Austin Stevens Interview

Austin Stevens

Interview by Aaron S.

“I just sit in my room and stay up all night, just drinkin’ coffee and playing guitar.”

So Austin, where are you from?

Southern Illinois–a small town called Marshall.

Is that where you started skating?

No, I started skating when I moved out to Corona, California with my family when I was thirteen.

Where are you living right now?

I’m living at Ed’s (Templeton) house.

How’s that going?

It’s going really good, actually. Deanna (Ed’s wife) and Ed let me move into their guest room. I’ve got all my stuff there–my guitar, my record player, and my coffeemaker (laughs).

Who or what got you into skateboarding?

Well, like I said, I moved out to California when I was thirteen. I was in junior high then, and all the friends I made were skateboarders. They just got me into it. They hooked me up with my first board–just like spare parts and stuff.

So you’re ridin’ for Toy Machine?

Yeah.

Are you ever afraid that Ed’s going to make you look tweaked in a Toy Machine ad?

(Laughs) No, I’m not actually. I love Ed’s ads–I love his sense of humor. We also go over the ads together, so nothing goes in them that I wouldn’t be that psyched on. I’d trust him even if I wasn’t in control.

Who else are you riding for right now?

Innes clothing, Emerica shoes, Active Mailorder, Pig Wheels, and Monster trucks.

You’ve been sponsored for a little while now, huh?

Yeah, almost two years.

Did you make a sponsor-me video for Ed, or did he notice you?

Well, a couple of my friends were making this video called A New Horizon, and I was filming to have a part in that just for the fun of it. Then I took the part I filmed for that and sent it in to Tum Yeto. Josh Beagle got ahold of it, and then gave it to Ed for me.

What early skate video got you hyped on skateboarding?

I worked a little bit backward with skate videos, because I didn’t see any for a really long time even when I started skating. The first ones that got me real excited were Welcome To Hell and Mouse. Those were the two videos that made me go, “Whoa! This stuff is amazing.” And then later on, my older skate buddies were like, “You gotta check out these videos”–all the old Plan B videos and Blind’s Video Days. Those are my favorite videos now, for sure.

Do you think you’ll ever turn pro for Toy Machine?

Yeah, I suppose it’s possible (laughs). I mean, I’d like to at some point in time.

If you ever do turn pro, would you wear your own T-shirt?

(Laughs) No, I don’t think I could wear something that has my name on it. It might freak me out a little.

Good answer. Here’s a semi-important question: What role do you think contests and demos play in skateboarding?

They (contests) play the role of disguising skateboarding as something it’s not. It’s just disguising it for the public–we wear our helmets and our pads, we’re competitive, and we like to put our sponsor’s logos on our helmets. I think it’s just prettying it (skateboarding) up. There’s no soul in it whatsoever. That’s what I think about contests. But demos are different. I like demos because I know how it is to be a kid and be excited to see your favorite pro. It’s more like, “Here’re the tricks and some free stickers.”

How many boards can you ollie?

(Laughs) I have no idea–it’s been a long time.

Do you know who Jay Adams is?

Yeah, I do. He’s an old Dogtown pro.

Can you do a Bert slide?

Yeah, I can (laughs). I learned them not too long ago, though.

If you could be a pro skater from any decade, who would you be?

Aw, man. That’s a hard one to answer. I don’t know–I guess Mark Gonzales. So many people are probably going to answer that one, too, but he just has so much style flowing out of him.

Who was the first person to do a kickflip?

Rodney Mullen.

Right answer. Which ams do you think are going to be the next wave of new pros?

I’m not too good at keeping up with what’s going on in the skateboard world lately, but the dudes who have stood out to me are Nate Broussard, Paul Rodriguez, and Bryan Herman. Those are the three dudes who are comin’ off the top of my head right now.

What do you use for injury remedy?

Oh, man. I just sit in my room and stay up all night, just drinkin’ coffee and playing guitar (laughs).

What kind of music do you listen to?

Not a lot of modern music really. I have a hard time getting into it. It seems that a lot of the modern-day bands lack soul. I’m into a few modern-day ones like alternative-country-type bands. But I’m mostly into the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. That’s where it’s at. And I like all the classic country like Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Woody Guthrie. All the good stuff.

What are you into besides skateboarding?

Just pretty much playing guitar. I got into record collecting recently.

Are you into art?

Yeah. I haven’t painted that much since I graduated from high school, but I love to draw. That’s about it.

What do you see yourself doing five years from now?

I don’t really know actually. It’s really hard to tell. My mind’s kind of all over the place–it changes day-to-day in regard to what direction I want my life to go. I want to be happy.

Do you want to give thanks to anybody?

There’re so many people–Ed Templeton, of course, for everything. Jamie Thomas has helped me out. Justin Regan, Shane Wallace, Kevin Huelem, Josh Beagle, all my friends and family, and God.