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Editors Adam Sever Chris Pernula
Contributing Photographers Sam McGuire Trevor Klopp Sheldon Sabatini John Straub Contents Slowly Killing... @ the Show GVR Mike Kershnar Erich Dummer Stencil Steve Emeric Pratt Handjob Featherproof In the Garage Common Enemy
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Memo: An Ode to Longboarding Icecaps have melted Shed a tear for snowboarding Bomb another hill -Chris
If you would have asked us 7 1/2 years ago if we would ever make it to issue 20, we probably would have said that we’d doubt we’d make it to issue 2. But here we are, 19 issue later, releasing an issue with the exact same number of pages as the first issue. If you asked us now if we’ll ever make it to issue 50, we’ll probably tell you that we won’t make it to issue 21. You’ll just have to wait and see. -Adam
Some things are only possible on a skateboard.
Alexisonfire “Crisis” Vagrant Alexisonfire is like a Canadian version of Rise Against. They have the post hardcore/screamo thing down, but it sounds like they are trying to hard to find a mainstream audience. The problem with this release is that it brings nothing new to the musical table and this genre has been done better for years by bands like Thursday and Rise Against. All City Affairs “Bees” Lujo Records To be in a band is to know compromise. To be a solo artist is to have total unmitigated control over every aspect imaginable. This seems to be the goal of Peter Andreadis, who wrote, recorded, and mixed “Bees”, along with creating the album’s artwork. Most of the songs were performed solo, with the exception of a few tracks that included live instrumentation. Onstage is also a oneman show; Andreadis is accompanied by pre-recorded music rather than a backing band. There is no one specific sound on “Bees.” Tracks are graced with touches of rock, jazz, funk, and reggae, a feat that Andreadis pulls off seamlessly. Archaeology “Chant Chant Camp” Thug Factory I hesitated to listen to Archaeology’s new album, due to the album’s artwork. The design reminded me of some white dudes doing bad hip-hop, mainly because the Archaeology name and rest of the text is in a graffiti-ish type font. I hadn’t planned on listening to this CD, but after I had imported it into Itunes, I accidentally double clicked on one of the songs and it started playing. What had played though, caught my ear enough to make me want to listen to the album over and over. Archaeology blend indie, math rock, progressive, plus many different styles so effortlessly it’s amazing. Definitely a band worth checking out. Aspen It Is “Release Me From the Weights of Gravity” Peirmont Records Aspen It Is play poppy upbeat rock, with vocals starkly similar to Saves the Day. They’ve shared the stage with such acts as Rookie of the Year, Houston Calls, and Hidden in Plainview. Their latest release was recorded and produced by Jesse Korman and Emanuel Ayvas. If you’re a fan of Saves the Day’s vocal stylings, you may want to pick this up. Ben Davis/Des Ark Split “Battle of the Beards” Lovitt Records This release was originally supposed to be a split between Ben Davis and the Rosebuds, but the Rosebuds couldn’t do it for some reason. The first 5 tracks on this album go to Ben Davis, and they are a mixture of Pinback subdued indie and Mark Mallman’s piano driven pop. Des Ark has the next 5 tracks and are similar to what they have done in the past. A couple of the songs have acoustic guitars and the other tracks are full on rocker. The last 2 tracks are collaborative efforts, and sound similar as they both have strings and are mostly sung by Amy of Des Ark. Both artists do great jobs on this release and I’m eager to see what they do with next full lengths.
Bigg Jus “Poor People’s Day” Mush Records This album claims to “document the timeline for an era of media control during significant global crisis.” Loose rhymes and beats make it difficult to get into this album. The lyrics and inventive and the music has promise, but things break up too easily and don’t flow together as well as they should. Blood Brothers “Young Machetes” V2 If you want your brain to totally shut down and make the most easy things, like backing into a parking space, impossible, then listen to the new Blood Brothers joint. On the way to work one day, I was listening this to at a high volume, and when it came to back into my parking spot, I didn’t have enough mental capacity to do so until I turned off the CD. What you can expect from “Young Machetes” is the typical Blood Brothers approach, scream, thrash, repeat. Pretty similar to their Previous “Crimes” but longer.
Blood Brothers Blue Sky Black Death “A Heap of Broken Images” Mush Records This is a two-disk set, the first a mellow arrangement of instrumentals that include violins and cellos. Things pick up speed on the second disk, which features an army of independent hip hop artists including Heiroglyphics’ A-Plus and Pep Love, and the one and only Guru of Gangstarr fame. Other notable acts include Virtuoso, Mikah-9, and Lil’ Sci. A solid album with a variety of guests, “A Heap of Broken Images” aims to please and leaves little room for disappointment. Chad Rex and the Victorstands “Gravity Works Fire Burns” Mars Motors Kansas City’s Chad Rex has released another collection of rock/altcountry tunes. Highlights include “Mile Marker Town” and the slowpaced “Blind the Moon.” In the past, critics have drawn comparisons to the Replacements, which is fitting considering this disc includes a track entitled “Song for Paul Westerberg to Sing.”
Che Arthur “Iron” Sickroom Records “Iron” is the new solo album from ex Atombombpocketknife guitarist Che Arthur. The sound of the album instantly reminded me of Foo Fighters and Nirvana, but with a more punk feel. Overall the CD is pretty good. If you liked his previous album, you’d be into this one too. Chin Up Chin Up “This Harness Can’t Ride Anything” Suicide Squeeze The release of “This Harness Can’t Ride Anything” marks a one of many firsts for the band. This is their first release after the death of Chris Saathoff, their original bassist. It’s the first release with their
The Dark Romantics “Some Midnight Kissin’” Lujo Records After sending some demos to their friend, Jason Martin of Starflyer 59, Martin agreed to produce and record the band’s full length. With the backing of Lujo they went in and recorded 10 original indie rock ditties with a slight feeling of Starflyer 59. Some of the lyrics are bland like “she stole my heart like a million bucks // she stole my heart like an armored truck”. Sure it makes sense but lacks in the intelligence department. “Some Midnight Kissin’” is a strong debut and it shows some promise of things to come. Dead Voices on Air “From Labrador to Madagascar” Invisible Records Q: What’s better than listening to noisy ambient industrial influenced music? A: Not listening to it. There are many artists that do this style of music that’s dark, slow and quiet, and sure I appreciate your “art” but I don’t see a need to listen to this while sober and not depressed. Decembers Architects “,Apiary Ennui And Curiosas. The Brew Shakes” Say & Stay Said The long awaited release of Decembers Architects’ final recording is finally here. This album fucking owns. It’s a shame that this band has been broken up for years now and that it took so long to get this album released. It is the perfect blend of bands like Cap’n Jazz, Joan of Arc, The Promise Ring, and Braid. It has a very indie Chicago sound like the previous bands mentioned. Get your hands on this, because it has a limited pressing, so they won’t be around forever. Denison Witmer “Safe Away” & “Are You a Sleeper?” The Militia Group “Safe Away” is a re-release of Denison’s 1997 humble beginnings. What was originally created as a gift for friends and family has become a favorite among fans and critics, remaining his best selling piece of work even though it was never an “official” release. Newcomers can now enjoy these songs that were written when Denison was only 19 years old. Included is the EP “Are You a Sleeper?” which includes stripped down versions of previously released material along with new songs. Gentle vocals and relaxing acoustic guitar grace each track and leave a lasting impression. DJ Shadow “The Outsider” Universal/Motown DJ Shadow’s latest offering is over an hour of music with a variety styles and guests, including David Banner, E-40, Chris James, and Q-Tip. Mellow retro funk tunes like “This Time” sit right alongside bass-thumping hip hop tracks like “3 Freaks”. Guitar-driven tracks like “Artifact” and “You Made It” break things up and give the album more depth. This is an impressive recording with something for everyone.
