Month: February 2015

Skateboarding’s Dystopian High School Athletic Department Bound Future.

Words: Mike Gustafson

As skateboarding continues to grow in popularity and big business continues to gobble up increasing market share, subsequently displacing the “skater-owned” heart and soul of a once outlawed activity. Our beloved passtime is on a collision course towards mainstream gentrification and rigid placement within the ranks of high school team sports.

Yep. I said it. In 15 years you’ll have Varsity and Junior Varsity labeled, high school endorsed squads, competing in State and Regional competitions. This will be a direct result of any and all locally owned skateboard shops and companies being forced out of business by Fortune 500 companies that have left zero monetary sustainability for small business owners. Skateboarding products will be available exclusively from souless online retailers or in mall shops next to sporting goods stores.

With the absence of any localized culture, skateboarding merely becomes an activity and not a lifestyle. With big business running the show, shop and small company sponsored skateboarders do not exist. There exists only an elite group of skateboarding superstars used by large corporations for marketing purposes. Think baseball, football, basketball stars, etc. For example, how often does Foot Locker sponsor a local basketball player in your neighborhood?

Now, with only big business running skateboarding, and an absence of local shops or companies to nurture scenes, the new large corporate owners of skateboarding are faced with a problem. How do we continue to bring new skateboarders into the fold to buy our products?

Answer: Team sports.

High school sponsored team sports. Take the Street League contest model of skateboarding, which now becomes the “Professional League” like the NFL or NBA and combine it with high school level athletics which funnels beginners up into the mega stars that will inevitably be produced with help from world class marketing departments to sell product x to the masses. This is how we end up with a once rich and vibrant culture banished to a meaningless banality.

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John “The Man” Reeves Interview

Frontside Wallride [p] CMART

Frontside Wallride [p] CMART

CMART: For the people who don’t know, why are you J “the man” R ?
JTMR: Well, there definitely is a story behind the nick name and it stems from my first sponsor, Primo Desiderio, he gave me Vision boards and Vision Streetwear, and we did demos at Southern California elementary schools. He also did a thing called Team Primo that also featured two top Vision factory riders that you may have heard of… (They are only two of the biggest names in skateboarding! Matt Hensley & Danny Way). Anyhow, he made flyers for the demos we used to do that said featuring John “The Man” Reeves, hahaha! Which is pretty weird considering I was only like 13 years old… I guess Primo called me “the man” first because he is kind of a small short dude and second because I was a bit bigger than him and skated bigger too, like a man. Ha! Then when Mike Ternasky put me on H-street and they made my part for the Hokus Pokus video, Tony Magnusson introduced me as “The Man,” John Reeves. At first I always felt weird about it, like people really thought that I take the nick name really seriously, but anyone who knows me knows that I don’t. Now I just see the nick name as a thing to set me apart from the seemingly endless sea of talented skateboarders.

CMART: Where are you from?
JTMR: San Diego. 1904 to the world! The Mecca, Manila Mesa, The BLVD. Of MM. Mira Mesa.

CMART: What is your overall impression of step dads?
JTMR: Step Dad’s rule! They do all of the things that real dads don’t want to.

CMART: Who’s your favorite skater? Or person you skate with…
JTMR: I’d have to say Mark Gonzales to this question and I have been fortunate enough to skate with him a couple of times. He just always has a good time! When I started it was Gonz, Natas Kaupas, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero, Julian Stranger, Christian Hosoi, Steve Caballero and guys like Eric Dressen, Jesse Martinez and other Venice Beach dudes pushing street skating to a level that I wanted to be at. All of those guys influenced the skating in videos like Hokus Pokus and the Life Video “A Soldier’s Story.” As for now I just like to skate with anybody who genuinely loves it and wants to skateboard.

CMART: What do you like to do outside of skateboarding?
JTMR: I sing, play guitar, write lyrics and poems.
I also draw, paint, and even cook. But I also watch a lot of TV and movies, I could cut back on that, but it is inspiring and educational because you can learn so much from other peoples stories. I have a book of poetry out now called “Open Through the Mindflow…” published in San Diego by a small independent
publisher called Shookup Publishing, and I’m working on my second book it is going to be called “Save Manhattan for Another Day.” I want to get more serious about my singer-songwriter stuff.

