but the worst is this one time, it wasn’t my fault. You know when you’re wasted and see an orange cone, and you know you have to kick it… Yes, of course. So I was running towards it in order to kick the shit out of it like a soccer ball. At this moment I was picturing the cone flying for at least a 100 meters, until I found out there was a piece of metal under it holding it. So I broke my foot, it was crooked. It must be nice. Tell me about filming for the new Real video. How was it?

It was fun to film for it. I filmed in Montreal and went to S.F. in the winter for three months. I like S.F. a lot and they have a sick crew at Deluxe. Are you scared that your footage will look like shit next to all these guys? [Rofl*] I try to keep telling myself that it’s gonna be okay. [Lolz†] The video’s gonna be insane with this line up. Getting to be in the vid was weird at first, because I worshipped them since I was a kid. I can’t wait to see it. How important do you think music is in skate videos? I think it’s important for sure. If music sucks or doesn’t fit it can make some amazing skating look boring. The same way a good song can make a part golden.

.antoineasselin 107

What’s going on inside your head if you’re flipping out trying to get footage? Can you give us your top three reasons of losing it? I feel like the world is coming to an end if: 3. A horse pisses on the landing in the Old Port. 2. Old people sit down and won’t move when you’re ready to commit the gnar. 1. A bum is singing the same song for three hours. Especially classics like “Stairway to Heaven.”

What kind of music are you into? I listen mostly to old school rap, but I enjoy anything that’s good too. Somedays you feel like listening to some mellow classical music, and others it’s Norwegian black metal. Is there any kind of music you hate? I dont know nothing in particular. The emo, whiny shit. What is the best concert you’ve been to? We happened to be in New York during a Public Enemy concert at some insane Vans party. It was the best night ever, unlimited free beer and drinks and so much food with Public Enemy live.

Besides skateboarding, what do you do in life? I just hang out with some homies, play video games, go out and drink. And I’m working on the new Dimestore video too.

Slide, flip, catch, roll away. Bluntslide kickflip.


I listen mostly to old school rap, but I enjoy anything that’s good too. Somedays you feel like listening to some mellow classical music, and others it’s Norwegian black metal. 108 antoineasselin.


Oh yeah, Dimestore The Deuce. I heard a lot about that video, how is it coming along? You’re making the video! [Rofl]

with or chill with, not even just skaters. There once was an idea of a shop but we said fuck it a long time ago. Now we make videos with the homies.

Yeah it’s true, i’m just trolling. But how is it going? Good, the video is almost done.. Everybody’s done filming. We’re pretty much just working on titles and animations now with our friends Frank Lam and Zema. They’re dope artists and help us out so much. The video’s gonna come out on April 15th.

Who do you think is killing it right now in Montreal out of the people you skate with (other than me)? Kyle Macdonald is amazing, he skates like a G. Eric Riedl is killing it too. Eric’s pretty much the most useless dude ever, but he skates 12 hours a day summer or winter. He’ll get to South-Parc at nine in the morning and say “Yoo, I’m getting mad skills for the summer.” He’s been keeping it underground for a long time and now he filmed a full part in.

What is the Dimestore Crew? Is Dimestore a skateshop? No. It’s just a crew of homies that started for fun. All the people we skate

Do people still skate down rails? Nosegrind up and over.

.interview 109


What do you like about Montreal? I like everything about Montreal. There is a good vibe here in general, people are nice and everybody gets along. The city is fun to skate with tons of spots, you just skate around the city and find stuff to skate. We rarely use cars and I like that. It has the East Coast flavor. There’s an amazing night life too and beautiful girls. Summers here are great and I’m even starting to enjoy wintertime cause it makes you appreciate summer season so much more. That’s because you’re always gone to California during the winter. Everyone else thinks it’s shit, so consider yourself lucky. Anyways, don’t you want to go somewhere else? Yeah, I want to go to Barcelona and maybe France soon. Probably next winter, I’ve never been to Europe. [Rofl] I thought you were born there. Yeah, but I wasn’t even a year old when I left. My parents just lived in France for a few years, and I haven’t been back there yet. That’s fucked up. I learned a lot about you today. Thanks Antoine. * Rolling on the floor laughing. † Lolz : Laughing out loud. ‘z’ is a little extra.

Quick on the toes Frontside boardslide pop over.





volume 9 issue 2



— O’Farrell St. Theatre / Union Jack’s

— Buffalo / San Francisco



— Ocean Beach / Bondi

— Mongoloid / Gut Feeling



— By the window / Shotgun

— Burrito / Pizza



— Scrabble / Watch Paint Dry

— Jet Packs / Lazer Guns



— Phone / Stapler


— 3rd and Army / China Banks


— Proud to be an Okie / Among a Thug


— Moon Beam / Gonz


— James Hardy / Guy Mariano


— Ishod Wair / Robbie Brockel

— Board slide / Caveman

PETER RAMONDETTA words and photoby gordon nicholas

When you see Peter’s mug shot he doesn’t come off as the kind of man you’ d like to double cross. A man of few words, Peter is by far one of the kindest gentlemen I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. His skateboarding is at the level of sheer terror and his recent part in the Real video leaves no question about this. Originally from the dregs of Kansas, he eventually migrated to the Bay where he currently resides. I had the pleasure of catching up and tripping out with Peter while he was here in Vancouver, and found out a little more about what makes him tick.


— Sergio Leone / Clint Eastwood


— David Broach / Gabe Morford


— Beer / Coffee


— Arrow / The International

WORDS OF WISDOM — Don’t be stupid / Be smart


— Then Era / Now Era

LOCALS ONLY SPOTS — Flower Shop / Burnside


— Ennio Morricone / Fred Cole


— Evile - Enter The Grave / Cypress Hill Black Sunday










volume 9 issue 2


JOHN RATTRAY 50-50 into bank [ o ] polo. 117

PAT O’ROURKE frontside bluntslide [ o ] ying.

CASWELL BERRY frontside tailslide [ o ] patton. 119

120 SHELDON MELESHINSKI frontside shove-it [ o ] nicholas.

DUSTIN MONTIE backside lipslide [ o ] odam.

COLIN PROVOST noseblunt transfer fakie [ o ] j-hon.

WADE DESARMO switch kickflip [ o ] daughters. 123

124 BEN GORE 50-50 [ o ] muller.

GEOFF STRELOW ollie [ o ] caissie.



volume 9 issue 2


crazy spirit

777 vol ii lp+cd (black tent press)

I admit it, I was late to the Tonetta freak show. Too many promises of such glory go unfulfilled, especially when attached to the phrase “YouTube sensation.” Not so here. For the uninitiated, Tonetta is a middle-aged Torontonian with a taste for a consistently home recorded groove, a husky whisper, and a mouth on him that would make Dirty Mind-era Prince blush. Instead of the difficult listening that arises when most artists release their similarly unfiltered thoughts, for some reason you can put on a Tonetta record at any time and just relax to the smut. The perfect middle ground between Costes and R. Kelly? —klaus malone

milk music

s/t 7” (toxic state records)

Don’t you miss punk that sounds dangerous? Or when you knew that it was at least made by dangerous people? Or how about actual punks making punk rock music? Yeah, well I missed it too, until I found Crazy Spirit. This record has raw production, raw riffs, and an incredibly dark, creepy, mysterious vibe. It sounds like how your acid dealer in high school looked. Or probably felt. Or maybe how you felt after having an intensely bad trip. There is an eerie feeling of happiness and excitement shot through the impending doom in every song on this piece of wax. Vocalist Walker Behl sounds a lot like Linda Blair in the Exorcist after she gets possessed by a demon and shoves a crucifix up her vagina. This is definitely one record to grab, and will look cute in your little hands. ­ —j­ustin gradin

beyond living 12” (self-released)

Right from the opening riff of “Fertile Ground,” you can tell you have a wild guitar rocker of an album that refuses to be tamed. Comprising this Olympia, Washington, twopiece is singer/guitarist Alex Coxen’s heavy wall of fuzz that is reminiscent of 1990s alternative rock group Dinosaur Jr., while Joe Rutter’s drums pound away in a very drumming fashion (no comparisons there, they just sound like drums. From any era.) Anyway, the six songs on this 12” are all upbeat, and extremely ear-catching. Guitar hooks everywhere, excellent vocal delivery, all bashing along at a very enjoyable pace. They are the kind of songs you want to get drunk with your friends to and sing along with. I heard Mish Way [White Lung vocalist] sleeps with this record every night, and rumor has it she is pregnant! 7” coming soon! —bobby lawn

Dirty beaches badlands (zoo music)

It’s been 55 years since Chuck Berry duckwalked his way into the rock ‘n’ roll mainstream, but guitarists are still finding new ways to reinvent their instrument. The latest innovator is Alex Zhang Hungtai, aka Dirty Beaches. The eight songs on his latest fulllength, Badlands, draw on antiquated influences like rockabilly and doo-wop, but these familiar styles are twisted into something alien and deeply unsettling. “Horses” rides a two-note blues riff for four swampy minutes, and its solo is little more than mangled noise. The brisk “Sweet 17” is similarly skewed, as the singer yelps and mumbles like an unintelligible Elvis Presley over a crackling drum loop. The second half of the record contains none of the bluesy dirges of the first side, instead opting for ’50s-infused romance— see tracks like “True Blue”—and ghostly instrumental come-downs —see “Hotel.” Whether its assaulting your speakers with distortion or coaxing you with a lullaby, Badlands is a haunting listen that will stick with you for much longer than its brief 27-minute runtime.
—alex hudson


the uv race homo (in the red)

For those of you blissfully ignorant of the rock/punk/weirdo underground, Australia is back, and here is more vital proof.  Seemingly under the heavy influence of early DIY/ post-punk and its forebears, the six guys and gals of The UV Race possess two deadly important traits mostly lost on generations of cut and paste copycats: hooks and personality. Neither wholesale rip-offs nor bland pastiches culled from No Child Left Behind-esque testing of their Messthetics, Flying Nun, Nuggets, etc. knowledge, this is the sound of freedom. A bunch of friends bursting with ideas and enthusiasm getting together and letting the magic happen. Comfortable with both subtlety and wild abandon, no member of The UV Race is afraid to step up or stand back for the benefit of the song and its performance. The endearing vocals are shared amongst the sexes, led by the oddball deadpan of Marcus talk-singing you along the trip. Far exceeding the promise of their previous releases, I’d already picked Homo as the album to beat for 2011 before the year even commenced. So far, despite a few other great releases, nothing has come close. —klaus malone


1977-1983 4xlp box set (mississippi records)

