Full to the Brim – Sour Solution II

Editor’s note: Now that the Sour Solution II video is out we thought we’d upload our Full to the Brim article about the video from Free issue 22.

Photography by Gerard Riera (unless stated)
Interview by Will Harmon

For the past two years the Sour team have been working on a new video. But this time instead of Jonathan Lomar on the usual filming and editing duties, Gustav Tønnesen is taking charge. To avoid Gustav dominating the conversation (as he’s notorious for) I thought it would be wise to ask some of his teammates to join him and share their tales from the filming process. With the help of Sami Seppala, the Sour sales/wheel pusher/ hype-man/jack of all trades guy, we arranged for the crew to assemble for a video chat one mid-November afternoon.
I press the Facebook Video chat button on my computer and I catch Sami just outside the new Sour store/office. He gives me a virtual tour of the new HQ, which is located just by the Poble-sec metro stop there in Barcelona. As Sami walks into the back with his phone someone shouts:

‘The video’s a fraud!’

‘The last 10-minutes is Björn!’ says Nisse Ingemarsson.

‘Björn has the last part,’ Sami jokes. Sami pans his phone around and I see Nisse, Gustav Tønnesen, Jack Thompson, Martin Sandsberg and new Sour rider Vincent Huhta. Sami explains that all the guys were skating the Montjuïc hills of Barcelona yesterday after being inspired by the new GX1000 video. It’s a bit of pandemonium with Sami moving around his phone too fast and the guys grumbling out words in low volumes until Sami says: ‘Does anyone have one of those fisheyes we can put on the phone?’

Gustav proceeds to take out his VX and twist off the fisheye. He puts it up to the phone but obviously it doesn’t work. Sami finally decides to put the phone down on the table and prop it up.

Josef Scott Jatta, backside Smith grind, Vic.

‘Welcome to the interview!’ a couple people sing in unison whilst Nisse plays the melodica. Beers are getting cracked. I can see the guys using bottle caps as fingerboards on the cardboard beer boxes. We patch in Oscar Candon from Paris on video chat. ‘Hellloooooo Oscar…’ He lights up a cigarette.

‘When are you quitting smoking Oscar?’ asks Sami.

‘I have this book and I’ll quit smoking when I finish the book,’ says Oscar.

At this point my buzzer rings and I leave to get the door. I do keep the Dictaphone recording though.

‘We should make a Sour bong.’ Sami says.

‘What do you think Vincent? Just get a bong and print Sour on it?’ says Jack.

‘Noooo!’ says Vincent.

‘Vincent is stoned.’ Martin says.

Erik J Pettersson, kickflip to fakie over the stairs, Barcelona.

I return and ask Oscar what it is like skating with these guys: ‘Look at the organisation going on now! This is what it’s like,’ he says.

The interview wasn’t getting off to a good start. At this point I thought maybe this wasn’t going to work.

Sami tries to swing the conversation back to talking about the new video. He says the boys went back home more for this one. They went to the guys’ hometowns of Stockholm, Malmö, Paris, etc., and of course Barcelona. I asked if they went to Simon Isaksson’s hometown of Luleå and Sami replied: ‘No. Look at Simon, do you wanna go there?’

(Everyone laughs)

I had actually spoken to Simon a few days prior to this as I knew he was due to head back to Luleå on the day of this video chat. I asked Simon if they’d explored anywhere new on the outskirts of Barcelona like out by the Ikea where they’d found many spots for the last Sour promo. Simon told me that they ‘kind of quit going out there to the Ikea since the owner died and the meatball price has gone up.’ He apologised for not being much help but hoped the article and video would turn out good.

‘Martin lives in the woods in Stockholm. He lives in a hippie community with his parents,’ says Oscar.

‘Marre (Martin’s nickname) was TMing there in Stockholm and it feels like he’s the only person organised out of us all on any sort of level.’ Sami says. ‘He did a good job.’

‘I must say I have a high respect for all the TMs out there,’ says Martin.

‘Marre used to be useful but then he moved to Barcelona and now he’s just like everyone here.’ says Sami.

‘Coming up with spots and then you drive everyone there and they are stressing you and the traffic, also you’re a little bit hungover and tired and then you get to the spot and “Uh yeah it’s not cool.” So I have a lot of respect for all the TMs and the spot guides out there.’ says Martin.

Martin Sandberg, backside 180 nosegrind pop-over, Barcelona.

Sami explains that Sour doesn’t have an official TM, so they all take turns Team Managing each other.

‘So the team came to Paris, did you TM them there Oscar?’ I ask.

‘Sorta, I only had to TM Simon, they rest didn’t need it. The guys stayed at Rémy’s house.’ Oscar says.

A few days earlier Simon had told me Oscar made him eat snails on that Paris trip. He said he was hesitant obviously, but in the end he actually kind of liked them.

Besides the hometown trips I asked them how they liked Guatemala, where they travelled to earlier this year. ‘Well you can look at Free issue 19 to read that story, ha ha ha…’ someone shouted.

‘So there must be some good stories from the making of this video?’ I asked.

‘Nah, no.’ says Gustav.

Gustav Tønnesen, switch frontside crooked grind, Barcelona.

‘I do have a story about Gangsta Gus.’ Jack says.

‘These fake police tried to grab me off my bike.’ Gustav says.

‘Yeah they jumped onto your bike!’ says Nisse.

‘I gave the guy the finger and then he jumped on me as I was biking.’ Gustav says.

‘And then Barney came and jumped on him and pushed him,’ says Sami.

‘Barney fully body-checked this guy,’ says Jack.

‘He was just a random guy that didn’t like that we were skating there.’ Gustav says.

‘He was a patrol officer, these kind of people, like street security,’ says Jack.

‘I can’t imagine you actually giving someone the finger Gustav… That shocks me the most,’ I say.

‘It’s Gangsta Gus!’ says Sami.

I ask if there are any more stories like this…

‘No one wants to read this. Just have some photos. Some photos and some lies…’ Sami says.

(Everyone laughs)

Oscar Candon, switch frontside 50-50 grind, Paris. Ph. Clément Chouleur

‘For me I’ve just been sweating in the cave and then everyone kind of gets together early afternoon and then goes on a mission,’ says Sami. ‘So I’m still sweating in the cave and everyone comes back and they have all this footage. For me what I think’s happening is super organic. People are just going to skate. This is gonna sound really bullshit.’

‘It does sound bullshit.’ Martin says.

I ask Gustav about the progress of the video: ‘I’ve been making some edits and then showing them to Lomar and getting his feedback,’ Gustav replies.

At that point I ask the guys about the music for the video… Did they have any ideas?

‘Well if you really wanna know…’ Sami says as he passes the acoustic guitar to Nisse. The whole team break into an original song entitled ‘Gnarly woman’.

I was standing by the highway
Trying my luck
When she picks me up in her pickup truck
Soon it was clear
She didn’t wanna fuck
She had other things on her mind

She’s a gnarly woman
Double my age
I’m 24 she’s 98 (changes with every chorus)
She’s a gnarly woman
Well you do the maths
When she puts four fingers in my

‘So I wouldn’t really worry about the music…’ says Sami.

Sami later explained there was then shitloads of choruses of going to her place, etc., and said it’s best performed after litres of wine.

Barney Page, frontside tailslide popping over the rail to fakie, Santa Coloma. Ph. Fabien Ponsero

I ask what’s Barney (Page) been up to?

‘I-y-i-y-i-y-i lose my mind…’ the guys sing as Nisse plays the guitar.

I ask Gustav if this video will be a full-length, longer than his promo and the Cinematographer edit. He says yes, it’ll be a long one like the first Sour Solution vid.

‘This is the Sour Solution II, so it’s one of those main ones you know. We are brainstorming this one…’ says Sami.

‘Why is called Sour Solution II?’ Oscar asks.

‘Basically we’ve been putting out so much stuff after The Sour Solution that we wanted people (and us) to see it was a major work, or a work with more focus… Maybe there will be III, IV, V in the future, like in Rocky or some shit,’ says Sami.

I try to ask another question about Barney and there’s a brief silence then they go back to singing ‘I-y-i-y-i-y-i lose my mind…’ also known as Barney’s song.

As Oscar lights up another cigarette Nisse asks: ‘How’s the quitting smoking going Oscar?’

‘When I finish this book I’ll stop smoking. (Allen Carr’s Easy Ways to Stop Smoking) The guy says don’t stop smoking until you finish this book. So I’m reeeeeally taking my time to finish the book.’ Oscar says.

Vincent Huhta, boardslide, Barcelona.

Vincent and Martin are two of the newer younger guys on the team. I ask them how they linked up with the Sour crew…

‘We found Vincent in a ditch in Stockholm,’ says Sami.

‘Myself and hopefully all the Swedish kids of our generation looked up to the Sweet team,’ says Martin. ‘And then Björn (Holmenäs) hooked me up on Junkyard way back and then when everyone got kicked off Sweet Björn called me and told me he was going to do Sour. So I was hurt back then, a gnarly knee injury, but he always thought of me and when I slowly got back on the board he gave me Sour boards. And Vincent got hooked up by Sour a couple of years later. We’ve known each other and skated together in Stockholm since we were really young. But then we drifted apart for a while. I chose alcohol and he chose other stuff… ’

‘I was choosing skating!’ says Vincent.

