made in the uk ÂŁ3.75 vol. 04 issue 021 June/July 2010 deftones by Mustafah Abdulaziz
MORE THAN JUST THE RIDE
DeFtOnes tasmania surf
plastic pollution : special report
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[ LI FE A F T E R S K ATE]
WeA c t ivis t A MY G U N TH ER , LA DY TIG R A , B ENN Y FA I R FA X, VA N E S S A PR A GE R , N I C O L E L E M O I N E , S TA S H & C L I N T PE T E R S O N S HO T B Y C HE RY L D U N N www. we s c. co m
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Cold water Brief: #01
68 Five photographers, five unique styles.
38 Stepping out and standing tall.
76 A dude called Michael and the stuff he digs.
48 Pro behind a lens.
80 Marine pollution can no longer be ignored.
Punk ‘n’ Roll
The Union Express
52 Riot grrrls on roller skates.
88 Trains, no planes, plenty of waves.
The Other South Africa
58 A side of the Rainbow Nation football tourists fail to see.
90 Freedom for feet.
Thrash History 101
64 Erudite reasons why thrash will never die.
92 An ode to Polaroid film.
photography: SPENCER MURPHY.
Michel Bourez Nic von Rupp Charly Martin
World Wide Winners
homemade Zeitgeist Band of Horses
J.O.B Bad Brains Simulacrum River Refugees
Smoke Bath Music Movies Games Books
photography: Atiba Jefferson.
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photography: MUSTAFAH ABDULAZIZ.
Editor Andrea Kurland Global Editor Jamie Brisick Skate Editor Jay Riggio Music Editor Phil Hebblethwaite Latin America Editor Giuliano Cedroni Snow Correspondent Zoe Oksanen European Correspondent Melanie Schönthier Online Editor Ed Andrews Staff Writer Shelley Jones Editorial Assistants David McNamara Elizabeth Haycroft
Published by The Church of London 8-9 Rivington Place London, EC2A 3BA
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Simon Reeve, Sean Rhode, Terry Richardson, Alexis Ross, Elisa Saether, Ivory Serra, Michael Sieben, Gerard Stochl, Ryan Tatar, Ed Templeton, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, Tobin Yelland
Junior Designer Anna Dunn
Translations Markus Grahlmann
Distributed worldwide by COMAG
Words Tom Bryant, Kieran Burke, Ruth Carruthers, Tim Conibear, Shannon Denny, Michael Kew, Miles Masterson, Spencer Murphy, Mark Rosenberg, Cyrus Shahrad, Michael Sieben, Deena Weinstein
Advertising Director Steph Pomphrey
Creative Directors Rob Longworth Paul Willoughby
Images Mustafah Abdulaziz, Ingrid Allen, Philip Andelman, Avaaz.org, Chris Burkard, Thomas Campbell, Ashlie Chavez, Sister Corita, Andy Cummins, Nick DeWitt, Fabi Fliervoet, Faile, Steve Hanner, Steven Harrington, Hofford/ Greenpeace, Atiba Jefferson, Jeff Johnson, Thor Jonsson, Shad Lambert, Guy Martin, Spencer Murphy, Monster Children Gallery, Ted Newsome, Zak Noyle, Niall O’Brien, Patrick O’Dell, Michael O’Shea, Angela Oneal, Alia Penner,
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The articles appearing within this publication reflect the opinions of their respective authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or editorial team This publication is made with paper from sustainable sources. Huck is published six times a year. © TCOLondon 2010
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Word of the issue: mon•tage | mänˈtä zh; mōn-; mō n- | noun. the technique of producing a new composite whole from fragments of pictures, text, or music.
Publisher Vince Medeiros
HOMEMADE Zeitgeist “It would be difficult to exaggerate the degree to which we are influenced by those we influence.” Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), social writer, philosopher, self-proclaimed outcast.
To understand any artist, you need to understand their world; the people, movements, moments and beliefs that seep into their sound. For one group of Sacramento skateR kids, influence came in a myriad of forms. But it’s when they pulled those threads together and created something new that they in turn became an influence on people across the globe. They are Deftones. And this is their world.
illustration: paul willoughby.
Creative Symbiosis Band Of Horses’ Creighton Barrett is one part music, one part skate. Text Shelley Jones & PHOTOGRAPHY Philip Andelman
“Abso-fucking-lutely!” laughs Band of Horses drummer Creighton Barrett
together when we were kids and then we got taken aback by indie rock.
when asked if his two passions – music and skateboarding – go together.
‘Fuck the world’ has always been a good thing to have behind you. Now
He ponders for a moment. “One couldn’t exist without the other.”
we just try to make it a little bit prettier.”
Creighton’s world is all about balance. And not just the wheels-to-
For Creighton, that spirit transcends music and filters straight into his
asphalt kind. Lead singer Ben Bridwell may have started Band of Horses in
obsession with skateboarding – a Guy Mariano groupie through and through,
2004 – with various musicians drifting in and out of the lineup over time
he got goose-pimples when he first saw the shoe and deck collaboration
– but when the current five came together, something clicked. “Right now
Band of Horses are putting out with Lakai and Girl. He explains: “I grew
it feels really fucking good,” says Creighton, in his Southern drawl. “It took
up in the ’80s, you know? I listened to The Cure and The Smiths. But my
a long time to get here but once we realised we didn’t need anybody else
other influence was skateboarding. I learnt all about punk rock, metal and
– that we had everything we fucking needed – yeah, it was the best.”
thrash and all that stuff through skateboarding.” He may not get to skate as
The band felt so confident in fact, that they rejected all outside
much as he’d like on tour – “It’s usually just half cabs over guitar cases” – but
influences – including a producer – and left the musical Mecca of Seattle
Creighton is more determined than ever to make his own skate company, Old
to write and record a new album in rural locations like Muscle Shoals,
Money, take off. “The skate scene in Charleston is just blowing up,” he says.
Asheville’s Blue Ridge Mountains and the Mojave Desert. This time things
“There are kids that are really ripping and there’s no company for them.”
came together horizontally, with each member bringing demos to the drawing board like “kids in a candy store.”
His way of giving back to the culture that inspired him perhaps? “Sure… We’re inbetweeners, you know. It’s a good place to be. The outsider has
The result, Infinite Arms, is a tender document of place, time, love and
always been creative. And that’s the most romantic part of skateboarding.
identity, deeply influenced by country music of the South like Waylon
You see the world completely differently. Right now I’m looking at a truck
Jennings but equally wrought with a sense of rebellion and outsiderness.
on a loading dock and I’m like, ‘I wanna skate that!’ and so many people
But that shouldn’t come as a surprise. “When I met Ben we were eighteen
would just walk past.”
in Charleston and he was the punkest kid I ever met,” remembers Creighton. “He had fucking neck tats and we played in shitty punk bands
Infinite Arms is out now on Brown Records/Fat Possum/Columbia.
mEEt tHE nEw crop of doErs making wavEs onlinE.
“I just want to celebrate art!” says Jeff Hamada, the most positive dude
With corporations gaining more ‘human rights’ by the day and pockets
on the World Wide Web. “I don’t care about critiquing work – it’s about
of bureaucracy ballooning like an ash cloud, it’s easy for individuals to
putting up art for everyone to celebrate and leave comments that
feel disempowered. But one online organisation is fighting relentlessly
encourage the person who made it.”
to facilitate democracy from the bottom up. It’s called Avaaz – literally
With such wholesome roots, it’s easy to see how Jeff’s art blog
meaning ‘voice’ in Hindi, Urdu and neighbouring languages – and it’s using
Booooooom! has gone from being a “hobby” and a “place to collect
mass consensus and the Internet’s democratising force to speak to power.
exciting things” to the hub of a creative community in just two years. How? And why? Because egalitarian tenets always attract nice folk.
UK Campaign Director Paul Hilder explains: “For me, Avaaz.org shows how the missing piece in the democratic puzzle is very simple: it’s us. And
“Booooooom! is for people who’ve never been to art school,” explains
we need to step up. When people come together, share their views, make
Jeff. “That’s what excites me. Putting up someone’s work who’s really famous,
up their own minds and decide to do something, it gives democracy an
next to someone who is not at all concerned with being an ‘artist’.”
extraordinary shot in the arm.
As well as showcasing emerging talent, Jeff uses Booooooom!
“We’ve seen that again and again: when a flood of emails pushed
to spark collaborations between his ever-growing tribe. Like Small
through the ban on cluster bombs; when a flood of phone calls to Brazil’s
Victories, where Booooooomers were invited to submit 4x6 prints of
President got him to veto proposals that would gut the Amazon; when an
“quietly beautiful, unintentionally funny” moments in life.
ad we ran landed on the Japanese cabinet table, and changed their policy.
A come-one-come-all policy may keep Jeff busy – “I have literally
We don’t always win. But we’re making headway, and we’re growing fast.
1,200 submission emails to go through” – but it’s his way of ensuring
And I think our spirit of democracy, hope and community is spreading
every bedroom creative has a global gallery space: “It’s like blowing
dandelions. You can have a piece of work bookmarked, re-blogged and talked about so quickly.”
Founded in 2007 by a group of well-established campaigners with a mission to “bridge the gap between the world we have and the world
Jeff’s nose for talent hasn’t gone unnoticed and Booooooom! has
most people everywhere want,” Avaaz works by empowering people all
been bookmarked by major ad agencies chasing fresh creative blood.
over the world to come together, pool their voices and resources, sign
Luckily, there’s one optimistic spirit that even commerce cannot stifle.
petitions, organise protests, and make a real impact on international
“There’s so much negativity on the Internet that I enjoy providing a place
decision-making and the urgent global problems that are faced.
that is really positive,” says Jeff. “I feel like people feed off that energy,
And with five million members worldwide, the outreach and potential
and then I guess, the community around it.” Andrea Kurland
impact of this “tiny team” is nothing short of phenomenal. Shelley Jones
RATM 4 Xmas
Since its inception in 2004, Bobshirt.com has grown to become an ever-
Sick of the Christmas charts being dominated by waxy pop stars of the
expanding exploration of the highly influential, early to mid-’90s era of
Simon Cowell production line, Jon and Tracy Morter decided to take some
skateboarding. The website was started by longtime skater and unofficial
skate historian Tim Anderson, and originally held the domain name
In December 2009 they set up a Facebook group to hijack the Christmas
guymariano.com. There was no plan at the time, only Anderson’s desire
number one slot from bookies’ favourite Joe McElderry – the winner of
to highlight some of his favourite skaters from an era in skating that he
Britain’s X Factor talent show. Their chosen soldiers? A Californian band you
may know as Rage Against The Machine.
“Guy Mariano was an emblem of amazing ’90s skateboarding. The site
“Simon Cowell dismissed the campaign as ‘stupid’,” remembers Jon.
was a tribute to all of our favourite old videos and magazine ads from that
“But this had the opposite effect. The members just poured in after that…
time,” explains Anderson. “Then Guy Mariano made a comeback, and it
hundreds were joining every minute at one stage.”
seemed kind of odd to have a website named after him, so we changed the name to Bobshirt.”
Not only did Jon and Tracy get ‘Killing In The Name’ to that number one slot, they helped raise over £100,000 for homeless charity Shelter
Named after the printed hangtag from Rocco-era World Industries
in the process. Although the recently reformed RATM had no part in the
T-shirts, the site initially showcased classic magazine clippings, video
campaign, they were “ecstatic” when they found out. Iconic frontman Zach
parts, board graphics and original skate art from Anderson’s personal
De La Rocha said on the BBC Radio 1's Chart Show that it was an, “incredible
collection. In time, Bobshirt expanded on its ’90s documentation to
organic grassroots campaign.” He went on to say: “It says more about the
become an all-encompassing time capsule.
spontaneous action taken by young people throughout the UK to topple this
With the help of skate journalist Mike Regan, the site features exclusive
very sterile pop monopoly.”
interviews with carefully chosen players from back in the day. Legends
Cynics commented that sales would work their way back to Sony, but
who have come and gone like Joey Bast, Mike Graham, Eric Pupecki,
they had missed the point. “The ’net makes it easy to find likeminded people
Jeff Pang, Andy Stone and Robbie McKinley have all been pleasantly
that can join up and say something with many voices,” says Jon. “It can
interrogated by Bobshirt.
certainly help give all sides to a story, which can only be a good thing.”
Today, the site exists as a respected authority on skateboarding and is
Now the couple are using their expertise to fight new battles. Their Save
a regular destination for anyone and everyone looking to get a nostalgic
BBC 6Music Facebook group, which is fighting to prevent the beloved radio
taste of a time when shirts were oversized, the term ‘vulcanised’ was non-
station from being chopped, has almost 200,000 supporters. Thanks to their
existent and ollie impossibles weren’t cool. Jay Riggio
conviction, the spirit of rebellion persists. Shelley Jones
SURF TILL YOU CAN’T KEEP YOUR E YES OPEN. DREA M OF SURFING. THEN SURF SOME MORE. ISLAND PROTEST MAKES TRIPS TO THE SHORE OBSOLETE. PROTEST TO GET THERE. PROTEST.EU
RIDER: LARS MUSSCHOOT
Rebel with a J.O.B Renegade surfer Jamie O’Brien burns the rulebook with his brand new film. Text Mark Rosenberg & PHOTOGRAPHY Zak Noyle
Jamie O’Brien sits on the sun-drenched balcony of his Hawaiian North
Soon enough, Jamie’s ability was noted by the industry and within years
Shore house overlooking the Banzai Pipeline without a care in the world.
he went from being the brash, young, loud-mouthed punk to the brash,
But, despite being one of the world’s best surfers, he doesn’t have a
standout charger at Pipeline. But his ‘give a fuck’ attitude still characterises
major surf brand sponsor. That’s gotta suck, right?
everything he does.
“Nah brah,” he replies in a Hawaiian drawl. “I’m still getting paid to
“In the trailer for my new film, Who Is J.O.B, I’m burning the ASP
surf perfect waves all around the world and my new film is going to
[Association of Surfing Professionals] rulebook,” he laughs. “It was just a
blow people away. Why do I need a surf company to tell me what to
harmless stunt to show what I think of surfing’s governing body, but I guess
do?” Why indeed?
they got offended.” Jamie was still competing on the ASP world tour when
His blonde locks are still dripping wet from surfing the world’s
the trailer was released, and unsurprisingly he found himself slapped with a
premier reef break for four hours this morning. And he just recently
huge fine for bringing surfing into disrepute by the sport’s governing body.
touched down after tackling 15-foot waves in Tahiti. In a few days he
“I guess I upset a few people.”
will fly out, chasing a storm that is predicted to slam into a secret reef
As Jamie’s profile has risen so too has his ambition to make progressive
in Micronesia. Such is the life of a free surfer with his third film in the
surf films. He explains: “I’ve got the best filmers with the best camera gear
making. “Competitions suck. There are way better things to do than pull
out with me at the best waves in the world.” Filming for Who Is J.O.B, due
on a contest jersey,” he grins. After hearing about his travels, it’s hard
for release later this year, was originally supported by Jamie’s now ex-
sponsor Rusty Surfboards, but as visions grew (and budgets shrank) they
O’Brien was born in Hawaii to Australian parents and grew up with
jumped ship, leaving Red Bull to step in.
some of the world’s heaviest waves as his sandpit. The North Shore
And the energy drink uber-giants have deep pockets it seems. Last
of Oahu is fiercely territorial when it comes to Haoles (outsiders), but
year they backed Travis Rice’s That’s It, That’s All, which helped redefine
Jamie was able to transcend the intolerance with his fearless wave-
snowboard celluloid. So will Who Is J.O.B do the same thing for surfing?
riding prowess. “I was cheeky,” he laughs, “but eventually I moved up
Only time will tell. There might not be a major surf label involved in the
the pecking order by respecting the older guys. That’s how you gotta do
biggest surf film released this year, but, in the words of J.O.B, who cares?
it in Hawaii. There are strong traditions here and respect is paramount if you’re going to get waves.”
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Documenting Bad New Bad Brains documentary reveals the hardcore truth. Text Shelley Jones & PHOTOGRAPHY Steve Hanner
Mandy Stein was raised in rock. Her father was the founder of seminal
“It was really great timing because they had just finished a new album
label Sire Records. And her mother managed the Ramones. Aged just
produced by Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys and they were going on
three, Mandy was attending sound checks in New York underground club
tour for the first time in almost ten years… All of a sudden we were on a
CBGB. But it wasn’t until she discovered filmmaking at college in 1998 that
plane heading to Woodstock for rehearsals and to join them on tour.”
she found a way to make her own mark on rock’s cultural landscape.
The DC-formed reggae, punk rock, hardcore crossovers – who started
When Mandy was in the final stages of her 2006 Ramones documentary,
as a jazz fusion band – may not be household names, but the extent of
Too Tough to Die: A Tribute to Johnny Ramone, she heard that CBGB – the
their influence is nothing short of extraordinary. “They’re unsung heroes,”
home of NY punk and her cultural birthplace – was to close its doors for
suggests Mandy. “They’ve influenced countless people… But at the same
the last time. “I was in touch with a lot of people in that scene like the
time they’re not really as big as a lot of these people think they should be.
photographers Bob Gruen and Roberta Bayley,” says Mandy. “They kept
A lot of that is because they were really ahead of their time.”
telling me, ‘You have to get down here’. Finally I got in touch with the
From hardcore bands like Minor Threat and Black Flag to rock
owner of CBGB, Hilly Kristal, who has now passed, and he felt like I was
superstars Dave Grohl and Anthony Kiedis; from hip hop pioneers
the right person to tell the story because of my strong history with the
Beastie Boys to alt rock sensations Deftones, Bad Brains have inspired
club… It was kind of a match made in heaven.”
and delighted in equal measures. They’ve also courted a fair amount of
The resulting celluloid, Burning Down the House: The Story of CBGB,
controversy and heartache along the way, including the deterioration of
documented the rise and fall of the Lost Boys-style cavern situated in
frontman HR’s mental health. Something they are keen to smokescreen
the Bowery neighbourhood of New York, where sailors and tattoo artists
perhaps? “They didn’t hide anything from us,” says Mandy in praise of
first made their home. Mandy was there at the very end. And it was after
their openness. “And you know what? I think a lot of the controversy will
shooting the final three nights of Bad Brains’ shows with her fiancé, Ben
Logan, that her latest, most immersive project yet was conceived.
