SURF SKATE SNOW TRAVEL MUSIC FILM ART FASHION
MORE THAN JUST THE RIDE
HAAK ONSEN THE LAST EXPLORER
VOL. 01 ISSUE #003 DEC 2006/JAN 2007 made in the uk £2.95 TERJE HAAKONSEN BY JORN TOMTER
THE BEASTIE BOYS: MASSIVE INTERVIEW! TONY HAWK ANDREAS WIIG INGEMAR BACKMAN OCCY SOUTH AFRICA SKATE BECK RICH JACOBS
See Andreas in MDP’s Follow Me Around
Grunt Jacket and Pant
ANDREAS WIIG / CHRIS COULTER / MIKE CASANOVA / HANA BEAMAN
ÂŠ 2006 Vans, Inc. www.vans.eu - Photo: Ian Ruhter
For Now, Anyway. As Polar Bears Drown in an Iceless World, and Horror Summers Kill More Fat People Than A Permanent Diet Of Pie and Chips, You Gotta Wonder Whether Weâ€™re Gonna Be Snowboarding A Decade Down The Line. Switch Off Your TV? Drive A Hybrid? Dry Your Hair With a Chinese Fan?
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the big stories contents. huck #003 ▼
42 TERJE HAAKONSEN he wants to save snowboarding. 50 BEASTIE BOYS massive interview with hip-hop’s most famous trio. 64 OCcy the man is forty and still riding with kids. 66 MONOCHROME MISSIONS winter surf in black and white. by al mackinnon. 74 SOUTH AFRICAN BOWLS riding the post-apartheid resurrection. 80 SNOW STYLE have jacket, will ride. 82 IÑÁRRITU AND BERNAL master and muse on babel, latin politics and american guilt. 88 LUNGANI MEMANI surfing promise in the rainbow nation. 90 COUNTERCULTURE where have all the rebels gone? 96 ESTONIA SKATE the baltic way – all the way. 100 ISLAND FEVER battling bugs in Indo. 104 solid produce nice shiny stuff. 106 PEDESTRIaN MUSE daily threads, wear and tear.
tion for Justin blowin’ up the spot. Stay tuned to Absinthe’s newest produc by Emanuel Krebs. Lifestyle by Vincent Skoglund – Action
GIFA<:K PFLIJ<C= SCOTTY ARNOLD DAVID BENEDEK JUSTIN BENNEE JOSH DIRKSEN WOLLE NYVELT CHRISTOPHE SCHMIDT JAMIE ANDERSON ANNIE BOULANGER TORAH BRIGHT
JUSTIN BENNEE, THE SCOUT & F20 BOOTS
arena, it’s a moment of truth and every time Justin steps into the Style is the cornerstone of respect game he chooses the his in e projects himself. With no sham as he’s the sole owner of how he Guy when Justin unloads his full clip Nice Mr. more no it’s and try, twin-tip Scout for his street minis 2 steps ahead with the ique as the F20 boots keep Justin of styles. You should check the techn . there out Fit best the and n ructio low center of gravity Fusion const for more about Justin, Key up salomonsnowboards.com products. Line t Selec r othe & t Scou the the F20,
the front 18 andreas wiig 20 Ingemar backman 22 trevor andrew 24 carlos burle 26 tony hawk 28 rich jacobs 30 save trestles 32 favela cleanup 34 sandow birk 36 beck
the back â–ź
contents. huck #003
116 bowlbash 118 surfing the world 119 lukas huffman 120 zen and zero 121 karts, baby 122 albums 124 films 126 dvds 128 games 130 the physics of phatness
vol. 01 issue 003 HUCK MAGAZINE
December 2006/January 2007 www.huckmagazine.com
Vince Medeiros Global Editor
Art Direction and Design
Advertising, Products and Marketing
Phil Hebblethwaite Translations Editor
www.thechurchoflondon.com Snow Editor
Markus Grahlmann Advertising Sales
Tracey Armstrong, Andy Davidson, Craig Jarvis, Filipe Luna, Miles Masterson, Garry Mulholland, Bruno Torturra Nogueira, Emma Paterson, Cyrus Shahrad, Alex Wade, Rob Warren, Jonathan Williams Images
Ruud Van Bragt, Sam Christmas, Maya Hayuk, Al Mackinnon, Yosuke Morikawa, Timothy Peare, Si Scott, Olle Sporrong, Tanel Tapper, Jorn Tomter, Barry Tuck, Paul Willoughby
HUCK is published by HUCK LIMITED 45 Rivington Street London EC2A 3QB United Kingdom Editorial Enquiries +44 (0) 207-729-3675 email@example.com ON THE COVER: TERJE HAAKONSEN BY JORN TOMTER MAGAZINE INTRO ARTWORK: SI SCOTT
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H H H H H H 18 www.HUCKmagazine.com
H H H H H
Andreas Wiig hucks himself into history. Picture yourself perched atop a sixty-
foot cliff in California’s heaviest backcountry. Now imagine you’re about to launch off it with nothing more than a twometre run-in to get your speed up. And, while you’re at it, why not dream of chucking off backwards? That’s exactly what Norway’s Andreas Wiig did earlier this year as he hit the now famous ‘DCP cliff’ with a trick no other snowboarder would have even considered. Until five years ago, the cliff in Sonora Pass was considered unridable, partly due to its height but also because the landing sits in a wind tunnel, so conditions are rarely good enough to make it work. Pro-rider DCP (David Carrier Porcheron) was the first to ever hit it, with a backside 360, and until now, no other rider had repeated his feat. Andreas decided to up the ante and, not only did he commit himself to the gargantuan drop, but he did it with a backside rodeo 720. In lay terms, that’s an inverted 720degree rotation, which basically means that he was blind to where he was going on the big drop. “I didn’t know what I was going to pull off when I went there,” he says, “but I had a good idea I wanted to do something special that day.” So what exactly went through his head before taking the plunge? “I was trying just to think about what I was going to do, and that I had to go for it 100 per cent. I was probably also thinking: is this really a good idea?” But a good idea it was, as Andreas landed the trick clean – sealing his reputation as a totally insane snowboarder in the process. That does leave him with one small problem, though. Just how do you challenge yourself after pulling off a trick like that? “Hmmm... maybe throw in another flip and hope for the best!”
text Zoe Oksanen photography Timothy Peare
He might be spending less time on the mountain, but in Las Vegas Ingemar Backman’s ‘all in’. What do professional snowboarding
and professional poker have in common? Normally, not a lot. Unless, that is, you’re Ingemar Backman. The first superstar snowboarder to come out of Sweden, Ingemar set the world record for the highest air back in 1996 at 7.5 metres, and went on to ride for Sweden in the 1998 Olympics. He won the Air and Style twice and was the only European to make it into Shaun Palmer’s Pro Snowboarder videogame. He is, in a word, a legend. The soft-spoken Swede has also explored the business side of snowboarding with impressive success. He is the co-founder of cuttingedge clothing line WeSC and runs the snowboard company Allian. Most recently, though, he seems to have switched his professional allegiance. Believe it or not, Ingemar is now a professional poker player – and a shit hot one at that. Backman discovered he had a knack for the sexy and highly-addictive card game in Austria a few years back. Playing at what was only his second international tournament, the Swede went on to repeatedly sweep the table, scoring an impressive fifth-place finish. After that, it was only a few months before he turned full-on pro and got sponsored for his new hobby.
Faced text Zoe Oksanen photography Olle Sporrong/Poker Magazine
Since then, things have changed quite a bit. Only a year on, and Backman’s already been playing against the very best. In fact, he’s just recently returned from Las Vegas, where he spent twenty-three days straight testing his hand at the World Series of Poker. “I think I was there too long. The desert gets to you,” he admits. So how did he get into it all in the first place? “Playing cards with grandma when I was young,” he says. “I’ve always been into gambling.” But how does the man with snow in his blood feel about swapping the open mountain for the confines of a casino? “I had a couple of days riding last winter, but since it was my first season as a poker pro I focused on poker. I think snowboarding is more fun,” he adds, “but it’s good to try something new sometimes.” When you consider that Ingemar has taken home as much as $65,000 in one game, the trade off doesn’t seem like a bad move. “Hopefully I will win one of the bigger tournaments,” he says, “and maybe hit the mountains once in a while along the way.” www.alliansnowboards.com www.wesc.com www.martinspoker.com
troubles text Zoe Oksanen
The snow legend who discovered music in his soul. Trevor
‘TRZA’ Andrew is a man of many talents. As an Olympic athlete, World Cup champ and total snow-flick hero, snowboarding is his natural forte. But there’s one skill even he never knew he had: music. When a torn ligament kept him off the slopes for almost a year, Trevor picked up a guitar, taught himself some chords, bought a sampling machine and started to write some songs. Not long after, the man was creating his own music and lining up his own band, Trouble. Over the years, Trevor’s name has been synonymous with a strong hip-hop image. But the Nova Scotia native packs another surprise punch: Trouble’s sound is a blend of synthesised beats and punk rock – the stuff classic eighties skate and snowboard movies are made of. The outcome is a totally original sound that has met with more acclaim than Trevor ever thought possible. “It’s a great feeling when someone tells you they enjoy or can relate to your music,” he says. “Music completely inspires everything I do, so it means a lot to me that people get it.” And people really do get it. His songs are being used in six snowboarding films to be released this year, and he has performed at some pretty major
locations including the Hard Rock Café in Vegas with De La Soul, and the Avalon in NYC. Trouble also played at the opening of Oakley’s flagship store in SoHo, New York, and have a heap of shows lined up over the coming months. Even better, Trevor has found a way to combine his two career paths: “I’m trying to get some gigs that go along with my Burton World Tour stops – Japan, LA, Paris…” Luckily for Trevor, his two passions complement one another. “They are lifelong partners,” he says. “I feel they completely inspire one another. Indie music has always been a driving force in my culture.” Interesting thing, life. In Trevor’s case, a potentially career-destroying knee injury helped him tap into a whole new talent. “I feel it was meant to happen,” he says. “I was meant to discover creating music, just like I was meant to find a snowboard.” Look out for Trevor Andrew aka Trouble’s latest release out now on CTG Records, and for more of Trevor on snow, check out Whiteout Films’ Wear it Well. www.myspace.com/trevorandrewakatrouble www.trevorandrew.com
sauce text Vince Medeiros photography Al Mackinnon
Big-wave warrior Carlos Burle dishes it up Hawaii style.
It’s six o’clock in central London and Carlos Burle is sipping a pint of Guinness. As the rush-hour world speeds by outside, the king of big surf pontificates on the merits of riding waves: “Surfing is amazing but it is not necessarily my dream. My dream is to meet good people, travel to great places, have quality of life...” And supply the world with papaya seed dressing, it appears. Burle, a surfer whose cojones are so mammoth they could sink an oil tanker, is in the dressing-making business. Papaya dressing, actually. With seeds. “It’s an old Hawaiian recipe,” says the Brazilian in soft yet impeccable English. “It’s made with papaya seeds and has a slightly sweet flavour that’s perfect for salads and sandwiches.” His dressing biz, along with a PR company, a restaurant and a busy worldwide lecture tour, show a multi-layered profile often uncommon in the wave-riding universe. Burle’s proud of it: “It proves that surfers can do more than just surf – they can have a sauce company too, for example.” Indeed. And they can also give speeches on the idiosyncrasies of big-wave surfing – much like the one he recently delivered at Plymouth University, in England. “My lectures are about life and the things we can all learn through surfing,” he says. How in the world he finds time to get in the water is a mystery. Fact is, he does. Just last week Finisterre, his UK sponsors, took him on a twenty-day Irish jaunt. Donegal Bay, it appears, dished up some gargantuan surf. “I saw a cold-water Teahupoo. Ten feet top to bottom on the sets,” he says. “You needed a jet ski to ride those waves.” He recalls one particularly memorable session. “There were two heavy wipeouts,” he admits. “And one gigantic tube I’ll never forget.” Nice. Any other highlights? “The Guinness – can’t beat a pint of Guinness.” www.carlosburle.com www.finisterreuk.com
th e ofhawK
return text Andy Davidson
Tony Hawk’s Project 8 is trick-tastic. By now, you should know the deal. Tony
Hawk, godfather of skate and household name, is worth a few bob. Fulfilling the dreams of kids and adults alike, the man has single-handedly brought professional skateboarding into living rooms across the globe. The money speaks for itself. Since its launch in 1999, the Tony Hawk series of games has amassed a healthy $1 billion worldwide. No matter which way you cut it, that’s a shed-load of cash – especially for a game based on a niche sport. As a result, the most famous skateboarder in the world has made far more from his series of videogames than he ever has as a pro rider. Which brings us neatly to Tony Hawk’s Project 8, the next installment in the series and the first Hawk next-gen game. Eschewing any attempt at reinvention, Project 8 is instantly playable for anyone that has ever played a Tony Hawk game. Offering players every skate trick imaginable, Project 8 is a virtual pro-skills master class. As the man himself says: “The idea is to have more Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater-style goals and less focus on goals that drive the storyline. I spent a full day skating while Neversoft motion captured every type of grab, spin, grind and stall I could do. Combined with the other pros, we have more than enough reference material to emulate any existing skate move.” The Neversoft team have created a planet full of stuff to ride on, both obvious and subtle. Almost everything can be used to earn points, and the more points your skater gets the closer they get to being part of Tony’s elite Project 8 Team. Hawk wanted the look to be “like you’re controlling a character in a high-def skating video instead of playing a videogame.” And it works. Project 8 is a sexy-looking beast with huge emphasis placed on capturing the movements of the skaters. In this context, Focus Control is merely the icing on the cake. For those not in the know, this feature slows down action and focuses on the board mid trick so the player is able to finely control every movement of the skater. This allows even skaters like Tony to “perform tricks that I can rarely do (if at all) with ease.” Added to the great game play are a host of guest stars including almost every top skater around. Even Jason Lee, star of My Name is Earl, pops up from time to time to set challenges and reward the player. Add to that an awesome soundtrack of alternative rock, electronica and other sounds and you’ll be skating like a madman in your living room till the small hours. Unless, of course, you’re a techno-challenged thirty-something who for some unknown reason never got into videogames in the first place. In which case, er… never mind. www.tonyhawksproject8.com
arTIST text Andrea Kurland photography Paul Willoughby
Rich Jacobs brings his pioneering brand of skate art to East London.
“All art is autobiographical,” said Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini. In the world of Brooklyn-based artist Rich Jacobs, Fellini seems to have a point. Having spent his formative years skating the sidewalks of Long Beach, California, Rich’s art speaks of the people and places he’s encountered along the way. The human characters that inhabit his work have become something of a skate art staple. ‘Move’, his groundbreaking series of group exhibitions, has bridged the boundaries of street art, illustration and graffiti, uniting such talents as Thomas Campbell, Margaret Kilgallen and Dave Kinsey into a powerful collective that has taken the mainstream art world by storm. Today, in this arty East London hangout, he is also the embodiment of modesty. “I shouldn’t admit this, but I didn’t even know what the word ‘curating’ meant,” says Rich. “I’m kind of an accidental art person. As much as I’ve always loved art, I’ve never cared to be part of a bigger art world.” Yet, as a curator (the guy who organises art exhibitions), Rich has helped propel artists like Shepard Fairey from the ranks of street cred to international recognition. But taking the limelight isn’t his thing. The trademark faces he has effortlessly bestowed on the walls of this trendy bar scream of a youthful spirit, gracing everything from skateboards to backpacks, while his gentle manner whispers a humble commentary. Rich is one of those supremely nice guys – a self-declared misfit who found meaning in the SoCal skate scene. “Skateboarding is a weird phenomenon,” he says. “There’s sort of this history of weirdos doing their own thing. No other sport has influenced creativity in that way. I guess it’s because it attracted people that were individualistic, people like Neil Blender, Mark Gonzales and Ed Templeton. And then there’s Gary Davis, a pro skater who never followed the rules, was totally punk, slept outside in skate parks and started the first skate ’zine using a Xerox machine. That’s kind of contagious.” Taking inspiration from his cultural heroes, Rich has made the leap from skate scribbler to revered artist. His work has been exhibited across America, Europe and Japan, and is the lifeblood of brands like Etnies and Eastpak. And yet, true to his roots, this quiet rebel still looks to the underground for inspiration. “The most exciting thing about creative culture right now is thinking that there’s a kid in his basement making fun of it all,” he smiles. “Hopefully they’re coming up with something in protest that’s way more amazing than any of us could imagine.” To get your hands on an exclusive Rich Jacobs Eastpak bag, check out www.eastpak.com. For more, see http://etniesplus.com/artists/rich-jacobs.
