A Short Interview with Jason Dill

interview conducted 8/18/09 at approximately 6:50 PM

You referenced Henry's part in Tim and Henry's as inspiration for your part in Mosaic--
You're referring to the part with all those lines--

That was in a recent interview. I was kinda just thinking out loud. It wasn't the main reason why I did it; I just remembered that Henry's part in Pack o' Lies just seemed so flowy, and the way he did lines--he would do such long lines. I liked that--to watch someone taking the time to go around a trash can.

I think in that same interview you referenced Ziggy from The Wire as your favorite actor--

That was a joke. That's my friend P.J. who lives with me. He's on the show.
Are you a fan of that show?
I love that show. I would watch that show even if James or Leo Fitzpatrick weren't on it. So into it. I would like it even if my friend's weren't on it. Actually, I wish my friends weren't on it so I could like it even more.
Who was your favorite character on [The Wire]?

I'd have to say [pauses] McNulty. He was always fuckin.'
Do you remember your first graphic on 101?
Yeah--Winnie the Pooh.Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin [unintelligible]
Berrics vs. the World park--which is better?

World park. Jesus--are you kidding me?

Were you at Lockwood when Keenan switch flipped over the table?

I'm in the background. You see me run and throw my board down in the background.

What were your impressions of that moment?

I was hyped for Keenan. Then he turned around, and he almost switch heelflipped it.

My final question is about Gino--a dude that has a cult following, I guess you could say--

Fuck yeah he does.
What do you think is so iconic or transcendent about him or his skating?
Gino? You watch the guy push down the fucking street, and it's entertaining; it's beautiful. Nobody skates like that. Nobody looks like that on a skateboard
at all anymore. All these kids are fuckin' jumpin' at shit and doing all this...
It would be insane to skate like Gino. No one skates like him. He's like a...like an ice skater.
Well, that's all I got; thanks for your time [reaches for post-it note to write down URL of site]
Nah that's okay I don't really use the internet that much. I'm sure I'll hear about it, though.


Whatever Needs to be Set Up for a Caine Gayle/Lennie Kirk MMA Bout...


But seriously, I don't even know why I am writing about MMA now. Maybe it's the fact that two Nineties luminaries have chosen its discipline as a post-skating vocation. Maybe it's that banner ad that was at the top of the SLAP board for a minute. Maybe it's the fact that an MMA "dojo" appeared next door to one of my local shop's locations. The shop moved. Oh, it's doing fine now, but the dojo remains.

Truth be told, for the record I do not perceive Muy Thai, Brazillian Jui Jitsu, or any of the various permutations and combinations of martial arts that have come to be known as MMA as kooky activities at all. One of my closest friends from way back does Brazilian Jui Jitsu, and it seems cool and everything. I prefer good old-fashioned boxing--"the sweet science." Truth be told, though, I also sometimes like to drive my Lamborghini around downtown Philadelphia late at night--just to clear my head, you know?

ANYWAY, like everything else, I suppose, the recent MMA explosion has its legit and kooky permutations. As far as taking it up post-pro skating, the way I see it, choosing a discipline to which one is a complete novice and mastering is is definitely cooler than taking a position as FKD Bearings (what ABEC are they again?!) team manager or whatever the fuck. Although, I find it interesting that in most of these "where are they now?" pieces in Skateboarder or whatever, most dudes have some kind of "cool guy" job like firefighter or, in the case of Adam McNatt, tattoo artist. You really don't see too many washed-up pro office managers or CPA's. I might be wrong, though (Lib Layraman? You out there?). BY THE WAY, McNatt's interview is also notable for his admission that Titan Trucks were forged from the rare molecular compound known as "legitness." Unfortunately for the human race, said molecular formula has been lost to the sands of time. Fuck. This, I'm afraid, is not even close:

Maybe I am writing about MMA because it somehow gets lumped in with skating in the category of ne'er-do-well activities that are relevant to the interests of gentlemen in the 13-35 age range. Indeed, if industry rabbis are searching for a cause of the industry's lack of profitability, it's probably the across-the-board proliferation of such ne'er do well activities, including new shit like text messaging, Call of Duty, and social networking. No one's busting out the launch ramp, or even the prefabricated "ramptech" box, and setting it up in the cul de sac anymore. The thing about skating is that, out of all the "cool guy" activities like surfing, snowboarding, wakeboarding (You're on a boat. Once you get a chick on your boat, it's basically a wrap), dirtbike riding, etc., it is the least "cool" in the popular imagination. "You're riding around on a little piece of wood on plastic wheels, what the fuck is cool about that?" I've heard the naysayers say. Granted, skating reflects a certain elan in urban areas like NY, LA, and possibly PHILA, but in the rest of the country, for the most part, it's a joke. And for your average 13-year-old, the ability to effectively text message or socially network is more valuable than the ability to do b/s tail bigspin outs or whatever the fuck.
ANYWAY, Speaking of Gayle and Kirk, a surprising amount of the discourse in the ol' print media this month centered around the apartment complex in which the Alien dudes lived in Carlsbad or wherever the fuck in the San Diego area during the mid-Nineties. I never thought of that area as a Nexus for epic shit in the vein of Mike and Greg Carroll's apartment or the Lockwood/menace_tech Los Angeles "fast life" scene, but 15 years later, I suppose it was. Trip the fuck out.

Who all lived there again? Alien dudes, Clyde, Pre-TMZ Muska? Tom Penny maybe? Fuck, dude. It was like Melrose Place without that one redhead, Tiffani Amber-Theissen, that short-haired blonde, or Locklear.
mad underrated

First, Jamie Thomas relates the tale of how he took a young Kalis under his wing ("eagle-swoop" pun intended) in the aforementioned San Diego-area community, only to have the dude quit TM to apply for a job at Real. That is, until Dyrdek recruited him into the Sect. I gotta tell ya, though, from an "alternate universe" perspective, Kalis under the tutelage of pre-Twitter Thiebaud,** Hufnagel, and Drake Jones is kind of mindblowing. Who knows, though; it would be hard for his career to have been any "better," you know what I mean? Then Lennie Kirk, at the outset of an epic behind-bars interview, recalls the partying ways of the Alien dudes and references taping Stretch and Bob, as was the wont of Nineties backpacker hip-hop folk. How did he pick up WKCR in San Diego, though? Maybe he and Drake mailordered tapes from Fat Beats, sandbox, or some shit like that. Ah, the Nineties, when, in order to obtain a mix tape, one had to send a postal money order via the postal service, and wait to receive a magnetic cassette tape via said postal service.

Fuck it though, all the aforementioned shit is apocryphal. Pros could pretty much do whatever the fuck they wanted back then. They didn't _really_ have to film that much, and the internet was mostly academic (besides USENET of course), so if a dude did something WACKY and regrettable, the whole world didn't know about it instantaneously. The only fuel for the ol' theater of the mind was whatever inside jokes made it into the Big Brother "news" column. Our sole point of reference, however, is the 411 "Roomates" segment with Pupecki, Gino, and Keenan, which is probably the best thing 411 Productions ever produced (the Jess McReney WOF is up there). I might be wrong, though; I kind of lost track when they did that whole "re-numbering" thing. ANYWAY. where to begin with the Pupecki/Milton/Iannucci piece-- Pupecki skating a brand new crisp City Stars board? Keenan smoking and playing Playstation 1 simultaneously? Gavin the three-point specialist? The most awesome part, I think, is random girl sitting on the couch while Gino and Keenan battle in NHL 2000 (you think Gino always played as the Islanders?).
I mean, who is this girl? What is she doing there? The world will never know. I do, however, think it's funny that, because blackberries were not yet invented, she's just kind of staring at her hand.