Kleenex/Liliput are one of the best punk rock bands ever, and I am delighted that Portland Oregon’s obscure re-issue label Mississippi has finally released this as a four LP box set with a huge booklet of photos and lyrics. Originally released as a double CD on Kill Rock Stars in 1993, this offering from these first-wave punk girls from Switzerland is a must-have punk rock masterpiece. The records chronologically compile every 7-inch single, full length record, and compilation track from their inception as the band Kleenex, all the way through its different members and name change to Liliput, right through to its eventual demise in 1983. Kleenex/Liliput is one of the most unique sounding bands from any era, vocally and rhythmically, they create a sound completely their own. The songs do become a little more challenging and experimental after some of the lineup changes in the later years, but there are also some dance party hits on here, including songs like “Hitchhike” (where they incorporate a rape whistle as an instrument!), “Heidi’s Head,” “You,” and “Eisiger Wind,” and plenty more. This is some of the most catchy and original sounding music you will ever hear.­—j­ustin gradin

tommy guerrero lifeboats and follies (galaxia records)

Speaking of skate rock, remember the1980s skate rock band Free Beer? You know, the one with professional teenage skateboarder Tommy Guerrero playing the bass? Well, since then, Guerrero has long put down the bass and switched over to the guitar on the way to recording this, his tenth solo studio album. With a much more laid back approach to music from his skate rock days, Lifeboats And Follies mixes a combination of Latin beats and rhythms, smooth jazz, soul, blues and funk, all into one very complex and intellectual sounding album. Multi-layered and very realized, with a large variety of instruments and sounds, this album features lush soundscapes and skillful musicianship, perfect for a lazy day of just hanging out. But this is not the perfect record to piss off your parents with, so just put the Descendents back on! —bobby lawn

Chalk Circle

reflection (mississippi/post present medium)

Thankfully the sausage party element of punk rock has subsided somewhat in the past few years, with a lot more girls and women taking charge and making things happen. Besides breaking through decades of homogeneity, a further benefit of this new female engagement is the re-discovery of previously overlooked female artists such as Washington D.C.’s Chalk Circle. Despite being friends of the early Dischord bands, they were never offered their own release during their 1981-83 existence, presumably for not following the “hardcore” rulebook. While the dudes were senselessly thundering, Chalk Circle were bringing a captivating and unusual rhythmic sense to the forefront, working with space instead of merely filling it, and singing lyrics from a perspective teenage boys would never consider. Along with the likes of Zurich’s Kleenex/Liliput, Portland’s Neo Boys, Vancouver’s Dishrags, The Slits, and The Raincoats from London, this 12-track collection of compilation, basement, live, and demo recordings (plus a 16-page glossy booklet) provides a fascinating alternate history to the boys club bluster with which punk and hardcore is often associated. —klaus malone

moon duo

mazes (sacred bones)

Recently relocated from San Francisco to the quietude of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Moon Duo issue their second LP, Mazes, this after a continuous string of seven and twelve-inch singles. Led by the fiery guitar work of Ripley Johnson, best known as lead shredder in The Wooden Shjips, and backed up by organ player Sanae Yamada, the twopiece unveil their most approachable record yet, perhaps inspired by their new surroundings in the Rockies. While the formula hasn’t changed much from previous outings— seemingly endless guitar fuzz leads coupled with uber-simple organ lines and a primitive drum machine—they have lightened the tone quite a bit. Most of the songs are almost at half speed of their previous work, and rarely tread into the hopped up Suicide-as-psychband territory they’ve become known for. There may not be much of a surprise here for fans that’ve followed Ripley since his days with the Shjips, but Mazes is sure to draw in a wider audience. —mark richardson

Bill Callahan apocalypse (drag city)

After dropping the Smog moniker to go it alone, Bill Callahan’s albums have thus far chronicled his own fluctuations between hope and despair. But with his latest, Apocalypse, he’s focused outward, to perhaps the most well-trodden musical subject: America. Like a world-weary Walt Whitman, Callahan pays his homage to America, refracting it with the smudged introspective lens he’s known for, but using an I-know-that-America-sucks-but-let’s-not-throw-the-good-outwith-the-bad tone to evade any sappiness. The result? A rough-hewn masterpiece. With rich instrumentation, including flutes, fuzzed guitars and good ’ol country fingerpicking, Apocalypse lands somewhere between A River Ain’t Too Much to Love’s quiet acoustic builds and Woke on a Whaleheart’s exuberant jam-outs. His understated lyrics remain the most finely crafted anywhere. Lines like, “Where everyone is allowed a past they don’t care to mention,” would be printed on the American dollar bill in this writer’s ideal world. As Drag City put so perfectly in their description of the album: “The soul of your country called and left you a message. Seven messages.” My only advice is that you check your messages. —gary goldstein


soft kill

new brigade (dais)

Last year these Danish teens won the hearts of the punk blogosphere with their debut four song 7”. Whereas that EP seemed a bit of an overenthusiastic jumble that contained one great song, “Broken Bone” (one of two to reappear here), now the excitement is tempered with a cohesion that draws the listener in. The fuller production certainly doesn’t hurt either. Iceage’s collision of the cold, dark, drama of a Copenhagen winter and a near hardcore vigor, proves much more effective than sunny Californians moping around in head-to-toe black, as their ultimate (post) adolescent “fuck you” to society. Add tales of shows marred with random destruction and violence to the underground’s running post-punk/goth obsession (must keep up with vampire-loving housewives and teens) and it’s no wonder that both the Danish version and this one (the US version with two bonus tracks) sold out immediately and were quickly re-pressed. —klaus malone

