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Rob Brink

Hometown, Current place you live, Employer, Education, Jobs before writing?
Bloomfield, NJ, Laguna Beach, CA/ Hoboken, NJ / Sole Technology / The Skateboard Mag / Myself. Master's degree in English/Writing. I was a paperboy for a year when I was 10. I was a stock/cleanup person at a woman's clothing store at age 14 for a year, until I called my manager a “fucking whore” when she bitched me out for being a few minutes late. I was a bagel baker working night shifts for about eight years and a skate shop manager/buyer during that same time and after for about six or seven years. Towards the end of grad school I landed a “real world” job as a book editor at a small publisher in NJ. I worked on manuscripts from motivational speakers who were full of shit and new age trannys who bathe their crystals in purified water under a full moon and wrote books on witchcraft

What was the skate scene in NJ like for you growing up?
Lots of curbs, flatground, skating in peoples basements and driving to skateparks hours away in the snow. Empty shopping mall parking lots at night. Great times. You can see in my skating that transition, stairs and handrails were absent from my life until I moved to California. As far as being a skateboarder... it wasn’t like it is today. Skaters like me were clowned a lot of the time. I was angry about it for a while, but things are good for me and for lots of skateboarders all over the world now.

What was the skate scene in NJ like for you growing up?
I left NJ in July of 2004. I was already freelancing for TransWorld at the time. DC shoes needed a copywriter and heard about me through Skin and asked me to come out and work for 'em. They offered to pay for my move and even helped me find an apartment, which was helpful. So I went for it.

Rob Brink, Bs Flip Fakie,
Bs Flip

How did you get interested in writing?
Writing happened by accident. I was in college with a major in Environmental Science. I wanted to work in a national park and be a forest ranger or something like that. Even though I'm not a hippie or anything, I just wanted to be outdoors with nature. Something about wildlife and nature always interested me. But I failed so many of my early classes: Biology, Chemistry, Pre Calculus, etc. and couldn't move on in the program... so I just decided that maybe writing was a good idea because a few teachers in my past had told me they thought I was decent at it. Looking back, I always got good grades in English and on all my term papers or book reports or essays and always did really poorly in science and math... so it all worked out. Funny how the educational system places more emphasis on where you are doing bad and where your weaknesses are instead of taking your strengths and harnessing that energy and talent and steering you in the right direction, huh?

How old are you?
Oh fuck, 33 now.

Rob Brink

How long have you been skating for?

Ummm... skating for real since like 1989, so 20 years. I mean I had a banana board before that I got when I was a kid, you know? I remember it seemed so hard just to kickturn on it.

What made you get serious about it rather than just fucking around?

I was into freestyle BMX. I was a really skinny kid and I wasn't strong so I couldn’t do a lot of tricks. When I was around 11 years old, my family moved to a new town in NJ and a bunch of kids there were into skating. I think my Mom saw I was the odd man out with my bike and wanted me to make new friends. She asked me, "Hey do you want me to get you a skateboard for your eighth grade graduation present?" I didn't really care, I was kind of into biking at the time, but she got it for me anyway and when I tried it everything seemed so easy compared to BMXing. Maybe because I’d been playing soccer for so many years, using my feet and whatnot. I dunno. But it was so cool to roll with everyone who was skating and connect with those other kids and make new friends. I had no idea that skateboarding would consume me, but it just did. Funny to think how my mom buying me a skateboard like that affected my entire life from that very moment. At the time I was supper bummed on my parents for making me move and it caused a lot of shit between us, but look how it all ended up. Thanks, mom! Love you!

Can you do anything on BMX now?

You know, the tricky part is that they don't use brakes anymore, so that's why it's fucked up. If I had brakes, I can still do little tricks like infinity rolls and tailwhips and stuff.

What is your actual job at Sole Tech? I've heard you referred to as "web guy" but it seems like you do a lot of different jobs there such as team managing, shoe development, etc, etc.

Technically I'm the "Online Content Manager" for etnies and éS, but I'm not one for titles. I guess because I'm a skateboarder, and because when I came in I was super ambitious, and because web is directly related to the team and marketing, I just got pulled into all the marketing meetings, team meetings, brainstorming and a lot of creative stuff.

Then going on trips to do content for web, being one of the older guys with a company AmEx and a driver's license and knowing how to get things done, I end up being the surrogate team manager. I guess I wear a lot of hats. It's really cool though. I'd get bored otherwise.

Rob Brink

Seeing as how you came from a different work background then just went for it in the skate world, do you ever trip out when you're in Japan with a bunch of pro skaters and you're doing this for a living?

Definitely. I'm super lucky. When I'm in Japan or South America skating with people like Malto or Bledsoe or Mike Anderson… I trip out. I've worked hard, but I've had some good breaks along the way and people who helped me. Like Tim O'Connor and a bunch of TransWorld and Strength people who gave me my first chances in like 2000/2001. Being at Sole Tech helped me so much. The fact that The Skateboard Mag let me start writing for them a few years back then promoted me to Staff Writer is amazing because I’m alongside some people I’ve looked up to for years and because the minute that mag came out it was my favorite mag. Apart from Big Brother of course. It's like part luck, part work, and part help from people.

Even getting to see something like Leo Romero mosegrinding/noseblunting up the Carlsbad gap at Maloof Money Cup and barreling into the princess of Dubai… just being able to be there for that. Or seeing Dennis Busenitz skate in real life a few times a year. Or seeing Jake Brown survive his X Games slam 100 feet away from my eyes. That's the type of shit where I'm just like "God I'm so glad this is my world and I was here to witness this today." I’ve yet to ever see a real Gino Iannucci session and he’s my favorite skater ever. I saw him at the old Newburgh skatepark in upstate New York for a minute way back, but no one even knew who he was at the time. Perhaps there’s still hope.

You do a lot of interviews for The Skateboard Mag, as well as other magazines. What are some tips you can give me?

It's not that my way is the right way, or that I'm any better than anybody, but I don't ask any questions that have already been asked of anyone. Some people might laugh at this logic or feel I’m reaching a bit, but I just feel like nobody's gonna go tre flip Wallenberg and put it in his video part because it's ABD. Cole handled it in the Zero video, right? Why wouldn't interviews, or anything for that matter, have the same standard? I don’t really like the logic that “everything’s been done already” and I have a hard time respecting people who feel that way. There’s always room for something new or at least doing something that already exists differently.

I just interviewed Kenny Hoyle and I didn't need to ask him about his goddamn missing finger because the six interviews before me did. Every single one of them. It's fucking boring. It’s cool that the first interviewer talked about it, ya know? But either the writers after that don't care that it's been handled in a prior interview or they didn't do research. Either way is pretty bewildering to me. Kenny turned out to be a super cool kid with cool shit to say; meanwhile every other interview was about his fucking finger. And people wonder why no one reads. I asked him what he felt was the lamest question that people ask him in interviews and he said “The finger question.” So here you have all these so-called “writers” asking the dude a stale-ass question that he already thinks is gay to begin with. How’s that gonna want to make him give a good interview?

Rob Brink interview quote
Have you ever had anyone interview you before?

Not really. I guess little interviews here and there. Nothing major.

Well that's good because then there's no ABDs for me.

Yeah, I guess not.

You also do some interviews for magazines besides The Skateboard Mag, including a fair amount of interviews with celebrities. Who's more interesting? Regular celebrities or skateboard celebrities?

It depends. I interviewed this actress named Lizzy Caplan. She was in Cloverfield and Mean Girls....

She was super cool because she was normal. She wasn't trying to be some big celebrity. We hit it off right away and she gave me the raddest interview. But then you get some people who are just, I don't know, fuckin bored, or they've done the interview thing a million times, or don't care, or think I'm some shitty interviewer or think they are the best thing on the planet and don't want to talk to me.

