Friday, May 29, 2015

The Edge of Atlanta

Photos by: David Morico
Words by: Jeremiah Babb
Interview by: Rob Williams

Me and some old dudes saw Andrew skating this pre-fab park in Decatur many year ago. You should know the rest right? "This little kid, wow! Mind blowing stunts! Things we could never imagine...and we knew the future is now"....and all that bullshit. But it wasn't. Little ass, annoying 10 year old Andrew and his buddy Zach were always there chasing each other around doing lil 50-50's on the flat bars, a tweaker ollie on the hip, nosegrinds here and there, 5-0's on the quarterpipe, etc, etc. Nothing especially amazing. These 2 kids were in their zone just kinda doing their own thing, getting in our (the rippers!) way and they'd sneak off as quick as they'd sneak in. "Dude, that Baby-Epo kid is gonna be good man...if he keeps skating" was kinda the real verdict at the bar after the sessions. He didn't switch tre-flip the pyramid or kickflip nose blunt the box. No contest training. No P-Rod boards. It was just real solid, fluid, natural skating. It was awesome! I was 26 at the time; to see this little kid and to get stoked on his skating was so rad to me. He's grown up now. He tries to get witty. He and his friends think they're lil' fart jokes are funny. I can tell he thinks I'm lame at times; he's all "in the scene". He's not a jerk. He answers in one word answers. I mean shit man he's in his 20's, he does dumb shit like everyone. Then he steps on a skateboard and transforms into one of the most in-tune, intelligent, and gifted skaters ever. If you've never heard of him then that's half the reason we love him. There is no showboating or "look at how rad I am" with Andrew. He's just doing what he's doing. He's living, and he just happens to be one of the best skateboarders from the South, hands down. 
-Jeremiah Babb

Rob- Where are you from?
Andrew- Atlanta, Georgia. Born and raised down here. I grew up skating in Decatur, which is a tiny city a few miles outside of downtown Atlanta.

How did you start skateboarding?
    A friend of mine at school skated and got me into it. At the time I lived on a street with 10 or 15 other kids my age. A bunch of us got really into it. We had a few flat bars and little boxes. There was a church at the end of the street with a few small stairs and grass hill bombs too.

What is your favorite part about Atlanta and its skate scene?
    I love that there is always some kind of DIY foundation spot around. The DIY motivation is pretty high here. Street skating downtown is real fun too, but I’d say my favorite part is probably the backyard ramp scene. There are a few fun ramps just around the downtown area; they are all sick and unique. As you go farther out of the beltway there are a few more. Jeremiah Babb’s is probably the best I think.

Have you skated Jeremiah's miniramp since he put all the pool block on there?
    Is it all pool coping now? Well nope, haven’t been there in a minute...been waiting on a invite Miah! Nah but seriously that ramp is amazing though.

So you just graduated college, where did you go to school and what did you study?
    I studied business marketing at Georgia State. It wasn’t something that I planned on from the get-go or anything like that. By the time I got through my general studies classes I had no idea what to do. I ended up deciding to go into the business school, because I figured it was pretty broad and practical. I ended up choosing marketing because it seemed more interesting than accounting, finance, and the few other majors the business school offered. Since I graduated I’ve been applying for a bunch of jobs, but it’s hard to get a job that I’m interested in without much experience. I’m working in restaurants in the mean time and staying optimistic about finding work that relates to my major.

Standard headshot required by law

You had a part in the THREADS video last year that Matt Creasy and Andrew Rose put out; how was filming for that video?
    That was a lot of fun. I think we filmed everything in just short of one year. I took a few small trips for it around the South. Everyone involved seemed really motivated to skate and create something important.

Does this mean you will have footage in Creasy and Rose's upcoming project with Chris Thiessan at Transworld (Headcleaner Video)?
   I think I’ll have a handful of clips in there. Filmed some stuff, but we’ll see what happens. Can’t wait for that video to come out, it’ll be here soon.

What are your plans for 2015?
    Filming a video part for my buddy Jack's video called Bae1000. It’s supposed to be out in June? Other than that just trying to work on some life stuff, take some trips, skate a lot, and enjoy life.

I heard ATL is building another new big skatepark, what's going on with that? Have you seen the layout?
    Well there already is the 4th-Ward park that’s been here for a few years, but I heard about a new one being built near Turner Field or something like that. I saw the plans a while back and truthfully it looked pretty weak, but I haven’t heard much about it in a while. Maybe they made some changes?

Andrew and friends filming for top secret shit
For anyone visiting ATL to skate what are the top five must hit skate spots?
1)Wallrides at the Bell South building
2)Skate flat at Black-Blocks   
3)Hit up the naked lady building downtown
4)Skate the DIY rubble at The-Coop
5)Rex banks up in Gwinett

How about the top five must visit places to eat grub and drink beer down there?
1)I'd go to the Flying Biscut for breakfast
2)Candler Park Market, they got good sandwiches
3)Daddy D's is a great BBQ spot
4)Twains is a cool pool hall in Decatur that brews their own beer
5)Lastly, I guess El-Myr. It's a skate-bar in Little Five Points with good burritos

Top five favorite skaters?
 Damn that’s a hard one, but I’d have to say the following…
1)Danny Renaud
2)Geoff Rowley…and Arto Saari
3)Brian Anderson
4)David Clark
5)Brad Cromer… shit, Grant Taylor is in there somewhere too. I know that’s more than 5, but whatever I think that’s an accurate list.

Top five favorite skate videos?
1)Static III
3)The Good Life
4)RUIN’s Noveau
5)VHS tape

Top five favorite skate shoes?
1)Definitely gonna’ put Vans old-skools as #1 on the list
2)The new Busenitz ADV
3)Vans slip-ons...after that? Hmmmmmmm...