At this point, what are we going to tell you about Jerry Hsu that you haven't already heard from us a million times already? That he's an amazing skater who just one day decided to start snapping photos and turned out to be amazing at that? Yeah, used that chestnut once or twice. That he's from San Jose, yet is neither a meth-addict nor a dickhead? Yep. OK, how about the fact that in a recent survey, three of our straight male friends claimed that while they wouldn't actively try to see his boner, they'd still be psyched if they somehow had the chance? There's some freshness.
Where are you right now, on some skating trip?
Yeah, I'm in Portland on an Enjoi trip. They told me there weren't going to be any skating demos, that it was going to be this cool bro-filming trip. But then there were two surprise demos.
Since not everybody reading this is a pro skater, could you explain what a surprise demo is?
It's when you're on tour and the distributors or whoever is organizing everything will suggest that you stop at a skate park. So you basically make an "unscheduled" surprise stop that they actually organized but didn't tell you about. You show up and there's already kids there with pictures of you and suddenly you realize what's going on. It's really torturous because if you don't skate then everyone gets super-bummed and you look like a total jerk.
Next time you come to New York I'm going to surprise demo you.
That'll be awesome. A surprise Blades demo. We'll be walking down Broadway and you'll be like, "Hey, let's go in here for a second..."
Let's talk about your pictures in the Photo Issue. Who's that kid on the roller skates?
He's my friend's son Avalon. He's eight. I like taking pictures of him because he's always doing something really funny. And it's not for the camera—he just likes doing funny shit all the time.
Didn't you tell me he dresses in women's clothing sometimes?
Yeah, but he gets that it's a joke and a funny thing. I don't think he's going to turn out gay or anything. He's just really, really precocious. It's pretty awesome.
What's up with the one where the guy's getting bitten?
That's Caswell. When he gets really drunk he always ends up in one of three states. He's either really, really depressed and dark or he's just kind of a normal, "Hey man, come here," type of drunk. But then the third kind of drunk is this crazy-excited, really self-destructive-type drunk, where he'll put cigarettes out on his arm or make people punch him. That night he told our friend Christy to bite him super hard, and I just took a picture right as that happened.
Isn't pulling away just making it worse?
Yeah. I actually thought I'd missed it—thought I'd shot it too late. But when I got the picture back it was actually the absolute perfect moment—the decisive moment, as some would say. Wait, don't put that in there, the decisive-moment crap.
It's like a Henri Cartier-Bresson thing. I don't want to sound douchey.
OK, OK, not douchey. What are your feelings about having ex-girlfriends in pictures?
It's one of those things where they just kind of use it as a weapon against you. Like if they're mad at you, they bring it up and make you feel bad, and then they claim that the pictures are theirs and they have a right to keep them or tell you what to do with them. It's a touchy thing. If it's a tasteful shot it's usually OK, but I think girls just like to have something they can put over your head or something. This isn't coming out so well.
I always figured they like to have their cake and eat it too. Like they want to have their picture in a magazine, but they like to hold it over you too. If you threaten to pull it, they'll be like, "Oh, it can go in there." They want it in, but they also want to be mad at you about it.
My ex-girlfriend always goes totally insane when I print a photo of her without telling her. Even when it's a normal picture or something, like a normal portrait. At one point I got so sick of it I was just like, "Well, how about I give you all the negatives and the prints and everything on my hard drive?" And she was like, "No, just do whatever you want," all in a hostile way. So that basically told me that she wants me to continue what I'm doing. She had the opportunity to have all that stuff, but she refused to take it. Dude, this interview sucks.
Sorry, I suck at interviews.
It's not your fault. I just woke up and took this weird depression and anxiety medication I'm on that makes me drowsy.
What's it called?
Well, I'll just type up this interview and if it's not that awesome I'll call you again.
INTERVIEW BY PATRICK O'DELL