What is there to know about Clare Plueckhahn. I’m a freelance photographer who works out of a studio in Melbourne. When I’m not shooting commercial work I’m either down at my beach house in Aireys Inlet or shooting surf photography overseas in places like Hawaii and Indonesia. Photography aside, what’s up? I recently finished producing a girls surf film called ‘First Love’. It has taken over my life for the past year and a half, but as of last week, it’s finally locked off! It was a project that started off really small and then suddenly we were filming in Hawaii, sponsored by Rip Curl with a distribution deal… Nice work. When did you first contemplate taking photography seriously? When I was about sixteen I began playing with black and white photography and my Dad built me a darkroom in our house. From then on I was hooked and knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I studied BA Photography at RMIT straight out of High School and then did my time assisting and learning from other photographers. It has been a crazy adventure. Are you making money from shooting photos? I’ve been living off photography for about four years now. Although I would like to just concentrate on surf photography, I shoot a lot of advertising and commercial work to keep me going. This enables me to work on projects like ‘First Love’. It is difficult to be too specialised in Australia, so it really helps to be able to shoot many different genres. Hopeful photographers commonly struggle to find their first break. Did you find it hard at first to sell your work? I found surf photography really hard to break into, as it’s quite a cliquey group filled with talented established photographers. So getting my first surf photographs
A Legend not a Leg-End www.stockpile.com.au
photo: Thompson / soggybones
Photo by Tom Stone / tomstonegallery.com
I prefer the country. I tasted urban for twenty odd years, I loved it, in drops I still do, but the flavour's now a little over washed. However, when I find myself amongst the towering jungle I enjoy a barefoot stroll. Summer has changed the general trend, both mentally and physically, the effects are noticeable, 360 degrees. Today has peaked, 38 degrees Celsius, not a dark cloud floats in the sky and the city concrete is crawling with different creatures. Wearing no shoes is quickly turning into a negative. The footpath is determined to melt the calloused under body of my feet. It burns, but doesn’t matter. Come next week my feet will be tougher for it. Protection is sometimes pointless. It’s nice to breathe easy. “Others” are quick to note my absent attire. “They” often stare down at my oddly formed toes in utter disgust and pretend to peg their snot free nasal cavities. It’s like their feet don’t stink! My coffee stained “white” tee shirt, disheveled long blonde hair and washed out denim jeans paints deadbeat footprints all over the streets. My shadows are apparently darker than theirs. My wallet’s one hundred grand poorer and who knows what is perceived of my mental condition. Assumptions run wild. Trip wires are set. Voices echo in heads, but nothing stops. Another surfy dole bludger likely to be suffering from schizophrenia
due to prolonged marijuana consumption and spasmodic amphetamine abuse. Where is his life heading? To the newsagency to replenish his lungs with a fruit scented packet of tobacco? Down the fucking gurgler! I wish they could stop, but clearly understand that they can’t. They bet words amongst each other. “His rusty station wagon has a twin fin Murray Smith surfboard tied to the roof by pairs of knotted shoelace,” another clueless observer adds with a bogus smile. I'm certain the dogs are racing. But somehow we're all running a similar race. It's worth a look. “Five dollars, he doesn’t vote Liberal on Election Day.” I guess, if they were right, I’d agree. Fuck a stale, glass jar society. Ed.
STAY SOGGY, WHOEVER YOU ARE. Soggybones celebrate all sorts.
10. Barry Mansfi
18. Alana Blanc
20. San Diego
30. Ian Barry
38. Phil Goodric
104. Music Revie
46. Emma Linde
50. Born in `85
66. Aidan White
92. Clare Pluec
94. Summer Love
The Ward Brothers present Soggybones. Edited by Justin Ward. Produced by Justin and Luke Ward. TEAM Justin Ward - Editor. Luke Ward - Advertising and Marketing. Russell Ord - Senior Photographer/Photo Editor. Luke Thompson - Senior Photographer. Rory Nelson - Senior Graphic Designer. Brian Blakely - Skateboarding Editor. WRITTEN CONTRIBUTIONS Brian Blakely, Cal Seward, Ella Reweti, John Bruneton, Justin Ward, Mark Donaldson and Tom Stone. PHOTOGRAPHY Aidan White, Andy Ortega, Brian Blakely, Caleb Davenport, Clare Plueckhahn, Fred Mortagne, Jehonathan Poellnitz, John Bradford, Luke Thompson, Mick Curley, Mike O'Meally, Phil Goodrich, Russell Ord, Ryan Lusteg, Sam Lloyd, Shane 'Freddo' Smith, Steve Gourlay, Stu Gibson, Tim Jones, Tom Stone, and Vaughan Brookfield. COVER Photo: Luke Thompson. Skater: Dylan Tomlinson. Artist: Ben Byrne. CONTENTS Photo: Luke Thompson. Skater: Rex Maloney. Artist: Ben Byrne. Models: Crystal Bradley, Dave Bostelman, Emma Lindegaard, Izzy Adamczyk, Jarrud King, Megan Guise, Michael Bostelman, Riley De Campe, Sarah King, Tammy Croucher, and The Mikey Shaw. BACK COVER Photo: Vaughan Brookfield.
See you in 2011. Web: soggybones.com E-store: soggybones.bigcartel.com Find us on Facebook. View previous editions FREE online. The views expressed in Soggybones Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily those of the publisher or the staff. Printed by PT.Cintya, Bali Indonesia. ÂŠ Copyright 2010 Soggybones. All Rights Reserved. Internationally sourced. Made in Western Australia.
firstname.lastname@example.org Australia / USA +61 8 9355 9985 New Zealand +64 9 376 9117
Despite childish connotations I randomly attached to his maiden name, Barry isn’t a fucking Bogan. He’s actually quite the opposite. But rumour has it that he doesn’t mind drinking the odd can of good ol’ Aussie beer. And who can blame him? We are talking about a humble West Australian skateboarder after all. This particular cat recently returned to the city of Perth after enjoying a short stint of skateboarding and partying throughout the finer parts of the dangerously alluring, United States of America. However, it didn’t take long for him to plan his next overseas exploration. Soon enough this moving man of mystery had booked a fresh set of wings and was talking about hovering somewhere over China with strong intentions of destroying the nations delicately crafted street sculptures. With gigabytes of impressive Barry photos in my inbox I knew I had to act fast to land a story with this rapidly progressive human-ite for Soggybones ‘All Sorts’. I wasted no more time and swooped on Barry like an obese field rat. Read on to find out more about Mr. Barry Mansfield.
Written by Justin Ward (AUS). Photography by Aidan White and Luke Thompson. Tucknee grab. Photo by Thompson / lukeshootsphotos.com
Photo by Thompson / lukeshootsphotos.com F/s flip. Sequence by White / aidsofspades.wordpress.com
Barry, how is skateboarding treating you at the moment? Are you still having an absolute blast? Currently skating has been amazing! I feel my skating has been the strongest it’s ever been, in the sense of having solid sponsors, minimal injuries and staying productive. I’m at the pinnacle of my career and all the pieces to the puzzle are coming together, which is exciting. I rarely wake up unmotivated to go film or shoot photos when I’m not working. I’m just super keen to stay avid & keep pumping out as much new coverage as I can, whenever I can. Everything’s going swell so I can’t really complain. What else has been going on, anything stimulating? Just recently my generous friend gave me his used single speed racer for my 24th birthday, which is tight! So that has been my new found love lately, exploring foreign areas of my hood whilst snapping film off. Do you appreciate watching skate vid’s without music? I think it’s a little warped. It’s strange because some people actually like parts without tracks! I guess because it’s raw, it kind of gives it that unpolished feel. I know there have been a few parts that haven’t had tracks and they can be utterly dull and sometimes painful to watch! Personally, I think every man’s part should be brought to life with music. So what music have you been listening to lately? I’ve been running a bit of this and that. Musically my taste has definitely broadened over the last few years. I like to try and absorb as many different genres/cultures of music as I can, try to keep an assorted mix bag, I guess. I used to be worried in a strange way about being enticed by crap music and sometimes I’d even force myself to like it, but nowadays I just roll with what ever satisfies my tastes. If I like it, then I like it, that’s it. As a whole, do you think the West Australian skate industry should receive a little more respect and recognition from the rest of Australia and say, other parts of the world? I mean there are a complete bag of rippers who almost remain covert, and then we have a few really talented photographers and filmmakers who all work super hard, produce the goods, and still struggle to find magazines willing to show the west side story. Yeah, I think a lot of skaters/photographers et cetera have put in the hard yards over the years in W.A and have came out on top, whether it has been a little luck or just all round successful at what they do best.
I have a few friends that are either excelling, as a skater or a photographer, and both will say that it’s not an easy process. The problem with Perth’s that the industry here is so damn small opposed to say Melbourne where it’s more alive. The talent here’s continuously growing with a select handful of skaters on the brink of blowing up! As far as getting more recognized as a Perth based enthusiast you have to constantly be prolific and get your work in what ever you can take to get the attention needed. Has it been just great coming up as a West Australian skateboarder, rolling and existing around the streets of Perth and the rest of W.A? It has been rad! I’ve made many friends from Skating, nearly all my tightest friends skate. Perth still has a growing scene as well as new spots occasionally on the rise, which’s refreshing. Perth will always be home for me as a skateboarder. Locally, nationally or internationally, what has inspired you the most? Living, life in general and all the people I know. So do you have a favourite local place to shred? Old Wool Stores in Fremantle is where I get most of my enjoyment. It’s usually nicely shaded during summer with the occasional drop of pigeon defaecation. Endless line possibilities on this continuous ledge make the journey out there all worthwhile. Just around the corner from that you have the Freo park AKA Captain Munchies, which makes a nice evening session with some icy Coopers and lads. Would you believe me if I said the United States doesn’t know about the cold pleasures of Milo? That’s believable considering Milo/Nestle was founded in Australia, right? Yeah, that’s true. So are you a fan of Milo? Yeah, any malt energy drink’s tight whenever it’s available. I wouldn’t usually buy it, but if it’s around I’ll hit it. Banana/Milo smoothies aren’t bad either. Readers try it, I highly recommend. You first started skateboarding seriously when you were about fourteen. Is that true? Yeah, I got into skateboarding heavily around fourteen. Truanting school on a regular basis to skate the local park and streets of Mandurah with close homies was all I really wanted to do back then.
F/s noseblunt. Photo by White / aidsofspades.wordpress.com
Pole-jamminâ€™. Photo by White / aidsofspades.wordpress.com
Nollie-K-switch 5-0. Sequence by White / aidsofspades.wordpress.com
So, who should we thank for encouraging your involvement? Well my family and friends, they’re the ones who never doubted me for a second. Myself I guess for sticking out the tough times whenever it got heavy.
only temporary. It would be my dream to be a permanent resident down the track. Culturally they have a really rich art and skate scene, which is one of the reasons I’m so drawn to this beautiful city.
You’ve skated alongside some of Australia’s top crops, is there one particular moment that has burnt a permanent image in your brain where you’ve just watched someone totally destroy a place and left you feeling like, “holy shit,” what just happened here? Dylan Thomlinson’s one of the many that can skate any terrain and also leave you dumbfounded and lost for words even at the worst of times! I’d like to mention a few of his hammers, but then I’d spoil it for the new flick he’ll be starring in. He’s seriously of the meat rack right now!
I heard from a small bird that you don’t mind a bit of creativity. What type of art do you enjoy producing? Anything from photography to scribbling in a little scrap diary I have which keeps my alone time lively and productive. I’ve currently been doing a short course at Tafe (screen printing from scratch) and that has been interesting. Applying different techniques and methods as well as mediums to different materials/fabrics. If I wasn’t entirely focused on my skating I’d definitely like to do something more solid in the screen-printing industry further down the line.
Favourite skate flick? Every 411vm. I could sit for hours watching one after another and still not be bored. The skating was on such a high level, epic track selections, they were all just so well done. Shame it was discontinued so suddenly! Most embarrassing moment? I’m not easily an embarrassed guy, although I have had my moments, which I won’t mention. Actually I feel more embarrassed for other people than myself most the time. Would be good if you could…? Maybe have a little sneak peak at the future. Have your sponsors been kind enough to send you travelling overseas? I just finished up a U.S trip with three of my friends that stretched out for six long weeks in L.A, S.F, N.Y.C, which Converse paid for. At the moment we’re in the midst of organizing a twelve day China trip, touring parts of China experiencing their fine culture as well as taking advantage of their amazing street architecture. So who has your back? Cons shoes, Stereo skateboards, HUF clothing and Beyond Skate shop. Where are you currently living? By the time this has been published I will already be settled in with my Girlfriends folks in their new Wembley home. If you didn’t live in Australia, where would you like to be? After our ten-day stay in San Francisco I immediately wanted to live there, even if it was
For all of the people in W.A or any specimens choosing to visit this fine state, what bar’s pouring the best beer and hosting the most humble of humans? At the moment ‘The Bird’ on William St Northbridge offers a cozy little bar with a nice veranda type beer garden out back. The owners are some of the nicest dudes around and don’t mind premiering the odd skate flick here and there. You’ve been shooting photos more recently with Aidan White and the shots look legit. Do you think it’s important to shoot with guys you gel with? Aidan and I shoot whenever he has the time, which is usually Sunday and Monday. He’s an easygoing lad, which makes it even easier to shoot with him. If I had beef with Aids I would still probably shoot with him considering there are only a very limited bunch of photographers in W.A. But depending if he was inclined to shoot with me that could be another story. It’s obviously going to make the shoot smoother if you’re tight with the dude. I’ve shot with numerous photographers over the years and have never had conflicts, ever! Are you down for the name, Barry? For some reason as squirts we referred to Bogan’s as Barry’s. You aren’t a Bogan at all are you? I don’t mind the name but the thing is I rarely get called my given name. Usually I’m referred to as – Jones, Jonsey, Casey Jones or Bask! That’s funny because I’ve been told my name’s the complete opposite! An old fashioned name perhaps? Oh and I’m very anti bogan for ya’ll information.
Do you ever think it would be enjoyable to be a Bogan for one day and cruise around drinking ample Victoria Bitter in a juicy V8 Kingswood dragging other meat-head’s around the streets of Rockingham and hitting on slappers in white Lancers with Pink Play boy seat covers on full display? I’d find that pretty undesirable, anything Bogan related is not feasible, beside from drinking V.B. I used to deal with them nearly every day at Beyond Skate Rockingham. The majority of them are a nice sociable bunch, but the other few are very bogan-esque, demanding, rude, ruthless and so on. So I don’t think I’d want to live in the shoes of one for even a day! Yeah, sorry about that last question. On a serious note, are you working on any film sections or photo trips? As I just aforementioned I’m going on a China trip with Young Vo, Sean Holland & Bryce G for twelve days. Hopefully we can produce a nice Journal article from the trip. A new Perth flick is also in the making with an untitled name still yet to be decided. What’s on the cards for 2011? Hopefully a little travelling, a ton of skating and less drinking. Finally, who would you like to thank? My Family for being so supportive with whatever I do. Chris Yow, Bonnie & her whole family, Cam @ cons, Benny V @ Project for all your help, Trevor & Leon @ Antics Dist, Steele @ H.u.f, Shane, Luke, Cory, Zac, Moe, Garth, Leigh, Pidge, Geld, Ben McCormck, Lenny, Dylan, Q, Nukka, Melbourne heads and any one else I forgot.
Alana Blanchard. Age. Surfing. Location.
Twenty. Sixteen years. North Shore, Kauai.
alanablanchard.com Photography by Russell Ord/cameraelectronic.com.au
Alana, how is your life at the moment? Positive vibes? Life has been so good! I have been home for the last two weeks and I love being home, it’s the best. Before returning home I was travelling and that’s also really fun. Can you tell us about some of the music or artists you have grown up listening to? I pretty much grew up listening to what my Dad listened to because that’s what he would play in the car when we went surfing. He would always play Led Zeppelin, Hendrix and The Beatles et cetera. But now I pretty much listen to anything that sounds good. I love all types of music, it just depends on what mood I’m in. Are there any bands you enjoyed listening to back in the day, but when you now think back, you’re like, sheeet, I can’t believe I bumped those beats? Probably NSYNC and Backstreet Boys! My friends and I would make up dance moves to their songs. If you could bring back any band from the dead and have them play at your house party, what band would you resurrect? Probably the Beatles because they have so many good songs. Do you have much time off to party or chill with your mates given your busy tour schedule and everything that coincides? Not too much right now just because a lot of my friends are away at school, so it’s pretty hard to see them. But when I do it’s always good times. What does your typical daily routine involve off tour? I usually go surfing right away if there are any waves. If not I’ll go for a walk on the beach with my dog’s. After surfing or walking the dog I’ll just cruise at home, do some Yoga and Pilate’s, and then go surfing again.
