Brass in his belt-sanding get up
If skateboarding was electricity then Nick Boserio would be a power plant. ‘The Brass’ as he is also known, is one of the most exciting things to ever happen to our sideways movement. Through his ferocious ripping he blasted from the underground into the global consciousness of shredding seemingly overnight. There are not many skate clips on the internet that have had way over 100,000 views. But Brass’s ‘Life Splicing’ clip has. And that is just the official Workshop upload. If you added them all up you would be pushing half a mill I reckon. I was fortunate enough to meet Brass through an unfortunate chain of events around a decade ago and I look forward to the day when we are decrepit on our rocking chairs overlooking some valley. Brass might have a glass of red and maybe I'll have a labrador. As he tells me stories his eyes will be just as green and wild as when that soon-to-be infamous NuWood board split his head open earlier this century. Ladies, gentlemen, children, animals, cities, townships and farms: you are no longer safe as Nick Boserio is here and his rampage may involve having their way with your building anytime soon.
Interview: Morgan Campbell
Skate photos: Zach Malfa-Kowalski (click em to enlarge)
Portrait: Steve Gourlay
Sequence: Daniel Luxford
MC: Can you remember when we met?
NB: I didn’t really remember when we met until you told me.
Which was thanks to Harry (Clark).
Which was thanks to Harry. I do remember the occasion. So I don’t know at what age. But, (I was) a young grommet at Leederville Skatepark in Perth. The crux of our meeting was that I was riding a plastic-fiberglass-whatever board.
NuWood that would never break. That I thought was the shit. It was given to me by Skate Fu. Whatever his name was Benny? Remember that guy?
He had a wild imagination. Me and Harry went skating with him for a little while (ages ago). His whole gimmick was 'skate fu'. Like kung fu, but skate. It was like a culture and he wanted to do a worldwide tour where we packed a park up and ship it to each location. It was crazy.
Oh (gasp) yeeahhhh… I know the dude.
He tried to 50/50 that massive kinked hubba in the city. There was footage of him getting to the flat and dying.
Benny Something! Anyway, he gave me the board. I was skating at Leederville and I tried to kickflip from the top of the pyramid to flat. Stomped it: foot on the tail. The board flew up in the air. It was heavier than a normal board as well. It came down and smashed me on the top of the head. It split my head open: bleeding everywhere.
So wait…it went up in the air above you and came down?
Yeah… I went to stomp it, one foot one the tail, it went up in the air. (Whistling sound that resembles a missile).
No way… coz I never saw it I always imagined it went straight up into your face. But it went above you and upon re-entry to the stratosphere it cracked you in the head?
Yeah it came down out of orbit straight into my skull… (I was) bleeding everywhere. And you called the ambulance for me?
No that was Dave Bradley. I was around at the counter and Harry must have come around, he explained that something had happened and Dave ran around and called an ambulance.
You had tried to sell me an old board.
No it was a new board.
It was a new board?
For forty bucks.
Forty bucks? F**k. I should have bought it. Even if I hadn’t have split my head open. I should have bought it anyway. I mean I thought this plastic board was the shit.
It had a razor on the end of it. I had said: “Hey I don’t care if you don’t buy the board but if that knife tail flicks up at you that could really damage your knee.” I walked off, you rolled in and got sconed.
I had been belt-sanding it down. I had belt-sanded it twice. And after that session or after the next couple of sessions I was going belt-sand it again. So it wasn’t so pointy. But I hadn’t at that point, when I split my head open.
And Dave wrapped you up like Mr. Bump.
Fierce back lip in NYC
So that’s when I met you and I think you gave a bunch of stickers to Harry to try and make up for the fact that I was off to hospital.
I think it was 2003.
What is it now? 2012? F**king nine years ago! How old am I now? Twenty-four? I would have been fifteen. It might have even been ten years ago.
And then years later in 2006 Harry came and stayed with me and he asked me if I remembered when I met him. And he told me that you two were the guys from the nuWood incident. Have you ridden a NuWood board since?
No… (laughs)… I never will.
So you were actually born in England right?
Yes I was … in Epsom. Like the salts.
Yep. Which I advocate.
You are down for baths?
