EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mark Frolich
Like every skater I am also one of those who throws his eyes on skateboarding scene all over the world. Let it be American scene, underrated Japan and China scene, skaters from Canada and Australia or European. There is plenty of spots to skate and so many skaters you cant even get close to counting them so it makes it even harder to point a finger at only one person that is pure “wow” to you. And if I just think a bit, I know Jart’s pro Mark Frolich is easily one of those who made my eyes open wider seeing any of his photos or videoedits. Dude kills it and I am not only honored I got this shit done, but flattered we became friends practicly overnight.
Enjoy reading an exclusive interview for Pendrek Magazin!
FOGY: I have to start at the start. As a German skater what made you move around and end up in Barcelona?
MARK: When I finished school I toured around a little bit and then decided to spend the winter in Barcelona. That was in december 2006 and I guess one thing led to another and I decided to stay for longer and until now I didn’t decide to move out of here again, haha. It has been almost 10 years now. I guess in the end Barcelona is like a drug, man…
FOGY: So would you say Barcelona is better than anything else for a skateboarder with a carreer?
MARK: Well I think (in Europe) it sure is a good place to be if you wanna push your skateboarding, but for sure there are other places as well that can work out for you and your skating. I guess what matters the most is your mindset and having a good gang together where one motivates the other. That really helps. Look at all those Scandinavian guys – they bring out good stuff all the time, good footage, good vibes and over there it is definitely not perfect for skating (mostly because of the weather), but they find their ways. Apparently good gang matters a lot in skating, I’d say.
FOGY: Jart Skateboards is European brand and you are a big part of it. Can you tell us something about it, maybe some randomly interesting thing not everybody knows?
MARK: Lets just say our new video is (from what I have seen musicwise) an upgrade for sure. I am really happy about that. It’s hard for brands with the rights and all that, so I am super stoked that this time we will have some decent tunes in there.
FOGY: Did your life change a lot since you turned pro?
MARK: I am in the lucky position that I can pay my life through skateboarding and I am very grateful for that, besides that I don’t think that much has changed. I have always been very passionate and determinited with my skating, so that has been like this before also. I guess once you realize that some kids might actually look up to you, you pay attention to that at one point and maybe you become more aware of your position that you might be some sort of a role model for someone, so I guess I try to fuck up less times than before, haha.
FOGY: I’d say you are doing it right and so is Jart Skateboards that just started using new glue technology called 2XS. Can you compare it to other technologies?
MARK: The new glue technology is definitely a good upgrade to what their boards were produced with before. They are more durable and have a lot more snap. I think a lot of brands have been experimenting with that lately and I guess some do it good and some not that much. I am pretty stoked Jart developed their 2XS technology. I normally break boards quite a lot, so I guess they are happy too, haha.
FOGY: I need to return to the past and touch the eS footwear thing. You became a part of it and not a lot later they published the news they are about to stop working… How did you deal with that news?
MARK: That really sucked, man. I am very thankful for the support those guys gave me and it would have been greater if what we had could have lasted longer… but nowadays it’s fucking hard for shoe companies. I was surprised eS was suffering so bad, but in general it’s just the right time now where a lot of changes are happening in the business, so I guess if you decide to ride for a real shoe brand you have to be aware that this can go down any minute. I don’t wanna be or sound disrespectful, but it’s just that the sport-shoe-company-competitions have different limits and power, so they obviously take a huge part of it…
FOGY: Last videopart you had was your previously seen material, if I am not wrong, and it was re-edited together to thank Lemmy Kilmister and what a lot of people don’t know, Lemmy sadly passed away only a few days after your video titled Stand got published.
MARK: You are almost right about that, but actually all the footage was new and most of the part was filmed within one month with my friend “Burgi” (Johannes Burgstaller), who is also a big Motorhead. Lemmy passed away 4 days after his birthday. Doctors found a really aggressive cancer in his system and within 2 days he passed away. I am very happy we did this part for him eventhough he might not have had the chance to see it, but this way or another we did it for him – to thank him for all these years of keeping rock and roll alive and it has been a great motivation for us which will always stick with us. I went to see Motorhead to one of their last concerts last year in Duesseldorf in Germany in November 2015. It was a great show and they all gave their best of out it. You could see Lemmy had such a hard time doing it. He was already in pretty bad shape physically. It was sad in one way to see him suffering like that, but on the other hand so inspirational to see him not bending not even one inch. He said he wanted to be touring until he turns 70 minumum and that’s just what he did. He reached his goal! I have so much respect for the guy and after that concert I guess I just wanted to give something back and celebrate his birthday…
FOGY: Hands down, buddy… Tell us how come you made a move from your long time clothing sponsor Ezekiel to Forvert?
MARK: Fuck… that was not easy for me to leave Ezekiel, because those guys have been treating me very well and we were always getting along really well. The thing is that Ezekiel kind of distanced itself from the skate scene with the years passing by and focusing a bit more into other directions as well. It became harder and harder for Ezekiel to find budget and support the team. As we could see the crisis hit a lot of brands super strong. Some had to close their brands, some had to shut down the team. Some made it through and found a way to keep everything running. I am happy Ezekiel maintained to survive and I wish them best of luck in the future. I knew at one point I had to look for something I could grow with that gives me opportunities to progress and that’s when Forvert came into play. Eventhough it was fucking hard to say bye to Ezekiel, they understood my move and wished me best of luck. I am not only riding for Forvert, but I am also doing the team manager jobs for them and we are setting up a nice little team right now and we have a lot in the making for the close future. I am stoked being able to have some influence on the brand and our projects and can’t wait for the next trip with the team.
FOGY: So new Jart video is about to premiere this Monday, 14th March. Do you feel any pressure? Who’s part is gonna rock the most in your opinion?
MARK: Filming a videopart is always a pressure in a way, but it’s not my first one, so I guess meanwhile I know how to handle those things better than before eventhough sometimes you still loose your mind while working on it, but I tried to keep this one very natural. I tried to skate good on tours, tried to come up with some fresh stuff while being at home and trying to enjoy working on it. It has been tricky sometimes to put it all under one roof since there has been a lot of projects lately, but I guess it’s always better to stay busy than to be bored. And I like to live fast anyways. “Live fast, die old”. Yes Lemmy – sure I will try, haha.
Oh, best part? That’s always hard to say and I don’t really know exactly what everybody got, but I know Adrien Bulard’s part is gonna be nuts…
FOGY: I would love to see what he put together and I am looking forward to see Sergio Munoz’s part and yours too. And I wouldn’t even mind seeing you guys again sometime in there nearest future. What are your plans anyways after video drops?
MARK: We will go to Mexico with Jart 2 days after the premiere, so that’s the next thing happening. Besides that we want to bring out a full-team video with Forvert, so that’s gonna be a mission as well I guess. And in general… yeah, keep on keeping on, man. Mosh, move around… and quit bitching, haha.
FOGY: Slovenia maybe? Do you know anyone here, any spots, videos or whatever in here?
MARK: I know you, haha. That would be my Slovenian connection I guess. I have seen some clips and photos of Slovenia. People keep telling me that it’s pretty nice there in the summer. I would like to check it out some day.
FOGY: So for now you can say hello to Slovenian readers of our webzine and maybe you can give them some advice. Some wise words.
MARK: One big thank you for this interview! I wanna thank all my sponsors for their support: Jart Skateboards, Forvert, Plan-B skateshop, Lousy Living and as well to Urban distribution and Mosaic-dist for their help .
I wanna give shout outs to my family and all my friends!
Wise words? Enjoy what you are doing. Be grateful for what you got and try to give something back.
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