‘Ha ha, OK he was still skating, but now we are united again.’ Martin says.

‘I chose alcohol; I chose Sour…’ someone says.

‘Vincent’s slowly becoming an alcoholic because of us. I don’t feel good about that… But it’s bound to happen.’ Jack says.

‘Hey Vincent how old are you?’ asks Oscar.

‘Nineteen.’ Vincent replies.

Simon Isaksson, loop, Barcelona.

I ask Martin and Vincent if they still live in Sweden or are they now living in Barcelona?

‘I live in the cave!’ Vincent says.

(Editor’s note: ‘The cave’ refers to the old Sour office there in Barcelona. It’s dusty, dark and damp. Now that there’s a new office/store a few streets away the Sour team riders have been living in the old space and it’s been dubbed ‘the cave’.)

‘I guess I consider myself still living in Stockholm but I’ve been here six months. But I’m still down with Stockholm, I don’t know if Vincent feels the same way…’ says Martin.

‘I got a nice cave in Stockholm too…’ Vincent says.

‘It’s not couch surfing, it’s cave surfing,’ says Gustav.

‘Barney’s the cave master. I went there yesterday and fuck, it was depressing,’ says Jack.

I commented on how it must be nice to have a new office/store and from what Sami showed me with his phone the new place definitely seems like a step up.

Suddenly Björn comes in.

‘Now we are here and the air is better. I’ve just saved about five years from everyone’s life, well except Vincent and Martin because they’re still at the cave,’ says Björn.

As quickly as he arrives Björn then leaves to go get burgers…

Albert Nyberg, Rick flip, Martorell.

I ask Oscar what it’s like being the only Frenchman on a team of mostly Scandinavians. Before Oscar can answer Sami says Oscar doesn’t know how to pour a glass of wine. ‘He goes like halfway and then goes “oh man you know….’”

‘You guys are bastards!’ Oscar says. ‘I feel like that’s the only thing that troubles me with being on Sour. They don’t know how to pour wine into a glass. All the rest I really love them but when they start fucking with that it kinda grinds my gears. Ok so a wine glass is not that big and wine is made for sharing. One bottle of wine is like six glasses so you fill up each glass a little bit more than half, but these fucking guys every time there’s a bottle of wine they fill it to the brim of their glass.’

‘There’s all that space! Once we found out how annoyed Oscar was with it we had to fill all the glasses up to the brim with wine. Let’s call the video that, full to the brim.’ Jack says.

We discuss a possible venue for the London Sour premiere…

‘We can get shitloads of bottles of wine and Oscar can seriously learn to fill a glass, ha ha,’ says Sami.

‘Yes I am down. Oh no wait, you know where the premiere needs to be? At Wetherspoons!’ says Oscar.

Everyone says ‘yeah!’ in unison. I explain that it might be difficult to do, as the owner of Wetherspoons is pro-Brexit and might not react too kindly to a video full of Europeans.

‘Yeah my dad was pissed I went to Wetherspoons because the guy is pro-Brexit.’ Jack says. ‘I still go there though; it’s good.’

‘I’ve heard so much but never been. I want to go to Wetherspoons one day.’ Martin says.

Martin Sandberg, frontside tailslide, Barcelona.

I ask the guys if anyone on the team has really hunkered down and taken things seriously and quit drinking for a bit to get clips for this video.

‘Barney should, but he doesn’t,’ says Gustav.

‘We don’t drink every day; it’s just raining today.’ Nisse says.

‘It’s a huge difference from a few years ago where everyone would be out at Plaza Real until seven in the morning. Now everyone’s more sophisticated,’ says Björn.

‘Yeah right!’ Oscar says.

‘It’s just weekends (we drink). Looooong weekends…’ says Nisse.

Nisse Ingemarsson, frontside kickflip to switch crooked grind, Barcelona.

They told me that Spangs was coming there tomorrow. On the WhatsApp group convo Spangs says: ‘I get there at four, can someone have a cold beer waiting for me?’ He also asked if there’s WiFi, projector and screen in the office so he can play his video games.

‘Josef brings his video game console on every trip,’ says Jack

Ok now it’s video game talk. I ask one last time if there have been any interesting stories from the making of this video.

‘We’ll go out next week and get some stories!’ says Nisse.

‘Maybe Gangsta Gus will make a reappearance…’ Jack says.

So this interview didn’t really go in the direction I anticipated, but still I think it gives you a pretty good picture of how the Sour team operates. Oscar described it as disorganised but I would say organised chaos, as somehow they always make it happen in the end. Sour always comes out with good videos, clothes, graphics, etc. so I guess that TMing each other thing is somehow actually working. Keep it up boys… Can’t wait to see the new vid!

(Click on the gallery below for more photos.)