11.20.2012

chrome ball interview #51: clint peterson

chops and clint go out for a drink or two.

 
Introduction by Steve Nesser 

Clint's always been down to roll no matter when or where with a smooth chill vibe... just like how he skates. He's always on the hunt for dope spots and he's always been one of my favorites to see what he comes up with. It's sick seeing how far he's come with his art and skate life since we were making Fobia videos in the back of the shop 10 years ago.

=0

So while not exactly on a Kenny Reed/homeless-type scale, you are definitely known for roaming about on a global level with your skateboard which is obviously a rad position to be in. What’s your favorite part of traveling?

Just the random experiences you get… that’s something that I can’t get enough of. It’s such a perk with this whole skateboard thing to be able to go out and see the world. There’s so many people that I grew up with who don’t get to travel around while I get to lead this vacation-type lifestyle, just waking up and going out to skate somewhere everyday. Most people obviously don’t get to do this and I don’t ever want to feel like I didn’t take advantage of it while I could.

And it’s funny because I’m still the guy when it comes time to leave that always starts saying things like, “I don’t know, guys… I think I’m staying. I’m not gonna go back.”

All these years later and I’m still saying that on almost every trip.

What would you say are the top 3 favorite places skateboarding has taken you?

That’s tough, man. So much of it has to do with the people you’re with. Admittedly, I’m a lazy American who likes being able to talk to other people so that factors into this. Nobody wants to stick out too hard.

But first off, I’d have to say that Australia is amazing. I’ve been there twice and it's been really fun both times. Everyone is super cool and I definitely didn’t want to leave either time.

I’d also have to include my trip to the Brazilian Rainforest for Skateboarder. That was just an amazing experience with a great crew. It was one of those where we all knew as it was happening that we’d be able to look back on it as the most braggable, epic thing to ever talk about. But I will say that at the time, it was pretty gnarly. Just a total sweat-overload. Adelmo was our tour guide so we weren’t complete gringos but still… Wearing a wife-beater with crazy sunburn as you sit all-day on this sketchy boat. It was insane.

For the third one, I’m gonna holler at Scandinavia as a whole. They’ve always been super-hospitable to me. I’m Scandinavian by descent so those are my people, which may have something to do with it but they’re just a rad people. They just ride their bikes around and experience life. So sick.

It is a little different now traveling now though… these days it has more to do with me wanting to go to these different places on my own. Wanting to check out some contests, not even as much skating them but judging them, which is what I’ve been doing a lot of lately.


Yeah, I saw you up there at Copenhagen with Rothmeyer, which I didn’t expect. How’d you get that gig? I never saw really saw you as the contest type…

Nah, never really been the contest type. I used to play around with it a little. It was about two or three years ago that I skated in Helsinki Pro and had this really embarrassing run. I never really went back to it after that. Everybody was doing super rad and then my run sucked so I just kinda figured that I’d leave the contest stuff to those guys.

But what happened was I broke my arm shortly there afterwards. It happened while I was still trying to map out the upcoming summer but my arm was still so jacked. I really wanted to take my time and heal the shit out of it. So I called the SPoT dudes to ask if there was any way I could roll with them as part of their Judge B-Squad. I’ve known Rothmeyer since riding for Accel Wheels back in the day and he said I could come so that set it off.

Did people start treating you different when you became a judge?

Honestly, I still feel kind of strange about it but I don’t think anybody else really cares. It’s a little weird being up there. I’m still an active pro even though I’ve slowed down a bit on the coverage as of late… but I’m still always looking in Transworld Business to see where I’m at on their meter.

(laughs)

But no, I have no problem with it really. I actually think that judging skateboarding is hilarious. I’m not the competitive sort but it’s the only thing I know and I can definitely tell you if you have a 60’s, 70’s or 80’s-style run going.


That’s hilarious. Shit… being flown all over the world without even having to skate, just having to watch, that’s the move. So what’s a Clint Peterson golden rule for traveling that you’d like to pass on to aspiring nomads?

Don’t be an obvious American. Try not to stick-out. I’m not talking about going undercover or putting on some type of disguise but I’ve definitely been on a few trips with people that stick out like sore thumbs and the worst experience is just being that loud, annoying American tourist guy.

Getting your Clark Griswald on.

Yeah, but skateboarding is insane in that you get to meet all these different types of people from all over, so I usually know someone that’s from wherever I currently am. Like Roberto Aleman and I were on Consolidated back in the day so going to Spain with him was no problem at all. I had an in. And Spain is just so amazing.

But yeah, travel light. Experience things and just live in the moment. Don’t be an asshole.

Speaking of Spain, talk a little about your acting gig in Lotti’s Free Pegasus. Seemed like a pretty fun time… what was the overall process like with making that thing?

I don’t want to throw Lotti under the bus but I’m honestly kinda embarrassed by that. I’ve been skating with Brian for years and I truly think he’s one of the great renaissance men of our time. 1st and Hope was so sick… but as far as Free Pegasus goes, I haven’t watched it. I think it was a super cool idea but it was all very random. Kenny Anderson was signed up to do it but ended up having some kind of ankle situation and wasn’t able to go so it was kinda thrown together.

We rolled through it, though. Brian ended up getting this dude over there to film and it was pretty freestyled. And Lotti, the way he works is that he comes up with these storyboards that are total works of art. They’re beautiful. He’ll paint each scene and get you so stoked but then you try to get a bunch of skaters to act within that framework and it becomes very difficult.

Thank God there’s good skating in there.


What about the infamous Stereo Sound Agency TV pilot? I’ve always heard bits and pieces about it… what was the story there? Was it some type of Laugh-In style sketch show?

That whole deal was completely insane. It was spawned out of the brain of Jason and Chris... Jason is constantly inventing these funny characters and crazy plots. Like the other day, I was telling him about some dude that had plugs, the stretch-out your earlobe kind but he went off on this whole tangent because he thought I meant that the guy had hairplugs. Just like that, he invents this whole scenario about a dude named “Plugs” that nobody wants to hang out with. All the dudes are like, “Aw shit, here comes Plugs.”

But basically that show went over the heads of the people picking the shows. It was just too funny. They were afraid people wouldn’t get it… though it would’ve been amazing.

Did you have any characters you were planning on bringing into the fold?

I was working on Achmed, my arrogant international man of leisure. Picture him on a yacht in Madagascar with a pink blazer on, no problem.


Awesome. So going back a bit, tell me about that Consolidated Minnesota wave you came up in… where it seemed like half the team and their art direction came from the great state of many lakes. How did that work out to where all you dudes were on the same team?

Yeah, that was a 100% Todd Bratrud thing. Totally blatant. It came from where he just started doing graphics for them and they were totally stoked on him. They used the first three things that he’d ever sent to them as graphics: wrench with blood splatter, the sequence of a hand going into a blender and the sequence of a dude cutting off his fingers to where he had the perma-shocker… or the chaka, actually. He cut off three fingers. Not the shocker.

There’s a big difference there.

For sure. But Todd started the connection and because everyone in Minneapolis was so young and hungry, it worked out. Todd sent them some footage and it went from there.

I still have a letter from Alan Petersen about how he liked my footage and how I should come out to Santa Cruz. He sent it along with a sweatshirt, a beanie and a board… all with the cube on it. I was so hyped and it’s actually kinda funny because I ended up putting on all that stuff and setting up the board just so I could go skate around Minneapolis.

All cubed out.

Yeah, but at the time, I was still riding for this company called Roots. I hadn’t told him yet about the Consolidated thing. And I still feel bad about this but I end up running into Todd Brown who ran Roots with all this Consolidated gear on. He asked me if I was going to do it and here I am with all this cube stuff on. But at this point, I really just wanted to move away from Minnesota and see what could happen.


Seems like most guys from Minnesota tend to stick close to home… even Steve came back home to form that empire of his.

Yeah, it was more about being something that needed to be done. Minnesota has a winter and California doesn’t and the only thing I really want to do is skate. I feel really lucky to have grown up at the time we did because all we really wanted was to get sponsored. We didn’t think of it in terms of money and magazine covers and all that shit. We just wanted free product and for people to like us.

I really don’t even know what the fuck we were thinking back then. We just wanted to skate and that’s what we did. We skated our nuts off everywhere we went. It was awesome.

What was it like riding for the always-political Consolidated? It must’ve been nice to have your whole crew on there like that…

Meeting those guys, they were all super rad. It was around the time when Jason Jessee was getting ready to leave but he still had his weird office in the back. And it was so cool to have Alan hanging out with us.

