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Bart Jones Interview


Bart Jones blunt fakie, Santa Cruz Skatepark
Name, Age, Status, Employer, Hometown?
Bartholomew Wilhelm Jones, 28, Single as Fuck!, The Skateboard mag son!, Geneva, Illinois.

Lets start at the very beginning. I want to know what it took to spawn you. Tell me about your parents. What kind of people were they, what did they do, how were you conceived?
Whoa!! That's deep. Shit, I don't know. My dad I think was originally from Plainfield, Illinois a little like cornfield town that's all big now. He went to like private Catholic schools or something, but he's not like religious or anything, he keeps it real. An my mom is originally from Germany an actually lived in Israel for a minute when she was a child too, but then I think shit was rough over there, so her fam got hooked up with a boat ride to the states an started living in St. Louis, I think maybe.. Moving on, Dad went to college in St. Louis met my mom, badda boom batta bing, got married an made me.. I question if they were on some sort of drugs at the time, because I'm pretty jacked. My mom has had a lot of odd jobs through the years from school teacher, to running an antique store, to working in real estate and my dad used to run a chain of record stores called Apple Tree Records, which was an awesome time, because until I was about 16, my dad could hook up any music for free, plus free tickets to just about anything, I wish he still had that goin' but due to the likes of Best Buy, an Circuit city, an places like that; Apple Tree went under. I went around with my family to all the stores to close them down which sucked, but I came up on a lot of goods. Now my dad runs a Play It Again sports, so pretty much my mom an dad go around to auctions an garage sales an stock up on used sports equipment, so we use to have a lot of music laying around the house, but now it's sport's equipment.
Bart Blunt Fakies at the Santa Cruz park, Photo: Buzzy Sullivan  
Bart Jones quote
Michael Tubbs Fs Smith
Michael Tubbs, Front Smith.

Lets move on to your childhood. Any traumatic evens that still haunt you today?
I don't think anything from my childhood still haunts me in anyway, but yea sure.. I've had a bunch of those.. I almost blew our families new puppies head off with a Draino bomb, my baby sitter tried to have sex with me once, I don't know, but yea I was definitely a fucked up kid, still pretty much am.

Ben Smith, Ollie up Wallie at Santaana
Ben Smith, Ollie up Wallie Santa Ana.

What was your very first encounter with skateboarding? When did you know that this was going to be a long term relationship?
First encounter I probably don't remember, but I know I was super hyped on it when I seen these dudes skating flatground and ollieing over these road barriers at this downtown festival we have where I lived called "Swedish Days". All the dudes had like two different colored Airwalk shoes on with duct tape, painter hats, all flaired out an shit, I remember just thinking "These dudes are bad ass, that's how I want to be!" Around the same time I was always psyched if I could catch "Skate TV" on Nickelodeon. Obviously totally clueless about skateboarding, but nonetheless, super hyped. I didn't actually start skating until a few years after that, when a skate shop opened by my house called Rich's, which is funny to think of, because the place was such a fuckin' circus, but I would just skate around the shop an to me that was the most bad ass thing ever at the time. Funny thing is, one of those dudes that I seen skating a long time ago at the festival is now my good homey Steve Davenport, he still skates, still rips!! But Yea, I really never knew it was going to be a long term relationship.. I guess I just really never got into anything else. When it comes to anything else relatively athletic I'm full on goonbat panzy steez. I remember when some of the kids in high school were getting into other things like Golf, Cars, ETC... I didn't really understand. I just remember thinking "that shit's fucking gay, you don't wanna go skating?!" I went through a little phase when I was going to art school, where I wasn't really into skating, I didn't know what was really going on, didn't see the magazine's and new vids; at that time I was more interested in becoming a "fine artist" but I'm kind over that I guess.

Steve Purdue Kickflip
Being from Illinois, what are your thoughts on Barack Obama?
Being totally fried, I don't really pay much attention to that kind of stuff, but I'm for sure down for Obama. I remember when he was running for senator or whatever in Illinois, an there were all these billboards with him, an I said to my dad "look at this dude looking all pimp an shit" an he told me "that's the man that's expected to be the first black president". Then in my photo journalism class I was assigned to go shoot photos of Barack's victory speech. An like any other sucker, I was just eating it up; Obama just speaks with such like.. I don't even know! Power, I guess, an then just looking around at all the people being so happy, it was just good vibes all around. An now it's like the same thing again, but the whole country. I'm for sure pumped that at one time I lived in the same city as Obama. It's a pretty exciting time, but what do I know..?