Not that I take a lot of baths. But Epsom salts are legit. Lectric salts I have been told about as well.
Yeah like electric without the 'e'. Moey told me about them: available at your local pharmacy!
How long did you live in England before you moved over here?
I didn’t move straight from England to here. I would have been three or four months old when I left there. We moved from England to India. We lived in India for about two and a half years. So I would have been about three when we left India. Then we went to Oman. I lived in Oman for just over four years, maybe four and a half. Oman is a coastal country in the Middle East. Then we moved from Muscat (the capital city of Oman) to Indonesia. We moved to Jakarta (the capital city of Indonesia) where we lived for three and a half years. It was something like that. We evacuated from there because a certain political party got voted in and everyone was outraged and was throwing rocks at any car that looked like it housed a foreigner or any affluent people. The government that got voted in were super beneficial for anyone who was an ex-pat or was in the rich bracket of the community. So we left at three thirty or four in the morning: Me, my mum and my brother with just carry-on luggage to the airport and moved to Australia, which is where my mum's from.
Woah. And did your dad stay a bit longer?
He stayed for a few more months to wrap up everything with work and organize getting a job in WA.
So your mum’s family is originally from Perth?
My mum, her family and my grandparents on my mum’s side are from Singapore. They actually went through some really gnarly shit during the war. Which is right before they met. They went through some really gnarly shit; my nan was in concentration camps. My granddad was in the army or something. My nan was in the jungle living off bugs and shit. She is the best. If my family was Italian mafia she would be the godfather. It is all about nan. Anyway… So my mum’s family is from Singapore but by the time she was still in primary school, my grandad took a boat from Singapore to Australia. First stop was Perth, he was going to get off at every stop and figure out which city they were going to live in but they got out in Perth and never left. So my mum pretty much grew up in Perth. All of my mum’s side are still there.
So, you had several stages of movement before you made it to Perth. What age were you when you finally arrived there?
Ten, about ten.
That’s a pretty good time to arrive.
My parents were planning on moving to WA before both me and my brother were in high school. Or at least so we spent the majority of high school there. Cause they didn’t want to chop and change us during high school, which is always kind of gnarly. So we did all of our moving before I was ten, when we moved to Perth and I lived there till two and a half years ago.
What was your last memory from aboard?
I remember getting up in the morning and thinking that it was the funniest shit. Like an adventure woo! Cool stuff happened while we were in Indonesia as well. One time it flooded our whole area, cause it is tropical or whatever and there was this massive speed bump that was for some reason built right out the front of our house at the end of our drive way before the gate. Cause everything was gated. And my parents were like: we have got to get rid of that speed bump coz it was like a f**king mountain, and it was the thing that stopped our house from getting completely f**ked coz all the water stopped there. It ended up being knee deep all the way down this long driveway that we shared and stopping at this speed bump right out the front of our gate. The last memory from before we moved to Oz was in the morning when it was dark and my parents were trying to organize everything and were real stressed and I thought it was real funny.
So you have got an older brother right?
Yeah my older brother Ryan is two years older than me. He is still in Perth. He is moving here soon.
Until you walk Collins St, you'll have no idea how high this is, frontside noseslide.
Siiick. What was your first memory after arriving in Perth?
First memory of Perth is “it is winter!”
Yep: so it was sunny?
It was cold. We had lived in Indonesia and Oman and India. I don’t even remember England. I couldn’t even understand cold. And me and my brother had this little space heater. Not even a space heater, like a fan heater it had like a red grill in the front of it: real dodgy. You would “d-d-d” (dial turn noises) and it was like a little cinder block on its side. And getting up in the morning and my mum would be like “You have got to put clothes on to be warm. You can’t just get up in ya jocks and sit in front of the heater watching TV in the morning. You can’t just sit there in front of the heater without any f**king clothes on moving constantly trying to be warm, you have got to put your cold clothes on and then you get warm.” And we would get up in the morning and watch tele before school sitting in front of this heater. That’s what I remember. It was this little flat in Como that my parents had for our last little while in Indonesia that we would stay at in Perth if we would visit mum’s family.
Near the Cygnet?
Yeah really close to the Cygnet actually.
