Chris Dafick is about to release his new video From Beyond, the first one after the tour masterpiece Shredweiser Americana, which was out almost four years ago now. We cannot stress enough how much we enjoyed Americana and how much we’re looking forward to seeing Dafick’s pirate ship of longhairs shred. It’s been way too long.
Words: Josip Jagić
Photography: Miguel Ramos
How long were you on the road for the video and did you travel alone or was there a tour crew?
I have been collecting footage for this project since 2014, so solid 4 years of constant travel, skating, and exploration. I would roughly do 6 months in the states and 6 months abroad each year, working in the middle a bit to keep the train rolling. But to say I have filming for this video constantly would be an over exaggeration, as I have traveling a lot with the Balas Perdidas crew through out Europe for a few different projects. I also took a trip to South East Asia leaving my skates and camera behind in search of something different and new, but thats another story…
As for a crew…being on the road for so long the family was constantly shifting, with loads of guest appearances of familiar faces along the way.
Who is going to be in the video and why did you choose the skaters you did?
From Beyond will have full sections from Miguel Ramos, Matty Schrock, Wild Bill, Nico Magalhaes, Erik Stokley and myself. We also have a ton of homie footage just to name a few Billy O’Neill, Jay Cottrell, Tylor the Destroyer, Voss Hog, Los Hermanos (Seba y Jona) Xathan Stewart, Erik Bailey, Kare Lindberg, Christian Berg, Brian Bina, Jey McFly, John Bolino, Joey Chase, Sammy Chase, Phillip Moore, Kenny Owens, Greg Somerset, Sascha Simms, Ray Kronenberg… The list goes on and on. Had some really good times with all these amazing individuals along the way. I put together full montages of The South, Spain/Denmark and a Shredweiser homies section as well.
I put together full montages of The South, Spain/Denmark and a Shredweiser homies section as well.
You ask why I chose these skaters for this video, but I’d like to think its the opposite. They chose to be there for the ride. The whole filming process happened very naturally and organically. Just a bunch of good friends going out and having a rad time and seeing what the day brings us. Not forcing things, and just letting them flow. That being said it does not mean that the boys took it easy… homies went buck.
How hard was it being on the road for so long? What kept you motivated?
I would say the hardest thing about traveling was leaving the places I was visiting… my temporary home. You stay in a town and meet some amazing people and get really close to them, developing really great connections and then one day, you have to leave and move on. Goodbyes are never easy so I always just leave them with a “catch you later on down the trail.”
A lot of people go on trips or holidays and try to cram as much traveling, sites and cities in as possible but I learned a long time ago to take it easy. And enjoy what you have in front of you while its there and not whats coming… You end up missing a lot that way. I would definitely have to recomend taking more time in one place rather than rushing to leave. You end up spend more time moving and traveling than enjoying yourself and the scenery around you.
What is so far your favorite part of the video and the project?
I think I’d have to say my favorite part of the video is Miguel’s section, not to take anything away from the others. I had so much fun filming and hanging with Migs while putting this together. So many missions, spot hunting, finding ditches, pools, in the strangest places. I don’t think I have ever met a more motivated, positive influence in my life, even working through an always present back injury. He is one of my favorite people to be around.
I could write a book about all the weird, hilarious situations I have found myself in. I mean I could tell you about the time we went to sneak into Saint Vitus, got 50 euros from Wino himself to get in, ended up sneaking in always and blowing his 50 euros at the bar and then called out for it; or the time almost gone blown away by a tornado right outside of Baton Rouge; and the time we left the first night of Roskilde to sneak into Copenhell, crawled under the fence with a case of beer to see Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath. Or what about the night we snuck into the Rainbow Bar for Lemmy’s funeral party, found a bottle of whiskey and a secret bar on the third floor and did some Motor-boating to Motorhead. There are just too many rad tales from the road. Catch me by a campfire and I’ll tell ya all about em.
But like I said I personally really enjoy all of them in there own way.
How much did videos in the last few years change, in your opinion and do you like what you see?
I see a great decline in quality in projects today… and thats not saying all of them. There are people still putting out proper sections for sure. But unfortunately we live in a era where footage is relatively disposable with an extremely short shelf life. There is so much content constantly being pushed on the internet that its just over saturated with instagram clips and poorly put together projects. Watched once and then its just yesterdays news. I wouldn’t say its anyone fault in particular its just the way that society is as a whole, scrolling through life and not really enjoying whats in front of them. Kind of like a quantity over quality type situation when it should be the opposite. I feel sorry really this generation and how media is presented. They will never have a video like Brain Fear Gone, Face the Music or Road to Nowhere. Something you watch religiously to get you stoked which we are lacking these days. Not to say I expect my projects to have the same effect on people, but it is definitely heavily influenced by these types of videos. Something that captures the mind, your attention and force feeds you good tunes, and rad times.
What do you think that today’s videos reflect the most in blading? Whose stuff do you enjoy watching the most and why?
Like I said before there are some projects, that the passion is still fully apparent. I recently bought a copy of Hermanos, and a copy of Champagne along with the books and they are incredible. So much time, effort, love and soul poured into these projects and you can see it from a mile away. I see some good edits online from time to time but it looks like people put more effort into the instagram then into videos these days. Which is why I think projects like these are so important.…I see other pieces and projects, whatever you may call them, and they just lack effort. I’m not really the kind of guy to call any people out on these types of things, but I don’t feel I have too, your work speaks for itself.
Do you think we look too much to skateboarding for inspiration in video making?
I think that many people do for sure, and you can clearly see who jumps right and out trends. Why they do it, I do not know or understand, maybe they still are looking to find themselves or maybe its something I just don’t get. But one thing I noticed is its the same people that jumped on the rock and roll band wagon and are now trading there denim vests for whatever the next hot new trends are. But to me it just goes to show you who is really into something, and who goes with the crowd. I guess I am lucky as I discovered what I dig a long time ago and some may still be on the hunt.
At the end of the day none of it really matters. People can wear what they want and do as they please, just don’t forget its all about having fun and not how you look.
You were never part of the industry in the strict sense of the word, always on the fringe a bit, but ever so remarkable. where do you draw inspiration for your esthetics?
Hey, how exactly is a rainbow made?
How exactly does the sun set?
How exactly does the posi-trac rear end on a Plymouth work!?
It just does.
All jokes aside I can’t really say man, you just gotta do what you dig.
Why are you saying this will be the final shredweiser project? what is next for you after From Beyond?
It’s been a long wild road filled with good times, bad times, injuries, loads of laughs, sons of bitches, incredible humans, heart ache and glory along the way. You know the highs, lows and in-betweens of life. Wouldn’t change it for anything in the world, but to me, what Shredweiser is and what it stands for, along with all of the people who helped it come to be just isn’t the same. Our house and crew disbanded a few years back and ever since then a lot has changed. People have moved on to new things, which is how it should be. They have shifted there energy that they put into blading, and focus it on different passions that they might have. Change is good and variety is the spice of life. Still getting together when we can on sessions and trips when we could to put this video together was a blast. We will continue to grow, get together time and time again, roll around, ay down some hammers, play some tunes and have our selves some good times, but I feel it is time to close this chapter… And am really looking forward to writing the next one. I want Shredweiser to end on a good note rather than slowly fade away. I feel that one last video should do just fine.
I am forever grateful for the people, places, and experiences that have been presented in front of us and would like to personally thank every single person that we were blessed to meet on this beautiful ride. From the bottom of my soul, I thank you all.
All that being said I am looking forward to where this crazy train called life is stopping next… You never know where it might take you.