Tall Tales Of Tito

Filming For The Lakai Video In Australia With MJ And Friends

Skateboarding is all about skill. There are no rules and no direction, but no amount of skill can replace an eccentric personality and a creative, electric mind. If you mixed the stamina and agility of Bruce Lee with the wild freestylings of Jimi Hendrix and put them on a skateboard, then you’d have an idea of the magic that is Marc Johnson a.k.a. Tito Larue. If Marc is the Thinker, then Tito is the Clown. If Johnson’s the Discipline, then Larue’s the Desire. The exciting part about being around this guy is you never know which one it’s gonna be. He can keep you awake all night with philosophical ponderings, or he can run you out filming a line for hours until it’s just perfect. The bottom line is energy and lots of it.

As the porthole narrows on the upcoming Lakai video, Marc and friends are on a mission to bring some great skateboarding to the table-even if it means going a little bit mad along the way.

TY EVANS INTERVIEW

He skates hard, is the first man out of bed, takes the team to a Chemical Brothers concert, and doesn’t stop for anything. Just like any good rock band needs a good producer to stitch all the madness into genius, Ty Evans is the driving force behind the unique team that is Lakai. Even if you don’t like his bare-chested bravado, you can’t deny the energy of possibly the hardest working filmer and editor in the biz.

What’s going on with MJ right now?

He’s a soldier. The guy will stay up all night, drink all night, wake up with two hours of sleep, and skate all day. No one can do anything like that and still get the job done. Sometimes I’m looking over, and I’m like, “Is this guy trying to skate right now?” He’s been up all night on his phone for hours, smoking two packs, put down two bottles of wine, and he’s still out hanging-no problem.

How was it rooming with him? What are some of his habits?

It’s insane. It’s insane … he does not need sleep at all. I come back so tired and just lay down in bed. I go to bed at eleven or midnight. I’d wake up in the middle of the night to take a leak, and he’s on the phone, smoking, drinking wine, music’s so loud and the room’s so smoky. His habits? He won’t take a shower for a couple of days, wakes up with purple teeth from wine, won’t brush ’em, throws on some clothes, and he’s ready to go get on down twenty stairs. He’s a straight-up soldier.

Tell us something of his thought processes.

From what he says, his brain moves really fast. I mean, let’s face it, the guy is really, really smart-too smart for his own good. At some points, he can analyze the situation and do what he needs to do, and at other times, he can overanalyze the situation, and it can work against him. His thoughts are definitely more accelerated than other people’s-he just sits there and takes it all in. When he wakes up in the morning, he turns on the iPod, lights up a cigarette, cracks a beer, opens up the window, just gazes out the window, and ponders the little bugs outside. I’ll tell him “Alright, I’m gonna go downstairs,” and he’ll just be sitting there, smoking his cigarette, looking at me, blowing it out. He definitely works at his own pace. Marc’s time is his time and no one else’s.

How do you manage to wake up so early every day? You’re usually calling everyone by nine a.m.

My alarm. That’s the thing. Yeah you’re on a trip, and to some people it’s a vacation, but not to me. We’re there for a purpose, and we need to do something. There’s nothing better-especially being in a foreign country. You’re gonna be jetlagged and you’re gonna be waking up early, so why not use it to your advantage?

I know you skated a lot yourself on the trip, are you conscious of getting the other guys psyched or are you just skating anyway because you like skating?I’d be skating regardless, but it’s fun and I think it works both ways. Those guys help me like, “Maybe I couldn’t do this.” Because I’m not that good, but it hellps to be around other people that are good. I can’t say from experience, but I would think being a professional skater and having a photographer or filmer just show up to spots and sit down and talk about how hung over they are from the night before is not motivating, you know?

Do you have any little tricks for motivation or when people start stressing out?I think support is the main thing-whether someone’s stressing out or whether they’re psyched. You need to be on the same page as everyone-as the guy who’s trying something. You need to be mentally on the same page as that person. Last thing they want to see is riding up to a rail and you’re f-kin’ around, not giving two shits. You want to be really into what they’re doing. It’s how everything works in life-you just wanna show them that you’re in it together.

Caption: This roof gap was right in front some guy’s apartment window. He watched for a while as the guys sessioned it and then out of nowhere decided it was time to go. It was as though it took him ten minutes to figure out what was actually happening. MJ again with a textbook 360 flip.

Caption: Making miracles out of mistakes, MJ just lets the accidents happen and then masters them into his arsenal. This five-0 to frontside noseslide up the ledge was at the end of a two-hour marathon session where a couple of beers and a couple of tricks went down just as easy.