Shr3d Crust Sunset Park Skate Rock

SHR3D CRUST INTERVIEWS BY BIG TIM KLEMONSKY INTRODUCTION BY CHET CHILDRESS

SHR3D CRUST was born in the neighborhood of Sunset Park in Wilmington, N.C. by a group of skateboarders that all have the passion of skateboarding and good old punk rock music. Everyone in the band has been rolling around skateboarding a large chunk of their life. They all have jobs being teachers, painters, doing construction and even selling skateboards at a local distributor called Eastern Skateboard Supply. The band consists of characters like Cutty, Matty, Talba, Browny and Zach Box. I think, at times, they all want to head-butt each other because they are all brothers from different mothers. SHR3D CRUST has helped build a radical skate scene and noise in the neighborhood and seem to keep people fired up and stoked. Inspired by the past sounds of skate rock and the bark of wheels grinding the earth, SHR3D CRUST lays down some awesome jams. They are radical to watch play or hear when you’re about to roll in. In the crust, we trust. Long live the crust forever. Jah bless the crust. SHR3D CRUST… Sunset Park Skate Rock…

ZACH LIEN TAIL OVER SUNEE. PHOTO © MATT MILLER

ZACH BOX

What’s your handle?

My name is Zachary, but sometimes I go by Zach Box or ZBox or Big Hoss. Actually, no one calls me Big Hoss.

What instrument do you play in SHR3D CRUST?

I play the synthesizer. It’s gold and shorter than a normal keyboard and louder and better and more customizable. There aren’t as many black and white buttons, but there are more knobs to turn to synthesize the sound waves. It’s sick.

What got you playing the synthesizer? Is it because you’re into New Wave?

I’ve always been into New Wave. I’m into so many New Wave bands that I can’t even name them all. My parents were children of the ‘80s. 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up all around North Carolina. We bounced around a little bit because of my dad’s job, but we settled right outside of Wilmington in the summer between when I was in seventh and eighth grade.

What did your dad do for a living?

He was a wildlife enforcement officer. If you were out deer hunting or shooting bears with poison, he would take you to jail. 

If you were robbing picnic bags like Yogi the Bear, he’d handle that?

Well, Yogi Bear was cool because that’s his land, his natural habitat. Humans are the intruders. 

You told me that your dad was a surfer, so you grew up surfing with your dad?

Yeah. He was a surfer and he grew up in Havelock, NC. His dad was in the military, so he lived in Hawaii and California. We had to move around a lot because of his job. When we got back to North Carolina, we all started surfing together a bunch. 

Was your dad a longboarder?

My dad was a radical short boarder. 

Crackin’ off the lip! 

Crackin’ off the lip and throwing spray. Rattitude!

Sick! Where did you surf growing up?

I learned to surf in Atlantic Beach. There was this hotel called the Sheraton that had a pier and we’d go there every day during the summertime. 

They’ve got a sick bowl that Science Fair and those guys built up there in Atlantic Beach. Have you gotten to skate that yet?

Yeah. I’ve skated it a few times. 

“Wilmington is awesome. The Space is good. The Carolina Beach park rules when the suns out. Our house can be fun from time to time. The Crater is sick. Tim used to have a ramp that was gold. It just depends. We’re really fortunate to have as many options as we do.”

Cool. When did you move to Wilmington?

It was before 9/11 in 2000. I was not living in Wilmington proper. It was Rocky Point. I want that to be reflected for the record. 

[Laughs] Okay. You got it. Did you start skating before you moved to Wilmington? 

It was right before. My little brother got a board and we’d go to my grandparents’ house because they had a driveway and we lived out in the sticks. My Nana would take us to a hill in this neighborhood so we could skate and she would watch out for cars while we got radical. 

She would flag through some traffic to try to get rid of you? [Laughs]

Nah. [Laughs] She was actually pretty stoked on us, so she kept the cars stopped while we skated. She was a team player.

Rad. When did you start hitting the parks here in Wilmington?

Right after we moved here, there was this place called Eastwood, which was the first legit skatepark I ever skated. It was like a bike park, so I took my Mongoose bike and Tony Hawk skateboard because if I wasn’t feeling the skateboard, I was going to tail whip something. We went there a few times and then we went to Vineyard, which was a church skatepark in town. It had 5-foot, 4-foot and 3-foot mini ramps that bowled around and had an extension with a cross on it. It had a spine and a weird little mini ramps that weren’t mini ramps. One side of the mini ramp was transition and the other side was a roll in. 

Did you ever tail tap across?

I wasn’t skilled enough to tail tap across at that time, so I would just look at it weird. Apparently, Mike V dropped in on the cross and flew over the barbed wire fence and broke both of his arms. That’s what the kids were saying. 

Wow. [Laughs] When did you come to Sunset Park and skate here?

It was right after high school, in college. I met Matty at the Skate Barn when there was a big      coping reveal. Jimmy had taken all the old pool block out. It was all busted up, so he poured one big piece. Real quick, I would like to thank Jimmy Ellington for keeping the Skate Barn open all of these years. The Barn is a special place. Anyway, Jimmy poured some fresh coping and everyone went out there to skate and Matty was there and he said, “Come skate The Crater this week.” And I did. 

Which Crater was that?

It was the old wooden Crater with holes in it. 

What was the shape of that?

It was like a rectangle. One side was all over vert and one side was 7 or 8 feet. It extended up to that. The smaller end was like five feet. It was kind of vertical with pool coping and brick. It was sick. 

Who was the crew skating that then? 

Some of the major dudes back then would have been Matty, BJ, Clint, Tim, Christian with the braids, Ross and Stacy, and Gerdude; it was his house. 

When did they pour the kidney at the Crater?

That would have been two or three years later. They tore that wooden bowl down because it was all rotted. It got to the point where there were all of these road signs patching the holes, so they tore that thing down and set it on fire. Then they had some dudes dig a hole and pour concrete. 

Then it was on. How many days were you skating there a week?

We were skating there at least every Wednesday and every weekend all weekend for a while. 

SHR3D CRUST. PHOTO © GRIFFIN FAULKNER

When did you start playing with SHR3D CRUST?

