An Interview With Sage Elsesser

February 10th, 2017 | 7:00 am | Features & Interviews | 25 Comments

QS_Sage_portrait

Interview by Earl Sweatshirt
Photos by Ben Colen, Rob Collins & Jared Sherbert
Collages by Requiem for a Screen

Quartersnacks has long operated around the idea that your friends are your favorite skateboarders. You know every quirk and anecdotal backstory to your friends’ individual ways of skateboarding. Interviews, for that same reason, can be tough. You only really know half the story from watching someone in videos, or reading other interviews they have given to people who are paid to write about skateboarding. Sometimes, a friend knows the best way to lead someone into a conversation about why they skate the way they do, and are the way they are as a person. Quartersnacks is proud to present an interview with Sage Elsesser, conducted by Sage’s longtime friend, and current roommate, Earl Sweatshirt.

+++++++

What’s your whole name?

Sage Gabriel Carlos Atreyu Elsesser.

What got you into skating?

Probably my dad. I feel like he just knew a lot of skateboarders. But also, in kindergarten during show and tell, a kid had a skateboard. He was sitting on it and I was like, I need that — whatever that is. Then my dad got me a size 8 board. I was like 3, 4 years old. The board was taller than me.

When did we start chilling?

We started going to the same school. I remember there was a time when I went to the blacktop, and I was in like 3rd grade, a tiny child, and you were in 6th, and these niggas let me play with them. Then we actually fully reconnected at the alumni carnival. Our school used to have an alumni carnival every fall towards the beginning of the school year.

Didn’t you bring me my board?

Yeah, camo Alva grip!

Definitely camo grip to match my camo fucking Air Force 1s. You brought me my board, I didn’t even know you that well.

I saw you put your board behind the trash can and I was like “where are you going?” “I’m going to smoke…weed.” I remember going to school the next week, going into the janitor’s closet and I saw the board. I took it and gave it back to you. So from there, you were like, “let’s skate.” We lived in the same neighborhood, like 10 minutes from each other.

When did you get good at skating?

The definitive moment I got good was during halftime of a soccer game. I was 12. I seen a kid at the park with a board, and I was like “let me see that.” I did a heelflip in cleats. So perfect. Stationary. Everyone on my team was like “what!” My coach was pissed. Lowkey, I was like, “I’m a skateboarder.” That felt good, and I remember telling myself, “this weekend, I’m gonna go skate.”

When did you start doing impossibles?

8th grade when I moved to New York. I didn’t know Aidan, but we moved out here at the same time. We just clicked when we met, and then Aidan taught me how to impossible.

Five Favorite Parts With Brian Anderson

January 11th, 2017 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 6 Comments

ba-5fp

Photo by Joey Digital

Went from doing one of these once every month to once every quarter. Might try and pick it up a bit this year, but we’ll see what happens. Request line is open ;)

Figured we could annotate B.A’s heavy media presence from last year with a conversation about a light topic: inspirational old skate video parts. It is pretty unexpected how so many older street guys (especially east coast bred ones) end up picking tons of vert and transition-based skating.

Related: An Interview With Brian Anderson (April 2013)

Metropolitan 2.0 — An Interview With Keith Hufnagel

January 5th, 2017 | 9:00 am | Features & Interviews | 7 Comments

ari-metropolitan-1

Photo by Ari Marcopoulos

The internet has given plenty of pros, videos and companies — or at least an idealized version of them — a second life. Case in point: Metropolitan was a Deluxe-distributed wheel brand that ended in the mid-nineties. It began its second internet life on the pages of Police Informer, a defunct Blogspot page of largely east coast-centric magazine scans before Chromeball took the torch over in 2010. The company’s ads were black and white portraits of skateboarding in New York shot by Ari Marcopoulos, with a distinct non-skate photographer take on the traditional skate ad.

Since then, those iconic ads have been reblogged, regrammed and reposted in every place possible, oftentimes by people too young to have ever ridden a set of Metropolitan wheels. After seeing a few glimpses of Metropolitan gear that was a bit too clean to be vintage throughout the past year, we learned that Keith Hufnagel, one of the original teamriders for the brand, is relaunching it altogether.

+++++++

For those don’t know, what was Metropolitan?

