Sunday, February 15, 2009
Patrick Melcher Interview
Good morning/evening Patrick Melcher, how's life in sunny Los Angeles?
Usually its just that, sunny as... but you happened to catch me on like the one day out of the year that the clouds have reared their dismal facade. I think it has something to do with the fires that have been burning down the surrounding areas of Los Angeles in the past few weeks. It's been gnar. there was this pure black cloud that insisted on shitting it's ash down on us for like five days. The forests and hills were burning and the wind picked up all of the crap from the smoldering wreckage and dropped it directly into my lungs. I guess this always happens here, every year when the dry season hits. Somebody leaves a coke bottle on a trail in the woods and the sun catches it and magnifies it into a laser which catches the whole mountain on fire and then Christopher Lloyd has to go buy a new house.
What sort of shenanigans do you get up to on a average day?
Lately it's been, wake up, grab a rag , go wipe the burnt forest off of my car and try and skate without getting asthma. I did just get a new pit-bull puppy, so I hook up with the homies (most of whom have pit-bulls too) and we let our dogs entertain each other while driving around and skating schools or random spots. For me, when I'm trying to film or shoot, it's most likely a solo mission. Just me and dan-o-zone kicking around ideas until having fun becomes something worth filming. A lot of the time, weekdays are spent at various skate parks, I live right down the street from the berrics and Lizard King lives right by me too, so we usually hook up and shred there.
Its pretty common knowledge in the skate community that your a bit of a kleptomaniac (person who steals a lot) and you once just walked out of a show room with a sofa in hand and got a security guard to help. what's the biggest or most valuable thing you have pinched?
First of all, for the readers, I'd like to clarify that, shoplifting and stealing are two whole different evils. I don't, and wouldn't, steal from a person. Only a corporation that I believe is insured and set up to handle damages. In a way, it's what I like to call 'forced karma', I've been overpaying for all kinds of shit my whole life, it's time for me too balance out the universe. I wouldn't steal from an owner operated establishment either. I've got love for the mom and pop shops out there.
The odd thing about all of my acquisitions is that I frequently don't remember what is all stolen. Maybe because there is just so much. I mean, what's the biggest thing? I don't know. my whole house is a museum of what can be done with a little ingenuity and a little balls. Tables, chairs, televisions, everything. If you put a little thought into it and know the rules, nothing is off limits. I have never been caught and I don't think I ever will because if something feels sketchy , I have no problem calling it off. The reason that most people who have been caught did so, is because of their own lack of confidence, they haven't trained their will to overcome that fear that we all have and their body language is telling the clerk or whomever that they are up to shady business. and this is why almost everybody has the "I got caught when I was really young and I don't anymore" story. Because when you are young, your self confidence hasn't had all that much time to develop. Also you haven't been in and out of a thousand places and trained up your second nature on what to look for as far as security. For a vast majority of people who get caught, it almost always happens when they are exiting and an alarm goes off, or a guard asks them to 'please come over here'. We all have this polite instinct to comply with authority. You know you are doing something wrong and when you get called on it you feel defeated and a bit embarrassed and scared. fear is the main detraction of theft in the world. It took me a long time to overcome the instinct to want to turn around and comply with a security guard or act as if I didn't hear an alarm going off.
Personally it has only happened a few times, an alarm goes off as I'm exiting a store and my gut instinct is 'fuck, I'm caught, turn around and face the music'. But to keep walking is the hardest thing ever. This is why everybody has that same 'I got caught' story, they just think they are required to go back. I've never had to run though, just keep calm and keep walking and pretend that I'm deaf. It's only happened twice that I can think of, I take mad precautions too. Like dressing well and shopping at high volume foot traffic times, and when possible I try to exit as somebody else is going through the doors too, that way if an alarm goes off that person stops and wonders why they set off the alarm while I'm already half way up the street. There are a thousand other things that I do too.
Shoplifting is like most true crimes, If done well it can be a thing of art. A con man, a car thief, a master pickpocket, even those ghetto dudes playing three card monty outside the train station, when you master your craft it can be beautiful.
I never saw, but were you thieving when you was here in London in the summer?
I'm sure I was. Most likely, not too much though. In the states, I know all the rules. nothing over three hundred dollars, or you go to jail, nobody has the right to detain you or even touch you except real police officers. And most places, the workers aren't even allowed to go out the front doors. Places here are so stressed about law suits against them if patrons get injured or wrongfully accused, that they don't touch you. They just ask you politely to come back and if you don't, oh well. But there in Britain, I'm not so sure about all the laws and stuff. There are something like an average of four video cameras pointed at you at all times, seems a bit more challenging. so, I kept it to candy and sandwiches and a little bit of clothing while I was there. No bank heists or anything.
