INTERVIEW: JOHANNES SCHOEN
PHOTOS: MIKE O’MEALLY & RYAN ALLAN
Cam, how are you and where are you at right now?
Hey, I’m doing good, just trying to avoid all this Corona virus shit right now. I’m at home in LA at the moment.
How has this whole quarantine craziness been for you? Do you still get to skate?
It hasn’t been too bad, just constantly on edge. Trying to be aware of the stuff I’m touching and not touching my face cause I kinda have a habit of doing that. I’ve been skating a little bit, only places no one else is at so I can do the whole social distancing thing.
Ryan Allan introduced us and I always had a feeling that he is very supportive of you. Can you describe your relationship?
Yeah Ryan has been really supportive since we met. I met him close to 5 years ago I believe from a mutual friend, we actually met the day I tried to back 3 el toro. Ever since, he’s always had my back and tried to do what he could to help me, coming up to shoot photos and introducing me to people. When he got involved with Fact, he brought me into that so it’s really cool to be apart of something with someone that I look up to as much as I do with him. He pisses me off sometimes but I’m happy to have him in my life as corny as that sounds, haha!
Not corny at all. Kind of like an old married couple, haha.
Hahaha yeah exactly, old married skater guys.
“There’s a clip somewhere of me front feebling a rail in San Diego and my dad is in the background filming fisheye. It was cool that my dad was willing to do that, just wanted to do what he could to help me.”
In your video interview, you talk about your dad buying a VX to film you skate. That’s pretty sick to hear. But you said it didn’t work out that well?
Yeah, the concept is pretty funny. When we moved to San Diego from Arizona, we didn’t know anyone so he bought a VX because that was the camera I liked the most at the moment and we would just go out and film random shit. Filming is just something that is harder to pick up than you would think and neither of us knew what we were doing. I eventually met people and filmer and that kinda fizzled out, and I ended up breaking the camera from rewinding it. Wasn’t aware that I wasn’t supposed to do that, haha.
Oh yes, very sensitive technology back then. Did he ever try to get some fisheye angles or only long lens?
He tried for the fisheye, haha. There’s a clip somewhere of me front feebling a rail in San Diego and my dad is in the background filming fisheye, I wish I could find it. It was cool that my dad was willing to do that, just wanted to do what he could to help me.
So sick, props to him for that! My dad would have freaked the fuck out if he would have watched me jump on a handrail! Did he remain calm despite all that risk involved?
My parents have always encouraged that hahaha, they definitely had more confidence in me than I did in myself. We for sure got in arguments over it, I can’t think of anything off the top of my head but I was like 12 or 13 at that time and didn’t want to do anything they told me to do, haha.
Let’s talk about the new Rassvet video. It features a very diverse group of people. From all parts of the world. Can you try to summarize how this group formed and how you became a part of it?
It’s a pretty spread out group, I’m the only American on it. I met Tolia and some of the guys through Ryan while they were in LA filming for a Monster Children article. I feel like I didn’t really get to know them cause i’ve always been a pretty quiet person and there was a little bit of a language barrier. Then over the next couple years, Tolia would come to town every so often and I feel like we clicked, we’re pretty similar in a lot of ways so it was inevitable. I met the rest of the team when we did a trip to Tenerife and since then, we’ve all become very close. It’s really sick riding for a company where i can have the entire team feel like family, I feel grateful to be apart of it.
Rassvet has a pretty big apparel line and a lot of people might not even know it’s a skateboard company. Do you get that a lot and how does that work with having a very sick apparel sponsor in FACT?
I get a lot of people thinking Rassvet is an apparel company. It’s cool to ride for a board company that also focuses on their clothing. I definitely make sure not to wear one more than the other, and I think it’s probably the same for the other guys who have apparel sponsors.
Most shops, also skate shops, I looked up only carried the apparel.
Yeah they don’t have anywhere in the US carrying boards beside Dover Street LA and NY.
Kind of a Palace phenomenon where more people know the apparel but they are actually a skateboard company.
Exactly. Tolia is trying to get boards over here but be is running that and he doesn’t really know too many people so it’s harder to get it in shops.
