ON THE ROAD WITH RED BULL
Our Interview With Jamie Foy
When you gotta go, you gotta go. Photo: Joey Shigeo
WORDS: Stu Gomez
When Jamie Foy burst onto the scene a few years ago, he quickly established himself as a guy who's down to do whatever it takes. Jamie handled business and moved up to the pro ranks quickly, appearing in a stunning number of videos in a short period. In the midst of all that filming, there were countless days spent in a van… assuring his vanmates that he "can hold it" until they stop.
This week, Jamie temporarily trades in that ubiquitous white utility van for a fully stocked recreational vehicle as the Red Bull Drop In Tour hit the road in Atlanta, Georgia. And homie doesn't even need to tax his bladder; the RV's glitzy bathroom is open for business 24/7. Currently in Dallas, Texas, Jamie is sharing the Red Bull RV with twelve of his teammates. Later this afternoon, Jamie and co. will be doing the demo thing at Action Park Alliance's Grand Prairie skatepark. We interviewed him this morning about the trip, hanging out with fans, and how the Pinch God is enjoying the luxury of a mobile bathroom.
What has been your itinerary for the Red Bull Drop In Tour so far?
It's kind of like a demo tour, just stopping in a few different cities and doing demos from the East Coast towards the West Coast. We flew from Los Angeles to Atlanta—we started off at the Kennesaw park—and from there we drove in the big Red Bull RV straight from Atlanta to Louisiana. Then the next day we did a demo at the Parisite DIY park [in New Orleans], which was sick as hell! It was my first time being there and I was surprised at how big and well-made it was: being under the bridge and seeing a full DIY spot was sick!
From there, we headed to Dallas, which is where I'm at right now. Yesterday, we had a free day so we went street skating and got some clips—it was tight. We're doing another demo today, and then from here we go to Phoenix, and then a demo in Albuquerque, and then we're headed back to LA.
So, you've all been skating every day since you arrived in Atlanta?
Yeah, it's kinda been a demo-every-day type of thing, but it's fun because the crew that we're with is chillin'. It's not hard to do at all. We're pretty much just going out there and having fun together. It's tight!
Judging by the footage of your Kennesaw demo, the energy seems to be really high on this trip. Do you think you'll able to keep up this pace for ten days straight?
Honestly, yeah. I can, because at the Kennesaw demo, the kids were hyped. I felt like, personally, I didn't do a whole bunch of stuff but the kids were still stoked. To me, it just seemed like the kids were super stoked—not even to see the gnarliest things but to see us skate in person. Meet us, get to talk to us, get some signatures. I think eighty-percent of their hype is not from the skating but from us just being there. And being able to just spend some time with us. I think that's a big part of it: they get to see us skate and they get to hang out with us, which is the top of the scale for them. That's awesome.
And it's crazy because it's only been two years since I've been in the industry and I've only been pro for about a year. All these kids showing me a lot of love is amazing.
Has there been a notable interaction with a fan in Atlanta or New Orleans?
Yeah. In Atlanta there was this one little kid who was from Florida. I forget his name but his face was super familiar; I met him a while ago at a contest in Tampa. At the demo he was sitting there going, “Hey there's this kid right here who needs an autograph!” Or, “Do you need my board to sign some stuff on?” He was just being, like, the little helper. Then, at the end, he was like, “Hey man, I was just seeing if I could get a poster signed by all you guys.” He was helping us out while it was hectic, but then once it calmed down he was just like, “If I could just get this signed I would be so hyped!” I was like, “Of course!” and I got all the dudes signed it. He was super stoked. He was our little helping hand—it was awesome! [laughs]
When you're doing these demos, what's the proportion of time you guys spend skating versus hanging out with the fans?
I'd say it's pretty much 50-50. We kinda get caught up skating for a while because a lot of these places I've never been to before. I've been to Kennesaw Skatepark once before, but it's different with the energy of a demo, for sure: I was getting hyped and trying some harder tricks than I was last time when I was there. It's about 50-50 because we get caught up doing the tricks we want to do and doing tricks for the kids, then after that we sit down for a while and all the kids are super stoked. They want to some autographs but they also just want to hang out and talk with us, which is cool. It's different from just getting our signatures and leaving. They'll hang out with us and talk about skating around their area, or other projects that we're working on. It's awesome to hear what they think and be able to get inside their heads. That's tight.