You have been pro for a fair few years now. How have things changed since getting your first board 'til present day?
I'm older for one. I think I went pro in like 2001. And since then the bar has been raised a lot higher for rookie pros. The lines between pro and am are virtually extinct now. Being pro means that some company somewhere believes that they will make more money by putting your name on their product. And that's pretty much true. In exchange you are now a representative of this company and them taking you on means if you are a douche, it makes them look like chumps, since they invested their trust in you and you douched out. I think when I went pro there was a lot of mismanagement among pros. Really, kids just out of high school, not taking it too seriously and forgetting that it is all business and being a professional means just that. we are in the most 'BRO' industry in the world, and we've all seen how quickly the flavor of the month ams and pros can come and go. As my career goes on , I see that the ADD of the public is increasing and people are at risk of getting churned through the popularity machine a lot quicker than ever before.
When you see all these little kids, fresh out of the womb learning skating rails and doing the things that has maybe taken you years to learn in a few weeks how does that make you feel?
I just remember that it is a different time now and the things that I learned really quickly came easy to me, and there was a group of dudes standing by while I was progressing who were all freaking out on me, the same way that I am amazed at all the mini-shredders today. I know a lot of dudes in my generation who wont even check out the magazines cause it makes them feel like they are falling behind. But you gotta remember that we all have our own appeal and our own parameters of enjoyment and success. If I'm having fun, I'd like to think that it is relatable to the rest of the dudes. I realize that my type of skating isn't palatable for the entire skate community , so I focus on what I think is interesting
I dunno if you saw but I put a myspace bulletin out asking if anyone wanted to ask you some questions for this interview. I got a lot of replies but about 90% were about your moustache so I thought I would get a couple of questions in here. So, who or what's your main inspiration behind your moustache? What products help you maintain a healthy looking well curled moustache?
When you've got a well curled moustache, the world is your oyster. I had a beard going after this one trip to New York when I need to grow it in account of the frigid cold, and when I got back to LA I left a 'stache' . It started, like most things , as an experiment. Something fun and humorous, but soon, almost instantly, I started to realize that children were terrified of me, dogs were barking at me constantly and people never questioned all of my lies and farces as pure truth. You kinda trust a man with a moustache. Since then, I've been inducted into, a beard and moustache club here in LA, we are going to the world championships in may of '09. You may not believe it, but there are people who live for this shit. The underground beard culture goes deep, with roots dating back to before the birth of Christ.
Top 5 moustache owners in history:
2)John Wilkes Booth (Lincoln's assassin)
3) Graucho Marx
4) Alex Trebek (Jeopardy)
The most infamous moustache in the history of the world.
How fucking amazing that? the hideous actions of one man could ruin a facial hairstyle for all of eternity. no one ever, for the rest of time, is allowed to have a toothbrush moustache because of one insane douche-bag racist.
I don't think alot of people over here know that you DJ pretty regularly in Hollywood. if we was to go to one of your shows what kind of songs could we expect to hear?
I stick to mostly soul. '60s soul, and classic rock and roll from the 1950's. but when you DJ here in Hollywood, you've gotta keep the pace of the crowd and play to the audience. so, I bring alot of 70's and 80's too.
Who are the greatest bands to come out of england?
The only band that matters... For a place with such shit weather , It's amazing that all of the best music of the 20th century came out of this one island. But, seriously, THE CLASH is all you need.
Are hollywood parties all cocaine fueled orgies filled with celebrities getting on celebrities and maximum hi-jinx?
In a word... yes! You have pinpointed it my friend. I've seen the most obscene shit on both sides of the spectrum all the way from the gutter to the million dollar mansions all night long. It's no joke, this place is babylon through and through. luckily I don't drink, so I can totally remember all of the insanity that befalls me.
As a sober gentlemen, how does it feel when your at a party and everyone is getting drunk and buck-wild? you ever feel like saying fuck it and getting on the sauce?
No, that never crosses my mind. I operate on a different set of ideals than most people. not many people understand it but it's what works for me. I don't judge anyone if they are getting drunk, actually I kinda insist that everybody around me get as fucked up as they can. when the people around you are cutting loose the fun snowballs and its just party time all the time. that might be why i go out every night of the week and find the rad parties on the weekend. what's cool is, my homies know they can count on getting a solid ride home from a dude who isn't gonna crash the car, and that I've got their back and will stay out all night making sure everybody is getting laid and stuff. having a sober guy in the crew comes in handy all the time.
That is it that you find so endearing about a good hat and how many do you have in your collection now?
I've always been a hat guy. a quality hat is the perfect topper to a mans character. I've got a hundred or so, but I'm not obsessed. there is a specific type of hat that suits a certain man, once you find it you must indulge. If not your cranium is missing out.