Why me?! The David Gravette interview.
Bingaman claims he once saw Willis Kimbel take advantage of Gravette's condition while on tour. At a gas station stop, David asked Willis for some snack suggestions. With a bit of reverse psychology, Willis just listed off what he'd like to be eating himself. Back in the car and throughout the rest of the four-hour drive, Gravette questioned out loud whether he really wanted each snack item or not. Item by item. Each time, Willis would chime in, "Well if you don't want it, I'll take it."
One thing is certain. No matter how many tries a trick takes or how many different snacks or bags of weed he's gotta buy, Gravette doesn't stop until he gets what he wants.
Hey David, how's your video part looking? Are you content with it?
I like it. I've been working extremely hard since King of the Road. Probably harder than ever before, so hopefully it shows.
When did you start filming for CSFU?
Two or three years ago. but I spent a long time hurt. Last summer I was getting hurt every time I'd try and go skate, but I finally got better before KOTR. I've been good since then and making the most of it.
Since you got sponsored, what percent of that time do you estimate you haven't been hurt?
That's the saddest part of my life. 80-percent of the trips I go on, I'm already hurt.
Does it have to do with the gnarly skating?
Not a damn thing. It could be the flatbar at the park instead of the 20-stair rail. It's the little stuff that's really gotten me.
You're going straight from filming for CSFU to filming for Real Street. When was the last time you felt like you had nothing to film for?
That's how it is these days. I'm happiest when I'm producing something. I like to think I have a strong work ethic. I feel guilty when I'm sitting around doing nothing.
You've obviously got the 50-50 dialed. What tricks give you trouble?
Flip tricks down gaps. I flop the flip trick, then I smear at the bottom. The biggest stair set I've ever ollied is still an 11. I don't think I'll ever top that. The sheer feeling of going down a gap causes me to explode when I land. I obviously haven't dialed the pop/catch/stick thing.
I've seen you take some pretty big drops into banks.
I've definitely taken bigger drops into banks. It's gotta be easier. When I land a drop without a bank, my knees take a beating. One of the bigger drops I've taken, without a bank, was this 50-50 transfer I did in Memphis. I only took the drop once, and the landing was the biggest shock. My insides shook, but I looked back at it and thought, "Jaws kickflips off things three times that size. How is that possible?"
Could you loop a 50-50?
Damn, I've actually thought about that, because I saw some biker did it on Nitro Circus. I think if you started the loop and the top part was a rail ... Maybe I need to do that now. But I haven't done a regular loop yet.
Sometimes It seems like you're not a very happy person. Is it that you're truly bummed, or do you just have high expectations of yourself?
I'm pretty happy a lot of the time. Struggling on tricks gets depressing. Anyone who's been on the road a few times with me, especially Chris Pfanner--Pfanner's seen my lowest. Volcom trips were somewhat of a curse for me for a bit. If I'm healthy and skating, I'm pretty happy. As long as I'm not in a four-hour battle with a trick.
Let's talk about this curved 50-50 in Albuquerque. How did it start out, and how did it go from there? You even mentioned at the start it was gonna take a couple hours.
It was the first spot of the day. I was looking forward to trying it, actually. One of my favorite things to do is get on a grind and hold it. But that one was no fun at all. In the first 15 minutes I was making it down 75-percent of the rail. Then it was three hours or more before I got to the end, and then the wood we set up to land on breaks. That was the absolute worst I've ever felt on a skateboard by far. I wasn't going to get back in that van without doing it. I was afraid I was going to give myself bodily harm if I couldn't do it. It was pure fucking hell.
You were having a serious meltdown. But you stuck it out and made it. What could have made you give up? Why didn't you?
I knew I wasn't going to do anything the next day. When your legs start to shake and you know your muscles are going to be shot, you've already gone that far so you hope you can get at least something. Making it helps you tolerate the pain. If not, you're sitting in pure defeat.
Have you ever focused a board to stop trying a trick? That's what a lot of guys do when they get frustrated.
You could count the number of boards I've ever focused on two hands. I hate doing that. If I focus my board, that means everything's gone to shit. There's always some kid at the park with a shitty board who you can at least give yours to, instead of focusing it. When you throw it, you don't really want anything bad to happen to it, but then it hits the tail. The nose is OK, but the tail? Damnit, you get even more angry. That's when I'll focus it, because you can't even give it to a kid at that point. I'll get extra mad at myself, real pissed.
What cell phone you rockin'?
It says Samsung T Mobile.
How old is that thing?
I've had this one almost two years. I dropped my last one in the toilet. I try to get the most durable, typically older phone. I got no Internet connections. I don't get media messages or whatever. I'm doing alright.
Your phone message still says, "I'm out of the country for real this time." When were you out of the country last?
I definitely wasn't gone the last time I made that message. I think it says I'm out of the country 'til July at this point. So that buys me a lot of time before I get back to people.
What made you so afraid of technology?
I don't know. I used to have a camera. I made a video once. I took two media classes and even made a website. But I've gotten rid of all that stuff from my brain. I get all freaked out just going to check my email. Something about being on a computer, my heart begins to race. Maybe there needs to be a proper diagnosis.
Do you have an Instagram, Facebook, or MySpace?
Nope, none of that stuff for me, thank God.
