Marc Johnson Interview

MJ is a man of mystery. In these fast times where media sources can chew up and spit out a skater and their career, it comes as no surprise when someone of Marc’s stature take cautionary steps if approached for an interview. That said, Marc was up for a grilling after winning our Trick of the Year comp by public vote, and luckily he complied with our requests.

Uninterested with the rumour mills and haters that put pressure on his undeniable skills, Marc stays sharp and sarcastic in these testing times. We really tried to push him for details on the epic Lakai video, but the cat caught his tongue… But, who cares? It was Marc’s flawless skating that pushed him into the limelight, and as he proves time and time again: Actions speak louder than words and words are delivered by Ralph Lloyd Davis and various forum hoppers..

You’ve been in the game for a while. The first piece I ever saw on you was an autobiographical piece that appeared in TWS in 1995 (?). You seemed pretty burnt over your situation as an amateur that chased their dream and landed on the west coast. Has your attitude changed since then?

My idea of the world was very small TEN YEARS ago. Yes, you could say my attitude has changed. I’ve seen some bright days and some really dark nights. Figuratively speaking. I’m looking forward to the future. The past is past.

What was skateboarding like before moving out West? You mentioned in your 411VM profile that you were on the run from someone- Care to elaborate..?

Boring. No.

Who did you look up to as a kid? Who do you look up to nowadays?

Let that heavenly filter shine.

When did your career start to take shape i.e. you could accept the fact that you skated as a profession?

Bills and photo shoots. Mortgage payments.

You moved to San Jose, then moved away for work, then back again. What’s San Jose got that elsewhere hasn’t? What’s the scene like today?

Hookers that don’t charge if they’re drunk. Shit talkers. Cops that are convicted for murder. God bless the party. It’s still in 5th gear. 40 year-old men renting a room in a skate house. I haven’t been there in a long time.

Who is your favourite character you play from the tilt mode skits? Is Chauncey Peppertooth the real Marc Johnson?

No one knows who the real Marc Johnson is. I’m just energy slowed down to a low vibrational wavelength known as solid matter. We just had a really, really, good time making those videos. Memoirs Of A Moron.

Are you still close with everyone despite leaving Enjoi? Can we expect a cameo in the new video?

A clip or two. That’s drama.

Are you as excited about the new Lakai video as the kids are?

Excited? Try ‘relieved’.

Whose part (if you have seen any yet) is gonna blow the snow?

I’ve been served a gag order about the video. Can’t talk.

Did video kill the skate-star?

Most likely. It’s looking that way. When you’re 15 years old and thinking about ‘quitting’, you can point the finger at someone holding a camera. It stands up in court.

You are a technical innovator that adapts to virtually every terrain. When are we going to see you on Vert?

Like I said, I can’t talk about it.

Your name is always under every “what’s your favourite section” poll, but unlike the others, many people can’t decide what part stands out most. Which video section of yours are you most proud of and happy with and why?

I’m just glad you like them. That’s good enough for me.

What’s life like off board? I know you read a lot- what are you reading at the moment, and what would you suggest kids read?

Read ‘The RA Material’ by Don Elkins. Just read it.

How has having a kid changed your life?

It taught me to care about someone more than I care about myself. I do lots of things I don’t want to do because I know it will make his life better. And it’s hilarious.

Music and skateboarding go together like red wine and cheese. What would you enjoy in your slippers as background music, red wine and cheese and what would get you hyped to go skate? Expand on the musical influences over your years of life…

Van Morrison. Everything else is just a waste of your time.

Last live show?

Chemical Brothers. Australia 2005.

Has all the travelling you’ve done through skateboarding helped you understand global diversity, or foreigner’s perception of Americans and their culture?

America is a modern-day version of the fall of the Roman Empire. Sometimes it hurts just to look around. You can’t even smoke in public here anymore. Civil revenue generators. It’s falling apart over here, boys.

If America imploded, where would you go live? Would that be based on skateability, or pure culture and lifestyle?

America is imploding. I’m just here for the ride.

What’s right with skateboarding in 2006?

Handrails and ‘Big Fours’, supposedly.

What’s right with the World in 2006?

The collapse of linear time.

If it’s sunny tomorrow, what will you do?

Shovel snow.

And if it rains?

Shovel water.

Shout outs/plugs/links etc?

Magazines in the loo.


Blondes or brunettes?

When there’s a bag over her head, it doesn’t matter.

Video Days or Questionable?

They both pretty much explain my life.

Switch or regular?

It’s all the same.

Boneless or curb grind?


Poostache or a cheese mullet?

Invest in gold and silver. Paper money is worthless.

Gonz or Howard?

Honz AND Goward.

A large Gin or a smoothie?

Smoothie. Gin tastes strange.

Cali or Barca?

Americans ruined both.

Autographs or Hide in the van?

Don’t even show up.

Trick of the Year 2005 on Crossfire or a night out with a piss soaked tramp smelling of wet fish …

Trick of the year. I hate seafood.

Beers are on us…you better turn up dude!

As long as I don’t have to either hide in a van or sign autographs, I’ll be there. Cheers!

Related links: