Mark Kendrick interview

Words by Stu Zombie
Photos by Jim Walker.

Mark Kendrick, one-man sweat machine, wearer of fine hats, and part of the infamous ex-Denny household in Manchester has been skating since forever. He’s also a thoroughly nice bloke and likes his Johnny Thunders, so our undead friend Zombie caught up with him whilst he made his tea and had a chat.

Start off with the obvious- how long you been skating for then?

About 10 years, a decade.

Decade of destruction. And who you sponsored by?

Baker Skateboards and Venture through Shiner, Innes Clothing, Projekts skate shop and Vita shoes are back now too which I’ve just got on aswell.

You just got hooked up with Innes, how’s that going?

Yeah, I’m stoked. All their stuff is real good quality and hopefully we’ll be doing a couple of tours soon as well- hopefully in Europe.

When you were a little skate rat did you ever think you would be hooked up on Baker?

Ha, no way! It’s so good to get free stuff for just having fun or getting a picture in a magazine. Getting stuff in magazines isn’t deadly serious, I just go out, have fun with Percy or Jim and then you’ll see it and it’s like a little memory, and you get stoked on that photo and it just snowballs. Taking photos with Jim is rad, he loves the Kinks, so we’ll go out and have a bit of a sing along whilst I’m skating, get me amped..

So where you originally from?

Originally from Stoke on Trent, but I’ve lived in Suffolk, Stafford and now I live in Manchester. But I didn’t start skating until i moved to Suffolk with all the Ipswich crew, like Frank and Ben and everyone.

Ha, is it true that your mom once gave Frank Stephens a whole 2 litre bottle of Lilt once when you were out skating?

Ha, yeah it is true and he mentions it every time I see him.

So what you been up to recently?

Just skating the streets of Manchester loads, just skate as much as I can and filming. Just finished my part for the Projekts vid which has just come out, pretty stoked on that. And just started filming for Sean’s new video, no rest for the wicked!

Manchester’s been getting loads of coverage recently in the mags and the new Note Video has just come out too

That’s cause it deserves it, I think it’s one of the best scene in Britain at the moment. All the kids are so keen, but they’re starting to get better than me so i’ll have to take their knee caps out. And there’s Skulls.

Skulls are sick, did you have to get jumped in to be a member of Skulls?

Yeah, you have an initiation, take a shit in a glass and drink it.

What’s going on with Skulls, the website’s gone down?

Not sure, Vic probably is just making it more underground, it’s gone through the centre of the Earth, on the way to China. Big up Skulls yo.

(At this point in the transcription of the interview Mark starts cooking his tea and shows me the world’s biggest oven chip, seriously it’s bigger than my face.)

So who’s ripping at the moment?

So many. Little Nick is on it, absolutely smashes it, super natural and cheeky little bastard to boot.

That’s cause they’ve all been training at the skateparks.

Yeah, Manchester has got two parks now in the city, Central and Pumpcage, which is rad, but we still need an outdoor concrete one though. There’s some talk about maybe getting a plaza in the future. But I’m not too arsed to be fair, prefer skating street anyway. Once you get a park people seem to just want to skate there cause it’s easy. Hassle free. And there’s so many spots here anyway. Having the pump cage is handy though, been coaching kids to skate there recently.

How’s that going?

Sometimes I’ll just have to a few hours working with kids from “impoverished” areas that is done in conjunction with local council and Projekts. I just had to teach two kids recently though, actors from Grange Hill, teaching them to kickturn and ollie, that sort of thing. One of them was really stoked on it, picked it up real quick. The other one would cry when he fell over, pretend he was winded or that he’d broke something and then his Mom would come over and shout at him to stop crying! Don’t take your Mom out skating.

What’s going on with The Gasworks now then?

It’s all bordered off, you can still skate it, you just have to jump the fences. Not too sure what’s going on though, all I know is that they’re re-developing the area. I’m not to sure if they’re tearing it down or what, i hope not- it’s a proper legendary spot. Joe Gavin is doing a short film about it now, using all the footage he’s collected over the years, proper ON Video like when they did the piece on Love park. I know there was a meeting about getting some skate friendly stuff made.

And Joe’s been pretty supportive about sorting out this whole “Free Krek” campaign.

Yeah damn right, TJ, this really nice guy who skates and a mate got busted for graffing. He got 15 months, which is pretty crazy considering the amount of crime that goes by unnoticed and the punishment completely doesn’t fit the crime. There’s been loads of stuff about it in the Manchester Evening News, like almost everyday, and Note have done some Free Krek and Mert T-shirts. He did loads of work with youth offenders and stuff too, getting them involved in Graff, even did a piece for the city centre for a recent festival. Everyone’s got Free Krek written on their boards round here. Argh!

(Mark gets a static shock cause he’s chewing on my laptop screen. Don’t ask)

What’s your favourite stuff to skate?

I love flat banks, just really simple, just do a trick you can do but on an angled piece of floor, haha. Satisfying. I’m well into mannys as well. I don’t normally stress on them. I know loads of people that hate doing them, get real stressed trying them, but they’re just fun, messing about and you always end up creating new tricks, stuff you never though about doing. I like stairs and stuff too, but you have to chill the next day if you sesh a big set for a while. Never really got into big rails, get put off by all the little kids throwing themselves down them like lemmings, we’ll see.

Leave that to Lewis (Threadgold who lives with him). How’s it living in a proper skate house?

Yeah it’s rad, always someone to skate with, apart from Lewis cause he moans a lot, haha… and the little mini ramp is almost done. stoked.

What’s your favorite part to watch before you go out skate?

I don’t know, don’t really watch that much, I prefer listening to some powerful beats before i go out. Just anything loud, got to be loud- I’m well into Sonic Youth at the moment. Motorhead is good to, gets you pumped.

How’s it going with Thrust at the moment?

Yeah it’s good playing with all them rawkus lot.

Ha- MCR SK8 Punk

Haha, nah, don’t say that. Treacherous. We’re just getting started at the moment, just trying to found our sound (check out, pretty shambolic at times, but fun. Out of control gigs, haha.

I feel like i should say something about your farts.

Yeah, I can’t physically burp so I make up for it with farts. They’re pretty much the most powerful farts in the world. They don’t stink, just really brutal, long, girthy.

So who do you want to thank?

A big thank you to Baker Skateboards, Jerome @ Shiner and Munson for the Innes and Vita stuff, Projekts Mcr, friends n family. And Crossfire for sticking some pretty pictures of me on their website. Pump it