Right Matt, so you’re from near Ipswich. What’s the village you’re from called?
It’s called Felixstowe. It’s pretty small, like it’s a pretty rad place to grow up but pretty much everyone that lives there, ends up working in the docks as its home to pretty much the biggest docks in the UK.
There’s not that much of a skate scene if I’m entirely honest but it was a pretty sick place to grow up.
Is that where you started your McDonalds career?
Yeah. When I was 16 I finished my GCSE’s and in that summer I needed a job real bad. I just did nights when I was doing my A-levels and again when I was at college. I ended up working there for four years before I started Uni.
Any stories from some of the horrible things you heard/witnessed at McDonalds?
It’s not so bad, there’s loads of rumours flying around that the milkshakes have mad animal fat in them and that they’re not vegetarian friendly, but I’m pretty sure that’s fake.
A gnarly story from when I was working there involved a few of the guys who used to work in the kitchen who were really into going to the gym. We all watched a lot of wrestling – we’re talking about guys that are maybe 20 or 21 years old – and they had invented what they called ‘MUFC’, which stood for ‘McDonalds Ultimate Fighting Championship’. Basically they used to fight one another either in the stock room or in the freezer, and they had an event called ‘The Thriller in the Chiller’ where two guys would fight one another in the fridge (laughs). A guy broke his arm one time whilst doing it and they got fully investigated for it, (laughs). The manager at the time got in so much trouble!
And after that you moved to London?
Yeah, so after that I moved to Camberwell for university. There was a bunch of people in my year that skated, like Dan Clarke. It was sick; there was a big crew of us who skated and did illustration. It was a perfect scenario, especially moving to an unknown city, it made you feel right at home.
Will Miles: Did you ever want to do anything with illustration after university?
I did. In my third year of Uni I didn’t really skate very much at all. I was thinking, “Yeah, I’m going to make a career out of illustration”. I got into this way of working where I was just doing really photo realistic drawings and I realised pretty quickly that it’s completely absurd becoming an illustrator because a drawing would take five or six days to complete and everyone works to pretty tight deadlines. So I sort of lost that hope quickly I guess. At the time I was working at a shop called Foot Patrol where mad sneaker heads come and queue up for trainers everyday and I ended up becoming assistant manager for a year and a half. It wasn’t anywhere near as fun as McDonalds, (laughs).
Did you move to Supreme after that?
When I was working at Foot Patrol, I got to know a few guys from Supreme because the shop was just down the road and I’d been skating with Seth Curtis a little bit. Seth came into the shop one day and essentially was saying, “we’re launching a website, do you want a job?” Immediately my first question was “how much does it pay?” and it was considerably more than what I was earning so I went for an interview and started working there.
How was it at Supreme? Was it a pretty heavy workload?
Yeah it was pretty crazy. I was in the warehouse so I was just packing a lot of orders and processing UPS labels.
Now you’ve obviously upgraded again…
Yeah when I was working at Foot Patrol, the day after Seth came in and asked me to work at Supreme all the Passport guys were down in London and we went for beers in some place in Dalston. This guy Jay (Huckstep) had been into Foot Patrol and said, “do you want a job for Nike?” I was like, “of course, but I’ve actually just taken a job at Supreme”. He was cool with it and basically said, “do your thing”. Then a week or so went by and I was out drinking with my friends and the guys from Passport when I saw Jay at this bar. He introduced me to his friends by saying, “he could be working for me but he’s f*cking blown it”.
So at that point I was like “I’ll send you a CV right now”, then four or five interviews later I ended up getting the job and now I’m the sales rep for Nike SB in the UK. It’s cool, it means I get to travel a lot, I now have friends all over the country and I’ve been to places in the country I’ve never been before and travelled a lot round Europe and a little bit round America. I’ve made some really good friends from it; I love it.
Can you give us three gnarliest Ipswich skatepark scenarios; could be skating or just general mad shit.
The gnarliest one without doubt – I wasn’t there so this is second hand – basically a bunch of chavvy dudes came into the skatepark and were acting in an uncouth way. At the time one of them had hit on my friend Ben Brown’s girlfriend, or said shit about her or something. This guy who’s amazing at skating but nobody would have heard of – a guy called Jamie Dyer – basically stood up for Ben and ended up getting bottled really badly.
A guy swung a bottle at his face and he put his forearms in the way of his face to protect himself and it ended up cutting his arms wide open, a lot of the tendons had snapped and he had to have both of his arms in crazy metallic cast things for quite some time. I think he had to retrain the use of his hands. Everyone should look up Jamie Dyer; he’s fucking amazing!
Will: Didn’t Lee Blackwell win an inline contest at Ipswich skatepark?
I don’t think it was Lee Blackwell but I remember attending a contest there and Carl Wilson entered the inline comp for a joke and came third.
You know this gobshite called Will Miles and he’s making a video that you’re going to have a part in along with some other chumps. What’s that saying?
So a load of the other guys we skate with in London have been filming for this video with Will Miles. I’m pretty sure it’s going to called ‘Tallboy’, though that’s to be confirmed.
I think it’s going to be me, Manny Lopez, Chris Mann, Kyron Davis, Daryl Dominguez, Josh Cox, Big Dave (Dan West) and Ben Rowles with sections, and The Jones Brothers (Vaughan and Guy) are going to have a joint part I hear. It’s going to have quite a phenomenal guest section judging by what I’ve seen so far. Basically a who’s who of whoever has visited London in the last year and a half.
Will: Where have you been on trips filming for it Matt?
We went on a trip to Lisbon to film for this video. Chris Mann nearly killed us by throwing a banana skin out of the window of a moving van, which resulted in a full on Mario Kart situation. The photographer we were with called Alex Hart almost knocked him out because of it. There was a real tension on the trip. That was the first proper skate trip I’ve gone on abroad actually.
Will: You weren’t ready for the brutality.
Nah I was fucked. Because of my job I only get to skate three times a week at most.
Will Miles for filming, Alex and Reece for shooting photos, James Mills from Ipswich – big up Mills! Frank Stephens because he’s the best. Chris Mann for being a fuckboy that always meets me for coffee at lunchtimes, he looks like a bird and Mr. Burns. Everyone I skate with, and everyone I have skated with. And my booboo Olivia.