John Herndon o las baquetas más libres del mundo

9 October 2016 Texto: Redacción. Fotografía: Archivo John Herndon, excepto indicadas. Foto portada: Gaelle Beri.

Mantenerse en la palestra en el mundo musical no es fácil. Sobre todo, si no eres una diva- fabrica-hits-a-golpe-de-cadera. Afortunadamente, aún se siguen dando valor a otros sonidos fuera del fast-food y la MTV… y ahí es donde aparecen figuras como la de John Herdon: Batería, ilustrador y tatuador, ecléctico, skater y miembro Tortoise. Una de las bandas más importantes del mundo que gracias a asumir riesgos tales como mezclar los punteos de guitarra con el dub, el reggae o la electrónica, se ganaron el colgarse la medalla de “padres del post-rock”. Creemos que con estas pinceladas, el interesarnos en la vida de John más allá de lo que a la música se refiere está más que justificado. Sepas quién es o no. Ahí va su historia…

Empecemos por el principio. ¿Cómo comenzaste en la música? ¿Cuál fue tu primer contacto como público? ¿Qué artistas escuchabas? ¿Por qué prestabas atención a esos y no a otros cuando eras joven? ¿Qué rol jugaba el skate en tu adolescencia?
Mis colegas siempre estaban escuchando algo en casa. Recuerdo a Axis Bold is Love . Comencé a patinar a los 7-8 años en Boston, probablemente entre 1973-74. No escuchábamos nada de punk de aquellas, solo lo que sonaba en la radio y algo de rock de los 50 también (no sé por qué razón), Happy Days y similares. En 1976, me mudé a Carolina del Norte y mis amigos montaban alguna jam de vez en cuando. Yo por mi parte, lo intenté con la guitarra, pero no hubo manera de aprender. A pesar de ello, la batería seguía rondando en mi cabeza, así que a veces tocaba algo en mi habitación creyéndome Neil Peart, Peter Criss o Phil Rudd.
El skate se quedó en segundo plano de algún modo hasta el instituto, donde conocí a un chaval llamado Kevin Shelton, de Florida que era un flipado del patín e íbamos a patinar al half pipe que otro de nuestros amigos tenía en la parte trasera de sus jardín.

 

Foto: Gaele Beri

Foto: Gaelle Beri

 

¿Y qué importancia cobra la cultura del skate en tu vida? ¿Qué significa para ti? ¿Comenzaste el Chicago o fue antes?
Empecé a patinar en Boston, mi primera tabla era de fiberglass con ejes de Lazer y Road Rider 4´s. Gracias a sus cuestas, aprendí sobre los estragos de la velocidad. Justo después de mude a Carolina del Norte, donde fue la época de los 360, ¿cuántos puedes hacer? Pero vaya, que nunca fui demasiado bueno. Nunca he sido un buen patinador, pero sí muy entusiasta. Me encantaba carvear y los powerslides. Cuando me moví a Chicago, Stevie Dread y yo nos dedicamos mucho al skate callejero.
Cuando comenzaron las primeras competiciones en los parkines de Chicago, siempre me apuntaba. Siempre estaba patinando y tocando la bacteria que era lo que de verdad quería hacer. Cuando iba mejorando y empecé a hacerme daño, empecé a patinar cada vez menos.

¿De dónde viene tu interés por la batería y por el resto de instrumentos?
Pues no lo sé. Vi a Stevie Wonder tocando para los Rolling Stones en 1975, me enamoré de Fulfillingness’ First Finale y no paraba de escucharlo una y otra vez. Lo mismo me ocurría con Later Kiss Alive, Rush 2112 y Gap Band and Prince o Controversy. Solo quería tocar. Solía ponerme los cascos con cualquiera de sus cassetes para intentar imitarlos para aprenderme todas las partes.

