Chris Nieratko Interview
[ by Pants ]
Chris Nieratko is infinitely more awesome than Christobal. Why? Well, for one he has written for almost all of the finest magazines in the world. He is also the owner of New Jersey Skate Shop which has, to my knowledge, two locations. Finally, he is author of Skinema, a great new book that compiles all of Nieratko’s amazing columns from Vice Magazine.
Unbeknownst to Chris, he and a member of the nakashon team (well, me) have interacted in the past. As a spotty faced youth I was so impressed with Nierakto’s interviews for Strength Magizine that I sent him an email. He asked me if I knew any girls in my area that he could have sex with. Sadly, I didn’t even know girls that would have sex with me. And, for the most part, still don’t.
Mr. Nieratko was nice enough to share a moment with nakashon.com and that moment produced the best interview we have ever done.
Why should we buy Skinema?
I suppose the correct answer would be because it’s a fantastically funny piece of crap that documents some very dark times in my life which will ultimately make the reader feel better about their own life. But the truth is you should buy Skinema because I need money to build a super sex dungeon in my basement as a home for wayward strippers.
How did the link with Vice develop?
I ran into the 3 French Canadian founders (Gavin McInnes, Suroosh Alvi and Shane Smith) about ten years ago before they knew how to speak English. They had some crappy newspaper magazine and I knew street slang. So they gave me some work in exchange for me teaching them American lingo. Now to hear them talk you’d think they’d been speaking English all their lives.
Do your writing talents ever generate groupie love?
I have to defer to my adoptive father, Ghostface, on this one, “You’re goddamn right I fuck fans.” But what happens on the road, stays on the road. Until I decide to use it as fodder for my column.
What is your favorite pro board of all time?
It’s had for me to pick just one. I really love all of Marc McKee’s early World Industries and Blind stuff. That stuff was so fun and creative that I regret not saving some for the collection instead of skating them. If I had to choose I’d have to go with the Jovante At Night graphic; so simple, yet it struck such a cord. I love anything that makes people uncomfortable.
Why don’t you think that the High Hair dunk didn’t get the respect it deserved?
It didn’t? Everyone I knew loved it. But for me I don’t hang my hat on respect; I just try and make people laugh and with the sneaker game being so dead serious I thought it would be fun to do something a bit more light-hearted. And what’s more light-hearted than basing a Jersey shoe on a can of Aqua Net? My only regret is that Nike didn’t use the patten leather for the shoe that it was sampled with; it really gave it that reflective spray can feel.
Do you have a favorite sneaker?
My favorite sneaker is the dunk low, not any one pair in particular. It’s the only shoe I skate in. But it would probably break hearts to know that any dunks I wear have to be spray painted black. I can’t look down and see colors, it throws me off. So yeah, I basically have painted over my De La’s, Pusheads, Calis, Bucks, Heinekins and just about every other dunk low that has come out. I hope people don’t lynch me because of it.
If you had to kick someone in the balls, who would it be and why?
I don’t kick people in the balls. I know what that feels like and I’d never do it. Chicks do that shit. I punch people in the face and the list of people who I’d like to punch in the mouth is way to long too list here.
Who has the best boobs in the world?
Hands down my wife has the world’s greatest tits. I was going to show them to the world in my book with a photo from our honeymoon where she was rubbing oil on her bare breasts but then I was like, “What the hell is wrong with me? My book is only $15. My wife’s tits are worth more than $15. If it was $20 then maybe.”
What beer is the best?
It depends on the weather. Winter I tend to drink Guinness. Unless it’s November or December then I drink Dog Fish Head’s World Wide Stout. It’s $12 for one 12-ounce bottle. It’s only made available once a year in November and my brother Dave gets me a case through his bar, Sayreville Bar, for a $160 a case. The stuff is 26% alcohol and one bottle will have you feeling no pain. Two bottles will induce coma. In the warmer months I tend to drink Heineken. Or whatever is cold.
Who do you think will win the NBA playoffs?
Until the Nets leave New Jersey and move to Brooklyn I will live every day of every season believing that the Nets are going to take it all. But the day they pack up and leave town is when I turn my back on basketball forever and wish a plague upon Bruce Ratner’s home. If I can change my previous answer, I think Bruce Ratner is the person I’d most want to punch in the mouth and I would hope when I did that Jay-Z was standing behind him and when my fist hit his head, it snapped back and knocked out a few of Jigga’s teeth. Those two guys have ruined basketball for me.
What team has the best uniform?
I love the retro jerseys. I wish the whole league would go back and wear the old shit. The Mavs with the cowboy hat, the Nuggets with the rainbow, Purple Jazz unis, change Washington back to the Bullets, just all the O.G. shit. I hate modern uniforms and logos. It’s like they have one asshole designing all these shite logos and they’re modeling them after the WNBA. Look at the Rockets, Wizards, Cavs, Bearcats and anyone who has changed their logo in the past ten years; it all sucks.
Gas grills or charcoal?
Depends on how much time you have on your hands. I prefer the taste of charcoal. My friend Pat Roach in Texas owns a cool shop in Austin called the Lowbrow Emporium and he is the charcoal grill master. Its just a Texas thing, I guess. But it’s a whole process heating up the coals. And I don’t have time to spare, I could die of a heart attack while waiting so I only run propane.
Once, I saw a video in which you were wearing a Defari basketball jersey. Do you still have this garment, and if so will you sell it to me?
Wow. That thing has to be 10 years old. They even had my name screened on the back. It was kind of dope but it was made cheap so after a bunch of washes most of Defari’s name wore away. It’s in storage somewhere. Come by sometime. If you can find it, it’s yours. For a six-pack.
You have worked for basically the best magazines in the world. Which do you like best and why?
The best magazine has always been the one whose check doesn’t bounce. But the one nearest and dearest to my heart will always be Big Brother. Those years with Dave Carnie (who has a book coming out later in the year), laughing like school girls for half a decade and getting paid for it will always be my greatest work experience.
Do you have any advice for today’s youth?
Don’t waste your time with college, there’s no money in it. Grow up, cut your hair and get a job.
What does the future hold?
Finals rematch and Nets beat Spurs. Real Cinderella story for a .500 team. I’ll hit the road soon to promote the book. Look for dates soon at ChrisNieratko.com. Other than that I’ll be gripping boards at NJ Skateshop and NJII until me and my partner, Steve Lenardo, decide it’s time to quit and move to Hawaii. Hawaii you have been warned.
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© 2007 chrisnieratko.com