August 27, 2008

Silas Baxter-Neal interview

Silas – skating high
One of the world’s top skateboarders comes from an off-grid background in Eugene, Oregon. He talked frankly about his life off-grid, and drugs and skating to Thrasher magazine’s Jake Phelps:

Of his time in Oregon he says:

I stuck around until I was 18 or 19 before I moved out. Acid is cheaper and easier to get than beer, or it used to be. I don’t know if it is anymore, but it was for a while, when The Dead shows came through and we had the summer festival country fair. We’d have all these roving bands with vagrant hippies coming through, trying to make money and selling hits for a buck or two.

Q: Coming from a hippie culture, do you feel like you’re more open to people, or are you more reserved?

A little of both. I’m pretty open to most people, but I feel tons of resentment towards the drug-dealing fucking scum hippies. I don’t like being called a hippie because I don’t like being associated with that crowd. I guess I kind of have a reservation towards that, but I’m open towards most people.

Jaya said in an interview one time, “My parents are hippies, but they’re not dirty hippies.” If your parents are free-thinking people, that’s always good.


They try to live off the land and have property, get off the grid. When they had kids, they were like, “We don’t want to raise our kids with a bunch of rednecks.” That’s the school system up there, and they didn’t want to home school us, so we moved.

Meth’s big up there too.

Yep, meth’s real big. A lot of tweakers. It’s crazy to think that in a place so pristine and natural, some people become tazed by something so fucking violent.

But it’s like that everywhere. You know, you’ve been all throughout Montana, and it’s the most beautiful place, but you also run into the most backwards, fucked-up redneck tweaker dudes ever. It just comes with the territory. Getting away from the mainstream and the cities and getting into the woods, it brings in all sorts of different people. It brings in the hippies who wanna chill, and it brings in the tweakers, too.

What do you think about skaters who wear jewelry?

Well, I wear rings and I have a necklace, but I don’t wear bling. It seems like it’d be hard to skate with, but we’re in a time in skating where you’re not just skateboarding. You’re everything, and so if you’re trying to personify a thug look–if that’s what you’re into–then I guess when you’re off your board …

… You better rock it.

Yeah, exactly. If that’s what you’re into, whatever. It seems silly to me. If you were to have an iced-out necklace, what would it be?

Maybe something that has to do with …

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