MICHAEL BURNETT INTERVIEW

Interview by Neil Macdonald 
Photography by Michael Burnett

 

What was it like picking SOTY in a post-Phelps world?

Well, Jake has left a psychic hole in the operation, that is irreplaceable. I've been involved with picking the SOTY for fifteen years or so, and always 100% inspired by the lessons Jake has taught me, and all the things he's said that have helped shape my view of skateboarding, and Thrasher for sure, and I feel like I maybe rubbed off on him a lot as well. But it sucks! Picking SOTY is not fun; it's never a good time and somebody's always mad about it. I like celebrating epic skating, but that particular part is not my favourite thing.

 

I don't think anybody could be bummed that Milton got it, but this year seemed like for a while it could have gone to anybody. Not just Mark, but somebody like Dan Mancina. 2019 seemed like a really epic year for all different types of skateboarding.

It feels like that every year, it just gets crazier and better. Like you mentioned it's people skating differently, and different sorts of people skating, and I love it. All the new exciting shit that's happening, and the people that are getting into it with a slightly different approach, you know? Dan Mancina, Jesus Christ! Just people showing what it's possible to do on a skateboard is incredible. Whether that affects the SOTY race? I mean, sort of, I guess, but we've got a certain 'type'.

 

For sure. So, are the Vitellos still involved with Thrasher, day to day? Ultimately, in terms of the content and the editorial voice, Thrasher hasn't changed in almost 40 years.

Yes. Tony Vitello, Fausto's son, came on board maybe almost ten years ago. He came on board as a publisher so he's in the office every day and I talk to him every day, and he's a huge, huge part of everything we do. He's 100% involved day to day; he's a rad skater and a smart guy. He grew up with Thrasher and he knew Jake his entire life, he's a great skater and a great boss, and he's got the mag's best interests at heart. Since he's been there, the last ten years of the mag have been really positive. His mom, Gwen, Fausto's wife, is in the office every day too, she runs Juxtapoz, the art magazine.

 

Arto Saari

 

Oh wow. So is Juxtapoz...

Yeah, Juxtapoz is out of High Speed too. And then Sally, Tony's sister, has been in and out the magazine but she's in school full-time doing a Master's. As far as the magazine's editorial voice goes, I think that voice has stayed consistent in the attitude. There are some departments that have been around since the beginning, and there are some new ones too. So the magazine of my childhood is not the same as the magazine when it was just Jake, and that's not the same as me and Jake, you know? There have been different iterations and one regime informs another regime, things rub off on you and you learn lessons from the past and make improvements, and follow your interests and the things that you're excited about. It's an on-going thing. 

Everybody has issues of the magazine that are so precious to them, and for me, I have the late '80s and early '90s magazines memorised! In the summer of 2018 Jake and I went to London and I did this twenty-year photo show at House of Vans, and I got to speak to people who'd seen my photos of Andrew Reynolds or Geoff Rowley and you could tell that those issues meant as much to them as the issues of my youth did to me. I think there's a sweet spot where things feel that much more important and precious to you.

 

What was you first contribution to Thrasher?

In the November '94 issue I had a Colorado article. I was going to university in Colorado and I made a skate 'zine, so I cold-called Jake since this was before email and everything, and I asked if I could do a Colorado article and he just said, "Yep". And so I sent it in and they ran it! That was my first thing in the magazine. My whole thing was that I liked to make 'projects', rather than just, "Here's one photo, can you run this one photo?" It's always been more of a package deal, and that's what has consistently interested me more than just a stellar image. Although stellar images are cool for sure too! So after that I had a couple other little things run, then I graduated and Jake said they'd put me on a photo retainer if I moved to Southern California because they hadn't had anybody shooting in Southern California since Ortiz quit.

 

Do you know when Chris quit?

I don't know when the exact end of it was... Maybe 1996? I got the job in '98. Not that I could replace Ortiz, but there was an opening. Not a straight swap, of course! But that was what allowed me to give it a shot.

