What part of Jers are you from? At this point I consider myself to be from the whole state of NJ. I moved all over central Jersey suburbs growing up. During college I lived and skated all over North Jersey and NYC. For the better part of last year I lived down in South Jersey near Atlantic City due to unforeseen circumstances involving my knee. Currently, I’m living in the heart of downtown Newark. The air and water quality here isn’t the greatest, but the sangria is excellent.
What role did NJ Skateshop and Chris Nieratko play in helping you get sponsored & travel around? The most essential role imaginable. Nieratko’s industry connections have definitely helped things along quite nicely but this goes well beyond getting sponsors and traveling. If it weren’t for Nieratko and Steve Lenardo I’d be half the man I am today. My mom worked a lot growing up and I never knew my father, so Steve and Chris taking me under their wing has been a blessing since day one. It took three different visits with three sponsor-me tapes each slightly better than the last for them to finally let me on the team. Since then they’ve offered me nothing but guidance, wisdom, and opportunity during some of the most confusing years of my life and still do to this day. I fucking love you dudes. NJ Skateshop is not a means to an end, we’re a big happy skateboarding family.
How long did you film for this video part? I filmed the majority of this part in a little over 6 months, but the whole thing was cut short because I tore my ACL toward the end.
Who filmed and edited this part? All that ultra high def California sunshine filming was courtesy of Dan Balducci, who carried that 70 pound camera bag up and down the hills of SF on foot without ever complaining once. There’s also one long angle in there of me eating shit onto my spine that was filmed by my homie, Johnny Boy. Thank you dudes for the motivation. Given the circumstances, I ended up having to just throw the part together myself. After I got hurt I was pretty isolated healing so in order to keep my sanity I started slowly piecing things together on my computer.
Where did you travel to film for this part? What was the farthest location you got a clip at? As far across the country one can go is the furthest location I got clips at. I started to film a few things for this part in NJ, and also took a few trips to skate down in Philly. The second I finished college though, a couple homies and I were on the same page and moved to the Bay Area to live with friends in Oakland. The idea was for the part to show the transplantation from NJ to SF Bay.
Any upcoming projects you’re working on now? Right now I’ve been working on filming a homie video part back in the crust. I’ve realized there’s really nothing like a dirty East Coast part filmed on a VX 1000. Hopefully we produce something that will turn up the stoke and get back to the real grit of street skateboarding. I’ve also recently started playing guitar for a band called Gypsy Ship. Check out the tunes here: soundcloud.com/gypsy-ship
Shout outs? Who’s been hooking you up? First, I’d like to thank and congratulate Nate Alton for stepping up as TM at the Deluxe workshop, you earned it G! Jim Thiebaud for giving so much back to skateboarding. Huge thanks also goes to Andy Henrie at Converse for keeping my feet properly shielded and happy as can be. You guys are the ultimate homies for sticking with me through my injury. Big thanks to Shad Lambert and Death Lens for the iPhone fisheyes. Thank you to the homies Brian Shima and Ashley at King Crow bearings for keeping me rolling fast. Thanks to Jake and Tony lincoln from Volcom for hookin it up with the sickest denims. Of course, thank you to Steve Chris and Troy at NJ Skateshop—I’d be nowhere without yous guys. I’ll see you at Street League Newark at the end of the month!
You plan on making the move to California? Honestly, I’d like to get out of the states for a bit. I moved to California after college for one year, and the products of living there can be seen in my Spitfire Keeping the Underground Lit part, and this video part. Overall, it was one hell of a time living over there. I had a blast living in a shred house with my friends, hanging out with a ton of pros and rippers I grew up idolizing, meeting photographers, and other shredders of all sorts from all over the world who came together in that time and place to make it the most liberating and unforgettable experience possible, thank you all. I was not planning on leaving, but my ACL snapped toward the end of filming this part so I was forced to sell my things and move back home to NJ. But I firmly believe that everything happens for a divine reason and I will always be where I need to be. I’ll see you again soon San Francisco, old pal.
Why do Jersey heads have so much Garden State pride? They’ve been brainwashed by Governor Christie and his army of corruption.