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Lizard King Interview

The party is over

With the Supra Team Lizard King visited Berlin last week for a few days. They were here to film a Berlin clip and at the same time Lizard wanted to get some final tricks for his upcoming Deathwish part. We sat down with him to talk about how it is for him to film a part and how it is to do it sober nowadays.

What are your favorite spots or what do you like about the city?

That it is not in the US. [laughs] I mean when you skate here everything is new and exciting. The different looks, the vibes. Keeps you excited, keeps you energized.

You get new ideas for tricks?

The spots are different. In California everything is nice and neat and perfect. Just like a skatepark. Then you come here, and everything is rough. If you watch a video and the whole thing is filmed in California, it is kind of boring. And if you watch a video with different places in it, it is more entertaining, way nicer and more exotic.

"I really like being dad. It is like my favorite thing ever"

Did you have already tricks in my mind before you came here?

Just one or two and the rest is like whatever. People we know here will show us around and guide us to some spots.

You are filming for a Supra clip, right?

Yeah, and I have also a Deathwish video part coming out. So, I am kind of trying to finish that as well.

When will the part come out?

End of the month I think. I am filming quite a while on and off for it. Had interest, lost interest. Had interest, lost interest.

Will it be a full length?

No, just me and Jon Dickson. Because they did this thing where part one is Jamie Foy and Jake Hayes. Now it is gonna be me and Jon. Shooting a full length video, no one does that shit anymore, it’s crazy.

Why did you lose interest and how did you get back again?

It is just the mentally torture of trying to film a video part. And I have a kid now and I have here a lot. So, skating for me is up and down. I want to skate and film all the time, but I don’t get to skate and film all the time. If there is no one to film, I just go and skate and have fun. Skateboarding is kind of a rollercoaster. Plus, you try things and it will work for a minute and then you hit a wall. Every time you go out you try your hardest and you just keep failing. It is an emotionally training. And then it is kind of like “fuck that I am just going to take a break”. And then you just skate for fun with your friends.

How does your life look like when you are at home?

Wake up, make my kid breakfast, take her to school, drop her off, go to the Baker boys, skate for a couple of hours, pick her up and hang out. Life is a lot more mellow than it used to be. It is cool, I really like being dad. It is like my favorite thing ever. Sometimes it does interfere with my skating.

"I went to a crazy metal show, drank a bunch, did some drugs. Fucking woke up in some bushes somewhere by my friend Nuges house"

What do you do besides skateboarding?

Back home I go like rock climbing, I ride bikes and stuff. Climbing is fun. It sparks my skating even more. Because it is just such a fun release. I like being outside and doing whatever I can. Not being at the house.

You are sober for quite a while now.

Almost three years.

So that means not even a beer at some point?

Nothing, just fucking on the straight narrow. It is cool.

What led to the decision?

I don’t know. I have too much responsibilities. The party is over. And how my brain works, I am like an all or nothing guy. When I skate I fucking skate. If I am rock climbing, I am a hundred percent. When I drink, I am fucking as hard as I can. I just don’t have time for it anymore. Plus I was a bad shit crazy, when I was drinking. I think it is good, I had to quit.

Was it from one day to another?

Yeah, I woke up and I was like fuck I can’t do it anymore. I went to a crazy metal show, drank a bunch, did some drugs. Fucking woke up in some bushes somewhere by my friend Nuges house. Couldn’t figure out where I was. I walked to his house and I was fucking never drinking again.

Was it hard?

No, it was easy. I just couldn’t do this shit anymore. It is all good. I think other people have more struggle then I do. For me it was like, I have a kid and other stuff to do. Not being with her mum. We would have like a lot of complications, and it turned to like not being fun, it turned into me trying to solve the problem that I couldn’t figure out. So, I was partying even harder and it wasn’t solving my problems it was just making it a lot worse. And then I just woke up and was like “fuck it I am over it” and never done it every again.

Like you partied a lot and you’ve seen it all.

Exactly. I’ve been to anything you can possibly go to. I still go out every now and then, and sometimes I think it would be fun to be a complete pile of shit. I don’t know and don’t think I could do it anymore. But that is cool. Fuck it! Everybody has to change at some point.

It happened to a lot of guys at Baker.

Yeah exactly. Fuck, I learnd from the best. If it might has worked for some of them it might as well work for someone like me. Because we are all pretty similar.

