HOMIE LINKS UPS:
FRIDAY THE 13TH TURN THE FUCK UP!!!!!:
Preview of the limited edition tee for the party. Live screenprinting will be happening as well. Come thru to EVERYDAY. 936 Gear Street, SF, CA, 94109
My homie Joe Bender rips. He grew up in Bolinas as did I. But for whatever reason, he took to the board sports like a bat out of hell. He charges whatever. His uncle Kelly Carpenter is a rad dude who documents the finer things in life. Check out his website to go further in depth. He incorporates photos with a good time. He approached me about doing a piece on Burning Man. I was stoked he wanted to do something with LS but was slightly apprehensive as people have a weird connotation with Burning Man. I have always wanted to go and rage my face off but have never had the time or something. People swear by it and I will try to make the voyage someday. This was how I responded to Kelly’s last email that had his photos and the ensuing interview with Carlo Monni:
Damn!!!! Awesome. This guys seems cool and has a lot to say. I will get the interview up on the website early next week and let you know first thing. Should I leave some contact information on there for you? Honestly, our analytics are up and down and I am not sure if thousands of people will see it but a number of people will. And just be forewarned, skateboarders are harsh and talk shit and especially about Burning Man. Why they have a strange bias? This is completely beyond me but I do see it. I am super stoked that you submitted this because it rules, it is skating but not your typical everyday kickflip off of something. This is skating that takes place for a week out of the year and is totally DIY. I also like the connection with the Bay Area. K Dub and Town Park. Rad. Again, thank for doing this and be in touch for future projects. YEE. – OXS
Carlo Monni aka Kool Karlo Interview
by Kelly Carpenter
? – who started sk8 kamp? when?
A – SK8 KAMP was started in 2011 by Marcus Rosenthal and Ilya Polyakov with the vision that every city should have a skatepark, so Black Rock City needs one too. The first year in 2011, SK8 KAMP was at 9 & H as a relatively small camp of 16 people. 2011 had a signature 10′ high, 4′ wide wallride up the side of a moving truck and another wallride up the front of the DJ booth. They started it, i met those guys the same year. we became friends instantly even though we weren’t camped together. we had a lot of similar interests: skateboarding, whiskey, & titties so it worked out. And, I even ended up taking back to my warehouse part of the ramp because they were looking for a place to store it after the burn..
? – how did you get such good real estate on the playa this year?
A – well last year (2012) was our first year on the esplanade. we were really surprised when we found out we got esplanade placement. i guess the higher-ups at burning man were impressed that we had an interactive camp that not only was an art project for people to see, but an art project for people to use. skateboarding essentially is a type of art form; it’s one of those weird sports that’s a hybrid art and sport at the same time, maybe like ice skating….but i think that we impressed them and the fact that we’re also involved with the community – we construct and de-construct our ramps in west oakland. i think they took note of that. and for 2013 they gave us esplanade placement once again.
? – how much did it cost to build the ramp?
A – well the cost of the ramp this year was between $7,000 and $8,000. i’m not completely sure. we haven’t necessarily collected all our dues yet. but hopefully it’ll be around $7K to $8K with the wood and everything. but that’s just the ramp. there’s a lot of money that goes into other stuff too that doesn’t necessarily end up in the cost of our project, like infrastructure & beer. we included beer into some of the dues this year. it’s definitely important. it’s hot out there. it’s nice to have cheap, terrible american beer to drink.
? – how did joe bender get involved with sk8 kamp?
A – joe bender got involved when he saw it in 2012 and was really amazed that we had something like that on the playa. 2012’s project was super ambitious: we had a 12 foot wall ride across a box truck, many mega-ramp crazy bowl with diamond cut coping. so he was probably rolling around and saw that. then he contacted ethan around july and said he wanted to be involved. so he contacted ethan, we met joe and he came and camped with us and we all had a fantastic time getting ridiculous on the school bus.
? – what was it like skateboarding on the playa?