California has spawned some of the best death rock, goth, and punk rock music in past years, but lately, there seems to be a lack of bands with the difficult ability to move us, so much so it seems almost like a moment lost in time. Harkening back to a day when music would cheer you up, or bum you out, or make you mad, this was the kind of music that was always evoking some kind of reaction from the listener. Good or bad, there was an experience. Of course, these times aren’t completely lost or forgotten, and there still bands hitting on this feeling, and at present it is the California duo Soft Kill. This is dark and brooding punk-goth the way it was always meant to be. With Tobias Grave’s eerie guitar echo and romanticized vocals, Shiloe Alia’s synth-oozing melodies, and the help of their friends Matty and Justin helping out on bass and drums, An Open Door is a must have for fans of post-punk, goth, dark wave, blah, blah, blah, you get the idea.
—bobby lawn


share the joy (polyvinyl)

Very few bands in the last five years have spawned as many imitators as The Vivian Girls, not to mention gaining more than their fair share of detractors. On Share The Joy, the trio’s third LP in almost as many years (not counting their other side projects: The Babies and La Sera), we find another refinement of their infectious garage pop. Gone are the days of rushed production, when the girls laid the music down seemingly as fast as they made it. But perhaps the biggest change are the song lengths: the opening and closing tracks both surpass six minutes, which catch the band sprawling out and getting comfortable enough to go beyond their two and a half minute staple. What hasn’t changed for them is their knack for a melody and ability to effortlessly craft an addictive record. Despite the myriad of bands that they’ve inspired, no one does it quite as well as the Vivian Girls. —mark richardson

crystal stilts

common era (kranky)

When New Orleans duo Belong released their debut LP in 2006, they were quickly lumped in with like-minded sound sculptors like Fennesz, Gas, and Tim Hecker. They employed the use of heavily treated guitars and a myriad of other effects for a woozy blend of shoegaze atmospherics and blissfully buzzed out electronics. They followed that up with 2008’s Colorless Record, a twelve-inch EP that took four somewhat obscure psychpop songs and submerged them in a hazy, smeared production. Common Era sees the band bridging the gap between those two releases, by taking actual songs that the duo composed and drowning them with gauzy waves of blurred effects. Guitars bend and stretch endlessly while goth keyboard lines are bent into dream-like warbles that paint a melancholic figure over the music. The overall niche for the record lies somewhere between the more zoned-out areas of My Bloody Valentine, and the starkness of Pornography-era Cure. Of course, all of it cloaked in Belong’s now nearly trademark wash of sound.
—mark richardson

vivian girls

an open door (fast weapons)

times new viking

in love with oblivion

Moving away from the band’s 80s fixation that covered everything from Flying Nun Kiwi-pop to Joy Division gloom coupled with Psychocandy volume, The Crystal Stilts have turned back their sound a few decades. Digging in the vaults of early rock ‘n’ roll, with this release the five-piece deliver a shimmering slice of jangle-pop that catches the band in more of a sophomore triumph than slump. Songs like “Invisible City” and “Shake The Shackles” are driven by determined Moe Tucker-influenced drumming and backed with fuzzy organ blasts and the clean strummed guitars that provide the record’s hooks. Brad Hargett’s reverbed and monotone delivery hasn’t changed, but on In Love With Oblivion, act as an excellent counterpoint to the mostly upbeat songs also found here. While so many blogs and new bands seem to still be stuck on this endless rehashing of all things 80s, it’s great to see Crystal Stilts infuse some varied influences and veer their sound into fresh territory.

dancer required (merge)

Well, after four records and numerous singles over the past six years, Columbus Ohio’s Times New Viking finally issue an album of considerable fidelity. Long gone are the days where their simplistic pop melodies were literally buried under a wall of feedback and hissy recording techniques, all of which seemed an attempt to keep many at bay, while inviting inside only the select few that could withstand the wall of noise. Now Times New Viking’s infectious garage pop, fuelled by memorable and simple keyboard lines, are up front and center with little in the way. This is hardly a “produced” record, but more of what the band sounds like in a live setting, which was never as chaotic as those earlier records might have led one to think. The duo has actually slowed the pace on many of the songs here, from the acoustic-led “No Room To Live” to the sweetly sung “California Roll,” they have definitely gotten comfortable, even with the veil of distortion lifted.
 —mark richardson

—mark richardson



(continued from p.60)

(continued from p.94)

(continued from p.98)

Over the years you’ve put your name on a couple of products, the first one was a Coda board. How did that happen? Jake: Andreas Trolf, who at the time was one half of Coda, asked us and he’s a friend so we said of course. Dave: We got to design the shape, that was pretty cool. Not just the graphic.

Which is scarier, rolling up to a rail or walking onto stage? I rarely skate rails and I’ve only performed live a handful of times so it’s hard to tell. I guess it depends on the size of the rail and the size of the audience.

And that 7” became an LP, and as time progressed, Shiloe and I started making music together, kind of just realized putting all of that effort into something. I was kind of losing motivation, worrying it would be silly, and if we had this kind of opportunity to do this record why wouldn’t we put our effort into something that we were really excited about, which was Soft Kill. It all came together beautifully, we had no expectations, it was the two of us and Justin Gradin [drummer on the Soft Kill LP]. We drove up to Portland and we went into the studio for a few days, and we made this record.

