Updated: June 21, 2010, 11:59 AM ET

Louder Than Bombs

The Jon Goemann Interview

Nieratko By Chris Nieratko
ESPN Action Sports
Archive

I've been singing the praises of Jon Goemann for years now, ever since he rolled through New Jersey a few years back to do a demo at the Sayreville Skatepark with the Birdhouse team. There was something so nonchalant and demure about his skating that it begged for all eyes to fixate on it. There was Steve Nesser zipping through the park top speed pulling maneuvers that had never been pulled in that park before and then there was mellow, reserved Jon. He was floating around like he was asleep at the wheel, a complete contrast of styles.

I'm glad that Jon has finally gone pro. I'm glad his Slave part was sick and more people get to see how smooth he is. I just wish his turning pro would've come with a bit more fanfare, so everyone else would know just how good he is.

J-honGoemann hops up on a tall tailslide in one of those epic SoCal schoolyards where banks stretch out for days.

What park were you just skating?
Just Black Box Park. It's pretty close to where I live and there's not that many people there and it was kind of raining today.

You have a key to the place?
Yeah.

Do you ever go in there and raid the warehouse like in those old World Industries stories?
No, not really. I don't really grab too much stuff, just a few boards when I need them.

You're not bringing all your friends and loading up carloads of product?
No, not running it like that but that'd be pretty cool though.

I'm sure Jaime Thomas would be stoked.
Yeah, for sure.

How had your life changed since going pro?
To tell you the truth, it hasn't really. I've just been doing the same stuff. I had a rolled ankle for a good month and a half. I'm just starting to skate around from that. Aside from that it's just the same.

Are you a millionaire?
No, I'm not a millionaire.

How does it feel to go pro during the absolute worst economy in a long time?
I guess it's better than not doing it at all. It's good. I'm stoked.

Are you selling boards?
I don't know actually, to tell you the truth. I haven't checked that stuff.

Are you going to have any graphics with Morrissey on it?
No, I don't think so.

You're in love with Morrissey though, aren't you?
Yeah, I'm a fan. I think he's pretty rad.

J-honThe man of the hour.

Dave Carnie told me Morrissey has this super power that compels you to hug him and tell him, "I love you."
I've never been that close to him. I've seen him at a show pretty close but that was about it.

Did you want to hug him?
Yeah, I'd probably give him a hug. I've got to try and get some of those super powers.

Are you not getting your quota of hugs filled?
I think my quota of hugs does ok.

How many hugs did you have today, Jon?
I don't think I've had a hug yet today so maybe I didn't get the quota filled. I guess you don't need too many hugs.

No, hugs are pretty cool, man.
Yeah, they're ok. If they're from the right person. Hugs from the wrong person, that can get weird.

Now that you're pro, do you feel more pro-y?
No, not really. I had a hurt ankle so it's actually been the opposite. I felt worse.

But now you're on the same team as Eric Koston?
I am?

Yeah, you know...the "pro team."
Yeah, I guess so, if you're going to put it like that. I guess I am.

The Slave video came out and kids are stoked.
Yeah, that's good to hear. I kinda wish I could've made my part a little better but I thought the video looked cool and I thought Ben [Horton] did cool stuff with it and I'm just kind of glad it's over with.

Why? Did they yell at you a lot?
No, Ben's mellow. He doesn't care, you just do whatever. You just put more pressure on yourself while you're filming, more than they would.

But your part was one of the parts the kids, at least in my shops, were really stoked on. Do you feel like you turned in a lackluster performance?
I'm stoked on that. I just wish I could've had a few more flip tricks in there and maybe some better stuff than what was in there. I guess you always probably feel like that.

Do you not watch your part anymore?
I've seen it a couple times but I wouldn't be trying to watch my own part. It's just kind of weird.

Really? You're not one of those dudes?
No. That's just a little strange, I think.

You don't undress and sit in your room of mirrors and watch your video part?
No, definitely not. I don't have photos of myself on my wall or any of that.

Can you name any pros that you think would do that?
No, none of the ones I know seem that way but I'm sure there are some.

I think my quota of hugs does ok.