A – skateboarding on the playa is a very magical experience. not necessarily because of being inebriated, which some people are out there. but there’s something really naturally magical about it. i don’t know whether it’s just being delirious from the insane heat or just dust in your face and in your nose and every crevace of your body, but when you get out there and get to skate, i get some strange energy that doesn’t really exist…you really try to start doing things that you would never even contemplate trying in the regular world. maybe it’s the inspiration from all the art or just a lot of positive energy, but it really pushes people on skateboards to do amazing things that they wouldn’t normally necessarily do. i’ve seen people who haven’t touched a skateboard in ten years get on and start ripping it. i’ve seen people who’ve never touched a skateboard in their lives learn how to do rock to fakies and backtails and stuff like that. in 2012, i spoke to a young man, i think he was about 11 or 12, he said something really hilarious that stuck with me. he said “it’s weird. when i’m out on the playa i can land tricks that i can’t land in the regular places…” it really stuck with me. this funny-ass little kid was super jazzed about skating in the desert. and that stuck with me. i’m like wow, he’s totally right. like i’ll try to do something out here that i wouldn’t even fathom doing in the city. that’s the cool thing about it. you get to take all those tricks back with you and kind of like evolve as a skateboarder.
? – what was the craziest thing you saw on the ramp?
A – i think it was the Australian kid who was doing like finger-flip blunts or something bizarre. he’d get in a blunt….essentially go into a blunt or a nose-blunt, grab the tail, flip it around while in the air and land back on it almost at the bottom of the transition. that was pretty raw. that was one of the rawest things i’ve seen. there was a couple other things too. maybe somebody back-tailing the entire 20 foot section of the heart bowl. that was pretty crazy.
? – what about that naked guy?
A – i don’t think i was there naked guy day. but there was a girl on a BMX who set herself on fire and started doing bowl runs. that was pretty crazy. a hot little blonde girl on a BMX who set torches mounted all over her body on fire and just started doing figure 8’s. that was pretty ridiculous.
? – was anyone hurt this year?
A – no major injuries this year, other than joe bender slamming his elbow and drilling a hole in his finger. but last year i saw like five or six pretty good injuries. like a broken collar bone, stuff like that. back in 2011, there was a guy who fucked up his esophagus when the nose of his skateboard dropped about ten feet after he was trying to do a wall ride and hit him right in the throat. but he came back. he was just kind of raspy after that afterwards. but he came back to skate.
? – how was breaking down the ramp?
A – breaking down the ramp sucks, as always, but it’s one of those things that has to be done and i got a pretty gnarly sunburn this year, as i always do. that’s the tradition – go break down the ramp without a shirt on and cook the shit out of my skin.
? – so what happened to the ramp after the event?
A – so we took it apart, loaded it into the box truck, took it out to oakland, unloaded the box truck over at Ethan’s space where he’s opening up a new cafe called Kilovolt. it should be open this or next month. that’s in west oakland. so we’re storing the ramp pieces in there until we can start putting stuff together out there. we gotta check with K Dub, who essentially runs what to do with the ramps at the west oakland town park. so we’re going to check in with him probably in the next month and see exactly where we can start building. because there’s some stuff at west oakland that quite frankly is falling apart that we should just pull apart and throw into a dumpster at this point. i mean it gets a lot of use out there. the kids are just constantly skating. there’s not that much to do as far as ramps go in west oakland. so it’s a really popular skate park. so we’ll probably have a bit of down time after the burn because it’s super stressful to pull a ramp apart; we’re talking thousands of pounds of wood, load it up in a truck, drive it 800 miles back to the city, unload it. we’re not going to just put it back together the next day. it’s too much. so probably after De-Comp we’ll come up with a game plan. it’s still un-determined if we’re gonna do another full heart-shaped bowl or a mini ramp with a spine yet. the heart bowl would be rad, but it’s just going to take a lot of manpower and time and even more money to re-construct. so we might scale it back a little bit. but we’re definitely going to have something super fresh for the kids out at west oakland within the next several months. so there’s going to be some major updates going down.
? – what was the general reaction of the people on the playa to the camp and the ramp?
