Chewy & Morph
Transcribing interviews is generally a fairly joyless task.
No matter how much fun you may have had conducting an interview, sitting there after the fact with headphones on and your fingers hovering over the rewind button in an earnest attempt to give shape to a meandering conversation is basically peak. The one possible positive that this slow motion trudge towards the finish line offers is an opportunity to consider whether or not there’s any inkling of a unifying theme running through the spoken words that you’re typing up. I found myself engaging in this very same internal monologue as I sat in my dining room typing the interview below. Arthur’s brief was pretty loose and my approach probably even looser, which, at the point of transcription, left me wondering what exactly this three-way conversation was about.
Is it three friends who’ve known each other for over twenty years catching up and chatting shit? Maybe it’s two of the people instrumental in helping Palace ascend to its current status as one of the world’s biggest skateboard brands lifting the curtains slightly and giving us a glimpse of the machinery?
Equally, it could be a cautionary tale about how the untrammelled freedom of the skateboard life can create conditions for addiction, incarceration and regret if you’re not careful. As the recording neared its end and my back pain began to approach Dadsnet levels, it struck me that ultimately, the conversation below might really be concerned with the importance of friendship and loyalty and about the ways in which those two noble virtues can offer redemption to anyone, regardless of the circumstances.
Looking back at it, I’m still not sure whether the underlying theme of this Chewy Cannon and Dane ‘Morph’ Crook interview is the latter, or a combination of every suggested possibility above. Either way, it was a great deal of fun to talk to them both and, if nothing else, served as a reminder that true friendship is shatterproof.
Interview by Ben Powell
Are you still ill Chewy?
Chewy: Yeah, I’m sat here trying to eat my dinner but I still can’t swallow, it’s annoying…
I think ‘annoying’ is probably playing it down judging on what you were saying the other day.
Chewy: Yeah it’s been pretty horrid. I’m having to numb my throat with Lockets and Soothers and shit before I eat so that I can take the pain of swallowing but then that means that all I can fucking taste is honey Lockets when I’m trying to eat my bangers and mash.
It’s never that easy to gauge how bad people are feeling through DMs but when you told Morph and I that, ‘it was so bad that you’d not smoked weed for three days’ we knew it wasn’t good. What’s wrong?
Chewy: I’ve got tonsillitis and it’s spread to my ear and my eye through my sinuses. I’ve been dying honestly. You and Morph knew it was bad when I said that though eh?
Morph: Yeah mate, no weed? Come on…
Chewy: I couldn’t do it. For me three days without smoking is pretty much an eternity, (laughing). It’s definitely the longest time I’ve gone without in a long time, but on a positive note, I’ve saved a shit ton of money. Gotta look for the positives…
Aside from the tonsillitis, you’re injured Chewy – what’s wrong with you?
Chewy: Oh mate, get ready for a sob story. I’ve done my MCL and my ACL haven’t I? Jumping off the back of a plane…
How did you end up skating a plane?
Chewy: We were in Liverpool on a trip a little while back, myself, Louie Jones, and Kingy (Stephen King – former Document mag photographer) took us to a few spots. One of these ended up being a deserted airfield, full of abandoned planes. I was bang on it, up on the planes, like, ‘I’m on it here; I’ll be sound’ but I wasn’t sound. I rolled off one of the wings and my knee just popped. We called an ambulance and were told that they wouldn’t be able to come and get me for seven hours. Grim man. Kingy made me a splint out of some bits of 2×4 that he found at the spot and then taped it all together. It was fucked…
Have you started the recovery process?
Chewy: Yeah, phsyio and all that, home gym every day with the kettle weights and the wobble board and what have you. I’m going to be out ‘til around April of next year, which is peak, but what can I do?
When I spoke to you the other day you said that all you were doing was rehab and watching the Olympics, is that both of you?
Chewy: Yeah man, I’ve watched bits of it. The gymnastics mate, that’s crazy…
Morph: Yeah they bang.
Chewy: And the horse thing, what is it? Dressage?
Morph: Yeah I scrolled through and watched a bit of the Dressage the other day too…
To be fair boys, whenever I think of Chewy and Morph, one of the first things that comes to mind is Dressage.
