September MOTM Interview Ben_Larsen
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Thread: September MOTM Interview Ben_Larsen

  1. #1
    Gravity Slave Moderator
    NoSwitch's Avatar
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    Default September MOTM Interview Ben_Larsen

    Hi folks. Here are Ben's responses to the questions. He didn't have any photos but offered up some videos instead:

    sorry, can only imbed one per post

    what's a typical day for you?
    A typical day for me.... basically I wake up at 7:15 and head into work, it’s about an hour each way. I sit at my computer from 9-5. Basically I work for a cable ad insertion company which means that we make the commercials breaks on cable. So I get commercials sent to me from all over in different formats and I have to make them certain formats and filter the audio and stuff and then send them back out to be put on air. But I normally don’t get enough work to fill in the whole time I’m here so the majority of my day is spent watching skate videos and browsing the internet.
    After I leave work at 5 I normally go home and change and then head up to the indoor skate park or to meet friends to go skate some street. We cruise around for a few hours, maybe try and film something. Then I head home around 8 or 9, chill and go to sleep.
    On the weekends I normally just wake up around 9 and head to the skate park until someone can do something and then I go skate street for a while and then head to my friend’s house at night to chill

    how do the sessions usually go? driving/skating to the spot? which homies? do you bring ramps often, what are some of your favorite spots and tricks you've done on them?
    We all meet up at the skate park and cruise around for a while before going to some local spots. It’s normally just my two friends Kyle and Stephen that I go skate with everyday but there’s usually someone else too. We have a little box we built a few months back that we keep in the back of my friend Kyle’s truck, so that normally comes with us wherever. It’s super fun!
    Around my area there aren’t too many good spots to choose from so we have to travel a lot. We like to go to Downtown Newport News and Downtown Hampton, we mainly end up bombing parking garages but there are a few fun spots out there. We just make the best of what we have. Currently we’ve been talking about putting a lot of effort into making DIY spots scattered around the cities.

    what are some tricks you had to fight for? any crazy kick-out stories?
    Recently I haven’t been really fighting for tricks, I don’t like to get stressed over skating anymore. I do what’s fun. But a while back I was trying a hardflip down the pit in DC and it was the last spot of the day and I just kept slipping out… I tried that trick so many times my legs felt like jelly. I probably had like 10 tries left before I couldn’t physically do it anymore and somehow I rode away, not the prettiest roll away but I still did haha. (at :55
    Normally kick outs aren’t an issue because I try and be as respectful as possible but one time, I was skating this tiny 6 stair handrail on this new public bathroom they had just built near my house. These two redneck guys came up to us looking all tough and start yelling at us right off the bat. I was just apologizing and starting to leave being respectful as they yelled at me. Then I turned around he said something and ended it with “you fucking retard” and that set me off and I turned around got in his face and just went off… I was pretty bad, then I told them to fuck off or something and they walked away, we started walking back to the car and I see headlights coming and people yelling and these two guys had got their big bubba truck and all their friends to hop in the back and they cut in front of us and all jump out and started walking towards us yelling shit. I basically just looked right past them and kept walking, they didn’t know what to do so they followed us back to the car and we got in and left. Never went back

    any crazy party stories/weird shit you had to deal with lately?
    Fun fact: I don’t drink and I hate parties. Only been to like 3 but they’re not my thing. I have to go to two this weekend with my girlfriend, not excited.

    when did you start skating and what are some of your influences? how has it changed as you aged? how often and how much do you skate with a busy schedule?
    I started skating around 7th or 8th grade, which would have made me… 11-13. I don’t remember exactly but my influences were basically just Chris Haslam. Loved watching that dude in Almost Round 3 more than anything… I was also into this Richie Jackson part for a while for Death skateboards. Then I went into a phase of Jamie Thomas and few other huckers… Now I just really love watching anyone who is different… The gonz will always be number one of course and I love some Pontus Alv (guy in my sig) and recently I’ve been into a lot of Japanese dudes like Koichiro Euhara and those dudes on Heroin (Fos, Chopper, Gou Miyagi)
    I try and skate about 3 out of the 5 work days for about 2-4 hours and I skate every other weekend.

    you travel a lot, road trips for skating and such. what are some famous spots you ran into?
    Well, I’ve skated all the famous spots in DC like Pulaski, archive, ect and I’ve been too the famous golden handrail, but it’s knobbed now. And all the semi-famous spots in Richmond. I’ve been to a few of the famous spots in Baltimore and a lot of the famous NC spots around Raleigh/Durham and some more down south. And I went to Tampa last year skated a few spots and skated SPOT… That’s all I can think of…
    i've met a fair amount of pro skaters (i grilled with antwuan). what are some cool characters you've met?
    I’ve met quite a few but only hung out with a couple. The stand outs are Daniel Lutheran, Gilbert Crockett, and Evan Smith. I met Dan in Tampa and he was like the nicest dude ever, he chilled with us and we went to a bar with him and chilled for a while, one of my friends that I was in Tampa with ended up staying with him for a while in Cali recently. Gilbert lives about an hour away and our crews used to meet up to skate, their crew recently all moved to cali though. He’s legit, even more amazing to watch skate in person than in videos and he’s just a super nice dude. Evan I met at a Plan B/ Element demo and he gave me a demo tape of his band “The drowning clowns” and talked for a while, then we ran into him in Tampa and he remembered us and we chilled for a while.
    A few other cool guys I’ve met are Ishod Wair, Chris Haslam, Theotis Beasley, Blake Carpenter, Torey Pudwill. Then I’ve been around/skated with a few other but didn’t really talk to them.
    The only people I’ve meet that gave me a bad vibe were Bucky Lasek and Nyjah Huston
    And I’d like to hear the ‘twuan story!