I had MySpace from age 15 to 17. It was a nightmare. So much added drama in your life. I still get drawn into that shit and I don't even have one. That's what makes me mad--I end up in fights with my girlfriend because of that. She's super rad and she's had to deal with so many weird situations that I've gotten myself into, but the amount of innocent things that are translated wrong through Instagram or Facebook ... It's annoying. There are people who know where you are when you don't want them to know where you are. Add to that the fact that I'm being told by people that I'm blowing it and losing out on board royalties and shoe royalties because of not being on the stuff? That makes me sick. That, in skateboarding, you're hurting yourself by choosing not to spend more time stuck behind a computer. That doesn't make sense. Just talk to a kid when you're out skating, and they buy your board, you know? I'll talk to anyone who comes up to me at a park, but I don't want to get sucked into Facebook.
Who are some of your favorite skaters?
Damn, that's still a question in interviews?
OK, then how much beer can you drink before you have to pee?
I tried to slam some before this interview. I'm close to five but have not peed yet.
Explain to me what a "sober trip" is. You keep claiming we're gonna go on one.
I've realized that I can't go for gnarly shit the day after getting wasted. It's pretty hard, though, when you go on trips with the homies. The bar's down the street and everyone's partying. Sometimes I'll have a couple beers, and that feels good, but then ... The last trip I was claiming sober trip. But it started on my birthday. I was hammered when I showed up. There was an awesome party when I got there. Crook's Skateshop down in El Paso threw a surprise party where I got even more drunk, and then I went to Juarez with some homies, and that was awesome. I was definitely not on a sober trip that night. Then I cleaned it up and stayed sober for a couple more days, and got that super-scary 50-50 into the bank. That used up my special meter. I felt I couldn't go for anything gnarly for a few more days after that.
With Creature, how hard is it to find a sober wingman?
We all really enjoy our alcohol at Creature, but everyone gets their shit done. I get super jealous of the guys who can party every night and still produce. I wish that could still happen for me, but I've had too many injuries the day after getting drunk. So that's stuck in my head: Don't try gnarly stuff after boozing.
Sounds more like a FOMO issue.
Oh yeah. I have that 100-percent. It's really hard for me knowing everyone's going out to the strip club down the street or that there's cold beers in the room next to mine. I can hear the hooting and hollering. I wish I was one of those dudes who could go to the bar and drink soda and still hang out. I'm not. My hand's always looking for something, so I end up grabbing a beer.
You bought a house. Why Portland?
I wasn't going to leave the Northwest. I have to have the green forest and I like the whole vibe for some reason. Actually, not just some reason--I definitely know why. It's just fuckin' awesome there. I wanted a little change from Washington. And they were building all these awesome skateparks down in Oregon. But right when I left Washington they started building them up there, too.
What's your daily routine?
Wake up, feed the bunny. First things first--bunny's gotta get fed. If I'm being a productive human I'll drink a smoothie. Then do some video gaming, smoke and skate. When I'm home I'm pretty boring. I try to do as much relaxing as possible.
Sam Hitz wants to know: What's your next shitty tattoo idea?
Lee's supposed to put something next to the shitty lamb he tattooed on my leg. We were looking through some Sam Hitz drawings and we found these shitty sweatpants that he drew.
I bring sweatpants on every trip. I'm chilling in sweatpants right now. So Lee's gonna tattoo these sweatpants that Sam drew. You could call them shitty tattoos, but they're not. I got a couple Sam Hitz tattoos.
He also wants to know: What purpose does a mustache have, in your opinion?
It's something you can pull on when you're confused.
What flavors are currently residing in that thing?
Pacifico; some gin flavor, maybe.
What's your fascination with folk music?
It's gotta be something to do with being surrounded by it so much when I was little, from my mom. I got plenty of sing-along songs as a very young child, and I'd always ask about the stories. They'd always have weird stories about dragons and stuff little boys are into. I got to know the stories, and that was a huge part of it. You gotta respect anyone who makes a song with a whole story; things more interesting than what's being sung about these days like bitches going out and poker faces and whatever the fuck they sing about. No one's gonna sing a song from the perspective of a hare or bringing some yearlings up and all that good stuff anymore.
How do the other Creatures deal with the folk music? Do you put it on in the van?
You gotta admit, that stuff I play is pretty fuckin' sweet, Fairport Convention, Maddie Pryor--Dustin Dollin was more stoked than anyone, I think, Dustin was like, "Fukin' Gravette, I didn't know you had this sensitive side!" He wanted to know all the stories. He was super pumped on it. Lots of people are. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the songs someone that no one knew about before me ends up in a skate video.
Who are your sponsors?
Creature, Volcom, Independent, C1 RCA, Bones wheels, Paradox grip, Lucky bearings, Blackstar brewery, Puffin Glass studios, and Shrunken Head skateshop.
Yeah, It's a smoke shop who I'm sponsored by. They sent me a couple awesome boxes, and all they ask for is a couple photos of me using the product. But I'm so technologically challenged, I can't do it. I do put the stickers on my board.
Just trying to get this X-Games Real Street wrapped up. I haven't wanted to take anything from my Creature part, so for the last couple weeks I've been filming for Real Street. There was a last-ditch effort for the Creature video and I gotta keep it going.
Are you able to take a break after that?
I might take a break. My girlfriend just graduated, so I'm gonna take her on a little vacation somewhere.
Is she gonna move to Portland?
Hopefully. She's got a pretty good job in SF, but even with a pretty good job, it's still a bitch and a half to pay to live there.
That's all I got.
Great. I'm finally pissing after finishing my sixth beer. Can you hear that?