Alex Moul 'Cover Stories' interview from Sidewalk 200

Ayumi Powell

From Sidewalk 200 – May 2013

 

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Alex Moul
Sidewalk issue 185 : February 2012
Cover photo : Horse

 

 

So Alex, what was going on in your life at the time you shot this cover?
- Not a lot really, as usual, (laughing). We’d gone to Lance Mountain’s house to skate his pool and then Horse asked Geoff if there were any spots nearby for some sunset vibage. Geoff knew of this ditch up the road so we drove there and luckily I landed a kickflip to fakie, (laughs)… He shot this on some little point and shoot Olympus camera too – pretty impressive Horse. I do remember Geoff asked me if I wanted to film it and I said, “Nah…”

Weirdly, despite you being pretty much the most OG of all the OG’s featured in this issue – this was your first Sidewalk cover – were you stoked? Or are you past that kind of thing now?
- F*cking hell, was I stoked! Crikey. I remember when you and Andy turned up with the little poster of it, which is still framed and on my wall right now by the way. I’d never had a Sidewalk cover and I’d always wanted one because you guys are the best so yeah, I was amped as f*ck!

I’ve asked everyone else about their first printed skate photos, but as we’ve discussed this before – let’s take a slightly different route: what was your first ever cover of a skate mag? How many have you had over the years, which has been your favourite and why?
- Wow. Well obviously the Sidewalk one is my favourite because I didn’t think I’d ever be able to a cover again in my life. First ever cover…I’m not sure. Probably RAD magazine, or maybe SK8Action but I can’t even remember what it was. I had quite a few covers of RAD, SK8Action and Skateboard! over the years.

What was your last printed photo before you disappeared from the media eye in the early 90’s? What about your first printed photo after you’d come back to the fold, so to speak?
– Oh my God! Ben, you maniac! (Laughing), I think the last photo I had before going on hiatus was a nosegrind photo in System mag. The first photo I had once I’d kind of ‘reappeared’ was a nosegrind photo too, on the back of a metal bench in Cherwell School, Oxford.

You’ve pretty much done everything that a skateboarder can do – had pro boards, won major contests, filmed video parts, had covers, travelled the globe, been present at some of the most significant moments in modern skateboard history etc, etc – so, with that in mind: what does skateboarding mean to you at this precise moment?
-Lies…thank you though. (Laughing). It means the same as it has – it’s the best thing on the planet isn’t it? You travel the word, you make amazing friends… it’s brilliant. At this precise moment it’s all about the ‘Backyard Bandits’, rather than street skating and trying to kill myself anymore. It’s more about fun now, rather than backlipping a twenty stair with a rusty spoon embedded in your neck.

You’ve recently just moved back into a skate house with a backyard ramp after a few years of living in suburbia – how’s that working out?
- Best thing ever! You’re going to see some shit from me soon. We’ve been filming on the ramp and there will be an edit surfacing soon – hopefully people will like it, if they don’t – we don’t care.

Over the years you’ve filmed a bunch of video parts – which is your personal favourite and what memories does it evoke?
- This is a difficult one, there are quite a few memories that are evoked by video parts I’ve had. My On Video part is probably my favourite one – it’s quite special to me because it was part of that limited On Video thing and I got lobbed in with the likes of Natas, Danny way and all that lot: pretty mental. Also I was skating with Geoff and all the Flip guys a lot so I’m pretty proud of that part to be honest. Playing Fields was another good one – Mark Channer, Frank…wicked times.
The Raggy video ‘Juice’ as well because I’d been on hiatus for a few years, so to come back and be on a video with Danny Wainwright and all those guys was rad. The premiere in Oxford was awesome too: I DJ’d, drank champagne and also did the windmill in the same night, (laughing).

Did you know that the On Video ‘Doing the Impossible’ documentary was going be such an in depth thing? Were you stoked on how it came out?
- Yeah I was totally stoked on it. Wing Ko is brilliant (he’s the guy who did all the voice-overs on it and put it together). It came out way better than I thought it would. Stoked.

What would you say has been the highlight of your ‘skate career’ so far and why?
- Crikey – you’re not giving me easy questions here are you? Oh I know – me winning Eindhoven, my first pro contest, and I beat the legend, who I love to bits, and who has been my all-time favourite skater – Ed Templeton. I remember his wife Deanna saying to me beforehand “You’re going to win Alex” to which I responded, “Probably not, he’s Ed Templeton”. But luckily for me I won. For first place I got a bag of popcorn and $500. First place on vert by the way got $1500 and a bag of popcorn as this was back when street skating wasn’t quite as popular as vert. That’s probably the highlight of my career right there, pretty piss poor but good memories nonetheless, (laughing).