I guess skateboarding is more interesting because it's my life. Especially when you get a really good interview out of somebody, like my Caswell Berry interview. He's just so self aware and unashamed of everything. All the enjoi guys are. They give great interviews. That's the type of people you want to be talking to. Danny Garcia is a great one too. So was Herman. But it's nice to break away from that and have the variety of interviewing a musician or an actress or something. Especially if it's like some hot chick or someone you might be into as far as their music or acting.

But anyone can be interesting if they're down to give a good interview and you ask the right questions. Maybe there's someone out there that sweeps floors for a living... but if you interview them, they might have the craziest stories to tell and they might be better than any pro skater or any celebrity interview you've ever done. You could get a guy that has been in World War II that's like 80 years old or whatever who just sits in the local dive bar all day... you never know. Everyone's got great stories to tell, it’s just a matter of tapping into it.

Rob Brink

Dude, he could work at McDonald's. You never know, right?

Yeah, and he could tell you as many stories as Jim Greco or Cardiel or Keith Richards or somebody gnarly like that.

Is it ever weird calling someone who you've never met or talked to? Does it get awkward? Have you ever had any interviews where it was just impossible to drag any good answers out of the subject? What do you do in that situation, and would you care to name any names?

360 Flip.

Yeah, some people, and it's not like I'm talking shit or anything, its just some people aren't talkative, or maybe there isn't a chemistry. I just had an incident where I interviewed Nick Trapasso. He's a quiet dude. I thought it went okay, did the best I could. And then like two weeks later I found out that he didn't want the interview we did to run. Then another dude who sometimes writes for The Mag, Mike Sinclair from Tum Yeto, ended up redoing the interview and it ran in place of mine. So maybe Nick felt more comfortable with him, he did the interview with him. I think in the end it's cool as long as the skater's happy. Sucks that I don't get the paycheck though. Haha. Eric Fletcher and Kevin Taylor were quiet ones too. Leo Romero just did the same thing to me except he scrapped the words entirely. Didn’t want ‘em to run.

I think in the end it's cool as long as the skater is happy with the piece and represented properly. Sucks that I don't get the paycheck though. Haha.

Your interviews often take a little lighter of a mood than most, and I've heard you talk about how much you loved the old Big Brother magazine. Was that magazine and it's interviewing style influential to you wanting to become a writer?

I didn't know I wanted to be a writer until Big Brother was probably almost gone. But yes. It's shaped a lot of how I view magazines, interviews, style, etc. and made me want to do this. Before that I wanted to be a pro skater like everyone else. I had some flow sponsors on the east coast back in the day...

Who were you sponsored by?!

Fuck, it's so embarrassing. this is like 1996 or so, for a few years. I rode for Nice Skate Shoes flow, Gullwing trucks flow (laughing), and a company from New York called Infamous. Ryan Hickey, Bobby Puleo, Ben Liversedge... a bunch of guys you might know were on there. I also had a shop sponsor in NJ called Out of Bounds. They were cool to me early on and I ended up running that store for years. But being a sponsored skater and making a living out of it wasn't an option, I wasn't that good.

But it seems Big Brother just made lots of people want to read. And every month it was so rad looking forward to the next issue. Everyone was dying to get their hands on it. I really think they just set the benchmark for that genre of journalism in skateboarding that can never be topped. Big Brother was the first and only mag that I read cover to cover, over and over every month until the next one came out. I can tell you so many specific articles and even quotes and ads I remember from that mag. My friend Justin Regan always says that being memorable is an important thing. I concur.

Well the thing is Dave Carnie is actually super smart and a really good writer, that's the thing, you know?

And so is Nieratko. A lot of people think (or maybe thought back in the day) that those guys were just fuck-offs. You know, like for a long time I think people just thought they were wasted all the time and just fuckin like... dudes who used to skate and were still hangin' around, but they're really intelligent people who write really well and think really well and know what they are doing. I learned a lot from them before I knew them. Prior to them and Big Brother, it was just like, "Who are your sponsors? Do you have any shout outs? How did you start skating?" And once Big Brother did their thing, there was just no turning back. I try not to be too "Big Brother-esque." I mean I'm not into drugs personally, so I can't go to that level. I don't want to make it too much about shitting and partying and cocks and bong olympics and Slayer, but I was definitely, hugely influenced and inspired by what they did. Still am. I have every single issue and flip through em all the time.

Rob Brink wallie

On that note, have you ever shit your pants skating?

Not skating. It's funny... I ask a lot of skateboarders in interviews about the most embarrassing moment in their life, and the most frequent answer is an incident when they shit their pants.

I did shit my pants once, but not while skating. I was on a paper route before school and I just had to take my morning shit so bad. I was trying to find a bush to hide behind and take a shit into it. You know how the closer you get to the toilet when you have to shit super bad, the harder it is to hold it in? I was almost to this person's backyard where I could fuckin’ try and take a shit outdoors at six in the morning, dressed in my green catholic school uniform and tie because I would go right to school from delivering papers. And as I pulled down my pants the first log went straight into my underwear. I aimed it so poorly because I never shit outside in the wild before. And I was wearing gloves because it was winter so I was able to pull the log out and throw it without contaminating my hands. It was solid and well-formed and easily removed. The people who’s yard I shit in were mean to me too. So I’m stoked I left a turd in on their lawn.

I don't think I've ever told that story. See! That's why it's my favorite question because it's always funny. That's why I ask everyone if they ever pee sitting down. It's pretty interesting... the responses you get to that one...

Being involved with skateboarding as a career do you find that makes it easier to find time to skate, or does that make it harder? Because I've seen some clips of you and you're pretty good.

It's been different in the last few years now that I get to go to Barcelona and I'm at these pinnacle spots with people like Sean Malto, and Tyler, Jose, Mike Anderson, Danny Garcia and Leeper, you know? Or I roll to the etnies TF and Figgy, Provost, Jon Dickson, Leo or Heath Kirchart are in there murdering it on any given day. In the beginning I'm always scared and shy to skate in front of people. But I open up. Today I met Ryan Gallant for the first time. Skated at the Syndrome warehouse and I felt really dumb warming up in front of him because... I'm not good… even though my ability wouldn’t matter to anyone who is a cool person. I'm older, and it takes me a while to warm up, you know? Ryan Gallant rips, by the way. Super nice guy too.

I've been skating more in the last year and a half then I have in the last like five or six years. I just need to put my shit down. It's hard to put your work down when it's comprised entirely of skateboarding and it's what you love. I never can skate enough, put it that way. But I try. When I'm exhausted from a four hour sesh at the TF and driving home all sweaty... then I'm even more stoked to skate and looking forward to the next time.

Rob Brink
What did you think when you found out that there was a thread on the Slap Boards dedicated solely to shit talking you?

Shit man, that's the worst feeling. I’m sure they’ll have a field day with this interview too. So my friend Sergio who works for Nieratko at NJ sent me a text saying, "Yo, have you seen this thread?" Prior to that thread, I honestly had logged maybe five minutes of my life on the Slap Boards, and I sort of pride myself on that. Koston had a lovely quote about the Slap boards the other day on his Twitter actually.

But I was bummed, dude. I was in a car at the time and I got home to a computer as fast as I could. It was actually at Heath Brinkley’s house ‘cuz I was with him and Malto skating around. There's been shit talking about me before on there that I've had a laugh about, but not a whole thread. Just people talking shit on my articles, or saying I suck or I’m an asshole or I'm gay. Which is fine. I'm not into penises in my butt or mouth or hands and people don't have to like me or my work. I think someone once said Active Erica blew me, which was pretty cool, but that didn't happen.

But the thing was, some website, Sponsorhouse, whatever the fuck bullshit, making-money-of-skateboarding thing that is, made a fake profile of me without my permission and started embedding my RSS feed into the profile, and it looked like I'm on there trying to get a job or a sponsor or something at 33 years old. So weak. In reality they used my name and work to add credible content to their site. And the dude fully admitted that to me via email when I contacted them to take the profile down. I posted that email in the thread so the truth would be out there. I had to actually register on the Slap boards so I could do it. I wasn’t a member.

