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Skater of the year: Chris Cole.

Which was scarier, 360 flipping Wallenberg or finding out you were a daddy?

Finding out I was a dad, now that baby furniture is in and there's actually a baby room.

What kind of planning are you doing?

Oh, we've got it down. We're fixing up the house and we put carpet in all the rooms that the baby's going to be in. We painted the walls and got baby furniture in there. Red and I are painting these big cartoon animals on the wall, like an alligator and big giraffe and stuff.

Just for dudes that might have a pregnant lady someday, is there anything that you should be aware of, or wary of, if your special someone is with child?

Oh my. Yeah, there are a billion things. Your best bet is to buy a book, like ...

Pregnancy for Dummies?

Yeah, basically. It'll give you a whole bunch of tips on things that are going on with her and how she's feeling, and it'll break it down month per month what she might be feeling, what might be going on with her body, and what you can do in order to ease her troubles.

Is it mostly a lot of you just shutting up?

It's mostly a lot of you asking her what's going on and caring to those things and making sure you tell her that she's pretty.

Sounds like you read the book.

I read it all the way until it started talking about money and stupid shit. I didn't care about the money.

How soon before you want the baby to start skating rails?

Well, I definitely don't want to be the sunglass-wearing, shorts-wearing dad that's telling everybody how rad his kid is. But if my kid wants to get on a three-stair by the time that he's like six or seven, that's cool.

Will the baby automatically be in Hot Wax when it's born?

Yes. We have these cool onezies. We have like Kiss Army onezies.

For the 13-year-old boy reading this, a onezie is ...?

A onezie is a one-piece baby suit that has buttons along the bottom of it so you can quickly change a diaper and put it back on.

You have to have about a thousand of them because you're going to change it at least three times a day, 'cause they just spill everything on themselves.

For those kids who may not know, what is Hot Wax?

Hot Wax started out as a fake band of alter egos of the people involved in Hot Wax. So it was all my friends, their fake alter egos that had their own names, and their own personalities, and their own fake instruments. They were all in a band. And then it ended up being just a skate posse. And now Hot Wax is pretty much just a skate posse.

What was your alter ego name? I had so many.

What was your favorite? Brent Excalibur. Or Bruce Fitzgerald.

Are you the leader of Hot Wax? If the imaginary band had a lead singer, would you be him? A David Coverdale of sorts?

I'm the ambassador to Hot Wax, but not really the head dude. The head dude is my friend Ian Berry Ian, his name in Hot Wax is Bobby Buskin. He keeps everybody together and talks to everybody and makes sure everybody's filming their video parts and what they need and what they don't need. He's basically the Jamie of Hot Wax on a much lower scale. I would be the equivalent of Randy Rhodes to Ozzy.

Have there ever been any Hot Wax groupies?

We have Hot Wax fans.

Yes, but did any of them want to do it with you, and they're girls?

No. No, I guess not. Yeah, that would be a groupie. There are no Hot Wax groupies, I don't think.

Describe an average Hot Wax fan.

A lot of times they look like me. Sometimes they don't, though. There are a couple Hot Wax fans that are really, really cool, and they have their lives together. And then there are some that you look at them, and they're me, which is cool, too, because then they've got their shit together. No, just kidding.

How many videos has the Wax sold so far?

Under 5,000.

Yes.

I don't know where it is, but I know it's somewhere around 4,000.

If you were to compare your skating to a heavy metal song, what song would that be?

What's crazy is I don't skate reckless enough--I wish I did--but I don't think I skate reckless enough to be compared to any of my favorite heavy metal songs.

So you'd be more of a Thomas Dolby?

Oh, man. I hope not. I wish I could compare myself to a Children of Bodom song, but that's far beyond my reach.

Is that your super group?

That's my super group.

And you're bros with them, right? I heard they wear your gear on stage sometimes.

I gave Alexi, the lead singer and guitarist, a shirt at an autograph signing and didn't tell him who I was. I gave him this shirt of my Fallen logo with the grim reaper and I thought that he'd dig it. It was just a gift from a fan. I met him backstage and we didn't really talk and I still didn't tell him who I was, 'cause I didn't want to be all wack trying to fit in, and he came out at the Philadelphia show wearing my shirt.

Yes!

I know. I almost had a heart attack.

What's the lamest excuse you've given for not coming out to California?

Holy crap. I've got so many. Ask Jamie.

What are some of your more popular ones?

