NORTH SKATEBOARD MAGAZINE
WWW.CARHARTT-WIP.COM MAX PALMER — POLE JAM • PHOTO — ALEXANDRE PIRES
Cover: Korahn Gayle - Switch Heelflip Photographer: Graham Tait
Andy Shaw I remember picking up copies of R.A.D and Sidewalk back in the day and being stoked that Scotland was being represented on their pages. It didnâ€™t happen that often but when I did, it was usually a photo that Andy had shot. Just as I was getting into skateboard photography Andy was getting out, and Iâ€™d always wondered why. He was kind enough to let me look through a bunch of his old negatives and answer some questions for me. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Interview & portrait by Graham Tait
I was encouraged by a college lecturer to take up photography when I was at school, did you say something similar happened to you? Ha! Yeah something similar, I was in sixth year at school and had to fill in timetable space so did a photography module. I instantly took to it and I think it’s the first thing I remember being praised for and encouraged to pursue by a teacher. Before borrowing a school camera the only memory I have of using one is shooting a roll of film on a bus trip to Isolla 2000 in France. Were you already skating at this point? Yeah, I started skating around ‘85 I think, when I was about 13. BMXs were big at the time but I remember taking my sister’s metal framed roller skates apart and nailing them to bits of wood with a school friend Martin. Edinburgh and Livi skaters might remember him by his nickname Harvey. Sounds like some old romantic cliche but it’s true. Harvey was a true original and an amazing skater, a bit like John Rattray. You photographed some big names early on. What was it like seeing all those guys skating at that time? To be honest it just seemed normal to me, that might seem arrogant but skating wasn’t that big at the time, there was no hype, no social media etc. I was used to seeing people like Davie Phillips, Cubic, Chimp, and Jamie Blair skate Livi on a weekly basis so the visiting Americans just seemed like normal guys, they still had fucked shoes and pads just like everyone else. I suppose when the Bones Brigade came with Hawk and Bucky Lasek that was a step up. I remember Tony Hawk doing a McTwist in the big bowl and the massive crowds, I’d never seen anything like that before, that was pretty amazing, and how high Bucky boosted everything.
We’ve had a few conversations while looking through your old photographs and you mentioned a couple of times that most of the photos weren’t planned, they just happened naturally? Yeah, I just had a camera with me and photographed things when I wasn’t actually skating, if I saw someone doing something that I like I’d get my camera and shoot it, sometimes even just one photograph. I didn’t start going out with a purpose until I did some shots for Jamie at Clan Skates. You shot a lot with Colin [Kennedy] and John [Rattray] in the early days of their careers. I guess the times were a lot different back then, did you even think they would have careers, or even take photographing them that seriously? I really didn’t think about it, I just went skating with my camera. The first time I shot John was when I did a wee road trip with Jamie to Aberdeen for Clan, that’s when I met Alex Craig for the first time as well I think. We went to a mini ramp in a barn somewhere, I just remember them all being really good people, really friendly normal folk. John was obviously a step up but I didn’t realise how good until I saw him skate at a Vans comp in the Docklands in London. I think he won it and I think that was the start of his career? The idea of a career in skateboarding or photography had never crossed my mind. My relationship with Colin was even more natural. He started appearing at Livi and Bristo Square, the scene wasn’t that massive so if there were people who weren’t locals you’d notice them. The first shot I remember taking of Colin was of him ollieing over the wall into Bristo, I think it was a Blueprint ad, it was just one or two shots at a Bristo Jam I think, definitely not set up specifically for an ad. I shot a day trip to Glasgow for Percy at Document Magazine maybe around the same time, I remember Colin being really chilled and quiet and a great skater. I suppose I was attracted to people like him and John because they just did their thing and didn’t shout about it, natural talent without the bullshit, that’s how I remember them.
Did you ever set out to be a skateboard photographer?
