Behind the Ad with John Rattray

Posted April 12, 2010 by aren

John Rattray

So, how did you first encounter the wall by the dumpsters? Matt Winterberg, from Black Box, took me there one day and was all like, “Yo, you should front board this” and I was like, “Damn, okay, but this AM/PM is open 24-7” and he was like “It’s cool, they’re chill!” and I was like, “Well, maybe we’ll come back!”
Then Atiba and Scuba drove down from LA, which is a hellish drive in my opinion, and we’d been trying to come up with something to shoot for an ad and I remembered that spot as the sun was going down. So, we jetted over there and I tried it, but the dude came out from the am/pm all vexed and he said, “You gotta leave!” so I tried to stick it really hard and then went back up for one more, but the dude was so bummed out that he’d called the cops but I landed the front board solid and rode towards Denny’s kind of amped and then we shot a couple of incidentals but then the cops rolled up on us all like ‘allo ‘allo ‘allo wots going on ‘ere then and we told them the dude told us to leave and we’re packing up and leaving. I told them I took one more go after he told us to leave and they checked that story out and it was legit, so the cop told us “We told the guy in the store that if you guys show up here again, then he has the right to conduct a citizen’s arrest on you guys, so if you’re skating by the door and someone comes out of there with a slice of pizza and you run into them…well, you’re fucked!” The cop looked very sincere and was doing his best to inject an appropriate level of concern into his tone and I was thinking that pizza from an AM/PM probably isn’t that great unless you were really, really hungry, but we told him we understood his points and we would not be returning and before you could say two hundred and fifty dollar ticket we were on our way.

The documentary is from a few years ago, some people were surprised about your arrival at éS, but looking back there seems a natural connect? Well éS footwear is surprisingly good for riding collapsible bicycles to mini ramps and I’ve known Rick for a few years and Manzoori for a bit longer than that. The rest is an illusion.

Rick McCrank Questions

Do you or have you ever used skateboarding as a release? All the time, although sometimes I need a release from skateboarding.

Do you think that there is a more ethical way to produce skateboard goods? Any ideas? This ethics question depends on which aspects of production you feel are in need of redress. A big concern is the way we produce and use energy, I feel that’s the biggest issue facing us as a species. Shipping raw materials and finished products back and forth to East Asia just seems ludicrous to me. (It’s an ethics issue because of the question of how burning all the fossil-fuels will affect future generations who will have to spend time on the surface of this orb.) But, it’s the system we have and it’s a big, expensive, profit-generating system with a lot of inertia. My armchair-economist prediction is that as shipping costs inevitably climb these sprawling systems will be forced to contract and re-localize out of economic necessity. Eventually we will all be farm workers again, or at least our grand kids will be.

Powerslide or Fire Cracker? Fireslides.

Do you think that you would still skate if you had never left Aberdeen? Hard to say, the passion and desire may have been wrung out of me by the drudgery-mangle of 9 to 5 slavery to the oil plutocracy. Then again there is a great scene there and a decent indoor park, so probably, yes.

One epic video a year or three-million shit web clips a week? One decent web clip a week and one epic video every year.

Chris Cole Questions

What’s been your fondest memory/memories from all of your skateboarding travels? Any carefree missions with Alex Craig, the GMC Vandura trip I did with friends in British Columbia stands out as being worthy of fond memories. New Zealand, Plockton, Ellon, Cruden bay (Google Earth those) those are all notable. One time I recall waking up on Chad Foreman’s couch in Carlsbad, there was plans to do a road trip to SF, but when I called Black Box to find out about it Chad sounded freaked out and said, “We’re under attack!” and hung up. It was September 11, 2001, the day things got weird. Not a particularly fond memory, but definitely one that endures.

John Rattray
Jerry Hsu Questions

In the movie Blade Runner, do you believe Rick Deckard is himself a replicant, and if so, why? In the director’s cut, it’s quite strongly implied that he is a replicant. Gaff leaves him the Origami Unicorn, which suggests Deckard himself has implanted memories. There is a scene where Deckard’s eyes flash red, like the very expensive artificial owl. I’d say he’s a skin-job for sure.

Deran Chung Questions

What is the one trick, besides the Ollie, you would want to keep forever until the end of time? The trick you’d want to pull out at the local park even in your adult diaper days? No-Comply, Eggplant, Staple Gun, Can Opener, the Humble Kickflip, pretty much all of them. I can't live with just one.

What is yellow? Satisfactory recognition of food sources/predators in the game of life. Find the banana avoid the lion. Maybe. Sounds plausible.

John Rattray
Seth Curtis Questions

If Aberdeen was an éS shoe color-way , what color(s) would it be? Moody grey with silver or crude-black pinstripes, or red and white, the colors of the football team.

Mike Fitzgerald Questions

Coffee or Tea? Incomparable

Nollie Flip or Nollie Heel? Depends on the mood of the occasion.

