Callum Paul’s Pass~Port Kitsch part

Our original plan was to interview Callum and Geoff Campbell together, but we couldn’t seem to get these two together in the same place at the same time. Well, we could, but it was a free beer event in Melbourne, and no one wants to sit still for an interview in the middle of these things… These two have been friends for years and when they get together it’s nothing but good laughs, piss-taking and more often times than not: banging skate clips. So anyways we interviewed them separately. Here’s Callum’s to go with his amazing Pass~Port Kitsch part, Geoff’s will come out in a few week’s time.

How many parts have you filmed with Geoff (Campbell) now?
Callum Paul: I don’t know… I guess two and a half, a few little shared parts that are not really full parts.

Your Kitsch part, was there any trick in it that was a struggle or was it more just out cruising?
It was mainly just stuff that we were skating and whatever. Nothing was a big like, struggle. There wasn’t anything we had to go back for. There was nothing too hairball – no big hammers really. Maybe only the noseslide at the library we went to try a few times. That was a good feeling that one.

It’s sick you have that library sculpture in every one one of your parts. You have a tattoo of it!
I’m always trying to think of something to do there, so it’s always fun to try and get one trick there at least. It was good to get one for this part.

Do you want to tell us what happened there with the longboard?
That was a regrettable but funny incident. I was just sitting around after skating and this German backpacker was like itching to get home to Germany so as the Germans do he’s trying to make his last buck. So he was trying to sell his longboard that he bought or rented or something. ‘Five dollars for this longboard I need to go to the airport now!’ And we’re like, ‘alright, we’ll buy it for five bucks,’ it’ll be pretty funny. So my friend bought it off of him and we were just skating around and it was pretty fun skating the stairs and just cruising around. Then I tried to drop in on the (sculpture) wall, and I guess the real quality of the longboard shone through as the tail just snapped off and my back leg splayed out and my knee just caved in. I was like, ‘Ah fuck, there goes the knee!’ and I just knew at that moment I was like ah fuck. So I called my dad and I was like, ‘Dad I think my knee’s just fallen off can you come pick me up?’

It’s probably not the best five dollars we ever spent, but it was full while it lasted.

Well lesson learned, don’t jump on longboards kids!
Lesson learned is don’t buy cheap longboards off of German backpackers! If you’re gonna get a longboard get the good shit: get the Sector 9!

Ha ha… OK I hear Geoff eats bananas horizontally, like a corn on the cob. Is this true?
Yes that’s confirmed, 100% true. But he doesn’t just eat them like that, he completely peels the banana, removes all the stringy sections, then pokes his finger in the top of it and because the banana kind of quarters itself naturally, so he eats each section quarterly horizontally then he turns the banana over and eats the next bit.

That’s so odd. Have you ever seen anyone else do that?
No I’ve never seen anyone else do that unless they were trying to imitate him. It might be his one thing that he’s contributed to the world.

What nicknames do people have for Geoff?
Uh, loveable guy, best mate… No most of the nicknames he has are fairly derogatory. I’ll try and think of some off the top of my head… Cunt eyes comes to mind, that’s the first one off the top of my head. Pussy peepers, prawn fingers, tubes, cunty, cunt… They just keep going. How many do you need?

Nah that’s fine. Are there any nicknames for you?
I guess I tried to make my own nickname once. I was trying to skate a kinked rail, which I don’t really skate very much, and so I was like, ‘fuck I need to think of an alter ego that’ll get me hyped to skate this kinked rail,’ so I came up with ‘chainsaw’. It didn’t really work; I didn’t land the kinked rail, but it kinda stuck. And then Rhys Grogan, he took the name from chainsaw to clownslaw. So it became clowny or slaw, or just slaw for short.

So how does No Piss Plaza compare to OG Lincoln Square?
That’s a pretty deep subject… It doesn’t compare at all obviously. Lincoln Square, I used to skate there when I was in primary school, but it used to be rough. It used to be called rough nuts, there was a 3-stair, a big seven and a crappy manual pad and stuff, but they redid it after the (Bali) bombings and made it better. They didn’t intentionally make it better; it was just by accident. And the No Piss Plaza is a massive ploy to trap skaters in an area where they can kind of monitor them and have them out of the way; it’s controlled.

