An Interview With Bill Strobeck About Supreme’s “BLESSED” Video

Photo by Jared Sherbert

Keeping an almost three-year-long video under wraps — especially in the social media age — is next to impossible. Except all things considered, nobody really knows what to expect from Supreme’s upcoming “BLESSED” video, which comes at the tail end of a year already stacked with incredible full-lengths. We tried to extract as much as we could from Bill about the process behind the video, the legacy of the last one, and where they had to go from there.

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Skateboarding seems like it moves faster each year. Between “cherry” and today, has any change in skating really surprised you?

I don’t know if much has changed in skating. All the social media stuff was going off when we were doing “cherry” already. It’s so crazy to make a video like this for two-and-a-half years, watching all these other videos come out while you’re filming it. You’ve got so much more to think about. Before, you weren’t worried about if somebody is gonna do tons of psycho shit at the spot that you just filmed something at before you have a chance to put it out.

Would you be watching new videos with that in mind?

Yeah, before the next trick comes up, I’ll be thinking, “This dude looks like he would skate the same kind of shit we were at.” Now, even if somebody posts of a photo of a spot, people might see it and think, “Oh, I forgot about that spot, let’s go there tomorrow.” We were skating this one spot for a while, and all of a sudden, somebody hit me up, like, “Dude, no one’s skated that shit for six years, and since you guys are skating it, people are trying to film there.”

Why do you think that happens? I’ll see it, too. A spot will have been sitting there forever, one guy tries, and it’s like, “Oh, you get 20 minutes,” then it’s in every video. It’s like a collective consciousness thing.

I don’t know, and I’m more into going to classic shit, you know? Like, if I’m going to L.A., I want to hit the school yards. In 15 or 20 years, people will still recognize those spots: “Courthouse, that’s New York, schoolyards are L.A.” They are going to rip out the little things that people hit, but in 30 years, those are going to still be here. I want what I make to last a long time. I’ve seen gnarly parts come out, but I just don’t like the spots.

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An Interview With J.B. Gillet

Intro & Interview by Frozen in Carbonite
Collage by Requiem For A Screen with photos from @scalpfoto + ?

Summer of 1998: I had just moved into a closet on W 124th Street. The only video I had was Rodney vs. Daewon 2. However, I did not own a VCR, so I took the train down the The Wiz across from Union Square, purchased one, and lugged it uptown in a backpack. As I digested the video over the next few days, J.B.’s trick selection, previously-unseen Euro spots, speed and precision with which he attacked everything (e.g. that one nollie frontside 180 flip) [Ed. note: nollie half cab flip*] made it seem as if the dude came from not another continent, but from another planet. Planet EuroTech.™

ANYWAY, here we are twenty years later, checking in with him on the Quartersnacks web site. Circles, bro, life fuckin’ moves in circles.

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Yo, what have you been up to lately?

I’ve been in France, just skating but taking it easy. I’m supposed to film for Hélas with a filmer in Lyon, but it was so hot this summer; we didn’t really do shit. I’m going on holidays…taking a break in Hong Kong and Bali.

Do you have some kind of exercise or health regimen that keeps you skating at a high level?

I’m drinking a Heineken now [laughs]. I try to eat not too crazy, but I’m not too radical about it. With age, there is no secret; you have to stay a little healthy and do a little exercise. I go in at the gym a little bit sometimes. It didn’t matter before, but now I see the difference — so fuck it.

One of your last clips was filmed all in San Francisco. How has the city changed since you lived there?

It was kind of different, eh? There is no more Pier 7 — no more plaza skating, really. There are some new kids, but then you still see the old guys, like Chico is still there, and the guy from FTC, Ando. It’s like the GX guys doing their thing over there. I stayed only one week and it was pretty short, so it’s hard to tell, also.

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Nice Guys Turn Pro — An Interview With Dustin Henry

Photo by Colin Sussingham

Sometimes it feels like there is little incentive to be kind to our fellow humans during this cruel crossroad of human history. And kindness within skateboarding is no exception — nobody ever woke up to a Monster Energy Mercedes G-Wagon in their driveway for patiently waiting their turn at the skatepark. Earning the privilege of being paid to skate is as competitive as ever. I mean, don’t people find it a bit convenient that Ishod would “roll his ankle” in Toronto (his opponent’s city of residence) just days before the World Championship of Skateboarding? (I, Ishod starring Margot Robbie in her most transformative role yet coming to theaters Christmas 2019.)

All jokes aside, the recently pro Dustin Henry is as well known for being a sweetheart as he is for his dancey skateboarding — and not in a standard-issue sweetheart sort of way that all Canadians are born with, but with an extra dose of heart-meltingness that earned him our Skater You’d Be Most O.K. With Your Daughter Dating Award two years in a row. We spoke with him during a hungover week after Glory Challenge and his going pro surprise party to see if there is any truth to old idiom that nice guys finish last.