I saw 'Gleaming the Cube' at the Cygnet.
That is really sick.
That’s the only time I have ever been there.
Did someone have footage on that street? Was it you?
Me and Alex (Campbell).
Was that in Geldi’s (Josh Roberts) video?
I had footage in 'Figure 8' and Alex did in the 4 video (the Perfect Amount of Lazy). He does a 180 over a bench and…
Is that the one with THE switch flip?
Yeah THE switch flip. Yeah, both of us got flatground tricks that we don’t normally do in a line.
What was yours?
Sick, look forward to seeing that. So where did you discover the magic rolling board?
We had skateboards in Indonesia. We had fish tail boards that had that big bulbous plastic thing on the tail.
…a skid plate
Did the rails have webbed sides?
No they were straight and flouro green or pink… we had one each.
I bet they rattled.
Yep. And coz it was super rainy all the bolts were rusted and I believe they were Ninja Turtle graphics.
And then you got your first good board in Perth?
How did that come about? Did you just want a better one and go to a skate shop?
Well we didn’t really think about boards as skateboard in Indonesia. It was just rollerblades, bikes, skateboards whatever. When I got to Perth my brother started skating, I rode his, then I had a K-Mart board. Then I had hand me down boards piecing together. The first real board I remember getting was a new deal board, I forget whose board it was, but it was a pro new deal board from Miller’s Sports that I bought coz it was on special. It was the only graphic board I could get. In Garden City… Brendon Sim. He was a huge part of my start to skateboarding. Brendon Sim was the first person I ever met who was really ruthless about what legit skateboarding was. He taught me and Harry how to grip a board as well.
You could have used the tail on your NuWood board to grip anything man.
Inner city nose grab like a boss
What about your first free one? You must have gotten decent on a skateboard because I remember...
...I sucked for a long time. It might have been my NuWood board.
...the second time I met you, I was in West Perth filming you were running late for a bus or something, in Hay Street in Subiaco and I was filming a line for 'People Like Us' and Chris Yow introduced me to you. He explained that you were Nick Boserio, you ruled and that he had filmed a couple of tricks of you for the video...
Yeah I back 50/50’d the Balcatta rail, he filmed that.
You were this super-energetic, fresh-faced, genuine kid and I think at that point you were already hooked up.
I was getting Folklore boards by then. From Jarrah (Rushton). Because that back fifty on Balcatta rail was a Folklore ad. I was definitely getting Folklore by then, because Folklore was pretty early. I don’t remember what my first free board was though. Maybe NuWood. That was pretty early. Maybe that was why I was so stoked on it.
You were all… yeah I’m riding this thing into the ground. And your first interstate trip you were saying was with Insight? Where did you go on that?
Everywhere. Melbourne, all the way up to… no, yes, no, Melbourne, all the way up to Queensland, Brisbane. And then flew back down to Sydney and then skated Sydney and then flew home from there. (Ben) Barretto would have been on it.
Did Barretto get you on Insight?
Yes he did. Yes he did.
And… before the whole Workshop thing happened you were on enjoi for a while right?
How did that come about and what happened there?
That was thanks to Jose Rojo.
Through Insight. I felt bad leaving Folklore at the time. But I am pretty sure I did every move one step behind Harry. I know I got on Folklore after him and wanted to be on the same team as him. And then he’d left for 4.
No he stayed on longer than you. He stayed for a while…. Coz I remember you were on Folklore on that first Nike trip.
Yep, pretty sure. You know when Nugget and Lewis were and all of us were there?
Yeah, when you guys stayed on the weird peninsula in that weird part of Freo? That’s when I first saw a sighting of the shark (Steve Gourlay’s alter ego).
I’m pretty sure you were at the tail end of it there and then within a few months you had left and were getting enjoi boards. When you went were they all still living in San Jose still?
All of them did at the time.
Was that a good scene?
That was cool. Those dudes were a pretty tight knit crew though. I don’t know I didn’t think about that shit at the time. I was just some f**king stoned kid thinking that you “go on trips”... I didn’t know about the whole “go to the States” thing. You know get the link with the US thing and build it from there and how being an Australian skateboarder trying to come up works. It was of no concern to me at all. I was just on a trip with some dudes I hadn’t met with my friend Jose and they were cool…
...and they were pretty much just a crew weren’t they?