Who are some og skate homies from Illinois?
We used to have the Geneva Crew....
James Wilschke, Peter Sutfin, Justin Ward, Tim Ward, Ben Smith, Chris Smith, Tim Armour, Ryan Roullete, Steve Davenport, Brad Rogers, Chris Fetter, Chris Poquette, ELG, Tom Gallagher, Aaron Feltgen, and probably some more, I forgot, but yea we had a skate house an all, really amazing times, but the crew has been broken up quite a bit since then, but still exists in some sort of way.

Bart Jones quote
Steve Purdue Kickflips via window  

Chris Larue Sugercane, Home Ave
Chris LaRue, Sugercane home Ave

When did you decide to leave Illinois? How old? Where did you go? Why?
Fuck! I don't want to sound too serious or anything, but honestly I thought I had my whole life totally figured out by the age of 25, I graduated from an art school, I had a serious girlfriend that I lived with in Chicago. I imagined I would get a job doing studio and location photography through the school, get married an live happily ever after, but that was not the case. A little bit after I graduated my girlfriend broke up with me, an wanted me to move out, and at the same time I just got ACL surgery, so I was already bummed out about that. So, here I was 25 years old, just graduated college, living back in my parent's basement for the first time in years; which I never imagined, unemployed, an shit.. just bummed the fuck out. I'm not trying to sound like I feel sorry for myself, because everything happens for a reason, the bad comes with the good an I think it was just my time for a little bit of bad. I'm fully aware that millions of people everyday have way worse problems. Anyway, I had no idea what I wanted to do, being an emotional mess; I didn't even want to live in the city anymore an try to move on with my plan. I had some money saved up, because I knew I wasn't going to be working for awhile, because of the knee, so I just told my friend Tim Ward that just got a place in Tempe Arizona that I was super depressed an had to get out of Illinois. I told him straight up, I can't really give you rent or anything, but I'll bring some stuff for the apartment an help in anyway possible an he was down, which I'm super thankful for. Within the next month, I packed my van an got the fuck out. It was at this time I started to realize how sheltered I was. I drove from straight zero degree weather to what felt like summer, an I had never even been to the desert before. The whole climate change was a total trip to me. I was still recovering from surgery at the time an couldn't skate or anything, so I pretty much just chilled, partied, an actually ended up shooting a lot of photos of skating since I didn't have a lot better to do; an it was something I enjoyed. At, this point I was still kind of bummed out, but it kind of worked out for the best. I thought I was all adult an shit, but really it wasn't over. I was just hanging out, goofing off, just having a good old time. That was a huge life lesson for me.

Donovan Pscipo Wallie in Little Rock, Arkansas
Donovan Piscipo wallie in Little Rock, Arkansas

Ok, so now your in AZ sleeping on a couch. tell me about the different scenes in az, ca, midwest and were ever else you've been. what vide to you like the most?
Sometimes, I'm thinking I need to move to Canada or Europe or something, because I hate it everywhere in the States an then other days I'll be like "this place is the sickest, I love it here!" what it really comes down too, I honestly don't care where I am, long as I got something going on. I can't really say one scene is better than any other, cause realistically it's what you make of it. Chicago was fun hanging down by the lake at the skatepark an rolling around the city, but I had been around there for too long. Arizona, has like all the parks, an so many rad people, but something about the desert freaks me out. I actually lived in Portland for like a month an a half and that was the best ever, but I just couldn't keep busy enough there. I never thought I would ever live in Southern California, but that's just kind of how it worked out, eventually I would like to move north, but I have my few friends down here, so it's chill.