Back to the video. How much say did you have about your part?
I was apart of almost all of it. Me and my filmer, Trevor Owens, tend to agree on everything and I fully trust him on everything he does, but he likes to have my say in the process as well because I feel like shit comes out better that way and it feels more genuine to us. I skate to the music that I like and use the clips I like, he handles the rest and I’ve never been disappointed in it, he kills it.
A man’s only as good as his filmer.
Hahaha, very true!
Did you pick music you listen to regularly or rather music that would work well with your skating?
Yeah, it’s music that I listen to regularly, I’ve been a big fan of Jackson Browne, the artist from the first song in my part, since I watched Taxi Driver for the first time a couple of years ago and I’m really happy I had the chance to use a song from him. It’s always really cool to listen to something that you’re stoked on and then seeing it in a video and stuff, it’s a really sick feeling.
“I never really considered going back to El Toro, it’s kind of a part of the younger me that wanted to skate anything big. I feel like I’m happier with the double set than I would be from El Toro.”
I persuaded Ryan into sending us that Backside 360 photo for your interview. I know it’s been all over the place but I don’t care. This might be my favorite Backside 360 photo ever. Pretty hard to get a good still of that trick. Looked like quite the battle?
Yeah, Ryan fuckin killed that one, I’ve never seen Ryan take a bad photo so it wasn’t surprising but it just adds to the feeling of landing the trick. Being able to watch the footage and seeing the photo came out sick as well. that one definitely sucked to try. I’ve been doing that trick for quite a couple years but this was for sure the happiest I’ve been from that trick. The spot overall fucked with my head and the way I had to curve in, there’s a little bump to it that’s not really noticeable in the footage but it fucked with me a lot. Kind of a blind hail mary that I felt lucky to get away with.
Now that El Toro isn’t an option anymore this could be your Backside 360 Benchmark.
Yes, I never really considered going back to El Toro, it’s kind of a part of the younger me that wanted to skate anything big. I feel like I’m happier with the double set than I would be from El Toro.
If you do something that big and well known there’s a danger of getting put into a box. Then people would expect you to do the biggest shit every time you show up. Not a comfortable spot to be, at least for me, haha.
Yeah I think a lot of people who have watched my skating since that time definitely do that, but it’s expected. I still have that in me, my feelings about that have just changed over the years as I’ve grown up and developed different likings.
Seems like your skating took a more creative route. Like that Frontside Wallride that ended up on the cover of Vague. Congrats! You were also featured in Sugar. Now we interview you. Quite a lot of Euro exposure. Any idea how this came about?
Yeah I was really stoked on that, complete surprise. I think it came about from meeting so many European people within the last year or two, especially with Rassvet being from Russia, everyone I meet is usually out of the country. I’ve always been a big fan of more European skating so it feels really cool to be able to get exposure over there.
Yes very sick. And we do have quite some magazines over here. Would you say skaters in the US sit on a lot of content but lack outlets for it?
I guess so, there are very few magazines out here. I just think everyone has such a desire to get everything in Thrasher but it all feels the same, I feel lucky to get whatever I can get.
Would you pick a photo in Thrasher over a post on their Instagram?
Definitely. It feels cool being able to hold what you’re in, feels more real.
Rare answer these days.
What’s the first thing you’ll do when all this COVID-19 madness is over?
Go get a tequila pineapple and start filming again, straight back to it
Right on, gotta keep the parts coming in the same frequency rate as the last ones!
Yeah a couple of the guys from Rassvet, Val and Fev, were just in town to film and had to go home after being here for two days because of the virus shit so once it’s over. Hopefully, they can get back out here and get to filming.
Let’s hope it’s over soon! Anything you’d like to add?
Yeah thank you to all my boys for getting me stoked, thanks to Ryan, Clem, Max, and Mike for being down to shoot my tricks, and fuck this virus shit. I’m trying to get the fuck out of this country haha. Think that’s it, haha.
Watch Cam’s Part in the “ЛУЧИ PACCBET WORLDWIDE” Video and his Video Interview with Cyber Media Corporation: