Enjoy Lukas’ Pocket Part. Scroll down to find out what he has to say about traveling, living and working in Barcelona, what he’s been up to lately and much more!
INTERVIEW: JOHANNES SCHOEN
PHOTOS: GERARD RIERA
Lukas! How are you and where are you at right now?
Hi Johannes, it couldn’t be better, thank you. I’m sitting in front of gate 70 at Barcelona airport, waiting to board my flight to Beirut where I’m gonna meet my old friend Mo (Wild) to hang out for a weekend. I haven’t seen Mo in ages which makes this trip an even funnier occasion. Being 5 years older, Mo was always like a big brother to me. Him and Artur (Gohl) used to take me on skate trips when I was young. My parents were down with Mo and Artur which is why I was given the opportunity to travel and check out places on my own at an early age. It was also Mo that took me on my first trip to Barcelona when I was 12 years old.
Who do you hang out with in Barcelona?
At the moment I’m mostly hanging out with the German squad aka “die Auswanderer“. We have quite a big German crew these days, consisting of a few longterm BCN residents. I would mostly go skate with Maxi (Schaible), Giletto (Philipp Vollmar), Mo, Hescher and of course my brother from another mother Vince who’s keeping up the French flag in the crew.
Pretty cool to have good friends around, so far from home.
Finding a proper circle of friends in Barcelona can be difficult as most people come for a few months and then make a move again. This fact makes me appreciate even more to count on the friends from back home such as Bulvi, Spina, Artur and Sebba that I luckily get to see on a regular base as well. It’s easy to tell that if we all come together throughout the summer, good times on- and off board are guaranteed.
Your part was filmed and edited by Ludi. That’s pretty cool to have Ludi on site to implement such projects, right?
Having Ludi in Barcelona made it indeed way easier to work on this video part. Due to the fact that I was mostly working and studying at the same time throughout the last couple of years, it was often difficult to find enough time to invest in this project. I do really appreciate the work and effort Ludi has put into this without ever doubting the outcome. It was often that he reserved Saturdays for me, pushing to go back to a spot and try a trick over and over again. This attitude once more shows how passionate this guy is about getting clips. Filming with Ludi is always fun because you actually feel that he’s enjoying the process of fighting for a trick. I’m sure others would agree with me which is why we are all thankful to have the guy with the glasses with us in Spain.
Since Ludi moved to Barcelona, I have felt the favorite holiday destination of the Germans moved from Mallorca toward the inland. What would Barca be without Ludi for the German skate scene?
Ludi aka the German ambassador definitely brings us some Ballermann spirit to MACBA. Jokes aside, Ludi is an important figure and hub for a lot of skaters visiting the Catalonian capital, not only coming from Germany. His passion for filming and the infinite spot map inside of his brain make you not wanna let go of his hand anymore (laughs).
“Everyone just goes with the flow and you get together in a rather spontaneous way which is what I love the city for”
Despite having perfect spots on your doorstep, you still manage to travel and see other places in the world. Where did it go in the last few months and what were the reasons for the trips?
Barcelona is a beautiful city but breaking out every now and then is necessary in my opinion. Like everywhere else in the world, staying at the same place non-stop can make you lose your inner drive and often pushes you into a routine you may not want whilst visiting new places always benefits your mindset in some way. You come back with a different perspective on yourself and your surrounding. I have been travelling Colombia and Brasil on my own this winter and it was one of the best decisions. Especially the homies in Rio and Sao Paulo made this journey a special one. Thanks to Renato and the cariocan homie Frederic again who basically adopted me and showed me the nicest corners of both cities. Apart from that, I’ve been on trips to Hong Kong, China, USA and Israel lately which were all great experiences. Thankfully living in Barcelona makes you get to know people from all over the world and I’m stoked to be able to visit them in their home countries to keep in contact.
How often do you fly home?
Lately, I don’t make it to Germany too often, unfortunately. I try to be around and see my family for the usual festivities such as Christmas and Easter.
Where do you think you will find your home in the long run?
That’s a hard question. I do consider Barcelona as my base but don’t want to dismiss other options. Work-wise London or Berlin would probably make the most sense but my heart is guiding me further South and I definitely fell in love with Brazil, well knowing about the difficulties life over there does include in a political and social context. I could also see myself commuting in between places.
You are now working at Diamond Supply Co. How did that happen?