Recently you did something with C1rca? Dave: The Canadian rep contacted us a long time ago. Jake: They’ve been helping us for years, it’s been nice. Shane: Seven years or something. Thank you C1rca! So now that it’s been a decade that you’ve been hanging out with these two other weirdos that kinda smell worse than I do, do you see it going on for another ten? Shane: That’s too long from now, I can’t even think about ten years from now, man. Fuck that. Dave: This kind of flew by, I didn’t realize it’s been ten years until you’re actually saying, “Wow it’s been ten years.” Jake: It’s weird being asked about ten years, makes me feel old. Has it ever gotten tense when you’re like, “Fuck these guys”? Jake: It’s ten years, of course. We’ve had to have talks with each other at times. We’ve all been the bitch at one point. Shane: We all know each other’s bullshit and call each other out. Dave: We can preemptively call each other out, it’s been so long. So are you going to tour for the new album? Jake: We’d tour anyway, the album is just an excuse. Dave: Bogus Tokus in Vancouver said, “Hey let’s do a spring tour!” and we were down and started setting it up and then they couldn’t do it. So we got our friends The Narcs from Rochester, NY, who also wanted to come and do a spring tour anyway. Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, S.F., Oakland and another one, somewhere. Shane: What’s up Skull Skates? Let’s do a record P.D.! Hightower on Skull Skates vinyl! Call us. There is an edit button, right?

What is skate rock? I’m not really sure? The genre doesn’t have much meaning to me, Sorry. What do you think of the local house scene and how it’s a fraction of what it used to be? I was never really involved in any local music scene growing up, other than the local skate/graffiti/hip hop scene of East Van and downtown. I’m more of a bedroom producer than a DJ that “plays out.” Although I’ve played out a few times and I’d like to do it more often, it doesn’t really influence the music I make at home. The stuff I make is almost throwback music, or the equivalent of a tribute band in rock and roll. You played at the Kitschmas party, what’s the skate industry like for a musician? The Kitschmas party was fun. It’s always good getting friends together and playing tunes. I’d like to do something like that again sometime. Has traveling influenced your music? Or do you feel it’s more about where you’re from. I was getting into electronica around the same time that I was traveling to Barcelona, but the truth is that I rarely remember the music I’ve heard in a club or bar the night before. My memories of partying are mostly a blur. In the end, all the things you do in your life are going to inevitably influence the music you make.

“Electronic music [was] more of a reaction against the typical rock and roll lifestyle that most of my peers were living.”

What’s the Peter Murphy [singer of Bauhaus] connection? S: Everyone was trying to decide on a record cover, and there was a lot of artwork being thrown around. Fast Weapons has two resident artists, Nate Preston and Matt Green, and everyone was getting excited to contribute to the cover of the record, and they are also trying to come up with a consistent aesthetic for the label. I had found this book of Peter Murphy’s photos and had contacted him about letting us use one of his photos. He did respond, and he let me choose between three, and we narrowed it down, and he had to listen and okay the record, you know, he went through every song. But, he’s over in the Mediterranean Sea somewhere. We weren’t too sure if he would listen to the record, and it would happen, but he approved it, and he gave us this great story to go with the photo. Unfortunately, when it came down to printing it, the photo resolution wasn’t high enough, and rather than ask him to compromise his photo in any way, we felt like he’d been so generous, Fast Weapons ended up using a design by Nate Preston. T: I think we are going to re-contact him and try and use it for a 7” in the future. There has been a big resurgence in the post-punk, goth, dark-wave scenes, do you guys feel connected in anyway to stuff that is happening now? T: I was actually thinking about this today. It seems like even crust and anarcho punk bands are going goth, so it’s weird. It’s like every single scene from garage rock to normal punk to everything, there’s these circles being formed of bands that are getting into that sort of stuff. Soft Kill’s new LP An Open Door is out now on Fast Weapons records.

Nate Evans Switch crooked grind. nicholasphoto.

Tower to the People is the new album, and it’s out on CD and record? Jake: Yeah, 5 Core put out the CD and The Year is One put out the vinyl. Shane: They both have good bands on their rosters and are good independent labels. Support your local music! After ten years is the band “financially solvent”? Jake: We kind of break even. Every time we get a little bit of money and get up a little bit and that extra money will go for something. Dave: Like van repair. That reminds me, the band owes me $480 for van repair. Shane: Our gas is paid for, our studio is paid for. It walks on its own legs. TOWERTOTHEPEOPLE.COM


