Tom Snape Interview

Switch nosebluntslide, Barcelona

I got a message on WhatsApp recently from Snape saying he has to do this Free interview soon and maybe I want to ask the questions. ‘Would be crack up as fuck!’ I said, ‘of course, what kind of questions?’ ‘Nothing too nerdy,’ he replied so we agreed on a Zoom piss-up to do the interview. But as he is in Spain and I’m in Australia the time difference doesn’t work too well for beers together and I wasn’t quite ready for a cold one at 8am, so he got the beer o’clock slot. I grew up in Sydney looking up to Snape and somehow ended up with him in my house for close to a month in Barcelona, which then led to him meeting my friends at Sour and eventually migrating to Barcelona himself. We’ve travelled around Europe and spent plenty of time together in Melbourne, been through benders and breakups so coming up with some questions was lightwork as I’ve seen first-hand the kind of shit that happens to Snape on the daily. Turning our 1.5-hour Zoom chat into a couple thousand words and trying not to incriminate him while trying to push the line a little wasn’t easy but we got there in the end. Anyway, here’s a bit of story time with Snappers.

Photography by Gerard Riera
Interview by Eli Wulfe Cheshire

Aight so… Let’s get straight into it… How was turning pro being cooped up in the crib while having Covid-19?
Tom Snape: That was fucking crack up. Pretty much from January 1st, it was just a string of shit luck. The last little bit of that string of shitty bad luck, Gustav (Tønnesen) was having a barbecue at his house. Simon (Isaksson) turned up and he’s like, ‘oh, I was just with these guys and they have to stay in quarantine because they all have Covid.’ And obviously, we’re like, ‘OK, why did you come straight here if you were just with these people?’ Anyway, big party at Goose’s house that night. Monday after that weekend, Björn (Holmenäs) was feeling pretty sick, I remember sitting here being like ‘oh whatever Björn’s just hungover.’

Anyway, I fucking woke up randomly in the middle of the night feeling like shit and couldn’t get back to sleep, my heart was pumping, like racing. I got up, had a coffee, chilled for a bit and then crashed. Woke up and I felt fine. After that, I was like, ‘maybe I’ve got Covid or something.’
So I went, got a Covid test. Well, actually, it wasn’t that simple, you know…

Frontside 180 kickflip, Barcelona

Oh yes I do.
I went to this clinic where you can pay to get an antigen test, which is the one where they stick the swab up your nose. They’re like, ‘it’s going to cost you €120 blah blah’, fuck that. So I went to the hospital where my private health covers me.

They were like; ‘you’re not going to be able to get a test until Monday when the clinic opens.’ I start to snap, I’m like, ‘fuck this shit, I’m trying to do the right thing and everyone’s making it fucking impossible to find out.’

So back to the public hospital right next to my house, the one I avoid because they’re the ones who misdiagnosed me for a broken wrist and fucking burst appendix. They’re like, ‘you don’t have a health care card? We’re not serving you.’

I snapped, ‘I’m not fucking going anywhere until you give me the Covid test.’ They’re like, ‘okay.’ I did the test, came back, ‘yeah, you have Covid.’ Sick. This is maybe a week before my 30th, but now I’ve got Covid so obviously I can’t really have a 30th birthday party, on paper.

The day of my birthday, I get a knock on the door and it’s Björn and Sami (Seppala) dressed in fuckin’ hazmat suits. They’re holding a board but it’s graphic facedown and has all these croissants and candles on it. I’m just like, ‘oh fuck, they’re just being funny cunts, legends, they just brought me a bunch of tasty pastries to start my day off, my miserable fucking quarantine birthday day off.’
Everyone’s standing awkwardly, like, are you gonna flip the board over? And I see Emil (Andersson) in the corner filming. ‘OK, I think I know what’s going on here.’ So I flip the board and croissants go all over the floor. Björn’s like, ‘oh that’s a pity, they’re such nice croissants.’ Sami poured me up a Mimosa, which was pretty great, that was really nice of them.

But it’s funny when Björn said ‘oh it’s a pity that you poured all the croissants on the floor’ Johannes (Dereuddre), my other flatmate, was filming above in the stairwell when they walked up with the boards and the hazmat suits.

