Casey Foley on Butter Goods, San Francisco, and Street Photography

PhotoJoshRobertsPhoto: Josh Roberts

How was it filming for the Butter edit?
A lot of fun man. That was my first time to San Francisco. The crew there is so rad, also filming with Josh is amazing. You can pretty much do anything and he will make it look good.

What spots did you get to skate?
Well I got there a day before the rest of the crew because their flight was delayed, so I got to do the whole “skate tourist” route by myself. Skated EMB for a few hours, cruised around Pier 7 etc. But when Josh Roberts, Alex Campbell and Matt Evans arrived we pretty much just cruised around the hills, hitting random spots we would pass by.

How are the hills?
Pretty insane man. Haha. Melbourne is a really flat city so I wasn’t really used to skating down hills. I somehow managed to keep up with the locals tho. Ha.

Does the team being so spread out make filming the edits difficult?

Yeah I guess so. I mean, only half of the team is featured in “Quartet”. I just do my part and leave Garth and Josh to sort that out. They are the masterminds behind the edits. However, I would love to eventually see the entire team together at some point.

OlliePhotoJakeMeinOllie. Photo: Jake Mein

Where in Melbourne do you skate?
Melbourne is insane for skating. Everyone is so fucking good. We spend a majority of our time skating at Lincoln Square, which is a huge plaza pretty much in the middle of the city. I never really skate outside the CBD. There are so many spots and it all looks amazing on film, plus there is no better feeling than rolling 20+ deep in the weekend.

The scene seems really productive, we are a big fan of Geoff Campbell’s videos. Is there a new video in the works?

Yeah, everyone is really productive man, its great.

Geoff has pretty much shaped the Melbourne inner city skate scene. He really puts in the time and effort to represent what Melbourne city skateboarding is all about. Without him, I don’t think it would be the same as what it is today.

Geoff always has videos in the works. He has a full length HD video just sitting on his phone. No shit. Just sitting there waiting to release it. He films so much its out of control. Without him there would be no “Nike SB Two Up video”, there wouldn’t be a “Callum Paul Passport” Pro part, shit, I wouldn’t be here doing this interview!

Any other independent videos to keep an eye out for?

Yeah bro for sure. My good friend James Robertson, runs a small apparel company called “UNO” and he is always filming for their clips as well as an upcoming full length. My boy Tully West just made a video called “School Holidays” which is fucking sick! Also, Dylan Bruns has just premiered his video “UBG volume1” that is seriously one of the best skate videos I’ve seen in a long time.

You mentioned Lincoln Square as the main spot. Do you ever have any problems with security? I heard a rumour it might be getting redeveloped to try and discourage skating there, is that true?

Security never comes. I don’t really understand the situation there. On New Years day a few years ago, I was sitting there drinking beers with a few mates and the cops came and said not to skate, but drinking is ok… realistically, you can skate there any time you want and you wont have a problem. There has been a few council meeting regarding the redevelopment and I have seen plans of what they are thinking of doing to it, but seriously, I haven’t seen any signs of that happening. People are still skating there every day.

Any skaters coming up in Melbourne that people should know about over here?

Fuck yes. The “Hoddle” kids, Simon Frazzetto, Caelyen Norriss and Jarrad Carlin.
Dean Johnston is killing it… Jason Rainbird is a fucking powerhouse. Yeah, pretty much these guys.

CaseyFoley_SwitchBs180_MoreySwitch Backside 180. Photo: Morey

How long have you been on Butter, how is it?
Hmm. Maybe 2 and a half years? The original team was just Philly Santosousso, Phillip Marshall, Morgan Campbell and myself. It’s so amazing to see how much the team has expanded in such a short amount of time. I fucking love it. I’d never met Garth or Matt before I started riding for them. I knew we would get along though.

So the company originates from Australia?

Yeah, it’s from Perth in Western Australia.

Butter has a decent following here in the UK, everyone is hyped on the edits. Have you noticed Australian skateboarding getting more exposure over the last few years?

Yeah I have actually. People are starting to see what I see first hand. Josh Roberts is doing his DOMINGO thing. Trent and the guys at Passport skateboards are running shit on their end. Geoff is always putting out full length vids. Chris Middlebrooke is constantly working on Nike projects… Im really hyped that people are starting to recognise the scene out here. I feel it is really slept on, which isn’t surprising as we are on the other side of the world from most major skate cities…

Do you have any plans to travel this year?
Not at the moment! I’ll see what happens. I just got back from New Zealand actually. I was over there with some of the Nike SB Aus crew. It was dope!

Were you filming an edit?
Yeah, everyone is working on parts for Nike.

SF15StreetPhoto: Casey Foley

I read that you’re into photography too.
Yeah I love it! I’ve been shooting photos for a while now but have only really been hyped on my own work as of recently. I shoot a bunch of skating plus heaps of street photography too.

Would you explain street photography a bit?
Oh man. It’s quite hard to explain. A lot of it is shooting strangers doing strange things in the street without them knowing. Shooting it in a way which has some sort of meaning. I dunno, it sounds fucking cheesy.

Is it important that they don’t know they are being shot?
Yeah I think so. It looks more realistic that way…

Does it compare to shooting skateboarders?
Yes and no. Obviously with skating you have your flashes, multiple lenses, flash stands etc. etc. When I shoot in the street, I just have a pocket sized film camera. But the similar thing with the two is – that timing is everything. If you shoot it too early or late, the photo is fucked. You know what I mean?

So what cameras do you use for the two different types of shooting?
For skating I’ve got a canon 5D Mark II, and for street stuff I usually use a Contax TII.

JarredCarlinSlappyLipslideJarred Carlin, Slappy Lipslide. Photo: Casey Foley

Did you get a lot of images in SF? It is pretty difficult to shoot SF in an original way.

Yeah I shot a bunch. It was fun. Yes and no. We were skating with some original dudes (Matt Field, Ryan Barlow, Ben Gore etc.). They all have great style, which is a huge factor I try express in my skate photos.

What skate photographers/publications do you follow?
Mike O’Meallys old photos are amazing. He captured the 90’s vibe extremely well. This dude Manuel Schenck is really sick. I think hes from France? His work is insane. He makes skating look extremly fun. Allen Ying from New York is insane. Giancarlo DÁgostaro from New Orleans is sick too.

As for publications, there are so many good ones. From New York there’s 43 Mag and Stoops. From Tokyo there’s Notes. From New Zealand there’s Manual and Seconds. I just like the way these mags capture and represent the vibe of their cities. It’s sick.

What about non-skate photographers?
Daido Moriyama from Japan is awesome. Really grimey street shit. Ben Gore is killing it. Bruce Gilden is a ruthless street photographer from New York. I would recommend looking up his work.

Interview by Daryl Mersom and Ed Wirgman.

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