CMART: How would you describe your art?
JTMR: My art is all pieces of me. I guess a lot of it is sort of veiled self portraits inspired by words and life experiences. Writings, lyrics, singing and poetry too… I view it all as art.

CMART: Describe your favorite piece of art you have made.
JTMR: I dunno that’s a hard one, I am never really good at picking favorites… But I can tell you that my favorite punctuation mark is the ellipsis and that I’m working on a project called ARSSIA right now. A.R.S.S.I.A is an acronym that I made up that means, “Artists Ride Skateboards Skateboarding Is Art.” So that is my favorite right now.

CMART: Your book is rad, could you tell me a little about it?
JTMR: Thanks! “Open Through The Mindflow…” is a collection of poetry, lyrics, drawings, paintings, and short stories that I created over the last decade. It is a labor of love and self expression, it’s just stuff that I felt about life and living. It is words and art that I made while living in San Diego, Portland, and in Brooklyn and NYC. It is mostly spontaneous stuff that I doodled or wrote down on an envelope or on a post it note that I turned into real writings, drawings, or paintings. It also includes some of the lyrics that I wrote in High School while singing in bands.

CMART: Is everyone an artist?
JTMR: I believe that every human can be creative, I just think that most humans need to tap into their creativity if they haven’t done so yet.

CMART: If you didn’t do art what would you do?
JTMR: I’d be an explorer and go on international expeditions to rare remote places, Ha yeah! I might do that anyway.

CMART: Are you into collaborations? Have you done any?
JTMR: Yeah sure I’m down to collaborate, but the only collaborations I’ve really done are the two board series’ with Oscar from Bodega Skateboards. We’ve done two series’ of skateboard decks where he picks a movie then I draw after I watch the movie and he hand silkscreens my drawings on the decks and I pick the color ways. The first one we did was the “Dead Man” series which is a Jim Jarmusch / Johnny Depp film. The second one we did is the “Naked Lunch” series which is William S. Burroughs / David Cronenburg film. Those boards are out now.

CMART: Have you had many shows?
JTMR: No I’ve only had a few. I was in two different group shows when I lived in Portland, Or. and I most recently had a show at NBKC the North Brooklyn Collective in Bushwick. I’m down to do more shows and I want to do some really big paintings someday.

CMART: Where can people see it?
JTMR: If someone wanted to see some of my work right now they’d have to go online. They could see some stuff on jtmr.tumblr.com or on instagram @johnthemanreeves #jtmart and @arsssia . I also like to do these little videos I like to call poemovies and you can see some of those on YouTube.com/solocreator

CMART: Do you believe in Santa?
JTMR: Never did never will. But I do believe that people can play the role of Santa just by being generous and giving to others and it wouldn’t even have to be on X-mas, HaHA!

CMART: If you could put a piece of your art permanently forever, where would it be?
JTMR: Space! Deep down into the core of the middle of the Earth? On top of Mt. Everest? Kilimanjaro? Under the sea with the little mermaid? I dunno. All I know is that I would like to be able to share my stuff with everybody!

Frankie Nash x SDOTY Interview

Franksugarcane

Frontside Sugarcane [p] Liam Annis

Mike Gustafson: Hi Frankie, I want to start off this interview by saying that we are so psyched to have you be the 2014 “Step Dad of the Year”! Between your excellent video part in the Orchard video and that crazy fall over the rail I’d say you had quite a year! What have you been up to since the winter has set in? Do you still skate outside?

Frankie Nash: Thanks Mike! I’m honored that you chose me as “Step Dad of the Year”! It’s been a crazy year. There’s been a lot of ups and downs but I’m still here and I’m still skating so I can’t complain. Winter has begun but we are still at that in-between stage where it’s cold as shit one day and then warm the next day. The cold and the snow are on the way and I’m not looking forward to it. I’ve been skating when I can. Due to my work schedule that is now mostly at night and on the weekends. I’ve just been trying to get it in and get you some photos for the mag before there’s snow on the ground. I like skating in the cold but it gets to a point where you physically just can’t. It’s always a debate. Do I sit inside where it’s warm and drink a few beers or do I put on 5 layers and go push around? The colder it gets the harder it is to get people motivated to go skate outside.