I just thought of them as people that all skate together like I skate together with my friends.
So the enjoi thing just morphed… or fizzled... or… did you leave to ride for Workshop?
I had hurt my knee, come back, filmed all the shit that I had filmed for Geldi’s (Josh Roberts) video ‘No Strings Attached’. And before it was edited and put together Geldi and I put together a tape to send too... Not Leo Sharp? Sharp… Dan Sharp? No. Sharp… Sharp… Mister Sharp.
Mr. Sharp who was the enjoi team manager at the time. I think he was doing team managing for a lot of Dwindle.
Oh… Paul Sharpe.
Paul Sharpe... thanks so much.
He is a legend.
He is the best f**king dude. He was on that trip I really go along with him and stuff and I actually got to hang out with him when I was in the states last. I got to skate a curb with him for two hours. He was just leaving. He was just leaving Dwindle all together, he was over it. I’m pretty sure he was really over it and I send through a tape to him under the advice of Middsy because I didn’t know what the deal was with anything. He was like “You should send ‘em new footage. Tell them that you were hurt before and now you have done all this shit." Because he was stoked on what I had done as well. And um I just never got a reply… I just never got a reply, so we started trying to figure out where to get boards from cause I was hyped on Mappy and everything but it was just like: "what is this just no reply at all?" To sending the footage, and just not having any reply at all. I was just "all what the f**k is this?" So yeah, we ended up speaking to Sparkes and doing Workshop.
And did that kind of come into fruition before you were hurt?
No no no, I had filmed shit since I was hurt. Like good shit.
Like the back 50/50 where you spat out of your mouth as you popped? You still haven’t seen it have you?
I looked at it. I never saw the spit.
Really? Did you watch it on the web or something? You can’t see the spit on youtube man. You will have to watch it on DVD.
I had done some shit since then. I had moved to Melbourne by the time I had done that back fifty. That was probably on a Workshop board.
I saw that rail when I went back there. I had no idea where it was. And I found it!
In that carpark?
Yeah near the Scotto.
Wait which one are you talking about? Oh THAT back fifty.
That one against the wall. That’s the one I mean.
I thought you were talking about another one. That’s right that’s the one I spit in. I don’t know about that one. Nah that would still have been enjoi boards.
So just to briefly touch on the Life Splicing clip from last year. Whose idea was it to put your footage out in that way?
And how did that come about?
Him staying in Melbourne at Middsy’s house after a TWS trip. Me, Midds and Jeremy Corea were going skating with him for the next week and a half or two weeks.
Oh OK, it was pretty quick. I remember him pacing around the house here just like “Yeah I like the kid. There is whole lot to take in. But I like him. And I think it works. There is a whole lot to take in. You should, have seen this backside tailslide he did yesterday.” ...Or something like that. He was literally pacing around with his San Pellegrino water bottle. That is a pretty good person to be recommended by.
Yeah he wrote...
...Your check out!
...my Transworld check out.
Powering a slappy backside tailslide popped out into the street
Did you have any idea that the part would cause such a stir?
Nah, you don’t think about that.
I guess you were just focused on one battle at a time right?
Yeah and it just had nothing to do with whether it would cause a stir. It was about wow, cool, Workshop wants to… they had already done the titles. They know a song that would be sick. They have started editing the footage. They want Middsy to film like super-8 ‘lifey’ shit.
So it was being produced as you were working on it?
As I was ending a trip with them. When I was in the States is when it was getting finished.
Where was the majority filmed? In Melbourne?
Most of it was filmed in Melbourne. At least half of it was filmed with Middsy in Melbourne. And the American stuff: Benny Maglinao, Rob Harris.
...Green Lantern… wait no Green Diamond.
...Yep. Lannie Rhoades from San Diego ex-Insight team manager and a good friend of mine. So is Rob Harris. Um… and Jason Hernandez also filmed some of it as well. I like filming with him too.
Yeah he is lovely.
I don’t think I have ever ended up filming with people who I don’t like filming with.
Well you can't. Coz you get a blockage. I have a thing where if certain people are present, filming or not, I can't skate.
