For me personally, Jeremy Reinhard got into my life when his adidas “Diagonal” part came on the screen. I immediately liked him. The intro by Torsten Frank is classic Frank, who is at his best when he is there not only to show the skating but most of all to tell a story. “The worst thing is that it has to be good, it can’t be sketchy” is a quote that stood out to me, I didn’t understand German yet but I knew what that felt like. In life, we often can get away with sketchy, “what did you score on your test?” – “I just passed by a 0,5 margin” – is common for us all but as a sponsored skater filming a video part you know that you judge and will get judged if things aren’t done right. In this interview, we mostly talk about music but the same comparison still stands, you can’t be half a count off on the timing, the whole thing will not sound right. One last thing, Jeremy’s song in Diagonal talks about someone that is always on the road, never at home. Obviously referring to the busy travel schedule of a sponsored skater but, that song still holds true because as a DJ’s he still frequents the road quite often (in non-pandemic times). Anyway listen to the music, watch the video and read the interview. You might learn a thing or two! If you are interested in buying the new EP you can do that here or on Soundcloud.
I am well, on my terrace in Cologne in the sun right now. How are you, have we ever met in person?
I am fine. Actually we haven’t met before.
Daniel (Pannemann) told me you are into music, do you listen to House music?
I do, I listen to Omar S, Moodymann etc.
Great, those are some of my idols, that Chicago, Detroit style of House music.
So tell me a bit about this release?
I produced a lot of music together with a friend of mine Niels Freidel and we both felt like, instead of contacting a bunch of labels, let us do this ourselves. It just felt right, not asking anyone, doing it for ourselves and at the start of 2018, we dropped our first Lekker EP. We had some help from other musicians people like David Schreiber & Moglis, locals from Cologne, they helped a lot.
What about when Covid-19 hit?
I went out and bought myself some really nice speakers. That was really important for me, to have a good sound system at home. Because you school your ears through your sound system. I made a little home studio.
Like most people, I had a lot more free time and I used that time collecting samples, jamming, just making things. But my goal was clear: To make my own EP, where I made every track, alone. I think it is important as an artist to try and do that so you know when you get feedback, that it is feedback for you and you personally.
I understand, the project is not out just yet but how has the feedback been from the people who have heard it?
Not many people have heard it yet, you are one of the first. Actually, the first EP I did was also connected to PLACE, I happened when was thirty then and it dropped on Vinyl. This new EP hasn’t fully dropped yet, so we will see what the feedback will be.
We appreciate that, it is nice to drop a song instead of a video part for once.
True and it is cool to see that electronic music now has become a bigger part of skating. Back in the day, Techno, Rave or House parties had a bad name. “Those people take a lot of drugs!” or you heard that some of your favorite skaters stopped skating just to Rave.
Nowadays, when I come to Berlin to spin at a party, I don’t even need to call anyone anymore, they just know. Julius Krappe will call me out of the blue and tell me he, Denny Pham and a whole gang of people are coming to my show! I guess Raving is more a part of the culture in Berlin, people come out, even if it is a small rave at Hasenheide park.
Do you think you get more support like that in Berlin versus Cologne?
For sure! Cologne has a strong Rave scene but in Berlin it is different. People start on Fridays and Rest on Monday. For some Berliners a work week is from Tuesday until Thursday, whereas in Cologne it is pretty hardcore if a party starts on Saturday night and lasts until 10 in the morning on a Sunday.
Let’s take a step back, when did music enter your life?
It was always a dream of mine, at 19-20 when I moved to Cologne I went to a lot of parties, back then it was more Drum n Bass & Hip Hop. I loved it and knew a lot of the promoters and DJs. At some point, my friends, people like Benni Markstein started talking about Kompakt (record label) and their parties where they had people like Michael Mayer, Tobias Thomas, etc.
At that time “Total Confusion” was THE party in Cologne, people came with buses from Paris, Brussels, etc. and that fascinated me. So, after a while of just going to parties, I arrived at a point that I wanted to throw my own party. At that time people at my work were also very into music and they would feed me Kerri Chandler, Omar S and he told me about Smallville Records (Hamburg), which only stoked the fire!
So at 25 I started my first series of parties called: Vogelfrei. I got lucky and got a big Techno DJ and people where shocked that I managed to book him. The party itself was a bit thrown together but it was probably one of the first Techno parties the skate scene went to!
It was funny because he drew people from the Techno scene in and I had the whole skate scene there dancing.
I think Jeremy always felt the sound of Cologne, his music reflected that, and that is why people believed in him and his work. During the weekend people flocked to the (Kompakt) parties in Bogen 2, where you could connect with each other both in the dark and in the light.
Benjamin (Benni) Markstein, 2021
Did they vibe well?
The vibe was cool right away! That was also the start of me as a party promoter/booker and also the start of me DJ-ing. Things went on like that from when I was about 25 to about 30 years of age. It was cool and it was not as serious as it is now, things went to the next level at 30 when we put out our first EP on the Terre des Pommes Record Label. That was crazy, it was on vinyl, so Daniel Nentwig from The Whitest Boy Alive had the A-side of the record and I had the B-side. And that was like getting my knighthood, the record went well and sold out relatively quick. Paco Hettich and Albert Gabriel helped me together with my father by playing certain instruments and pieces for me to use.