When Björn knocked on the door he tried lighting the candles on the croissants and fucking drops the board and croissants over the floor in the stairwell. It’s probably mopped once a week and everyone’s walking through there. The pavement in Barcelona is pretty much just covered in shit; it was pretty much just shit ground. I dropped them in the house where I know the feet that have come through and we keep it somewhat clean. He fucking says ‘oh pity YOU dropped them on the floor.’ Honestly, thanks Johannes for the video evidence. Obviously would’ve been nice to have a party with everyone but it’s fucking shit times.

It was good. Later that day my mum sent me a bunch of food she’d ordered from a supermarket over here. So I had a little barbecue, plus I’m pretty sure Björn and everyone else had Covid anyway. I got pretty pissed up and it was good times, that was my little quarantine pro party. A week later we wanted to film a little skit to go with the pro board because the original skit was going to be me answering the door, but that went to shit. So we had to re-film something. I was super hungover that day, Emil’s like, ‘I think Dustin’s (Dollin) in town.’ I thought it would be pretty crack up if he came and gave me my pro board for the skit. Then I passed out on the couch and woke up a few hours later, missed calls from Dustin, a message from Sami: ‘Dustin’s downstairs, we’re filming the clip now.’

So, I got my shit together, went down, and we did that random wheelchair thing and had a fat party in the office.

Was Dustin behaving?
Well, he had to crash at our house, because he had a little problem with where he was staying. At the party, he asked me for the keys to my apartment above the office to go and crash while we kept going until like 7am. It’s funny, because every time I used to crash at his house in the States, he would take pride in being the last one to go to sleep. And he was pretty good at it. I guess the tables have turned. But other than that, he was on pretty good behaviour.

Switch varial heelflip, Cardedeu

Okay enough skate talk, if people want to hear about that they can go check your Bunt or some shit… Tell us about your street boxing career.
My street boxing career?!?! Pfff, oh man I couldn’t fucking street box my way out of a paper bag bro.

What happened on New Year’s Eve?
Oh fuck, yeah, that was really bad for my career… We were all at Christina’s house, she was having a New Year’s party, and I was trying to take it easy, not go too wild. So I left around 1am, I was pretty boozy, so it’s quite blurry.
I was going to Gustav’s house because he was having another party. From how I remember it, I was walking down the street fucking looking at the ground. Maggot. These guys start trying to have a go at me. I felt like they were trying to roll me, classic Barcelona stuff.

I guess I was like ‘fuck you’ and got a bit cheeky, then one of them tried to fucking kick me in the head! I put my arms up and his foot connected with my forearm. Arm was fucked. After that, I’m drunk like ‘lets go blah blah blah.’ They just kind of left. I remember the feeling in my arm after that happened: my arm was done. Anyway, lucky because if they actually came back at me, I would’ve got fucking smoked and probably all my shit taken.

I went to Goose’s for a bit, my arms really starting to fucking hurt, so I’m like, ‘fuck this, I’m going home.’
I woke up the next day with an ice pack strapped to my forearm with my belt. It was like 10/10 pain… I remember this pain because the first time I went to the States, I broke my ankle the third day I was there, this pain reminded me of that. I go to the hospital to get an X-ray and see what the deal is.

Obviously, it was not that simple because you know, whatever, went to the hospital, I was like, ‘yeah, look, my arm’s really fucking bad.’ Get an X-ray and five hours later or whatever, the doctor comes into the waiting room and he’s like, ‘your arm!’, he’s grabbing it, fucking he’s shaking it. And he’s like, ‘no es broken! No es broken!’ I’m like, ‘Ow! What the fuck!’ So he’s obviously looked at the X-ray, ‘no es broken!’

Whatever… He just gives me a sling and tells me to chill. So I go home. The next 11 days, it’s not getting better, it’s starting to feel worse. My whole hand’s swollen up and shit. I went to the public hospital because I have private health insurance but it ran out just before Christmas.

