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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Frozen in Carbonite Presents — Song of the Summer x Video Part of the Summer 2018: Global Warming Edition

Words by Frozen in Carbonite

Everyone has their own theory about the point in time when summer ends and winter begins: fantasy football draft night, college kids swarming back into town, the first rainy Sunday when you bust out your favorite sweatpants, when the first beanie appears at the skatepark. (Maybe that’s not the best example, dudes would still skate in beanies* if there was a ledge in, like, Death Valley or some shit.)

ANYWAY, in my neck of the woods, the end of summer was marked by a quaint event at my local bar — perhaps the least “woke” event such an establishment could conceivably host: a bikini contest. Sunday night. Labor Day Weekend.

Unlike that one bikini contest that Ronnie “The Limo Driver” Mund hosted, this particular contest only had five entrants. The emcee set it off with a mandatory disclaimer regarding the importance of respecting women and a stern warning that anyone who failed to follow these guidelines would be removed from the premises. Subsequently, he asked the contestants a series of typical pageant-type questions like “if you were a number, what number would you be,” to which the young lady responded with the most predictable answer in the universe.

Nevertheless, another contestant triumphed that night and took home $500.

Before that, however, these songs and parts fucking powered summer 2018 — notable for a higher than usual number of according-to-Hoyle full-length vids and a lower than usual level of “IS THE FULL-LENGTH VIDEO DEAD?!” prognosticating.

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Branding Masterclass — Trucks

Words by Frozen in Carbonite
Collages by Requiem For A Screen

Few choices in life communicate as much about their owner as the skateboard truck. Board companies vary by woodshop, clothiers get bought out by global conglomerates, shoe brands come and go at the mercy of the vicissitudes of fashion, but the Big Three (plus one?) truck brands remain with consistent brand narratives that — for whatever reason — synergize with the most mindblowing slogans in the culture.

With that in mind, and with no end in sight to the #trend of starting brands, we will deconstruct the marketing tactics of the Big Three (plus one?) truck companies, focusing on their most iconic and immortal slogans.

Join me, won’t you?

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Sabotage 5 — #theprocess Continues…

Photo via @brian_panebianco on IG

Words by Frozen in Carbonite

“The Process” refers to the Philadelphia 76ers’ management philosophy under former General Manager and President of Basketball Operations, Sam Hinkie. In a nutshell, The Process contains three guiding principles:

A. Minimize competitiveness in order to obtain high draft picks.
B. Stockpile those draft picks in order to maximize trade values.
C. Delay “trying to win” until the team drafts a transformational, once-in-a-generation player. Based on the history of the NBA, this is mainly how teams have set themselves up to win championships.

This strategy requires a shit-ton of patience. Nevertheless, over the years “Trust the Process” has become a mantra, a philosophy, and a rallying cry for 76ers fans.

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Back in the essay on the Philadelphia sports mythos, I focused on #toughness as Philadelphia sports’ guiding principle. Nothing exemplified this in 2017 more than Sabotage 5, in which Brian Panebianco and his usual suspects — plus some new additions — skated Love Park until every last slab of marble had been extracted and nothing remained but a few dirt banks into which to ollie.

On the other side of town, perhaps as a form of karmic balancing of the universe or some shit, something happened to the 76ers basketball club: They became sick-ass fun to watch.

So here we are, at a crossroad in which the Sixers are displaying flashes of basketball genius, Process believers looked ahead to a promising future, and the Sabotage crew released their final video chapter. As an homage to both #theprocess and the extensive Sabotage legacy, let’s take a deep dive into how the two crews match up.

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An Interview With Ross Norman

Photo by Corey Rosson

Words & Interview by Frozen in Carbonite

The American archetype of The Cowboy as a metaphor for an “outlaw” lifestyle is around 150 years old. The New Jersey classic, “Wanted Dead or Alive,” which just flat out states “I’m a cowboy” is probably the least subtle example of this. Ross Norman’s 2008 Last of the Mohicans part, on the other hand, is more cerebral. The juxtoposition of the Highwaymen classic “Silver Stallion,” and Norman’s technical-yet-relatable #lowimpact skating stood out in a sea of women’s jeans and Modest Mouse edits.

Through the sands of time, the Mohicans part developed a cult following — devotees including Hjalte Halberg, who stated on the record that he stole all his tricks from Norman. Recently, the dude made a comeback of sorts, going pro for The Vacation and branding himself as a North American plaza specialist, an almost impossible job description. Indeed, based on the current state of North American plaza skating, one could even call him a desperado or some shit.

So we caught up with one of your favorite skater’s favorite skaters to, A) get into what he’s been up to for the past decade, and B) shed some light on one of America’s last standing organic plaza spots.

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

I was born in Torrance and then moved to the Santa Ynez Valley, which is near Santa Barbara, CA. That was when the Powell SkateZone was open. I started going there in 1992 when I was twelve years old, and saw some contests that got me stoked on skating. Kinda started from there, and skating street after that place closed.

How did you link up with Joe Perrin and all those Florida guys?

I skated for Status Skateboards back in the early 2000s, and Mike Rosa was on the team. He’s from Orlando and skated for Westside, so he knew John Buchanan, Dowd, Renaud, all those dudes. I met Rosa on the first Status tour — it was a two-month tour that Van Styles talked about in that Nine Club interview. We went through Florida, so I met Renaud and Nix when they were like fourteen or fifteen — like, tiny little kids. And Josh Dowd skated for DNA, which was the sister company to Status. Dowd moved to Hollywood, Rosa and 80s Joe were staying at his place, and I’d always go and stay with them. Rosa and 80s got their own apartment, and I basically lived on their couch for years.

Who was most influential on your skating coming up in Santa Barbara?

The Church of Skatan guys were the local rippers. Dylan Gardner was kinda like the hometown hero dude. He skated for Neighborhood and was in magazines. He was super sick in the mid-to-late 90s before he got all hesh. I learned nollie flip nose slides just because he did them. But I grew up on 20 Shot, Trilogy, early 411s — all the classic mid-90s videos. L.A. was really close, so I Iooked to that kind of skating as being influential. Gino, Pupecki, Pepe, Welsh… those dudes were and will always be my favorites.

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