 

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¿Y cuáles fueron los comienzos con tu primera banca, lo que sería el previo a Tortoise? Cuéntanos más sobre tus primeros proyectos, su historia y como al final todo acabó convirtiéndose en Tortoise.
Toqué en Precious Wax Drippings en los 80 y juntos lanzamos un EP, un álbum y varios singles. También he tocado en un montón de bandas en Chicago y soy el batería en Poster Children record, Tool of the Man.
Comencé tocando con Doug McCombs tranquilamente: escribiendo canciones a dúo e intentando descubrir qué era lo que queríamos hacer. En ese momento, me enteré de que Poster Children estaba buscando batería y después de una prueba, me uní a ellos en los 90 más o menos.
Grabamos Tool of the Man y estuvimos un año de gira del tirón. Y cuando estábamos de break, tocaba con Doug con el que alcanzaba el sonido en el que en realidad quería centrarme. Después de 300 conciertos con Poster Children, decidí dejar de tocar con ellos y volver a casa para atender más a nuestra colaboración, que fue la que se convirtió en Tortoise.

Durante tu tiempo en Chicago, ¿tuviste relación Naked Raygun, Big Black y toda la gente de la escena del punk hardcore? De ser así, háblanos de ello y de su relación con el patín. ¿Los músicos eran también skaters?
Sí que vi a alguna de esas bandas. Una buena fue una pequeña fiesta llamada Cross Currents en la que tocaron Big Black, Scratch Acid y Killdoze.
Cuando fui a Chicago en el 85 me encantaba ir a ver a Butthole Surfers porque eran los más locos de todos. También me encantaban Big Boys de Austin, pero nunca alcancé a verlos. Fui al instituto en Los Angeles en 1983 y pude ver a Circle Jerks varias veces, saw X, Blood On the Saddle, Fear, 7-Seconds, Batallion of Saints ¡Simplemente increíble! Conocimos a Dan Bitney por aquel entonces, estaba en Madison, Wisconsin tocando la batería para Tar Babies. Los shows eran una pasada, la gente bailaba, se lanzaban desde el escenario…¡y la música! Bucky Pope es uno de los mejores guitarristas del mundo. Conocí a Dan cayéndome de mi skate durante uno de los shows en Madison, se me acercó y dijo “¿quieres que vayamos al halfpipe mañana?. Fuimos y Dan se dedicó a regalarse en la rampa con sus frontside grinds, laybacks, lip-tricks matadores…

 

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Tortoise proviene de la escena indie, ¿verdad? ¿Cómo fue ésa evolución de añadir nuevos elementos a tu música tipo jazz, dub, krautrock, sonidos brasileros…? Cómo comenzó todo? ¿Es cierto que al principio se planteaba todo como un duo de reggae?
Tortoise comenzó como un dúo de reggae. Doug y yo tocábamos a cambio de hierba cuando empezamos. Todos éramos amantes de la música con diferentes intereses. Yo creo que en todas las bandas en busca de sonidos nuevos ocurre lo mismo. Encuentran cosas nuevas por el camino y pruebas. Así fue como ocurrió en nuestra banda y como supongo que ocurre en la inmensa mayoría.

¿Has trabajado con Albini anteriormente? ¿Cómo fue la experiencia? Chicago es un lugar vital para el mundo de la música, ¿qué estudios y artistas clásicos podrías recomendarnos?
He grabado en el estudio de Albini aunque nunca he trabajado de manera directa con Steve. El lugar es una pasada! Pero el de John McEntire, Soma, era mi favorito en Chicago. Ahora ha cambiado su locaclización y creo que se parece más a una sala de mezclas con un pequeño espacio para los directos. No he tocado en muchos otros más, aparte de Soma o Steve’s Electrical Audio así que no podría recomendarte mucho más, aunque seguramente serán buenos también.

 

Foto: Gaele Beri

Foto: Gaelle Beri

 

¿En qué está ahora mismo Tortoise? Lanzásteis un muy buen álbum en 2015. ¿Qué planes tenéis?
Tortoise va bien. La otra noche tocamos aquí en Los Ángeles y hace una semana en Chicago. Ahora tenemos algo más de un mes libre, ero hemos estado tocando sin parar desde Febrero, el lanzamiento del disco, The Catastrophist. En Octubre estaremos de vuelta en Europa, en noviembre y diciembre en Sur America, Nueva Zelanda y Australia…pero no tenemos en vista ningún nuevo disco por ahora. Espero que estrechemos el hueco de 5-7 años entre discos, pero eso solo lo dirá el tiempo.

¿Qué recuerdos tienes de vuestros shows en España, especialmente en el AV festival en nuestra ciudad, Málaga?
Estuvimos en una poza preciosa en Málaga. Condujimos por una montaña, llegamos hasta un río con una piscina abierta a la que caía agua de entre dos rocas. ¡Fue una pasada! En España, la gente baila nuestras canciones a veces y eso mola. La primera vez que sucedió fue en Madrid y fue como ¿Quéee? ¡No paréis de bailar, camaradas!

 

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¿Podrías hablarnos sobre otros proyectos? Isotope, Eternals, Grape Dope…
He tocado en algunos de los temas con Rob Mazurek en los últimos años, Exploding Star Orchestra, Starlicker, Pulsar Quartet…y todos aquellos records fueron lanzados a través del label de jazz y blues de Chicago, Delmark. Cuando me mudé a Los Angeles toque con Ray Barbee varias veces. También he grabado tres temas con él y su hijo Nolan para la película Propeller de Vans. Su banda, junto con los Mattson 2 fuimos los encargados de tocar en la premier en Los Angeles y luego se nos unió Tommy Guerrero para el set de la after party. Jeff Parker y yo tocamos en una fiesta semanal en Griffin in Los Feliz pero tuve que dejarlo cuando Tortoise empezó a tener más trabajo.

Ya sabes lo importante que es la música para la cultura del skate. Por favor, háblanos de cómo conociste a Tommy Guerrero, sobre el track para el video Stereo, etc.
Tommy nos contactó para utilizar nuestra música y la de 5-Style para los vídeos. De hecho, creo que le conocimos en uno de nuestros conciertos en el Great American Music Hall, San Francisco (uno de los mejores lugares para tocar o ir a escuchar música, ¡sea dicho de paso!).

 

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La mayor parte de nosotros le damos mucho valor a los gráficos y a la música en los videos de skate y toda la cultura en torno al skateboard. ¿Cómo comenzaste en el mundo el tatuaje y la ilustración? ¿Qué vino antes, el dibujo o el patín?
Pues no sé qué llegó antes, si el skate o el dibujo. Probablemente el dibujo, pero mi amor por el patín comenzó desde muy joven también. Mi relación con el patín proviene de la parte más underground del arte, pero mi mayor interés siempre ha yacido en crear música. Aunque el arte ha estado conmigo desde que tengo memoria. Nunca he recibido clases de manera formal, si no que me dedicaba a hacer copias de libros. Cuando comencé a tocar en bandas, a veces dibujaba los flyers. También hice el mural de un bar punk donde trabajaba llamado The Exit a finales de los 80. Tengo algunos trabajos pequeños en ilustración, pero de manera irregular. Así que creo que hacer tatuajes me mantiene enfocado a mis intenciones de ilustrar y me da mucha más conciencia de tener cada trabajo terminado.

Últimamente has hecho algunos gráficos para Antihero Decks. ¿Has hecho algún trabajo de este estilo anteriormente? ¿Te gustaría hacerlo más a menudo? ¿Cuáles son tus artistas preferidos?
¡Solo he tenido la oportunidad de hacer esta serie, pero espero hacer más! Sobre mis artistas preferidos…es una pregunta complicada… Jennifer Gutowski, Paul Kleé,  Jack Kirby, Max Brown, Scumboy, Selena Trepp, Melina Ausikaitis, Tom Billings, Yayoi Kusama, Marc Bell, Remedios Varo, Yamantaka Eye, Duncan X, Michael O’Bannon, Steve Ditko, Mike Mignola, Charles Schultz, Paul Pope, Chuck Jones, etc.

 

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¿Qué otros trabajos realizas como artista gráfico? Portadas de discos, poster…
He creado también una línea de ropa para The Quiet Life, para la temporada de otoño de 2015, y camisetas para The Revival Drum Shop en Portland, Oregón.

¿Vives en Chicago o LA ahora?
Vivo en LA.

