Saturday 22 July 2017

11 IS ONE LOUDER: Hair of the Dog drummer Jon Holt discusses his Top 5 Skateboarding clips

On 20/07/2017, hotly tipped Psych Rockers, Hair of the Dog returned with “This World Turns”, their third studio album and their most experimental and adventurous album to date.  As with previous albums, “This World Turns acts as a snapshot of the bands life experiences, but this time it focuses on themes of maturity, responsibility and reflection

Psychedelic Blues, classic rock, hard Rock all are present and correct, harking back to memories of when Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Led Zepp and certain Black Sabbath ruled the airwaves. Indeed if you dig the classic guitar sound of the 70s then you’re going to be in luck, because Hair of the Dog (a nod to Scottish classic rock band, Nazareth and a cheeky wink to the trio’s indulgent drinking habits) has you covered.  This World Turns” sees Hair of the Dog yet again crank up the intensity and maturity of their sound to deliver an album that is truly of another world.  The tone of the record is undeniably loud and heavy, but incorporates an atmosphere which is vibrant, full of energy and represents a band with a very bright future indeed.

Today with the album but a few days old in the ether of doom, we invited drummer Jon Holt, to kick back and talk about another of his great passions skateboarding, as we as we take our weekly trip into the extreme and turn the volume all the way up to 11. “This World Turns” is available here

Heavy music and skateboarding have been in my life for a long time. Both go hand in hand with each other. Both are outsiders, both are aggressive, both like to have a good time. Combined in a video part, music and skateboarding can create a visual and aural Gama bomb of awesomeness which will get you hyped to do almost anything; jam with your band, shred a curb or just get the hoovering done finally. So read my brief appetisers watch the links and then grab your Dyson and get some!

Arto Saari

The first and last parts of a skate video are the biggies. And Starting us off with an absolute banger at number 5 is the first part from Es year 2000 classic Menikmati.  The skater is Arto Sarri. The song is “Testing” by CKY. On the most basic of analytical levels you could just say that this video part is absolutely insane and be done with it. The energy of the skating matches the energy of the song perfectly. Arto comes out swinging and goes for death on numerous occasions. The instrumental smash to the senses that CKY deliver with “Testing” almost sounds how skateboarding feels like. On a deeper level I feel that this part represents the underdog. Sarri was then and always will be a skateboarder’s skater but at the time he was not as big a name as some of his Flip and Es teammates such as Tom Penny, Geoff Rowley and Sir Eric of Koston. And then there’s CKY who will always be synonymous with a certain Jackass. But with this video part Sarri and CKY claim a rightfully deserved glory. Sarri definitely received the recognition he deserved after it came out and went on to become one of skateboarding’s most respected skaters.

It’s a blue collar video part; you can tell Sarri worked hard for it. Cried tears of frustration, sweat buckets and bled for it. CKY would not have had much in the way of creative input into the part if any, however I am sure that they would have been hyped that the song was used in this part which is now deemed as a classic in its own right. As much as the part is a violent and aggressive piece of skateboarding, the upbeat nature of the track gives the whole thing a celebratory feel and you can’t help but get swept up in the infectious energy of both skater and song. And that is what happens why skateboarding and rock music collide. A classic part from a classic era of skateboarding.

Greyson Fletcher

We bid a fond farewell to the silky skills of 2000 era Es street skating and say hello sailor to the bearded bowl basher himself, Mr Greyson Fletcher. This is his first Pro part for Elements called, “In Perdition” which was released in October 2015. It begins with the ominous sounds of darkness as Fletcher floats in and out of a vast concrete monolithic snake run. The drone then gives way to riffs, riffs provided by Bolt Thrower. Yes, please! Now whereas with Sarri and CKY the marriage shouldn’t work but does, here with Greyson Fletcher and Bolt Thrower you have a perfect natural match. Fletchers style can be simply described as controlled chaos. Not the most technical wizard ever to roll on four wheels but there is no denying that he knows some dark arts. Some of the skating in this video part is literally death defying. He defies death. Straight up looks death in the eyes and says, “Not today death, old buddy, old pal! I have some more one foot ollies to knock out before we’ll be seeing each other!” It is a heavy, heavy part with a crushing soundtrack and the whole thing makes you want to crack a cold beer grab your board and go realise you’re not Greyson Fletcher.

