Killer pizza: the Figgy interview!!!
Figgy: Alright Jake, let's handle this.
Phelps: I'm the one who has to do all the work. So you just got back from South Africa. Did you skate Germiston?
Nah, we were there for the Maloof contest. It was tight; we went off. It took 40 hours to get there, though. That was the only shitty part. I went with Drew and Herman, Lizard King, Collin Provost. Collin, that fool is gnarly, dude.
Speaking of gnar, this is the question I always get asked about you. From Lunatic Fringe to the gnar-gnar you're pullin' these days, what'd it take for you to step it up so large? Fuckin' bite the bullet and quit talkin.' Straight up.
Ain't that the truth. You gotta man up. Have you seen David Gonzalez' shit? Hell yeah! I'm his biggest fan, man!
Biggest fan? Because you're six-foot-four?
Funny. Was that a Senior zing?
That's a joke, but the front of this mag isn't. Triple kink crooks, baby. What are you thinking?
It's the cover? Are you serious? Fuck yeah!
Shhh. Don't tell anybody. Burnett will have my ass. You got a band yet?
I do. We've been ripping! Actually, we suck, but who gives a fuck...
It doesn't matter. You get up there on stage, guess what? You're doin' it right. Like I said when I first saw you, "That motherfucker can play the guitar." We're going to Japan in a couple weeks to play. You wanna go?
Yeah I wanna go! I'll buy my own ticket. I've been dreaming about it I want in. Let's get all those assholes in the van.
It's gonna be insane. The way we do Japan, you would not believe it. We're going with Grant, Raven, and Pedro Barros. Don't forget your board, bud.
Let's get to the technical questions. What size deck do you ride?
Eight-point-five. It's like landing in your living room.
You better have some big lumber when the cajones are on the line.
Fuckin' a right.
We've been on the road a lot, you and me.
We've done some journeys for sure. Did you get my text on your 50th birthday? I didn't forget.
I was sittin' there on the beach with my busted phone, like, "Figgy's calling me? And I made it to 50? Crazy."
How's your mother and your dad?
Good. I'm about to go see them right now.
Make sure you clean up a little bit first, take a shower...
I know, I know. My face is all fucked and zitted up right now. But it's tight.
Who's gonna be Skater of the Year? Hopefully David Gonzalez or Collin Provost.
David was not joking around.
He ground McAteer, eight-flat-eight.
We used to go to school there.
People would walk by those stairs and laugh about it... Then David goes out and does it.
David pretty much shit on every spot and everyone.
He texted me on my birthday too.
He said he was comin' for me.
I was like, "Alright, little guy."
And I talked to the guys at Emerica.
Your shoe's coming out next year...
It's about time. These ankles are getting old.
Is Bryan Herman your money man?
You know what? Herman is Skater of the Year pretty much every day. That fool is high as fuck.
Remember that time in New York, when you took on those four dudes for me?
You looked at me and said, "I'll take care of this from here, Jake." It was so awesome.
That was on the last night of Skate Rock. Skate Rock brings out the animal in everyone. People push things beyond what their normal limits are.
Are you sleeping in the bed or are you sleeping in the bushes?
We're sleeping in the motherfuckin' bushes.
Smokin' the Trex in the bird's nest! You still got the "Beat It, Goon" tat?
I drop that shit all day. Fools listen to that. It's a heavy-ass line: "Beat it, you fuckin' goon! Get outta here!"
These photos you got in the mag, this video part of yours in Bake And Destroy, you're the real deal. Top-notch, kid. And you just turned 21.
I turned 21 on 4/20. Thanks Mom!
You rode for Powell when you were a little grom. How was that?
It was like this: "What? Check it out, Mom! I'm sponsored!" That was it. My mom was psyched.
And your brothers, your whole family, they're down for your skating because they know you're in it to win it.
Fuck yeah. They see the push, they see the drive. Not everybody's got it. You gotta want it.
Seriously, the best people I've ever met in my life were skaters. Not graffiti artists, not rappers...
We're street pirates, goin' out there and galavanting around, hoping for the best.
What's your message for all the little skate rats of the world?
Don't talk about it, be about it. Quit your talking, take your ledge combo and get outta my face. Go grind a rail as fast as you can.
And make sure you tighten your bolts. That always helps.
Right. Suck it up, kids!
I got that photo of us in Bangkok getting on the airplane--all 40 of us. Out of all the pictures from trips with my bros, that's my favorite one. A Tsunami hit the next day, right after we got out.
I didn't even know about that, but it's truly how it is. We're threading the needle straight through the line of fire, every single time.
I'm glad I got to talk to you. You make me hyped.
Hell yeah, Jake. Are you gonna come down to the Baker premiere?
I told you I'd be there. We family. I'll see you on the highway, Figgy.
Raise hell Jake! Peace!
INTERVIEW BY JAKE PHELPS
PHOTOS BY MICHAEL BURNETT