    do you have any other outlets (drawing, music, athletic-type stuff, studying even)? do you think you should be doing more of that and less skateboarding?
    i find it enjoyable to skate a little less sometimes and read and stuff for more rest time.
    Well, I really do enjoy movies, documentaries, and podcasts so I do a lot of that. Also I enjoy hiking but I almost never do that because my friends aren’t that into it.
    I wish I could be doing more skating, I wish I could be out there every day but I have other obligations…

    Favourite post-sesh beverage?
    All I need a big water!
    What got you started skating? What's your favorite video and why? What was the first skate video you watched?
    My best friend at the time’s brother skated a little and we just picked it up eventually and I just never stopped. He did.
    Favorite video… oh jeez… Well I’ll always have a place for Almost Round 3 because that was my first video I saw and I watched it over and over and over again. Currently I’d have to say the new Magenta video “Soleil Lovent” is probably up there, it’s just extremely different and well made. But overall I think my all-time favorite that I’d never get tired of watch is Baker 3. Even if that style of skating isn’t my favorite at the moment…

    And the most important
    Is your part ready to be posted, yet?
    I think there may have been a misunderstanding somewhere along the line. I’m actually filming a part for my friend Kyle, like I’m doing the actual filming of him… That’s weird that when I say I’m filming a part it could have two very different meanings… Sorry about that. But to answer that question, we have been slacking recently. We are going to try and finish it soon, before it gets too cold out.
    why did you stop being a bob marley fan?
    I mean… I’m still down for a little Bob Marley every once in a while. I just originally made that username in middle school and kept making it my name for everything and my music taste changed like 30 times haha.

    why can't anyone spell your name right?
    I guess it’s just a difficult name… pretty complex
    Ginger or Mary Ann?
    Ginger, Mary-Ann’s eye’s kind of freak me out.

    5 things you couldn't live without besides skateboarding?
    Camera (but that’s because of skating… does that still count?)
    top 5 beers
    I don’t drink homie! I’ll name my favorite drinks though haha
    Arizona Green Tea
    Sweet Tea
    Blue Powerade
    And I think Chickfila Sweet tea deserves its own ranking…

    top 10 skaters
    Oh shit… I know I’m going to blow this and leave out someone…
    And also my top skaters change so often… this is a hard one for me.
    No particular order!
    1. Mark Gonzales
    2. Pontus Alv
    3. Gilbert Crockett
    4. Brandon Westgate
    5. John Fitzgerald
    6. Ben Gore
    7. Koichiro Uehara (just because his new part got me soooo hyped)
    8. Chris Haslam (for the fond childhood memories of watching him)
    9. Antwuan (just for his baker 3 part)
    10. Evan Smith

    Favourite album of all time?
    I have two and they’re hilariously different but I like tons of different music…
    Nas – Illmatic
    Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

    Favourite skateboard trick you like to do?
    Wallies off the corner of buildings and those wallride nollie out thingys… I can literally have the funnest session ever just doing those two things.
    What has been your favorite job?
    When I worked at the skate park… and my favorite times were when we tearing down the parks. Haha. In the period that I worked there we completely moved builds twice and me and one other person tore down the parks… Which basically consisted of having a key to the place and being able to destroy things and build stupid stuff and have all of our friends over for gnarly sessions!
    Was skating more fun right out of highschool, or now?
    Well around the time I was getting out of high school was when we were tearing down the first park and that was a lot of fun… but I’d say now is a lot more fun. I have way better friends then I did back then and we just have the most fun possible. I can’t think of one time we had a session that I could say I was bummed on. Last Friday I twisted my ankle pretty badly and haven’t skated since but that was still a super fun session even after I did that.
    If you could choose your death, what would it be?
    Damn, this got morbid pretty quickly… I’d say something painless and in my sleep. Or something badass like free climbing a mountain and bear attacks me and we both fly off a cliff… either way.
    would you rather be a multi millionaire but only live to 33.... or a be short on money your whole life and live till 66? which would you choose and why?
    Money isn’t
    anything man… It’s about the good times and money might make things easier but shit, I could have way more good times in 46 years with no money then I could in 13 with lots of money.
    Do you enjoy skating parks or street more?
    I definitely love street way more. Parks just make skaters close minded, like the only options you have are what’s there in every park, a stair set, a handrail, some tranny, and hip ect. Then when those people go skate street they just end up skating the same stuff. But if you skate street more often it doesn’t constrain your mind as much and you can skate anything at all…

    What does "good style" mean to you? Can it be learned?
    To me, it means that you look good doing simple tricks. You make me want to go do those simple tricks too. It’s about creativity and uniqueness.
    I don’t know if it can… I would compare it to some kind of art maybe, like painting. You can teach someone to paint and they can get good at it but if they are just mimicking what they see you do or what someone else does then they aren’t really anything special. They are just a copy and I think that applies to skateboarding too… I don’t know if that made sense or not but that’s the only way I can think to explain it haha.