 

Ed Templeton

 

What was your first cover?

It was Willy Santos doing a front feeble down the Long Beach Library rail. It was in The End, the Birdhouse video. That was my first cover and I was over the moon, because I was not involved in that decision-making process at that time!

 

So who should have had a cover but never did, because of injury or politics or whatever? 

Well here's the thing. There's this weird idea that floats around, amongst people who don't work at the magazine, that we just 'grant' covers. "I grant thee a cover!". So for instance, the common one I get now, is that when there's some Instagram photo that everybody's looking at on Instagram, the comments tagging me are all saying, "This should be the cover!". And that's fuckin' stupid because it's already on Instagram! 

People will say things like, "Dude, you should do a Gino Iannucci cover!", and it's like, "Well, that sounds like a really cool idea. Is he skating? Did he hit us up? Did he get the trick? How did the trick look? Was it shot vertical? Will he fit in the logo?" It happens with horizontal photos, like, "That should have been the cover!", but have you seen the fuckin' shape of the magazine? There's a lot of factors that go into picking the cover. Number one, vertical is the shape of our magazine. Number two, being in focus! Number three is that it has to work well with our quite-odd shaped logo. 

I mean I would have loved to have shot a John Cardiel cover. That would have been amazing, and looking back at the photos that I have of him and thinking how it could have been a cover... We can't grant covers, and then sometimes the voodoo is too much. We flew to France twice, with a knee surgery in between, for Jaws to get his cover. Another one might be, "Holy shit, this random photo popped up and I love it! Get it in there!" 

Who's bringing it? Who's trying to work on projects with us? Who's really going for it? Milton Martinez was really going for it. He had five different photos in that interview that could have been the cover. It's like, "Shit, this guy is really showing some effort! This guy is fucking bananas!"

But who deserves a cover? They all deserve a cover! It's about what's going to align, what's happening, you know? The only guys we have to get a cover of is the Skater of the Year. After they've already won Skater of the Year, and we go on the trip, we have to get the cover. And before I worked at the mag, sometimes they skipped it! Chris Senn did not get a Skater of the Year cover! Ron Whaley got his cover, going over a car off a hidden jump ramp.

 

I Like Ron Whaley but that was a weird looking cover.

Well, that was Chris Senn's Skater of the Year cover. I like to think we've stepped up, in modern times, in regards to that kind of stuff

   

Daewon Song

  

Have you got a favourite issue, historically? Before you worked there.

When I was a kid I got the Danzig cover [June 1986] and the Jesse Martinez judo air cover [July 1986] at the same time, from a punk rock record store. I'm trying to think... I really like that one where it's the contest in Eugene, Oregon—the Willamette, Damn It article—where Gonz boardslides the fin of the car in the rain. That's a good issue, I like that one a lot. I found that issue the other day and there's a lot of gems in it, a lot of images that resonate. That one's cool but there's a lot of good ones from back then.

 

Do you have a favourite issue that you've worked on? Can you even think like that?

I don't know.... I was really stoked when we did the first King of the Road because it was so fantastic and we didn't know what would happen. I think that issue turned out pretty good. That's the one with Tony Trujillo rolling in on the...

 

...Chicago sea wall! That's a great issue. The video was amazing too.

Yeah. That was the first 'takeover' issue, too. Like, could we make an issue that's all about one thing? They hadn't really done that before. So I guess there's a few of those 'historical' issues, like the tenth anniversary, the twentieth anniversary, those were thematic but they were all look-back issues. Old shit. So it was pretty ambitious to do a current issue that way. I like the pictures in that one too, there was Drehobl in the eggshell, Crankers at Skatopia... There's some really cool stuff in there, they did a lot and that was a really good issue. I like the Milton issue we just did; that one, I think, is really good because I feel like it had the right balance of stuff in it that I enjoy. So that one has Jerry Hsu's 'People I Have Known' article which is really funny. Jason Jessee did one of those in the '90s, and then Corey Duffel did one recently, but I think we're going to pick that back up and do it more regularly, that was really fun. 