A – the reaction i saw from most folks riding bikes by or coming to check it out was….a lot more completely intrigued and surprised because it’s something that’s still pretty new to the culture out there. i know there were some other people over the years who brought ramps out….Voted Best Camp – they usually have a mini ramp out on the other side of the playa. but we always try and do something a little different and this is our third year doing it straight. so we’re trying to be pretty consistent with changing it up every year. but yeah, people were stoked. we had people watching and filming pretty much the whole time. at night time, if the lights were on and people were skating people were watching. i got a lot of positive feedback from folks who were like “thank you so much for bringing this out” totally changing the experience out here. so let’s face it, a lot of people like to skateboard. and burning man isn’t just for people who are into metal art or fire or a bunch of tech workers who want to escape from reality and take drugs for a week. it’s for the skate community too. so we’re really trying to break into that whole thing and change a lot of stereotypes about burning man by doing this.
? – how was life at the camp?
A – life at the camp was hot & sweaty as usual because it’s sk8 kamp and we’re kind of punk rock. we’re not one of those fancy camps that has an A/C Igloo or anything. i did have a hexayurt with a swamp cooler. but we’re definitely not on the fancy side of burning man. we don’t do fancy. we do gnarly punk rock, y’know, as much cold beer as possible until it runs out then we drink warm beer. and when that’s gone we’ll just drink picklebacks & whiskey shots and when that’s gone, who knows? it’s not the most luxurious camp, but it’s definitely one of the most fun, interactive camps. what we don’t have in sheer luxury we make up for in gangsta rap, punk rock skateboarding. skateboarding isn’t a fancy culture. it’s definitely on the non-fancy side of things. you’ll defintely smell gasoline, spray paint and barbecued meat products and there’ll be beer. that’s how we do it.
? – did you make new friends?
A – i always make new friends. i made some new friends this year. it was a lot of work for the first five days. but once the shit was complete it was time to go out and mingle and i met some amazing people out there that i’ll probaby be friends with for life just randomly. that’s where it happens. you go out, hop on an art car, have some cocktails, etc….you’re going to end up meeting some cool people, have some really cool conversations and share some philosophies. there was a handful of people i hung out with this year that i might’ve known from before, but i actually got to really know. and part of it is being in that super harsh environment you don’t really have the option to bullshit and have superficial conversations or stare at your cell phone and text people and kind of have a half-assed conversation. you get to really talk to people and communicate. so i think that’s something that definitely sticks when you come back to the real world.
? – what was the hilight of the week?
A – the hilight for me personally was transferring the spine on the ramp, which i’d never done before in my life and i was super scared. i just got up there, i was completely shredded, exhausted from the build, had a bruise on my ass the size of a grapefruit from eating shit…..i woke up one morning and told myself “tomorrow’s going to be the day that i transfer the spine.” low and behold, i was terrified, but later that evening i’m like “well, i’m about to go out and party so i’d better get this over with now.” and i transferred it first try. i’d never done it in my life and i figured it out. it wasn’t that hard. i was super stoked. that was my personal hilight of accomplishments for sk8 kamp this year. and that’s one thing i always try to do every time i go out to burning man and skate on some ramps. i always like coming back to the city with some new tricks. and that’s what i got. i didn’t get a lot, but i got that. so i’m pretty stoked. a 35 year old man figuring out how to do shit like that.
? – what was the worst part of the week?
A – the worst part of the week was definitely when my laptop got destroyed by a smoke machine in an RV. it’s only a laptop, but to me it was really rough because i had a bunch of art, an audio visual project and a dj project and a couple albums that i produced that i was really excited about sharing with everybody on the playa. but shit happens out there. weird stuff happens out there all the time. it just so happened that the smoke machine, ironically called the eliminator, sprayed smoke juice all over my macbook pro and rendered it useless. and my hard drive from that computer is still in data recovery right now. so i’m crossing my fingers and hoping to get the A/V set back so i can share it with people in the future. that really bummed me out, but it happened at the beginning of the week and i decided that i wasn’t going to let it ruin my entire time on the playa. i just kind of powered thru it. i’m like alright, well shit happens out there. and when you go out to the playa you have to understand that everything you bring out with you could be destroyed and probably will be. so i knew going in that that could happen. i just didn’t think it would happen on monday. but that was probably one of the lamest things.
