The John Cattle Sessions Part 1
We sat down with our friend John Cattle for a drink and had a very extended natter. The session was so productive, that F.F.L. decided to do a regular column out of it.
Here we go with part one of the “John Cattle Sessions” The subject of our little chat is about: “The Shit called Skateboarding in 2011”.
Have a look what two blokes, under the influence of wine, beer and gin tonics, have to say about the the Skateboard scene and superstars nowadays.
F.F.L: I always loved the approach of skating in the 80`s 90`s: No coaches, no schedueled times where you have to do the training. Seems like nowadays it`s a bit different.
John Cattle: A bit more organized now, a bit more of a regime now. Isn`t it? You know? You can`t skate like before. You skated to have fun and hang out with your friends. It`s more of, not like a job, but of a deffined routine as it seems.
F.F.L: I don`t know man, I got really the strange feeling that there is something completely wrong. When I`ve seen this video of Nyjah Huston where he started to cry, cause he didn`t win the contest. I think he got 2nd. I was just thinking: What the fuck is that!!!!
John Cattle: That is a different kind of dissapointment. That is weired!!! I would never be really off the moon to be 2nd in a major leaque contest, but that is that kind of pressure that those kind of boys are under nowadays. It`s not a by heart, fun thing anymore. It`s a coparate event and you have to perform. You got so many sponsors on your payrolls, so you have to show these guys, aahhhh you basicly gotta win! Otherwise you gonna get some shit for that.
Also these guys have progressed the skating beyond in a way none of us has done in history.
F.F.L: Yeah I agree on that, but they took the fun and freedom out of it- basicly ruined it! The kids nowadys growing up on that shit, they get a whole different impression on what we got back in the days.
John Cattle: Exactly, it`s a whole different thing now. It`s a whole different animal. It dosen`t have that kind of freedom and fun as it did. I guess for those who 1st start, it does, but once you start to get sponsorships, you get all those responsibilities to your sponsors. You are not your own person anymore. You have to PRODUCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have to do video parts, photos or contest wins. I guess this is why Nyjah cried, caus he felt shit about what he has done.
F.F.L: But come on, in a major contest, you have to produce a win?! This is ridiculous!!!! I don`t go with that one.
John Cattle: Honestly under that kind of pressure I couldn`t perform and I could not skate. If I failed I would be dumbed or really killed (laughs).
F.F.L: So you are running “Wight Trash Skateboards” anyway, are you treating your riders the same way?
John Cattle: Yeah, I phone them everyday: “What have you done? Why have you done that? You shouldn`t be doing that!”
F.F.L: And if not- you are wipping them with the nine tailed?!
John Cattle: Yeah of cause, if they are not getting fired, they are getting wipped. It`s no fun for anyone to ride for “Wight Trash”! (laughs)
John Cattle: No, honestly we have totally the opposite I don`t expect them to go to contests. I expect them to grow as an individual. I kind of give them encouragment, saying:” Oh man I fully think you can do this! but let them explore their own Skateboard abbility without these kind of rules, that you must get 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a contest. At the moment we are trying to make a video. Just fooling araound, trying to make the funnest video possible. It`s no pressure for my part it`s down to them, cause they want to do the best video.
F.F.L: When did you start Wight Trash anyway?
John Cattle: It was about 2004 when we started with some t-shirts. Eventhough we called ourselves “Wight Trash” way before.
F.F.L: Cause you are from the Isle of Wight.
John Cattle: Exactly, this was the kind of joke cause we were in this kind of trash, like: Fast cars, drinking, smoking, blowing stuff up, kind of being trailer park kids. Not that we lived in a trailer park, but that kind of mentality. Just having fun. It`s a small enviroment you live in. It`s the size of London, ca 25 miles by 12 and when you wanna leave you have to pay the ferry company. We had no money, so we stayed and made the most of it. Like blowing stuff up, skateboarding, going to parties and just having fun really. That is where the name came from really. I was lucky enough to get into the skateboarding world through sponsors and then it all spread from there.
Ahh man, I can see you are drinking. I gonna clink the screen and join you in the brew too.
F.F.L: (raises glass and has a huge zipp) Cheers!!!!
John Cattle: (raises tin and has a huge zipp) Cheers!!!! Oh man this is awesome, best kind of interview I have ever done, seriously!
F.F.L: (burbs) I think every interview should be done like this one. It`s way more relaxed. It not like about: “Who are your sponsors, what was your last contest win blablabla!!! Nobody gives a fuck about that.
John Cattle: This is rad it`s like a chat between friends. I love it.
F.F.L: Your video sounds like proper skating, like having fun, not like fucking “Street leaque”.