Who are your major influences in life? Probably my parents, they just play such a big role in my life and I look up to them a lot. You recently spent time in the Philippines. How was your trip? Yeah it was fun! The Philippines is such a cool place, and the people are so nice! Cloud Nine’s an amazing wave, just a perfect right. Did you score cracking waves? It was like three to four foot most days and really fun and perfect. Dorian, your little bro was on the trip with you. I heard he was flaring. Is he chasing a surf career? Yeah he is getting really good, he surfs better than me now and he’s only fourteen. I’m not really sure what he wants to do about a career, but I know he’s having a lot of fun just surfing. Your life heavily revolves around travelling and spending time away from family and friends. How do you find being away from home? Is it tough? Well I love home, it’s the best. So for me it is hard to be away for a long time. But it’s good to get off the island. It’s a love hate kinda thing. What are some of the most memorable places in the world you’ve visited? That’s such a hard question because I’ve been to so many cool and beautiful places. I always love being in Indonesia just because it has such good waves. I recently watched ‘The Cove’, a super shocking although brilliant documentary inspired by Ric O’Barry and directed by Louie Psihoyos. Have you seen it? No I haven’t, I will make sure I do though. 2011 is creeping up quickly. Are you ready for the New Year? I know it came so fast it’s crazy! I’m just trying to take it one day at a time. What will you be focusing on in 2011? I just want to have as much fun as I can and become a better surfer and person. Finally, if professional surfing wasn’t for you, what would you be doing? I would love to open my own Yoga and Pilate’s studio. It would have a Café connected to it serving the best food ever.
WRITTEN BY Brian Blakely (USA) PHOTOGRAPHY BY Andy Ortega Brian Blakely
San Diego is full of them. And when the thought hatched in my head to write a story on the brilliant city of San Diego, I figured it was going to be too easy. By doing this, I felt as though I was cheating myself. I live in San Diego. I skate downtown religiously, and until I actually set out to tackle the assignment, I thought I knew her like the back of my hand. I clearly don’t know the back of my hand. When you actually take the time to go out of your way and notice everything that San Diego has to offer it starts to become sort of overwhelming... and to cover her entirety in any amount of words is nearly impossible... It was September 18, 1542 that sailor Juan Cabrillo floated into modern-day Point Loma discovering what we know now as the gorgeous city of San Diego, California. Hundreds of years later... myself and Soggybones photographer Andy Ortega spent well over a month rendezvousing with the city and taking her out on a few skate dates. San Diego has so much to offer that spotlighting her cavernous array of attractions became quite the task to complete, and I still feel as if I only covered half of it, if that. There’s so much filled in these cracks downtown that it’s easy to step on one and break your back. So therefore I had to play favorites and choose only a few things that I really like about her. Like any major city there’s plenty to see and do in San Diego, it just depends on how you cure your itch. You can take the trolley around Old Town, sail a boat at the harbor, drive across (or simply admire) the Coronado Bridge, have a picnic at Balboa Park, eat some pizza in Little Italy, have dinner at one of the many fine restaurants in the Gaslamp District, watch the Padres lose a baseball game at Petco Park (ha), get loose in a club or at the bar, or if you’re like my friends and I, maybe you’ll find yourself skateboarding around the city streets, racing down parking garages, and kissing San Diego right on her lips. Whatever it may be; the fact is you’ll be enjoying it simply because of where you are. And in the infamous words of Mr. Ron Burgandy: “It’s a fact... [San Diego] is the greatest city in the history of man kind” Thanks Ron. (That statistic is not true whatsoever). Don’t act like you haven’t seen Anchorman...
Scaling tops. Photo by Blakely.
Anyways... I’m vibing. The sun is setting and the western clouds are washed in yellow, pink and purple. The water is glowing so bright that I put my shades on for safety. My beer is cold. Beautiful debbies in colorful mini-skirts are parading up and down the coastal sidewalk like packs of wolves; wicked, nasty, beautiful wolves. I smell BBQ and garlic and I’m craving a cheeseburger. Eh, maybe I want some tacos actually... or some Italian. My stomach is punching itself as we speak. Fuck... the choices. San Diego has me stuck. So, I pick up my board and follow the lingering scent of deliciousness while my mind chooses naturally. A cheeseburger it is. I’m sitting inside Knockout Burger in Carlsbad, California, (which is actually a little North of San Diego’s heart) writing with a pen and pad like a madman before I wander south toward the city. No one seems concerned about me... it’s the long line in here that’s flipping smiles upside down like burgers. But the way I see it, the place must be good if it’s packed, especially on a random Thursday evening. I get my food and continue to skate on. There’s no point in being this close to the beach and not devouring my burger with a view. Judging by the crowded ocean, the waves must be ripping. I don’t surf, but the lineup is probably longer than your favorite ride at Disneyland only the atmosphere is the complete opposite. Is it wrong to buy a surfboard just to sit in the ocean and watch the sunset? I hope not. Isn’t everyone in San Diego supposed to own a surfboard anyway? Don’t quote me on that one. San Diego’s coast is home to some of the most admirable beaches in the country, and she’s a thief for stealing so much of my time. Areas like Del Mar, Mission Bay, Ocean Beach, and Pacific Beach are just a small slice of what San Diego has to offer but they never get old. It’s sort of like a mini Venice Beach down in Mission Bay, and if you ever get a chance to ride the old wooden roller coaster—do it. People are constantly partying on the strip. Beach-vibed liquor stores, bikinis, taco shops, and bars are all you’ll really find down here. I’m not complaining. Downtown is always entertaining as well, and I mean, fuck, the Mexican border is just around the corner. Ariba! But as the sun falls, the moon rises along with the stars and the bright lights of the cityscape appear and become the only thing you can focus on. Fisherman head out into the pitchblack water on their small motorized-boats to do some fishing while others float calmly in their boats, asleep. The Gaslamp District lights up, the music rises at the bars, and the streets become filled with savvy ladies and finely dressed gents. And all the while, the obnoxious sound of skateboarding is all I can hear. More times than not you’ll cruise to a spot in San Diego with a crew, filmer, maybe a photographer... only to find another group of dudes doing the exact same thing. This place is a concrete jungle. The spots are our food and we’re all hungry. And even though there’s plenty of new spots to be found on a daily basis, the same washed up spots get murdered until they’re capped, taken out, or beat to death. I like to hunt. It’s in our nature, fool.
Terence Perkins ollie over the razor wire. Photo by Ortega. Stuart Kleinsmith f/s smith. Photo by Ortega.
Another day burning time and cells downtown. Photo by Ortega. Que pasa? They’re our styles, and fool, she’s coming with us. Photo by Ortega. Got you when you’re growling. Photo by Blakely.
Photo by Blakely.
26 soggybones.com Early A.M winding down-town. Photo by Ortega. Brent Kelly transfer to fence ride at Washington Street Skate Park WSVT. Photo by Ortega.
The view of San Diego through the eyes of a skateboarder can be completely different compared to the average onlooker. We see opportunity; they see vandalism. The city has been getting ripped apart by skateboarders for decades and the tearing continues. When I’m driving over the small hump on the freeway in route to the city, it’s as if pop up book of cityscape appears; towering skyscrapers rise, airplanes fly in and out of the airport, and hundreds of boats are docked at the harbor. And if you look close enough, you can see a shady skate park surrounded by thick chain link fences and cement walls resting solid under the off ramp’s bridge. This cement icon is known as Washington St. Skate Park and is located right under the Freeway, across from the airports runway, minutes from the heart of downtown. Washington St. skate park was built by the bare hands and sour sweat of skateboarders and no corporate cement companies or huge heavy machinery was used to build this skate haven, which is surprising due to its size and quality. This place is enough proof that San Diego’s skateboarding—above every other attraction—is raw and real. It wasn’t the first skate park to be built “under a bridge,” but it is one of the very few that was. And I think that’s much more impressive (and a lot cheaper) than any Sea World or Legoland attraction. If it’s not Washington St. that catches your attention, we have plenty of skate parks all around the San Diego county: Memorial, Carmel Valley, Ocean Beach, Bishop and Martin Luther King skate parks (located a little north east), just to name a few... and of course, the city streets are always free. Myself, and a few others just finished a day of skating and decided to stop and take in all of the scenery: The sun was down, the harbor was flattering, the people were busy, and downtown was just across the bay lighting herself up. We bought a couple pieces of pizza and a few cans of coke and sat on a bench alongside the harbor. As I sat I realized how beautiful of a place this really is. Despite all of the skateboarding involved, the city has a lot to offer the average human as well, but I suggest having a board. The days can be long and tiring, pushing around the entire city, and being fortunate enough to have so many options as to where you can unwind and talk about the day of shredding with your friends is remarkable. The coast and harbor are always just a skate away... I could sit here and continue to comb San Diego’s hair for her but we all know she’s pretty. If you’ve never been to the city, you should check her out. She skates, she cooks, and she did a great job modeling for us. What a gal. I think you’ll want to marry the place after visiting just once. Just as long as you don’t mind sloppy seconds...
30 soggybones.com Noseblunt. Photo by Lusteg. 50-50. Photo by Lusteg.
Written by Brian Blakely (USA). Photography by Ryan Lusteg and Jehonathan Poellnitz.
Lance Mountain said it, “People who smoke and drink are fake.” I’m guilty. Although the statement is a bit obnoxious, it’s hard to argue. However if that’s the case, then Ian Barry of Encinitas, California is as real as they come, and refreshingly fits nowhere in Lance’s above statement. Not a single drip of alcohol or wave-ofsmoke has ever tunneled down Ian Barry’s throat, but don’t get me wrong... the dude parties. He’s not doing this to make a statement, and he’s definitely not ignorant or arrogant about it, but for Ian, it’s a simple life choice, and a unique life choice at that (especially these days). While others are out skating a little, and partying a lot, Ian’s just out skating. The confidence instilled in Ian’s mind far surpasses the “liquid confidence” so many people need to succeed. Mr. Barry takes classes at Mira Costa Community College and still gets more footage and bangers than the entire population of Iowa. Ian’s a soft-spoken, humble ripper who finds his fulfillment through riding his skateboard—not at the bottom of a liquor bottle. So cheers to Ian for being so sincere. I think it’s time for a bongload. Ian. I usually hate doing this question first, but fuck it. Let’s get the basics out of the way for these fools. How old are you? Where are you from? And how many years have you been pushing wood? I’m 20 years old and I’m from Encinitas, CA. I’ve probably been skating for about 7 years.
How long have you lived in Encinitas? I’ve lived in Encinitas my whole life. You’re nickname is “Poods.” Explain. Well, I guess it started this one night I was at my friend Cameron (Holland)’s house. My hair was longer and my friends Logan (Taylor) and Ralf (Saldivar) started saying I looked like a poodle. Somehow it got shortened down to “Poods” and the next morning when I woke up it just stuck I guess. I’ve never really liked the nickname (laughs). How’d you get introduced to skateboarding, Poods? I skated when I was a little kid. I don’t really know how I got introduced to it but I got a skateboard and started skating and I loved it. The way you skate is fucking gnarly. You’re definitely one of those dudes whose footy tape is full of bangers, bangers, and more bangers. How can you jump down those huge handrails and shit so confidently? I’m really not that good I just try really hard. I fall a lot and I feel like I’m hurt more of the time than not. Have you always skated this way? Like, were you the little ripper at the skate park back in the day trying to ollie the biggest drop the place had? (Laughing) I don’t know I guess I used to try to ollie off stuff. I used to skate the local skate park a lot as a little kid, pretty much everyday, and just tried what I could and had fun.
Smith 180. Sequence by Lusteg.
34 soggybones.com Nosegrind. Photo by Lusteg. Bluntslide. Photo by Jehonathan Poellnitz.
So I still trip out on your tailslide down Clipper in San Francisco during the Soggybones Tour. What was going through your mind when you jumped down that beast of a hubba for fun? I’m still so hyped I happened to get that photo... you pulled that shit twice before I even snapped it! No film. Have you ever gone back to film it? That was the first time I ever skated it. It’s a perfect hubba so I always wanted to skate it. I’ve skated it again since then but kind of just messed around on it. Damn. I wish I could play around on 12 hubbas for fun. (Laughs) It was inspiring dude. You could see it in your eyes fool. You just made it look like it all makes sense. (Laughs) Thanks. How long were you in San Francisco? Where were you staying? I was there for about a month and a half. I was hurt a lot of the time so I was kinda bummed but it was still a lot of fun. I stayed with my friends Will, Tyler, Cody and Logan. Ever plan to move back? I’m back in Encinitas now but I think I’m going to move back sometime in the future. Everyone on the Soggy Tour got wasted both nights we were up there at the apartment, but you just drank your coffee and watched us all act a fool. Have you ever drank a beer or been high? Nah, I’ve never been drunk or high. I may have had a sip of wine or something when I was really little but I’ve never drunk or smoked weed or anything like that. That’s ripping dude. Do you think it helps your skateboarding? Most dudes need a beer or two to feel edgy, you just want to wake up and skate. What do you do when you’re broke off or something? Those bong rips do magic on a sore body. I don’t know if it helps. I guess it might, there’s definitely those days where I wake up to skate and all my friends are still drunk from the night before. Those days can be kind of un-motivating. When I’m hurt I try to play guitar or lately I’ve been drawing. I also am into photography and wildlife so I love to take pictures and stuff like that. You rip Poods, that’s so tight. Who’s hooking you up? Surfride Skate Shop and Brixton. Steady. Besides for this interview, do you head out and snap photos pretty often? I try to film and shoot photos as much as I can. Right now I’m filming for my friend Cameron Holland’s video.
I go out and skate with my friend (Ryan) Lusteg a lot, too. He takes great photos. Basically that’s what I’m focusing on now. Excellent. What is it about skateboarding that keeps you pushing? I just love skateboarding. There are people that I look up to and that inspire me [in skateboarding], that’s what gives me a lot of determination. Have you ever thought about skateboarding as a career? Like, have you ever thought about actually cashing cheques because of skateboarding? I’ve thought about it. It would be great to get paid for skateboarding but it’s tough. I’d love to get paid for skateboarding, though. What do you think it takes? Basically I think that you just have to get as much coverage as you can in magazines or whatever. Things are getting weird with all this online stuff but a lot of people see things online. I just feel like there’s so much that goes online it’s hard to keep up with it all. I want to see companies come out with videos like every five years and make them really good. Videos like Misled Youth are what get me siked on skating. Got any crazy stories for us? Not off the top of my head. Well Ian, you’re a ripper. And you’re a humble dude. I swear that’s rare these days man. Do you have any shout outs? Or anything you’d like to add? I would like to thank my family, Alex Schmidt, Mike Long, Logan and Jordan Taylor, Cameron Holland, Robbie Gould, Lusteg, Chens, Ralf, Chris Troy, Tyler, David Stoddard, Pat and Surfride, Andy, Dukie, Will, Cody, Max, Kyle, Ratone and RatCrew.
Jl. Raya Seminyak 47a Bali
pics by: Mick Curley // Rik Fiddicke
Written by Justin Ward (AUS). Art by Phil Goodrich.