The kid who started the thread eventually apologized, but it's so weird to jump the gun like that. To start a thread like "Rob Brink Sold His Soul" when you have no clue what the truth is, is kinda lame… I guess if there can be threads about me or I can “sell my soul” then I've officially made it to the big time! Nah, I'm not gonna lie and say I didn't give a shit. It's a bummer for a minute. In the end it's really just funny though. The thread ended up more in my favor than against me I think... so it was easier to deal with. But who knows what’ll happen after this interview on there.

How about the fact that someone created an account with the name "Cuntjuice Robbrink"?

Dude, that was weird too! That was a strange search term that I noticed on my site, and I made a little post on my site, and then I saw that and I was like... I don't know if it's supposed to be a diss or (laughing) just nothing. Maybe someone just thought it was funny. But I looked it up and it seems like they’re from Russia. I checked out some of their posts, and they seem like some sort of skate nerd kids from Russia. Doesn't seem like it was anything too malicious, you know? It's pretty funny. Pretty vile I guess. "Cuntjuice". I'm down for whoever Cuntjuice Robbrink is. Drop me a line, homey!

The skate industry gets a pretty bad rap on message boards, cynical blogs, etc. Do you think any of this hate towards the industry is justified?

Yeah I mean, people do things that other people aren't going to agree with all the time. I think that if I was 16, or 18, or 20, I would have wanted to hate on Ryan Sheckler or Jereme Rogers too. I remember when I was young, and whatever band I liked finally got a song on the radio, and I was all pissed off. Like "Fuck, why does Nine Inch Nails have a song on the radio? I've been down with them for years. Now all these frat boys like them!" You get bummed out, you get angry, and whatever. But I also think that people choose to hate on certain people gratuitously... because it's expected or cool. People are gonna hate on someone for doing one thing, and not hate on another person for doing the exact same thing. The selectiveness is really amusing to me.

Rob Brink
The skate industry gets a pretty bad rap on message boards, cynical blogs, etc. Do you think any of this hate towards the industry is justified?

Yeah I mean, people do things that other people aren't going to agree with all the time. I think that if I was 16, or 18, or 20, I would have wanted to hate on Ryan Sheckler or Jereme Rogers too. I remember when I was young, and whatever band I liked finally got a song on the radio, and I was all pissed off. Like "Fuck, why does Nine Inch Nails have a song on the radio? I've been down with them for years. Now all these frat boys like them!" You get bummed out, you get angry, and whatever. But I also think that people choose to hate on certain people gratuitously... because it's expected or cool. People are gonna hate on someone for doing one thing, and not hate on another person for doing the exact same thing. The selectiveness is really amusing to me.

Or it's like, I find some people get the free pass on the energy drink sponsor, and some people don't. People will shit talk Dyrdek, right? But Joey Brezinski is this super legit dude, but he rocks a Red Bull New Era too.

I love how energy drinks have become the absolute metaphor for “selling out.” That’s funny in itself, considering its only going to be more and more accepted very soon. Just like the X Games were hated on 10 years ago and now the most legit dudes are skating in it and it takes me two weeks to get a media pass because CNN’s whole staff and their grandchildren got ‘em instead.

There's certain people that everyone wants to hate on, and everybody's gonna look for a reason to hate even more. In the end it people just trying to make themselves look more credible by having the authority and knowhow to call someone else a “sell out.” That’s like when someone calls something out as “proper” to make themselves look like some end all-be all authority on things. It’s hilarious. “Joey flannel just ended his run with a proper laser flip!” Like how is it “proper?” People used to love Muska’s hardflips. Now they love Herman’s and make fun of Chad’s. It’s all proper if it appeals to you, ya know?

Think of all the people with their names tattooed on them. Muska has his name across his stomach. Coco Santiago has the word "Real" tattooed across his back. Tony Trujillo has "Motley Crue" tattooed on his back. I have a fucking tramp stamp that I got 13 years ago. So does Bob Burnquist. There's all kinds of people with crazy tattoos, but everyone wanted to get mad at Sheckler. There's so many other levels of bad tattoos and corny things people do and there’s so many better, less played out things to make fun of in skateboarding or not in skateboarding. Fuck, make fun of the hipsters instead. It’s way more fun. They're absolutely the most ridiculous thing ever.

Felix Arguelles was designing clothes on a Tommy Hilfiger reality show and crying from what I remember. Jason Dill was on the Osbournes and ended up getting kicked out of their house. Koston was on Jackass. Dyrdek is on his second reality show, Bam's had a few, you know what I mean? And it's not like more shows with your favorite pros aren’t going to be on the way...

Lately etnies has been really rebuilding their reputation with the core skate market. Was this a hard task, and how do you view the balance between mainstream success and staying true to the company's roots: skateboarding.

That's one of those discussions that can go on forever and probably not for me. But if you're a true skateboarder then you know what feels right and what feels wrong when you're doing it. Period.

It can be hard to change people's perceptions, but I think you just have to go with your gut, and try and fight for and pull off as much legitimate skateboarding as you can as a brand or an individual and hope that people see that, respect and support it. In the last two years etnies has done a lot of cool things, I think mostly by the way of new team riders, better product and web/video stuff, that people have seen and are deciding to back it, which is rad.

On the other hand, I think it's funny that a lot of people old enough to know better, will base “legitimacy” on who rides for who. Like some company can not be "cool," then it gets a bunch of good riders and then it is "cool" again, when all along the company way probably doing some good shit. And then some company that’s supposedly "cool" loses a bunch of riders and suddenly it's not “cool.”

Grown-ass men deciding a company is cooler because some 17-year-old gets on the team is pretty damn funny. But then again, so is grown ass men publicly dissing teenage skateboarders ten and twenty years younger than them on their blogs or asking everyone they interview about Ryan Sheckler or energy drink sponsors over and over to get some shit talking going. I'm not sure why so many older dudes in our industry are so fixated and offended by the non-skate behavior of teenage boys, but its pretty damn amusing to me

Rob Brink

The dictionary defines the word "brink" as "an extreme edge of land before a steep or vertical slope" or "a point at which something, typically an unwelcome or disastrous event is about to happen." How do both or either of these definitions reflect your personality?

I don't know if any of that applies to me. Maybe 10 or 20 years ago I would have been like "Yeah man, BRINK! I’m a disastrous event about to happen! Watch out for me, man!" Everyone wants to think they're badass at some point. I guess now I just associate my name with my father who passed away a while back and I'm just proud to share the same name as him. He was a great dude. He fuckin’ bowled a perfect 300 game in the middle of chemotherapy treatment while he was dying from cancer. Some of the best bowlers in the world will never do that while completely healthy. Epic.

Who's the most random person you know of whose been flowed product?

Shit, dude there's so many random people that are flowed product, it's ridiculous. I don't even know how any companies make any money. I've given people shoes from my stashes to give to their grandfathers and stuff. I give the homeless people in Laguna Beach my old product. If I have shit I don't wear anymore, I just leave it on the beach, and then I'll see a homeless dude walking around in my old etnies, it's rad. I dump bags of old gear off at the local skatepark in the middle of the night by my apt in NJ. But yeah, Pierre (Andre, etnies founder) is down for the charity too. He gives away a ton of stuff. And that's not just a plug for my boss. It's genuinely awesome to see that shit go to good use rather than sitting in the warehouse or going in the garbage, or wherever it goes. There are a lot of people on this planet who don't lift a finger to help others. I'm glad to be affiliated with people who do.

If you were in charge of this and you could steal any 2 pros and 2 ams from any company to ride for etnies, who would you nab?

Ummm Dennis Busenitz, annnnd… see there's people that I like but I don't know that they'd fit. I'd love to say Leo Romero, but I don't know if he'd fit etnies. Dennis, and Nick Dompierre for pros. Ams... who do I like right now? Fuckin Jake Johnson. And this may take a second.... Oh yeah, Vincent Alvarez for sure!

