Wes Kremer and Madars Apse Interview
Last week we caught up with Wes Kremer and Madars Apse as they were passing through London during the first leg of DC’s Special Delivery Tour. Growing up in such different parts of the world we thought they might have some good stories about travelling together and becoming close friends thanks to skateboarding. They did not disappoint…
Do you guys remember the first time you met? What were your first impressions of each other?
Wes: I totally remember the first time I met this fool. It was in Helsinki in 2009. I flew out there with Marius (Syvanen) and when we arrived in the morning we were so jet lagged that we passed out until the night. By the time we made it out of the hotel it’s already about 10pm, so we went straight to the bar, met up with the Perus Crew and “chilled with all the homies”. Long story short, we ended up going to this guy Pablo’s house and I noticed that this wasted Latvian dude had followed us from the bar. He was absolutely smashed, like out of his mind. I remember thinking to myself “dude who is this fool?”
Madars: Yeah and then we played foosball from 4am to 6am and went street skating.
Wes: Oh yeah! I remember thinking “ damn this dude sucks” haha. But then the next day I realised that that wasn’t the real Madars. I got to properly chill with him and he was mellow.
So was that during one of those Helsinki Hookup comps? Those things are mental haha.
Wes: Oh yeah. When you go to one of those comps the true contest is surviving the weekend. There’s a fucking party every single day. They’ve got like two pre-parties before the whole thing even starts, then it’s the official party, then the after-party and then an after-after-party…
And suddenly you randomly end up at a huge music festival with Alicia Keys on stage…
Madars: You mean suddenly you are trying to skate the comp dressed up like a girl with makeup allover your face!
What’s that about?
Wes: Oh man that was hectic. Went out the night before, partied with some friends, some girls, got hammered, passed out at nine, woke up at ten and instantly started drinking again. I was still fully going for it when my homegirl handed me all this gear. She was like “go on, put this on, put this on…” So I had a skin-tight white t-shirt on, some weird pony around my neck, another chain with a bike-horn on it, some other massive Flavor-Flav piece etc. By five’o clock in the afternoon I’m still drinking but I think to myself that it would be cool to meet the homies at the skatepark. Then as we are about to leave my friend pulls out these insane American flag short shorts and by that point I was like “fuck it, I’m at a point of no return already… get ’em over here”. So I threw on the shorts, showed up at the park and as I rolled up the finals were starting. Except when they saw me and instantly gave me the Golden Ticket and were like “alright you have to skate now”.
Madars: That’s when he started doing laybacks and benihanas on every obstacle haha.
Wes: Yeah I was pretty much benihana-ing with my balls hanging out!
As European Skater Of The Year and “American” Skater Of The Year, how do you feel about these kind of awards and the fact that there are two rather than one big one?
Wes: It’s sick man. I mean they have an Australian one too. Now where’s the Asian one, the African one? They’ve already got a Canadian one right? We need a Mexican one… They’ve got skaters of the year all over the planet… Fuck it I want to see the Antarctic-an SOTY! Now here’s my question: you know how a few Europeans have won the “American” Skater Of The Year award (Arto, Rowley…), when’s an American going to win the European one? Huh? I want to see an American move here, get with a European chick, get dual citizenship and boom!
That sounds like Dallas (Rockvam)…
Both: Yeah that guy should be fucking skater of the century!
So you guys have been to each other’s respective hometowns and they are probably pretty different from one another. Wes what were your impressions of Ventspills (in Latvia) and Madars what were yours of San Diego?
Madars: Staying with Wes is tight! He’s got a nice little crib with his parents, in a nice neighbourhood… You can see it in the California episode of It’s A Mad World pretty well haha.
Have you started the second season yet?
Madars: We’re actually trying to get sponsors for it right now.
Wes: Trying to get Mad budget !
Madars: Yeah how do you think we did 24 episodes? Flying a filmer around to follow me around isn’t cheap. But getting sponsors and stuff isn’t really my bit, it’s handled by a London-based production company.
What about you Wes, what did you think of Madars’ hometown in Latvia?
Wes: What Ventspills? Ventspills fucking ruled man. Actually now that I think about it we almost didn’t make it there! We got pulled over for speeding and the homie driving was like “yo throw out the weed man” so I literally threw the weed out the window just as the cop was walking up to us. By some miracle he didn’t see it so he chatted to us for a second, we told him we were all from Sweden and going to Ventspills, and got away with it. We even popped out of the of the car as soon as he had his back turned to pretend to piss and pick up weed!
It was during one of those Sweetmafia trips (Sweet Skateboards and Sk8mafia). Two full vans of skaters just invaded Ventspills. I don’t think we did much street skating but I sure do remember going out…
Madars: We did some other cool stuff though. We went to the adventure park, skated the launch ramp to blow-up mattress… In fact if you find the footage of Daniel Spengan eating shit there you should definitely show it!