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What was your favorite part of Glory Challenge?

Meeting Nora.

How did it go down?

I was with Breezy [Breana Geering] and she was like, “Nora’s here!” We were in the Dime store, so we went outside looking for her and I was like, “Oh, she probably left, whatever.” Then I saw her from super far away, and we both just had our hands out. It was so cute.

Damn, what was the first thing you guys said to each other?

“Finally!” We chatted a bit and got lots of pictures. I felt bad though because I felt like I was chasing her all weekend. I hit her up every day: “Nora! Where you at?” Then she’s like, “I’m at the hotel.” And the next day I was like, “Nora! Where you at?” And she was like, “At the hotel.” I was too excited

How’d your first couple of days of being pro go? Is everything different? Does the air taste fresher?

I wish I was in New York with you guys. I feel like I should just live in New York — like, living in the place where the company actually is. Montreal is nice though.

Did you have an idea in your head of what being pro would be like when you were a kid?

I guess it was different back then, because you’d see pros that were just living so crazy, just seeing Muska having nice cars and crazy houses.

Want to run down your extensive sponsor history?

I got a package from Supra [Distribution] of Girl boards. Then I started getting City Skateboards. And then City went under, so I rode for Think. And then I rode for Toy Machine. And then I got on Cliché.

What the fuck…

And then I got on Polar. And then Alltimers.

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The Brotherhood of the Tri-Color Camo Pants — An Interview With Stephen Lawyer

Intro & Interview by Frozen in Carbonite
Top Collage by Requiem For A Screen

From time to time, skating functions as a nexus point for a cultural #moment. Case in point: the old X-Large store on Vermont in L.A. — a locale squarely in the middle of a venn diagram of streetwear, rap, and what we now know as street skating:

1. Backed by the Beastie Boys, who used footage from Questionable in the video for “Time for Livin’”
2. Neighbored by Los Feliz School, home of legendary hip/bump/stairs etc.
3. Frequented by the most progressive World/Girl/Choc riders of the time, who, as Clyde Singleton noted in his legendary 20 Shot Sequence commentary, blew thousands of dollars on Pumas and “weird Ben Davis pants.”

The internet — or more specifically, the only thing on it that anyone cares about, Instagram — functions as the modern-day X-Large store. And in a few short years, Sk8mafia rider Stephen Lawyer has mastered this convergence by capitalizing on both the #attentioneconomy and Instagram-as-Content-Management-System.

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Where are you from, and how did you get into skating?

I’m from San Diego. I was playing hella baseball as a kid, and I saw some neighborhood kids skating. I got a board together and started skating to practice ‘n shit. And one day at practice I was just like “Man, I’m tired of this shit. I just wanna skate with the homies.” I quit baseball and here I am.

Who was most influential on your skating coming up?

I’m sure you’ve heard of Jordan Taylor. I was best friends with his little brother, and we always used to skate together. It was pretty dope watching Jordan and all the other homies do their thing. They had a crew called More for Less, and they’d always make videos and shit. We pretty much followed in their footsteps.

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An Interview With Lucien Clarke

Interview & Intro by Zach Baker
Original Photos by Mike O’Meally
Collages by Requiem For A Screen

Despite our many Ludditical tendencies — like an asinine reverence for a MiniDV camera that was born the same year as Meatball — skaters can all agree that the internet has been a great thing for us. You can argue about megapixels, what to call a nollie cab (the correct answer being “nollie cab”), and which tricks do and don’t deserve Renaissance; the globalized culture of skateboarding has benefitted as a result of our generation’s interconnectedness. From the ease of recording it, to the ease of uploading, sharing, and seeing it, makes it feasible to peek into any scene to see how people skate, dress, talk, and talk shit.

For a person from the eastern United States, one thing that I’ve come to terms with is how little my peers and I actually know about the scenes and histories throughout Europe and really, much of the world outside of the U.S. I thought I knew a little something about the U.K. from watching Blueprint videos, liking Tom Penny, and retaining a handful of shit that’s gone down at Southbank, but in recent years of following dudes like Science Versus Life, I’ve been shown myriad photos from mags, photographers, skaters, and spots I had never heard of.

This sense of cluelessness is heightened when sitting down to watch Palace’s first video. Palasonic, a seemingly authoritative report on what’s going on in London, was logged camcorders of the cavemen, captured digitally on a tripod from a VCR, then edited on a twenty-year-old Macintosh. Convoluted as this may be, it gives the vid a sense of timelessness and intertextuality with a regional past that, frankly, I know very little about. So, I talked to Lucien Clarke, the man with the video’s seven-minute ender, whose rumored to be able to singlehandedly sell out even the most flamboyant Triangle-stamped kits just by filming an Insta line in them.

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