The Oxford Experience
Early 90`s Deathbox pro, underground dj, Flip am, Santa Cruz pro, frontfoot impossible wizzard and Oxford raised mate: Alex Moul
He was so kind to answer some of our silly questions. Here we go with the 1st official F.F.L. interview in the late days of the year 2011.
F.F.L: How old were you when you started skating and what was your 1st real board?
Alex Moul: I was 11 years old when I started. My 1st board I had a really go on, was one of those little, skinny, orange plastic boards, but I never owned one. The 1st board I owned was an Alva Eddie Reategui, the one with all the warriors on the bottom.
F.F.L: What drew your attention towards skateboarding?
Alex Moul: BMX was really quiete big in England. The Skateboard mag covered BMX and Skateboarding and as rubbish I was in BMX ing, I looked into the magazins of my friend now and then. Woo, this is skateboarding?! Then “Back to the Future” came out. Michael J fox was skateboarding and I was: Wuu that`s pretty cool.
A year later “Polic Acadamy 4” (released 1987) came out and that was Tommy Guerrero, Tony Hawk and I think Mike Mc Gill was in it. They have done all the extra Skate scenes in it. That was where I thought: WOW that is actually really cool!!!
That was the turning point. Before, I was taking the piss out of people skateboarding. It was all like: “Ahh you are like Michal J Fox, Ohh, the Back to the Future kids” or whatever.
But then it was actually really cool, like that guy jumbed over a car on a skateboard. How is that possible? From that moment on I was kind of into it, like this is allright.
F.F.L: So we can say: “Police Academy 4” made you addicted to the woodenstick?
Alex Moul: Yeah, you can write that down (laughter)
Shit mate, I`ve seen people on a BMX or other mediums jumping over a car, but never on a skateboard. WTF, how do you that? Eventhough later on I found out that there was a jumbramp behind the police car in the movie and they all did early grabs over it, appart from Tommy Guerrero, who might have ollied it, but he was one of the Street skaters rather than the other guys.
F.F.L: So then you got your 1st real board, the Alva Eddie Reategui?
Alex Moul: Yeah, that was just a random choice. I had no idea what was going on at that point. I actually met Eddie at Chickens bowl in southern California and he was still ripping. This was only 5 years ago.
I said to him: “Oi guess what- Your board was my 1st board ever!” and he actually knew who I was- wich was amazing. I thought it was only fair to go and get a sixpack from the shop and offer him a beer. That went down all right. I think Eddie Reategui was all right with me after that.
|Alex 1st real deck.|
F.F.L: How long it took you to get a sponsor?
Alex Moul: Well, I started skating with 11 and I become sponsered at 12, I guess I got really lucky in a way or should I say my parents?! Cause my parents only bought me 3 Skateboards in my live. I had the Alva “Eddie Reategui”, the Santa Cruz “Corey O`Brien” and then the 3rd board was the Powell&Peralta “Tommy Guerrero- sword and flames”, if anyone remembers that.
Yeah, and after that I got sponsored until now. I guess I got pretty lucky in that one.
F.F.L: So you got sponsored by a shop or directly from Deathbox (later renamed to Flip)?
Alex Moul: When I was riding the Tommy G., I was hanging out everyday, in the skateshop SS20 in Oxford, England, after school. One day Sean Goff, a vert pro rider, saw me outside the shop doing some tricks and he asked me to go street skating with him on the weekend. We met up and I went street skating with him. We hit up some handrails and he was kinda impressed, cause at that time handrails weren`t that prominent. Sean set up a photo shoot with Tim from “RAD magazin”. Tim came up and we shot some photos in the afternoon.
I was reading “RAD magazin” every month, so I thought, if I`m lucky I gonna get one little picture. The next thing I knew was, I had 8 pages of photographes in it. I was just like: “Shit!!! What`s going on???”
After that SS20 sponsored me and the same day that happened, Jeremy Fox from Deathbox calls me and asks to ride for them. So I was sponsored by them aswell. I thought: “Cool, I`m part of a group now wich goes skateboarding.”
