Mark Sultan Interview

Further to his fantastic recent album, $, on Last Gang Records, Mark Sultan has been a significant figure in garage rock over the past decade. Whether it be his inspired collaborations with King Khan as The King Khan and BBQ show, or gospel rock supergroup The Almighty Defenders, Sultan can be relied upon to make great sounding records, and to tour them, hard. Most significantly, the three albums made with King Khan stick in our minds as perhaps his best work to date, and essential additions to any good record collection.

On the week of the release of his new solo album, we caught up with Mark to discuss his influences, playing the Sydney Opera House and what he’s got planned for the near future. We also got the low down on the making of ‘$’, which recently joined the Buzz Chart here.

Hey Mark! How’s life?

Life is great! I just moved to Toronto and I am pretty stoked.

First off, could you tell us about your new album ‘$’ and how it came together.

Well, that album was recorded a while ago – in fact the earliest recording on the CD, anyway, is the original version of ‘I’ll Be Lovin You’, which ended up being reworked as a King Khan & BBQ Show song. Most tracks were recorded in late 2008/2009, with some alterations done a bit later. I basically wanted to stretch my wings a bit after focusing more on KKBBQ and my decision to write and sing more basic and primitive rock’n’roll with that band. I wanted to write songs as ‘Mark Sultan’ and record them with more experimentation and more ‘orchestration’. It was cathartic, cuz I was pretty dark at that point. Made sense.

Why did you decide to call it ‘$’?

The name was just another in a series of bad decisions I have made in music. Nah, I dunno. Probably could argue that it’s all a joke on the fact that I never make money from my shit. But honestly, I just like the way a dollar sign looks.

I think the album really showcases your talent as a vocalist, what singers do you draw inspiration from?

Thanks. I would say it probably has been showcased more on King Khan & BBQ Show albums, as far as talking pure R&B-style howling, but I think ‘$’ is a decent showcase, if not more varied, vocally. I draw most inspiration from a long line of 50’s gospel singers, R&B vocal group singers and soul dudes. Just a bunch of remarkable talents whom you have either heard of or who have washed away with time.

What kind of music did you listen to growing up? How did you end up playing garage rock and doo-wop influenced music?

I received ‘Abbey Road’ for Christmas when I was 5 and started buying Led Zeppelin albums with saved up holiday bucks the year after, on recommendation from my cousin Steven. So, ya, lots of Classic rock and 50’s-60’s rock’n’roll stuff that I found in parents’ boxes as a kid staying home from school. That was until I was, say, 8-9. Then came metal, hardcore, punk, etc… The garage stuff was always a curiosity for me even through my hardcore days. I mean, I still had a love for the Stones, etc… and when bands like Minor Threat would cover Standells songs, I’d track down the originals. And then I started getting into all the old shit and stuff like the Mummies or Billy Childish or whatever. It all seemed punk to me! As for Doo-Wop, that also was part of growing up, on like ‘Party Rock’ albums and shit. All the novelty stuff. But my love of more ‘serious’ R&B, etc… came later, probably from researching garagebands doing old covers and going into it further. I love vocal sounds and melodies and harmonies. I love getting the chills from the ethereal sound of one person’s voice so full of soul and emotion. It makes me feel alive.

You’ve toured with some great bands in your time – are there any particular tours or stories from the road which stick out in your mind?

Man, too many stories. I’ll write a book one day. It will be funny.

What three things can you not live without when you’re on tour?

I dunno… Sometimes, when I smoke, it’s something as simple as a cigarette. Or chocolate. Mostly, I just can’t live without the love to keep going; to keep touring. Once you lose that, you should go home.

What’s your live setup like now? Have things mellowed at all since you started out?

I just toured the US as my one-man band ‘BBQ’, but which often gets billed as ‘Mark Sultan’. Weird. In any case, my performances were generally more energetic and perhaps ‘evil’ than ever. I was happy. But I also have a 4-5 piece band which I will start touring with, with me as front man. Things are not slowing down. I am never complacent.

We really love the music you’ve released as King Khan & BBQ, how would you describe your relationship with King Khan?

Well, we are brothers. We are going through a tough time at present, but we still love each other. Just gotta let time heal a few things.

Have you settled on playing under your own name now, or are there any other projects or aliases on the horizon?

Well, contrary to popular thought, that isn’t my real name, more a reliable alias so I can put one name out for now and draw less confusion. But even my real name isn’t real. I hope to use the REAL name on an upcoming release.

Of all the musical projects you’ve worked on to date, is there a record or moment that you’re most proud of?

There were a bunch of moments that could have been the proudest, but have somehow always fucked up. A good example is when me and Khan played the Sydney Opera house at the request of Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson. Disastrous. Hahahaha. Anyway, I am as proud as I can be with most shit I make, cuz I also have a good sense of self-censorship. I only put out stuff I kinda like.

Are there any plans to come back to the UK in the near future?

For a long time, the UK was on my personal blacklist, as I had nothing but horrid experiences there, but I am now willing to give it another go. More and more ‘fans’ ask and I guess I should try.

Any last words?

If music challenges your first impressions, will you shut it off or keep listening? Are you a fan of music or a fan of being a ‘fan’?

Searching For The Miraculous with Pontus Alv

As I’m sure anyone who has seen his films will agree, Pontus Alv is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating individuals in this strange web of culture, expression and creativity we like to call ‘skateboarding’. Never before has watching a video documenting the lives of others in skating granted the viewer with such personal insights into the filmmakers life and soul.

In his latest film, In Search Of The Miraculous, we see someone more than willing to bare all in the hope to inspire us to make the most of our temporary encounters with all things miraculous. In just a few questions, we learnt more about skating, filmmaking and life than most people ever share with others.

We begin our own search for the miraculous with an interview with Alv himself. How else were we meant to start?

Interview: Stanley
Images:
Alv

Some people have noted that In Search Of The Miraculous seems like a consciously straighter and more accessible production than Strongest Of The Strange. Did you have this idea in mind when editing it or is it a coincidence?

It is not easy to make a film, but the main thing about my new film is that I wanted it to be as different as possible from my first film but for there still to be a link between them. In my first film I went into the darkness and I wanted define myself and what skateboarding is to me. In this film I am searching for the light in life, trying to see the beauty and the big picture. I want it to be light, colourful and inspiring. I find it harder to work with classic beautiful elements like a rainbow, a sunset and so on… but I also enjoy the challenge. I don’t like to talk and explain my work cause sometimes I don’t even know, I just go for a feeling and a spirit. If I can feel it perhaps others can too.

My inspiration and motivation is to inspire you to inspire yourself.

Alv at The Barrier Spot in 2004. Photo: Tobias Henriksson

I’d argue that the film simply tells a new story from a filmmaker who’s experienced more than in his past production.  Indeed, experience and what we pass onto others struck me as a key theme in the film. What new things did you yourself learn about skateboarding in the process of making ISOTM?

Well like I said I am searching for the light in life, even if we go through hard times there will always be light. For example, some of my social sculptures in the past has been destroyed for whatever reason, and I could either just give up and do nothing, or I could keep going. Beautiful things are temporary and that’s why they are so wonderful. When I start building a new social sculpture I know it will be gone but the process and all the joy involved makes me feel alive and it puts a meaning to my life. I know it will be gone but it just makes it better cause you have to enjoy every moment you have together. If it would be permanent it would just be like a public skatepark which feels pretty dead and boring in the long term. Looking back at the last 10 years it is great that we got used to being bulldozed and it made us do more which gave us different things to ride over the years. And of course it created loads of good memories.

Learn about skateboarding? Well, it is the same rule as always… Skateboarding is a freeform and it is up to you to do whatever you like with it. It is just an instrument and there are no rules what so ever. It’s all up to you to do whatever you like with it. That is the beauty. No matter what direction the industry and world is going you can still do whatever you like. The same rule goes in life.

The Holma ramp on its way to heaven. Photo: Pontus Alv

The way in which skateboarding can give us an escape from the dark corners of our lives is at the forefront of ISOTM and SOTS, I think it’s uplifting and motivational to everyone watching, even for non-skateboarders. How do you begin the process of instilling something so personal (particularly the things connected with your  father and family) to you into something that’s to be watched worldwide by people who don’t necessarily know much about you, if anything at all?

Yes my videos are personal and I like to mix in personal elements in my films. For me skateboarding is more than just tricks and I try to define the bigger picture. Everything we go through in life matters, our history and our present, our dreams, our future thoughts, our lovelife, work, friends and so on.  How do I feel today? Well, when I step on my board I will know. If my heart is broken or my mind is messed up or my soul is stressed out my board will tell me and together we will express whatever feelings we are going through. That, for me, is one of the greatest things about skateboarding. It is always there for you, faithful and loving almost like a dog. We can always run away together and vent about life, whatever it may be, we can talk about sex, friends, history we can talk about everything and most of the time we will find a solution to almost everything or at least feel better about it. Talking things over with a really good friend helps, and this is why I love my skateboard so much. It’s my best friend and I hope we can grow old together somehow.

So what I am trying to say is that everything in life is linked, skateboarding is linked to everything else and vice versa. Most videos focus on the things within skateboarding… what happens at the spot and around the spot perhaps a coffee break inbetween, but most videos never deal with life itself or talk about. Don’t skateboarders have a life outside of skateboarding?

Move on and start again…

The video, like your last is dedicated to your father. His words of inspiration that you pick up on are reflected in how independent and influential your direction is. What do you think his reaction would be if he could see the film?

Who says he is not watching my films? They are here, I see signs and they guide me. I personally think they did most of the editing by controlling my thoughts and soul.

Torsten and Märta Alv

Your films regularly shun the typical conventions of skate videos by selling a narrative instead of a product or team. The skaters in are connected to you in a way that transcends sponsorship deals and stuff like that.  In your editing technique you tend to stray away from standard time lapses and montages and instead borrow influence from cinematographers and magicians of the past like George Méliès. Who, or what in particular inspires you when making your films, and what does each skateboarder bring to the finished piece of work?

