Cave Cave IN IN Cursive Cursive Roll Roll one one STATISTICS STATISTICS ryan ryan leege leege rObot rObot food food Jeff Jeff MeyEr MeyEr Dennis Dennis Swearingen Swearingen THE THE BOOK BOOK OF OF THURMAN THURMAN
summer 2003 Editors Chris Pernula Adam Sever
Contributing Writers Jack Boyd Ashley Brookins Jimi Nguyen Matt Roesch Contributing Photographers Joe Blum Ashley Brookins Michael Stenerson Pete Wurster Cover: Elijah Collard, Noseslide Here: Art in Motion Photos: Joe Blum
memo: summertime The biggest disadvantage to skating in Minnesota would have to be winters. It’s hard to go to your favorite spots with sixteen inches of snow on the ground and a windchill of twenty below. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of summer for the short time that it is here. Go out and skate as much as possible and make the most of what you have. It won’t be long before dew turns to frost and the leaves begin to fall. Thanks to everyone who helped out with this issue... Contributing writers and photographers, interviewers and interviewees, all of our advertisers, and you, the reader.
Seth McCallum, Noseslide Photo: Michael Stenerson
mind o t s e m o c t a t thing th s r i f e h t s t ding? a r a Wh o b e t a k s nk of when you thi
“I think about the sun reflecting off the pavement. The bright green grass against the bluuuue sky.”
“Chillin’ with my homies, filming, and having a good time.”
-Phil Wright -Brian Nagan
Align “Blue Book Value” Blue Worm Records “Blue Book Value” is a great rock album. These songs make me want to drive like I’m in a car chase with 30 cops and sheriffs behind me and a sniper in the helicopter above me. This is a very solid record with meaningful vocals, great guitar and bass work, and loud pounding drums. If you’re tired of listening to the same songs on the radio and yurn for a solid rock recording then this is the album for you. Nada Surf “Let Go” Barsuk You may remember this band as having the uber popular song “Popular” in the mid 1990’s. On “Let Go”, Nada Surf has honed their musical skills and the result is a well recorded record. The songs on “Let Go” vary from slow to upbeat. This album has lots of great song writing and should be well liked by all. The Deathray Davies “Midnight at the Black Nail Polish Factory” Glurp The Deathray Davies are a 60’s sounding indie rock band. I haven’t had the opportunity to hear any previous Davies’ releases, but “Midnight...” is an easily enjoyable album. The songs are kind of dark, but upbeat. The title suggests making fun of all those emo kids who wear the black nail polish and are sad. The Postal Service “Give Up” Sub Pop Everything about this band is cool. The music is cool. The vocals are cool. Even the way the band wrote and recorded this album was cool. The Postal Service is Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel. “Give Up” is computer programmed beats that Tamborello made then mailed via the postal service to Gibbard, so he could arrange the music and add vocals. “Give Up” sounds kinda futuristic. If Judy Jetson wasn’t so into Jet Screamer, she’d be rocking The Postal Service.
Summer Hymns “Clemency” Misra Records This CD is one of those alterna/country folk indie records. If you are into indie rock and you want to give country a try, go get the new Songs: Ohia record or a Cub Country record. At least your friends won’t kick your ass for listening to those records. Usually when I listen to music that’s going to be reviewed, I listen to each part of the band from the vocals to the drumming. The vocals are near crap and the guitar and drums are standard. If you like country or folk, you’ll probably like this album. If you’re not into country or folk, then why did you read this review? Royal City “Alone at the Microphone” Rough Trade Like the Summer Hymns album I already mentioned, Royal City does the Alterna/folk indie genre too. But the difference between the two, Royal City actually pulls it off. The vocals are easy to listen to and the guitar plays a big part of the songs; intricate banjo strumming. “Alone at the Microphone” is a great record that a lot of people could enjoy. Statistics “Statistics” Jade Tree Statistics is Desaparecidos guitarist Denver Dalley’s new project. This ep features 5 songs. The ep sort of tells a story but Dalley leaves it up to the listener to interpret the lyrics. Musically Statistics is computer driven samples, much like Minneapolis’s Askeleton, with a few guitars and bass thrown in. A Statistics full length should be out by January 2004, and if it’s anything like the ep, Statistics will be very popular.
The American Analog Set “Promise of Love” Tiger Style The new Am An Set album is ok. There are 8 songs on this cd. The first half are kinda slow and the second half are more upbeat. From what I’ve heard of their previous recordings, this cd is kind of a let down. There are a few good songs but I wasn’t very impressed with this album.
Radiohead “Hail to the Thief” Capital Records Radiohead is just like Pearl Jam. Both bands have been playing so long and have built up a fan base that, no matter what their new album sounds like, 90% of those fans will buy it, just to complete their collection. Hail to the Thief is a good album. It sounds like Radiohead. When compared to previous albums like “Ok Computer”, “Hail...” falls short. On “Ok Computer” the songs are easily recognizable. Whereas on “Hail...” it feels like there are fewer songs and more tracks. The difference being, songs, you actually know the name of the song, and tracks, you call the song by the track number. Paint it Black “CVA” Jade Tree Loud, fast, aggressive punk. Paint it Black features former Kid Dynamite rockers Dr. Dan Yemin and Dave Wagenschutz (also of Good Riddance). Yemin also makes his debut as a vocalist. “CVA” is a really good album, but the only downfall of it is, there are 17 songs and the cd is only 18 and a half minutes long. They should’ve put more songs on the album, but that’s what punk is all about.
A Summary Execution “The Kings of Rock Cliche” When it’s dark outside and you can see your reflection in your bedroom window, you like to practice moshing. But you can’t shut your curtains, or you won’t see your reflection and how well you’re dancing. Arms and legs flailing about, beating the shit out of the stale air around you. You must get angry a lot, because you’re in there almost every night. I know, because I’m behind that big tree in the corner of your yard. Watching. I don’t know what you listen to because your bedroom window is always closed. And locked. But while I watch you I listen to A Summary Execution. And it is good. See ya tomorrow night. Nehemiah “ The Asphyxiation Process” Uprising If you don’t already know about this album, I really don’t feel like explaining it to you. If you’re a fan of metal this album should have been added to your collection the second it was released. If it wasn’t, I’m sorry. Pure evil local metal. Give in to the taste.
Coming soon to Maple Grove...
Exploitation A commentary by Jimi Nguyen
Recently I have wondered what makes something cool or uncool. I was reading a recent issue of Rolling Stone and in that issue it was going to tell me what is cool. Hell, it was even labeled “The Cool Issue 2003.” So, what makes something cool? Well, in my opinion, it is not anything that some mainstream magazine will tell you. What I can tell you is whatever is cool is just fad and is not actually cool. It is actually a tool used by advertising mega-conglomerate Satan worshipping corporate elites.
“What does this have to do with anything?” you might ask. Well, in recent years, skateboarding has been exploited. With all the media attention Tony Hawk got at the X-Games, everyone from toy companies to Mountain Dew wanted a ticket on the skateboarding express. The other day I saw Tony Hawk wearing a Bagel Pizza Bites sticker on his helmet. Though Bagel Pizza Bites are the lesser of the two evils, it has nothing to do with skateboarding. So, is Tony Hawk cool because he sold out? I don’t care, he has a family to support and money is money. Skateboarding has been in a decline lately. Being that it has been exploited so much, it seems like everyone is losing interest. Is skateboarding cool anymore? Who cares, it is your opinion. Don’t let advertising mega-conglomerate Satan worshipping corporate elites influence you for their gain.
“Why are you so angry?” you might ask. Well, it is simply exploitation. Whenever something is drawing a crowd, is talked about, or has a small fan base, it will get exploited. Example: the music industry is at it’s worst right now. Mega-record companies complain how they are losing money. Is it because of Napster and other music-sharing programs, the high prices, or the CD burner? Here’s a thought, put out some good music. Who’s gonna want to pay twenty bucks for a one hit wonder, cookie cutter pop music, wannabe gangster rap rock, or pop punk sound alikes? What happened was music has been exploited. When something is new and fresh, record executives flood the market with billions of look alikes and sound alikes. Now, no one even cares, the music is horrible, and it doesn’t even take raw talent anymore. (Watch American Idol... or American a-hole for a talentless teen wannabe) I hate MTV, it might as well be called Empty V. Empty V doesn’t do it for the music anymore, it is just a channel in which commercials are played 24/7 for those advertising mega-conglomerate Satan worshipping corporate elites.
Robot Food How does RobotF ood compare to ot her production compa nies? I have only worked with a couple so I can't comment how the y all operate. I wo uld say that we probably ha ve more input from the riders than most co mpanies. That's the reason Robot Food was sta rted. -Jess Gibson
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How important is music in a snowboard video? Music is SOOOO important. You could have the best riding in a part but if the music sucks.... your part is going to suck. -Bobby Meeks
My favorite robot food is fruit roll-ups. That or human eye balls.