I could tell from the demo footage that you guys are all really approachable; I'm sure the fans feel really comfortable just coming up to you.
That's the main thing. Growing up, when I was going to demos, I was always that kid that was kinda like scared to go up to pros. I was always in the back, skating or watching when the pros were skating. So I definitely want to make it seem like I'm very approachable, because that's how I feel. I'm just a normal guy. I'm just out here skating, and all these kids are here to watch. It's crazy to me! 'Cause I was that person, just going to the demo, like, “The team's coming through!” I just want to sit down and have people be able to come up to me and not feel intimidated at all. I just want them to feel like I'm just a normal skate homie.
And that's how it's been feeling. Sittin' down with Zion at Kennesaw and being able to talk to all the kids was just sick!
I bet it hasn't even fully sunk in that you're the one doing the demos now.
Exactly. All these kids always ask me, “How does it feel to do all this stuff?” And it's crazy because all this stuff has happened in, like, the last year-and-a-half. I mean, it's been super quick, and still feels crazy to me. It's a surreal feeling because all these kids are super hyped but, at the same time, I just feel like I'm still a kid out here skating with my homies. It's crazy… but it's awesome. [laughs]
Ever since you blew up, it seems like you've been on every one of your sponsors' tours. Are you a natural when it comes to road trips and traveling?
I'm pretty used to it. I have family in Pennsylvania, and I'm from Florida, so it was from the bottom of the U.S. All the way up the top. So, growing up, every winter we would drive from South Florida all the way up to Pennsylvania, which is like a 23-hour drive. I'm pretty much used to road trips, and I feel like my mom prepared me for all this: being in the car for hours, hanging out with homies, and not letting everything get to you. Sometimes you can be on the road and you're with a certain amount of people all the time, and it can get to you. But you just gotta put up with it and you'll always end up having fun!
That's why I love traveling: there's never really a dull moment. Sometimes you'll be like, What the hell is happening here?! And other times you'll just be laughing your ass off. It's just a bunch of good homies doing a bunch of crazy shit! But I'm used to it, thanks to my mom. [laughs]
Is this your first trip with Red Bull?
Yeah. I went to Detroit Hart Lines; I didn't do the contest, but Red Bull flew me, CJ [Collins], and Jagger [Eaton] out there just to go hang out and film some stuff around the city. So, that was like a little trip with the Red Bull dudes, but this is a bigger trip. We have the RV the whole time, driving from state to state, from the East Coast to the West Coast. It's the first real trip I've done with the Red Bull dudes, but it's been a lot of fun!
"I can just go whenever I want!"
How does life in the RV change the experience for you, compared to past road trips?
It's crazy, because usually we're just in a twelve-passenger van. Those utility vans are pretty fun, and they can be pretty spacious, but… it's cool to be on this trip with this giant RV that is like a giant eighteen-wheeler with a house connected to the back of it. It's been a lot of fun. There's comfy seats, you can lay down, walk around, grab a sandwich, grab a drink. The best, I think, is the bathroom. I'm good at holding it. When I have to go to the bathroom, I'm just like, “Yeah, I'll hold it.” But now it's sick—I can just go whenever I want!
That's one of those unspoken inconveniences of road trips. People try not to whine about it too much.
Yeah, exactly. A lot of it is, straight up, “You better use the bathroom before we leave. And if you don't, you better have a big enough bladder to hold it.” [laughs] That's usually how it goes.
You mentioned that some of these stops are places where you haven't really skated before. Are there any that you're looking forward to, spot-wise?
Yeah, right now where we're at—Dallas. I've been to a couple of places in Texas, but I've never been to Dallas. Yesterday, we had a free day and got to check out some cool-ass spots! We got some clips and had a lot of fun. Today, we have half a day and we're gonna go check out some more spots if the weather holds up. I'm stoked to be in Dallas because every time I come to Texas—I've been to Austin and Houston—there's just great spots. And Dallas is no exception.
You're definitely a beast, doing this for ten days straight.
Thanks, it's a cool life! I wanna say, Thank you Red Bull. I'm having a great time! I just love trips and all the homies are having a great time! [laughs]
"Damn, that WAS a big one!" Jamie and Joey Brezinski between bathroom breaks.