volume 9 issue 2

Sandy Plotnikoff

wordsby leah turner


ver the last eight or so years, Sandy Plotnikoff has used an antique foil stamping press to apply glittering, metallic foils onto probably thousands of objects, accumulating and transforming huge quantities of cheap, unremarkable objects, disused commodities and thrift-shop finds. He’s known for hand-printing and pasting hundreds of Value Village price stickers to unlikely or unsaleable objects, and for giving new life to bread tabs, bottoms of sneakers and, perhaps most memorably, vintage postcards, where for instance he captioned snapshots of the Grand Canyon with the wry announcement “Holidays Cancelled” and views of Mount Vesuvius with the heading “Toronto.” Snap fasteners, Velcro, buttons and second-hand socks are also among the artist’s choice material, his clusters of snaps becoming the stuff of sculptural form while simultaneously colonizing sweaters and wrist cuffs. Through his experimental adaptations of such ubiquitous material, Plotnikoff recuperates and transforms ordinary or obsolete objects into sculptural matter. For his recent show at Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto, Plotnikoff continues his material experiments with foil stamping. Yet here he takes his technique in a stunning new direction, divorcing his chosen medium from its everyday commercial uses—foil’s various but limited use as commodity packaging and wrapping— pushing the material toward almost total abstraction. While his earlier foil-printed works hinged on strategic interventions into everyday systems of value and exchange, this new series brings questions of optics and perception to the forefront. With Foil Problem, Plotnikoff pushes the abstract qualities developed in his earlier objects near the point of pure formalism. Roughly a dozen flat works line the gallery walls—brilliant, holographic compositions of foils on cinefoil, paper and mylar. Trading his antique foil press for what is basically an oversized hot plate, Plotnikoff acquired giant 24-inch rolls of commercial printer’s foils, which he then cut, crumpled and manipulated into small-sized pieces suitable for collage. The end result is no less than dazzling. Monochromatic compositions of silver, gold and purple shim-


mer and shift. Light fractures and reflects throughout the gallery. The overall effect of looking is completely hallucinatory. The range of patterns and textures explored here is quite astounding; the result of experimenting with various types of foil, but it is also proof of Plotnikoff’s efficacy with the medium of collage. Some surfaces bear the appearance of polished marble and gemstones, while others resemble wood grain, and others still are iridescent, bubbling films of oil. These works are not without art-historical reference or likeness: the focal point of the show, “Black Foil,” renders Pollock’s graceful splatters in a vibrant kaleidoscopic, while other moments suggest the tiled palette-knife accumulations of the Automatistes. The title “Foil Problem” itself points to the artist’s long engagement with a particular set of material concerns. Whether said problems have been resolved, or perhaps, newly uncovered, remains to be seen. But if the success of this show is any indication, I eagerly await Plotnikoff’s future propositions.

“The range of patterns and textures explored here is quite astounding; the result of experimenting with various types of foil, but it is also proof of Plotnikoff’s efficacy with the medium of collage.”

(above) Foil on Paper, 2011 holographic foils and copy toner on paper, 50" x 35"

(opposite) Gold Foil, 2011 foils on cinefoil, 48" x 48"



volume 9 issue 2

Since Day One

black water

dan wolfe (real skateboards)


oscar sydlowski left hand productions Oscar Szydlowski has been shooting out east for some time now and decided to make a full-lengther with the fitting title OskarMaterial. This movie seemingly came out of nowhere with no major sponsors, premiere tours or distribution, just a humble upload onto the Color site for everyone to see. It does not disappoint. Along with a Canadian who’s who that is featured in their stacked friend sections (including Ben Patterson, Derek Swaim, Nate Roline, Ryan Bonnell, Darrell Smith, Morgan Smith, T.J Rogers, the list goes on…) and full parts from Jesse Landen, Brandon Del Bianco, Alex Neary, Mortal, and Terence Goddard, OskarMaterial shows that the GTA has much to offer the skate world. Some highlights include: Paul Liliani officially gaining the key to the CBC manny pads, a first good look at the skating of Colin Findlater (the future looks bright), Brandon Del Bianco with another amazing full part (he puts them out like they are Facebook updates), and Jesse Landen keeping it smooth and lanky on a vast selection of spots around the world. If you have ever skated in the GTA, or even if you are just a fan of amazing Canadian skate videos, take the time to let this load up on the Color site (it is a full length, so be patient) and watch it before you go skating. You will be pleasantly impressed by the lack of filler and straight to the point skateboarding. Next time Oskar, plan a premiere out west, your projects are well worth the celebration. —ben stoddard


Seven years after their last video (Roll Forever, 2004) Real comes through with one of their bests effort to date. Stacked doesn’t aptly describe their roster, it’s more like a double-decker of history and young talent with a toping of well roundedness. With an eighteen-man roster that has been steadily filming for the past five years, it is no surprise that the video clocks in at one hour and four minutes, before credits. By now, many of you will have seen the video and will have made up your own minds on its quality. In our internet age, the importance of videos goes beyond just the ordinary marketing tool, these are documents of a time period, the salad days for the young skaters and a marker of time for the older riders. In the past, videos have ushered in eras, fashion trends, video editing techniques and broken new ground. I hope the dedication showed by the Real team inspires others to put up or shut up when it comes to filming a video. Each one (who was physically able) produced solid footage and plenty of it. It requires a couple viewings to take it all in and recognize the amount of insane tricks and lines that have been “hidden” from the media. Other companies might have taken advantage of the digital age and hyped their own project up by showing more of the process, the filming trips and the missions for spots. Why didn’t we see a photo of Massimo Cavedoni’s frontside 180 to fakie 5-0 on Hubba Hideout? Or half of Ernie Torres’ amazing part, one of the sleeper hits of the video. While some of James Hardy’s gnarlier tricks have appeared in magazines, his last trick is one for the books, and helped cap an amazing part that earned him a pro model at the end of the S.F. premiere. Jake Donnelly is a street killer with pop to spare: Dan Wolfe’s comparison to Mike Daher is not unjustified. Alex Perelson has to be one of the most stylish vert skaters to come around since Real stalwart, Max Schaaf. Davis Torgerson only recently appeared on the skate radar and his debut part is impressive to say the least. When’s the last time you saw a Losi grind down a handrail? In Justin Brock’s part, that’s where. Ernie Torres