 

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What’s your favourite Sidewalk cover from over the years and why?
- Paul Shier nosegrind the ice block because it’s a really rad photo; and it’s Paul Shier. Any Tom Penny cover and the Boulala one in the full pipe in Bristol. That was right when I first met Ali and he was staying at my house when we went to shoot that one.

Do you have any idea how many pro boards you’ve had over the years? How many have you personally got? Are there any in particular that you’re gutted not to have?
- (Laughing)…yes. I can answer the last part – I wish I had all the Deathbox boards. I’ve got one – the Bazooka Joe one that Al Boglio found in a shop in Norway. He goes to the guy in there, “I know somebody who’d love to have that” to which the guy replied, “The only person I’d give it to would be Alex Moul”. Bonus! Thanks Al! As to how many pro models – no idea. My favourite one is probably the ‘Popcorn’ board – the Deathbox one. I lot of people rocked that one back in the day which was nice of them. That’s my favourite graphic, even though it was kind of a rip-off of the Kris Markovich Fries one. That’s my favourite board and a good time in skateboarding for me – skating with Matt McMullen, the whole ‘popcorn vibe’ – tech tricks down stairs and shit. Good times.

Every time we spend any time in Cali with you, people still come up to you on the street because they recognise you – even now after you’ve kinda ducked out of the mags over there: what’s it been like being ‘skate-famous’ for so long?
- Bloody good questions these mate…let me think of a good situation that’s come about because of it. I remember being on a flight once and asking the stewardess for a beer and she brought me four at once. I said thanks and she leaned over and says, “You’re Alex Moul aren’t you?” I assumed she knew my name just from looking at the passenger list or something at first but then she said,
“Here’s four beers so you don’t have to keep asking. I used to watch skate videos of you with my little brother – 411s and all that: I totally know who you are”. (Laughing),
that was a weird one. It’s strange. I was out the other night and some guy wanted to have his photo taken with me, I don’t really get it, but if people are stoked on what I’ve done in my life then I’m stoked too. Thank you very much.

What’s the pinnacle moment in UK skateboard history from your perspective?
- Deathbox video. There we go. That put us on the map didn’t it? I don’t know how else to answer that one – too many things. Southbank. Don Brider. Greg Nowik. Wear and Tear clothing Declare this a Victim-Free zone. Geoff Rowley. Tom Penny. Wurzel: (who did the first ollie blunt on Meanwhile before Danny Way). The ‘Ollie the Gap’ video…

What about the 5 most significant things that have happened in skate- boarding as a whole over the time you’ve been a skater?

Jake Brown’s 720 ollie at the X-Games last week – that’s one out of 5, (laughing).
Aaron Deeter’s pivot fakies and ollie blunts.
Sean Goff’s rock and rolls.
Wurzel’s ollie blunt on Meanwhile.
Jeremy Wray’s tower-to-tower ollie – that’s the gnarliest thing ever done.
And anything that Tom and Geoff did.

You’ve done a bit of judging and whatnot over the years – what’s your take on the way that skate contests have evolved given that you used to be a full on campaigner of the Euro contest circuit back in the day? Have you been to Street League or any of that?
- Nope – never been to Street League – don’t want to. The Maloof Money Cups are the best ones. They’re like the bukkake of skate contests – every trick’s a cum- shot, (laughing).

Instagram informs me that you just went to The Berrics for the first time with Geoff too – how was that? The set up looks pretty mental to be honest…
- Yeah it’s an amazing park and luckily I got to go with Geoff so we had the whole place to ourselves, but my eye is sketchy at the moment so I couldn’t really skate too much. And I had new board-new shoes-kickflip blues that day but hopefully we’ll be going back a few times soon so I’ll get to skate it a bit more.

Why does traditional skate culture still matter in the age of Facebook and Hellaclips?
- It matters because it’s history and culture – if the traditional skate culture wasn’t there back then, we wouldn’t be here now. Just because you can post everything immediately these days and be all check-me-out about it doesn’t mean the rest of it has stopped being important. I’m glad I grew up in the age before the Internet where everything wasn’t so instant and word of mouth still ruled. There was more mystery to it – mystery is a good thing.Remember when you had to wait a year before a skate video premiered? These days there’s a premiere online every day.

Can you imagine a life without skateboarding Alex?
- No.

 

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Backside lipslide around. Photo: Horse

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