Jason Adams Interview
I recently had the privilege of interviewing skateboarder, artist, and friend Jason Adams. Straight up Adams Family guy. We conversed ‘bout his new artwork, new sponsors, and old videos. The Scarecrow video “Disturb Not The Sleep of Death” is still one of my favorite VHS’s to watch pre-skate mission. Anyone who has been following Jason’s vocation knows that he is a master of mayhem: neither wall nor street is safe from his mordant will. Put on your bifocals, grab a cold drink, and read how Jason has been enjoi-ing his return to the Label. — Kelly D. Williams
Kelly D. Williams: Where are you at right now?
Jason Adams: Home, kitchen table, wine in a beer glass its 10:36 on a Friday night. I’m dirty.
Do you smell bad?
Probably, depending on who you ask.
I think I always smell bad. Your new Dekline shoe is on shelves right about now. How does that feel?
Um,……well…..I’m kinda jaded…I’m satisfied because finally after all these years I have some really rad shoes I’m really proud of with my name on them. Unfortunately I don’t get all excited about this sort of thing any more. it sucks cause it all came together at a shitty time……overall I’m happy. Dekline is cool period!
Agreed, they have some seriously cool stuff going on. What was the name of that one Scarecrow video with you and the original crew? I think you skated to New Rose by the Damned… or was it 1945 by Social Distortion? I’m not sure about anyone else reading this, but that was certainly an important video to me. It still is.
“Disturb Not the Sleep of Death” was the name. And it was “New Rose” by The Damned and Social Distortion’s version of “Under My Thumb”.
That’s right! I still put that tape into the VCR fairly regularly. It just had a good style. What’s been your favorite video to film for?
“Label Kills” was my favorite video to film for.
That was a good one I think. Actually… I never saw it. Have you been painting a lot lately?
That’s why I’m dirty
I’ve seen a sort of transition with your work in the last little while. Have you been experimenting with new stuff or mediums outside of your regular stencil and aerosol treatments?
Yes I’m always trying new things. I feel young as an artist. To be honest it still sounds weird to be labeled as an artist. I never thought of my self as one until recently. My wife calls me an accidental artist….. but yes, I’m trying to get away from just stencils and spray paint.
I think a lot of us feel like that. I still feel awkward when people ask me what I do for a living, because I know I am going to have to get into this whole conversation about ”what type of art” I make, and I usually just tell them I don’t know, and they ask “how do you not know what kind of art you do?
Man i feel the same way, even when it comes to telling people I’ve been really busy or I’ve been working hard. nobody gets it unless you skate or do art or graphic related stuff. I feel like your average Joe wouldn’t understand one bit. and I also hate the “what kind of art” question.
What has you most psyched on art right now?
I’m stoked on art because it’s new and exciting. I’m in that spot right now where I’ve made it over the hump and am learning a lot. I remember when I was at that point with skateboarding. sucking for so long, then kinda getting better then bam! for like a year you learn something new every day with out hardly thinking about it; it just flowed so naturally. I still love skating but I’ve been doing it so long and I’ve been in the industry so long nothing is new. other than riding the board everything else is a bit boring. I’ve been open to this whole other world. it makes me feel like a kid again.
“Art fag” used to be a common term in the skate world, when referencing someone who painted. Have they come up with a new phrase yet, or can I still call people artfags?
[Laughs] Yeah I used to hear and say that one a lot back in the eighties and early nineties. I love wine and 8o’s emo music. I guess I’m an art fag now, enjoi the silence, yo!
At least you’re drinking it from a beer glass. You just got put on the Thunder roster, right? Did you go up to SF to get welcomed to the quickness? I’m guessing we’ll see some lost highway paint on a pair of Thunder trucks someday?
Yeah as far as I know it’s in the works. As jaded as I can be. I was really hyped to get hooked up with thunder.
They certainly have quite the squad. You’ve been terrorizing on everything from Venture to Ruckus to Thunder. Anything else I’m forgetting?
