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Saturday, January 3, 2009
Johnny on The Spot: The Johnny Layton Interview

By Mike Sinclair
ESPN

Johnny puts some muscle behind a serious wallride to frontside five-0.
Johnny Layton used to be a spazz. He had the kind of temper that would manifest in expletive tirades and focused boards. But it seems like that rage, though volatile, fueled powerful skating: We're talking about the guy that switch 360 flipped the Carlsbad gap here!
Interestingly though, Johnny seems to have tamed the beast in recent years. The laid back guy you meet today is hardly recognizable as the once fiery young man of yesterday. Maybe it's the wisdom of age. Maybe it's a new herbal-infused diet. Maybe it's the mellow satisfaction of achieving nearly every goal you set out for yourself. Whatever the case, the mellow version of Johnny Layton is taking things in stride. And if you thought for a moment that mellowness would carry over to the way Johnny approaches skateboarding now? Think again. Johnny's friend, Mike Sinclair sat him down for a quick word to get the latest.


When was the last time you freaked out?
When I realized I had to go to the dentist.

How many times have you punched out the tour van's window?
Uh, that was a one time thing. Ha ha.

How many tries did it take you to switch tre flip Carlsbad?
Not sure. under 10 tries?

If Billy Marks had to get a real job what could you see him doing and pulling it off?
Pro Ping Pong Wizard. Billy would be the sh*t!

Layton takes a new line through the park with a crailslide from the quarter out to the street course.
What type of music are you into?
I go through phases of listening to different stuff. Bob Dylan, Scientist, Black Sabbath. That's a good shuffle right there.

What type of grabs can you not do?
Airwalks

Why did you quit Role Model skateboards for Toy Machine?
I've always been super psyched on Ed and Toy Machine. So when I saw a chance to get my foot in the door I went for it. I was skating a lot with Billy so I figured why not? It sucked having to quit Role Model because I was pretty close with Neil Heddings and he was the first person to really hook me up and get me goin'. I'm happy everything has worked out the way it has, though.

If you still rode for Role Model, what would be one good thing you could think of?
I'd probably be skating some backyard pools with Neil; that'd be rad.

Did you ever try out a pair of Billy's Webb Trucks back in the day?
No way!

Did he ever try to sell a pair to you?
I don't think he ever tried to sell me trucks. But I can remember showing up at the Corona Park and he had just gotten kicked off the Firm and was getting Bootleg boards from Reynolds. Then out of nowhere he got on Toy Machine.

Were you on PTS with Billy?
Nope.

A shifty flip like this one takes undeniable skill.
How much input did you have on designing your pro shoe?
Quite a bit. It came out exactly how I wanted.

What's the best place you ever traveled to for skating?
Australia is bitchin'. But the US is a beautiful place.

Have you heard Jereme Rogers hip hop album yet?
I just checked the link you sent me.

Do you feel that it's radio gold?
Of course.

Would it be safe to say that you might start a reggae band in the near future?
F**k yeah.

Would you hire Billy to manage your Reggae's bands money?
Only if we wanted to go broke.

Tell me something that nobody knows about yourself.
I'm obsessed with Mary Louise Parker.

That old lady from Grey's Anatomy?
No, the mom on WEEDS!

Why?
A sexy, drug dealing mommy? YES!

Last Words?
R.I.P. Van, Shane and Fern. Skate on, wherever you are