Morph: I was with Big Ash (Ashura Parchment) the other day skating and all of a sudden he just stopped in the road and goes, ‘Bro, I need to get a fucking horse man.’ Like fully serious, (laughs). Definitely the last person I ever expected to hear that from. ‘Just imagine it bro, rolling up to the spot on a horse…’
This interview is supposed to be about your friendship so it makes sense to start at the beginning – can you remember the first time you met each other?
Morph: I remember it clearly mate. It was at Southbank and he just rolled up to me and said, ‘You’re Morph innit?’ I replied ‘yeah’ obviously, then he goes, ‘You can get some weed eh?’ (Laughing). I answered in the affirmative so Chewy went, ‘Wicked, I’m coming home with you then’. I was so gassed, this was probably before we all had phones so I never called Jak (Pietryga) or anyone first. Chewy and I just rolled up to this little stoner spot in Walthamstow where I lived, where all the mandem would go to smoke. In my head I was like, ‘I’m about to roll up on the boys with fucking Chewy Cannon bruv.’ We arrived and all my Stow mates were shocked, ‘What the fuck is Chewy doing here?’
At that point you must have been on Blueprint and a bit of a name in UK skating, right Chewy?
Chewy: I guess so, yeah.
Morph: I was probably 16 or 17 and Chewy was around 21 I’d say. This is long before I knew any ‘famous’ skaters or anything like that and Chewy was already appearing in Blueprint videos that we all looked up to…
Chewy: That’s right son and don’t you forget it, (laughing). I remember that day too, long time ago now.
What was the biggest icebreaker: skating or weed consumption?
Chewy: Well we’ve already answered that one haven’t we?
Morph: Ha ha, we came for the skating but left for the weed.
Chewy: Basically like every day.
Your lives and skateboard careers have been quite connected for what, 15/20 years?
Chewy: Yeah it must be. I always took Morph under my wing.
Morph: That’s how it happened – Chewy just straight up told Dan Magee, ‘I’m filming with Morph for Blueprint’…
Chewy: (Laughing) ‘Yeah I’m not filming with Chez (Neil Chester, Blueprint filmer) any more, I’m filming with Morph so you’re going to have to start taking him on Blueprint trips.’
Morph: I can remember Dan phoning me and saying, ‘look Morph, Chewy won’t film with anyone but you now so we’re going to have to work something out to get you involved.’
Chewy: He said something recently about how I stopped filming once Morph had gone to jail too, ha ha.
I guess your lifestyles and attitudes towards skating were a bit more compatible.
Morph: What I like with Chewy is that it’s not business – we just go skating. Don’t get it twisted, I film a lot of people and some of them approach filming with a definite ‘business’ mindset and that’s sound and as a filmer you’ve got to adapt to that. With Chewy though, we go skating and if something happens, it happens: we’re not going out with a preformed idea of where we’re going or what trick we’re going to film. I mean we have ideas obviously but if we’re skating home after a day and we haven’t filmed anything we’re not on a sad one.
Chewy: Yeah that’s it – that’s why filming works with him because we’re mates. If we weren’t skating we’d still be hanging out, chatting shit and chilling. It’s natural. At the time that Morph started to get involved with Blueprint, things were beginning to take a bit of a serious turn. This would be early 2000s and people were trying to come up, get sponsored, get paid, which in turn had an effect on how filming was: generators, specific missions to get specific tricks, etc. That was never what it was about for me, I just went skating because that’s what I did, before we all realised that it was a waste of time, (laughing).
How long did it take before you started to get paid to film with Chewy?
Morph: I filmed him for a few of the Hold Tight London edits first but as soon as Magee found out that I was getting clips of Chew, he was on me. Like, ‘you’ve got clips of my boys yeah?’ I don’t think it was too long after that point that I started getting paid to film Chewy, and the rest of the Blueprint guys. It coincided with the time that Chez decided to leave Blueprint so it must’ve been about a year after Chewy and I were out together all the time, maybe 2004?
I can remember Magee calling me up to tell me that Chez was leaving and that Blueprint needed a new filmer. Straight off I assumed that it’d be Hold Tight Henry and that he was ringing me to tell me that. Instead it was like, ‘no you dickhead, we want you to do it.’
Chewy: The grime MC of skateboard filming – that’s what Dan called you, (laughing). On a personal level, it definitely helped me as well. I wouldn’t have been as productive during that era without Morph getting involved with Blueprint. I couldn’t deal with how serious everything was getting so he was a breath of fresh (ish) air.