steve marino square films and Nick Dompierre share a section with the majority of the footage being Torres’. His part put any doubters to rest of his pro status or abilities. Jim didn’t put him on the team just because they are the same height. Hufnagel had a classic Huf part, it’s great to see that he finally found a manny pad equal to his pop. Chima Ferguson is a beast with the finesse of a fine waiter, but his song didn’t match the radness of his skating. In the, “Where the hell did he come from?” column, Kyle Walker comes through with a short but sweet part, followed up by Antoine Asselin. A familiar face north of the border, Antoine is someone the California industry will be paying closer attention to after his solid and stylish part. If Justin Brock’s two-song epic doesn’t make you say, “Oh shit,” at least a couple times then check your pulse because you’re dead. Pretty sure he’s the only person to have an ender that has resulted in arrest. J.T. Aultz makes big rail and hubba skating look way too easy. Massamo Cavedoni, a ledge master along the lines of Jesus Fernadez, but without the flare for combo tricks, he is solid and fast with a precise style that makes him someone to keep an eye on. Robbie Brockel knows no other way to skate than fast, proving he’s another one of Real’s yet-to-known rippers. Fueled by the Misson’s best cookie, Ishod Wair skates like a coked-up jackrabbit with a Koston-like swagger. Twenty years deep on the team and Max Schaaf shows no signs that he’s ever stopped skating. Keep rolling on, Max. Peter Ramondetta is a beast like no other. Rails and gaps aren’t a problem, and ledges aren’t a problem either, for this humble killer of great and small. And finally, saying Dennis Busenitz skates fast is like saying rain is wet. He goes like he’s being pursued by a small town Sheriff who just found out that his young daughter spent some “quality time” with him. The year is young, but I’d say the part of the year has just appeared. Go buy the DVD and watch all the great extras and individual parts over and over again, it’s worth twice its weight in gold in skatestoke alone. —isaac mckay-randozzi

Black Water is the euphemistic term used for the wastewater that an RV accumulates over the course of a trip, a noxious stew of shit and piss and whatever other waste products human beings emit that must be emptied into a sewer hole at places normally denoted with the phrase, “Full Hookups.” Director Steve Marino knew what he was doing when he chose this title for this East Coast skate travelogue, shot in documentary style on a variety of formats, including Super 8, 16mm, HD, and the good old Sony VX1000. Because there is a metaphor at work here. The idea that the documentary film that results from a trip can be another kind of black water: the captured waste products and the messy accidents; the incooperative policemen and even less cooperative weather; the horrible bails and the miraculous makes. And what a document it is. Not a traditional skate video by any means, in Black Water spots and cities matter much more than individual parts. The connective tissue of highway shots in the RV and the many (and often hillarious) voicovers from the crew are as important to the narrative as the skateboarding itself. Early in the trip, half of the dudes Flags and trying to skate the waterpark. After an expensive bail bond, they press on and travel south to Alabamma and Kentucky, places that may not be entirely hospitable to a crew of multi-ethnicitied skaters from NYC. Along the way they find some raw spots and get a good dose of Americana in the process. The skating isn’t always of the very highest caliber, but it’s the kind of skate film that is easy to forgive. These aren’t seasoned pros, these are real skaters escaping the New York cold, dudes who probably gotta go back to work when this is all over, whose legs were already sore as hell by day three of the twelve-day journey. Crisply edited and emotively soundtracked, Black Water is a stoking document of an awesome way to spend some time. Do yourself a favour and check it out, you won’t be disappointed. It had this reviewer itching for a spot in shotgun, a road beer discretely cracked, and a bag of corn chips in his lap, ready to shred any spots that the winding road would provide. —mike christie

volume 9 issue 2

words and photosby gordon nicholas & magda wosinska




s with any festival, it can be expected that there’s a certain mystic or aura floating in the air, wherever the venue or host city may be. South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, was no different. The streets were packed from gutter to gutter with every hippie, cowboy, raver, and crust punk able to make the journey south into the very heart of America. With a show or band playing every ten feet, and lineups around the block everywhere you looked, this little blue lake in a sea of red certainly knows how to throw a party. I only wish the pubs stayed open past 2 a.m. and let the $2 brews fly towards sunrise. See you next year Austin.


Dave Ehrenreich

Sheldon Meleshinski, Kenny Anderson & Julian Davidson

Corey Klim & Coyote Ugly

Nick Trapasso & Angel

Ethan Fowler

Stevie from Dark Castle & Mike from YOB

Sam from Nighthorse

Braydon Szafranski

Gareth Stehr & Jenny

Christine from Christian Mistress

Bobby from Pentagram



sammy winter /


volume 9 issue 2

Alien wordsby zach barton

photoby gordon nicholas


t was just another hazy night in front of the booter [computer], until Alien informed me that he had drunk seven beers and had already moved onto the Jack Daniels. Perfect, tattered both ways, I’m baked like a cake and Alien’s drunk as a skunk. He was super enthused about his new Apple computer that he’d just bought from Billy Marks and insisted that we do the interview on iChat. I’d thought Alien had already laid down most of his stories on me, but it turns out he still has more. So here it is ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dolts and dob-brains, an interview with one of the wildest, weirdest, one-of-a-kind humans on the earth. The Alien.