That issue just seemed like the right balance of really insane skating, cool photos, art—because we had the Mark Gonzales Supreme San Francisco opening in there—and then little fun nuggets to read. We had Jerry's thing, then Evan Smith had a thing about his fuckin' catheter, skating with a catheter bag which was pretty gross and funny. But I dunno, there's lots of good ones, but I don't 'know' them like that any more. It's not the same as when you're a kid. There's too many now! I like a bunch of Zero, Toy Machine and Baker articles that I've done over the years and I feel like those worked out pretty well. There are some Skate Rock articles that I'm pretty stoked on, some Flip things that I feel had some weight to 'em... There's too many and there's not a ton of time for reflection with a monthly print deadline. It's just an ongoing deal, pretty much. Haha!

 

Andrew Reynolds

 

Is there a photo you wish you'd got? Something you missed because you blew it, or because the film got stuck or whatever.

I'm trying to think... I never really blew a crucial one, there was never the case where Andrew Reynolds did his big trick and I totally botched it. There are moments when things are so wild before your eyes that you're kind of stunned and you don't necessarily capture them. You know what? I wish I'd shot some of the early Wallenberg events better. Looking back, those events were really epic and I wish I had better photos of them. I was shooting fisheye with this shitty early digital camera, so I have the photo of Mark Gonzales ollieng it with the 215s but it's pretty bad, so I wish I'd thought harder about how to shoot stuff. I think maybe that's more of it. I wish that in the very early days I'd shot way more photos. I caught the very end of an era, I did a trip with Lavar McBride so I have some Lavar McBride photos and they're OK, but it was definitely past when he was the shit, but I could have done a better job. Stuff like that. Just not appreciating the opportunities that were there or being so absorbed in trying to shoot the skating. 

I did a Shorty's tour with Muska, when he was wearing the full outfit, and I have some photos but I wish I'd taken the time to get more portraits, and just hang around more. It was very different for me because there's a lot of downtime with that crew. I don't think I appreciated just being able to hang around. Things don't seem as precious in the moment, and then later you look back like, "Holy shit!". Things take on different meanings, different weights, over time. Same with Cardiel, I did a bunch of trips with John Cardiel and I really like the photos that I have, but now, given the way that history has gone, I wish I had more. But as far as actually botching the photo, I can't think of any really good ones.

 

What have you shot that you were particularly pleased with?

I don't know. I think when you're on the program that I'm on, the next good one will be my favourite. I've had times to pause and reflect and look back on stuff, and there's stuff that I like, but I don't know. I'm kind of just always wanting to shoot my next favourite photo. I'm still ambitious, and want to do more; I want to get better at photography and get better images. There are some Cardiel photos I love.

 

The photo of Div and Stu at Livi, was that your first trip there?

No. I went there with P-Stone, in I think the summer of '99. P-Stone already knew people so we went there and skated with the locals. We did an article and I think I shot Mark Burrows wallride the back wall, the bank-to-wall thing, and P-Stone had a backside blunt in the big bowl. It was a big Europe trip and we did a bunch of shit, but we did a special Livi section. We met Ben Leyden there too. So that photo was the second trip, that we went on with John Rattray, where we went to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow too. I wanted to get an epic photo of those two guys. You'll know that the air that Stu's doing is not that gnarly, but all I was thinking was, "How can I do this so it looks the coolest?", you know? I really like that photo, and it was almost a cover too. I can't remember why it wasn't. We tried it out for sure. 

 

Div & Stu

 

It made the Epic Spots book.

Yeah. It seemed more photogenic than just a flat wall. I'm sure they could have done some doubles like that, but I thought it was cooler to see it from the side. I think the toughest part was getting Div to go closer and closer to the edge. Haha! So I love that photo a lot.

Peter Hewitt's very photogenic. There's the photo of John Cardiel where it's John in this fullpipe in Mexico City and the fullpipe is the support of the freeway. That was super cool. Grant skated it more recently, when they went back there on a Skate Rock trip. But even when I was there I realised, it was like, "Let's see what I can do to make sure I capture this well!". It's always exciting to shoot with the gnarliest dudes, with the guys who are really pushing it and really going crazy. That's always the best. I love getting out with the legends too, just getting to have time with them. It's insane to just be with Grosso, or Lance Mountain or some of these people. 

Skateboarding isn't that old, you know?! You can meet the inventor of the ollie! You can meet the inventor of the slappy and do slappies with him! That's a thing that something like surfing doesn't have, those people are dead! It's really cool that skateboarding's so young that you can still be around these innovators, these incredible people.

 

And everybody's basically the same. You can pretty much speak to whoever you want on Instagram, but should professional skateboarders feel obliged to interact with people?

Like you say, it's a cool way to make connections, and I think the younger guys don't even think about it. They just do it. It's part of their lives in such a way that it feels seamless. I'm around a lot of younger pros and I feel like a lot of them don't even consider it a drag. It's where they see their skate videos, it's where they learn about new spots, it's where they meet girls and it's their whole world. I think people should just do what they feel comfortable with on it. 

For a certain generation, they don't even think twice because they've been doing it since they were teenagers. And then I see some of the older people, the legends, just loving it. They love to have that kind of attention and interaction all the time. You'd say it was shame if you had to do it, and if it felt bad to you, but I feel there's enough ways for people to do it where it feels OK. So if you're the guy who wants to get in and argue about every political issue and complain and spread conspiracy theories, and that's the energy that you like and enjoy then you can do that. If you just want to share a photo then that's cool too. Or if you want to direct message everybody, just connect with everybody, that's cool too. I guess maybe it's the disconnectedness of it, and the indirectness of it, that means if a dude is a dick in real life then maybe he's going to be even more of a dick on social media, hiding behind that stuff. I feel, with all those things as they apply to skateboarding, that you can't really tell people that what they like is wrong. "You don't like, that, it's stupid!", kind of thing. People can do what they want to do. 

Social media is the biggest disruptor of the last fifty years! It's crazier than fuckin' television. It's changing everything. Everything as we know it has been changing. The collapse of the retail model... "What do you mean, no more shops?!", "Yes. No more shops". Its impact is insane. As far as skateboarding goes? An open marketplace to share stuff and meet people and exchange things? But then if you give the people what they want, they want McDonald's and Walmart and Britney Spears and fake boobs and a bunch of dumb, gross shit. I guess it's up to skateboarding to figure out how to handle that. People like lame stuff. 

What Thrasher has always done, is that we pick out the stuff we like and we share that. We've connected with all sorts of people that we probably never would have connected with in the old days. Just look at all the UK skating on Thrasher now. In the past you would never have known. What are they going to do, work on the Panic video for four years then send us a VHS? So it's cool, and you get to meet a lot of rad people, but at the same time, there's a lot of dumb shit and if the shoe companies or whoever are going by metrics, about 'likes', then they're gonna be chasing some dumb shit because people like some bullshit. You know who the most popular skateboarder is? It's a Goddamn skateboarding bulldog. Put a funny hat on him and make him rap, and he'll be the biggest skater of all time.

 

Isn't Old Town Road the most popular song of all time? People can't be trusted to pick the good stuff.

You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. But yeah, I don't know of any pros really suffering from not doing social media, but I know some who have really capitalised on it. Daewon's amazing! Of course a million people want to know what trick Daewon's doing. And good for Daewon, because Daewon does not like to go on trips and he does not like to do demos. So this is perfect for him, since he's a one-of-a-kind singular talent who will never be matched.