Ah I didn’t know that.
It’s a complete skate-friendly plaza so it was designed for skating in mind. You can’t get kicked out and it’s just a bit sterile. It’s one of those spots where the council is like, ‘if we build this then they’ll stay here and they won’t annoy everyone. I don’t know… I just think it’s a bit of a cop out because that’s not really what skateboarding’s about: being put away in some part where there’s nothing else there. Like, ‘oh we can get rid of this problem by putting it here.’

And it’s called No Piss (Plaza) because there’s no beer shops around right?
Yeah there are no, well there is, but just not as close a proximity as the other ones (by Lincoln Square). I don’t really buy into the whole bloody skate-able architecture, progressive cities and all that stuff. I think it’s a cop out as well.

Well it’s always more fun to skate something that isn’t meant to be skated. You have to adapt and that’s the fun part.
Yeah that’s what I think. And if you’re gonna build a skatepark you may as well build something that’s actually fun instead of a plaza like this where the ledges are bevelled and don’t really grind or slide properly. I’d rather (skate) a quarter-pipe and a flatbar or something fun.

What’s the secky presh (security pressure) like in Melbourne these days? Surely you’ve convinced dozens of security guards to re-evaluate their career choices?
We probably don’t do that much secky presh skating anymore… It was just maybe one year there was a lot of art shows in the city and after those we would go skating. But I think a lot of security guards have kind of given up. They just leave us alone now I think. I did convince one guy though a few years ago. He was really over his job and he was like, ‘I don’t care if you guys skate here. When I go home I’m not gonna take this shirt off, I’m gonna rip this shirt off. I’m gonna quit today.’ So that was one moment I thought ‘ah that’s all right… We saved one life.’

That’s amazing. And then here’s more of a serious question I suppose, do you look back on your antics and kind of cringe or reflect on it at all? Like in light of the situation with the security guard at Black Rock in SF?
When that stuff happens I’m always in the moment I’m like, ‘ah come on guys. He’s a person, you don’t actually need to get angry or fight the guy.’ Even if he does swing at you I’ve never been the one to like throw a punch in a fight. Some people are more programmed to react violently, but I think that’s pretty awful. I’ve never been in the situation like, ‘OK let’s go beat this guy up’ or whatever I dunno. I might just exchange a few words and play a bit of cat and mouse, not like, ‘I’m gonna kill you if you touch me!’ That’s not my attitude. It’s more like, ‘We know you’ve got a job to do and I’m just playing around and I’m the one in the wrong here.’ I’m just gonna push my luck and see how far then probably run away. I’m not the one to be standing up to them, whatever. I’ve been in those situations and it’s pretty awkward. Just this grown man doing his job and we’re usually all a bit younger than them and just fooling around and ganging up on them it seems a bit cowardice and weird to me.

The Black Rock situation, I don’t want to comment on that but…

Well obviously that’s the worst-case scenario… But yeah it’s maybe not our place to comment on that because we weren’t there.

OK so what is ‘nesting’?
Oh it’s universal; everyone knows about it: if there’s an art show there’s gonna be free beers and those beers are gonna run out fast so if you want to drink beers through the night you have to get there on time and always get multiple beers. You always get one for yourself and one for the nest and when the beers run out you have a nest, preferably in your backpack, unopened, so you can leave and go somewhere else.

So what are your favourite beers to drink?
I don’t really care what kind of beer it is as long as it’s cold and drinkable, it’s usually all right. If it’s warm and drinkable that’s all right too. I don’t really go for the snobbery of ‘oh I got this favourite beer’ whatever.

Geoff says you work at a brewery.
Yeah I work at a brewery doing packaging. Just canning and kegging whatever, but it’s pretty good.