John Cattle: Oh man! Yeah, “Street legue” dude, Fuck that shit! Have you seen that shit? It`s just a bizarr kind of caging in skateboarding. Dude that is a different kind of skateboardg and yeah it sucked the life out and sucked the fun out of everything. And Rob Dyrdek, anything with that guy… I liked him in the 1st AWS video “Memory Screen”, ma I was inspired by all those guys, but you see him nowadays- He is some kind of awful MTV puppet. It`s about the money, it`s about the fame. That is not skateboarding to me. That is something you keep quiet in your spare time. Don`t shout and brag about. Go skateboarding, you get a bit of money for it- cool. Get yourself a nice house, but shut the fuck up about. Don`t put it on tv on a tv show and don`t create “Street Leaque”!!!!!
F.F.L: I really had high respects for Rob Dyrdek, eventhough with all his money and bling. He is pretty sucessful, ok- fair enough, but then he gives us the gift of Street Leaque. Oh man!!! He lost it with that one.
John Cattle: You get a corporation, like Coca Cola kind of awful thing and he made that. Street Leaque is that kind of corporation kind of skateboarding.
F.F.L: John another thing I don`t get: What is going on with all those facial tatoos? Is that the next must have item to Street Leaque and Monster Energy? (Laughter)
John Cattle: Ahh, (laughs) that is true Trailer park style.
I know your feelings on Pudwill, Sheckler and so on, but I think those people are important to progress skating, to see what`s possible to do on a skateboard. As a skateboarder- those guys are really ridiculous.
F.F.L: The tricks they are doing are absolutly mindblowing, but for me they are just a bunch of fucking muppets. I could never respect them.
John Cattle: Don`t respect them, but their contribution to skateboarding as a whole. As for doing the tricks they are doing. I`m not saying this is skateboarding- it`s kind of a freakshow- like what`s possible to do, kind of a stunt freakshow!
F.F.L: You grew up in the 80`s aswell- It`s like “Colt Seavers” (80`s TV show “The Fall Guy” about the stuntman Colt Seavers. For you little kids, who weren`t born yet) skateboard stunt show.
John Cattle: (laughs) Oh man “Colt Seavers! I just watched it recently. Skateboarding in this way is fake, overproduced and over the edge practiced. Wasn`t it P-Rod who had replicas of street spots and he would practice on and then they go out and film the trick on the real spot?!
That`s some Hollywood shit out there.
Let`s get a Plan B tour to the Isle of Wight. I would love to see what those guys can do with no run up, no landing…
F.F.L: …rough ground and rain!!!
John Cattle: Watch these idiots on MTV! “life of Ryan”, they spolied themselves, by whoring themselves out for golf adverts or tv shows That effects our opinion on their skateboarding. They have the entertainable skateboarding, but these awful personalities we have seen on MTV and other things aswell.
F.F.L: When you look on the money aspect of the game, it`s like back in the day you could identify with the pros. It wasn`t like they are driving a $ 300000 humongous Hummer. They were rolling around in a Honda Civic.
John Cattle: The money aspect has changed it for us. Back in days Civics were the nuts, if the pros had a car, you knew they worked their fucking arse off for it, to get it. But now you get a Hummer, where the fuck the money to buy one comes from? That`s the change in skateboarding. Before no one wanted to sponsor us and now it`s mobile phone firms, beauty cream firms, cars- it`s ridiculous! It`s a different world and it changes your perception for a skater. If they would have come out with those video sections 8-9 years ago, before all this hype and money, I`m sure we would feel different about them. It`s almost they are manufactured. Money made them that good. It`s a weired, weired scenario.
F.F.L: What was your feeling towards Ryan Sheckler.
John Cattle: Shackler had this “Almost” part wich blew everybodys mind and when he got signed on Plan B everybody was stoked. I expected a new “Questionable” video (legendary and groundbreaking 1st Plan B vid from 1992). And then he starts this MTV show and I thought- oh well I can get to see some exclusive Plan B stuff and it turns out a shitty soap opera bullshit.
F.F.L: Nowadays when you hit up a kid and ask: Down for a skate session next sat? They are like:" Ahh I don`t know blabla". You would be down without any question.
John Cattle: Without doubt. We were down for skating every day, even if it was snowing or rainig. I would even go into my front room and do a kickflip on the carpet just to have the satisfaction that I have done something with skating during that day. People don`t have that fire anymore. I think too many people tend to do stuff in a perfect skatepark. We have it over here, there are people they kill it in the park, but when you take them to the real stuff they can`t.
F.F.L: Oh yeah, sometimes they can`t even push
John Cattle: Yes they are so used to their lines in the park. So you say: “Lets go street skating.” Nahh, they don`t like the run up, they don`t like the landing, they don`t like the street. It`s the opposite to us, we would skate the outside and then do the park.
F.F.L: We learned skating on the streets.
John Cattle: Yeah we learned the lines on the streets. I hate seeing park stuff in videos- it disappoints me. Only parkstuff, if it`s a trick you could not possibly do outside of a skatepark. If it`s some fucked up mad thing!
Otherwise: Get off your arse, find a street spot and do it!