I tried renewing it and sent an email then, obviously forgot about it… Then this shit happens. I need to go to hospital. And I’m like Fuck… So I look through my emails, sure enough, the email hadn’t sent. During those 11 days, I sent the email, got my health insurance and went to the private hospital. They do an X-ray, they don’t even say anything. I can see them preparing, wetting up the plaster and shit… I’m like, oh, it’s broken? ‘Yeah…’ I can see the X-ray on the screen. And you know, generally with the distance between the desk and the bed it’s hard to properly see what’s on the computer screen, but even from there I could see the fracture on the X-ray! That fucking cunt from the first hospital shaking my arm, ‘no es broken, no es broken!’ It’s like proper fucking fractured so then I get a cast.

Backside tailslide, Barcelona

It was a quick recovery though wasn’t it?
By the time I got that cast taken off, I had about a week or two of skating, then I got fucking Covid and had to stay home, and that’s why we’re doing this meeting on my fuckin’ phone because I fucking broke my laptop as well.

How’d you break the laptop? I remember it already had a green glitch on the screen from when you were in bed with someone and accidentally kicked it off.
This time I was not in bed with anyone, I was just fucking crippled, trying to make my bed with one arm and just flicked the duvet with the laptop hidden in the sheets and it just went flying bro. The whole screen was done.

Broken arm, stuck inside with Covid and can’t even watch shit on the lappy, ha ha ha!
Yeah, good times.

What happened at the Hardies x adidas night in Sydney?
Fucking, I don’t even know how that started. I don’t know if someone was getting cheeky with me or if I was getting cheeky to someone; I was trying to fight someone and it was raining outside. I went to throw a punch and I just fucking slipped bro, fell straight on my back. I can’t really remember. Maybe you know what happened?

Switch ollie, Barcelona

Nah, I don’t think anyone does.
What happened with the poster guy in Malmö with Jack Thompson?
(Laughs) Oh, fuck…. Come on man. (Laughs) Well, I guess we were outside a bar and there’s this big cylinder type structure that people tape posters around. We were climbing it, someone like climbed in to take a piss in the middle of it. We started just ripping all the posters off and you know, those things are like fucking inches thick, poster after poster, anyway, then this fucking Richie Jackson looking guy just comes over like, ‘Why are you doing that?’ getting real aggressive and shit, trying to square up, or maybe that’s just what I saw in my drunken state. I don’t know, I just fucking jabbed him in the face and he kind of backed off. Then some guy was calling the cops, we just gapped it, was really nothing, it was quite stupid. But fuck that guy, he was coming up tryna start shit. I just gave him a little fucking tap, a little warning.

‘Lil love tap.
Before I probably slipped over and landed on my ass again or something. So yeah as you say, fuckin’ street boxing career as if bro.

What about when you punched Jack Thompson?
Yeah, I mean, he deserved it… Probably. I did a sober October, fucking clean my liver out, whatever. Last year after my appendix burst, I was getting gnarly stomach pains. I went on a trip for a month with Jack and Barney (Page) to Stockholm, Copenhagen then Malmö; it was a pretty boozy trip. My stomach was fucking really hurting all the time. Sami was like, ‘yeah, I’m not drinking this month.’ I’m like, fuck, I need to do this because my stomach is fucked still from my surgery, I wasn’t helping the situation either. So you know did a fucking little month sober woo-woo healthy guy fuckin’ blah blah bullshit. The first day back on it was Jack’s 30th birthday… Blackout. Then yeah it was just like two months of constantly blacking out, it was really not cool. I would wake up in the morning, ‘Oh god, what happened last night??’ And it was generally something kind of bad. ‘You fucking ripped the office door off the hinges’, or, ‘you and so and so got in a tussle’, and then like telling Björn his mom’s his dad. All this fucking dumb shit. Jack getting punched in the face, I don’t even remember that… Thinking about it he probably deserved it, I don’t know, but we’re just a bunch of idiots. Fuck I’m the butts.