I find inspirations everywhere in life. My inspiration can come from anything and from nothing, from small little things you pick up here and there. I have a huge inspiration from the Alv family archive. It is a huge film and photo archive that starts around 1900. I grew up with it and I think this influenced me a lot. I also like everything from the beginning of photography and filmmaking, especially during the years 1900-1930. I am a big fan of Hans Richter.

And yes you are very right I am not trying to sell a product, I just want to show wonderful skateboarding of all types young old tech street pools ramps etc. I love it all and I want to give back as much as possible to skateboarding as possible because skateboarding gave me everything. I think it is the least I can do after all the things skateboarding gave me.

Pontus on the wall again. Photo: Jean Feil

As you’ve pointed out in the past, skateboarding has an inherent feeling of joy, freedom and creativity that’s almost inexplicable, but these feelings we associate with skating can often be crushed by the skate industry, sponsors, deadlines and the like. Sadly, I find it hard to imagine a world where skateboarding can exist independently of those factors for countless reasons, economical and otherwise. But your films still capture that freedom even in 2010. How can we, as skateboarders who love what the pastime has given our lives work together to make skateboarding better?

One thing that we all have to remember is that skateboard industry and business is not skateboarding, it is business. Skateboarding is really simple. It is what you do when you and your friends go skateboarding and have a wonderful or horrible time. The people that are involved with the industry or belonging to the elite skateboarding is just a very small percentage of the world’s skateboarders. We can be controlled by them or we can control ourselves. Like I said earlier, skateboarding is a freeform and it is up to you to do whatever you like with.

Briefly, where is the miraculous?

Right in front of you.

Watch the film in full here:

For a full review of In Search Of The Miraculous then head here. And stay tuned as we continue searching for the miraculous with Mr. Danijel Stankovich in an interview coming soon…

Bryce Kanights Interview

Bryce Kanights not only has one of the most memorable names in the history of the entire world, but he has also captured some of the most memorable moments in skateboarding’s history. Anyone who has rolled on board will have felt his vibes, because despite its length being comparatively brief with most pasttimes, the history of skateboarding has had Bryce’s input throughout.

Hailing from San Francisco, Kanights captured cultural movements of all kinds as they shook not just the naturally shakey West Coast but the entire world. And as technology grew, so did the legend of the photos he had taken. Gonz skating Alcatraz in a prisoner’s outfit?  Chris Senn flying through San Fran? The Chief’s barefoot ollie over the Gonz gap at EMB? All are photos that have in their own way helped shape the very big stamp San Francisco has made on skate culture.

In his time shooting Bryce has contributed and worked for the likes of Adidas, ESPN, EA Sports, Fuel, Konami, Nike, Oakley, Volcom, Kingpin Mag, Skateboarder Mag, Thrasher Mag, TWS Mag and more. Currently, he’s doing his part to keep the world updated on Skate Daily while still regularly laying on dirty floors and pushing a viewfinder into his eyes to document skateboarding in the way only he can. We caught up with him to get the full scoop on his own personal history, who he shot, what he shot with, who he shot for and what he listened to while doing it all.

Where you at right now Bryce?

I’m on a completely packed airplane flying across America on my way to New York City. Just took off out of Denver, three and a half hours of no frills air travel with barely enough room to move.

Look around you and name three random things you see…

Well, there’s the older guy seated next to me in the middle seat, he’s passed out with his reading glasses on and his book folded open in his lap, outside of my window there are over a dozen crop circles spread across the ground: the heartland of America. And this laptop computer with approximately 45% of the power remaining on its battery has a bit of a job to do while remaining confined in this situation.

Aaron Daily – Frontboard

How long have you been a photographer?

I got into photography and began to shoot photos when I was a kid, but I didn’t really step it up until 1980 or so. I’d say I’ve spent just under 30 years of my life sitting, standing and laying in gutters on the streets while behind the lens.

What is the best and worst advice anyone gave you in regards to photography?

Well, the best advice was to look through the camera’s viewfinder to compose my photographs and to understand the rule of thirds. The worst advice was from my own teenage brain when the punk rock movement first hit San Francisco in the late 70s and early 80s. I was too caught up in the punk rock scene I guess to bother to carry around my camera to document the emergence of the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, The Lewd, DOA, The Adolescents and many, many other bands that rolled through town at the time. Those historic and monumental moments during my days of youth were priceless.

Cab and Hosoi – Dual Rockets (1986)

What artists have shaped you over the years and what music can you not leave for a tour without?

Music has always been a big part of my life and it inspires a great deal of what I do. At an early age I grew up with the Beatles, The Doors, Bob Dylan and Otis Redding playing on the stereo at home. Then as a teen, my friends and I would go to house parties and dance to soul and funk with The Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye, Brick, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire, James Brown, the Dazz Band and Parliament. Soon thereafter, through skateboarding, I discovered the power of rock through Van Valen, AC DC, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, and Thin Lizzy; then came along the late 70s and early 80s new wave and punk outfits like Devo, Joe Jackson, Bill Nelson’s Red Noise, Joy Division, XTC, Echo and The Bunnymen, The Buzzcocks, The Clash, Generation X, 999, Stiff Little Fingers, The Avengers, Toxic Reasons, The Ruts, Code of Honor, Los Olvidados, DOA, and so many, many more. On tour I’ve got to have various mixes to include reggae, jazz, 70s soul, 60s and 70s rock, 80s punk, 90s grunge, jazz and alternative artists as well.

That’s some classic shit right there, what’s the playlist for right now though in terms of favourites?

Some of my favorites today include, Radiohead, Miles Davis, Soundgarden, Deer Tick, The Clash, Sizzla, Editors, The Beatles, Gallows, Fugazi, The Jam, Tommy Guerrero, Three Inches of Blood, Pearl Jam, and Bad Brains.

Overall, music becomes a very influential and personal soundtrack to our individual lives. You can listen to a particular song and it can take you back to time where that song had a profound effect on you. Music is magical like that and I truly couldn’t live without it.

Corey Duffel

How many great bands have you met along the way that actually ripped on a skateboard though?

Well, back in the 80s, many of the so-called ‘skate rock’ bands held it down on four wheels. Brian Brannon of JFA rips, Dave Chavez of Code of Honor kills it on the bass and the skateboard, Germany’s Claus Grabke is equally talented on the guitar as he is on his skateboard, and last, but certainly not least, Pearl Jam co-founder and bassist, Jeff Ament tears on a skateboard. He has two concrete bowls on his property and has one of the most impressive skateboard collections that I personally know of. Despite his stardom as a rock and roll musician, Jeff is a tried and true skateboarder for life.

How did you get into skate photography?

I was 12 years old during the summer of 1975 when I first discovered skateboarding. Shortly afterward, I began to analyze the action images of Tony Alva, Jay Adams, Wally Inouye, Brad Bowman. Jerry Valdez, Eddie Elguera, Steve Alba, Rick Blackhart, Duane Peters, Steve Olson and other top pros printed in the pages of Skateboarder magazine.

With each successive month and every new issue that I purchased, I would read the magazine cover to cover and study and stare at the photos shot by their key staff photographers, James Cassimus, Craig Stecyk III, Warren Bolster and Ted Terrebonne. Their collective iconic images heavily influenced me; and drawing upon that groundswell of inspiration, I attempted to shoot action photos of my friends skating with a cheap Kodak instamatic camera. As you can imagine, it wasn’t a very suitable piece of equipment to capture action photos, but I tried anyhow. Nonetheless, I managed to capture a few worthwhile exposures and my interest in photography was sparked and continued to grow.

My father was a proficient photographer and as a gift for my 6th grade graduation that next summer, he provided me with a used, albeit very good, Nikon F 35mm SLR camera. From that point forward, I learned about shutter and film speeds, aperture, depth of field and more, and wherever my skateboarding would take me (and my friends), that camera would be along to document the sessions and good times.

Joel Chavez – Tip-toeing Joe Lopes’ Backyard Ramp (1984)

Your skateboard knowledge and experience from these sessions bagged you a gig at Adidas a while back, what was your experience of working with a brand as big as this?

This subject is a tough one for me. Going into it after my hire with the company, I was quite stoked as I had skated in several adidas shoes as a youngster and I had a lot of respect for the brand with their heritage of producing great lines of footwear. I was brought on to recruit and build a talented team of riders for their renewed skateboarding program and to assist with the marketing efforts overall. Over the three years of time that I put in as Team Marketing Manager, I worked with some very great, talented people and delivered a respectable team and skate program. To this day, I’m very proud of the team of riders that I put together for adidas.

Unfortunately for me, the marketing genius that originally hired me, that I reported to, and with whom I was supposed to work with for the benefit of Adidas’ skateboarding effort, opted (along with his associates) to deliberately keep me out of the loop on several key marketing initiatives –  including the skate team riders! Long story short, frustration grew, and sadly the trust and forward movement and opportunities within the skateboarding group began to collapse on several levels. It soon became apparent to me that the skate marketing group was locked in a climate of fear and mistrust, and my voice, my input, and years of experience in skateboarding was no longer of value.

Despite all that I did to build up the skate program and give it proper traction, my boss played a corporate card to throw me under the bus and keep his job and my contract was not renewed. Just a few weeks later, he was canned as well.

What was the worst era shooting skateboarding over the years?

Well, the worst days are thankfully behind us all. Imagine street skating’s progression during the early 90s when new tricks and possibilities were being landed at a very low percentage; truthfully, like one make out of every 50 or so attempts. And to shoot a photo sequence of say, a switch kickflip backside tailslide sometimes became a bit of a ridiculous experiment, and waste of film (and time). Unfortunately, this was several years before digital photography emerged. I recall burning through 20-30 rolls of film just to get certain groundbreaking tricks into the magazine. Eventually and thankfully, video capture software emerged and footage shot in Hi8 format was captured and made into sequences to be printed on the pages of the magazines. And as horrible as they looked, these crudely captured frames saved us (photographers) a lot of grief, money and time. This photographic nightmare paired with overly baggy trousers and small wheels, proved to be regarded as some of the darkest days in skateboarding’s relatively short history, but it was progression all the same.

Dan Drehobl

Have you ever felt bad about taking a photo?

Yes, usually the images of my friends taking a gnarly slam are ones that hurt everyone involved.