Were you instrumental in getting Morph involved with Palace too?
Chewy: As soon as I left Blueprint it was on – Morph was coming with me…
Morph: I’ve always been friends with Lev (Tanju) and all them boys but I’m sure that the Chewy connection solidified me being invited to do stuff with Palace. I knew Lucien (Clarke) already and I’d filmed with him but I was never ‘his filmer’. Once Chewy got on Palace it was a case of him asking Lev, ‘we’re going to get Morph to film right?’ and Lev was like, ‘of course, who else?’
Chewy: Plus at the beginning of Palace, Lev was the only filmer and straight away he was like, ‘fuck trying to film Chewy going down the street’, (laughing). Morph is more danger wheels, he doesn’t give a fuck; he’ll follow you wherever you’re going when he’s filming. So that was the way it had to happen – Lev wasn’t about to kill himself, he was relieved, ‘I’m getting a bad back out here – over to you Morph.’
How does the experience of going on Palace trips compare with your original Blueprint days Chew? No Travel Lodge family rooms these days, right?
Chewy: Mate, I haven’t been on a trip for so long that it’s hard to remember. You are right though, Palace trips are definitely different – they’re so unruly, you just do whatever you want basically. I mean (Danny) Brady tries to keep everyone in order but it’s hard work for him. Shit gets done but people are on their own tip the whole time.
Pretty ironic that Brady is the one in that position now too.
Chewy: Yeah, (laughs), after all those years of Brady being under Magee’s rule and hating it and then him ending up being the Magee character himself. Not that he’s the same but you can definitely see the influence of that Blueprint training in him today. He’s militant with his own skating; he’ll watch his own footage and be like, ‘I’ve got to do it again, that was shit’, even when it wasn’t, (laughing).
What’s the most balling trip you’ve been on with Palace?
Chewy: There have been a few: some of those LA trips were sick with the pools and whatnot.
Morph: I only went on one of them but I remember seeing photos before we got there and thinking that the outhouse was where we were staying. Lev piped up like, ‘No Morph, that’s just the outhouse mate.’
What about that Hawaii trip?
Chewy: Yeah that was probably the most balling. Morph wasn’t on that one because he was doing his bits, but that one was ridiculous. We were staying on the beach; we could see the North Shore out of the windows; dudes surfing right outside. Watching that every morning on the balcony was crazy. The house where we were staying must’ve been real, real money.
Definitely a long way from sharing a Travel Lodge family room with five dudes.
Chewy: It’s a long way from Great Yarmouth mate. I’m from a council estate in Great Yarmouth – what the fuck am I doing in Hawaii?
Was there a point for you Chewy where you realised that, ‘whoa, this skateboarding thing is actually a proper living now’, rather than it being like the dole but with free shoes?
Chewy: I keep saying this to the young-uns because skateboarding has changed so much since I got into it and everyone is hungry for a pay cheque now.
Morph: There’s definitely a sense of entitlement these days.
Chewy: I get it obviously because things are different, but for me, I didn’t start making proper money until Palace popped off. That’s probably only like five years ago where I actually started pinging P. Adidas have always been kind to me but I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in now if Palace hadn’t really started popping off. To answer your question Ben, not until about five years ago, which if you think about how long I’ve been doing this, is pretty recent really. When I started getting two decent cheques – one from adidas and one from Palace – that’s when it became worth it financially – all those years skating the Asda carpark actually paid off.
Morph: Nothing against people doing it for success in a modern way but I feel like I need to shout out a bunch of people who went in and got nothing financially from it.
Morph: People like Frank Stephens, Toby Shuall, all them guys. They were doing it and they never saw a pay cheque cuz, not ever. That’s what I love about Chewy man – we go skateboarding every time we go out. It’s not a filming mission or anything like that, it’s just skating: it’s a real thing. It’s so sick that he’s finally managed to break it after all those years of just skating. That’s a great thing for me. He’s finally got a chance to make some money for himself and I’m glad for him because he deserves every penny of it.
Were you wearing Palace gear in prison Morph?