Wes: Oh yeah that one was crazy! I remember the night before we went to a club called the Kiss Club…
Madarse: One of the two clubs in my city.
Wes: Yeah and I remember that whenever Jonas (Skroder) and me would try and dance with girls this one dude would follow us and shout “YOU! You not Ventspills! Go… Go!” Nothing came of it though, we kept smiling, doing our thing and he didn’t flex on us. But later that evening in another part of the club I saw this gnarly argument between two dudes. After a while it got broken up, so one of the guys started walking out, but as soon as we thought it was over he rushed back in an knocked the other dude out instantly. And then kept punching this dude’s head in. It was fucked, the dude was getting destroyed, like pretty much dead and the bouncers were just standing there not doing a thing…
Madarse: And THEN, about fifteen minutes later I had to ask these others guys not to attack Marius (Syvanen). They’d come up to him and be like “give me four cigarettes now!” and punch him from behind if he said no. The guys are these local kickboxers from my hometown that are fucking assholes. There’s quite a big group of them but even if it wasn’t the case, they aren’t the kind of guys you want to posse up against. As I said they are kickboxers and assholes so they will not hesitate to fuck you up. It really sucks, they basically lurk around town looking for fights… The next day when my brother found out about this he was like: “How? How could you not tell me?! I can’t believe my brother got embarrassed like that in our hometown…” To give you a bit of context my brother is massive, has a shaved head and really looks like if you mess with him he’s going to… Basically he’s got my back. I had to really explain to him that I didn’t want to fight, that I wanted to diffuse the situation rather than make it escalate.
Sounds like quite the adventure… What about this tour, how’s that been going ?
Wes: Yeah it’s been good, we’ve got a solid crew.
Madars: And we are filming a tour video that’s coming out entirely on Instagram! No I’m just joking, what I mean is that it’s more of a mellow trip. We don’t have the pressure of having to make a tour article or a proper tour edit, the main aim is to give out a bunch free shoes in the skateparks of the cities we visit, which is pretty cool thing to do. Plus if we film anything we’d like to keep for other projects we can.
Wes: Good thing it is that kind of vibe, because we are now down to one healthy skater haha.
What happened to you?
Wes: I tried to noseslide a rail on the second day and rolled the fuck out of my ankle. I was just on a Muska hype; it was Muska’s birthday and we’d watched Guilty. I’m guilty of watching Guilty haha… I should have Fulfilled The Dream, I would have landed that noseslide.
Madars: And now all the pressure’s on me for those Instagrams!
Wes, for how long have you been coming to Europe? You seem to know everyone out here.
Wes: It’s my eighth summer and I try and stay as long as I can every time. I usually go through Barca at least once every time and you know how that place is, it’s a real melting pot. You meet skaters from all over Europe out there…
Madars: You only came for two days one time don’t lie.
Wes: True. Two days in Quebec, then two days in Paris for the 20 Years Of DC book launch. But who are you to talk? You did 48 hours in Cali once and spent 24 of those at The Berrics!
Madars: Yeah Steve Berra wouldn’t let me out.
Wes: He fucking pitched a tent in there: “You’re not leaving this place until you film your fucking Banging!” Koston doesn’t even have the keys to that place anymore, it’s just Berra and he’s gnarly. That’s why it’s so dark in all those edits you see, it’s because it’s like four in the morning.
Madars: Haha we’re just messing, we are down with the Berrics. It’s actually a super fun skatepark, almost like Stockwell.
Almost exactly like Stockwell haha. Anything planned for the rest of the year?
Madars: I’ve got a bunch of Element trips lined up as they are making a full length video. Yep, some companies still do those believe it or not! Then there’s a Patrik Wallner trip as well. We’ll be going to Georgia, Armenia and a bunch of other places.
Wes: Like the North Pole. I heard there’s a buttery pole jam up there…
Madars: Alright then you tell them about your plans.
Wes: Survive dude. Just stay in one piece, I’m fucking dying here.
Anything in the works with Sk8mafia?
Wes: Always man. Always filming and stacking footy with those boys…
Of course you are, you guys used to do Sk8mafia Saturdays! Filming “normal” videos must be mellow compared to that…
Wes: That was insane. Every fucking week dude. It’s Nick Lamb… Him and Dan Connelly they are just on it. But that was before Instagram. Now with Instagram it’s no longer Sk8mafia Saturdays it Sk8mafia everyday.
Well we look forward to seeing what they do put out. Their videos are always a treat. Cheers for the chat boys! Hopefully see you in Berlin for the second part of the trip.