¿Cómo ves la escena en ambas ciudades? ¿Qué artistas son interesantes allí?
Hmm… No lo sé, diría que está algo mejor en LA. Me gustan Travis Millard y Mel Kadel, dos artistas locales que tuve la oportunidad de conocer. En Chicago me gustan Damon Locks.

 

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¿Qué cinco records te llevarías al final del mundo?
Suicide de Suicide, Are We Not Men de Devo, Maggot Brain por Funkadelic, Nefertiti de Miles Davis y Brothers in Arms de MC5.

¿Y qué cinco artistas nos recomendarías? En música, skate y arte.
En art, Jennifer Gutowski, Alee Peoples, Selina Trepp, Melina Ausikaitis, Max Brown.
En música, Antlr’d, Cairo Gang, Sam Prekop solo modular synth, Jaimie Branch, Matana Roberts
Y en skate, no estoy muy seguro pero diría que Jarne Verbruggen, Chris Pfanner, Timothy Johnson, Don Nguyen, Duane Peters.

¿Qué planes tienes para el futuro?
Espero encontrar una casa para mí y para mi chica. Nos casamos el 21 de agosto pero aún seguimos viviendo en casas distintas. Me gustaría tener un estudio para crear música y que ella tenga un estudio de cerámica. Me gustaría hacer más tattoos pero no me veo encerrado en una tienda 12 horas al día. Espero seguir evitando los típicos trabajos lo máximo posible y poder vivir una vida creativa en los diferentes campos que me gustan, tener hijos y crear vínculos cada vez más fuertes con la gente con la que quiero y con la que trabajo.

 

Foto: Gaele Beri

Foto: Gaelle Beri

 

Foto: Gaele Beri

Foto: Gaelle Beri

 

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English:

JOHN HERNDON OR THE FREEST STICKS OF THE WORLD

Staying in the forefront of the music world is not easy. Especially if you’re not a diva that produces hits with the move of a hip. Fortunately, some of us still give value to other sounds out of the fast-food and MTV … and that’s where people like John Herdon make appaerance: Battery, illustrator, tattoist, eclectic, skateboarder and Tortoise member. One of the most important bands in the world thanks to take risks such as mixing dub, reggae or electronic sounds to their guitar riffs, won the medal of “fathers of post-rock”. We are sure that with these brushstrokes, our interest in John´s life beyond his music is more than justified. Even if you know him or not. Here goes his history…

Let’s start from the beginning. How did you started in music? What was your first contact with music as a listener? What artists you listened? Why you paid attention to these artists when you were young? Which role played Skateboard in all of this during your teenage years?
My folks were always playing records around the house. I remember hearing Axis Bold is Love and the interview with the alien who seems to phase to another existence with Hendrix’s spaceship/feedback right into Mitch Mitchell’s brushes intro into up from the skies caught my ear and made me think, yeah, more that please! I started skateboarding around age 7-8 in Boston probably around 1973, ’74. We weren’t listening to any punk rock then, just what was on the radio and kind of a lot of 50’s rock for whatever reason, Happy Days or whatever. In 1976 I moved to North Carolina and my folks had a group of friends that would get together on sunday and have a pot luck, volleyball game, jam session. Mostly acoustic guitars and old timey music but some sunday’s were at a house that had a drum kit, and a fender rhoades piano. On those days people would bring electic instruments and have like space rock jams and I just loved being around for those. I wanted to play all the instruments, tried guitar but couldn’t figure it out. Somehow the drums just kept being in my head so I got some sticks and played on book in my room, pretending to be Neil Peart or Peter Criss or Phil Rudd. Skateboarding kinda took a backseat till high school when I met a kid, Kevin Shelton, who was from Florida and skated and had some DEVO eight track tapes and skateboarder magazines. I remember thinking Duane Peters was the coolest. Steve Olson. My dad went to NYC and came back with Blondie, Parallel Lines and Elvis Costello, This Years Model on cassette so those became regular records I would practice to, in the barn for hours and hours. There was no town near where I lived in NC, it was a 50 mile ride to highschool on the bus. So we were making shit up as we went. We had a skateboard gang of like two members called the Cemetery Rats, and would slam dance to DEVO 8-tracks in my friends basement and blare Judas Priest while we rode skateboards on my friends half pipe in his back yard where half of the ramp just was like plywood going up a hill.