Save Trestles text TRACEY ARMSTrONG
No more freeways, goddammit!
While Southern California is hardly a paradise of world-class surf, the area does have a few nuggets stashed away. Trestles, just south of downtown San Clemente, in Orange County, is one such gem. The famous break at Lower Trestles has been a breeding ground of progressive surfing for decades thanks to a perfect peeling wave created by the natural flow of rock and sediment from the creek above. Surfers bent on frequenting Trestles must park almost a mile away and walk in along a trail paralleling the creek. San Clemente pro Gavin Beschen knows just how important this area is: “It’s pretty much the last gem left on the coast here. Being able to cruise down there with Mother Nature everywhere – you don’t see that too much out in the wild anymore.” But Trestles is now under threat. The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) – which is actually a private firm, not a government agency – has been trying to build an extension to a nearby toll road, the 241 Foothill South. This sixteen-mile long, six-lane highway includes a six-mile stretch that runs parallel to the San Mateo and Cristianitos Creeks, the tributaries that feed sediment to the beach at Trestles. As if that weren’t bad enough, the plan includes the construction of 14,000 new homes on the virgin hills just above the beach. Over the course of the last few years, the Surfrider Foundation has been fighting the development of this road. Despite the support of cities that have publicly voiced opposition (Laguna Beach, San Francisco and Los Angeles, among others), there’s still a big battle ahead. This past September, Surfrider strongly addressed the issue before the San Diego City Council, which was conducting a hearing on whether to adopt a resolution opposing the road. Although the city council had three months to prepare, they claimed they weren’t ready to condemn the plan just yet. This was a blow. However, on that very same day the city of Berkeley publicly announced their opposition to the project. It appears the fight for Trestles has only just begun. www.savetrestles.org
bIg cleanuP text Tracey armsTrong
fAVelA kids Join Antirubbish efforts.
The kids of Rio’s favelas have more to worry about than the environment. But that didn’t stop ten young surfers from Rocinha, the largest slum in Brazil, from joining the effort to keep Rio’s beaches clean. The Surfrider-led cleanup focused on Angra dos Reis, whose territory includes a cluster of 360 islands just two hours south of Rio de Janeiro. The project, sponsored by Frade Golf Resort, E-brigade and organised in partnership with PADI, aimed to clean up as much as was humanly possible and analyse the types of pollution and waste found in the area. Cigarette butts, plastic bottles, condoms, plastic wraps and straws were the litter du jour on Vila do Frade beach. The underwater team diving near the Josefa Island found an abundance of construction materials, including paint cans and brushes, working boots, rakes, shovels and even wheelbarrows. At Praia do Dentista on Gipoia Island volunteers found Styrofoam, fishing nets, ropes, plastic covers, plastic and glass bottles, beach chairs, cans and plastic wraps. In all, more than one tonne of waste was collected. The region also suffers from a lack of appropriate sewage-treatment plants and the adverse effects of a nearby petroleum terminal. As for the surf kids, they had a blast – and learned a bit more about a world that’s seriously under threat. Bocão, the community leader, said: “This kind of reward is priceless and is really stimulating for the kids. It makes them want to improve and gives them something to look up to.”
Quiorm e st
text Vince Medeiros
Artist and surfer Sandow Birk on the depravities of war. Sandow Birk wants you to think about war. And he wants you to think about
it hard. Following his groundbreaking re-creation of Dante’s Divine Comedy – with a dystopian America as its burning backdrop – Sandow’s now turned his attention to the Middle East. His new collection, ‘The Depravities of War’, references actual images from the conflict to portray Iraq in all its ghastly, unspeakable and dehumanising horror. Ever thought war was a good idea? Think again. HUCK: What’s the main inspiration behind ‘The Depravities of War’? SB: The project relates to works of the past, to the universality of war and suffering through the ages. Many people know the Goya prints ‘The Disasters of War’ from two hundred years ago – the late 1800s – with all their gory depictions of cruelty and suffering. But what is much less known is that Goya’s work was inspired by the work of a French artist, Jacques Callot, who was working in the late 1600s, two hundred years before Goya. Callot did a series of prints entitled ‘The Miseries of War’. So you get Callot doing a series of prints about war that inspired Goya to do a series of prints about war two hundred years later, and that led to me doing a series of prints about war two hundred years later than that. Where do the images in the project come from? They come from real events. Even though they are a bit crudely rendered through the print-making process of woodblock cutting, all of the buildings and trucks and postures of people and scenes of humiliation and warfare are taken directly from real photographs of events. They’re not scenes or events that I made up, they are just recomposed by me into more interesting images. What’s the relationship between the current work and your American re-interpretation of Dante? They come from the same process of rethinking historical artworks into contemporary themes. The Dante project took the Divine Comedy and set the events of Dante’s tour through the afterlife of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven in America today. This project, ‘The Depravities of War’, takes its visual format from Callot – then blows it up huge and uses that format to depict the current war in Iraq.
et Do you think artists have a responsibility to be vocal about war? The myth of the artist is that they are the conscience and the voice of society, but that’s the romantic myth. Think of the question in terms of music, which is a good analogy. Does a band have an obligation to sing about the war? Of course not. A band can sing about whatever it wants to sing about. A band can choose to sing about the war if it wants to, though. It’s a valid topic in the sea of things to sing or paint about. Would you say that Abu Ghraib and the horrors of war are ‘inspiring’ events to an artist? The events of this war and of Abu Ghraib are inspiring to me in that they make me so angry, so disgusted. It’s an appalling war for so many reasons, and it’s sickening to me, and that feeling of despair and helplessness and futility are in some sad way inspirational to me. I want to make work that addresses that. It’s a pity. It’s too bad that inspiration springs from the bad as well as the good, I guess, but so be it. How about surfing, is it reflected in any way in your art? Sometimes I do artworks about surfing specifically – it’s a great theme, that man and the sea thing. And sometimes I use surfers in my other works as representative of something – like in the Divine Comedy project, Dante was often seen holding a surfboard or skateboard. It was meant to show Dante as youthful, maybe, or as being Californian, or sometimes to show a humorous side to a tour of Hell, say, when there’s a nice lefthander breaking off a sandbar in the River Styx. ’The Depravities of War’ consists of sixteen large-scale woodcut prints, each measuring 48 x 96 inches. The exhibition opens at the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco on March 22, 2007.
Beck talks openly about mad rhyming, Scientology and his new album, The HUCK: Information.
Is there a central theme to your new album, The Information? BECK: I dunno... it’s a bit all over. I mean, to me it just captures a bit of the atmosphere of the moment – of the last three years that I’ve been writing these songs. The desire for relief or escape but at the same time a sort of sense of things impending... a faint, distant dread. Paranoia in the air, all these things colouring life. Do you mean generally or just for yourself? I’m just talking about walking down the street where I live. The climate, y’know? All the intangibles that just go in the music. You live in Los Angeles. Do you feel that the atmosphere in LA at the moment is one of impending doom? No, I just think it’s in the air, that there’s a bit of that in the air. ’Cos we’re constantly... Code Orange today. Today it’s Code Yellow or whatever. In America they’re constantly telling us what our threat level is and all the things that are going to happen to us. I don’t know how it is over in Europe as much, but in America there’s a lot of fear-mongering. Famously, your lyrics are routinely described as ‘oblique’. Do you feel the lyrics on The Information are more easily understandable than in your previous work? I have songs that are more simplistic and direct. I don’t write songs... I don’t write anything that doesn’t mean something to me. And that kind of dismissal... I mean, I don’t know anybody who tells me that. It just seems lazy to me. ’Cos if you do that you’re dismissing two-thirds of literature out there. Literature or poetry could be characterised as oblique. But, in fact, it uses language in a way that isn’t conversational. It’s transmitting reality or a viewpoint or a concept in a wider sphere. That’s what I’m influenced by. I grew up reading The Beats and French symbolists and all that. And then hip-hop... hip-hop doesn’t always say what it means but it means what it says. And it can use language and words to convey an atmosphere, ▼
No Strings Interview Garry Mulholland
a concept or these aggregations of meanings that... um... y’know... taken out of context don’t mean anything literally. But together they convey a sense of where the person’s coming from. What the person’s attitude is. The temperature of the room. What the angle of the lighting is. These are the things you can’t articulate in, ‘Baby, I miss you.’ It takes something a little more sophisticated. We’re limited by language. But as a lyricist, you try to use it in a way that isn’t clichéd and tired while saying something new with it. And I try hard. If I can. Your critical standing is somewhat complex. On the one hand, your albums have all got good reviews and you’re well respected. On the other, journalists accuse you of writing nonsense rhymes and then Midnite Vultures... [Interrupting] What are these ‘nonsense rhymes’? Um, off the top of my head... ‘Heads are hanging from the garbageman trees / Mouthwash jukebox gasoline.’ That describes the scene to me. I dunno, there’s no standard way to write something. Sometimes you can’t describe something. You could say ‘the dirty trees’ but that’s not as interesting. You could say, ‘The trees are halfdead and covered in pollution and have old shoes and trash thrown in ’em, like the trees on the street where I grew up’, but I just call ’em ‘garbageman trees’. It’s lyrical license. ▼
OUT NOW THE No.1 GAME ON PSP 39
“In America they’re constantly telling us what our threat level is and all the things that are going to happen to us.” And what does ‘devil’s haircut’ mean? It’s a metaphor for the evils of vanity. And it’s the kind of phrasing you hear in an old blues song. These old Delta blues songs I’d listen to endlessly as a teenager. Just a phrase that came up out of the air and I wrote a song about it. Maybe about... I dunno... some of the malaise that culture can lull you into. So are there any songs on The Information that you feel will give the listener a way into your take on the ‘faint, distant dread’ of the last three years? ‘Dark Star’, ‘Elevator Music’. A lot of these songs sum up something for me. Trying to achieve some kind of emotional quality in these hip-hop songs, these songs with beats. Trying to put some kind of bridge between a record like Sea Change and Odelay and something new, maybe. Maybe just a new hybrid, y’know? And some of these songs plug into that. One subject that I know you must get sick of being asked about is... [Interrupts] Scientology. Yeah, because everybody prefaces it the same way. I have no problem talking about it. It’s something I grew up around. My father’s been a Scientologist since the mid-sixties. It’s just been a kind of thing in my life for years – a thing that’s just been positive. I’ve seen it help him and my friends, and it’s something that I’ve drawn on. Is there a simple way to explain Scientology to we laypeople? Yeah, it’s just a set of ideas and works that are just practically applicable, y’know? There’s areas that deal with education, areas that deal with various aspects of addressing problems in society like drug rehabilitation – extensive drug programmes for prisons, to help prisoners get on track. Just a lot of humanitarian efforts, y’know? A lot of aspects. It covers a lot of territory. It’s really a resource. But what about the public view of Scientology as a mixture of fascination and suspicion? Famous Scientologists behave like it’s a secret society, like the Freemasons, or those crazy monks in The Da Vinci Code. No, it’s not. It’s wide open. Whenever I’ve been the door’s open and there’s people eating lunch there. There’s hotels you can stay in. There’s an old hotel in Hollywood where they have a centre and you can do courses there. There’s nothing closed about it. That’s the truth of it. Their perception is from something they read third- or fourth-hand. It’s not the reality of it.
As a teen, you dropped out of high school and embarked on a hobo period; travelling, busking, doing shitty jobs to get by and, legend has it, spending one rock-bottom phase living in a garden shed. Can you tell us about that period of your life? It’s like any life experience – it’s just formative, y’know? I feel like I got to experience some of the freedom of the world, and some of the brutality. Some of the coldness and... misery. But also, being able to go into a strange place and find friends and people who are empathetic. There’s pockets of creativity and places where you can put down roots and do something interesting. But you were raised in LA and your parents were creative, bohemian people with plenty of contacts. It would’ve seemed easier to just stay at home and fast-track your way to creative contentment and success. Was it about putting yourself through some hardship in order to gain greater life experience? Not really. My family lived in the barrio in LA. It was fairly rough, and I was just working menial jobs. I was working in a factory down in Watts. Went to the city college for a while. I just didn’t have any prospects. It was either travel or work at the video store. Where and what were the key experiences of that time? I mostly went to New York. There was a period when I went to Seattle for a while, and I spent a summer in San Francisco. New York was the biggest thing for me. That’s where I started playing music and performing. I fell into a small scene of songwriters. The anti-folk scene? Exactly. But you also visited your grandfather, Fluxus artist Al Hansen, in Germany. Yeah. My grandfather lived in a little flat above a bicycle factory, and he found this group of Italian kids who he’d taken under his wing and they let me sleep on their floor. I hadn’t seen him in years. I was broke and he was broke, but he got drunk one night with this Italian art dealer who ended up stiffing him and not paying him, but they were getting sentimental about children and he talked my granddad into sending me a plane ticket. He found me living in some wretched rooming house in the east side of New York, and the next thing I knew I was out there and stayed there for a while. He had a little basement art gallery called The Ultimate Gallery, which was kind of a meeting place for artists and happenings and things.
Did you ever fit in there? I was like his weird cowboy grandson, playing Hank Williams songs while they were smoking hash and making art Special thanks to The Stool Pigeon, www.thestoolpigeon.com. Beck’s new album, The Information, is out now on Interscope.
g 42 www.HUCKmagazine.com
Standing on the apex of stardom, Terje Haakonsen rejected the Olympics and launched his very own contest. Now snowboardingâ€™s renegade superstar is back with a new film â€“ and an arsenal of FRESH opinions to share with the world.
text Zoe Oksanen photography Jorn Tomter
Munich International Airport bustles with life as we make our way through the terminal with cameras in hand. But Munich, we have a problem. Terje, the star of this behind-the-scenes look at the Burton World Tour, is not in a good mood. He’s pulling faces – the ones you pull when you’re annoyed, when you just wish the world would disappear for a few minutes. Eventually, he decides he’s had enough – and tells me, in no uncertain terms, that he wants the film crew to “keep their cameras out of my face”. Had this been anybody else, I would have thrown my head back and laughed at the request. But instead, I walk straight up to the cameraman and ask that he avoid shooting Terje any time other than when he is aware and happy about it. Why? Because he’s Terje Haakonsen, that’s why. Fast-forward a few years and Terje (pronounced Teh-reeeh) remains one of the most iconic snowboarders of all time. History speaks for itself. At fifteen he was already good enough to place fifth in the World Championships. Two more years of experience down the line and he had flipped and spun his way to World Champion status, going on to win three US Opens and fourteen international contests in a row. The future of snowboarding had arrived. ▼
in a controversial anti-corporate coup, terje decided to skip the 1998 nagano olympics and launch his very own contest: the arctic challenge. the 2006 event was won by norwayâ€™s henning marthinsen, with haakonsen finishing runner-up.
terje is a true crossover man. besides riding on snow and jumping down stairs, he’s been a longtime surfer. “the way i like doing power turns in the critical point on the mountain is similar to surfing,” he says.