The first photography that really captured me apart from skate mags was seeing a Magnum exhibition called ‘In Our
Time’, mostly made up of war, political, and social documentary photography from all around the world. I was
Why didn’t you pursue it?
used to shooting a 36 exposure film and having about five or six shots I was really happy with so the idea that shooting say
I didn’t make a conscious decision not to pursue it as I’d not
seven or eight rolls of film to not get a usable sequence didn’t
set out with any intention to become a photographer, or a
seem right to me, not natural. Another memory was sitting
skater, I just did stuff that I enjoyed. My life was just moving
next to snowboard jump in France trying to get a shot and
in different directions. Most definitely growing up as a skater
thinking that this was killing my love of snowboarding. I’m
in that era was different, it wasn’t part of mainstream culture.
totally thankful for the opportunities I got, the life experiences,
It surrounded me with slightly different people, I
but it’s when things were starting to change commercially. I
certainly didn’t feel alienated or left out at school but through
remember seeing a pair of Vans and a graffiti background
skating I met people who played music, did graffiti art, ran
in a Topshop window and feeling shat on. Yeah, so no real
clubs etc. I was surrounded by talented artistic people so I
definitive decision but maybe a series of events and a natural
just photographed what was around me. Skateboarding
progression of life.
progressed into snowboarding, then surfing, I didn’t go too far down that path as the sea scared the shit of me. It taught me to respect nature though which I think was one of my first really valuable life lessons. I’d always loved nature but the sea taught me to really respect its power. I think I feel more comfortable in the mountains but I’m beginning to embrace the sea more again now. Thinking back there were a couple of events that did take me away from skate and snowboard photography, this links back to Colin Kennedy and you asking about setting things up. One of the last things I remember shooting skate wise was trying to get a sequence of Colin doing a trick on the Mitchell Library handrail in Glasgow. It was the first and last time I went somewhere to get a specific shot, I think he asked me to do it for a Sidewalk article? I remember shooting a whole load of film and we didn’t get it. This isn’t a reflection on Colin but for me it’s when I realised that skate photography was changing, or maybe with hindsight that’s what the difference was between being a professional skate photographer rather than documenting skateboarding.
So you thought of yourself as more of a documentary
Maybe that’s a bit of nostalgic thinking on my part but it’s a
photographer, and skateboarding just happened to be what you
bit like Livi skatepark in a way. There’s better indoor facilities
were into so you documented that?
to skate but folk always go back to Livi; it’s got heritage. It’s ironic in a way, Meadowbank was where Chris Hoy spent a
Mmmm... Yeah, I suppose, but to be honest I don’t really
lot of time when he was younger and honed his track skills
think like that in terms of categorising things. Like for a while
yet the velodrome in Glasgow bearing his name has lent a
I assisted a really talented photographer in Edinburgh and he
hand in the demise of Meadowbank. It would be like a state
had an amazing high end portfolio of various subjects from
of the art indoor skatepark opening called The Stu Graham
straight glossy advertising to dark gritty landscapes but when
Arena and Livi Skatepark getting demolished because
he went to make the next step to London people needed to
nobody used it anymore. Haha! It’s obviously a lot more
know what his speciality was, they needed to know are you
complex than that, but still...
a car photographer, are you a portrait photographer? I just thought that was bullshit, needing to categorise someone like that. But ultimately, yes, I photograph the things that happen to be going on in my life, be it skateboarding, music, cycling, my kids, nature... I’m really interested in capturing the small details of life, marks that nature leaves, marks that people leave, lettering etc. I’ve been working on a long term personal project on Meadowbank velodrome for about twelve years which ultimately is a social documentary, so yeah, documentary photographer encompasses what I do. I remember visiting the velodrome in primary school. Does it still get used? The Edinburgh Road Club were using it up until quite recently for training sessions but the whole Meadowbank Sports complex that the velodrome is part of has been closed down and is in the process of being demolished. The last serious racing was about three years ago I think, there was a great track league on Tuesday nights and a couple of international events most years but when the indoor velodrome in Glasgow opened numbers started to dwindle. The option of a brand new indoor track where you’re guaranteed racing as opposed to Meadowbank which was outdoors and couldn’t be used in the wet is understandable but it’s a real shame it’s going in my eyes.
That’s a good analogy. Twelve years is a long time to document the same project. What’s the end goal? It basically started after a chance visit with an old friend Dave one summer where I saw Derny racing for the first time, cyclists being motor paced. I went back the next week and shot a roll of 35mm film, started to look a bit deeper, realised what an interesting environment it was and that was it, I was hooked. It was when Lisa my partner was pregnant with our first daughter and the velodrome was only a mile down the road from our house so in a way maybe it was a way of me getting a bit of freedom but also being near the house? I remember that the velodrome was actually due to be demolished if the council could sell the land for housing so I aimed to document the last years of its life but the financial crash in 2008 put an end to that, nobody would buy the land I think, and here we are twelve or thirteen years later, I started shooting there in 2005. I’ve not shot much in the last two years because of its dwindling use, the logical end will be a shot of a pile of sticks, or a empty space, it’s a shame but life moves on. I’ve been selling limited edition art prints to fund it over the last few years and the ultimate aim is to do an exhibition and possibly a book?