Three years ago. We had the piano at our house and I kinda wanted to learn to play that, so I learned to play that one Beethoven song over and over again. I was goofing with the dudes because I had a keyboard and I said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if I came over and I was in SHR3D CRUST?” They were like, “Yeah. That would be funny.” Then one night I did and I’ve been going over there every week to play since then. It’s been super fun. 

Have there been any memorable shows that you recall that were pretty wild?

Our last few shows at Reggie’s were fun. People were throwing shit up on stage. We went up north and played the 5.9 party and that was definitely an experience. Other than that, they’re all fun.

Now you’re married and your wife’s name is?

Her name is Sunne Rainy. That’s her real name.

She rips.

No doubt. 

You guys have been skating together for how long?

It’s been over 10 years now. She is number one. She rips. She’s way better than me. She has better style for sure. It’s been great. We skate a lot of places together all across America. 

Where did you go on your last road trip?

Our last road trip was from North Carolina to Cleveland, Ohio and then we went to Michigan and across to Montana. We did a big X through Idaho and Washington and Oregon and then back home. It was sick. The Oregon coast is awesome.

Sick. Sunne just charged the whole way? 

Yeah. She drinks and refuses to drive, but that’s okay because I don’t mind driving. It’s awesome. 

Can she ollie you?

Top to bottom, yeah. She’s got a six-foot ollie. I’d like that to be reflected on the record. She can ollie six feet from flat ground over the top of my head. 

You have a bowl, like a concrete capsule in your yard. Do you want to describe it?

Yeah. It’s about three feet tall on one end and it’s got a rounded hip. It escalates up to about five feet in the good corner. The next corner is kind of a bank wall. It has a doorway and it’s got all pool coping. It’s got a deathbox that’s not really a deathbox. You can roll through it. It’s got some graffiti and there’s some important messages in the graffiti like, “Please gossip” because skateboarding is all       gossip. And “Vert is dead. It’s still dead.”

Who are some of the hands that made that thing?

Well, you came out from the Northeast to do it on the major pour day. Mainly, it was me and Matty MacNeil, the bass player. We were just going to build some silly driveway obstacles, and then Matty was like, “Just make it a bowl.” So we did. We did all the grunt work and, when it came time to actually make it functional, so many people came through town to help out. Matty really fired it up and was over here just about every day after work. There was Chris and Michelle, they were huge. Their buddy, Quentin, had a pump. I think Matty probably called and asked Sam one million questions, so thanks Sam. Fucking Roberge. Ryan Ford. Chet. Beach League. Willis. Iggy. Young Will. Jimmy donated coping. Joe Guy donated more coping. Vakos. I know I’m forgetting people, but I wish I weren’t.

I remember Iggy had broken Matty’s sink off the wall because he was hungover and leaned on it or something. So I was fixing the plumbing and then someone said, “The truck is coming!” I was putting the sink back together and then I had to run over and help with the pour. It was a blast! 

Yes. [Laughs]

Then you knocked up your wife?

Actually, that was during Hurricane Florence.

So you and your buddy, Tim Jarman, had babies around the same time. I go surfing and skating with you guys and you guys will be trading off babysitting on the beach and trading waves. 

Well, we’re not babysitting on the beach, dude. Our kids are going to be in the line up. The spot is about to get crowded.

What is your favorite thing to skate here in Wilmington?

Oh, man, Wilmington is awesome. The Space is good. The Carolina Beach park rules when the sun is out. Our house can be fun from time to time. The Crater is sick. Tim used to have a ramp that was gold. It just depends. We’re really fortunate to have as many options as we do. 

Any shout outs you want to give?

Shout out to all of the dudes in the band, my wife, my mom and dad, my Nana, Josh Flynn, Kenny Mays, my little brother, Roberge, Tomasz and Jarman. I want to shout out everyone. Thank you. 

CLINT. PHOTO © SHRED CRUST

CLINT CHILDRESS 

How ya doing, Clint?

I’m doing okay. 

What do you play in the band?

I play guitar. 

Where did you grow up?

I’ve been in Wilmington since I was 11 years old. 

What was it like growing up with Chet and the scene here in Wilmington?

Wilmington is a pretty cool town. There’s always been a pretty huge backyard scene and private parks. The DIY stuff taking place recently has been pretty cool too. 

Can you elaborate on the DIY stuff? 

There’s Zach’s house where he’s got a super nice little bowl. A lot of heads put in a lot of energy on that. Andy, who is an OG member of the band, has a nice bowl in his backyard. You’ve got the Space. There’s always been something that somebody has had in their backyard. Even if you go back 20 or 30 years, there was always something. There have been more ramps than I care to remember. The Ramp House was something Jim Rees put together and that was super fun and inspirational. You have the Skate Barn. There are lots of people that built stuff and contributed to things. There was Greenfield Grind too. There is a lot of energy with people applying it to stuff and getting stuff done. 

Tell me about some of the people you grew up with and the C.O.L.D. crew. What does that stand for and who was in that? 

This is serious stuff, Tim. You don’t just talk about the C.O.L.D. crew. Carving Over Lords of Death. Carve Or Look Dumb. Whew. I don’t know if I can talk about this. It’s pretty deep. It’s pretty heavy. Miller Heritage, Rob Scull, Bryan Johnson, Bailey Webb, Irie James, Chris McPhillips… There are a whole lot of people involved. 

How did it come to Carve Or Look Dumb? Is it because you guys actually like to ride your boards instead of playing with them?

You know, four to the floor, flow through the corner, look at your buddies. Look over your shoulder, carving. 

I want to talk about the early days of the Wilmington music scene and the clubs. What are some local punk rock bands that were influential to you as a kid?

To me, as a kid, the music scene here was awesome. There was a little brick building off Oleander Drive called Hanover Center and someone organized some pretty heavy events there, like this band called the Doldrums from Clearwater, Florida. I have never seen or heard anything like that ever. They were a heavy                 influence. There was Jim Jones & the Kool-Ade Kids from Wisconsin. They were a big influence. There was Orton’s Pool Hall, a cool bar downtown, where I saw Scream. Those are the moments when you’re young and very influence-able and those guys killed it. There was a place that everyone went to called the Mad Monk that had a huge influence. I saw Motorhead and The Ramones there. I might have paid $12 to get in. I can’t even think of all the bands that played at the Mad Monk. That was super huge and super cool. As an adult, I wish we still had stuff like that going on. The Mad Monk was great. All Tore Up played there a bunch and they were a huge local punk band. It’s sad because Charlie Maultsby who owned the place passed away and I think that has touched the entire music scene here. 

