Someone told me I need to get in touch with you in regard to the Boston skate scene. What was your contribution?
So, I moved to Boston from AZ in 97 left in 2006 and at that time I was a regular contributor for Thrasher. The Boston scene was going off at the time, and I remember I was talking to Luke Ogden and Phelps at Thrasher and told them I was thinking of moving some where back East (where I’m from) they said move to Boston, “have you seen that dude Nardone do that drop in?” So, a few months later I was there in the thick of it.
How would you describe the Boston skateboard community?
I mean it was a big Family, I think every skater at one time, or another lived in Mission Hill so we would bomb the hills go skate all day then head back to the hill and hang out on our stoop on Darling street, drink and clash with the college kids. It was great!
What are some of your underground heroes out there?
Well I don’t think he was underground but I always enjoyed spending the day with Jahmal, we would cruise around the city all day – he knew the city better than anyone – talk about art, music and the 80’s. It was a huge learning experience for sure.
‘We went to Thrasher HQ and all my photos were out on the light table and Jake was like we’re running your photos, Dude!’
Where there any local photographers that inspired you at the time?
I was roommates with Ben Colen so we would just nerd out on camera gear all day, still do.
Favorite local skater you have shot in Boston?
I mean Robbie Gangemi and Jahmal Williams without a doubt
Proudest moment as a photographer?
Probably Robbie’s cover and interview in Strength Magazine.
Well not sure if it was embarrassing because I was able to keep it under wraps (laughing), but in 99 I think? I went on a Duffs shoe tour around the East Coast with Jason Maxwell, Jones Wray, Chris Dune Pastras and Matt F-ing Hensley. The tour was a bust because it was all crappy demos and barely any street skating. I think only one photo ran of Dune doing a 5/0 on a over vert at Skaters Island. Anyways, we finally hit one spot, a bank to wall under a bridge and Matt started doing these huge f/s wall rides and I was stoked. I set up black and white and had the shadows working for me and the angle was perfect, and I was like this is gonna be epic. Long story short a few days later we get pulled over in Rhode Island and these shitty cops emptied the van went through all our shit and that roll of film got lost. Crushed.
‘I mean Robbie Gangemi and Jahmal Williams without a doubt.’
In an IG post you mentioned Jake Phelps changed your life. How did he do that and what has changed for you since then?
So, when I first started shooting my friend and Thrasher photographer Sean Cronan was on a trip and passed through Tucson AZ where I was living at the time and asked to see my photos that I had been taking. I was only about shooting for like a year and he told me to send them to Thrasher. I refused, so he sent them in on my behalf. About 6 months later he came back for a road trip to SF with me and a few Tucson skaters. We went to Thrasher HQ and all my photos were out on the light table and Jake was like we’re running your photos, Dude! And boom just like that I was 19 and pretended I had a career (laughing).
‘Anyways, we finally hit one spot, a bank to wall under a bridge and Matt (Hensley) started doing these huge f/s wall rides and I was stoked.’
I was going back almost 10 years in your IG history and found a second skate post. It was you ollieing a bank that ended up in a 1997 issue of Thrasher (photo taken by Sean Cronan). Were you the Jake Darwen of the 90ies?
Well I wouldn’t go that far, but I was a skater and I was all about skating the session. I would bring a camera just to make the session more fun. I actually had a few pics in Thrasher the other one was an Ollie at Boston city hospital shot by Luke. I ended up busting my ACL and then busting it again, so I couldn’t skate much after that. I became the chubby skate photographer (laughing). After that it wasn’t really fun for me anymore, so I moved to NYC in 2005 to start something else.
Why are you not posting more skate images?
I like seeing them get randomly posted by other people. And I don’t know how to get into my hard drive from 2006.
‘I always enjoyed spending the day with Jahmal, we would cruise around the city all day’
What are you up to now?
I work at an Art Museum in Connecticut and NYC. I also build wooden canoes, hang with the wife and two kids.
What is on your wish list?
Northern forest canoe trail. It’s a canoe trail that is 750 miles long from upstate NY to the tip of Maine.
Last question. If you could interview a person, who would it be and why?
I’d rather hit up PJ Killroys (bar) with the OG Darling st crew to be honest.