Did the project start on film? I know you were shooting film for as
I can use my phone the same way I used to use my Nikon.
long as you could.
Shoot full frame, use Photoshop to do what I did in the darkroom but with much greater control, and produce good
The project started on film as that’s what I had, that’s what I
quality A3 images. Obviously to shoot the movement of
shot, that’s all I knew, black and white film, I don’t think digital
skating or cycling a phone has its limitations, but I’m sure it’s
existed? I started shooting on my 35mm Nikon FM2, I’d
not far away, if not already here and I just don’t know about it.
occasionally take a tripod and a Mamiya RZ but it’s mostly shot on 35mm. Very occasionally if I was shooting in the evening I’d take a digital camera to use in low light, I’ve only ever had one proper digital camera, a Canon 5Dmk2. I never really liked the idea of digital to start with, good quality digital was ridiculously expensive and I believed that photography was an art, a craft. I used to love spending time in the darkroom and saw hand printing as part of my art, where I added something else to the straight photograph. To eliminate that part of it and go straight from the camera to a computer seemed wrong to me. As an assistant to a design and advertising photographer I saw the progression of digital and started to learn a bit about Photoshop and processing. I still didn’t like the output quality but when the Canon 5Dmk2 was released it was the first digital camera that was affordable to me that you could do an A3 image size print and not tell it came from a digital file, maybe it was because I’d learned a bit about how to handle files and the Photoshop side of things. Also it was starting to get harder to find a darkroom to use and I started to feel sick and groggy the day after being in the darkroom. With hindsight although I still love the idea of the craft of hand made darkroom prints it’s pretty neanderthal when you think about it, it uses really nasty chemicals, not great for the environment or your health either. The immediacy of digital is another reason and to take it a stage further using phones as cameras, I think I’ve come round to the idea that whatever you have at hand is the right thing to use if you can achieve your intended output.
Did you stop shooting for a while? Was there any specific reason why? I didn’t really stop shooting, I just fell out of love with it for a while. Photography was something I loved and I think when it turned from taking photos of my life, be it skateboarding, nature, live music, whatever, and headed towards something I did to make a living, things got a bit blurry to be honest. I remember doing a job with a friend in London for Nova magazine and the person I was shooting said that I wasn’t a good photographer because I wasn’t directing her, I wasn’t telling her what to do. I much prefer when people are just themselves and we see what happens, setting things up was never my thing. So yeah I didn’t stop but things just changed, my life was changing, I’d met my partner Lisa, my grandfather who I was really close to died. I went back to college and did a diploma course in Typography and Design with the intention of starting a Scottish magazine but that never got off the ground. I mentioned earlier that I assisted an advertising photographer for a while, I learnt a lot from him and we went on a couple of amazing trips travelling around America shooting for his portfolio, but in the long run seeing the advertising industry from the inside was another thing that took me further away from what photography meant to me in the first place. To be honest around this time anxiety started to creep into my life, that probably had something to do with me not shooting so much. The friends I’d spent my formative years with skating Jonnie Hudson, Russ Hall, Russ Crichton, Giles Burgess had all moved away or we’d drifted apart. The time lines are blurred but eventually Lisa and I went on to have our two girls which took me down another path... Photography wise I was just drifting to be honest, I started to learn about picture framing from Hamish Barrie, a photographic printer and framer and that turned into my art, my craft...
I’d started using a bike just to get around town, that progressed into mountain biking, when the kids came along I got more into using a road bike because I could leave from the the front door, I could go on an adventure, just like skateboarding. I went through a really bad time about two and half years ago with anxiety and depression after contracting some kind of virus that floored me for over a month, I could barely even move through lack of energy, that was terrifying for me, I’m normally constantly active, this, and other life things all going at once pretty much stopped me in my tracks but it’s been my bike that has helped me get back to being me and has ultimately rekindled my love of photography. The velodrome project was drifting but thankfully with an end in sight, not a happy one unfortunately, I’ve got my enthusiasm back for that. As a skater at heart I think you approach things differently. I’d do stupid things by myself like ride to Glentress in the borders, do the mountain bike trails on the road bike then ride home, but recently I’ve spent more time riding with a small group of like-minded people and that opens your mind to other things. Over the last winter I spent a lot of time with these guys just exploring Edinburgh and it’s suburbs, getting deeper and deeper, like, I wonder what’s round here? I wonder where that path goes? Just like skating, looking for a new kerb or bank to skate, sometimes riding fifty miles without really leaving Edinburgh, getting an almost childlike kick out of finding a new ‘through’. It’s got me more back into printed matter, combining the use of real old maps and local history books with modern apps etc. Also when you spend a lot of time exploring within a certain area you start to learn about place names, social history, topographical change, I’m really into that at the moment, partly due to a book passed on to me called Scarp by Nick Papadimitriou, there’s a documentary about him on YouTube called The London Perambulator, it’s well worth checking out. Deep down though it’s all just about exploring, learning, nature, freedom, flow... It’s all skateboarding.
AVAILABLE AT SKATESHOPS WORLDWIDE @levisskateboarding
DAN PLUNKETT, KICKFLIP BACKSIDE WALLRIDE
North 2018 Collection out now
STILL SHOOTING ON FILM
Graham Tait / Harry Lintell / BS Noseblunt Pop Out
Graham Tait / Charlie Birch / BS Smith
Graham Tait / Manny Lopez / FS Smithgrind
Graham Tait / Ruari Britee-steer / Nosepick
Graham Tait / Myles Rushforth / FS 180
Andreas Renlund / Bjรถrn Tjernberg / Crook
Kevin DelGrosso / Andy Patterson / Ollie Riley Vaughn / BS Smithgrind
Andy Enos / John Shanahan / FS Noseblunt Slide
Cameron Markin / Rowan Davis / Ollie
Mohammed Zakaria / Cambodia
Bobby Murphy / Connor Noll / Beanplant Bluntslide Transfer
Brendan Frost / Sam Fairweather / Hurricane Zach Morrison / FS Wallride
Windbreakers coming soon.
Joseph Guzman / Anderson Lemus / BS Feeble Grind
Matthias Welker / Chris Pfanner / Ollie Robert Christ / Tobias Urban / Switch Crook
Fabien Ponsero / Quentin Boillon / Slappy BS Smith
REMIX SKATE STORE
WWW.REMIXCASUALS.CO.UK 8-12 RAILWAY ROAD, BLACKBURN, BB15AX.
STILL ROLLING AFTER 30 YEARS E S T. 1 9 8 8 C L A N S K AT E S . C O . U K
BOARDERLINE 15 McCombies Court, Aberdeen, AB10 1AW - (01224) 626 996
www.boarderline.co.uk Photo : Gareth Morgan / Skating : Haydn Morgan
Photography by Graham Tait Interview by Neil Macdonald @scienceversuslife
Nollie BS Flip
So you were in Amsterdam yesterday, and Berlin today... This is for the new, low-key Copenhagen Open, right? Yeah man. We just got to Berlin yesterday. It’s good man, it’s chillin’! Haha! It’s my first time at the Copenhagen Open, it’s good fun! You’re pretty keen to get involved in ‘things’, generally, aren’t you? You did the Street League thing, you’ve done Red Bull stuff. How did Street League come about? I basically got sent a DM by one of the Street League guys, and he’s just like, “Hey, do you want to do Street League?”, and I was a bit like, “Umm... I could do, but what about Kyron and Casper? They’re the best.” And then they’re just, “Nah, we want you to do it!”, so it was just like, “OK, cool. Let’s get it”. I mean if you get invited, you might as well. And they asked me to do a little one-minute clip for it, so I skated Southbank for that, and then the next thing you know, they got me talking to about ten different radio stations about it! I wasn’t expecting that many, basically they asked me to do a media day and said they’d pay me a bit for a half hour slot. So I was like, “Um, yeah, OK. I guess I have to say ‘Street League’s coming and it should be cool?’” And then next thing you know there’s ten radio stations over two days and they just kept going until I said I was over doing them. Were they all asking the same questions? It was kind of a mix. Some people were trying to talk about drugs in skateboarding and shit, trying to get a controversial interview. It was all good though, it was kind of fun in a way.
I read you saying somewhere you were fine with skateboarding in
You were a personal trainer, right?
the Olympics. Did you see that Revolution show on TV? Yeah, a fitness instructor, personal trainer. I loved it, all of us Haha! Do you reckon it’ll be like that? I didn’t watch it, but I
being friends in the gym, but when I thought about it, not
heard a lot about it. But nah, it won’t be like that. Basically,
being in that relationship any more meant I could just go and
Street League is working with the Olympics, so it’ll be like
skate. I was on a trip, and I was in the Amazon, the Amazon
a Street League kind of contest I think, which won’t be too
river, on a boat and I had this epiphany, just suddenly like,
bad. To be honest I don’t give a shit really, whether people
“I’m not going back home”, basically. So I decided to not go
are skating in the Olympics or not. If it’s in the Olympics, all
back to Bristol and just choose somewhere else. Next thing
good, some people will love it and they’ll get to compete in
you know I’m staying in London.
the Olympics, which is something not many people get to do. But if you’re not into it you don’t have to watch it, you know?
That’s a good place to have an epiphany, on a boat on the Amazon!
That’s the whole thing about skating; people cry so much about what other people are doing in skateboarding, and it’s
Haha! I know... It sounds like I’m ballbagging, but it’s true!
like, “Just fucking shut up and do what you like about skating rather than complaining about someone doing
What was it like being a pro skateboarder and a personal trainer?
wallies or skating in the Olympics. It’s just weird that people
Could you turn up with a limp, or with your arm in plaster?
are so like that! Just go out skating and enjoy what you enjoy about it. If you don’t like what people post on Instagram,
I feel you. I guess I was kind of quite lucky to not get
don’t follow them! People just want a reason to complain.
injured much from skating. Also, if I’d been skating throughout the day I would work so much better because I’d
You were always so deep in the Bristol scene, and then you moved
already be hyped up. The endorphins are pumping so I’ll go
to London. How did that go?
into work all like, “Yo! What’s up?!”, just buzzing with everyone, but if I’d been chilling in the house I’ll go into work
I’d just gone through a divorce—or a break-up anyway, we’re
and I can barely speak and I’ll feel all awkward, with this fake
divorced now—and it was the first time I realised that there
smile on. It’s so weird. I hate that! I hate being tired, and you
was nothing in Bristol, apart from family that I can easily
haven’t spoken to people, and then you have to. You always
come and see, that was... I don’t even want to say ‘holding
want to be able to feel like you’d like to feel when you’re on
me back’, but there was nothing stopping me going to Paris,
or going to London or just going somewhere else all of a sudden, really. I’m pretty free; my job is pretty lenient, they let me not work when I need to do something else. It wasn’t a job that was going to take me too far, really, because I wanted to skate. It wasn’t a menial job but it was a job that I could just leave without it being an issue basically.
We were meant to do this last night, but you weren’t feeling it.
As long as it’s Kev rather than Dan choosing the music? Has Dan
That’s way more respectable than plodding through when you’re
ever told you what to wear when you’ve been filming?
not into it. Hahaha! Um... I mean... He tries to! He tries to suggest what I’m not gonna lie, I woke up this morning and was still like,
I can and can’t wear. I guess for me, I think people should
“Urrrrrgh...” It’s the morning, I’ve just woke up, but it’s cool!
be allowed to wear whatever they want when they’re skating
Last night had been a long day. We were still up at like 4am
because they’re expressing themselves. So Dan telling me I
skating a skatepark, then we got up at 9am to travel to
can’t wear red trousers or whatever... I don’t know man, it’s
Berlin, so I thought it better to not do it after all that! One word
like you’re taking away from someone’s vibe on that day. I put
a clip on Instagram of me wearing red trousers recently and he messaged me just saying, “Red trousers are banned”, out
I had to make up answers once, for somebody who replied to an
of nowhere, in this WhatsApp group so I just wrote “bye” and
email interview on his phone. That was the only time I’ve had one
left the group. Fuck that! I’m not having it! Like, “I’m not
word answers, so I appreciate it!
having this negativity, I’m trying to be positive in my red trousers and you’re bringing me down!” The thing is though, I
Who was it?