Dude I’m a fucking truck slut! I’ve been on all the big three and then some. Krux, too.
There’s nothing wrong with that, right? Perhaps your taste in grindables just changes over time. I forgot you were on Krux, too. I once had this idea for a Z-roller truck with a rotisserie skewer, so that you could sizzle up some hotdogs whilst grinding. But I think it would maybe be one of those ideas that put a company out of business.
Well, sounds pretty amazing to me. for a while nothing could put Z-roller out of business?? I still don’t get that one. they had ads for years. I never saw those trucks any where. I was so stoked on it though. not to ride ‘em though….you know.
Has anyone ever mistaken you for Jamie Thomas?
No… I got mad mojo
How long did it take you to nail that corner pocket wall ride in the Enjoi video?
Like everything I film: way too long. I don’t remember. I only have three brain cells left.
Well, that’s three times as many as you need to make it through the day, so you’re doing well. Is there a certain trick that haunts you? Like some trick or spot that you’ve spent some serious time trying to surmount?
Every time the goddamn video camera comes out I’m haunted. I hate it. I pretty much go with the flow; what ever happens usually works better for me. Especially now that I’m in my seasoned years. uugh!
But the new skateboarder years are like canine years… or is it the other way around? Either way, you have a lot of time left to skate hard. Okay, you know that I am a geek about this: what is your setup? And I mean all of it dude, like deck size, wheel durometer, any special Daytona 500 slalom waterski bearings or anything like that?
It varies all the time. I get bored easily. I like to change it up nothing smaller than an 8.1/8 but I will go up to a 91/4 Duane Peters. Those thunder 149ers were a savior. and wheels I like 53-58 and sometimes I like ‘em softer like 92 -95-97 risers too. Some times a rail.
I ask that of everyone I interview only because in the back of my mind I think that maybe I can skate better if I skate the same setup as the rippers. But maybe there is just no hope. I’m just tired of going skating and getting vibed by kids half my age that are already sponsored by a headphone company and they have lots of birds on their shirts.
That’s because they are kids they are supposed to act retarded.
No argument there. You’ve been back at the Label for a while now. How is it feeling so far?
I’m always feeling anxiety-ridden and tired…unless I’m drunk .then I’m usually feeling pretty good… God save the label
Maybe He will. So are you an alcoholic?
Hhhmmm probably….but a very functional one.
The day isn’t over yet. Tell us a little about Combat Rock. Is the public going to see some of this stuff in the near future? I heard that Quikhurley SB wanted to buy the brand for like 14 million dollars but you said, “no way.”
I would sell it for 4 dollars….it’s on hold for a while.
I’ll send 8 dollars in the mail. This next question is one that comes from my own curio. What is the actual genealogy of Scarecrow skates and Creature, and your involvement with those brands (I can’t remember)…
Russ pope was the creator of creature under NHS. I skated for it. Russ decided he wanted to do things his way. he quite creature moved to San Luis Obispo and started scarecrow. Russ was and is my homey so I went with him. plus Kendall new I was a drunk at the time so I thought I would be fuct if I stayed at NHS. ha ha ha….I’m sure I still would have gone with Russ if I wasn’t a pile? who knows??
Have you skated with Salman (Agah) lately? You guys used to hit the park a lot, right?
I grew up with that dude. he is one of my best friends and was like a big brother to me back in the day. I was just in L.A. recently staying with him. We didn’t skate, but I know he has been skating recently. I love that dude.
So you’re a father now, right? Married, too? How has being a family man changed your skating style?
I suck now
No, I suck. You’re just fatherly. Have you seen Gleaming The Cube?
I went to the fucking theater when that shit came out!
It’s probably my favorite movie. I make my wife watch it with me at least once a month. Thank you very much for letting me interview you, Jason. It’s always a pleasure. Anything you’d like to say that I forgot or any thank-you’s?
I’m out of wine