VOX Footwear and COLOR have something in common: we both recently stopped by Jordan Hoffart's Vista California dream home (I say dream home, but really it's only a skater's dream, because most people wouldn't consider a chicken coop, a goat and a skatepark as must-have features of a dream home).
Check out this Day in the Life with The Hoff and take a tour around his house via a clever moustache-chasing intro. Also, stay tuned for the next issue of Color (11.2 Summer) where we give you an in-depth look at the house plus all the background info on what it took for Jordan to turn a piece of foreclosed property in SoCal into a never-neverland for never-gonna-grow-ups.
Now that PALACE is available in Canada via Supra Distribution, expect to see this suddenly-trending UK brand on groms across the country. In this extended interview from our "Worldwide Underground" article in Color 11.1, Palace owner Lev Tanju spreads some gossip about who on the team is banging Rhianna as well as video evidence of their two newest riders.
Torey Goodall, backside kickflip, [ o ] ashley
Why start a new company in the already cluttered UK skate market? Why not I guess. I wasn't into anything anyone was doing and I had a lot of free time, so I thought fuck it.
How much of a roll did the PWBC play in the starting of Palace? Well I was doing the PWBC news and it was getting a good response. I guess I could see some of my mates were not getting looked after as good as they should of been. So in a way I wanted to do it so they could be in a better situation and not riding for people that would fuck them about.
Would you ever move the company to the U.S.? Dunno really, maybe in the Summer when the weather is sucking balls here. But as soon as it warmed up in London I would be back.
So, did Shawn Powers hump pop-star Rihanna or was that just some rumor? Yeah, with one of her dancers in a 3-way ting. I think they are dating at the moment.
You mentioned some new additions to the team recently, aside from Mr. Powers whom else is joining Palace? Loads of cool black people.
Like Benny Fairfax? Naw, he rides for the new Blueprint. (UPDATE: See video below)
Will he being staying in L.A. or coming back to London? Dunno. I think Blueprint are looking for more white guys with dreads on there team so he's gotta move to the UK to lose his tan.
Do you do the graphics? If so, do you have a background in graphic design or any of that jazz? Yeah, I do the board graphics and some of the tees, then my homie Ferg does a lot of the tees. Will Bankhead and Ben Drury do some too.
What is your definition of ‘trill’? TRUE and REAL
What companies did you follow as a kid? Alien, Aesthetics, Chocolate, Girl — all the dope ones basically.
Do you think they have influenced Palace? Naw, not really. I really liked what they where doing though.
Lucien Clarke, nollie flip [ o ] ashley
Will the Palace full-length come out on DVD? This year.
While you’ve embraced the Internet with edits from different trips (N.Y.C and L.A.) they are not rushed piecesl there is obvious time and effort put into them. What part does the WWW play for Palace as a young company? Well it obviously helps, everyone is all over the Internet now days. It also helps to get the footage out while it's fresh. It takes a long time to make real good videos, especially a full-length. So it's always good to drop stuff to keep people hyped. It's cool for us because the video is a London thing. So everywhere we travel goes on the internet, then the bang bang gully gully mashman London gnarly footage has been getting saved for the G-FUNK full-length project.
Read more about PALACE and other great indy companies around the world in "Worldwide Underground" (Color 11.1)
Heroin's newest video, Video Nasty is set to drop soon. I for one can't wait and if this trailer is any indication of Deerman's part, it's going scare your darkest oreo poop white with gnarly barrier domination.
I'm going on the record and saying that my interview with Matt Berger that I did for the new issue was one of the best I've ever participated in. There was a lot of speculation heading into this one—nobody really knew what to expect, since skateboarding is pretty much all this kid has ever known—but once we got into it, I found out quickly that Matt's really bright and was eager to get into some deeper discussion than he was used to:
What if it meant being away from your family for more than two years? Is that something you could do? [Laughs] This is getting to be a fucking intense interview, man….