I was 12 years old and had no idea what was going on.
|Deathbox ad ca 1990|
F.F.L: You started to go skating with the Deathbox team then?
Alex Moul: I remember my “Initiation” like Deathbox brought me out and wanted to see how I`m skating and how it works out, like a test run. So I went to London with Sean Goff and we arrived at”Meanwhile 2” also called the “Gonz gap”, cause Gonz ollied it 1st. I met Jeremy Fox (owner of Deathbox) and I was: “Who is this busted version looking of Sylvester Stallone?!”, but we swept hand on and went to south Bank to skate with all the kids I knew from the magazins. That was dead cool to skate with the sickest dudes all of a sudden.
|Mouly`s well known Deathbox popcorn deck|
F.F.L: You were solid on the team then. How it progressed?
Alex Moul: I was going skating, shooting photographs and receiving new boards, t-shirts all that kind of stuff. It was a complete trip for me back then. I wonder if it`s a trip for kids these days. Back in the days I had no idea what was expected.
Obvisiouly I was allowed a new deck whenever I wanted, but I was so used to ride until the deck was worn out. When it started to get worn out and I was so used to the deck and liked it so much, so I would go to my dad`s garage and make this stuff we called “Peanut butter”.
F.F.L: “Peanut butter”???
Alex Moul: It`s sawdust mixed with glue. Wherever your board is delamning you paste it in and set it. So my board was good for another month. People couldn`t understand. They were like:”Hey you got brand new ones, why you are rocking the worn out one?” I was: “I like the old one, I hate brand new ones” I did that back then, but obvisously not anymore, so I don`t have to make “Peanut butter” anymore. (Laugther)
|Pro model ad from RAD magazin (UK Skate MAgazin)|
|Now we know the truth. Unbeaten J.Fox humor.|
F.F.L: You turned pro for Deathbox in 1991. That was the year you won your 1st ever pro contest aswell. How was that for you?
Alex Moul: Like Deathbox wanted to turn me pro, but I was thinking that I wasn`t ready for any of that, cause again I didn`t know what all that ment, but Jeremy said: “It`s to late we are making you a promodel and we turn you pro. We´ll put the advertisement into the magazines.” I was:”Ohh shit, I guess we are doing that now”
In summer 1991 I went to Eindhoven, Holland wich was my 1st pro contest and my hero Ed Templeton was there at the competition. I remember the 1st day was practice and Ed and I were sessioning the flat bank and the flatground. All of a sudden everyone else was just sitting around and watched us doing sort of a demo- wich was really strange.
The next day went together street skating with a photographer to a marble ledge fountain in Eindhoven. Ed was trying some fs tailslide bigspin out. I have never seen anything like that.
Next day in the contest I have done my only flawless, clean run ever in my life. To win this contest was absolutly amazing. I was totally psyched. Ed and his wife Deanna were telling me afterwards: “We thought you were going to win two days ago, when we 1st saw you skating” That was completly nuts.
F.F.L: Hasn`t Ed shown you how to do late shove its in that contest?
Alex Moul: Yeah, he showed them on flatground and I thought that they were really cool. Later on in the evening everybody was doing their thing and I was learning late shove its in front of the hotel. Next day was the contest final and after my run I went up to the jump ramp, gab, bank, channel thing and I did a fs ollie late shove it out of the jump ramp over the gab into the bank. Boom, landed it and I have never landed all my tricks. Everybody was just like “WTF just happened” and even Ed was: “WTF I just showed you the trick yesterday on flatground and now you are doing it over gaps”
F.F.L: So what was the price money for winning this major pro contest in 1991?
Alex Moul: (big laughter) I got $500 and a bag of popcorn for 1st place street!!!
1st place vert got $1500 and a bag of popcorn. Man, how times have changed.
That was the transition from vert skating being the real prominent, cool thing to street skating being the shit.
F.F.L: Kind of a year later you disappeared all of a sudden. What happened?
