What is your favorite experience while hanging out and filming for the Ground Control video?
Making the whole video has been a really cool experience—we have been blessed to travel and film all over the world again. My favorite time filming for the video was the last time we were in France and Germany with Josh Glowicki and Fritz Peitzner. They happened to be in Europe at the same time we were and they became our primary filmers. They were really cool dudes and made the experience really fun. I felt like a little kid going out and skating new spots. It sucks when you are trying to make video with someone who has lots of preconceptions about what they want to do and how they’re trying to create the most epic skate video ever. It’s nice to just go out and film, have a good time and get some good clips. That’s when you get the right stuff to make a good video. The highlight of my trip was doing topsoul five on a wire.
Are there any tricks you’ve done lately you’ve been pumped on?
Not necessarily any new tricks, but I’ve been skating on new obstacles lately. It’s cool—every year I get better and more confident. You know, we’re all getting closer to thirty and we got the grown man style. I think the progression of skating is kind of cool—everyone is getting better.
Have you done anything that made you nervous lately?
I wanted to do a full section since over a year ago, but I came off from Winterclash with a knee injury so I’ve been nursing it for a while. It’s about at 85% right now. I’ve been taking it easy. I’ve never had to worry about my knee blowing out before so now every trick I do is kind of scary. I did this trick in Germany—a topacid on this big drop, maybe 50 feet—it wasn’t long but it was scary to the point that the people running the restaurant came out telling me in German not to do it. The guy said if I fell he’d lose his business. The trick on the wire was sick because I didn’t think I could grind it, let alone 540 out. Plus, there was a drop on other side of it. Horn was there too; he did a double grind on it. We’ve just been traveling and getting great tricks. It’s been good man.
Who on the team do you enjoy sitting back and watching skate?
Well obviously Brian Aragon is the best skater right now. As far as park and street, he is the full package and has taken it to the next level. For the GC video, Julian wanted to produce another banger section and every trick he did was he was putting his life on the line. It was dangerous.
Skating with Aragon and Julian and all people coming through the house, have you changed your skating or things you skate?
I think skating is like fashion or style or any trend that comes full circle. In the beginning it was do-what-you-can-do; then it got technical; then we realized we could go big and do stunts. Now it’s going back to technical mixed with stunts. When you get old you skate smarter and skater harder. There’s tricks I couldn’t do two years ago and tricks I’m still trying to learn. I think the new variety of stuff I can do now makes me a more complete skater.
What is your favorite kind of skating?
I started out skating the curb in front of mom’s house that I colored with crayons to make it slick. I always like to look back and think about those days. I have fun skating everything—the better you get the more difficult things you can skate, but you should never stop having fun doing a soul on a three-inch curb. Anyone who knows my skating knows I am adaptable. I was technical since the beginning and I can also do stunts. If you want to stay on the top in this game, you need to stay adaptable. I think being able to evolve and adapt to different and new trends is what has given Julian, Aragon and myself the longevity we’ve had in this sport.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen while filming for the Ground Control video?
There’s this gap at a hotel down the street from our house that Julian has been wanting to do for a while. The day we finally went to film it, me, Max and Julian were in the car stuck at a stoplight across the street from the place and Julian jumped out of the car to scope it out. By time me and Max finally pulled in Julian was already at the top and he was ready to go big. There was this ballet studio next door and all the parents were looking at us all crazy not knowing what were gonna do—like we were gonna abduct their children or something. I mean, we did have a camera and little girls were there in leotards. It was weird as hell. Next thing you know he just throws himself off the second story of the hotel and lands this huge 180 first try. It was dangerous for sure.
What have you got in the works these days?
I’m trying to stay busy, skating and making music. I’m going to go back to school soon. Me and Montre would like to open an SDSF skate shop branch in Charlotte and call it SDSF NC. Me and Montre would promote and Phil Gripper would run it. There is a good scene in Charlotte right now. We have a street called Rat we have locked down. We the Rat Street Boys. Good art and music scene there, too. Also I’ve got a new skate out with Razors and a new wheel out with BHC. I’m juiced on that. I’m looking forward to more touring too.
What’s your setup right now?
I’m riding the Featherlites because I like to be as light as possible. Size 1 shells, size two frames. That setup gives me more surface space for grinding and gives me more stability for landing big gaps.
Tell us about Modern Primatives.
Modern Primatives is a band Phil put together recently with our friend Travis and some other friends. They’re pretty funky, sultry songs—real progressive. Phil is really good on the drums and has just been killin’ it. Wish we could’ve gotten some tracks from them for GC video. (Check them out on reverbnation.com)
Me and Julian are getting into production and doing movies. We’re talking about skate videos with all original music. It’s gonna be epic. We’re making new edits all the time and putting them up on the Internet. I want to stay out there making everyone love rollerblading and freestyle skating the way we do. Developing that stuff is probably my biggest goal at the moment.
Interview by Jan Welch; Editing by Frank Stoner