But you’ll just have to watch Bad Brains: A Band in DC to find out.
“The [Bad Brains] footage was so incredible that we showed it to the manager and said, ‘There’s something more here’,” remembers Mandy.
Bad Brains: A Band In DC is released internationally in summer 2010.
Ingrid Allen + Elisa Saether
Andrew Jeffrey Wright
Replicas for all! Aaron Rose brings la-di-da art back down to earth. Interview Kieran Burke & Artwork Courtesy of Monster Children Gallery
If you look at the images on theselby.com of Aaron Rose’s home you
exhibitions I put together. I still believe art needs to be accessible to
will notice, unsurprisingly, that the curator, director, publisher and damn
average people. Not just so they can buy it, but also because it serves an
nice guy has an impressive art collection. It’s not an over-hyped ‘look
important function in our society.
who I know’ boast-a-thon of framed one-offs, but rather an understated hodge-podge of pieces that he feels connected to on both an aesthetic
Do you think we revere or place original works of art too high on the mantle?
and emotional level. You may think you need deep pockets to gather such
Where perhaps we should just appreciate an image for what it is, regardless
a collection together. However, in something of a democratisation of art,
of whether it has been reproduced or not? I think we should appreciate
Sydney’s Monster Children Gallery recently played host to Simulacrum, a
everything for what it is. Sure, there are some logistical reasons why
two-week exhibition of artists’ editions, posters and prints from the likes
artworks need to be expensive... an artist can only make so many things in
of Ed Templeton, Terry Richardson and Faile curated by Aaron Rose, that
a year, and that has to be taken into account when pricing, but at the same
proved otherwise. Sure, they weren’t original works of art, but does that
time that fact should not necessarily alienate people. There’s this place I
really matter? HUCK asked Aaron that very question and guess what?
always drive by in LA that rents fancy cars, like Lamborghinis and stuff.
Turns out originals are, like, so passé.
Maybe someone should have a service like that for art... where a dude that lives in a crappy apartment can rent a Richard Prince for a week?
What was the premise behind Simulacrum, the show you held at Monster Children Gallery in Sydney recently? For many, the very nature of artists’
I always find it interesting that when an artist signs something, it’s suddenly
editions evokes something that is somehow ‘lesser than’ the original. I
so much more appealing. Yet, at the end of the day, it’s still the same piece.
have always felt differently about it. When I was young, some of my first
I guess I’m a sucker for things like that. Can you shed some light on the
experiences in ‘art appreciation’ happened not in galleries, but in local
psychology behind this? I guess that makes it ‘authentic’ in some people’s
record stores. Not only were the record covers beautiful, but pretty much
eyes. I never buy things for that reason. I always buy because I like it.
all of the stores I would frequent had swinging racks of posters.
At the end of the day, a gallery receipt is just as valid as a signature for
I thought it would be nice to do an exhibition that was all editions.
There are so many cool things being made that just kind of fall by the wayside because they aren’t necessarily ‘original’ art, but sometimes
Another fantastic element that made the show for me was viewing the
artists’ editions are my favourite things made for an exhibition. I wanted
artworks on tables rather than on walls. Have you used this technique at
to shine a spotlight on that.
your curated shows before? This is the first time I’ve used that display idea.
It came out of necessity really, we didn’t have a lot of money for producing It was almost a sell-out show and I get the feeling this was because the
the show, so that was a cheap way of showing, and protecting, the works
works of art for sale were so affordable. What do you think? I’m sure that
and still make it look half-way interesting in an exhibition format.
has something to do with it, but I also think the audience was just happy to see things that are generally hard to find.
Can you suggest some emerging artists that may be affordable and collectable for people who are looking to start collecting? I encourage
Was this an attempt to democratise art? To make it more accessible to
people to find their own stars. So much of collecting is about the thrill of
the average person? In some ways yes, but I try to do that with all the
the chase. Why would I deny people that joy?
AARON Rose Recommends Art and photography books every junkie needs.
Deformer Ed Templeton, Damiani.
1712 North Crescent Heights: Photographs 1962-1968 Dennis Hopper, Greybull Press.
The Black Panthers: Photographs by Stephen Shames Stephen Shames, Aperture.
American Pictures: A Personal Journey Through the American Underclass Jacob Holdt, Amer Pictures.
The Ferus Gallery: A PLACE TO BEGIN Kristine McKenna, Steidl & Partners.
Tauba Auerbach: How To Spell the Alphabet Tauba Auerbach, Deitch Projects.
Come Alive! The Spirited Art of Sister Corita Julie Ault, Four Corners Books.
FTW Terry Richardson, JMc & GHB.
Public Wall: Writing in Philadelphia Megawords Magazine, From Here To Fame.
River Refugees Climate chaos is happening now. It’s robbing Bangladeshi villagers of their livelihood and homes. Text Ruth Carruthers & PHOTOGRAPHY Simon Reeve
Bangladeshis living along the bank of the River Padma aren’t getting much
at Jadavpur University are convinced an increased rate of flow along
sleep. “We’re scared by the noise of the land falling into the river. It sounds
the Padma, caused by increasing snow melt, is eroding the riverbank at
like shooting – ‘boom, boom,’” explains Abu, a local man. He’s talking to
an accelerating rate,” Simon explains. “People in the West think climate
British broadcaster Simon Reeve, who travelled through Bangladesh on
change is something that will happen at some point in the future. But what
his journey around the Tropic of Cancer for a BBC documentary series of
shocked me on my journey is that climate change is happening now.”
the same name.
Day and night, the erosion is constant, “but now it’s getting faster
As their boat passed along the southern bank of the Padma, Simon
and it’s coming closer,” says Abu. In this community alone, the river
and his crew filmed villagers frenetically chucking sandbags into the
has engulfed 2,000 homes in the past four years and eaten 500 yards
water. “There was a real sense of desperation among them as they tried
into their village over the two weeks before Simon’s arrival. Sadly this
to protect their land, their livelihood, their futures,” Simon recalls.
is a recurring theme across Bangladesh, a flatland that sits only a few
Compelled to stop, the team were welcomed by villagers keen to impart
metres above an escalating sea level and is feeling the effects of climate
their tale. “As they told us their stories, the mighty Padma tore away at
change more than any other country in the world. “I have very little doubt
their feet and crops, and massive chunks of precious earth crashed into
that Bangladesh is going to be the scene of one of the greatest human
the river in front of us. It was devastating to watch,” says Simon.
catastrophes in history,” says Simon.
Villagers like Abu may understand what is at stake – “The river has
Climate-induced erosion is making 100,000 people in Bangladesh
taken the food from our mouths” – but what they don’t realise, however,
homeless every year. “But they don’t have the finances or political force to
is that climate change is behind their loss. “They just know that the world
deal with it. People are left to fend for themselves,” says Simon. “And as
as they recognise it is coming to an end,” explains Simon.
we pulled away towards the capital Dhaka, I knew we were heading in the
Upstream lie the Himalayas, the mountain range where the Padma has
same direction as many of the new environmental refugees.”
its source. In Sanskrit Himalaya means ‘abode of snow’, but global warming has changed all that. “Riverbank erosion is perfectly normal. But scientists
The Tropic of Cancer series is out now on DVD.
ÂŠ 2010 adidas AG. adidas, the Trefoil, and the 3-Stripes mark are registered trademarks of the adidas Group. Silhouette Int. Schmied AG, adidas Global Licensee.
Out of the game, On with the show Jerry Hsu is a sucker for reality. Text Jay Riggio & PHOTOGRAPHY Jerry Hsu
Jerry Hsu is not only one of the most innovative and respected pros in the
no doubt be cemented when his solo show hits London this summer.
great wide world of skateboarding, he’s blowing up in the art scene too. As
But fans of Hsu’s early darkslides need not fear – this is one skater-
well as being everyone’s favourite avatar in EA Skate, Hsu is fast becoming a
turned-photographer who, far from swapping skateboard for camera,
living breathing artist in his own right, having honed his photography habit
prefers to let his passions exist side by side: “With touring and skating in
into an enviable skill.
general, it's ideal because I can travel to far off places and be around so
“My family always had cameras and were always lining us up for some
much alien stuff. And when I feel like a visitor somewhere, my inhibitions
kind of excruciating portrait,” says Hsu. “And when I started skating,
seem to be less dominant so I can just start shooting everything and anyone.
capturing whatever we were doing just automatically became important.”
Our environment as skaters lets us be around so much weirdness.”
documentarian Nan Goldin as influences, the San Jose local is rapidly
Jerry Hsu’s forthcoming London show, presented by Emerica and Slam City Skates,
proving he’s no flash-in-the-pan shooter, but rather a man with a
will coincide with the release of a limited-edition booklet by Morel Books.
photographic vision that’s as unique as his on-board style; a fact that will
See www.huckmagazine.com for details and the interview in full.
This is chillseeking..
Keith Malloy meets Gaucho from ¡Sin Represas!.
DUE SOUTH Writer Jeff Johnson sets sail for Chile to retrace an epic journey for a wild new film. Text Ed Andrews & PHOTOGRAPHY jeff johnson
Nature can inspire people to do great things. Don’t believe me? Just
would embark on careers hinged on the great outdoors, as the founders
ask Teddy. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt visited Yosemite in
of Patagonia and North Face respectively. “It was the film that set these
California. There he met naturalist John Muir who convinced him to leave
two guys on their path,” says Jeff. “We started talking about doing a film
his entourage and go camping out in the wilderness. After the experience,
that was an ode to those guys… done in the same spirit but taking a
Roosevelt vowed to put Yosemite Valley under federal protection as part
totally different path.”
of Yosemite National Park.
But 180° South is not just an adventure for adventure’s sake. Along the
When writer and photographer Jeff Johnson recounts this tale,
way, they meet people who have been affected by environmental degradation
it’s because he understands what Muir was trying to do. But instead
including Ramón Navarro, a surfer and activist from Punta de Lobos whose
of educating a world leader, he’s talking to you and me through new
family’s livelihood is being decimated by pollution and commercial fishing
documentary 180° South: Conquerors of the Useless. “It’s about showing
practices, and a group of Patagonian gauchos who formed a grassroots
people these things and inspiring them to travel and get out there, and
movement called ¡Sin Represas! to protest against the construction of five
then feel a duty to protect those places.”
hydroelectric dams. The message in 180° South is loud and clear; we need to
Directed by Chris Malloy, the film follows Johnson as he joins a yacht
change our lifestyles to save these places, and ultimately ourselves.
bound for Chile to meet up with climber Timmy O’Neill and pro surfer
“Environmentally, I’m trying to use less stuff in my life,” says Jeff,
Keith Malloy. Together, the trio plan to summit the sharp peak of Cerro
reflecting on how the experience has changed him. “Everything I do, I try
Corcovado in the wilds of Patagonia.
to think of how I can do it easier or simpler. It goes from my house to the
It was a journey inspired by an old VHS of Mountain of Storms, a 1968 documentary that sees two young climbers, Yvon Chouinard and Doug
way I surf, climb and travel. It’s not perfect but if you have that in the back of your head, it’s a really neat way to live.”
Tompkins, drive a van from Ventura, California, to Patagonia to take on the challenge of summiting Mount Fitz Roy. Later, those two friends
Twenty years ago Deftones were just a bunch of friends - some skater kids from Sacramento who came together to create sound. Today they are a global rock force that continues to blast through boundaries imposed by genre tags. They’ve fought tension, tragedy and the vices of success. standing tall.
Now, at the dawn of a new album, Deftones are
Heads up, they’re walking out and refusing to turn back.
Text Tom Bryant & Photography Mustafah Abdulaziz
acramento, California, summer 1988. Outside a small house,
It’s been over twenty years since that very first Deftones jam in
a teenage kid is sitting on his porch, a guitar across his lap.
Carpenter’s mom’s garage. It’s been over two decades since those kids
A few metres away, out of a small, locked garage, the most
decided that playing music was something they wanted to spend the
unholy noise is being blasted down the street. Death Angel
rest of their lives doing. And, in that time, those kids have gone on to
riffs, Metallica riffs, riffs of the kid’s own invention all come
leave a legacy unrivalled by almost all of their alt rock peers.
roaring from a wall of amplifiers, connected remotely to the guitarist on
Theirs is an influence that has endured. Its seedlings were planted
the porch. In decades to come, legend will say that all this gear, all this
when hair metal was at its peak, it developed through grunge and
racket, was paid for with the money the kid, Stephen Carpenter, was
it existed uneasily alongside nu-metal in the late ’90s. It unfurled
awarded after being hit by a drunk driver when he was fifteen. Truth is, he
majestically and experimentally as a new century dawned and it
did get hit – and he did buy equipment with the money he got paid. But
survived as tension, disillusionment, tragedy and the influence of drink
by the summer of ’88, all that gear is gone and the kid, barely eighteen, is
and drugs took their toll. It still exists now.
forced to beg and borrow the kit crammed into his mom’s garage. Either way, the neighbours aren’t all that pleased.
Those kids went on to sell 6.7 million records and they are still out there selling them today, one of only a handful of rock bands who
Another couple of kids walk up. They’ve all been in and around the
have remained current, commercially successful and credible over the
local skateboarding scene and they nod hellos. One kid rocks a perfectly
course of nearly a quarter of a century. From 1997’s influential Around
coiffed pompadour, like a lost Hispanic member of The Smiths or
the Fur to the massive-selling White Pony in 2000, from world tours to headlining festivals, from the very beginning, via six albums, to where they stand now, Deftones are a band who have shaped rock over the last two decades. And it all started with a bunch of skater kids in a suburban garage. As Moreno will tell you now, “I would never have thought back then, not in my wildest dreams, that I would still be here talking about those days twenty years later. The thing is, we never had a plan. We never thought about any of this. All we were doing was just having fun.”
Depeche Mode. His name is Camillo Wong Moreno, but everyone calls him Chino. He’s here to introduce his school friend Abe Cunningham, a drummer, to Carpenter. The guitarist is relaxed. He tells Cunningham that, if he likes, he can go into the garage where there is a drum kit set up on a rickety stage amid piles of junk. Cunningham does as he’s told and, with Carpenter still riffing on the porch, he proceeds to batter the hell out of the drums. Carpenter looks at Moreno and says just one thing: “Woah!” They don’t stop playing for the rest of the day. In the coming weeks and months, Moreno will start singing over the top of the sounds Cunningham and Carpenter create. With another
oday in the back lounge of Deftones’ tour bus, Cunningham
friend on bass, they will play the barbecues and house-parties of their
has just woken up. He’s hunting for coffee and, when he
school friends. They’ll write songs almost exclusively – and somewhat
can’t find any, he starts searching for tea. When he fails to
bizarrely – about food: there’s ‘The Vegetable Song’ about not wanting to
find any of that either, he says “Fuck” and he looks like he
eat your greens, there’s ‘Hot Cheese’, inspired by their bassist who burnt
means every letter.
his mouth on a piece of pizza. For adolescent variety, they’ll write ‘Butt
The bus is speeding across the badlands of Texas, motoring from
Booty Naked’. Moreno will later laugh about them all, chuckling at how
the desolate border town of El Paso towards Corpus Christi. Outside,
“silly” they were. He’ll also comment on how, from the start, they were
through the window, is a great empty expanse of plain. Other than
“tight”, that Carpenter was always a good guitar player, and that they
sporadic lonely cacti, there is nothing here at all. Dry, desert bleakness.
practised their asses off, everyday. He’ll say that he was “the weakest link”
Moreno is shuffling around the bus too. He’s more alert than his
and that his band mates would make fun of him for sounding like Gomer
drummer, a little less prone to abusing the facilities too. Recently, the
Pyle, “kinda like a mix of Danzig and Morrissey”.
singer lost pounds and pounds of weight. Where once his waistline had
Still, they will progress from their friends’ parties to playing the local
ballooned, victim to increasingly unhealthy eating, drinking and drug
venue in town, The Cowshed, where in years to come Nirvana and the
habits, now Moreno says he is back on track. “I’m getting my head
Smashing Pumpkins will play, and two or three hundred people will come
together. I’m getting my brain and my body together,” he says, “and
down to watch their first ever club show. No one will tell them that they
that means everything comes easier. Waking up in the morning is better
suck. And because of that, suddenly they will begin to think, just maybe,
and I sleep better, live better and feel better.”
they can do this. Perhaps they really are a band – possibly a good one, too. They know they might have to ditch the songs about broccoli, though.
He certainly looks better, his eyes are shining once again, his face is sharp once more.
Opening spread from left to right: Stephen Carpenter, Sergio Vega, Abe Cunningham, Chino Moreno, Frank Delgado.
