Seasons Skateshop's 'Naima' Video Premiere and Interview
There are few things that express the love of skateboarding and love of your scene more than a shop video. Motivating a crew to go out during/after a 40 hour work week to try and skate their hardest in front of an antiquated film camera is no easy feat. Especially in 2020, where they can just as easily stay at the skatepark and record themselves on their iPhone for instant validation. But the importance of the full length shop video is undeniable. They serve as maps of spots a city has to offer, proving grounds for up-and-coming skaters & local legends, and for a skate shop with a decade of gripping boards & videos under their belts, it’s a time capsule of memories and friendships. We sat down with Seasons owners Trev & CB, and local filmer Eamonn McBride to talk to them about their 10 Year Anniversary and the no-name video they made to celebrate it.
Whaddup y'all? First and foremost, Congrats on 10 Years! A decade is a solid milestone for anything but especially for Brick-and-Mortar retail. How does it have you guys feeling?
CB: Some days old as dirt, some days run down, and some days haterproof.
TREV: Feeling a little old. But that's fine.
I like that, "some days haterproof" – those are the days when you are feeling good?
CB: It's like cruise control, everything is just flowing and working well, you're in a mindset that you can't be stopped, and can't do any wrong. Issa vibe for sure.
TREV: Feels good. In my head for some reason I always thought about having the shop for ten years. Now it's like, "Oh shit, what's next? 20?" Hard to imagine, but also hard to imagine disassembling this whole operation; So who knows.
Kaz - Boadslide
Yeah you guys definitely have a cool thing going on over there - take us back to the beginning, how did Seasons come about?
TREV: We had a growing scene here long before the shop.
Prior to 2003 it was small and tight. Then the indoor park The Shelter opened. Lots of visitors came to Albany. We helped design, build, and operate that place for a few years in the beginning. Skipping forward there was the B-Block / Curtis Rapp OIAM era. We lived in a big skate house - lots of visitors coming to skate and party. The house was always full. Curtis was kinda blowing up - had the Slap cover/interview. Armin (owner of Orchard Skateshop) was my roommate back then. He made the B-Block video.
Moving forward a few more years, it became clear the scene was meshing well with what the city had to offer for skating. B-Block, was just the default spot. Meet up, hang all day, skate flat – out-of-towners knew it was the first stop; if you lived in Albany and didn't live there, you might as well have. I remember realizing one day, "Oh shit, we need a shop. Duh". Started messing around and working on it right away to see how it worked and if it was possible. I grew up thinking no shop / no public park was normal. Then my dumb ass started paying attention on little trips and was like, "Damn, Albany has a lot of potential - it's good already, imagine if we brought it up to what it could be".
CB: We were running the Shelter, and just not really seeing eye to eye with the other half - there was a disconnect.
Evan, Dave, Sonny & Trev
Was it weird splitting from the Shelter to open a new shop?
TREV: We didn't split from The Shelter to open a shop; We split because it was fully fucked up over there. Then a bit later, we started thinking about a shop.
CB: They wanted it their way we wanted it the skateboard way. The Shelter hit hard times - too much money and overhead, arguing over getting boards on the wall, etc. We dipped and started working for the print shop, literally just cooking up the idea of doing a shop in the neighborhood like Trev mentioned. I knew I was going to do a shop no matter who or what was on board. I was selling Hopps boards out of my trunk for the time in between The Shelter and Seasons.
It's always difficult starting a skateshop - Opening accounts, paying bills, etc. You have always carried good brands and had great relationships with them. How do you go about choosing who to support?
TREV: You know how it is man, you don't choose who you support. Real recognize real. If there are real shops and real companies (with real people running/ working for those companies) they find each other quick.
CB: We had already had all the relationships and bridges built from The Shelter. They knew who we were, and what were about, and had our back as much as we had theirs.
TREV: Going back to the B-Block era - I met so many fucking people through Curt and Armin. They opened a million doors back then way before the shop. And Armin was the host with the most. I remember all these dudes who I knew about coming up and staying with us because Armin was the connect. Damon (Owner of Politic Skateboards and Library skateshop) moved in with us there. Nobody had even met him before the day he moved in. Skateboarding man.
Big Pete and Fred
I feel like you also have a strong influence on the youth in Albany, letting them know what's up; "I'll buy these clothes because this is who THE SHOP stocks and who they back." The whole city seems to come out for new shop gear drops, from skaters to bartenders. What's your relationship like with your customers?
CB: We know the entire city. We both work, hang, have lived and played here for over 2 decades. I still bartend 2 nights a week. Love seeing everyone just have a good time, in all avenues of life.
TREV: Yeah it's a city wide family here. Everyone has each other's back. It's so sick.