As an industry insider, you probably see a lot of young talent come up, and then fade away. To those not in the industry, it seems as though the ability to skate well is all that matters, when really that's not the case. What are some ways that kids on the come up can blow it in the industry?

Well I guess some of the typical ones are like, getting too wrapped up in a girlfriend. Being pussy whipped is far more detrimental to a career than one might think. The drug or the partying thing. That's a no-brainer. Flat-out laziness and not skating. Like maybe kicking back and putting your feet up way, way prematurely. I've seen some ego get in the way, some arrogance. People thinking they're the shit. Maybe some people have been handed stuff way too soon. Maybe other people, it's the way they were raised. It seems like it's harder to blow it than to make it. Once you've got your foot in the door and people are paying attention to you and taking you on tours and stuff, all you gotta do is be yourself and skate, ya know? Everyone already likes you for both of those things, so hang on to it. Go with it.

It's like not getting out of high school. You don't have to try that hard to graduate, it almost takes more work to not graduate high school. You have to actually try to fail.

On the other hand, what are some ways that pros can ensure the longevity of their career?

If you look at someone like Kenny Anderson or Gino... their stuff almost looks like their just joking around. It's just so buttery, and so perfect, and original enough where you watch and you're like "Damn, Kenny's so sick!" I think people look at that kind of stuff. You don't necessarily have to be the most innovative or whatever. It's almost like you just have to be like classy, but that's not the right word. Maybe classic is the word. Keep people wanting more because your shit is so spot on. Look at all the dudes that are sort of gonna live on forever, like Reynolds, Carroll, they all have it, and they're still going after 30, 33, whatever. It's like I was saying before if you just do right by skateboarding, or do skateboarding right, I think skateboarding will sort of take care of you.

This was my first ever phone-conducted interview. How do you think I did?

You did pretty good man. I wasn't bored.

Do you want to do last words, shout outs, any of that? Or seeing as how you are an interviewer yourself, do you find that stuff passé?

Ya, that question is funny. Everybody you're gonna thank knows that you're gonna thank them. Your sponsors know you're thankful. I think I mentioned everyone in here who I owe a bunch of thanks too. Thanks to everyone who is cool and supports me and other skateboarders. Thanks to the people who have helped me over the years and are still helping me. Thanks to anyone who bothers to read my stuff or take the time to tell me about it. And thanks to every skateboarder, past present and future who I have interviewed or will interview.

Yeah, the only person you should ever really probably shout out is your girlfriend because she'll be pissed if you don't. And then you look like a pussy.

That goes back into the girlfriend thing controlling your life. Fuck thanking your girlfriend! She’s probably dump you one day for a dude who wears Ed Hardy or has better coke than you anyway. You should probably thank your mom or your dad for actually humping and conceiving you. That is, assuming you don't hate your parents.

I think it would be cool if people spent more time skating and less time hating. I've bad-mouthed people years ago, and hated on people and talked shit in articles or blogs, and then came out here and met them and discovered they're awesome. Some are even helping pay my salary. Or maybe they just don't mean any harm by doing whatever made me bag on them, you know? It'd be cool if people were happier and not just talking shit all the time. Do your own thing and don’t be so concerned with the choices of others. If someone’s gonna be lame and blow it, than fine, let ‘em hang themselves. Who are we to be the one to pull the lever at the gallows? We all do stupid shit and no one's ever going to agree all the time.

I think its funny... the people so many skaters around the world spend so much time talking shit on... if they only knew what goes on in the industry behind closed doors, for money, by the people who don't actually skate anymore or never did. Now that would be worth looking into and learning about and putting energy into to invoke change. That’s why knowing about the companies you choose to support is kind of important. If you think someone like Ryan Sheckler or Jereme Rogers is bad for skateboarding or “ruining it,” you should look into what some of these other cats are up to. But I can't tell anyone what to do. So I guess my last words are... more skatin' less hatin' and thanks for wanting to interview me.

Rob Brink
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