And how important is the skateboard lifestye and culture in your life? What does it mean for you? You started in Chicago or before?
I stated skating in Boston, my first board was a fiberglass deck with Lazer truck and Road Rider 4’s. We were just bombing hills and stuff. Learning the hard lessons of speed wobbles. Right before I moved to NC I got a Sims, taperkick. Just like, doing 360’s you know? how many can you do? I was never too good. Never a great skateboarder but enthusiastic. Loved just carving and powerslides. In NC we would do a lot of hill bombing and luging. Moving to Chicago I met Stevie Dread and we did a lot of street skating. There were no parks and no ramps and hardly a jump ramp ever, so it was like, grinding curbs and slappies and rock and roll slides down curbs and bombing parking garages. When contests started happening in parking lots with jump ramps and early street skating contests in Chicago I’d always enter. We’d skate off cars and vans, acid drops. Very scrappy, but so much love! Like I said, I was never a great skateboarder but loved it. I was always playing the drums, playing music was what I really, really wanted to do. As tricks progressed and things got gnarlier, I started to get hurt and started skating less and less. I fractured my wrist at a skatepark in Tennessee on a Tortoise tour and that pretty much was it for me. I’m not really trying to get all tricky with parks and ramps and stuff, never landed a kick flip and never did any kind of handrail trick. I still like curb grinds and ollie-ing over just like small stuff.

How your interest in playing drums and others instruments started?
I don’t know what got me going. I saw Stevie Wonder open for the Rolling Stones in like ’74. I really fell in love with Fulfillingness’ First Finale right around then and would listen to it over and over and stare at the cover. That and Axis Bold as Love and The Who Sell Out were early records I would listen to over and over and over. Later Kiss Alive and Rush 2112 and Gap Band and Prince, Controversy. I just wanted to play. I would play along to cassette tapes with headphones, trying to learn all the parts.

And how was the beginning of your first bands, before Tortoise? Please tell us a little more about these first projects and how finally ended up in Tortoise?
I played in Precious Wax Drippings in the 80’s which released an EP, a full length album and a few singles. I’m the drummer on the Poster Children record, Tool of the Man. I played in a bunch of bands in Chicago, UNGH! was a band that my friend Stevie was in. Sometimes I would play with them, I’m on one song on their record. They had a tune on one of the Thrasher, skate rock comps. Stevie and I went to Ohio for one of the Cow Skates contests, we both entered the contest and UNGH! played the after party.
I started playing with Doug McCombs just kinda loose. Writing songs as a duo, trying to figure out what we were doing. Around the same time I heard Poster Children were looking for a drummer. I had just seen them opening for Mudhoney and thought they were the best band of the night, the idea of playing with them was super intriguing so I reached out and arranged an audition and they liked so I joined around ’90 ish. We recorded Tool of the Man and started touring and toured straight for over a year. When we had breaks I would play with Doug and was really hearing that as the sound I wanted to focus on. After playing like 300 shows with Poster Children I decided to stop playing with them and stay home to give attention to our collaboration which eventually became tortoise.

Did you live the Chicago of Naked Raygun, Big Black and all the punk hardcore scene? If so, please, tell us about those days. How the music was related to skateboard and which other musicians were skateboarders in that time?
I saw those bands some. A great show was big black, scratch acid, kildozer at a tiny venue called,
cross currents. But I came to Chicago in 1985 so a lot of that stuff had already happened. I loved going to see Butthole Surfers around that time because they were the most insane. There was a band called Math, a duo with Jodie Mechanic and the guy that would later become Quintron. They had a space called Milk of Burgundy that was really great. I loved Big Boys from Austin but never got to see them. I went to high school in Los Angeles 1983-84 and got to see Circle Jerks a few times, saw X, Blood On the Saddle, Fear, 7-Seconds, Batallion of Saints. In Chicago I got to see Scratch Acid a few times. I super loved Ray Washam and David Simms together. Later I saw Rapeman a few times. Albini and that rhythm section was a total mind blister. So goooooood! We met Dan Bitney around that time, he was up in Madison, Wisconsin playing drums for the band Tar Babies, maybe one of my all time favourite bands of all time, time and time again. The live shows were so hot the building would be sweating on the outside. In Madison especially, forget about it!! People just dancing and going for it, jumping off the stage! And the music! Bucky Pope is one of the greatest guitarists to ever walk the planet. Great songs, great arrangements. The best. I met Dan when I fell off my skatboard I was riding in the hall at a show in Madison. Dan jumped off the stairs on to the board, road it down the hall, did a Bert Revert came back and said, “hey wanna go to a halfpipe tomorrow?”. Yes. At the half pipe, Dan murdered the ramp with insane frontside grinds, laybacks, and all manner of lip-trick destruction.

