Frontman of Legendary skate rock band that paved the way in making your own skate products DIY style, Toured with the purpose of hitting any skate spots, Brian Brannon of JFA.
All photos courtesy of JFA, except the JFA ad.
Did skating or music come first?
Skating always comes first. That's why when we go on tours, we'd almost never do sound checks. We were too busy sampling the local scene.
Did you plan your tours so you could skate?
Let's just say that if there was a place that had some giant pipes or a killer pool, we'd figure out a way to get there...
What's the coolest thing you've skated?
Probably the Florence Pipes in Arizona. Perfect 18 foot pipes with a serious downhill grade. You could get cooking for sure in those. Skated them with Salba, Malba, Tony Alva, Monda, Roskopp, Keith Meek and all the local Phoenix heads. Malba was going higher than anyone thought possible. It was completely insane.
What's the best session you've been at?
Honestly, they keep getting better all the time. But we definitely had some good sessions at the old Dead Cat Pool in Phoenix. It was a giant Roman with huge coping. The thing was so big it had six love seats. You should have seen our buddy Steve Shelton destroy that thing. He ruled it.
I heard your new video has some skating in it. Tell us a little about it!
Actually, we've got two going now. One is for the song Danny Sargent's Trucks, which is all about grinding. So we filmed a big session at our buddy Punker Ron's pool. He's got a left hand kidney with a bonus pocket in his backyard and we played a set and had all our bros skate it. Dave Reul, Lance Mountain and a bunch of local rippers showed up and tore it to shreds. It was rad. Can't wait to see how it comes out. The other one is called Wilson and it's all about eating it. We're getting a bunch of slam footage together and are going to string it all together to the music. That one should be pretty rad too. Not sure which one is going to be the best!
What was it like to skate with all those legends?
Very inspirational for sure. Especially guys like Christian Hosoi who combine power and style. It really makes you think about doing things right and going with the flow. The good thing about most of these guys is that they're really down to earth and super cool. The only time they'll give you a hard time is if you kook it and get in the way.
You live in California now. Have you crossed over into Surfing since the days of Beach Blanket Bongout?
Yeah, Don and I surf pretty regularly on the weekends. When I lived in Arizona, we skated surf style in the pools. Now I try to surf skate style in the waves. I've done more than a few acid drops dropping in late on big waves. You can get going super fast while you're surfing because you don't get speed wobles. It's pretty much up to how big the wave is and how smooth the face is. If you choose your line right, you can really get cooking.
The song actually made it onto Sirius' Punk Channel. How did that come about, and did you find a new group connecting to your music?
Not sure how we got on Sirius. But it's killer playing shows and seeing all the new kids come out and have the exact same spirit as all our friends from back in the day. To me, that's what it's all about!
Have you ever been so stoked/focused after a Skate Session that you wrote a song on the spot?
Not really on the spot, but the lyrics have bounced around in my head right after. It usually takes a few days or a week or two for them to ferment and actually come out. The song Nude Bowl Resurection off the Concrete Waves compilation was about the time we rented a back hoe and emptied all the dirt out of the Nude Bowl and refinished it after the cops filled it to the brim with dirt.
As a life-long Skater & Punk Rocker, do you have any words of wisdoms for the upstarts/young ones?
Just always be yourself and don't worry about impressing anyone else. The best skater in the world is whoever's having the most fun.
I remember you writing for Thrasher, and thought it was a great way to inspire others to write/express DIY style... How did you get involved with that gig?
I just started sending them in stories that I wrote about sessions with all my friends and they started printing them. I was basically just following my dream and look where it got me!