Moreno has always been a worrier and he admits, in the past, that a fault of his was to “sit and analyse stuff and forget to just be me.” But he’s also a thinker, very much not the clichéd self-absorbed singer. In fact, he finds singing a slightly peculiar occupation, preferring instrumental music – possibly because he envies frontmen who don’t have to reveal themselves in lyrics. “It is weird that I’m a singer and I don’t really like singers... well, I do, but I prefer sometimes to let the music speak for itself,” he says. “I like to hide in the music. That’s the way I’m most comfortable. It’s hard for me to write lyrics because I don’t really like to say much.” Last night Deftones played in the town from which they’re now leaving. The gig was, as Cunningham puts it, “fantastic”. It was their first in America for a little while, and it followed a handful of Mexican dates. If all goes according to plan, they will be on the road – on and off – for the next twenty-four months. Moreno, for one, is very pleased about this. “We’re warming up,” he says, voice full of eagerness. “We’re getting ready for a good couple of years.” Perhaps he’s so buoyant because Deftones really haven’t had a very good last few years. There is a constant reminder of this when you look around their bus – their bass player, Chi Cheng, is not here. Instead, he is semi-conscious in a hospital bed and has been for a year and a half. He was flung from the wreckage of a car crash while riding in the passenger seat and went into a coma from which he hasn’t yet fully emerged. The accident happened when the band had nearly finished what would have been their sixth record, Eros. They shelved that project in the aftermath of Cheng’s crash, believing it didn’t represent them anymore, and put it aside out of respect for their bass player. Instead, they recorded an entirely new album, Diamond Eyes. This, though, is the first time Deftones have put in any serious road time without their fallen comrade. It’s taking a little getting used to. “His bunk on the bus was always right across from mine. I’ve spent the last twenty years of my life right next to this guy almost every day,” says Moreno. “To be talking to him one day and not able to speak to him the next is a rough thing.” All four of the rest of Deftones – Moreno, Cunningham, Carpenter and keyboardist Frank Delgado – remain distraught about their friend; he is never far from their minds. But there is an irony. It took Cheng’s accident to help save the band.
hen Deftones recorded their 2006 album, Saturday Night Wrist, they were at breaking point. They weren’t communicating, they weren’t friends anymore and Moreno in particular had lost interest in the band. In fact, he had lost interest to such an extent that he embarked on a tour with his side project, the dreamscape-inspired Team Sleep, instead of recording vocals for Deftones. He would return, but it was to a tortuous recording process that further delayed the release of the album. “That was absolutely the worst fucking time,” says Cunningham. “[Moreno] had started his vocals and then he decided to go on tour without finishing the record. We were like, ‘What the fuck?’ It was horrendous.” “It caused a lot of problems,” admitted Moreno shortly after Saturday Night Wrist’s eventual release. “In fact, it was pretty much the end of Deftones. I didn’t really care at that point either. I was just so fed up with everything. I wasn’t getting any positive feedback from anything I was doing, so I thought, ‘Why am I even bothering?’ We always started this to have fun and it just wasn’t fun at all. I pretty much just walked away from it all for a while.” It’s just one example of how bad, pre-Cheng’s accident, morale was. To see them now though – friendly, close and excited again – demonstrates how much things have changed. Partly the transformation came as they toured Saturday Night Wrist. Partly it came as barriers were lowered and communication started again as they recorded the shelved Eros album. But most of the reason came when they saw Cheng laid out on a hospital bed. Suddenly their issues and arguments didn’t seem that important
anymore. “It really put things into perspective,” says Cunningham. So, to cope with the incident and to cement their re-bonding, they went back into their rehearsal room in Sacramento, having invited their friend, the former Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega, to join them. And they did the thing they most love and understand: they played music together. “It wasn’t about writing anything new, we just wanted to play,” says Moreno. “It was very therapeutic.” And from that jam stemmed new songs and eventually a new album, Diamond Eyes, that has been hailed as their best in years. “We lost a key member and so we relied on the music,” says Cunningham. “We had a lot to prove because we were wounded. Our friendship pulled us through. There’s always been a cloud hanging over us but I’m getting sick of that cloud. I’m ready to tell that cloud to fuck off.”
o understand where Deftones are now, it’s worth revisiting their history. From that day in Carpenter’s garage, it took them seven years to release their first record – 1995’s Adrenaline. They spent that time just learning to play. They would rehearse for hours each day, arranging sporadic mini-tours around their hometown. Gradually, they branched out into the rest of California. They would play alongside a whole host of local bands, too. They played with nu-metal pioneers Korn, they played with influential post-hardcore band Far, they shared stages with the likes of quirky indie-rockers CAKE. “We would all play shows together,” says Cunningham. “It was a mixed-up scene. I found a ticket stub not too long ago that had us, Korn and CAKE on it. It was pretty wild that early on we all played together. We were really influenced by the music in the Bay Area. So many different sounds came from there. We were influenced by the funk and soul of Tower of Power, Primus in the ’90s, the thrash metal of Metallica and Death Angel in the ’80s.” In that time, Moreno says the band never really tried to get signed to a label. “Our only plan was to get good enough to record a demo,” he says. And so, as Cunningham puts it, they became “a touring beast”. It was on the back of the support they generated on those tours, though, that they did land a deal and their debut, Adrenaline, followed soon after. Moreno will now describe that album as “not that great”. Cunningham, too, is not effusive in his praise for it. “When I listen to that record now, I hear a young band,” he says. But it sent them around the world on tour and it was there that they saw how it had affected people. Despite its raw edges, it demonstrated that, in Deftones, there was something a bit different. And that lent the band real swagger. “I was straight hyped. I couldn’t believe people were digging us,” says Moreno of the reaction to Adrenaline. “I was really confident. My attitude was, ‘We just made an okay record and people really liked it. Now we’re going to make something that’s way sicker…’” With spirits high, Moreno, Cunningham and Carpenter went into their rehearsal space and simply wrote. Cheng had moved temporarily to San Diego but Deftones simply couldn’t sit on their creative juices long enough for him to rejoin them, so they went on a writing frenzy, song after song tumbling out. “Everything just fell into place,” says Moreno. “We really had a feeling we were onto some really great songs. We were taking things a little further than where we had been. They weren’t typical metal songs. And once we started recording, it was probably one of our best experiences ever. It was probably the tightest we’ve ever been. It was a real highlight in my life.” The record that emerged was 1997’s Around the Fur, not their biggest-selling record but one that is often the favourite of Deftones purists. It was leaps and bounds ahead of Adrenaline in scope, adventure and artistry. And it began the slow build that would eventually make them stars. There was only one problem: the critics kept calling them nu-metal. “Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach were selling a lot of records. I did see us getting
lumped in with a lot of those bands and, you know, I don’t really mind,”
relationship with the singer. “We’re almost never at odds with each other
says Moreno. “I felt we had a little more to offer than just being a nu-
but we do come at things from two different perspectives.” Certainly
metal band or even just a metal band, though.”
that’s what happened on the band’s 2003 self-titled fourth album.
“Even to this day, I hate it,” is Cunningham’s less conciliatory
“[On White Pony] we were trying to outdo each other,” says Moreno.
response to their unwarranted nu-metal tag. “It annoys me even now. A
“So, by the end, we had this great record of us trying to outdo each other.
lot of those bands are back now and putting out records again. You know
Perhaps we were trying to prove ourselves to each other and, somehow,
what? Whatever. We’ve been around the whole time and we’ve always
it worked out. But then, on the self-titled record, there was no focus
put records out.”
there at all. Instead of building on top of each other, Stephen and I were building two separate things and then trying to mash them together.”
Deftones, the album, failed to match up to its predecessor in both hen Deftones released White Pony in 2000, they became
content and sales. That, and the tensions within, began to grate. It
superstars. The album has currently sold 2.6 million
was the start of a bleak period that would culminate in the draining
copies and counting, and Moreno is justifiably proud.
three-year writing and recording process for Saturday Night Wrist and
But he also believes that its release marked the point at
Moreno’s temporary and self-imposed exile in Team Sleep.
which things started to go awry in the band. They had
“We’d been going for ten years straight and it was a relentless cycle
been joined full-time by the keyboardist Delgado who had contributed to
of studio, touring, studio, touring. It just wasn’t fun anymore,” says
their two previous albums, but had yet to become an official member. His
Moreno. “The reason we’re in a band is because it’s fun and it just
arrival demonstrated Deftones’ insistence on developing their sound.
wasn’t fun back then.”
“I felt really confident we could do anything we wanted,” says Moreno. “Because Around the Fur was so different to Adrenaline, yet people still got it, I felt we could go further and make another record
ut now, the fun is back. It’s there in the way they speak to
that was different again – and that people would still like it. And it
each other, it’s there in the enthusiasm with which they
worked. We tried to go left of centre and the songs came out great.”
hit the stage, it’s there in the glimmer behind their eyes –
However, they did get criticised – chiefly and perhaps fittingly from the nu-metal scene in which they wanted no part. “I specifically
despite and perhaps indirectly because of the bond they shared after Cheng’s accident.
remember Fieldy from Korn,” says Moreno. “He said, ‘What’s up with
“Right now is a gift,” is how Carpenter describes it, “to call it the
this record? Why don’t you rap?’ I had to tell him that we liked what we
present couldn’t be a better title for it, because it’s a gift.” Moreno says he’s
were doing. It was more experimental and it was more fun. That was
closer to his band than he has been in ten years, Cunningham states he’s
what music was about to me.”
“giddy with life at the moment” – or at least he does after that coffee.
But as White Pony’s commercial success began to match its creative
The reason is the new album and its recording. It was an album that
highs, so the band began to drift from their moorings. “Life happened,”
came together in much the same way Around the Fur came together all
says Cunningham. “Rock ‘n’ roll life. Need I say more? Shit, there was a
those years ago. The creative juices flowed once more and part of the
ton of drugs, a ton of excess. All that shit. You’ve heard it a million times.
reason for that was the fact they were talking to one another again, they
Over time, there’s no mystery as to why that causes problems. These
were communicating. Though that was a process that had started during
things erode even the best foundations.” “I spent a lot of years making excuses, not following through and being irresponsible,” says Moreno of that time and the period that followed.
the tour for Saturday Night Wrist, and continued through the recording of Eros – an album the band aren’t sure when will see the light of day – it came to a head in the wake of Cheng’s crash.
“I can attribute that to a million things: drugs, alcohol and thinking this
So, from tragedy, came something. There came renewed friendship,
is the way you’re supposed to behave in a rock band. I was living my life
buried hatchets, explanations and apologies. There came creativity,
on the edge all the time.”
excitement and fun again. But most of all, there came music. And, in Diamond Eyes, it is music that continues Deftones’ astonishing arc, proving that, unlike so many other rock bands, sometimes musicians do get better with age. As the band’s tour bus pulls into Corpus Christi, the dry plains of El Paso behind them, there is only one way Deftones are looking and it’s not back down the road from where they came. Because, for now, it’s about the future. “We all had to go through what we went through to come out the other side,” says Moreno before he finally disappears inside the venue. “Now, I’m optimistic about the future of this band. We’re in a better place than we’ve been in years. Everybody is having fun.” And, after all, when they started this all back in Carpenter’s mom’s garage, fun was all they had ever wanted
rom White Pony onwards, it started becoming a task,” says Moreno. “White Pony was when the tension first started – especially between me and Stephen. I had started to play guitar and recently he told me why he was so mad about that. He said, ‘I wish I could have learned to play guitar in a band that was already established.’ And he was right. I was pretty much learning to play guitar on TV. And I sucked!” Carpenter is a hulking figure. Though avuncular but occasionally taciturn, he has a mischievous side that takes some getting used to. He’s the sort of person who, as happened recently, will turn up to a photo shoot at which the required dress code is all black, wearing a luminous orange hockey shirt. But he is also one of the creative rocks on which the band is founded. So, him and Moreno not getting along caused real problems. “People think me and him are always at odds,” Carpenter says of his
Diamond Eyes is out now on Warner Bros/Reprise Records. To show your support for Chi Cheng visit www.oneloveforchi.com.
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M I C B E A N I E - C Y P R E S S S H I R T - C O N T I N E N TA L D E N I M
SNaP, sNAp, SnaP! Photographer Shad Lambert shares his heavy hitter archives.
Mike Franklin. Kickflip. Santa Clarita, CA.
Text Jay Riggio Photography Shad Lambert
Chad Muska. Kickflip. Tokyo, Japan.
Ragdoll. Melon Grab. Las Vegas, CA.
Mark Appleyard. Kickflip Melon Grab. City of Compton, CA.
DJ Chavez. Ollie to street. Hollywood, CA.
Antwuan Dixon. Switch Frontside Flip. Sydney, Australia.
Anyone who has thumbed through a major skate
Born in Petaluma, California, and spending
publications, and handling marketing, web, project
mag in the last ten years will undoubtedly have
most of his childhood in Colorado Springs, Lambert
coordination, team management and photo duties
come across the work of thirty-four-year-old skate
was initially drawn to the visuals portrayed in the
for KR3W and Supra. And despite being a veteran
photographer Shad Lambert. In recent years, the
skate videos of his youth. “I always messed with
of the game with an archive of photography that’s
Hollywood-based lensman has been steadily carving
videos and was obsessed with the Powell [-Peralta]
fifteen years deep, Shad still gets psyched at the
out a niche for himself as one of LA’s most sought-
Public Domain video. Then I had surgery on my ankle and was bored out of my mind, so I stole my Mom’s camera and started shooting my friends,” remembers Shad. “I shot my friends skating and getting into fights with the gangsters and skinheads that would start shit with skaters.” From that point on Shad’s interest soared, and he soon found himself grappling with the technical foundations that make for a good shot. He learned about lighting and the endlessly evolving world of cameras, and applied his newfound knowledge to skate spots across the globe. But in the unpredictable realm of skateboard photography – where anything that can go wrong almost always does – every variable must align to bag that perfectly composed shot. There are more elements at play, says Shad, than just the people on either side of the lens. “[An ideal environment] is a spot you’ve already checked to see what time the light is best. Plus a spot you won’t get kicked out of is nice,” he laughs. “Hopefully there’s not a shit-load of people gawking or gangsters sweating you, but so much is spontaneous and that can lead to a good photo too. It really depends on the photo you want to shoot.” These days, Shad’s plate is overloaded with seconds and thirds, shooting for a string of
prospect of creating the perfect image. “These days
after shooters. He may be just one of a growing list of skate poachers based around the globe, but thanks to a unique ability to frame, snap and capture some of skateboarding’s most down and dirty ams and pros, Shad’s work continues to stand out above the rest. Shad’s been known to roll with some of skating’s most unique personalities, and his archives document the careers of infamous names like Lizard King, Antwuan Dixon, Jim Greco, Erik Ellington, Andrew Reynolds, Terry Kennedy, Ragdoll, Nuge and other big hitters. The heavily tattooed, the reckless, the drunk and insanely burly – wherever this creed of skater roams, Shad Lambert is never far behind. “It’s funny, I shot Lizard King before he even had one sponsor and he always brings up the story how other photographers wouldn’t even let him get a ride in their car because he was such a weird, dirty looking kid,” laughs Shad. “To me Lizard’s just always been fun to kick it with. The dudes that are just psyched to skate are the ones that get me hyped.” But it’s not just the subject matter that makes a Lambert photo stand out from the pack. Whether it’s an action shot or an old-fashioned portrait, Shad’s polished style and precise eye brings life and depth to every image that he frames.
I’m obsessed with portraits that have that certain timeless element, energy, or distinct look.” Shooting the majority of his work with Canon Digitals, Lambert admits that he is still obsessed with too many of his film cameras to ever abandon the analogue world: “I still have my Hasselblad medium format – there’s no way I could part with those because the 120mm and 30mm lenses are untouchable. Then I have some crazy panoramic and half-frame cams I like to break out too. But I always get psyched if a digi skate shot just comes out amazing too.” Thanks to this boundless enthusiasm for all things unpredictable, Shad’s spontaneous creativity is bound to yield many more amazing shots. “I just love shooting and trying to capture something that grabs your attention,” he says. “The funny thing is that usually you won’t know how awesome the photo really is until it’s a year or two old. I’ve shot photos I thought were awesome at the time, then a year later, I couldn’t care less. And then sometimes a random shot I never cared about will sneak up on me and seem amazing.” www.shadlambert.com
united by fate
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PunK rOlleRs Back in time and behind the scenes with the all-girl sport that’s reclaiming independence and bringing back brawls. Text Shannon Denny Photography Niall O'BrIEn
Thundering around a slippery floor is a pack of women on roller skates. The London Brawl Saints are hurling their way towards defeating Glasgow’s IRN Bruisers. This alternative reality is a pink and black whirl of shoving, blocking, jamming and bouting. There’s a blur of kneepads, helmets and hotpants, as a tangled group suddenly goes down. Fast and furious skating continues in a flash, while a voice borrowed from the boxing ring booms out above the hooting, hollering and cheers to commentate on the exploits of heroines like Vagablonde and Grievous Bodily Charm. Violent and strange, it could be a Marvel comic brought to life, or a modern gladiatorial contest perhaps; squint your eyes and it could be rugby on wheels. But in fact this phenomenon is roller derby. And you’d better get to know it because you’re lying in its way.