That's enough for now; I could probably write a while dissertation about that 411 segment. Or maybe a television series--A group of young, transcendentally talented skaters, some industry hangers-on, and a few scandalous bitches try to make it in a Los Angeles condominium complex during the pre-9/11 boom years. Here's my two-second pitch: it's like Melrose meets The Hills meets Street Dreams! Quick! Someone get Aaron Spelling on the horn!!!!


*I'm trying to recall if Tiffani Amber-Thiessen was on Melrose Place, 90210 1.0, or both. It turns out, both.

**The recent banter between Thiebaud and "The Ringer" re: Twitter is really just too cute...


The Count of Tuscany

disposable 2: in stores now

The other day, I was pleased to see that Sean Cliver had finally gotten around to publishing a sequel to the epic tome Disposable. In addition to functioning as one of the classic "research laboratory" books of all time, it serves as a narrative of the rise of World Industries and its zeitgeist as expressed through the graphics of Cliver and McKee, primarily. Hand in hand with that, of course, goes the parallel narrative of Cliver's inevitable departure from Powell and the subsequent "war" between Powell and Rocco. Oddly enough, this summer Blind and Powell entrenched themselves and declared war once more--the video wars, that is. It would be a lot more dramatic if videos "mattered" moreso than whatever is on the berrics on any given day. It should be noted that it is 2009. Steve Berra and Nike control the industry. Once again, this in irrefutable proof that we live in some kind of crazy Futureworld.

ANYWAY, first, a little prologue. A few weeks ago, I went skating after work when one of those epic early summer thunderstorms struck the spot. If you are unfamiliar with mid-Atlantic regional weather patterns, there are two of them 'round this time of the year:
1. hot and humid as fuck
2. raining
So, I paid a visit to the shop. Down the block, the video premier for the latest Powell video offering was letting out--the same theater as the Fallen premier and the Mind Field premier about which I did not write.
The title of the video itself encapsulates just one of the reasons why I hate this company. It just seems kind of disingenuous, and also suspiciously like a shot aimed at Ty:
"Hey, we used to be this big shitty generic corporate company. NOT ANYMORE! WE'RE ALL ABOUT HAVING FUN SKATING! Not like those other dudes with their big super serious video productions! No ART here! Art isn't fun =(. Jumping down stuff is fun!! Powell are the fun dudes now! The shoe is on the other foot!! FUN. You know--like jumping down stuff.
As sometimes happens with this kind of event, attendees received stickers--1 ft.-in-diameter stickers with the Powell logo. You know, this thing:

I threw up a little in my mouth. As we all know, kids love stickers. However, they did not have the same violent reaction to Powell promotional material as I did. I saw some bros and they asked me "Hey, did you go to the video premier?"
"Nah I hate that company." They laughed, but I was dead fucking serious. I hated, and still hate Powell.**
By all accounts, their video is "sick," contains decent enough skating, and the ender ender is one of the more "extreme" frontside tailslides ever executed by a human being on this planet. However, I will never watch said video in its entirety, and most certainly will never by psyched on it. Why? For the same reason a Red Sox fan will always hate the Yankees. Even though World is, in essence, a shoe company now, I still retain allegiance to dwindle, and, by extension, blind and almost. It's still fuckin' Daewon, Rodney, plus the evolutionary Henry Sanchez*:
However, while Powell is still corporate and generic, so is World, or whatever corporate entity it has become. Twenty years after functioning as a canvas for Mark Gonzales' artistic "weirdness," and 15 years after having the sickest lineup(Creager, Milton, McBride, Sanchez) of any company ever, blind has somehow transmogrified into Digital Skateboarding: The Board Company.
To the kids at the aforementioned video premier, Powell is just another company with dudes that are good. No different from blind. Why do I retain a world view that is twenty years old?
I think it's because, just like the Red Sox and Yankees have changed, once one is a fan, according to Bill Simmons' rules of being a fan (which are somewhere out there on the internet) you can never switch. Even though the team 100% changes from the badass quality that made you dig them in the first place. Let's continue this analogy via baseball. Even though I am a Met fan, I will use the Red Sox as an example because I backed them hard as fuck in their battles against the Yankees in the first half of this decade. The Red Sox up uptil 2005 exhibited a badassness that was never more apparent than this epic battle that occured during the 2003 ALCS. I think I listened to most of it on WFAN. This was one of those events that, as one watches it unfold, one mentally repeats to onesself "I can't fucking believe this is happening and how fucking awesome it is." Kind of like the Pistons/Pacers thing.
Usually, though, the end of whatever made the team cool begins when one dude (Johnny Damon) moves on for more money. Then they bring in another dude that is super fucking good but doesn't really fit in, but the dudes kind of accept it because he's super fucking good (Matsuzaka). Pretty soon almost all of the original dudes are gone. However, you can't stop backing them, because sometimes they show that spark of why you were fucking psyched on them in the first place.