I always run the "I just flew," like I just went somewhere so it's too soon. I run that one every time and it gets shot down almost every time. I'm doing better right now, because I'm trying to get it in before my baby comes so that I can be on diaper duty for a couple months.

Name three things that you don't like about the West Coast.

You live on other people's borrowed time, which always makes me feel awkward.

You just don't like that traveling aspect of it.

Yeah. I don't like that no matter what I do, whether it's an inconvenience to somebody or not-it feels to me like an inconvenience because they have to do something for me because I'm in town. I don't have a car. Skateboarding's really hard to do during the week here and on the weekend it's a rather large mission, where you have to drive real far and you've got all these spots planned and then you get kicked out, which happens everywhere. I guess when you're in the comfort of your own town you always have these certain places you can go. Third, I get home sick.

If you had a choice to skate with your Hot Wax crew or some idols of the pro realm, which would you choose?

I would choose Hot Wax.

Do you dislike showing up at a session and it's a crew of top pro skaters?

No. If I'm having a real fun day with my friends and I'm skating good, if I show up to a spot and there's a bunch of well-known, sponsored, or pro skaters in my area and I'm skating good, I feel like they kind of think I'm putting it on--like I'm cranking up the heat because they're there, and then I feel awkward.

When I was a kid, the East Coast was a bastion of heavy metal. Like the rattail was the official haircut of all of New Jersey. How come the East Coast hates metal? It's all like rapping kids and ghetto gowns.

It is ghetto gowns.

Why do you think that is?

I think the New York and Philly rap scene blew up pretty heavily and I think it just affected a lot of people. To tell you the truth, a lot of the modern rock that's coming out ain't really ...

Yeah, it's no Children of Bodom.

It's no Children of Bodom.

It's not even Creed.

Creed?

I don't even know what Children of Bodom sounds like. I just wonder.

Children of Bodom is a Finnish metal band that has a classically trained keyboard player. Actually, they're all classically trained to be so good at what they do. Basically, they can shred. Real hard.

When you were younger, did you ever pick out any gear that could now be aligned as more of a hip-hop influence?

Absolutely.

What was the funniest thing that you picked out?

A yellow camo shirt. It was yellow, black, and grey. It looked like some sort of poisonous frog or some sort of poisonous octopus. It was jacked, but back then everything was a joke, like all of life was a joke, and anything that caught my eye I'd just throw it on.

I would have been wearing that but that kind of camo wasn't invented when we were kids. All we had was the regular.

It was weird, though, because I thought other camo was wack. The orange camo was so wack, but I rocked the yellow. It was sick.

Was there any skate video you fell in love with when you were a kid that really spoke to you, that you wanted to watch as much as you could?

I'll have to think about that 'cause they were all my favorites. The 411 Number One I've probably watched more than anything. This is before Misled Youth or the videos you can watch over and over again.

What rapper was profiled in 411 Number One?

Erick Sermon.

Oh, he's good.

Yeah.

Did you start skating at 10?

Eight. Eight or nine. I think eight. I was obsessed with skateboarding for a full year before I actually got a skateboard. My mom is a nurse and she was really scared of what skateboards could do, and it took her a whole year to think it over and see how badly I really wanted it. At school when they would ask me to come up to the blackboard and write a sentence, it would always be like, "I rode my skateboard down the street," or "I skateboarded down the street." It would always have something do to with skateboarding. Then eventually I got a skateboard.

What was the first good trick you learned?

I remember learning kickflips the wrong way and I remember learning pop shove-its, but I thought I made everything up except the kickflip. I learned how to ollie from this guy named Jason McGowan, and I think it was seven doors down that Brian and Jason McGowan lived. Jason was the older brother and he skated and was in a punk band. He was sick as fuck. He taught me how to ollie, and eventually I bought a blue Powell Ripper off of him with one kicktail. Then I bought a Vallely purple elephant double kicktail board. But some dude up the street, after Jason taught me how to ollie, he tried to teach me how to kickflip like years later, and he put his toe pointed up at the nose, heel pointed back at the tail right on the edge of the board so it was like slalom foot, and he would kick his whole leg down. I learned how to kickflip like that. And I thought I made up the shove-it. I thought I made up the lipslide. I thought I made up everything because I didn't have any videos.

Did yon have any special names for those tricks?

No, no special names. I did a 180 to boardslide and that was a lipslide.

Yeah, that's fair.

