Chris “Dune” Pastras Interview
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 by Rob Meronek
Chris “Dune” Pastras InterviewWords by Ryan Clements and Chad Cardoza
Living down in Florida, I used to hear crazy stories about the Shut team and their antics as they traveled up and down the east coast in the late 80’s and early, early 90’s. I didn’t personally know Dune back then, but I certainly knew about him. The Shut guys were legendary and hardcore, while my crew in Tampa was still wearing clam diggers and bright red, high-top Chuck’s.
Over the past few years I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know Dune personally a bit. We share stories via email and end up hanging out whenever we run into each other at skateboarding events. My friend Chad Cardoza, the same guy that wrote the questions for the Jason “The Kid” Adams Interview, suggested that we interview Dune next. Once again, his questions were great and the interviewed happened. Thanks to Chad for coming up with the material and to Dune for taking his time out to do the interview and send the photos.
1) You and your teammate have influenced a skateboarding generation and defined skateboarding style. What was it like to have such an influential teammate?
Amazing. Jason is quite possibly the funniest man in the universe who also happens to be one of the most naturally gifted skateboarders I've seen.
Editor’s note: Chris first answered the question in regards to Jason Lee, but then followed up with an answer about Billy Waldman.
What was it like to skate with...Billy Waldman?
Another natural, crazy cat who had Tony Hawk-like ability until he found weed. It was all downhill from there. Come back, Billy!!
2) So I see you are an incredible artist. I would imagine you are an avid art collector as well. Can you tell us the most prized piece of art in your collection?
I have some priceless Gonz artwork, one of which is a painting of the Watts Towers done on a Blind deck. Another is a landscape collage done on a paper bag. They are for sure my favorites.
3) Speaking of art, here is a lost art...reading books. Have you read any good books lately? Oh yeah? Prove it. Tell us three good books you have recently read and what they are about.
Hmmm...I read Rat Pack Confidential about Sinatra and those dudes. Good read - those guys were party champions, pre-rock-star rock-stars. I read some Tao books here and there – relaxes me and puts me to sleep after a long day of stressing over pushing wooden planks. Book three... you’re pushing it here...TV guide.
4) Which do you drink more of, eggnog or malt liquor?
Neither, both are equally vomitous.
5) Well all right Mr. Chris Pastras, you seem to be a man of extreme style...a "smooth operator" if you will. If there is a song out there that could be your theme song, what would that song be?
The theme song to Shaft, by Issac Hayes.
6) What is the strangest, weirdest, craziest thing you have used a skateboard for other than to skate on?
A pillow. I rode for Shut in the late 80's, which later became Zoo York. Shut tours were hardcore. You might wind up using your board as a pillow and a weapon all in the same night.
7) You have designed hats, shoes, shirts, jeans, etc. So it goes without saying you know the skateboarding fashion industry. In your opinion, can you tell us the top five worst skateboarding fashion items you have witnessed over the years?
1 - The Fanny Pack - Although very useful, this hideous "front butt" appendage should be avoided like the plague.
2 - Long Blond 80's Hair - All those San Diego 80's vert pros just looked like fags, and come on guys, no little kid wants to be know as the one gay skater in his neighborhood.
3 - Anything made by Vision Street Wear - God damn they made some goofy $h!t. Tie-dyed fanny packs and weird, skull-print pink shorts, and guess who liked them...that's right, the long-blond-haired 80's vert dudes. Need I say more?
4 - The D3 - The Osiris guys are my homies, but I just can't let this one slip by...sorry Reid. Let's just blame it on Dave Mayhew. Isn't he in Wisconsin working as an investment banker and listening to Dave Mathews Band or something? I got my job there by telling them I really didn't like their shoes and they needed help. I think it worked out okay. The team got better and now the shoes look good now, too. You guys owe me a job for life (just kidding, kinda’)!
5 - Early 90's Huge Pants - Damn, this is a huge fashion ‘no’. They were cut off at the bottom so you couldn't see peoples’ feet and they just sort of looked like giant logs.
8) In the late 80’s and early 90’s, skateboarders could be described as thugs and scum and punks and freaks. Now we are media darlings. Can you explain how this may have happened?
Tony Hawk, X-Games, and MTV.
9) Japan Air?
Hell yeah...the first air I ever learned. Early grab on a quarter-pipe all day long.
10) Can you explain what it was like to have to shut down such an incredible company like Stereo Skateboards, and then be able to start it back up, seemingly never missing a beat?
It's been unreal, good times all over again. I never stopped skating so I wasn't completely clueless during the lull; I knew what was going on. Plus I never really let Stereo fully go. It was like the girlfriend that dumped you, but you didn't take her picture off your dresser. You just kinda’ pretended you guys were still going out. I knew I couldn't let Stereo die, but I didn't know the team would be this good, and it's amazing to have J.Lee back in the mix. Great stuff.
And please explain the difference in managing a team and owning one.
There's about five times the stress in owning one. When you're just a TM and there is a problem with the company going on and it's not in your department or whatever, you can shrug it off and get some sleep. But if you’re the owner and a t-shirt comes in and it's misprinted or something, you're literally adding the cost of the shirts up in your head, on the verge of a nervous breakdown half the time. People think, "I don't want to work that hard. I know what I'll do – I'll start my own company!" Good fXXking luck, Buddy. And if you want my advice, don't start a skate company to make any money, make furniture or something. Construction workers probably make more than the average board company owner.
11) Last question. Can you give us your opinion on this move right here? We call it the Ben Tragethon. My boy Ben will make plans to meet up with us at a party at let’s say 11 o'clock. So when we show up, low and behold, he is already there and has been there since 10. That gave him an hour of free reign over all the honeys. Is that cool to do to you friends? It's like inviting us to a fine restaurant and then all we get to eat are the leftovers. What’s the deal?
He's actually doing you a huge favor. If any girl is dumb enough to fall for the lines your desperate buddy is spitting out of his blow hole, she's a loser anyway.
12) Any last words?
Paper or plastic?
Who are you going to thank?
The Stereo Sound Agency, the agents - Wes, Dan, and Sam, thanks for making it happen. And oh yeah, Roland, our very own Minister of Cocktails, shaken not stirred.