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Wes Kremer Interview

In the year of our Lord 2016, we find Weston Kremer at 26 years of age, about to drop his second signature shoe with DC, still living with his parents, driving a 1991 Volvo, and using a 2010 Samsung phone that has (gasp) no apps. The style is still nice, the homies are still what really matters, and the only website Wes gets his skate news from is WorldStarHipHop.com. Ground control to Major Wes, it ain't easy being Jeru The Damaja's wingman, but Krusty K will save the day.
Interview conducted on March 17, St. Patrick's Day, 2016 from Wes' split-rent, part- time apartment in Ocean Beach, San Diego.-Blair Alley
Portrait by Mike Blabac

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Switch crooked grind. Melbourne, Australia. (click to enlarge)

Is there an apartment in OB you pay rent for so the homies can stay there?
Yeah, me and P-Kid [Ryan Petaishiski] split the rent. 

How often do you stay down in OB?
I'm in town here and there, and we'll go out in OB and I'll just crash there. 

How old are you now?
I'm 26.

How does it feel?
It feels good. Age is nothin' but a number. Time just flew by. Some homies I grew up with look like they're 26. Maybe they got caught up. I'm feelin' pretty good. Definitely crust, but I'm surviving. Some heads I see at the supermarket that I grew up with, it's like, "Oh my god, I went to high school with that fool." They look older than 26, I don't even recognize them. When you're a kid, 26 seems so old, next thing you know, you're there. I still feel the same, I'm not that old. Skateboarding is the fountain of youth.

Still living at your parents?
Still posted. As long as I'm moving around as much as I am, I'm thankful. I guess I stay out of their hair. If I had a place somewhere else in San Diego, I'd never come by and visit. So it's sick.

“SKATEBOARDING IS THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH.”

So the OB pad is to host friends?
The embassy. It's a good spot, good location.

How much rent do your parents charge you?
Right now, free 99 [laughs]. I'm hardly ever there.

So you're stacking those shoe checks. What's your plan with your dough? You gonna buy a house?
Prolong bum life as long as I can. I'm still a fuckin' bum [laughs]. Just having good times until I figure out what I'm gonna do after skating.

Seems like you're on some DC international trip all the time too.
It's amazing, DC definitely keeps us busy.

What model phone are you rocking right now?
A 2010 Samsung. I actually just got a text from AT&T yesterday saying that my phone is no longer going to be accepted for service as of December 2016. I gotta figure out a new plan.

Are you gonna cave in and get an iPhone?
I don't know. Maybe just stay off the phone situation [laughs].

What are the best apps on your phone?
Call and text [laughs].

How's the camera on it?
It just kicked in. I couldn't get photos or videos on it for years, but in the last couple months, the data plan kicked in somehow and now I can get photos in texts. It's good resolution, but it's a really small screen. It's not 4G, but it's OG.

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Switch frontside flip. Chula Vista, CA. (click to enlarge)

Trap phone.
It's proper. I've dropped this thing thousands of times.

What's the latest and greatest on Smolik?
I haven't seen him in a minute, I wish we were kicking it. He actually separated his shoulder skating a mini ramp in Clairemont. He's been on a good one, out and about. Clairemont, chillin' at Champs. If you wanna find him, go to Champs. He calls Champs his office.

What's the design on your new shoe?
Designed for good times, just like Kirin Ichiban. All aspects of life.

Have you at least caved on YouTube? If so, what parts have you been queueing up lately?
Yeah! I just watched this video from Finland, SLP, Smells Like Pussy. It's a 40-minute video of throwaway footage, just high jinks. I don't know what the video is called, it means "Disappointment" in Finnish. Pettymys 3. The SLP crew. We watched some Joe Valdez yesterday— the guy who ollied the China Banks corner. We watched him in the Seasons video. He killed it. Then the last couple days, we watched all three Big Brother videos. Crap, Number 2, and Boob. Dave Carnie is the fuckin' man.

“IT'S GOOD RESOLUTION, BUT IT'S A REALLY SMALL SCREEN. IT'S NOT 4G, BUT IT'S OG.”

On one of those is where T-Bone grinds the rail at Correa and then a Jeep just comes outta nowhere and jumps the fence.
Oh yeah! What was that?! That was a trip.

