‘Any fuckin how I met Harold in those early days and our first night skating together had an insane experience and cemented that bond.’

Erik Munday

The Man

April 2023

In my IG post on the Boston special issue, Charlie Wilkins mentioned that you have the ‘Godfather role’? Why would he say that?
Are youse fuckin saying I’m old Charlie?! Youse just wait boss! (laughing) Naw man, Charlie just being the rad dude he is and being far to kind to me as he always has. What he is taking about isn’t so much the age (we are the same age damn it!) as it is my usual role in the scene. Lotta people would take shit on me but when shit pops off suddenly I’m every bodies new best friend. I played bouncer and private protection role long before my bouncing and military days! (laughing) From the late 80’s and to mid 90’s there were no cameras and skating wasn’t cool and skinny kids with cameras were easy pickings. Myself and my crew wasn’t having that though, not on my watch.

You were part of Zoo York back when it was not, as you say, ‘the phony bs corporate one that took over’. What was your involvement?
Fired and foremost. I was a fan of the brand and knew a bunch of the brothers. I knew them from Shut days and obviously skating at the Brooklyn banks. I’m talking the beginning days for me too. My extended family lived in NYC, and were from Boston and we lived in the middle in CT. So I had a home base everywhere, all I did was skate. Any fuckin how I met Harold in those early days and our first night skating together had an insane experience and cemented that bond. He called me “young Jay Adams” because of my face and I dressed like a Suicidal tendencies roadie in the 80’s when skating! (laughing).

Short time later we reconnected randomly at the Playground skatepark and I remember having the baddest sessions with Hamilton Harris, Pang, Loki, Peter Huynh, Peter Bici. Man, the whole get fresh crew! (laughing) Rodney would load up half the damn Brooklyn banks in a van. Then obviously would see them skating around banks and wherever after. That’s how a lot of those friendships started. I was never the best dude to go pro or whatever! (laughing) They were my true extended skate family and to this day nothing has changed and I still talk to every single one of them and Eli damn near daily! (laughing). I luv those fuckin guys. Years later when I started my shop obviously business wise got more involved but those dudes were the illest since OG Shut days. Years later Rodney gave me a bro model and that was one of my single proudest moments. I loved that brand and crew from damn near the beginning, to have one full circle like that was a dream!

‘This was the DHR cheese grater gap in Windsor CT that totally sucks but I would skate it on the semi regular and why I snap crackle and pop outta the bed every damn morning. Photo by master lensman and brotha Josh Laurits’

When you owned the skate shop ‘Skate Lair’ in CT for 12 years, what are the things you miss/do not miss at all when you look back?
I don’t miss any of it, those kids drove me fuckin apeshit! (laughing) Naw man, for sure I miss the kids and daily ruckus! I don’t think that shop could exist nowadays. It was truly cash from chaos! (laughing). I loved every damn day doing that place. CT had changed their tax laws though and legit drove out small business to make way for the targets and strip malls owned by the corporate masters buddies. It was cheaper for me to do a shop on a major city. Which was the plan. I actually moved back to NYC, for a lil bit and was gonna partner up and open a new location in Brooklyn. However after living there for a few months my heart wasn’t in it, the city had changed to much for me. Nothing against it. I just liked the older version better and I fuckin hate The Strokes! (laughing).

So, I kicked it up to Boston and thru my brother Doug Moore met the raddest dude Shawn Clarke who owned Patriot skateshop. Instantly connected with that dude and we were like brothers separated at birth. He ran the raddest underground shop with the real street kids and vibe much like Lair. I started selling my gear thru there and was gonna get him some shoe accounts and tragedy happened and he got murdered in his shop. Absolutely devastating. Soon after I took more qualifications and shipped out for training and a whole new chapter of life!

Did you ever beat up a Zumiez Manager that came into your store to compare prices?
Pleading the 5th and it was hot topic not Zumiez! (laughing).

You only carried your friend’s brands: Natural Koncepts, Shut, Zoo York, 5Boro, Traffic which are still kicking it today. What makes them so unique?
I’ll tell ya why, it’s because they are unique and I had a personal connection to all those brands. My gang also rode for them, and these were the dudes at our spots, in our backyard, at the local ramp, also at the bar after and part of all the shenanigans. (laughing). We were out in the trenches and living it. Not just some random jackoff at the mall selling it . I love all those brands and I tried to show the kids why it’s important and the difference of supporting the true ones out there.