    If you could go back in time right now would you fuck things up on purpose in skateboarding by doing tech tricks that would be mindblowing to witness in the 70's for example or would you just lay low and appreciate being able to watch some legends skate in person?
    Damn… I don’t know. If I did I feel like there would be more Nyjah Hustons in the world because people would see what was possible at an earlier time and skating would progress faster and it might even skip over all the progression that we saw with Natas, the gonz, Jason Lee and all the great street skaters and skating would be completely different today, for the worse in my opinion. So I’d have to say nahhh I would just kick back and chill with the legends and try and see how lame my dad was in the 70s.

    If you got this far or if you just skipped to the bottom and noticed this, thanks for reading! I know I rambled a lot but all the questions were super good and hard to keep the answers short. Also thanks to everyone for voting for me, I appreciate it homies
    Last edited by NoSwitch; 11-01-2013 at 03:04 PM. Reason: quoted questions for easier reading

  2. #2
    Your Mother
    _Turtle's Avatar
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    Niiiiiice interview Bern_Lersern ;D
    Very interesting

  3. #3
    Gravity Slave Moderator
    NoSwitch's Avatar
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    Thanks Ben. Tag, you're it! Go start an October MOTM nominations thread sometime next week :-P

  4. #4
    Vit's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    fucking sick interview, Ben! good read, and cheers on no drinking.

  5. #5
    Andrew Jay's Avatar
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    May 2008
    352 Fl


    Well deserved Ben.
    Thanks for sharing.
    - call me Aj. Feel free to share, those of you who actually skate.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoSwitch View Post
    You should invite AndrewJay over. Did he send you a yearbook portrait as well?
    Quote Originally Posted by NoSwitch View Post
    He sent me an envelop full of stickers for correctly guessing the final score of the SuperBowl in his contest thread. I was sitting at the dinner table with Mrs NoSwitch emptying out the envelope looking at the stickers and out drops his yearbook photo.. Wife's like "what the hell is that for??" So I sez "aww he probably just grabbed a handful of stuff out of a drawer not realizing the photo was also in there" cause that's what I really thought about it. A few days later he shoots me a PM asking me "what do you think?""
    Quote Originally Posted by Pathtek4 View Post
    If the rest room doesn't have that paper seat to pull off the wall, I just hover above like a Ufo dumping Cosby kids into Lake Michigan.

  6. #6
    Thats Me!
    stumbles's Avatar
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    good interview man. we all know alot about you now haha

    also respect for the no drinking and partying

  7. #7
    Gravity Slave Moderator
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    I'm actually a bit surprised at the amount of support for the straight edge, no drinking folks here. When I was in my teens and early 20s there was a lot more peer pressure to party hard. Anyway, it's all good as long as you have it under control or choose not to. These days one really bad night or dumb move can follow you around forever ruin your whole life more so than 30 years ago.

    Back on topic, it's cool to see that you've parlayed your media and video editing skills towards an actual livelihood.

  8. #8
    Active Member CrimsonGoalie's Avatar
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    Sep 2011


    Cool interview for sure. Sounds like you have a good job too.

  9. #9
    Dr. Ska-Ctopus
    TGIMUNDAY's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Northern New Jersey


    Good interview, glad to see MotM go to Len_Barsan.
    Check out the Official Longboarding Thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by SkateboardG View Post
    Only a couple of us can fly, R-Kelly & Michael Jordan in his prime.

  10. #10
    SkateboardG's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
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    +rep just for giving Illmatic some love. Sick montage/interview by the way.

  11. #11
    angry, young & beautiful
    HighVoltageSk8r's Avatar
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    Aug 2006


    Good read ben, you're a swell fella
    any relationship that matters - a friendship, a family, a romance, a band - anything - is a perilous and fragile thing because along with all the amazing experiences and creations that can come from something so intimate and exhausting comes the possibility for things to crumble and shatter or whither and die. when that happens, it's easy to forget what was precious amidst all the disaster. we should always carry our history with us but never let it bury us.

  12. #12
    is going cuckoo
    Naive's Avatar
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    Dec 2007


    Fun read!

    hey that Chris haslam part in almost round 3 is just insane, one of my favourites too. The whole video in general is an all time favourite.

  13. #13
    Global Moderator
    ben_larsen's Avatar
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    Oct 2008


    I appreciate all the positive replies! I've been away from a computer all weekend, so sorry for the late reply.

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