Jamie Thomas, professional skateboarder and owner of Zero Skateboards and Fallen Footwear, has filmed, produced and released some of the most monumental skate videos of all time, such as Zero's "The Thrill Of It All" (1997), "Misled Youth" (1999) and, more recently, "Ride The Sky" (2008). On Sept. 20, another milestone was met for Thomas -- his skate shoe brand, Fallen Footwear, released "Road Less Traveled." The video takes the viewer on a journey around the world to get a glimpse of each team rider's experiences on the road. "Road Less Traveled" focuses more on what it takes to get a trick while on tour than on how to one-up everyone's last video part.
XGames.com sat down with Thomas to discuss the process of filming for the "Road Less Traveled" video.
XGames.com: It's been more than five years since "Ride The Sky." What has changed since then?
Thomas: There are some new team riders, and some of the dudes in RTS moved on. Other than that, we've been braving the corporate sneaker storm and working on the "Road Less Traveled" project.
Why did Billy Marks leave Fallen, and will he be in the video?
It seemed that Billy and the brand grew apart, and over time there was less and less of a connection and it started to affect our ability to sell his products and justify his salary. So we didn't re-sign him earlier this year, and he quit. He went on two of the trips, but he will not be in the video.
What were some of your best travel memories from "Road Less Traveled"?
Every place we visited was amazing in its own right, but I really enjoyed the Portugal trip, as well as the motorcycle trip through the great West. Riding through Yellowstone, camping and seeing parts of the U.S. I'd never seen on a motorcycle was amazing.
I've heard stories of Tommy Sandoval getting maced in Europe? Were you there? What happened, and how did he keep skating with mace in his eyes?
He actually got maced in South Africa. I wasn't there, but apparently he was skating a double set in a mall and security asked him to stop repeatedly and he kept skating, and eventually they had enough and sprayed him with pepper spray. They were trying to arrest him, but he fled. They got some milk for his face, and he skated the next spot with his face on fire. Dude is gnarly.
What's the best untapped city that the team traveled to for "Road Less Traveled"?
Bangkok was really good, and so was Istanbul. The teams have been to both, but there was still a lot of stuff to skate.
What other skate videos got you sparked this year?
I thought the Emerica "MADE" video was rad, and the Deathwish Video released earlier this year was amazing!
What makes "Road Less Traveled" stand apart from all the other videos that are dropping this year?
The goal with "Road Less Traveled" was to take the viewer on a journey and give a glimpse of what each team rider experiences while traveling.
One word that best describes each Fallen rider:
Tommy Sandoval: "Gnar"
Josh Harmony: "Smiles"
Jack Curtin: "Switch"
Tom Asta: "Mellow"
Jon Dickson: "Heavy"
Brian "Slash" Hansen: "Bearded"
James Hardy: "Charge"
Dane Burman: "Closer"
Garrett Hill: "Ogre"
Tony Cervantes: "Smooth"
Ten years have passed since the first Fallen shoe hit the stores. What has changed in the shoe business since then?
Well, our shoes have gotten a lot less puffy, but our mission is still the same: We focus on making shoes strictly for skateboarding.
Who are your picks for year's best am?
Dane Burman and Trevor Colden.
Who is your pick for Skater of the Year?
Tommy Sandoval or Collin Provost.
Zero's "Cold War" video is coming up soon. What can you tell us about "Cold War"?
It's coming out in late October, early November, and I'm not done filming yet. It gives me anxiety thinking about it.
I hear "Cold War" is all shot in VX.
Yes it is.
What's next for Fallen?
2013 will be over before we know it, and we'd like to tour and do demos throughout 2014.