WORDS: GEORGIA RAWSON | PHOTOS: APOLLINE CORNUET
Skateboarding. It’s all about the balance. If you put too much weight on the back you’re gonna tip your board backwards. Too much weight on the front and you’re gonna be eating dirt.
In many ways the act of pushing wood, and it’s importance of balance and weight distribution can become all too comparable to the way in which the hardcore golden trio, Trapped Under Ice, Turnstile and Angel Du$t all balance themselves, both creatively and physically. And while much like the way in which you can list the similarity and differences between the bands in the same way you can make comparisons between Steve Caballero and Tony Alva, it seems that the sport itself has come with a sense of unity for the punk musicians.
“Skateboarding is so not one dimensional culturally, there’s so many different types of people. That’s what excited me about punk as a kid going to the shows and seeing all the different kind of weirdos and freaks.” Reflects Angel Du$t vocalist, Justice Tripp. “I think that skateboarding is like a unifying theme to all these different cultures, and I think that’s the spirit of punk rock music too.”
“Skateboarding is so not one dimensional culturally, there’s so many different types of people.
“Skateboarding is so not one dimensional culturally, there’s so many different types of people.”In 2017 Baltimore born skateboarder Myles Willard sets about taking on some of the most destructive spots across the band’s hometown of Baltimore. Accompanying the classic Thrasher video is the energy driven soundtrack of Turnstile. Whilst the recent video series and the revolution of Youtube may be a far cry from the once flat graphics of early 2000s Tony Hawk Pro Skater, the crossover of punk and the skateworld seems to echo through Justice’s own journey of musical self discovery. “Skateboarding is so important to who I am as a person and crafting me. Everything I love about music came from skateboarding videos!” Remembers Tripp. And it seems that the hard undertones of these carefully selected soundtracks did more than just make Tripp take up the sport itself. “I remember hearing Rancid in skate videos, and all the hip hop artists I love I found through skateboarding videos and shit or at the skate shop somebody would be playing something. Hearing Rancid on a skateboarding video is what drew me to punk music, or maybe even pick up a guitar at some point.”
With the wake of the internet in the more recent decades, like all subcultures skateboarding and punk have been using their global communities and union to highlight the importance of inclusion, and with it standing up against the social injustices that have always surrounded male dominant scenes and interests. For example take California punk outfit, SWMRS, of whom’s recent video for ‘Trashbag Baby’ followed Cher Strauberry, a transgender and LGBTQ icon amongst the skate scene. The modern day sense of openness and diversity can be seen at any of Tripp’s shows, as musicians, creatives, and fans from all backgrounds gather at what seems to be a momentarily safe space. “I think there should be more of that (unity) in the hardcore scene. That’s not a criticism in the sense that it doesn’t exist in the hardcore scene right now.” Pauses Justice before being quick to comment, “but we could always use more of that. We could use more diversity everywhere in the world.”
“he’s probably not the most efficient skateboarder, but he’ll go real fast through traffic and scare the shit out of me on a skateboard!”
But whilst Tripp and his fellow band members continue to embrace the spirit of inclusivity, beautifully orchestrated chaos and rebellion that unites both their interests, Tripp is also quick to add that at the heart of their antics it’s still just as youthful, with or without getting onto the board itself these days. “We all skated at some point. I’ve been the furthest from skating in the last couple of years, because I guess I just got focused on music stuff and weight lifting. But Brendan, Pat and Jeff, they all skate a good bit. And Ben…he’s probably not the most efficient skateboarder, but he’ll go real fast through traffic and scare the shit out of me on a skateboard!”
Pretty Buff is released March 15th via Roadrunner Records.