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Sinking piss & cooking snags: creature takes it Down Under.

It's always nice to get a phone call from Lee up at NHS that starts with, "Hey Rhino, you want to go to Australia for two weeks with the Creach crew?" The obvious response is, "Fuck yeah!" Done. You think about it 'til you have to pack and get on the plane. Any lottery pick of team riders from this crew is rad, and the winning numbers this time were Navarrette, Partanen, Gravette, Bingaman, Hooker, newest team rider Ryan Reyes, and special Fiend Emmanuel Guzman. The route was Melbourne to Brisbane, two vans, mega demos, and as much piss as you could drink on the way.

But every once in a while you get a small wrench thrown into the plan, like when you forget about certain requirements, or when the true details of the trip aren't discussed until you arrive. Additional Aimers, photographers, and two vans covered with Creature stickers advertising the Australian tour? Extra demos and BBQs and shop signings? And we all thought it was just a Aiming trip for the upcoming Creature vid. Still, in a time when some skateboard companies can't even afford to get out of town, these wrenches are easy to work with. It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.

TALKING DEMOS WITH DARREN NAVARRETTE

What was the most memorable pro demo you attended as a kid?

The Swatch Impact Tour--probably 1988--in Dayton's Department Store, downtown Minneapolis. There was a vert ramp and a small street course with a couple of launch ramps. The place was packed. I remember eating some hot dogs, and then we left and went skating downtown. The city was flooded with skaters. We were skating around the department store and ran into Jeff Kendall as he was leaving. Hell yeah we were hyped! We just saw Kendall!

Did you know this was a demo trip?

I had no idea. I thought this was just one of our regular Creature trips where we'd go skate rad spots and shoot and film our adventure privately. But no ... Not this time. As soon as we got off the plane, these two cars with "Creature Australian Tour 2012" plastered on the sides picked us up. I said it out loud: "If this don't say demo all over it, I don't know what does." How many demos did you hear about before arriving in Australia?

I heard we might have to do three, but that two of them were only shop signings.

And how many did you actually have to do?

They reversed it on us. It turned out that we had thee days off, and those were the driving days! It started when the cars picked us up after a 13-hour flight and informed us that we actually had to do a shop signing and a demo that same day. Where do you think all your blood goes after a 13-hour flight? To your ankles! Now go and jump down some things! No lie, we actually did three demos in one day.

Describe an unofficial demo situation on this trip. What was up with the BBQs?

We were informed that the demos would be more of a meet-and-greet. Then this family comes up and says, "Rad, man! We drove seven hours to come watch you guys!"

I thought to myself, "They drove seven hours to watch us eat hot dogs?"

What's the worst question someone can ask you at a demo?

"Why is your video game character so much better than you?"

What's your go-to trick at a demo?

Is acting like a team manager a trick?

What was the best demo on the trip?

Belconnen skatepark. A1 and Eman nicknamed me the Demo God. I was just bummed that the thing I wanted to skate the most was in front of 100 people, and that day was the only day we could be there because we had another meet-and-greet BBQ the next day. I just wanted to ride it so badly that I guess I shut it down.

And the worst?

I guess Newcastle. Some 10-year-old kid stole my board, but it was actually kind of rad. I just started running, full-on Forrest Gump style, with the whole demo following behind me. All the kids were yelling, "We're gonna kill him!" We thought he got away, but then a random lady goes, "Excuse me, I saw the whole thing," and points to a fat kid. What a ruler! The little snot-noser denied it at first, but then he pulled a handful of broken cigarettes out of his pocket and started crying. He said some older dude and two chicks told him they'd give him cigarettes if he stole a board for them. So that might have actually made it my best demo, because it meant not having to perform in front of 300 kids.

Next time you go to Australia, how will the trip go down?

We're gonna go at the same time as Tony Hawk so no one will even know we're there.

EMAN'S 420 PARTY ROLLS

I got hungry and hit up a 7-11 across from the hotel on one rainy night in Newcastle. They had these little sausage things called 420 Party Rolls. I wasn't going to buy them, but then I noticed that there was a cartoon of a skateboarding bird wearing a bib on the package and I knew it was destiny. I bought 'em and saved the box. On the last night of the tour, Duncan (our Aussie friend and driver for the trip) drew it up and did the outline work, then some of the crew (Rhino, Darren, Al, Noah, and Gravette) contributed a little ink to the designated zones. It's funny: The whole thing got infected except for the outline, but no feathers were ruffled and it turned out tight!--Guzman

NEW CREATURE ADDITION RYAN REYES

Ryan's one of the easiest skaters to travel with. He showed up to the airport with a Mr Rogers sweater on, he gets creeped out by silverware, and he'd rather sleep on the floor than on a bed. At least he saves us money on hotel rooms. He also loves shitty radio music and gets a smile on his face when we have an eight-hour drive ahead of us. "Eight hours? Really? I can't wait!" Nothing seems to faze him. This was kind of his first trip with the Creature guys. Darren nicknamed him "Fire Starter" because he'd show up at any spot and rip. He does what he does and doesn't care. Does he have issues? Yeah, but that's what makes him one of a kind!

FIVE REASONS TO BRING DAVID GRAVETTE ON A SKATE TRIP

1 He'll get drank on the plane and throw up all over the aisle

2 Will shut down the demos with Indy 360s, fly-outs, and back flips

3 Most likely to piss on someone else's luggage in the hotel room

4 Stories for days in the van

5 You will witness him scorpion at least 10 times per trip
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Author:Rhino
Publication:Thrasher
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jun 1, 2012
Words:1176
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