Rolling back the years Chicago promoter Leo Seltzer was the man behind this mayhem. He witnessed the success of Depression-era dance marathons that saw out-of-work hopefuls contending for cash prizes in days-long endurance contests, and in 1935 he launched a version on wheels. In his Transcontinental Roller Derby competing couples skated on a banked track for thousands of laps, equal to the distance from California to New York. When it proved a hit, Seltzer took his show on the road. Impromptu collisions between contestants weren’t uncommon, and this led Seltzer to introduce nuances that radically altered the face of his invention: he incorporated body contact and started keeping score. The new sport pitted two teams of five skaters against one another, with sides scoring points when skaters lapped their opposition. It’s the same basic formula used today. From a relatively staid show derived from partner dances, roller derby became a spectacle of equal parts rock and roll. In the 1950s television delivered derby to American audiences nationwide, and Seltzer’s rough and ready professional rollers became legends. His son Jerry took over and derby careened full tilt through the next decade, but screeched to a financial halt in 1973 when the Seltzer organisation was forced to shut down its show. Other promoters attempted revivals, but it was a grassroots effort decades later that successfully seized the keys to the roller kingdom. The modern movement took hold in the college town of Austin where postmillennium pioneers the Texas Rollergirls effected two important changes over earlier incarnations. First, new leagues took shape as entities run by the competitors themselves. Instead of a business owned and managed by promoters, roller derby would in fact belong to its own amateur participants. Second, by using skating rinks and gym floors, the innovators hatched flat track derby, relegating the infrastructure requirement of a banked track to the past. The Texas Rollergirls Rock‘n’Rollerderby league formed in 2003, and the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association took flight the following year. Today, thanks to a cocktail of irony and adrenalin, modern roller derby is as infectious as a virus and addictive as a drug. It’s gone from a handful of teams to 450 recognised A bout time: London Rollergirls get ready
leagues worldwide in less than a decade – nothing short of a pandemic.
to rumble, as jammers, pivots and blockers take to the track for a scrimmage. 53
Ladies who crunch Thanks to the skater-owned and operated ethos, roller derby embodies DIY. According to the London Rollergirls I talk to, it’s about passion and commitment more than playing the right note or singing in key. “I’m actually pretty lucky,” laughs Erin No Bragh, “because I couldn’t really skate when I first started. And then right after my group started they got a little more strict – you had to have a certain minimum skill level!” Even with entry requirements though, derby offers a uniquely level playing field that’s appealing. “I was Miss Extracurricular,” says Poddington Peeved who skates for the Ultraviolent Femmes. “But I was always the worst person in the band or the worst person on the hockey team. I wanted to do something where you had to learn. Because everyone has to do hockey and netball you kind of know how to play those, whereas no one really knows how to play roller derby – you can’t already have any idea of how to hit people while on roller skates.” Dot Slash joined the Suffra Jets after spending her youth figure skating. “With figure skating you have to be a certain type of person who fits a certain criteria, and there’s no room for someone that’s a little bit different. I outgrew it; I didn’t like all the snobby mums and hairspray and glitter eye shadow.” Three years ago, roller derby supplied her with a gritty alternative and instant addiction. “When you get older you start to know who you are and what you like and don’t like. Stuff you do as a kid, often you do it because your parents want to keep you out of trouble – or in our village, stop you getting pregnant!” Auntie Terror grew up in the States before moving to Britain and joining the Steam Rollers. “I did run track for a while, played a bit of field hockey. But once everything got competitive I wasn’t interested anymore. People were competing for sports scholarships, and I didn’t want a sports scholarship.” Rejecting the conventional path is a common theme in roller derby community she says. “Quite a lot of us really are a bit dorky. I’ve talked to a lot of girls and found out that growing up at school they weren’t part of the popular cliques. There are a lot of nerds here. I think it attracts people that never quite fit in elsewhere, because it is so odd but also because it welcomes everybody. You don’t have to be a certain size or a certain shape or a certain background or a certain level; if you can skate and you don’t mind throwing yourself into people then you can find a league that will suit you.” Even within a league or a team, the diversity makes stereotypes impossible. Some girls have tattoos, some girls are doctors – and some girls have tattoos and are doctors. “What I love is that although it’s alternative, you don’t have to be any type of person at all,” says Poddington Peeved. “As a sport it’s just incredibly
open-minded. No one cares, no one bats an eyelid at
disco to react against we wouldn’t have had the
The outcome was that for every boys’ team a school
anything you turn up wearing or doing.”
anarchic fury of the Sex Pistols or Dead Kennedys.
fielded, it had to also offer an equivalent for girls.
The superhero names and offbeat dress codes let
To understand the phenomenon of rollergirls you
Title IX precipitated a boom in women’s
rollergirls slip into new identities, and the invention of
have to look at what was happening in sport between
organised sport in the US, and its lifespan coincides
powerful alter egos echoes the plot of Revenge of the
derby’s premature death in 1973 and its miraculous
with the trajectory of sport as a corporate enterprise.
Nerds. “To me it’s a sport unlike any other because of the quirky character,” says Erin. Willowy and blonde, she’s a model by day, but when asked if she played sport in her youth the answer is revealing. “Oh my gosh – that’s the funny part. Everyone who knows me from growing up cannot believe I’m doing this because I was like a music nerd my whole life! I went from this not athletic person to where this consumes my life. It’s totally a passion.” And to prove the point she fastens her helmet, pops in a mouth guard and glides off to collect a couple bruises and kick some butt.
resurrection in 2003.
In these years administrators and advertisers
These were the years that saw sport evolve from
were setting agendas, and those from the model
a leisure activity into a corporate commodity. Nike
mould – think Jane Fonda and more recently Anna
unleashed the Swoosh in 1971 and sponsored its first pro
Kournikova – served as poster girls.
in 1978. ESPN, the American cable network dedicated
So maybe it’s no coincidence that the first
to twenty-four-hour sports coverage, debuted in
generation of women in the Title IX era sought an
1979 and set a precedent for slick production that
alternative to mainstream sports and packaged icons
blurred lines between news and entertainment.
available to them. In the same way that punk bands
Commercialisation was on the march in Britain too,
formed first and learned to play instruments later,
where in 1978 Liverpool became the first club to ink a
girls get themselves on the track – a close cousin
shirt sponsorship deal. Meanwhile the 1977 release of
of the mosh pit – and dance like no one’s watching.
the film Pumping Iron is credited with spawning gym
The on-track violence makes the threat of injury
This ain’t no disco
culture – and also launching the career of a little fellow
perennial, putting a nihilistic two fingers up at the
named Arnold Schwarzenegger.
nanny state where it’s normal for parents to launch
Sport was becoming more serious – and arguably
lawsuits when their kid falls over in the playground.
So why is this movement happening now, and why’s it
more contrived. But for female sport in particular
And the pervasive irony found in witty wordsmithing
only women? A punk attitude pervades roller derby –
there’s one more piece to our puzzle, and that’s
and a cheeky aesthetic reminds everyone that sport
from customised ‘boutfits’ to in-yer-face names that
something called Title IX. Passed in 1972, this
should be fun, if not outright funny. Lacing up a pair
would do Sid Vicious proud. To understand punk you
landmark legislation banned sex discrimination in
of quad skates is like bidding farewell to the last days
have to look at what preceded it; without anodyne
all US schools and colleges receiving federal funding.
of disco; roller derby is punk rock on wheels
NkOSI SiKelEl' iafRikA As World Cup mania descends on South Africa, HUCK Brushes aside the fear-mongering and hype to capture a picture of a nation that learned to leave the past behind. Text Tim Conibear Photography Guy Martin
“I wish that I could be young today,” says forty-five-
of Bophuthatswana has exacerbated fears of full-scale
seems as foreign as the doomsday reports swirling
year-old Ntombizanele from the comfort of her sofa.
civil war. And Nelson Mandela – the first President
in the cauldrons of tabloids around the globe, which
“I could go to school, to university… There are so
elected in a fully representative democratic election
insist on placing South Africa in the spotlight for all
many opportunities.” She’s talking about the South
– is left juggling the revolutionary zeal of his ANC
the wrong reasons.
Africa that surrounds her today. But her positivity
contemporaries with his own vision for a democratic
“South Africa is a country with a future,” says
seems to dwindle when she talks about the past.
and unified South Africa. To that end, he sets up
Gladys. “Today, in Masi, all the youngsters are busy with something.”
Today, however, the cab company she runs is
the Truth and Reconciliation Committee – public
in full swing. A steady trickle of cab drivers come
hearings that see perpetrators of human rights
A mere fifteen years into its democracy, this
and go through the open door, depositing their
abuses come face-to-face with their victims. It may
adolescent nation still has its problems. HIV, TB,
takings into plastic money bags. Most of it will go
not be a simple case of ‘forgive and forget’, but the
the world’s highest discrepancy in wealth and violent
towards funding her children’s education at the
TRC does achieve at least one thing: it shows the
crime are just a few of the countries’ well-published
previously whites-only junior school in the affluent
world South Africa is ready to face the truth.
failings, but by the same token the people of South
Cape suburb of Kalk Bay. But for Ntombizanele, it’s
Gladys, another Masi local, lived through the
money well spent. “When they grow up, they can
transition. She understands how far her nation has
“It’s not just about awareness, but about a shift of
work anywhere,” she smiles.
come. “When I was young I never dreamed of a
the paradigm in terms of education,” muses twenty-
Africa are taking steps to secure their future.
Outside, the Cape township of Masiphumelele
business of my own, I wasn’t even allowed to be
eight-year-old Xolani through his rich Xhosa accent,
unfurls in technicolour. The long slow belch of a
here!” exclaims the fifty-one-year-old. As a single
one of South Africa’s eleven official languages. “People
vuvuzela fills the air as kids play ‘street-game’ (streetfootball) with a couple of American volunteers. The vuvuzela – a stadium horn that’s a metre long and twice as loud – will provide a soundtrack to Africa’s first World Cup. It’s doubtful anyone from Masi will make it to a game. Fears persist that the poor black majority will remain excluded, with tourists, politicians and FIFA reaping the rewards. But still the anticipation is palpable across this footballobsessed land. Cast an eye back to 1994 and it’s a different story. A clandestine civil war has engulfed the townships leaving 20,000 dead. The failed right-wing invasion
mother living under the apartheid regime, she spent
look at the long-term now; it’s about tomorrow. The
her youth dodging the police and squatting in the
younger generation is more exposed to opportunities,
suburbs to find work to support her sons. The police
though the government could do more.” Xolani used
would frequently break down her make-shift shack
his earnings at McDonald’s to fund his way into
and take her back to Khayelitsha, the township she
a government-assisted university place. Today he
was assigned to live in by virtue of her race. Here, the
implements programmes for a large international
rest of her family lived in the bush beneath plastic
NGO working in his home of Khayelitsha.
wrappings, having been forcibly removed from their homes to face overcrowding and squalor.
“There’s a huge difference between how we used to think about the future and now,” he signs
Today she lives in her government-funded brick
off. For better or worse, that future is unfolding on
house in Masi while her son Mthandazo works with
the streets of Masi for all the world to see – if only
an international NGO teaching kids sports and life
they would venture inside townships boundaries and
skills. The violence of the late ’80s and early ’90s
simply take a look around.
1. The shape of things to come. Red-tiled roofs of government-built concrete houses are slowly replacing old tin shacks. The new houses consist of two bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom and kitchen, whereas shacks boast two rooms at the most. Lifting the base standard of living is paramount in the ANC manifesto as set out in 1994. i1. As residents of townships become more enfranchised in South African society, more community programmes are being put in place, like this bottle-recycling scheme in Masiphumelele. Every second week, dustbin men also empty the streets and take the rubbish to the local dump, where it is sorted and recycled. ii1. The ‘Shabine’. You hear them before you see them; local drinking haunts pumping with loud music and the raucous laughter of clusters of men. Many now close at 11pm, in line with rules handed down through a system of elders and street comities (the township governing system). Others stay open late. Here men play pool in the middle of the day. Township unemployment is still estimated at 40 per cent. 1v. The ‘Spaza’ store, one of several small businesses now in townships across South Africa. Under apartheid, such stores would have been broken down by police. It was thought that oppression of black and other non-white racial groups in the cities would encourage them to move back to their race-assigned homelands in the country. v. “When I am rich, I will buy my family a big house in Masi,” says Bundu, aged eleven, outside his family home. He attends the local primary school, built in 1994, and will go to Masiphumelele High School to matriculate. His father will use the proceeds from his job at the local council to send Bundu to university, where he hopes he will study to be an accountant one day. v1. Barber stalls cobbled together from renovated shipping containers offer a legitimate and profitable business opportunity to a forgotten workforce. The maturing workforce that grew up under apartheid received little to no education and struggled to join the formal economy post 1994. Today, a thriving industry of small informal sector businesses generates vital income for local families. vi1. “You’ve got malls in the townships today and the shops are always full of consumers. Such things you could only dream of back in the day,” says Xolani, reflecting on the developments in the huge townships across Cape Town’s Cape Flats. Here a local man returns from his shopping run at a nearby mall in Fishoek. vii1. Game stores, complete with Pac-Man, are a hit with local kids, who hustle for ‘five bob’ (fifty cents) on the streets to pay for one turn. Dangling wires point to an electric meter through which power is purchased in subsidised units. Standard township plots now come with an outside lavatory, a drinking water tap and electricity. Prior to government-funded housing, it was left to plot owners to build what they could – hence most buildings took the form of crude shacks. 1x. Bundu with Mthandazo, who now works with an international NGO – of which Bundu is a member – that promotes youth development in Masi. In the background stands Mthandazo’s local Baptist church, the place he says helped him leave behind a life of drug addiction and crime. x. The FIFA Football for Hope Centre, one of twenty across Africa, was created to leave a legacy after the 2010 World Cup. Situated in downtown Khayelitsha – a battleground in the 1980s between ANC guerrilla activists and apartheid police – the field plays host to local leagues and HIV awareness clinics run by international NGOs. x1. According to The State of Africa by Martin Meredith, of the 40 million people living in South Africa in 1994, 22 million lacked adequate sanitation, 12 million lacked clean water and 23 million had no electricity. The city of Cape Town’s most recent stats show that 97.2 per cent of homes now have access to electricity, 94 per cent have access to safe drinking water and 95 per cent of households have adequate sanitation. Local opinion, however, may differ. More than 40 per cent of South African citizens still live below the poverty line according to the 2009 UN Human Development Report. xi1. Ntombizanele and her husband Difference own a thriving taxi business that affords them a comfortable home and an education for their children at a reputable local school. Ntombizanele’s mother, pictured here, moved to Masi from her Transkei homeland to live with her daughter’s young family. Before 1994, she supported her entire family on a meagre state pension and the money her son-in-law, Difference, earned from his job at a state-owned clay mill in Cape Town. Times are changing
Tony Foresta, Municipal Waste.
ThRAsH hISTORy 101 as the infamous big four – metallica, anthrax, megadeth and slayer – head out on tour, Headlines around the world are screaming ‘Thrash Is Back!’ But for every resurrection, there must be a demise, so did thrash ever really die? Professor of cultural sociology and life-long metal addict Deena Weinstein goes in search of the truth. Text Deena Weinstein Photography Michael O’Shea
Have you heard the news? For the past few years
“Municipal has led the Thrash Wagon for quite a while
out what he thinks is one of his best songs, ‘Media
headlines have been blaring, ‘THRASH IS BACK!’
now,” adding that it is “the answer to our prayers.”
Skeptic’ from their last release. On it Tony’s voice
Worldwide, from mainstream mags and metal ’zines,
Providing ammunition for these proclamations, the
blares: “Through media exaggerations / Lies to sell
to blogsters and Facebook updates, there has been a
band’s latest release, Massive Aggressive, hit number
more publications,” adding, “They will sacrifice the
double-bass drumbeat screaming out the same tune.
ten on Billboard’s list of best-selling albums by new
truth.” So is this some kind of thinly veiled political
There’s even a song, by newbie thrash band Fueled
artists last year.
comment, or is he referring to all the hype that keeps
by Fire, titled – what else? – ‘Thrash is Back’. So they
When I catch up with Muni Waste’s main man,
insisting thrash is back?
Tony Foresta, it doesn’t come as news to him that
A string of other new bands have surfaced in
Beneath each headline, writers anoint leaders of
everyone puts his band on the top of the thrash heap.
recent years, many from England, Ireland, Mexico,
the new crop of thrash outfits. Everyone seems to
“You can say that,” is his modest reply. He can say it
Australia and South America too. Before questioning
mention Virginia’s Municipal Waste. Like metal ’zine
with justice too, is my response. “Well, we work really
whether, and if so why, thrash has been resurrected,
Search & Destroy, which declared a few weeks ago, “Thrash is back on top,” in their profile of Municipal Waste. A Facebook posting from a metal fiend in India, headlined “Thrash is BACK!!!” declared that,
hard. It wasn’t like we were some fucking MySpace
it would make sense to get a handle on thrash metal
band. We actually started from the ground up, and
itself – its birth, life, and if it is indeed now back from
just toured constantly and put out a lot of records
the dead, its presumed demise.
must be right. Right?
and tried to write good music.” He tells me to check
Thrash metal arose simultaneously with its
Chloe Puke, Atakke.
evil twin hair metal in the early 1980s. These two
Ulrich, was a big fan of those British bands. “Yeah,
had both also. I vividly remember happening upon a
opposite styles, which sit in total contrast despite
I know people regard Kill ’Em All [his band’s debut]
local thrash band, Mayhem, at a public street fair in
their shared electric guitar shredding and guys with
as the start of thrash, but I give full credit to Venom.