Mini Ramp or Hill Bomb? Hill bomb to mini-ramp.

Stu's Smile or Stu's Tattoos? Smile!

John Rattray
Chris Zee Questions

Why have you finally decided to ride for a proper shoe company? I hadn’t ever really been happy where I was. The opportunity came up to go to éS and I went with it, easy decision, now I’m happy!

Irn-Bru has never been mentioned as a sponsor, I’m sure the American's would welcome, open-armed, yet another fattening sugary beverage to their over-stocked market! I have thought about this, but haven't followed up, that's my standard M.O. with most of the ideas I have.

Why has the Smith-Fish never been shown in an advert, interview or video part, we have invented a trick that needs to be shown - do you feel releasing this trick is much like the parting shot in a great career - once done everything has been accomplished and the end is near?
(The above goes for the Melon-Feeble / Ollie "look back" / and fabled "McAnderson" (a trick that as of yet is invented) Herman had a cover doing the Stale-Nose-Grind, which is close. And the Smith-Fish is an incredibly technically challenging move, so yes, parting shot.

Colin Kennedy Questions

I know you as a classic procrastinator, how was it leaving Aberdeen to essentially immigrate to the USA? Was that a difficult, lengthy decisive process? I had been living in Barcelona over the summer of 2002 after moving there on a whim with my girlfriend at the time. I had a conversation on a payphone with the president of a company that was offering me a decent deal, provided I’d move to California, I made the decision over the course of a sentence spoken on the phone. All that remained was to find out if the girlfriend wanted to get married and come with or not, and get a driving license. She said yes, so we did and moved, not much of a process really.

What was your main concern about leaving Scotland and what did you look forward to the most? I never had any concern leaving Scotland. In retrospect, I miss friends and family and cities designed for pedestrians. I looked forward to the same thing I still look forward to, which is learning egg-plants.

Jesse Prim Questions

How would you describe your search for Chin? I would assemble a brigade of legendary shredders and film a road trip movie culminating with a choreographed vert session on a desert vert complex complete with a shocking quantity of fluoro-pink short shorts. However that's A.B.D., so I'll have to describe my search as a metaphorical mining operation to extract an expensive drug known as "the spice" from the desert planet of Arrakis. The spice, in my case, is tricks, and the spice must flow!

John Rattray


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There's 15 responses to "Behind the Ad with John Rattray"

  1. Blade Runner!

    Marc Posted: 5 years ago
  2. Buy yourself an egg and plant this on your window seal or garden and you will land egg plants shortly thereafter!

    Neil Posted: 5 years ago
  3. Dune quote was a winner for me. The sleeper must awaken.

    chas one Posted: 5 years ago
  4. i had this weird feeling that when blade runner was brought up by hsuser, dune would shortly follow. how happy i am. you're a good man, johnny!

    niel holmes Posted: 5 years ago
  5. Music from the doco is epic ...what is it?
    Es is back!!!Great team...just need to pick up Clint....

    Duncan from NZ Posted: 5 years ago
  6. John's got class - and's full on killing it!

    Morris Posted: 5 years ago
  7. John talks a bit like Sam from Lord of the rings, but he's got a lot of genuine content to spread. and where is the mini ramp part filmed? I think its Clint's loft, featured in that one Transworld video.

    hayden Posted: 5 years ago
  8. That little LA trip video was just what I wanted to see, on several levels.
    Aside from being super rad, John has solidified himself as one of my favorite skaters... so tell him if he's ever in Wisconsin, he has a friend!

    John Pearson Posted: 5 years ago
  9. zero boards are the best my friend's friend can Ollie 7 decks high with a zero. Rattray chose a good board company. Not only that, I'm sporting the eS shoes right now. The ones called eS Trilogy, (the green ones.) The shoes are gnarly and not only that they're top of the line when it comes to an excelent skate shoe.

    wtf Posted: 5 years ago
  10. ahh in a world of skateboarding bull shit i seriously appreciate people like john sick.

    WTC Posted: 5 years ago
  11. John is definition of a "beautifull mind" skateboarder..I just wish you the best john and hope to see that smith fish soon ahah.
    Farewell my friend

    Vaz Posted: 5 years ago
  12. So very proud to be an Aberdonian, you've done us all proud John and I await your return to New Zealand. es all the way!! Check out my cover shot on the es website. Hope to catch up and skate one day soon.

    Paul Skinner Posted: 4 years ago
  13. fuck it im working till 3am but theres no chance im missing this demo 10 am train frominverness to aberdeen!!

    Calum Posted: 4 years ago
  14. Wow! I'm just blown away on how much of a sci-fi fan is John Rattray and he kills it no matter what he skates. Maybe there's hope for skateboarding nerds everywhere.

    Geovanie Brooks Posted: 4 years ago
  15. John's a dope skater with an awesome personality.
    He'll always be one of my favourites.

    Laura Posted: 4 years ago

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