Rock and roll is in a perilous state these days. These aren’t my words, they’re someone else’s and I gather they have it on good authority. Add that to all the other shit that’s in a perilous state these days with that malignant orangutan running around with The Codes and we find ourselves in a world of shit. But fear not, it isn’t all bad. Out there in the eternal dark of the night, in basements and containers and abandoned bomb shelters, motherfuckers are still kicking out the jams. If you know where to look, shit will always be cranked to 11.

Enter from stage left: EASY, a rock and roll fist to the nuts straight out of LA with their single ‘Goodnight’. Generally, I hate singles. I want an EP, something to sink my teeth into. And to have a proper munch, you need at least three fucking songs, right? Especially if you follow the golden rule that no song should be longer than three minutes. But to hell with the rules. In this case, one song does it. There is so much party packed into this little nugget of awesomeness, you don’t know whether to scream along or dowse yourself in cocaine and glitter. I fucking love it.

And thundering away in the corner there on bass is none other than the almighty Don Nguyen, Baker Boy and, personally, one of my favourite skaters of all time. Which brings me to the second point and side story to this saga. Many moons ago, I had the honour of interviewing Don. And I totally fluffed it. Like, fucked it up completely. He probably wasn’t playing in any band right then, just chilling around at the Copenhagen Pro. I spotted him and dragged my cameraman over for some one on one.

In retrospect, I should have exercised way more caution. But I was in a jittery state to begin with, due mainly to the imminent birth of my second son, who was expected (if memory serves me correctly) that day. To calm my nerves, I drank some beer. Then some more. This made me more jittery still when I suddenly came to the realisation that I could get a call at any minute from my heavily pregnant wife and that I might have to drop everything and rush to the hospital and that no one would be particularly pleased if I rocked up half cut. Jittery indeed.

So, with a heavy conscience, I sat down next to Don and interviewed him. I wanted to know about the infamous El Toro; I wanted to know about Cataclysmic Abyss, one of my all-time favourite skate vids. In my inebriated state, I couldn’t remember if he had been the first to ollie El Toro or kick flip it? El Toro, for the kooks out there, is a monster of a stair set at a high school in LA, 20 steps in all. It’s chewed up its fair share of better men. I put my money on kickflip, which was totally retarded. To this day, I still can’t fathom why that came out of my mouth. Because I fucking KNOW who first kick flipped El Toro: it was Dave Bachinsky. It may sound trivial, but these things fucking matter in skateboarding, more so in LA than anywhere else.

Thing is, some tricks define not only careers, they redefine skateboarding. They redefine the lines of what’s possible on the stunt wood and by doing so, they bring the entire culture of skateboarding up another level. The Nuge popping down El Toro was one of those moments. It paved the way for an entirely new approach to street skateboarding because, from that moment on, everyone knew that it was possible to roll away from a four metre drop at high speed. Not only was it a pivotal moment in skateboarding, it was a pivotal moment in Don Nguyen’s career.

‘Nope, that wasn’t me,’ was Don’s bemused response. Braydon Szafranski, who was riding for Baker and Emerica at the time, and was sitting next to us, turned around: ‘Dude, how do you fluff a skateboard interview?’ How indeed. The day went from bad to worse when I interviewed David Gravette and asked if he still had his Thrasher KOTR tattoo beneath his eyebrows. What. A. Goon.

My son was born a week later. He weighed in at five kilos, by the way.

Forget that. EASY is the way rock and roll should be; loud, fast, fun, and with just a hint of two-stroke engine oil. It’s made for skateboarding, drinking beer and having a good time. It has just that right amount of glam, a peppering of Andrew WK, and teeth sharp enough to give it some bite. It gives me faith that rock and roll is alive and well and that the flame at the end of the tunnel is being tended as it should be. Just one song, mind you, and I am hungry for more. Hungry like a motherfucker. And that is why I hate singles. I want more and I can’t have it.

This article was published in BS29

Text: Yum Yum St. Hamilton