That was at 30, what has changed this time around?
I developed a lot as a musician and this time I could do it by myself and didn’t need my father or friends to play certain parts on the Rhoades. I did get a cool remix by Tilman from Mainz on the new EP.
Funnily in 2020 I got signed to a booking agency called Wilde but that happened right as the pandemic hit, so no real bookings yet (laughs). To be honest, I do notice a difference financially because of the pandemic.
I can imagine you can’t wait to perform your new music before a crowd right?
100%, I did some live streams, but DJ-ing is really by you for a crowd, you need to get that feedback, that energy, and without that you are staring at a screen. At the start it was a good idea but vibing with the crowd is so important!
We heard about your start in House music but what about music growing up? Your dad is a Jazz Pianist?
Well, I was a very hyperactive kid so when I was 6 years old my parents put a drum kit in our basement and that really gripped me. I was pretty good but at some point I needed something else, so I changed to piano. The thing is I could play but I could not read notes. Chuck Berry or Elvis Presley’s version of “Tutti Fruity” really struck a cord with me and my father taught me. I even sang, and we recorded a tape for my mother’s birthday, it was fun. I could play, but I could not keep the tempo. I always went faster and faster but it was sweet, i guess. I played for like 2-years, coming home hyped to play and then skating hit me.
After that only skating counted, I wish I continued playing piano but, after school, I would eat, go skate, maybe come back to have a drink, and go back out. Burned bright red, my mother was worried, I would go out every day even when it was 35-degree weather. That started at 10 and lasted all the way until now when music came back into my life.
Seems like the skate bug really bit you!
It did, I mean I would listen to music but skating was really what consumed me. My dad stayed with music and co-founded the Jazz & Rock school in Freiburg. He is still anchored in the Jazz scene and before corona, he told me he had about 10 projects going on. He plays multiple genres, he play in a country band, in a blues band and jams with jazz musicians. He is very active man!
During corona I got new speakers and he got himself a crazy Nord Piano. My dad listens to the music I make, I will send him my best tracks and he will write me his feedback. Or he will play over some of the loops, I hope we can do more in the future. The goal for the next 10 years is to do more father & son projects. He is so good, he will play the melody with one hand and the bass with the other. So it is pretty handy to have access to someone like that.
Unfortunately, due to the high covid number we haven’t seen each other since last June. I even skipped Christmas, we need to protect the elderly. I have been in a prison called Cologne for a year now. But let’s change the topic.
Still, it sounds like music connects and binds your family.
It does, he even listens to the radio show. The first show I did, he came back to me and told me to lower my voice. I was midway through an alcohol brake and i was super nervous, he picks up on all that stuff.
Is skateboarding and music connected, or do you see it as separate things?
It is connected for sure! And I like how skating and House music fit together. Palace kinda brought that back, raw edits with fast cutting music. In a way it is retro but it is also current.
Did anyone ever ask to skate to your music?
Not yet, but maybe now is the time!
Last question, how excited/nervous are you to play your music during a set?
Very excited! The timing isn’t the best right now, with the lockdown. But I hope people will get to know the songs through social media and when the time comes that I am standing in front of a crowd I can drop “Tu Tambien” and let the people dance to it!
Friend of the house Kaio Hillebrand just released his first Thrasher video part and his second video part within a matter of only a few months. Click HERE to re-watch his FREE video part and if that’s still not enough Pocket Magazine has a “Followed” with him HERE.
Let’s give credit where credit is due, this is a work of art more than it is just a skate video. We don’t mean this in a museum type of way but in the same way that Strongest Of The Strange & In Search Of The Miraculousboth are works of art that transcend the norm.
Credit has to go not only to Maité but also to the many GG’s and Guillaume Perimony who’s last projects have all hit the mark in their own way. Chapeau!
Yes, Kaio! We have been skating with him a lot but finally we get to see his skating in a more diverse form. You probably wouldn’t expect it from him but he can by shy like that and he rather does what feels right than to show you what he actually can do on a skateboard. He’s got it all!
For our #63 issue we traveled to the city of angels to shoot an issue together with an eclectic group of people.
People ranging from Hyun Kummer a.k.a. @Versace_plug, Guy Mariano & Eric Koston, Nyjah Huston, Jim Greco & Mark Appleyard all added their 2 cents to our video and issue.
Kai Hillebrand or Kaio, as most people tend to call him, was one of our main protagonists for this issue and during the shooting, he once took us aside and asked if we could save some of the footage for another project. Well, we said yes, the project didn’t take off and now we decided to ask our filmer, Peter Buikema, to remix to footage.
Whether you are in Los Angeles right now, or his local Ratingen, Germany you should try and enjoy, relax and go skate afterward! We know Kaio would like all of you to follow these instructions to a tee.
Marcus hit us up via e-mail telling us he wanted to release this part with us, we didn’t know much about him at that point but we did like the video. We did our due diligence and checked up on him and managed to get him for an interview, just before he had to got to work. We all know Norwegians as nice people but it is parts like this that show that they are also amongst the most productive hard-working people in skating. So without further ado, we would like you to get to know Marcus Vik.
Interview by Roland Hoogwater.
Hey Marcus, how are you, and where are you?
I am in Oslo right now, about to go to work, gotta make that rent money (laughs).
So just to create some context, how did we end up doing this? Why did you want to release your part with us?
It was a weird journey (laughs)…So I ended up making this part in Long Beach City. I didn’t really have a plan to do anything but we ended up going out to film early in the morning. Because the filmer, my friend Shonn Oquendo, just had gotten married and he also worked shifts in construction.
So, we found a gap in his schedule from like 8:30 until like 12:00 in the afternoon and we managed to get up and film this in those time gaps.
So all that skating was done before most skaters would even start their session?
Yeah, it was all done before noon basically. We would wake up, go skate, his wife would get off work at 12:30 so he would meet up with her to take care of the wedding preparations and drop me off to do whatever I had planned.
And this was all done in the LBC or did you venture out further into so-cal?
No, we tried to stay local all the spots are basically in the Long Beach area. LBC is different because it is not L.A. but it also isn’t San Diego so it has a lot of places that are in between. Some are crusty, some are really nice to skate.
Alright, that sounds cool and the spots do look different indeed.So how did you think of us?
I like your channel, I got to know it via Martin Ström, you guys have been really good with sharing his stuff so I found out that way and I really enjoy what you are doing.
That is cool, really stoked to hear that.
Yeah, you guys have been killing it by keeping up with what is happening in Europe. Taking another route to platforms like Free.
With Oslo in particular, we have a good connection with some of the best in Norway. People like Magnus Bordewick, Marcus Shaw, Deeds, Heitor da Silva and now you. So it feels like the ball just keeps on rolling in our direction.
It feels like you get a very “round” view of European skateboarding via your platform. Also making connections and staying in touch is a cool thing.
It is a matter of time until we visit Oslo.
We just have to wait a bit to see how this whole pandemic plays out for it to really happen. Luckily the rules have been slowly loosened up because it was getting hard to do simple things like groceries when everybody gets off work at the same time. How are we supposed to keep distance and not overrun the store if we just get the same small window of time? As I said, it is getting better here but I am staying aware of my actions and not just throw the rules out of the window.
No visits to elderly relatives then?
Nope, I saw my mom once since I got back from California. So I filmed this part in November and I went back again early March. COVID was known but it wasn’t like it was now, so I flew in and three days after I had arrived they shut the whole airport down and started shutting down businesses.
In Norway, it was still snowy back then so I just figured I would wait it out in Cali. I showered like 3 times a day (laughs). Luckily it didn’t get too bad in Long Beach and managed to stay for 2 months filming with different people.
You let your homies play in the snow while you went for a tan?
Well, normally, I film with Martin in Oslo but when there is snow he will go film snowboarding instead. He has always been a hardworking filmer always out there. So I don’t get him in the winter months but I have gotten a lot of stuff since the Pandemic hit.
We will come clean here, at the beginning we weren’t sure if you were American or Norwegian even though you did rep the flag.
Definitely Norwegian, I sometimes have trouble skating in the US because I am used to more crusty streets. In Oslo, we might have 1 or 2 good rails but out there they have 15 perfect ones and the lists are of ABD’s are long. So what was fun is that my friend knows what I like and we got all this done in a relaxed manner.
Now I am happy to be back in Oslo though, summer is coming and we are a happy people again. The start of May is when things change and BBQs start happening so I am hyped.
No more XL winter Jackets.
(Laughs) No, they are stuck in closets again until the snow comes back out.
Any last words?
Just thank you, I am hyped we can do this, and let me know when you come out here!
Last Saturday something happened, a group of people honored us with their presence, their good spirits & their bowling skills. Today we recap the magic of that night for you.
Photos by Danny Sommerfeld.
Text by Roland Hoogwater.
What happened? Well, we had one of our best events ever, from a slow start, where basically everyone turned up on time, which was a bit early (not expected at a skate event) to an electric final we have you, the Berlin skate scene to thank for making this what it was!
What it was? Well, a night of surprises. For instance, a very drunk Jack Taylor together with a driven Dan Clarke making it all the way to the finals. An amazing performance from Collin McLean who bowls with as much finesse as he skates. Mark Nickels who brought his own bowling ball and wore a bowling shirt (scare tactics) and bowled steadily for the entire night, in the end, coming up short because Berlin local and adidas skater Baswti kept racking them up and knocking them down like he had ice in his veins.
When we shot the trailer he wasn’t bowling like this we tell you! He did use his patented own was of throwing the ball but it seemed like in the 3-weeks between the shoot for the trailer and the actual event he had put in the work and at the end up the night took home the 300€ prize money. Congratulations Bawsti you earned it!
adidas Skateboarding thank you for helping us and making this happen, it was a magic evening for all in attendance, skater, and non-skater together knocking down those pins together.
A 15-minute journey into one of the least explored (in skating) parts of the world. One of the nicest details about adidas projects is how the always change the language on the tongue of the shoe to the language of the region.