Is it true that Tortoise started as a rhythm base for a reggae duo?
Tortoise did start as a reggae duo. Doug and I would play for weed when we first started. But we refused to play with anyone else, or any shows, so we were not high a lot.
We are all just music fans and friends with varied interest. It’s the same in all cities or music scenes, I believe, for musicians to search for new sounds and be attracted to a variety of musics. And it’s like a trail where one thing illuminates another and you just follow it, embracing some sounds along the way, maybe not paying too much attention to other (maybe coming back to those at a different point). All of this gets filtered through yourself when making some sort of musical expression. This is how Tortoise started and how I imagine most bands start.

Have you worked with Albini in the past? How was your experience in that studio? Chicago is very important for the music. What studios and classic artists would you recommend us from Chicago city and you have worked with, even members of Tortoise?
I’ve recorded at Albini’s studio but never directly with Steve. His studio is very nice!
John McEntire’s studio, Soma, was my favourite studio in Chicago. The location has changed since I was there last. I believe it’s more of a mixing room now with maybe a small space for live tracking.
I haven’t spent much time in other studios, aside from Soma and Steve’s Electrical Audio so I can’t really recommend any other studios, though I’m sure there are probably some good ones.

How is Tortoise doing actually? You release a great album in 2015. What are your plans: touring, another new album…?
Tortoise is good. We played the other night here in Los Angeles, and a week ago in Chicago. Now we have a little more than a month off but we’ve been playing steady shows since February, the release of the new record, The Catastrophist. In Oct we will travel back to Europe, in Nov-Dec we will play some shows in South America, New Zealand and Australia. No plans for making a new record at the moment.
I hope we can close the 5-7 year gap between records, but only time will tell.

What do you remember from your great shows in Spain in the past, especially the ones in our city Malaga, in the castle (AV festival) and the old Cervantes theatre?
We went to a really good swimming hole in Malaga. Drove over a ridge, walked up a river to an open pool with water coming down like a small opening between some rocks. That was the best! In Spain people dance to Tortoise sometimes and that rules. First time in Madrid and people were just dancing insane and we were like, wha??!! Don’t stop dancing, comrades!

Could you tell us a little more about your others projects, Isotope, Eternals, Grape Dope…?
I’ve played on some recordings with Rob Mazurek in the past few years, Exploding Star Orchestra, Starlicker, Pulsar Quartet, all of those records were released on the jazz and blues label from Chicago,
Delmark. Since living in Los Angeles I’ve played with Ray Barbee a few times. I recorded three tracks with him and his son Nolan for the Van’s movie, Propeller. That band along with the Mattson 2 played the premier of the Movie to a sold out theater in Los Angeles and then we were joined by Tommy Guerrero for the after party set. There’s talk of maybe doing some more recording and playing more shows, I hope it can happen! Jeff Parker and I had a regular weekly gig at the Griffin in Los Feliz but it stopped when Tortoise started getting busy, hoping to start something else up after the new year.

You do know how important music is in the skateboard culture. Tell us the story about how you met Tommy Guerrero, and the soundtrack for Stereo video, etc…? Tell us about the presence of Tortoise in skateboard videos also please.
Tommy contacted us about using the Tortoise and 5-Style music for the videos. I think we actually met at a Tortoise gig at Great American Music Hall, San Francisco (one of the greatest venues to play or see a show by the way!).

