Interview by Will Harmon
RVCA’s Big Trail tour looked like a really good way to experience Europe. Have you been to Europe a lot in the past?
Oh yeah! We had an amazing time. This trip was really different because we had the ability to take more time for museums and sightseeing etc. In the early 2000s we were going to Europe all the time with toy machine especially. My grandparents saved up their entire lives to go to Europe on vacation and I’ve had the pleasure of going there for free many times over. I’m so grateful.
What are some of the visible differences you’ve observed of life in Europe as compared to the States?
Both are beautiful in their own way. The various cultures in America are still relatively new where as the art and culture of Europe has a very long past. It’s amazing that people live in buildings that are hundreds and hundreds of years old. It’s a privilege to walk down the streets in certain cities of Europe and have the ability take in the sites/landmarks fairly close to the way people did years ago.
In America there is a cultural emphasis on comfort and convenience where in Europe there is a feeling of efficiency and also leisure (in the sense that they take more time at meals and all). It’s hard to make any really solid comparisons because United States as well as Europe both have very different regions/cultures.
Who’s idea was it to get the aTattoo Artist, Graff writer and yourself all together and tour around Europe? Had you met the other guys previously?
I think it was Julian Dykmans idea. I had met the other guys before on previous Rvca trips they’re all really amazing guys.
What were some of the more memorable moments from the tour?
Berlin is an amazing place to be right now because of all the change that’s happening there. When we landed in Milan we went out to the Duomo di Milano and then ate at a very traditional Italian restaurant. Amazing cheese and wine. It was incredible. Seeing old friends in London was rad and of course all of the events were really fun!
Can you tell us a little about the edit where Jerry Hsu, Austyn Gillete and yourself were skating around The NYC set in Hollywood with the lingerie models. How did that come about?
Just a normal day in LA. Aaron Rose contacted us for the project. The art fashion and skate world collide ha ha. No, it was fun…. Not to be taken too seriously.
When did you start playing music?
I started playing the guitar around the same time I started skating back in 1993. I’ve always been fairly serious about it but it wasn’t until in 2009 I fell really hard on my right butt cheek destroying the cartilage in my right hip on a toy machine trip. The first two doctors I went to told me I needed a hip replacement surgery, that I would never skate again and I would also be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life in 5-10 yrs when the replacement wore out. Obviously this was devastating news so I really took comfort in music and songwriting. With my second child coming into the world I was desperate and didn’t know what to do. I was going on skate trips jumping on handrails and I couldn’t even tie my shoe because my hip was locked up with growth spurs. It was horrible. After a surgery that made me worse, I eventually had a relatively new surgery called the hip resurfacing surgery that has allowed me to skate again. Im so thankful.
Who are some of your music influences?
The beach boys, Reverend Gary Davis, Robert Johnson, Simon and Garfunkel, the Everly Brothers, The Beatles, nick drake, the Rolling Stones ect…
I saw on your website that some your music is available to download for free. Do you think this is the best way to get your music out there and heard?
I think the best way to be heard is to get out and play shows. That’s the best way to connect with people and give them a real experience of your music. It’s also nice to have the ability to give music away for free for people that want to have a sample of what you do before buying anything else.Does giving your music away for free make it difficult to make money off your music?
I don’t think people make very much money from recorded music anymore. It has sort of become a calling card in some ways I guess. It’s something that your fans or audience can connect to. Besides having music in a commercial or a movie, It seems like the only way to make money nowadays is to play shows where people have to pay to get in or if a company wants you to play an event or something like that.
Do all the skate companies hit you up to use some of your music for their edits?
People usually hit me up to make them songs for their parts when they run into licensing problems. I’ve written/recorded instrumental songs for people to use for their video parts like Nick Trapasso in brainwash and xgames real street parts for Collin Provost, Billy Marks, Dakota Servold, Nick Merlino, and Dan Murphy.