Is it too early for this? I told you to grab a coffee... I know. I had some tea this morning so I’m good. But ya, I always keep in contact with my friends. And it’s not like I’m gonna be away for two years and never come back to Canada. There’s always gonna be ‘time to come home,’ right? So I mean, ya I go away all the time, for like a month or two-month periods, but it’s fine. It doesn’t seem as long as it sounds for me anymore, I guess, I’m just getting used to it, so it’s good.
Do you have any brothers or sisters? I’ve got an older sister.
How old is your sister? [laughs] I can see where this is going man.
Where’s that? [still laughing] She’s 22.
I’m not going anywhere with that… Ya, I know, I’ve just had some Kingshit interviews…
This is not a Kingshit interview, I can guarantee you that. Thank god.
spread from Color 11.1 [ o ] odam
Once he got settled in, we got talking about his travels and what they've taught him. Coming from a small town myself (St. Thomas, ON represent) I understand what it's like to get trapped at home and never experience all the wonderful and strange things the world has to offer. Luckily, Matt's recognized that skateboarding changed his life and has given him the opportunity to leave Kamloops in search of bigger and better things.
At home in the 'loops [ o ] paterson
Sometimes, you see a guy out at the park, or you watch the web edits that people put together, and you start to formulate an opinion about who you think they are, but it's not until you really get to know someone, and give them a chance to talk that you really learn about their character. That is why I love making a magazine, because it gives us the chance to tell the stories that just don't come through on Instagram or HellaClips.
Plus, I knew Matt was doing something right when Rowley hand-picked him for FLIP:
"I liked that he was humble, from BC, and you could tell straight away that he was driven to progress. The happy go lucky attitude was a big plus also, and the fact that we was well rounded on the street, tech and the gnar!"
He even had these travel tips for the young jetsetter:
"Carry a knife. Watch your back, stay protected down under, get in the mix and enjoy every moment. Skate like it's the last time, every time."
another spread from Color 11.1
"Can I just say. that was probably one of the best interviews I've ever done." - Matt Berger
No no no, the DC Canada team wasn't chilling with Kenny and Cartman, they were at Montreal's famous indoor park for the launch of a new custom ramp. While they were there, Josh Clark, WIll Marshall, Chad Dickson, Sascha Daley, Micky Papa. Morgan Smith, Bobby Dekyzer, Mitch Barrette, Charles Deschamps, Brian Gautreau & Etienne Gagne laid waste to the park with a whole barrage of tricks.
Is it just me or has Will Marshall gotten even better since we featured him in Color 10.4?
Based around shapely boards and striking graphics, WELCOME skateboards continues to break the rules on what a skate company can be. With nary a popsicle stick in their lineup, these diverse shapes recall an era of money bumps, early grabs, slappies and when everything was new and still golden. A team of friends, they are seekers of fun. The following is a conversation with their leader—The Minister of Majic.
"I will bleed for them and my soul is in every single thing that we are making."
Nolan Johnson, boneless [ o ] yaqubian
What is the Latin phrase that is on the top of every WELCOME board about? ("qui nos opprimere velint, illos libertor devoramus") I steal a lot from pop culture but what I steal are things that I am feeling deeply at the time, so I will often put my slant on it. That is the correct latin phrase for: "we gladly feast on those who would subdue us," which was in a Adam's Family movie. (It wasn't correct in the movie... gibberish).
Why make a company that only sells shapely boards? There is not a single popsicle stick in your catalog? Popsicles look kinda stupid and boring to me. I think each time you put a board together it should be a ceremony and something that gets you excited to try it out...not just a monotonous action of just what works for you. We make what we ride and besides if you know about leverage points and how skateboard dimensions work together to make a board ride a certain way they often (always) are more functional that popsicles anyway. I also like how the shapes I make works with my artwork. It all works together to create a magical bond for the rider to exploit.
Do you get pissed when you see other companies following your lead with shaped decks? Only when they previously had no interest in it before and would have probably made fun of us a year ago for what we like to ride. It doesn’t really matter because from what I have seen thus far they make them crappy with no understanding of functionality.