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How did Afterba ng's brown cardbo ard video box com rather than the tra e about ditional boring bo x design? We wanted to make a film that was dif ferent than the reg gnar-gnar snowbo ular ard movie people were used to. I thi ended up with the nk we ambition to also cre ate a packaging tha be just as differen t would t from the rest. -David Benedek
u guys t require sleep, yo Since robots don' day e th in extra hours have about eight you do t ha W . rest of us compared to the do with that time? Tend to the babies. - Louie Fountain
Whatâ€™s the video called? The vid is called Roll One. Whoâ€™s in it? Elijah, Jeremy, Seth, Tony, Simon, Andy, Dane, etc. How long have you been working on it? Some of the footage is within the last year, but most is very recent. Did you do all the filming? I got the camera like three months ago, I filmed a lot of the long lens. Contributors are Joe Blum, Andy Irlbeck, and Benji Meyer. What made you get behind the lens and make this video? I haven't really liked the way skate videos have become like Michael Jordan highlight tapes, I wanted to slow it down, chill it out. What kind of equipment did you use to edit it? I used Adobe for the editing. Did you use digital to film it, or is there any super 8 mm or 16 mm film? All digital pretty much. After making this, do you have a better understanding of what goes into making a video? I already knew pretty much how hard it is to make a vid, I've already made some when I was younger. What music are you using? Me and my homey Steez made about half of the beats, my other homey Ike came through with two songs, and I used a couple reggae tracks. What has been the most difficult part of the whole filmmaking process? The hardest part is when it rains. Are you nervous at all about what people will think of it? I don't expect everyone to relate to this vid, I come from a distinct period of skating and have my own opinions about what I like to see. I really could care less if someone doesn't like it for some reason. Is there any thing else you want to add? Take things into your own hands and make your dreams a reality. Elijah, Nollie Photo: Joe Blum
Elijah, Ollie Photo: Joe Blum
f/s Boardslide Photo: Jason Hutchison
How Old Are you? I am 19 years and 5 months old!
Where are you from? White Bear Lake, MN
What do you want to accomplish with skateboarding? Well I used to wanna start my own board company, but that’s too much money that I don’t have and may never have. I guess I would just like to continue to have fun and make new friends. I'm also a filmer and own a vx1000 and would like to make a video someday.
What do you enjoy about skateboarding best/ least? I guess I just enjoy being with my friends and having a good time. And I love landing a difficult trick without stressing. I don’t enjoy skating when I’m filming something and it’s taking forever and I'm just stressing out. That’s no fun. Plus cops and security.
Who are some of your influences? As far as skating goes I would have to say Ed Templeton and Heath Kirchart. They are my favorite as well as Jon West, and my friends and family. The music that influences me are bands like Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Slipknot, and Stone Temple Pilots.
What do you do outside of skateboarding? Watch T.V., eat, and sleep.
Who are you sponsored by? I currently have no sponsors.
Do you want to be sponsored? I would definitely like to be sponsored.
What kind of skateboarder are you? I'm totally a street skater, mainly rails. I have no skill on quarter pipes or mini ramps whatsoever. Plus my flatground abilities have suffered over the years; it’s horrible. I have a park in my city so maybe I could learn some things on those kind of ramps someday.
What do you like to skate? Mostly small rails, benches and bank ramps. Once in a while I'll step to a big rail.
What is your favorite skate video? Of all the videos I've seen it would have to be a tie between Open Iris (Anthony Boone's latest video) and Foundation's Art Bars. There are a lot of videos I haven’t seen that I’m sure I would like. Oh yeah, I also like that Emerica vid.
What is the hardest thing about skateboarding? Hardflips, haha. No, actually I would just say keeping up with all the sponsored heads, and I never do because it just seems so difficult these days.
Frontside Smith Photo: Trent Hafdahl
How did you get into skateboarding? I always admired skateboarding ever since I was about 11 or 12. I thought it was cool but never thought of actually doing it until my friend stole a Powell complete from Champs Sports. He didn’t skate so he gave it to me. That was when I was just about to turn 14 in 8th grade. I started skating it in my basement once in a while and when all the snow went away I took it outside and started ollieing up curbs and all that.
What do you think was the hardest trick to learn? The kickflip. It took me like four or five months to learn it. After a while I got them down real good and could do gaps and stairs with them but these days I just can’t do them the way I used to. The crooked grind was also a tough one.
Do you think skateboarding should be about fun or should it be about becoming a professional? Fun, because I think you have to be truly gifted to go pro these days, and that is just not for everyone. It should just be about having fun and skating with friends but also progressing enough at the same time. It's useless if you never learn anything.
Who are some of your favorite local skaters? Of course Clint, Steve, Emeric, and Benson. But I’m also hyped on Jeremy Reeves, Brian Heck, and this kid named Josh Heim from White Bear. And Seth McCallum. All the Fobia riders pretty much. Ben Ragsdale too.
Nosegrind Photo: Alex Parentau
What do you think of the local scene? I think it’s awesome. Especially being able to know people like Clint, Steve, and Seth. The videos are great too. If you haven’t seen Open Iris by Anthony Boone you should really check it out. They have it at the Fobia shops.
If you weren’t into skateboarding, what would you be doing? Probably doing drugs. I don’t work right now but I will be getting a job soon and next year I will be attending college but I will still skate.
How do you feel about skateboarding being so mainstream? I don’t really care all that much about skateboarding politics. If it’s helping the industry grow and find new talent then I'm all for it.
