John Rattray films the epic street skating of Stereo's Joe Pease, c/o The Predatory Bird
Joe Pease is currently employed as the warehouse manager at Antics distribution. He grew up in the town of Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast, Australia, where he progressed as a skater alongside such Aussie luminaries as Jake Duncome and Shane Cross. The Predatory Bird recently worked with Joe on a short, sweet part and caught up with him about such subjects as; black hoodies, police profiling, watching Shane progress as a driven young man in single-minded pursuit of his dreams and getting banned from Matt Mumford by Matt Mumford.
Tell us about being profiled by the Police.
Both times I figured I’d shave my head, no guard, so my hair was pretty short. I drive a Civic that has a little bit of, um, sun damage.
Well there’s nothing wrong with that is there?
Yeah there’s nothing wrong with that.
I mean, San Diego’s a sunny place.
Yeah, and the ocean. Both times, within the week of shaving my head, I was pulled over by a cop. The first time I was leaving a Mexican restaurant, at midday. I was walking to my car…
Yeah, no hood, just wearing a tee shirt. Sat in my car. Went to reverse, looked in the rear view mirror. I see a cop driving into the parking lot and I can see him eyeballing the shit out o’ me. I think, that’s kind of weird. I reverse out. The cop was going in to get food or something. All of a sudden I’m at the light and he’s sitting behind me. I make the left turn, I’ve done nothing wrong, about to get on the freeway to go back to work and he pulls me over.
I asked him “Why did I get pulled over?” and he said my indicator was…”flicking erratically.” Got back to work, checked it, it was fine. It’s still fine to this day.
A week later a coworker of mine read in the news that in Vista, the week that I got pulled over, they had a huge…
Yeah, a goal to find people with warrants, so obviously I looked like someone who had a warrant, or was sketchy.
Then last Friday I got pulled over.
Right after shaving your head again?
Black hoody. I had the hood on and I saw the cop and I thought, “If I leave this hood on I’m probably going to get pulled over”. I took the hood off and then passed them, they were coming the opposite direction. I didn’t really notice because I was talking on the phone…
Yeah, hands free. So the cops did a u-turn, passed me, looked at me, said, “This guy looks sketchy.” So they pulled me over and their first reason for pulling me over was that my license plate light didn’t work. They had me get out of the car, hands behind the back, searched me and then they told me the real reason they pulled me over is because I fit some description. 6 foot, shaved head, black zip up hoody. Only difference was I had facial hair and the description said no facial hair.
So you grew facial hair as a disguise?
Is Gold Coast is pretty tropical?
If you’re at Goldie you can be in some rain forest in 20 minutes.
Who’s in Michigan?
My mum’s from Michigan but she lives in Aus and then I have my brother, uncles and aunties in Michigan.
So your mum lives in Aus with your old man?
Yep, they’re still together.
That seems a rarity. What do they do?
Dad’s a school teacher, mum works in elderly care.
Okay. Let’s talk skating. How old were you guys when you and Shane became friends?
Probably 13 or something.
I remember when you and Shane were first out here and you were staying at Mumford’s and it seemed like you were Mumford’s personal chauffeur what was the deal there?
Well, I was living at Matt’s. He was letting me live there. I did it because I felt I should do it. When I first came out here I was riding for Legacy for the last few months of it. When Legacy went under, for some reason I felt like I needed to stay here [the U.S.] because…
Shane came out here when he was 17 and destroyed it.
I remember Mumford telling me that when Shane nose grinded El Toro, that day he smithed it first try warming up and just grinned at Matt because they both knew that was Matt’s big closing trick in his part in Transworld’s The Reason a few years earlier.
Haha, yeah, exactly. When Shane first came out here he knew exactly what he wanted to do. He used to tell me “By the time I’m a certain age I want to be getting paid to skate.”
I didn’t think the same [of myself] I didn’t think like that but we had grown up skating, we’d filmed for this video called Northern Lights we both had parts in it, so we both were going through these steps together. Then he went [to the U.S.] and I was back on the Goldie doing whatever and I started seeing all this coverage of him just destroying it and I thought, “Fuck! Maybe I should go out there,” and I did come out here…but I didn’t do anything.Well, I saw Shane doing it and I thought maybe I should do that.
You’d regret it if you didn’t try.
Yeah. So the second time Shane came out I went with him.
To be Mumford’s chauffuer?
Yeah, well, at that point Mumford and Shane had called me from here while I was in Australia and they asked me to ride for Legacy. I though it was insane. So I came out here and for some reason I just didn’t feel comfortable skating. I was living with Mumford, Shane had gone home, it was just me and Matt and I just wasn’t skating. I was hardly even skating for fun. We would go to spots and back then it felt like it was just all gnarly handrails.
Yeah this is ’03 through to ’06 that sort of period? Let’s drive to the 10 to warm up and then we’ll drive to the 18.
Yeah, so I was struggling to even do anything. Then Legacy went down. Shane was back in Aus, I was staying at Mumford’s and hadn’t done anything [within skating] and I felt like I needed to stay until I did what Shane did.
And that’s why you’re still here.
You’re trapped here because you have no chance of doing what Shane did. I don’t know if El Toro is even still skateable. So who were you getting hooked up by at that point?
After Legacy went down Ewan helped me out with [Flip] boards, through Shane.
So how did you get banned from Mumford?
Yeah, I was banned from him for a long time.
Why did Mumford ban you from himself?
He probably wouldn’t like to hear this but, because I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have any money. I was just living out here being a troll, I didn’t have a job or anything and then I drove Mumford to the airport to go to Aus. I wasn’t living with him at that point I was living with the Barties. I think I borrowed their car to take Matt to the airport, I didn’t have any money and that’s an expensive drive if you’ve got no money, to drive to LA and back in an SUV.
Yeah, it definitely is.
Then Matt was flying back and he needed a lift and he kept calling me and I was like, “I can’t, I don’t have a car.” I wanted to pick him up, I felt like I owed it to him, so I kept saying, “I’ll try, I’ll try, I’ll try” and he got on the plane and I hadn’t told him that I couldn’t pick him up so he assumed I was going to be at the airport waiting.
But you weren’t were you?
No. And after that he didn’t speak to me for a good, like, 8 months. It was a serious ban. But, I don’t know why he eventually lifted it. He came to Aus and I went on a trip with him, Leedogg and Goemann around when $lave started up, and it was awesome. Somehow the ban got lifted I don’t really know why.
Time must have healed the pain of being left stranded at the airport.
Must have. He still claims I owe him a shower door too.
The story of the shower door and other tales of Joe’s time straddling the Northern and Southern hemispheres and working in the sweaty bowels of the skate industry will follow in a future post. For now we hope you enjoyed the first part of the interview and the video.