 

John Cardiel

 

You guys did the 'Over It' issue last year. Do you think the skateboard industry, wherever that may begin and end, has a responsibility to be pushing for good mental health?

I think everyone has a responsibility to show compassion and care for people, and talk about problems and share your experience. I think that's important. I don't buy the theory that if you see bad behaviour you're going to want to go and do those bad things. I mean I listened to a lot of fuckin' heavy metal and I never once considered worshipping Satan. I feel that skateboarding is about raw youth energy, and I think that that's important, and I feel that that's reflected in what Thrasher puts out. It feels good to be a raw fuckin' kid with your friends and go on adventures and get into scrapes. That feels good and it's part of being a person, especially a person who has chosen skateboarding. 

I want to include different voices. If you look at Kevin Thatcher's voice versus Jake Phelps' voice versus Bryce Kanights' voice versus my voice versus Michael Seiben's voice, it's a lot of different voices and it's always been like that. The idea that Thrasher is just some caricature of a certain kind of skater is not right and I want to expand that even more. I'm excited and interested in what skaters with other experiences are bringing to the table. I'm not interested in the Instagram kid's diamond collection or his road to the Olympics but I'm real interested in somebody whose experience is not my own, who loves skateboarding and is really making a go of it. 

The thing about the Over It issue, it was like... Why not? I want to put those stories out there for people, and I have no idea if a person who really needs to hear it is going to see that magazine and change their life, but it's part of the story. The story is dudes getting wasted, and the story is also what happens on the other end of that. And it affects everyone; if you're alive, you've been affected by this one way or another. So let's hear from some really respected skaters on that. I just want to share it. We're Thrasher, we're not telling anybody to put on a helmet, that's not going to happen. We're a reflection of what's happening in skating because we're fans and we love it, but I don't think it hurts to share different viewpoints. 

Like with women in skating, I think it's fuckin' rad that there are women in skating but there's gonna be some we're not gonna cover because they're not our type of skater. But the ones we do like, I'm not gonna put them over here in the 'Women's Section'. They're gonna go on the road with us. They're with the crew, it's just natural. I don't need to convince Ryan Lay that girls are worth being in Thrasher, but maybe I need to convince some fifteen-year-old booger eater and I'd rather show him by showing a woman ripping in the magazine and on the website. That does more than a 'Let's Give Women A Chance' article. I'm definitely not trying to say, "I don't want to hear about women! We're all skaters, right?!". We're all skaters, and if you're a rad skater I want to hear your story. I want to share that story. And if you like the parts of skating that we like, you're down. It's about getting the story out there and there was never a 'do' or 'don't' in the whole Over It piece, and that was on purpose. Kids are smart. Take it how you want to take it.

 

As far as being a 'Thrasher type of skater', people would either be that, or a 'Transworld type of skater'. What's it like being alone in the marketplace now? Are there more photos coming your way?-

People make up their own rules about what being a skater is. There's so many different ways to do it and they're not wrong. Your dream might be to get to the Dew Tour podium, and train at Woodward and get an energy drink sponsor, and you're not wrong but that's just not what we're into. People should skate and make skateboarding whatever they want it to be because that makes what we do even more special. You don't want everybody to do exactly the same thing anyway. 

As far as Thrasher being the last print magazine, I guess I just want to do more concept things, more big-picture things, because I feel like the people who might want to read a magazine are similar to the people who who might want to pick up a vinyl record. They want something tangible and they can invest some time in, and I just want there to be stuff worth reading, to be able to find unexpected and fun stuff. And yeah, having the choice of so many photos now because the photos have nowhere else to go... It's about trying to find the most epic images possible. It's a big responsibility but our growth is really with the digital stuff, with involving different people and their video projects. I feel like that's maybe a more substantial area of growth because of the nature of it. 

Getting to do Atlantic Drift is so cool to me. It's not not Thrasher, you know? Yeah. It's Thrasher, those guys and the way they skate is Thrasher. I think it's really cool that we're able to make connections with people doing their own thing and doing cool stuff in different ways. Like the GX1000 crew. On paper, what is that? But it's so visceral and exciting to have that part because that stuff doesn't always translate to photos. 