Free beer?
Yeah it’s one of the perks.

That’s good. So I read that you studied zoology and botany at uni. Are you planning to go into that after skating?
Yeah. I did a bachelor of science and every year after that I’m like, ‘OK yeah I’ll go back next year and do the further study,’ but I haven’t gone back and it’s probably been like 4-5 years now since I finished. It’s still like one of my main interests. I love going into nature and just looking at plants and I propagate my own seed at home from native seeds. I dunno, it’s just interesting how the world works.

Geoff told me the story of how you refused to speak to him for months as he deleted a line you filmed of him on your digicam where he does a dodgy tre flip. What I want to know is: how bad was this tre flip?
Words cannot describe… Probably a mix of Nate Sherwood and Dustin Dollin’s tre flips I think.

Ha ha. Too bad we’ll never see it. Speaking of the digicam… Can you tell us a bit about the Guy Stokes channel?
Yeah it’s just this YouTube channel I started years ago and I had this digital camera and made a clip of my friend Guy Stokes skating and doing nollie laser flips. I just thought I’d call the channel his name because it was him skating.

Uh huh…
And I dunno from then I’ve just been making these little digicam clips of just skating around. It’s pretty fun just going out with your mates…

It’s less pressure than filming with a proper camera.
I wouldn’t say that, it’s still a lot of pressure. For years we were holding a yearly award for ‘best performance of the year’, so that’s a lot of pressure for the skaters involved.

The Guy Stokes Skater of the Year?
It was called the Guy Stokes Brownlow Medal. That’s a take on Australian rules football. They have the best player of the year… He get’s a Brownlow Medal. We Haven’t done it in the last two years, but every year we watch all the clips and the best skater gets three votes, second best: two votes and the third best gets one vote. So we add up all the clips and votes for the year and tally it to see who’s the best.

So who are some of the past winners?
Jack Kirk won it. Howard Palmer one year… I actually won my own award one year, which is a bit embarrassing… But I guess I had the camera the whole time so I was always there. That counts for a lot of votes.

When’s the last time you did some bubbling?
Some bubbling? This morning… Nah, not for a while. I can’t remember the last time actually.

I heard Rob Welsh is one of your favourite skaters… Is this true?
Yeah he’s definitely one of my favourite skaters. I don’t know I always used to try and dress like him and try and do tricks that he’d do. I dunno, he’s a bloody good skater.

He is!
I just thought it was ridiculous the kind of clothes he would wear. I couldn’t believe a white person could get away with wearing that kind of clothes and skating that well, but he did. But I did do one trick that Rob Welsh actually did… Kind of half-assed, but I did a 5-0 to fakie on the China Banks in San Francisco. He did it, but I did it and kind of crawled when I landed. It wasn’t as stylish, but you know it’s a tick. It’s a tick on paper.

Wear you wearing camo cargos when you did it?

I don’t think so, but they were in my mind.

So I wanted to say happy birthday from a couple of days ago. Congrats on turning 30. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Hopefully rich and happy. Wouldn’t we all like to be that at 40? But I don’t have any realistic goals for 40 or any goals for next week actually, but whatever, just having fun I think. Don’t take your life too seriously.

And Melbourne’s good for you… You’re pretty content living there right?
Yeah definitely. Best city in the world, well the (Australian) government’s not too great at the moment, but we’ll see.

Yeah isn’t the PM vacationing in Hawaii when there are all these fires in New South Wales?
Yeah he’s coming back now though.

Shake some hands…
Shake some hands, kiss some babies… But that’s all they can do really. I would like to be on a Hawaiian holiday.

What are you doing for Christmas? Your part will come out on Christmas Eve here, Christmas day maybe in Oz.
Great! That means I don’t have to buy any presents for anybody! I can just send them the link.

Ha ha…
Nah I got breakfast lunch and tea lined up with different sides of my family. Hopefully go to my cousin’s house because he’s got a pool because it’s probably gonna be hot.

Nice one. Cheers Callum.
No worries, have a good one.