Ralph met Andrew Brophy during a session in Lyon , France and got some words whilst they were both bombed by little gypo kids armed with firecrackers! This is what went down whilst they were Caught In The Crossfire…
Here we are in sunny Lyon, but what I want to know is how you got here?
I was in London before, and Jeremie (Daclin) brought me here I think. (Laughter) Oh, and Ben from Circa in London paid for it.
You’re not from London though, you’re from Australia. Whereabouts?
I’m from the West coast, a little country town called Margret River. Basically it’s a little surfing town with not much to skate.
If there wasn’t much to skate, how comes you didn’t just pursue a career in surfing?
They had a skatepark opened and I didn’t like the water because the waves were scary as fuck! Skating was the easier option, and I ain’t gonna drown, I’m just gonna fall on concrete.
While you were skating back in Australia, did you know you now team mate, Cale Nuske?
No, he’s from the East Coast. I met him when I first came to Lyon a year ago.
Who were your first sponsors?
The first was Momentum skateshop from Perth, then Modus Bearings from Brett Margaritis’ company and TSA Clothing.
Seeing as you have travelled all over the world, how would you compare the different skate scenes?
It’s all quite similar. Everyone still takes their sport quite seriously in Australia, but maybe there isn’ as much to skate in Australia either. Well, there is but it’s not as accessible.
But I heard that places like Melbourne or Sydney were full of spots?
Yeah, Melbourne is full of spots! But for me, coming from the West Coast, it’s just as easy to fly to Europe as it is to fly to the East Coast. It’s all the same.
[A little gypsy kid lets off a massive firecracker nearby] That was fucking loud! (Laughter) Oh shit! Maybe we should move because he just put one in a metal can..?
Excuse us for this brief interruption. Some kid is giving us a fireworks demonstration!
Vietnam. Vietnam. Ha! Ha! Look at him, he’s going off!
You’re on Cliche now, so tell me how that’s working out for you? How did the deal come around?
It all started from when I was on Link Footwear and came over here for some touring. I got hooked up then, and got flow from the distributor back in London, Slam City Skates. [Gypsy kid’s firecracker doesn’t bang as loud as hoped for] Oh. Ha! Ha! He wanted that shit to blow up. (Laughter)
So, wait. How come you even left Australia? Wasn’t the jump to London a big step in the dark?
Well, it was either go to London or move to the East Coast, and I didn’t know anyone over there at that stage. Well, I did. There was Brett, Chip Waltman, Ben McClaughlan and Kyle Stanley etc had all moved back from the East Coast, so there was no-one for me to go over there and stay with.
My brother was living in London at the time, so I thought, ‘Fuck it!
My grandparents are going to pay for the airfare over there, so I might as well go and live with them rent free!’ It’s easier, and since I’ve been there everything has worked out great! I’ve met loads of new people and made new friends.
What do you think of the London scene? Who do you hang out with?
Nick Jensen, Charlie Young, Robbleyard a.k.a. Rob Mathyssen, Levant Tanju and the Slam City crew. London’s good in Summer, terrible in Winter!
Why is it so terrible?
Oh, you know! It’s so wet and freezing! You know.
Well, I know, but the people reading this don’t! Often you hear London is so shit for skating because the grounds so crap and there are no spots.
No! There are loads of spots everywhere. You’ve just got to know the people who know. (Laughter)
So how long do you think you’re going to spend on this side of the globe, in Europe and stuff?
I don’t know! I’ll see how it all works out I suppose. Hopefully for as long as possible.
What’s it like having Jeremie Daclin as a team manager?
It’s funny! I wish I could speak French, so that I could communicate with him a bit better, but it’s all good.
Do you hook up with the Cliche team very often, or is it on one of these rare occasions that you visit Lyon and see them all?
This is the second time that I have been here and hung out with the team. It’s fun, the weather’s nice here as well. [Gypsy kid suddenly blows a firework up in his hand regardless]
Wah! That kid’s gnarly. Did you see what he just did??? Anyway, is your brother a skater? What do your parents think of your career move?
Well, my brother was a surfer before I skated and he was busy doing the Pro/Am shit, travelling.
Whoa. Wait a minute. Watch out!… Oh, it’s alright. It’s not going to blow!
Yeah. So, my brother did a lot of travelling and my parents didn’t really mind. They’re pretty happy for me to do what I want and enjoy my time. Just doing whatever interests me.
Have you quit your studies now?
Yeah, I’m finished with all that. I’m 18 now! I might go back to Uni afterwards.
What are your plans for the future? Cliche is about to head off on a couple of tours including the Roast Beef Tour aren’t they? Do you know anything about that?
No. I don’t think anyone really knows where we’re going! (Laughter) Just get in the van with sleeping bags and as much clean clothing as you can possibly fit in a backpack, and go and stink! (Laughter) Just smell and sleep on the floor, it’ll be funny!
Any other plans for the future, non skatewise?
Just travel, skate and meet new people. Be poor for a very long time! (Laughter)
Have you done any filming yet with Fred (Mortagne)?
No! None so far.
You’re known for your huge pop, so if they were ever to organise an ollie contest again, would you give Danny Wainwright a good run for his money?
Yeah. I’d check it out, take a few people out. Whaaaa! [Gypsy kid blows off a huge firecracker right behind us!] I think that shit popped my ear drum!
I’ll push that little fucker in the water! Damn!
That was so loud dude!
[We take a little break to soothe our ears, laugh and threaten the Gypsy kid and Lee Smith for making him do it]
Do you ever get sick of people asking you to ollie up the 6 stairs at Shell (Skatespot in London)?
Yeah! No requests!
What would be your dream session?
Back home ??? skatepaaaark! [Gypsy kid tries his luck one more time but Jeremie tells him to fuck off or else!] With Brett, having a barbecue, drinking beers and skating the miniramp. That’s the best!
One last question that I ask all my interviewees: If you were sent to a desert island and were allowed to take one object, one book and one CD with you, what would they be?
Ummm. The book would be porn! (Laughter) The CD would be the ‘Postal Service’, that shit’s good. An object? I don’t know.Maybe a blow up doll?
Yeah! That or a tent!
Ok, thanks for the answers despite our little gypsy friend.