If you bring home a girl, just put on Labyrinth or Shrek. 1) Why do you enjoy skateboarding naked? The first time I got naked and skated was on the Straight Trippin’ tour and I just wanted to fuckin’ get straight buck and fuckin’ do it for the trip, you know? Like its funny to go on a road trip with all your best friends and do random shit the whole time and make it the best thing you possibly can, cause your only young once, right? 2) Have you had any bad experiences with drugs? Eating mushrooms on my 21st birthday. Everybody came to my birthday, it was in Harrison. Even my mom came and my dog came, and I was super high on mushrooms. We all went up for a hike and we got super, super high and I felt really bad cause my mom was there by the fire. She was having fun, but we went off and I didn’t think we would get that high, and all of a sudden Hollywood’s in the middle of lake with all of his clothes on going, “Why am I in the middle of the lake?” And I was like, “Holy fuck he’s high.” And then I’m lookin’ at myself and I’m fully clothed and I’m standing in the water yelling at him. So, I don’t know… I think that’s the worst one. 3) What’s the weirdest place you’ve had sex? Okay, oh god I just remembered one that’s fuckin’ insane. I was on tour, and it was in El Paso. I met this girl that was like five years older than I was, and she was like, “Do you wanna come to my house?” I was


like, “Hell yeah!” We went to her house and she’s like “Let’s roll up a philly and go out to the desert!” I was like, “Okay.” So we did and all of a sudden we were like so deep into there and she’s explaining to me like, wild dogs and fuckin’ lizards and goddamn black widows and all this shit. And we see like this big rock face, and she’s like, “Let’s go smoke it right there.” I knew this was like her make out spot or somethin’. And then she wants to have sex on the rocks and I’m so sketched out, I’m so high off this chocolate rolled fuckin’ huge doobie and I’m thinking about wild dogs and fuckin’ just like spiders and lizards cause I’m from Canada. We deal with like beavers and bears, like nothing to do with that stuff. And we just start having sex and I’m just like “I can’t do this, I’m way too high and I’m way too scared.” So whatever that’s done, that’s a whole different story… 4) Do you always wear a condom? I do wear a condom, everytime. No matter how fuckin’ drunk I am. Because I’m not ready to be a dad, at all. I think about having kids, and I think how rad it would be, but I’m not ready. It sketches me out the most getting a girl pregnant because my dad left me after like two months after I was born. It didn’t really hit me until I was 13. I still seem him here and there, I’m not saying I hate him or anything. 5) What is your favorite song to listen to drunk?

If you bring home a girl, just put on Labyrinth or Shrek. Girls love that shit. Fuck music, put a movie on if you’re too drunk, cause you ain’t gonna be able to concentrate. But the best song, most mellow song is by Mozart and it’s called “Lacrimosa.” Also, from the Slave video, “Jailhouse Frog” by Amon Düül II. 6) What is the best bar in North America? It’s something in Tampa, every time I go to Tampa Am. Okay, I got it. The best strip club is Mons Venus. Twelve girls standing over upside-down showers, straight up pure business. Isn’t it Mons Venus in Total Recall? Isn’t that the name of the fucking bar in Total Recall? With the girl with the fuckin’ three tits? 7) What is the worst thing about the bar scene in Vancouver? I only go to Astoria, Fortune, Waldorf and Shine. I will never fuckin’ go to Granville Street. We need more house parties, people need to hide all their goods and then have house parties and not let anybody into their rooms, except for the girls. 8) What is the worst thing in skateboarding right now? I’m pretty bummed how a lot of companies have come up and built a name for themselves and kinda sold out to Wal-Mart and K-Mart and West 49, who order way too many fuckin’ boards and sell them for way too cheap. It just sucks

because it’s ruining the veins of all those little hometowns where kids would be so stoked to walk into a skateshop and talk to someone that skated. Not some chick with big tits that didn’t know how to put griptape on. 9) Have you ever pissed yourself? One time I was dating this girl, her name was Ashley and we drank so much booze with her and her friends, it was the night before her graduation sorta thing. And I was just sitting on the balcony, like so drunk. I had never drank wine before. I literally pulled my pants down and started peeing while I was lying against the wall. Like I was sitting on two stairs, but my feet were on the second stair. And I remember just peeing, and her mom came out and was like, “What are you doing?” I was like, “This red wine.” I just kept repeating “Red wine…” Alcohol is funny you know, like to a certain degree. 10) Okay, man, I think that’s all I need— I just wanna add this last little phrase or whatever I want to say into the last part of this. Jess Atmore, is the most true grit motherfucker that you will ever meet in your life. I don’t know what else I can say, but that dude is… If you ever get a chance to meet him, or… That’s a goddamn gift I will tell you that much, that’s a present to yourself. That’s all I wanna say, I just wanna end it off on that, because that guy fuckin’ rules.

issue 2


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volume 9

Danny Fuenzalida made a quick stop in Vancouver this month to sort out his national documents and patriotic status. While in this uncharted territory, Innovation came quick to mind with a nosegrind revert. nicholasphoto.



The predominant design ideal of Lakai Footwear places peak skateboard function as priority number one. Fashion follows a close second, but performance has always been our driving force. With the introduction of Echelon, we now have a category that allows us to flip these ideals from time to time, encouraging fashion to become the primary design focus. The branding for these styles has changed, but the commitment to excellence remains the same. Echelon is Heel to Toe quality, fashion first.

Volume 9, Number 2  

featuring Antoine Asselin (cover + interview), Dane Pryds' Shazam, X-Pat with Danny Fuenzalida (did you know he used to live in Canada?), Aa...

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