Tell me more of the Wilmington music scene. 

Well, I consider All Tore Up and From Beyond to be O.G. skate rock bands in Wilmington. It was a bunch of songs about skating and a good times at Swinson. I’d get out of school and my job at night and go hang out with those guys. We’d go skate Hills banks and take trips to Swinson. Those guys played at The Ramp House and that show was amazing. There have been so many amazing local bands like Hedgetoads, After Forever, Weedeater, ASG, Rural Swine, Stunt Doubles and The Needles. They killed and some continue killing it. 

There’s nothing like a band playing on the deck. The Loud Ones played at Taunton once and I was so stoked. What are some of the best shows you’ve played?

I always like gigs in people’s backyards. We will play at a skate event over a bar anytime. If someone is having a fundraiser, all of those things have always been super huge. Playing up at Tony’s in Pittsboro and playing the show in Richmond, when there was a skate contest going on, anything we’ve done at Iggy’s, up in that neck of the woods, the Ones, Nothing But Enemies, Nature and Big World shows were awesome. We’ve played a few shows with Dirty Fences. I would back that. 

You guys have been like the house band at Iggy’s. 

That’s a privilege. 

“It’s not always about business. It’s about people. Another thing I’ve learned is that skateboarders take care of each other. You can roll into a place and somebody will always find a place to put you on the floor and get you some food and party with you.”

You’ve worked at Eastern Skate Supply for a long time. How long has it been?

It’s been over 20 years. That’s been great. It has been an eye-opening experience. Reggie Barnes is an awesome person to work for and with. I get to work with awesome people. I talk to all kinds of people – from an old lady in Kentucky to a guy that has three or four shops. That has been a huge influence also. I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently. It’s not always about business. It’s about people. Another thing I’ve learned is that skateboarders take care of each other. You can roll into a place and somebody will always find a place to put you on the floor and get you some food and party with you. That’s been another huge part of it. 

You guys have given me the red carpet treatment since I showed up here. You’ve been very nice. Now, at work, you’ve seen hundreds of thousands of skateboards. What are some boards that have stood out to you that you’ve wanted to keep? 

The Natas 101 board, I didn’t want to touch that thing. That thing was just heavy. That’s probably the heaviest one as far as graphics. It’s always cool to see when new boards come through. It’s cool to see small brands and niche brands come up in the scene and it’s also sick to see how older brands are still keeping themselves relevant. 

Rad. Are there any places that you might want to play in the future?

I’m always down to play wherever. Speaking for myself, I have no desire to play coliseums. I like to play places that help the skateboard scene grow and turn people on to things that are cool. As long as we’re doing that and having fun, that’s all I’m really looking for. 

Well, you’ve been an influential person in Wilmington and this place has so much skateboarding going on. What are some of the earlier places that got it going? 

I was lucky as a kid to skate a lot of backyard ramps. Jim Rees gave me the opportunity to work at The Ramp House a little bit and I helped him build a vert ramp at the OG Eastern Skateboard Supply. I think that actually helped me get a job at Eastern. Everything went from The Ramp House to Jimmy’s out at The Skate Barn and that was cool. Everything has been a private venture, but then we started raising money to get the Greenfield Grind Skatepark going and that took a solid eight years. Seeing that and all it took to get it done wa  awesome. Then we started raising money to build the Crater at my buddy Andy’s house. We were all throwing mud and rock and pitching in. It’s another example. When we were building Andy’s, Reggie showed up and passed off money to help. Lots of folks pitched in. We were selling yards of concrete to make it work. Sam was running that job. Ed Peck came up with Otis from SC. Pat and the dudes came down from Richmond. It’s a sick scene and everyone pitched in and made it what it is. 

It also seems like the surf and skate scene here is united and you don’t find that too many places. It’s rad. Where would you like to see the music scene go? What bands would you like to see roll through? 

Well, I’m not really tied into the mainstream so, as long as people are not doing it for commercial        reasons completely and they’re doing it because they love it, that would be good. That’s the beautiful thing about back in the day. It wasn’t all the same old same stuff. Now, if you’re having fun and you’re learning new ways of doing things, I’ll back that. When I was thinking about this, I could say this big band and that big band or I could talk about smaller bands that are basically running the tires off of their vans and going around and doing it.

Is there anyone you want to give shout outs to?

Thanks, first of all, to my little brother, Chet, I love that dude. Reggie Barnes has been a huge                 influence. Jim Rees has been a huge influence. My buddy Jamie Rushing drove me and Chet around a bunch. Jeff Layton, was another dude that drove us around a bunch as kids. It was sick when people would scoop us up and take us skating. As far as the band, I want to give Andy Gerula a huge thanks for               providing a great place to hang and for being an awesome human being. Charlie from Monkey Knife Fight handed us some great opportunities when we were getting things going too.

Thank you, Clint. It was an honor talking to you. 

Cool. Thank you, Tim. Welcome to Wilmington. We love you and thanks for everything you do. 

Cool. 1-2-3-4!

Yes!

MIKE BROWN – FRONT PIVOT AT PLYMSIDE. PHOTO © JARROD PIMENTAL

MIKE BROWN

The infamous Mike Brown. What do you play in SHR3D CRUST?

I play the drums. 

When did you start playing drums?

I started in seventh grade. I was in the marching band until tenth grade and then all I wanted to do was skateboard. I played on and off since then, but I never played in any bands. After Andy quit the band, they asked me to play drums and it was on. 

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio. When I was in the eighth grade, we moved to the South Shore of Massachusetts, about 30 miles south of Boston. 

You started skateboarding there?

Yeah. My buddy, Jeff Farmer, skated and I had to do what my friend did. Shout out to Jeff. 

I remember first skating with you at Z.T. Maximus or the Skate Hut. Do you want to talk about the Skate Hut and Z.T.’s?

I met Tim, Matt and EJ in the summer of ‘89 at a Powell Peralta demo in Whitman, Mass. It was one of the demos where they would go around with that mini ramp and unfold it and skate it. We had heard about the Skate Hut, so Matty’s mom or my mom would drive us there. We saw Metal Man and Freddie there, and those dudes were superhuman to me at the time. I was just a little kid then. 

Then you went to Z.T. Maximus. 

That was the closest indoor park we had heard about and that was in Cambridge. The first time I went there was in ‘89. All through high school, we were skipping school and going up to Braintree and shooting the whole Redline to Alewife. It would spit you out to this field with the C Bowl and we’d skate the C Bowl before Maximus. From ‘89 to ‘99, I went to Maximus and worked there a few years. Zito was the man and he took us all in. We were one of him and he was one of us and that was that. Then Dug and Ram bought it so, if I wasn’t working there, I was there skating five days a week.

I remember seeing you at Skater Island. 

I was there quite a bit. I was staying with Jay Dog and Anon in the Fifth Ward. I was doing work there and we’d go to the Hut every day. When I moved back, Matty and I took weekly trips to the Island. That place was the best. Sid rules. Sid’s Island! 

Yeah. SHR3D CRUST has a song called “Daily Grind” and I swear you live by it because I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t see you skating. You have been sober for a while, so do you find that a daily grind is helpful to keep you focused?

Fully. I work and do my thing and we have the Space where I have the opportunity to skate every day. I have a key and I can open it up whenever I want. Skating is definitely part of my daily routine. 

I noticed that you know more tricks now than when you were younger. 

[Laughs] I’ve gotten a few more hippers and I broke my tailbone. I’m just trying to check them all off the list. 

With SHR3D CRUST, what are some of the memorable shows you’ve played?

At Frank’s bowl, we played on the deck. Bruce Juice rolled up in a semi-truck. Before we played, I slammed and broke a rib. They wrapped me up and we played. We played the last Attleboro 5.9 party and that was fun. Everyone was there. I hadn’t been back to the H.Q. in a few years, so it was rad to see everyone. Lost Bowl parties are always fun. They’re memorable. 

What’s at the Lost Bowl?

Pat has pretty much paved his whole backyard and there’s a pool with hips and a huge banked wall and a mound in the middle and a doorway. He just paved the driveway too. He had a pro contest a few years ago and that was mental. John Gardner’s boneless off the bbq into the pool was sick!

When did you move to Wilmington? 

I moved to Wilmington over 14 years ago. 

Wow. Now you’re married too. Did you ollie your wife at the wedding?

I did ollie my wife at the wedding, which was not my idea. It was supposed to be outdoors at a horse farm and we’d gone up there practicing. She was laying on this crack and I started at this tree and it was downhill, perfect speed, and I’d clack over her. Then Hurricane Joaquin hit the weekend of the wedding, so the horse farm was a bag. We were having a normal wedding and I brought my board just to do it. She said, “Do you want to do it?” I said, “I do.” On a wet plastic floor, in one shot, I landed it. I’d been practicing that trick for 28 years.

Do you think you could ollie her switch?

Maybe. We’ve done three already, so I think, this year, we’ll try a switch ollie to mix it up.

What was it like growing up with some of the SHR3D CRUST members and your Plymouth crew?

It was me, Timmy, EJ, Matty and another homie, Gregg “The Hammer” Hammerquest. Timmy had a mini ramp, so we’d go to Plymouth or we were in Boston or Providence. If someone had a backyard ramp on the South Shore or the North Shore, we’d travel to go skate there. That’s pretty much all we did was skate. 

Are there any shout outs you want to give or some bands you’d want to play with?

First, thanks to my mom and dad, and Terri and Dan at Juice for giving us this opportunity. Shout out to Zito, Dug, Ram and the Maximus crew, Water Brothers, Sid, Iggy and the Five Point Nine Death crew, BJ Tarr for getting the Space up and running, and to EJ Griffen for all the years of killing it. Shout out to Nollies Tacos, Cleveland, Boston, S.D., Gainesville, all the heads on the South Shore, the East Coast, the ocean, Andy Gerula for ruling, Gregg the Hammer, Gerard Mcluskey, Mark McDonald, Jay Bugga, all the Wilmington heads, BDP, P.E., Minor Threat, Op Ivy, Roger and Carrie, Curbs, all the skatepark crews out there killing it, all DIYs, my mother and father-in-law, Wendy and Joe, Pat Salad, and, to my wife Jen, I love you. Shout out to skateboarding and everyone else I forgot!

MATTY MACNEIL AT THE SPACE. PHOTO © GRIFFIN FAULKNER

MATTY MACNEIL

What do you play in the band, Matty?

I play bass.

How long have you been playing bass?

I have been playing bass for as long as SHR3D CRUST has been a band. 

How long have you guys been a band?

New Years Day 2010 was our first band practice. We set up a band room in Andy’s shed and started messing around. When Tim moved here from San Francisco, he had the concept of our skate rock band, SHR3D CRUST. He’d sing the lyrics and he kept talking about our band and I’d get pissed. I was like, “You keep talking about our band and we can’t even play instruments.” So we all started collecting instruments and my buddy, Ross, gave me his bass and I started playing that.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

You grew up with all of this crew?

Yeah. I met Tim in 1986. We were in Boy Scout Camp together and our last names are really close, so we got put into canoeing merit badge class together and we started talking and we both skated. After Boy Scout Camp was over, my mom brought me over to his house and he had a little quarter pipe in the driveway. We’ve been skating together ever since, and Brownie too. He’s from Marshfield, which was a couple of towns away from us. Tim and I met him at the 1989 Bones Brigade Tour at the Bike Barn in Whitman. We met there and we’ve been skating with him ever since. 

Then you moved to Colorado during the slump in skateboarding?

Well, Tim and I used to snowboard up in New Hampshire in the wintertime, and we were stoked on it. When it came time to think about college, we started looking at schools in Colorado. We found a school in Gunnison and we went there.

Did you ever skate the Gunny Love bowl?

I skated the Gunny Love Bowl with you and I watched you destroy that place. We moved to Gunnison in 1992, and the Gunny Love Bowl came around a decade later. When we moved there, there were two ramps in that same spot.

I think that was the funnest thing I ever skated. Gunnison is near what mountain?