Indialantic, Florida 1985. The Friday school bell’s welcomed like green at Bob Marley’s live Santa Barbara Country Bowl performance. I’m out the classroom door well before the teacher can even contemplate dropping homework duties for the weekend. Yeww. Another tedious week of school. Chalk in the wind. History. Seriously, one more day cooped up in class with a crooked horde of self-righteous “jocks” was going to ride me up the wall and send me plummeting back down to earth, teeth first. I am dead broke, not a crumb in the pouch, but I’m free and feeling mighty euphoric. No responsibilities. No worries. The final hurdle for today is standing in front of me, right now. How should I devour the remaining four hours of rays? Three viable options stack up. Linger at home like a foul stench and draw cartoons until my fingers sweat blood, plant my skinny arse on the couch and stuff my gob with chocolate Pop Tarts and suck Coca Cola through a bright red straw, or slide into my favourite pair of neon flavoured trunks and glide down Coral Way street on my bike and spend the afternoon scooping into filthy three foot sand funnels with my best friends. Life really is rough at fifteen. I think I’ll have a crack at all three before whipping home on my pushy to down a meal lovingly prepared by Mom. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Shit. Who cares! I didn’t have the joy of knowing Phil Goodrich as a child, and to be honest I haven’t had the pleasure of even meeting the man, but I imagine his former days as a grom heavily rotated around scenarios just like the one described above. Eating food, dreading school, creating art, riding bikes around the hood, idolising Slater and surfing daily. It seemed to hit the nail on the head. Guessing just wasn’t enough. I wanted to confirm my suspicions. So I had a chat with Phil Goodrich via the World Wide Web about his life and he kindly confirmed how his childhood appreciation for art and surfing turned into a pure and secure form of love, a healthy lifelong obsession.
“ AT OUR HIGH SCHOOL AT THE TIME (1985-89) SURFING WAS STILL VIEWED AS A JOKE. WE WERE TREATED A BIT LIKE JEFF SPICOLI. ”
Photo by Ord / cameraelectronic.com.au
Phil, when did you find your place on planet earth? April 19, 1971. Do you believe everyone is here on earth for a reason? Yes. But that question is too important for me to throw down my opinion. Do you ever sit back and think about your life purpose? Yeah, but that can be depressing. I end up comparing myself to people I admire, the greatest surfers or the most amazing artists. It makes me realize that I am desperately average. I hope my purpose in the world is to inspire people. I want them to enjoy looking at my paintings. Tell us a bit about your days as a grom? Where did you hatch? I was born in Indialantic, Florida. I grew up surfing on Coral Way. We were a pack of grommets who rode our bikes to the beach. Indialantic was a typical, small beach town. We admired and feared the older surfers. We were hypercritical of each other’s style. There were some innovative surfers in that area at the time (mid 1980’s). There were still guys ripping on single fins. Twin fins were transitioning into thrusters. Bill Hartley was blazing at Sebastian Inlet. John Holeman and Matt Kechele were two early, aerial pioneers. Kelly Slater was blowing our minds, even though we were all twelve years old. Clothing sponsors were starting to send boxes of clothing to kids. Neon was really cool. Those colourful Billabong jackets were the bomb. Single Fins, Neon, Slater, Aerial Pioneers…rad memories. Is it true you began releasing your creative demons at high school? Yes, I was really skinny. I was overly sensitive. At our High School at the time (1985-89) surfing was still viewed as a joke. We were treated a bit like Jeff Spicoli.. Instead of speaking my mind, I would just draw cartoons and doodles of people that pissed me off. As a young artist did you see art as a vessel for personal release and expression? Not really. At the time, I thought I would work in advertising, or for a surf company designing ads. My understanding is you used art in high school to express your frustration with the status quo? In particular your frustration with footy jocks? Yes, our football team always had a losing record, and yet all the money for the sports budget was spent on them. Our surf club couldn’t even get money to rent a van to get to a comp. Our team was winning the High School comps, and we were still treated like losers.
That stinks. So after high school did you further your studies? I attended University at Point Loma University, in San Diego, California. I chose the school because it was located on a cliff above fairly good waves. Brilliant. You’re a super keen surfer. When did you discover surfing and fall in love with the attached lifestyle? As a grom. At ten years old I was hooked. If you had to pick and choose between surfing and art, could you? Yes. I’d pick surfing. Phil, if you don’t mind me asking, how do you make ends meet? Do art sales pay the bills? Just barely. In the past I have worked part time in a coffee shop. Now, I live with my girlfriend and I do my best to pay for my part of the bills by selling art. So where are you living at the moment? South Carolina, USA (east coast). Can you briefly explain your particular style of art? I paint realistic portraits with oil paint on wood. Can you tell us about a favourite art piece of yours and why it’s a standout? “Old Boy”. It’s a close-up of an old Indonesian man’s face from Surabaya. It just stands out from the rest, and reminds me of a great season in Indonesia that I enjoyed in 2007. The surf was pumping and the art was flowing. I had a perfect view of the surf from where I was painting. Everything was effortless. For some reason I don’t picture you as the type of guy who would create art inside a little purpose built studio. I can work anywhere, but I prefer a roof and nice light. If not from daylight, I like the light bulbs that imitate daylight. I can’t stand normal bulbs that have an orange/yellow tint. My favorite studios have been on the verandas of the losmen at Lagundri Bay, Nias, Indonesia. I work now in the guest bedroom of the house I share with my girlfriend. It has two windows and great light. I rate the fact there are no set tools or mediums for creating art and there aren’t any dead set rules for application. What tools and mediums have you grown fond of over the years and why? I only paint on wood. I love everything about wood. It has a neutral tone to start a painting, so lights and dark tones jump right out from the beginning. I like the smell of wood. I like to find the figure in the wood grain before I start a painting. I used to work only in pastels. Now I work with Oil paint.
“ I LIKE TO PAINT PORTRAITS OF OBSCURE BLUESMEN...LOTS OF PEOPLE LIKE BLUES MUSIC BUT THEY FORGET ABOUT THE OLDEST AND THE BLACKEST! ”
I guess the varied amount of tools for artists is similar to the different types of crafts surfers have the option of riding. Do you have a favourite type of board or shaper? My favorite boards have been fish type-deep swallowtails with twin keels. Chris Christenson is an amazing shaper from San Diego. We worked on boards for thirteen years. He went to the same University as I did, and he shaped me the second board that he ever tried to make and it worked really well. I’ve been riding Aviso boards lately (carbon fiber, epoxy) they have different shapers. Doc Lausch and Dick Van Straleen made two of my favorites from that company. You’ve experienced the world of surfing transform rapidly over the years. Do you think the soul is slowly fading amongst the surfers of today? I still feel the soul. I hope I never become jaded. There is nothing worse than talking to a jaded surfer. Phil, I would love to know a little about your approach and philosophy to life? I want everything I do to have a flow. I want to be happy go lucky, but serious at the same time. Pulling into a tube should be effortless; stress free. I hope people will watch me and be inspired to never quit surfing and trying to fulfill their dreams - even if they seem trivial or impossible. I want my style to be like a song that you never get sick of hearing. Timeless. Do you ever think about how the importance and immense human reliance upon money has altered lives? Can’t we all just live off the land and be done with coins? It’s easy for me to agree with that because I have no money! My girlfriend has a great garden and is an amazing cook, so we try our best!! Is money all that important to you? No. It’s not important to me. If I had more money, I would just travel more. What about conforming to trends and social norms? What do you think about that? I’m an average guy so it happens…you can learn quite a bit from trends. So, what is important to Phil Goodrich in 2010? My girlfriend, (Crystal). My family. Staying healthy. Never quit surfing. This might seem like a weird question because I’m meant to be asking you the questions. But, what I want to know is, if you could ask our readers one question regarding life, hell, anything on any topic, what would it be? How can you believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny but not Jesus?
“ I WANT MY STYLE TO BE LIKE A SONG THAT YOU NEVER GET SICK OF HEARING. TIMELESS. ”
Photo by Ord / cameraelectronic.com.au
This might seem a little weird because i’m supposed to ask you the questions. But what I want to know is, if you could ask readers one question, what would it be? Practice. Concentrate. Don’t give up. Stay positive. Don’t get jaded and bitter. There are only a handful of naturally gifted people that barely have to try; the rest of us have to PRACTICE. If you could pass some wisdom onto flowering minds, be it surfers, skateboarders, musicians or artists, what would you share? I was blown away at how long it took for me to get there from America. It was everything I imagined and more. I have met amazing people... mostly Australian. I have a connection with Aussies. My Grandmother was from Sydney, so I am one quarter Aussie. Do you have a favourite island or location within Indonesia that you visit on a regular basis? We don’t want you to reveal any secrets. Nias Island and Sipora Island (HT’s). What do you love the most about the place? The waves. What other parts of the world have you explored? Barbados, Haiti, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Hawaii and Mexico. A lot of your creations are portrait style paintings of women from different countries. Many seem to be Indonesian. Is there any significance behind your choice of subject? Women are beautiful and frightening. They are the cause of wars and mothers of our children. Women are confusing and inspiring at the same time. Even women like to look at other women, so they make great subjects for portraits. Are portraits your specialty and or favourite, so to speak? Yes, for sure. Everyone tells me I should paint waves and landscapes if I want to sell more art, but I stick to portraits. What inspires you the most to create fine works of art? Blues musicians. The kind of beauty that only lasts for a moment. Blues musicians inspire me because of their love of music and their determination. Also the simplicity of the music, and how long it lasts. Most of the old Bluesmen were unconcerned with being famous. They just wanted to make enough money to make it to the next gig. How important is music in your life? It keeps me going, and dancing...
You have a lot of great portraits of famous musicians, guys like Bob Marley. Is there a message in such paintings or are you simply paying tribute to the greats? I like to paint portraits of obscure blues-men... lots of people like blues music but they forget about the oldest and the blackest! Have your musical preferences matured over the years, or are you still listening to the same music you were bumping whilst in your teens and early twenties? I wouldn’t say matured... just like everyone else I have a schizophrenic ipod. I love hip-hop, reggae, blues, and Slayer. Phil, you’re an awesome tube rider. Can you share any secrets of the green room? All I ever wanted was longevity. I want my style to have a flow and for it to seem happy go lucky. Pulling into a tube should be effortless; stress free. I hope people will watch me and be inspired to never quit surfing and trying to fulfill their dreams. The top surfers on the ASP world tour deserve to be paid! In my opinion, if you ever get a chance to surf with the top guys in waves of consequence, it will blow your mind! The way they generate speed and handle it is incredible. I can enjoy the fact that I don’t have any sponsors. There are no logos on my board. If no one gives me a salary to surf, I don’t have to live up to any one’s expectations. People in the lineup wonder, ”who the hell is that guy?” You’re big on travelling and ultimately surfing the perfect wave. Have you achieved this goal or will you forever be striving for that next level of perfection? Yes, I’ve achieved that goal. But I know that there are even more perfect waves out there. I have got to keep striving because it’s what keeps me going!
Emma Lindegaard. Age. Modeling. Location. Agency.
Eighteen. Three years. Perth, Western Australia. Scene Model Management.
scenemodels.com Photography by Luke Thompson/lukeshootsphotos.com
They have absolutely incredible style! The best part is that they spill where they find all of their clothing on the bottom of the page and link you to Internet sites selling the clothes. I’m curious about your family name and how your family background may have contributed to your fine looks. (Laughs) Thankyou! Most of my looks came from my Dad – lips and blue eyes. I don’t really look like Mum, although some people see it. The only thing I got from Mum was pasty white skin, which I hate. Dad was incredibly tanned. Mum was born in South Africa and my Dad was born in England, but he has Irish and Danish in him, hence his olive skin. I’m sure your Mum was a babe back in the day. She was an absolute cutie and still is!
So Emma has twenty-ten been a dream year? In all honesty 2010, my first year out of high school has been a lot of fun. I opted for a gap year, so I’ve been trying to find out what I want to do with my life. It’s been a really relaxed year. At times I found it scary to think people my age are ahead at university and tafe et cetera. But you know, I thought, what’s the point rushing into something I’m not completely sure about? I mean at the start of the year I wanted to do styling for a magazine, a few months later I wanted to do a photography course, and now I want to do Events Management. My decisions are constantly changing, but I’m glad I’ve taken a year to think about them. If I were to repeat this year I would have definitely worked for the first six months and saved so I could have gone travelling. That is something I would absolutely love to do! I’ll now postpone my travels until I’ve finished my studies and have a set plan of the countries and places I want to visit.
I’ve been dreaming a lot lately. Tell me about one of your craziest dreams? What happened? Wow, weird you ask because my dreams are so bizarre, they make no sense what so ever! I’m frequently experiencing reoccurring dreams where I’m flying. In some cases I’m flying to get away from something that I’m afraid of, and I can actually feel myself controlling the power. I can’t remember any dream in particular, but in my life there are a few constraints holding me back from doing the things I want to do, where as in my dreams I feel I can accomplish anything. How do you spend your downtime? If I’m not with friends, which is most of the time, I tend to spend hours looking over fashion blogs. My three favourites are Jessica Hart’s, Rumi Neely’s and Alexa Chung’s.
Tidy. If you could fly anywhere in the world with one person for one day and only bring one item in your handbag, would you pack your toothbrush? I wouldn’t be able to pick one friend, at least give me a minimum of five people. I would love to go to Mauritius or Tahiti; the beaches over there look incredible! If I were to take one thing I would probably take my bathers, as I would not be getting out of the water. Do you think you could pull off a one-piece swimsuit this summer? Any girl can pull off a one piece! They’re a lot more flattering than a bikini and a lot easier to swim in. If reincarnation were a certainty, what animal would you come back as and why? You can’t say a Pygmy Marmoset (The smallest monkey in the world). (Laughs) A monkey would be fun, but I would have to say a bird because I could fly and see every aspect of the world whenever I pleased. Can you seduce males by speaking with a foreign tongue? I wish! I studied French in year eight and nine, but like most classes, I paid no attention at all and I regret that, a lot. Damn. How would you react if you had an identical twin sister, but for some reason she scored all of the top modelling jobs that you wanted? Would you secretly feed her male hormones? Well I would be jealous deep down, but I’d try not to show it, after all she’s my twin sister so I would be incredibly proud. I would encourage her to pursue her dreams. I wouldn’t want to hold her back because of my own insecurities.
Fair play. We’re making a movie about your life. Not really. But if we were, what would the song be in the opening scene? Literally yesterday I was with my friend and the song ‘My Delerium’ by Ladyhawke came on and she referred to it as the story of my life. I’m going to have to agree with her on that one! (Laughs) As a kid, what was your favourite cartoon? So many! I would have to say, Aladdin. I absolutely adored Jasmine and her gypsy pants. For all of the seedy stalkers out there. Where’s your favourite summer hang out? My backyard set up – hammock, music, endless amounts of magazines and the kitchen is just through the door. All we need now is a pool, but the beach is just down the road. What’s most important to you in life? As most would say – friends and family mean a lot to me. This is a very cliché young woman quote, but it’s iconic for the reason that so many young women connect to it, including myself. Marilyn Monroe once said, “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” I think family and ‘true’ friends are the only people in the world who can accept you for who you are. I’m not perfect - nobody is and if people can’t love and be there for me in my darkest hour, then it’s not real love. When I went through a really hard time in life I came to realise who these people were, they really proved themselves through standing by me and making me feel strong at my most vulnerable time. So when did you start modelling? I started when I was in year ten. At the time every girl was doing classes at Chadwicks (modelling agency) so I thought, why not give it a shot? My best friend and I joined up for a bit of fun and within a few months the manager asked me to get a portfolio together. I did a photo shoot, but it didn’t get me far and I wasn’t getting much work, so I decided to start at Scene instead. Things have been great ever since! Modelling is an unreal social network and I can converse with a great bunch of creative individuals who share the same passions as myself. You have a lot of competition in Western Australia; the state is crawling with beautiful women. Does that fact make it hard to land decent jobs? Yes, there is a lot of competition because Perth surely has some of the most beautiful women in the world. I believe everybody has a journey in life and I have to focus on mine, rather than worrying about everybody else’s. At the end of the day I’m not going to get any further in life envying others.