Alex Moul: I got a bit fed up with the scene. It suddently got really scene style like if you weren`t wearing the right clothes and shoes, then you are not cool anymore. Skateboarding for me was always about it dosen`t matter what you are wearing or what you are doing. The fact that you are taking part in it and having a great time is all that matters.
So, in this era I wasn`t having any of this. I got pictures in the magazines and people just slacked me off for getting into music. There was one caption to a pic in a magazin saying:”Alex Moul, bs lipslide, Epingtons techno king” All kinds of shit like that. If they thought that is the direction skateboarding has to go in the UK, than alright- have a good time then. So I disappeared for a bit, but I never quit my sponsors. I was just not prominent in the eye of the skateboard media and went out of the limelight.
Kind of Tom Penny mode, eventhough I was never that legendary. It was pretty much the same reason he did the same later.
Say you frequent your local supermarket every week and your picture is on the wall and people start to write weird things under your picture. Would you still be going or would you hob out for a while?
F.F.L: I would go to the next “Tesco” (english supermarket chain).
Alex Moul: The next “Tesco”, that`s a good Analogy. Yeah, so I went to the next “Tesco” wich was music, working in a record store and Dj ing.
F.F.L: So how you made your comeback in the mid/late 90`s?
Alex Moul: Jeremy Fox called me up to come to California for a couple of weeks. I went out there and was asking myself: “Why I`m not skateboarding, I`m not too old, I still can do it and have a good time”. I felt there was a void in my life so I started to fill it. I belive I accomplished that.
F.F.L: You had a part in the 411 Flip industry section in 1998 and a 411 “Wheels of Fortune” in 1999
Alex Moul: Those sections were kind of warm ups. The ON videopart was my best accomplishment. I just got on Santa Cruz.
F.F.L: Why you never turned pro for Flip after you have been already pro on Deathbox?
Alex Moul: I think the big reason was I came out here and did all that and then I had a back injury, wich lasted for a year. This is around the same time they got Mark (Appleyard) and Arto (Saari) on and they were the more prominent new guys and they deffinetly had to concentrate more on these guys.
Another reason is when I came here I had to start from scratch again. Building up a recognition from everyone in America and an injury dosen`t help there either. So Flip said: “We not gonna give you a board”, fair enough I would say. A lot of people didn`t understand it, but I did.
F.F.L: How you got over that injury?
Alex Moul: I went to several pysio practitcs and they all fucked me up, they were rubbish. Then my mate Pete Evans from England came out for two weeks. He is an old friend of mine and he wanted to go skating with me. I said that I can`t, due to my back. He said: “My back is fucked too, but I do these stretches!” So I have done those stretches with him and after four days I could move around a bit more again. By the end of the 1st week I was skating with him and within six months I was pro for Santa Cruz.
Thank you very much Pete Evans!!!!!
F.F.L: So you sent Santa Cruz some footage or how did you get on team?
Alex Moul: No I didn`t have any footage pilled up and sent to them. I just had a sequence in Thrasher Magazin, doing a fs flip down a double set. Stacey Lowery who is a friend of mine was riding for them. Santa Cruz was looking for a new guy at the time and they just opened the mag up and Stacey was like: “Mouly!!! We should add Mouly.” So they tracked me down and asked if I would ride for them.
This is what I heard. If it`s wrong- my fault, but here we are.
|Santa Cruz ad|
|Fs willy to fakie|
F.F.L: This year you had a guest board on “Wight Trash” skateboards
Alex Moul: That has to do with my mate John Cattle. He does “Wight Trash” skateboards. He is a really old school friend of mine, even before the Deathbox days. He asked me to do a collab board and I was down with it. I hope people buy it and hook him up.
|Alex Moul Moon graphic from Wight Trash Skateboards|
|Wight Trash Skateboards ad 2011|
F.F.L: What are your plans for 2012?
Alex Moul: My new ventures for the future will be ZUKIE. It`s a clothing company and wheels from england. That`ll be my venture for 2012.
Keep your eyes open for that.
|Airwalk to fakie|
Towards the end of this delightful conversation, some pictures in motion: