‘Stay pure, stay poor!’
You have a popular name. This is what I found:
– Jeremy Durand is an international horse photographer
– Director Jeremy Durand is known for Galibot (2011) and Kankant (2009)
– Jérémy Durand 3D Character Animator
– Pastor Jeremy Durand | The Gospel According to St Matthew. Which one of these represents you the most?
Wow I had no idea (laughing). Thanks for that! I don’t know any of those dudes, so it’s kinda hard to tell. But it’s clearly not the pastor, because to me, religions are fucking stupid. As Lemmy from Motörhead sang “God was never on your side”!
In your interview with Guerilla Skatezine you mentioned, that after studying graphic design, you applied for jobs at skatemags without any luck. This prompted you to start your own. In hindsight, are you glad that it did not work out?
Maybe my back and wrist wouldn’t be that fucked up if I would had end up being a graphic designer for a skatemag. I would probably had more time to actually skate too…But it’s all good this way. Almost 20 year later, you are still in the skate media game. 169 in total as of right now which is impressive.
What motivates you to keep going?
Yep, somehow Versus survived! If I keep going, even if I’m not that productive lately, it’s just because it’s still fun. I like to shoot pictures, I like to write. And I have a really bad memory, probably from all those slams on my head, so writing down stories in my zine helps me to remember all the people I’ve met, the spots we’ve built, the place we’ve been, etc. I love to check out some old issues sometimes, and be like “Fuck, true that, we’ve been to Madrid 10 years ago with the boys, trip was sick!”.
‘I actually learned english translating interviews from my favorite skateboarders in Transworld.’
You started skating in 1998. How did you get involved?
Actually I started way earlier. We were just hill bombing shit, sitting on our crappy plastic fish boards when I was like 8 years old or something. But one day, a friend crashed into a car while doing our favorite downhill and passed away. My mom took my board straight away, and I wasn’t allowed to skate until I turned 14 in 1998. But somehow, skateboarding was still in my mind during all those years. Everyday, on my way back home from school for lunch, I had to buy some bread at the bakery, which was also the best (skate) spot in my hometown. Older dudes were jumping down the 4 stairs set, which seemed completely impossible to me. I was amazed and wanted to try myself so badly. Finally, when I entered high school, my mom bought me another skateboard. My life changed completely from this day on. Since this day, it’s all about it. I’ve got hooked up instantly.
Which skatemags inspired you at the time?
The very first mag I bought was a french mag called Tricks. It came with skate video (VHS) sometimes, which was incredible. Many different skatemags were around back then… Freestyler, Sugar, Transworld, Thrasher, Skateboarder, Big Brother, Monster, Slap etc… Then a few years later came The Skateboard Mag, Kingpin, Boardstein, Chill, à propos, Soma, and more… I remember saving money to buy as many as I could. I actually learned english translating interviews from my favorite skateboarders in Transworld.
Glad you did not learn English translating Big Brother.
Different vocabulary for sure. English teachers suck in France! Wanna learn English? Get some mags at your local skateshop!
Any publications left that you follow today?
I guess only Thrasher and Sugar are still running nowadays. I still buy Sugar all the time even if I don’t like it as much as I used to do when I was a kid. Confusion is my favorite, with Free, Solo & Forever Playground. The new Fotta from Italy looks sick too even if I don’t understand everything (laughing). Oh and RRL skatezine and Guerrilla are the best too!
Proudest Versus moment so far?
Zine wise you mean? Never been really proud of anything I’ve made anyway… I mean I was stocked to be featured in Thrasher a few times, but beside that, no, nothing.
Most embarrassing or funny, or both?
There are probably a few shit I wrote back then I would not write again today, but beside that, not much…Versus sucks anyway!
Is there anything you would not print in Versus from a content or ad perspective?
“Never be bought, never be sold”! Fuck Nike and all those big corporations who took over. Fuck the Olympics and all their federation / competition bullshit.
What are your thoughts when you see a big corporation ad like Nike in Thrasher?
They just try to buy their integrity. I was into skateboarding before them. Only their money is real, all the rest is just a fake image. And Thrasher are running shitty ads for a while now. It’s sad. Stay pure, stay poor!
‘Fuck Nike and all those big corporations who took over.’
When not putting skate zines together, what do you do?
I’m playing music (and drinking Jameson) with my band Sacs à Gnôle, I’m building skateparks with my friends at Airline, I’m collecting skate books, building resin float tools to build skateparks, working at ski resorts in winter, wasting (way too much) time on my phone like a fucking idiot, and sometimes, yeah, skateboarding when my body allows me to.
You are also heavily involved in DIY skate parks. Is there anything left on your wish list?
Yeah, that’s actually the main thing I’m doing, building our DIY in Saint-Jean-de- Maurienne in the French Alps for over 5 years now. “I created a monster” like my friend Pudi from PPC said. It takes pretty much all my time. Sometimes I hate it, but overall, it’s the best thing I’ve done in my life. We still have another 2 years to build the last 1000m2 tleft ; That’s the deal the city gave us. Hope I will find another project straight away after this when it’s done, if not, my life will feel pretty empty.
Anything left on my wish list? Yeah, actually I would love to write a book before I die. But I also had the plan to die young, and it’s already too late for that. Whatever. Let’s see what’s coming. I don’t mind dying tomorrow, I’ve the feeling I’ve done what I had to do on this planet already. Future ain’t that bright.
Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
I would had love to make an interview with Jeff Grosso. It seems we had the same view on skateboarding. Too late, too bad, RIP mate. P-Stone would had been great too… RIP brother. Thanks for the interview. Shoot out to all my friends, you know who you are.