Down the track if modeling doesn’t pay the bills, what profession would you love to pursue? I’ve always been interested in fashion and up until this year I wanted to get into styling for a magazine, but it’s a very competitive profession and it’s something you have to give your all. I’m still finding my style and myself, and I’m constantly evolving. I’ve recently been asked to do a favour for a friend, which involves modelling clothing at an event tafe students are putting together. This made me realise Events Management was something I may be interested in studying. It has various aspects of media, which helps bring together a mixing pot of creativity, including fashion and art. Events Management has a way of drawing together all of the inspirational people I want to surround myself with in life. If you could create your ideal modelling set or theme for a photo shoot, what would it be? I think the photographers who shoot for Oyster do an absolutely incredible job of capturing a story; all of the photos they take are really raw because their photographers don’t Photoshop flaws like a lot of others. I think that girls (especially at my age) are constantly comparing themselves to what looks to be in magazines as the ‘perfect’ woman. What these readers don’t realise is the amount of editing photographers do before releasing a photograph. I definitely don’t look at myself in the mirror and think I’m beautiful without makeup, but I would love for a photographer to be able to capture my direct humanity through colour and light. Is your mirror busted? In the SB photoshoot you did with Luke Thompson, you applied minimal make-up and looked amazing and we never Photoshop our models. What do you think of artistic nude model photography? Are you into it? I think artistic nude photography is stunning in its purest form. A woman’s body is a beautiful creation. If a photographer can capture the elegance of a woman in a respectful manor then I find it something that should be admired. Agreed. If wishing wells pulled through and granted wishes for only $1.50, what would you wish for right now? I would love for my modelling career to take off at a young age as right now I’m up for anything because I have no real commitments. There are so many places I want to visit and so many interesting people that I want to meet.
Written by Justin Ward (AUS).
Margaret River skate park. Photo by Russell Ord / cameraelectronic.com.au
On any given day, scratch the surface of Margaret River and you’re going to drive away with a bag of memories and potentially a vicious self-inflicted red wine headache. Marketed to death as one of the world’s most fruitful and resplendent wine regions, it’s easy to overlook the stack of other attractions the area has hidden up its sleeves, along with the deluge of talented souls prowling mysteriously within. It’s true, quality turf breeds quality smurf, and quite simply, Margs boasts some of the finer waves and surfers in Australia. Naturally, many people who slide into this cavernous local pool of talent opt to live relaxed lifestyles, prioritising their days around demolishing fresh local food, acquiring their tastes for various strains of herb and grinding away at work when the surf is absolutely horrendous. For grommets pushing through, Margs is a dreamy place to evolve. Country-loving kids aren’t as openly exposed to junk typically associated with city living; the air is crisp, traffic lights forbidden (thank fuck) and there isn’t a McDonalds or Time Zone centre in sight. I’m not for one second saying boys and girls in Margs operate minus the odd imperfections here and there (a fair few of them love to run a muck) but mischief aside, the majority are simply down to let the good times roll and focus on the chief facets of life. Surfing, skating Margs park and tracking hot tail around town is exactly what this fool’s talking ‘bout. So what happens when grubby mouthed country squirts get one size too big for their pearly white year twelve sneakers? Let’s take a close inspection of two very distinct specimens who since bailing Margaret River High School (2003) have gone on to build respectable careers by shredding two of the best sports on hand. Professional skateboarder Andrew Brophy, and free-surfer Dino Adrian caught up with Justin Ward to reminisce about their childhoods and discuss their unique lives in and out of good old Margaret River.
Born on the 1st September 1985, Andrew Brophy, a lofty man-child with hectic levels of natural oomph exhausted his juvenile days disturbing tranquillity by skateboarding throughout the quiet laneways of Margaret River. Existing 272 Kilometres south of Perth, located smack bang inside a rural environment meant Brophy wasn’t ideally positioned to fulfill his menacing skateboard desires. Despite the towns proper lack of bitumen, Brophy kissed Margaret River Skate park on a daily basis, and to his credit, has grown to become an internationally celebrated pro skater, and no doubt, the most successful skateboarder to emerge from Margs, period. Brophy, your roots lie in the south west of Western Australia. Do you miss Margs? Yeah, I miss Margs all the time. I mostly miss the laidback lifestyle and my family and friends from school. It’s been a good three years since I have been home and I’m sure it has changed a whole heap, but it is still home for sure. Are your parents still cruising/working around Margs? Mum and Dad are still there. Dad is still doing the Shire of Augusta Margaret River and Mum is riding Horses. They love it down there…you know the countryside and beaches. Fuck city life when you’re fifty plus, I’ll be back in Margs when I’m older. What was it like rising as a skater in one of the most surf motivated/hippy towns in Australia? Amazing! (Laughs) I never chased the surf and the skate park was always offshore and shredding. But it was mellow living in Margs. I would go down to the beach all of the time and bodyboard (laughs). I don’t know why I never surfed. My brother was good at surfing and all of my friends at school fully schralped the waves and I just went skating. There was a heap of skaters in Margs though, so that was good. On the weekends we would all get pissed together, surfers and skaters, although I never really thought about it like that, we were all just mates. So shredding on a surfboard wasn’t for you, fuck man, who cares? Did something happen to turn you off the surf? Nope, I just wanted to skate. I was intent on doing 360 flips and that shit took forever to learn (laughs). I love the beach and I am now learning to fuck up the waves. I’m kidding. I still suck.
Tre. Photo by Fred Mortagne / frenchfred.com
I think it’s dope for a pro skater to come from a town with such few street opportunities. Were there any local fellas pushing your skating or stimulating you to skate harder? Well the skate park was good. It had little ledges and a rail, so that started me off. And then there were the older skaters, guys like Toby and Ben Pateman; they were brothers. Toby fucking ripped at street skating. I would have been like fourteen or some shit and I’d see him skating at the school. He was doing pop shuv 50/50’s on the ledges and back tail slides, I was just tripping. So basically I started to hang out near him, but he wasn’t so keen on me at the start…I’m sure I was super annoying! Eventually Toby let me hang out and watch all the new skate videos, he’d hook me up old shoes and boards and started me on my addiction to street skateboarding. Then we had a tight skate crew from school. Max Grantis, Aaron Fitzgerald and Josh Perich. We would all hang out everyday, skate the park and film stuff. So they were the boys and we all pushed each other. How about Brett Margaritas. Not Margies litter, but he was a pretty influential cat in your early days? Yeah for sure. Brett was a big influence when I was younger. I met him through Shane Hadely, an older skater from Margs. Not too sure why, but Brett was super nice to me from the start. He would come down and skate the park and then we would go film lines at the school!
(Laughs) And he was always hooking me up with free decks. Then he started running a shoe company out of Cliché skateboards, the shoes were made under Adidas. He put me on the team and I moved to Europe. Was there even a single store in Margs selling skateboards back when you were coming up? Yeah, Sessions Surf shop sold heaps of good boards like Flip and Plan B. They had a great selection of wood, then they did a full skate shop for like two months and I think it was a blow out haha. Then Surf Scene did Momentum boards and that was good. There were always boards in Margs. Let’s talk about Margs Park. It’s a crowd pleaser. Were you around for it’s birth? What, the skate park’s birth? Fuck yeah! I was skating that shit while Simon Oxenham was pouring the creet! (Laughs) That was one of the best months in my life, (I think?) You know, waiting for it all to be finished. And man, they made a damn good park. Cheers Simon. So, are you still down to skate Margs Park? FUCKIN’OATH! I will always be down to skate Margs. I wish we could have a massive session there with beers and a BBQ. Maybe we can make that happen? Sounds dope. So tell us, when and why did you pack your case and bail Margs for Europe? Was it simply to pursue your skate career? It was like 2004 and I didn’t leave Margs to become a pro skater, I just wanted to get out of Oz and see the world. My Grandad and Grandma offered me a flight to London to go and see my brother, because it had been a good few years since I had last seen him. So I jumped at the offer and I just got stuck there for a while (Laughs). Like four years. It was the best thing I ever did. Sunny ol’ London? I guess the cold winters of Margs would have slightly prepared you for Londons drool? Yeah, it was London that trapped me for a long time. But I was going all over Europe skating and drinking beer. But no, Margs did not prepare me for London winters! That shit was harsh and skating in freezing temps is no fun at all. Thermals and gloves are essential. That blows. It must have been a little tough adjusting to city life after spending the majority of your days in such a sleepy country abode? How did you handle the change? Meltdown central. It took me a long time to get to know the city of London, maybe like a solid year before I really knew where I was going and all the little nooks of the place. Plus, London is ghetto and there is always live shit happening, I’m not too fond of getting robbed, but that’s just part and parcel of living in London. Although I wouldn’t swap it for the world, it was a great time in my life and I made some amazing friends. Let’s take a trip back to your old stomping ground, Margaret River Senior High School. Can you remember this fine education facility? Education, what? (Laughs). Yeah I remember that school. I would buy an iced coffee every morning and hang with the lads. MRSH was the best. Did you graduate, and can you remember the lovely lady you took to your school Ball? Nah, I didn’t graduate. I went with Bianca Masion one year and Zoe Traianos another. That was funny, I think one year it was a James Bond theme or something and we took water pistols with Whiskey in them, haha good times.
Let’s talk about your school attendance record and grades. I’m assuming they were all perfect. A+ for sure! I was good, I mean I always went to school in body, maybe not so much mind, but shit, when you’re fifteen you’re not really hyped on going to Mathematics or History classes. All you’re thinking about is, when the fuck can I get out of here and go skate? But school was fun nonetheless. I just left after year eleven; I was done with it all. Time to cut away the fat. We’re really here to talk about your graduating year at High School. It’s mental. Little old Margaret River High ended up breeding two talented cats, including yourself, in a single year. Who would have thought? Do you know the other rat I’m talking about? Fuck yeah I know who he is, Dino Adrian. Can you recall Dino being in your year at school? No, I’m that fried haha. Yeah I remember him for sure, how could I forget Dino, he was a weapon, always doing funny shit. Did you guys chill or was there a surfer/skater type rivalry back in the day? I never remember there being a surfer/skater thing going on. We would hang out, smoke weed and get pissed. So yeah we hung out for sure, we were friends. Dino’s ripping these days. Was he showing form back in High School? Yeah, Dino was ripping; he was already killing it at school. Did you happen to share classes together? We were probably in a few because our school was so small. I can’t remember any particular one though, it was a while ago. You must have some classic school tales. Can you drop any? Classic tails, there are many but the ones I remember are too good to share, it was just the usual shit getting hella pissed and having a great time and maybe sleeping in the bushes? hahah maybe Dino has a few better stories. I used to borrow money out of the donations box till they clocked on and locked it up (laughs). Maybe there was some fun times in the organic garden? The surfers pulled more babes, so ask Dino about it! How about muck up day? I’m assuming you flagged it and went skating? I went skating for sure. Muck up day sucks. What are you going to do? Throw a nudie run? Fuck that! Let’s go skate and drink a beer. Did you ever think Dino had a chance of building a career free surfing? I always knew you could make cash from surfing and Dino was really dedicated to it, so yeah I knew he was going to keep it up. But you never know how well it’s going to pay. It’s great to see he’s milking the system and getting some paper. But I’m sure he would be doing it either way, paid or not.
Chillin’. Photo by Fred Mortagne / frenchfred.com Ollie. Photo by Fred Mortagne / frenchfred.com Krooked grind. Photo by John Bradford / johnbradfordphoto.com
As a skater, living in Margaret River, surrounded by green, paddocks, surf rats and wineries, did the thought of making a living from skateboarding ever seem like a possibility? To be honest I never even thought about it. I was just happy to get free boards and shirts forever! It wasn’t until I went to Europe that I thought someone would be willing to pay me and I still don’t know why they do (Laughs). But no, I never thought being a pro skater as a career would be possible.
Switch heel flip. Sequence by Steve Gourlay / www.stevegourlayphoto.com
B/S nose blunt slide. Sequence by Steve Gourlay / www.stevegourlayphoto.com
That was then. This is now. How is everything going? Great. I’m now married to my lovely lady, Brogan Emma, and we are having a baby in January. I have been working on my first pro shoe with DVS footwear and I’m trying to film a video part to coincide with the shoe launch. Man, I have been travelling heaps and actually just got back from Africa where we did a Dwindle tour for two weeks. But I blew my knee out when I was over there, so now I’m trying to get it better. That’s about it so far. So how’s married life treating you? Same as before! Nah, it’s great I mean we’re still the same, nothing has changed except the fact we’re bringing a kid into the world. Can we expect to hear about any road trips designed to break in 2011? Yeah, for sure. We are doing a two-week tour of Oz in December this year and the photos from that trip will be out in an edition of Skateboarder Mag in 2011. Then experience some Tunisia at the start of ‘11 sometime. And I’ll also be in and out of the States and Europe all year. So I’m hopeful it’s going to be a busy year, and with the baby on the way I’m sure it will be. Are you still cooped up around west Hollywood? Nah, we moved back to Australia because we’re having the baby and we didn’t want to have it in the States because the health care system is expensive over there and if we did, the baby would be American (Laughs). So we’re going to move to Sydney and set-up there. We will maybe go back to the states in 2012 for a few years…who knows it’s always changing. Do your American homies still love to hear about your past in Margs, a place where ample Kangaroos, Kookaburras, and mad Cows are on the prowl? Yeah they love it, but its not like a hot topic. They just take the piss because I sound funny. But Californian dudes sound crazy. I like getting pissed and then the Bogan comes out, telling yanks that they’re weak cunts (Laughs). It’s entertaining hearing overseas crew talk about Australia. Do you like to play on the whole gig and feed it to them? I’d be like, “yeah Australia is way behind. You should see Margaret River. My old man’s still milking cows for his morning cereal and riding horses into town to meet the fellas for a beer on a Friday arvy at the Pub.” Hahahaha I have never hit it that hard. I just say there are Spiders that can fly and they are the size of dinner plates, drop Bears and shit like that. Yeah man, those flying spiders are pests! Are you still reppin’ the same sponsors? Yeah. Cliche, DVS, Fourstar, VZ and Grizzly grip. Slaving away for them all? Yeah, trying to keep them all happy (Laughs). Besides skateboarding, your lovely lady and beer. What keeps you smiling? Life and never knowing who I am going to meet or where I am heading. I just love it, the life of a pikey skateboarder. On the beer note. Do you froth Australian beer or are you more down for US juice? Maybe London has a drop worth sharing? American beer is shit! In London you drink warm beer hahaha. But nothing beats good old Victoria Bitter tins. Australian piss all the way.
B/S tail. Photo by Steve Gourlay / www. stevegourlayphoto.com F/S blunt. Photo by Steve Gourlay / www.stevegourlayphoto.com Kickflip. Photo by Steve Gourlay / www.stevegourlayphoto.com
Final words? Thanks to everyone from school, Margs was epic. Dino, we should have a beer one day. Thanks to my oldies, my brother and his wife. Cliche, Dvs and Fourstar. Anyone out there having a good time. Enjoy life.
In ’85 Dino Adrian hatched. His minuscule frame lay in a monstrously foreign world. Days following the grand release, he was kicking around in a shiny white nappy, comfortably located inside his childhood abode, which just so happened to overlook the infamous Box, Margaret River. If it were up to Dino to describe his infant days, he’d say he was “just ya typical snotty nosed meat pillow”, and to the world, he was. But now, twenty-five years later, Dino’s life has started to take form and he’s finding widespread recognition for his raw surfing ability. Through choice, his earth may not often extend beyond his hometown beaches, but nonetheless, Dino’s days are rapidly evolving and he’s pretty damn content soaking up the stress less life of an Australian free surfer, right here, right now, in little old Margs. Dino, you recently tweaked your knee surfing with Camel. Damn, what happened? I caught up with Camel to surf this wave around Margs and he really wanted to have a wiggle. So I paddled out with him and on my first wave I did a crap turn and buckled my knee. I thought it was only a minor tear. I was out for four weeks and I had a trip to the Mentawais booked. So before bailing overseas I saw my Osteopath and he gave me a knee brace. Was the injury enough to keep you dry? Since the injury I’ve been able to surf, but I’ve had to wear the brace. I haven’t really given my knee a proper chance to heal but I’ve been taking it easy. I’ve been doing exercises, but the surf has just been so good over the last couple of months so it has been hard to stay out of the water when it’s offshore and there are pipes. Haven’t we been lucky? It has really been firing over here. Yeah, it’s been that good. But I’m still running the brace and I’m still a little bit tweaked, but I should get over it soon. So what part of your knee did you crease? My medial. I’ve done it about three times now. I did my right knee ages ago and my other knee some other time. I just keep twanging ‘em aye. But I haven’t ever done ‘em that bad, they have just been really minor tears so I haven’t had to have an operation or anything. These injuries just linger for ages and it’s pretty hard to get ‘em good again.