Bored of wiping out the competition in the halfpipe, Terje took on the big mountains with a skill and grace few could match, pushing the sport forward with unprecedented force. I could also mention the fact that he is six-time Mt Baker Banked Slalom Champion, can hit a quarter pipe like almost no other, has immortalised himself through the ever popular Haakonflip, and to my knowledge is the only person in the world to have ever surfed a wave (we’re talking water here) on a snowboard, but the point I am trying to make is that as far as snowboarding goes, Terje is the man. And the man they call the ‘Sprocking Cat’ has also never failed to surprise and entertain us by his actions: boycotting the Nagano Olympics, creating the Arctic Challenge, disappearing from the scene entirely, reappearing as prominent as ever before, and all the while remaining something of a mystery to us all. Terje is a curious mix of quiet and aloof with outspoken and sometimes downright cutting. You often see a glimmer of mischief in his eye. It is close to impossible to label his character, and you get a strong feeling that this is exactly how he likes it. That said, he disagrees when I suggest that it takes a long time to get to know him. “I don’t think so,” he says. “A couple of drinks, a game of chess should do the trick. My girl says I can be very sarcastic. I think I know that, but it’s meant to be funny. That said, I’m sure I can be too much sometimes.”
Terje’s decision to shun
the first ever Olympics to feature snowboarding in ‘98 – at a time when he would most likely have swept the gold – sparked a media frenzy around the world, and made people question the entire validity of snowboarding in the Games. He labeled the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ‘ski Nazis’, refused to take part in an event that was run by the ski federation and was hit with criticism by his fellow countrymen for being unpatriotic. So much has been written about his actions that it’s interesting to hear Terje’s own take on that time. “I know a lot of people say that I boycotted the Olympics, but I don’t think I did,” he says. “I was pretty quiet about it besides giving a lot of criticism about the IOC and the FIS in big sports mags in the US and Europe. A piece in Sports Illustrated and a Swedish TV show that I did six months before the Olympics said most of what I had on my mind, but I didn’t run around yelling and doing more press on it. That’s why I don’t feel like I boycotted them. It was more just not caring and not being a part of it.”
Alternatively, you could argue that he did care – about the direction of the sport, that is. His distaste for the increasingly corporate nature of snowboarding was twinned with his desire to keep snowboarding events credible and rider-driven. This led to the birth of the Arctic Challenge in ’99 – an event run by riders for riders. His motivation in setting it up? “Seeing way too many contests held in storms and shitty pipes. Seeing organisers running to the next event without knowing what happened at the last one.” Terje has an uncanny knack for fascinating people. The movies Subjekt Haakonsen and The Haakonsen Factor back in the early nineties marked the dawn of my personal snowboarding experience; First Descent and For Right or Wrong, which he has featured in over the last couple of years, are closer to its dusk. And yet we are all still equally fascinated by what the man does and says. Having been instrumental in helping set up TTR (Ticket To Ride) as an alternative to the contest circuit run by the FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski), how do you see it in terms of influence? There’s lots of good things going on, and TTR has been important in this process. What makes TTR so strong is that it consists of lots of events, people and brands working for the better good of snowboarding. An organisation based on a common idea is much stronger than a federation built on a method for qualifying for the Olympics. In the past, filming for a movie part was enough to make you a big snowboard star. Today it seems that they are a dime a dozen and riders need to do more than simply film a two-minute video part each year. Where do you see snowboard movies heading in the future? Not sure, maybe they will have to take acting classes [laughs]. You spoke out about the commercialisation of the sport during the Nagano Olympics. It now seems more widely accepted that it has gone mainstream and Burton even provided the uniforms for the US team at the 2006 Games. Do you still feel as strongly about it? No, I did not speak about commercialisation. I spoke about the fact that a ski federation took over the sport for only money interest, and about how the IOC operate. Yes, how weird is it that Danny Kass and Andy Finch – who are not sponsored by Burton – had to wear Burton clothing while competing there. You can’t pack your own bags! I think the Olympics are good for the sport in certain ways, but I could write a book about facts that seem very strange to me. You once won $100,000 for first place in a halfpipe contest. Those days of big money prizes have long gone. Do you think snowboarding will ever get back to the point where companies see it as big enough to put that kind of money in again? I wouldn’t say those days are long gone. I haven’t done the maths, but it might be that the prize money in snowboarding is higher now than in the nineties. If you look at TTR events, all six-star events have $100,000. Burton have their 100k for the overall winner of the Opens. Then you have the X Games, etc., etc. I think we will see more prize money in competitive snowboarding in the years to come. ▼
There was a period where Terje went AWOL. He took a backseat to devote time to the son he was bringing up on his own. He might not be the first pro rider to have a kid, but he is unique in that he took his son on the road with him throughout the season. Today, he is quite the family man – adding another son to the mix and a baby on the way. “The hard part is when you miss them on the road,” he says. “I’m not traveling like I used to. I can’t be more than three weeks away from them. The career is not first priority anymore.” At thirty-one, Terje can do things his own way. I have a list of questions as long as my arm that I would love to ask the man who changed the face of snowboarding. But knowing he is in the middle of touring for the premiere of For Right or Wrong, there’s only time for a final few. What keeps you motivated to carry on snowboarding as a career after so many years in the business? Lots of things – I’ve got many friends and it’s still fun to ride powder. I think it always will be. Which riders have had the biggest influence on you? Craig Kelly the most, because of his lifestyle and his motivation to go free riding.
a documentary on terje’s life is currently in production. more than a decade since his first title, the media’s voracious appetite for the haakon factor remains strong as ever.
Has your increasing skill in surfing over the years changed the way you snowboard? I think so, not the riding part but how to look at and read a mountain. For me, mountain riding can be about making a power turn in a critical part of the mountain and not always looking for spins off a huge cliff. If you could impart some wisdom to your children, what would it be? Be open about religions, the Dalai Lama… Have some good thoughts about that. Eat organic food, because it’s good for you and Mother Earth. As I sit here and reflect on the life of snowboarding’s true superstar, it all takes me back to the classic snowboard movie Scream of Consciousness from 1991, in which a young Terje is asked what he hopes to get out of riding. His reply: “A car.” Millions of dollars later, a life spent between homes in Oslo and Hawaii and a name that is synonymous with the very sport itself, man, did he ever get that ride
Check out www.burton.com to find out how to see Terje in action in For Right or Wrong. For more on the Ticket To Ride, go to www.ttrworldtour.com.
HUCK splits up hip-hopâ€™s most famous trio and gets them talking. Interviews Bruno Torturra Nogueira and Filipe Luna photography Maya Hayuk
We’re standing outside a nondescript six-storey building in New York’s TriBeCa district. The intercom suggests a busy life within: there’s a law firm, an insurance company, a developer and even a plumber. Moving up the list, two of the fifth-floor buzzers read ‘Oscilloscope Laboratories’. That, it turns out, is the unusual and multi-syllabic name for the Beastie Boys’ New York office. And we’re here to get them talking. But there’s a problem: it’s three to ten in the morning and nobody’s in. After ringing the buzzer for a short millennium we finally notice this dude in baggy jeans, oversized T-shirt and baseball cap crossing the street and making a beeline for the
door. His face is that of the average white man. His voice, however, is anything but common. Instantly recognisable, it is the signature tone behind planetary mega hit ‘Sabotage’. His name is Adam Horovitz, thirty-nine, aka Adrock. We make our way upstairs. Once inside, we pass a plastic basketball hoop, a lounge area cluttered with cups, dishes and piles of unopened fan letters and, finally, a studio. A peek inside reveals the usual array of sound tables, computers and a collection of CDs and vinyl covering every genre. This, it appears, is where the magic happens. And despite the relatively new digs, for two decades the trio has been making that magic the very same way: researching, composing, rehearsing, recording and editing music on their own terms and on their own turf. Eventually we settle for the cluttered lounge room. We’re barely ready – pens and pads still firmly in the bag – when Adrock looks up and fires: “So, what do you guys wanna know?” ▼
my name is HUCK: We split you guys up to try and discuss a few things you don’t normally talk about in interviews... ADROCK: Oh, like Mike’s porn career? Yeah, that too. AD: You should ask him about it. It’s like soft porn, not real hardcore porn. Like an erotic thriller? AD: Yeah, something like that… [laughs]. We haven’t heard much about your childhood. What are your first memories? AD: My childhood was right here in this neighbourhood. I grew up ten blocks up the street from here. Did your family have money? AD: Yeah, we had some money. I had an interesting time growing up. My parents were divorced. My dad lived just over there and my mum lived there. Your family is Jewish. Did religion play a role as you were growing up? AD: No, actually I didn’t have a religious upbringing. I don’t think any of us did. Like, my dad’s parents were Jewish. So I’ve been to a synagogue once, for a funeral ten years ago. I went to junior high in a Catholic school. I don’t know why. So I went to church, like, four days a week.
ad rock What did you think of that? AD: We went first thing in the morning, it was very early so... My mum used to let me stay up very late at night, so I’d be very sleepy in the morning. Were you a good student? AD: Oh yeah. I was on my way to going to Harvard or Yale [laughs]. I was not a good student. I had other plans. I definitely knew when I was little that I wanted to do something like this. Like making music? AD: No, just basically trying to get as much attention as I could from as many people. When we started playing I was, like, fourteen. So I guess that’s pretty young. But I never expected to be able to, like... Well, I never expected anything. I didn’t expect to be twenty-five years old, so... [laughs]. When did your interest in music kick in? Do you have a first musical memory? AD: My brother got me into everything when we were growing up. We used to go to a record store called Crazy Eddie’s and we’d get our money, like fifty cents, or whatever it was at the time, and buy 45s. ▼
When did you realise you were famous? AD: I don’t know. It’s weird because there’s something about New York. I walk around the streets and it’s not like anybody stops me and goes. ‘Hey, you’re that guy from..’ Do you like being famous? AD: Oh, fuck yeah! Of course. Do you think it’s easier to be famous in New York City? AD: I don’t know. Some people I know, if they walk around the streets anywhere in the world, people will stop them. And anywhere I go nobody ever notices. I walk around at our own concerts and people don’t notice [laughs]. Really? AD: I’m telling you, I’m not lying. We all look the same, you guys could be up there on stage also. We look the same. Do you wish you were recognised? AD: No, I’m pretty happy right now as it is.
So I remember me and my brother, at seven or eight years old, going to the store and buying Jackson 5 or Kiss or whoever was big at the time. And I can remember being with my dad in the car, and he went to the store to do something and came back out, and I’ll never forget this, he came back with the Rolling Stones. For no reason, I have no idea why. I never heard my dad ever listening to the Rolling Stones. It was a used record and he gave it to me. And how did you get to know the other Beastie Boys? AD: We used to all go to this record store called the Ratcage. I’d see them there and we’d also meet in punk shows around town. I grew up with my friend Jill Cunniff, who was in Luscious Jackson, and she was friends with Adam and Mike. They knew each other before I knew them. How did the band start? AD: They were already a band. I had my own band, it was called The Young and the Useless. It was me and three other friends. Basically, if you went to the Ratcage, if you were a teenager on the scene at that time, you were in a band. We were all in a band, it was just something that you did. What year was that? AD: It was around 1980, ’81. When did you guys realise that the whole thing was getting serious? I mean, having a band and all. AD: Probably around the time we were in South America last. Like, 1994, something like that. Really? Because in 1986 you sold like a million copies... AD: Yeah, but that’s not real. Imagine if that happened to you right now, how long is that gonna last? Know what I mean? It was this crazy thing, so you go like, ‘Wow, that was crazy.’
Once you said that the first phase of the band... AD: [Interrupting] Oh wait, sorry. I can also... I walk around like this [lowers the baseball cap on his head], no one notices, but when I go like this [lifts the cap up on his head] it’s instantly different. And I don’t know why. If I walk around all day like this [cap lowered down] nothing happens, but if I take my baseball cap and walk around like that [lifting it up]... Oh, Ad-Rock! AD: No, Mike D [laughs]. Always. Mike D! Do you sign ‘Mike D’ when you write an autograph? AD: [Laughs] Yeah, yeah. Was it hard to be successful at such a young age? Was it a bad thing? AD: No, it was awesome. I mean, do you think it was too early to become that famous, at just eighteen? AD: Everybody is different. I guess, for a while there, I took it too seriously and thought that I was something more. Ultimately no, for me, at least. If you can make money and don’t have to work, what’s the problem? There’s this whole thing about basketball players coming straight from high school and they want to stop that, you know? If that’s what you do, that’s what you wanna do and that’s gonna help you pay the rent and help your family to have money, what’s the problem? But that’s just me. But did you think you were mature enough? AD: No, of course not. No one is mature enough. Even if you’re sixty you’re not mature enough to have people look at you and think that you’re more important than them and all that stuff. There’s no right time for that to happen.
Is it easier to handle it now? AD: I guess because it has been going on for a long time. But if it happened all of a sudden right now, I’d be an asshole. I’d be the worst person [laughs]. You never know. Do you think you were an asshole back then? AD: Yeah, definitely. There were times, I’m sure. Did you enjoy breaking things? AD: Yeah, all of that stuff. ‘I can do whatever I wanna do. I’m famous, I’m gonna break this, I’m gonna smash this up.’ But you never think about the person that has to clean up after. And when did you stop breaking stuff? AD: I mean, there are certain things that are okay to break sometimes… A camera, maybe a microphone? AD: Yeah, when it calls for it, it calls for it. I guess around that time, ’87, we started to... We were teenagers, and people say you’re important and you start to think you really are. Was that a catalyst for your first experience with drugs or had it happened before? AD: Oh, yeah, it happened before. Growing up in New York... You know, kids do drugs... I just happened to be able to have money for it when we started to make records. Did you ever have a problem with drugs? AD: No, not really. I managed to keep it under control. Mostly ’cause I had a different perspective on it. My mum died when I was a teenager from alcoholism. So I can tell sometimes when I’m taking it a little too far, know what I mean? And my brother will definitely let me know, too. So I’m lucky to have my family. Do you still use? AD: Yeah, I smoke a ‘J’ now and again. But no, I don’t mess with narcotics or anything like that. I’ve dabbled, I’ve experimented. But at this point, no. I have no use for anything like that; I have no interest in doing coke. God, that’s just… I’d be embarrassed for myself, I’d be ugly on cocaine. I’ve seen myself and it was not pretty. How do you see music these days? Is there anything good out there? AD: Somebody somewhere is doing something interesting – I just haven’t heard it. But maybe that’s good, maybe I shouldn’t hear it. I’ll be forty soon. Do you like 50 Cent? AD: Oh, yeah. Why not? I don’t own any of his records, you don’t need to, you can hear him on the radio all day. Eminem, I don’t own any of his records, you can hear him all day, and he’s great. You don’t mind if he’s singing about sexist stuff and...
AD: [Interrupting] I’ll take you to the candy shop? Yeah. AD: Well, what are you gonna do? That’s what he’s into. If rappers are still talking about their cars fifteen years after, no one gives a shit about you and your cars. But when you got a nice car and it’s all happening, you’re excited about it. If 50 Cent in ten years time is still talking about going to clubs and drinking champagne, his friends need to do an intervention and say: ‘Stop drinking the champagne.’ But, you know, if he’s feeling himself, that’s great, why not? Rap music is helping a lot of people. This tattoo on your arm is New York, right? AD: Yeah, right. Did you have it done after 9/11? AD: Yep. Has the city become more ‘American’ since 9/11? AD: Yes. Nobody had American flags, nobody supported the troops, nobody gave a shit about any of that. And now it’s the most important thing to everybody. If that’s how you feel, that’s how you feel. I don’t feel that way necessarily. I mean, I love America, I live here, I love so many things about America. But I’m not shocked about what happened. Am I pissed? Of course I’m pissed off. Two thousand people died, how could you not be? But I feel just as sad for families that are dying in Iraq right now as I feel for people that have died in my neighbourhood. Maybe that’s fucked up, maybe that’s un-American, people may be pissed. Anytime people lose their life for somebody else’s politics that’s fucked up. Have you been involved in politics since then? AD: On the last election and this election, I went on MTV, by myself, and said: ‘Please don’t vote for this man. He will not help you, he’s not your friend. Don’t trust him.’ I felt I used my ‘celebrity’ in a way to get people’s attention, MTV, millions of people... When you travel to other countries, do you feel that the perception towards Americans has changed? AD: People loved America for about a month. From September 2001 until about November 1, 2001, people loved us. That stopped. People still feel the same way they used to feel about America, I don’t think that’s much different. It’s not like, after Afghanistan or Iraq, what we were doing there was some new thing, like we’ve never invaded other countries for some other bogus reason. Are you recording a new album now? AD: No. But we are recording. That’s political record company stuff that you don’t need to know about [laughs]. Yeah, we’re writing, we’re in the writing stage. Writing new material. Awesome, great music [laughs]. Do you ever think of retiring? AD: I don’t really work anyway, so why retire [laughs]? Or at least stop being in a band? AD: Never. Never, ever. What would you be doing right now if the whole music thing hadn’t happened? Or if you’d stopped being in a band? AD: I don’t really know how to do anything else, so I don’t know. I mean, I can wash dishes, I’ve washed dishes before [laughs]. I could probably sell food, I can run errands. You know, I was a bike messenger for a day and I quit after about an hour. It was pouring rain, it was like eight in the morning and I swear I almost started to cry, it was awful. I was a foot messenger too, after the bike messenging thing. I fell asleep on the train and ended up in, like, Coney Island. I’m better at this, I think.
mike d my name is HUCK: How long have you been surfing? MD: Not even two years. How did you get started? MD: I started with a friend of mine. My oldest son, he’s really into surfing. So I figured I had to get into it if I was to have a couple years being better than him at it. In a couple years he’s gonna be way better than me. I only have a couple years of superiority. You’re, like, this cool dad right now. MD: [Laughs] Exactly. I better take advantage of that now. So we were watching interviews of you guys and... MD: [Interrupts] Wait, I’m sorry, can I interrupt? I have to ask a question, I know it’s a little different format, but I have a question.
No, we love it. But we wanted to separate you guys to try to show the individuals behind the band. When you guys are together you suddenly become a band, you stop being Adam, Mike and Adam. MD: Yeah, yeah, that’s true. But what’s good is that when we get together you get to see the fighting. Some good, honest fighting, you know? Which you don’t get one on one. Do you fight a lot? MD: Constantly. But it’s good, that’s what keeps us happy.
Yeah, sure, go ahead. MD: How come you guys didn’t want to interview all three of us?
But it was good that you brought this up. It was an issue we were curious about, because you seem to always make fun of the press. MD: Listen, man, the press is making fun of us. We’re just trying to keep it even. That’s all.
Yeah, it has a bit to do with what I was about to ask you. MD: You were scared? You were scared of the band.
What do you think of the press? MD: Like, in terms of us or in general?
Yeah, a little bit. MD: You met us, there’s nothing to be afraid of. [laughs].
In general. MD: I don’t know. It’s interesting because, like the airport thing over here when they got all scared about what almost happened in London [the terrorist threat] and all. They were all like: ‘Oh, get to the airport three hours in advance and do this and that.’ Well, I got to ▼
It’s not like we were afraid, but we saw some videos and you always make fun of the journalist. It’s very funny to watch. MD: Oh, it’s fun, but you don’t like it.
the airport in advance, and it was no big deal, no different than it is every time. It seems that the gap between what’s in the media and the actual experience, what the actual reality is, is bigger than ever right now.
MD: We always thought about music that way. We wanna have people involved. Except if they suck, then you have to keep them out [laughs].
What about the music press? Do you get along with them? MD: It’s a sexy genre. I don’t know, I guess sometimes they like us and sometimes they hate us.
You kind of democratise your work that way... MD: Supposedly. It’s interesting because I was talking to a friend that had just come back from China about their economy and how big Shanghai is. And then I was like, ‘It’s interesting, sounds pretty cool, but what you’ve got is basically capitalism, so isn’t it weird that you also have no democracy?’ And he turned to me and said: ‘Are you crazy? How is that any different from what we have here in the US?’ And I was thinking that it’s basically true. Here we have capitalism, so we have freedom in this way. But we don’t really have a representative government, it doesn’t represent the people here. It represents the interests of the biggest corporations and the wealthiest people, but it doesn’t represent what the people think. So it’s kind of basically the same thing we have here. It’s funny because we’re given this illusion that China is a tyranny or it’s different.
You also had a magazine for a while, Grand Royal, and also the label. What happened to them? MD: Both were just fun things that we wanted to do. [With the label], we managed to put music out made by friends or by people that had inspired us, stuff that we thought was good and wanted to get out there. And then, with the magazine, that kind of started because we wanted to do a fan newsletter kind of thing, but then we thought. ‘These things are so cheesy...’ We would feel stupid being like: ‘Dear fan...’ So we decided to just do a magazine that’s about things that we are into. And that ended up being a bigger deal than we thought it would be, taking up a lot more time. Which is cool because I’m happy about the way it came out, but it was a lot more work and a lot more money to make it. In the end, with the label, we just wanted to do it for the fun, but it became a business. In hindsight, the minute it became more like a business, we should’ve said: ‘You know what? We don’t wanna do that anymore.’ And then you did Oscilloscope Laboratories. MD: Yeah, this was really to record the last record. Everything else started to come after that. Was it a way to try to continue with that feeling of putting out things you like? MD: I guess. I mean, we were probably worried about keeping the habit of working on our own. We’ve been doing that with our records for a long time, but also with our videos and our album covers. We kind of just do it all and hand it to the record company, and it’s been that way for a long time. For a while, all that stuff was set up in LA. We had our studio there, G-Son, where we did Check Your Head and Ill Communication. And then, when we came back here, we needed some place to kind of set up shop. I don’t know, maybe some bands are happy, they just make the music and the record company is like, ‘Why don’t we try to bring this person to do the record cover? Or this person to do the video?’ For us, that’s stuff that we like doing. You’ve always talked about making a movie and now you’ve finally made one. What was it like to make Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!? MD: The filming actually did not take very long. Editing took a very long time. That took, like, a year. It’s sixty cameras or something times two hours of footage, so... That gives you a lot of options. Lots of editing time. How did you select the people who filmed it? MD: We put a message on the message board saying that the concert was sold out and asking people that already had tickets if they wanted to film the show to e-mail us telling where their seats were. So our producers went through all those e-mails to see where people were sitting. They did a seating chart to make sure we got it covered from all angles. Did any of the cameras get stolen? MD: No! I thought they would. I figured that two or three people would take their camera and be like, ‘Okay, cool. I’ve got a video of the show, I’m gonna go home and show my friends.’ But everybody returned their cameras. I was a little bit surprised. I thought a couple of people would keep theirs. You guys seem to enjoy getting the fans involved in what you do. Is this part of a creative process or is it a political statement?
Do you think you can do something to help change things? MD: We do what we can do and hope that everybody else does too. I think that part of the problem, when we were talking earlier about media, is that if you ask people if they are happy about the government or if they feel that the government represents them, by and large people are gonna say no. They feel so disconnected from the process that they don’t feel that there are any means for them to be involved to actually make a difference. What’s your take on the current state of pop and street culture? A lot of it seems intimately tied to consumerism, brands, clothing, etc.? MD: Well, I remember when we were in LA, doing Check Your Head and Ill Communication, people we knew that started clothing lines were the same type of people that would start a record label. But instead of doing a record label they decided to make T-shirts. It’s kind of the same thing, something completely independent. Something they wanted to do without thinking about selling in Macy’s. They just made it and then their friends started wearing, and then other people saw it and started wearing, too. When those clothing lines started it was the same as independent hip-hop or punk rock labels when they started. Gradually, just like in music, it became a bigger business. Def Jam is a huge record label, and P. Diddy sells a lot of socks and underwear. Isn’t it strange for you, though? I mean, when you started, hip-hop was kind of a countercultural thing. MD: Yeah, I don’t know... I figure the people who are starting things now have the same feeling as before, I don’t think it puts an end to that. But it’s strange, if you’d asked me fifteen years ago if all these independent hip-hop companies would be sold and distributed all
around the world, I don’t think I would have seen it going there. I would not have foreseen Diddy making more money out of underwear than he does out of records. Does he? MD: [Laughs] I don’t know, that’s my guess! I’m a shareholder, I have to look at my portfolio [laughs]. But I’m thinking that the underwear thing is big right now for Diddy. Colognes, underwear, the whole genre. You have kids, right? MD: Yeah, two. Do they listen to the Beastie Boys? MD: They like ‘Brass Monkey’. That’s their favourite. Do they go to concerts? MD: Yeah, but usually they fall asleep.
doing here. We are just coming here having fun playing. We’re really at the beginning of it, that’s why it’s so much fun. Will it be much different this time? MD: It’s pretty different, but that’s always how we feel when we start to make records. We’re trying to do this or trying to do that. It’s so early on we don’t have to worry about when it’s gonna come out or when we’re going on tour or whatever. It’s just doing this every day. Has the process changed? MD: Not necessarily. The ideas and how we decide to do it changes, the technology changes, but the heart of it is just the three of us coming together and deciding what we’re gonna do. Do you write the songs together? MD: Mostly, yeah. Sometimes one of us comes up with an idea and shows the others, but it’s a pretty collaborative thing.
How come? MD: We pretty much just put them to sleep. But mostly it’s because we get on late. But if they were watching Michael Jordan or Allen Iverson play, or Kelly Slater surfing, would they fall asleep? No. But they go see us and bam, they fall asleep. We finish the show thinking that we’ve played a pretty good show and then the kids are sleeping. ‘Okay, we got a little more work to do.’ Do you like being famous? Do you feel famous? MD: Not really. I think we are really lucky being able to come here and make music and be left alone. We are not big celebrities. We are not people that other people recognise so easily. But you are a huge international band. MD: We’re a big band, but we are not celebrities, know what I’m saying? I go to the park with my kids, do normal things, so I don’t feel like I’ve missed out or compromised to have that. Do you still do yoga? MD: Yeah. How did you get into it? MD: I think maybe my wife was my first teacher. Sometimes people get too much into talking about stuff. Just do what you’re gonna do, man. To me, when I watch people who are surfing and really living their life, that’s kind of a form of yoga to them, too. Because when they are in the ocean, they immediately know where they are. You have to be so hyper aware of so many conditions beyond your control that are happening around you. To me that’s one of the most amazing things about it. You have no choice, if you’re not aware of things, that’s when things go wrong. You’re not in control of that. You are recording your new album now, right? MD: It’s a little top secret, but yeah, that’s what we are
hello my name is HUCK: You always said that you wanted to make a movie with the band. How did the idea for Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! come about? MCA: It was a pretty simple thing. I had seen something online. Someone had filmed part of the show on their camera and it just looked cool. It was handheld, something about the way 60 www.HUCKmagazine.com
that it was shot, you really got the feeling of being at the concert. It seemed like a pretty interesting idea of how to document a concert. But when you wanted to make a movie was it always about a concert? MCA: No, I was really more interested in working on narrative films. Like scriptbased stuff. Have you written a script? MCA: Yeah, there’s a script I wrote with a friend of mine. We’re currently looking for funding. It’s about graffiti writers. It takes place in 1981, in New York. It’s kind of focusing on a certain period of time in New York when the transit authority was trying to stop the graffiti writers from writing on the trains. It’s about that time and that world. When we came here we were a little worried. We saw some videos of you talking to the press and you always make fun of them. MCA: Yeah, you were very clever to split us up [laughs]. ▼
Do you not like the media? MCA: Yeah, sometimes people ask questions that I just... I don’t know, sometimes somebody’s asking: ‘Who’s your favorite fashion designer?’ I mean, what the hell are you talking about [laughs]? Tell us about the album you’re working on right now? Is it going to be very different from the last one? MCA: I think it will be. The last album we did was basically all sampling, and programming drum machines, and rhyming. So far all the stuff we’ve done has been playing instruments. I’m sure it will be different from the last one. How come you guys have never done a love song? MCA: You’ve never heard of a song called ‘Boomin’ Granny’? There’s ‘Netty’s Girl’, too. And there’s that other one, what’s it called... oh, it’s ‘Some Dumb Cop Gave Me 2 Tickets Already’. Is that a love song? MCA: [Laughs] There you go. We got three love songs [laughs]! I don’t know, I guess some people are better at it. Do you still snowboard? MCA: Not too much. In the past ten years I’ve been snowboarding ten times or so, just every now and then. I still skateboard around the city, but only for transportation. I don’t do ramps anymore. For a while I was obsessed with snowboarding. When the snow was falling somewhere else, I’d fly there, you know? I kind of have tunnel vision about different things. I kind of have blinders. I focus on a few things at a time. For a while I really focused on that. But where did this obsession come from? MCA: It’s hard to explain. It was a combination of being out in nature, isolated, in a beautiful place with an adrenalin rush. And there was something interesting about the learning curve, pushing yourself. One day you are not able to do something and then you are able to do it the next day, you’re challenging yourself. There’s definitely something addictive about it. It’s probably similar to surfing. Is it different from the adrenalin rush that you get when you’re on stage performing? MCA: Yeah, I think so. Maybe there’s some similarities, but it’s different. You’re not risking your life; if anything you’re risking being embarrassed when you’re on stage. With snowboarding you’re risking physical damage. Fear makes a difference, actually. On that note, do you fear death? MCA: I don’t really fear death as much as I probably should. I feel more scared about getting hurt than getting killed. You know you’re gonna die at some point, right? I really would rather not die of old age. Most people are aware that you’re a Buddhist. How did you get into it? MCA: I started reading some books around 1988, and then I started travelling in that part of the world. I went trekking in Nepal in 1992. And when I was there I met some Tibetan refugees that were on their way to India to meet the Dalai Lama. Meeting them was just so interesting. ‘Why would you guys travel all this way to see the Dalai Lama?’ So I think I got interested because of their interest. When did you realise you were actually a Buddhist? MCA: I took some vows and really started around 1996. Did you have any kind of revelation or epiphany? MCA: Not exactly. I think being a Buddhist means that you completely believe in
those principles of reincarnation, karma and those things. But you’re gonna focus on the Buddha and the Buddhist community. Do you think you have good karma? MCA: I think it’s mixed. From a Buddhist perspective, I’ve been building bad karma and negative karma for, like, infinite time. If I had no bad karma I’d be an enlightened being, I’d be a Buddha, you know? I wouldn’t be here. If you wanna look from that perspective I think I have infinite shit to work out. Did you have any other spiritual beliefs before the Buddhism thing? MCA: Not really. My mum was raised a Jew, and my father was raised a Catholic. Neither of them were really interested in religion. That’s probably part of why they married each other. I think that they decided early on that they weren’t going to push any religion on me. Were you more or less happy before becoming a Buddhist? MCA: I think that’s a good question. Because I never felt like I was completely depressed and there was some void in my life, like a lot of people say, you know? I think that there are some principles in Buddhism that I’ve been able to apply to my life, like a way of looking at things that can be useful sometimes. I think that’s the most important thing. Like what principles, for example? MCA: Well, if something bad happens to you, from a religious perspective people would say, ‘Oh, that’s God’s will, God did this to me.’ But from a nonreligious perspective, you might think of it like: ‘Oh, why is everything going so bad with me?’ From a Buddhist perspective, if you look more in terms of karma you would be like, ‘Well, what have I done in the past that’s somehow causing it and how can I remedy it?’ So you don’t believe in luck? MCA: Not really. So, from a non-Buddhist perspective, you don’t feel like a lucky guy? MCA: I don’t know. I guess so, in a sense. I know a lot of musicians and a lot of bands that have worked really hard and things haven’t come together for them. It is amazing that our band has been so... lucky or whatever you wanna call it. You once said in an interview that happiness was more about helping people than buying and having stuff. MCA: I wanted to see if anyone would believe that [laughs].
