Checking in: Norman Woods
Questions: Will Fisher
Norman just dropped a heavy part in the new Brujaria Skateboards video, Magic Square (Above). He also made all the music in the video, it came together amazing.
I wanted to find out a little more about what he's up to! He is one person that basically every time we have gone out he's got something. Good dude, and he kills it. Enjoy!
W: Where are you from originally from and how long have you been in Los Angeles?
N: I was born in Omaha, Nebraska. I moved to LA when I was five. So, I’ve been here 28 years.
W: You stay super busy skating but your also in a band and regularly teach skate lessons, and more, how is it juggling all that?
N: It’s not too bad. I enjoy doing all of those things. So, it doesn’t feel like too much of a grind. Sometimes, the schedule gets hectic. But, on average everything is manageable. The music suffers most of all. It takes a lot to make and play music. Especially if you want to perform. Since this requires the booking of shows, which I absolutely hate doing, and constant rehearsals.
W: Favorite band or song today?
N: I don’t have a favorite band, since I listen to lots of music, across various genres. When I was younger, hip-hop was my favorite, so there was a lot of Tupac and Geto Boys. Then, as a teenager I found punk and skateboarding, and both of these shaped my personality growing up. ‘77 and ‘82 stuff, like 999, and Special Duties. As I got older, it seemed silly to concentrate my taste to one genre, and I finally started to appreciate classic rock, like the Stones and Love , psychedelic stuff like the United States of America and the Balloon Farm, early indie stuff like the Smiths, Sonic Youth, all of the good old stuff James Brown, Funkadelic, Chuck Berry... etc, early electronic like Kraftwerk. Jazz eventually came. My favorites being Don Cherry, Charles Mingus, and John Coltrane (gotta check the recently released lost album). This list could go on forever. I’m currently listening to Thundercat, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Vinyl Williams, h09909, and David Bowie’s “Station to Station.” It was never one of my favorite albums, but I decided to revisit it after watching a video essay praising it. A couple of months later and it’s playing in my car a few times a week.
W: Best and worst part about having so much pop?
N: Pop is good. But being taller sucks for skating. Spots that some people get away with skating look terrible when I skate them. If I didn’t have pop, I wouldn’t be able to have ledges in my part. Since an eighteen-inch high ledge, which you see plenty of in the average 5’9” guy’s part and is a reasonable height for a ledge, looks like a curb beneath my trucks, being 6’2” tall plus the height of the board. I thank chance for giving me pop!
W: What does a typical week look like for you?
N: Four or five skate lessons. Three or four skate sessions, five if I can manage. If it’s the beginning of the month I’ll be collecting rent checks. Maintenance requests from tenants. Trying to play an hour of music a day. Hanging with the Mrs., and I’m taking a US History course online at the moment.
W: You just dropped a part in Brujaria Skateboards new video “Magic Square” how was working on that?
N: I’m happy with that part. I got a lot of ledge tricks I’ve wanted to film in there, and got to skate nice high ledges. It’s not full of handrails, like some of my earlier parts. We filmed for about nine months, mostly in LA. So, by the end, I was burnt from the traffic, and trying to find spots that weren’t already killed. We got it done though. I also made all of the music in the video. It was interesting seeing it all come together. Lawrence McCullum, who shot most of the video and edited the entire thing, really killed it.
W: What trick was the most of a battle?
N: The trick that gave me the toughest battle wasn’t even in the video. I went to the black double-sided ledge, in Echo Park, six times. I was trying a front blunt varial flip. I would land on it over and over, but couldn’t roll away. I finally did one, but broke the tail of my board, and roll away funny. The ledge ended up being knobbed. Each time there I spent at least two hours. It was brutal. I guess
the sketchy landing will have to go to Instagram soon.
W: Next project your working on?
I’m trying to figure that out. I’d like to film another part. However, I don’t want to film it mostly in LA. My War Co. “Sun Machine” part was filmed all over the place, and watching it is like looking through a scrapbook of trips I took with my friends. Recreating that experience would be nice.
Thanks for reading!