Pretty Sweet Friday - An Interview with Sean Malto

By Chris Grosso

As you’ve probably heard, it has been a rough week here on the East Coast. Hurricane Sandy crippled much of the Northeast, and its effects trickled all the way down to Pretty Sweet Tuesdays, forcing us to hijack a Friday. So today, for the first and last Pretty Sweet Friday, we have an interview with Sean Malto. Mr. Malto has two of the fanciest feet in skateboarding, and we’re champing at the bit to see what kind of stuff he’s got in Girl and Chocolate's new video, Pretty Sweet. We couldn’t wait until it comes out in a couple of weeks, so we called him up and asked him some questions about the state of skate videos, making out with Australian chicks, and his first video part for one of his major sponsors. Sean seems to take life in stride, which is probably a pretty easy thing to do when you ride for one of the greatest skateboard companies in the history of the entire world.

VICE: Sean, we are going to take this interview to a new, futuristic level by embedding a song for people to listen to while reading. What song do you want?
Sean: Hmm, I’m not good at songs.

OK, how about “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers? It’s an instrumental.
Perfect, sounds great.

Good. Now that Betts and Dudek have the ambience set, when did you officially stop filming for Pretty Sweet?
October 15.  I think it was a Monday.

And that’s official? There’s no one out there gunning for it, trying to sneak things in at the last second?
Oh no, I’m done. That’s it for me. But that’s what I was told—I was told the deadline was October 15, and so when that date came I was like, “all right, the deadline’s over.” But then I kept seeing Instagrams of people skating and I was like, “wait, what’s going on here?”

Did you have stuff that you wanted to try but didn’t get?
Not really. I had a couple things in mind that I wanted to do, and I did them, so then I was like, “all right, well, yeah.”

Is this your first video for Girl?
Yeah. I’ve done a Transworld video, but that’s it. This is kind of like my second big video, and my first really big video.

So many skaters these days are filming parts and just putting them up on the internet. When you see guys doing that while you’re having to save all of your footage for one big video, does that kind of drive you crazy?
Not really. I’ve had internet parts before too, and I’ve seen the internet parts that have come out—like David Gonzales’ part, which is amazing. But we have a lot of good people behind this video and they are going to give it its own feel. Ty Evans is going to do a good job of making it fun but awesome.

Yeah, there’s something really great about a whole team putting their collective effort into one big video instead of people just releasing individual parts online.
Yeah, as a team we got to work on something and we’re coming out with a product that we’re proud of, that we’ve been working hard on for the last few years, and I think that’s going to show.

Are you going to have all your friends and family from Kansas City come out to watch the premiere?
You know, I wish I could have everybody but not everyone can make it.

Do you have a touring schedule for the premiere?
I do. I’m doing LA on the 16th, Kansas City on the 17th, and then I fly to Australia on the 18th  and will be there the whole week after that.

The last time you were in Australia you made out with some dude’s sister, right?
Yeah… I don’t know. There were people in the van, people around, and there was some blonde chick outside. They were like, “Just go up to her and make out with her. See if you can catch a make out before you leave.” And I just thought, whatever, that’s stupid, but if I get turned down it will still be funny. But it just so happened that she was down. You could kind of tell… she was waiting, just sitting there outside the tour bus.

Those random hijinks are my favorite parts of videos. Are you in any of the skits for this one? Can you talk or hint about them?
Yeah, I mean, I wasn’t a part of all of them, but I was involved in some. We actually did a whole week of skits and I almost broke my ankle during one of them. I don’t know how much I can talk about though… I don’t want to get in trouble.

Are you in a full-on Spike Jonze fire or anything?
We did light a tree on fire, but that was a total accident.

Did Rick have anything to do with that?
No, it was actually my roommate, funny enough. My roommate came out to California just to help out, and so they had him drive this van around with all these weird props in the back. Then they had him light this firework in the background that ended up catching a tree on fire and everyone ran away. My roommate has only been to California a few times and doesn’t really know his way around, so it was funny to see him trying to drive away from a burning tree with this big-ass van.

Who do you think is going to be the sleeper hit of the video?
The blockbuster part?

Yeah. Maybe there is someone who people haven’t really been paying attention to who’s just going to blow everyone away?
There’s going to be a lot of good parts. People know how good Guy Mariano is, the part he filmed for this video is just fucking ridiculous. I think he’s going to blow some people’s minds. I think Stevie Perez is going to surprise people. He’s a newer kid and I don’t know if people know about him as much as we do. I’ve been around him the last year and a half, and man, on trips, the stuff that I’ve seen him do… He’s insane. He’s gnarly.

What about people like Mike and Rick? Have you been filming with them at all?
It’s funny, I think Mike Carroll was just casually talking and said something like, “Who wants to see me do another back lip?” And I was like, “I think everybody wants to see you do another back lip.”

That is very true. OK—top five Girl and Chocolate parts off the top of your head, right now.
I would say Koston in Yeah Right!, and then, let me see… Guy Mariano—

I didn’t let Sam put that in there. It’s like saying the Gonz is your favorite skater. I can’t allow it.
OK, what was the best Carroll part? I should be doing better on my history right now.

I’ll let you go outside of Girl and Chocolate just ‘cause you’re young.
All right:

1.) Eric Koston in Yeah Right!

2.) Mike Caroll in Modus Operandi.

3.) Guy Mariano in Video Days.

4.) Brandon Biebel in Yeah Right!

5.) Marc Johnson in Fully Flared.

Last question: I think people want to know what their favorite pro skater looks for in a video part. For example, why did you pick Biebel’s part in Yeah Right!? Do you look for a mix of things, or is it just a feeling you get?
For me it’s just people who make tricks look good. The people I listed, they do really hard tricks—and that’s a big part of skating—but they just make it look so good in the process. I think I just like the style of the skater. You can make a simple trick look awesome—like Mike Carroll doing a back lip on flat ground. Sometimes I’d rather see that than something super technical. I also like well-rounded parts. Like Koston’s part in Yeah Right!—he has the wedge line, manual tricks, rail tricks… he kind of does it all. I like seeing variety. Rick McCrank is really good at that type of stuff too, and that’s why he’s been one of my favorite skaters for a long time.

Previously - Sam Smyth Had an Oops Poops

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