Interview originally posted on ThrasherMagazine.com (5-22-17)
Hey! How’s it going, man? How’s your day been?
What’s going on, man? Not much. Just been hanging out. About to order a pizza for me and my girl.
That’s something I can appreciate. I won’t take up too much of your time, homie!
Oh, don’t worry, man. We’re chillin’.
So I’m from just outside of Chicago and you’re from Minnesota. How did it feel to make the move out West?
Oh, man, I definitely escaped the Midwest. Permanently. But no, we love it out here. I don’t think my girl would let us move back out there even if I wanted to. As far as the skate scene out here, it’s definitely different. I’d say it’s definitely more competitive. Sometimes it’s hard to find a spot that already hasn’t been nollie tré flip back tailed, you know? So you find yourself skating some crusty spots sometimes. At the same time, though, there are just so many different things to skate out here. Finding ones that haven’t been completely destroyed is key. Another thing is finding someone to film and take photos of you. It’s really hard to do when you’re not in a major hub like LA.
So, I have to ask, growing up in Minnesota, how big of a deal was playing hockey?
Oh, are you kidding me? Hockey is huge. I fuckin’ love hockey. I played until I was around 12. Everytime we go home for holidays we always find a rink and play little pick-up games.
That’s so rad. Do you by chance know who Joe Rogan is?
Yeah, I know who Joe Rogan is! The MMA guy, right? Used to be on The Man Show or some shit.
Fear Factor. Yup, that’s him. I recently heard a quote from him where he says something along the lines of “People from the Midwest are more hard-nosed because they’ve had to shovel snow their whole lives.”
Yeah! I’d like to think of myself as hard-nosed but, I don’t know if I actually am. When I first moved to LA, I would complain about everything. But, you know, the grass is always greener. We have Tim Fulton, who films for Real, and Jack Olson who both came out of Minnesota and moved out here. So, we still have a little posse.
While preparing for this interview, I noticed that your video Naptime dropped around this time last year.
Damn, that already feels like so long ago. Holy shit.
Yup, June 2016. How did that video come to happen? Did you grow up filming?
Well, I was out with an injury, so I needed to find something to do with my time. I always had a camera growing up. I had a VX and I was usually the guy filming, but if I wanted to get a trick I’d have someone else film me. I’d take the camera and make sure all the settings are right and shit and then hand it to a friend, like, “Hey, try not to decapitate me.” Then, once I got sponsored and started going on trips, I just kinda wanted to focus on skating. What’s funny is I actually sold Tim, the Real filmer, my VX and it got stolen. So there’s that. With Naptime I just wanted to make this super-epic video while I was hurt so I bought another VX. Then when it came down to it, I had to sit there and edit all this footage ’cause I made everyone film tricks for it.
Any plans for more video projects?
No. Dude, it’s a lot of work. Plus, Tim was getting bummed on me for poaching angles.
By the time this interview is released, Real’s Surveillance #6 will have dropped. The first sequence has Chima kicking his board out and taking out one of the cameras, and there you are to the rescue. Did you move from VX to HD?
Dude, Chima fucking nailed it. The camera went flying about ten feet, and somehow didn’t have a scratch on it. And hell no.
I know the main focus of the edit is you, Chima and J-Brock with cameos from the other Real dudes. What is the vibe like in the van with those dudes?
I mean, I’ve been in the van with these guys for so long. And I know it sounds cliché, but it really is a family vibe. I hit up Tim to skate, jump in the van and there’s all the usual suspects, you know? I don’t need to worry about what to say or how to act, because even if I’m acting like a complete shithead, they’ll just make fun of me and be over it in two seconds.
Seems like the same kind of vibe growing up skating when you hit up the homies to meet at a spot or the shop.
Dude, totally. It’s exactly that. A lot of us are like brothers at this point, you know?
So this is the sixth surveillance video to drop. Can you talk about the edit a little? What was the filming process like?
You know, there wasn’t really a process to it. It all started because Jim and Nate Alton just wanted us to have fun and get tricks when we could. There weren’t any filming missions for the Surveillance stuff. We’d just go on small trips hoping to find cool-looking spots to maybe get a trick at.
Have you watched the video yet?
Yeah, I got sneak a look at it.
Were there any tricks that stood out to you?
Yeah, for sure. All of Chima and Justin’s stuff. Everything they do is super gnarly. Switch gap to front board was insane, and then Justin’s switch tré. Like, this dude can do a really fuckin’ proper switch tré.
Personally, you have one of my favorite switch ollies in the game. Is skating switch something that comes naturally for you?
Hell no. I think it comes from having Brian Wenning as my favorite skater growing up. I tried so hard to learn how to skate switch. As far as the switch ollie thing—man, I feel like it’s an ongoing thing now. Like, I really need to stop doing this.
You’re crazy, man. They’re sick. And they make for good photos!
If you say so. I’ll learn a new trick one day.
There was also a switch backside 180 over a roof gap. Where is that spot? I feel like I’ve never seen it before.
Vegas, man! We always have this dude Dom show us around, and he has a straight-up spot book. You come across some cool shit when you leave LA.
One thing that really stood out to me was the clip of you getting towed in for the nollie over the gap.
You know what’s weird? Is that was actually a really conceived trick. I usually never think of a trick and then go try it because I always let myself down. But that one, I wanted to nollie it for a really long time, just thinking it would be cool, but never really got around to it. Once we tried to use a little 50cc motorcycle, bit it wasn’t fast enough. Finally, we just used my friend’s car and made it happen. Then we went cliff jumping afterwards.
What? So basically you guys were, like, “I just made a trick. Let’s go jump off a cliff to celebrate!”
No, we had planned to go cliff jumping anyway. But you know, being at the spot and having in the back of your head, “Hey, we’re going cliff jumping afterwards,” definitely made me want to land it quicker.
Ice hockey, nollies over gaps, cliff jumping—I never knew you were so rugged, Davis!
Dude, I’m in the middle of packing for a backpacking trip we’re leaving for tomorrow!
Well shit, man! I’m sure your pizza is almost there and you need to finish packing. Thanks a lot for the time, my dude.
Thank you, man! Try not to make me sound too dumb.