‘Pleading the 5th and it was hot topic not Zumiez!’

Skateshop outtake taken from ‘Streets and
Sidewalks’ documentary by Embee Studio

Skate Lair   © Michael Cirelli

In your interview with Vice you talked about your role as private military contractor. They called you ‘Mercenary’. Did this bother you at all?
Well the professional term is PMC. But Vice was just trying to create sensationalism and get clicks and holy shit did that work! (laughing). Nieratko told me at that time it was one of the most viewed interviews he had ever! It really did go viral, and I had fuckin MSNBC and a gang of others on the line. Not even joking. That shit was bananas. So no I don’t mind. It’s just a word anyways and I was getting paid so they ain’t wrong. I took no offense and thanks again @Vice and Chris. Someone from there also approached me about doing some type of show or podcast thingy as well. Hit me again fuckos! (laughing).

In the Vice interview you mentioned you got paid more than US doctor. As per Google that is around $220k a year. Any advice what to do with such an influx of money?
Yeah, don’t get married! (laughing). Love was grand, divorce was like 90 grand. Then come lawyer fees! (laughing). So yeah invest in good rental property and invest in military companies. Trust me youse will make a bundle especially with the way this world is turning!

Sorry to bring this up again but I had to laugh when I read it. You peed in Saddam Hussein’s pool. Apart from relieving your bladder, did it feel the way you had it imagined when you first thought of this idea?
Well, come to find out he actually had a bunch of legit palaces over there. He was a mere pawn in the oil game but an asshole none the less. So yeah, duck him and his pool. (laughing).

‘It really did go viral, and I had fuckin MSNBC and a gang of others on the line. Not even joking. That shit was bananas.’

‘The wallride is Hartford Ct where I spent decades skating . And the close downtown area to my shop . I lived and skater there 9 nights a week for eons!’   © Michael Cirelli

Anything you miss back from back in your Boston days?
Yeah man! Those spots and those people! My uncle owns a brownstone up the street from Copley and my parents lived off Beacon when they were younger! The first time I ever pushed on a pro board was my cousins red and white gator on those same avenues and on Cape cod one summer. I fully remember that. I was hooked!

My fav spot in the city though was around Copley. That whole area was fuckin amazing, and I have a wicked sick memory of meeting Chad Muska there on his first tour ever and when he was an unknown. He rolled with my crew and we took him to local spots and he was the raddest kid ever. I remember that night me and my buddy sat on the step of Christian Science museum with Heath and heckled him (in a fun way) as he did gap out to 5-0 on the second rail on the double set! He wrecked his ankle but just him trying had opened my eyes to what was possible.

Also have to speak on Zt Maximus ! I fuckin loved that park and met so many rad people there. I also bought my first Shut deck there! Doug Moore and Ram were the raddest and I remember seeing Charlie Wilkins, Donny Barley, Yanick Hackobian, Jahmal Williams and a gang of other people wreck that place! Dougie is still one of my all time favorite skaters. And also gotta shout C-bowl /Cambridge pool. My last session there before they filled it and I got to slash it with my Lairmobb and Charlie. There’s a reason line of my lil brother TJ Schick and Charlie doing doubles in it from that day in an old Lair vid. That pool was mythical and I’m glad I got to hit it all the times I did.

Also the old hospital banks and turtles were bananas and had so many rad sessions there. My all time favorite zone though was Copley. I was a total street rat.

What are some of your Boston underground heroes?
All the people I just mentioned plus countless more really. Broderick Gumpright for sure. We were the odd couple in skating, it was hilarious really. Bro is a mellow straight edge and planet conscious type. I’m trying not to call him a hippie. (laughing) He would be going to like an anti-fur rally after skating or whatever and I’d be leaving with some Spanish chicks and a bunch of weed. (laughing) Naw, I love skating with that guy and was so amped on him and my brother Devo and Armin starting Orchard up there. They are the people who should be doing that! Other underground legends would be Doug Moore again (laughing), Eastie, Robbie Gangemi for sure Jim Gagne, Jelly, Mike Bell, Adam Graham, Teddy Raw, and countless others from up there. I was always amped to go skate with the Boston heads!

‘This pool shot comes with a funny and typical story. I remember swimming in this pool eons ago with an old girlfriend and literally swimming to the bottom to check the transitions. They were wicked jacked and the walls were more like giant jersey barriers than tranny but I always wanted a few rounds with them. Years later I got word it was empty and made the pilgrimage there a few times. The neighbors weren’t exactly thrilled cause we were not in the Olympics yet and I got into it with a few of them. This pool wasn’t far from my shop so it didn’t take Dick Tracy or 007 to figure out where to look for some pale angry German dude matching my description. When the cops came to question my whereabouts they failed to notice this exact picture literally a few inches from their faces on the wall of said pool “I had never seen” before . Ahhh the good old days, let’s talk about them shits!’

You now live in Costa Rica. Early retirement or what brought you to this place?
A bunch of reasons really. I have a son and don’t wanna leave him in what America seems to be becoming. There’s still plenty of good people but the powers that be and the general public is going down the crapper in my book. I’m also not about that label whore bs or consider grown men playing with plastic balls as “heroes”. It’s always been weird to me. I don’t hate sports, but the level people worship shit in the states is bizarre.That’s why with skating I found my trip and my tribe. I wanted to show him another existence and am fortunate enough to be able to. I’m also a surf dork but don’t admit it in public and nobody tell Ricky! (laughing) I also lucked into meeting some rad locals and my brother Marlon is my weekly skate buddy. There are some rad parks and San Jose is badass for street spots. I’m aggravating Kalis weekly about getting him down here to visit and get busy with us. Bici and Eli are also supposed to be coming for a visit this winter/our summer.

I came out here on vacation a few years before we moved here and instantly knew this is where I wanted to be for this chapter of my life. Total different way of living. It’s like the land time forgot in the best of ways and the surfing is out a damn dream. Now I’m concentrating on helping to bring skating there and make it a skate paradise as well. I’m the Johnny Appleseed and pied Piper of this skate shit wherever I go yo! I wanna get my dreamland brothers down here as well and really blow some shit up. I’m looking also looking into getting a program going for the less fortunate kids down here that wanna get into it.

‘In all honesty it was more so an escape for my son than myself and the clown world shitshow USA is becoming.’

Switch front krook • Lair bowl   © Jedediah Dubiel

I have to admit when I have done some research on you and learned about your crazy, wild life, I felt you wanted to escape all of it and move to a place where you can find your inner peace. Just like John Rambo in Rambo III where he stayed with monks at this Buddhist Monastery in Thailand. Is there some truth in that?
In all honesty it was more so an escape for my son than myself and the clown world shitshow USA is becoming. Also, it’s a total different pace of life in the best of ways. I’m fortunate that I’m able to compartmentalize what I’ve been through and it doesn’t really affect me. I think I was meant to have a wildlife and it’s always been this way, never a dull moment and I’m well aware I’m lucky to still be here. So every damn day is a good one!

I’m also looking forward to really help bring the gift of skating to kids and heads down here and plan on doing camps and sessions and having my extended skate family thru here. It’s already a surfing paradise, now time to make it a skate one . A bunch of my skate fam have pledged to sponsor to and help my program.

I’m also building a mini ramp in my yard next month and they are starting to build legit parks all around, I’d love to get my Dreamland family down here on a project as well. I’m blessed in the fact that I always seem to stumble into the raddest skate rats wherever I go on the globe and here it’s been no different. I’m also going to be starting another project out of Costa Rica with my brother and fellow skate rat lifer and Costa Rica legend Marlon Rodriguez. Even in paradise ain’t nothing changed and I’m full on PANTERA and 1000mph while everyone else is all Bob Marley. If I ever hear “don’t worry every lil ting gonna be alright“ there’s gonna be issues! (laughing). Big shout on the east coast, backside mag for listening to my rambling and for anyone still reading, never quit, skate rats fa life! Lairmobb por vida!

What’s next with Erik Munday?

Pretty much what I answered two questions before. (laughing) Help bring skating down here and also gonna be partnering on a new Costa Rica based skate company with my brother Marlon. Also, will be back stateside next year to work on the TV show and movie with Johnny, amped on that! Other than that, just raising my minion and plenty of skating and surfing.

Last question. If you could interview a person, who would it be and why?
I’m a go with Tesla or Nostradamus! Thanks again for the interview and keep up the rad work, that Boston issue was slammin!

‘That was the best worst idea and trick I ever did. The story goes is that at one time it was first gonna be used as a “something else “ page in Thrasher but then Transworld ran the video footy of me doing it from an old lair video (armed and hammered) on their front page so Jake shined it. My lowcard brothers picked it up instead and I’d rather have it in lowcard anyways. I luv those slackers!’
© Michael Cirelli