I almost thought that I had a reverse of that when Jason was there. I never tried something and didn’t get it when Jason was there. And he was Irish too. His family is Irish. It was the luck of the Irish. I was convinced of that.
Another person who is good for that is Mike O’Meally. But it think it I just because I am scared. He is like ‘make it'. And I am just like...
I’m less scared to make it than not. Ok just for the record did you meant to pop out early on the Blubba nose grind in New York? Is that what it is called? Blubba?
Yep: Black hubba. I wanted to nose grind it. I wasn’t sure when I started rolling up to it whether I would be better off popping out before the kink or trying to ride through it. And by the time I started grinding them I decided trying to pop out early was my best bet. But the one I tried to pop out on ended up using the kink as the pop out. So it was both.
Did it take a while?
So how do you know you have found a spot for you? How do you know when you have found something that you really want to try something on? Are there any typical reactions? Do you hairs stand up on their end?
You don’t have time to warm up. You are too excited to want to warm up. Or you have to make yourself warm up.
Do you get scared? If you want to skate it? Do you have a different level of terror?
If it is something you are not really considering skating you don’t really feel that do you?
No. It is gut wrenching if you know you want to do something and it is going to be gnarly or if it is worth doing. If it is worth putting your phone and your keys and your wallet down instantly know.
That is your reaction?
Yep. Sometimes if you get to a spot and you are still in the car or everyone is just sitting down. If I know I am going to want to get something or try something that is scary or whatever I'll try and take my phone or my keys out of my pocket as early as possible so I am not…
… so you don’t have to do it later.
Coz it is like drawing a line. You know what I mean if you are like rolling up to something, looking at it, and you still have got all your shit in your pockets, it is like: alright now I am taking 'em out. It is like a…
And dudes react to that too.
Yeah they do. Everyone sits down. Everyone moves away. Everyone starts talking less as soon as they see you put down your shit. So something I try and put down my stuff before I even know I want to skate something. Before you have even had a proper look at it, as you are walking up. Otherwise it is a huge tell. It is a huge trigger. It is a tell. Like if it is poker and you just want to look at something but not nook like you’re necessarily going to skate it yeah. But yeah… you get freaked out for sure.
It is a good feeling.
Yeah it is. It is exciting.
It is pretty funny too because it is like it is out of your hands...
...it is a compulsion…
...your brain and body have reacted to it…
...it is too late...
...it's like: Do I have a say in this?
…Or is it just going to go down.
An absolutely lording back smith grind slash cess fusion <click for full sequence>
What kind of areas do you like skating? Industrial? Inner-city? Schools?
It doesn’t matter? You don’t have a preferred environment?
Not as far as those terms. I like to have a lot of room at the landing. That’s what I have found. It is one of the things that makes me excited by things or put off by things.
Short run ups don’t bother you?
It comes and goes. Whatever. I run and throw down anyway. I don’t have to push before I do a trick. I know people that have to push.
Alex has to push before he does a trick. I am happy to run and throw down.
I need to push so I can gauge how fast I am going. That’s the thing.
Everything I do is run and throw down anyway. I want most of my speed to be… I want to be building all the way to it. I don’t want to throw down and figure out my speed and keep it. I want to be building to what the speed should be and then get your foot in and go. But anyway… a lot of room on at the landing…
Is that because of swervies?
No, not landing swervies, bailing and when you are standing at it you can look at what you are skating and there is nothing else that you are looking at. So the second half of… after committing it is free. You know what I mean it is super easy.
Does it bug you if there is any movement or people or anything down there?
That comes and goes as well. That’s different. But yeah I like a lot of room on my landing. Plus you have got glory ride too.
That’s always good. Stepping off because of a wall… f**k that.
Oh that’s harsh. It has got to be pretty f**king good if you are going to do that.
Explain 'Secky Presh' to the uninitiated.
Pressure from security. Not giving a f**k about it, or using it to your advantage anyway. It is 'Secky Presh' watch the f**king video. Buy the video and then watch it.
Support rulers like Geoff Campbell. Will there be another 'Secky Presh'? Or do you think it is a closed chapter?
