Jake Anderson Interview

Fresh face (minus the Kool-Aid mustache) rookie pro, Jake Anderson has been on a tear already this year and we're only three months in. Two video parts down and one more to go for HUF, Jake is easily skating out of the shadow of his big brother Mike Anderson and making a name for himself with his stylish skating and powerful pop. Check out what Jake has to say about living at home with his parents, almost becoming a DJ, getting his first girlfriend and helping to save his brother's house during those recent SoCal fires. This boy's got flavor; fruit punch that is.
Photography By Andrew Peters
Written By Jaime Owens

Jake Anderson, nosegrind. Los Angeles, CA. (click to enlarge)

You're on your first trip as a pro right now. Feel different, like you don't need to skate or what?
No, but I've gotten really, really cocky though [laughs]. I actually haven't even seen my pro board yet. I haven't held the wood.

Oh yeah, how did you find out?
Through Instagram. It was my birthday and we went out and got hammered and I woke up and my girlfriend says, "Hey, what's this?" I looked over and said, "Well, I guess I'm pro." [Laughs].

So you didn't get the big surprise party that's so common now.
Yeah, no one was flown in from Kansas or some shit. Well, I guess no one has found out they're pro through Instagram yet. So, I'm just breaking new ground.

You finally get to sit in front of the van now that you're pro?
Yeah, I just talk to the guys in the back like, "Yeah, I used to do shit like that when I was am."

What are you going to do with your first pro check?
Oh, I don't know if I'll ever get a pro check from Skate Mental [laughs]. I'll probably just get a Venmo for like 200 bucks in a month or so. I mean fuck dude, I've got courage now. I'm going to put my foot down and handle this shit.

You're good with saving the money you do have, right?
Yeah, I'm a cheap little bastard. It's pretty sick. I mean the only thing I've really bought was a computer because I thought I was going to be a DJ for a week. Then I got it, and never used it [laughs].

So you never ended up making any beats!?
Oh no, I never made one fucking thing. My friend got me all hyped up saying that he'd play drums and I'd make beats and we'd play shows and shit. I was like, "Sick! I'll buy a computer!" and we've never made anything. I don't even have the software or anything. I just have a computer that I watch skate videos on.

You bought a two thousand dollar YouTube player.
Yep, exactly! I mean it's a good thing I don't really spend my money because I'd spend it on worthless shit like that.

You're saving money by living with your parents, which is good, but how's that going with the new girlfriend?
It's going good because she's got her own spot a block away from the Hollywood High 16, so I just wake up and grind that thing every morning.

What made you settle down? I mean, you run with Curren and Austyn, right?
Yeah, that was always fun. But a week before I met her, my friend goes, "Yo, you got a girlfriend?" I said, "Fuck no! Girls are stupid my age. I'm not getting one until I'm 26 or something." Then sure enough I meet my girl. And funny thing is, it's my buddy's sister. They say her God brother is Elijah Berle [laughs]. She's the first girl I hung out with for two days and didn't want her to leave.

Is she aware of you being known as "Cheeto Hands" growing up?
[Laughs] We haven't gotten there yet. Cheeto Hands and Kool-Aid Mustache. I would show up at Skate Street park every day after school with a jug of Kool-Aid and a bag of Cheetos, so I would have Hot Cheetos and Kool-Aid all over my face. My favorite flavor was fruit punch so my whole face was permanently stained red from that stuff [laughs].

So, you were "that" kid with the permanent Kool-Aid mustache!
Yep, I was that kid. It was fucked. I would get in free at that park and they would see my face a mile away glowing red and know it was me coming in.

Jake Anderson, Ollie. Los Angeles, CA. (click to enlarge)

So amazing! Switching gears a bit. Tell me about having to help your brother save his house from the big Thomas fire that was burning in Ventura.
Yeah, he lives in a pretty shitty spot for fires. His house is surrounded by mountains and one of the nights there was fire on every single one of the mountains. It burned all the way up to his fence at the worst part. There were no airdrops or firefighters around his area because his area is known as the crackhead side of town so they must have been like, "Ah, fuck that zone. Let's go save the multi-million dollar houses." Any fires in his zone just naturally went out. It was crazy. But we went back out to check on everything and we saw a tree about three houses down starting to light up with fire and we ran down to the guys house saying “Get the water hose out!” I suck under pressure and he hands me the part that connects the two water hoses and I can't get them together. And it's starting to light up dude. I just kept spinning it the wrong way and screamed for help. Then we finally hosed it down and got part of it out, but then the top would catch on fire and we had to keep passing the hose back and forth to finally put it out.

Were you guys scared for your life at any point?
Nah, not really where we were at. There were a few points where it got sketchy with like two hundred foot flames up on the mountain side, but if it got serious near us we would have left and just let the house burn down. I was just more worried about if it got too hairy with us having to drive out of there through fires over taking the road or something. And knowing that there were no rescue units anywhere close made those thoughts scarier.

How many days were you guys out there on watch?
Oh, we didn't sleep for five days. We set our alarms for every 30 minutes to remind us to keep going outside to check to make sure no embers had flown into the yard to light up the brush. The crazy thing too is that the fire traveled from Mike's house all the way to Montecito, which is about 30 miles away and we thought it was all good and then the wind changed and it started burning back towards Mike's area over already burnt land. I didn't know it could do that! It was just finding new paths. We had a huge support system of friends and family coming in and out, so it all worked out in the end.

Well, that's good news everything worked out. So, is Former still just you and Austyn?
Yeah, it's just me and him right now. We've been talking to people. There's one person we're stoked on. I mean, it'd be cool if she got on the team.

Are you tired of having to carry all the weight for the team, haha? I mean you've put out two parts recently. What's up with Austyn?
Ha! He's actually going to come out with a fucked-up part soon. It's so solid. Full part. Keep your eyes peeled for that one.

You have another part coming out soon too for HUF, right?
Yeah, we're out in Texas trying to get a few more things for that project. Then it's on the web. Then gone in a week.

Have you ever skated with Huf?
I've never skated with him but he's the best.

Does he ever give you pointers on your Ollies because you do some big ones too?
Nah dude! I'd fucking smoke him on ollies, dude [laughs]. Nah, he rules. Maybe that's why I'm on. He's like, "Oh, I see a little bit of myself in him." Nah.

Jake Anderson, frontside flip. Los Angeles, CA. (click to enlarge)

Who are some of your biggest influences?
GT, obviously. It's silly saying that now because he's my friend. I mean, he's actually my brother because his dad Thomas adopted me [laughs]. I was supposed to be in Atlanta for three days but ended up there for two weeks with two changed flights and a GoFundMe. Patlanta said, "I'm not letting you leave," and I told him that I didn't have any money so ten minutes later he set up the GoFundMe and I stayed with the Taylors.

How much did you raise?
I raised 200 bucks dude! But man, as far as influences, I like video parts and I can't even name a part right now! I should have asked (Tyler) Cichy because he's a skatenerd and he could give me some crazy guy like, "Damn, Jake knows about that part?!" Make me look all dope!

What do you have going for rest of the year? You have a HUF colorway coming out later, right?
Yeah, I just got a sample back. Like, one shoe. It was the quickest they could send back. I'm pretty stoked on it. It's the Hupper 2 high where I took a few things off and added suede. Like, I didn't do any artwork for it or anything. I don't have a daughter like my brother Mike so I can't have Lyla draw on the insole or anything cool like that. I have no good reason to have a cool insole. I'm bland as fuck. Rizzo has NJ train station colors on his and I don't have shit. Oh well, it still will be cool. That's what's happening and just skating.

Watch Jake crush it in HUF 001