Most of us appreciate a lot the art, graphics and music because of skateboarding. How did you started in the tattoo and illustration world? Is it related to skateboard culture? What was first, skateboard or drawing?
I don’t know which came first, skatboarding or drawing. Probably drawing, but my love for skateboarding developed young too. My relationship to skateboarding came from an underground arts culture, that’s kinda how I related to the world. A kind of outsider arts community. So yes, skateboarding was super related but my interest leaned more heavy on making music. Art was always something I did as long as I remember. I never had any formal lessons though; it was a lot about just keeping a sketchbook. When I started being in bands and playing shows sometimes I would draw flyers. I worked at a punk bar called The Exit in the late 80’s and did some mural work there. My boss was thinking of getting into the t-shirt game and asked me to do a bunch of drawings but none of them ever saw the light of day. I did small illustration jobs but irregularly. Painted a bunch for gifts, you know? Mostly gave my stuff away. I feel like tattooing focused my intent to illustrate and has given me much strength to fully realize a finished piece.
Hanging out in sketchbook world is great but making a drawing that will live on someone till they are dead and buried is an ass kicker to get one’s shit together.

You have done some graphics for Antihero decks lately, not sure if you did some more before. Did you? Which ones? Is it something you would like to do more?  How much does skating inspire you? Favourite artists…?
I only did the one series so far! Hope to do more! Favorite artists is a hard question, and I’m so bad at unlocking brain freeze with this kind of question. Jennifer Gutowski, Paul Kleé,  Jack Kirby, Max Brown, Scumboy, Selena Trepp, Melina Ausikaitis, Tom Billings, Yayoi Kusama, Marc Bell, Remedios Varo, Yamantaka Eye, Duncan X, Michael O’Bannon, Steve Ditko, Mike Mignola, Charles Schultz, Paul Pope, Chuck Jones, etc?

Which others works you do in art? I mean like record covers, posters, etc… please, tell us a little more about it. We would love to show them.
I did a line of clothing for The Quiet Life, fall 2015, t-shirts for The Revival Drum Shop in Portland Oregon.

Do you live in Chicago or LA actually?
I’m living in LA.

How do you see the current scene in both cities? Which artists are interesting for you in those cities?
Hmm… I don’t know. I’m still figuring out LA. I like Travis Millard and Mel Kadel, two local artists I’ve had a chance to get to know a bit. In Chicago I like Damon Locks.

Which 5 classic records would you take to the end of the World with you?
Suicide by Suicide, Are We Not Men by Devo, Maggot Brain by Funkadelic, Nefertiti by Miles Davis,
Brothers in Arms by MC5.

And which 5 new artists would you recommend us? 5 in music, 5 in skateboard and 5 in art.
In art, Jennifer Gutowski, Alee Peoples, Selina Trepp, Melina Ausikaitis, Max Brown.
In music, Antlr’d, Cairo Gang, Sam Prekop solo modular synth, Jaimie Branch, Matana Roberts
In skateboard, not sure about this but Jarne Verbruggen, Chris Pfanner, Timothy Johnson, Don Nguyen, Duane Peters.

It’s weird Skate goes to the Olympics, but at the same time we guess it’s normal. Something so important in popular culture (like soccer, basketball…) is normal it goes to Olympics soon or later. Skateboard is bigger than life…. what do you think Skate goes to the Olympic Games in Japan 2020?
Yeah, I don’t know. Go do some slappy’s at the grocery store.

And in music in general terms. What are your future projects, recording, playing with others, solo projects…?
Hopefully gonna find a house for my babe and I to live. I just got married Aug 21st but we are still living in different apartments. I want to have a studio to make music andpaint and have a ceramics space for my bae. I’d love to do more tattooing but I can’t see myself sitting at a tattoo shop 12 hours a day so I’ll probably remain along the fringes of that unless I find a shop that loves me for who I am and could deal with my erattic schedule. I hope to avoid a real job for as long as possible and make a creative living being a muti-disciplined artist, and raise good kids and nurture strong and healty relationships with the people I love and love working with.

 

www.agrapedope.com

 

 

 

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