He has only been riding a skateboard for a short while now but Chris Cole seems to have made a massive impact over the last 12 months hucking out gnarly tricks when it matters. With a brand new section recently dominating Zero’s New Blood video we caught up with him ahead of a Zero Team demo at the Southbank.
This interview took place in the Skate of Mind shop on the floor. Questions come from Zac, Ralph and many forums posts.
Welcome to London Chris.
Full name please mate.
Oh, you don’t have a middle name?
Yeah, I have a middle name, it’s Chris.
So, you are Chris Chris Cole then?
Chris isn’t my real first name.
So what is your real first name then?
Haha, er, ok, pardon me, *cough*. I like it that way.
Do you have a passport in your pocket?
Nah, (wry smiles) I was not born Christopher Cole.
So why did you change your name?
I didn’t like it since Kindergarten. I dropped my first name.
Why? Is your first name like Augustus or something awful sounding then?
Nah, it wasn’t bad, I just liked my middle name with my last name as it sounded better. It just turned out that my Mum actually liked my name as my middle name. My Dad gave me my first name, and it turns out that I like it anyway.
So did you go down to Lloyds in Bristol yesterday?
Yeah, we skated there, I sucked at Lloyds! I did not go there with a plan, so went there and realised its one of those spots that gets better the more you skate it. It rained on and off just like every time I come here.
Yep, us Brits get tougher with it mate it makes the grass grow. Have you ever wondered why some of the best of British Heavy Metal was so well backed up with long hair do’s?
Haha, yeah. In fact, that reminds me, I gotta find the local Metal area here in London, we have not had a chance to check it all out just yet.
Well, there’s loads of it round here in Soho.
Cool, I need to find it all.
So, you just completed a pretty healthy section for the New Blood video on Zero, is the heat becoming unbearable?
Yeah, there’s heat. There’s pressure not to out do other people, but more to outdo myself. Because outdoing other people is like..you’re never gonna do it. It ends up happening because every time you grow into something different and you like your part a bit more because maybe you are not doing a bigger one of your trick that you already have, you just do something that you like to work at more. Instead of 15 stairs you gotta do something cool that you’ve gotta deal with.
Did you approach this time different from before?
Well, this time I wasn’t really filming for the video, it was just filming, and it ended up with people saying, hey you know you should do a full part, because I was gonna have a smaller part, and at the last minute it was decided I should have a pretty decent part. Then I had to kick up to high gear in the last 3/4 weeks and stay in California to finish the section and try to get a trick all the time. It was hard. Your body ends up hating you!
So you are thankful there are no major injuries in between the rush?
Yeah, there was nothing major. I hurt my heel real bad, it was the worse I have ever had and it keeps getting hurt over and over again. Other than that I have not done anything too bad you know.
With bad heel bruises, do you have any advice for others who get them?
It’s funny that they are called heels because they don’t heal! The last thing you want to do is to sink it into a bucket of ice, cos that is like more painful than the heel bruise. All you can really do is try your best to ice it and elevate it as much as possible. Every time I was hanging out helping Jaime edit the video or whatever, I would put my foot up on the desk all the time. That’s it, it’s all you can do.
So can you call Cali home now?
Haha, nah, Cali is absolutely not home, Cali is work! Home is where you hang your guitar. So home is just outside of Philly on the East Coast. I miss it, and then i go back and get fed up with it. I wish I could take all of what I like back at home, like my friends, my comfortability. I know every road; I know how to get everywhere. It’s weird not being someplace where you don’t know where you are.
So do you not like traveling then?
I don’t like flying. I do like travel, but I don’t like flying. I freak out inside. I can’t do anything about it. You guys have a really good train system in Europe, so it would be great just to do that, but we are flying on this trip so what the hec.it would be nice to see the hillsides and other scenery.
Love Park, is this a special place for you?
Yeah, I’m not very much known for skating there which is odd cos I was there a lot, but I hope it comes back. There are rumours but it’s definitely not open, whether it is going to open I’m not sure.
What age are you now?
23, I started skating in 1990. My first board was like a K-Mart board, an obscure one to. The Variflex ones and the Nash boards back then were shaped like a skateboard, and mine was weird! Then after that, i got my first real board, I’m pretty sure it was a blue Powell Ripper and I got it off this guy Jason Mcallum. He taught me how to ollie and stuff. I still see him, he is a rad dude. I bought a couple of boards off of him. I bought a Vallely Elephant off him, he plays in a band now.
What is your fave board graphic?
Apart from my own graphics, I would say the Hosoi. It wasn’t even my generation though. I dig Hosoi stuff. When I see that graphic I get psyched. He is sick.
I was lucky to skate with him in CA once, have you skated with him since he is back?
Yeah, just recently he had a Spitfire advert doing a judo in a pool and I was there for that. It was awesome. It was the first time i had ever seen him and it was just a couple of weeks ago with Jamie and our photographer Joe. Hosoi was my favourite when I first started skating and when I was a little bit older and I remember when the first 411VM came out, Pepe Martinez had an amazing section and I would slomo a 3ft he did at the end of the video. He had a line with the camera so close to him and I would slomo it for ages and learn how to do 360 flips behind my couch and that’s how I learned them.
If I said to you we are gonna get on a flight to anywhere right now and you could pick up a crew of skaters to roll on your favourite spot, where would you go and who would be in tow?
OK, I would take a couple of dudes from Zero, couple of dudes from Mystery and all of the Fallen team, plus the Fallen team manager and my friends from Hot Wax. I would probably go to Spain. I haven’t been in Spain for long. We skated there for Dying to Live and then didn’t skate there again, but we are gonna go back there for the Fallen video.
Explain Hot Wax?
It’s a big band with alter egos but it’s not really anymore. I’m friends with How Wax and we go to costume parties. We had a Goth theme party before we came to London, you could probably tell by these black nails!
So what trick are most proud of so far?
The 360 flip at Wallenberg. It seems easy right now to pick it but it’s the hardest I have ever worked for a trick, like ever. It was more mentally and physically pushing than anything I have ever done, ever. For sure. That and that front board I did on that long ledge in Dying to Live. It was mentally testing but it wasn’t as killing as Wallenberg. I wore a different pair of shoes just for Wallenberg than normal so that my heel wouldn’t get hurt more. Normally I wear a thinner shoe but had to wear a bigger shoe as it was already hurt. I would land on my toes every time and not my heels after that.
Why did you wanna do it?
Er. I got a shoe coming out! And for me to feel that I have deserved it in any way, I really have to work for it and have to make it make sense. Like, if Fallen are giving me a shoe then what am I gonna do in return? I had unfinished business and it would make me feel good to know that all of those people that saw me trying a trick that I have never made saw it done as everyone was asking when I was gonna go back. I don’t think any of those people knew how hard it was. It wasn’t very cool but I did it.
So when is your pro shoe coming out?
About October 5th in the States.
Did you design it yourself?
With Jamie. I helped but not too many people design their own shoes. Jamie has huge knowledge of how shoes work and what they are consisted of to actually fit it all together for you. He drew it up and I told him what I liked and what I didn’t and we ended up with a real good shoe.
What about tunes what is your top five?
In no particular order, I guess: Kiss Greatest Kiss, Smashing Pumpkins Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness, er, Children of Bodum – Hate Crew Deathroll, Children of Bodum, Hatebreeder and er…Children of Bodum, Pull the Lever!
Do you go to many live shows?
I did see Bodum, Bowie and the Who but I don’t see a lot of bands live as I have social anxiety. I don’t like to go out in public too much, if people look at me it freaks me out.
What skaters, or just people?
Nah, just people.
Do you get paranoid?
Yeah, paranoia, everything…
Wow, how do you deal with doing demos then, you are known to be a bit of a demo killer..?
Sometimes I feel like they are all jacking me and like down you know? But it’s our own community so it’s not that bad. When everything turns up to see you skate you have to turn it up. It depends on the place, the people in the crowd etc. If they are psyched and we are all psyched, a good session starts up and you do tricks that are really fun but are really hard, and when you know that people have your back sometimes you can skate better. I do enjoy them. If you don’t kick it live, kids can get bummed, but that is why interviews like this and videos are so important. Videos are studied, and if you can kick it live then that is a bonus.
Do you smoke the herb?
No, no, I don’t do any drugs at all.
Gimme a fact about you that not many people know about you?
Er…I do some Thai Boxing with my friend Justin. I help him train.
What trick is your bogie trick?
Right now it would be inverts. Just your basic handplant on ramp. Fuck they are hard! I can’t do street stands or even handstands so I have been trying them so much but Jon (Allie) is on this trip right now and he has them down, so hopefully he will help.
What is your fave trick?
I would say going pretty fast and ollieing a gap that lands you really smooth so you don’t take a lot of impact. That is THE best feeling!
OK let’s rap this up because you have to go to Southbank for a demo and film some stuff for this page. Anyone you wanna thank, plug etc?
No not really….actually, yeah, thanks to you and Crossfire for doing this interview.