Chicago in 1983 – my first and rather jaw-dropping
long hair, could make one think that Newton’s second
They started it all. Their first album, Welcome to Hell, was so fucking unique when it first hit. And Metallica were obviously influenced.” Thrash metal’s energetic guitar riffing, aggressive vocals and fast double-bass drumming, distinguished it from classic, 1970s heavy metal. Thrash is a hybrid, adding to its metal roots a batch of punk features – speed, a lyrical focus on the issues of this world, and an anti-heroic stance of musicians towards their audience. The distance between the musicians and their fans was physically, emotionally and attitudinally erased. Fans and band members dressed alike, and interacted with one another, in part via the not-yet-an-Olympic-event of stage diving. A modification of punk’s slam dancing, mosh pits began in thrash, giving physical expression of audience appreciation, and an enactment of the camaraderie of the fans themselves. The best known thrash scene erupted in California in 1981-1983 with the formation of groups such as Metallica, which began in the Los Angeles area but then moved to San Francisco, where bands like Exodus were integral in forming a scene. But other places were also in on the action from the beginning, like New York City, where Anthrax erupted. What all these sites had in common was a strong metal fan base and an equally strong hardcore punk scene. Chicago, where I live,
encounter with the new form. It was then called speed
law of motion – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction – applies to rock. Both of those subgenres might be seen as opposite reactions to the same situation – a nasty economic recession coupled with a reactionary political climate led by Thatcher and Reagan. Hair metal’s was the ‘what me worry?’ party-hearty ’tude, while thrash expressed aggression toward the recession by vital youth. Both reached the top of their economic success at the start of the next decade, just when grunge hit big. Thrash, like all good cultural creations, has many ancestors, and several sites of origination. A madein-America product, thrash was fashioned from raw materials imported from the UK. Its decidedly British roots were in heavy metal, especially the socalled New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands like Venom, Diamond Head and Iron Maiden. And then there’s Motörhead, a band begun when metal and punk were just coming into their own in the mid1970s, which combined elements of both of those genres. Motörhead are at least thrash’s godfather although if DNA tests were available, one could slap a paternity suit on them. One of the first thrash bands was Metallica, whose diminutive Denmark-born drummer, Lars
metal or street metal. Some weeks later, I recall it as if it were yesterday, I walked into a small record store a few blocks from where I live and the guy behind the counter, who knew my musical proclivities, replaced whatever was on the store’s turntable and demanded that I listen. Yow!! He played Metallica’s Kill ’Em
All and since he had but one copy and he didn’t own the store, made a tape of it and gave it to me. What a gift! Eventually I found a vinyl version before my tape chewed up the treasure, and later got a CD of what I still consider one of thrash’s finest efforts. Thrash’s first era was led by the so-called big four: Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer. But Megadeth’s main man Dave Mustaine was on the mark when he called it the “big five,” adding Bay Area Exodus to the titanic quartet. Some years ago Mustaine told me about his part in Metallica’s origins. “When James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and myself met there was the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and there was the punk scene. There was also my belief about how a guitar should be played, Lars’ belief about how a song should be created, and James’ belief about how riffs should be patterned. The three of us came together and started writing songs and the nucleus of Metallica was born.” By the mid-1980s, thrash came into its own
“Hair metal’s was the ‘what me worry?’ party-hearty ’tude, while thrash expressed aggression toward the recession by vital youth.” with more than a handful of great albums that still
descendents, death metal and then black metal, that
and then promises, “We’re here to stay / The glory
resonate today. Among them are Slayer’s Reign in
precipitated an explosion of bands, first in the US and
days are back.” So, many of the new kids on the block
Blood, Exodus’s Bonded by Blood, Destruction’s (from Germany) Eternal Devastation, Metallica’s Master of Puppets and Megadeth’s Peace Sells... But Who’s Buying? Thrash is not concerned with the otherworldly fantasies of demons or heroes who populate traditional metal, and it ignores hair metal’s concerns with sex and romance. Its focus is on the alienation of individuals, the horrors done by humans to one another and to the environment, and the corruption of the powerful. Thrash’s social commentaries are influenced by punk, and some of those early Black Sabbath songs like ‘War Pigs’ and ‘Children of the Grave’. Each of the best bands not only had a distinctive sound, but an equally unique take on the world. For example, Slayer’s lyrics are equal to the brutal, precise, subtle as a howitzer heaviness of their music. As deadpan descriptions of man’s aggressiveness (‘Chemical Warfare,’ ‘Angel of Death’) and the resulting hell on earth (‘Expendable Youth,’ ‘Raining Blood’), they remind me of the work of novelist William S. Burroughs, who, when asked about his penchant for horrific imagery, coolly responded, “Look around. Just look around.” Megadeth’s take can best be described as apocalyptic political preaching. As Mustaine told me, “My mother was a Jehovah’s Witness, my whole family on my mother’s side is.” Raised in a religion that sees political conflict and corruption as signs that the end is near, it’s easy to see where Mustaine’s passion for politics stems from. He told me: “I don’t see where reading the bible would hurt you at all. If anything, it’s a way of seeing what’s taking place. If you have any grasp of American or world history, and if you’ve been introduced to opening the bible, chances are that you can write prophetic songs.” Thrash certainly prospered in its first era. By the end of the 1980s many thrash bands were on major labels and played in arenas to tens of thousands each night. Some bands took full advantage of the situation, making their music ‘more accessible’ – what their long-time fans called ‘selling out’. Others didn’t. Metallica took the first path, Slayer the second. That both bands are still alive and kicking today makes one wonder how anyone can say ‘thrash is back’. But there is more to the story. Thrash gave rise to a variety of offshoots. Some, like grindcore and crossover, added much more hardcore punk to the mix. But it was thrash’s direct
Europe and then all around the world.
embody the sounds, and more, of those glory days, in
Death began when thrash was in its mid-’80s
rather obvious ways.
golden era. It took thrash’s speed, guitar shredding
“Carrying the genre’s whole ‘revival’ on their
and aggressive vocals, and upped the ante while
shoulders,” at least according to Kerrang!, you can hear
lowering the pitch of the singer to sub-woofer
swathes of Slayer and early Metallica in England’s Evile.
growls. Death’s focus was initially on, er, death and,
The Huddersfield band even duplicated Metallica’s
for variety, on disease and decay; later death acquired
tragedy – both their bassists died in Sweden. Bonded
a strong satanist spin.
by Blood takes its name from the title of Exodus’ 1985
By the early 1990s, thrash’s other evil spawn,
debut. Municipal Waste draws upon more hardcore
black metal, had risen from the depths in Norway. It
pioneers. “We definitely have our influences – most
became notoriously popular, at least to the worldwide
come from the ’80s,” says Tony, name-checking Poison
metal community, through non-musical mayhem
Idea and early Corrosion of Conformity. “One of the
like church burning and murder committed by
biggest influences that people don’t know is earlier
some Viking-descended musicians. Less concerned
Accused.” Having seen Tony perform, I tell him that
with speed, the music created a dark otherworldly
he looks like a younger, and sweeter, version of Billy
atmosphere, aided by the rasping screams that
Milano, the singer in Anthrax side-project M.O.D.
passed as vocals espousing anti-Christian sentiments
Tony proudly tells me that when they covered one of
and tales of ancient warriors.
M.O.D.’s songs, “Billy came down and did vocals.”
Death and black metal might be accused of
Other well-respected young thrashers include
parricide, perhaps adding Metallica, with their turn
Dublin’s Gama Bomb and SSS from Liverpool, and
to a more mainstream rock sound in the early 1990s,
a host of Latino bands from California. New York’s
as a co-conspirator. But the jury seemed to point their
Atakke is fronted by a female screamer, Chloe. And a
accusatory fingers at grunge, with Seattle’s Nirvana its
number of these new groups are on indie metal labels
main bullet. Grunge was guilty as charged as the killer
that were started, like Metal Blade and Earache,
of hair metal, but any second-rate lawyer would get it
during thrash’s first wave.
an acquittal on the thrash murder rap.
Even if we add the current culture of ’80s
And still thrash wasn’t dead. New bands, especially
nostalgia sweeping over all things, are these new
from Northern Europe, like The Haunted from Sweden
bands and enthusiastic fans enough to deserve the
and Finland’s Children of Bodom, incestuously mixed
thrash-is-back media hype? Certainly it doesn’t hurt
and matched thrash with its death and black metal
that those titans of ’80s thrash, the so-called big
offspring. And old-school thrash itself, especially
four, are in better shape than ever, and taking some of
those best-known bands from the early era, endured,
the kids out on this summer’s Sonisphere tour.
even slayed. Beyond the proliferation of metal
There is more to the story. More than David
festivals, with their bills of bands from all the mega-
Beckham wearing an Exodus T-shirt, more than the
genre’s styles, nothing much changed until recently.
Rock Band video game getting a set of thrash songs.
‘Thrash is back’ is the recent change. That
Add to this the marketing move made by Earache a
repetitive chant, noted by all and sundry from an NME front-page headline and New York’s Village
few years ago. They compiled a CD sampler of cuts
Voice, to the ever never-subtle Kerrang! Of course thrash could not be back if it never went away. It reminds me of Mark Twain, who remarked upon reading his obituary in the newspaper that the rumours of his death had been greatly exaggerated. So what is going on? In truth, there has been a youthquake, a new wave of thrash bands with a rabid, energetic fanbase. This thrash upsurge is a revival of old-school thrash. As Fueled by Fire puts it in ‘Thrash is Back,’ the “’80s is when thrash was made / Those were the glory days,”
a T-shirt, sent it to journalists, and hyped-up headlines
by Evile, Municipal Waste and SSS, packaged it with soon followed. Thrash isn’t really back; it hasn’t undergone some miraculous resurrection. But it can’t be denied that the new crop of bands has given it a shot of energy that provides the impetus to keep it churning along. Nothing evil ever dies. Perhaps nothing good dies either. The kids are still alright Deena Weinstein is the author of Heavy Metal: The Music
And Its Culture and other books.
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CoLd WatEr BrIeF: PaRt One Photography & text Spencer Murphy
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic is no ordinary comp. It’s a year-long test of character and will that pits surfer against surfer and man against himself on the world’s coldest, wildest, most inhospitable shores. This year, HUCK threw down a challenge of its own, by inviting a different photographer to document each stop of the five-event tour. Their only guidance? To capture the adventure, on and off the land, by interpreting a string of simple captions any way they like. Five unique styles, one creative brief - a year-long narrative of struggle, triumph and bitter, bitter cold. First up: Tasmania, as seen through Spencer Murphy’s eyes.
the local Industry
The Aboriginal population of Tasmania was estimated at being between 5,000 and 10,000 in the early
The rugged coastline of the North
1800s. But the introduction of foreign diseases, war and persecution meant that by 1833 this had
West is awash with giant bull kelp.
dropped to only 300. Those who remained were then relocated to Flinders Island to be educated,
Freshly collected seaweed hangs out
thinking they’d be returned to their homeland once they had been ‘civilised’. Peter Lambert is one
to dry in the clean Tasman air, ready
of a few part-blooded Aborigine descendants living in the area and helping raise awareness of the
to be turned into fertiliser and sold
35,000-year-old heritage of the indigenous people.
on to local farms.
the man-made landscape
Smithton brings to mind the ghosts of American gold rush towns.
Little huts, like this, pepper the coastline of Circular Head,
The closest town to Marrawah, it is an hour’s drive down the Bass
providing surfers and fishermen refuge from the cold. The area has
Highway, past the Dismal Swamp nature reserve. The locals say that
a growing reputation as one of the cleanest environments in the
once you are over the bridge heading out of town you can crack open
world, boasting the highest proportion of green parliamentary seats.
a beer as normal laws don’t apply. The likelihood of running into a
And these huts, with their waste systems that pipe directly into the
policeman on the remote roads to Marrawah is very slim.
sea, are high on the council’s list of cuts. Many face demolition.
Cory Lopez takes a moment to breathe, having just surfed his way into the third
Dirt roads wind their way down to secluded beaches
heat. Growing up along the wave-deprived Gulf of Florida must be something of
that are bombarded by huge swells and the relentless
a driving force, judging by the way he takes on every wave as if it’s his last. “This
winds of the roaring forties. It’s easy to see why early
place is beautiful,” he says, capturing everyone’s sentiments in four simple words.
explorers thought of this as the edge of the world
"It’s sort of back to basics out there. With no scores you just have to keep going for it on every wave." And go for it, he does.
HIS NAME IS MICHAEL. HE’S AN ARTIST. AND ALL THIS STUFF BELONGS TO HIM. TEXT MICHAEL SIEBEN
You are not the car you drive. Or so that great
5. Kleiner Feigling bottle: Most of the
14. D.H. Pendleton drawing on an envelope:
existentialist Brad Pitt once said. But what if
illustration work I do is pretty detail heavy but I
When I graduated from college in 1999 I had
you are the things you surround yourself with
find that the type of work I’m most attracted to is
absolutely no idea how to start looking for work doing
– the weird shit you choose to collect because
super simple graphic stuff. Like this bottle. I don’t
anything art-related, so I emailed every artist that I
it reignites a memory.
know where this thing came from but I’m guessing
could find online. D.H. Pendleton was one of the only
it’s some sort of German drunk juice.
people that emailed back. It really meant a lot to me –
Michael Sieben keeps little pieces of himself
and still does. I ordered some stickers off his website
all over the place. They sit on his desk when
6. Cookie Monster on a skateboard: Two of
and the envelope showed up with a rad drawing on it.
he’s painting monsters and getting wistful
my favourite things, Jim Henson and plastic. Oh,
It’s been hanging up on my bulletin board ever since.
for the past. They stare down at him from a
notice-board when he’s writing his column for
Thrasher magazine and telling the world to
7. Fimo (clay) Vans shoe I made in 1994: Not
15. Pulse Art Fair access badge: Okay Mountain
lighten-up. They crop up in the Internet Shack,
real sure why I made this... but I’m pretty sure I
took part in the Pulse Art Fair in Miami this past
the weekly online show he films in his gallery,
wore it as a necklace charm for a few months. It’s
December. We made a convenience store that was
Okay Mountain, that promises “a spastic variety
weird to be nineteen.
inspired by the locally owned stores that surround
of camping, skating and Internet flub”. They
Okay Mountain. Our installation won the Pulse Prize
live in drawers, on shelves and in boxes under
8. Wind-up fish toy: I used to draw this fish a lot
the bed, like a scatterbrain library documenting
when I was younger. I really like the shapes that it’s
his thirty-five years on earth. And guess what?
and the People’s Choice Award. Thanks everybody. 16. Complete set of Donruss Skateboard stickers from the ’70s: I bought these from a weird
He’s not the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world – despite what that anti-consumerist
9. Smiley Face that Rich Jacobs drew on:
antique auction site a few years ago. Everything about
cliché Tyler Durden may say – because his
This was hanging up in the closet at Camp Fig for a
them is awesome. The colours, the illustrations, the
possessions tell stories, and collectively those
long time. I think Rich found this on the sidewalk
lettering. Skateboarding is way more complicated now.
stories make him who he is.
in front of the gallery. When I think of Rich I smile
skateboarding stay tuned in to the simple stuff
and when I think of Camp Fig I smile and when I
17. Paintbrush with an eye on it: I drew an eye
look at smiley faces I smile. So this thing kind of
on this paintbrush so that it would look more arty.
kills it all round. 18. Fake Moustaches: After Keg Party ’zine, I
in life – like ’zines, and kooky stickers, and the beauty of making shit for fun. He’s Michael
10. Roger Skateboards sticker: I own a small
made a little ’zine called Programmed from India.
Sieben and these are his things.
skateboard company called Roger that I started
I was writing under the pen name David Dittmeyer
with my buddy Stacy Lowery in 2008. This is one
– a forty-something alcoholic who couldn’t hold a
1. Camp Fig postcard: Camp Fig is a gallery I
of the stickers we ordered right when we started the
job down. He wore a leather jacket with no shirt on
opened in Austin in 2002 with my wife Allison and
company. I just wanted to include it in this magazine
underneath and had a moustache. I bought a lot of
our friends Katie Friedman and Lee Brooks. We were
because we can’t afford to take out real ads so I try
fake moustaches around this time.
open for about three years and it was one of the most
to sneak this logo into anything I can. 19. Programmed from India Issue No. 1: I made
fun times in my life. We had no idea what we were doing but I think that just made it even better. Really
11. Fucked-up Blind Kids stickers: Blind
eight issues of Programmed from India between
small, really cheap, really gritty; it was kind of like the
Skateboards sticker pack from 1989 drawn by Marc
2001 and 2003. It was a skateboarding ’zine that had
dive bar equivalent of an art gallery.
McKee. One of my favorite skateboard illustrators
almost no skateboarding in it. Mainly just Big Brother
and heavy nostalgia from my formative years on the
magazine-inspired ridiculous articles about immature
board. Steve Rocco was killing it during this time.
concepts. I made most of these at work when I was
2. Art Palace postcard: This is a postcard from my
supposed to be doing corporate illustrations.
first solo show, which was at Art Palace in Austin in 2007. Good times. I miss this place – it used to be a
12. Keg Party interviews on tape: I just found
few blocks away from Okay Mountain but now it’s
this in a box of old tapes. Keg Party was a ’zine I used
20. Rob Roskopp Street Tech Deck: This graphic
about 137 miles away in Houston.
to make with my photographer buddy, and Camp Fig
is the first ‘real’ skateboard that I bought as a kid. I
founding member, Lee Brooks. We started the ’zine
mowed yards to get enough money to buy this thing. I
3. Small Jeff Soto painting: Jeff was kind enough
when we were in college and continued making it
used to stare at it for hours. Jim Phillips, the dude that
to trade me a small painting for a small painting. I’m a
after we graduated – ten issues total, spanning 1999-
designed this graphic, is awesome. He made me want
big fan of Jeff ’s work and his humble personality.
2002. Austin skateboarding, art, music and really
to learn how to draw better.
poorly written articles. 4. Lilelephant patch: My buddy Lance Norman and
21. Miscellaneous ’zines from friends: I love
I started a little T-shirt company in the mid ’90s called
13. Thrasher Pushead sticker: I’ve had this
friends, I love ’zines, and I love getting cool stuff in the
Lilelephant. We never printed more than a dozen shirts
sticker since I was about twelve. I don’t even
mail. So uh... yeah. ’Zines from friends that showed up
of any one design. All of our buddies were ‘sponsored’
remember where I got it, but I remember keeping
in my mailbox. The simple things
– meaning they could come over and print their own
it inside of my calculator case and staring at it in
shirts in our backyard. We printed the shirts on an ice
math class and daydreaming about how awesome
To read an interview with Michael Sieben see
chest and used cereal bowls to mix inks. High tech.
