Chris Oliver 'WORD' interview from Sidewalk 205

Ayumi Powell

chrisoliver

All photography by Sam Ashley

Mr. Christopher Oliver is a true British original.

From his initial appearance as the brazen, fiery-haired Bridport native back in the mid 90’s, it was painfully obvious that Chris was one of the few blessed individuals for whom skateboarding was no real challenge. In the time since then, not a lot has changed either. The cheeky 15 year old lad from the Dorset coast might now be an equally as cheeky 31 year old adult residing in the big city of London, but skateboarding seemingly comes to Chris as easily today as it did way back when.
There isn’t that many people who can casually decide to go out and shoot three bangers the Sunday afternoon before an interview deadline and pull it off with consummate nonchalance…but Chris can, and did.

One thing about Chris that most have learnt over the years is that he needs to be left to do things at his own pace – if he wants to film a video part, he’ll do it. If he wants to shoot an interview, he’ll do it. If he wants to win a contest, he’ll do it. But he’ll always do so on his own terms and in his own time.
Put simply, you can’t rush Ol’ Dirty Chroliver, but left to his own devices he’ll always come through.

After spending more than half his life on a skateboard, Chris has pretty much done and seen it all, but continues to help raise the bar for British street skating and still holds his own alongside each emerging generation of fresh talent – as you’re about to see for yourself.

After his extensive interview as part of our 200th issue only a few months ago, we now present to you Chris Oliver and his slightly more stripped back, autobiographical WORD.

All hail JinJah Bless – now hurry up with that next video part please…

 

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Backside ollie. Photo_Sam

Bridport
Roots, culture, fishing, beach parties, drum & bass, virginity. – Next. 

Borstal
Ahh, the glory years (laughs), that was probably the two years of my life that I’ve forgotten the most; not my favourite chapter. It was more like a naughty boy’s institution run by failed schoolteachers who obviously had the same issues when they were young. But to be fair, looking back now, I realise that job role would be way more interesting – to work with such a range of mentally scrambled shitbags means that you could probably emerge as a well-paid psychiatrist and retire with a credible cause. That’s if the kids don’t kill you first.

Family
Yeah they’re cool – gotta big up the fam, man. Wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. The original sponsors.

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Backside flip. Photo_Sam

Traveling
Travel is what has really made skating that little bit more exciting and worth the all the blood, sweat and beers, not that it needs anything more to be f*cking awesome but getting sent on holiday to find shit to skate is a piss-take job. I’m still finding it hard to this day to explain to people how it works.
The other day I got told it wasn’t a proper job by a civil servant from Hull, (laughs).

The Palace
Temple of Glamorous Squallier, run by wizards.

Atomic
Self-explanatory: when you’ve got Wayne Kelly, Julian Molyneux and Rod Clarke on your team then you’re doing something right. I was hyped to be the youngest member; how times have changed (laughs).

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Frontside boardslide to fakie nosemanny. Photo_Sam

Jinjah Bless/Jinjah Beats
Yeah man, I’m still chipping away at the buttons. It’s hard to find time these days to really get stuck into production with work and general domestic duties, but yeah, it’s been a good year for the DJing for sure. We got booked to play a few festivals plus various other gigs in London this year – we did Secret Garden Party, Boomtown, and we were too wasted to play Glastonbury.
It’s mainly all the swing/gypsy/gangbang type tunes we get booked for, so it just means free entry to the festy’s plus a bit of waste money. You can’t go wrong; it’s been a trippy summer. I’m just down for fun tunes and to make people dance like spazzes at the end of the day. 

Career
Which one? (Laughing) I’ve got a few on the go at the moment, one of them has gotta pay off soon. Skating still pays a bit but I’ve always been equally in love with woodwork too, so I’m trying to make moves in all areas now before I can’t walk and all the money dries up. That is, if I don’t make shit loads out of music before then (laughs).
Might as well throw all my cards on the table now, just to be sure I don’t end up living under a bridge at the end of it all. Especially Clifton Suspension Bridge, which is the home to many.

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5050 grind up. Photo_Sam

Inspirations
Reggae, Joey Crack, Glastofarians.

Legacy
My only legacy will be to end skating still being able to walk and climb
to get into the tree house I will eventually build and retire in.

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Kickflip. Photo_Sam

 The Law.
Not enough time for crime these days, apart from straight up murdering the dancefloor, (laughs), and tapping into my own conscious, which is obviously frowned upon by those pesky lizards. Oh, I can’t forget the parking fines, they’re always fun. 

Education.
I’m currently enrolled at the university of uncommon sense
and on the way to a diploma.

Loyalty.
Selassie.

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frontside flip. Photo_Sam

Filming
I’ve been trying film bits when I get chance, but mainly I’ve just been trying to stay on top of the tricks I’ve done for years. My trick bag seems to have worn a hole at the corner and keeps leaking so I just gotta keep topping it up. 

Groms
Remember where you came from.

Ginger
Don’t believe the hype, we got the darkest souls going.

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Frontside nosegrind. Photo_Sam

Competitions
Not so much these days, just the classic UK ones purely for the laughs and commentary and possible rent money. Oh, and Denis Lynn. 

UFOs
Not lately, must be all the chemtrails clouding my vision, but trust me and my 10th hand Internet wisdom, they are out there, I’m 99% sure.
The remaining 1% is me actually seeing one, and then I will be officially mad.
I can’t wait.

Tradesman
Yeah it’s going good – starting a new company called Builders From Heaven. Can’t go wrong.

Ollie. Photo_Sam
Ollie. Photo_Sam

Money
Bit nosey aren’t ya? But I always say the more money you got, the more you gotta give it to someone you don’t like, so for that reason I’ve never been fussed on accumulating more than I need. It’s toxic.

Street League
Haven’t watched it in days.

X

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