VARIAL FLIP – NASHVILLE – PHOTO: HEIKKILA
It’s been a wild ride trying to combine powers on the time zones with you of late…
Yeah, it’s been pretty crazy.
Where and how does this phone call find you?
I’m in Milan right now, and my backpack got stolen a few days ago, so I’m in the middle of dealing with that. Had my wallet in there, my airpods… We were at a local skate bar, I had it sitting right behind me in my vision for the most part, but when I got up to leave it was gone
Nah, passport was at home where I was staying, so that’s safe.
Yeah, still such a big fuck around. Had to go to the police station today and do a report, because they’d used cards out of my wallet and spent something like $350AUD – so I need a police report to be able to claim that back. So, that was a bit of a bummer, a bit of a fuck around, but it’ll be alight, I’ll get it sorted.
It began in Philadelphia back around the 31st of May. That was for a Butter x DC trip for something that’s coming out later this year. That trip went for a week, then from there I went to New York for 3 months.
Yeah, did a bunch of little trips while I was there. South Jersey, DC, Washington and a few other places.
Are you much of a skate tourist, wanting to check out all the classic old spots?
I’m not too fussed about it, but depends who I’m with. It is pretty cool to see spots that you’ve grown up watching in videos. The Jersey guys I was staying with, they’re quite proud and they love their classics, and there are so manny in New York and Jersey so we’d always go out of our way to check some shit as an ode to the past. Unfortunately, I don’t think I got any tricks on any classics, or did I? Nah I wish I did, but it’s so hard to come up with something on those spots.
Yeah, no easy feat on a spot that’s seen decades of action. What was the next mission after New York?
From there I went to London, where coincidently there was a DC trip happening, so a bunch of people were there who’d flown in from all around the place. I was in London for 3 weeks, but that trip went for 12 days which was cool because I got to hang out with everyone and they got me a hotel room.
Well, I’ve just been crashing at the homies places for the most part and luckily everywhere I’ve been has been great. Everyone has been really nice, really generous and made me feel at home. So, no crazy stories just yet, but I’m only about half way through my travels, so there’s still time for things to get sketch.
Tell me about the Bronze crew. How did you get involved with those guys?
I first met everyone through… I think it was back in 2019, maybe 2018 when the DC Super-tour came out to Australia and New Zealand. Mike Heikkila and John Shanahan were on that trip and that’s when I met them. They are both from New York, Shanahan skates for Bronze and Mike does a bunch of photo work for them. I mentioned I was headed to New York in a few months, Shanahan offered for me to stay with him, which I did and from there I kind of met everyone. Then they did the first Bronze x DC collab around the start of 2020 and we went on a trip to Portugal. The Bronze guys had been pushing for me to get onto that trip and helping me out and ever since then I’ve met the rest of the people who work there. The whole Bronze thing is such a good vibe, it’s just a crew of friends with a relaxed, good homie vibe.
The clip for the new DC collab was crazy, some really wild stuff in there, and props for how solid your footage was too.
Thanks. Yeah, the Bronze edits are usually pretty out there but they’re always dope.
Yeah, there’s a pair waiting for me back home in Australia. I didn’t have that much space in my bag.
Ha! Yep, wouldn’t have had any room if you’d packed those things. Were you skating yet, during the original puffy shoe era?
I actually have old photos of me wearing the classic Court Graffik, which is what that slipper is based on! When I was even younger, I didn’t actually skate in them but I definitely had all the chunky shoes, Etnies, Globes, DCs –I was definitely rocking the classic mall-store, bogan shoes back then. It’s so funny to see that style of shoe come back around again.
I definitely work for it, and it definitely doesn’t come easy, but I always try to make sure I get something happening. It comes and goes, some months are really good and others tick by without getting a good clip for a really long time. It helps so much when you have the right people around you, people like John Fitzgerald, Geoff Campbell and Neihana Tonkin. When they are motivated to film it also motivates you. Also just skating as much as you can. The crew I skate with in Melbourne, which is a pretty small crew these days, everyone is always down to skate… and that just keeps the hype going and helps you stay productive. I guess the last few years have been pretty good, but I always think I could still be more productive.
I fly to Greece in a week, I’ll be hanging out with Orion for 2 weeks over there, then I’m not really too sure after that, but in 6 weeks time I’ll be flying from Lisbon, Portugal and then on to Auckland and I’ll be there for a month before I fly straight to Perth to spend 3 weeks with my family. Then back to Melbourne in January.
Still plenty of adventuring and productivity to be had! And nice to have an end-game of Christmas with the family…
Yeah, my brother is turning 30 and I haven’t spent Christmas with my family in 6 years.
A bit of Perth sunshine wont go astray too…
Yeah, after this mission I’m gonna be so ready to get home and not do anything.