We were never forced to take a stance on any of their politics. We were all just so caught up in skateboarding and having fun with this company from California that we all thought was so cool. And they are. They made all the boards right there and we were allowed to stay upstairs if we wanted to. They treated us all super rad and I appreciate everything that they did for me.


So how did Stereo come about? I imagine that had a large part to do with your Los Angeles migration as I know you were NorCal dude for a minute there…

Yeah, I was living around Santa Cruz and the Bay Area for a brief stint.

How it went was Nesser and I were sitting in Eddie’s CafĂ© in San Francisco… you know, where Jim and Tommy shot those Real ads where they’re waitresses. Well, Chris and Jason just happened to be in there having a meeting. I’d already met Chris a few times already so when we were done eating, I went over to their table to say hello. I’d never met Jason before and was obviously a little starstruck. But we talked for a bit… I remember telling Jason how I always loved his backtail to backtail on those planters in A Visual Sound, which he told me was close by on Market Street.

But we all went skating around and I was wearing these super-busted Globe shoes that had this huge fucking hole in them. Chris had been working for Osiris and was gonna send me some shoes because he was afraid that I was about to rip my toe off. That’s really how we started connecting. And I guess when Ali Boulala was on Osiris, he’d always talk about how he was going to go on all these different trips and then pull out at the last minute, leaving them with extra ticket so I just became that dude always tagging along. Chris and I became tighter through that and I ended up being lucky enough to get the call when he and Jason decided to start Stereo back up again.

I was so excited. Not to say anything bad about Consolidated because they did do so much for me and are awesome dudes but I’ve always identified with Stereo. Just the aesthetic and the whole deal with me being the art fag that I am… I mean, come on! It was a dream come true. I felt like I won the lottery.

I’d just gone on that Are You Alright? Transworld trip and just started hanging out with Chris in LA. Benny flew out, back when he was just a young kid riding for Clown skateboards. We met up with Jason to figure everything out and Stereo was officially on. It just felt right to move down to LA after that as that’s where everything was happening. It was all pretty organic.

I never really thought of myself living in LA but it’s been good. It’s sunny everyday and there’s a ton of skatespots. Plus, you just get a grittiness here you don't get in other cities. 8 years later, I’m still here. It’s not my favorite city in the world but I like a lot of things about it and have a pretty good crew around which makes it survivable.

Do you still have that warehouse pad with the mini-ramp? Definitely a pretty sick set-up.

No. It’s still around but I don’t live there anymore. I moved out 3 or 4 years ago.The ramp is still there but I don’t think people live there anymore. It’s more of a studio space now. But that was a really cool time.


Does owning an indoor ramp as a pro have the same pitfalls as it does for everybody else… just with a higher-status of people bugging the shit out of you?

It’s basically the same but I honestly never felt bugged that much. We didn’t really get a lot of people coming over and we rarely turned anyone away. Had the ramp been somewhere else that actually had seasons, it might’ve been a different story. Not everybody wants to come skate an indoor ramp when its sunny everyday. But it was a good place to facilitate 20 dudes if they wanted to roll in and skate for an hour or so. I didn’t give a shit. Let’s do it.

But a lot of really fucking rad people came by, too. Just randomly one night, it would be a session with Brian Lotti, the Nuge and Kenny Anderson right there in my living room.

Insane.

Yeah, and then Kenny would probably come back around by himself to get in a little session the next day, too. There were definitely some epic sessions in that place, for sure. We had the kegerator bar right there, too, just wide open at all times.

That was just a cool time and I’m glad I had that but I didn’t want to live in a warehouse for the rest of my life. Granted, it was dude paradise but I just needed to move on. I didn’t have a kitchen or anything. But I am super thankful that for having that place when I did.


You talked earlier about the impact Stereo had on you in your younger days, was it daunting to start something up again that had such a romanticized legacy? Those are some huge shoes to fill… especially for you coming in as a new pro.

That’s a good question. All I can say is that I’m never going to add up to Ethan Fowler’s part in A Visual Sound. I knew that a long time ago. 

Those guys had a different energy going into the new Stereo and it’s apples and oranges comparing that to today’s scene. I just try my best and that’s really all I can do. I definitely know what you’re saying but I can’t let myself lose sleep over it. I’d drive myself crazy. That was a totally different time.

I know you’ve seen a fair share of your artwork making it on to the bottom of boards. Is Stereo pretty open to fielding your ideas? Because a lot of companies don’t seem to be nowadays, but then again, not a lot of skaters are doing their own graphics for some reason… which I can’t help but feel is kinda weird.

Yeah, but skaters are lazy. A lot of skaters have the best ideas in the world but the actual follow-through with execution isn’t up to par. Plus, not every company has Marc McKee working for them so sometimes the ideas don’t come through very well either. We’ve been lucky to have always had an awesome art department with dudes that are open to my ideas and input. Obviously not every board that comes out is my idea but the ideas that I do have, they’re totally cool with it.

Actually, I feel like I need to do more soon. There has been a lapse as of late but I’ve started getting into making my own woodburn graphics recently. That’s my new outlet. The problem is what I like doesn’t seem to sell which I’m afraid makes my doing graphics feel kinda selfish. But I love trying to make stuff while I’m sitting around… probably hurt.


Is making your own graphics something you’ve always pictured yourself doing? Were you at all influenced by that classic generation of skaters that did their own graphics or does this come from somewhere else?

Oh, definitely. Neil Blender, Ed Templeton and Gonz are huge influences. They paved that awesomest way to be a skater ever. Just skate, do your art, be yourself and not worry what anybody else thinks. They hooked me up with the idea that you could have your art be an extension of yourself.

So the million dollar question: will there ever be a full-length Stereo video? I mean… how long has this thing been in the works? You gotta be sitting on 3 hours of footage at this point. You gotta be on some Marc Johnson shit by now, right?

Oh god, please don’t say that. 

Actually, my problem is that I keep on filming the same tricks. So if you want a backside flip, I have 17 to choose from.

But you know what, man… all I can say is that it’s coming. We’re not going to talk about when anymore. We’re just gonna stay out there and keep filming. We just got a new filmer and I feel the ball rolling again. I know it’s been a long time. I feel like we owe the collective skateboard industry a video at this point. Its definitely in the works and yes, I’m am sitting on 23 hours of mediocre footage with no enders.


Double Flip or Kickflip Melon?

(laughs) I just got done telling Nesser that I was retiring both of those. Only for demos… though you will probably see a few in the video.

You realize you’re one of the very few people that get away with either of those tricks, right? Consider yourself lucky because people love to bitch about those two.

People just love to bitch. It’s retarded. Most of those people have never really done a real kickflip melon. That trick feels fucking good if you do it right. I started skating in 1989, making just the crustiest launch ramps to go off of. I remember one time doing a kickflip mute almost by accident and landed it super Frankie Hill-sketch style just to see what my friends thought and I was hooked on it from there on out.

I love flipping and grabbing my board (laughs).

Just kidding, man. I don’t know. I just don’t care what other people think. I’m gonna do what I want to do. Yeah, doubleflips are kinda crusty but c’mon! Kerry Getz!?! I don’t do them as good as him… and actually, I haven’t done one in a long time but it’s still an awesome trick. But hey, if we’re playing a game of skate and you’re down to your last letter, I’ll probably go fakie dubs on your ass.


Same thing has to go with Osiris, I’m sure. How over were you getting shit about the D3 during your time there?

Yeah, again, I just don’t give a shit. I got to make good money and travel the world for a couple years there.

…But then they just went ahead and kicked me off for no good reason.

That’s weird.

Yeah, but at the end of the day if Osiris is good enough for Jerry and Rattray, I’m nowhere near as cool as those guys. If you want to put me on a team and travel around, I’m fucking down.

It’s just a company. I always think that it’s hilarious that people get so tripped-up on sponsors and what’s “cool” and all that. We’re all just skating. You want to get free stuff, right? You don’t want to get some shitty job, do you? Well, here you go. Let’s not pretend were super cool because we’re not. None of us are.


Well said. So you’ve always gotten rad photo coverage and while your video parts have been sick as well, they’ve always been part of these special projects… tour videos, magazine videos, Brian Lotti acting videos… hardly ever just a brass tacks full-on skate part, ya know?

Yeah, that’s just how it worked out over the years. I’m a go with the flow kinda guy. But I still want that video part and I feel like I’m gonna have it here shortly. I’m getting older now but with that comes a clearer view of what looks good and how to go get the tricks you want. Getting a good trick on film is still the most satisfying feeling in the world. Nothing can replace it.

And it’s not like I don’t say “no” often to projects because I do. But it really has been a random experience. Take Are You Alright?, for example. That was one of the greatest trips of my life. Just from having everything be so normal to all of a sudden being friends with Pat Duffy while Danny Way’s giving me songs off his computer for my new iPod. I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited just to be in this RV and travel around to different skateparks, skating everyday with the raddest crew.

But yes, my timing has not been good for filming an epic video part. I remember talking to Jason Hernandez right before we filmed that Transworld part about how I was pro and I hadn’t even really had a part yet. I had a 411 part but that was about it. I felt that I needed to do something and that’s how that whole Let's Do This part came out about, which was cool. I wish that I’d had more time to film but I think it came out alright. I got hurt at the end of it. I tried so hard for that year but if you’re jumping off crazy shit all day, you’re probably gonna be a little sore the next day. So it is tough to do all that in a year… at least for me.

Such a rad part. With Jethro Tull, too! What else are you currently working on? I know you and Duffy just got on the new Orion campaign not too long ago.

Yeah, I just put out a few things here and there for Orion and such but right now, my focus is entirely back on this Stereo part and getting all of my tricks in one place. I’ve never been very organized with video stuff. I’m always out filming with these random people. I’ll hear things like Heath taking the tape from the filmer right there and giving them money on the spot. Taking it back to his house to edit that night... I wish I was more like that. Obviously my tricks aren’t as cool as Heath’s but I’ve always been so scattered. Different filmers coming and going. It’s only now that I’m starting to get it all in one place.


Can’t wait to see it all pieced together. So with your first graphic being those bottle caps in addition to my being totally wasted the first time I met you… as we wrap this up, what is your current favorite beer?

Oh man, that’s tough. Let me see…I know I have the bottle cap in my backpack right now. Yeah, it’s from Belgium. The beer is called Brasserie D'Achouffe. So amazing. It changes a lot but that’s my current favorite.

I’ll have to give that a go. Alright Clint, that’s all I have. Anything you’d like to add to this thing?

Man, I’m just happy to be alive at this moment in time. Thanks to everyone that’s lets me stay on their couch and travel through their lives. I love you all.

special thanks: steve nesser, chris pastras, mike munzenrider, rob sissi, stereo, send help, familia and clint for taking the time.


and look for the revamped clintscorner.net in the next week or so.

the chrome ball incident will return on monday.

happy birthday, murray.

13 comments:

Paul said...

What a style machine he is! It must feel so great to do backside 360`s like he does them!

The Chez said...

"You don’t want to get some shitty job, do you? Well, here you go. Let’s not pretend were super cool because we’re not. None of us are." <-- This made my day. This guy just jumped up on the rankings.

I agree with his beer selection as well. It's pretty top notch. That's definitely my favorite Belgian.

Great interview Chops!

Anonymous said...

SSSTTTTTYYYYYLLLLLLEEEEEEE

platinumseagulls said...

Here are a couple of Clint parts that are worth checking out: His "Midopoly" part from 1999, then his part from the 2001 Fobia video, "Joy and Pain".

Keith said...

No Shaun White/Stride commercial question? Come on! lol

I know very little about this guy. I didn't even know he rode for Osiris or he was on Stereo 2.0 since the inception. I like that Let's do This part.

BELGIUM said...

good interview once again, killing it with these!

And fckn right on the la chouffe beer haha.

cheers from Belgium

Anonymous said...

best interviewer in the game.
thanks, choppers.

Anonymous said...

Great interview, great pro. Stereo always has been and always will be the best.

Snowdingo Aus said...

Nice posting "skateboards " .. This is the first time I have come across your-site. Post info, I’ll be back soon. Thanks!

Jeff Thorburn said...

Great interview, Chops. I always enjoy these. Clint is top notch, great flow.

The Chez said...

Happy birthday, Murray.

Souvik ghosh said...

Thanks for sharing. I hope more and more people have experience like yours trusting themselves, and the growing numbers of those stories can help us all learn more how to effectively regain our health and sense of well being over the long term.
Best Of Tricks

Croupier said...

Clint is straight boss.