The lonesome almost am drops off an exclusive video, talks about his meandering journey to the team, the tragedy of living life without farts and why he should have a pro model helmet.
Words by Sean Mortimer
Portrait by Seu Trinh
This was a long way home for you. Didn’t you almost get on almost years ago?
It kind of sucked. I was on Element—but not really on—and Daewon hit me up and I was taken back. Daewon is the shit! But Tony Tave was over at Element and he’s been my best friend since I was thirteen and I was younger and hadn’t dealt too much with the industry. After Torey [Pudwill] got on almost, it came up again but I felt like I'd burned my bridges a little bit. Maybe not “burn my bridges”—I had explained to Daewon that Element said they were going to pay me and I wanted to be a loyal dude. Daewon agreed that it could be a good opportunity and to let him know how it turned out. I think I tried to connect with him a few times but it fizzled out. Once Torey got on almost, it came up again. I’m stoked now. almost is way more of a family environment.
You were in almost limbo for a while—why did they wait so long to baptize their only amateur?
You’ve got to be homies with everybody. Everybody has got to be down because they don't want to have to chill with some wackass dude. You know how that happens—some businessman puts someone on the team and then it’s like, “Go on a trip with this guy—have fun!” The Zumiez [couch tour] trip was the first time I met everybody. I met Rodney [Mullen] then. He’s a mystery in the skateboard world. He’s really quiet and inquisitive. You really feel like he wants to know about you. He asks serious questions.
Luis Cruz at almost was saying you have some crazy olfactory problems.
In 2004, I hit my head at the old Berrics. I got broke off. I fractured my skull on the little hubba. Out. They had to drive the car inside to get me out. I didn’t know what was happening. I was in the hospital for four days and in my house [recuperating] for a week. I had to take two Vicadin every four hours to stop having headaches. I’ve never taken pills—I'm not into that—and it was weird. It took me two months to regain balance. I’d fallen off my skateboard trying to turn left or right. It was a weird thing to wreck your head like that and have it take awhile for your body to regain its awareness.
Of course you wear protective headgear all the time now, right?
All the time!
Does Berra make you wear a helmet at the Berrics now?
Steve’s cool with me. He heard about it and asked if I was all good.
The end result is that I lost some hearing in my left ear and I get headaches over my left eye and I can’t smell farts.
Farts? You mean you can’t smell strong scents?
I literally cannot smell farts. I can smell everything but for some reason I cannot smell farts. Sometimes I’ll have to stop and sniff and concentrate to smell something. If we drive by an In-N-Out and people say, “You smell those french fries?” I won't pick up on it right away. And ketchup sometimes taste like bar-b-que sauce to me. Isn’t that weird?
Yes. We at TransWorld are sorry for your loss. Thanks for the interview.