Photo: Cameron Strand
Who do you ride for?
Politic, Labor Skateshop (NYC), Embassy Boardshop (Columbus, Ohio), Butter Goods, Nike SB, Theories Brand.
You were In Puerto Rico recently, how was that?
Working on the new Politic full length. The VX broke for a couple days but John Valenti came through with a miracle and fixed it. Luckily we had the HD camera and got an edit together in the meantime. Spots are dope, we only scratched the surface as far as spots go. And yeah we stacked.
Did you get to experience the culture of Puerto Rico, or were you mainly working on skating and filming?
A fair mix of both. Didn’t really leave San Juan unfortunately.
How did the trip compare to filming in Spain for El•Sol?
El•Sol was our baby. Mine and Alex Marco. We got to make it exactly what we wanted, put it out how we wanted, with a song we made and it felt organic. The other times working on the TWS video was me tagging along and getting shit when I could. Great times regardless.
How did El•Sol come about?
I got an invite to come out to Valencia over Instagram. Alex Marco and I have mutual friends, Alex Davis, Andrew Potellio, Steve Durante and the Chef Family (in Milan). It was perfect, had a place to stay for however long and a goal in mind. Fast forward 54 days later we had El•Sol.
That’s not long at all. How much time did the editing take?
I left and went to Milan after those 54 days. I’m sure Alex was burnt and didn’t want anything to do with it for a while. So maybe a month? Then we had our friend Quiqe make the song. I guess it was longer than a month.
Back Smith up. Photo: Cameron Strand
After a project like that, do you continue to film, or have a break?
After my time in Milan, Chris Theissen asked me to come to Barcelona. Got right back into it.
How about the process of filming for Headcleaner, what was that like?
That was all fun, no pressure. Good crew, Chris Theissen and Matt Creasy make a great video. Alex rose too.
Do you skate with the Politic guys a lot?
Danny comes around a bunch, haven’t seen Steve in a while, Caddo lives down the hall from me. Wish I saw Spivey more, even if he’s on Vacation now, he’s the best.
For someone who is unfamiliar with Politic, how would you describe the brand?
It’s no bullshit, as far as I’m concerned. There’s more brands that can save it than not. There’s no gimmicks over here. No wacky pros. No goofy outfits. Dudes that got to fake being a kook for the attention.
Who in the contemporary skate industry is not like this, who keeps it real?
I don’t see the industry side of things so I can’t really speak on that. But as far as who keeps it real, Josh Stewart, the guys at Magenta, James at Labor, Eric at Embassy.
Do you skate with the Magenta guys much?
Skating with Ben Gore right now, just met Leo Valls the other day, he’s the best. Zach Lyons and Jimmy Lannon are my guys. Kinda shared a part with Glenn Fox in Headcleaner. Haven’t met him yet tho.
Front Wallride to 5-0. Photo: Timm Dodson
You post a lot of setup pics on Instagram.
I do it because the graphics are dope.
Who designs the graphics?
We all have input and ideas, some guest artists, but for the most part it’s a guy called Chip that does it.
Do you have any favourites?
Steve has really sick graphics. There’s a Purple Tape board I really liked. There’s some other ones that are Tarot cards, Brian Brown and Steve had one, Brian’s had a holy goat and Steve’s had a hand with an eye in the palm. Good colors, sick boards. Oh and the Exalt The New God board is another favorite. There’s too many to name.
Is the Ben Gore connection how you got on Butter?
How is it riding for Butter?
Awesome. They come correct with steady gear, ideas for trips, I like what they got going, hyped to be a part of it.
I like all of what they’ve done with the globe graphic. The OG fly was sick, but that was before I got on.