What websites do you check to see what's going on in skating?
World Star [laughs]! World Star!

Does World Star have skating sometimes?
They don't have the type of skating you wanna see [laughs]. But World Star for sure. Vine compilations are insane. That's pretty much all I'm really checking for.

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Switch Polejam. Melbourne, Australia. (click to enlarge)

Do you still run a heavy DVD/VHS collection?
For sure, definitely.

What are some of the go-tos?
Anthology, Modus Operandi, Feedback—all the TransWorld videos. Misled Youth, Sorry, The Storm for sure. My first video, Live Animation. A video by Darryl Grogan, super random, but it's all based on Super 8.

Who's your shop sponsor these days?
I'm just reppin' all the homies, all the shops. Any shop that's down to hook me up, I'm down to rep their shit. SD shops, you know: Pac Drive, Slappy's.

"AT A CORE SHOP, TRUE SKATERS ARE GONNA TELL YOU WHAT'S UP."

How do the core shops play into your life and job as a pro?
The core shops keep the dreams alive. They're the shops that are run by skaters and give back to skating. Dudes that run them just love skating. It's sick to see. We gotta save 'em [laughs]. Yesterday I went to the House of Vista and they had it set up right. Set up a board, had the memorabilia on the wall, a big lounge area with stacks of old skate mags and a box of old videos. It's a place for kids to hang out. When I was growing up, that's what I wanted to do. If I wasn't out skating, I was at the shop kicking it with the homies watching videos. You can't do that at a mall shop. Skating for Sun Diego, that wasn't a place we wanted to kick it at for a long time. I rode for a mall shop [laughs]. The homies at the shop were cool, but you wouldn't kick it there. We'd get a board, set it up and bounce. At a core shop, true skaters are gonna tell you what's up. Growing up I used to go to Utility and the homies there were so cool, they'd show us old videos, talk shit, call us out if we were kooking it, we'd play dice in the back [laughs]. Holler at girls that came in, whatever. Just showing you how to grow up.

Words of advice from Josh Kalis?
"Man, get a new car. That shit's old" [laughs].

What year is your Volvo?
'91.

How many miles you got on that.?
The odometer went out! 220-something.

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Switch lipslide. Tokyo, Japan. (click to enlarge)

Ever been to a nice dinner with Rob Dyrdek?
Yeah, one time we were in New York in 2008, one of my first DC trips. We went to some baller steak house, getting lobster and stuff. Super expensive meal. Dyrdek was kicking it. We ended up skating through the streets of New York the next day in a big posse, and I remember skating behind Dyrdek and people on the street were like, "There's Dyrdek!" It made me think of that DC commercial back in the day with all those chicks chasing him. I was like, "Damn, that's how it is" [laughs]. Rob's cool as shit.

How long does a board last you these days?
I broke a board yesterday. Either a couple days or if it doesn't break, two weeks. As long as there's still life in it, skate it.

Wheels?
Until they're all different sizes and my board doesn't roll straight or work really.

"EITHER A COUPLE DAYS OR IF IT DOESN'T BREAK, TWO WEEKS. AS LONG AS THERE'S STILL LIFE IN IT, SKATE IT."

What size do you start out with?
52 or 51.

You ride them down into the 40s for sure.
Yeah. My back wheels get smaller than the front ones. Sometimes they'll get down to borderline bearing-cover.

So since you don't have an Instagram, if a young skater or fan wants to reach out to you, how the hell is he supposed to do it?!
If he's mellow, he wants to say what up, talk to me in person. "How can I get a hold of you?" If it's international, I'll give him my email. Usually I just give out my number [laughs].

Does it trip you out that kids can comment and talk to any pro now on Instagram?
Oh, hell yeah. It's a trip, man.

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Fakie bigspin. Tokyo, Japan. (click to enlarge)

Can you imagine doing that when you were a kid?
I wouldn't do that, man. It'd be too much. I'm gonna leave you alone, you're doing your thing. I wouldn't know what to say if I was a kid around a pro. If I really had a serious question I had to ask them, but I can't think of one right now. 

"Gino, give me some relationship advice."
Sheckler, dude how do I get a girlfriend? You been through it man." [laughs]

Last darkslide you did?
Honestly, probably the one on the cement rail [TWS cover].