Morph: I had some Chewy crepes in Pen, a couple of Palace tracksuits; my dad stole the rest of it, (laughing). He’s a cheeky bastard you know, Chewy sent me a pair of crepes to prison and my dad’s seen them and sent Chewy a message like, ‘those are nice trainers there Chewy.’ In the end Chewy just asked him, ‘do you want a pair Pete?’ He loves it.
Chewy: Palace Pete.
Did people know what Palace was in prison?
Morph: It was funny. I didn’t really mention it but eventually someone brought up Palace in conversation and I said how it was my boy’s thing. There was a full table of guys all going, ‘What’s Palace?’ and this one guy who was gassing about it starts shouting, ‘What? You man don’t know about Palace?’ They all reacted really sheepish afterwards, (laughs).
Chewy: I’ve got a tip for visiting prison actually.
Chewy: If you’re going in to visit a mate and you want to get something from the visitors café to take to your meeting then make sure you get there early or you will be waiting for time bruv. You know, I turn up and I’m wanting to get some snacks for Morph, his Ready Salted crisps and Dairy Milk and whatnot but if I’m not there early enough I’ll end up waiting in a queue for an hour whilst he sits there twiddling his thumbs assuming that I’ve boyed the visit off.
Morph: It’s terrible. They ought to sell no queue tickets like they do at Alton Towers.
You were in deep filming with Palace when things started to go tits up in your life right Morph? That clip of you dealing on the phone whilst you were filming was real wasn’t it?
Morph: Oh yeah, it was real unfortunately.
Was there a point where you knew that Morph’s situation was getting out of control Chewy?
Chewy: Yeah there was. Thing is, I’d gone through a break up and moved to Barcelona so at the point where Morph was going a bit wayward I wasn’t able to keep my eyes on him. I do feel responsible to an extent…
Morph: Nah, never that.
Chewy: I know but I do feel responsible Morph; I should’ve been more on it. I could’ve tried to drag you out of it…
Morph: I’ll be real with you: I was that deep into the crime life by that point that no matter how many people were telling me to stop, I was literally in a position where I couldn’t stop. That’s why I was doing so much mad stuff, because I knew I’d turned into a guy that I never wanted to be.
Chewy: The hole you’d dug for yourself was just too deep to climb out of. Even on that LA trip I could kind of see that you were drifting into some other world.
Morph: That was the start of all the stupid shit, taking stupid shit. At first I didn’t realise why I was doing it but looking back it was because I had so much anxiety because of all the stuff I was mixed up in. People ask me these days, ‘are you feeling okay?’ but I don’t really have much to be anxious about any more. I don’t wake up thinking ‘oh it’s my 48th day clean’ or anything because I no longer have any reason to be messing with those drugs, you know? These days I’m good, you just have to take steps to make yourself happy – like today I pictured going to see my guy Johnny Hoxton to get this ring and then going to shoot the photo for this and it all happened. I’ve come home with a smile on my face.
Chewy: You’re 18 years old again man. It’s great to have you back. Before you went into jail you weren’t the person we all knew…
Morph: I know. The shotting had just taken over at that point.
Chewy: It’s a bad scene – everyone’s a bad man, everyone’s gully…
Morph: This is it – I ended up playing up to this character that I thought I had to be in that world and before I knew it, that was who I’d become. Before I knew what was happening, I was moving crazy amounts of whatever. This is why I always say that the jail thing was the best outcome for me. There was no other alternative: it was death or jail, which I know sounds ridiculous but the way I was living, I just wouldn’t have woken up one morning. When I first went into jail I thought that my life was over but, after a year or so, I realised that it was actually a blessing in disguise.
Chewy: You didn’t even want people to visit you.
Morph: I knew I’d done wrong and I finally had that moment of clarity because I was off the drugs and I was just embarrassed. I’d had all this skate opportunity in front of me and I decided to take the other route. What a fucking idiot. But, you live and learn…
So you put people off visiting?
Morph: Well my dad would come obviously but other people would hit me up to visit and I’d just wonder what the point was. What are we really going to talk about? One guy came to visit and just complained about how long it was getting in there as a visitor. I was like, ‘alright I understand that must’ve been long for you but my brother, I’ve got three more years of this shit.’ (Laughing). The plain thing was that I was just embarrassed to be in there so I wasn’t too hyped on people seeing me like that.
Chewy: You did like the extra canteen food that you got on visits though.
