About a week and a half ago the TOA crew made a trip up to Boston for Pep Kim's Static 456 photo show at Orchard Skateshop, marking the second ever time his photos from the making of the video have been exhibited. Besides going to show their support for the show, Dustin Eggeling, Aaron Herrington, Kevin Coakley and Brian Clarke came along to meet up and skate around Boston with the locals. Orchard just posted the resulting video of this two part event, Double Exposure, that Joe Bressler put together recapping the event. We had a lot of fun on this trip and are always stoked to work together with a shop as rad as Orchard. Pepsi's photos will be on view at the Allston location of the shop through January. Photos from the event can be viewed over at Orchard's website.
Photos and Interview by: Bradford Bishop
It's hard enough to get noticed in the skateboarding world these days considering how good everybody is. But you at least stand a chance if you live in California or, in recent phenomenon, New York City. But if you live anywhere w/in the interior of the United States it's so difficult that you almost have to cover your body in lighter fluid and set yourself ablaze to get some eyes pointed in your direction. But in my opinion, it's these little-known cities and underground scenes that often have some of the most interesting styles and personalities.
Meet Matt Nordness. Matt is a beast on a skateboard. He shreds, films and shoots photos on the regular, yet you probably have never heard of him. The reason for this is most likely because he lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Not exactly the center of the skateboarding industry. If it wasn't for a good friend of Matt's who lives in the Chicago area, Brett Weinstein, we would never have heard of him ourselves. So, thanks to Brett and also photographer Bradford Bishop, we can introduce you to one of the best kept secrets of the midwest. - Josh Stewart
Whatsup Matt? I’m going to go ahead and assume most people reading this don’t know much, or anything about you, so what’s Matt Nordness all about these days?
Well, obviously skateboarding. I’ve been playing and listening to music a lot lately and I’m a nurse at the local Children’s Hospital.
How has skateboarding been treating you this year?
Awesome! I feel like this year has been really good. Just been skating around Milwaukee with all my friends every day I can. We’ve been going down to Chicago a lot this year. I’ve been filming a lot and shooting a bunch of photos; I’d say so far this year has been really good!
Every time I see you, you’re always smiling. Why are you so happy all the time?
I feel like I’m just a positive person in general, I don’t know, maybe it’s because nothing bad has ever happened to me? I guess I’m just always stoked on what I’m doing. Skating gets me hyped, I love my job, Playing music is awesome and I’m always happy when I’m eating! I guess I just don’t have a good reason to not be happy.
You have diabetes, is that something that bums you out?
It’s not all that bad. It only really affects me when I’m out skating if I’ve been skating hard all day. There’s times when it sucks for sure. The worst is when you’re in the middle of trying a trick and you just know your blood sugars low and you have to stop and chill out and eat a snack. I’ve had it since I was 16 so I’m usually prepared.
What has been like growing up and skating in the Midwest?
I’ve loved it, tough with the winters, but up here in Milwaukee we’re pretty lucky being able to skate Cream City Skate Park whenever we want. The winters definitely make the spots a bit tougher to skate but I’d say that’s what makes skateboarding in the Midwest what it is.
Do you feel like the Midwest gets the amount of coverage it deserves in skateboarding or do you think it could use a bit more?
I have mixed feelings about it. I kind of like that no one really talks about all the cities out here and that it’s kind of a hidden gem in its own way. The Coasts dominate. Always have and probably always will. I like the fact that the Midwest is usually an afterthought with most Skateboarders living on the west coast or east coast. But at the same time I love watching most Midwest videos more than some of the newer videos coming out of the west coast. The spots out here just look better than what most people are skating out there. That part gets to me.
So you don’t see yourself moving out of Milwaukee to the west coast to get a little more out of Skateboarding?
I don’t know, I think about that all the time, but I just think I like Milwaukee and the Midwest too much to leave but at the same time it’d be cool to try something new. I don’t really have an answer to that right now. I grew up here and all my friends are here and I still have a bunch of fun skating here, so I don’t know.
You’re a full time nurse, how does your work life mix in with skating?
It’s actually pretty good. I only work 3 nights a week so I have a bunch of time to skate whenever I want. I have no complaints about how working and skating are going right now!
Are you working on filming for anything with anyone at the moment?
Yeah! I’m currently filming with Josh Ellis (WIskate) for his new video as well as Mark Dunning and John Schmoldt for their new Deep Dish video. It’s been a lot of fun skating in Milwaukee and Chicago. It’s crazy how different the two cities are for skating, but it’s made it a lot of fun this year going back and forth from the two.
I’ve been skating with you for four years now and you’re one of my favorite people to watch skate. Who would you say are your top five people to watch ride a skateboard?
1. Jason Dill, Photosynthesis
2. Fred Gall, Sub Zero
3. Jake Johnson, Mind Field
4. Mark Gonzales, Real to Reel
5. Every Bobby Worrest part
Do you have any trips planned before this year is over?
I definitely want to go out and skate in Pittsburgh, I was out in NYC about a month ago and it was a blast so I’d really like to get back out that way one more time this year. Maybe go somewhere in California once winter hits here. That would be ideal.
You got anybody that you’d like to thank for helping you out along the way?
Bill at Cream City and Aaron at Sky High those two do so much for Milwaukee skateboarding. Scuba over at Nike, all the homies, Insulin for keeping me alive, you and Josh for always filming and taking photos of me. Oh! And Mort and Angie for making me!
In this installment of Inside the Skater's Studio we feature Danny Montoya discussing the process behind filming his video part in Adio Footwear's "One Step Beyond". Topics include 9/11 and it's effect on video popularity, doing tricks on film once and then never again, marathon lines, and not wearing Adio shoes... except to skate. Danny is a rad, underrated skater and we're super psyched to include him in this video series.
A couple of months ago we received a random piece of mail from London, post marked via the "Royal Mail". Intrigued, we peeled it open and discovered a rad little photo booklet by Polar Skate Co's Jerome Campbell. Not even aware that Jerome was a photographer, it was especially surprising to see such a rad piece put together so nicely with sick photography and a strong layout. It had been a long time since we added anything to the "Book Club" section on TOA, so we caught up with Jerome when he was recently passed through NYC and got him to share a little bit of the story behind the mysterious booklet that he'd sent us. So here's a little video short on Jerome Campbell's "Traveling to Return Home".
Flashback Friday took us into the old Static archives and we realized that it's the 15 year anniversary of the original Static video and most of the original parts aren't very easy to find online. So we exported one of the sickest time capsules from the video. This section spans from Boston, down through NYC and into Philadelphia. Bill Strobeck and RB Umali were both a big help with this section. If you haven't seen this you should definitely have a quick watch before going out to skate today. Viva la Flashback Friday!
It used to only happen very once in a while that we'd get a random email from a skate filmmaker asking us to check out his new video project and help him promote it on the TOA site. And it was always pretty fun to check out new stuff from different skate scenes around the world. But over the last 6 months it's gotten to a point where we have a stack of easily 10 different dvd's waiting to be watched at any given moment. We receive so many that the mountain of unwatched videos has become intimidating and a constant reminder that we're disappointing a long list of filmers. But, as much of a bummer as it is that we can't watch every one of them, it's pretty encouraging that there are still so many skate video makers out there still adhering to the hard copy format and helping push their local skate scene.
One filmmaker took a different approach recently. An approach that started, at first, in a cryptic and kind of annoying way. About a year ago I started receiving random emails from an address I didn't recognize. The body of the email had no message, no questions or introductions, just a link and a strange random quote at the bottom.