Brain Howard Rock N' Rock Santa Barbara
Brian Howard, RNR

It seems like some photographers are pigeon holed to one mag or one group of skaters. Do you think that being somewhat of a photo gypsy you were able to avoid that?
I think skateboarding, Photography, and traveling have always gone together nicely. I haven't really traveled around too too much, nor do I shoot with that many different bro-bras. I think any skateboard photographer would agree they like to mix it up, shoot all different people, but for me, it's usually the most fun with the good homies. It's funny to look at all the folders on the computer of people I've shot with, because it's random, but that's just how it is. I also think it helps that I don't have a set residence right now, I will stay in LA for a week, go stay in Long Beach, stay in the OC, go down to SD for a bit, an just keep it going, if you have the opportunity to drift.. why not?! Now all I have to do is broaden my drifting space.
Bart Jones qoute 3
Josh Swyers, Wallie Mute in Houston, TX
Let me get your photo set up?
Oh, photo nerd shit..Huh?? I think I've gone a little over board lately. I have 2 Lumedyne action pack kits, a Q-flash, 2 SB-800s, an SB-900 for flashes, I probably don't need all that, but shits always breaking so it fluctuates. I still prefer to shoot with the Hasselblad, but I have somewhat conformed to the digital stuff an shoot with a Nikon D3 now. What I really want to get is the digi back for the Hassy, but I think that's a bit out of my price range. Either way if you plan to rob me, you'd probably have a pretty good pay day, but yea..

Got any advice for kids trying to come up as skate photographers?
I don't actually really know, because everybody's different you know, but I think first your going to need some camera stuff obviously. An for me I just shot my friends for a long time, tried to experiment, an just was out skating a lot. I didn't really have this luxury, but if your friends with bros that the mags want photos of, that should help. It probably helps to know people in the skate game or at least get around, travel, party or whatever. Honestly if you go around straight up telling people "I'm trying to come up as a skate photographer!" You might come off as a joker, but like I said everybody's different. Maybe sub-consciously I was trying to come up, but I never looked at it that way, it was more just a result of lurking around an always having my camera goods with me and staying at peoples house's that were out skating everyday. To some that may seem like a lot of work, but it never really felt like that. One more thing, if your looking to shoot skating, thinking your going to make butt-loads money, your an idiot.
Josh Swyers gets Wallie Mute in Houston, TX.  

Pat Pasquale
Pat Pasquale, Fs Nose in NYC.

You graduated college. Waste of time or worth it as far as skate photography?
Well, originally I didn't know I would be shooting skating on the daily, but it really depends. I personally think I needed to go to school, since I don't pick up on information to easily; where at photo school the knowledge was pounded into my brain, I was in a creative environment where I was almost forced to think differently. If you have the chance to go to school with a photo program it's really fun, because you have access to all the labs and equipment. Also, you get all the assignments where you don’t shoot skating, but other weird random stuff that I think is good to do as well, obviously. The thing is now with digital, it seems like learning to shoot skating could be pretty easy. All you need is a couple flashes and then with the digital you can see what your doing, which at first was so weird to me.

Jonath Pierce Smith Grind, Carlsbad CA
Jonathan Pierce, Fs Smith Carlsbad, CA


David Reyes, Nose Blunt SLC
I over heard somebody at blackbox talking about how you were bummed on blowing out your best pants. What specifications make a good pair of pants?
Cords, Earth toned, Super stretchy, bagged out, button fly, not bell bottomed but not too tapered, an probably like a 38 by 30 or some shit.

Blunt fakie the tombstone at Tempe park. Howd that feel?
Wow, really giving me props here, it feels like realizing that you haven't actually rode away from a maneuver on your skateboard in a long time an you finally break the losing streak.

What have you been up to lately, where are you staying, who have you been skating with?
I'm pretty much on some Ground Hogs Day shit right now for the most part, skating all day coming back to someone's house chillin' passin' out. I usually stay with my friend's in Oceanside or in Santa Ana, I would like to get my own spot someday, but I can't really get it together. I have mostly been skating with my friend's Pat Pasquale an Neen Williams from back home, Vince Del Valle, dudes amazing, working on some stuff with Sierra Fellers. An then pretty much who ever is hanging around Black Box or Tum Yeto.
David Reyes, Nose Blunt hammers in SLC  

Shout outs & Thank's?
Oh shit, so gay. God for making it possible for a goof ball like myself to actually excel at something in life, The Fam, The Geneva Crew, O-side, All the photographers an photo editors that helped me out especially Matt Price, Joe Hammeke, an Adam Conway too I guess, Matt Winterberg an Greg Robinson, Jimmy an Justin, Buffalo Chicks, pros that have me shoot there ads, so I can get paid, Tum Yeto, all the skateboarders I shoot with that know how to have fun an also get down to biz, an everybody else that has ever let me lurk an mooch off of them, sorry but most likely I will never get you back I-Jeeiuss Keeeideya!!! and i especially would like to thank Dave Swift, J. Grant Brittain and everybody else at The Skateboard Mag.

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