After witnessing Andy Davidson’s epic part from Camel Skateboards’ “CAPERS” video we thought we’d publish Andy’s Issue 30 interview to the web. Guy Jones chats to Andy about his recent productiveness in the UK scene, getting hooked up by NB#, his photography, hailing from Warrington, filming for ‘Down Low‘ and “CAPERS” plus much, much more.
Introduction & Interview by: Guy Jones
Photography by: Reece Leung
Something that always makes doing this publication worthwhile is having people like Andy grace its pages. Aside from the photos being beyond impressive, it’s his refreshingly earnest and modest view of himself and appreciation of others. It’s no secret that in this day and age self promotion is rife and there’s a huge difference between being proudand being arrogant. Andy is exactly the opposite of the latter and, whilst getting a cover and a range of exposure can make people’s egos swell up, it did the opposite for him and is testament that if you’re authentic and keep doing what you do, you will get the shine. And we’re not sure many people appreciate that as much as him. Props Andy, it’s a true privilege to have you amongst these pages.
Hi Andy, how’s it going? Could we start this off by telling us what you’ve been up to recently?
Yes mate, all good. I’ve just been chilling really, it’s that time of year innit. I’ve been going to Ramp 1 to make sure I don’t forget how to skate, going climbing, trying to get a few photos for this when it’s been dry, doing a bit of work, just life really. I went down to London to visit my mate the other week actually, he’s just bought a canal boat so I went to check it out. We sailed it from Kings Cross to Hackney, going through this half-mile long tunnel. The boat’s light was broken so I had to stand at the front with my phone torch on and shout directions so he didn’t crash into the walls. It was pretty funny, to get one of those boats you don’t need a license or know how to drive it so neither of us really knew what we were doing.
Would you say it’s fair to say you kind of went from fairly unheard of to a pretty staple namein the UK skate scene? A cover and interview in The Skateboarder’s Companion, photos in Free Mag, (I’ll put a good word in with Grey and North), having footage pop up between Liverpool and Manchester – has it turned you into an egotistical maniac and is it nice keeping up the exposure momentum?
Haha I don’t know about a staple name, but nah, kind of the opposite to be honest. My head kind of fell off a bit like. I think it just made me a bit more critical of my skating for a while, I was like, “Ah shit, I’m meantto be good at this now,” or some dumb shit like that. I think that was probably just because I’ve been skating forever and I went from being used to no exposure or whatever to being on a cover and getting shoes off New Balance Numeric and skating for Lost Art, all in the space of a year. But, other than me overthinking it, it’s just fun to keep putting stuff out and meet and skate with new people. All that shit’s good and it’s just sick to feel a little bit involved in skateboarding because growing up in Warrington there was no shop or anything, less of a scene really. Skating for Lost Art is literally like some childhood dream come true. It’s funny, but I mean who wouldn’t want to skate for Lost Art? They’re the sickest.
I asked Merryn this also, as she has had a splurge of interviews and exposure recently, but if you could have an interview in any other publication outside of skateboarding what would it be and why?
Vogue obviously, because I’m really trendy and pretty. Nah I don’t even know, I don’t really pay attention to anything outside of skateboard publications. Getting an interview by you’s is enough for me. x
The honour is all ours mate! Back when you were less known in the UK skate scene was it truethat sweetheart Dale Starkie tried comping you out on the stairs in Ramp 1 Skatepark? Now that you’re New Balance Numeric team mates have you brought it up?
Ha! I think the story goes that I was in Ramp 1 ages ago trying to tre flip the set, I didn’t get it then he tried to tre the set right after. I didn’t think anything of it but when I got back to trying the trick again, one of the lads he was with said, “I’ll be honest, I’d have hit him for that mate.” Reece asked me once when I first met Dale and that’s the story I remembered. I don’t think we’ve ever spoken about it, maybe next time I see him I’llsee if he remembers but I doubt it. He is a sweetheart though, I ended up tagging along for a few days when he and some of the other New Balance squad were filming in Manchester. It was good hanging out even though we were having kind of a hard time skating with the weather. Actually, this is a bit of a mad one;I met Charlie Munro for the first time while he wason that trip in Manny then literally tripped over him coming out of a shop in Dalston the week after, small world.
You’ve been getting fresh webs off the fine folk at New Balance for a while now. What’s your preferred shoe and are there any shoes from the archive you’d like to see come back?
Yeah the freshest webs obviously. I think the 440 mid in leather, the Tom Knox or Jake Darwen ones they did are my favourite. The Jamie Foy’s are good too. I don’t know about much from the archive but there used to be a Brandon Westgate shoe they made that looked pretty sick. I don’t know if they’re still around, I never tried a pair.
There is also an author called Andy Davidson who writes about vampires. Have you yourself ever experienced, or known of, any supernatural stories – be it ghosts, vampires or any generally spooky moments?