You must have to deal with a lot of injuries on the road from people setting standards at the many spots that have world-renowned status, what is the most impressive trick you have shot to date that got away clean when you knew deep down that the skater fronting it could have seriously hurt himself?

Every single frame that I shoot of the Mega Ramp/Big Air event at the X Games each summer is truly exhilarating. I mean, if those guys miscalculate just a couple of inches, they can die! Look at what happened to Jake Brown in 2007. He narrowly escaped death. Seriously, those guys should be rewarded much, much more for the risk involved in that display of balls-out skateboarding.

Below: Chewy Cannon

Is the younger generation more fearless?

As a general rule, the younger you are the more fearless you will be. If you think about it, this opinion completely makes sense. Your bones are more flexible as a younger skater and repeatedly jumping down big sets of stairs, or bailing and running out from a lofty air above a transition doesn’t beat you up so much as a teenager. That soon begins to change when you reach your late 20s. Sure, the skate equipment is better from what we had as kids years ago, but all the same, the progression, benchmarked expectations, and the level of gnarliness has far surpassed any sense of real fear.

Thankfully, my generation learned to knee slide on transitions when we were teenagers, but then again, the jump ramp era of the 80s hammered our knees and destroyed our ankles years later. But we never jumped down huge flights of stairs, long railings or massive gaps repeatedly! While I ache with pains from time to time, I sometimes wonder just how much more physically damaged the current generation of skaters will be when they reach their forties. I feel it’s becoming a safe bet to invest in stock with artificial joint replacements in the coming years.

Which new ams are blowing your mind with their skateboarding right now?

Well, the number one young gun in my mind is Grant Taylor although he is no longer an amateur. He absolutely kills it on all terrain. The skaters that can slay a rail, destroy a ledge, kickflip a massive gap or drop, and take on all transitions are the ones that will rise up in the future. Ben Raybourn, Raven Tershy, Taylor Bingaman, Kevin Kowalski, Evan Smith, Curren Caples, Davis Torgerson, and Ben Hatchell. But then again, there are several street skaters that are absolutely amazing too! Cory Kennedy, Ishod Wair, Vincent Alvarez, Luis Tolentino, Felipe Gustavo, Clint Walker, Aaron Hamoki, Tony Karr, Mark Suicu all come to mind.

The internet plays a roll in pushing skateboarding forward at a faster rate than print magazines and DVDs could ever, how has the web changed the way you work in your profession as a photographer?

When I’m shooting in a public area such as a skatepark or in the streets, I tend to take notice of others on location with cameras. I’m more aware these days of other people willing to poach photos or video footage of the shoot that I’ve arranged. Once those images and video clips shot by others make it onto the web before yours do, it diminishes the published value for print media and commercial use. Fortunately, the poaching thing is not too common, but it does happen, so we tend to protect our shoots more.

Below: Gunes Ozdogan – Crooks

Do new forms of media and cheaper cameras breed more hungry skate photographers than ever before? What’s it like out there in the US in terms of people pushing photography to different levels?

Well, with digital photography and digital media in general, just about anybody with the proper cameras and equipment, a connection to the web, and the gumption, can shoot and deliver visual content these days. The publishing paradigm has taken on a revolutionary shift and we’ve reached a point of oversaturation with the amount of digital content that is published on a regular basis. Blogs and websites churn out images and video content constantly. Add smart phones and mobile media to the mix, and everything, everywhere, at all times becomes digital and disposable content in an instant, for better or worse.

The ease of use with digital photo and video equipment has greatly improved the quality of images that we see from pros and amateurs alike. With software like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro the learning curve has opened up greatly for enthusiasts and has helped to push the progression at a faster rate. For aspiring skate photographers and videographers, the tools of the trade are much more user-friendly and can yield much more professional looking results quickly.

You have been running the www.SKATEDAILY.net website now for over 6 years which has grown into one of the best news feeds in the USA, how addictive does it actually become to feed your own desire to keep people in the know?

It’s not so much of an addiction as it is a regular means to share skateboarding-related info and content over a few minutes each day. I admit it’s a bit tough to juggle the workload between our regular day jobs and travel schedules, but we continue to carry on and update the site regularly.

How far can the site go, knowing that video online is becoming king?

Well, much has changed with digital media and online content in the past six years hasn’t it? We continue to strive to deliver our news and info as best possible with unbiased, factual reports without any political standpoint. We’re moving closer to delivering exclusive content with photo features, interviews and reports with video in the coming months.

Below: Dave Bachinsky – Frontside Flip

What’s the relationship like between a photographer and filmer?

At times it’s a tough battle in regards to working with one another. I come from the old school of skate photography, several years before video parts were paramount and video clips were pumped out on the web every day. Today, you have to balance your craft and the desired look and feel of your images with the democratic process of asking the filmer to back out of your shot, etc. In all honesty, it’s a bit of give and take. I always prefer to pair up with filmer that opts to shoot creative angles and not to employ the fisheye angle for the entire session.

Are there ways of getting better/free equipment as you continue to grow or do you have to fund everything yourself?

As you grow in your field of work, opportunities arise and present themselves in very humbling and surprising ways. I’ve been fortunate to receive some free gear bags and a couple of cameras free of charge. As much as I enjoy new gear as the other guys, I usually purchase my gear at retail prices. I prefer to work with my regular and familiar kit of cameras, lenses and lighting so I don’t upgrade all that often. A sponsorship for this pricy stuff would be cool though. With that said, does anyone have a spare Hassleblad H4 that they’d like to part with? I’m game.

Is the work of a skate photographer well paid?

I’m certain that it pays better than that of a skate videographer, but it’s not a profession that is going to lead to an early retirement. Besides the photography end of the job, there is plenty of downtime and waiting, broken boards and equipment, security guards, cops, irate civilians, and long hours to it, but in the end it’s completely gratifying.

Would you recommend digital for beginners?

Absolutely. The ease of use, learning curve, instant results is much more favorable. Film has become a more specialized medium and it makes absolutely no economic or fundamental sense for a beginning photographer to learn from their mistakes through the regular use of film.

If you were to buy a pocket snapper for capturing skating on a budget to get going, which camera would you suggest?

Canon’s line of PowerShot “point and shoot” cameras including the G9, G10 and G11 models have always been great for the most part. Despite their inherent shutter delays, I’ve used both the G9 and SD 780IS models over the past several years and they’re very intuitive by design and produce great photos and video. But if you’re looking to capture the action with more precision, the step up to a proper DSLR is inevitable.

Skate Daily

What are the benefits of using digital?

For beginners, and amatuers and professionals shooting high-end commercial work, digital is definitely the more efficient way to go. The image sensors of today’s top end DLSRs and medium format digital backs now yield a wider range of tonality and latitude than that of film. I look at cameras as imaging tools for the most part, and all of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the job or desired look of a particular photo, the choice of camera becomes quite clear.

…and film?

The use of film definitely slows down the process of photography. And that can be a great thing! You shoot fewer shots than you would with digital capture and you take more time to think through your exposures. Film is becoming more of a medium for fine art and personal images. I still prefer the grain and aesthetic feel of black and white negative film. For color, digital images can easily match the look of traditional E6 and C41 development processes in post-production.

Bryce Kanights – Wallride

What kit do you use?

I’ve relied upon Canon equipment and lenses for the past 25 years. I currently shoot the majority of my 35mm photos digitally with EOS 1D Mark II and 1Ds Mark II DSLRs although I still enjoy the use of my Hasselblad X Pan II for panoramic photographs. For medium format and film photography I use a Hasselblad 503CW. For lighting I rely upon Pocket Wizard radio slaves for wireless triggering of my Quantum Q Flash, and Lumedyne strobes.

Overall, what main advice would you give to upcoming skate photographers?

Look through your lens, study the light, and absorb the experience, examples and teachings of others. Learn from your mistakes and follow your heart. Oh yeah, don’t reply on the auto exposure mode of your camera…and purchase a good light meter too!

Web links?

My photo site is www.brycekanights.com, my personal blog is www.nostalgianow.blogspot.com and my video blog is www.vimeo.com/user859346

Kris Vile Interview

Words by James Brewer
Photos shot in New Zealand thanks to
David Read from Manual Magazine

I first met Kris 6 years ago at the opening of Stourbridge’s ‘Ramparts’ skate park. Back then he was a kid on the ‘come-up’ being shoved into the limelight thanks to Channel 5’s ‘Rad’. I remember being amazed at how easily he seemed to find skateboarding and 6 years later I still feel the same.

He started to move up in the world of skateboarding by picking up coverage from the many trips he makes across the world. Birmingham may be his home but he’s no stranger to traveling and it’s a rare sight to actually catch him in Brum which has led to him recently becoming more of a ‘myth’ than real person. Whispers of what tricks Kris made at certain spots are rife round here and then usually backed up by footage and photos to tell the tale.

Kris is not only enjoying his life to the full, but he also works it to make it the best. His most recent section featured as the illustrious ‘last part’ in the new Vans Europe video ‘1966’ proved just how hard this guy pushes his skateboarding, but whether he’s filming for local scene videos or going on tour with team mates Mr Vile is always down for a session and is ever the optimist.

A long line of respectable sponsors grace his CV starting with his introduction at A Third Foot, where his skating lead him to Blind Europe before hooking with Santa Cruz (as a direct international am) but these days he currently finds himself on the newly launched ‘CLAN 010‘ team alongside European skaters such as Danny Wainwright, Alain Goikoetxea, Florentin Marfaing, Manuel Palacios, Alex Carolino and Cristian Vannella, certainly a team that should be more than capable to produce a video worth waiting for.

I finally pinned Kris down in Birmingham and got an update with what’s going on in the life of a ‘skateboarding gypsy’.

So how many years have you clocked up now in life?

21 years in now.

Who is hooking you up?

Vans, Volcom, Red Bull, Clan010, Krux and Type-S wheels.

Where did all of this begin?

My brother got a skateboard for his birthday, then about 6 months later I asked for one and finally got it at Christmas. That’s where it all began!

You’ve been sponsored for a long time now, how did that all come together?