"Ten years ago I’ll be drinking all the day every day and I didn’t care."

Did your skating improved since you’re sober?

It has improved a lot. I am just never hungover. I just wake up and feel fucking great. It definitely did make a big difference. My brain is always fire up enough, I am always thinking about stuff. I used to not care. Beer to Beers. Trick to Tricks. Plus, if I landed something super sick I’ll be fucked up two weeks.

How does the tour live look like now compared to ten years ago?

Everyone is tamed out. It makes the road a lot easier. Ten years ago I’ll be drinking all the day every day and I didn’t care. I skated and was always ready to let loose. I guess now I am a lot more focused to getting my job done. Not that I wasn’t doing anything before, but I am maybe more committed to it.

Isn’t it hard to be drunk a lot while on tour?

You get used to it. It is not like you’re pounding beers, you drink it through the day and you’re skating so you are constantly sweating it out.

I think the whole scene will change with stuff like the Olympics.

Yes but that is not skating. That’s bullshit. Olympics is dumb.

For sure, but the guys who compete in there can’t smoke weed and so on. And I think that will influence other people.

Maybe if they are contest skaters, but if they are real skaters, people like us, I don’t think it is gonna do anything. The moment that shit is over first thing all those dudes are gonna do is party. I don’t know how it works. Cause you can drink and shit and it is not like you can’t drink, drinking is not illegal.

But you can’t compete drunk that is not allowed and you can’t smoke weed. You could compete now.

Yeah, I fucking survived long enough. I haven’t really thought about that. That would be weird. I wonder who makes it in and who doesn’t.

What is new at Supra. What are you working on? There has been a lot of change.

We had a little hickup for a while. We had a bad run with a couple of bosses. Shit was just slipping through and nobody knew what they were doing. I fell like Supra made a quality product, but we fell off for a second. If you look at the new stuff, everything looks good. It’s made well. We weren’t going on trips we weren’t do doing a lot of stuff. And now we are going on lots of trips again. I feel like everything is coming back up.

So, there is a lot to come in 2018?

Yes, we got some good shoes. Spencer [Hamilton] has a shoe coming out. Jim [Greco] has a shoe coming out. I have a shoe that is gonna come out. It was kind of done, but I didn’t like a couple of things about it, so we ended up pushing it back for another season. It doesn’t come out until 2019. I mean fuck, there is no fun in putting something out you are not completely stoked on.

What will the shoe be like?

I skated the Slip-Ons that we had forever. I like when you put a slip-on on it is like snug on your foot, it doesn’t move around. So, I wanted my shoe to have a slip-on feel inside of it but it’s gonna has this cool laced look. And it has less paneling so less shit to rip and will last longer. The shoe is a fucking skate shoe. I wanted it to be simple, cool and rad looking. Kind of went back to the basics on the drawing board. You have to test out, to see if it would work or not and for me it didn’t work. [laughter] I feel bad for the shoe designers.

So, you were involved in the design process a lot?

Yeah it is fun. They show you a shoe and you are looking at it, and it is so gross, it is disgusting. But then it is like don’t worry, they kind of tweak a little bit and the next thing that comes in looks more like a shoe. And by the third or the fourth sample you are like: oh that fucking looks really sick. This will be my fourth shoe. For my first shoe I wasn’t really involved. By the second shoe I was involved. The third shoe just wasn’t really made very well. And that is why I want to put this time my heart and soul in it because I really want to represent who I am as a skateboarder and what I like.

You always liked big stuff. Isn’t it hard to skate like this when you get older?

That is just like my deal too. I get beat up pretty quick. When you are in your twenties you can jump all the time. Nowadays I have to be a bit more selective. Yesterday I didn’t even do that much shit. I skated this line at that ledge spot for like four hours and I woke up this morning I was like: fuck man. It really wears me out a lot more.

You ever thought about changing your skating?

For me it is fun, and I like skating ledges and being a little bit more mellow about stuff, but I also just like to go and fly out of something, take the risk and maybe get fucked up. Because that is just like how I skate. So, I need to find this happy medium between actual jumping stuff. And sometimes I think when I am skating a ledge, this is fucking dumb, this is super boring. But then I land a new ledge trick, like a kickflip tailslide kickflip out and to me it is like pushing my mental limits. I’d rather just be trying to kickflip a fucking 18 stairs. But I am starting to get more into it.