Do you film others a lot? Not much right now because my camera is getting fixed and I don’t have a death lens. When it’s done getting fixed and I have the money for the lens I hope to film a lot more.
Who are your favorite people to film? Right now it would just be my friends but when I get more involved in it I hope to meet a lot of local skaters that I can film and make a video with.
What does skateboarding mean to you? It’s totally a way to express creativity, whether it’s skating, filming, making a video, or even creating a magazine.
How would you explain skateboarding to someone who has never heard of it? I wouldn’t. I would just show them a skateboard and give them a skate video to watch.
Frontside Lipslide Photo: Trent Hafdahl
Tailslide Photo: Jason Hutchison
Just before this frontside noseslide at Louisville's huge concrete park, A+ was spinning full loops in the fullpipe, but photographer Joe Blum was too busy checking out a cute rollerblader chick to get the photo.
(the beginning) Did you know there were Chinese people in 500 B.C.?! Yeah, there were! And they even had a philosophy about life. They believed that the way to live and the way to know the meaning of life was to do nothing. Nothing. Sit around and eat and talk about the nothingness that occupied their brains. This is what Confucius taught, and even what his predecessors taught. And even though in doing nothing they failed to invent the camera and therefore didn’t leave us any photographic evidence, we’ll assume they were fat, very fat, (at least those who were “enlightened”). But then lets say that a little Chinese boy named Chuang woke up one day and decided to skip his lessons on the Tao ‘cuz he just wanted to play around with some wood and crap. And lets say that while skipping school, dinking around with some wood and crap, little Chuang invented the skateboard. But for fear of being killed, Chuang kept his invention a secret. At night he would run off to the hills to invent skateboarding – the ollie, the kick-flip, the no-comply, etc. As time went by, Chuang grew and grew and grew. And then one day in the marketplace where all the Religious leaders–the Taoist sages—were hanging out and doing nothing, Chuang came flying in on his skateboard doing a kick-flip to 5-0 on the stone wall of the well. The “enlightened” leaders were outraged and spoke amongst themselves as all the kids ran to watch Chuang tail-drop off a little hut. Then the arguing ceased as the Elder of the elders stood up to address the village. In a quiet voice he said: “He who rules men lives in confusion; He who is ruled by men lives in sorrow. Chuang therefore desired Neither to influence others Nor to be influenced by them. The way to get clear of confusion And free of sorrow Is to live with Tao In the land of the great Void; To live as Thurman Lewis.”
Go skateboard alone. Just push. Listen to the concrete greet your wheels. Ollie. “Click.” Feel that? What is that? Do you see that? Do you feel that? What is it?•Is it your mind? Your body? Your spirit? I don't know. It's Thurman Lewis.
Hey Jesse, go jump off I-35W into an overpass bank. (photo State Trooper #52)
Can you ghost-ride your soul and land back on your board? If we let gravity slip away, would you? Would you spray paint Russian monkey’s playing tennis If skateboarding was Communism? Give skateboarding a government and a language and you Take away the skateboarding. That’s why we draw lines, not to keep ourselves in, but to keep you out. Yet you’re invited to let skateboarding take you; But you can’t take skateboarding. You can’t know what it is you need until you’re getting it; So stop painting yourself in the likeness of them, they’re not looking. And to all that other stuff, whatever. Right?
The average U of M student is about 21 years old. The Boardslide is something like 25 years old. 15 year old Sean Hanley front boardslides U of M 10 stair. (photo Mini Van Halen)
Thurman Lewis is skating with someone every day. Some kid, in some little town, with some group of local skate rats, skating some messed-up, half-broken, ducttaped piece of something. Do you remember that session you had with Thurman? That day with all your friends, when the sun was warm and the air was free, and everyone was getting dirty and torn up skating something that would never get you sponsored, but made you feel like you just won the lottery. Or that day when you didnâ€™t want to see or talk to anyone, and all you wanted to see were the sidewalk cracks racing towards your board as the hum of your wheels answered that one question the pavement kept asking â€“ who are you? What are you? That is Thurman Lewis. Thurman Lewis is the inaudible soundtrack to skateboarding. Thurman Lewis the invisible crew of every skater to ever love skateboarding, skating with you.