To get to these smaller skate crews, internationally, is where I think Thrasher's growth is. Bringing more people who are doing cool shit in, and always at the heart of that is skaters and media people with a vision that they really give a shit about and that they want to do. It's not connected to a product or an advertiser. That's really cool because that's where the culture starts.

 

Corey Duffel

 

It's the 'little companies' doing the best shit right now, but is there a danger of too many companies?

The smaller companies are great and this kinda stuff has to happen. There are a few factors that made it happen a little differently this time, one of which is cheap and ready access to the materials, but I feel that this time it's a little more personal. People are in their little windows, and it's becoming more regional, which is similar to skateboarding in the '80s with Zorlac in Texas and Walker in Florida and all that. There were regional companies and regional pros, and that's really cool. Most of these new companies are tied to video though. Like these guys have a little video crew that expresses themselves through little video projects and Instagram projects, which is all free to do, to a degree. I think it's really cool and again, you can't tell the kids that they don't like what they like. "What do you mean?! You should like this Santa Cruz board!" "Fuck you, I like this instead!", you know? If kids like it, that's the test. 

I think that what's going to happen, and it's what always happens, is that you get a little following, you turn your friend pro and you put out the video, but right now the dirty secret is that if you're not underwritten by a shoe company you're fucked in the long term. The companies that are able to do it are mostly subsidised by big shoe companies; they pay for all of their travel, their tours, and they give them a collab which is a big financial shot in the arm. If you're able to align with that, that could give you a financial boost, but otherwise you're going to be like Lucero. If you want to do something it's probably gonna be you and one or two other dudes in the garage or in a little warehouse. That's just what that business is, so if people want to do that, then great! That's cool. But if you have any kind of success then the guys are probably going to want to get a cheque! They're not going to just do it because they're the homie, and then they're thirty, and can the business really pay more than two adult salaries? And if one of the guys is really fuckin' good he's gonna go somewhere where they can pay him. It's great that it happens because it's going to be the spark that starts the next thing, but whether or not it's the death knell for these legacy brands? I don't know, probably not. 

I think NHS is the biggest skateboard company on the planet but I wouldn't say that their board team is particularly sexy or groundbreaking, you know? But those guys are going to Australia! It's the sad state of affairs with most board companies that if a shoe brand's not paying for you to go anywhere then you're not going anywhere. You're going to Phoenix to do a demo in a parking lot like it's 1994. As far as creativity and a new start, it's totally great. As far as whether it'll be like this for the rest of time, I guess we'll see. A scarier thought to me, is not that small board companies will take over, it's that no board companies will take over and your Nyjahs and whoever will just sell Nyjah skateboards direct to the consumer.

 

Right.

Or they just don't give a shit. Or, as the big shoe companies do in snowboarding, they just buy out the board. In snowboarding people don't even ride for the board company, it just has the shoe sponsor's logo on it. I could totally see that happening. The guys in the Olympics, do they want the Element logo on the bottom or do they want the giant sports brand logo? How much is it worth to them? How much can a board company afford to pay? And again, the shoe companies are just trying to support cool shit happening. They can't be blamed.

 

I guess it's nothing to a big shoe company to send a bunch of skateboarders to Gran Canaria or to Italy or to Japan. It's a big deal to some dude running a little company with no support.

Yeah. But it's not a sad story, because there are companies like Fucking Awesome which seemed to have captured people's imagination, where people want to know what the team's about and want to know what's going on. It's just not going to go back to the idea of you and I at the miniramp and I'm pretending I'm Lance Mountain and you're pretending you're Steve Caballero. That's probably not gonna happen.

 

Since you mentioned the Olympics, has your phone been blowing up with the regular press wanting to speak to the editor of the big skateboard magazine? What's your stance on it all?