It is a closed chapter. But Geoff is not going to stop. Geoff is not going to stop. He is a f**king legend. It is a closed chapter for sure.
For sure half of that shit you don’t want to go back there anyway. You shouldn’t go back there.
You kind of need a new country to do it in.
(Whispers) … that’s why they are in Japan.
Are they basically doing a ‘Secky Presh’ there?
I know they are doing f**ked up sh … I mean it doesn’t change. Just because they are in Japan it doesn’t mean it changes. They will still be ruthless.
Who is the most ruthless?
I’m sure Colin Evans wants to be the most ruthless. Gucci Buck Tim (Williams) is pretty ruthless, but he is not even in ‘Secky Presh’. Everyone is pretty ruthless... Everyone is pretty ruthless.
Did anyone get arrested making ‘Secky Presh’?
I don’t think so. I don’t think so. Coz it is Secky. It is not the coppers. That is the whole point of it.
What about ‘Piggy Presh’ the sequel?
I don’t think that video is going to be very long.
(Dastardly Muttley laughs.)
What about reading. Have you been reading much? Have you still always got a book on the go?
I have been reading.
What books have rocked you world lately?
I just finished ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy. That book is really f**ked up. F**ked up shit happens in that book.
Where is that set?
It is post-apocalyptic, everything is like burnt. In the States, in an ambiguous period of time. It is really f**ing gnarly. Ahm… I don’t know if I have listed it before: Kurt Vonnegut always rocks my world. John Steinbeck stuff is like good for like… arrgh classic values, like classic…
...Some of it is dead gnarly though.
Steinbeck is gnarly as well but nothing is gnarly like 'The Road'. 'The Road' was f**king crazy. But yeah Steinbeck’s stuff is like, it is not like working class, I mean a lot of his shit is working class, but the classic man or classic values. Just good for getting shit done. I like reading about getting the right shit done. You know being really legit. There are characters in Steinbeck’s books that are just legit. Even if they f**k up they are really legit. Really good.
What was the last Steinbeck that you read?
Ahhhh…wasn’t ‘Cannery Row’. ‘Tortilla Flats’ I think was the last one I read. That is a book full of f**k-ups who are legit. That is a good one. Brit didn’t like that one. She was over it. I don’t know what else do I like? Coz that’s always what I suggest is Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Cormac McCarthy.
Have you ever read much Raymond Carver?
Do you like short stories?
He is killer (Raymond Carver.)
Raymond Carver? I guess I don’t have to write that down.
Nah, you can read it here. His stories are a bit like Roald Dahl’s adult stories, you know he develops a character, tells a vivid story and then at the end, there is a twist and you are like what the... Woah wow.. didn’t think he was going to do that.
Yeah Roald Dahl's stuff is good.
The legenday blubba nosegrind pop out in NYC
So you were just at Steve Gourlay’s studio… what were you doing down there?
Cutting, sanding and shaping boards.
Is that something you have done before?
Nah never. Well not since my NuWood. See you knew it was coming up again.
I can’t believe I came up again I am so stoked.
Not since I sanded my white plastic Nu-Wood board. So I have used a belt sander before. I have got belt-sanding experience. But no, I had never used a jigsaw before.
And you got sent some blanks?
Yeah Workshop blanks. I got sent some blanks. They were like 9-inch wide square boards. That was the whole gimmick because you can cut your own; they come with their own template. With their own stencils and shit.
Yeah right. You think you are just going to be doing that for a while now? Are you into it? Can you get more?
(Burp)...But yeah that was really fun I spent two hours doing it. Spent two hours cutting 'em and then sanding them again and then putting a coat on them.
You have lacquered them?
Was that Steve's idea?
No, it was my idea. It is one of the instructions.
I guess it will help them last huh?
Yeah but if you sand any wood, or any board you can see that it is super raw, and super susceptible to the elements.
That’s why it is always better to skate a new board in the rain than an old one.
That is correct.
People stress about it being a new board but you are like hey man at least it is new!
Even bearings I reckon. Seriously. At least there is some grease on 'em and it falls off.
Yeah water off a ducks back mate. We are done.
Rule on tiger.
Nick rides for: Alien Workshop, Nike, Insight, Modus and Fast Times.