Creager does that. The next time a summer afternoon thunderstorm throws a monkey wrench in your plans, spend an evening revisiting his body of work: Cocktails. Superconductor Supercollider. 20 Shot. RvD1. RvD2. Memikmati. What If. I think that's everything; I might have omitted Gullwing: Revival. And this summer's offering, the creatively titled The Blind Video. I guess they decided against Blind - The Video: filmed on Earth - The Planet. Before we get to Creager's part, specifically, as a whole, I stand by my contention that The Blind Video harkens back to Trilogy with its sometimes shitty filming (think Clyde f/s heel over table), haphazard 80's-centric music supervision, loose clothing, and tech-for-tech's sake ethos (think Maurice Darshien Key sw f/s heel t/s). Danny Cerezini skates like an amalgamation of Photosynthesis-era Appleyard and Paul Rodriguez. Okay, if that's too hyperbolic, maybe Rodriguez with more creative trick selection. For example, you think he's going to go nollie n/s down that one hubba but he goes nollie bluntslide. By the way, Cerezini also maintains a blog, which is kind of interesting. I guess he didn't get the industry-wide memo re: self-promotion via "twitter." If I was into that sort of thing and set my mind to following some shit, I would follow kelch, york, nick t., whoever the fuck else...it would be just like hanging out under the wave. Trip the fuck out.
ANYWAY, Laitiala cuts down on the happy feet from that Digital part when he skated to "Blue Monday" (again--fucking amazing music supervision) and switch hardflips that big-ass set of stairs in Barcelona with the urgency of a Finnish commando defending the border against Soviet invaders. James Craig is, like, "one of us" so it's always sick to see what he comes up with. However, for my money, it's all about Creager and how he, by skating local spots in, I presume, Arizona, continues the pattern he established in 1992 by existing outside of time, which is kind of what this site is all about. Either ahead of, behind, or beyond, as shown by this unscientific chart:
Even though, by setting up shop in Arizona, Creager seems to have eschewed the industry in general, he has pursued other avenues to keep his shit out there. Specifically, his youtube channel shows that he's smart enough to know that "kids today" don't go to actual retail facilities to purchase and watch videos--they pretty much just watch what's out there. It's also a good destination if you need that extra "push over the cliff" to land that b/s tail double flip out or whatever the fuck. This particular video, however, captured my imagination, documenting Creager's construction of some kind of miniramp with a ledge in the middle. It also inspired the "retirement community" comment in the previous post. Truth be told, once I put in my 30, i would certainly agree to ride out my golden years in such an abode. Also of note: Creager, the small-wheel, skinny-board, fakie-360-flip-manual dude, wields power tools more effectively than a certain mute-grabbing, wall-planting, vintage trans-am driving, breaking-all-the-rules former resident of Edison, NJ and fellow former Rocco employee.
Draw your own conclusions.

*as astutely noted by some dude on SLAP

**that Mark Suciu kid is good as shit, though--he should be on a better company.

ps. if Creager ever created music, it would probably sound like this. or Dream Theater.