I’m saying that because the kind of culture that you guys represent, hip-hop and street culture, besides the music, is a lot about brands, consuming, cool clothing... MCA: It’s not like we’re wearing Gucci or Versace, know what I mean? When we got into Puma and adidas, people had basically forgotten about those brands. You couldn’t get those cool-looking suede kind of sneakers. We’d go to thrift stores that had back stock and had a couple of pairs of those sneakers in stock. Some of those things we liked was like finding something weird, our little thing. Where were you on 9/11? MCA: I got up early that morning and I was playing with my daughter on the couch and then I heard an explosion outside. It was the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. But I thought it was a car backfiring or something like that. And then a little while later I heard another sound like an explosion and a bunch of people screaming: ‘Ohhh!’ I was like: ‘What the hell?’ There was some guy fixing our roof and he came downstairs and said: ‘Oh my God, it’s terrible, the World Trade Center is burning.’ So I went up on the roof and looked and I could see the fire and my neighbour said to me: ‘Oh, it’s really weird, one building was on fire and the fire jumped to the other building.’ That was not possible, those things were like a block away from each other. I was watching and then my wife came upstairs and said that another airplane had just hit the Pentagon. I remember just getting a chill down my spine, you sort of realise there’s something crazy going on, you know? And then the first one collapsed – I saw it going down. It was definitely a crazy feeling. I remember seeing the dust coming towards our house, this huge cloud. We could see on TV all the people covered in ashes and dust, so we decided to go up to my wife’s mother’s house. Our daughter was two years old or something like that, we didn’t want the dust to come to our house while she was there. Do you still think New York’s a good place to raise your kids? MCA: Yeah, I think so. Hopefully nothing crazy will happen. But it’s nice to have a place you can go to spend time in the country, too. It’s nice to be able to be around trees and beaches. Did your life change a lot when you became a dad? MCA: Yeah, definitely. It’s like a job, you’re responsible for somebody else. I love hanging out with her, either teaching her stuff, going bike riding or listening to what she has to say – she’s really funny. I don’t know if I can put my finger on exactly how it changed.
How old is she? MCA: She’s gonna be eight in a month and a half. Does she like the Beastie Boys? MCA: Yeah, I think so. She doesn’t listen to it much, like once in a while. More goofing on me. We were in the car and ‘Brass Monkey’ came on the radio and I went to change it and she was like: ‘No, leave it!’ And she kept singing, looking at me, just goofing around. That’s funny because Mike said that his sons also like ‘Brass Monkey’. MCA: Really? That’s funny. Are you still optimistic about the world? MCA: I guess so. I think I am a bit of an optimist. The world is in such a crazy, terrible state, but I do have some optimism and imagine it turning around. I do imagine it being more positive in the future. Of course it’s possible that it becomes a lot worse, too. It could be crazier, a nuclear bomb could go off tomorrow, and everybody will talk about how good it was a couple years ago. We might miss 2006. But change comes slowly. If you look at the way things were in the 1500s and compare it to the way things are now, slowly it’s getting better. I hope my kids live in a better world.
Are you a happy man? MCA: I think so. I don’t know why. The main things in life – like work, family, health, food – seem to be going well. So I feel very happy. Things could be worse, for sure Big thanks to the print legends at Trip. www.trip.com.br
text Alex Wade Illustration Paul Willoughby
Mark Occhilupo, former world champion and comeback king, has a few of the standard accoutrements to be expected of a man of his years. He is married, to Mae, who is pregnant for the second time. The couple’s first child is a boy, Jay. And as with many fathers whose work takes them away from home, Occhilupo’s eyes glaze over wistfully when talk turns to his family. But here is where points of commonality between Occy and mere mortals end. For unlike the rest of us, Occhilupo, at forty, is still one of the best competitive surfers in the world. Occy’s saga of success, burn-out and redemption is well documented. The Sydney-born goofy-footer started setting the World Championship Tour ablaze at the tender age of seventeen. In the blink of a trademark snap, Occy was dominating the top five and, alongside Tom Curren, rose to iconic status way before he could handle it. The pressure finally got to him, and by the late eighties what the surfing world knew of Occy was merely a memory. “I guess I was missing home after so many years on the Tour,” says Occy, as we chat in the village square at Mundaka amid the bustle of this year’s Billabong Pro. “I’d gone straight from school into pro surfing, and it took its toll.” Occy sure did pay his dues – he stopped surfing, his weight ballooned, and he slumped into serious depression. To this day, no one has ever made a more astonishing comeback. The refocused Occy of the late nineties shed the pounds to finish runner-up to Kelly Slater in 1997 before bagging the title in 1999. Incidentally, it was on this very beach that the apogee of his amazing comeback took place seven years ago. Then, in the quarter-finals, Occy slotted into a tube that was as long and hollow as anything that the Basque Country’s premier wave has ever delivered. Cue a perfect 10 – and a ride that is still talked about in awe. Occhilupo went on to win Billabong’s inaugural Mundaka Pro, and with it, the world title at the age of thirty-three. This year Occy returned to Mundaka, whose wave vanished last season thanks to disruption of the sandbanks caused by dredging of the rivermouth. “It’s a great wave, one of my favourites,” he says. “I love the atmosphere of the place and it’s great to see the wave working again.” But although Occy as much as anyone deserved a slice of fortune from Mundaka’s fabled lefts, it wasn’t to be. After a flat couple of days, he exited in round two to fellow Australian Toby Martin. Towards the end of our chat, Occy and I talked of maybe playing some poker in the evening, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t happen. This was pre-round two, and I reckoned he’d want to focus on surfing rather than cards. After all, this is the man who says, with a chuckle: “I’ll keep going next season, for sure – I’ve got a few years left yet.” And so it proved. Occy never showed for a game of poker, but he did say that one of the hardest things about the Tour remains being away from the family. And it struck me that, for this likeable and ever more legendary surfer, being KO’d in round two at least put a different spin on the early flight home www.billabongpro.com
text and photography Al Mackinnon
While the majority of the surfing world are chasing the endless summer, I suppose you could say I’m in search of the endless winter – not the post-apocalyptic type, but one filled with capricious weather and heavy waves with few takers.
I love the solitude of winter. The turning of the leaves and those first fleeting frosts beckon frigid corduroy swell that attracts a different kind of surfer.
The weather changes fast on these islands. The North Atlantic and North Sea are cold and volatile, especially if youâ€™re swimming around in January trying to snatch a few pictures.
Itâ€™s familiar and ethereal all at once. The warm characters, the mystique of the landscape and the dark brooding skies, coupled with occasional world-class surf, are like a beautiful siren song as the nights draw in.â€Ż
London-based Al Mackinnon is a man on a mission. Inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson, he seeks to capture what the legendary lensman called the ‘decisive moment’. To see more of Al’s work, check out www.almackinnon.com and www.darkwaterphoto.com
kateboarding in Pools in South Africa A lesser-known post-apartheid resurrection.
text Miles Masterson photography barry tuck
For some people, the title of this story might be an anomaly. But it is true: the original art of deep-transition skating has a small but dedicated following in this country.
Mental sessions go down regularly, and like any place where urethane meets cement, the traditions of Dogtown pervade in SA. Find it. Drain it. Skate it. Get bust and chased away, or have a killer session and escape unhindered. But despite the obvious connections with skateâ€™s Southern Californian roots, the road to a thriving skate scene in South Africa has been anything but smooth. In this peculiar nation, where First and Third World both merge and collide, even skateboarding has fallen victim to history. While skateboarding took off in South Africa at roughly the same time the Z-Boys were ripping up their pools, it slowly fell behind and almost disappeared completely thanks to politics. â–ź
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In the early seventies a handful of South Africans such as Gary Stevens and Gary Smith were fully sponsored by the likes of Sims and Pepsi, and for a while travelled the country doing demos on the insanely over-vert half pipes of the day. When not pioneering backyard pools, these early pros were riding the purpose-built skatepark walls at Honeydew or Cresta in Johannesburg. Indeed, the fate of Cresta is a metaphor for the stunted growth of skating in SA. All but a few of its transitions were covered in fibreglass a few years later to make a water
slide funpark. Not long after that, attention was further diverted, as the early eighties craze of BMX racing saturated the attention of the countryâ€™s kids. Thus, skateboardingâ€™s fluctuations in popularity, especially in the US, were total swings of the pendulum here. The sport itself, let alone pool riding, all but vanished a few times. In the lean years, it remained the preserve of literally a handful of skaters. This might seem strange, but the fact that there was no Internet and our rulers were a bunch of fascist freaks explains a lot. Thanks to them, in the eighties we
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became increasingly isolated from the world. Equipment was hard to come by, making your own board was far from uncommon and magazines and videos were nearly impossible to find. So, understandably, things moved slowly. Like every good subculture, skating spread from the grassroots up. I remember first stealing runs from an older, Dogtownesque local surf/skate crew, carving a backyard pool near the beach, barefoot, on a plastic board. It was somewhere around ’83, and I can still feel the stoke of getting up to the light, and the pain of the requisite roasties. All along the coast, in Cape Town and Durban, scenes like this were prospering. But the real spiritual homes of South African pool/bowl skateboarding (and, de facto, SA skateboarding in general) were two concrete surfaces in landlocked Johannesburg. One was the now-abandoned water park Cresta, stripped of the fibreglass layers by a new generation to reveal the perfect concrete waves beneath. The other was a derelict pool called the Banana Bowl. Without the ocean and beach to distract them, Jo’burg skaters in the early eighties were altogether a more dedicated bunch than their cousins on the coast. They were a tight crew, who progressed the sport rapidly in these two bowled nirvanas, before spreading the gospel far and wide.
Truth be told, pool sessions in apartheid South Africa hardly ever resulted in hardcore busts from trigger-happy cops – contrary to what you might think given the country’s historical predilection for violence. The authorities probably had their hands full with enforcing their racist nation, but this was also part of the problem. We were literally living in a State of Emergency, with restrictions including curfews and heavy police presence in some of the sketchier areas, which invariably contained insane pools or bowls. Any busts that did happen usually only resulted in a bit of rough handling and a few hours in jail. But every now and then, a story would spread of a caning from the odd aggressive, conservative cop. I once got beaten up by one, who believed skateboarding was for Satanists. These tales kept you on your toes when you saw a police van, but for the most part it was pretty mellow. Arguably, the biggest contributor to the unique decline of skateboarding in South Africa was national service. Conscription, especially between 1988 and 1991, effectively neutered the scene, as many skaters were forced to swap their boards for rifles. Along with the international metamorphosis from vert to street, this helped to almost eliminate the sport in the country yet again. ▼
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It wasn’t really until 2000 that skating concrete curves made a return to the national psyche. Through the nineties, the global resurgence of street and vert fostered a small yet robust South African skateboarding industry. It was in Durban that a Tom Lochtefeld Wave House featuring a standing wave was built. This included the Tony Hawk-designed skatepark, the largest in Africa, which boasted a sick snake run and a kidney pool, as well as a vert ramp and a sweet double mini ramp. Before long, the lost generation of oldschoolers – some of whom had kept the flame burning, while others had to dust off their
decks – came here to resurrect their pool and bowl skills without having to climb a fence. This in turn helped show a handful of local park rats (later inspired by the retro trendmaking film Dogtown and Z-Boys) how to carve these fine cement bowls properly, and to start looking for backyard pools. These days, South Africa boasts a handful of purpose-built bowls, and backyard pools are popping up all the time. Although the risk of a bust is the same as it ever was – along with the odd gun being pulled on backyard raiders by rented security – the cops are now too busy fighting South Africa’s crazy crime problems to worry about pool skaters. But don’t let the stats put you off
sampling SA’s fine curves for yourself. After all, skate a pool in a dodgy area of LA or Sydney and you probably run the same risk of getting jacked. Like elsewhere in the world, it seems the concrete rush and addiction of riding bowls – and the crack of a grind on a virgin coping tile – are universal and timeless. And for a small but ever increasing minority, the original skateboarding art will never fade away, even in darkest Africa
For more info, check out: www.boogaloos.com www.wavehouse.co.za www.vert.co.za www.indigoskatecamp.co.za
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Babel Director Alejandro González Iñárritu and star Gael García Bernal on politics, success and American guilt in the age of terror.
text Matt Bochenski photography Sam Christmas
HUCK: Some of the criticisms of Babel, particularly in America, have been that it’s too brutal – too fatalistic. What do you make of that?
Was there an irony in America’s reaction to Babel? And do you think it’s taken an outsider to see that 9/11 was part of a much wider problem?
Iñárritu: Any time you make a film there are people that will like it, people that will hate it and people that don’t give a damn. I don’t think that Babel is trying to explain, trying to preach, trying to make propaganda. I think it goes beyond that.
Iñárritu: Some American people react the way George Bush reacts, which is to say, ‘If you are not with me, you’re against me.’ They feel that anything that discusses or points out certain things that they don’t like must be an attack. That’s what I call guilt. It’s an overreactive response.
I’m talking about the human condition in different cultures, different religions and different countries, and I’m saying that what happens between nations and cultures is exactly what happens between individuals. Nobody is right or wrong, bad or good; we are just trapped in this fucking world where nobody is able to listen. Is this microcosmic world a reflection of what is going on around us? Yes. Is that uncomfortable for America? Yes. Can they presume that this is an attack against Westerners or the United States? Yes. Was that the intention of the work? No. Bernal: There’s also another side. People from other parts of the world say, ‘This is an attack to show that the whole world is dangerous except the United States’. There are two different interpretations, but it depends on your context. It depends where you’re living, and it depends what you’re fed day-to-day by the media. But also I think that there is a positive side. In the Biblical myth of Babel, of the tower, of people trying to achieve something together and get close to God, God punished them by making different languages so that people couldn’t understand each other. But the positive side to that is the fact that diversity was the spark that made people interested in the ‘Other’ as well. There is that joy of interpreting what another person is saying, what another person is feeling, and of sharing those emotions and empathising with the ‘Other’. It is not a punishment on the whole; it is actually an incentive to understand one another. That is what you see in the film.
I think that there are better ways to make a case against America than spending three years of my life making a film about it. I will not waste the power of cinema talking about that. This film is not about the United States. Bernal: I think there’s a semiotic problem that sparked as soon as September 11 happened, which is that now every issue can be combined with the argument of terror or protection, you know? That’s why in this film they assume immediately that if a bullet hits someone from the United States it must be an act of terrorism. It’s understood like that automatically. That’s why they are building this wall on the border between Mexico and the United States. Everything is combined with the issue of security – about protecting yourself from the ‘Other’ – and it’s a semiotic problem I think because these issues don’t have anything to do with each other. Iñárritu: There’s a point in the film that is about how different the life of an American is worth, and how much an African life is worth. It’s like this balance of when an American is killed it’s huge news, but when 200 people are killed in a wedding in Iraq ‘accidentally’, it’s just a small news story, you know what I mean? Or there are these massacres in African countries and nobody really gives it a lot of attention, but when one bomb in England goes off it’s like a whole other issue. It’s the perception of what a life is worth. In the UK and the US we’re considered an apathetic political generation, and yet Latin America is so radicalised. Do you feel more politicised? ▼
“being born in a poor country gets you more in touch with the realisation that anything you do carries a political complexity to it.” 85
“i think that there are better ways to make a case against america than spending three years of my life making a film about it.”
Bernal: Being born in a poor country gets you more in touch with the realisation that anything you do carries a political complexity to it. You are aware of that because politics has a day-to-day effect on you. If you come from an even poorer country it is way more palpable. And I’m talking about the pure political form, which is the human one, not the structural one. My own opinion about Babel is that it carries a political complexity without wanting to, you know? Because it’s there, it’s part of the relationship between mother and son, between one person from one country and the other person from another country, between languages. It’s very difficult to not recognise it. And also it’s part of the complexity that comes from a project that’s as ambitious as this one – that carries across different countries – there’s a political line to it, you know? A political argument. Iñárritu: But I want to add something to that. Half of the United States is against George Bush, right? Why haven’t these people manifested themselves more aggressively in the streets? The big difference is, when the economy and the consequences of your government hit you in your house, in your pocket, in the school of your kids, that is when people go out in the streets. The thing is, this country is so rich. The other day it was Halloween in LA and the houses have, like, $20,000 of Halloween shit on them, and I was like, ‘This is a country at war!’ They are at war, right? But because they are not personally affected it’s hard to manifest yourself. When you’re in a Third World country, the economy is so thin that any decision hits you, so that makes you more aware. Bernal: You are more aware and it’s more palpable. But also it can be argued that in the political system of the United States, these people who are against George Bush have no real representation in the government. Like, right now with the wall and everything, the Democrats were the ones to sign off the deal. It’s all electoral games in America, but in Mexico for example, we’ve personally lived through two big devaluations, no?
Iñárritu: I see my father all the time crying because he can never recoup that money, never. We never had money in our life. We were really poor. Why? Because it was every day, every year, ‘Again the dollar is blah blah blah...’ So since I was a kid I am aware that that thing that that stupid asshole in government was doing was getting my father depressed and poor, and resulting in me having nothing. So I’m conscious of politics. Given the success that you’ve had – both together and apart – does it become easier to pursue this kind of independent ethos? Or is there more pressure on you to take a Hollywood payday? Bernal: I think that because we’re doing the things we want, you might as well just keep doing that all along. At the same time, I think we’re all open to the possibility of doing whatever story interests us in whatever context it comes from. The whole Hollywood experience carries a different weight on a director or on an actor, no? As an actor, you know, if you do a big Hollywood movie it doesn’t only imply the movie itself, but also the promotion and the type of burden that you have to carry. But take Babel for example; it is the most un-Hollywood film you could think of because it’s in different languages, and yet at the same time it was done in the studio system. That’s what’s great about finding those loopholes. Iñárritu: I sold the rights to distribute the film, but it wasn’t developed or decided in a studio. They bought the rights but I made it independently. It’s about working with what is good about the studio system – working with them, but not ‘with’ them. And something that I think is amazing about Gael is that he has become a world-recognisable actor without ever doing a Hollywood film. He has broken the paradigm that if you want to be recognised worldwide, you have to be in a Hollywood explosion. It’s not true
Babel is out now in the United States and on January 19 across Europe. For a review of Babel, go to page 124.
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Lungani Memani text and photography Miles Masterson
For generations, AmaXhosa tribes of Southern Africa have feared the sea. Religious tradition holds that the rivers and oceans are the dwelling place of an angry race of webbed mer-people, who sometimes kidnap folk, or strike them mad. But seventeen-year-old Lungani Memani, a descendent of these tribes, has no such qualms. Whenever he can, he races into the peeling rights of his home waters at Cowie Beach near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Lungani is one of the biggest successes of South Africa’s surfing development programme, created to foster surfers from poverty-stricken townships such as his, near the Transkei, in the economically constipated Eastern Cape. Since winning through this preparatory system, he has become one of the most competitive black surfers in the country. With a host of regional and national placings and victories, and international experience from surfing for SA in the ISA World Games, no one wants to draw Lungani. The young Xhosa learned to surf while working as a lifeguard, happily taking old boards from benevolent locals such as Warwick Heny and Dave Macgregor. He has also benefited from the sporadic presence of South Africa’s latest World Championship Tour (WCT) surfer Royden Bryson, a Cowie regular. “He’s got all the elements: class, speed,” says Royden. “And he’s a humble kid. Without a shadow of a doubt he has a future in the sport.” Lungani is keen to give the world tour a crack once he’s finished high school. With his positive attitude and support, he seems set to forge a career in surfing and make a name for himself internationally. Not bad for a kid whose tribal traditions prevented his predecessors from enjoying the beach, as did, lest we forget, the apartheid government. Even the evil fish people would have to smile at that
Surf, skate and snowboard culture is a marketer’s dream. It can sell cars, drinks, shoes – even toothpaste. Between ad campaigns, clothing lines and sponsored events, companies just can’t get enough of the boardsports vibe.
iding waves sells. Period. And it doesn’t take a marketing degree to understand why. The faces of surf, skate and snow littering our billboard landscape offer a one-way ticket to cool, free with every purchase. Women buy L’Oreal because Kelly Slater says he’s “worth it”. Tony has Hawked everything from junk food to videogames. And Shaun White, who graced the cover of HUCK a few months back, has the stature to sell HP computers through the magic of TV. But for those who believe ‘real’ subcultures must be exclusive, massproduced access to the in-crowd is a fatal blow. It’s the age-old tale of every countercultural wave. Word spreads. The line between alternative and mainstream becomes blurred. And, eventually, fallen heroes stand trial for having sold their souls. Today, the market for rebellion is big business. And it’s our cultural icons – men and women who deserve their legendary status – that are lumbered with the ‘sell out’ tag. But before hanging our greatest talents, should we not first ask: can you not make a living and still be a rebel? Or does our cash-crazed generation mark the end of the countercultural bloodline?
rom the moment the hippies decided to stick it to ‘The Man’ (read: corporations, capitalist pricks, the system), the alternative-mainstream divide has been the barometer of one’s place in the zeitgeist. Being unpopular is cool, following the crowd most certainly isn’t, and capitalism – with its toxic consumerism and lust for mass marketing – is the enemy. The rebel faction of surf, skate and snow has earned its place in the history of the counterculture. Since early California surfers caught their first waves, surfing has stood diametrically opposite capitalist values. Being free to surf a perfect set meant opting out of a nine-to-five reality. When the Z-Boys stormed Dogtown in the seventies, their heady mix of punk rock and surfing style made skateboarding the ultimate rebel culture. Then came the youngest maverick – snowboarding, a fine way for antisocial adolescents to disrupt civilised ski resorts. Surfers were slackers, skaters were delinquents, and snowboarders were aggressive liabilities. “Skateboarding was the gateway drug to being rebellious,” says Shepard Fairey, creator of the Obey Giant street art campaign. “It was never accepted as a sport, there’s nothing compulsory about it, and it’s totally individualistic.” But the wave of youthful rebellion has hit a cultural impasse. The professional surfing circuit has turned a niche lifestyle into a lucrative competitive sport. Pro skaters compete in the X Games for over a million dollars – another notch in a portfolio of product endorsements and sponsorship deals. And in 1998 snowboarding became a bona fide Olympic event, complete with rulebook and scoreboard. Rebel culture’s commercial makeover has evoked a mixed bag of emotions. Whether it’s embraced by Generation X or condemned by sixties leftovers, one enigma evades all: did the rebels sell out or were they co-opted by ‘The Man’? ▼
text Andrea Kurland illustration ROB LONGWORTH
ubcultures are the holy grail of branding,” says Sean Pillot de Chenecey, an alternative trends analyst who helps brands capture ‘cool’. With ten years of experience in advertising, our man on the inside knows why corporate suits want a piece of the freestyle action: “You should always link the brand to some authentic movement.” Corporate co-optation is often accused of being the bad guy in this process. In other words, ‘The Man’ decided to mimic the rebellion, drain out the political threat, and sell back a diluted fake – all the while cashing in on the masses dying to be cool. For the anarchist, punk clothing lost its edge the moment it strolled down the catwalk. For others, this sorry tale of abduction just doesn’t hold. “Cooptation is a myth,” says Andrew Potter, co-author of The Rebel Sell: How the Counterculture Became Consumer Culture and pundit for Canadian alternative journal of politics This Magazine. “It mistakes the cultural effects of non-conformist behaviour as a political threat,” he explains. “Subcultures are simply underground scenes, and when they get popular, that’s all that’s happening – getting popular.” But according to the great anti-hero gospel, becoming popular is as good as writing off your authenticity. And selling out is the cardinal sin. “When I was seventeen, the great thing about punk was this real notion of selling out. It was something you just didn’t do,” says Sean. “Now, the whole point of creative culture is to make a living. There is no shame in selling out as there is no longer any notion of selling out.” Andrew offers a different take. “Selling out never existed, because that would require some form of dissidence,” he says. “People need to stop pretending that they’re up to something more subversive than they really are.” This revelation – despite dampening teenage rebel spirit – offers a get-out clause for any pro skater who’s ever been drawn and quartered for ‘cashing in’. If our so-called anti-heroes weren’t rebelling in the first place, appearing in a Doritos ad could be nothing more than good business sense. In fact, according to Andrew, it is our very damn-the-man countercultural habits that fuel the demonised ‘c’ word: “Stylised rebellion creates goods that people compete over as a way of standing out from the crowd. So non-conformist behaviour actually makes consumption worse.” Controversial words to any self-styled rebel. But when it comes to consumer society, boardsports fanatics are up there with the best of them. Between boots and boards, shoes and T-shirts, and whatever else you can slap a logo on, the whole industry is worth more than $10 billion in the United States alone. “You need to decide whether you want to ride the cultural wave while it’s hot or not,” says Shepard, who has never lost sleep over producing graphics for brands like Sprite. “But if a graffiti artist or skater refuses to do an ad because they don’t want to sell out, I just hope it’s not sour grapes when they’re no longer in demand.”
ut what impact do brands have on the subcultures they lust after? “Companies try to harvest and exploit culture from the people that make it,” says Shepard, fully aware that earning a buck has its downsides. “No matter how rebellious you try and stay, once something becomes absorbed by the dominant paradigm, people become numb to it. You have to keep evolving and not let things get stale.” ▼
Few feel more disillusioned than Kalle Lasn, founder of anticonsumerist magazine Adbusters. “Young people today enter countercultural movements as passing fashions, and there’s very little else behind it,” he says. “They’ve grown up in a polluted mental environment of commercial messages, they’ve been lied to and propagandised since they were little babies crawling around a TV set and by the time they become teenagers they are no longer authentic human beings.” For those plagued with a visceral fear of blending in with the crowd, today’s off-the-rack rebel style is a sure sign of cultural stagnation. According to these ‘founding’ members, a subculture is only as credible as the people who make it. “Newcomers to a subculture tend to act out the crap version they’ve been fed through advertising,” says Sean with the cynicism only a former Ad Executive can muster. “Take your London surfer who rocks up on some beach at the weekend in the most expensive gear straight out the box. They’ll look idiotic, but back in Shoreditch they look the business.” Clearly, the alternative-mainstream defining line hinges on a question of authenticity. But what exactly is that elusive quality that makes a person or culture truly ‘authentic’? For Sean, it’s about staying commerce-free: “Subcultures that remain away from the public eye and don’t want to look like walking target markets covered in brands are by definition more authentic. They’re being themselves, not being the brand.” While defining who is and who isn’t keeping it real is somewhat elitist, it’s hard to ignore that countercultures of today are looking more and more like ‘the norm’. “Local scenes are percolating out to the periphery much more quickly thanks to MTV and the Internet,” says Andrew. “And because ‘cool’ always relied on the distinction between a scene and the mainstream, there is really no such thing as ‘cool’ anymore.” For Kalle, the constant deluge of branding messages is a threat to individualism. Ever the activist, he believes defiant rebels must prepare for battle: “When authentic bottom-up cool has to compete with topdown corporate cool, you have to launch a counterattack, take back your subculture and make it authentic once again.” Despite reports that we may be witnessing the death of cool, there is reason to be optimistic. “As long as there is a dominant culture, there will be a counterculture,” says Kalle. “The two have an organic symbiotic relationship and come and go like seasons.” Even Andrew agrees that a true alternative will always exist: “Subcultures have a self-radicalising tendency, an internal ratchet that makes each counterculture so extreme it will never become mainstream.”
he jury may still be out on who bought and sold the counterculture, but at least for now, one thing seems clear: as long as the culture of riding evolves as quickly as the act itself, ‘The Man’ will always trail the genuine rebel. The eternal optimist, Shepard Fairey knows the secret to why the board-borne cultural hub will never be watered down: “It requires too much insanity to be a real stiff and do it.”
The Rebel Sell: How the Counterculture Became Consumer Culture by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter is published in the UK by Capstone, £16.99, and in Canada and the United States by HarperCollins, $14.95. www.rebelsell.com / www.captaincrikey.com www.obeygiant.com / www.adbusters.org
“people need to stop pretending that they’re up to something more subversive than they really are.” andrew potter
ats luik ollie over wildlife.
i The rise (and rise) of Estonia.
aw 96 www.HUCKmagazine.com
text SEPPALA photography TANEL TAPPER
Estonia may not have marble skate plazas, indoor parks, or, because of its small population, a skate industry as such.
But despite the shitty spots with shitty run-ups and rough landings (sometimes no landings or run-ups at all), the Baltic state has a pretty tight skate scene.
Estonia has a colony of young rippers ready to challenge the old generation of skateboarders. The kids take their cameras wherever they go, and flicks of a
high calibre pop up every now and then. In print, Sahtel Magazine leads the way, offering typefaced inspiration to the burgeoning local crew. â–ź
They’re pretty mad too.
When I first met Sahtel Editor Jan Tomson, he had hit his head and was bleeding like a pig. As we waited for the ambulance he kept whistling away, like he always does. Fifty per cent vodka warms you up.
marko sirel bs tailslide.