Fake Pla 80 HUCK
stic Sea Our reliance on plastic is coming home to roost. Weâ€™re polluting the planet one water bottle at a time, and simply swimming past the evidence floating in our seas. But, as Miles Masterson discovers, plastic marine pollution can no longer be ignored.
Photography: Andy Cummins/Surfers Against Sewage.
Text Miles Masterson
n the Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) website, there is a video clip of British pro surfer Sam Lamiroy standing on a beach in South West Cornwall. He’s talking about the dire state of marine litter. “This has to stop,” he says with disgust, as the camera pans to a small pile of rubbish underneath a surfboard in the sand. Some of it is unrecognisable and there are a few tin cans, but the vast majority is obviously plastic bottles. “It’s time to call the government to action,” says a determined Lamiroy, as he writes his signature in support of the SAS marine litter campaign. Most of us would have seen similar scenes at our own beaches. But what we might not realise is that marine litter is turning into one of the greatest post-modern environmental catastrophes. Along with global warming and carbon emissions, our reckless production and disposal of plastic – a crude oil product that’s become ingrained into our lives – is slowly suffocating the planet. “Joining plant, animal, and mineral, we must now acknowledge a new kingdom, a fourth kingdom, the kingdom of plastic,” writes US blogger and plastic trash art activist Pam Longobardi, “with an army whose members never die or decompose, and threaten to outnumber all others.” The evidence is alarming. Scientists have found that vast quantities of throwaway plastic consumables reach the ocean, and that between 60 to 80 per cent of all marine debris is plastic. Larger plastic debris – mostly bottles but including every other commodity known to man – breaks down in the sea to join billions of tiny pre-production plastic pellets, known as nurdles or ‘mermaids’ tears’. As the raw material for almost all plastic products, these tiny pellets are produced in vast quantities and shipped around the world, but have a tendency to spill into our oceans along the way. In fact, there is so much plastic in the sea right now that the global average is 46,000 pieces per square
kilometre. The sheer volume of plastic pollution is
involved in marine conservation through his Algalita
set to have a potentially devastating effect on the
Foundation, Moore has since become an outspoken
marine environment, and is ultimately coming back
authority on the problem of ocean debris. Indeed,
to bite the greedy, lazy bastards who invented the
one of Algalita’s current aims is to discover and
substance in the first place: human beings.
document other garbage patches, through their
Could you last even a day without consuming
associated 5 Gyres project. Aside from the North
a product wrapped in plastic, or by not buying
Pacific, there are four more gyres – in the North
something containing it or made using it? It’s a mind-
and South Atlantic, South Indian and South Pacific
boggling proposal. And, unless you are a Kalahari
Oceans – which remain largely unresearched,
Bushman, the answer, in all probability, is no. Those
though experts anticipate even more accumulations
who have tried attest to this. British journalist
have yet to be discovered.
Christine Jeavans attempted to live plastic-free for
One of 5 Gyres’ chief plastic hunters is Marcus
a month in 2008 with great difficulty and admits to
Eriksen, whose path to his present vocation is
reverting back to her old ways afterwards. US blogger
at once ironic and telling. A former US Marine,
Beth Terry has been collecting her own plastic waste
Eriksen was stationed in the Middle East during
for more than two years and recording it on her
the first Gulf War. While trapped in a foxhole, he
website, fakeplasticfish.com. Unable to eliminate her
had an epiphany. “I [was] in Kuwait covered by oil
reliance on plastic completely, Terry has nevertheless
and soot,” Eriksen recalls. “I realised that we were
shown that it is possible, with some considerable
fighting in that desert not just for human rights and
effort, to radically reduce plastic consumption.
the national security of Kuwait, but to secure access
Evidently, our dependence on plastic has reached
to fossil fuels.” Burdened by his enlightenment,
a crux and the repercussions are beginning to filter
and knowing that oil is the raw material for plastic,
through our thick skulls. But it is not something
Eriksen soon abandoned his military career and
that we’ve only just tuned in to.
transferred his altruistic nature to the defence of the environment instead (and has subsequently
Photography: Fabi Fliervoet.
Rubbish Tips in the Ocean
written a book about it). For a time, Eriksen focused on his studies and other conservation projects. Then, armed with a PhD, MA and BS in Science Education, his interest
In 1997, Californian academic, surfer and sailor-
in plastic debris was revived during the second Gulf
turned-activist Charles Moore made a discovery in
conflict, and on a research trip to study birds on
the North Pacific that would change the way we view
Midway Atoll in the Central Pacific. “I ended up seeing
plastic waste. Returning from a yacht race between
hundreds of carcasses of albatrosses, which were
the US and Hawaii on his vessel, Algalita, Moore
all full of plastic debris,” Eriksen says with audible
eschewed the traditional route around the windless
bile. “Toys, toothbrushes, cigarette lighters and even
high-pressure Doldrums of the 10 million-square
medical waste, birds with syringes protruding out
mile zone known as the North Pacific Subtropical
of their chests; thousands of unidentifiable plastic
Gyre, which is usually given a wide berth by sailors
fragments and millions of microplastic fibrants more
and consequently left largely unexplored. Curious
or less littered the entire island.”
to see where his alternative route would take him,
Back in the US, Eriksen built a catamaran using
Moore sailed across the eastern end. Instead of
plastic bottles and sailed it down the Mississippi
being a benign aquatic void as previously surmised,
to draw attention to the issue. He chose plastic
the gyre, he quickly found, was the world’s largest
bottles, which can take hundreds of years to break
rubbish tip. Thanks to the weather patterns and
down, and their virtually indestructible caps as the
ocean currents that govern the area, flotsam and
most ubiquitous form of marine litter. He soon met
jetsam of every kind – tyres, traffic cones, fishing
Charles Moore and began to work with him. Today,
nets, bottles and more – were floating on or just
as Director of Research and Education and Project
below the surface in a vast quagmire now termed
Development Manager, Eriksen is guiding the 5
the Eastern Garbage Patch. “Here I was, in the
Gyres search with his wife and fellow academic, Dr.
middle of the ocean, and there was nowhere I could
Anna Cummins. The couple sailed across the North
go to avoid the plastic,” describes Moore.
Atlantic in early 2010 on a 3,000-mile trip from the
Though other scientists and researchers were
Azores to Bermuda, including the Sargasso Sea. “We
aware of the problem, it was Moore’s discovery
collected samples all the way,” says Eriksen. “Every
that truly grabbed the world’s attention. Already
one was full of plastic.”
The Threat of Microplastics
chemicals including DDT and PCBs, as well as flame
While the most palpable evidence of destructive
from,” admits Cummins, who also acknowledges that
plastic is large debris (including discarded fishing
plastics are not the only possible culprit. “The flame
nets, which have decimated sea otter populations in
retardants are common in California in our furniture,
Alaska, for example), there is another, potentially
baby clothing and all kinds of things. The PCBs
more dangerous pollutant: plastic pellets, known as
and DDT could have been through eating fish or
nurdles or microplastics, which are mostly invisible
bioaccumulation, but there is no way to tell as we are
to the human eye. The sheer volume of these pellets
exposed to so many chemicals all the time.”
retardants and even CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons). “We have no way of knowing where these chemicals came
in our oceans cannot be underestimated. On shores
Though they have yet to conduct similar tests
worldwide – such as Kamilo Beach in Hawaii, which is
on ocean organisms, the next step, says Cummins,
among the most polluted in the world – the number of
is to determine “if there is a correlation between the
plastic fragments now exceeds that of sand granules.
levels of PCBs and other POPs in their tissues to the
The presence of these pellets is, for many
amount of plastics being consumed.” Regardless, much
environmentalists, the most frightening aspect
research has concluded it is not just the presence of
of plastic pollution. Apart from the mechanical
individual chemicals in our systems that is the most
repercussions they might have on the digestive systems
alarming, but their combined effects, especially at
of marine life and birds that mistake them for food,
critical levels of our development. “We don’t yet know
nurdles have much deeper ecological ramifications.
how this impacts our long-term health, or a couple of
Scientists are beginning to believe that toxic
generations down the line,” agrees Cummins. “[But] we
substances such as long-banned DDT (a synthetic
really need to adopt a cautionary approach... because
pesticide), PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), BPA
this level cannot be good for our bodies and we can’t
(bisphenol A) and other POPs (persistent organic
wait until it is documented that X levels of PCBs, for
pollutants), as well as chemicals used during the plastic manufacturing process, are polluting the sea
example, will lead to this consequence.” To explain how these chemicals enter the food
and accumulating on the surface of plastic debris.
chain, Professor Richard Thompson of the University
Worse yet, these tiny chemical-coated pieces of
of Plymouth in the UK cites the world-renowned
plastic could be finding their way into the food chain.
research of Japanese Professor Hideshige Takada.
Dr. Cummins recounts how during a 2008
Through his International Pellet Watch – a global
expedition across the Pacific Gyre with Charles
monitoring group that gathers beached plastic pellets
Moore, they discovered microplastics in lantern fish,
– Takada has found that mermaids’ tears contain
a small, alien-looking creature with a phosphorescent
everything from DDT to BPA and POPs. This process
appendage above its head which spends its days in
of chemical transfer is exacerbated as fragments break
the dark depths feeding on plankton and swallowing
down into smaller pieces, because, reveals Thompson,
whatever else is in the ocean. “We collected 671,” says
“the volume of the material remains the same, but the
Dr. Cummins, “and of those about 35 per cent had
overall surface area increases exponentially.” Professor
ingested small pieces of plastic in their stomachs,
Thompson has conducted laboratory experiments on
some with really high levels. When you took out the
mussels and worms using microplastics as small as
juveniles, the amounts went up much higher.” Lantern
1/500th of a millimetre, and has found that chemicals
fish, adds Cummins, are prey for a number of larger
from plastics do transfer into the guts of organisms.
deep ocean fish such as tuna, mahi mahi and squid,
“There is cause for concern,” adds Thompson
which predictably all show alarming levels of chemicals.
cautiously, “[though] perhaps not cause for alarm, as
However, it has yet to be determined whether these
all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are not there yet.”
fish are absorbing chemicals directly from the sea or
To make matters worse, some of these fragments are
from the prey they consume.
then excreted back into the environment to mop up
In the murky world of academic evidence – where
naysayers and contrary outcomes abound, and a direct
The fact that these microplastics – as well as
link has yet to be found – recent studies strongly
discarded plastic sheeting and other debris – may
indicate that humans are also showing alarming levels
be forming a suffocating layer on the ocean floor is
of noxious chemicals. Dr. Cummins is well known
another aspect of plastic pollution that is only just
in the US for her self-administered Synthetic Me
being looked into. Indeed, when future archaeologists
project, where she tested the chemical content of her
are excavating our civilisation in billions of years’ time
own body. Disturbingly, she found trace elements of
– so the dark joke in scientific circles goes – all they will
find is a layer of plastic and they might call our era, The Plastic Age. Whatever gets proven in the future, it is clear we are only just beginning to understand the threat plastic poses to the environment and ourselves.
Flip Flops and Bottles At the time of writing, Eriksen and Cummins have just completed a scout of the Indian Ocean, where they found similar evidence of accumulation, so it is clear the problem is as widespread across the planet as suspected. Their work is not the only research of its kind, though. Among other scientific institutions and expeditions, British millionaire activist David de Rothschild embarked in March 2010 on a global research and discovery venture using a fully eco-friendly boat made of plastic bottles called Plastiki. Vancouverbased South African ex-pat surfer brothers Bryson and Ryan Robertson and Canadian Hugh Patterson are also about to conclude a similar 56,000 km global voyage that they started planning in 2000. As longtime members of the Surfrider Foundation, they were motivated by the piles of debris washing up on their local beaches. So they collaborated with Surfrider and other Canadian environmental organisations to create OceanGybe, and finally set sail in 2007. As research on the gyres was being paid due attention, OceanGybe sought to find out how much plastic and other marine debris was ending up on some of the world’s more remote beaches. Turns out, a lot. On the leeward shores of atolls in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, they found more plastic than they had ever anticipated, including plastic bottles, cigarette lighters, flip flops, volleyballs, fishing nets, lines and floats, laundry baskets and bleach bottles near major cruise ship routes, as well as piles of unidentifiable objects. On the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the northwest Indian Ocean, they found a beach, Bryson says, “ankle to knee-deep in hundreds of flip flops and plastic bottles.” Attempting to clean it up, Ryan adds, they soon realised was futile: “[After] you’ve been cleaning for an hour or so and turned
around afterwards… You can’t even see the piece of beach that you cleaned up.” Unfortunately, as OceanGybe shows, ridding the world’s oceans of existing plastic pollution is not the ideal fix. Large plastic accumulations may be the most tangible evidence of the problem, and cleaning them up might appeal to some as an immediate solution, but most scientists agree that energy would be better spent making sure the plastic doesn’t end up there
“Thousands of unidentifiable plastic fragments and millions of microplastic fibrants more or less littered the entire island.” in the first place. “The net energy costs would be
degrade in sunlight, but bio-degradable plastics take
five to ten nurdles deep – you had to brush them aside
almost worse in terms of greenhouse gas emissions
that one step further and are compostable. However,
a few times with your foot to see the ground.”
and burnt fossil fuels to go and do it,” adds Ryan, “and
industrial compost facilities are few and far between.
Working with the British Plastics Federation, SAS
then there’s the problem of where it is.”
And critics of the plastics industry are quick to
have managed to effect legislation on nurdles. Though
point a finger at unscrupulous companies for duping
it currently relies largely on self-compliance, it marks a
consumers into thinking these new products are wholly
huge step in the right direction. SAS have attempted to
eco-friendly, when in reality, without the appropriate
clean up beaches and reduce discarded cigarette butts
facility, they cannot be recycled or composted at all.
– which are made up of thousands of plastic fibres –
Recycling and Bioplastics
That’s not to say the plastics industry as a whole
via campaigns like their Return to Sender initiative,
So who is really to blame and how do we stop it?
is totally ignorant. As consumer awareness becomes
which encourages members to send marine litter back
Until recently, the plastics industry placed the burden
more widespread, the industry has in turn begun
to manufacturers. Likewise, their UFO (Unidentifiable
of blame on consumers for littering, and focused
research into more effective recycling methods, true
Floating Object) campaign is working to uncover the
resources on promoting recycling as the ultimate
bio-degradable products, as well as bio-sourcing raw
source of a certain plastic bung washing up on beaches
panacea, largely absolving themselves in the process.
materials for plastic from greener materials. Academic
all over the UK. “We don’t know where they are coming
“I find it frustrating that when I go to meetings,
institutions are also working hard on finding a
from, and we can’t identify them,” explains Andy. “We
representatives from different levels of industry
solution to the problem, such as the Imperial College
are hoping for members to help, [and] then try to
all tend to pass the buck and not accept there is
London who, in partnership with a company called
change industry practice.”
combined responsibility,” says Professor Thompson.
BioCeramic Therapeutics, recently created a bio-
In the end, of course, it comes back to us. Very
Dr. Cummins has had a similar experience in the
renewable polymer from sugar. Agroplast, based in
few activists and environmentalists are specifically
US, where she says some plastics companies loudly
Denmark, are also looking at creating plastic made
anti-plastic and all agree that the substance has a
promote recycling as a smokescreen to the real issues
from – wait for it – animal urine.
place in our world as it can help to decrease carbon emissions and waste from other fossil fuels. But it
of manufacture and consumption. “As a corporation, they have money at stake and nobody wants to touch the bottom line,” she says. “They don’t want to tell consumers to stop demanding so much plastic.” In the global economy, where plastic is used to
Legislation, Activism and Us
has to be used in a sustainable way. As for the ‘poster child’ of plastic pollution – the ubiquitous water bottles covering our beaches and seas – high-profile activists (such as the Jack Johnson-endorsed Get
transport and package almost everything we consume,
As well as advances in research, new legislation is
this is a huge issue for industry and government alike.
also being put in place to help combat marine debris and
And recycling, it seems, is not making as big a dent as one
seaside litter. The issue has been prominent in the US
As consumers and amateur activists we all need to
may hope. According to Project Aware, a US foundation
ever since Moore’s shocking find, and many laws have
take steps big and small, through our wallets and ballots,
run by divers, only one billion of the 15 billion pounds of
been passed to this effect (although some would say
to ensure that the rampant pollution of plastic debris
plastic manufactured annually is recycled in the States.
not enough). More recently in Europe, where thanks
is halted. Even the surf, skate and snowboard industry,
Even the recycling process is not as efficient as
to the North Atlantic Drift the problem is particularly
which relies so heavily on the natural environment,
one may think. Part of the problem stems from the
severe on west-facing seaboards, a Pan-European
needs to be pressed into making the necessary changes.
myriad plastics from which most products are made.
initiative called Task Group 10 (incorporating,
Boardshorts made from recycled plastic may be a start,
A water bottle, for example, might contain one kind
among others, North-East Atlantic environmental
but there is still room for big change. We can’t simply
of polymer, the lid another, the plastic belt around it
organisation OSPAR) was recently set up to monitor
rely on full-time researchers and activists. We all need
yet another and the wrapping it came in yet another.
ocean debris levels and advise regional governments.
to take responsibility, get informed, spread the word
“A lack of stock, if you will, is another thing,” says
Legislation has also been passed in Brussels to certify
and force industries and governments to tip the balance
one British plastics industry expert, who preferred to
plastic products made from renewable resources.
back in Mother Ocean’s favour, before it is too late and
Off The Bottle campaign) are working to reduce our reliance on this unnecessary product.
speak off the record. “To effectively gather something
Environmental organisations such as Surfrider in
as simple as a yoghurt pot from all around the UK into
France and the UK’s Surfers Against Sewage (SAS)
one place is not profitable, and would end up affecting
have also been highly effective in bringing attention to
the environment through transportation.” Beyond
the issue. This year SAS won an eco award for a short
that, he adds, many disposable plastic wrappers and
video clip created in 2009 called Mermaids’ Tears.
receptacles are thrown away with food still clinging to
They surreptitiously filmed the goings-on at certain
them, making them unsuitable for recycling.
we choke on our own plastic debris
plastic factories and found an abundance of stray
One potential solution are so-called bio-degradable
nurdles. “When rainwater pours, they go down drains
plastics, which can be combined with foodstuffs in
and into the sea,” describes Campaigns Officer Andy
recycling. Already there are polymers that photo-
Cummins. “One factory had a 20x10-foot area outside
lOcOmOtiVe SuRf Road TRIPS ARE OUT AND TRAIN RIDES ARE IN, THANKS TO ALTERNATIVE SURF TRAVEL FLICK The Union Express. Text Michael Kew Photography Chris Burkard
Josh Landan loves trains. “You can just cruise,” he says.