? – how was djing on the school bus?
A – djing on the bus was super fun. even though i didn’t have my computer, thankfully i brought a pair of turntables and a couple crates of records which worked fine. i mean it’s hard out there when you’re working with the sound system. dust gets into everything. you have to be super careful….which is hard when you’re partying. so it’s kind of a balance of having a good time but also making sure that the music doesn’t stop. and i got to do a vinyl breaks set on the school bus and i was really stoked about it. and i felt like it went pretty well. so that was definitely a highlight.
? – were there any other BMX bikers on the ramp during the week?
A – yeah. there were about three or four pretty good BMX’ers who were just shredding the bowl. a couple of the guys were getting like 3 or 4 feet out, which is pretty impressive considering it’s only a 3 foot bowl. but there’s definitely some BMX’ers out there and there were also a lot of girls skateboarding who completely crushed it. so it was nice to see some females out there doing their thing because skateboarding tends to be such a male-dominated sport. some of the ladies really came out and represented and showed some dudes what was up. it was cool to see.
? – any funny stories?
A – god, there’s so many. i went over the handlebars of my bike. that was pretty funny. i didn’t die. that was hilarious. oh yeah, on tuesday, linda just decided to start unloading several bins of my alcohol. she grabbed a big bottle of tequila. i’m like what are you doing? so i grabbed them back. and as i tried to put it back into my container of course i smashed the thing. but luckily it just knocked the top of the bottle open. so we got some coffee filters and poured all the tequila and glass thru it and made margaritas in the morning. so it all worked out. and so far nobody is having any internal bleeding that i know of, so we got most the glass out of it.
? – what are your overall feelings about the experience?
A – i’ll be honest, overall it was kind of mixed. it was definitely a rough experience this year. i’ve never spent 12 days in the desert before ever in my life. with the build and worrying about the music and the sound it was a lot of work quite frankly. and coming back i was hurting pretty badly. i left early sunday before temple burn and drove 20 hours straight stuck in traffic to get back to san francisco. for me i just felt like it was really time to leave so at the time i was hurting. but now, in retrospect, even only 3 weeks afterwards, it was an amazing time, an amazing experience and i wouldn’t have done anything differently. that’s just kind of how it goes out there. it’s not always going to be like a super amazing, positive time. it’s an experience. and i got a lot of wonderful memories.
? – anything else you’d like to add?
A – i’d just like to thank everybody who helped out with sk8 kamp. wanna thank our core members like Ethan and Marcus, who just killed it like always, and just really helped out. we missed Ilya out there. hopefully he can come out next year. we’ll see. we missed Ilya, he’s helped immensely in past years too. it was really incredible to see just random people off the playa show up and volunteer their time and effort to help us build that ramp because it wasn’t any one of us’ project. it was sk8 kamp’s project. sk8 kamp is about community. that’s why it was really cool to see random people showing up to pick up screw guns or just start cutting wood. it was amazing. that’s what we’re about. we’re about community. i can’t stress this enough. and once we leave the playa it’s important that we get the opportunity to work in the community and build for these little fuckin’ grom’s so they have something to do. and that’s what it’s all about. those little guys out there who might seem like a pain in the ass, but one day they’re going to be the big new generation of skateboarders killing it. i’m really stoked to be a part of that and help out those young kids and give them somewhere to skate. when i was a kid, we had little yellow parking blocks. that was it. unless you knew somebody with a ramp….i grew up in seattle. it was always rainy all the time. it was either a parking garage or little yellow curbs. that was it. so now there’s a lot more stuff to skate and that’s rad.
THE GOOD COMPANY X LUMP SUM ZINE X SEAN STOCKTON
FREE BEER FROM 5-8!!!!!!!!!!!! ZINES, LIMITED EDITION TEE SHIRTS AND MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!