Ant, let’s jump right in — why does the world need an online video from Austin, Texas?
There are two reasons that stand out to me. The first reason is a little more relevant to blading in general: we actually have young kids in our blade scene killing it and on the rise. Mason, Andrew, and TK (Timona Kasue) are all under the age of 20 and they’ve all got a uniqueness about them that people like. Basically, everybody knows who Mason is, Andrew has obviously been on the rise the last six months or so, and while TK isn’t well known, his blading style is undeniably sick and people WILL take notice soon. Not a lot of blade scenes have young kids, especially young kids that are so good and could potentially become big names in the future. Here in Austin we kinda focus on those kids because we know they’re our future and that kinda leads me into the second reason…
Austin is a TIGHT blade scene, and I don’t mean “shit’s tight dawg,” I mean, we’re family. We do what we can to help these kids get to the highest level they can, and we all help each other out anyway we can. We have the weekly night skate and Sunday box sessions where everybody comes to chill out and learn some new tricks, but our scene stretches beyond just skating. We actually hang out together. Whether everybody wants to go swimming, have a bbq, play disc golf, or just kick it in Frank’s garage and talk, we’re constantly around each other.
What does the name mean anyway. What is a “Waterloo”?
Waterloo was the original name of Austin. After Texas gained its independence from Mexico, the area was chosen to be the capital and the name was changed. Micah is responsible for the name idea and I loved it.
Who all got dirty for you to make your latest masterpiece?
Waterloo features Mick Casals, Mason Richard, Timona Kasue, and Andrew Broom. Anytime I blade these guys are involved, and they’re at the core of our scene. So I wanted to focus on my scene for once and not travel all around Texas to film different guys. People always notice how much talent Texas has to offer but it’s easy to underestimate the size of Texas, and traveling all around this state filming for different sections can really take its toll. It just creates a lot of stress.
Any stand out moments from filming that we should know about; either good or bad?
Filming with the crew was pretty much always fun, but the Dallas trips and partying at Keaton’s was the shit… and the Houston trips and bombing parking garages late night were the shit as well. The bad was always the same thing… too much drinking the night before and not being able to get shit done the next day because nobody wanted to wake up.
How does “Waterloo” differ (if it does) from previous videos you’ve released?
In all my videos I’m filming my good friends, so in that aspect it’s no different. But I suppose the one thing I want to get out of this video is for it to be sort of a kickstarter for these guys. Unless you live in Texas, you don’t know who Mick Casals is. This will be Mick’s first section and he’s entirely different from the other kids, so it’s a cool change of pace. The phrase “it’s not what you do, but how you do it” describes Mick perfectly. Mason is already well known but I’ve had people tell me this is his best part yet (even though he got hurt and had to finish filming early). His blading is just so mature now and he’s putting more thought into everything he’s doing. Mason is the shit, he’s truly one of the best young kids on the blades and off. Andrew and TK both had sections in my friend Foogie’s (Austin Bartels) video Tainted Youth, but I’m hoping these will be their breakout sections, if you will. Since Andrew got picked up by Adapt he’s been everywhere it seems so he really came hard for this section.
How many have you made anyway, officially?
Officially, this will be my ninth. Waterloo, Dag Days, and Swag are/were all DVD releases, Concealed Broadcast and Names were VHS, and I made a series of four VCR-to-VCR videos, the “Texas Outlaws” series. “Texas Outlaws” was way back when it was all about fun, we weren’t trying to “edit” — we just wanted to put our clips together and make it fun. A few of those “Texas Outlaws” videos I made with Jay Geurink. Check out his recent edit “So Long, Rodeo” and his other work as well, it’s really good.
“Dag Days” was a DVD and “Waterloo” is a limited release DVD and possible pay-per-download — is that you closing the door on the DVD format?
I’ll forever stand by “having a physical copy is better,” in regards to videos or magazines, but for now I’m not even thinking about the next video. This could very well be my last.
What are you usually thinking about when filming a clip?
“He can probably do that better.”
What equipment are you filming with?
I filmed primarily with a Sony EX1, and I have a Canon t3i mostly for fisheye shots or long lens static shots.
How about editing, what is your process like?
The process is always the same. I make a “rough draft,” get all my audio levels how I want them, and then color. I usually know within 5-6 clips whether or not I think the song is going to work.
Is there a blade video that’s been made that you use as inspiration? How does it inspire you?
Valo4Life is probably my favorite video ever. I can pop it in and watch it over and over. The story behind it, the traveling, the way it’s filmed and edited. Ivan is the best in the game, no doubt. Dom West, Richie Eisler, and Bmo always do it for me as well.
Where else do you draw inspiration from?
Usually like indie music videos, or some TV shows, have small things that catch my eye. For instance if you watch Californication, the quick city flashes between scenes, I love that.
Talk about the music in the flick — what can we expect?
Ha ha… a mixture of really old and pretty new. Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Ray Charles, David Bowie, Allah-Las, and Opposum. So basically, a lot of hip hop.
Any thoughts on how Austin’s blading scene has grown the way it has?
It’s really crazy. Not long ago it was usually just Mason and I blading on the weekends, now everybody is coming out. Frank Stoner, Jan Welch, and Micah all re-appeared as big presences in the scene and a lot of people started moving here. Cody Sanders was the first domino, I have to give him a lot of credit. Whether or not he was the reason all these guys started moving here/coming out, he truly brought our scene close and it’s stayed the same even after he left.
Now that you’re done with this project, what’s next?
Andrew needs an Adapt edit soon, Keaton and I talked about doing an edit together, same with JGlow, and I will never stop bothering Micah about his comeback edit.
Best thing about blading in Austin?
Just how down everybody is down for one another. If we’re at a spot where one guy is trying to get the clip, everybody is there encouraging them — they’re not waiting in the car or off at another spot saying “Hit me up when you’re done.” Even if it comes to me trying to get a trick that Mason can do 360 both ways, he’ll still be right there filming me, holding it down.
Our spots are getting a little played out. We need to go spot hunting to freshen it up. Also, too much partying.
Anyone else’s balls need to be busted before we wrap this up?
Yeah — Fritz Peitzner, Josh Glowicki, Troy Maimone, and Fredrik Anderson all claim they are moving here soon. Y’all ain’t tombat it.
Shout outs or special thanks?
Big thanks to you JE for always holding Texas down. Big thanks to everybody that gave us a place to stay while on the road — Will, JFerg, Greg, Keaton. Thanks to Greg for always coming out and shooting photos. When you look back at something like this, photos are always great for memories so it’s cool that we had one of the best holding it down. Thanks to all my Texas friends and thanks to everybody in the Austin scene for making it what it is. Everybody is unique and brings something different to the table. I’ll try to get everybody in here… Andrew, Mick, Mason, TK, Cody (even though you gone!), Ross, Rob Z, Jay, Jan, Frank, Gogo, Ryan Rasmussen (best dood), Jarrod Banning, Jarrod McBay, Micah, Dench, Scott, Heath, Eddie, Sembera, and I know I am forgetting some people but y’all too…
Photos by Greg King