It’s a privilege being friends with some of your favorite skaters and being able to ring them up and get the true story behind hilarious tales you’ve heard through the skate industry grapevine. This one came from a photographer who once told me that Josh Kalis called up Chris Carter back in his Alien days and said he was quitting. Carter not realizing it was April 1, offered Josh a raise to stay. Did he take it? Here’s the story from the horse’s mouth.—Blair Alley
I heard that you called Alien on April first and told Carter you were quitting and he was like, “Wait, do you want a raise to stay?” And you said, “April Fools! But since you mentioned a raise, let’s talk about that.” And you ended up getting a raise.
That definitely went down.
What year was this?
It was when Zoo York was like crackin’ crackin’.
Like around Mixtape? Late 90s?
Yeah, around then. Maybe a little after. What year was Mixtape out?
It was after that. 2000, 2001 I think.
So you just had an idea to play a prank? Did you call Carter?
Every April Fool’s I would do something to either Carter or Rob [Dyrdek] or somebody like that. I told him I was quitting Alien for Zoo York because they were gonna pay me a whole bunch of money, they wanted me to help lead their squad, I’m East Coast, blah blah blah. He was really trippin’ to the point where I felt really bad, but I kept it going ‘cause it was pretty funny. Until he said, “Well Kalis, I don’t know how much they’re gonna pay you, but if you definitely need a raise, that’s something we can talk about.” And there was a real awkward silence. I was just April Foolin’ but he’s talkin’ about a raise. I couldn’t do it to him, though, I was like, “I’m just fuckin’ with you.” He was pretty pissed.
Did you end up getting a raise?
Nah, I’m not that type of person. I didn’t take him up on it.
Oh, I thought you got a raise out of it.
In those days we had our guarantees, our minimums, but we were selling so much more that the royalties were so big that it didn’t really matter. It would’ve just been a bigger minimum.
What was your minimum at that time?
I believe, it had to have been pre-Seek, so it was probably 2,500 bucks (a month).
And then did you get board royalties monthly or quarterly?
I got board royalties monthly and they were anywhere from 10 to 12 Gs.
Fuckin’ hell. So if Zoo really was trying to get you they would’ve just paid you a bigger minimum?
Yeah, but back then there was no company selling boards like we were. It was pretty much non-existent but he definitely believed my joke.
Was that your best April Fools joke you’ve pulled?
That one was really good, but there was one I pulled on Dyrdek, and I’m trying to remember what it was, but it was definitely better.