Morph: That’s true. When I clocked that and I realised that the visiting food was actually pretty dank I changed my stance a bit.
So the food you got when visitors came was different from the average stuff?
Morph: Yeah much better – you get chicken wraps, chicken burgers, pizzas – you’re not getting chicken burgers in the wing.
Chewy: This is why I said about getting there early because all the visitors are ordering five chicken burgers each so it runs out real fast.
You went to visit Morph in jail a few times, right Chewy?
Chewy: I probably only went five times…
Morph: That was the most amount of visits from non-family though.
Chewy: I went with Gareth (Skewis) once; Nick Jensen came once too…
Morph: That was random but nice. I mean Jensen seems like the kind of person where if it was up to him, he wouldn’t go anywhere near a prison. I’m sure most people wouldn’t want to, but definitely not Nick – that was really nice of him.
He was there the day I got out too: Jensen, Jak Pietryga and Kev Parrott – quite a random crew.
You were in touch with loads of people over the four years you were in prison via the various phones you managed to get in there.
Morph: Basically when I was in Pentonville, (prison in north London) I had a little Zanco Tiny phone. That was mainly to speak to my dad; I wasn’t speaking to too many other people at that point. Then when I went to The Mount, (prison in Hemel Hempstead) it was a big difference. I’d gone from a Category B jail to a C-Cat and it was much freer. There were big zoots on the go; people were doing big lines of chisel whilst doing their workouts; banging tunes, etc. I was like, ‘rah, this place seems alright.’ Shit was just on hand again so for a while it was a bit of a party.
Chewy: This is where the hooch brewing started too, right?
Morph: Yeah, I knew how to do it already but The Mount made me feel like I was a little bit safer, which I wasn’t because I kept getting caught and getting bare days added to my sentence.
Tell us about the ‘prison hack’ videos, those blew up on the Internet even though you were making them in jail, right?
Morph: Yeah I got myself a Smartphone because they were about in The Mount. Certain people hooked me up there, sorted me the money to buy the Smartphone but I don’t want to mention any names for obvious reasons. That was when I started making those prison hack videos with my mate.
‘Don’t panic, don’t stress’ – how on earth do you manage to have and keep a Smartphone in prison?
Morph: There are just patterns that can be learned in there, when people’s cells are going to get searched, etc. It went in waves but it was silly at times, I mean you’re talking about me having a phone but there were guys in there with a kilo of weed, (laughing). They had all sorts of shit – pills, Ketamine – I mean who the fuck wants to do Ket in prison? Anyway, we made the prison hack videos, which to be honest I didn’t want to do because I was aware of what happened if you put yourself in a video in there. All it took was for it to get reposted on Street Blogs and one guv to see it and you’re screwed. Plus we had Potter Payper (British rapper) on our wing so the staff were already all about it anyway, ‘oh we’ve got Potter Payper’, (laughing).
They went viral, right?
Morph: Yeah, it got crazy views on Street Blogs and they came and crashed our cell at midnight, took him away, found the phone, all that. There were other times when you’d just get access to someone else’s phone because they didn’t want it in their cell. That’s why I’d randomly pop up on Instagram from time to time after the ‘prison hacks’ one got taken. By the end, I didn’t really want another phone because I’d had so many days added through having the other one. I ended up with another little Zanco that you couldn’t do calls on; you could only text. I spoke to you on that a fair bit Ben – that was like a little thumb sized thing, which I got so good at texting on that other guys would come ask me to send texts for them. That thing was so small that it was much easier to hide so I never really worried about getting caught out.
Was it always the plan that you guys at Palace would hook Morph up with a job so that he had something positive waiting for when he got out of jail?
Chewy: Yeah, for sure. I wouldn’t let him go anywhere else, not whilst I’m breathing. Gareth and Lev are sound too, they recognise that Morph’s put his work in and he earned the opportunity. He was part of the foundation of what allowed Palace to blow up like it did so it just goes to show how real the brand is that we never forgot about that.
Morph: I’ve got to agree with that. The Palace guys absolutely saw the worst side of me so for them to look past that and still see the person that I was before… It’s humbling man. That’s one of the reasons why I’m so active now that I’m free, because I want to make these people who believed in me proud. If those guys can do all they’ve done for me, the least I can do is put the work in.
How soon after Morph got out were you two out skating and filming Chewy?
Chewy: Pretty much straight away.
Morph: We basically filmed a part…
Chewy: Well, not a whole part but we got some shit.
Morph: Whether you think it’s good enough to be ‘a part’ or not – you went and filmed two and a half minutes of stuff with me bruv, straight from Pen.
Chewy: I guess, we only filmed for about a month. We were just both on a hype to get back on it as soon as Morph got out, then I went and dislocated my bloody knee.
How quick did skating come back for you Morph? You were inside for four years, that’s a long time without even stepping on a board.
Morph: I ended up doing just under four years. I had 49 days of my sentence left and then for some reason I got 42 days taken off which meant that I went from having six weeks left, to just having a week left. I found out on the Sunday that I was leaving the following Thursday.
Chewy: I’m getting all excited about it now even though it’s already happened, (laughing).
Morph: I spoke to Chewy the day after I got out and I had a few options of where to stay so I just went and left some stuff at Chewy’s house and proceeded to go and film skateboarding. The second day I went to London and decided not to go back to my dad’s because I didn’t want to bring Covid back with me. He wasn’t too keen so we agreed that I’d stay in London. He was calm with it because he knew I wasn’t going to London to be a fuckhead, he watches my stories and shit…
Chewy: You got back on it with skating really quickly; I was surprised.
Morph: I’ll be honest; everything was a big surprise. Everyone in jail was saying how it took a couple of months to get used to everything and I believed it because everyone was saying it…
Chewy: Yeah but in reality, a couple of days after getting out you were filming lines down the middle of the road again. There are very few filmers who can do that anyway – you know just following off the curb, into the road like it’s no bother. And that’s without having been in jail for four years – you were straight back on it mate. I remember thinking, ‘well his balls are still there.’
Morph: Honestly, up until a few weeks ago I was still waiting for some big feeling to come. I still do weird things where I’ll sit there being hungry for hours until I realise that I’m in the real world and I have to sort that out for myself, that nobody’s going to come and feed me. It’s strange little things like that which have stayed with me. There’s been no big overwhelming ‘I can’t handle it’ feeling though.
I remember you freaking out about contactless payments and how you could order McDonald’s to your house when you first got out.
Morph: Yeah there were loads of things like that. I remember the first night I’d set up my phone and then spent ages looking for places to hide it in my room, until I realised that I didn’t need to.
Chewy: Doing things like this will probably help you too I think, to kind of get it straight in your head, time to reflect on what you’ve experienced.
Morph: Definitely, talking about it helps but for real I’m genuinely very embarrassed about it. It’s not something that I want to glamourise at all. I’m talking about it because hopefully it’ll help other people and so not too many people think I’m a scumbag, you know? No matter how many people say, ‘it’s cool man’, I do think that if people knew the full extent of who I was at that point then maybe they wouldn’t be able to look past it. But that’s how it is, I did it and I have to deal with it. Love to everyone who is able to look past it.
It is crazy how many young kids look at the road as a legitimate aspiration.
Morph: Too right. The road most definitely isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. My friends in jail, even those ones who I still speak to, are all sitting there pissed. They’ve done something for their gang or whatever and they don’t get anything. Say they’ve killed someone over some gang bullshit and they’re two years into a twenty-year sentence, what have they got? They don’t even get shouted by the mandem: the only time they’ll hear from their supposed boys is when they’re posting all this ‘free up my man’ on Social Media. What use is that?
None of this road shit is real. It’s not real. I just wanna stress that to people. I got respect in jail for being a skateboarder and not talking about what I’d done. I got caught with a lot of food so I could’ve walked around that wing like a fucking plug. Dudes on that wing who were plugs were pointing at me and saying, ‘yo I used to get my tings off that guy.’ Never once would I ever have guessed that I got more respect off of people by walking in my cell and looking at skate photos. All I ever heard was, ‘Morph you’ve done something. You’ve got something. I wish I’d done something.’ These are all real guys too, serious guys who idolise your Potter Paypers and the like, all of these people are saying the same thing, which is, ‘I wish I had something beyond the road,’ whether that be skating or music or whatever. I cannot stress enough, if you’ve got something, a passion, pursue it bro. Fuck the road. It’s dead and fake. You’ll go to jail and you’ll get forgotten and that’s it. The road ting ain’t real; the positive ting is real. I cannot stress this enough.