Photo by Ord / cameraelectronic.com.au
Can you feel the tear when you’re surfing? Yeah, a little bit. You can sort of feel it’s weak and there are moments when you’re a little scared to do a larry or something like that (Laughs). I’ve been trying to take it easy. I’m just working on getting pipes. So off the old knee bones topic, where did your school education kick off? Well I went to Pre-School in Cowaramup with Yadin Nicol and then I started Primary School at Margs and went all the way through to year twelve at Margaret River High School. I did the full run. Margaret River. Nice place for a grom. Yeah it’s a pretty cool place to grow up, especially if you’re a surfer because you get spoilt. There are just so many good waves and I’ve grown up with some pretty cool crew and got heaps of mates that froth on surfing too. I feel pretty spoilt living here. I’m stoked. So are you still living on the hill in Gnarabup? Yeah we are now. Before that we lived up at Isaac’s Road, which is just outside Prevelly. My oldies had the cryptist house out there. Just until I was about eighteen I lived there. We had a tennis court and a pool and our house overlooked Box. So I was pretty fortunate to grow up overlooking the ocean.
Crew would kill for that location, such an epic breeding ground. Tell us, what you can remember from your good old days back in Pre-School with Yadin Nicol. Can you remember anything beyond crayons and paint? Well nah, not really. Because I didn’t really do that much school with Yades in Pre-School. I can just remember later on in life doing a lot of sporting events with him and we were always pretty competitive. He used to play for the Cowaramup football team and I was playing for Margs team. We’d always play on each other and verse each other in tennis and everything. (Laughs) Who generally emerged victorious? Ohhhh fuck, Yades probably pipped me in tennis, for sure I reckon. He was pretty deadly on the court. But I dunno about footy, I reckon I might have got him (Laughs). Nah, but it was so close and that was years ago. I’ll let you in on one of my fondest memories of playing footy against Yadin. We were both rovers and I remember clear as day running down the wing. I was running for goal and bouncing the ball down the sideline and spotted Yades in the corner of my eye and he was just heading straight for me, piss bolting. He wanted to take me out so bad. But he didn’t realise I could see him. Just as he got to me I stopped and he went flying past me into the crowd. I ran on and kicked a goal. That was probably my most glorious footy moment. Gold. So when did you stop kicking a football? When I started getting into surfing. I used to froth on football, heavily. I was the captain and scored the best and fairest for a couple of years. I was frothing on footy when I was probably about fourteen or fifteen. Then all of a sudden everyone shot up about one or two feet taller and I was the little guy. That’s when I just started surfing flat-stick and that was all I ever wanted to do. I remember I had some piss weak injury, like a little ankle injury and I used that as an excuse until the team forgot about me. That’s when I dropped out of the team and kept surfing. I wasn’t into driving to Busselton and Bunbury, which was hours away, when the surf was pumping, so I sort of sandbagged all of the sports. Old boy was probably just as off it as I was because he wanted to be down at the beach too. He didn’t really want to drive me to woop-woop for a game of cricket or football. Yeah, smart move. Can you recall the first time you picked up a surfboard? My old boy had me surfing when I was nine or ten. I started surfing pretty young, but there were so many other sports that I frothed on as well. Once I fully fell in love with surfing I just stopped everything else and just surfed and I haven’t looked back. Did some of your mates follow suit and trade the football and cricket bat for a surfboard? Yes and no, a couple sort of did. I can remember Yades was a shit hot surfer ever since he was a meat pillow. I can remember him surfing at Gracetown as a grommet doing punts when he was eleven. He was just one of those kids who was good at everything. I think we were pretty much in the same boat because we both frothed on surfing too much and didn’t wanna clock up the kilometres on the weekend and go inland and play footy when we could be surfing. I found it pretty hard going to school in the morning when Huey turned it on. Did you rock up at Margaret River High School when the surf was cooking? Yeah, a couple of times. My old boy was good to me. If the surf was really good he would take me surfing and I wouldn’t go to school.
Did most of your friends at High School surf as well? Once I got to year eleven Yadin was at another school and a couple of my other good mates, like Jay Keenan, pulled out of school to do home schooling. So I think I was pretty much the only surfer left. I ended up hanging out with Bogan’s in year eleven and twelve (Laughs). They are lads. Always getting twisted and thrashing cars, which is good fun. They all lived on farms and I lived in town. I was just hanging out with them. I’m still really good mates with them all. It’s funny I used to drag them down to the beach occasionally and go for a surf and they would just be the full fish out of water. I’d get them out into the surf and it would be a pretty good crack-up. So I’d get my moments and then they’d take me back to their farms and show me how to thrash cars. Let’s talk about your teachers. Did they tend to throw the hammer at you for being a little surf rat? Nah, it was pretty sweet. They had surfing as a subject and they had surf comps, so that was cool. The school was good about the whole surfing thing. We used to have one period a week where we would surf. So you’d surf all morning, miss out on first period, then rock up just in time for smoko. So yeah, it was a pretty cool school to grow up in. Can you think of a better town to grow up in? Not if you’re into surfing ay. It’s pretty epic, but I don’t know about the other kids who don’t surf. We used to have some pretty hot chicks at school but as soon as school finished they had nothing to do, so they would all just peel out to Perth. But for me it was perfect.
Photos by Ord / cameraelectronic.com.au
Andrew Brophy, Yadin Nicol and yourself were all born in the same year and grew up in Margaret River. You’re basically the only one who has really stuck around town for the long run. Would you rate living anywhere else? I froth on Margs. I couldn’t ask for a better place to live and I really don’t think I could live anywhere else. You have to take into consideration that Yadin and Brophy have also got bigger pay cheques and bigger commitments to their sponsors. I mean for Brophy being a skater down here it probably would have been hard. Skaters need to live in bigger cities, a place with a bit more of a concrete jungle. With Yades, he did really well in a couple of contests when he was doing the junior surf series and that boosted his profile. Hurley picked him up and their company was just starting up in Australia. Hurley was big in the U.S and they pushed him pretty hard over there. I think Yades profile, even now, is much bigger in the states than it is here in Australia. They marketed him over there and he actually ended up marrying a Californian chick. I think it’s rad to see Yadin ripping overseas. He is doing pretty sick following the competitive side of surfing. Were you ever tempted to do the same? I just didn’t really have the opportunity because I didn’t do well in any contests when I was a grommet. I used to compete in the junior series, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. I hated it. I didn’t want anything to do with it. I’m just so lucky down here because we have such a great coastline full of so many good waves. There are heaps of opportunities to get photos, so I just thought I would make a career as a free surfer. It suits me a lot more. Are you working any other jobs to keep the dream alive? Yeah I still have to work and do odd jobs around town. I have been working at surf shops and polishing concrete. I’m working a fair bit, but you know I’ve been scoring heaps of good waves as well.
Do you still keep in contact with Yadin while he’s on tour? Yeah we always keep in contact. When I talk to him he’s usually flying twenty hours to get somewhere or driving somewhere to surf one-foot shit with all of the Brazilians. While that’s all happening I’m back at home surfing North Point and pulling into stand-up pipes. So you sort of don’t know who has it better. (Laughs) Who do you think scores more pipes? I can guarantee you over the last year I’ve had a lot more pipes than Yadin (Laughs). He’s had to deal with a lot of shit and a lot of tough times. But I guess that’s what it is like when you’re competing on the QS. I just don’t know how he can do it. But good luck to him, I’d really love to see him on the CT. I’m sure he will make it. Would you prefer to be surfing overseas a little more often? I’m just happy surfing, working and doing my thing here. I’ve just been frothing, travelling around Western Australia. All of my sponsors really support what I do and they’re into me doing trips and getting photos, so I try and do that as much as I can. I went on a little Indo trip not long ago and all of that way pretty good. And I’m just about to head over to Hawaii with some of the W.A boys, thanks to RVCA. Besides RVCA, who’s hooking you up? Otis Eyewear, Globe, Xcel Wetsuits, Creatures of Leisure, Skullcandy and local board shaper, Matt Manners. Matt has been shaping me heaps of mean crafts and looking after me big time over the last year. I’ve been absolutely frothing on his boards. Matty has been epic towards me. So what’s the deal? Are you on photo incentives? Yeah I score a bonus and incentives if I get shots in magazines. But it’s pretty hard for me because most of the shots I get run are barrel shots and a lot of the time those shots are pulled back. That makes it tough for photo incentives because the photo usually has to display my sponsors’ logos. It makes it a bit tricky, but it’s cool, photos still help build my profile and land me exposure.
Photos by Ord / cameraelectronic.com.au
Does living in West Oz make it a little tougher to build a solid free surfer profile? Yeah, you know it’s hard for all of us living over here. There are more than a couple of guys who are so talented and they have been put to the side. It just seems like it’s a lot easier if you’re from the East Coast, particularly if you’re living somewhere like the Gold Coast where you’re in the loop with everyone and you’re based alongside most of the big surf companies. Hidden down here, you’re away from everything, it’s a bit harder, but we probably get more waves and swell so we’re spoilt in that sense and I’m just grateful for that. I see this happen from time to time. Photographers from the east coast get sent over to shoot a West Oz swell and when magazines throw out their features there aren’t many, if any West Oz surfers on the pages. It must be pretty frustrating as a surfer when that happens. Yeah I know. I hear some photographers in interviews saying, “West Oz is sick, but I’ve got no one to shoot!” and you sort of look around and see guys like Kerby Brown. Guys like that are just absolute animals. Kerby is the maddest human you will ever meet. He will pull into anything and he just gets a rude kick in the teeth. No one will give him any money. You look at guys like that who are so talented and you just shake your head and go “what the fuck?” Then you see other clowns who are getting paid thousands of dollars to sniff around the QS when Kerby is pulling into fucking thirty foot death slabs and not getting anything for it. It’s pretty sickening.
Let’s trace back and talk about Brophy. Can you remember much about the teenage Brophy at Margaret River High School? Yeah Broph dog. I can just remember he was an a.d.d frothing mess (Laughs). Nah, he was a good kid. He definitely had a lot of froth on when he was a grommet. He probably should have been smoking more weed. I can just remember him all of a sudden being absolutely massive. He grew so quickly. All of a sudden he was six foot. He used to talk about hitting the skate park and I heard people talking about how he was starting to go nuts. I remember going down to the Margs Park and watching him one day and I was blown away. He was just stomping the biggest ollies straight off the top of the quarter onto the flats. I was just thinking, “how the hell aren’t your ankles or knees or something just buckling when you do that?” Did you and Brophy share classes? Yeah I was in heaps of his classes. He was a bit of a terror. He always had a cheeky laugh and was up to no good. Him and Ryan Murphy were funny kids. They were always stirring shit. And now he’s out in the world making money skateboarding. It’s pretty rad. Yeah I’m stoked to hear he made it. It’s good to hear he has been travelling and doing what he loves. Especially coming out of Margs because you wouldn’t exactly picture a pro skater coming out of here. I think he was pretty lucky that they built the skate park in town. It’s a pretty crypt park and he took advantage of it. I’m just stoked to hear that he is doing well. Does it trip you out to think a High School classmate has become one of Australia’s top skateboarders? Yeah, it’s pretty funny. I saw Brophy bagged the world’s highest ollie or something. It’s funny how all of the guys who have made the big time are now on lock down. They’re all married and having kids. I don’t know if it’s the dollars or their profile?. But Yades and Brophy, they’re twenty-five and they’re in lock down. I’d be taking advantage of the profile, travelling and packing as many birds as I could (Laughs). Shit! I swear as soon as you make the big time you have to grab a bird and get married (Laughs). Nah, they’re all happy as Larry, so as long as it makes them happy it’s all good. It’s just funny how the only guys I know who are married at my age are the guys who are Pro (Laughs). So I take it you’re not exactly ready to settle down too soon then Dino? Happy days? Nah, I think I’d rather stay not pro and not married (Laughs). Project wise, are you working on any film sections for your sponsors? Is there anything else hidden in the woodwork? RVCA are making a movie. So I’ve been working with local filmmaker Steve Dewell trying to do clips for that. I was also doing a TV show with my mate Squalie. We actually did one episode. We’re going to start it up and do it again, but this time we’re going to do it our way, that’s the plan. Finally, any plans for the next couple of years? Keep doing what I’m doing. I’ll definitely just be working part-time so I can surf as much as I can. I’m also doing some surf coaching over summer. But I’m twenty-five now and most of my mates are putting deposits on houses and shit so I’m probably going to try step it up soon, but I don’t know (Laughs). It’s like, lock down and work, get a house and a family, or just keep living life and travelling, surfing and having a hell time. I’d rather keep having a hell time, for as long as I can anyway. I mean when I’m thirty I’ll think about doing all of that when I’m all beaten up and weathered.
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Photo: Chenee Tharpe / soggybones
Written by Justin Ward (AUS). Photography by Aidan White.
They hardly exist in colossal herds and have no upright intentions of drawing the eyes of the masses. Naturally heard, but hard to deter, when noted by others they are often left fending evils. Feeling unappreciated in the streets they call home, these artists don’t fret, but are quick to roll up on their next location to finish what they have started. Isolation, a feeling they’re used to, strips no flesh off their backs; after all, their existence lies in Perth, one of the smallest and most solitary cities in the world. They’re satisfied provided they’re exploiting what they love. It’s a form of addiction. The effects are upbeat. It’s a desire for good times, cruising concrete jungles with weighted brown paper bags, boards and the odd camera. The assortment of bangers that drop along the way on an almost weekly basis is just icing on a three-tier goblin cake. Sometimes these fine moments are framed for others to admire, but if not, who cares? And hell, why lock up wheels and stop? Behind the curtains there is always another eight hours to build upon this small but hearty plot. Tripping? I’m touching on the skateboarding community of Perth, Western Australia and the core characters that make it so filthy rich. Compared to the global skate market, Perth’s proper minuscule, a tiny freckle on a red heads left nut and unless you investigate, it’s easy for distant outsiders to overlook Perth skateboarding all together. Thankfully it does exist, receive acclaim and is thriving, all year round homie. One man tight amongst the circle of Perth skateboarding is a Freo chap who goes by the name of Aidan White. Aidan isn’t a forefather of Perth Skateboarding, but he is a committed skateboarder who also happens to be a legit photographer with a passion for the
local scene and simply doing what he thrives in life. You know, cruising, documenting skateboarding and the accompanying lifestyle, and harnessing crystal memories that are otherwise likely to fade or be forgotten with age. It’s just gone 6pm and I’m driving along West Coast highway to join Aidan at Wool Stores, Fremantle. We hardly know each other, but I have some idea of whom I have to scope. I’d seen Aidan around the traps and exchanged words, but they never developed beyond “what’s up?” I arrive in Freo and find a car park directly in front of Clancy’s Pub which conveniently overlooks Woolies. I can’t picture a better drinking hole pre-orpost skate. I cross the road and walk along the famous ledge. The graffiti bleeds from the bricks, it’s deep rooted and it’s not going away, nor should it. Roughly fifty metres down the ledge is Aidan. He’s soothing. I walk over and introduce myself. Spitting typical small talk we head to Clancy’s. Aidan calls first round and the bar tender pours two pints of Nail Ale, a locally produced drop. I openly accept. His local favour doesn’t surprise me. I appreciate that.
Photo by White / aidsofspades.wordpress.com
Eugene Stewart, Kickflip b/s Smith. Sequence by White / aidsofspades.wordpress.com
...when I got into photography he stressed to me that I wouldn't make any money from it, so I shouldn't expect anything. And to this day I haven't, but every bit counts.