A pop shove-it was a 180 without turning my body. I didn't have any tricky names.

I should've, though.

Who was the first pro skater you ever saw?

Matt Reason. He was awesome. I was 11, I think.

How young were you when you got to go into the big city and skate there?

Eleven. We wanted to go to the city by train, but we were all poor. I was hanging out with my friends up in a town by my house and we were hanging by this Hebrew school that had these really steep curbs out front. We found this jean jacket and for some reason we picked it up and looked in the pocket, and there was just enough money to get all three of us down and back to Suburban Station. My mom's going to hate this, but yeah, we took the train down to the city every weekend and skated LOVE.

Without your parents knowing?

Yeah--and it was so rad. It was back when LOVE park was legal, and you'd always see Picky and Matt Reason and all those dudes from the Sub Zero video. They were always down there. It was rad.

That's weird, a magical jean jacket that grants wishes.

It's weird how that works, isn't it? It was a lamp.

How did you first get involved in the sponsored game?

This is funny, actually. We went for team tryouts for the skateshop that I skate for currently, G Spot. It was a different store back then and we went to this school, Elphinstone, and skated these stairs, and the guy, the "team manager," his name was Sonny Fleming. He just built a mini-ramp in my garage.

Was he an ice skater?

Nah. Nah. Why, is there an ice skater named that?

There's a Peggy Fleming.

Sonny, he builds ramps and he's real good at it. He just built the mini-ramp in my garage a couple weeks ago, but he was the dude that put me on the team when I was like 12. That was my first sponsor, and then I got sponsored by a local skateboard company called Alliance. The owner's name was Brian Mason and he was really, really cool, a really rad dude. I actually didn't get sponsored by a lot of local companies because I didn't want to blow it before I got onto a better company. I wanted to wait for a good company, but this dude was so cool and I really liked the company and I just wanted to go with it.

Did they issue you a pro model when you were like 14 or anything weird like that?

No, not at all. Then I started getting flow packages from World, and I talked to him and he told me just to go to World because it would be better for me than what he could provide. I was a sponsor-me-video kid. That's why so many people have my sponsor-me video.

'Cause you sent them out all over?

Oh, I sent them to whoever was interested in flowing me something. I was on Landspeed wheels. I think that was a Barn hook-up. Bam's always been really cool and always helps me behind the scenes in a way. Sounds funny, but yeah. I was on Landspeed and I sent my video to Tum Yeto, and I got Toy Machine flow for awhile, too, so they had it down there. A lot of people had it, but I had like eight sponsor-me videos.

What was the craziest place you ever sent it? Where you were like, "Fuck it. Let's see if I can get on those Tracker trucks."

No, but Climax had it. Craziest was ADI unit, American Dream, Inc, right?

Did you get a shirt or anything from them?

No. I didn't get anything. Yeah, horseshit, right?

Describe a terrible tour you went on in your early days.

Holy crap. I have to name said company?

I don't know, If you want to, It's not like there's some dude who owns it. What are you going to do, offend the secretary who's still there?

No, but Bartie rides for World and he's real cool. I went on a couple tours and one was the absolute worst tour, and it basically made me quit. I quit upon arriving to the contest we were going to. I was like, "Holy trap, I'll fend for myself here. Thanks."

What was that awful that you had to leave?

Just no one got along, everyone was butting heads, and it was real long. Holy shit it was bad. But I also drove down to Tampa--the first time I ever went to Tampa was so many years ago, and ! drove down with that company Alliance and that was a rough one, too. All these random dudes that rode for the company were in the van smoking weed, seriously, like every 20 minutes, if that. It was probably every 15 minutes. They were getting in fights nonstop, arguing all the time, it was so bad.

Even though you're a rocker, do you say nope to dope?

I do say nope to dope. I guess now I'm a rocker dad so that makes sense.

Rocker dads smoke weed out by the garbage cans.

That's true. They take out the garbage and it takes forever.

Talk about your martial arts training, and tell the story of how you fucked up that dude in Australia.

I go to a martial academy called Tri-State Martial Arts Academy under Sifu Jeff Jones.

What the fuck is Sifu Jeff Jones? The skater Jeff Jones?

Isn't that Drake Jones?

No, there was a guy from the '80s called Jeff Jones. He's from the East Coast, but I guess not. "Under Sifu Jeff Jones." Go on.