Didn’t you give Uncle Jesse a tune-up too?
Jacks 30th… OK, so the first day drinking after my little sober month. We went skating around Besos. Gustav was doing kickys over the rail while we were drinking a bottle of Fireball. Alright, Jack’s 30th, all the bars are closed. We have a curfew. The only place we can go is the Sour office and have a lock-in there. I got him a bottle of Hennessy. The last thing I remember was Jack trying to drop in from the office into the mini ramp on a surfboard. I woke up in my room, with this feeling that it didn’t go well last night. My bin bag is all over my room, my door’s open, there’s bits of blood on the wall and shit, it’s a fucking absolute mess. Eventually, I get up, walk out, OK, maybe I just went upstairs and went to sleep, maybe forgot how to talk for a few hours or something. I don’t know. But I woke up and I convinced myself that nothing bad happened. My flatmate Emil who doesn’t drink told me everything that he saw. He wasn’t downstairs when the thing with Jesse (Olguin) happened. No one really saw I guess. Jesse and I got into a little scuffle. Maybe I started punching him in the head or something, I can’t remember what fucking happened. Then Björn saw me being an idiot. We were all being absolute muppets. Eventually, Björn got me in a headlock. Apparently, I went full Neanderthal mode, I couldn’t walk. He dragged me upstairs. Emil could hear me trying to get my key in the door for like five minutes. Finally, I get in, I just fucking turn around to Björn and I’m like, ‘your mum’s your dad’ and he fucking slammed the door in my face. Thankfully, Björn’s mom is not his dad, it didn’t cause any offence, and I still went pro, so… Chur.

Gap to noseslide pop-out, Granollers

What happened at Area 2.0?
We were all skating there, classic Melbourne shit, crew deep, security guards told us to leave. There was probably like 20 of us and two of them, fuck it, keep skating. One of the Seccies starts pushing around some of the smaller younger cats, I just fucking pushed him and he went tumbling over. They call the cops, I went down to another spot nearby, I booked an Uber on my phone, hid in the corner, jumped in and got a ride home. I remember driving past Kirksy (Jack Kirk) and Callum (Paul), like five cop cars with them or some shit. Fuck I was such an idiot. But fuck that guy! Pushing little kids around, what a dickhead.

What about when you got stabbed on Oxford Street?
Just after I got my first section 10 (good behaviour bond) in Australia, we got in a bit of a rumble on Oxford Street. I was being a good boy; we were at Brighton Bar in Sydney. Fucking 12 of us lived in this five-bedroom house. One of the housemates, Pete, starts mouthing off to some guy who then smashes a bottle swinging it around. I’m grabbing Pete like, ‘let’s fucking go.’
The guy swung it at me, jabbed me in the arm and then got Pete in the neck. The bouncers from the bar put him up against the wall, somewhat citizen’s arrest style. I’m standing there, my arm, it’s like pissing out blood, I’m looking around like this is fucking weird, pretty gross. Mitta (Rest in Peace) the bar manager, came out dressed in drag and patched my arm up. I saw Pete getting rolled into an ambulance. Eventually, I go get stitched up at the hospital. I was really bummed, this is when I just started getting stuff from adidas Australia, I’d been given a store credit, I went into the shop and I got this adidas Method Man T-shirt, I was wearing that. And the cops came in and questioned me; the shirt had blood on it so they had to take it for evidence. Fuck… I just got this sick Method Man shirt. Anyway, left the hospital, I obviously had no shirt because they took it, so they just let me take the hospital gown I was wearing, covered in blood. I look like a psychopath. Anyway, I made it home, seen all the boys on the balcony drinking goon sacks; I guess we just got back on it.

Switch backside 180 kickflip, Barcelona

You had a bit of a Wallapop fail recently?
Oh, yes, I had this jacket and someone messaged me for it on Wallapop (a Spanish app for selling second-hand items). I met the person at the door, fucking cash in hand, sweet. Go inside, put the money on the table and just go about my day. Later I went to go grab the cash to put in my drawer or something, I felt it and was like, hang on. There’s something weird about this money, did I just get fucking hustled? I’m looking at a €10 note and I pull another €10 note out of my wallet and I compare the two and shiny thing’s all fucked. On the side of the note, it says ‘movie money, not legal tender…’

How much did you sell the jacket for?
I think it was like €60… Fuck it, good on them, I hope they enjoy that jacket. They got me good.