Estonia regained its independence in August 1991 and, like any fifteen-year-old, is starting to flex its muscles. “I guess the statistics say that we’re quite the developers,” says local snapper Tanel Tapper. “It’s even too fast for the liking of the bigger European countries and they will not accept us in the EU monetary system: because we develop too fast. They can’t handle the speed.” “Culturally I think Estonia is pretty rich,” says stylish skaterman Paul Kulmet. “A lot of people follow what’s going on in music, theatre and cinema. The music scene is blossoming. The indie scene is stronger than ever with Tallinn’s Seksound records putting out good stuff constantly.” Estonians have a love/hate relationship with their country. People complain about it being a small pond, where people go to the same bars and see the same faces everywhere they go. But with the tightness comes the connections: you can swim and skate the biggest pool in the country, never pay any entrance fees as your name is on every guest list and, generally, feel at home wherever you go. According to Tanel, the best thing about the country is its quietness: “The streets of Tallinn are busy but that’s deceiving because the rest of Estonia is in total hibernation. It’s so quiet and calm and there’s plenty of room and fresh air. Oh, and we have the best pirogies [local pie].” Estonia has only begun its rise. And Tapper reckons it’s all up, up and away from now on: “I guess we will have plenty of Hindus, Zimbabweans and Yanks immigrating here in a couple of years. The pay is good and the people are coming.” A Baltic melting pot in the making, then – with plenty of skating to go with it
Jan tomson wallride.
FEVER text Craig Jarvis
Mosquitoes can be an issue in the tropics. They bite. They infuse your blood with lethal shit like malaria. And their nightlong buzz is just plain annoying. That said, the seasoned traveller will know how to deal with them. On a recent trip to Indo, Mikey and I developed a cunning strategy on how not to become insect food after a day’s surfing. Phase one involved lighting mosquito coils literally everywhere. With ten little stumps burning all over the hut, the air soon filled with tendrils of choking smoke. Still, better than malaria, we figured. Then, on the advice of our original captain, we dressed up in local clothing bought from Gunungsitoli on Nias. I had a pair of blue floral cotton long pants and a red floral shirt. Mikey had a pair of yellow patterned trousers and, unbelievably, a matching long-sleeved shirt. Dressed like clowns, we cracked open a beer each and sat on the balcony of the losman, barely visible in amongst the smoke rising from the mosquito coils, our faces shining with insect repellent. We made a toast, and started drinking our warm Bintangs. The sun was still up, but we were prepared for anything. Anything that is, except the exquisite girl walking around the headland. In retrospect, we bought the garish clothing under the assumption that there would only be guys on the island and that they would all be similarly dressed in order to stave off the marauding mosquitoes. Now, wearing nothing but a pair of tiny denim hot pants and a bikini top, this vision was making her way barefoot across the coral towards us. She had sun-bleached brown hair, a copper tan, and large, tanned breasts straining under her flesh-coloured bikini. This girl was genuinely beautiful. As she inched towards our base camp, we were hit with a terrifying thought: what if she actually saw us? And, lo and behold, before we know it she’s climbing the stairs to our balcony laughing her little arse off. There we were, dressed in our clown suits, suffocating in smoke, our faces shined up by anti-mosquito cream smiling back at her. Suddenly, the penny dropped – she was dressed in next to nothing, and wasn’t in the least perturbed by the prospect of being eaten alive. “It’s howling onshore, you fools,” she said in an American accent. “The wet wind coming off the sea blows the mosquitoes way off into the jungle.” I felt myself, the world-weary traveller, turning red in the face as she continued to laugh. Carried away by our MacGyver-esque mission we’d failed to notice one important point: there wasn’t the faintest buzz of a mosquito for miles. “Well, first impressions last, so I guess we fucked this one properly,” I said, trying to make light of our abject embarrassment. Handing her my beer, I quickly slipped back into my shorts, and threw my multi-coloured outfit into the corner. Turns out, she had just recently arrived. She was from Hawaii and her boyfriend had been surfing Asu with us the whole day. So she wasn’t a dream given to horny surfers by an Indonesian god after all. Regardless, thanks to our clown-suit debacle, we were never really on her radar anyway
and win! So whatcha lugging around today as you go about your godforsaken existence? Maybe a laptop? A copy of HUCK? The latest damning exposé on the metastasizing expansion of Pax Americana by Chomsky? Bottom line is: whatever random shit you take with you as you leave the house, might as well keep it safe and cosy. But most importantly, might as well carry it with style. So here’s the deal: subscribe to HUCK (5 issues for £15) and win an inspiring Eastpak backpack designed by Brooklyn-based artist Rich Jacobs. The man’s a genius. The bag’s a gem. And as for HUCK, you know the score: solid mag. Please send cheque with your name, address and e-mail to: All cheques made payable to HUCK Limited.
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KEEPING IT REAL 115 PAGES DOWN THE BOOK G KART RACINR O ZEN AND ZE LB SH GLOBE BOWKEA BUM L A W E N ’S R JARVIS COC BEST FILM EVER MADE BABEL: THE
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GLOBE BOWLBASH WRAP-UP Dig riding bowls? How about bowl comps, of which the Globe BowlBash is clearly the best? Yes? Cool. Then sit back and listen up, because here’s a 2006 wrap-up. The third BowlBash series kicked off in Malmö, Sweden, with the grand opening of the new 2,500 sq metre Stapelbaddsparken. Riding before his compatriots, tweaked-out weirdo and overall good guy Mattias Nylen snatched a win, beating kids and old-timers alike with a barrage of his signature deep-end front blunts. The series was off to a killer start. “We were travelling around Europe with my crew in two vans with a caravan behind us, like circus people do,” says BowlBash organiser Alrik Swagermanthe.
A month later, at the I-Punkt skatepark in Hamburg, Anders Tellen nabbed a victory by skating the bejesus out of a bowl that had an oververt cradle and a five-metre wide extension with pool coping. Battling the British heat wave, boiling Burnley in July witnessed a new generation taking over from the older crew. Skating with incredible speed, style, and mega-sized balls, eighteen-year-old Nicholas Cornell won the event convincingly. August took us to the Basque Country, home of the most authentic bowl in Europe. Says Alrik: “Waking up in my caravan. Looking left, beach and blue Atlantic Ocean with nice righthanders peeling over the reef. Looking right, the Algorta pool just in front of my caravan. Norberto Mena doing bs smith grinds on the vert hip, wearing tight white jeans, a pimp blouse with his chest hairs popping out, a serious moustache above his upper lip, and Queen screaming out of the 2000-watt PA system.” A month later the BowlBash hit the legendary Area51 in Eindhoven for the finals. Before a raucous crowd, the UK’s Andy Scott was on fire, pulling a series of kickflip indys, classic 360s and epic MayDay grinds to take the title. The Bolton man was closely followed by Bilbao duo Ivan Rivado and Alain Goikoetxea, Swede John Magnusson and German Anders Tellen. But there is more in the air than just the results. In three short years, the Globe BowlBash has become one of the largest European skateboarding contests. Reaching over 10 million people every year, it is one of the few events where pure skateboarding goes hand in hand with the more mainstream media. TV channels and magazines around the world were at the final. Articles were published on the covers of national newspapers and, for better or worse, it’s gonna be on MTV and all over Eurosport. Like Alrik says: “It’s all in the contrast.” Seppala www.globebowlbash.com
PORTRAITS: RUUD VAN BRAGT
2006 WAS A GREAT YEAR FOR RIDING BOWLS
PLANET RIDE CHASING WAVES OVERSEAS? LET SURFING THE WORLD GUIDE YOU. It may seem ironic that Chris Nelson and Demi Taylor should be co-authors of some of the most successful surf travel guides to be published in years. After all, the average distance they have to travel for their daily surf is 100 metres (depending on the state of the tide). The notable main squeezers and generators of the Footprint published guides to surfing Europe and Britain are residents of the tiny beach community of Porthtowan on Cornwall’s north coast. It’s one of the most consistently high-quality beach breaks on the entire peninsula, known for its relatively heavy, fast-breaking waves and for producing, on occasion, a workable keg for the put-upon surfing hordes that now populate the area. On a big day the Porthtowan shore break must shake the Nelson/Taylor team’s kitchen table. But look at it another way: living at a spot like this – with its tight peak and legions of sponge-rocking pre teens – might well be conducive to the urge to take flight. The first two offerings from Chris & Demi were straightforward guides characterised by just the right amount of spot-by-spot surf information squared with a hard mile of downtime tips and useful skinny on local surf areas. The guides managed to wrestle away market dominance from the long-in-the-tooth Stormrider series, and have become the bibles of choice amongst travelling surfers who call the British Isles their home. The latest title, however, is much more focused on inspiration, collecting eighty of the top waves on the planet as
distilled from a broad consensus of the surf diaspora. It’s quite a predictable array of dream surf destinations, from Mundaka and Lakey Peak to Cloud 9, the Superbank as well as Hawaii and California five-star spots. A couple of more marginal and accessible upstarts like Donegal’s Pampa Point are featured, as well as the fickle but world class barrels of Cornwall’s Porthleven. It’s a great read and Nelson’s distinctive authorial voice is leavened well with a quality picture edit. Even the very basic and slightly dull maps don’t detract from what is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable and well put together surf books to be published in the last few years. Michael Fordham Surfing the World. Chris Nelson & Demi Taylor. Footprint £24.99
EYE OF THE RIDER LUKAS HUFFMAN’S BOOK-DVD TELLS IT LIKE IT IS. Ever wondered what the world of pro snowboarding is really like? Not just the death-defying action, but the raw emotion involved in reaching that level and maintaining your sanity while on the road for months on end? Look no further than ir77. Professional snowboarder and all-round smart guy Lukas Huffman has masterminded a 120-page book and DVD project bringing together over forty photographers, artists and riders from nine different countries. Featuring riding from the likes of Lukas himself, Andrew Crawford, Shin Campos, Tyler Lepore and many more, it has footage from all over the world. And with material covering themes like ‘Anticipation’, ‘Dedication’, ‘Pain’, and ‘Exhilaration’, it’s set to take you deep into the lives of those who live and breathe the sport. Let this book/DVD combo take pride of place on your coffee table – not only because Mr Huffman has personally financed the entire production of the book by starting his own publishing company, or even because the ir77 crew handassembled each book themselves – but because it is a totally original and thought-provoking approach to the world of snowboard media.
Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, ir77 is the atomic symbol and weight of the silver-metallic element iridium. Why the name? Huffman explains: “Iridium is a shiny, beautiful colour that is very hard to completely define. It’s a metaphor for snowboarding itself.” Zoe Oksanen Produced by pro-snowboarder Lukas Huffman and directed by Jess Gibson of Robot Food, the book and DVD are out now. For more information, check out www.ir77book.com.
YOU DRIVE, YOU DRIVE! ZEN AND ZERO: AN AUSTRIAN SURFEXTRAVAGANZA IS A ROAD FILM ON STEROIDS. THE GREAT GONZO WOULD HAVE BEEN PROUD… If Hunter S. Thompson were a surfer, he would’ve skipped Vegas and headed south. That’s exactly what a crew of Austrian surfers did to shoot Zen and Zero, a mad surf trip of a film documenting a journey along the Pan- American Highway from Los Angeles to Costa Rica. Their motive: to surf their way south, meet legendary surf dude Captain Zero and sell their cars to raise cash and prolong their time on the road. Devoid of cheap logo shots and profoundly oblivious to most surfers’ relentless need for cool, Zen and Zero is as refreshing as it is hip. HUCK caught up with writer and producer Philipp Manderla to learn a bit more about his award-winning film. HUCK: What’s the meaning of the title? Philipp Manderla: Zero was the smallest common denominator and the main theme: we wanted to break even at the end of the road. Also, we agreed that the message of the movie is: ‘there is no message.’ The film works like a big projection space so that everybody ends up seeing his or her own individual movie. And that all has a Zen quality to it. What’s the importance of metaphors in surfing? The film is really rich in that. We regard the wave as the ultimate metaphor. It’s all about the wave and surfing sometimes appears as a natural reaction to that phenomenon. Was the voiceover inspired by Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? We all like Fear and Loathing and we sure quoted it when recording the voiceover.
What were your aesthetic inspirations? Easy Rider, The Search for Animal Chin, Apocalypse Now, Jean-Paul Belmondo eighties flicks, and all sorts of classic road movies. How long was the road trip? The shoot took around three months, and some of us stayed close to four months shooting some additional surfing. Did you expect to win the awards you guys did? No. But halfway through the trip we kinda knew that we were working on something really cool and promising. Vince Medeiros Zen and Zero: an Austrian Surfextravaganza won Best Director and Best Story at X-Dance 2006, as well as Best Film at the Surfilm Festival 2006 in St Jean de Luz, France. The film is out now on DVD and in select cinemas. For more, check out www.zenandzero.com
HOOKED ON SPEED
HUCK SENDS THE DIRTY FINN DOWN THE PIT LANE AND ONTO THE TRACKS. It’s a damp afternoon in Kent, England, and HUCK is testing a 125cc ‘Easy Kart’. As designated driver, I’m bouncing from curb to curb trying to find those fractions of a second lost somewhere in the fourteen years I’ve been away from racing. The Birel/Parilla kart is a fast, precise and powerful machine. On the steering wheel mounted display you can see your lap times and shitloads more data. Driving is physical. Inexperienced hands get mashed up in a couple of laps. It is a rush of an experience. The sheer speed and grip blows you away.