The boards are in many shops, how has the response been and how much support from regular skaters have you seen? Awe-SUM... I am shocked sometimes by who gets into us and supports us. However I think people can feel that I will bleed for them and my soul is in every single thing that we are making. I don't run this like a company, I think of us as a band that needs to pour their hearts out in each record or you will let down your listeners.
Would you ever do a collaboration board with a shop? Sure, if we had the time… still just me doing everything. I am already spread too thin.
Will there be a WELCOME video and what format would it come out on? Yes, with a lot of acting in it too. I want to tell a story. I have no idea how to accomplish this but that is the plan. DVD would be cool but if it means I can't have the music I want (due to copyright) then it will live on the internetz.
While you have a team full of rippers that no one has heard of (aside from Mango’s brief internet fame and Nolan’s "Something Else" in Thrasher), how did the team take shape? I have skated with Nolan forever and he is one of my all time favourite skaters. With that, everything has come together very organically. I think we have a group of friends who feel the same way I do about how stale and jockish the skateboard industry has become. They are here because they really want to be and not for what we are going to do for them. I don't think any of them care about being "sponccerdz" and I didn't pick any of them because I thought it was going to help us sell skateboards. I just wanted all my favourite skaters to ride for WELCOME and I didn't care if the magazines didn't know who they were. These are the most talented, creative and warm hearted gentlemen (or lady) on the planet. I wouldn't trade a single one of them for anyone on any other brand. I want artists not athletes or stuntmen. Be a god... create something.
The WELCOME team
How do you pass along the stoke to the next generation? Seems presumptuous to think we are doing anything important for the next generation. You either want constant progression to the point where skateboarding can be quantified and qualified (a sport) or you want it to be about a sub culture of creativity and fun which is the side of the fence we live on. I know if it becomes only about being the best then any non skater can come in and run the industry. It will be easy for them to understand and control. They can't control a fucking thing I am doing because I don't even know what I am doing. I want those to get to know us to either become admirers or our enemies. See I am lifting pop culture again. As someone who is inspired by past and forefathers, what has been one of the most important things you've learned about skating? I learned that there is nothing like it on planet. I try to get pragmatic at times and attempt to break down what is so addicting about rolling around on a little toy. But really it's just everything... It's the fun, music, friends, humor, creativity, art, aggression, challenge, erotism, necrophelia, etc.
If money isn't the motivation, what is? Making a single brand that had all things I wanted from a skateboard company. Nothing less and nothing more.
Do you think board graphics, as a whole have been watered down over the years? Yeah of course, but there is some cool stuff now from Stefan Naranic. So that makes up for all the bad graphic design garbage that has been the standard.
Is the industry slowly eating itself alive? One can only hope, but really as long as we can do what we are doing, I don’t care what anyone else is doing.
I bet you didn't know Toronto had place called Oasis Alternative Secondary School where at-risk youth can earn highschool credits and that they have a program to teach students how to build and design skateboards, even working towards starting and launching their own company. It's called Oasis Skateboard Factory and I bet you also didn't know that it existed right inside the community center beside DUNBAT skatepark.
"OSF provides an opportunity to work to real-world deadlines in a small setting with personal teacher assistance and mentorships," says artist/designer/teach Craig Morrison, "allowing students to re-engage, re-focus, gain confidence and achieve personal and community-recognized success."
from: "Alternative Tentacle 8": Annual Alternative Schools Art Show at Xpace Cultural Centre in Toronto
Right now, the program needs help from the community to purchase screenprinting equipment and have set up this crowdfunding campaign to ask for your support:
"Screen printing equipment will support at-risk students as they learn to design original graphics, work with local artists, and market and display their own skateboards and other branded items as they operate a socially responsible entrepreneurial business... Screen printing equipment will support at-risk students as they learn to design original graphics, work with local artists, and market and display their own skateboards and other branded items as they operate a socially responsible entrepreneurial business."
The Burrard to be transformed for one-night fundraiser in celebration of skateboarding, music, arts and culture
Skateboard ramp, deejays, art installations, food, live music—this ain’t California, but it sure will feel like it when an abundance of local talent comes together amidst the palm trees at The Burrard for this one-night festival of fun.