Retired it after that one?
I'm still down for the trick. I'll throw it out there on a ledge once and then I'm over it. I'm not gonna battle it—because that cover was a battle.

What do you do at sessions when everyone is on their phones?
Just bum out on how I lost so many friends to cell phones. It's depressing. There're too many of them. Everyone's living in cyberspace. I'm not a big fan. I've accepted it. We were just in Japan and everyone was on their phones the whole time, but to each his own.

How do you feel about people filming each other every day and posting the clips straight to IG?
Save it for the video part. I'll see a new trick I've never seen before, and it's at a skatepark, on Instagram the next day. I would've been more hyped to see like a line to it and have them throw it down out of nowhere. On Instagram, at a park, it's just here today, gone tomorrow. I don't see most of the stuff, the homies pass the phone off to me like, "Check this out."

What are you doing to take care of your body these days? Any Yoga? Acai and stretching like the Brazilians?
I need some acai in my life. The acai in Brazil is outta control. I recommend anyone who reads this, go to Brazil and try the acai, among many other things. It's full of many wonders of the world. I love it out there.

It's not the same as when you get acai here?
Oh hell no! It's watered down. You get the real deal down there. You're gonna go down there and trip.

That's what Tiago and [Carlos] Iqui are on huh?
Hell yeah. Rice, beans, and acai. It's seriously Brazilian natural steroids. That's how they get their pop.

When I interviewed Carlos Iqui and Tiago, they said you of all the people they first met in America went out of your way to make them feel comfortable, learn Portuguese, et cetera. Do you remember meeting them?
Oh fuck yeah. The first time I met Iqui was down in Sao Paulo, one of my first DC trips back in 2008. Iqui had no English what so ever, and I had no Portuguese but still, we were trying to communicate with smiles and hand gestures. It was sick. And of course skating too, Iqui blew my mind back then. He was doing all these ruthless tricks first try. Then I finally saw his footy and was like, how the hell is this guy not hooked up? Next thing you know I saw him four years later and he's learning English here and there and we're finally communicating. Now his English is off chain. It's about to be the same with Tiago. He's improving his English and he's gonna get it soon. The first time I met Tiago was in Barcelona. When the 'Mafia stayed out there for a month, I ended up skating with him a couple times and he spoke no English. We just communicated with smiles, the 'Mafia hooked him up with a couple boards here and there. He actually came down here and stayed with Smolik and it was all bad.

Tiago stayed with Smolik?!
You didn't know that? He came out to San Diego and just stayed with Smolik and it was ruthless. We had no idea he was here until he had a week left in his trip and he was in LA at that point. Let's just say he had to call Rodrigo Peterson to come save him in San Diego.

Last good concert you went to?
We were just talking about this. The last good one was in North Park, [Jimmy] Astleford had the hook up on tickets, it was Andre Nicatina, Brother Ali, Jedi Mind Tricks, Necro, Pharcyde, Hieroglyphics.

All one show!?
Ya, everyone had a half hour set. It was a good line up.

Did you go backstage and meet Necro with Jimmy?
No I wish, but I wanna say Jimmy got the tickets from Domino from Hieroglyphics. But Jimmy knows Necwo! He knows Necwo! We went to a Necro show in 2008 in New York, we were chilling pretty much on stage while Necro was rapping, with Jeru The Damaja.

I was hanging with Jeru and Jimmy in New York and your name came up and Jeru said he was kicking it with you and you both hooked up with chicks. He said something like, "Me and Wes met a couple of nice ladies that night and had a good time."
Oh my god! Yep, yep, Jeru's the man!

Where was that?
In New York, I was 18.

What's it like meeting chicks with Jeru? Did he break the ice with the ladies or did you?
He did.

He just dished one off to you?
Pretty much, he came up to me after the show, "Yo Wes, aight I got this girl, she's got a roommate, I need a wingman."

No way and you pulled it with him?
Yeah.

That's legendary.
It was hectic.

Was it?
For sure, we went to this club, we got bottle service straight out the gate. Right when we showed up, homies were like "What up Jeru!" He got me into the club, no worries.

Of course you're sealing the deal after that.
Oh for sure. You're with the Damaja. He's a G, we just saw him in Berlin last summer.

All time San Diego legend:
The Ollie Ese. Wayne Dietch.

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