Ha, I’ve actually got one of his books in my room somewhere. I’ve never read it, I just bought it because my name was on it and I thought it was funny. I don’t know about supernatural experiences really, I saw a meteor once which was pretty insane. I was chillingin my garden one night when suddenly a massive green light turned on, so I looked up and this big green thing appeared in the sky moving across it then disappeared again. I was so confused, “What the fuck was that meant to be?’’ I went inside and Googled why the sky goes green and the result was that meteor showers were happening in my area that night, soI didn’t have to worry about whether I’d just seen a UFO or not. I was on my own too, so I didn’t even have anyone to ask, “Did you just see that?” That’s probably the most spooked I’ve been in recent memory.
You make a living through photography, would you be interested in making a zine or having an exhibition or would you rather keep a gap between work and leisure?
They’re kind of separate things for me, I don’t know if that was really a conscious decision I made or just the way it ended up. It’s definitely a separate thing from skating for me, partially because if I’m skating I don’t want be having to keep a super keen eye on my bag because my camera is in it. Similarly, if I see something I want to take a picture of while I’m skating, by the time I’ve got my camera out my bag the picture’s gone and it’ll piss me off. l’ve got some good pictures from just general fucking about I’ve done throughout the years, sometimes I think to myself that I might do an exhibition with them. I hurt my knee a little while ago and was trying to get Jord Leadbetter to let me shoot a photo of him skating something, but we never got round to it. Maybe it might become more of a leisure activity in my life if I keep falling over, we’ll see.
Hailing from Warrington and being a firm fixture in both the Liverpool and Manchester scenes, as well as stacking photos in Leeds, it seems you’re the ideal representative of the M62. Do you have to act as translator between the cities and do you feel having such different cities nearby is a benefit to keeping the spots fresh?
It’s funny, I do occasionally have to translate myself because I’ve spent the most time in Liverpool so afew Scouse phrases have worked their way into my vocabulary. It’s good for keeping it interesting because each of the cities are kind of different; Liverpool has got really sick spots but they’re big and old and hard to skate, Manchester’s got loads of new spots all the time which is good but there is also way more dealing with security and getting kicked out, and Leeds has got all those mad little estates just outside of the city centre that have loads of obscure spots that are sick, so yeah, it’s a pretty good mix.
What is the secret to your huge pop? Tell us a lie if you don’t want to give the knowledge up…
It’s all in the hips, and I don’t weigh that much so it’s not exactly a lot of weight to get in the air.
How was filming with Viktor Kretsis for his video ‘Down Low’ and do you share the balance between him and Dom Chambers from Camel Skateboards to make sure neither get jealous?
I got enough tricks to keep all these filmers happy, don’t worry. Filming with Vic for ‘Down Low’ was fun. I think they’d been working on it for a year and a half maybe before I started filming with him. I met Vic for the first time when I was out with Reece shooting something in Manny and I thought it would be sickto get a clip for the video, then I just went through every so often over the summer. I knew a few of the other people that skated with him there like Kizzy Yuill, then just kind of got to know the rest of the crew and the clip turned into a minute. I was pretty happy with how my little part came out, as I’ve never really put out any footage in a video like that before. Vic is a legend, he’s like the guy who’s going to go out of his way to fix the spot so you can skate it – which is funny because sometimes you’d rather have the excuse not to skate it. It works, though, because you’re like, “He’s just spent 10 minutes sweeping shit out the way and fixing cracks in the floor, I’m going to haveto skate it now.” Like Reece had this idea to shoot the photo that we got in Free and Vic was like, “Yeah, let’s make it happen,” so it was me holding my board in front of a security camera while Vic and Lennon used some crowbar they found to open these doors at the bottom of the set so I could skate it. Vic had kind ofa mad one though, after the video came out he got stuck back in Greece or something. I don’t know too much about it but hopefully he’ll be back soon.
Dom has been pretty busy with all sorts of shit this year so we’ve not been out filming as much as we were last year. We were on a bit of a mad one to be honest, I think I saw him almost every day for eight months or something stupid because it was towards the end of the lockdowns and we were just out skating all the time. Dom’s good in the sense that, even if he’s all busy doing shit, if I want to try a trick then he makes sure he’s got time in his day to come and doit and he’s a great cheerleader. He’s funny, he’ll be making jokes, chatting shit and it’ll help take my mind off whatever scary spot he’s talked me into skating.
If you’d be so kind, could you please give us some recommendations? This could be music, film, a life hack or anything else?
Information you should have: Ike (@princeofwestkirby) is really good at skateboarding
Film: Cool World
Life hack: Be friends with Dave Mackey
What have you got coming up in the future mate?
Coming up in the future? Errrrr this Camel part is going to come out at some point. There’s some Lost Art stuff that might be happening next year and there was talk of maybe some New Balance trips, but I’lljust see what happens. There’s also a chance of me moving down to London for the summer, getting a sub-let or something. My mate has a houseboat and he’s made some pretty persuasive arguments to get me down. I’d just have to sort a job out, so any skate shops that need staff hit me up!
See more of Andy Davidson in the videos below!
Camel Skateboards – “CAPERS”