It’s in between Monarch Ski Resort and Crested Butte, so you could get a pass to both mountains. That’s how we ended up choosing to go to school in Gunnison. Crested Butte was the one we’d go to more. I went to school for a year and a half and then I failed out of school and ended up moving to Crested Butte in ‘94. I lived there for the rest of the time I was in Colorado.

Do you remember them building the park there?

Yeah. Lenny Byrd built a bowl in his garage and then he donated that bowl to the city and the city put it into the parking lot of the ice skating rink. So many people used it that the city was stoked. The mayor was young and hyped on everyone skateboarding. He approached Lenny about building a concrete park, so Lenny Byrd and Roller Dave and a bunch of guys came up with a design and we did these fundraisers. Donny Myhre  brought his vert ramp up there from Florida and we set it up at the ski area. Chad Vogt and Brian Patch came for a demo and we raised money for the park. Our buddy, EJ, dressed up in the Crested Butte mascot uniform, which was a bear, and he was skating around. We raised money doing things like that and then the city gave us money and that park got built.

That was one of the first concrete parks that got the ball rolling in the Northeast and Northwest coasts and Colorado. 

Yeah. There were other parks in Colorado at the time, but they weren’t built by skaters and they were super flawed. Lenny didn’t want that to happen in Crested Butte. I don’t know what he did to convince the city, but they let them bring in their own crew of guys. They didn’t put it out for bid or anything. They trusted Lenny and Lenny brought in Mark from Burnside and Omer from Florida. Those guys had experience building, so they flew them in. Then it was locals like Jamie Hedrick, Matt Johannes, Tom Finn and myself. There were eight people on the crew. That was a special time because there really wasn’t anything like it. We had a bunch of ripping skaters living there and then people were traveling from all over to skate it. Every day the sessions were heated. Lenny Byrd, Donny Myhre, Dave Calhoun, Roller Dave, Wrex Cook, Tom Finn and those guys were destroying that place daily. Lots of guys like myself were hungry and learning to skate concrete round wall. I had never skated anything like it. We grew up  skating ramps. We skated vert at the Skate Hut and the Mashpee ramp and there was the big ramp at Maximus. The Skate Hut had a bowl towards the end, so I’d skated round wall, but never a concrete bowl with vert and pool coping. It really helped having that bowl and the vert ramp in the time leading up to getting the park. Six months before the park was built, the only thing we had to skate was the vert ramp. Crested Butte was tiny and there was no street skating, no spots at all. The roads were so rough you couldn’t even push around. We had that vert ramp and that was it. A bunch of us were really progressing on that ramp, skating vert every day. When the park was finished, there were a bunch of people ready for it. It opened in October 1997 and, from day one, people were killing it. By November, it was snowed in. At some point that winter, we started digging it out. Not only was it buried in snow, they blew the snow from the ice skating rink on top of it too, but we dug that thing out one part at a time. First one side of the spine, then the other, then the pockets and the decks. It was a lot of work with 10 feet of snow. We finally got it all dug out and it was on. People were ripping. Having those dudes to look up to and watching them skate really pushed us. On top of all the locals killing it, people were traveling there to skate and the sessions were heated. It was a special time in skateboarding. The crazy thing is, by 2000, a lot of us had moved. We were skateboarders who were snowboarding and that park was a reminder of that. The last year I lived there it snowed 100 inches in May. I’d finally graduated and I was over the long winter, so I moved back to Massachusetts in the fall of 1999.

I got to skate that park on a road trip with you. We had a helluva good time. You guys even picked me up at the hospital one night. Then you guys lived in the woods for a month in Colorado?

Well, that was after I had lived there. I moved back to Massachusetts in 1999 and then, in 2001, we drove out to Colorado to paint a house. We all got in a van with some ladders and equipment and drove out there. We camped out in the woods for the time that we painted the house. When we got done painting the house, it was time to go home, and me and Brownie and this guy Jeff Olson were out at a bar and we were talking about going to the Amarillo full pipes. We were all gung-ho, so I went back to the campsite and told everyone, “I’m not going back to Massachusetts. I’m staying here.” They were all pissed because they had to drive back with six people and a dog all jammed into a Jetta while I stayed in Colorado. We never did go to the full pipes, but Tim and I went from Colorado to Whistler, B.C. and skated all kinds of shit. That was the first time I skated Aumsville and Donald in Oregon, and we got to skate Burnside and the old snake run parks around Vancouver. Then I ended up back in Crested Butte living in my van. I stayed there for a few months working and skating the park when 9/11 happened. I was up in the mountains on 9/10 and stayed there for a few days camping by the river. I didn’t come back to town until 9/12 and had no idea what had happened until the next day. Tim came back to Colorado and we drove back to Mass in late October before the snow hit. That was the end of my Colorado era. I was in Mass for the next few years.   

Then it was skating 5.9 parties in Taunton. 

Yeah. When I moved back to Massachusetts, I got in touch with Herb and he brought Gerula and I to the 5.9 party in the year 2000. It wasn’t even a bowl then. It was a mini ramp with an extension. That’s when I started coming around there. Later, me and Brownie and Pat were like, “Let’s just drive there.” We bought a case of Pabst and some food to barbecue and went to Iggy’s, peeking our heads over the fence. No one was there except for Carl and he let us in. We cooked food for Carl, drank beers and skated. Then Carl gave us the word that we could come back, so we started going there more often. At that time, Skater Island was going on and I kept running into people from Attleboro. Every time I’d go to Attleboro, I was bringing a case of PBR because the beer store wasn’t open on Sundays, so people remembered me. 

You were the PBR guy. 

Yes! I’d see people at the Island and they wouldn’t even know my name. They’d just be like, “Yo dude, what’s up! You’re the PBR guy.” Through all that, it was on and I started going to the 5.9 bowl all the time with Brownie and Pat Murphy. A lot of the people skating Attleboro were people I had skated with at the Skate Hut or Maximus. I remembered Chickenhawk because there was a contest at the Skate Hut, and Chickenhawk and I and Andy MacDonald were in the contest. It was one of those deals where you were out when you fell and I fell on the first wall, but I remember watching Chickenhawk beat Andy. Chickenhawk did a 540 over the spine and beat Andy Mac in that contest. Also there was Jolt and Sloppy, you and Bruce Juice. I had met Herb and Hughes in Colorado. It felt like things had come full circle and I was stoked to be a part of that scene. I’m stoked to still be part of it. Iggy is the man.

“Here in Wilmington, there is a big, supportive skateboarding scene. I tell  people that we have the best skate scene for a single town than anywhere in the country. I’m sure there are other ones that are better, but we have one of the top scenes.”

So then you moved to Wilmington. Tell me about your first few years in Wilmington. 

Gerula had left Crested Butte and moved back to Illinois. He was trying to move somewhere and find a house he could afford and buy a boat. Andy is the one that found Wilmington and he was moving here. Another friend of ours, Dirty Bird, was getting married in Indiana, so I flew to Indiana and met Andy and then drove to Wilmington with him. We got here and the skate scene seemed pretty lively. They had the city park and that was fun. I was stoked for Andy that he moved here. The second time I came to visit him, it was 70 degrees on New Years Day and we were skating and hanging out. When I flew back to Massachusetts, there was a foot of snow. I was thinking, “Why am I living in Massachusetts?” Two weeks later was the blizzard of 2005 in Plymouth. That’s when I called Gerula. In the house that he bought, the person that owned it before had a room in the back that he fixed watches in. I called Andy and said, “Dude, can I live in the watch room?” He said “Yeah. Come on down.” Brownie was already living there with Andy, and I moved into the watch room in 2005. By then, Andy and Brownie had already built an 8-foot wide, 4-foot high mini ramp. Someone gave Andy another ramp, so we started putting those two ramps together, hipping them and making it taller. That smaller ramp had tight transitions so, when we made it taller, it had vert. Six foot tall with a few inches of vert, it was sixteen feet wide, then that hip into the smaller ramp. We ended up scoring a bunch of Skatelite from Brewce at Skatopia. Clint, Gerula, Christian and I drove to Ohio and spent Thanksgiving at Skatopia and came back with a van full of Skatelite. We layered what we had built and had tons of Skatelite left over, so we raised and bowled in the shorter end. When we raised it, it hit vert around six feet. We kept it going over vert and made it seven feet tall. One entire corner and the face wall was over vert and then it escalated down into the hip. We skated it like that for a while, then we bowled in the other end. We slowly tapered the transitions on that side so the face was seven feet tall to vert. It took us two years to build that thing. After that was finished, people were coming by to skate. At first, we were like “Who the fuck are these dudes?” We had just spent all that time building and we were a little bitter about these new faces coming, but they ended up being the crew. That was 2007 and that bowl was sick.  

Now you are a key holder at the Space too. Everyone says they helped with this and that, but I’ve been here and I’ve seen it and you’re the guy. You’re the guy taking out the trash and collecting the money and keeping everything cool with the landlord. Tell me what’s in the Space.

The warehouse is 6,000 square feet and we’ve got a 40-foot wide mini ramp in the back. The rest of the Space is kinda open with three bowled out corners, a China bank wall with a ledge and it has a spine in the middle. It’s gone through a lot of phases. When we got the building, it was empty, so we put the mini ramp in there immediately. The mini ramp takes up 1,500 square feet. It went from a couple of manual pads and a slappy curb through various other set ups leading to what we have now. This year it will be four years that we’ve had it and it took us that entire time to build it. When you moved here, there was a big push to turn it into what it is now. We have a few more things to do until we have it where we envisioned it years ago. When it started, it was BJ Tarr that got it going.  Really, he is the guy. Without him, The Space would not be there. I do my part and do things that need to be done to keep it going. Big thanks to BJ.

How many members are in the Space?

Right now there are 14 people who pay $50 a month, which actually doesn’t even cover the rent. 

What else helps fund it? 

We sell shirts and hats and we have some events in there, but that really doesn’t pay the bills. It’s just people pitching in money that skate it. Even though we do not have enough members that pay $50 a month, there’s enough people that skate in this town who pay as they go or crews that roll in from out of town. Sometimes I’ll open the donation box and there will be a random $100 bill in there. It’s donations and, with that, we’re able to make the rent. It was really up and down for a while and a few times I thought we were going to lose it, but it has been steady for a while. People skate there more often because it’s more than just a rail slide bar and the little bank ramp that was there in the beginning. 

Definitely. On one side you have the China banks walls and you’ve got two corners and then you’ve got a wraparound berm and a 12-foot wall ride that goes about 15 feet up and a hip and a spine in the middle and an other blended zone into a wall ride and a bank to wall, and a couple of hips and that’s just one section of it. It’s all happening. Now let’s talk about the band SHR3D CRUST. Do you want to talk about any memorable shows?

Our first show was memorable. Our first practice was January 1, 2010, and then, in May of that year, the Skate Rock tour came to Wilmington and we got asked to play. Somehow, at that show, Gerula ended up fighting with TNT over something. TNT jumped off the stage with his bass on and he was tackling Gerula and they ended up fighting, so that show sticks out more than any other. That was our first show and Andy got in a fight with Tony Trujillo. I think TNT might have bitten Gerula in his side. Gerula had a bite mark in his side. 

“TNT jumped off the stage with his bass on and he was tackling Gerula and they ended up fighting, so that show probably sticks out more than any other. That was our first show and Andy got in a fight with Tony Trujillo. I think TNT might have bitten Gerula in his side.”

Wow. TNT is a biter. 

[Laughs] All our shows are memorable in some way, but really I enjoy being in the band room   playing music with my friends. That is the most memorable part. Creating the songs, taking a good riff from a jam session and turning it to a song. Tweaking the song you made to make lyrics fit. In skateboarding, it’s all you. You do the smith grind, or whatever. With a band, it’s like one dude is one foot and another is the other. The other two dudes are the hands and together you point, push, balance and come in together. You all work together to pull the trick. That’s my favorite thing about the band. It’s fun. You are creating music with your best friends, and you get stoked. Then you get stoked to go do that in front of people. Shows are fun too. It’s fun to play at skate events, like the 5.9 party in Attleboro or the Lost Bowl in Richmond and fundraising events for parks or DIY spots. That’s what we like to do.

Don’t you guys play Asheville too? 

Yeah. They have that DIY spot and those guys are rad. They’ve got a cool thing going on and we went up and played at the Foundation DIY. My sisters live there and I’m tight with the dudes up there. Alex set up an event and we went up and played right there at the spot. People came down, skated and donated money. That one day we raised $1,000 and they were able to pour more concrete.  

That’s rad. Are there any bands you want to play with in the future? 

I want to play with Sloppy Sam & the Battered Sons.

Cool. Do you have any shout outs to your crew here and abroad?

Yeah. Having lived in Colorado, Massachusetts, North Carolina and traveling all over, I have so many friends through skateboarding that I couldn’t shout out to them all individually. Thanks to the people I grew up skating with in the South Shore of Massachusetts and all the dudes from the Crested Butte days and the Gunny ramp, especially my boy Curtis Ritchie, and everyone involved here in our scene. You were asking it earlier. How does the Space keep going? Here in Wilmington, there is a big, supportive skateboarding scene. We have the best skate scene for a single town than anywhere in the country. I’m sure there are others that are better, but we have one of the top scenes. 

Well, people aren’t here biting each other. 

Right. [Laughs] There are so many skateboarders that allow us to have this kind of scene and build things like The Space, The Crater, the bowl at Zach and Sunne’s, Church Bowl and Drake’s Ramp. It’s not one individual person that makes it happen. We have all of these people willing to pitch in money and time to build stuff. If we only had six skaters, we wouldn’t have what we have. We have like 60 and that’s just our immediate crew. I want to shout out to all of the Wilmington skaters. We have an insane scene. It’s great to be part of it. You know. You’re part of it.

Yeah. That’s why I moved here. I saw the energy, so I was stoked to move here. 

I do want to shout out to my family. My Mom was so supportive of me growing up skateboarding.  She would drive us to the Skate Hut and Maximus and post up with a book in the parking lot.  She and my sisters would go shopping or to a museum and just drop me off in the middle of a random town and let me skate. My bandmates are my family. The person in SHR3D CRUST that I’ve known the least amount of time is Zach and I’ve known him for 12+ years. I’ve known Clint for 15+ years and I’ve known Brownie for 30+ years and Tim for 33+ years. It’s crazy that these are the same dudes that I was hanging out with when we were in middle school skateboarding. Shout out to EJ. He’s been there the entire time too. He’s even made a cameo in the band a few times. It’s a rad thing to be able to play music with the same dudes that you were skateboarding with when you were in junior high school and still skating with today.  

That’s the rad thing about skateboarding and music. I have to give a big shout out to you. You’ve been so helpful during my transition down here and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. 

Thank you. One more thing, I want to say thank you too my girlfriend, Kristin. She is so supportive of what I do with skateboarding and music. She lets me be me, which rules.

TALBA – FIRE JAM. PHOTO © MATT MILLER

TALBA

Hello, Tim. So what’s your handle?

Hey, Tim. I’m Tim.

I’ve heard you called Talba before.

I’ve gotten called that, but it’s not a name that I call myself. 

So you’re the singer in the band?

That’s right. I’m the voice only. I have no musical skills or understanding. I just know how to speak.

You also write some of the songs. 

Yeah. Mostly. Matty wrote ‘Daily Grind”, Gerula wrote “6 Pack or Sk8park?” Most of the songs are a collaboration of ideas and stories from everyone. Yeah. I do write songs and that’s a lot of fun.

Do you want to elaborate on some of these songs?

These are all songs that are about our normal life. We’re not singing about any crazy Dungeons and Dragons type of shit. It’s about your normal skate rats with 9-to-5 jobs that come home and meet up with buddies and have a few beers and chat up some chicks. I don’t get way out there into outer space or anything. I just talk about normal shit. 

It’s a “Slappy to the Packy” and “Human Deathbox” basically?

Yeah. We cover the basics.

Where did you you grow up?

I grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts. I met Matty in seventh grade and we’ve been skating together since ‘85. Then I met Brownie in ‘89, when we were in high school. We’ve lived and skated and hung out together since then. I’ve lived with Brownie in Gainesville, Florida, Crested Butte, Colorado and Ocean Beach, California. I lived with Matty in Crested Butte and Seattle. We’ve all been skating and traveling around. Skate homies. 

Before you moved to Wilmington, you were living in San Francisco?

Yep. I was in San Francisco for 12 years before I moved here. 

Who you were living with and tell us about the skate scene you were dealing with there in San Francisco?

When I first moved there, I actually surprised my friends Kevin and Dave from Boston. Kevin Baryza and Dave Ashin were going to the Culinary Institute in San Francisco and I knew them from Maximus. Right before they left, we had skated the Framingham pool in Massachusetts together. 

“I’ve been to every continent except Antarctica so I’m trying to get a little SHR3D CRUST tour through the major hippest cities in Antarctica so I can cross that one off the list. Luckily, I’m a skateboarder, so I’ve been able to cruise around the United States and all these other places and, through the brotherhood of skateboarding.”

I remember that pool. That was a good pool.

Yeah. They were always there and at Maximus because they lived in Newton. They got P.E. credits from going to Maximus and skating. They had EJ or Brownie sign off on the paperwork for them like they were their teachers. So I showed up at Kevin and Dave’s door in San Francisco. They didn’t even give me their number. They just left their address on the wall at Maximus. It said, “If anyone ends up in San Francisco, give us a shout.” So I knocked on their door and they let me in and I slept on their couch for a few months until I got a place. It was weird in San Francisco. The East Coasters there naturally clumped together, so I was skating with Rob Collinson, the Broome brothers, and Nate from Maine; Kenny and Sean from New York; and Jeff and Paul from Florida. I ended up getting a place with my buddy, Patrick O’Dell, from Columbus, Ohio and John Trippe from Cleveland. For some reason, my brain categorizes people from Ohio as East Coasters, but I don’t know how they feel about that. Anyways it was all East Coasters getting together and we were all of the same mindset. 

What would you skate in San Francisco?

It was an environment where you could just throw your board down and skate anything. That was the funnest thing – going out the door and not knowing what you were going to skate and just skating whatever was in front of you. Kev and Dave and the people I rode with were all on the same page. There would always be things getting moved around like pieces of furniture on the sidewalk and construction happening or a car in a certain place. There was always change and you could go out the door not knowing what you were going to skate and have the best session ever. That was great. I really miss that, just being able to go out the door and throwing my board down and your whole day is just skating anything that comes across your path. Another thing was, when you’d land a trick there, you’d instantly have to look around to see if a pedestrian was coming or you were about to be hit by a car or a bus. That really keeps you awake. 

How did you end up in Wilmington?

Well, San Francisco was an awesome experience and I moved there because I never thought I’d live in a city. I thought I’d go there for school and that would be my city living experience. There was a lot of cool shit to do in San Francisco, but I was always going to have to have four roommates because it’s a really expensive place to live. My friends Matty, Brownie and Gerula, already lived in Wilmington and we would all go on trips – Matty, Brownie and Gerula and EJ and I. We’d meet up for a week and go to Colorado or the Northwest or California and cruise around and skate and camp and hang out. They were like, “Come check out Wilmington. It’s on the East Coast and you can actually buy a place here.” I started coming here and it was sick. It had a good skate scene and it was East Coast, but way warmer than Massachusetts, and it was cheap. 

At one point, you had a 32-foot wide ramp in your yard, right?

The most recent one was 20 feet wide. It was nine feet high and had a foot of vert. It had a section that was offset up against a tree. Finally, I had to take that down. 

What was some of the gnarliest shit you saw go down on that ramp?

Well, it took me forever to build that thing, and then I got hit by a car on my motorcycle two days after it was done, so I couldn’t touch it for the first six months or so. During that time, I got to sit back and watch people figure it out. It was great to see some of the younger skaters from this area, like Curren Atterbury who was nine when I built it, realize that they could skate it really good and kill it and learn a lot of stuff. Watching Brian Drake relearn his insane bag of tricks from years ago absolutely ruled. Rob Brown and Nate Medford were the first to jump off the roof of the house into the ramp. There was a quarter pipe on the deck and John Mincher launched off that right into the vert. The ramp was difficult enough to skate and there were features on it that really caused an obstacle. I really liked when people hit that shit.

Let’s talk about SHR3D CRUST and some of the memorable shows. I heard there was one time you were not able to play a show and you had someone sing for you. 

Yeah. I had a broken leg from a stupid skating accident. I hadn’t gone to see the doctor yet, so I didn’t know it was broken, but I was having a difficult time and I was on crutches. They were like, “Come on, dude, we’re going to do this show.” I was like, “Okay, but I can’t stand.” Everyone was giving me a hard time and then EJ said, “You sit down in the back and I’ll stand up front and we’ll just Milli Vanilli it and I’ll pretend I’m singing for you.” I was like, “Thank you so much.” That’s my buddy right there. He would do anything for me and I would do anything for him. So I’m sitting in the back with my leg up and he’s in front singing. He found a Darth Vader mask and put it on, so no one could tell he wasn’t singing. He would be a sick frontman anyway, so he was killing it, running around and pretending he was singing, and it worked out really good. Unfortunately, I’m accident prone, so I’ve had to do that a few times and Roberge had to sit in for me and sing. 

How did Roberge perform?

He’s the original hype man. Roberge and Zachbox were our original homies who believed in us and brought people to shows and got people hyped. We had done a few shows and I saw that Roberge knew all the songs. I had a broken leg and I was like, “Hey, do you want to do this?” He got on the mic and even did in between songs talking to the crowd because he stole Matty’s mic for his bass. I would do the singing and he’d talk shit in between songs. That was good and appreciated. 

Okay, you’re pretty well traveled so tell me some travel stories. 

Well, I’ve been to every continent except Antarctica, so I’m trying to get a SHR3D CRUST tour through the major hippest cities in Antarctica so I can cross that one off the list. Luckily, I’m a skateboarder, so I’ve been able to cruise around America and all these other places and, through the brotherhood of skateboarding, I’ve been able to find places to stay and have people show me around and show me places to eat and get coffee. I’m lucky that we have this connection through skateboarding. It’s amazing to be a skateboarder and to be able to go places and actually have the key that gets you into the city.

Skate on. Are there any people that you’d like to give some shout outs?

Yes. I would like to first say thanks to everyone I’ve ever met. Then, much gratitude to my Mom and Dad and my brother, Chris, and my sister, Karin. Thanks to my friends Tory Ford, Jason Klemoff and Alex Crestani. They started the ‘band’ with me in Lake Tahoe. We’d go up to Tory’s place on the weekends to get out of the city. We’d snowboard or swim or hike around and her family let us build a ramp in the yard. She’s a really good musician and always had a guitar with her. She’d be messing around on that and everyone else would be shooting BB guns and offering  vocals. We came up with the name of the band and a few songs we still play on those adventures. Once I moved here, it evolved into this, so I want to thank them for helping us start out. Thanks to everyone in the band. Big ups to Gerula, our original drummer, 1947, the Crat3r, and the shed where it all started. Thanks to Sloppy Sam at Home Records for believing in us. Thanks to Ian Millard at Dogwood Studios. Thanks to all the bands we’ve played with, and you’re welcome for making you sound better. Thanks to Monk (R.I.P.) and Grindline The Band. Thanks to the venues that have invited us in and sometimes even invited us back, especially Matt and Chuck at Reggie’s, Sandy at the Opera Room, Pat and Travis at the Lost Bowl. Thanks to all of the people, spots and events that keep the locals connected as a tribe – Tony and Alex at the Chatham County showdown, Iggy and the 5.9 party, Sam Willis at Stump Broke farm, Robstock, Taeneck, the Foundation in Asheville, Miller Heritage, Tomasz Low, Adul Skoorc, Tim Mott and the Bad Egg, Bob Hart at the Blue Tile Lounge, JP at Hermann’s Hole, Frank Gullo, Shannon and Otis in Charleston, Brian Drake, JJ at Longwood, Jerry Hahn and the Recycler, and all the bad ass crews out there building new shit everyday. Thank you Big Tim, Dan, Terri and Juice. Thanks to skateboarding – the only thing that makes sense to me. Thanks to the road. Thanks to beer. Thanks to pain. Thanks to anyone that has read this far into this interview. 

It was good talking to you, Tim. I can’t wait to see your next show.

Hell yeah. Late. 

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY, GET ISSUE #77 AT THE JUICE SHOP HERE.

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