Yeah, he's a Sifu teacher, you know. Anyway, he's really, really rad, and is so amazing at all these different types of martial arts and stick fighting and all this crap. I started going with my brother, Face, and Justin, who is Ian Berry's twin brother. I started training with Justin and we did Jun Fan for awhile, Jeet Kune Do, and a basic blend of all these things like stick fighting and stuff like that. Then we started leaning toward Muay Thai, because obviously skaters have more deadened shins and you kick with your shin, and you block shin kicks with your shin.

Fuck that. So you've been doing this for how long?

A year and a half, maybe two.

And it all led up to whipping this

Australian dude's ass?

My brother taught me the basics of Muay Thai before we started going to these classes, and the teaching style makes you better really quickly. Bruce wasn't really any sort of match. I got lucky that he was an absolute puss. Bruce is the guy in Australia. He was a bigger dude, like he had big muscles and he was a burly dude.

And that's the guy that was trying to make out with Tommy?

It was Harmony, and then he tried to beat up Tommy. Tommy would have beaten him, too, I would guess, but he jumped on Tommy before Tommy could do anything, pulled the shirt over his head and things like that. But basically I have a conscience and I don't want to get in fights and I hate the whole deal, like, is it going to happen? The fight or flight feeling, I hate it, and so I usually just steer clear. I just thought it was fucked up and I was going to take a stand. I tried to get answers out of the dude but the dude just wanted to fight everybody. Eventually all these dudes were just going to hit him with boards, and I was like, "Nah, it's cook I'll just fight him." I squared up to him and he saw that I knew something that he didn't. You could see dead through his eyes that he was like, "Holy shit. I'm going to get my ass kicked."

Didn't he try to fake that he knew something?

Yeah, he threw up the Judo chop hands like he was going to be able to do something, and I kicked him in his leg hard enough that he probably had a panic attack and didn't know what to do. From then he tried to charge in and just got pretty much obliterated. I ended up not getting punched once.

Didn't he call out your name at some point?

Yes. I had him in a classic choke out, where he had one of his arms flailing up in the air with his hand just dangling, and I had that wrapped up against the side of his head and had his neck in a full choke out. So eventually he tapped out and was telling me to stop.

You have a knack for telling an exciting fight story the most boring way.

Well, Joey already told it and I don't want people out there to think I'm some bully.

What's the best way to fakie heelflip over a slippery spine?

Oh, holy crap. Alright, I know exactly how to do this. Well, what you're not going to do is drop in switch and just go for it. You have to drop in switch, do like a switch rock and do a rock fakie, and then go up to the spine, and what you would normally try to do is huck your carcass over the spine and lean into the other side. But what works is you honk your wheels and you kind of hit your tail off the coping a little bit, but the heelflipping foot flicks straight up your nose and straight down the transition that you just came from. And for some reason it seems like it would make it rocket credit card right up your gooch, but it flips perfectly and you roll into the other side.

What was the hardest trick you had to do on the KOTR this Fear?

That.

You're the only one who did it.

That trick sucked. That was the only one that I made, though. There were harder ones.

Were you surprised by the amount of male nudity on this King of the Road?

It seemed like people really got into it. It was funny, though. Ed Templeton knows what's funny. Male nudity is funny.

There's nothing funnier or creepier than a nude dude.

That's true. I do run down the street naked. It is funny. It doesn't matter; you don't have to be gay. It's funny.

How many more times do you think you can go? 'Cause Jamie's talking about some Lance Armstrong shit.

Oh my. I wanted to quit after this year. Dude, it seems all fun, like we're going to go to the premiere and be like, "Man, it was so fun," because you forget about hours of staring at the book and sweating balls trying a trick and pulling muscles and getting hurt.

Not to give too much away, but what's a good strategy to win that thing? Just go, go, go?

I don't want to give it away. I want to do a three-peat. If we do a three-peat, I hope Jamie taps out. But I know next year he'll bring Fallen and it'll be like if we somehow win this next year, it'll be Fallen and I'll be back on it, so it really doesn't matter.

Describe Jamie on the King of the Road. Do you sometimes fear for him?

No. He has everything worked out in his head so well that the rest of us dummies can just follow it. Not that we're all dummies; I mean, Rattray's the smartest dude ever. But dummies like me. They're like, "Oh, we're in San Antonio. I know where a ledge is that's perfect for this trick." And you're just like, "Alright."

What's the giant black tattoo thing that you have?

Which one?

There's a giant one on your side that looks like a briefcase.

I've never heard that before--and that's awesome. That's my stained glass Zero board graphic. It was done by Sean Duffy.

Sherm Rogers just got "Fear No Man" tattooed across his throat.

Shut the luck up--he really did?

If you were to get something tattooed across your throat, what would it he?

I think I thought about this the other day. There was a heroin addict in my town that had "Darkness" tattooed across his throat. This was way before the band. Way before the band. I don't know, man. I don't know what the luck I'd get.

May I recommend "Ezekiel Clothing"?

Fuck no. I would get, probably, "Zero or Die."

What do you and Tommy talk about when it's just the two of you?

Skating.

Have you ever ridden in his limo?

No. I want to, though. The thing looks so sick. I saw him and Tony Cervantes driving it the other day and it looked so sketchy. It was like purple tint, two big-ass Afros in the front seat, and just smoke billowing out of it.

If you could put any ex-Zero rider back on the team, who would it be?

Greco.

Do you have full-time shotgun in the van on tour?

Never.

Who's your usual roommate on tour?

Jamie.

Does he do anything weird ... besides only sleep two hours?

No. He does the least weird of anybody. He has to handle about 100 e-mails a night and it's crazy.

What do you look for when you're out scouting talent that maybe you want to bring to the team? What makes a bitchin' rider?

I don't actually look for talent. Ever. The only time that I even recommend talent is when it's a friend of mine, 'cause I don't want to vouch for somebody and then have them be a kook.

If you could put any pro skater from any pro company on Zero right now, who would it be?

Oh my. Should I do a joke answer? Should I do a good answer?

I asked this question to Geoff Rowley and he said Eric Koston.

Well that's immediately what I thought. But it's too obvious. I'm trying to think of somebody real good, too. You can't put Geoff on, because Geoff is the Jamie of Flip, so Jamie and Geoff on the same team wouldn't work. Who's sick as fuck? Any pro skater ... that's hard, man. That's real hard. Christian Hosoi. I pick Christian Hosoi.

You want to plug your projects? What's coming up?

Fallen video we're filming for. Hot Wax II we're editing ... it's going to be fucked up.

Do you have any wild rail tricks on the horizon that you'd like to mess with? I know Phelps wanted you to backside 270 kickflip lip.

Yeah, the hardest--I tried. Right when you spin and flip you lose all sight of where everything is when you're trying to get on a rail, and you have no idea where the rail is.

Can you double flip frontside board?

On flat bars. I go darkslide like a mug, though.

I remember one time when you did this 270 noseblunt down a park rail and the writer made a prediction that someday it would go down on a real bar.

Yeah, that writer made me have to do it on a real rail.

I'm real glad we got it for Thrasher then. 'Nandez slid some, what about switch 360 flip lip?

Nah. It looks pretty crazy; you know, like one leg goes completely donkey. Not that his would, but mine did. Mine do because I think I've done them on something, but I don't recall. I can image me doing a switch tre flip and then landing on the nose and then sweeping it around, and it would look like a horse's ass.

What rail tricks have you seen in the last year or so that you've thought were pretty rad?

Bennett grind.

Did you like Lutzka's 270 backside noseblunt?

Yeah. And I'm sure he's already done it on a rail that isn't a skate spot rail for like a video part, and I can't wait to see that 'cause I bet you it looks buttery--filmed fish with nobody in the background and stuff.

Who's your favorite professional skater?

That's hard to say. I like a lot of people. Rattray for tranny. I could build an ultimate monster, I'm sure. I could take Rattray's smoothness with Herman's style, and Billy Marks' ability to kickflip into anything. I don't think you could beat that. Isn't that everything? You can kickflip into anything, you can look good, you can take drops, yep ... I really want to pick a favorite skater, though.

You don't have one from when you were a kid? Christian Hosoi was my favorite for a long time. My favorites were Christian Hosoi, Pepe Martinez, Jamie was everybody's favorite, Gino was my favorite for awhile, right around Trilogy and 20 Shot Sequence. 20 Shot Sequence was between Snuff and Trilogy.

Sounds like he knows his shit.

I'll fool you. I don't know shit.

Chris, you've had a hell of a year. Nice work, so good luck with that baby. Anything you want to say to those Cole fans out there in Thrasherland?

Skate or die.
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Author:Burnett, Michael
Publication:Thrasher
Article Type:Interview
Date:Apr 1, 2006
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