We're just gonna continue to make jokes. I don't begrudge anybody who wants to be part of it. It's Street League to me, it's really no different. If people want to do that stuff, that's cool. It doesn't make them terrible people. All this big outside corpo stuff, I'm just not into. It's all so contrived and it's not what's exciting to us about skateboarding. And that goes for a lot of contests. That's not what's exciting to me. The contrived points system, and the medals system? That's for the squares. That's for people who don't know or care enough. Someone has to tell them that that trick's worth an eight? 

I'm not of the mind that we need to get skateboarding out to as many people as possible, I feel that you find skateboarding and you work for it because you love it and you're driven to do it. I think maybe fewer skaters would be good? Haha! But nobody's really reached out to me directly, although I'm sure there have been calls to the office that have been lost in the antiquated phone system. It's just goofball shit. I'm sure there'll be successes for some people, for whatever they're striving for, but it just doesn't matter to us. I hope the people doing it have a nice time but it's not what interests us.

 

Anthony Van Engelen

 

Skateboarding being in millions of living rooms won't affect the curb outside my house.

I feel like the people running it are so out to lunch that they wouldn't even know what you were talking about. "Shall we get Thrasher involved?" They'd have no fuckin' idea. It's Italian rollerskaters! I'm not worried about any longterm effects of this. This thing's gonna work itself out. Haha!

 

Do you pay much attention to who's wearing Thrasher merch? Phelps called people out at times.

Here's the thing. We haven't changed anything about what we do, to stoke t-shirt sales. We haven't changed anything, we haven't made moves. In some ways it's freaky, but in other ways it's just the timing. It comes around that people see something they know is authentic that's exciting to them, like how kids see something that's exciting and they want a piece of it, and then their friends are doing it too. You couldn't set out to make it happen if you tried, which is good because then we don't have to worry about it! All we need to keep doing is make Thrasher magazine, and make our website and our videos, and do events. That's all we gotta do. I'm sure the Rolling Stones sold a lot more t-shirts than sold albums and I'm sure there were a lot of people who bought those lips because they just thought they looked cool. If you don't chase it you can't lose. What could happen?

 

Just doing what you do then suddenly Rihanna and Justin Bieber are wearing your shit.

It's a strange, weird thing, however I'm not about to set up the kickflip stand, "You must kickflip before you..." Whatever. How many Wet Willys got sold, you know? In the marketplace, what's going to turn on a generation of teenagers or whoever? Who can fuckin' say?! Right now everyone is trying to recreate the Supreme model. Can you recreate the Supreme model? Fuck no.

 

Rick Howard

 

They started out by doing the right thing in the right place at the right time.

Yeah. And all we can do is keep trying to do better and better shit in the spirit of Thrasher, do the things that we think are fun, exciting and rad. You can't chase success. You just keep going.

 

There's this @from_thecrypt account, where Tom Shattuck has been posting up old unseen Thrasher photos. Does this mean there's less likelihood of a new book for the 40th anniversary next year?

Well, part of us trying to get organised involved getting Tom down there. I think there's a real good chance we're going to have a cool anniversary. Yeah.

 

Alright. And what about King of the Road, and the Vice partnership?

They had a four season option on the contract, so in February of last year I pitched season four, and they said they weren't going to do it. We never thought we were going to do it for 25 years, so it was just a bit like, "Oh, OK then". That was in February and then in March Jake passed away and I was alright to just let it lie for a while, and deal with some other things that we were working on. So this year we're gonna pick it back up and see what we want to do with it. It might be a TV-style thing, it might be a web series, but it's not gone. Doing the TV show was really cool and I'm really happy with what we did, but it's not like, "Oh my God, we're on TV now! How can we desperately keep this going?" or anything. There's a lot of shit we want to do and I love King of the Road—it's my project—and it'll come back but no frantic plans. I reckon it'll be up and running this year for sure.

 

Published in North 25.

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