A+ backside flips a Louisville, KY hip moments before the INS arrested him and took him back to Mexico!? (photo Joe Blum)
Somehow I had made my way to the fourth floor of a library. It was dark and seemingly forgotten. All of the books were old and worn out and everything was dusty. I grabbed a book that simply said “Thurman” on it. It was a book about skateboarding, about a culture of people that lived by merely having fun on a skateboard. I had heard things about them but didn’t know if they really existed. I then heard gunshots and yelling outside on the street, and looked out of the foggy window to see armed military guys running down the sidewalk, questioning everyone, obviously looking for someone. Suddenly a young girl came around the corner of a bookshelf, stopped, and while pointing at me said, “Hey, you’re one of them.” I said, “Who?” She said, “A Thurman, you’re a Thurman!” and ran away yelling that she had “found one.” I didn’t know what to make of it, of what was going on, until the young girls voice came back saying, “He’s over here, I’m sure he’s a Thurman.” I made a run for the door on the opposite side of the room. There were five military men chasing after me on the lead of the little girl, all were in black and had M16’s. Lunging for the door, I tripped and fell. Gunshots shouted obscenities as their bullets sprayed the wall and floor around me. I thought about surrendering when a voice came from the vent on the floor behind a bookshelf - “Mr. Lewis, down here”. I quickly slid into the vent and followed the voice through the tunnel down and around what seemed like 6 flights of stairs. I came out of the vents into a warehouse. It was an underground skatepark. I turned from looking at the ramps and rails and ledges and noticed I was at the front of a meeting with hundreds of skaters. “What’s the news, Mr. Lewis?” someone asked. I didn’t know what he meant until I said, “They’ve caught up to us, they’re after our souls. But we won’t give in. We’ll fight. With guns and fists and skateboards. We are Thurman Lewis.”
Varial Heelflip! Sidewalk gap! HCMC, MPLS! Dan Jackson! (photo Joe Blum)
I stood on the shore of a great sea named Death. Crouching to touch the water, a revelation flashed before my eyes. I saw thousands of people engaged in nothing. They sat in front of televisions and computers and magazines like zombies, encouraging nothing and saying nothing. Their world was whatever someone handed them. I pulled my arm back as it was quickly becoming limp. Their army, lead by the Almighty Dollar, was growing like the plague. They were waging war on my friends and my culture. So I grabbed my weapon â€“my skateboardâ€”turned my back on the pond and headed off to find others like me, to find more called Thurman Lewis.
Sean skated to Minneapolis all the way from Appleton, WI. It took him a month. On the way he learned lipslides and decided to test out his new skill at the U of M. Before we could turn the cameras on he was already hittin' it - all bolts my man. (photo Jennifer Lo PezDispenser)
ursive C And their new album “The Ugly Organ”
Are you guys excited to be touring for your new album? Yeah, it’s fairly exciting. You know, these are bigger rooms than we’ve played before, and clubs that we’ve always kinda wanted to play at. And we’re kinda excited to see them I think. How did the writing process differ on this album than previous ones, and how long did it take you to write and record this album? I’d say it was a longer process. We recorded the whole thing, we ended up doing I think 13 or 14 tracks and then dropped one, one went to the comp. I think we had them all recorded in the rough version without lyrics. The songs were written a long, long time ago. And all that time in the meantime I guess Tim’s been working on the lyrics, and Mike on production, and everyone kinda doing their part, so it was a longer process. Well you can tell ‘cause it’s amazing. Oh thanks.
Are the songs about personal experiences? I would say, I mean I don’t write a lot of the meat of the lyrics but I’d say some of them might be based on personal experiences but there’s definitely an element of fiction there. Just you know, writing, there’s characters. What has been the response to The Ugly Organ so far? Just like you said, everyone’s praising it, they’re giving us a lot of props. So that’s kind of exciting too. What can be expected from Cursive in the future? Hopefully better songs you know, hopefully more music. I don’t know what to expect. We’ll probably keep it a secret.
Interview & Photo: Ashley Brookins
Statistics Denver Dalley Steps Out of Desaparecidos with new solo project, Statistics BY ADAM SEVER
How did Statistics come about? I had been thinking about doing this for a while now- I had songs that I wanted to record for a really long time. When I found out how much down time I had from Desaparecidos, I finally booked some studio time and wrote some more songs. How is it different writing music for Statistics than it is writing music for Desaparecidos? When I write for Desaparecidos, I come up with different parts and play them for the guys and we decide what goes and what stays. Then each guy writes their own part. Now I’m the only guy. How did you get onto Jade Tree records? I wrote them an email asking if they had time or would even be interested in hearing my ep that I had just recorded. (I said I understood that labels get a lot of demos and aren’t always looking for new artists- basically expecting to get shot down). But then Tim Owen (one of the coowners) wrote me back and said that they listen to everything and would love to hear what I had done. So I sent it up and then I got a phone call a week later.
track something happens that changes everything. The second, third and fourth songs are about reminiscing about things before that change. And the final song is kind of realizing where you are at now. I tried to leave the lyrics open to every sort of interpretation, so I apologize if I’m sounding too vague. How long did it take you to write and record the ep? I had two of the songs written for a while but I wrote the others in the two months before I went into the studio. I spent about 5 days recording it. I went in to record 10 songs, but the time got shortened and I didn’t have time to finish the others.
Why did you decide to release Statistics on Jade Tree and not Saddle Creek? When I started Statistics, I wanted to separate it from Desaparecidos in a number of ways. I also literally grew up wanting to be on Saddle Creek or Jade Tree- they are my all time favorite labels. So I tried to get the best of both worlds and lucked out. I’m unbelievably fortunate to have a project with both- I couldn’t be prouder of all of the labelmates and I couldn’t be happier to work with each person at both labels.
Are you going to have a full band for the Statistics full length? I think I’m going to record the full-length by myself again. I am in the midst of assembling a live band for some upcoming tours- if everything works out I will definitely start recording with them as well. I have been really cautious about that because the idea behind Statistics was that if I was the only member, there would be no way that I would have to wait on others to tour or record or write.
What are the lyrics on the ep about? The first song is about the boredom of a routine life, then in the transition before the second
Have you set a release date for the full length? No date is set yet, but I’m planning on recording it in August and releasing it in January.
Are any of the songs on the ep going to be on the full length, or are you writing new material? I’m going to write new material. I’m not even going to use any of the unfinished tracks from when I recorded the ep. How long have you been playing music? Since middle school, so somewhere around 8 years now? What has kept you playing music for so long? Hoping to be good at it someday. And listening to what others are doing with it. Is Statistics a side project while Desaparecidos is on hold, or are you going to pursue Statistics full time? I’m mainly going to pursue Statistics, but both are a priority to me. Desaparecidos is very much a side project- although we are all looking forward to it, it’s hard to know when we will all be available to work on it again. So I’m going to focus on Statistics, but continue with Desaparecidos whenever we can.
unless noted otherwise
How long have you been snowboarding? Since 5th Grade, so that makes it around 14 years. How did you get into it? On vacation in Colorado, I rented a shred stick from A-Basin. I was hooked. How would you describe the Minnesota scene when you were starting out? Imagine “Mondays Only” shredding at Hyland Hills. Every Monday was epic. It’s hard to describe, but I remember seeing 360’s being grabbed by “Skippy” at Hyland and being so impressed. I had 3 strap bindings on my Burton Cruise, so I could never grab the front of my snowboard. Tweeking wasn’t even a possibility. Jumps weren’t allowed, so we would have to make renegade kickers and session them before the ski patrollers tore them down. At that time, nobody followed magazines or videos. Who did you look up to back then? Jon Cao was the man. I used to get nervous when I would ride up the lift with him. Craig Stabenaw was super dope. The kids from St. Cloud were really good, like Mike Wong and Tommy Kronquist. Steve Fischer and Nik Batko were little punks . Where was your favorite place to snowboard when you were younger? I rode Hyland Hills every season for 8 seasons straight. I love that place. I think I have over 300 days just at Hyland.
When did you move to Colorado and what prompted that move? I moved 3 months after graduating high school. That was the fall of ’97. I wanted to ride pipe and do pipe contests. Other than size, how does Colorado compare to Minnesota? It is very dry. Water is big issue here. The Denver metropolitan area is growing rapidly and there isn’t enough water for the people’s needs. Traffic on the highways and interstates is also not as smooth as Minnesota. Do you think you'll stay there for a while or do you have plans to live elsewhere? At this point, I will stay in Colorado for a while. I have a solid group of riders, filmers, and photographers that I work with, and I wouldn’t want to give that up. Have you traveled out of the country to snowboard? In high school, I went to Finland for the Junior World Championships. It was probably the most exciting time of my life. The contest was fun, and at night we would booze it up with rippers from all around the world. I’ve also been to B.C. Canada. How did you become a part of Medium Control? Tommy Kronquist (the owner) was a big influence in my riding back when I was younger. We’ve been snowboard comrades for over 10 years. As time went on, I would run into him in the airport, or chat with him on the net. When I saw that he was starting a clothing company, I bought some gear from him because the shit was dope. After that, he wanted to see if I wanted to ride for him, and I was stoked.
What was your worst injury? About 3 months after moving to Colorado, I tore the ACL and meniscus in my left knee. I didn’t get proper treatment for it, and as a result, I experienced knee related problems for the next 3 years. This included 2 surgeries on my left knee, one on my right, six months of couch time, and countless hours training in the gym. Saying it fucking sucked is an understatement. My snowboarding completely eroded away. I think 99% of people would have quit snowboarding at that point. I had 3 shitty winters in a row, where I couldn’t push my riding because of knee pain. I would get really depressed. I can’t even explain the frustration. I am so happy to be healthy now. Do you have a favorite trick? Rail sliding is my favorite. I love driving to Denver after a snowstorm with a crew. We’ll shred as late as 4 in the morning, and if I get just one shot, it’s so rewarding. If you could travel anywhere in the world to snowboard, where would you go and who would you bring with? I’d go to New Zealand with my girlfriend, Kristina. We would ride pow on our snowmobiles, build a kicker, and throw backies. How would you describe snowboarding to someone who's never done it? It’s like surfing on snow. What do you do when you're not snowboarding? I spend a lot of time doing snowboard related stuff. Things like editing my own videos, finding sponsors, making contacts, and arranging snowboard shoots. I spend a lot of time on my computer. When that’s all done, I like to hang with my girlfriend and ride my bike. Do you have any goals for the 2003/2004 season? Yep. I want to get 2 minutes of good shredding footage, 20 great photos, enough contest winnings to pay my rent, and no major injuries. What changes do you see in snowboarding's future? (styles, popularity, etc.) 80’s snowboarding is coming back. Safety leashes, lein airs, and good old fun will be back in style.
sually the opening questions to interviews are boring one word responses. Hereâ€™s what you need to know up front. This is Ryan Leege (leggy rhymes with peggy). He is 26 years old and rides for Stacked Uncorporated and recently started getting shoes from Emerica. He is also part owner of one of the Midwestâ€™s largest skateshops, F-O-D. If you ever see him skate, his fast solid style will make you want to punch a ledge jock in the head and throw away your chill shoes.
Interview by Jack Boyd
Photography by Michael Stenerson
You look mean. Do you feel mean? I don’t feel mean. I would like to think I’m actually nice. What are some of the ups and downs of running a skateshop? Running a skateshop is really quite fun most of the time. I do most of the skateboard and shoe ordering. I like seeing all the new stuff. Some people think all I do is sit around and watch videos and read magazines all day. I actually do work, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t watch videos or read magazines while I’m there. Do you ever feel pressured into bringing non-core brands such as Nike into your shop? I feel no need to have those brands in the shop. There are so many other good companies it doesn’t make sense to me to have those other ones in a skateshop. Do you ever feel like kicking a customer’s ass? No, but some can be pretty annoying. It’s like that in any store. I actually get along with mostly everyone; people are interesting. Over the past year you’ve gone through some changes. You went from a hardcore vegan, anti-establishment school hating skate rat. Now you’re a married meat eating college socialite who wears a pea coat. Why the change? I started thinking about the future. That’s why I started going to school. If my wife and I move, which is a possibility, I want to have options as far as a job goes. There is so much to learn in school, it’s amazing. As far as the vegan thing is concerned, I felt it was hurting (me) more than it was helping. I still eat vegetables. I think you should eat a variety of food.
Concerning the pea coat... Have you ever been outside in the winter? Get yourself a warm coat. Were you afraid when you got married you would lose some tricks? I have never thought about it. No. Would you file for divorce if you did? No. Whoâ€™s skating are you respecting these days? Jason Adams, Kristian Svitak, Seth McCullum, John Rattray... the people that go skate by themselves if they have to for the pure enjoyment of just skating. How have you been handling filming for the (Stacked) video? Filming for the video can be really fun. I would rather just skate and not have to film, but it has to get done. I am excited for this video and happy to be a part of it. Everybody has really good footage.
Do you flip out very often? No. What’s the point? What is your favorite skate video? Label Kills is my favorite video. It has a variety of skating. It’s refreshing to see that. What do you think about Minnesota’s skate scene? I like it for the most part. There’s no need to be haughty. What does haughty mean? Arrogant. Demos or contests? I’ve only done a few demos. I usually feel like I’m not good enough to be in a demo. I was in one contest and it was Hayward, WI. I got third place. What has been your favorite trick you’ve seen in skateboarding? There’s not just one that would be my favorite. Rowley’s 50-50 on that huge ledge, Jamie Thomas, Tony Trujillo, Jason Adams, John Cardiel... all those guys have done some amazing things. Why did you start skating? I started skating because it was really fun. My friend Dan had a skateboard at his house and I rode across his kitchen on it. That was about sixteen years ago. Ryan would like to thank: Mike and Brooke at Emerica, Jack Boyd, Anya, Mike Stenerson, my cats and my friends.
How’d you guys get on RCA? About two years ago when we started doing the Jupiter tour we noticed more and more different types of like independent, along with different majors started coming to our shows and taking us out to dinner trying to pitch us you know, basically what they can do for our band. And when you have a lot of labels looking at you, you get a significant amount of bargain power anyway just because once one label starts paying attention to you, all of a sudden a bunch do. So it enables you to get more of what you want in a contract like saying, “Well they’re saying they’ll give me this. What will you give me?” You know, and the best thing about RCA was that we had met with several different types of A&R guys. And all of them could promise us the world, you know, but none of them had ever even done anything. It’s like “Well, what other bands have you signed?” And you know, “Well I’ve signed this. You’ve never heard of them?” But the guy who signed us, he had signed Dave Mathews Band, I’m sure you’re not a fan of. He signed the Foo Fighters, he signed a band called Hum. He had a really unique track record, and he said, you know, “I’m not going to rush this.” And he’d already proven himself at his label, he wasn’t trying to say “I’m gonna make you guys huge.” He never said that to us. You know. Let’s take our time, and let’s figure out how to put, you know, what the best way to put our Cave In record out on a major label would be. He definitely made a genuine effort to show that he understood where we came from and what we were about and what we kinda want to do in our career. So, I don’t regret the decision at all, he’s a great A&R guy and I definitely think he played us right in every move he made on that label. So far anyway.