Chin Up Chin Up new bassist, Jesse Woghin of Narrator. And it is their first release on the Suicide Squeeze label. The sound on this album reminds me of that Rusted Root song, “Send Me on My Way”. It’s easy on the ears and it’s a great long drive album. Coho “Things Change” Lujo Records “Things Change” starts out with a slow whispery song, but then barges into the genuine indie rocker “I Will Disappear”. This pattern of slow/soft to loud/fast continues throughout the album. You can’t deny this Seattle musicians skills, but you have to be in the right mood to sit through the sludge before getting to the good parts. If there was one song on this album that I would suggest, it would be “Mahatma Denver”. It starts off slow, then half way through, explodes into it’s sound, suggesting influences from Cursive’s “Ugly Organ”. Copeland “Eat, Sleep, Repeat” The Militia Group Copeland singer Aaron Marsh learned how to use a vibraphone before recording this album and it shows in a couple of the songs. It seems to me that the band discovered Radiohead’s “OK Computer” before writing, and were so enthralled with it, that they decided to emulate Radiohead’s sound on tracks “Where’s My Head” and “Careful Now”. The other 9 tracks are similar to something Jimmy Eat World would do. They do show some originality on “Love Affair”. The first half of the song is a slow piano driven ballad, but then turns into a jazzy trumpet and drum number. It’s a nice little ending.
The Drugstore Cowboys “Chapter 3006” Lujo Records This Washington D.C. two-piece combine elements from across the music genre spectrum to create something that can only be described as electro-hardcore-hip-pop-rock. Vocalist Jeff Scott lists a variety of influences that include Botch, The Blood Brothers, Three 6 Mafia, Linkin Park, Postal Service, Britney Spears, and Head Automatica. One second there’s screeching vocals over unforgiving programmed destruction, the next second the beat drops and hip-hop influenced lyrics smooth everything out (see track five, “Mind of a Salesman”, for a perfect example of this meshing of styles. The End of The World “You’re Making It Come Alive” Flameshovel I think you have to be in the right situation to truly appreciate some music. Take for instance The End of the World’s new album. I think I’ve “listened” to this 3 or 4 times but never remembered or got it. Then one day at work I put it on and it clicked with me. “You’re Making It Come Alive” shares sounds with The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up, but a little faster and less gloomy.
The Good Mornings “S/T” Thick Records Lansing, Michigan The Good Mornings self titled debut features atmospheric indie sung by the buttery voice of Carmen Paradise and some impressive guitar work from Jason Lantrip. Both artists are members of the space rock band Calliope. Happy Together Compilation - Various Artists Lujo Records The idea behind this is quite cool. Lujo Label owners, Eric and Jocelyn, met through the label a few years ago, and got to know each other and then fell in love. They recently got married and as a gift to all those in attendance they gave away this Happy Together compilation. What do you do when you have to order 500 CDs from the pressing plant, but only have 200 guests? You give the extras to the press and sell them on the website. Now this isn’t any ordinary compilation with songs you’ve heard before. All the songs on the album were specifically wrote for this compilation or are covers. The bands are mostly Lujo bands but there a some outsiders like Hanalei. Hair: Chicago Punk Cuts - Various Artists Thick Records This CD starts out with a song by Allister that features a guitar riff reminiscent of Green Day circa “Insomniac.” From there, things kind of blend together until we come across Holy Roman Empire and Emily Schambra’s signature vocals. After that it’s a lot more pop-punk from groups like The Methadones and The Bomb. Heavens “Patent Pending” Epitaph What electronic pop duo features an indie icon from a long running popular group, and an electronic beat maker who is semi well known? I’m not talking Postal Service, but the new project from Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba and Jonah Steinbrick from F-minus. While Heavens and the Postal Service have many exterior similarities, it’s the music that sets them apart. Ben Gibbard’s lyrics are complete opposites to Matt Skiba’s dark violent tones. For example, the opening line of “Another Night”: “Another night with your head in the oven // Simmering like a heat wave over you // Sweat drops hiss at the bottom // Blood droplets cook like glue”. Sure the lyrics are dark, but the danceable beats make it a great combination. Jill Cunniff “City Beach” The Militia Group Jill Cunniff, formerly of Luscious Jackson, has hereby ruined eating orange popsicles with the release of her new solo album “City Beach”. The opening track “Lazy Girls”, is a summer-y blend of infectious beats and loops with sugary female vocals that whispery say “eating orange popsicles” in the chorus. So now, whenever I eat an orange popsicle I will think of this song. Couldn’t she have chosen a different flavor like grape or cherry or the flavor that no one likes, root beer? “City Beach” is a welcome half ray of sunshine for us city dwellers or landlocked individuals tucked away for the winter. At least two of these songs could easily be played on the radio and have the kind of one hit charm as Len’s “Steal My Sunshine” or “All Star” by Smashmouth.
The End of the World Ferocious Eagle “The Sea Anemone Inside of Me is Mighty” 54°40 or Fight Ferocious Eagle is a two guitar and drums band from Portland, Oregon. Their new album is a mixture of angular art rock and half shouted vocals. Think BARR making babies with Hella and you’re getting close. Form of Rocket “Men” After six years and numerous lineup changes, Form of Rocket has completed their third album. This is high energy spazztic rock, hands down a good live performance. Guitar work and vocals similar to MN’s Signal to Trust or STNNNG, each song is like an audio beatdown. Can you make it through all ten tracks? Four Star Alarm “S/T” Thick Records This 5-song EP from the Chicago band Four Star Alarm is a promising debut with little need for improvement. Solid song writing and Guitar work in the vein of Seaweed, FSA deliver a taste of what can be expected from future releases. This is post-punk with originality, a unique sound that hasn’t been mass produced and marketed within an inch of its life.
Juhu Beach “Scenes of Abandoned Industry” Juhu Beach can be compared with bands like The Narrator. Kind of angular in a sense. This CD is only 4 songs, but it is quite good. Lakes “Photographs” The Militia Group Seth Roberts, formally of Watashi Wa, has reemerged with “Photographs”, the debut 5-song EP from his new group Lakes. Several tracks feature guest vocals from Mike Herrera of MxPx and Aaron Marsh of Copeland, but do not overshadow those of Roberts. The vocals are definitely a strong point on this recording, with lyrics of turning points and finding love. The Lemonheads “S/T” Vagrant The first track of this album contains the line “Kill a werewolf, wooden stake it.” Aren’t wooden stakes used on vampires? I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to kill a werewolf with a silver bullet. At least that’s what they did in that movie Monster Squad, after they kicked him in the nards. I’d hate to see the Lemonheads get attacked by werewolves and try to kill them with stakes. Someone tell them, quick! Make Believe “Of Course” Flameshovel Almost a year to the day of their debut full length, Make Believe is back again with a better album than their debut. All of the credit usually goes to eccentric front man Tim Kinsella, but a job well done goes out to Sam Zurick, Bobby Burg, and Nate Kinsella for playing the hell out of their instruments. “Of Course” is the closet any of Tim’s music has gotten to Cap’n Jazz. This album would be great for those people who couldn’t get into Joan of Arc or Owls, but respect Tim’s musicianship.
Minus The Bear “Interpretationes Del Oso” Suicide Squeeze I’m on the fence about this Minus the Bear album being a good idea or a bad one. I mean “Menos el Oso” was a good album in its own right, so why remix it. But on the other hand, the remixes were done by musicians like P.O.S., Alias, and J. Clark of The Blood Brothers. Some of the remixes are good and some aren’t. The opening track “Drilling” remixed by P.O.S. is the best. It would have been nice if “Interpretationes Del Oso” had the same track sequence as “Menos el Oso”.
Minus the Bear
Motion Commotion “S/T” Peirmont Records This indie-rock quartet was formed only one year ago, yet in that time they have managed to record a demo tape and a 7-song concept album, sign with Piermont, and tour nationwide. This selftitled EP was produced by Jesse Cannon, who has worked with such artists as the Cure, Saves the Day, and Dillinger Escape Plan. The members of Motion Commotion all have extensive musical training, adding depth to each track with accordion, clarinet, and violin. Nakatomi Plaza “Unsettled” Red Leader Records For an album that was mastered six times, took 3+ years to finish, and almost broke the band up, you’d think that this album would sound a little bit better. “Unsettled” is quite good, but there is one aspect that I just can’t stand. The screaming vocals. Nakatomi Plaza has good vocalists, both male and female, but when the guy screams, it sounds like a chainsaw sawing through cats. Luckily the majority of the screaming is isolated to track two, but makes slight appearances throughout the album. The instrumentation is quite good also, but at some parts it sounds like the guitarist is trying too hard to get that riff and it comes off as cheesy. If I were you, I’d give this album a listen and make your own opinion about it.
Make Believe The Marked Men “Fix My Brain” Swami Records The Marked Men play a sort of garage rock that the Deathray Davies play, but at faster speeds, and their songs don’t go past the 3 minute mark. It’s a good CD, but after listening to it a few times, most of the songs sound similar and it’s hard to pinpoint a standout track.
New London Fire “I Sing the Body Holographic” Eyeball Records “I Sing the Body Holographic” has songs about a man in love with a prostitute, but she won’t stop whoring herself for him, a song about a serial killer that strikes every year on Valentine’s Day, a song about two ghosts trying to find each other in the after life, plus other songs. The lyrics may be dark, but when they are sung against the pulsing danceable beats that the New London Fire produces, it works completely well. Each song sounds different than each other, but as a whole it creates a cohesive piece of music that doesn’t disappoint. The New Trust “Dark is the Path Which Lies Before Us” Slowdance It’s hard to explain how good The New Trust is. The drums and opening bassline of the album opener “A Spoiled Surprise, A Cheap Reveal” will get stuck in your head for days. The Velvet Teen member Josh Staples in in charge of vocals and bass and his wife sings back up on some parts. This album will surely be high on the list for best albums of 2007.
Pinebender “Working Nine to Wolf” Lovitt Records I know Pinebender is a well respected band, but some songs on this album I could certainly do without. Like the thirteen minute opener “Parade of Horribles”, by the six minute mark, I’m begging it to be over. Luckily there is a skip button, which brings us to the better, shorter, less epic tracks like “She Destroys the Light”, “Mask Tree”, and “Polly Grey”. Portastatic “Bright Ideas” Merge Mac McCaughan has done it again. He has written another Pinebender perfect pop album that is up to par with his previous release “Bright Ideas”. “Sour Shores” and “I'm In Love (With Arthur Dove)” are examples of the lighthearted song writing while tracks like “Getting Saved” and “Like a Pearl” show a more serious personal side. I shouldn’t have to tell you to go out and buy this, because you should already have it. Protokoll “S/T” I Heart Comix Protokoll’s self titled ep has a sound influenced by British Guitar Pop bands of the 80’s as well as New York Post-Punk and No Wave from the same era. They blend synth-pop melodies with a rocking rhythm section that will keep your body moving. “Risen” is the stand out song on the album. Four of the five songs are over 5 minutes so you can listen to it over and over again and never get sick of it. Shanna Kiel “Orphan” Thick Records Shanna was in the midwestern punk band Sullen, but left St. Louis for the glitz of Hollywood, CA.“Orphan” is loud and gritty, with similarities to Courtney Love’s band Hole. Shat “Cuntree” Buddyhead 69 songs clocking in at exactly 69 minutes, “Cuntree” will either deeply offend you or make you occasionally chuckle if you have the sense of humor of a 13 year old boy. After the first 15 or 20 tracks, it becomes depressingly apparent that the album could have been reduced to one raunchy song about genitalia rather than over an hour of it. All of the lyrics are printed in the booklet, so you can sing along to such classics as “Butt Ugly”, “I Got a Rubber”, and “What the Fuck do you Think Christina Aguilera is Doing Right Now?” Sounds like something that would have been in a CKY video if it had only come out about seven years ago.
The New Trust One Night Band “Way Back Home” Stomp Records A ska band is a rare sight in these days filled with horrible rock and emo. One Night Band is a ska band from Canada, with rotating male and female vocals. They play a subdued reggae two tone version of ska, with plenty of horn solos, uppicking and organs. “Way Back Home” may not be the best ska album, but with the rarity of ska releases, it will do the trick. Owen “At Home With” Polyvinyl Records You pretty much know what you’re getting into when you pick up an Owen release. You’ve got Mike Kinsella on the guitar playing his soul out. While “At Home With” tracks are all of quality, some people might like his previous album “I Do Perceive” better. “At Home With” does feature a nice cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Femme Fatale”. Pete Yorn “Nightcrawler” Columbia “Nightcrawler” sounds like a cross between, Josh Joplin, Portastatic and something you’d find on an adult alternative station that plays stuff like Dave Matthews Band and Coldplay. It’s pretty harmless music. There are a few stand out tracks like “Maybe I’m Right” and “Ice Age”.
Shiny Toy Guns “We Are Pilots” Universal/Motown Claiming to have found the perfect balance between rock and synth, the songs on Shiny Toy Guns’ first full length are definitely more synth-heavy, bordering on electronica on more than one occasion. Declarations of creating a revolutionary new sound are perplexing; if anything there is a retro quality, reminiscent of something off of the Hackers soundtrack.The music itself is undeniably catchy pop, with choruses specifically designed to stick in your head. If something sounds familiar to you, the track “Don’t Cry Out” can be heard in Mack Dawg Productions’ latest film “Follow Me Around.” Speakerfire “Audio Alchemy” Peirmont Records If you’re looking for unoriginal, poorly written rock, then look no further than Speakerfire. The majority of this album is comprised of the same rock (i.e. Nickelback, etc...) that pollutes the top 40 radio stations. A couple of tracks on this album are salvageable, but who wants to wade through 30 feet of shit for fool’s gold. Stylex “Tight Scrapes” Ohio’s Stylex blends together the sounds of two other well known bands from the big O, Devo and Brainiac. “Tight Scrapes” will have you dancing until your heart stops, because each song is energizing and will make you want to do nothing but listen to it. The Subjects “With the Ease Grace, Precision, and Cleverness of Human Beings” Pretty Activity Records The Subjects are a teacher/student 4 piece that plays a Strokesesque style of music but more lo-fi. The whole album is good. Great and inventive guitar work and fun pop songs.
These Arms Are Snakes “Easter” Jade Tree A great follow up to their previous release “Oxeneers...”. “Easter” lost some of the noise elements that “Oxeneers” had, but TAAS singer Steve Snere has found his voice with this release. Titles “S/T” Welcome Home Records This Connecticut-based group is comprised of former members of the band First Aid Kit. Unlike their previous endeavor, Titles play relaxed songs with the occasional hint of blues within the vocals. Lyrically, these are songs of confusion and indecision, topics everyone can relate to while growing up and faced with the responsibilities of adulthood.
Titles Villebillies “S/T” Universal/Motown Villebillies is a 10-piece, half of which are vocalists, with really cool names like Tip E Toe, Reverend D, Juju Badcredit, and Malty Hops. These guys rap about stuff like bluegrass, being rednecks, and getting drunk. The result is pretty much as unappealing as it sounds. These are the types of guys who will somehow play a sidestage at Warped Tour and get all pissed off and yell when they see people walk away during their set. Your Black Star “Sound from the Ground” Wonka Vision The songs on Your Black Stars’ “Sound from the Ground” have a different sound from one another, but they all have the same cohesive feel. The songs sound textured and atmospheric. “Strings” is by far the best and most original track on the album.
The Subjects Tahiti 80 “Fosbury” The Militia Group “Fosbury” is a perfect blend of classic 60’s and 70’s pop, disco and a bit a French flair. “Big Day” the album’s opener will make you feel that you’ve jumped into a scene from Saturday Night Fever. “Here Comes” infectious chorus will have you singing along, and then the rest of the day because it will be stuck in your head. The U.S. version of this album is packaged with a bonus EP that has covers of “Happy Together” by the Turtles and “Give it Away” by The Chi-lites.