Chad Fernandez

For those who don’t know, this is how it works; you watch a skate video for the skater or the team that you like and for the skating you know will be insane. You hear the songs and you either know them and think nice choice or you don’t know them and think, who the bloody hell is that? That song is fucking awesome sausages. This is how it went down with my next choice; Chad Frenandez’s part from Globe’s Opinion. This video features the master stroke of White Zombie’sThunder Kiss 65” as a fittingly crusty soundtrack to the crusty but stylish manoeuvres of Mr Frenandez. I could probably just stop writing here and let you click the link, as this part just needs to be seen and heard. However, I shall impart this advice on to thee instead; “Thunder Kiss 65” is now a personal classic of mine and that style of rock or metal is what I listen to the most. This is all because of this skate video part. To be honest if I think about it, this skate part can really take the credit for being a musical seed in my inner consciousness. Which evolved over the years into darker and heavy matter. Without this part there would be no White Zombie and therefore I’d never know what stoner rock was and then never care to listen to Down and Pantera and then look back to their ancestors in Zeppelin and Sabbath and then we would never have Hair of the Dog…so really without skateboarding and this video part there would be no band for which I am writing this top 5 to promote on social media…mind blown…So, don’t make that mistake! Watch this video part and bang your head along to the early stoner riffs which can open the doors to the whole kingdom of riffery! 

Riley Hawk

Penultimate rocking skate part goes to Riley Hawk and his part in Transworld Skateboarding’s 26th full length skate video, “Outliners” released in August 2015. It’s a modern part but Riley Hawks style and musical tastes mean it is steeped in retro fuzzery and riffs for days. Those riffs are provided by Sacri Monti, a band I did not know of until I watched this part back in 2015. After a quick google and a search on my music streaming platform of choice, I have their album at my fingertips and I can say this to those bothering to read this that it’s a beast. It’s trippy and fuzzy but also knows when to be slow and heavy. Go find out about the band and give their self-titled album a listen. I do not obviously know for sure but I can imagine Hawk chose this song himself. He has used Sabbath in previous parts and other retro or actual 70’s stoner rock type tunes. He looks like a guitarist in a 70’s rock band and IS actually the guitarist in a band which plays retro rock called Petyr, as yet not released on my music streaming platform unfortunately but I will be looking out for them! The part is a solid, shredders gnar fest. It feels hot and dusty just like the song and Hawk blasts through difficult trick after insane mind bender like he was just ollying up a curb. He is definitely one of my favourite modern skaters. For his skill, his style, his musical influences and humble persona. This part is a prime example of the new guard tipping the hat the the old guard but at the same time progressing forward into the future of both skateboarding and rock music.

Geoff Rowley

Last but by no means least - because basically you can just forget everything I have just written and all the other videos I have made you watch and just press play on this last one cause it’s the fucking best thing ever – is Mr Geoff Rowley. It’s not a part as such but an advertisement; an Airwalk ad (remember when Airwalks were everywhere!) This is mid to late 90’s footage which I first saw in a 411 video I had when I was around 13 or 14. I had just started skateboarding and 411 was a VHS magazine which opened our naive Aberdeenshire dwelling eyes to what skateboarding was over in its spiritual home of California. This 30 second clip of Geoff Rowley was all I needed to consolidate what I already suspected; I fucking love skateboarding and I fucking love a good heavy riff on a guitar! In those 30 seconds it not only conveys more danger, rebellion and cool as fuckness than all the rest of my top 5, it also makes you want to skate more or grab a guitar or start a band or just go out and fucking live more!

It’s like visual and aural coffee, when I’m not feeling it some days I’ll just watch this clip and it lifts me out of my funk. There is a heat to the footage, it’s dowsed in summertime, making you yearn for those lost adolescent days of just hanging with your mates, drinking some beers, skating and listening to good music. It is heavy music and skateboarding in perfect unison. That music is the opening riff from “Sink with Kalifornija” by Youth Brigade. The skater is Rowley. And the rest is history…

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