Metropolitan was a wheel company. Deluxe was doing Spitfire in the early nineties, and they decided they wanted to have a brand that was more east coast driven. They realized they weren’t getting much traction on the east coast. It was Jim Thiebaud, Chris Pastras, and a few others who developed Metropolitan, which only featured east coast skaters. It was myself, Ryan Hickey, Maurice Key, and a bunch of other guys.

It was a cool but very short-lived company. Spitfire was doing well, Metropolitan was doing decent, and they had to make the decision on which to run with. Spitfire was the stronger brand, so they continued to go with it. We were all heartbroken because we all thought Metropolitan was the best brand ever. It was around for three or four years, but I’m not positive.

Was there any reason as to why Deluxe wanted to start a wheel company as opposed to a board brand?

I’m not sure. Deluxe has done a lot of off-shoots that were board companies. They did Stereo, they did Rasa Libre. Some stayed, some went away. I’m not sure why they didn’t approach Metropolitan as a board company, but maybe their plate was too full.

An Interview With Daniel Kim, the 2016 Q.S.S.O.T.Y.

January 4th, 2017 | 8:40 am | Features & Interviews | 8 Comments

daniel-1

Intro and Interview by Zach Baker. Photography by Will-Robson Scott.

Will R.S: “I’ve never even thought to, let alone wanted to do a switch Japan Air.”
Daniel Kim: “You need to empty your mind, Will.”

Let’s talk about influence. Here, in this beautifully flawed American society that we live in, we delight in the idea that we’re all unique. Supported by our convictions that never on Earth has there ever been anyone like ourselves, we (as skateboarders especially) are quick to call out the bandwagoning of others; the adherence to trends that we ourselves, whether we recognize it or not, are also influenced by.

Whether it be “Yo, I ride 8.5 because everyone rides 8.5” or “Yo, everyone rides 8.5, y’all biters. I ride 7.5, I’m different and lit” — we are all borrowing from the same pool of small board brands, nostalgic IG handles, and tricks done in Trilogy. It’s tough to stand out, and perhaps the less a person cares about doing so, the better they are at it.

Turn to Daniel Kim who, within the past year, has gotten what some might call “weird.” Prior to now, he had built a reputation for banging flip tricks, remarkable pop, and thoughtful Pulaski lines. He was on 10 Deep back when German Nieves was the team manager, got boards from DGK for a while, and later worked at Nike for a couple years. Then, his hat started falling off, he grew his hair out, started wearing fur vests, and introduced to us his mysterious new undertaking: Stingwater.

Sparking endless laughter from many and bewilderment from many more, Kim, throughout 2016, threw up all kinds of cryptic promotion for what is maybe a water company, maybe a skate company, maybe just a platform for trolling his favorite skaters. What can be certain, as reinforced by his part in Spirit Quest, Colin Read’s trippy opus, is that Daniel, both as skater and individual, is evolving — no, groeing. I’m entertained by whatever the hell Stingwater is, and I’m still not sure that I even totally get it. Maybe my mind’s not empty enough.

Regardless, in our eyes, Daniel had done some of the most unique and remarkable skateboarding in 2016, earning him the title of Quartersnacks Skater of the Year.

+++++++

Some of the readers may be wondering: did you lose your mind?

Nah man, I just found it.

You worked at Nike for some time, and then in the past year or so, would you agree that you’ve had much more right-brained approach to skateboarding, than say, a few years ago?

I think I just got more psyched on skating. I saw that once you have a regular job, you can’t skate as much. So I started to appreciate skateboarding more. Once the Nike thing was over, I started skating a lot more, and I started realizing that i could just have fun with it.

The 2016 Quartersnacks Year in Review: 5-1

December 29th, 2016 | 1:15 am | Features & Interviews | 2 Comments

plywood

Closing this one out :) Previously in 2016: 25-16, 15-6

Past Editions: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

5. The State of the T.F. Report [Sponsored by Soundcloud]

Those around for the post-9/11 flatbar years would find the modern T.F. virtually unrecognizable. Anyone with a functioning brain opts to meet at a skatepark rather than a place where they are forced to have an interaction with a paralegal holding a permit. This year, we were shocked to learn that while we may have a dedicated place to willingly cage ourselves into under the Manhattan Bridge, Soundcloud rappers are still looking for a home. In 2016, they found a nest at our onetime East Village meeting place, and have kept the (sometimes literal) fire of Tompkins debauchery lit in an era when we demand that our day consist of something more than skating a piece of plywood or a discarded Christmas tree.