Aidan, can you remember when you landed your first digital camera? I can’t really remember. Probably three years ago. You graduated from High School in 2005. Was photography available to students at your school? Yeah, but I never did photography at school. I did the whole art thing. I had a specific number of Art related subjects and photography wasn’t counted because it was classified in the same sense as woodwork, technical drawing and all of that other shit. Strange because photography is definitely art related. Yeah, I think now days it would be. Still I did woodwork, I needed something a little more hands on. I never made a skateboard, but that would have been good. Let’s discuss your photography. Have you had any formal education? Nah. I can’t really remember how I learnt to use a camera. Kind of the way I see it, I was always good at math’s and pretty much exposing a photo is just numbers and different ratios. You look at the numbers and put them where they are meant to be and it all works. Is that the same with digital and film? Yeah, it’s all the same. I mean you have got film speed, shutter speed and aperture. Basically one gets bigger and the other gets smaller. But instead of being ones, two’s and three’s you’ve got 5.6’s, 500’s and numbers like that. It’s too hard to learn. At Momentum Skate shop I get so many kids coming into the shop with cameras and they’re like, “Oh can you teach me how to take a photo?” I just ask them, “well what do you already know? Do you know how to expose the film?” And they’re like, “do what?” It’s just so hard to explain to kids that have no idea about the basics. Obviously with digital camera you just click a button and the film speed goes up and you don’t have to stick the right film in the camera. But with film there is stuff like push processing where you can expose film at a higher speed. It does work, but it tends to mess with colours and contrast. There is a lot to it I guess. You shoot a lot of skate. What is your lens of choice, and are you a fish-eye fan? Fish-eye is hard. It can look good, but it’s always nearly going to look the same. With digital it is reduced by a particular percentage so it’s smaller and you don’t always get the full fish angle. It’s a little bit cropped, so it doesn’t always look that good. For the last two years (with my digital camera) I have been shooting almost everything with a standard 50mm lens.
It’s not wide angle or anything, it’s a standard lens and I kind of grew to love it. I’ve still got all of the other lenses like 70-200’s, but I still go back to 50mm because it’s what I am used to. The good thing, I guess, is 50mm has a set focal length and there is less glass in the lens so you get sharper pictures. I think that’s a good way to look at it. I mean if you could carry around a bag full of prime length lenses and have a set 50mm, set 70mm and a set 150mm, yeah, that would be the best way to do it, but you just can’t carry that much equipment around. It’s hard enough now if I go on a mission to the City or something, when you’re skating around with your camera and flashes and shit it’s not easy. So do you just carry a couple of external flashes? Yeah. I’ve got externals that run off battery packs. Generally I use two flashes if not three, slaves, transmitters and stuff like that. Obviously if you’re standing ten metres away from a skater, your on camera flash would not be bright enough. You can spend anywhere up to three grand on one flash unit. I’ve got one expensive flash, but all of my other flash equipment is relatively cheap. If I could afford the expensive gear I would, but there are more important things and it’s not easy to save big amounts of money. Are you making money from photography? From the skate stuff, not really. I think about the amount of money I have spent on it and there is no way. I probably have about fifteen thousand dollars worth of camera gear and I’ve made about two thousand all up. For me it’s not a profession, it’s more a hobby and that’s why I have a full time job. I don’t think you’re alone there. Skate photography is obviously a tough pursuit. Yeah, you can’t really make a living off skate photography, unless you’re someone like Atiba Jefferson. Do you think being a skate photographer from W.A makes it tough considering the bulk of the skate and media industries are based on the other side of the country or even further, overseas? Yeah, it’s hard because as good as W.A skaters are, people over east don’t know who they are and they have never heard of them. If they see a photo of someone from here they generally don’t really care. The Skateboarder’s Journal is good for stuff from Perth and they’re better at promoting W.A in comparison to some other magazines. I mean the other mags will still chuck stuff in from here, but that’s usually just because they want to keep us happy. But you have to think about how many people over there skate compared to here.
The skate scene here is tiny and absolutely everyone knows everyone. It’s ridiculous. For a while when Morgan Campbell was working for SM or Slam, half the magazine was probably Perth photos, and that was good. But that was long before I was around. Speaking of the older generations, are there any older crew from W.A who have inspired you as a photographer? Well, when I was a kid shooting photos I had no idea about any of it. I just took photos because I wanted to. I didn’t look through skate magazines and go “yeah that’s a Gourlay photo or that’s a Mapstone photo.” Even now my boss at Momentum will talk to me about W.A photographers and I haven’t heard of them. It’s not really why I got into it. Now days I do look up to photographers like Steve Gourlay and Leo Sharpe because they take good photos and I now know what I am looking at. Back then I wouldn’t look through magazines and appreciate photos; it was all about the tricks. Why did you get into skate photography? I’m trying to think. I mean it’s because I love skateboarding, but I think it is more because I studied art and I do look at it as an art form more than anything. I like to take photos of stuff besides skateboarding, but because I don’t have much time off work and then when I do, I usually go skateboarding, so I tend to take photos of skateboarding. They kind of tie each other in. I like to take photos and I like to go skateboarding and they just work well with each other. It has just become more expensive. A mate who I originally started skateboarding with, his Dad is actually one of the main guys who inspired me to get into photography. His name was Graeme Attey. I remember going around to his house and his Dad would have massive photo prints on the wall of really artistic, simple photographs. That is the stuff that I try to shoot, a lot. Graeme studied at Curtin and he supposedly had a pretty big name at the time. He actually did surf photography and from day one when I got into photography he stressed to me that I wouldn’t make any money from it, so I shouldn’t expect anything. And to this day I haven’t, but every bit counts. Has working at Momentum Skate shop in Fremantle helped you as a skate photographer in the way of networking? Yeah, working at the shop definitely helped me get to know skaters and that helped me as a photographer. The more I skated, the more I hung out with everyone, so yeah that helped my photography heaps. You said you view photography and in particular skate photography as more of a hobby. One day would you like to see photography as your primary source of flow? Definitely. I mean there is money to be made from fashion photography and shooting models, but I wouldn’t really see myself making money from taking photos of models. I’d prefer to make money from shooting photos that people can buy and hang on their walls. You know, shooting something unique, not really stuff for magazines, I’m more interested in pursuing the artistic side of it. But that’s not exactly easy.
70 soggybones.com Photo by White / aidsofspades.wordpress.com
So is shooting skateboarding artistically something you aspire towards? Well yeah, If I can. But for me, the skateboarding side of photography has always been so technical…all of the flashes and trying to make it look perfect. Skate photography can be intense. A lot of the time if the lighting isn’t perfect you’re almost tempted to tell the skater to stop because you know the photo wont look as good as it could. You’re thinking, please do not do this now because if we can come back tomorrow at say 10am it would just look ten times better. So you have to deal with the sun and the flashes and make the most of it. Unless you have thousands of dollars worth of flash equipment you can’t overpower the sun, so I think that’s one of the hardest parts. It can be fairly frustrating because a lot of the time skaters don’t want to go back. Like for a gnarly trick the skater must be amped. They can’t just go back and throw themselves down a gnarly gap. If you’re there and the skaters like, “I’m going to do this trick now,” you can’t say no, you just have to shoot it. And even if you do know when the light is good at particular places, you don’t really plan to go to places that far in advance, usually for me it’s just so spur of the moment. Drop a few of your favourite local skaters to photograph? James Ahern and Robbie Partington, I’ve been skateboarding with them since I was about fifteen or sixteen. James is off in Europe and has been for the past last four months of something. He kills it. He has always been out there. He’s been doing ridiculous stuff. I remember he double flipped the John Twenty Third double set a good four or five years ago. It’s still a massive set to this day. I mean it took a while for him to get noticed, but now he’s out there getting noticed. Well, Ahern can skate and has a pretty rad image. Yeah, he has the full on Fremantle hippie image going. You wouldn’t expect it, but do you remember the department stores called Ahern’s? Well yeah, that’s James Ahern. He is not a bum or anything, that’s just his image (laughs). Unreal. So have you had many photos of Ahern published? His “NewGen” story in Slam Magazine was the first article where I shot all of the photos for something. It was only like four photos, but still it’s a bit of a step for me. Nice man. So does Fremantle and the surrounding area mean a lot to you? Yeah, for sure. Fremantle and Melville, it’s all pretty local. Freo is not where I originally learnt to skate, I don’t think I skated “Woolies” until I was sixteen or something, but nowadays it’s definitely a place that means a lot to me. I don’t skate “Woolies” as much as I’d like to, but that’s partly because of the photography stuff. You can’t shoot Woolies all day everyday. It’s an amazing ledge, but it’s only a little over ankle height. I’ve seen some skaters get ridiculously tech on it, but still, it’s not what magazines want to see. When guys ask me if I can shoot a trick on the ledge, I’m like “yeah I will shoot it,” but I mean there is not a lot of point. It’s not going to mean a lot to anyone except to the person you’re shooting.
Would you be gutted if they destroyed Wool Stores? Ahh I don’t even want to talk about it. That could be the end of so much shit in Perth. Not just Fremantle, like Perth in general. There was a stage when Wool Stores got discovered internationally and all of the teams, Lakai, Girl, Chocolate, Baker, Almost, World Industries, everyone, just came to Western Australia and they hadn’t been here for decades. They came pretty much because they remembered Woolies. That’s how I see it. Maybe that’s not why they came. The Girl and Chocolate team in particular came out for two weeks and didn’t do one single signing or a single demo, they came specifically to film at Woolies. You watch ‘Yeah Right’ and ‘Fully Flared’ and there is a bit of Wool Stores stuff in there, definitely not as much as you would have thought they had got. The funny part is, it’s not actually the skate footage, but every little arty cut scene between tricks is filmed in Perth. If you’re local and skate you can recognise the spots from stuff like the bricks, You know it’s Perth. I don’t live in Fremantle, but I can imagine tearing down Wool Stores would tear at the culture and community that has made Woolies their own. The demolishers and developers would have no idea of the harm they could cause. Nah, not at all. They would probably think they are cleaning the place up. Even the graffiti on the exterior, it just blends so perfectly with the building and skate culture. I can’t picture the place without it. The vibe would just change. Yeah, on the outside there’s not a hell of a lot of it (graffiti) anymore. They have done little things to change the building. I think they stoppered the end ledge before they did anything. They started doing all of that stuff down the end before I can remember. I’ve only ever got to skate the section that’s still here. They boarded up with windows with tin and shit. Then it wasn’t that long ago they bricked the roller doors. That’s definitely the most recent change to the building. There were some really nice paintings on the old roller doors. If you can get inside, there are amazing paintings that date back to ’91 or something. Shit, that’s insane. Twenty years of culture right there in one of the best forms. I can imagine a pretty loose protest if they decided to bulldoze the place. Yep, I’d say so. It’s just so hard. Like how would you know if and when someone was going to nock the place down? They could just rock up one day and do it. All it would take is a phone call and everyone would be down there protesting. I’d shut Momentum instantly. You’d do more than that; you’d be chaining yourself to the building (laughs). I don’t know how the rumour came about, but there was one point where everyone thought that it was seriously the last day you could skate “Woolies”. There was a massive crew, people skated it well into the night, and everyone just did not want to leave. Do you think you will ever move out of Fremantle? I don’t want to. I’ve just been offered to move back to Bibra Lake and live at my mum’s house. That’s only ten minutes away and I don’t even want to do that. I mean, if I moved away it would be to Melbourne because I think if you’re going to make a change then you might as well take a big step.
I dunno, the main thing is I don’t know how that would help my photography because I know skaters here. I go skate and shoot with them. I mean know people over east, but you can’t be going and stepping on other peoples’ toes. So what do you think the future has for your photography? Will you continue to keep shooting the same crew? Yeah, I guess so. I’d like to somehow start getting jobs if teams start coming out for tours again. I’d like to think that I might get to go along and shoot them doing that. I definitely want to keep doing the skate stuff and I’d like to pursue the whole artistic thing, see how this exhibition goes and maybe try and organise a solo exhibition. Just keep doing what I do really and see where it takes me and hopefully make some money along the way. So you’re happy doing what you’re doing at the moment? Yeah. I’d like to be working in the shop less, but it’s the only place I’m getting money from. If I could be working at the shop less, I’m sure I’d shoot more and probably get noticed more and that would probably help. But who knows? The Skateboarders Journal does want me to work on certain interview with guys out here, so if I can get that stuff done that will help out. It’s still not a career and that’s the problem. You’re never going to get a salary out of it. Putting the new gen aside, what skateboarders from Perth really opened your eyes to the local scene and influenced you as a kid? Obviously Morgan Campbell. He still skates harder than anyone I know. He came back here for three months on a film trip for the Four video and I don’t know if he would’ve had one day where he was not out netting different footage. He is ridiculous. Pretty much the legend from Perth. But yeah when he is here I’ll go skate with him, get photos and stuff. I could not imagine skating with him or taking photos of him at all when I a kid. I guess the three big names from when I was a kid were Morg’s, Ben Mclaughlin and Chippa Wilson. I guess when I was growing up there was Harry Clark, Nick Boserio and Barry. Brett Margaritas is another guy, but I haven’t seen a lot of footage from him when he was big. He got noticed really early on and he was Pro for a while. He probably influenced guys who I have had influences from. He’s had a big influence on the Perth scene because of his skateboarding but also due to his involvement with Four and Modus. Any advice for kids thinking about getting involved with skate photography? It’s hard. (Laughs) No doubt. Stay humble and keep up the good work Aid’s. Thanks for the Ale.
Strung out. The ledge. Fremantle Wool Stores. Photo by White / aidsofspades.wordpress.com
Before the barricades. Fremantle Wool Stores. Photo by White / aidsofspades.wordpress.com
74 soggybones.com Interior perspective one. No more sweat and bales. Photo by White / aidsofspades.wordpress.com
Perspective two. Fremantle Wool Stores. Photo by White / aidsofspades.wordpress.com
Liam Keaney, Power Slide. Photo by Sam Lloyd / samlloydscreations.blogspot.com
Flynn Novak seamlessly slicing off the top. Photo by Mick Curley / mickcurleyphotography.com
Empty slab off Trigg Beach W.A?! Photo by Russell Ord / cameraelectronic.com.au
Andrew Brophy, Bluntslide. Photo by Mike Oâ€™Meally / mikeomeally.com
Andrew Brophy, Ollie Fakie. Photo by Mike Oâ€™Meally / mikeomeally.com
Raw side of nature. Photo by Caleb Davenport / davenportphoto.tumblr.com
Mick Short slotted at Scarborough Beach. Photo by Russell Ord / cameraelectronic.com.au
Rob popping a Back 1 over the bridge somewhere in Temple Basin, New Zealand. Photo by Vaughan Brookfield / www.vaughanbrookfield.com
RMB boosted this Half Cab off the side of the rock and stomped the crap out of it. Temple Basin, New Zealand. Photo by Vaughan Brookfield / www.vaughanbrookfield.com
Ozzie Wright, dusk Indo reflections. Photo by Mick Curley / mickcurleyphotography.com
Around the corner treats. Photo by Mick Curley / mickcurleyphotography.com
Marti Paradisis feeling the S.A love. Photo by Shane â€˜Freddoâ€™ Smith.
Morning frost, ice cream headaches, mind blowing light. Photo by Stu Gibson / www.stugibson.net
Clare Plueckhahn. Age. Shooting. Location. Equipment.
Twenty Seven. Commercial four years, surf two years. Melbourne & Aireys Inlet, Australia. Nikon and Aqua Tech.
What is there to know about Clare Plueckhahn. I’m a freelance photographer who works out of a studio in Melbourne. When I’m not shooting commercial work I’m either down at my beach house in Aireys Inlet or shooting surf photography overseas in places like Hawaii and Indonesia. Tell us about your featured photograph. This photograph was part of a series for my friends bikini range. As all of the bikinis have a vintage style to them, we did this particular photo shoot in an old combi van in Lorne. I love capturing youth and beauty and I think they both really come across in this particular shot. Photography aside, what’s up? I recently finished producing a girls surf film called ‘First Love’. It has taken over my life for the past year and a half, but as of last week, it’s finally locked off! It was a project that started off really small and then suddenly we were filming in Hawaii, sponsored by Rip Curl with a distribution deal… Nice work. When did you first contemplate taking photography seriously? When I was sixteen I began playing with black and white photography and Dad built me a darkroom in our house. From then on I was hooked and knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I studied BA Photography straight out of High School and then did my time assisting and learning from other photographers. It has been a crazy adventure.
Photo by Plueckhahn. Pictured, Georgia from Cameron’s. Styling by Jess Young.
Are you making money from shooting photos? I’ve been living off photography for about four years now. Although I would like to just concentrate on surf photography, I shoot a lot of advertising and commercial work to keep me going. This enables me to work on projects like ‘First Love’. It is difficult to be too specialised in Australia, so it really helps to be able to shoot many different genres.
Hopeful photographers commonly struggle to find their first break. Did you find it hard at first to sell your work? I found surf photography really hard to break into, as it’s quite a cliquey group filled with talented established photographers. So getting my first surf photographs published was a challenge, even having an established commercial career behind me. It took a lot of persistence to get people to take me seriously. What genre of photography interests you most? Surf and lifestyle photography would have to be my favourite genres. I grew up surfing on the west coast of Victoria so it was quite a natural step for me to start shooting surf. Surfing is such an incredible lifestyle and there are endless ways to capture it. Do you think being a female provides you with advantages over blokes working the profession? Although at the beginning of my career it really held me back and it took me a while for people to take me seriously, I like to think it now works to my advantage. I feel I’m able to capture moments that guys can’t, especially when working with female surfers and models. I’ve developed quite a ‘feminine’ style without really meaning to, which is attractive for a lot of brands. Inspirations? So many past and present surf photographers and cinematic photographers inspire me. People like Jeff Divine motivated me to get into surf photography in the first place. I feel he really captures the lifestyle of surfing. I see photographs everyday which have been taken by people who are really pushing the boundaries in water photography and that makes me want to go out and do the same. It’s cool you’re out in the ocean mixing it up with male photographers. What do you dig about shooting from the water? To this day, apart from Claire Gorman, whom I worked with on ‘First Love’, I’ve never come across another girl shooting in the water. Guys still do a double take when they see me. What keeps me going is how rewarding it is to capture a great photograph from the water. It’s like no other form of photography. There is nothing like floating around the line-up in pumping surf. I’m also an adrenalin junkie, which definitely helps. If you could pass one piece of advice on to aspiring photographers, what would it be? Find a style that is your own. Photography is a really challenging industry so you need to stand out. If you persist it becomes more than just a career, it becomes part of you and you never look at the world in the same way again.
IT’S 1:55 P.M. AT THE ALTEC LANSING STAGE SATURDAY, JUNE 26, 2010.
Written and Photographed by Tom Stone (USA).
SO THE PLACE IS A PUNK ROCK CARNIVAL. WELL, THAT AND PUNK POP. IT’S THE VANS WARPED TOUR; OR WHAT’S BECOME OF IT. THERE’S NOT MUCH MAJOR MEDIA COVERAGE. AND IT’S CERTAINLY NOT WHAT IT ONCE WAS. BUT IT’S PACKED WITH KIDS AND I SAY FOLLOW THE KIDS; EXCEPT WHERE POP MUSIC IS INVOLVED. IT’S AT THE SHORELINE AMPHITHEATER IN MOUNTAIN VIEW. ABOUT 45 MINUTES SOUTH OF SAN FRANCISCO; JUST NORTH OF SAN JOSE. FOR FESTIVALS LIKE THIS, THEY OPEN AND REPURPOSE THE SOUTH PARKING LOT. THIS DOUBLES THE SPACE AND THE NUMBER OF STAGES. THERE’S EIGHT TOTAL; FOUR MAIN VENUE STAGES AND FOUR SOUTH LOT ONES. I’VE BEEN HERE SINCE NOON AND I’M JUST FIGURING MY WAY FROM RUNNING IN CIRCLES.
Winston’s raging like an angel avenging. Savage. Devastating. Monstrous. Brutal. And it’s turbulence all about. Roaring and crashing. Might as well be seaside. On stage, like with their boards; like on the waves. What’s better than every day like this? They’re loving every minute. The crowd is pumped. Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen. The front half is surfing, boys and girls, and swaying forward, arms raised in joyful aggression. Security grabs kids as they pass over the barricade. The back half is moshing, adrenaline exploding. Mostly guys, but girls too. Kick ass girls. Parkway Drive is my fourth shoot today of twenty. Lansing is the #2 south lot stage. The guys are from paradise, or nearby; Byron Bay in New South Whales, Australia. They’re my second hardcore / metalcore band today and I’m just starting to get it. I’m not sure you can, without it hurling in your face, grabbing you and slapping you ‘round a bit. Cause you’ve gotta get the point or it’s just noise and you can’t differentiate. Like abstract expressionism, you have to care to get past the blobs. So here I am blown away by music I’ve always kind of hated. What the hell is surf metal anyway? Who does that? Musically, Parkway is Jeff Ling. The songs start with him. But inspirationally, they’re Winston. He’s not so much a singer as a communicator. It would be spoken word if you could decipher more than 15% of what he says without knowing the lyrics. Audibly, his songs are feelings and aggression. But the words are there too. They tell of disillusionment, broken ideals, betrayal. As though from paradise the cancer of every day is unmistakable. And the toll unforgiveable.
WINSTON MCCALL, PARKWAY DRIVE JEFF LING, PARKWAY DRIVE
Photos by Tom Stone / tomstonegallery.com
IT’S 6:25 P.M. AT THE TEGGART STAGE LATER THAT DAY. There’s endurance in getting through the day and Teggart takes both the main flow and the stragglers. It’s the #1 south lot stage. There’s several sorts at Warped, but mostly it’s tween poppers, adrenaline youth (shirtless moshing boys, etc.) and emo kids. That, and assorted older people. They all kind of travel in packs; and swap stages in waves as acts change. Teggart takes a bit of a mush and skews older. Which isn’t to say it’s tame. It’s noisy and raucous but decidedly mainstream. The crowd is packed; feeling it and loving it. Alkaline Trio has come a long way from the early days in Chicago, and the days opening for bigger bands. With their emo’ish gloomy pop punk anthems, they don’t classify neatly. Yet they’ve stuck it out and they’re still standing. But I’m not sure they always really know who they are. Or maybe it changes. Which is fine. They’ve been to some dark places. Hopefully not just for inspiration. But it’s when they go darker that they really rock. Which is worth it, right?
IT’S 7:25 P.M. AT THE ERNIE BALL STAGE THAT DAY.
With Jonny Craig, the weight of everything takes its toll. And he lives his penance. Off stage, the light is dimmed. The movements are slow. Eyes hang heavy. But when he steps onstage there’s a jolt like a pipeline IV of something insane. Like an explosion. He hurtles forward. No fear; no frailty; no doubt. No caution. And the cauldron mixes and they all feel it. I’d been hearing chirps about the band all day. And there’s clear excitement among the sparse collection of very young kids; evenly mixed boys and girls. It’s a backwater location; the #4 main venue stage. And it’s pretty late so one starts to compete with the day’s biggest draws. Anyone who shows up, came. And the crowd keeps building and bubbling and it takes some doing, but then they erupt. And it’s packed. And I wonder what just happened.
DAN ADRIANO, ALKALINE TRIO MATT SKIBA, ALKALINE TRIO JONNY CRAIG, EMAROSA
Photos by Tom Stone / tomstonegallery.com
98 soggybones.com Photos by Tom Stone / tomstonegallery.com
GIRLS IN THE CROWD, GOLDEN GATE PARK JADE CASTRINOS, EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS ALEX EBERT, EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS
IT’S 3:51 P.M. IN GoLDEN GATE PARk, SATURDAY, AUGUST 14, 2010. The blonde grabs me and insists that I capture the moment. She’s just met her new BFFs and needs a record. Outside Lands is massive. It’s in Golden Gate park and spans the polo fields on the southwest and speedway meadow on the northeast. It’s a pretty special place for a show. It’s two days of huge crowds and huge treks from end to end. It’s a much older crowd than Warped. And there’s really no mayhem. It’s San Francisco, but priced at the high end, so less colorful. It’s pretty homogenous. There is energy but it’s muted and mature. The concessions are gourmet. The lineup is piecemeal. But all the majors are covering. And everyone is here. The VIP section is enormous. That’s San Francisco, the upper end is a glut; limitless demand.
IT’S 2:45 P.M. AT THE LANDS END STAGE, SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 2010. The crowd is vast, filling the fields off the main speedway stage. The band is set far above and well back. It’s hard to exchange here; to commune. But easy to receive. Jade is beautiful and she’s receiving. She takes the love and shines it back like she’s waking the flowers with every turn. And you have to love her, everyone does. And Alex is breathing them in. He’s high from it and he’s got no fear of death now. They love him more and more. And it takes him further and further; seeking to connect; to light a torch and pass it on. He leaps from the stage. Sways over the barricade into the crowd. Addresses each loving gaze in kind. I love you. No, I love you. And I know it’s theatrical; that it’s an act; a concoction. But I don’t really care. Cause sometimes the character is more real than the actor. Or more important.
IT’S 4:53 P.M. AT THE TwIN PEAkS STAGE, THAT DAY. This is the very moment of Phoenix’s rise. This week. This month. When they ignite and the line is broken from who they were. Which is to say they’ve just blown up. And for them it’s like when you’re told not to smile and you just can’t help yourself. They’re beside themselves which makes for good company. It’s beyond what they could have imagined, but also exactly what they imagined. And though they’re not sure they believe it all, they wouldn’t expect anything different. But they clearly appreciate it. And love it. They gut themselves and give what they’ve got. Whatever it is, it’s true to them. You don’t have to be a fan to see it’s honest. But somehow it’s only an impression. Opera in a foreign tongue. A strange prism where I can’t really tell the weight. But I can tell the heart and mind. And the point comes in the delivery.
IT’S 5:54 P.M. AT THE LANDS END STAGE, THAT DAY.
I remember seeing his dad perform from my father’s shoulders as a child and that they both had dreds. But I can’t quite picture Bob Marley in my head from seeing him that day. Though I do see something of him in Damian. Or think I do. Damian feels his dad in everything he does. Jr. Gong. But not so much as to conjure him musically. He’s basically dancehall. It’s in politics and presence that the influence becomes tangible. He tries to bring as much of it as he can. While standing there too. And he certainly stands on his own as an artist. But that’s not what he’s going for. He wants to build on his dad’s legacy. And I’m rooting that he does.
THOMAS MARS, PHOENIX DAMIAN MARLEY, NAS & DAMIAN MARLEY
Photos by Tom Stone / tomstonegallery.com
102 soggybones.com Photos by Tom Stone / tomstonegallery.com
NIKOLAI FRAITURE, THE STROKES JULIAN CASABLANCAS, THE STROKES
IT’S 8:51 P.M. AT THE LANDS END STAGE BACk, SATURDAY, THE DAY BEfoRE. Julian asks, “Will you go to the prom with me?” Cause it’s high school mostly. Nearly ten years since or just now. But the lyrics drip with what it meant and what it means. When it all mattered. And so much. And so simply. Or is it too just the delivery? Cause what’s he really saying anyway? It’s all the same maybe. The photo pit’s a swarm. They’ll be out after three songs, but there’s more here for me. A time of uncertainty. A time of change. A link from then to now. Is this it? Yes this is it. And the towers came down. And the knocking at the door wouldn’t stop and the voice on the phone asked did you hear? And it seemed a bad day to be awake... or alive. And the music was part of it all. And it’s flowing back. To all of us; every one. Some moving lips, some singing loud. The girls in front were feeling it too but different. Maybe 14 or so but I always underestimate. Nearly the same age as the girl before trolling for a joint. But different too. Julian is drunk as he should be. And probably the other guys too, but mostly him. It’s dark now but he won’t take his sunglasses off. He’s feeling us and the songs and the memories. But he’s hiding too. Or he’s just not feeling pretty. Living the life. But he’s pretty enough. And we all love him here.
Most Disappointing aLBUM: Parkway Drive - Deep Blue. FavoUrite Discovery: Altered Natives. Just dropped two amazing albums in the space of 12 months, Serial Vendetta and Tenement Yard Volume One. artist to watch: Jamie xx. Mostly known for being part of english Band the xx. he’s also a pretty amazing producer in his own right, and has a new single coming out soon on the numbers label.
Flying Lotus Cosmogramma
Mount Kimbie Crooks & Lovers
Big Boi, Sir Luscious Left Foot Son Of Chico Dusty
Arcade Fire The Suburbs
Two Door Cinema Club Tourist History
cosmogramma is steven ellison’s 3rd Lp as Flying Lotus and his most ambitious and successful material thus far. personally, it took a while for me to digest the album fully, and 6 months after i first heard it i still discover things in it that i hadn’t previously. ‘Do the astral plane’ was a nice surprise that saw FlyLo branch out his sound into a house tempo, whilst ‘nose art’ and ‘Zodiac shit’ are a more hyperactive take on the off kilter hip hop he built with previous Lp’s Los angeles and 1983. Jazz also plays a big role; songs like ‘arkestry’ and ‘recoiled’ explore the sound to great effect. whilst it serves its purpose discussing individual tracks from any album, cosmogramma is best heard as one big chunk of music. a lot of the tracks are abstrangeeven strange- pieces of music but within the structure of the album they all bleed into each other and make perfect sense. it’s probably going a bit overboard to say it’s a perfect album, but for what Flying Lotus set out to achieve with cosmogramma i don’t think he could have done any better.
2010 has been a strange year for dubstep. there’s no doubt its more popular than ever, for better or worse, but there’s so many new producers who have jumped on the bandwagon and are following a pretty simple template to sell records. 140bpm. and extremely wobbly. in contrast, there’s also been some great releases, Maddslinky (aka Zed Bias) just dropped his Make a change Lp which featured a lot of good dubstep, and scuba’s triangulation was an outstanding record from earlier in the year. a few young producers have also stepped up with a unique sound, in particular guido, James Blake and Mount Kimbie. My pick of this lot is Mount Kimbie’s crooks & Lovers Lp. at approx 35 minutes it’s pretty short, but in that time there’s plenty of stunning moments, and you’ll here snippets of blues, hip hop, ambient stuff, electronica , rnb, and a lot of other stuff i don’t really have a name for. somehow it’s all cohesive as well. a really really good album.
how often do you hear good new hip hop albums? Fucking rarely. the odd new album may cut the mustard but mostly the scene ain’t healthy. even early 2000’s titans like eminem and 50 cent struggle for relevance in 2010, i mean recovery barely gained attention in australia this year, 8 years ago it would have been one of the biggest (and by that i don’t mean best) albums of the year. this bleak outlook is what makes Big Boi’s new solo album just seem all so better. the beats are solid and full of variety, and Big Boi’s flow is still as fast and interesting as it was in the glory days of outkast. Like most rap albums, its collaboration heavy. ‘hustle Blood’ featuring Jamie Foxx (he’s actually not a bad singer) is a great track, first single and absolute banger ‘shutterbug’ is enhanced by cutty’s input, same for vonnegut’s influence on ‘Follow Us’ . ‘tangerine’ is stankonia era quirkyness and Big Boi has some outstanding lyrical moments over crunk beats in ‘general patton’ and ‘you ain’t no DJ’. if you miss the glory days of mainstream hip hop and feel like reminiscing, buy this album.
in a year that has seen quite a few established artists deliver disappointing albums, arcade Fire thankfully weren’t one of them. the suburbs is, from my perspective, arcade Fire’s defining moment thus far; a massive statement that’s both lyrically depressing and musically very uplifting. take ‘rococo’ for example, the arrangements are spot on and the track builds into an orchestral rock monster reminiscent of Funeral era material- but the lyrics are quite cynical, a sort of attack on the stupidity of modern youth/teenagers. another favourite on the album is the opening title track. the piano line feels like it speaks the language of hindsight with every note; it could be from the perspective of someone who’s lived a fulfilling life, or even a painfully average one. although i enjoyed their second album neon Bible, it dealt with ‘bigger’ issues like politics and war. stuff that people get sick of hearing about basically. the suburbs feels a lot more natural, and although it’s riddled with a cynical view of society, it’s also more like a commentary on everyday life, and it’s so much better for it.
i never expected this album to back up their single ‘i can talk’ in such a way that it did. they remind me of the silent alarm era Bloc party; extremely fun indie music that isn’t weighed down by past achievements. tourist history is very consistent and it’s mostly from sam hallidays performance on guitar. the drawback being that a lot of their songs do sound pretty similar, but i just can’t help liking this album. standout moments include ‘what you Know’, ‘this is the Life’, ‘i can talk’ and ‘come Back home’. who knows whether their sound will stand the test of time or have any sort of longevity, and other indie bands such as Foals and the national have gained more widespread acclaim for their albums this year. But for me it’s been the indie album that i’ve had the most enjoyment listening to in 2010.