There has been a running inside joke between Chris and I, that Swimmer’s Ear is a cursed magazine. It seems that when we interview a band, within a few years or so, that band breaks up. We didn’t notice it at first, but after a few bands we’ve interviewed started disbanding, we thought something must be up. Every time a band breaks up that we’ve interviewed, we say that the curse has struck again. So, if you’ve ever wondered why your favorite band has called an unexpected “indefinite hiatus”, chances are we just interviewed them.
The Hippos Current Projects: Southbase, Dirty Little Secret, Foreign Born
Q and not U - Also interviewed in #13 Current Projects: Ris Paul Ric (Christopher Richards) Georgie James (John Davis) End This Day Current Projects: Unknown
Hey Mercedes Current Projects: The City on Film (Bob Nanna)
Evaline Current Projects: Unknown
Devastator Current Projects: Everest Nehemiah Current Projects: Everest Flipsyde Current Projects: Somerset
Despistado Current Projects: Sylvie
Del Cielo Current Projects: Katy Otto runs Exotic Fever Records
The Anniversary Current Projects: The Only Children (Josh Berwanger) Bumbling Suaves Current Projects: Unknown
Q and Not U
The Cardinal Sin Current Projects: The Evening Rig (Becky Hantin)
Song of Zarathustra Current Projects: Chariots, The Cardinal Sin The Book of Dead Names Current Projects: Chariots
DMRE Current Projects: Unknown
Cave In-(on “hiatus”) Current Projects: Clouds, (Adam McGrath), Stephen Brodsky's Octave Museum (Stephen Brodsky),Zozobra (Caleb Scofield)
The Cardinal Sin
The Crush Current Projects: The Cardinal Sin (Jon Ness), The Evening Rig (Jason Miller)
Sofa King Killer - Ryan Burgy (vox), Chris Chiera (guitar), Paul Bartholet (bass), Brad Thorla (drums) www.myspace.com/sofakingkiller Venue: The Lime Spider, Downtown Akron, Ohio - 11/7/06 www.thelimespider.com Photos: John Straub
Lakai Cairo Foster 3 LTD These shoes are a limited edition collaboration between Lakai and Popwar Skateboards. They should be even more of a collectors item now, since Cairo no longer rides for Popwar. They are available in nubuck suede in the Popwar Brown with grey, red and blue accents.
Etnies Fakie These slip-on shoes from Etnies may not be the best for skating, or for wearing in the winter, but as a summer chill shoe these can’t be beat. The Fakie features vulcanized soles and optional flip down tongues to reveal the Etnies logo.
DVS Regency These shoes from DVS are a mix between two long running shoes from Vans and Converse, the Old School and Chuck Taylor. They come in canvas and suede and have a vulcanized sole. These would be good for light skating or cruising.
Anthem Boy Skateboards Anthem Boy is a skateboard company from the great state of Kentucky. They have a large range of boards that will fit every rider. Both these skateboards have just the right amount of concave and a nice stiffness. They released a promo DVD a year or so back, which is pretty good. They have Chris Head, Thom Hornung, Chany Given, Jacob Bryan, plus many others representing their team. You can find Anthem Boy product in Minnesota at 3rd Lair. In Wisconsin at Underloud and Elements. In the Chicago area at FA, Order 66, and RQ. And in Detroit at Refuge. If you’re interested in carrying Anthem Boy product in your shop, you can get it through AWH Sales and directly from Anthem Boy.
Independent Stage 9 Low Trucks Everybody knows that Indy Trucks have been the best trucks for over 20 years. One product that has been lacking in the Indy line is a truck designed for street skating. The Stage 9 Low has the same Fast-Action Independent Geometry and the same kingpin and pivot angles as it’s predecessors. The Low Truck is designed to keep the bulk of the baseplate outside of your wheels for solid nose and tail tricks. Also the shape of the inside portion of the hanger has been rounded for additional grind space while doing smiths and feebles. These trucks are available in silver and the Koston pro model trucks come in black and gold.
Powell Peralta “Have You Seen Him” Shirt It’s impossible not to look fashionable in this classic “Have You Seen Him” Shirt from Powell Peralta. They have been making this shirt for years and is a standard for any old school pool skater. Bones Brigade Video Tunes Just as you got “McTwist and Shout” out of your head, Powell Peralta decides to release a CD with 25 tracks from all your favorite Bones Brigade videos; Future Primitive, Animal Chin and the Bones Brigade Video. Some tracks included are “Del Marista Daktar” from the Bones Brigade Video, “Calling All Cars” from Future Primitive, and “Skateboard Shuffe” from Animal Chin. Too bad this couldn’t have come out on cassette.
Listen Skateboards Outlaw Series Listen is a semi new company that has pros Rob Gonzalaz, Danny Montoya, Rodrigo Peterson, and Brian Brown. Also, Minneapolis skater Jamiel Nowparvar ride flow for them. This series features four boards with similar shapes and sizes. All four boards are solid and have a nice concave. Check out Listenskateboards.com for more info on these boards and the Listen team.
Lance Mountain “Crest” Flip Skateboard (Left) This skateboard by Flip is 9.0 x 33, perfect for pool riding. It has wheel well cut outs so you won’t get wheel bit while carving. This board has a great old school shape. Lance Mountain “Lancelot” Flip Skateboard (Right) This skateboard by Flip is 8.5 x 32. This would be perfect for someone who wants to just cruise downhill to the skatepark, then shred the pool when they get there. This board features two sets of holes for varying truck base plate sizes and wheel well cut outs, to reduce the amount of wheel bite.
Crimson Skateboards Crimson Skateboards is the new brand started by veteran skateboarding pro, Kris Markovich and features Kris, James Atkin, and Richie Belton as pros and Rick Eusey, Jeremiah Babb, Vince Del Valle, Steve Fauser, plus others on their am team. You can go to www.bleedskateboarding.com or www.crimsonskateboards.com and view the Crimson Promo video featuring the team. The Crimson boards all have a nice quality. Graphics on both sides of the board, the top being just the Crimson logo. These boards have a nice pop with a good concave.
DVS Spacley Windbreaker Jacket (Bottom Left) This jacket from DVS features 100% poly with a mesh lining throughout and a breathable vent on the back. This would be a great outer shell for a breezy California day. DVS Nolan Jacket (Top Left) This 100% poly stadium jacket comes with an interior satin lining. This jacket will keep you warm in the harshest of California winters, and maybe even Minnesota’s too. Comes in brown and black. Matix Perimeter Camo Long Sleeve (Top Right) Everyone loves camo prints. Stand by some trees and no one will find you. This shirt is made with 100% thermal cotton so you know it’s gonna be warm. Pair this up with the Matix Paladin Jacket and you’re set for winter. Matix Paladin Jacket (Bottom Right) So you want to be warm and look like a Logger. Then look no further than the Paladin Jacket from Matix. It’s 100% cotton flannel with a nylon quilted fill lining. I dare you to get lost in the snow with this one.
Text and Photos provided by Etnies
2006 GvR Winners - Goofy
At the start of the third annual Etnies’ GvR, Goofy and Regular were tied with one GvR win each, and on Sunday night at the close of the third annual GvR the Goofies won their second title. This was the closest GvR yet with the Goofy team only beating the Regular team by 39 points! Led by team captain Dave Swift, editor-in-chief of The Skateboard Mag, team Goofy was on fire with Jereme Rogers landing more tricks than nearly everyone combined, including a mighty impressive switch tre down the 11 set. Ronnie Creager switch hardflipped the 11 set, Nyjah Huston (this year’s Team Goofy MVP) busted a heelflip front board down the rail, Dylan Rieder ollie impossible tailgrabbed the barrier, Rodolfo Ramos and Greg Lutzka were belting out bangers left and right and Collin Provost was ripping all-terrain style. The Regulars appointed SLAP Magazine’s, Mark Whiteley and Joe Brook as their co-captains. And, even though they lost, their skating was top notch. Guys like Andrew Reynolds, Chris Cole, Ryan Sheckler , Sierra Fellers, Peter Ramondetta and Alex Mizurov, Bryan Herman and Danny Fuenzalida didn’t hold back a bit. Reynolds graced us with frontside flips over the rail. Cole backside 360 flipped the 11 set as perfect as could be. Proudly sporting his unreleased Etnies Sheckler 2 pro model, Ryan earned himself MVP status by rifling off tricks all over the course like there is no tomorrow.