Chewy: Preach it Morph.
Morph: It’s true though innit. I know that more than ever now. I was looking back at my Instagram recently, at posts just before I went to jail. I’d written this whole paragraph like two months before I got sent down. It said, ‘pursue what you love because you don’t know when the dream’s gonna end and the nightmare’s going to begin.’ I clearly knew exactly what was going to happen. And all that happened because I wasn’t pursuing the skateboarding – it doesn’t even need to be skating, it could be anything positive just not the road. I’m sorry man, I know I’m going on but I did four years for that shit and it’s not real. I don’t want other people to make the same mistakes and if me talking about it can save one person then so be it.
Now that things are starting to get normal again after Covid, what have you got planned Chewy?
Chewy: I’ve got my surgery set up for September, then after that I’m hoping to go to Mexico. I’ve got to wait a bit after the surgery before I can walk but after that, I just have to do the physio, which I can do anywhere as long as I take all the equipment with me and have the Internet. So the plan is to spend some time in Mexico rehabbing my knee. Working from home mate, it’s the ‘new normal’ innit?
What’s going on with JETLAGBROTHERS? I’m guessing nobody’s been suffering from Jet Lag for the last year and a half sitting at home waiting for Covid to fuck off.
Chewy: Ha ha, yeah that’s been a bit of a problem for us. More like the No Jet Lag Brothers really. Me and Gunes (Özdogan) are still on it with JLB. I’ve never really talked about it in the mags but the original idea was to use the brand to give something back to skating. To go to places where skating exists but there’s a need for help – kind of like the Skateistan thing really. That was our concept – travel and giving back to the communities where we travel to: I feel like that gets lost in skateboarding often. Everyone is always bang up for going to places but there’s rarely any payback for the local communities – you know, you go, you get your clips, you get a local shop to help you out with spots and whatnot but nobody ever gives back – there’s no demo, or signings or any of that any more, most of the time people won’t even visit the local skate store. I feel like that is missing in skating these days – so that was what we wanted to do with JLB. We’ve started reaching out to the Cuba Skate community and that was planned as the next trip but then Covid hit so it didn’t happen. We’ll get on it though, once my knee’s fixed and it’s easy to travel again, we’ll go and help to build something with the guys over in Cuba.
What’s the best bit of advice that Lev Tanju has ever given you?
Chewy: I can’t think of any advice in particular but just that everything he says is fucking hilarious. I guess that counts as advice right? I was reading the shit he’d written under the new boards today and creasing. I actually sent him a couple too – you know the one that said, ‘It’s funny how Palace is still independently owned, does anyone want to buy my half because I fancy retiring to Barbados’? That was mine.
Morph: Again, like with Chewy – it’s just the comedy with Lev. And the consistency of it – the comments under the garms; how can you be that on point every single time? Even when you know he’s over it and is probably sat at home in his boxers trying to think of them, they’re still hilarious.
Okay, final one to you Chewy – in Tres Trill where Adrien Bulard hands you the sack of bud and then you pay him and back 50-50 the hubba – was that set up or real?
Chewy: Nah, it was 100% real time. I was fucking stressing that day, that’s the only reason I was skating that hubba in the first place, because I didn’t have any weed. There was no bud, so in my head I was like, ‘arrgh fuck this I’m going to grind the fuck out of everything’, (laughing). I did the 50-50 wallie to 50-50 thing just before it. We went down the road and there was a festival on and I could hear Wu-Tang playing in the background. In my head I decided fuck it, I’m going to skate this awful hubba and just as I was about to start skating, Adrien appeared with a sack of bud and sorted it. I know it does look like a fake drug deal for the sake of the camera but I swear it wasn’t. I was so hyped that he turned up that I just pulled the money out, gave it to him and ollied onto the hubba first try and landed it. I even landed on the flip trick afterwards, (laughing). After that I skated in a straight line directly to the yard and bunned…
Morph: ‘Do you wanna see the footage Chew?’ ‘Nah, fuck that…’ (Laughing).
We should probably call it there because the last thing Arthur said was, ‘try not to go on…’
Chewy: Mate, we’ve definitely gone on. Sorry Arthur.