have a lot of respect for Magee and I know he’s really good at making videos. There’s the Blueprint videos, and First
It was the guy from Scots indie-rock outfit Mogwai. I guess he
Broadcast is probably my favourite video. I have faith in him!
couldn’t be bothered and then not long after he’s wearing Emerica
If he’s got this vision which is to not have, as he puts it, ‘a
and hanging out with Atiba or whatever.
rainbow-coloured video part’, I can see where he’s coming from. He’s given me a lot of shit over the last year or so, but
Sounds like you gave him too many good answers! You
I’m taking it all because I’ve got a lot of faith in him, and Kev,
should have given him bad answers!
to do a banging video. I’m biting my tongue a little. After the vid maybe I’ll wear a full pink tracksuit and yellow shoes, and
Hahaha! Yeah, who knows. So what’s this video you’re filming for,
he can do one! Haha! He wrote some shit in Free magazine
the new Kev Parrott and Dan Magee thing? Who’s in that?
about me FaceTiming him every morning, did you see that shit?
Harry Lintell has got a full part. And there’s Manny Lopez, Charlie Munro, Conor Charleson, me, Jak Pietryga, Carlos Cardenosa and a few other heads. I think it’s gonna be good! I’m looking forward to it.
Hahaha! I remember that.
When Graham sent the photos over and I saw the thumbnails I thought that was a switch ollie for a second...
He wrote that I FaceTime him every morning to show him what I’m wearing, and that is total fucking bullshit. I did it
once. I’m not gonna lie. And occasionally I’ll be like, “Alright, I got these Nike trousers with a white stripe, or I’ve got these,
Yeah, and it surprised me, because didn’t you have three switch
and they’re just all blue and shiny”, or whatever, and I’ll let
ollies in three consecutive issues of Grey?
him choose. But yeah, he tried to say that, so I’m just like, “Fuck this guy!” and got my orange trousers out and went
Ahaha! See, this is some bullshit! People are trying to put me
to meet him. He saw me and went, “You’re rebelling from
on blast, and basically I don’t think that’s even true! I’m pretty
me now, ain’t ya?” And then he filmed a trick of me in those
sure that’s not true. I had a switch ollie in the last one, yes. I
orange trousers that he just said I can’t wear! It’s like, “You
did. I think in the one before it was a Paris article and didn’t
film me in the orange trousers or I’ll film it on my phone and
do a switch ollie. I did ollie a bar, not a switch one. So haters,
whack it on the ‘Gram. Your choice!” Haha!
get your facts straight! Know what I’m saying? Haha! But I do like a switch ollie here and there, you know? Haha! I thought
“If you want the trick, the orange trousers are comin’ with it...”
it was pretty funny, someone put it on the North Instagram, “Did you shoot another switch ollie?” and I was like, “You
Exactly. Take the whole package.
How did the fakie flip at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh go down?
Yeah, that was me.
I’ve got a bit of a bad ankle at the moment, and I tried to rest
Ohhhh... You fucking bastard! Ahhahaha!
for a couple of days before I came up so I could at least try that trick, and then anything else would be a bonus. It had
Haha! Look man, nobody’s hating, I just heard that from
been raining most of the day, but we knew that it could rain
somewhere. I haven’t even checked. Anyway, what’s the best thing
all week, so we went to have a look at it and it was wet, but it
you’ve seen go down at Lloyds over the years?
wasn’t raining, so we dried it up a bit and thought, “Well, we could just do this now, at night, or we could wait until
Haha! It would be all the stuff back in the day, really. Watching
tomorrow when it’s daylight”, ‘cause we didn’t really have any
Stalker do back 5.0 180s three blocks long, watching Layth
night clips. So we thought I should try it, just in case it rains
Sami skate it back in the day, oh my God. The switch tre, that
and we’ve blown it. So we got into the session, and yeah, I
was incredible, and the switch hard and the nollie heel... It
did it! It didn’t take too long, I was happy. And then it pretty
was sketchy man, it had come off his feet and it’d hit the floor
much rained the rest of the time, so it was good that we
and bounce back up. It was super sketchy but still so steez.
could do it on the first day.
That was one of my favourite things as well. Layth skating it, Stalker skating it, just those old days I guess! Obviously there’s been so much other amazing stuff, throughout the decades, but that was what inspired me the most.
