Kream Magazine Issue 5 Alex Strandell
Cover - Alex Strandell. Frontside Smith in Dillon, MT. All photos by Nick Weber unless otherwise noted
I would like to thank everyone involved with the making of Issue 5. Thank you Alex Strandell, Race Nagel, Logan Triplett, Matt Hudson, Tyler Fortune, Vincent Crespo, Adam Kirschhoffer, Will Beardslee, Miah Jones, Fletcher Eidum, Brian Bee, and anyone else who has helped or skated. This is the final issue of Kream... Thanks for reading. - Nick Weber Kream Magazine is free to read online at http://kream-mag.blogspot.com/ Hate mail? email@example.com
Oftentimes, Logan Triplett will take me to spots that are janky, obscure, and barely skateable. This was one of those spots... a fence pole taped to a flimsy plywood box. Never doubt Loganâ€™s spots.
Alex Strandell Interview by Nick Weber
The year was 2003, and I found myself in the backwoods of Wisconsin at a Summer
skate camp. The water was cool, the fajitas were sizzling, and the Gymnast girls were not really into us. That was the summer I met Alex Strandell. We skated and became buddies for the week before saying goodbye and returning home. Fast forward three years to the game room in the basement of the SUB in Bozeman Montana. I was there for Freshman orientation, wondering what the hell I was doing with life, and in walks Alex. “Hey, did I meet you at skate camp?” Six years later and we have skated countless hours, been on tons of trips, made many amazing friends, and talked for hundreds of hours about various fictitious scenarios.
Describe the formation of the Butter Kreamerz. I remember being very dissatisfied with Four Skin, we couldn’t be as cool as those guys; they were pretty exclusive. So then we started a skate crew that was non-exclusive. We were formed, but we had no name, although I knew we were going to become the Butter Kreamerz. (Editors note: in 2007, while in Whitefish MT, Alex, Bjorn Ryan-Gorman, and myself watched a Mormon movie about the perils of gang life entitled “The Buttercream Gang”.) Who were the OG ButterKreamerz? You, me, Bjorn, then Logan ended up hanging out with us a lot more, and he was in. Kyle Reynolds. We converted Dan Quinn too. He said, “I am down to quit Four Skin”. I told Fletcher that and he got mad, and sooner than later Fletcher was a Butter Kreamer.
What made the Kreamer videos unique? You make videos to please the people in them, more so. You donâ€™t think about the audience as much. We are not trying to reinvent the skate video. I just wanted a fun video, more or less. It started as us filming a lot, and it kind of took off from there. Volume 1 was likeâ€Ś we did whatever for that video. Volume 2 was another monster.
Everyone wanted a part, everyone wanted to film their best stuff. We had the premier, and a deadline to finish it, and it was pretty long, and people got broke off filming for it. But it was also an awesome, fun time making it. We filmed it with a flip cam, not some crazy camera. It was pretty low pressure filming the whole thing.
Talk a little bit about Lake Owen Skate Camp. It sounded like the coolest thing you could do at fourteen, fifteen when you wanted to skate a lot. I remember I was not doing a ton of sports, so I really wanted to go to Lake Owen. I mowed my lawn all summer to pay for it. I had a buddy that wanted to go too, and it was something I looked forward to all summer. I just wanted to learn how to skate better, skate all these new things. 2003, we were 15, super stoked.
What skate destinations are on your bucket list? Australia is a big one; Skatopia would be pretty cool to check out too. Go back to Oregon and see all the new parks out there. Orcas Island, I would go back there, that was awesome. Honestly, we are right in the middle of the best places to skate, now that we have Big Sky.