Didn’t you get too stoned in Morocco and thought you were going to get kidnapped?
This is before I came to Barcelona to stay with you. I’d been in Portugal on this little two-week filming trip for adidas Australia. I didn’t research anything about Morocco, but I went to Casablanca. It was whatevs, it was also Ramadan, so it was quite hard. I found a French-style restaurant, the staff are giving me shots and shit, which is quite nice because during Ramadan it’s hard to get alcohol. When I paid, I asked if they knew where to find hash. One of them was like, ‘meet me after my shift tomorrow and we go smoke some.’ I completely forgot about it. The next day I get this call, he’s like, ‘are we going to go smoke or what?’ So I went and met up with him. We jump in a cab and boost off, I don’t know where the fuck I am, or where we’re going. We pull up somewhere and he takes me down some dark ass ally, hands me some hash. Obviously in Aus and NZ, we don’t really get hash, I’m like the fuck do I even do with this shit? So he rolls mine up. We blaze one each; I don’t really smoke much so at this point I’m flying.

He bumps into his mates, they invite us to smoke some more at theirs. So we go into this apartment building, but down to the underground car park. I’m pretty blazed just cruising, not really paying attention. We just jump in the back of this van… I’m sitting in the back corner, the windows are blacked out, one guy looks like he’s guarding the door, and they’re passing me joint after joint. After a while paranoia kicks in, I’m like, ‘hang on… the fuck am I doing? Where the fuck am I?’ I had this feeling of panic, there’s like fucking six big dudes. I’m thinking ‘if shit turns then what’s my escape route?’ As I said, I wasn’t paying any attention when I came in. Anyway, I guess they turned out to be all good because they could have taken me in a second. I went back to my Airbnb; the same guy asked if I wanted to come break the fast with his family the next day. ‘You know what, I’m good.’ To be honest, it would have been fine, have a nice meal, but I just fucking freaked out a little bit.

Gap to switch backside 50-50, Sabadell

What about when you tried surfing a cab and ended up in a police line-up?
This was two days before I was going to the States for the second time. We’d been at the club. It was pretty early in the morning, we got a cab back to Pork’s house, pay for the cab, get out, and the cab starts reversing out of the street. I’m like ‘fuck it’ and try to jump onto the boot to ride it down the street. Jumped on the boot and it was like frosty, so I slipped and went straight through the back windscreen, landed in the back seat. Fucking boosted, idiot, ran straight back into the house. There was a big crew of us, all chilling. A fucking cop comes knocking on the apartment door. The local police are already pretty familiar with Porky who lives there. The cops are like, ‘look, we’ll forget about the weed stink in here, we just want whoever broke the cab window.’ I was in one of the bedrooms pretending to be asleep. Before that, I swapped clothes with (Alex) Powell. We also both had real fucking long hair at the time, same colour. Anyway, cops come in, ‘we’re looking for someone with long brown hair.’ First they see Powell, then one of the cops walks past the bedroom and sees me ‘oh, we got another one in here. You’re under arrest!” I was kind of pretending to be half asleep, turned around and put my hands in handcuffing position. Also, someone had just managed to hide a quarter pound of weed in the bin right next to where the cop was standing. At this point they notice Powell and I, very similar looking, also the clothing switch threw them off a bit. There were a couple of other guys with brown hair too, they’re like fuck it, all of you in the kitchen, we’re having a police line-up.  The taxi driver’s looking at me and Powell real fucking confused. And then one of the cops looks into Pork’s room; he also had long brown hair at the time. So they grab him out of bed, he’d actually been passed out the whole time. They line us all up in the fucking kitchen with two cops and the cab driver, the cab driver couldn’t make his mind up so the police lady’s like. ‘alright, you guys are free to go.’
Man, that brought back some memories.

This is going to be an absolute fucking mission putting this into letters, you get to kick back and relax now. How’s my bike?
Bro I was fucking riding it down this gnarly hill and I put the bike down at the bottom and it literally just popped into two pieces. Björn got it welded back together and put brakes on it. It’s still kicking.