Etnies GvR Results Oct. 20-22, 2006
Goofy Team: 1. Jereme Rogers – $10,000 2. Team MVP Nyjah Huston – $6,500 3. Rodolfo Ramos – $2,500 4. Greg Lutzka – $2,000 5. Ronnie Creager – $1,500 6. Collin Provost – $1,000 7. Darrell Stanton – $1,000 8. Danilo Cerenzini – $1,000 9. Dylan Rieder – $1,000 10. Pat Channita – $1,000 11. Colt Cannon – $1,000 12. Michael Simonetto – $1,000 13. Tyler Hendley – $1,000 14. Javier Sarmiento – $1,000 15. Collin Hale – $1,000 Regular Team: 1. Team MVP Ryan Sheckler – $2,000 2. Chris Cole – $500 3. Andrew Reynolds – $500 4. Alex Mizurov – $500 5. Danny Fuenzalida – $500 6. Sierra Fellers – $500 7. Bryan Herman – $500 8. Emmanuel Guzman – $500 9. Peter Ramondetta – $500 10. Dayne Brummett – $500 11. Vince del Valle – $500 12. Dominik Dietrich – $500 13. Tony Cervantes – $500 14. Chris Troy – $500 15. Robert Lopez – $500 Etnies Girl Push Jam Final Results: 1. Marisa Del Santo – $3,500 2. Evelien Bouilliart – $2,500 3. Lacey Baker – $1,500 4. Vanessa Torres – $1,000 5. Amy Caron – $600 6. Lauren Perkins – $400 7. Elizabeth Nitu – $400 8. Elissa Steamer – $200
Regular’s Ryan Sheckler and Goofy’s Jereme Rogers
What inspires or influences your artwork? My greatest inspiration is the Natural World and all of its inhabitants. The loving energy behind it all with The Creator as a designer or artist is endlessly inspiring. I love indigenous artists from around the globe as well as Alex Grey, Ed Templeton, and VCJ, the skate artist who did all the early Powell graphics. I use what is going on in my life and what I see in nature to do my personal work, through my art. It is very helpful. What do you want people to take away from your art? Ideally I want to inspire people to have a closer connection with nature, better communication with other humans, and to ring the Bell of Dharma wherever they are. But I think most people just think "How cute." Alien Workshop pro Heath Kirchart likes to come up with nicknames for my pieces like "Weak Beak" and "Gay Paw". Are you more comfortable with a pen and paper or brush and canvas? I have more control with a pen but I love the brush and think it is so much more rootsy. I have been doing a lot of India Ink on paper lately with a brush. Gotta keep progressing, you know. Have you always been into drawing and painting? When did you realize that you had a talent for it? I have always been into art. I remember if I couldn't sleep at night as a little kid, my parents would let me do etchings with Judaica that we had. It was a pretty mystical late night mixture of art and culture. In elementary school I used to make all of these Egyptian style paintings with qtips for brushes. In high school I was really inspired by Toy Machine as well as the whole Eastern Tibetean Buddhist vibe. In college I discovered primitive wilderness survival skills and that whole philosophy has been my greatest influence since. I don't really think of myself as having that much raw talent, more just like dedication and follow through to finish a piece. I think anyone can be a great artist who picks up a brush, a pen, or a chisel.
You once placed one of your drawings on the wall of the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York just to say that you had a piece of work displayed at the museum. Did you place it in a high traffic area, or in a spot somewhat hidden? Do you know how long it hung there? I was in Chelsea in November and really inspired. I went to some galleries with a portfolio to try to get into a New York gallery. Some people were pretty rude and definitely did not look at my portfolio. I was really inspired by that museum and street artists like Banksy so I was like, "Ok, no one in Chelsea wants to look at my portfolio, I guess I'll just decorate the neighborhood." The flower I attached right next to the Elevator that that they bring all the work in and out of. It is cheerful and it looks like it is growing out of the ground so I didn't think anyone would mind. I have a picture of it. I don't know if it still there. I hope so. I never told anybody that I had a piece in the museum or anything. It is more like an articulation of a goal. I'm on the outside looking in now, but hopefully I'll be in there some day. I think I just need to develop my technique and sleep with the right people. Ha Ha. How often are you painting or drawing? Do you make a living selling your artwork? I do art for hours everyday. Even if I am traveling, I am on the street art mission. I like to block out color early in the morning and do detail work throughout the day, and start new projects in the evening. As I look around my studio right now I see 7 pieces I am currently working on, and many more I want to start. Right now I am just scraping by as an artist. It's funny, I have never done it, but from what I have seen, it is much easier to sell drugs than art. My goal is to be able to live and raise a family as an artist. It gives me the greatest freedom and sense of accomplishment. I feel the vibe is positive so it offering something valuable to the world and I work with kids in the summer so I feel like a contributing member of society not just a hermit artist drop out. Right now I am in the starving artist phase, but a hungry wolf will definitely bring something down. I guess art is my teeth and claws, and thankfully I have a nice wolf pack of friends who are amazing support.
What made you want to start Elemental Awareness? When I graduated from UC Santa Cruz I was very passionate about creating something that would be positive to youth in the world of skateboarding and at the same time incorporate primitive skills. My best friend Todd Larson had the same drive, and we approached Johnny Schillereff, the founder of Element and Elemental Awareness was born. It's an example of an idea manifested. What is Elemental Awareness and what is your part in it? Now that Elemental Awareness has been going for a few years, has it been easier to find funding? For the last five years I served as Elemental Awareness president. I recently stepped down and turned that position over to Todd, to pursue art full time. I am still involved as an announcer at skate contests, and with the nature skills programs. It works out that way as Todd works at Element so they have the their corporate give back program in house and don't have to deal with a loose cannon like me. What is the goal behind Elemental Awareness? The goal behind EA is for all the youth that we work with to have a greater understanding and connection of the natural world, as well as in society, and to spread light while living your Vision. Empowered youth with determination to shine and make a difference in the world through their passions. Where can someone find more information about you and Elemental Awareness? mikekershnar.com elementalawareness.org myspace.com/kershnar
and I grew up in Minnesota riding the same little hills with fast rope tows. They would take about two minutes to do a complete lap. That means we would do about a million laps a night.
Through the years of knowing him, I've really noticed how fast he learns , things. He is the type of person who wants to figure things out by himself ndent, and is always rather than having it taught to him. He is very indepe had the working hard at something he wants to accomplish. Every time I have he takes turns. You can chance to ride with him, he amazes me even when he's in really tell that he loves snowboarding just by watching him smile when g on staying until the snow. Currently, he is in Minnesota, and is plannin January so he can get some early rail-boarding done with his pals. Then he is moving to Colorado to live, and snowboard with his second family. I'm so blessed to know him, let alone watch him express himself through snowboarding. I can't wait to see what happens this year! Viva La Dummer! -Jonas Michilot
Interview by Matt Peterson Photos courtesy of Academy
What was your first snowboard? My dad had a board before I did and he was cool enough to lend it to me during ski club Wednesdays. It was a 159 Rad-Air Groove that towered about a foot over my head and probably weighed more than I did. I was stoked!! How and when did you get into snowboarding? I grew up pretty close to Wild Mt. in Minnesota. I had skied forever and when my older brother started to shred, I naturally wanted to mimic him. He let me tag along with he and his friends, Chad (Otterstrom), Matt (Peterson), and Micah (McGinnity). How big was your local mountain? I think it was like 400 vertical feet. Enough speed for one 25-foot tabletop, no problem. Who were your favorite snowboarders growing up? My Bro, Terje, John Cardial, Jamie Lynn, Daniel Franck, Jeff Nelson , Matt Peterson Who are they now? Chad Otterstrom, Mike Casanova, Jussi Oksanen, Jonas Michelot, Travis Parker, Mikey LeBlanc You are about to finish college, are you nervous? Yeah, I’ve always planned on saving the world when I no longer had to spend my days studying for midterms. In December, I’ll actually have to step up and I don’t think my superhero costume will be finished by then.