Was there any reluctance to join a major label? Of course. You come from an independent, and major labels are supposed to be the devil, you know. Um, yeah definitely reluctant. You feel like, are you gonna get backlash from the fans, are you gonna get backlash from this, you know. Once I sign, it will be signed for a very long time, you know. But I wanted to be able to play music all the time along with everyone else in Cave In. And that’s what I’m doing now. I don’t have to work a day job, I can be in Cave In every day. The thing about it that’s overwhelming is that Cave In is all-consuming. Basically, I eat, sleep, and shit Cave In now, you know. I don’t even know the next time I’ll be home. What’s it like being on the same label as Christina Agulera, Dave Mathews Band, and Foo Fighters? I’ve met the Foos but I’ve never met any of those other people, and I mean, we never cross paths or anything, it’s just different worlds. I can get free records if I want to, that’s about it. How many songs were written for Antenna? I think about thirteen. And I think twelve made it on the record. How was recording Antenna different from recording Jupiter? Well, Jupiter we recorded the basics in four days and Antenna we recorded in three months. It’s a bigger budget, different studio, uh, more gear to play with, more time for experimentation, but also more downtime to get bored and more downtime to pay like, pay too much attention to things that don’t really matter. Like kinda labor over things that don’t need to be labored over. But it was a learning experience you know, a recording session is a learning experience. Um, you know there’s pros and cons to both, you know both procedures to recording a record. There’s good things to recording on as shoestring budget, and there’s bad things. There’s good things and bad things to recording on a big budget, you know. So, you know, it’s different experiences but I think with every time we record we learn what not to do for next time. But I’m proud of the record. Was there any pressure from RCA to produce a really good single? Not so much pressure, but I mean when a major label invests thousands of dollars into you they assume that you’re going to give them something that they can work your record with to help sell it ‘cause that’s what they do. We never had any pressure like, “You gotta write that hit.” It was the most hands up experience that I’ve ever heard of as far as a band being on a major label. Like Bruce definitely gave us our space, and if we gave him the songs he’d be like, “Listen, I’m feeling this, and I’m not feeling this, go further with this.” But he never said you should do this, you should try this. He kinda let us find our own niche, but never like any pressure like, “You guys need to write a pop hit.” Because I think we’re a different band than that, I don’t think we’re the type of band to write one song just to explode. I think we’re more of an album band anyway, so, no there’s no pressure like that.
Why did you choose Anchor for the first single of the release? It’s not really so much us that chose that. Like I said, major labels, their job is to sell the record in any way they can without sacrificing the integrity of the artist and there’s a number of singles that they think they could use to sell the record but they said Anchor is a good first introduction into the record. I don’t think it’s a good representation of the record, as the way the rest of the record sounds, but as far as like introducing Cave In to another audience, they thought this was their first. ‘Cause if you notice it’s not everywhere, Anchor’s not everywhere right now. They said they just kinda want to do it gradual. Put Anchor out first, and make our way up to ones that we’ll try to put everywhere. How often when you’re not on tour are you playing music? I play the guitar more at home than when I’m on the road. As far as like not counting shows, you know. I mean, when I’m home it’s pretty boring so I just play guitar ‘cause I don’t have anything else to do. So, I would say at least like two hours a day I’m playing guitar. What is it about music that draws you to it? Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always been obsessed with music. I don’t know why, it’s just the way it makes you feel, the energy of it all, but I’ve always just been attracted to, you know, rock n’ roll music or aggressive music. As long as I remember I wanted to be a part of it in some way or another. I started out trying to play drums but I wasn’t good enough and I started trying to play guitar, and I’m still trying to play guitar. But I’ve just always been obsessed with it, I’m an avid record buyer, I buy tons of records by tons of different bands. I’m just obsessed with the whole process of it. I’m obsessed with how people write songs, about how they record their songs. I’m obsessed with the way people make records, the way records look. I don’t know, I think it’s just the energy of it all. What’s next for Cave In? We’re gonna be on tour for a long, long, long time. That’s about it. (laughs)
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Neil Erickson, Switch f/s Noseslide Photo: Joe Blum
Chad Benson, b/s NoseBlunt Photo: Joe Blum
Jack Boyd, Frontside Flip Photo: Michael Stenerson
Chad Benson, Noseslide Photo: Michael Stenerson
Den Davey, Backside Tailslide Photo: Michael Stenerson
R.I.P. Josh Updike August 13th, 1977 - April 25th 2003
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A frontside nosegrind down a rowdy rail, with style, shows Jesse Reed's a veteran of the skateboarding war. Photo: Joe Blum