For the next two years Curran and Landan worked
“You don’t sit in traffic. You can read a book or do
southward with calculated, individual trips, spending
work or take a nap. And it’s cheap.” Landan also loves
considerable time aboard the roomy Pacific Surfliner
Shot on Super 16 film and HD video, with Curran as narrator, The Union Express is a thirty-six minute ode to alternative surf travel anywhere steel rail tracks
surfing and cinematography, so it was only natural he’d
cars. “Before we started this film, I was thinking
exist. It could be Europe or Japan, Africa or India – the
eventually combine all three.
business class would be good for more room,” says
option is there, and it’s easy on the wallet. In the US,
Curran. “But compared to an aeroplane, I discovered
Amtrak’s lines typically run far from the coast, but
that a coach seat on Amtrak is huge.”
the Pacific Surfliner and a few East Coast routes offer
“I wanted to film something that anyone can do – anyone can hop on the train and surf the spots along
ample opportunity for something new. And boards ride
the way. That was appealing to me because most surf
Luckily, Landan and Curran had more than just
movies are filmed in locations that are exotic and
one another for company; they were joined by a string
expensive to get to, but a train is an economical way
of familiar faces along the way. Landan explains: “The
“If I could take the train everywhere in the world, I
to take a surf trip.”
movie took a lot of time because Tim and I couldn’t
would,” says Landan. “If it was like, twenty-eight hours
The Union Express was Timmy Curran’s idea. “I
be in eight places at once. When a swell hit, we had to
from here to Japan, I’d be in. I’m claiming it’s the best
thought the Pacific Surfliner would be a really cool and
pick where to go, and we had to figure out what surfers
way to travel, hands down. There’s not even a close
easy way to check out the Southern California coast,”
would be home at the time.”
says the retired pro surfer-turned-musician. “Just
Surfboard tucked underarm, they exited the Pacific
After making The Union Express, Curran is also a
taking a trip from Ventura to Lompoc and seeing that
Surfliner in San Luis Obispo to see Nate Tyler’s yurt
rail convert. “Instead of always thinking about taking a
coastline sounded really interesting, and I thought,
and to surf in Big Sur; in Santa Barbara to talk point
car,” he says, “now I’m like, ‘Oh, maybe I should take
‘Well, why don’t we just take it all the way?’ I knew we
breaks with young upriser Connor Coffin; in Oxnard
the train because it’s so easy and relaxing.’ Everybody
could get some beautiful shots, so I talked to Josh and
to surf perfect Silver Strand with Dane Reynolds and
should take at least one surf trip on a train somewhere
told him about the idea and he immediately said, ‘Yeah,
Curran’s little brother Nathaniel; in San Clemente
– it’s well worth it.”
let’s do it’.”
to schmooze with Cory Lopez and the artsy Mike
With a newborn daughter and plenty of time to
Losness; in Oceanside and Solana Beach to sample San
Pacific Surfliner stats.
spend in his home state, Curran thought about visiting
Diego gems with Damien Hobgood, Rob Machado,
- First day of service: June 1, 2000
his pro surfer friends along the coast. He learned that
and Taylor Knox.
- Number of passengers in 2009: 2.6 million - Travel time between San Diego and San Luis Obispo:
Amtrak, America’s national rail line, had a 350-mile-
“Josh and I were doing something that we’d never
long passenger route called Pacific Surfliner that
done before, but it was so easy,” Curran says, “and
7 hours, 45 minutes
stretched from San Diego to San Luis Obispo, stopping
getting to hang out with my friends in each town and
- Average one-way cost for an unreserved coach seat
in surfy cities like Oceanside, San Clemente, and Santa
getting to know them better was like the perfect movie
from SD to SLO: $48
Barbara. But for Curran, the ten-year-old route was
for me. Because, really, all of California feels like home
- Distance: 350 miles
new – he’d only ridden trains in Europe and Japan.
when you’re used to travelling the world.”
- Maximum track speed: 60-90 mph - Train stations within walking distance of surf spots: 8
In late 2008 at Los Angeles’ Union Station, along
For filmmaker Landan, it was also an ideal, if time-
with Ben Bourgeois, Curran and Landan boarded
consuming, project. “There’s a little bit of a storyline,
- Number of intermediate stops from SD to SLO: 27
Amtrak’s Coast Starlight; ten hours later they arrived in
people can get fired up to surf, and that’s it. It’s not
- Frequency: multiple daily departures
San Jose, where Keith Malloy awaited with a car. For the
sexy. But it’s Timmy’s best surfing of his career in a
- Cost for taking a surfboard: $0
next week they ripped frigid windswell wedges at a San
movie, and that was huge for me. I felt like it needed
Mateo County nude-beach nook and lucked into some
to be that. I’ve been filming Tim for twelve years now,
The Union Express is out now on DVD and iTunes, along
shapely sandbars at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.
and he did it.”
with Timmy Curran’s sophomore album VerseS.
1 O'Neill Moya 2 Gravis Byron Emboss 3 Globe Dion X-Ray 4 DVS Peso Prints 5 Circa Foot Floss 6 Fox Camplosion 7 ETNIES CHULA III 8 OAKLEY O-STRAP
9 Vans La Costa 10 Oxbow fidji tong 11 Breo Lime/Red 12 Santa Cruz Screaming Hand 13 Rip Curl Wettie Pro Resurrection 14 HAVAIANAS 4 NITE 15 Body Glove Logo print 16 Simple Flippee
TO Have anD To Hold When time is exposed to chemicals and light, something tangible emerges. Four devote analogue photographers pay homage to Polaroid film, by indulging their inner Luddite and unveiling their true selves.
Stockholm, Sweden www.3oceans.com
San Francisco, California
Sean Rhode Ashlie Chavez
Phoenix, Arizona Fullerton, California www.moominsean.blogspot.com www.ashliechavez.com
Hail Sacramento! Jonah and co. are back.
Nature rocks. And these artists know it.
A fictional ode to DJ Shadow.
Quim Cardona. West Side Highway, 1990s
. Photography: Ted Newsome.
LOOK WHO ELSE IS
BACK! FAITH NO MORE Mike Patton and his fellow Bay Area funk rock peddlers may have taken an elevenyear break from performing together, but the five piece are back! Look out for FNM at a number of European festivals this summer. www.fnm.com
BLINK-182 The band that put the It’s been twelve years since
the better part of a decade,
fore. When reminiscing about
pop into punk entered an
Far released Water & Solutions, Solutions
but after a successful series
touring the world with long-time
“indefinite hiatus” in 2005.
unwittingly fuelling the melodic
of comeback shows on both
friends Deftones, Jonah remarks:
Then tragedy struck, in the
rise of emo and making lead
sides of the Atlantic, Jonah’s
“Chino [Moreno] was always
form of a plane crash that
singer Jonah Matranga the
enthusiasm is fully restored. And
very sweet, very generous.
almost cost drummer Travis
Odo, real name Nicolas Le boy godfather of every sensitive
As a freelancer, it’s infectious. “I think itOdo wasknows good
he already has aplans take We have done lot oftosongs
Barker his life, and they
Borgne, has come with a guitar. Withinaalong year,way the
the importance on for us to go and of dotaking our own
his artwork in new directions. together. They are some of my“I
gained some perspective.
from writing ti on theBut streets quartet hadgraffi disbanded. after
jobs assays andthe when the“Now offersI thing,” singer.
would like[experiences] to take up oil Ipainting favourite have
Now they’re back in the
of decade Bayonne.apart, He currently works for a Sacramento’s
come Butlike far to from would in. really getbowing back to
in thebeen future,” he says. ever a part of. “And I’d
studio working on their sixth
one of surfing’s pioneers most respected post-hardcore have
to commerce, thethe UK powers and seeofwhat people
also“As like work authoring fartoas rockon bands go,”
album and prepping for a
brands and this year he will host returned with their impressive
he also setsnew timestuff.” aside to think of the
and creating children’s book.” elaborates theaforty-year-old,
European summer tour.
his first ever At solo exhibition. new album Night We Live.
concentrate onbe personal work. Far may not renowned
If OdoAerogramme keeps the balance “Thursday, and
This December will see Odo for their commercial success,
between business and are creativity Sunny Day Real Estate bands
moniker Odora afterthat tagging rumours circulated it was
hosting rst everon solo but theirhis inflfiuence theshow
going, they’re moreappreciate than likely to that I will always forbe
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS
it on to themajor walls label of his pressures native city due
at Spacejunk, developing alternative rockafter scene is
David McNamara worthtrying the wait. truly to create their own
Once among the most
but later shortened it to Odo from Sony and internal conflfor icts
a strong relationship with the undeniable. Numerous bands,
sound. Thursday are really close
convenience. Now, he’s swapped within the band. Jonah, ever
arts centre, which boastsScottish no including chart-topping
www.spacejunk.tv friends with us. I have sung
rock bands of the 1990s,
spray cans for is watercolours to the diplomat, keen to clear
less rockthan outfitfour Biffy galleries Clyro, citeacross Far as
‘Mother Mary’ with them at live
Stone Temple Pilots were
create fantasy the air.intricate “We didn’t hate worlds each
France. “I presented myuences work to one of their biggest infl
shows many times. They really
eventually torn apart by
and mystical creatures that he other or anything,” he asserts.
Spacejunk in 2008 for a&series of and songs from Water
care about the people who
Scott Weiland’s repeated
believes “a macabre “We werepossess just tired. It’s a
group shows,” says the covered twentySolutions are regularly
listen to their music.”
drug offences. The group
edge”. Itand didn’t take longlife forto strange confusing
fiby ve-year-old, still amazed at how Thursday and Funeral for a
Having garnered a cult
have reformed and recently
companies to notice Le Borgne’s share with people.”
quickly anlive offer to fly solo came Friend at shows.
following over their formative
released a self-titled album
unique “I workof fortheir Billabong Overtalent. the course
rolling in. “I achieving was totallycult surprised Despite fame in
years, Far’s legacy has endured
to mark their return.
as a freelance graphic designer,” hiatus, the foursome that is
when Jérome CatzFar’s [Spacejunk the years following demise
despite their time away. But the
says–Le Borgne. “I create designs, Far guitarist Shaun Lopez,
founder] asked me to doand my through Onelinedrawing
weight of anticipation doesn’t
illustrations T-shirts and bassist Johnfor Gutenberger,
fiother rst solo show. I waslike thinking I’d side projects New End
seem to have affected how
ALICE IN CHAINS
typographies. also work drummer ChrisI Robyn andfor
do one in 2012 or 2015!” Original and Gratitude, Jonah
they approached the open-
Grunge legends Alice in
Billabong’sJonah marketing department, frontman – reasserted
Spacejunk will host an is quick to downplay his iconic
to-criticism monolith that is
Chains lay dormant for over
creating their look books.” their independence through a
art show mammoth winter status. “Weatare all very grateful
the comeback record. “I think
fourteen years beneath a
Besides Billabong, myriad of new projects.Le Jonah
sports tradeshow ISPOinfl 2010, that anyone was ever uenced
rock ‘n’ roll is about doing your
shadow of substance abuse
Borgne has a bunch went solo asscored Onelinedrawing,
which rumoured feature by our is stuff,” he saysto modestly.
best, playing your hardest and
and tragedy, namely the
of commercial deals that are taking to the stage with nothing
Odo’s artwork, but theusartist is “The people that love seem
seeing what happens,” says
death of lead singer Layne
likelyato leave his bank but tape recorder forbalance backup,
remaining tight-lipped any to believe we are moreabout popular
Jonah. “There are always going
Staley. Last year, the band
looking pretty healthy. “I’ve and Shaun made a brief
involvement the project: “I true! really than we are,in which just isn’t
to be people that will say it’s not
released their first album
worked for other names appearance as abrand member of
can’t say much about that for the It’s a strange little family.”
like Water & Solutions, but that’s
since 1995 and are currently
such Schools. as Cell Division and PTB,” Rival Other projects
moment. I’ve never gone to ISPO As Jonah talks about
okay.” David McNamara
undergoing an extensive US
he says. “Ibut recently designed followed, by 2008 their paths
and right now I’mFar onlyhave thinking the relationships
some trophies for the EuroSima began to realign.
about my one-man show.” established with other bands
At Night We Live is out now
vocalist William DuVall.
Waterman’s the cover They mayBall notand have
Lethe Borgne has not over Though the years, singer’s
on Vagrant Records.
for the Hawaii as Surf collaborated a catalogue.” band for
yet completed hiscomes first exhibition, sentimental side to the
Le Borgne adopted When Far split back inthe 1999,
and European tour with new
, Chris Robyn, John Gutenberger.
Left to right: Jonah Matranga, Shaun Lopez
n St. M
tography: Ivory Serra. Andy Kessler, Midtown. Pho
Patric graphy: n. Photo
. k O'Dell
ki a lls Sm
a og r
rry : Je phy
Banks. P hotograp hy: Gera rd
MUST-HIT SPOTS IN
k N at
atNYC, r d.
BQE Beneath the bustling Brooklyn Queens Expressway in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, lies an array of cement DIY obstacles. Steep transitionup bridge pillars, mellow to steep hips, a parking block topped semi spin contraption and ledges
To push through the streets of
The idea for Full Bleed was
in New York, as well as the city
that come and go monthly.
New York City is to experience
sparked by a simple question
itself. Itâ€™s interesting to see that
Always a good time, and
an entirely new level of
that seemed to be asked far
while there is an obvious range in
rarely too crowded.
too frequently.â€œI would always
photographic form â€“ apparent in
among rabid speeding traffic,
get asked,â€˜Where do you
the shots of the â€™70s, â€™80s, â€™90s and
an onslaught of never-ending
skate in NY?â€™, and I would reply,
today â€“ the raw, gritty backdrop
Built and run by New York pro
pedestrians, bike messengers,
â€˜Everywhere! All around the city,â€™â€?
of the city remains a constant.
Billy Rohan, the school yard
excessively rugged pavements,
says co-editor Corporan.â€œCertain
And while many well-known spots
on 12th Street and Avenue
graffiti, explosive sounds and
people couldnâ€™t understand
are documented throughout,
A in the Lower East Side is
nonstop architecture makes
what I meant with that answer.
Full Bleed presents readers with
one of the best, non-bust
navigating from spot to spot
Most people would expect us
countless hidden gems that
skate spots in the city. Expect
not only nerve-racking, but that
to mention a skatepark. I came
some may never find.
permanent marble ledges
much more satisfying. As a
up with making the book [by]
and a large mixture of
skateboarder in New York City,
showing how NY is our skatepark
donâ€™t need a car to get around,
changing obstacles that are
you become forced to adapt
â€“ whether itâ€™s a kerb, piece of
you can skate all around the city
kept in a nearby storage bin.
to your surroundings and make
wood, or marble ledge.â€?
and always find something to
sense of the inherently chaotic
Corporan had been
12TH & A
PYRAMID LEDGES Located on Water and Wall Street, the Pyramid Ledges
â€œThe beauty of NY is that you
skate,â€? says Corporan.â€œIn places
elements only New York can
that you need a car it makes it
photographs over the past four
hard to explore. In New York you
years with the project weighing
can cruise through any crevice
And just as skateboarding
have been a staple of
in New York City stands on a
heavy on his mind. It wasnâ€™t
in the city and there will be a
New York skating for years.
level all its own, the same can
until 2009 when Serra and Razo
golden spot to hit up.â€?
The spot continues to
be said for the photographic
came aboard that the project
The most powerful thing
challenge all who step to its
documentation of NYC
was solidified, as the two were
about Full Bleed, though, is its
treacherous slickness and
skateboarding. Full Bleed, edited
able to acquire even more
overall accessibility. Each photo
deceptively high drop-off.
by Ivory Serra, Andre Razo
images through personal and
exists in all its full-page, naked
and Alex Corporan, is the first
glory without the distraction of
photobook dedicated exclusively
â€œSelecting images was a
text or exaggerated layout. Razo
to New York City skate shots. A
fairly easy process,â€? explains
explains: â€œOne of our main
Another measure of
massive 320-page hardcover
Razo.â€œThere are several iconic or
objectives was to not let ourselves
packed full of photos from
archival images that there was
get in [the bookâ€™s] way, or over
skill set is the treacherous
the past thirty years, Full Bleed
no hesitation on. Of course there
think it. Its strength is its simplicity.â€?
Courthouse on Centre Street
features contributions from over
are a handful of images we were
near the corner of Worth.
sixty photographers, including
not able to acquire, [but] we
East Coast skaters, visitors and
Skate the waist-high drop or
heavies like Mike Oâ€™Meally,
still feel that we have a diverse
transplants, historic spots and
hit up the ledge atop the
Giovanni Reda, Atiba Jefferson,
and strong representation of the
iconic New York architecture,
bank, either way you have to
Tobin Yelland, Bryce Kanights,
Full Bleed is an achievement
land into a bank that drops
C.R. Stecyk, Brian Uyeda, Ed
off head high.
Templeton, Jerry Hsu, Larry Clark,
a comprehensive glimpse into
in history as a quintessential
Spike Jonze and plenty more.
the evolution of skateboarding
collectible. Jay Riggio
As a book, Full Bleed offers
Exploding with legendary
that will no doubt go down
IF YOU DIG
SMOKE BATH CHECK OUT…
Inspirationa l new photobook helps kids ‘wow out’ o n the power of nature.
MOONMILK Ryan McGinley, Mörel Books.
Artist and documenter of a young, beautiful and debauched New York, Ryan McGinley swaps urban realism for dreamy surrealism in this series of photographs. The artist searched out ‘wild caves’ in North America and, inspired by children’s adventure stories like Tom Sawyer and Journey to the Centre of the Earth, captured images that make nature
He explains: “I feel like there’s a
Fund – a not-for-profit agency
still from a space expedition.
world. Capitalist society depends
whole school of photographers
that provides free summer
on infinite industrial growth
who are getting inspired by
experiences in the country for
and as a result cities keep
nature right now. From big
disadvantaged NYC children.
AT A LOSS
expanding, like the Transformer
artists like Ryan McGinley to
“I looked at the [Fresh Air Fund]
toy equivalent of the Big Bang.
kids I know who are coming
website and there were these
“I’m not much of a naturalist,”
But with this urbanisation comes
out of art school at twenty-
pictures of kids wearing tie-dye
writes Shawn Records,
a great dissociation from nature
two. They’re into the idea of
jumping in a lake,” says Peter
and natural urges. And it’s
desolation, exploring… and the
laughing. “And I was like, ‘This is
and father of Where The Wild
something photographer Peter
apocalypse. Natural disasters
so cool’. I like it when kids get to
Things Are star Max Records,
Sutherland knows all too well.
are on people’s minds… and
that point where they’re losing
about this photographic
that shows up in a lot of work.
their minds with excitement.
project exploring the
rural Colorado but he now
My idea was to put all that work
They’re just, like, wowing out.”
‘authenticity’ of nature.
spends half his time working as
in one place.”
He may have grown up in
an artist in New York City, and it
Eager to do something
Everything about Smoke
“Whether at the zoo, or at the
Bath – the name alluding to
ocean, or on a plastic lawn
can be a stifling place. “I grew
different to the rest of the
campfires – conjures a real
chair in my own backyard, my
up in the west United States so
fine art world and capture
anti-establishment spirit. If
sense of enchantment in the
being around nature is really
an emerging zeitgeist, Peter
camping is about reclaiming
natural world is still sincere.”
familiar to me… it’s beautiful
started the photobook project
a simpler way of existence,
there wherever you go,” he says
Smoke Bath, “a collection of
the lo-fi aesthetic of the book
about his childhood. “Now that
photographs and artwork
– including lo-res images and
I’m here in New York I get an
loosely based on the theme of
one-colour printing – is the
Stephen Gill, Nobody.
idea of what it would be like to
camping, nature and exploring.”
perfect accompaniment. “I think
East London local Stephen
be stuck here… for the kids who
He enlisted contributions from
it’s kind of anti-computer,” says
Gill collected flowers,
can’t afford to get away and
the likes of photographers
Peter. “Maybe it’s a hippie thing?
seeds, berries and other
are in the city all the time, it’s
Patrick O’Dell and Cheryl Dunn
There’s war going on so people
ephemera from around
pretty bleak. They’re just seeing
to Emerica skateboarder Kevin
get sad and want things to be
Hackney and pressed and
grey concrete walls all the time.
‘Spanky’ Long, and after just four
natural again… and the Fresh
I don’t think it’s an inspiring
months the 328-page book was
Air Fund is a simple cause. It’s
alongside images he had
situation and even a little thing
complete. But the impact of the
not like curing cancer, but when
taken of the borough. The
like getting away for a week
project is only just beginning.
you’re young, discovering the
outdoors is kind of, like… it can
pictures raise questions
power of art and its potential
be amazing! It can change your
about the role of place and
Peter started noticing other
to do something positive,
life for the better.” And thanks to
nature in our identity.
artists who were turning away
he is donating all proceeds
Smoke Bath, many kids will find
from the city for their inspiration.
from the book to The Fresh Air
out how. Shelley Jones
could have a major effect.” With escape on his mind
As part of Peter’s belief in the
Photography: Patrick O'Dell.
appear supernatural, like a We live in an increasingly urban
Photography: Estelle Hanania.
Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse Dark Night Of The Soul Parlophone/Lex Much history behind this record already and you can only pray that EMI’s Parlophone aren’t officially releasing it now to cash in on the awful death of Sparklehorse (Mark Linkous), who shot himself in the heart in March. Mark and Danger Mouse originally planned Dark Night Of The Soul as a regular album on which a number of other musicians would collaborate (Flaming Lips, Black Francis, Julian Casablancas, Iggy, Gruff Rhys…), then David Lynch got involved, transforming the project into a book of haunting photographic stills, too. A row with EMI ensued, Danger Mouse flipped off EMI by sticking a blank CD in the back of the book and telling people to download the music illegally. Nice. Now there's extra and appalling resonance hearing these songs after Mark’s tragic demise, and another of the musicians involved, Vic Chesnutt, also killed himself recently. Christ, this is a depressing review. The music isn’t; it’s unsettling but beautiful, and Lynch’s vocal contributions to the album are bizarrely amusing. Phil Hebblethwaite
Chrome Hoof Crush Depth Southern They’re the twenty-four-legged beast (sometimes more) whose pulsating blend of metal, doom, prog, choral music, disco and electronics ought to make no sense at all, but somehow works spectacularly on their stunning third album – an insanely ambitious journey into all manner of fucked-up and dark places. Further proof of their cosmic nobleness: they wear silver robes, like some space-age monks or something. Plus it’s hardly like they could ever make any money playing live, and that’s righteous. PH
Uffie Sex, Dreams and Denim Jeans Ed Banger Uffie’s the spoilt little rich girl from Florida/Hong Kong who every hot producer in Paris wanted to screw when she ended up there as a teenager. So they – in particular Feadz, her creepy ex-boyfriend – made beats for her to try and rhyme over and now there’s a whole album to endure. It’s… patchy. Some of these songs are ancient, making the LP sound dated, and she’s hardly a massive talent. In fact, plenty of tracks on here would be better if she wasn’t on them. PH
Spacejunk & Stencil History X present
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Koleszar (USA) Nikodem (France) Iamdoom (Holland) Jana & Js (Austria) Leckomio (Germany) Joe Iurato (USA) Logan Hicks (USA) Orticanoodles (Italia) Epsylon Point (France) Artiste-Ouvrier (France) Nicolas Thomas (France) Stéphane Moscato STF (France)
When You’re Strange Director: Tom DiCillo Capturing the zeitgeist of ’60s America in heady fashion, When You’re Strange is the definitive story of The Doors, sonorously narrated by Johnny Depp and lovingly assembled by writer/director Tom DiCillo. Chronicling the group’s dizzying rise from garage band obscurity to the uppermost echelons of rock royalty, the film places The Doors at the fore of the counterculture revolution that had such a profound impact on Western society. With their inimitable free-jazz spirit and anarchic rock doctrine pulsing through every frame, When You’re Strange is a captivating time capsule trip that’s impossible to resist. Adam Woodward
Gainsbourg Director: Joan Sfarr First-time director Joan Sfarr charts the ‘heroic life’ of France’s iconic – and iconoclastic – singing star Serge Gainsbourg: a lizard-thin seducer of the great and good (including Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin) who is nevertheless haunted by his own ‘mug’. That internal dichotomy is evinced by Gainsbourg’s outlandish alter-ego, an oversized ‘ghoul’ straight out of a Tim Burton nightmare. It’s a bold gambit that doesn’t always work, and that’s true of this undisciplined, overstuffed biopic as a whole. Matt Bochenski
Brooklyn’s Finest Director: Antoine Fuqua Antoine Fuqua made his name with Training Day, a cop drama that reeked of whisky and gun smoke. But that was high school girl’s stuff compared to the testosterone haze that hangs over Brooklyns’ Finest. Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke and Wesley Snipes all compete for screen time as cops and criminals on the blurred boundary between law making and breaking. Get past the clichés and coincidences, and this is another old-school effort from Fuqua. MB
South of the Border Director: Oliver Stone After going one-on-one with Fidel Castro, Oliver Stone has expanded his mandate in South America, journeying across the continent to meet key political figures and examine the media’s persistent misrepresentation of what America contemptuously refers to as its ‘backyard’. Let’s hope the messenger doesn’t obscure the message, because this is vital stuff. MB
Trash Humpers Director: Harmony Korine An ‘ode to violence’ from enfant terrible Harmony Korine, Trash Humpers is an anti-aesthetic exercise that revels in the corruption and denigration of cinema as we know it. Grossly aged in prosthetic make-up, Korine and friends drink, fight and fuck garbage. But buried somewhere within this gruelling farce is a self-reflexive and perversely beguiling deconstruction of apocalyptic America. MB
Crackdown 2 Xbox 360 Fascism has never been more fun than in this third-personshooter-on-steroids. Crackdown 2 gives you the task of cleaning up a city overrun with terrorists and nocturnal ‘freaks’ with the aid of super-abilities and an arsenal of weapons that would put the IDF to shame. As you would expect, the city becomes a stroppy teenager’s dream with you blasting, fragging and headstomping anything that moves. Still not enough? Then how about being able to leap buildings in one bound and throw trucks as if they were bits of Lego? Yes, it’s that awesome! As you can imagine, the action is all very tongue-in-cheek, complete with an ironic news anchor voiceover and art direction lifted from the pages of a graphic novel. With upgradable powers and plenty of side missions to keep boredom at bay, this is one playground you won’t get thrown out of for getting drunk and smashing shit up! Ed Andrews
Super Mario Galaxy 2 Wii The epic Mario franchise gets another sequel – again! As with all Marios, any semblance of a plot has been swept aside, making it just another excuse for nerve-shredding platform-based puzzles and a new selection of costume changes that give the fat plumber special powers. Cloud Mario forms platforms out of thin air, Rock Mario knocks big things over and Eyjafjallajökull Mario grounds transatlantic flights with a cloud of volcanic ash (okay, not the last one). But this is Mario and so it can’t cease to be charming and ridiculously playable to the point of nausea. Ed A
Green Day: Rock Band Xbox 360, PS3 Seriously, how long have Green Day been going? Well, twentythree years to be precise. As testament to their longevity and millions of customers – sorry, fans – the San Francisco punk rockers have landed their own air-guitar-for-the-iPhonegeneration endorsement. The game lets you rock out on guitar, bass, drums and vocals to their classics. But if you’re of the opinion that ‘Basket Case’ could potentially be used as a torture weapon, then you may want to sit this one out. Ed A
Hungry Shark iPhone/iPod Touch Remember Ecco The Dolphin, that tranquil game of ocean exploration and do-gooding? Well, Hungry Shark is Ecco’s long lost cousin – only he’s a complete bastard! Playing as a shark with a rumble in its stomach, you have to binge your way through the ocean, chomping on man, beast and trawler nets full of fish, chasing high scores and power-up bonuses. The 2D aquatic worlds you explore may be limited but the endless supply of munchies makes it an addictive and light-hearted tribute to mass-slaughter and overeating. Ed A
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Eclipse: Dark Lines From The City Of Light S. H. Bourne, Carhartt Poet, novelist, thinker and artist, Scott Bourne swapped the consumer-crazy States for Paris over five years ago and this anthology of poems is his second published since the departure. Eclipse picks up where Cheating on the Metronome left off with a renaissance-inspired aesthetic that transcends the gold-embossed hardcover and seeps straight into the hyperbolic text. The imagery is rich, emotive, sometimes lewd and totally exposing. Shelley Jones
Joan Jett Todd Oldham, AMMO Books “Joan Jett was born to rock,” says ex-Bikini Kill frontgrrrl Kathleen Hanna in the preface to this new biography. And with a Runaways biopic featuring Kristen Stewart out this year, the retrospective on the (anti-) poster girl of the riot grrrl movement couldn’t be better timed. Oldham tells the love story between Jett and rock music through the words of old friends and industry stalwarts, and manages to capture the spirit of a generation without objectifying or sugar-coating the raw intensity of the women at its heart. SJ
Switch-Foot II Andrew Crockett, www.switch-foot.com Four years in the making, Switch-Foot II comes hurtling out into the surfing conscious with all the authority of the commandments. The tablet of surf photography and culture picks up where the first Switch-Foot left off, documenting the Australian surf scene with more fresh, dynamic content leaping off every page. It takes ninety contributors and 1,000-plus images to tell the ‘other side’ of the surfing story, which includes ’60s and ’70s retrospectives alongside countercultural words and artwork from loggers leading the waveriding evolution today. SJ
It’s Getting Late In The Day Jay Riggio, www.jayriggio.com This selection of elegiac short fiction recalls the bittersweet prose of Salinger’s A Perfect Day for Bananafish. In eight quick-fire stories, Riggio considers disenfranchised American society by channeling our collective nostalgia for high school naivety and exposing teen angst like a misplaced tattoo. Told in a stripped-back tone, IGLITD will make you “feel good about feeling like shit” according to the author and HUCK skate editor who, in true ’zine ethos, will send you a free copy if you make contact through his website. SJ
Death of a Lady’s Man Leonard Cohen, Andre Deutsch Those of us not lucky enough to have grown up with the work of Leonard Cohen may feel slightly overwhelmed by the monumental canon of music and writing he’s accumulated over fifty years. But this reissue of his classic 1978 poetry collection is a must for Cohen rookies and diehards alike, eager to engage with the iconic artist beyond the ‘Hallelujah’ hoopla. SJ
First st in in SURFING S SU URFING NEWS NEWS First
www.surfersvillage.com Rider: Tim Boal / Photo: Agustin Munoz/Red Bull Photofiles / Design: ID
In a wo r short fic k of Cyrus Sh tion, a contemp hrad the inte lates rn obsessi ational on DJ Shad with o legenda w’s r debut L y P. His name was Arthur Fury, and he’d been a model tenant, or so claimed the landlady as she led us to his room along a corridor bathed in stuttering halogen light. She pushed open the door and we found him as she’d found him that morning: slumped over his computer in a vest and a pair of khaki shorts, one hand still clutching the mouse in a comic book parody of sudden death. We combed the carpet for pills and powders but found nothing in the way of narcotics. Not even a beer in the fridge. Just a few tins of tuna on the sideboard and a loaf of long-gone bread torn to ribbons by the rats. Fury was clearly a shut-in: his neighbours described a young man they were aware existed, but saw only occasionally in the hallway. Who smiled politely, but never spoke. The lab report later confirmed what I could tell from lifting his tiny wrist: that he’d died of malnutrition. I don’t know what made me take the box. I’d say a hunch, but in thirty years with the NYPD I’ve learned to recognise hunches, and this didn’t feel like one. My junior partner Dax was distracted by paperwork when I glimpsed it in one corner of the room; the next thing I knew I’d hoisted it under my arm, mumbled something about a phone call and slipped downstairs to stash it in the car. It was like I was in a trance. That night, after the wife had gone to bed and the apartment was silent save for the reassuring rattle of the air con, I cleared the dinner plates and opened the box. What I found made no sense at all: a bunch of video cassettes, countless seven and twelveinch records, and a dozen or so sheets of A4, taped together and covered in a frantically scrawled time code, punctuated with the names of films and songs, very few of which I recognised. My heart leapt like a colt when the phone rang. It was Dax at the office, and thankfully he was too excited to notice my nervousness. He’d been sifting through Fury’s computer files, all of which were snatches of tunes or movies that in some way pertained to an LP released almost fifteen years ago – a record, he
said, made entirely from parts of other records. He told me how he and his friends had fallen for this album in college, how they’d been to see the producer perform live in the summer of 1997, and as he talked I found myself scanning the spidery handwriting on the sheet in front of me, a strange pattern emerging before my eyes. “It was basically a student music project gone wrong,” said Dax. “He started out trying to identify every sample on the album, then became obsessed with the idea of remaking the record from scratch on his computer.” “How far did he get?” I asked, holding up a cracked seven-inch of Marlena Shaw’s ‘California Soul’. But Dax didn’t hear me. “Poor guy plain forgot to eat,” he said. “Goddamn, that was a good record.” That was six months ago. I picked up a copy of the album on my way to work the next day, spent my lunch hour listening to it in the car while a summer rainstorm lashed the windshield. I had to admit that it was really something – all those fragments of old tunes and films elaborately embroidered, glittering like stars or a thousand overlapping stories. And I knew then and there that I had to finish what Fury had started. I smuggled the computer out of the office that evening and set it up in the study. It took me three days to open his project, and three weeks to figure out how he was recording samples and layering them in tracks. Even now I’m slow, taking hours at a time to decipher the next entry in his tangled time code. But I’m getting there. Last night I finished ‘Midnight In A Perfect World’, which means I only have two tracks left. And then what? God knows, but I keep thinking I can feel what Fury must have been feeling in that squalid, rat-infested apartment. Like there’s something gathering in shadow in the corner of the room. Something awesome, something monstrous coming into being. Thank god for my wife, because otherwise I’d probably be forgetting to eat right now. Cyrus Shahrad
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