HAVE YOU MET MANY OF YOUR HEROES? WHO WAS THE LEAST DISAPPOINTING? THE MOST DISAPPOINTING?
Yes, I met Ian Mackaye of Fugazi years ago, I went up to him to introduce myself – I was pretty scared – but he disarmed the tension so quickly by saying “Hey I know you, I read all of your interviews in the skate mags”. It was amazing for me to have this music icon know who I was. We have been friends ever since. The most disappointing was probably photographer Peter Beard. His assistant who I have known for years tried to introduce me to him at a show in LA, he stuck his hand out without even looking and gave me the dead fish. Never even turned his head to see whose hand he was shaking. Even my friend looked at me and shrugged his shoulders like, “Oh well”.DID ANY CARTOONS INSPIRE YOU TO DRAW AS A KID? IF SO, WHICH ONES?
I watched a lot of cartoons, but my drawings were never of them. I would say that Voltron, He-Man and the short Hanna Barbera cartoons may have had some influence, but not in a direct way. I liked to draw Godzilla.WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR OR SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS?
I haven’t read one of his for a while, but I really loved Jerzy Kosinski’s books. The Painted Bird was a great book for me when I was younger. I loved Kurt Vonnegut and the classics; Twain, Wilde, Steinbeck. I still need to read Moby Dick! Theres so many I have not yet read. I read non-fiction mostly these days. I like Sam Harris. I’m reading the new Dave Hickey book right now.I LOVE PEOPLE TOO. BUT IS THERE A CERTAIN TYPE OF PERSON YOU ABSOLUTELY WON’T STAND FOR?
There’s plenty of people I avoid coming into contact with. Some of it’s more comical than real, like avoiding hippies or people on rollerblades, but as far as total protest? Racists and Religious Zealots. Total extremists of all types are usually fairly insufferable.WHAT IS YOUR NEXT GOAL? WAS THERE A DREAM YOU NEVER GOT TO COMPLETING THAT YOU MAY SOMEDAY DO?
I have a slew of goals. My main one is completing my book/show Wires Crossed, but in front of that there are some other projects. As far as life goals, there’s the nebulous ones like have a show at Tate Modern, and then more tangible ones like go back to Africa, and travel to more places. Another one is to live in a country outside the USA. I don’t like the idea of me living in Southern California my entire life.HOW DID YOU FIRST FEEL THE FIRST TIME YOU MET YOUR BEAUTIFUL WIFE DEANNA?
I was so young, I just liked the idea that someone thought I was cute. I was 14 years old. So I was probably horny, and I thought she was really weird and she was a thousand times cooler than me, so I was filled with butterflies when I found out she liked me. But on the surface I was as awkward and unexpressive as you can imagine a gangly 14 year old boy being.WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON KIDS AND SOCIAL MEDIA? HOW DO YOU THINK IT’S EFFECTING OUR YOUTH?
Kids need to be careful – well everyone does. When you grow up with a camera in your pocket 24-7 that can immediately share whatever you are shooting publicly and instantaneously its a recipe for disaster. It’s effecting me in my old age even. I don’t need to commit anything to memory anymore, so I don’t. When I need to know something, I just Google it. If I do that at my age, I can’t imagine how a young person who has had a computer in their hand since they were 7 years old deals with it. Having said that, I love social media! I’m addicted to Instagram. And I find value in having a presence in these platforms so I can get the word out about whatever I’m doing, and also find out about all the people I think are interesting. I still need to find a good balance regarding my usage. I wonder how the kids find balance.DO YOU BELIEVE THE INTERNET IS A PROBLEM OR A SOLUTION?
The internet just is. Our generations are the ones that need to forge the new etiquette for how we should integrate the use of it into our society. Is it okay to text at the dinner table? Is it cool to be anonymous and talk shit on people? Also, are we going to let corporations constrict usage for the poor and allow faster use for the people able to pay? Some major issues will be debated in our lives regarding this stuff. It’s the mainframe information source and communication tool. Everything will be via the internet soon. Video tape is over, film and CD’s are dying. DVD’s and the like are next. We are in a major transition. I’m glad to have lived before it all, so I can always keep a memory of what it was like. “Grandpa, what was it like before the internet?” “There were these things called maps, and you had to learn how to read one.”
WHO WAS YOUR DREAM GIRL WHEN YOU WERE A LITTLE KID? WHO DID YOU WANT TO GROW UP TO BE JUST LIKE?
Teenage boys have so many dream girls! I had a crush on my cousin Amy when I was young. Then I remember this Cosmo cover with Cindy Crawford on it. I crushed on her for a while. Then I started meeting real girls. I didn’t have a surplus of good role models growing up. I don’t remember wanting to be like anyone. Well, maybe at one point I wanted to be like Jane’s Addiction in general. And my skating, I wanted it to be like Chris Millers.HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CURRENT DAY SKATERS STARTING OUT? ARE KIDS MUCH DIFFERENT TO HOW YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS WERE WHEN YOU WERE STARTING OUT?
Yeah, its crazy different! You can see any video ever made on your computer. The starting point for what’s possible in a young skater’s mind isn’t limited. We didn’t have those examples to look at. I feel excited for them. These kids can digest all that skating has to offer and then be part of the generation that pushes the bar up higher. I feel like so much has been done, and I know for a fact even crazier things will be done. That will be fun to watch.WHAT WAS THE WORST TROUBLE YOU GOT INTO IN YOUR YOUTH?
I was pretty tame. Or I didn’t get caught. I never got into major trouble. I wasn’t interested in drugs. Never did any of them. I never stole. I did a tiny bit of graffiti but was never caught. I broke into my high school and middle school and wrote messages on the chalkboards, but was never caught. Smashed a few pumpkins on Halloween. My biggest trouble was with my mother and grandfather. I would constantly break curfew and do terrible in school. So I was always grounded in some way, or my skateboard taken away. But I had a spare skateboard at my friends’ house.SOME OF THE SONGS THAT PLAYED AT YOUR PROM (IF YOU WENT)?
No prom for me. In my generation being a skateboarder was not cool at all. We were the “dorks.”WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CITY?
I really love being in London. Berlin, New York, Paris. I’ll say London for now.HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT NEW YORK? HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO LA?
I love New York. I know living there would be good for me. But I feel like I wouldn’t get anything done because there’s so much going on always. Openings, museums, great food, great walks, music, people everywhere. How could I stay in and work? It’s hard enough on nice days here in HB to stay inside when I know the beach is going off and there’s so much to photograph. LA is spread out, and you can still find places to get lost. I think LA is becoming the major art capital. You are just so tied to the car in LA.WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON BEYONCE? I’M ALWAYS CURIOUS ABOUT THIS!
I have almost no thoughts on her. I know who she is, but don’t have/listen to any of her music. She’s beautiful. I’ve seen some videos, they were nice.WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU INTO THESE DAYS? ARE THERE ANY BANDS THAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SEE IF THEY COME TO YOUR TOWN?
Morrissey just came through and I didn’t even try to get tickets. I’ve seen him before. I might be at the age where I don’t care that much about going to see a band live anymore? Or someone has to make it real easy for me, like put me on the list or something. I went to FYF last year to see No Age, and watched some Yo La Tengo. I like those bands. I feel like my music is frozen at a certain time. I still like Dinosaur Jr., Fugazi, Sonic Youth, Dylan, various punk. I made a mega-playlist on my ipod that would take a week to listen through and I rock that pretty much all the time, it never seems to get old. All may faves are on there. If Fugazi ever reunited I would fly anywhere in the world to see it.
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