MG: When you’re not skating, how do you spend your time in Boston?

FN: My time when I’m not skating is usually spent working. I work an office job as a Graphic Designer and I also work at a café a few days a week. Some of that time is also spent working on my own personal art projects. I spend a lot of time doing that during the winter. I also enjoy hanging with my friends, drinking some brews, and going to the bar. That’s usually where you can find me on a Friday or Saturday night.

FrankHurricane

Frontside Hurricane [p] Liam Annis

MG: Can you tell us a funny story from hanging out at the Model?

FN: Oh man. A lot of crazy and weird stuff happens at that place but it’s hard to pin point an exact story. My friends and I actually have our own signature line of cocktails because we go there so much. The original and most common is the “Thirsty”. I’ve seen a lot of fights there and people get kicked out for doing dumb shit. The dance floor gets crazy on Friday and Saturday nights. The staff is rad and we have become friends with all the bouncers and bartenders over the years. It has basically become the skate bar of Allston. All in all, it’s usually a good time!

MG: Do you still live in Allston? That neighborhood seemed like house party central.
Can you give us a pro tip for hanging out at
random parties?

FN: Yeah, I still live in Allston. I’ve lived in Boston now for almost 10 years and have bounced all over the place. I finally ended up in Allston a few years back and it’s been my home ever since. The neighborhood is populated with a lot of young people so the weekends are usually crazy. I used to go to a lot of house parties but now that I’ve gotten a bit older it seems like we always end up at the bar. I’m always down for a good house party though. As far as a tip, I’d say make sure you bring enough beer, be yourself, and have fun! Never stop having fun!

MG: To reference the elephant in the room here, do you mind telling us the story behind your photo on the cover of this issue?

FN: It was a Wednesday night and for some reason I didn’t have to work in the morning. I met up with the boys and we had a couple beers and decided to go out to the bar for a bit. We were waiting for someone at the top of this massive set of stairs and I was leaning on the railing at the top. I jokingly tried to slide on the rail on my ass and somehow lost my balance and flipped over it. The drop was about 25-30 feet and I fell straight to my face and knees. I got knocked out instantly. I came to a few minutes later and my friends were trying to help me up. At that point the ambulance got there and I was apparently not trying to go with them. My friends said I was fighting with them to not take me with them. I was conscious enough to recognize my friend I grew up with that is a fire fighter in Allston and everyone was shocked. I spent a day in the hospital and they wouldn’t let me leave until I did all these tests to make sure I was Ok. I managed to get out of the situation with a black eye and some cuts on my face and knees. I am very lucky that nothing worse happened. I tried to skate a day later but it was weird. My balance was all off and my knees were shaky. It took a few days to get back to normal. I survived the fall and have a couple little scars on my face but that’s it. I’ve been told numerous times chicks dig scars.

Back Blunt pop to flat [p] Liam Annis

Back Blunt pop to flat [p] Liam Annis


MG: I’m glad that you came out of that Ok! What do you have lined up for 2015? Any projects in the works?

FN: Just trying to keep skating and have fun with my friends. I’m working on a part for Tim Savage’s video that should be out sometime in 2015. Expect to see a teaser for that coming out soon. Not sure what’s next as far as Orchard videos but I’m sure I’ll end up working on something for them, too.

MG: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview! Anyone you’d like to thank before we wrap this up?

FN: No problem! Thanks again for bestowing me with this honor. I’d just like to thank my family and all of my friends. This would not have been possible without them. I’d also like to thank Orchard for all they’ve done and continue to do for me. I’d like to thank Habitat, Converse, and Domestics. I’d like to thank Tim Savage for putting up with me, being a great friend/roommate, and also for being an amazing filmer. Trevor Denman and Liam Annis for helping me shoot this interview over the past month. Last but most certainly not least is you and Step Dad Mag! Thank you!