Similar to David Carr and Dee Snider, Baker Boys man Andrew Reynolds’ unlikely journey over the past decade saw him emerge from the den of substance-saturated iniquity to ultimately assume the mantle of thoughtful elder statesman. In an intriguing interview with Jenkem the other day, Reynolds’ comments suggest some connection between tunnel-visioned fucked-upness and the fog of war that can descend when grappling with a trick or line, two pursuits that for some may serve as means to basically the same end:
Some skaters have told me that when they try really difficult and scary tricks they black out in between tries. Has that ever happened to you before?
Definitely, it’s something that I’ve talked to Jim Greco about. The blackout is what you’re searching for constantly from trying a trick. Even when I was really young I noticed it because I would skate a lot of contests and stuff in Florida and people afterwards would say like, “Oh that was cool they were playing Zeppelin,” or whatever and I would just be like, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” For me it was just silence the whole time I skated. With Tampa Pro and stuff, it’s just total focus and silence. If I’m able to tell what song was playing at a contest or demo afterward, that’s how I know I didn’t really want to be there.
Besides not hearing the music, is there actually any blackout throughout the run or trick?
I mean, you know what you’re doing… I think it’s the reason people pay money to learn how to meditate and do yoga to quiet their mind, you know? It’s like the most extreme form of that. I think that’s why when skaters don’t skate for a couple weeks are like, “Ahh, I gotta get out and do something!” because you’re so used to that feeling and escape your whole life. You need it.
Does Wes Kremer, a made man several times over at this point who seems never to particularly stress or struggle over what for others would present nigh-impossible feats, exist in a semi-permanent such zone? You wonder, observing his incredible ‘Crusty by Nature’ part and his generally footloose and fancy-free persona, whether some coitus-interruptus moment mid-trick left him in a sort of suspended haze, in a fashion such as the hypnotist heart attack that sent Peter Gibbons meandering toward middle management material in a matter of days. Neither the switch bigspin kickflip, the nollie flip backside into the burly bank, nor probably the best handrail darkslide captured to date on film particularly seems to faze Wes Kremer. The brief but hair-raising wobble out of the switch k-grind during the run through Tom Penny’s schoolhall basically sums it up.
Reynolds speaks of industry tutelage at the knee of one Tony Hawk, that demo god and video-game impresario, but it is worth pondering whether Wes Kremer developed his own focusing methods under a very different school. A self-professed Osiris disciple during “the Storm” heyday, Wes Kremer tells Thrasher of a potentially formative experience in which he beheld the rituals of another lord of So-Cal school hallways, Josh Kasper*:
Did you ever run the D3s?
Oh, absolutely. For sure. Marius moved into the same housing complex as Tony Magnusson, one
of the main dudes at Osiris. Once he moved over there and started kicking it with T-Mag and shit, getting shoes—after that we were hyped on Osiris. And it was pretty much an SD company, so we’d always see the dudes around. I remember seeing T-Bone, Smolik, Kasper. Holy shit, dude, I skated with Kasper one time back in the day. It was insane. We roll up to this triple set, right. I had no idea he was going on the session. I’m looking at it and all of a sudden I see this convertible BMW pull up. I’m like, “Who’s that?” And he pulls right up to the spot, right next to the stairs—bumpin’ this Eminem track. I wish I could say it was that 8 Mile song, but it was some other inspirational one. He gets his board out and he’s like, “Hey, hey, nice to meet you. I’m Josh.” And then out of nowhere—he didn’t even fuckin’ ollie the thing—he starts hucking front threes. He sticks it, dude. Literally sticks a frontside 270 and slams. And after the Eminem song ended, one of the songs from The Storm came on. Like, the craziest, most-techno song in the video. It’s just blasting out of the convertible while Kasper is getting served up, like, literally every try. Unfortunately, at the end of the day he didn’t get it. But I came back with an amazing Kasper encounter.
*A part that should get some kind of recognition solely for using what sounds like four different songs in less than three minutes