Working with Diamond Supply came completely unexpected. Right when having decided to quit my previous job I got a call from Johannes Schön, asking for someone speaking French and German who is interested in working with a skate company that had just opened its own EU office. Even though my French skills were a little bit rusty at that time, I told Johannes I’d give it a try not really knowing what to expect from the prospect. I was in South America with no return ticket sorted when I received the email confirming the job. I decided to take the opportunity and flew back to Spain, starting to work with Diamond the day after arriving back in Barcelona. My initial doubts I had when leaving my professional direction soon got removed by the good and honest vibe I got from my two bosses and the team. Looking at it now I can definitely say that things turned out the right way and I’m really happy with how it went.
“Like everywhere else in the world, staying at the same place non-stop can make you lose your inner drive and often pushes you into a routine you may not want whilst visiting new places always benefits your mindset in some way”
Before, you worked for an event agency. How is the work different now?
At first, this change seemed to be a heavy contrast to me. I was used to working with electronic music artists, club- and festival promoters for four years and they soon became another community for me. It was often funny to be connecting ties between the skaterats and the music-industry people but it always worked out somehow. I still have a lot of friends in the event- and nightlife scene I’ve made over the years and try to do a few artist and event bookings at side. The music industry still is a tempting world to me and is, same as the skate industry, full of fun and interesting people. In the end, the two jobs don’t even seem too far away from each other but this may just be a personal impression I have since I can identify with both scenes and their people.
Did you ever expect to work in the skateboarding industry?
As mentioned before, this pretty much came out of nowhere. Of course, you are always kind of connected and may know the people behind the brands but one year ago I wouldn’t have thought I would work in skateboarding as a full-time job. The fact that a lot of skating friends went in the same direction makes it a lot easier to understand the dynamic of the sector. The network you would have to build in other jobs in order to get the ball rolling kind of already exists which is a big advantage for everyone working in the skate industry I guess. Passion and work suddenly mix up and it’s not unusual that I find myself talking shop with Maxi, exchanging anecdotes from work during our evening cooking session.
Is work easier for you when it is related to skateboarding? Or is this an illusion and emails remain emails?
To me, it does make a difference if you can relate to what you do for a living. If it’s skating, music or anything else, being stoked on the artist, product or project you deal with makes it a lot easier, even though you may have to fight your way through Excel hell just as in any other job. Like so many of us, I don’t see myself working for a corporate company and working in music or skating gives you the chance to do what you love for a living.
You’re done studying now, right? How was it to study at a distance?
I’ve studied on distance for four years and finished my exam last summer. It was often difficult to actually sit down and get stuff done after work and a skate session. It was nevertheless a big advantage for me because I could self-manage my time and it gave me more flexibility than studying at a common university. I am actually glad not having to go through the usual fresher’s party and classroom vibes. The small number of classes that I had to attend always took place in different German cities and I’ve been seeing my professors approximately every two months. The rest of the course was basically self-studying from home. I can totally recommend studying this way to everyone who is not a big fan of typical classroom lessons and wants to stay flexible without having to properly settle anywhere.
That sounds very much like you’d need some discipline to succeed.
I can imagine that in Barca you can do a bit more party than planned or it can be hard to say no to a skate session at dream spots. How do you still manage to stay on top of all these temptations?
The city definitely has its own dynamic and without a mission, you get stuck or lose yourself more easily than in other places I would say. There is always something going on and a quick drink with some friends after a session often ends in front of the Apolo dj booth until 6 in the morning. Everyone just goes with the flow and you get together in a rather spontaneous way which is what I love the city for. However, it is and always was very important for me to have my own kind of goals and projects going on that would maintain myself busy with more useful stuff. I hate the feeling of being stuck and at the same time know that without making a move myself nothing will happen. I sound like my dad here but I have to admit that there is some truth in his German principles (laughs). Writing my final degree whilst working in Barcelona was definitely a heavy mission for me and required some self-discipline, especially at weekends. I’d rather lock myself away in an abandoned farm next time than going through this in Barcelona aka sin city again (laughs). Since moving out of the legendary Sepulveda flat that gave shelter to many stranded souls over the years and where loads of parties have been going down, things are slowing down a bit luckily.
What’s up in the near future?
I will be staying in Barcelona for the next two weeks and then joining the Diamond US team on their Europe tour for two weeks. I wouldn’t have imagined being able to tour with childhood heroes such as Brandon Biebel someday and I am looking forward to hitting the road with such legends. We will be organising events and demos in Paris, Lille, Lyon, Manchester and London.
Thanks for your time and this beautiful video part! Any last words?
First of all id like to thank my parents for their trust and ongoing support in every aspect. Thanks to my friends in Barcelona & elsewhere, especially Bulvi, Pato, Vince, Mo, Maxi, Gilletto, Hesher, Jake, Joshi, Dennis, Alun and the rest of the gang, Johannes and Philipp from HUF/ Mosaic and last but not least the two Martins and Fatos from Robotron.