Hard Wire) How was it working with Autumn Line Productions? (Formerly possiare so committed to the video. Super down to stay out as long as The Porter Bros, the producers, was a good sense of caliber, so there ble to get things done. Also, the talent involved was definitely high on the final product, Jonas’ part has some break though moves. pressure to try harder. Stoked What are your plans after college? y tree into something that can feed Give her hell again this winter in CO and then try to grow the Academ and shelter all the kids. Are you a My-space-r? Myspace is for 15 year old chicks!! ...so yeah, I’m into it. How much time would you say you spend on the Internet? Big ups to Ali-G, John Stewar t, and I don’t have a TV right now so Youtube has been my media outlet. rollerbladers nutting hand rails How important is filming a video part to you? your arm, that’s a shot too. To me, I like the fact that if you stomp your move, it’s a shot, or if you break parts are a good way to show your all knowing that I’m filming for a video part is a huge motivator. Video around shred ability and creativity. How about contests? cool to win beer money, but they defiWhere filming is about friendships, contests are about rivalries. It’s nitely take the fun out of snowboarding most of the time.
What is your favorite snowboard flick for this season? patterns and Eero’s part I haven’t seen all of them yet. I liked a lot of the parts in patchwork al parts up on Youtube so I could mix in the Mack Dawg flick. I wish they would put individu and match. How about favorite shred movie ever? The Garden, hands down. What inspires you outside of snowboarding? always down to try new I think my dad has been the most inspiring person in my life. He’s exiting. Also, this may sound weird, but I things and face new challenges, ways to keep life knowing they hate every love to see obese people out jogging. I put myself in their shoes, a better life keeps them going. second, every step, but the dream to achieve to find What influence do magazines and videos have on you? nately. I think someThey set the bar. Lately everything is starting to look the same unfortu before skiblading makes a big comeback! thing is going to need to change in snowboarding What kind of music have you been listening to lately? those chill out, life’s Mason Jennings, Jack Johnson, Years Around the Sun, Yovee. Kinda okay melodies. Who are the new kids coming up in the Midwest? some noise when they Ethan Dice, The Russian, Austin Young, and Easton Gilman will make get out west. How is Academy different from your other sponsors? rs work by making a It’s definitely an involved relationship with Academy. My other sponso fall and spring. Academy is a team few phone calls and receiving boxes of goods in the that family feel. effort with everyone doing their part to keep the ship moving. I like
BS 360 Japan
How do you feel about Olympics? The Olympics took snowboarding off the streets and put it in the spo tlight. Bur ton sponsored China’s Olympic team in 2006 and 2010, so now there are countries taking kids out of school and putting them into a half pipe. Good for sales, bad for inde pendent snowboard culture. But I guess its cool to get peo ple all around the world hyped. Are you going to try in 2010? I thought about it, like, what if I ded icated every minute of my life for the next four years to 1440’s and switch double-mctwis ts? Gold medal and MasterCard sponsorship, who knows? Do you think you can make it? Probably not in snowboarding, but I’ve already qualified for mini-bla ding’s aerial competition. I recently perfected the quad-spaffy ! Watch out! If you got a gold medal in the 201 0, would you ride for “Oscar Mey er Wieners” if they offered you a million buck$? Forget the million$, I’d ride for them if they paid me in bologna and let me drive around that hot dog car! Any last words? Thanks to all my sponsors and frien ds who have gone out of their way to help me out. Thanks especially to Academy Sno wboards for the sleepless nights those guys have put in as they follow their dreams. JB, Kyle , Duane, Matt, you guys make it possible.
If you’re tired of the same old boring grip and want to try something with a little flash, check out Stencil Steve’s selection of handmade designs. We caught up with Steve to find out more about his head turning artwork and what’s in store for the future... How did you get into stencil art and grip tape art? While living in San Diego I became friends with Aric Sanders, who rides for Willy's Workshop. He always had these dope stenciled graphics on his grip. I've been drawing forever, also a fan of both stencil/grip tape art, so it was a natural progression. I moved back to Minneapolis from California and really missed the skating back there and seeing that stuff around. Maybe to fill a void I started doing my own thing and it's grown from there. Basically my unfulfilled dream of drawing skateboard graphics resurfacing in a DIY fit of rebellion. Do you do murals or work on canvases as well? Yeah, that is where my real passion lies. Unfortunately, between skating, working and this whole griptape experiment, creative time is at a minimum lately. I still find time to do the occasional canvas and there are some mural ideas itching to get outta the sketchbook, so keep your eyes peeled. Who or what inspires your artwork? People and events that have left an imprint on my life. The type of stuff that never leaves your memory. My artwork serves as a visual diary which documents my experience on this ball. If people can relate to or gain some sense of enjoyment from the different pieces then I am truly inspired.
Which is your most popular stencil? The Biggie gets quite a bit of attention. But truthfully it all depends on where you are and the crowd you're surrounded by. It's fun to watch when a person is flipping through a stack of grip for the first time. Since there's such a random mix of subject matter it tends to catch people off guard a bit. Have you thought about getting a skate team together? Yeah, we should be launching a "Get A Grip...Again" world tour with Aerosmith in early '07. That's somewhere down the road a bit. This whole experience has been so "grassroots" that I'm not really sure where it's going at times. Hopefully I'll be around long enough to see a team materialize. What are your future plans, and celebs you plan to make stencils out of? Just would like keep things small and maintainable for the time being. There's gonna be a bunch of new stuff dropping in the upcoming months. The celeb concept has been fun and there will always be new celeb grips in the mix, but there are a few other ideas I would like to try as well. Where can people contact you or find your grip? You can reach me and check out the grip at www.myspace.com/griptapeart. Or send an email to email@example.com. SK Grip is available in the Twin Cities area at these fine shops: Cal Surf, FL Project, The Hut, 3rd Lair and Familia. Feel free to contact me with any inquiries! Should have a legit website up and running sometime soon. Thanks for all the support everyone!
The original intro to this interview had some unkind words written by Emeric directed towards a former sponsor that were written back in November. After showing this issue to a few people, it was suggested that we should see if Emeric still wanted the harsh words published. Emeric replied back to us saying that he was pretty pissed when he sent them to us and that he would like them removed from his interview, not wanting to add any more fuel to the fire. The photos in this interview doesn’t nearly show the skill or innovation that Emeric has on a skateboard. Check out any of his video parts to see him doing tricks that went unrecognized, only until pros started doing them. Like for instance, in Benji Meyer’s classic 1999 video, Midopoly, Emeric ends his part with a boardslide heelflip out on a ledge, years before any pro would commit that to film. Or in that issue of Transworld from years ago, there is a sequence of him doing a melon grab to backside lipslide down a handrail. Better yet, go on to YouTube and watch his part in last years So Quick, Achieved video. I dare you to not want to go skate after watching that part. If Emeric keeps skating like he does, his video parts and photo sequences will continue to impress and teach all skateboarders to view skateboarding in a different way.
How did you get into skateboarding? I started skating because my brother and his friends were doing it. What is your earliest memory of skateboarding? My earliest memory of actually riding a skateboard would be my riding on one knee cause I wasn't comfortable enough to stand up right. What part of Golden Valley did you grow up in? What was the scene like in GV when you started skating? Did you go to Minneapolis a lot? Did you ever go out and explore other suburban areas out side of Minneapolis? I grew up in an apartment complex in Golden Valley. I didn't really start skating in MPLS until I was 16 or so. That's when my friend Wayne started driving so we'd skate everywhere. What skateboarders influenced you when were growing up? All the standards, the people who were killing it at the time, but for a while I was all about Guy Mariano. From interviews and photo/videos I’ve read/seen, to me you’ve always seemed like the type of skateboarder that isn’t concerned about sponsors or getting a lot of coverage, but rather just having fun on your skateboard. Is this true? Well the most important thing for me with skating is to have fun and I always want to get better. That's all that really matters. The other stuff comes second.
Boardslide to Backside Lipslide - photo: McGuire
Where do you get ideas for some of the tricks you do like the, melon to lipslides and boardslide body varial to backside lipslide? I think that comes from skating with so many different people and I always just want to push myself, you know try to figure out something new for yourself. Where are you staying in CA? Do you have your own place or are you couch surfing? I've been in Oakland lately. I was in Santa Cruz for a while actually living at the Consolidated warehouse, but pretty much Oakland. Are you staying in CA year round or do you come to MN for the Summers? What do you miss most about MN? After skateboarding, where do you see yourself settling down? I always like to come back to MN in the summer or fall. Those are the best times to be here. As far as living in Cali for the rest of my life, I don't see that happening. Have you done a lot of traveling through skateboarding? Where is your favorite city to skate? I've traveled a little bit but it doesn't really matter to where just as long as it's a new city and there's stuff to skate. The best part is that it's something new to you. As a skateboarder who’s ridden for small brands like Iota and Illenium and larger more established brands like Consolidated. What is your opinion about the skateboard industry? The skateboard industry is just like any other, it's a bunch of business' that want to make money.
About the incident with Nike and Consolidated. I’ve either read that you quit Consolidated or that Consolidated cut you from the team because Nike was one of your sponsors. Can you explain and set the record straight as to what really happened? Was Nike one of your sponsors before you got on Consolidated? Well I was getting shoes from Nike before anything happened with Consolidated. Birdo and Leticia decided to give me an ultimatum, either one or the other, but you can't ride for both. My stance on the whole thing was that I didn't care and I wanted to ride for all the companies I was getting stuff from at the time. Karma told me that before I decided on anything he wanted to go on one more trip with me and Brian Heck. When we got back from the trip, I spoke with Birdo and told him I couldn't be involved with them anymore. I look at it as they forced me and Seth to quit, it makes them look better, than if they would have straight out fired us. In an interview you had on the Thrasher website. You were asked about “life as a black man in Oakland” and you responded with “I don't stand out quite as much out here, but I pretty much deal with the same bullshit everywhere.” What are you referring to at the end of your statement and can you cite some experiences? I was just saying that things are messed up everywhere. There's going to be open and close minded people everywhere.
Crooked 360 Shuv-it Out - photo: McGuire
Frontside Halfcab Flip - photo: McGuire
Are you currently filming for any videos? Not really right now. I just finished filming for Krux though, Seth and I are going to share a part and hopefully Heck will have some footy in there as well. Who are you riding for? Krux Trux, Familia Skateshop, Roughneck Hardware and I get shoes from the nice people over at Nike SB. What do you want to accomplish with skateboarding? I want to keep having good times with all my friends I've made over the years. Shout outs and thank yous? Arrrrrrgh thank ya'll.
Ezra Jacobson, backside 360 Indy. Utah Backcountry near Alta, Utah.
Mike Roeder, backside 50-50 180 out
Tony Conrad, lipslide on an icy wooden rail. Near Two Harbors, MN
Ezra Jacobson, switch backside180 Mute. Wasatch Mountains, Utah.
Tony Conrad with a Hawaii 5-0
Ezra Jacobson, Boardslide in SLC
Who’s behind Handjob? London: Eric Vermilyea (Bozzmin), Luke Hunt (London), and Ryan Damian (Boston, still on sabbatical). How many of each shirt design do you print? L: On average about five of each size get produced. Our limit is ten in each size. How many designs have been made so far? Bozzmin: No idea. I have made a few that were true one offs. But ballpark would be 30ish. L: Yeah, that’s a hard one. This year has been a bit more structured, doing things like the Friend of the Hand shirt with Tucker from Familia. I would say for this year we ran about ten different designs so far. What’s the deal with that skate mag claiming a Handjob shirt as a Duffs shirt? L: I’ve been secretly moonlighting for other companies... actually I sent the guys at Sidewalk Magazine a box, mainly to get Weekend Warriors a review in the video section of the mag. I tossed some shirts and stickers in there and one ended up on the products page. Maybe the proofreader thought the “Handjob” title was a mistake and just ran it as Duffs. It shall remain a mystery! B: I think our strategy was to first infiltrate the magazine under the cover of Duffs, in order to make people feel relaxed and unthreatened. Then when they least suspect it we drop the cement hand on their nuts. Plus we are working on a deal to purchase the Duffs Dynasty. What have people’s response been to the designs and ideas behind Handjob? B: It has been good. I think people appreciate that we are making things ourselves. Most people are feeling the designs. We are more about self expression and getting an idea out of our heads and onto the backs of the homeless. L: It’s been all positive, I think. Boston is probably our biggest critic. We enjoy what we do so much and plus the fact that we get to produce whatever feels good shines through our work.
London Luke. Sequence: Brian Ueada
It seems nowadays everyone is starting their own custom artsy fartsy t-shirt brand. What makes Handjob so special? L: I think our main advantage is being small business owners. We have no investors or creative directors to answer to, it’s just us. So an idea goes from paper/screen to print really fast. We also have the added pleasure of being able to print/produce all of our own merchandise. Any Handjob item that graces your palm will have been touched in someway by one of us before it leaves our HQ. Plus we all skate together. B: We started this as a way of being able to express ourselves. I really am not too concerned about the artsy fartsy shirt scene. We don’t do overprints with birds and get emo on peoples’ ass. That is one difference. The other is low quantities, and when we’re out, we are out. I just don’t want to wear what some kid in the suburbs just picked up at Zumiez. What’s the best part about making your own clothing? L: I really like learning new things, like trying a new ink or technique. It’s rad working with your friends. I’m really gung-ho and Eric is more about taking a breath and looking at the whole situation. It makes for some funny moments. We’re always having a blast when we print, drinking, joking, and keeping it fun. Have you done prints on things like posters or backpacks? B: London went through a phase where he would print on anything I had laying around or that he could get at AxMan. We have some other things going that aren’t screen printing that fill that poster and backpack void. L: I used to print everything under the sun. I would pile up all this crap that I found during the week then bring it on Thursday night and try to get some ink on it! I think the best result was a set of eye covers that you use on a plane. I still use mine every time I fly. It’s rad because across the front the stewardess sees “Handjob” when you’re passed out from too much Jack n’ Coke. B: Yeah, I liked the faux leather mini dice table too. Ryan used to do a full line of men’s hot pants as well.
London Luke. Sequence: Sam McGuire
“We are currently accepting donations, especially in amounts ending in 6 or more zeros.” - Zach
Why did you want to get into independent publishing? John: Zach and I had shared opinions about publishing, namely that it seemed this inaccessible monolith, and that it suffered by this inaccessibility. Not that mega-publishers don't publish good books, obviously they do, but we felt like there was a niche here in Chicago we could fill, that we could put out good books by writers who we loved and do it the way we wanted. What I mean by that is that we stole a lot of our business model from independent music (profit-sharing with the artist, working closely with the artist on every step, touring a ton, keeping prices low, etc.). Featherproof started out doing downloadable mini books, was it always your intention to release paperback novels? John: Yep. The downloadable mini-books were a) free and b) fun, so we did those first. Publishing novels is fun, too, but much more time and labor intensive. It was also a way to get word out there about what we were doing. Do you get a lot of writing submissions for the mini books? How do you decide which stories will become mini books? Zach: We’re getting a lot more now. A feature in Poets & Writers really caused a deluge of submissions, which is great, though it is difficult to find the time to read everything. But that is certainly our policy. As far as selection goes, usually consensus is pretty easy for
us, or one of us manages to talk the other into a story that we really like. It’s a good system, the stories chosen are ones we both like, while the collection is also representative of our individual tastes, which I think keeps it interesting. How many mini books have you e-published so far? Zach: Let me count. Twelve. And more are on the way. We try and get them out there pretty regularly. Look for one soon called “Eight Permutations on the Binoculars of Power.” What have been some challenges or mistakes that you have encountered while publishing the first 2 novels? John: So many. Well, the primary one has been distribution, getting the books to bookstores and into reader's hands. That's been a long process, and I don't think Zach and I are completely satisfied with how it's gone so far. It's just hard to get a distributor really working hard for you when you're as small as we are. Publicity has ebbed and flowed, though I'm surprised how few reviews Todd's book has received. That book is really strong, a very interesting and lively book that I would think would stir the interest of book section editors all over the place. Readers are loving it, but critics have slept on it.
How has the response been to "Enchanters..." and "Sons of the Rapture'? Zach: Response has been really great for both books. The Enchanters got a lot of smashing press in all sorts of magazines and websites. There were many funny reviews. It seemed people really picked up on it’s vibe and took it on it’s own terms, which was great. Sons of the Rapture impressed people, I think. Todd Dills went on tour, and his reading style is so idiosyncratic, I think people really respond to watching him read. The book has done really well in the bookstores, in no small part because of that. The good reviews are still coming in for Sons of the Rapture. How do choose what writing you want to publish in a novel? Do writers contact you or do you seek out writers that you like? John: We take submissions and actively solicit. We like novels that feel like they could have only been written by one person, that has a really personal, idiosyncratic style. "Originality" is obviously a pretty empty word, but I think you can tell when a book comes from only one place. If you had the chance to release any writers future work, whose would it be? John: I don't know. That's tough. Maybe I should say Mary Higgins Clark, so we could ride that potboiler to the bank. In reality, there's a guy named Brian Evenson whose work I think is really special, and wholly his own. I'd love to work with him.
What books or writing do you think everyone should read at least once in their lifetime? John: I've changed my response to this about a billion times now. Here's my final answer: I'd recommend people read Lydia Davis (Samuel Johnson Is Indignant) and then read Hunter S. Thompson (Preferably Hell's Angels, but Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas will do). The two of them, I think are diametrically opposed in style, but they're both such amazing writers. Read those books back to back and you'll get a sense of how both concision and bombast can be precise. What releases do you have planned for the future? Zach: Well, right now things are as murky as the black water inside a magic eight ball. What is that stuff anyway? When the little white triangle pops up, bright and clear, we’ll make sure to let you know what it says.
Check out www.featherproof.com for more info on Brian Costello’s “The Enchanters vs. Sprawlburg Springs” and Todd Dills’ “Sons of Rapture”.
I have always skated in garages. With Minnesota’s harsh winters, garages act as a semi warm haven to learn new tricks and perfect old ones. I learned how to do tre flips in my garage in the winter of 96/97. An old high school friend of mine built a mini ramp in his garage, to complement the one he had in his back yard. Overtime, his 2ft garage mini was neighbor to a 3ft quarter ramp. Then creativity took hold and an explosion of wood and coping covered every inch of the garage floor with tight transitions and ramp dust. What was born was an 18 foot wide mini ramp that extended from the back wall of the garage to the very front, leaving just inches for the garage door to open and close. I clocked in more hours in that garage than I did at home. I learned numerous variations of the blunt stall including the kickflip to blunt and blunt to frontside shov-it to axel stall. Some of the hardest tricks that I ever accomplished to land happened on that mini ramp. I can’t tell you how many times I tried fakie smith stalls to kickflip out, but I can count on two hands how many times I’ve landed it. When my friend moved, his mini could not go with him, so a ten foot section came to my garage. More late night and rainy day sessions followed. But as I got older, my responsibilities became more and my skating time became less. I hardly ever skated the mini anymore, maybe once or twice a year, and slowly it moved to the back of my mind.
I recently moved into my own house, with it’s own garage, so it was time to move my teenhood ramp to my adulthood home. But as the time since I road the ramp accumulated so did the pile of junk that was on top of the ramp. Armed with drills we started unscrewing the ramp. As luck would have it, most all of the screws were stripped from my putting it together, so our drills were traded in for hammers. Once the ramp was completely destroyed it was loaded up and hauled to my new garage. Plans for a new ramp were thought up, but money and time deflated any hopes of building a new ramp any time soon. So with creativity in one hand and a bunch of stripped and bent screws in the other I built a series of faux quarter ramps, each one getting better than the last. The final product is a wobbly four foot wide quarter with a pile of wood for the coping. Still the tricks I land on it feel way better than the ones landed on professionally built ramps, due to the fact that the ramps moves, shakes and bends every time you go up and down it. So here I am, 25, and still having the time of my life skating in a 2 car garage. It may be a while before I build another mini, but my garage will always be there for any wood creation that I make.
Wallride Disaster - 2nd Try
Pennsylvania’s Common Enemy have emerged to remind us all that playing music is all about having fun, with songs about zombies, video games, TMNT, and of course, skating. 2006’s Thrashing Under the Influence is an all-out eardrum assault that’s undeniably fast; nineteen tracks clocking in at about twenty one minutes. The album’s carefree attitude couldn’t have come at a better time, in an era overrun with genres and subgenres a little too concerned with dresscodes and dance moves.
Who are some other groups that influence your sound? Greg: I think everyone in the band has their own influences. Personally, I’m influenced by Minor Threat, Black Flag, Aus Rotten and tons more. Justin: Anthrax, SOD, Vitamin X, and JFA. Tank: Suicidal Tendencies, DRI and What Happens Next? Favorite skateboarders? Tank: Peralta and J. Adams (Old School) Justin: Don’t really have a favorite skater, but love to watch anyone with the old school style and flow! Do you get a chance to skate and find new spots while touring? Greg: Hell yeah, we try to hit up every spot we can find when we are touring! Tank: We try to hit up skate spots as much as we can, but it’s hard with some of the really long drives.
Could you give a little history on the band up until now? Tank: We started this band for fun! Justin: Let’s see, we started in 1998, but didn’t get serious about playing out and having fun until 2003 when Sonic and Greg joined the band. Then it was nothing but good times! In 2005 Sonic decided to go to school in Florida at Full Sail. We then asked long time fan, Mikey to sing for us. And the rest is yet to be written!
Mikey: Hell yeah, I had a blast in Dallas, Texas and Huntsville, Alabama. I basically learned how to skate there. How did your tour of Germany come about? What was the experience like? Justin: Sonic was actually over in Europe with his first band, Idle Youth. He had the contact, we hooked it up, and went over to support our album and get our skate on. It was fun as hell skating in Europe! Can’t wait until we do it again in the spring of 2007! Greg: It was so much fun! Tank: Germany Rocks! Favorite place to play in PA? Outside of PA? Tank: Too many choices, the people make the shows and there are a lot of really cool people at shows, either home or away from home. Greg: Probably Philly and Harrisburg. Outside of PA my favorites are Long Island and Baltimore.
Mikey: My favorite venues are the Championship in Lemoyne, PA; The Silo in Reading, PA; The Sidebar in Baltimore, MD and Molly Blooms 2 in Amityville, NY. There are so many awesome places. If you could only do one for a whole year, would you play music or skateboard? Greg: I’d have to pick both, I couldn’t pick just one. Justin: I’m with Greg on this one! Tank: I would have to say music, that’s my first love! Other than Beer! Mikey: Music; I’m better at that, but I would probably skateboard when no one was looking. Favorite zombie movies? Greg: Dead Alive, Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later. Tank: Bad Taste and Dead Alive. Justin: The Undead and of course Dead Alive! Mikey: Shawn of the Dead, I’m a sucker for comedy!