I’d been skating for about 18 months and got to know the people at Ideal Skate Shop in town. I was just a little kid, overly excitable and stoked on skating haha! I was progressing pretty quickly though and one day I went into the shop and told Bob (Sanderson) that I had managed to boardslide the WH Smiths rail in the City centre- it was a well known spot at the time. There was a smaller handrail and a big one there and he told me to go and try the big one! I went back that evening and made it! When I went into the shop the next day I told Bob and he gave me an A Third Foot board and said that if I kept on skating he’d give me one of them every so often, 18 months later I was placed on the Vans Junior team- I guess the rest is history.

Would you say that ‘Rad: The Groms Tour’ helped out with your rise in skateboarding?!

I wouldn’t say it helped! But yeah it was cool as a kid to get to travel around with some mates and skate some different stuff, seeing a bit of the world etc.

Since working with Andy Evans on that show you’ve appeared in his videos This ‘n’ That and Heel Toe Magic. How do you go about filming for those when your traveling around the other side of the world

Well Andy is amazing! So even though i’m not around much to film with him, whatever footage I get I always tell Andy he can have it if he’s making another project. He’s always stoked to receive it and I can’t actually wait for the next one!

You dropped out of college to pursue a career in skateboarding, big decision?

I enjoyed my time in education but it came to a point where I wasn’t able to do my best. I always had to be away on trips, tours etc. When someone wants to send you somewhere to help you get by for something you love doing it made me have no need to stay in college. Most people go to college to try and get exactly that so I guess I’ve been pretty lucky.

Vans have sponsored your feet for sometime now, how far back does that go in your life and what has made you stick with them?

I think I got on Vans when I was 13, so it’s been 7 or 8 years now. They have always taken care of me and I really like the shoes! I can’t really imagine skating for anyone else now, and you know, in this business, the more stoked you are to do things with a company, the more stoked they are to hook you up. So if you enjoy going to an event and going on trips then you can get support to do so and I always have.

The ‘Vans Europe: 1966’ video is currently premiering around the world, how was filming for that?

It was cool but it was pretty intense. We didn’t have long to film a part and it was mostly filmed on trips with the rest of the team which was heaps of fun but when you’ve got 5 people that all want to skate one spot but all differently then it can be a challenge. All in all though it was a fun experience and considering other companies can spend up to 4 years to film a video then I think the end product in this one is pretty amazing. So keep your eye’s peeled, it will be in stores near you!

Did you know you were going to have last part when filming for the project?

Not at the start but maybe about mid way through filming I was informed…

You’ve recently found yourself alongside a list of illustrious European skaters on Clan 010 right?

I’m really stoked to be a part of the CLAN project from the beginning. All the riders have been good friends of mine for years. I ride alongside Danny and Flo on the Vans team, Alain with Volcom and so on. That sold the company to me even more plus Manuel Palacios who is running the team is rad so we all are part of something special!

How was the ‘break-up’ with Santa Cruz?

Wasn’t bad at all, we left it on good times. But to ride for a company like Santa Cruz, I suppose you have to spend a little more time in the States! I travel a lot within Europe so it just didn’t work out for us, big thanks to Mouly for all the support though!

With all the traveling and coverage you get surely it’s not long until a Kris Vile pro board or shoe colourway is released, have there been talks of either of these?

Well it’s funny you should say that. Keep your eyes peeled in your local shop!

With the skateboarding industry primarily being based in California do you feel any pressure to go over there and ‘take over’ the States?

Haha! Well I don’t know about a take over and no there’s no pressure, but I would like to go out there a couple of times a year and maybe get a big more coverage in US mags and so on. Plus I have loads of friends out there who I don’t get to see very often so I’m looking forward to going out there in July and working with Vans and Volcom- go on some trips and get some footage!

Let’s head back into Birmingham for a bit. The scene took a bit of a battering over the past 10 years thanks to a lot tighter rules on skateboarding on the City, did that make growing up as a skater hard there and is it any different now to when you were younger?

Yeah, like any City, the scene fluctuates up and down, but the heart has always been there and will always remain! Big ups to Ideal for staying strong, and growing stronger!

Your known to travel up and down to events all round the country as well as representing the Red Bull UK skate program in the Red Bull ‘Manny Mania’ contest. How do you think events like this affect the scene in the country?

I think events like this do great things not just for British skateboarding but skateboarding all around the world. Without companies like Red Bull there would be no events like this. They have the mind and money to come up with the ideas and fun the events too and I hope they can inspire more people and other companies to do this too.

What do you think you would be doing if you were not a sponsored skateboarder?

I have no idea but I would like to think having just as much fun and living life to the full!

Lets get a few Top 3’s.

Top trips you have been on…

1. Australia/NZ skate missions
2. Spain in general
3. Then the rest! haha!

Inspirations…

1 Good skateboarding
2 Good music
3 Good vibes!

People from Birmingham…

That’s way to hard to narrow down to 3 singular people but…

1. Ideal Skateshop
2. Birmingham posse…you know who you are!
3. The fam of course!

Top 3 events…

1. Slam Trick, Italy
2. Bondi Bowlarama, Sydney
3. Damn Am, Amsterdam

What’s coming up for you over the next few months- anything you are working on?

I’ve just been to Portugal, Latvia and Bilboa then off to the States in July and back to the UK for a few events in August…then there’s more ha!

Right lets wrap this up with the obligatory thank you’s…

Cheers to all my Sponsors: Vans, Redbull, Volcom, Clan010, Krux, Type S, Ideal and then to everybody else! All the homies, brother and sisters! You know who you are!!! Peace.

Jess Young Interview

Sure, right now Jess Young is bathing in the rarely seen Welsh summertime with his foot in plaster but you can bet your life that the very moment that foot is released from its crusty white prison, he’ll be out breaking it again. He’s got a slight reputation amongst the local crowd in South Wales. If you were to stumble across a hesh drop with an imaginary ‘suitable for moshers only’ sign across it then Jess would be expecting a phone call. It’s a strange reputation to have, and one that’s not at all friendly on the bones but it’s not like Jess will give two shits. In fact, when asked if he gives two shits he confirmed that he doesn’t even give one. He’ll turn up, grab his deck and do it first try, then head off to a nearby ledge and skate it with the tech-heads like fellow Kill City rider Nicky Howells as if he was a born and bred Buzsy stereotype.

Regardless of any mosher-drop tendencies, it’s impossible to put Jess inside any sort of box and I wouldn’t waste your time trying to either. Jess knows how to ride a fucking skateboard and that’s all that needs to be said. When his skating speaks at volumes beyond 11 you can forgive him for being pretty chilled out off the board.

Stanley caught up with him this week when his foot was in plaster. This worked out for the best because there’s no way he was going to interview him on top of the Newport Road underpass or where ever he’d be rolling off when his foot isn’t in plaster. Fuck that…

Photography : Mike Ridout

Portrait: Chris Gibbons

Easy Jess, what are you up to right now?

Having a wake and bake in the garden, just outside Bridgend on the coast of South Wales.

How’s your foot feeling?

It gets stronger everyday, although it’s hard to tell when you’re in a cast; it’s a slow process for sure.

What happened to it?

I basically snapped the metatarsal bones between the toes and the heel apart from the one that runs from my big toe so there are screws in there now holding them back in place, the joints in my toes cracked as well, which felt amazing.

What’s the weather like in Wales? It’s summer now so it must be raining right?

It’s been pretty awesome lately, I’m out for another month so it can’t come too early for me.

Is the Rec Centre open yet? I can’t understand why an indoor skate park that’s so good only opens its doors during the summer…

Don’t think it’s going to happen again. I was shocked to see it come every year anyway. The sooner they fuck that off the better so something can be done properly.

Are you excited about the new plaza that’s being built in the bay?

It will be much better than any park that’s already in Wales because it’s in the right place. It will hopefully bring a bigger scene together and the design looks sick as well which helps.

In addition to Norwegian Church, Sports Cafe and Oval Basin this pretty much makes Cardiff Bay the best place to skate in the whole of Wales, right?

YES FAM

How different is skating in Cardiff than Bridgend?

It’s a bigger playground, the plaza down the bay will make it better again.

Who gives you more hassle, Bridgend roiders or the notorious late-night crowd in Cardiff?

Bridgend roiders piss me off.

Cardiff is a bit of a gathering ground for weird celebrities; Nicholas Cage came into the coffee shop I used to work shortly after making these adverts and shouted some shit at me about iguanas. What’s the strangest encounter you’ve had while skating?

Tramps chucking each other in the fountains at Castle Gardens in Swansea Centre during the middle of the day was rad. It was like a Swansea love story pantomime or something.

Didn’t you get arrested for sawing the knobs off the handrail in Oval Basin during New Year?

Hahah sure did! Luckily they didn’t press charges and go too crazy about it, so I don’t have a criminal record or anything. I just had to pay an £80 fine and get harassed. I was halfway through the second knob and they came over and treated me like an escaped convict or something. I was just standing there with a junior hacksaw and a stupid look on my face and then they put me in handcuffs and started kicking off. It was like being told off by your mum at the police station after I explained why and what I was doing so they sort of let me off with a warning.

Is that the worst encounter with the law you’ve had for skating?

The worst was a recent Kill City trip to Mallorca in which the Civil Guardia were trying to fine Dainton and the rest of us 3000 euros for chipping a marble block outside a hotel in Magaluf, or else they were claiming to lock us up. This was only day two or three, so after an hour of interrogation and not understanding each other they waved their guns around and followed us to our hotel to get copies of our passports. Obviously this was a scam to try and rob us as we couldn’t understand them so with the help of the hotel manager’s translation we learned that they would be back the next day to pick up the money. This didn’t sit well with us because of all the camera equipment so later that night we did a runner and booked into another hotel. We must have missed them as we were out skating all day and boozing in the night, the ash cloud kept us there for an extra week so we were lucky to get away without seeing them again.

When is the Kill City video going to be finished?

Not sure on a deadline or anything, but we should be wrapping up soon.

Filmed anything you’re particularly stoked with?

I don’t know. I just try and get stuff when I can really, or if I learn a new trick I’ll try find a spot for it. Obviously some stuff is easier to get than other stuff. Daint has got a really good eye for filming/editing and putting stuff together in his own way so I think the videos going to be good to watch.

How did you get involved with Kill City in the first place?

Not sure really I always wanted to be a part of it but it seemed like there wasn’t room. Caradog and Nicky Howells have always been on it so they may have helped it along I don’t know, Daint started flowing me boards ages ago and it started from there.

What’s it like having Dainton as your boss?

He’s a legend.

You had a sick section in the Who? video. It emerged as one of a few scene videos that really pushed the envelope on the levels of skating and the video’s overall production values. Does this put more pressure on you to not only kill it on scene videos but raise the bar even higher when filming for Kill City and other sponsors?

There’s no pressure I just go out with friends and we hit some spots, there are times when I want to skate transition more, likewise with gnarly stuff, it comes in waves. I prefer it when you get a session on with good company and see what happens.

Out of the 9001 filmers in Wales, who’s your favourite to film with?

Filming with Daint is always good, as well as having fun and enjoying skating its easy to go film something. Lately I’ve been filming mostly with Jon Fisher but it usually depends on where I go.

Cardiff is notorious for a great Go Skateboarding Day, what’s the best event that Jim O and CSC have organised for it?

I missed this year’s because of my foot but the powerslide competition opposite the Hilton down into the underpass last year was good.

You seem to be ripping handrails and ledges a lot harder lately. Where and what are you hyped on skating right now?

Yeah big rails and ledges are good to skate I like skating stuff when your either going to make it or eat shit trying. That’s not all I’m hyped on skating I like bars, hills, banks, tranny; its rad when you go to a spot you’ve seshed before but find a new way to hit it up. Rails and hills are the most fun, I’ll be most stoked on transition and bowls when my foots healed.

What music are you chilling/skating to now then? Let’s hear your top three if you’ve got one…

1. Florence And The Machine – Dog Days Are Over
2. Drunk Injuns – Blood Drips Like Passing Thoughts
3. Caribou – Pelican Narrows

I heard you have a heartagram tattoo on your leg, is this true?

Yeah…

Were you a proper bam-fiend when you started skating?

No.

It might have given some explanation to why you’d want to drop in on the top of bridge on Newport Road opposite Sainsbury’s, do you have a personal problem with your own legs or something?

Got caught up in the mosh, Christian Hart tried it first and killed himself, it looked good fun.

Whenever I’m skating with the Who Clothing lot or the Hologram boys and we come across a huge drop someone will always say ‘oh, get Jess on this!’ Are you stoked on that reputation or would you rather change it?

Don’t care.

You’ve always ripped at Crossfire Jams, what one was your favourite?

The Christmas Jams are always good.

Caradog has asked on behalf of skateboarders all across the United Kingdom to share more information about your sexy mother…

Well I can tell you (Nicky Howells and Dylan Hughes will vouch for this) that Caradog once got kegged to an audience at a house party and got nicknamed ‘the party sausage’ after it.

Any words of wisdom you’d like to share with us?

Shred as much as you can while you can.

Consolidated European Tour

Consolidated aren’t your average skateboard company by any stretch of the imagination. The guys on the team are the kind of guys that wouldn’t hesitate to get the logo tattooed on their face. These are the kind of guys who would step up to body-ink levels of loyalty without needing to be filled with a night’s worth of booze. But then, these are also the kind of guys who are perpetually tanked on years and years worth of the good stuff. It’s clear in the humour that leaks from the incredible artwork on the decks, this is a company that treat their customers like they treat their own team: as skateboarders.

It’s not hard to see why those that are supported by Consolidated regularly compare being on the team to being in a family. They’re given the freedom to do what they want and is this not how incredible things are made? What went down in their tour of Europe in May is just another point in the argument for skateboarders to be free, get pissed and let rip. We caught up with Roberto Aleman, Ryan ‘Danger’ Carruthers and Sean Gutierrez in the kitchen in the hotel in Prague, armed with nothing but some cold ones and a pocket full of good times.

Photography : Tom Halliday

What was your favourite demo on your tour of Europe?

Sean: The best demo is not important to us as it’s for the kids. I had a lot of fun at Saffron Walden even though I was hungover as shit. Beers… Zorlac had the bbq going… good times.

Roberto: I think the best demo was the last one in England, more chilling, best skatepark.

What’s the best and worst country for booze and grub?

Danger: Holland has some weird burgers going on there when we bbq’ed there. Best place for food I would say was Cologne. Some of the best pizza I ever had and bbq with chicks in the park was hesh.

Roberto: England offers the worst food, but the beer is always good!

Most creative way of opening a bottle without a bottle opener…

Roberto: Always with a skateboard.

Sean: Your mums teeth is the best way to open a bottle!

How many broken decks were there throughout the trip?

Roberto: Not even one, I don’t break boards too often.

Sean: No broken decks because we suck, I’m still riding the hesh skateboard that Zorlac gave me, my shoes are fucked. Danger’s board is made for Vikings!

What’s the funniest story from the tour?

Sean: After a whole night of partying, Danger sleepless on a 2 hour or more train ride to Amsterdam, the train is over booked with no seats left in our carriage so we had to stand and Danger, while sleeping standing up, nudged the doorhandle to the shitter and fell into the bathroom and made the gnarliest crash, funny shit there!

Roberto: There were too many! But I remember Sean sleeping in a king size bed which is pretty weird cause he always sleeps on the floor, so here is Sean waking up in this huge bed by himself and warming up chicken nuggets with his lighter to eat them warm!

What was the best skatepark on the tour and what was the best street spot you hit up?

Danger: Saffron was build by Dreamland so I’m gonna have to say that was the best park, but street, I guess Holland. We skated a pretty famous spot- it’s a tunnel with trannies that go from mellow to steeper to over vert tranny for days!

Roberto: Even is it sounds weird, for me, the best skatepark was Brixton cause I’ve never been there, and the best spots we skated were in England- weird isn’t it?!

Besides the train’s toilets, where was the strangest place you slept on the tour?

Sean: I slept standing, in the grass. I woke up on a couch covered in a mountain of jackets sweating like shit with everyone still partying around me!

Roberto: This one was pretty mellow for a Consolidated tour, but we have these really cool distributors that put us in a hotels all the time!

Music you could not leave the house for this trip without: 3 albums, artists or tracks

Sean and Danger: David Allen Coe longhaired redneck/rides again. Mercyful fate Melissa or early demo and Grindline the band if you don’t know it your fucked.

Roberto: Los Chichos

What are your thoughts on the Dreamland park in Saffron Walden?

Danger: We all wished we could have partied with our crazy buddies who build the park we know from back home.

How about Zorlac’s hospitality?

Sean: Totally didn’t have to ask for much because he had taken care of everything. If We needed beer it was in the deathmobile, if we needed a pub, we weren’t let down. We went to Harrow which was rad for us to go to and check out after seeing in videos and shit. He was spent and tired and still partied and showed us some London. The street adventures were great too… Brixton and the streets… thanks London locals!

Roberto: Zorlac is like Consolidated for me: true, roots and love. They are the best!

Describe what Consolidated means to you in one sentence or paragraph…

Roberto: Consolidated is my fucking life!!

Sean: The struggle continues, we wouldn’t want it any other way, Birdo and Leticia can get all the money in the world from this tomorrow and they’ll never be jaded.

On that note enjoy this banging edit from their UK visit thanks to Jake Shunt who traveled the country with the team and has footage of Scotland, Saffron Walden and much more. Also thanks to Luke Petty who covered some footage of the Saffron Walden demo with skating from many other guests from Death and Death Urethane. Thanks to Tom Halliday for the photos.

This UK tour footage filmed and edited by Jake Shunt Martinelli was filmed across the UK:

Luke Petty shot this from their visit to Saffron Walden.

This footage was shot with guests in Brussels, Belgium at the Square Des Ursalines to celebrate 4 years since they built the park there…

Dave Carnie interview

dave_carnie_interview_big_brother_king_shit_mag_skate

From the depths of the deceased Big Brother Magazine and a thousand pranks, Dave Carnie finds himself in London supping at a Red Stripe and munching on a panini whilst sat in dog-shit park near to Crossfire HQ with Zac on a cloudy British day. This is what went down.

Full name:

David Ross Carnie.

Age:

34 but mental age of about 14!

Where did you grow up?

San Jose, all around Northern California but mostly San Jose.. around the times of Caballero, Corey O’Brien, and the golden Santa Cruz days!

How long have you been skateboarding?

Nearly 30 years, ages in fact. My dad used to sell tools and ended up selling little skateboards, so around 4 or 5 years old I had a skateboard, but in 1979 or 1980 I got my own real skateboard which was Powell. So 24 years of real skating and about 30 including the butt-board and what-not.

How and where did you lose your virginity?

That is a good question. It was in Santa Cruz. It was with my first girlfriend who was a couple of years younger than me and she was Czechoslovakian, and we were deeply in love. She wouldn’t let me fuck her as she wanted to do it right and we were so young that we thought we were gonna get married and all that stuff! She wanted our first night to be perfect, have a sleep over and stuff, and it took a few years. I was actually about 17. I didn’t really know what the fuck I was doing and just stuck it in – and you know, she was like ‘ow ow, it fucking hurts!’. Then it slid right in and she started laughing AND crying, so it was actually a really good experience! She thought it was the best fucking thing ever and I didn’t have to worry about breaking this cherry or hymen or whatever, I don’t even know how that thing works down there!

Are you sure it didn’t go up her ass?!

Haha! I don’t know. I still don’t know what the fuck I’m doing!

Why are you here in the UK?

These people from the Extreme Channel wanted to show the Big Brother videos for their TV show called ‘Crazy Bastards’. I don’t know what qualifications you need to be a Crazy Bastard, but I suppose I’m a crazy bastard alongside Pritchard and Dainton and others, so they asked me to introduce some of the videos. Jokingly I said, ‘why don’t you fly me out to fucking London and take me to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant and let me kick him in the Taco’s’ as I really wanna meet Jamie Oliver, and she comes back to me and says ‘hey, I think they must have you mixed up with Madonna or something as they are actually gonna fly you out here and take you to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant!’

So what have you been up to in London?

Tour shit. Being trying to drink as much beer as possible, but we didn’t get that far into it I think…you guys have got way more beer than we do and this is such a small little island! We have been doing touristy stuff. We went to Portobello Rd and Tania bought a book on fairies for six quid and we went to the London Dungeon! Don’t go to that fucking place man! That ride in there is so fucked; it’s like a haunted house. We know we were being stupid when we were going there, and she is like ‘we are such nerds’ and yeah we knew about it but and it looked like fun but it was really stupid. That’s why my balls are all stuck together right now as it was all hot in there walking around looking at the Jack the Ripper stuff and Fire of London! So it was more like a history lesson than a Haunted House which kind of bothered me but there was some gore in there. It’s all animated like a wax museum. Stupid really!

13 years of Big Brother and now you are at the Skateboard Mag, what happened?

That is like my full time job right now. When Big Brother died, I had no job, no money coming in, so I was like, fuck it, I’m gonna buy a house! It’s quite scary. I just bought this housed in Glendale and I now spend my time being quite domestic, it’s really quite scary! The day Big Brother died, the news went through the skateboard community like gangbusters and 30 minutes after people knew, I was on the phone with Kevin Wilkins of the Skateboard Mag who was like ‘we are sorry to hear about Big Brother, but it’s kinds cool that it died as we want you to come and write for us’. So it’s cool as the mag is purely about skateboarding and it’s not Big Brother, so in a way it’s refreshing as I don’t have to be funny every 5 minutes of the day and I try to write entertaining articles! It’s easier for me not to be the boss anymore as it’s their magazine and I am just staff basically. It’s a load off my shoulders not having to put out an entertaining, funny, gross magazine every month!

How did you do it for so long?

I don’t know, it feels weird not doing it know, you know. It’s in your blood. You know when you get imprinted with things at an early age. Say for example if your first girlfriend is blonde, you end up liking blondes? So I started there in my early 20’s and although it was not my first job, my mind’s still malleable and I end up working on magazines and it’s in my blood to make them and I fucking hate magazines! I don’t like them at all, but that is what I know how to do, and do it well, but it’s fun to work at the Skateboard Magazine, it’s a good place to work. The other thing about Big Brother is that it was a third place magazine that was run by a bunch of buffoons that no one wanted to work with, or were scared to work with, and now at the Skateboard mag, like with Attiba, Swift and Grant, everyone wants to suck their dicks so I’m kind of on the good team now!

Who else are writing for?

I’m writing for SBC a little bit, I don’t know if you get it here but it’s like the Canadian Transworld but more like Big Brother. They have a good sense of humour, and I write a hockey column! It’s so ridiculous! Just imagine, a kid from California writing a Hockey Column for a Canadian Skateboard magazine! They recognise how retarded that was, so every month I have a column called ‘Carnage on Ice’ where I have my head on a stick and I talk shit about hockey! It’s great fun!

Are you gonna write for Kingpin Magazine over here, is that true?

Niall wants me to write for Kingpin Magazine but I have not been able to get anything in there yet! What I wrote for him was apparently too gnarly for the mag! I thought you guys were European and didn’t have those hang up that we have in America. The piece I sent in was the story of Carnie Cock, the article I did for Hustler a long time ago. In the back of Hustler you can find ads of how to make your own dildo. You know, like house wives can use your own synthetic cock when you go away on business or whatever! It’s like leaving your dick behind!

So I bought a kit and it’s kind of like photography, you know you have to have certain chemicals at the right temperatures and everything, and it comes with a cup, and the stuff you pour into the cup is really cold! Then you have to get a boner. I told my girlfriend to stay the fuck away, as I’m feeling silly enough standing there naked with my dick hanging out and a cup full of plastic!

So I’m sufficiently hard now as I have used a magazine in the bathroom jacking it off and hard, I stick it right in there, and ‘whoa’ it’s fucking cold!! You have to have this mould super cold and you have to keep it up for a minute and it withers and everything and you pull it out, so you have a negative of your penis. Then you have to make this other mixture up, pour it in and let it dry. So when I stuck my dick in, I forgot to do this one thing and it wouldn’t pull off!

Haha!

I realised that you are supposed to make a shield of paper and then stick your dick through the paper and THEN into the cup! So what happened is that my pubic hair was cemented into this cup and Im screaming for girlfriend’s help and she had to cut me out of the cup! It looked like a badger or a wolverine had attacked me, it was a fucking mess! The cup looked like a milkshake with pubic hair sticking out of it! So it eventually took about 3 tries to finally get my cock, and that is what became Carnie Cock and the Skate Dolls, the Skate Doll Action Squad back in Big Brother. I wrote that story for Hustler and wanted to re-write it for something so I wrote it for Niall but it was a bit gnarlier!

Feel free to get it all out here!

Haha! You know. I’m just trying to compete with Gibby’s interview right now!

Well, you are getting close! Clowning around is fun. Talking of clowns, what ever happened to Simon Woodstock?

He is some monastery somewhere in San Jose, he is really Christian now. I wanted to do a small thing on him in Big Brother, but he had way too many demands for Big Brother, like a crazy list of things to do. It would have required like a week or a month to do what he wanted to do in the mag!

Have you seen any of Big Brother UK on the TV, and if so, what do you think of Nadia winning it in this series?

I heard that shit! It lasted one season in the USA and it was over, it didn’t really take off over here, but Transvestites are awesome! In West Hollywood where I used to live, we were in transvestite central. You know where Eddie Murphy got busted with one? It’s such a great spot! They are freaks, but never fuck with a transvestite, they are like 3 or 4 Godzilla monsters rolled into one man – fucking awesome!

What influence do you think you’ve had on kids who’ve grown up reading Big Brother and watching Jackass etc?

Well I would hope that my influence would help them to read more, or write or be more intelligent, but then again I drank my own piss so I don’t know! I would hope my influence would be more literary, make them a little smarter even though I was doing the most stupidest shit possible!

You drank Pritchard’s piss whilst on that Vans UK tour a couple of years back?!(haha!)

Ah! (laughs) Nah I didn’t drink it, I won’t deny it but it is possible a little bit trickled into my mouth. Haha! and then I puked on Ed Leigh! It was a case of mistaken identity and I had watched their Pritchard vs Dainton video a few days beforehand and knew not to fuck with those guys or fall asleep in their company. I don’t usually pass out and know how to hold my alcohol in the presence of others but I don’t know what happened that night. Maybe they have magic powers or something but I passed out and woke up with a lens in my face and Pritchard pissing on me! I don’t know why I didn’t attack him but I saw Ed passed out in the corner, so I went over there and starting drinking malt vinegar to puke on him and drank some water and torrents of puke went all over Ed!

Hahahaha!

So I’m covered in Pritchard’s piss, Ed is now covered in my puke. Ed goes to the bathroom, and Howard Cooke comes out and says ‘watch out for what Ed is doing’, so I break the bathroom door and Ed is pissing into a bucket, so I attack Ed on the offence and I’m covered in his piss now, so I have 2 people’s piss all over me! The piss goes on him, we wrestle, Ed’s head gets cut open, so there is blood, piss and beer all over Pritchard’s house, and then Pritch comes steaming in and he is shouting, “my misses, my misses, get the fuck out of here!” And this is the first night I have met the dude! I guess we consider ourselves as life long friends now! Haha!

Good times! If you had a pirate/viking/superhero/American indian name, what would it be?

Er. Haha, Rotting Viking Shark! They have these fish they eat in Norway or Sweden or wherever where they eat these rotting fish, and it stinks, so that would be my Viking name!

If you had a gun to your head which female pro skater would you go down on?

Haha! This is a strange one, it would be Jaime Reyes, as I remember walking into a bar they all go to in NYC and she comes up to me and shouts at me ‘Mom!’ (as she calls me ‘Mom’) and the first thing she says to me is like ‘hey what’s up, you want some coke!’. So on that note, I would go down on Jaime!

Did you know that if you type Dave Carnie into Google it comes up with Chinese Healing and natural Magic. How long have you been doing that now?

Haha! That is ironic!

Top 5 skaters of all time question…

Wow, there are so many, let’s see.. Jason Jesse, Julian Stranger, Neil Blender, Danny Way, and Christian Hosoi.

Top 5 bands of all time question?

Slayer is definitely up there. Phil Collins, Duran Duran, Spice Girls and Wham!

What is happening with Whale Cock Skateboards?

Yeah, we are just starting it up again. Doug from Autobahn wheels is partnering up with me right now and in fact I got one of my new shapes in the mail just before I got on the plane to London – ‘it’s like smaller pool board. We are starting up with about 3 boards, a bunch of hats and stickers etc. Yeah Whale Cock is coming back!

In Morrissey’s “You know I couldn’t last”, is he referring to his retirement from Whalecock?

Haha! No, I think he is talking about aural sex, I think it is an imaginary story of him having aural sex for the first time, you know, he can’t last and shoots his load!

Ok, on that note let’s finish this. Anyone you wanna thank?

No fuck that..I would rather send them flowers!

See kids, despite contrary belief, Dave Carnie is really a sweet guy!

Thank you Zac.

Danny Way interview

Danny Way is probably the best skateboarder in the planet. There is not another human being that brings fresh, outrageous and creative ideas to test the boundaries of what could be done on a skateboard. Zac managed to get an hour or so with Danny exclusive to Crossfire whilst he was making plans for his Megaramp competition being held on August 8th 2004 in the USA. This interview is as big as the stars that surround the planet Danny Way has created by himself.

Enjoy..

OK, let’s test this Dictaphone out ‘ say something Mr Way.

Gooday mate! (bellowed in an Aussie accent!)

Hey I’m from the UK fella, you are in the wrong country!

(Laughs)

So, where you at right now?

I’m actually in my car driving away from the doctor’s office trying to get my ankle sorted out so that I don’t have to worry about limping around at the XGames here.

What’s with the ankle?

It’s not too bad. I rolled it and sprained it a couple of weeks ago, it’s not a major sprain, but swollen..i can still skateboard, but it’s definitely not 100%, so I gotta take of it, you know.

Are you missing out on a DC US tour at the moment?

Yeah, I skipped the whole tour this summer so I would not have been in a situation where I could get hurt. But it just so happens I have legitimately rolled it practicing for the XGames which is bad luck! I have to focus on this Megaramp Jam as opposed to being on a tour, I need to my concentration and being on tour would have taken my thoughts away from where they ought to be right now.

A lot of people over here in the UK would not have heard about what you are bringing to the XGames this year, so fill us in on what will be going down.

Well, we have taken the Megaramp to the XGames this year. We wanted to look beyond where have been at with competitions and look into the future to figure out what is the next step as far as the progression of skateboarding. It’s been progress over time, little by little putting the building blocks in place so now we are almost ready to go. Check out the photos, you can see where we are at as far as progressing the environment to be able to extend the boundaries of a trick to put skate boarding on a level where there is an unlimited amount of possibilities. It’s not just what can be done on the Megaramp but also to show that we have barely begun to experiment with what we have.

Obviously all of this has come from Point X Camp, how big is this ramp, is it bigger?

It’s about the same size part from it’s built on flat ground in a parking lot, so it’s freestanding from the flat ground to the top about 100ft (33m)!

Wow, that is fucking huge! What other skaters will be riding this ramp at the event?

Pierre Luc Gagnon, Jason Ellis, Bob Burnquist, Jake Brown, Brian Patch, myself, and Bucky Lasek.

No Mike Valelly?

Nope, I don’t know if Mike is ready to roll into this. He is amazing skateboarder and has a good shot of doing this but I dunno if he is ready to get into this right now?

Who invites the other riders to this particular event?

Not me, but I have provided the practice facilities for these guys and that allows me to kinda get my thoughts on where people stand on where their ability goes and you can tell who will be entering the contest. It’s pretty self explanatory who should be in the contest and who shouldn’t, so that is where we are at right now, there has been enough guys coming out there, so it’s been dictating itself.

You mentioned the word practice, it’s shit or bust really on something that big right?

Well yeah, you can practice as there are 2 different sizes of jumps. There will be a 50 ft jump and a 75ft jump. The smaller one, you can practice quite a few things on without being too beaten up, but the big one I would say is more the for when the time is right in contest time. I would not say that we have too much time to practice on the big one. It makes that better for the contest.

All the guys have been going down at the ramp a lot to practice and have had as much time as I have out there. It’s pretty fair, I don’t wanna make this a biased situation, and i wanted to make sure that we had an equal amount of time to be good at it.

Have those guys been hitting the box and the rainbow rail as well?

No, the box and the rail have been left out of the picture this year because there is simply not enough time to learn how to do every thing out there and we are out there to get jumps wired as that is enough time consumption as it is, and I feel as though the rail and box will add too much confusion this year. If it goes well this year, and I have a good feeling that it is going to, then it will be more exiting to add them into the contest next year.

What kind of prize money is up for this?

You know what, they have not even told people yet and that is not the issue, it’s all about doing it.

So, have you had a run on the new Megaramp yet now it is constructed?

Yeah, I was up there yesterday taking a peak at it and it’s pretty much done. Apart from they would not let anyone practice just yet because they have to have the safety engineering stuff done first and we have to all sign off on it all. The thing is nuts though, it’s no joke!

Do you compare it snowboarding?

To some degree, yeah, but on a snowboard you can slow down, but on a skateboard there are no brakes and you got straps and stuff! It’s a lot more technical, a lot like snowboarding but on a snowboard you have a lot of pluses on your side.

You snowboard though yeah, does it help for this?

Yeah, i snowboard; it has helped me, as much as motocross has helped me as in trying to gather enough confidence to be able to look at a jump that big a magnitude on my skateboard so that I can actually jump it. So those kind of jumps on my motorcycle and a snowboard have really helped.

How much time was spent deciding how the Megaramp would go from idea to built?

We tried to mimic or duplicate the plans of the DC ramp as much as possible without having the same landscape to build it on which creates a few variables here and there. It is similar, but there are definitely some design changes. Looking at the ramp you can tell that the roll ins into the ramp are all just really steep and gnarly looking, and at Point X, one of the roll in’s on the smaller jump is really mellow and slow. You go fast, and if you jumped off, you would be alright. But this one is very different, basically once you drop in, there is no turning back!

How fast is it?

Really fast! In fact we will make sure that we find out exactly how fast with this new ramp, as I wanna find out. It’s by far the fastest I have ever been on a skateboard….nothing compares.

Geometry and calculation wise it must have been difficult, how much of that were you involved in?

A lot of it has been a gathering of information over the years, I have skated a lot of ramps and you have a good idea of what the perfect ramp will be like. It didn’t really take a long time to figure out the dimensions.Once I started to get into it I just started to figure it out pretty quickly. Using the formula I have used for my ramp in the past, I multiplied the numbers and got to where we are now. The guy that actually built it is JT at VPI Ramps, he built my last ramp and just continued, it’s progression for them too.

What about the World records, the XGames is probably a great platform to break your existing record at, is that something you are thinking about?

It’s possible. I had to be fair and I didn’t want to make the ramp too different from Point X and I feel like I didn’t really maximise the potential of Point X for the World Record stuff, so it is gonna be a similar environment but not gonna be dramatically different. I may break the record by a foot or 2 here and there but whatever, so long as it gets done. Its not a big focus for me, but I will definitely be excited if it happens.

When you were filming the DC Video at Point X, was it on your mind?

Yeah, I like to do that to set a benchmark to know where the boundaries are at right now, you know. It’s like putting a stake in the ground and you can keep pushing your stake out further and that is where we are at ‘ just trying to extend the boundaries and keep pushing the stakes out and that is why doing the high air stuff and the records kind of just draws the line to say OK, anything’s possible inside here.

What about the other riders, have they got their eye on breaking that record, or is it more of a jam situation out there?

No, it’s more of a jam, those guys are as just as intimidated as I am when I look from the top of the roll in. You know these guys don’t have much experience, so it’s gonna be a long haul for them to attempt a world record you know, but, most of the competition is gonna be about the different tricks that are going down.

Who do you think has the edge on the tricks so far?

We will see.it could be anyone’s day. Everyone has been working the runs that they are gonna do depending on who makes what, it will be interesting.

What is the most impressive trick that has gone down so far?

Hmmn.it’s hard to say. (He’s being very coy here and will not give anything away!)

Has anyone ridden it switch?

I have ridden it switch, Burnquist has too.

You still say that you have unfinished business at that ramp, is there other stuff filmed that has gone down already?

Yeah, there is actually. The Megaramp Documentary video that OnVideo are making right now, but I have a bunch of footage that I have at the Megaramp on the rail that I have not used yet. There is some stuff in the new Transworld that just came out, the Awards issue and there are 2 pages on me in there, a frontside 270 to backside lipslide across the rail, and switch nosegrind across the rail.

How much do you kill yourself when you are skating this stuff?

It depends, every session is different, some days I walk away clean and some days I walk away beat up. There have been days when I haven’t really been trying to do much and just having fun, and I take a good slam, it’s so unpredictable!

Did you bust your balls yet on that rainbow rail?

Er..not yet.but it could happen anytime soon!

I must admit that there is just one part of the video in the extras section where you just get away with it and you are laughing at the camera and that just about sums it all up for me, it was a real moment of seeing someone having the best fun ever, and that is skateboarding all over!

Yeah, it’s one of the moments where you are walking on thin ice and don’t get beat up, you know, it’s almost fun to laugh at it, as you know that you just got away with it. It’s like a battle you know, just right on the edge and it didn’t get ya! It’s a large muthafucker!

You have been on the top of your game for a while now, have you ever been approached to do this as stunt style, like jumping the Great Wall of China or something?

Yeah, we are planning to do that kind of stuff, it’s on the horizon, but only as a publicity stunt. It’s not as important to me to represent skateboarding in that fashion. I think it’s cool to be able to say you have done this and that and that other, it’s cool to define the boundaries of the sport but you know, for the first part, I don’t want to be known as the Evil Knievel on a skateboard!

I’m so chuffed you just said that!

Yeah, there are a lot more things are I am more proud of than just jumping on my skateboard from point A to point B you know. But like I said, defining the boundaries, gives the sport room to grow. If I can clear a 100ft gap on my skateboard and get it wired, then who is to say that you can’t do 720’s over 100ft and get them wired and that’s my motivation to build new boundaries. Why are we saying we have to play in this little yard over here, when we can play in this big playground over here you know?

How do you look after yourself before you do this big stuff?

I stretch a lot, it’s like a ritual man! So much stretching and I work out all the time, just keeping all my joints strong that are weak from all of the injuries over the years. If I don’t work out I just start to go to shit, I cannot do the stuff that I wanna do, so that has become part of my skating, feeling like I am strong enough to be able to handle the stress I put my body through.

What about nutrition, is food part of your resume?

Yeah, I’m not a saint or angel about it, I don’t try to take it beyond living on crazy diets and stuff like that. I naturally eat healthy and have done for a long time. I don’t have a formula that I stick to, but I do eat healthy and I do take care of my body as far as rehabilitation goes, like training and stuff like that, because if you are pulling your body in another direction all the time, you need to. But I’m aware that you can be too anal about keeping healthy in regards to diet, you can start to have a military approach to skating, and that is not healthy either. I’m not looking at how many carbs or how much protein is going in my body, but in regards to what food I eat, I make sure I eat healthy with organic foods. I do not eat meat and have not done in 20 years now. I eat a lot of fish and I love fishing. I eat fish all the time, only if it is freshly caught though.

What about sponsors, as various pro’s like Tony Hawk for example have signed themselves up for the big food companies, has this been offered to you, would you take the money and endorse stuff like that?

I really would not want to endorse anything that I would not personally consume or embrace myself. Like the McDonald’s thing, I don’t personally eat McDonald’s, my kids don’t eat McDonalds, and I think McDonald’s is crap so I would never skate for McDonalds you know. It’s not about money at a certain point. I have had a great career in skateboarding and made enough money and I am happy with what I have, and I have always felt good about what I am representing and promoting. That is the most important thing to me as a person, about who I am and what I am about.

How old are your kids, are they skating?

I have two boys; one is 2 and the other 6 and yeah, they are both skating a bit!

How much stuff do you do for kids?

We do as much as we can, not much on the way of skate schools, but tours, loads of tours. There was a video tour for the DC video around the World with signings and stuff, but we try to interact with the kids as much as possible whenever we get a clear chance to do it.

You mentioned before about your tough upbringing, how did that have an affect on your skateboarding?

Having a rough background made me value the things that are important to me in life from a young age and the most thing I probably value as being most important in my life aside from my kids, my wife, family and friends is skateboarding, for being able to give me a life when I was a kid you know. I respect skateboarding for giving me the things I have, and that is why I want to help skateboarding and not harm it.

Skateboarding has always been there for individuals that have gone through a lot of shit; it is probably one of the best things ever for people wanting to find a creative route in life.

Yeah, it’s the kid of thing that does not take a hell of a lot of money to get into it. You may not have the best brands that you can find on the street but it doesn’t take much to get rolling on a skateboard and for a kid that don’t have much that can get their hands on a skateboard, it’s a great channel. I’m a good example of that when i was a kid and I needed anything to get away from what I was going through at home with my family life, and skateboarding was the nearest thing I picked up on to get me out of hard times you know.

Who had the board, how did you get into it?

I grew up in Southern California and skateboarding was a big part of the culture here alongside surfing and my uncles and my dad had a skateboard, so I started to ride them and then started to ride Del Mar skate ranch and that was the place where Tony (Hawk) grew up skating and other pro’s and it was right by my house, just off the freeway there so my brother and I would flip out and start going there. We were about 6 years old.

You were the talented kid that was fired into the skateboarding spotlight from an early age; did you feel pressure back then as the light was on you?

I have always been self driven throughout my career and never really had a lot of pressure from others around me, but now, going into the XGames I feel pressure because people are expecting you to compete at a certain level, but for the best part, I feel as I have had a little battle with my inner self, the pressure comes from myself.

Who was skating there back then, did you skate with Gator?

Oh yeah, we skated together.

Have you seen the Stoked.Rise and Fall of Gator movie?

Yeah, he was one of my favourite skateboarders you know, in skateboarding terms he was beyond most and I always thought that he was the most complete skateboarding vehicle that was on the scene. You saw pretty much the best of all the top pro’s at that time in one guy and that was Gator, and then he lost his mind. I don’t know what happened from there.

Are you in touch with him at all?

No. I can’t relate to him at all you know? I don’t really know where to start. I was friends with the guy then, and I just don’t relate to how to somebody can go to that level mentally, but I respect him for his skateboarding, but not his decisions in his ability to handle the roller coaster ride of life you know.

What about Christian Hosoi, have you seen him since he has been back on the scene?

Yeah, I was just hanging out with him the other day. He came down to the Megaramp with Omar to check out what we have going on, but he didn’t skate it as he had tweaked his knee, it was a little irritated.

Do you think he is going to come back into skateboarding in a big way?

Yeah for sure, he has preserved his body for about 5 years and he is in good shape. He looks rock solid, ribbed, and he looks as though he has been working out a lot. He is getting a lot of publicity right now because people have been waiting for so long and people have been saying stuff like, will we ever get to see him skate on that level again and now he is back and people are blown away!

I think a lot of kids should know the history of a rider of his caliber, do you think it is important that kids do know about people like Hosoi to help them skate bigger stuff?

What he brings back to the table is style, power and finesse and people forget about that. You look at a lot of vert contests these days and how robotic every one is and how much they’re just trying to bang out trick after trick instead of trying to actually show how much ability they have with power and style and all that as it’s a big part of it you know ‘ it’s how you get the job done!

What about other skaters, who are you rating out there?

There are a lot of young kids that are amazing, but I grew up and the guys I was looking up to were different. Times have changed and these guys have idols now that are street guys. But it’s hard to see the same kind of roots for building blocks these days. For example we have a local park here with a brand new sick vert ramp and all the kids are riding the street course!

What will it take for people to start realising that street skating is not everything?

Well it’s to do with facilities. If there is not a vert ramp around, well, street is what you do, so it’s all about providing the ramps in areas to make people aware that you can ride everything.

Have you skated the Oregon Parks?

Yeah, the kids are skating those parks because there is nothing else for them to skate that is smaller, so it works well. I have had some great fun up there in the Northwest, I liked a lot of them, but there weren’t really any big vert sections where there were real vert transitions and there wasn’t really any street skating stuff either, mostly bowl and mini ramp kinda stuff, which is fun as shit, don’t get me wrong as I had a blast when I went up there. But a kid that skates those parks every day is not gonna come out of those parks as a vert skater unless they practice vert somewhere, but they are gonna come out looking for the lines and wanna fucking shred around somewhere.

Tony Trujillo style?

Yeah! Which is great, I love that style of skating! I feel that the ultimate park should have all places to skate, so that there is everything there for different levels.

What about Girls, are there more girls skating in the USA these days?

Yeah, there are more girls skating, not a lot but a couple of girls that shred locally. For example there is one girl from round here in Encinitas called Lyndsey who is sponsored and she rips!

That park has had an upgrade huh?

Yeah, they just built a couple of shallow bowls, a new vert, a street course, but I don’t get down there much as they just finished it a couple of months back The bowls are mellow, no one around here wants to push the trannies over 11ft, and I feel as though some of these bowls should be equipt with 11ft but also with a couple of feet of vert, like vert ramp trannies. I prefer to skate my warehouse.

Who do you skate with down there?

Jake Brown, Colin McKay, Jason Ellis, and a few others.

What is Colin up to? Is he skating the Megaramp?

He has just come out of shoulder surgery, so he has not been riding it, but he will be up for best trick on the Vert at the XGames.

A possible chance he will be your vert doubles partner there then? Haha!

Vert doubles is like the synchronized swimming of skateboarding!

Do you work on tricks down there a lot?

Sometimes I will think about it during the night and go down there the next day and see if I can nail it, push it around and see if it works. Sometimes I try new stuff, other times I just jam down there. I have not been working on too many tricks lately, I have spent more time recently getting more repetition, get them wired for this XGames contest and not much video part stuff to do.

Do you enjoy doing videos?

I love doing video parts and progressing my skating. I get excited to get some motivation to push those boundaries. It puts more pressure on me and I like that.

Let’s talk music; I hear you are in a band?

Yeah, I play guitar, we are kind of hardcore at times and melodic at times. I write the guitar riffs, and then hook up with the vocalist Renee Renee who has a bit of a following as he was a well respected rapper before and started singing and has a crazy rock voice, so we hooked up and started a rock band. We jam a lot and have been putting the album down in the last couple of weeks on pro tools. We put the drums down in the studio and then we use pro tools to get it all together, but we will have someone in to mix it for us. Pro tools are the best way to do it for us as we can use it anytime.

Sounds fun, so is it song based or are you making a racket?!

Song based for sure, we are not trying to fire up like a Death metal band!. I have had fun jamming that shit over the years but it’s mellower with melodic verses and heavy choruses. In fact we are playing at the XGames!

How many shows have you played so far?

About 3 so far. We played first with Pennywise and Unwritten Law and then MXPX and Guttermouth and other bands.and the XGames has a huge set up, it sounds like fun but my focus has to be on the contest as a priority but I love doing the band. You are in a band as well yeah?

Yeah, it’s called K-Line and we have an album come out right now.

What do you do, sing?

Yeah, I sing. We have a Dischord Records influence and some old school hardcore stuff, in fact we just played with 7 Seconds here recently.

Cool, they are great band! I will check that out.

So what is on your stereo in you car right now?

Ozzy man!

You love your Metal huh?

Yeah, I listen to everything from Circle Jerks and old punk rock stuff all the way through every kind of metal; I have about 5000 tracks on mp3 stored away. Sometimes, it’s metal, sometimes it’s hardcore. When I’m going down to the Point X ramp in the desert I will be listening to Slayer the whole way out there just to get fired up!

Reign in Blood the whole way?

Yeah, it’s definitely a big part of it! I just saw them recently and they played Reign in Blood, the whole album all the way through without stopping! It was sick, it was in San Diego..

So, which 5 bands would you choose out of all of them?

Er.Masters of Reality, Black Sabbath, Slayer of course, Led Zeppelin would be in there for sure and Metallica, Kill Em All!

What about Alien Workshop, you have been quoted to say after you got on Alien Workshop, that there was a possibility of Plan B making a comeback, how do you feel about that now?

I don’t know if we are willing to take the time to wanna make it happen, and I don’t know if Colin and I have the motivation to start another skateboard company right now, you know. We have done it before and we know what we are dealing with but it doesn’t make sense right now as we are both doing a lot things, and running a skateboard company is a full time job, it might be cool to do, but at the same time, is it really worth it…?

So what kind of mark do you want to leave on skateboarding?

I just feel as though skateboarding has the potential to be there and if we are all supposed to do it, I have been skateboarding my whole life and I feel the same as a lot of other guys that have spent their whole life getting trained to a level where you can actually think on that level, and now is the time. I’m not getting any younger and I gotta make this happen.

What is next for Danny Way? I hear that you are planning to build a skatepark on the side of a hillside, is this true?

Yeah, this is true, a few people know but I have not really spoke to much about it, only to friends. I just bought a bunch of property in Hawaii, where I don’t have to worry about neighbours, noise, etc and it’s full of hills and jungle and it’s big enough to do what I wanna do. I chose Hawaii because I like to surf and I can’t afford to buy property and do that here in California, plus Hawaii is a lot nicer than California, and the property price is a lot more realistic!

Wow, so what would the hillside park be like, what are you thinking?

I have not even really got that far just yet, as I have only just got the property locked down, but there is a lot of possibilities so I will go out there and start designing it, but the possibilities are unlimited! It’s gonna be pretty amazing!

So Rob Dyrdek gets a DC plaza and you get a hillside!

Yeah, Rob’s project is moving forward nicely. There is plenty more to come!

So let’s cap this interview then with one more question ‘ if you had Tony Hawks’ leer jet to whisk you away to skate anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I don’t need to go anywhere as I have my warehouse and the Megaramp at Point X Camp and that is all I need! So, you know what? You could have that flight and get your ass out here for a session!

Cool, I will pack my bags right now! Cheers for your time and good luck with everything.

Thanks man, you are welcome.