Mikey Taylor interview

Interview by Joe Moynihan with thanks to Etnies and Oliver Barton for the photography

Mikey Taylor is a pretty chilled guy. His skating is just like his taste in women, natural and – for want of a better word that just won’t come – ‘pretty’.

Anyone who’s had the pleasure of watching his section in the mindblowing mindfuck that was Mindfield is no exception; it stands out, just by sitting down. Ease and precision taken to proper spots (I know you ain’t fronting on that K grind, and you know what one I’m talking about) and makes skateboarding a real pleasure to watch. No homo.

What follows is your standard five minute chat on the mini-ramp platform, recorded in between runs at the Etnies TF during our recent trip earlier this year. You can look forward to reading a behind the scenes feature on Soletechnology’s Institute here next week but Mikey talks to Crossfire about his new shoe, California girls, a leap of faith like no other and a brief insight into his own Mindfield. Get some.

So, let’s start off with your new shoe dropping in the autumn; any words on that?

Ha! Hold on, I’m not sure! (Mikey looks over the Etnies TF fence and calls over a passing worker) Hey! What shoe of mine is coming in fall? (The knowledgeable dude mutters something inaudible in response to which Mikey appears to have understood). OK, well, there’s the pro shoe that’s been out for a while now, in fall there’s the low version coming out. It’s a nice, kind of small, thin and a more basic shoe. But there’s also a new design which I think may be the one you’re talking about? Half the people buying shoes seem to dig the thinner models, but then the big shoes still sell like hotcakes so the new design is an attempt to get the best of both worlds you know?

Big shoes do sell, who’s to say the D3 won’t make an unwelcome comeback?

Haha! And that was the most hideous shoe of all time. But people loved it, seriously. What I’ve started to notice is that everything you think will sell, doesn’t, and those you just look at and laugh, they fly off the shelves. People are weird.

A friend of mine used to skate in D3’s and everyone would rip the shit out of him for it, and for some reason he still bought them. If you knew people would buy your shoe, would you put your name on a D3 lookalike?

Haha, that’s a tricky one… Actually you know, if it’s up to me, if I’m only going to have one skate shoe with my name on, then it’s gotta be a good shoe, one that I like, purely for skateboarding. But if I had two then I don’t see the problem in having one strictly built for skating and the other aimed at those who are just into the fashion. Keeps everyone stoked.

For sure. Moving on: The Alien Video. Shit’s huge dude.

(Mikey laughs slightly nervously) Go on…

Did the hype surrounding it affect you?

Oh yeah, absolutely, I was a complete nut.

A lot of people were looking forward to it more than Fully Flared, I know I was.

See, I’ve never really been too stressed about things, sure I stress about tricks but not the video as a whole. I’ll normally just skate, let the part create itself and that’s it. But with the Alien Video, there was all that anticipation built up alongside it, I know that when I was a kid, the Alien Video was the video, one of my favourites of all time, and when we started filming for the new one it’s suddenly shit, I’m going to be in that video. That was a gnarly thing to consider and it messes with your head.

On top of that you had the tune, that Dinosaur Jr tune.

Yeah! Well, I really wanted my part to feel as Alien as possible. Before, they didn’t show us what the video was going to look like, what our parts were going to look like or anything, so what I wanted to make sure, was just like Photosynthesis, that indescribable Alien vibe, that’s what I wanted my part to be like. So, I guess I kind of lucked out with them using a Dinosaur song! But the video is just as I hoped it would be; I’m stoked to be a part of it. I love it.

Who’s got your favourite part?

Someone asked me that yesterday! I’ve only really seen the video once after the premiere, so it still hasn’t fully sunk in. But, I really like Jake’s part, AVE’s and Kirchart’s (but who doesn’t?), Dylan kills it, the whole video man! But Heath stands out just for being so in-your-face gnarly, seriously woah gnarly.

I’ve heard rumours that to separate his part in the Emerica video he’s wearing nothing but either all black or all white, is that true?

Yeah, he is.

Concept skateboarding!

Haha, for sure.

So what’s going on for the rest of your day down here?

I’m not too sure actually, I know that our team manager just gave me a call and told me that there’s going to be a few people down here so can you come here and skate, so ‘sure! I’m down for that’. And here we all are, just skateboarding, there’s beers and girls, (fun fact: hired girls) it’s all good.

See, I don’t know about you but… those girls aren’t my type, for me anyway.

California! That’s the best we have to offer man. Me, I’m more into, y’know, naturally beautiful girls, just pretty girls.

Quick question to finish off, well not really a question… that bail. (This is referring to the most terrifying near-collision I have ever seen. Mikey avoided certain death by leaping right over the top this dude who came out of no-where, only to find himself in the path of the Etnies Training Facility fence.) What happened!?

Holy shit! You saw that!

Dude, you cleared his head, that is a whole new definition of POP.

You know when life just pauses. Everything around you stops, not just slow motion but full-on STOPS. Well, I was there; my head was screaming ‘oh my god…this is it… I’m gonna die’. It was one of those definitive, almost clichéd near-death moments, but somehow, in this case I made it out ok and unscathed. Phew… Wait though! I swear, honest to god that I had somehow leveled out six feet high in the air. Was I? It felt like it.

No man, you really were. We’re talking Brophy height here. You essentially hippy jumped a fully grown man.

Haha! Now I know how he feels every time he rides a skateboard, I’m not sure if I could handle that to be honest! That shit was scary. I’m glad I made it out alive.

And on that note…

Let’s go skate!

Mikey Taylor rides for Etnies, Alien Workshop and Thunder Trucks. See Mikey skate on the Etnies Recognition Tour this month.