Most Disappointing aLBUM: Goldfrapp - Head First. FavoUrite Discovery: Amadou & Mariam - Dimanche a Bamako and pretty much all 1960’s/1970’s afrobeat and afro rock/psychadelia. artist to watch: Woodsman.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti Before Today
Gonjasufi A Sufi and a Killer
Gil Scott-Heron I’m New Here
Toro Y Moi Causers of This
Thee Oh Sees Warm Slime
not many people would of heard of ariel pink until about two months ago when it was announced that he was to play Laneway Festival. turns out he’s actually been kicking around for quite some time, and has a bunch of releases from 2002 to 2008. even more interesting is the fact that most of that stuff was actually recorded between 1998 and 2002… in his bedroom. now fans that were into ariel pink in these days will most likely point out that these recordings are ariel pink. at the time he was by no means making particularly innovative music, but that was cool because he never said he was trying to. During this time he may not of made it to a huge range of ears, but those he did make it to he influenced greatly to make their own music and that’s something which needs to be recognised. Long story short, animal collective got a hold of his tunes and signed him to their label. they gave him a band, a studio and a bit of a polish and the result is my favourite record for 2010. ‘nuff said. check out ‘Before today’ and if you dig it, definitely check out his back catalogue.
i can’t remember how or when i got this album. i do remember listening to it though and having no idea who or what it was. and now come to think of it, that hasn’t happened in a really long time and i think that’s a pretty important reason why i rate it so highly. i love the feeling you get from listening to an album and loving it instantaneously, without any form of background knowledge or bias as to who it is and whether you should or shouldn’t be into it, because it’s cool, or hip or gasp, mainstream. on closer inspection it became pretty apparent that the gaslamp Killer was heavily involved in production. if you didn’t pick up on it in the name (‘a sufi and a Killer’) any fan would definitely be able to pick it up in the trademark gaslamp beats. But to attribute the records success to it’s production would be silly. Make no mistake, gonjasufi’s voice is the album. his ability to transcend from a creepy rasp to a filthy growl, and everything in between is what gives his voice, and this record a serious depth of range. a record with everything. if you don’t like it, you’re a dickhead.
“Buying a cD is an investment. to get the maximum you must listen to it for the first time under optimum conditions. turn off your cellphone. turn off everything that rings or beeps or rattles or whistles. Make yourself comfortable. play your cD. Listen all the way through. think about what you got. think about who would appreciate this investment. Decide if there is someone to share this with. turn it on again. enjoy yourself.” i spent ages trying to write something exactly along those lines before i picked up the sleeve, had a good look and that was what it read. it speaks volumes about the type of record this is. From beginning to end, these tracks have been meticulously written and recorded to tell a beautifully reflective, not to mention deeply personal story about the strong women in gil scott-heron’s life. Let’s not forget either that scottheron is a poet and an author, and the arrangement of the tracks is, above anything, the most important element. this means no skipping, no picking ‘faves’ and no hit tracks. this is a record for those with the ability to really appreciate it, so if you can’t sit still for half an hour to appreciate it then fuck off!
i’ve noticed that 2010 has been a huge year for two types of music. artists like washed out, Memory tapes, Best coast and neon indian are huge at the moment, riding the wave (excuse the pun) of chillwave, a genre with a huge focus on production, glitchy samples and loops, heavily filtered vocals and synthesisers. Funnily enough, these artists sit boldly close to, and draw much inspiration from pop music while still maintaining their ‘cool,’ and distance from the mainstream. no easy feat. the other kind of music doing particularly well this year is experimental (often instrumental) hip-hop. Flying Lotus released his killer third studio album followed freakishly close by another ep. the gaslamp Killer released something like three records this year, and appeared on another three compilations. then you have newcomers like Mount Kimbie and teebs who both released their own great debut albums this year. what does any of this have to do with toro y Moi? well, toro y Moi hang out somewhere between the two. Drawing inspiration for beats from the pioneers of experimental hip-hop and combining it with the pop sensibilities and production techniques of chillwave ‘causers of this’ is a perfect record for the beat lover or the dreamer. hopefully, both.
thee oh sees are somewhat of a rogue bunch when it comes to their music and damn hard to keep a track of. and that’s exactly the point. in the past few years alone they’ve changed their name, or the spelling of it at least, an insurmountable number of times. they’ve gone from the ocs to orange county sound to the ohsees and then some. even more remarkable/interesting/ confounding is the fact that in the past three years, they’ve managed to release a total of six full-length recordings along with a bunch of ep’s including their 2010 release, and my final pick, ‘warm slime’. the beauty of this ‘blink-and-you’llmiss-it’ approach is this; people can’t keep up. and if you don’t absolutely love their music, why would you be fucked? it’s perfect. the brains behind the san Francisco psych-pop operation John Dwyer is absolutely intent on keeping things as small and untraceable as possible. For fans, this is just as big of a part of the attraction as the music itself. even as i write this i feel like, well… a bit of a traitor. But it doesn’t really matter ‘cos by the time you’ve read this, who knows where, or who thee oh sees will be.
Most Disappointing aLBUM: Parkway Drive - Deep Blue. FavoUrite Discovery: Gonjasufi. the Brainfeeder crew have been killing it all year, and gonjasufi’s work with the gaslamp Killer on a sufi and a Killer is an affecting trip into the mind of a man who has seen too much. artist to watch: Ou Est Le Swimming Pool.
Flying Lotus Cosmogramma
The Dillinger Escape Plan Option Paralysis
Letlive Fake History
Underoath Ø (Disambiguation)
Maps & Atlases Perch Patchwork
great-nephew of famed jazz saxophonist John contrane and head honcho of the Brainfeeder crew in L.a who have been dropping bomb after bomb all year, Flying Lotus is a man who is at the top of the game at the moment. it’s scary when you realise there is a further potential in his music, leaving you to wonder where he can go next. as it stands, cosmogramma is like a fine wine, getting better with age and subsequent tastes of the album revealing new textures and subtleties to an already incredible vintage. a set of strings here, an odd glitchy loop there, every song has a new secret for the ear to discover. whereas his last album Los angeles sometimes felt like you were submerged in a sea deep with bass and programmed snares, cosmogramma feels more alive thanks to a more extensive use of live recorded drumming, elegant saxophone solos and intricate double bass groundwork in addition to the beeps, squeaks and synths, giving this Lp something that not many albums in this genre can claim to have: soul. you’ve never quite heard anything like this album, and cosmogramma’s fearless exposé into the soundscape of a genius reminds me why i love music. a masterpiece, and without a doubt my favourite album of 2010.
when the first four muddy strums of the intro to ‘Farewell, Mona Lisa’ grace your ears, the wail of the last note seems to go on forever. you know that some sort of aural assault is incoming, but the anticipation is almost too much to bare after three long years since the release of 2007’s ire works and its slightly tamer take on the Dillinger sound. any concerns go straight out the window once that last intro strum finally finishes and that wall of noise called a verse, hits you like a ton of bricks. By the end of the song vocalist greg pucciato is screaming “the past speaks louder than anything i hear right now!” and you’re wondering how you could have possibly doubted that this new Jersey mathcore outfit would put anything but the best to tape. Delicate in ‘widower’, inconsolable in ‘room Full of eyes’, poppy in ‘gold teeth on a Bum’, option paralysis takes all of Dillinger’s past experiments and does them right, remaining interesting and exciting without compromising the dissonant signature sound they are renowned for. the result is the strongest and most cohesive release in this band of thirteen years catalogue and the best metal album of the year.
Listening to Fake history, i can’t help but to reflect back on one critical moment in my life musically, my first play through of refused’s the shape of punk to come. it isn’t that Letlive have brought out an album that is as important or innovative as refused’s classic Lp, it’s the feeling that i got whilst listening to Fake history for the first time that this is damn cool. Like, other side of the pillow cool. this La post-hardcore outfit have managed to capture the best of the past decade or so of post-hardcore and bottle it into a forty-five minute shades on experience. each song is chock full of interesting hooks with groovy yet frenetic rhythms that never seem to outstay their welcome, and there always seems to be a little acoustic part here, a piano jazz waltz there, something to keep a song fresh. Mention must be made of vocalist Jason Butler who is superb in projecting a sense of supreme confidence and attitude in his delivery of his lyrics, which range from incredibly witty and ironic to thought provoking. Fake history brings me back to a time when music wasn’t complicated, it was fun. that’s not to say there aren’t complex themes, deeper meanings and varying song structures. it just has a feeling of energy about it that makes me nod my head and smile. Just remember to pack your shades.
when the last founding member, backup clean singer and drummer aaron gillespie announced his departure from Underoath, many held doubts for future of this classic metalcore act. since their rise to fame in 2006 after the superb Define the great Line they have been loved and hated by many, with the point of contention for most being gillespie’s overproduced clean singing that would contrast with the screams of lead singer spencer chamberlain. while gillespie’s departure could have left Underoath to flounder with no direction, it has focused the band to create their most gripping release yet. this is Underoath like you’ve never heard them before. gone is the interplay between singer and drummer, clean and screamed, light and dark. in its place is a beast of its own, dark, desperate and brooding. chamberlain’s battle with addiction is an obvious influence on the album, and the band is more than willing to follow him down the rabbit hole. as a result Ø feels more raw, furious and genuine than anything they have released in the past thanks to his ragged cleans and soaring screams. instrumentally this is Underoath tighter, heavier and more dissonant than ever. Ø is Underoath’s proof of life. Believe it, these guys are more than just alive, they’re back at the top.
Known previously for their hooky and technical brand of math-rock, Maps & atlases took a huge risk in throwing away what they are most known and loved for, stripping their sound down and releasing perch patchwork. Did they succeed? absolutely. By stripping their sound down to the core, this chicago based quartet has managed to find something more in the absence of crazy hypnotic guitar lines and time signature jumps. that something is Dave Davison, whose nasally voice finally takes a front seat with great success. Davison displays a range and strength not seen in previous releases and his harmonies fit right in next to the warm folk instrumentation provided by a variety of different instruments. Maps & atlases’ vast influences are still evident in perch patchwork, featuring everything from Middle eastern melodies to tribal congo sounds. regardless of whatever left-field influences you might expect, this is still an incredibly accessible album and is an easy listen at any time of the day. By throwing away their mathrock shackles Maps & atlases have become much more as a concept and a band. perch patchwork is one of the most fun and adventurous folk albums i have ever heard and we can only expect greater things to come. watch out for these guys.
Most Disappointing aLBUM: Eminem - Recovery. FavoUrite Discovery: Chainsaw Hookers. Ball-tearing hardcore punk from perth that’s like copping a haymaker from a fist wrapped in a whisky rag. artist to watch: Mile End. From all reports the perth band’s new album will be one of the best local releases in years when it drops in 2011.
Gonjasufi A Sufi and a Killer
None More Black Icons
LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening
Army of the Pharaohs The Unholy Terror
The Dillinger Escape Plan Option Paralysis
genius. absolutely genius. gonjasufi is one whacked out cat and from his warped perception of reality came a cocktail of hallucinogenic rap and soul. even by the high standards of warp records, this was a phenomenal fifty-nine minutes of music. if sufi’s absorbingly fractured delivery wasn’t already enough for the listener, the gaslamp Killer and Flying Lotus’s hypnotic backing made damn sure this was a trip that would replay on them long after they’d hit stop. psychiatrists would be baffled trying to pin point the aspect of the record that penetrated the mind the deepest. was it the albums gramophonic rinse? its eerily scratchy quality sounded thieved from a haunted thirties mansion. was it its shamanistic east meets west approach? where pop electronics meet the middle-eastern desert (Dednd) and seductive oriental hums (sheep) lead into saloon music (she gone). where sufi’s hip-hop nod Kowboyz&indians perfectly outlines an intriguing clash of musical cultures. or perhaps it was the hauntingly beautiful album closer Made: a minimal opus with wheezy trumpet line that the listener would follow into a smoky lounge and be numbed by. who knows what it was, but pour a drink, roll a couple, burn some shisha and try figure it out for yourself.
if anyone were to ask about the state of punk music in 2010, you would hand them this album (there’s no mp3s in this world) and send them on their way. you would then brace for a barrage of praise when they returned it to you… and you’d make damn sure they returned it to you. this is not the sort of album you would allow to end up a forgotten mess on your mate’s car floor. in its absence you would be craving its edgy melodies, its wall of sound and you’d be sure as hell craving its shout-alongs. it’s what we hope for in every new punk album- a straightforward collection of songs that will form the soundtrack of good times we’ll have in the future. it’s eleven tracks in half an hour and for those thirty minutes the album never drops its focus. Beer-raising anthems come out in force. tempo changes hit in all the right and unexpected places (see skate-punk drop i’m warning you with peace and Love). Max intensity is reached in the albums dying moments and it ends with no come down. in 2010 once you go Black you never go back. the band’s third album makes so many other punk releases look half-baked in comparison.
ok it’s an obvious choice but any album that has you wishing you were listening to it in a crowd full of munted people from start to finish can’t be excluded. the grins of a thousand sweaty revellers play in your head as James Murphy takes you on a synth-soaked trip through ‘80s inspired hip pop. the tracks are lengthy but it’s the sort of music you don’t want to end once you start listening. c’mon you know what i’m talking about; you’re having a blast, you’ve found someone to have a blast with, the longer this moment stretches out the better right? Because once it’s done with, reality awaits. this is happening holds off reality just that little bit longer. it’s up there with the most danceable release of the year. Murphy has a knack for building his tracks from paired back minimalism into demanding dance grooves and he’s not afraid to use it. if we are to believe this is his last outing, it’s about time LcD shook its exclusory ‘hipster’ label and was viewed as an act with the ability to give anyone a good time. catch these tracks at the Big Day out this summer and with a goofy smile you’ll whole-heartedly agree.
a controversial addition to a list made by a middle-class white australian; this is underground gangsta rap. the most ‘gangsta’ middle-class australia gets is playing grand theft auto. But despite not being able to relate to anything this philadelphian hip hop supergroup rap about, it’s impossible not to dig the albums cracking production and third-degree burns it dishes out to mainstream rap. particularly hipsterhop which underground king reef the Lost cause tears strips off in banging track cookin’ Keys: “i never thought i’d see the day hip hop would give birth to faggots, Mr. t mohawks and Urkel glasses. i’m from a hood where they rob cool kids and i can’t wear skinny jeans cause my glock’s too big.” it’s the kind of criminalised humour that put eazy e on the map but he’s dead and ice t’s in Law and order so we don’t hear it so much anymore. Fifteen different rappers feature on the release, sparring verse for verse and keeping things interesting. Most will cringe at its brawniness and opt for an intelligent Mos Def vinyl instead. which is ok, but looking at this record in the context of the autotuned world of 2010 commercial rap, it’s a raw fuck you that does the job it sets out to do.
a band that continues to morph, twist and regenerate into a new kind of beast with each release, in option paralysis the beast became one manic depressive mother fucker. while previous releases had towed a consistent schizophrenic line and ‘08’s ire works stepped towards accessible territory, the mood of this album could swing from murderous to nurturing to brutal in one fell swoop. and we all know the unpredictable ones are the most dangerous. all that could be anticipated from each track was a crushing conclusion, but even then, it was anyone’s guess as to how it might be delivered. whether it was the ferocity of Farewell, Mona Lisa’s finale, the sludge that closed out room Full of eyes or the amphetamine comedown of gold teeth on a Bum, Dillinger stamped themselves as some of the best closers in the game. Mentor Mike patton’s maniacal influence was ever present on the record and puciato’s vocals were pushed further than they had ever been before. Finisher parasitic twins was to the album as nine inch nail’s hurt was to the Downward spiral- an aching end to a chaotic record.
Philip Andrew Irons July 24, 1978 - November 2, 2010.
Photo by Tim Jones / www.timjones.com.au
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