--Jon Goemann

I can think of a few. You had an interview on Slap without any questions.
Yeah, that was really cool. Those are the best interviews.

Why? Don't you have anything to say?
No, not too much. I normally try and avoid the interviews.

In that interview Dylan Rieder said you hate Slash.
Did he? I don't hate Slash. I went skating with him the other day. No, we're alright.

Is Dylan Rieder the hottest dude you know?
Yeah, I'll put him up there, yeah.

Have you ever seen Dylan from behind and gotten kinda...stoked? Then he turned around and you were like, "Oh. Dylan...hey."
No, definitely not.

I have. I saw him in a bar in Australia and...
When he had longer hair?

Yup. Handsome fellow. How did your departure form Birdhouse go down?
It wasn't too bad. I was kind of over it for a little while. I didn't really hang out with too many people on the team and I wasn't too hyped on it and I think they might have seen it coming. Me, Matt Mumford, Jon Allie, Ben Horton and Jamie Thomas were meeting up at Allie's house a few times about getting it started and who we'd want to get on the team. Once we got all that sorted it just seemed like the right thing to do. I just called the team manager and told him I was quitting and we were starting a new thing out of Black Box.

You didn't have to tell Tony Hawk?
No, I didn't get any calls from Tony. In the three or four years I rode for them I only saw Tony a handful of times. We went on a tour of Canada and he flew in and cruised with us in this big RV bus. And once or twice when we had video meetings about trying to do that last Birdhouse video. I skated his house once. He has a park there; it's pretty fun.

J-honGoeman takes advantage of some renegade 'crete to get up on this 5-0 to fakie.

Did you steal anything form Tony Hawk's house?
Nah, I wasn't trying to do that. It would be a good story though.

I bet Tony Hawk's underwear fetches some good money on eBay these days.
Yeah, for sure.

Did he give you his video games as Christmas gifts?
No, I don't think I ever got anything for Christmas while I was on the company.

What does Jamie Thomas give you for Christmas? Little skull rings?
No. Actually Ben Horton, for Christmas the year before got us all little pocketknives with each of our names engraved on them and this year we all got camping flasks.

Is Ben trying to make it so yous guys get drunk and stab each other?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's his objective. It'll make things very interesting on the next couple of trips.

Who came up with the name, Slave?
Ben did. He's the one that owns the company.

Is Ben pro-slavery?
No, he isn't. He just wanted a name that was kinda different and a little shocking, more so than just a random name.

Are you a slave to anything?
I hope not. I try not to be.

You were way into the poker for a while, have you played lately?
Not too much poker lately. I've been playing a little bit of pool here and there. Nobody ever wants to play poker these days. A few of my buddies in Vista have this house game going that I go play in now and again. It's mellow; it's only like $5 or $10 buy in. It's not too serious.

I read you once had a 24-hour session playing poker.
I've had some long sessions. I don't know if I've had a 24-hours one but I've definitely had a few that were longer than 10 hours.

What starts happening to your body after 10 hours?
It starts sucking. You probably shouldn't do it. Being bored and awake you're like, "I'll just play a little more. Why not?" Before long you're like, "What the hell am I doing?"

It just seems like after a while you wouldn't be making good decisions.
No, you definitely don't as the time goes on. It's just something to do when you're having trouble sleeping. I'd get bored and roll out to the casino solo. Because when you roll out with people whenever they want to leave and you want to stay or vice versa it's a hassle.

Did you go on that Vans Croatia trip?
Yeah, that trip was pretty fun. That was actually where I ended up hurting my ankle, half way through that trip. I was trying to skate this rail and it was a little wobbly and I jumped off and landed with my front foot sideways and folded it. Croatia was pretty awesome though. There was some cool new stuff I hadn't seen in mags before.

After this foot heals what have you got next?
I just try and keep it going and film. I know that Analog is trying to do a video. So I'll be shooting photos and working on that.



Jon Goemann's skateboarding is supported by Slave Skateboards, Analog clothing, Vans shoes, Spitfire wheels and he rides old wide sets of the Independent Stage 9 trucks.

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