What do you like about Montana parks? I never grew up with free parks, so to have a free public park is awesome. I would go to Mound MN, the only concrete park in the area, 20 minutes from Plymouth, MN. Even the Bozeman parkâ€Ś I still really like that place, we are pretty fortunate to have something like that. Montana parks are pretty sweet, pretty big. Whitefish is really awesome. My favorites are Helena, Big Sky, Dillon.
fingerflip lien to tail
Describe the skate scene in Minnesota and how it differs than Montana. It’s really big, but not very close. There are a bunch of small groups of skaters. The broad picture is way more “sceney” than it is here. The groups don’t really interact. Here you know everybody, where as Minnesota it’s not as easy to know everyone. The kids there are more spoiled, with awesome spots all the time. We are in a small town that isn’t too skater friendly. The Twin Cities have modular and wooden skateparks. Now they have a bunch of street plazas, which I am against, because it takes all creativity out of a park, there is not as much flow, its just training grounds instead of a skatepark. What would be your perfect skatepark? A park with enough transition where you can go really fast, where you can still ollie up stuff or hit a ledge. Ed Benedict is a good example of a well-done street plaza. It has a bunch of banks and not a ton of stairs. The ideal skatepark would have long straight walls, areas to pump that are challenging, and pool coping is always good. Some cool transfers that are not super gnarly. St. Ignatius is a good example because you can ollie a step up, skate a quarterpipe, hit the spine, all in the same line. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Probably going to chill and be around Bozeman for a while. Keep skating and snowboarding and try to make a career out of the job I currently have.
Interview by Nick Weber
Race Nagel survived for twenty plus years in the brutal cold landscape of Montana, skating
through icy parking lots and shoveling skate parks,
migrate south to the warmer climate of Los Angeles.
How did you get your first board? For Christmas I got two Wal-Mart boards. One had a holographic piranha fish, the other one had a crazy shape with a Tasmanian devil graphic. That night, my older brother and I took them to a covered area, on gravel, and tried to make them spin. He learned the first trick, the pressure flip, on Christmas day. Were you hooked from that point on? Who were you skating with back then? Yeah. My neighbors skated too. My dad poured a foundation for a shop he was building, and he let us push around on it. The neighbor kids would come over, and we would practice our ollies. They were better than me, they had the fresh Powell Mini Logos, I was jealous of that. My dad was super supportive, but he wasn’t when my shins were black and blue. He understood though. Once I learned kickflips, then it was on, for sure. How were the cops in Kalispell? Kalispell park was notorious for cops swinging by and giving no-helmet tickets. It wasn’t serious at first, but then the rule was neglected, then to the cops it became a big issue. They would confiscate whole boards, and write tickets. I had a colorful creature deck, a brand new complete, taken by the cops. What skaters and videos influenced you early on? The first video I remember watching was Misled Youth. That shit blew me away. I didn’t own it, so I didn’t get to memorize it. The first video I owned was Sight Unseen. Cardiel had the opener, and that guy is sick, of course. Words cant express how rad that guy is. Cardiel kind of spawned the type of skateboarder that I like to see today, someone who is just really going, not doing super tech stuff, although that’s all good too. Its how you express yourself, not just like trick selection, but how you do it. Lots of energy from that guy. 15
Air from the small quarterpipe to 5-0
Frontboard in one of the many skateable schoolyards of Los Angeles. Photo: Vincent Crespo
This spot is the Montana version of a Calischoolyard mini-bench. Pretty similar, except that it was about 20 degrees when we shot this backside lipslide.
Compare the skate scene in Los Angeles to Montana. Every county or area has a different scene. No question about it. You have every single kind of style in each area here. You meet people every day that you are stoked on. There are so many skateboarders here. Its rad, all in all. Montana is more tightly knit. You get to know the people a lot more in Montana, and you skate with them more often. Up there, it’s small, and if you go to the park, you see the same people every day. The people that do skate there are pretty die-hard about it. Besides skateboarding, what do you like about Los Angeles?
Obviously the weather is really hard to beat in the winter. It’s close to the ocean, which is nice. I haven’t gone surfing yet… I gotta do that. Where I live in Downtown, it’s really nice to just walk out your door and not have to drive to spots, not have to deal with the police. Downtown you have security at every spot, they cant put you in cuffs or throw you in a car, all they say is that you have to go. The chances of getting a ticket skating downtown are pretty slim. Seems like the cops don’t really have to worry about skateboarders. I like the busy lifestyle, especially living downtown, shits crackin’ all the time, and you kind of get sucked into that lifestyle to keep busy and keep it rolling. It tires you a bit, but you get stoked to stay productive. 18 If you don’t have that kind of atmosphere around you, you kind of cower down.
â€œDude, wanna skate my kitchenâ€?? Race frontboards his apartment.
What sucks? You find that you can’t trust everyone you see. There is a lot of stuff to figure out, find out who I can really trust. I want to trust everyone, but unfortunately I cant. As much as it’s sunny here, I do miss some diversity in the weather. I really miss the fall season, that’s pretty nice, springtime too. I can definitely go without the winter though. Can you give me a good Casey Bruff story? We were road trippin, going to Oregon, it was Ray (Hertz), Ozz (Nagel), Emilio (Crispin), Casey, and I. We stopped in Sandpoint, ID, skated the park, there was a jam going on, we met these guys who invited us to some mountain party. We got the directions, but we thought we were lost, driving miles into this mountain. We finally find it, there were Harleys and motorcycles parked up there, which doesn’t make sense because the road was so gnarly. We were having a hard time driving our car up it. None of us had any booze, we were trying to make our way around to find some. We all got pretty tuned in. Later in the night we met up, and Casey had beers in his pockets, and two Sparks in his hands, mocking us like “fuck you guys I got all this shit” I was pretty tuned up and pissed off. I punched a beer in his hand and it exploded all over. He was super pissed at me and tried to punch me. We were both too wasted to function. We started swinging at each other and both got punches in but no one was hurt, just pissed off. Then later, he goes to this live band playing, and started talking shit to some crazy skinhead dude. The skinhead told Casey, “Give my
sister her pants back” ‘cause Casey had on some super tight pants. Casey said, “Why don’t you say it to my face?” The skinhead dude knocked him out with one punch. He woke up with a huge black eye. We just continued on with the skate trip, laughing about it the whole time. How did you get into playing music? I had a music teacher in High School named Steve Eckles. He was really cool, kinda the one to inspire me to play guitar. I picked that up, learned a bunch of songs, and just started to do my own thing with it. I am going to give a shout-out to Dave Biesel, he inspired me and helped me record my first album. The style I like is kind of folk/country. Describe The Darkness. It originated from a party in Whitefish, MT. I wasn’t there, but I hear it was dimly lit with candles. They were fuckin around, doing some dark ritual things, like hailing Satan or whatever. From what I understand, Darkness is a lifestyle. There are lots of members nowadays, it’s more like an idea or a concept. You can say something is Dark, or, “That shits Darkness”, depending how far you wanna take it. People have different ideals of what it is. What it means to me is just Crushing shit, not literally, but crushing life in general, if people don’t like it they can go fuck themselves. Do shit your way and be stoked you are an original, not going about things how other people do it. The idea spawns from punk rock or black metal, not what a whole lot of people think of as normal. I took it with open arms.
Backside Smith grind at Channel Street.
John McIntosh. Ollie. Big Sky, MT.
Jostin Forsyth Jeremiah Jones. Backside 180. Bozeman, MT. 25 Photo: Tyler Fortune
Adam Kirschhoffer. Noseslide. Los Angeles, CA.
Christer Wheat. Wallie. Bozeman, MT.
Levi Chagnon Overcrooks Missoula, MT Photo: Matt Hudson
Massimo Cavedoni Switch Flip Los Angeles, CA
Matt Robertson Bump Ollie. Missoula, Montana Photo: Matt Hudson 32
Bjorn Ryan-Gorman Beanplant Fakie Los Angeles, CA
Ryan Ruoff Kickflip Los Angeles, CA 34
Logan Triplett 35
Fletcher Eidum Pivot Fakie Big Sky, MT 36
Brian Bee. Wallie. Bozeman, MT.