CB: The Shelter helped with the next wave of younger dudes. They were always at the park ripping or taking a Skate camp or hanging around. We got to know them from like 12 years old to watch them get married or fall down drunk at the bar, or have a kid. They're like all my kids/fucked up little family members.
Pat Mowatt - 50-50
Dang that's a real nice sentiment CB - you're like a father 50 times over. After B-Block days, Armin moving back to Boston, you've still been able to maintain / create a big network across the Northeast and even Eastern Canada. How do you guys approach out-of-towners coming around to check out your spots/ what the city has to offer?
TREV: This city isn't blown out. It's kind of quiet. It's easier in this environment for people outside of skating to kind of be included too. Tight knit across the board city wide. Skaters and beyond. Nobody cares. We don't do that "don't skate our shit" thing. Everyone is welcome. I personally love watching the city be destroyed by visitors.
CB: Yeah man the Whoop has had its ass handed to it this past summer. Wow. The footage coming out from those trips are insane.
TREV: If I'm at the shop all day or working otherwise, I always try to direct out-of-towners to whatever they want to skate from my phone. Send pins, etc.
CB: We'll see who's working or has a day off, and have them ready to roll tour guide status if we're tied up working or at the shop.
TREV: Yeah nobody cares about keeping spots secret. Maybe we will once the entire Plaza is knobbed but shit - Every trip I go on reminds me how we can only do more in that way, never less. No time for that weird skate beef stuff.
Bova & Spencer
The Wrecking Crew came thru for sure - the Plaza has definitely gotten more attention in the last few years too. Speaking of skate beef, have any other shops stepped into the scene in the past 10 years?
TREV: Nah not really.
CB: Nobody has the heart to do this shit, except us. We provide this city with everything skateboarding. Helped get the skate park going; Trev made sure that didn't come out like ass. We hook up and take care of the entire city. We re-use all old boards, wheels, and trucks and give them to a guy who disperses to kids in the lower class neighborhoods who can't afford anything. Nobody is trying to do for others in Albany like us. We never say no. Gave gift baskets and gift cards to every event asked. It ain't about us, it's about using our platform to give back.
Pat Mowatt - Kickflip
#SkateboardersKeepItRolling Moving on to the new video you guys just dropped, what number video is this for you?
TREV: 7? 8? 9? Cody, you had first part in our very first full length after we opened. Which was really our second video. You killed it. Part is nuts. 2013.
Your first video was the reason I moved to Albany. Bova, Haircut, White? Say less.
TREV: Yeah that one was sick.
CB: Keep forgetting about SmallBunny. God I wish we had hard copies of that. Love that one. Bova's audience grew from that one.
My part was silly. Although, I had the best time going on filming missions with Timmy for that one. Does SmallBunny mean the most to you guys out of all of them?
TREV: That footage was pre-shop.
CB: This new one does for me personally.
TREV: So it's different. All of em'. It's like a little time line.
CB: They're all creases in a page in the book known as Seasons.
TREV: Making a video here is hard as hell. It's our bad having a giant family instead of a "team" thing. There are some obvious dudes who have been around and been down throughout all of them. That's the "team" sort of, but we aren't trying to exclude anyone by any means. It's tough. Everyone's busy. Getting one clip is like a miracle sometimes. Eamonn banged this new one out in one year. It's beyond impressive.
Tell me a little bit about this new one? Does it have a name yet?
CB: Well technically....
TREV: Nah, no name.
CB: Basically Eamonn wanted to name it Naima, and I was fighting with him daily in the shop. We were making memes at each other online, but the reverse psychology worked, and I wanted to name it that after Naima said not to.
Caleb Michaelowski - Wallie BS Tailslide
Liam Daly - FS Wallride
Mike Bova - Nollie
Soo still no name?
EAMONN: It's called Naima.
Is this your first full length video ever? Have you worked on videos for the shop before?
EAMONN: In the past I've had smaller video/photo projects with friends and have made small contributions to past projects the shop has done. This is my first full length video and first time working directly with the shop.
How have CB and Trevor been as bosses?
EAMONN: As a unit, the shop has given me everything I asked for to make this video. Fully supported me and let me make what I wanted. It's been amazing. Trevor said yes to anything I needed paid for (camera repairs, Super 8 film processing, and this book we made) and whenever I needed a break and just wanted to chill, CB would tell everyone to leave me alone and let me have Happy Hour at the shop.
I was also really able to use the shop as a motivating factor for everyone involved in the video. When you say it's for Trev and CB, everyone steps up and gets the job done. It's been great.
Eamonn McBride - Selfie
Sounds like a good gig! I know you are a camera guy - what did you shoot this project on and why?