I heard you were getting into photography, and shooting with film. How come? Well I’ve been skating for what, 18 years, and I’ve been around photographers shooting photos the whole time, pretty much. You kind of pick things up from being around it, and I guess you get a little bit of an eye for it yourself. You see the things they talked about when you’re trying to take a photo yourself, all the different angles. I take photos on my phone all the time, but that’s a bit whatever. My girlfriend Roady—shout out Roady—got me a camera, she got me a little Olympus film camera, and I started shooting on that, and oh man, it is so fun shooting with a real camera, then getting the photos developed and everything. But then I got to the point where I had three rolls of film that didn’t work. I started doing double exposures on one roll. I took 15 photos; I had photos of Sage, Kyron and... The ginger guy from Supreme... Aidan Mackey. Yeah! I had pictures of those three at Southbank, just some amazing photos, and when I got to 15 photos I rolled it back to double expose them, and as I rolled it back there was no resistance... And I realised I’d never put a film in. That was my first fuck up, and that really sucked. The next couple of rolls for some reason didn’t come out; one was with my girlfriend in New York and on another I had photos of me naked in South Africa, skinny dipping and stuff like that, and none of them came out. Or I don’t think they came out, maybe the lady in Snappy Snaps stole the pics of me... I don’t know. So it was super annoying, and I thought I’d need to get a digital camera, or at least a better camera.
Don’t blame the camera!
Have you travelled much? Have you spent much time in the States?
Right, so I fucked up the first time, I didn’t put the film in, but
Yeah, I’ve been to LA; we went out there, me, Casper and
the next two times, it wasn’t me! One of the times the camera
Kyron, not too long ago. That was a fun one. I’ve been out
fucked up, it would slip as I’d turn the dial. So that camera
of Europe quite a lot on Red Bull trips, back in the day. That
was fucked, and then another one, nothing came out. So it
was one of the perks of being on Red Bull! You got to travel
was kinda part me, part not-me. But I just got a Fuji X100, I
to a lot of places.
splashed out on it after getting some Street League money; I wanted to buy something that I’d cherish. Since then I’ve
What happened with Red Bull? They were pretty deep in skating
been trying to take photos all the time, it’s just super fun. I’m
here for a minute.
doing an online course that I got for £20, reduced from £200, so I’m pretty happy with that. Often I’ll be around amazing
They boyed me off, really. It was the 23rd of December,
skaters doing dope shit, and there’ll be no photographer
two days before Christmas, and I had to meet up with my
because no one’s about that day, so I can just get my camera
team manager at the time. We met at Liverpool Street and
out and try and shoot it. I’m enjoying it a lot.
I remember I had a spiel ready, I was gonna try to get paid more! I was ready to be all like, “I’ve done this, done that,
So what’s happening in Berlin today?
I’ve moved to London, I got the cover of Grey, blah blah blah whatever”, and I was talking to him and I could tell he was
I think there’s an am contest, but there’s also a few street
just not listening. I’m thinking, “Hmm... Why are you not
jams. So we’re gonna go to the street jams, and just skate.
listening..? Something’s going on here...” and then he says,
We’ve got another five days in Berlin. It should be fun!
“So, anyway, we’re not renewing your contract”, and the first thing that came straight into my mind was, “Thank fuck
I saw on Insta that you’ve been hanging out with Div. How’s that
I don’t need to have that Red Bull sticker on my board any
been? Div’s a ruler.
more”. That was it really, they just kicked me off two days before Christmas. Alright. Cool. Onwards and upwards. I
Yeah Div is a ruler. I don’t actually know him too well. I saw him in Copenhagen; he rolled up on one of those bikes with the big boxes at the front, and they’d found like five bottles of vodka and whisky and stuff. I was chatting away and thinking, “Damn, this dude’s cool”, because I’d never properly met him. Good vibes, man! I’ve only seen him a couple of times out here but it’s always a pleasure.
enjoyed the trips they sent me on. It was good fun.
Were you ever expected to be seen to be drinking it? Or was it all
Did you have any say in your Miles Davis graphic?
just hats and stickers? Well Rich at Skateboard Cafe will always show me Nah. I did actually drink it a bit, but ideally you’re a motocross
graphics and make sure I like them, make sure I want them.
rider, and you win, and then you drink your Red Bull or
To be honest, with the Miles Davis one, it was like, “I mean it
whatever. If you had a full part in an edit, ideally they’d want
looks cool... I have no idea what it is, but if you want to put
to see something. It’s pretty unnatural stuff, obviously the
my name on it, then sure?” I mean I like the look of it but I’m
drink itself and then the whole process of trying to get a
not gonna lie and tell everyone I listen to jazz. I don’t mind,
convincing shot drinking it. It’s not my proudest moment,
I’m not gonna be annoyed. It’s not like it’s a graphic I hate or
repping an energy drink that’s blatantly not good for you, but
anything! Everyone was stoked on it, all like, “Oh, Bitches
I had a lot of fun on the skate trips and obviously I was getting
Brew sick!” and I’m just, “Yeah... Bitches Brew... What’s
a bit of money which helped. That’s about that.
that?” It’s sick though, it’s a good board. They’d never do a board without me saying it’s fine to put my name on it. But I
With energy drinks, the whole, “Get the fuck out of skateboarding”
don’t listen to jazz.
thing seems to have died down now. I think people get it, like it’s fair enough if that dude is wearing some stupid logo if it means he can take his kids on another holiday that year. Yeah, exactly. Like when a dude’s wearing a Monster hat, it’s not like we’re all going, “Ah, that dude loves Monster”. It’s just, “Ah, that dude’s getting paid”. Some people say they’re not gonna do that because they’re keeping it real, but I mean, keep it real in life! And maybe to have a better life for yourself you need to make a couple of small sacrifices along the way. As long as your morals are still the same, you can do that. What’s your favourite Nike shoe, skate or otherwise? The actual first shoe I actually skated in was an Air Max. Do you still wear Air Max? Hell yeah, all the time. But it’s hard to say now. There are so many sick ones. I’m not trying to plug it, but Nike just have so many amazing shoes. I’m skating the Ishod Wair Blazer just now, and they’re banging. Ishod’s my favourite skater as well, so skating in his shoe is rad. Shout out to Ishod!
Previous page: Switch Flip BS Tailslide Fakie flip
What have you got going on for the rest of the year? At the moment we’re just finishing the Dan n’ Kev vid, and I think the deadline is the 10th of September, so after that I can actually focus on the Skateboard Cafe promo a bit more. I haven’t really been filming much for Cafe, but we’re going on a trip in September to Vigo, with all the crew. And Sam Ashley, because we’re hoping to get a Free article! As a whole we’re all tweakers so it should be interesting haha! Right on. Anything else? Love Island. Before I forget. Shout out Graham Tait. He’s the biggest Love Island fan I’ve ever met. He’s also the biggest celebrity-gossip rumour freak that I’ve ever met. He met my girlfriend and her friend, and within a day of meeting them he’d made a Love Island WhatsApp group with all of us in it, and they’re still talking on it now. They’ve just posted that there’s Love Island Australia coming up soon. Haha! What else does Graham do... Let me call him out. He doesn’t eat anything green! He claims he’s not a picky eater, but he’s a picky eater. He doesn’t eat... Much.
Switch FS Boardslide
Editor & Photographer Graham Tait
Mike @ Keen Dist Josh @ Theories A&M Imaging
Layout & Design Graham Tait
Korahn Gayle Andy Shaw
Feature Interviews Neil Macdonald [@scienceversuslife]
All the contributing photographers. adidas Skateboarding Carhartt DC Shoe Co
For all advertising enquiries and film submissions please email:
Flightless Leviâ€™s Skateboarding
New Balance Numeric Nike SB Shiner Dist
Vans The views and opinion in editorial and advertising within North do not
All the shops that advertise and support North.
necessarily reflect the opinions of North or any of its associates. North Skateboard Magazine and everything contained within is copyright of North Skateboard Magazine. No material may be reproduced without written permission.
Featuring: Andy Shaw. Film Gallery with Andreas Renlund, Andy Enos, Bobby Murphy, Brendan Frost, Cameron Markin, Fabien Ponsero, Graham Ta...
Published on Jan 2, 2019
Featuring: Andy Shaw. Film Gallery with Andreas Renlund, Andy Enos, Bobby Murphy, Brendan Frost, Cameron Markin, Fabien Ponsero, Graham Ta...