With the first couple that I received over a span of a few weeks, I assumed them to be spam and just ignored them. But when the emails continued I finally noticed that the title of the emails I was receiving were named after different skaters. The first was titled "Greg Hunt" and yet another titled "Pontus Alv". I finally clicked "play" on one of the links and I was immediately struck by the quality of the cinematography. It almost looked like a film student's final project but the quality was much more solid and there was something very intriguing about the vibe and message of the video pieces. This mysterious email pen pal had me hooked but I knew nothing about him because when I would respond to his emails he wouldn't reply. So if he was trying to solicit some sort of help he wasn't making it very easy. Then, finally after probably my third email he finally replied and identified himself as Andrew Lovgren.
An obscure skate video maker from Kansas City, Missouri…..Missouri, who would've thought. He eventually filled me in that the links he'd been sending me were excerpts from a documentary he'd been working on and it was almost finished. I was definitely intrigued to see the final product, especially considering the bizarre nature of the stuff he had been sending me and also that the documentary featured Pontus Alv, Arto Saari, Chris Mulhern and Greg Hunt. The final project, entitled "Symirrioretry", premiered in Kansas City recently, and just as I started helping Andrew set up a NY premiere for the film he sent me an email and told me that he decided to post the video online for free. And he sent me a link.
So, after all that, the video is up and ready for viewing. And the final project is definitely just as intriguing as the short teasers that had been laid into my email inbox like breadcrumbs to a bear trap. Andrew tells the story and conveys his message in a way that I would say has not yet been done before in skateboarding. In a way, he leaves you to decipher and figure out what the message is for yourself. He may even leave you scratching your head. But his brave and risky approach definitely leaves a strong impression on you and I doubt you'll walk away from this film without being affected in some way. "Symirroretry" taps into a similar message as the German documentary from 2013 called "Pushed", coincidentally also including Pontus Alv, yet I'd say his unconventional story-telling technique gives him a more powerful voice as the filmmaker. It's a strong project and Lovgren should be proud of the final result.
Set aside 40 minutes of an evening this week and cue it up on your Netflix box. And then let us know what you thought.
I finally got the chance to visit the Magenta HQ and the home of Leo Valls this summer when I flew into Bordeaux, France for the premiere of Static IV. We figured it was as good a time as any to shoot a SKATE Bordeaux episode for Ride Channel so we could capture all of these things together in one swoop. It was a rad time and I have to thank Leo and the skate scene of Bordeaux for their hospitality. Enjoy the show!
In this installment of 'Versus', we have Polar's Hjalte Halberg and Aaron Herrington, Bronze's Joseph Delgado, and Hopps' Brian Clarke facing off before a session starts in downtown Manhattan. Really sick to see these four skaters, who usually roll with their own respective crews, here in one place. Warning: video contains a Right Said Fred song, nollie bigger spins, and middle aged tourists.
In this piece Nick Jensen takes us inside of his studio in London to give us a glimpse at the process behind the creation of several Isle graphics from conception to realization, and provides us with some insight into some of the symbolism and meaning behind the boards. Nick's attention to detail and meticulousness behind the method he employs to create these images is remarkable and we're stoked to be able to provide you with this look into his work.
Kevin Tierney's part was the introduction to the surprise 'Static V' video at the world premiere in NYC on May 1st for good reason. Kevin was one of the earliest choices for the Static IV project because of his original style and his overall hilarious personality. And also, as a Queens native, Kevin's skating maintains a truly New York City vibe and flavor and added a lot of the overall feel of the video.
While working on his part over a span of a couple years we had Kevin's part edited to an insanely long list of different song options. Kevin was about as indecisive as anybody I'd ever worked with, aside from myself, so every time we'd think we had the song nailed, Kevin would text me a new song title to check out. I was pretty stoked on the song we finally settled on (originally found by NY videographer Joe Bressler) but there were several options that hit the cutting room floor that were pretty sick as well. So we decided to do a re-edit of his part using one of the songs I really liked as well as of the songs he really wanted to use. This new version also features some new angles, some different makes of tricks from his original edit and some new clips never seen before. Take a peek and see which you like better.