The ‘Easy Kart’ concept is promoted by Club100 to provide an affordable kart for quality racing. The series will kick off in 2007 with cars costing a mere £1,850. Organisers claim you can drive a season for about £2,500. I want one. I need a sponsor. In the meantime, Club100’s ‘arrive-and-drive’ races will suffice. The karts are provided by the club so all you need to do is turn up, pay the £145 bill and speed away. Having mastered the test drive, it’s time to race. There are seventy competitors divided into a series of heats. I crash in all of them but nail it in the finals. The smell of two-stroke gasoline lingers in the air. The atmosphere is friendly but competitive. You can sense the adrenalin and electricity that only motor racing can generate. So much so that even Damon Hill is on the scene [see photo]. Club100 is a great way to get your first taste of real motor sports. The level is satisfyingly high but versatile enough for newcomers. The karts are basic but fast and, if you smash one up you ain’t paying yourself sick like my poor dad used to do. Another cool thing about the Club100 is their website with all the lap times, time comparisons, point tables and whatnots. So if dreamer A has a boring job with a PC on his/her desk, dreamer A can race on the weekends and spend the rest of the week analysing the data and pretending to be Schumacher. And if you do well you can brag to your fat colleagues with race reports like this: “Semi Sappala was the most impressive of the newcomers, charging through from nearly last on the C final grid to take fourth before storming through to ninth in the B final. Just hope this wasn’t a one-off event as this driver has a lot of potential.” These days I am drinking gasoline for breakfast and building a race team in my dreams. I’m back, motherfuckers. And one day they will get my name right. Seppala
S M U B AL LEE HAZLEWOOD
Cake or Death/BPX
Lee Hazlewood, maverick songwriter and producer who penned ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ and sang it with Nancy Sinatra, then went on to cut countless low-key but brilliant psychedelic cowboy albums in the seventies, is ill. Renal cancer – cancer of the kidneys. He’s retired countless times in his life (at one point disappearing so far off the radar it was thought he’d gone mad and maybe even become a monk in Sweden), but this might very well be his final album. Its title comes from Eddie Izzard, whose oddball sense of humour matches Hazlewood’s, and it sees him collaborate with musicians he’s either worked with all his life, or wanted to. From the old school comes Duane Eddy, who had a string of hits with Lee in the fifties, Al Casey and others. From the really new school comes his granddaughter Phaedra, who sings ‘Some Velvet Morning’ with her granddad. Fascinating and touching stuff from one of music’s genuine heroes and hell-raisers. PHIL HEBBLETHWAITE
Jarvis/Rough Trade This is the moment when Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker puts to one side the experimental projects and gets back to what he does best – recording highly satirical and classic-sounding pop songs. There’s a boring grumpiness that’s crept in as he’s reached middle age, but he’s unquestionably still got something to say. PH
To All New Arrivals/Columbia Utterly bland and forgettable collection of wine-barfriendly pap from a group who people only liked when they were doing gurn-inducing, arms-in-the-air house bangers. Nothing on here raises the roof at all. Instead, you find tracks that could soundtrack going to buy a sofa in Ikea on a Saturday afternoon. PH
Heavy Hands/Saddle Creek Tight, competent and sometimes thunderous rock’n’roll from an Omaha-based four-piece, but it seldom swerves from the path it picks with track one and, by the end, you want to throttle the singer. There is hope here, though: recorded they sound one-dimensional and flat, but you sense these songs would shine played live. PH
The Gulag Orkestar/4AD A teenager from New Mexico doing Balkan-style gypsy music is truly an odd proposition, but somehow wunderkind Zach Condon pulls it off. God knows whether a Romanian would find this album credible and it doesn’t matter - these are the kind of rowdy and brassy songs that make you want to drink a lake of beer. PH
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT Since The Last Time/Edel
That Southern US hip-hop heads Arrested Development have returned with little acknowledgment of crunk and other sounds that have taken over their part of the world is both a relief and a mistake. There’s reliable stuff on here, but you sense that their time has passed. PH
The Beatific Visions/Rough Trade
Fuller sounding and more cohesive than their debut, but still rough-cut and volatile. Few UK bands have the range that country punkers Brakes do: there are short, tight and explosive political belters on here, as well as bare and contemplative love songs. Quality music from a criminally under-rated group. PH
JOANNA NEWSOM Ys/Drag City
The kind of highly musical and almost inconceivably ambitious record that you think you ought to like, but somehow end up despising. Twenty-four-year-old harp player Newsom has oodles of ideas and talent, but she takes herself way, way too seriously and has one of those voices that makes you want to torch your stereo. PH
Songs of Muerto County Revisited/Fire An imaginary or ‘lost’ soundtrack to horror flick The Texas Chainsaw Massacre written and recorded by a husband-and-wife punk folk duo from St. Louis. Eh? Weird idea indeed, but these are inventive and beautiful songs that you needn’t hear played to the film, as the band originally intended. This is just good music. PH
Disciples of California/Jagjaguwar Properly lush new album from a band that come from California and really sound like they do. There’s a bit of the pop precision of the Beach Boys here, and plenty of that sun-kissed LA, late-sixties psych folk. But although this is an album that looks to the past, it’s also timeless sounding and mesmerising. PH
The U.S. vs John Lennon
DIRECTOR: ALEJANDRO GONZÁLEZ IÑÁRRITU Alongside regular collaborator Guillermo Arriaga, Alejandro González Iñárritu is no stranger to fractured stories and broken lives. Both Amores Perros and 21 Grams traded in narrative and emotional acrobatics, but Babel is surely his masterpiece – a riveting account of the war on terror viewed through the lens of local tragedy. In Morocco, a Japanese tourist leaves a high-powered hunting rifle in the hands of a guide, sparking a chain of events that touches people across the invisible borders of continents and cultures. In Mexico, a nanny returning home to San Diego is stranded in a desert with two children. In Japan, a deaf-mute girl is cocooned in silence, desperately reaching out beyond the barriers of language. This is fiercely political filmmaking, but with the most effortless of touches. Inevitably, the West comes off worst – a brutalised society leaving a vapour trail of fear in places far beyond the gaze of CNN. But Iñárritu’s message is simple: the choices we make every day – to be afraid, to mistrust, to misunderstand – have consequences that stretch beyond our imagining, and he delivers it in breathtaking fashion.
DIRECTOR: PAUL VERHOEVEN The combustible Carice van Houten excels in Paul Verhoeven’s brilliantly bombastic Black Book. She plays a Jewish chanteuse, Rachel, whose family are betrayed and murdered by a scheming Nazi, forcing her, now reborn as Ellis de Vries, to seek solace in the arms of the Dutch Resistance. Those arms, however, are soon replaced by the rather more tender embrace of Gestapo chief Ludwig Müntze; the pair develop a very real romance as Ellis uses him to penetrate Nazi headquarters. This is an uproarious movie, every bit as overblown and unsubtle as you’d expect from the director of Basic Instinct. Gradually, an interesting moral fable emerges from the shiny surface, as Verhoeven dares to investigate the aftermath of war, cleverly exploiting such notions as ‘victory’ and ‘heroism’. But at its core remains unabashed melodrama, for better and for worse. MB
DIRECTORS: DAVID LEAF, JOHN SCHEINFELD With a panoply of interviews, news footage and music video bites, The U.S. vs John Lennon is a hyperkinetic composition of assorted media, which journeys choppily through ten years of political unrest. The film both documents and celebrates the anti-war activism of the ‘intellectual Beatle’ during the turbulent political milieu of the sixties and seventies, tracing the eponymous hero’s perilous transition from famous pacifist to enemy of the state. As public anger towards the Vietnam War escalates, Lennon proves an increasingly hazardous threat to the Nixon administration, and the target of the CIA’s sinister observation. In an age of Watergate, secret surveillance and wiretapping, this should be an unsettling thought. But feelings of disquiet fail to unfold. What could have been a disturbing study of Orwellian control by a government in crisis never reaches beyond a cursory record of a pop star gone serious. EMMA PATERSON
DIRECTORS: LOUISE OSMOND, JERRY ROTHWELL This story of Donald Crowhurst, and the darkness that consumes him in the 1968 round-the-world yacht race, sails clean over a mental precipice. It is a sympathetic portrait of a man drowning in the fabrications he creates to protect his family. Signing a pact with the devil to get the means to make his own boat, the inexperienced Crowhurst must finish the race or face humiliation and financial ruin. But haunted by debts on land, he finds no solace at sea, and the psychological strain soon pushes him to breaking point. Deep Water is an emotional and troubling documentary – so poignantly insightful that you wonder if this disturbing story of one man’s frailty shouldn’t actually be left well alone. But as a captivating analysis of how persistent stress can affect someone mentally and physically over time, it deserves to be seen. Worse things do indeed happen at sea. ROB WARREN
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IDENTITY: Florens von Heydwolff +++ 1974 +++ Germany // AGM Agent // SPEAKS: Spanish +++ German +++ English // TERRITORY: Spain // PASSION: Chess +++ Jogging
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DVDS A Scanner Darkly
DIRECTOR: RICHARD LINKLATER Richard Linklater fully delivers on the cinematic potential of Philip K. Dick’s spellbinding short story with this mind-bending piece of psychotropic paranoia. Using a technique known as ‘rotoscoping’, where animators trace over live action movement, Linklater has created an utterly convincing near-future in which a giant corporation is masquerading as the cure to mass drug addiction while netting a handsome profit. Keanu Reeves is a cop, deep undercover, ‘scanning’ a gang of small-time anarchists and dealers. Only, one of them turns out to be himself. Or is it? As the paranoid tension builds to a climax of staggering emotional brutality, the full extent of the cruelty of this world emerges. This is an angry, explosive, original work of science fiction that seems somehow even more intense on the small screen. It’s in your living room. So are they. MATT BOCHENSKI
DIRECTOR: CHRIS SMITH Eagle-eyed fans of British cinema witnessed something strange happen in 2006: Danny Dyer stopped being an annoying ‘mockney geezaah’, and actually put in a couple of top-dollar performances in some low-key gems. Top of the class is Severance, a tongue-in-cheek horror movie that takes the muchloved clichés of the genre (woods, maniacs, isolated cabins) and drenches them in gallons of gore and plenty of laughs. There’s nothing you haven’t seen before – apart from some slightly ham-fisted anti-capitalist musings – but the whole thing is great fun, and Laura Harris in particular is on brilliant form as an ass-kicking blonde. It’s got late-night post-pub viewing written all over it. In blood. MB
Little Miss Sunshine
DIRECTORS: JONATHAN DAYTON, VALERIE FARIS Yes, this story of a dysfunctional family taking the youngest daughter to an egregiously unpleasant beauty pageant is heartwarming, uplifting and gently subversive. Yes, it’s quite funny. Yes, Alan Arkin excels as a foul-mouthed granddad, spewing invective and bizarrely inappropriate sex advice at the kids. Yes, Toni Collette puts in yet another wonderfully natural performance, slipping gracefully and, indeed, beautifully from older sister to younger mother. Yes, Abigail Breslin is a startling find as the undeniably chubby, yet still fearlessly beautiful, daughter. Yes, the denouement is an extravagant, even riotous, piece of cinematic storytelling. Yes, it’s great to see this kind of from-the-heart indie filmmaking on the big screen. Yes, it’s great that it sold for $10 million at Sundance. But no, it’s not that good. No, it’s not the best movie of the year. No, it wasn’t even the best movie in the month it came out (take a bow, Children of Men). So no, it won’t be cool if it wins the Oscar. It’ll be a sad comment on the year in movies that was 2006 – and an even sadder comment on the state of the awards themselves. MB
Thank You For Smoking
DIRECTOR: JASON REITMAN This gleefully subversive satire takes pot shots at a big target in the US tobacco industry, so it’s important it keeps scoring bulls-eyes. That’s more or less the case as hilariously despicable PR scumbag Aaron Eckhart takes to the road with his twelve-year-old son to spin his tobacco company out of the doghouse and into Hollywood. Whether he’s recruiting a preteen cancer victim, bribing the company’s terminally ill spokesperson or simply sharing homespun homilies with his boy (“That’s the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you’re never wrong”), the sheer depths of his moral vacuum are hugely entertaining. Best of all, the film matches Eckhart’s performance blow for blow, refusing to throw it all away for an ethical resolution. It could have been tighter and perhaps more righteously damning, but Thank You For Smoking is still a sharp, cutting piece of work. MB
Snakes on a Plane
DIRECTOR: DAVID R. ELLIS Over-inflated monument to hype? Trailblazing pioneer of online marketing? Or just the B-movie that could? So much ink was spilled over Snakes on a Plane it’s easy to lose sight of what counts: is it any good? The answer is yes… and no. It’s the very definition of a ‘what you see is what you get’ popcorn crowd pleaser – one badass movie star, one plane and lots of snakes. Cue mayhem. Director David R. Ellis’ greatest strength is that he listened to the film’s army of online fans without taking the genre itself too seriously. What that means is a satisfyingly adult level of sex and death, and no time wasting on extraneous dialogue or bullshit character. It’s not great cinema, it’s not actually, in the cold light of day, a great action movie. But you’ll enjoy it, and that’s what counts. MB
GAMES CANIS CANEM EDIT 9/10
(PS2) ROCKSTAR Rockstar court controversy with every game they release. Whether it’s the whore-bashing Grand Theft Auto series or the pedestrian Table Tennis, any game released is bound to generate column inches. None more so than Canis Canem Edit (Latin for ‘dog eat dog’). When announced it generated a wave of revulsion throughout the games industry, especially as it was originally titled Bully. Assuming the game would be GTA in the schoolyard, anti-bullying groups attacked it before it was even released. In reality, Bully owes more to Spectrum classic Skool Daze than any of Rockstar’s more violent output. The game’s lead character is more the bullied than the bully, and gameplay revolves around getting one over on various superior cliques within the school. More fun than school ever was. ANDY DAVIDSON
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS 8/10
(WII) NINTENDO Link’s last console adventure The Wind Waker split RPG fans with its kiddie graphics. Luckily for those fans that prefer the more realistic Zelda style, Twilight Princess is a return to realism. The only real difference between Twilight Princess and the previous two Zelda games is the addition of the Wii controls. Initially difficult, once mastered they are intuitive and natural. The game offers hours of engaging gameplay, battling through dungeons, exploring the world and kicking some mighty-monster ass. AD
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 5/10 (360) SEGA For Sonic’s first appearance on a next-gen console, developers have taken the approach of ‘what if Sonic were real?’ The problem with this being that by any stretch of the imagination a super fast blue hedgehog cannot be real. Even more disturbing, we see Sonic cuddling up to slender human females – a sight that can only stir a vague feeling that the game somehow creeps a little too close to bestiality. Other than that, the gameplay suffers from the same problems that have dogged the azure Erinaceinae since he made his move to 3D. Nothing works as well as you would want it to – and moving at any speed is very difficult. An average show at best. AD
NEED FOR SPEED: CARBON 8/10
(ALL) EA EA’s racer duo Burnout and Need For Speed are mainstays of the publisher’s output each year. Both have experienced a great deal of success, but it’s Burnout that receives most of the acclaim. Things could be about to change. This year’s Need For Speed: Carbon transfers the familiar gameplay to the West Coast. Vegas, Frisco and San Diego, among others, offer an attractive backdrop to races. Choose your class of vehicle from exotic to muscle, tune it up and take on other gangs of racers and the police in a number of solid racing courses. A good, deep racing game, and a worthy addition to the series. AD
THE S C I S PHY OF S S E N PHAT After much deliberation, we’ve decided to let Simon Maddox join the Rail Slayers Snowboard Crew. He’s an unbearable dork (Billy once held his head down the toilet for five minutes after he got ninetytwo per cent in the current affairs test), but he’s really outdone himself with this year’s science project. Me, Billy and Martin had been working on a collaborative effort based on our regular shredding sessions at the local snowdome. It was called, rather excellently, The Physics Of Phatness. Most of it was fluff – we spent three whole study periods arguing over who should get the cover shot (we ended up giving it to Billy’s frontside boardslide after he threatened to hold our heads down the toilet) – but there was some maths in there, which we left to Martin, who got a C in Physics last term and so qualifies as a regular Stephen Hawking compared to the rest of us.
The aim of our project was to find the optimum speed and kicker size needed to pull off the perfect backside five. Speed, said Martin, equals time over distance, so instead we decided that the sensible thing would be to spend Sunday ‘researching’ at the dome – only Lindsay Rainer from the upper sixth turned up with her fuck-nut boyfriend, so we spent the whole afternoon hitting the kicker in an effort to impress her. The upshot of all this was that our presentation on Monday was ‘severely lacking in substance’, according to Dr Leach. Martin turned around at one point to chalk ‘speed equals time over distance’ on the blackboard, but Leach said that was wrong anyway and came over to change it. After that, we just mumbled for a bit about how sick snowboarding is and how Billy might be getting sponsored by Board Crazy in town (I reckon he’s talking out of his arse, but whatever). Anyway, I got back to my desk and there was a note from Simon Maddox. ‘Meet me after class,’ it said. I looked over and he waved, which made me feel a little nauseous, but I caught up with him in the lunch queue and it turns out all he wants is to help us with our project. He said he’s wanted to try snowboarding since they opened the dome three years ago, but no one had asked him along (surprise, surprise), and he’d been too nervous to go alone. “These calculations prove,” he said, pointing to a notepad covered in what looked like scribbled hieroglyphics, “that with the exact combination of constant acceleration and launch momentum, a person of my physical mass will be able to complete three full rotations with minimal effort.” I told him that 1080s were pretty difficult, but he insisted that “maths never lies”. Like I said, an unbearable dork. Fuck it: in exchange for membership of the Rail Slayers, he’s promised to do all the work in our science project, which means that the rest of us can concentrate on more important things, like deciding which pictures to use. We’ve also stipulated three conditions of our own: one, that he promises to get contact lenses; two, that he puts a little wax in his hair; and three, that he acts like he doesn’t know us if Lindsay Rainer ever shows up at the dome again. That girl is too damn hot. Cyrus Shahrad
Published on Dec 1, 2006
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