EAMONN: Main cameras were 2 VX1000s with MK1s. Super 8 was shot on an old GAF brand super 8 camera (point and shoot, nothing special). For photos I used my Nikon f4 and my Hasselblad XPan. For photos everything was shot on TMAX 3200; All the Super 8 was Kodak Vision 3 50d. In the past I have always used a VX2100 because that is what I could get the cheapest. And it suited my small projects fine. For this video it was important to use the VX1000 to remain as true as we could to the "classic" look of the skate videos we're all so fond of.
Is the video filmed entirely in Albany?
EAMONN: 90% of the video is in Albany, but being that it was for the shop and we wanted to include as many of our friends and associates as possible, I did do some traveling to meet up with people who no longer live in Albany. Mainly to NYC. We also collected a small amount of footage from friends who now live on the West Coast.
TREV: Guys I need to interrupt. Just gotta say my clips were the best in the video. That's all.
EAMONN: I think that's clear to everyone who has seen it.
Mike Bova - BS Noseblunt Photo: @trevculley
White - Hurricane
Agreed - loved that tailslide line and I heard you found and fixed the spot yourself. Aside from Trev, who's footage are you most stoked on? Any up and coming kids?
TREV: Stoked on your Fakie 5-0 shuv. Shuv god.
EAMONN: Trev definitely took me to some funny spots.
TREV: Never been a spot hunter. Tried this time, but I've been here too long. What the hell am I gonna do at the Plaza, ya know?
EAMONN: I'd say I'm most stoked on Cooper Qua and Jimmy Nadeau. They're the youngest kids in the video and it was fun to be around that kind of innocence and just like pure desire to skate and try your best. On the other hand, I feel like I saw a lot of guys I've known for a long time step up and mature as skaters and just people in general; thinking about Liam Daly, Pat Mowat, Kaz and Caleb. So that was cool too.
Cooper Qua - FS Air. Photo: @Sunwoo
Albany has a good history through the generations - from Silly Pink Bunnies, to B-Block, to the Shelter kids. If you look up on your average Albany session/ night at the bar, you can see the skateboarding scene spanning 30+ years. What makes the crew so strong?
EAMONN: The shop shows everyone love and respect, and I think that has set a tone in the city where whoever you are and whatever you're into, you show each other that same love and respect because that's the example that's been set for us.
TREV: Coop is 15 Jake is 46. Skate with both of them regularly. Think that's kinda normal for skateboarding everywhere isn't it? Respect for all ages. You'll catch beer crew and toasted crew at the Banks together multiple times a week sometimes.
CB: It's not called Smallbany for a reason. This shits a family affair. Has been for as far back as I can remember. 20 somethings and 40 somethings - just fully stoking each other out.
Chevy Rose - Drop In Slam
Looking back over the past 10 years, what are some stand-out moments for you guys?
TREV: The anniversary parties, the premiers, the skate events, the Banks turning into a park, the diy stuff, the ramp. The shop gear has always been fun. Working on projects with friends I guess is just the sickest part.
CB: I got a couple really sour stand-out moments but those are in the past, and the past is a story we just keep on telling ourselves. Watching this place start with barely anything on the walls, to not having any room to put newer stuff out the second it comes in, buying the space, buying a rental house through the shop, all the trips and awesome like minded people we met and hung with. Still love that feeling of setting up some kids first complete, hoping they love it and hoping it takes them where it took me through the years.
Taryn & James
That's cool - you guys really cover all bases supporting the skate community. DIY parks, legit parks (that are DIY friendly), video premieres, skate jams, indoor key holder spots for the winter, collaborating with local artists. There's not much more you can do. Love that last part CB - any final words or shoutouts?
EAMONN: I wanna make sure to thank Coby Berger for all the help he gave making this video. CB used to give him skate lessons at the Shelter, and when I asked for help he was there every time. He was a huge part of making this video a success.
TREV: You. You've done tons for this scene over the years and still are now Thanks Code man.
CB: Been wingin' it for 10 years. Shouts to the people involved daily in our little operation over here - companies, skaters, customers, friends, family, neighbors, visitors, reps, drivers, lurkers, observers, supporters, snakes, kooks, brothers, sisters, artists, party people, smilers, haters, givers, takers and everyone in between. We love you all. Thanks for being a part big or small. We couldn't ask for more. Thanks for the last 10 years. More to come. That sums it up pretty well. Would also include dogs to it cause we like it when they come in and get their treats.
TREV: (laughs) I forgot dogs. Dogs are number 1.
Thank you for everything boys! Super proud to have even been a little part of what you guys do and I wouldn't be who I am without you. You guys have something truly special that represents what makes skateboarding diverse and beautiful.
Tiger and Cops