Sk8-Tracks: Caswell Berry

Kyle Camarillo

This photo is emo. I almost cried looking at it. Quick—where's my scarf?

Look no further than the hairdos of Robert Smith and Corey Duffel, the attire of Ronnie Van Zant and Jamie Thomas or the attitudes of G.G. Allin and Duane Peters to see that skate culture and the music world cross paths more often than not.

Caswell Berry's a guy who enjois his jams and takes his skating seriously. EXPN.com caught up with him to get his take on underbites, Guitar Heroes and the ever-important task of picking a track for a video part.

EXPN.com: What are you listening to right now?

Caswell Berry: Mac Dre has been in the mix, and The Cure's Homesick didn't get skipped while I was driving today. Pelican, Smoov-E, Creedence Clearwater Revival—my cousin keeps me in touch with a ton of music, and my friends always have mix tapes or bangin' albums to share. They aren't greedy with it like some fools.

EXPN.com: Do you have a huge system in your car?

C.B.: I have a stock radio system. It'd be nice to have a decent sound system since I spend so much time in my car, but I never get around to purchasing anything because I don't know squat about it. I don't have a specific musical preference, but I have been caught singing to R. Kelly's Remix to Ignition at a light.

EXPN.com: You were a wee tyke in the '80s and '90s, but growing up in San Jose, did you experience any of the fallout from the Bay Area thrash scene?

C.B.: I am always down with Metallica and Slayer. For some odd reason I also remember owning some Cannibal Corpse cds and wearing their shirt to school in the fifth grade.

EXPN.com: Skating and music are heavily intertwined culturally, but do you think music affects your skating personally?

C.B.: It ties in when feelings get involved. For instance, if you're listening to Metallica, good gangster rap or something of that nature, you're obviously going to skate fast and not give one bit of concern to anyone in your path. But if I'm skating down the street listening to hip hop or the Doors, I'm going to be less aggressive and more spontaneous.

Kyle Camarillo

Bump ollies are gangsta, like the Sopranos, drum kits and umbrellas in your drink.

EXPN.com: Do you rock an iPod while you skate?

C.B.: I only listen to an iPod when I go to the park or a spot by myself. It's a pet peeve of mine for people to wear iPods while skating around me. If the filmer or photographer are rocking out with headphones, I get angry and want to punch them in the face. You have to communicate while "working."

EXPN.com: What goes into picking your jam for a video part?

C.B.: I don't like to make heavy decisions by myself, so I enlist the editor, filmer or both.

EXPN.com: In Bag of Suck, you went Dead Prez. What are some of your favorite song accompaniments ever committed to video parts?

C.B.: Heath Kirchart's part in the Transworld video. Cardiel with Brotha Lynch Hung is tight. Mike Carroll and Casual.

EXPN.com: You're down with Guitar Hero. On a scale of one to ten (one being Yanni, 10 being Jimmy Page), what shred score would you give yourself?

C.B.: I'm gonna say 6 and a half. I've actually been sitting around the house playing all day. I eventually developed a headache from staring at the screen, so my shred score is pretty weak as of late. I've been trying hard to get five stars on, though. There have to be skaters that could murder me at it. Ronnie Creager finally gave in and bought a copy while I was staying at his house, so I know he's gotten pretty deep.

Kyle Camarillo

Nothing says punk-fuggin'-rock like an ass with a scratch on it. Oi oi.

EXPN.com: What about real-deal guitar? Do you play at all?

C.B.: I can't play one full song, but I know small portions of some songs—enough to make me come back and play sweet licks on my off time.

EXPN.com: What's your guitar-playing face?

C.B.: I think I get an underbite when I play. It's basically Down Syndrome.

EXPN.com: You're a pretty grimy dude for having such flowing steez. Whose guitar playing would you most liken your skating style to?

C.B.: I can't try, or think I have the right, to compare myself to anybody. I'll leave that up to someone else so I don't look like I'm claiming something. I do like Ted Nugent, though, and his show was amazing.

EXPN.com: What's up with the state of pop music today?

C.B.: Everything's been played in one form or another. The only things that will ever differ are their names. That's why you find crap bands covering songs. MTV is the devil! If it's in rotation on MTV, I haven't heard it. The Internet is a sweet tool, but you should never throw away a CD that you're into. The one that you toss could be a gem in a few years. Unless it's Limp Bizkit, then it's definitely garbage.

EXPN.com: Is music important to your personality?

C.B.: It is. It gets me up in the morning and through some long drives, stressful moments and anxiety attacks. Tuning into music mellows you out. I'd say that I'd want to die if music was gone tomorrow. Actually, if skateboards disappeared tomorrow then I'd want to die.