Creature – Gangreen & Ulph Andersson Interview

CREATURE – GANGREEN

& ULPH ANDERSSON INTERVIEW

INTERVIEW – NICO UHLER
FOTOS – LUCAS MAGNACCO

Das neue Creature Full Length ist da und knallt so richtig!  Etwas anderes war ja auch eigentlich nicht zu erwarten… Passend dazu hatten wir jedenfalls die Ehre ein kleines Gespräch mit einem der wohl ulterhaltsamsten Skater überhaupt, Creature AM und Hundetrainer zu führen. Viel Spaß bei „Gangreen“ und unserem Interview mit Ulph Andersson!

You’re originally from Sweden, right? Could you tell us a little bit about where you’re from?

Yes! I’m from Gothenburg, Sweden. It’s an old city on the West coast and what can I say? It was great growing up there, but the weather is not making it easy to skate and indoor parks aren’t that fun when you have to go there every week for 5 to 6 months, hehe. It’s easy to get sidetracked! A warm pub can be a lot more inviting than skating a parking garage in -10° Celsius, haha! Sweden is great though. I still have a lot of contact with parts of the Swedish skateboarding scene, even though I haven’t been there much lately. But there are cool things going on there for sure! Also, the Stockholm scene is murdering it right now – in a good way, haha – and Fritte Söderström’s videos are so sick!

When and why did you move to Spain? Do you plan on staying there for good?

I moved to Stockholm around 12 years ago and stayed there for like 5 years. But I realised that working the hours I did, not skating much at all and basically turning into a zombie, that just worked and drank way too much, wasn’t a plan I wanted to stick with. I wanted to skate and enjoy life a bit more so I went to Spain and got stuck straight away… People skate everyday and there’s just so many motivated people here. So I just started skating a bit more again and things took off.

ulph-anderson-bs-boardslide

Boardslide

What do you do outside of skating these days? Any jobs or just living the good life in the Spanish sun?

These days I’m into dogs a lot and I’m slowly starting to help people with their dogs if they have some issues with them. I fucking love it! Then, I also work as a team leader/coach at a call center. It sounds so horrible saying it, but actually, I really do like it. I’m working with great people and I manage to have a schedule that allows me to work and skate a lot. So I’m not complaining!

Sick! Let’s talk about dogs real quick. Do you have one yourself? And how did you get into training them? 

I’ve adopted a female pointer a bit more than a year ago and she needed a lot of help with a lot of things –  mentally so to say, like aggression, fear, trust issues, etc. There’s still room for development and we’re training at least once a day. Adopting her and seeing that she didn’t feel too great in certain situations just made me think: „oh shit, we can’t have it like this! This little monster has to roam off leash in the parks and enjoy life and now she can’t.“ So I just started studying at home and now I have a dog who’s off leash all the time, joining me on trips and sessions, doing good with other dogs and I’m just so happy to see her enjoying her life. She’s missing a big piece of her ear, she’s is blind on one eye and has a lot of scars. She’s had it rough, but not anymore! 

Good for her! Let’s bring it back to skateboarding a little bit. Do you have any tips & tricks to get dogs used to skateboards? 

Funny you ask that! Actually, I just came home from helping out a lady with her dog and that dog’s got some issues with skateboards. If the dog’s very reactive to skateboards, then there’s no easy „fix“. It depends on what the dog’s behavior is based on:  fear, excitement or maybe something else! Introducing a skateboard into a dog’s life should be a suuuuper slow process. Carry it with you. Don’t skate. Just bring it along. Put it close to your dog’s bed/food/water and see how that goes. Put treats on the board at home. Just do stupid fun things and make sure to not push your dog too far, they can handle a little bit of stress and grow from that, but they might also break down completely from stress and we don’t want that! Imagine a person with an extreme fear of heights, you don’t take that person up to the top of a roof and force them to look down for an hour thinking: „now this oughta do it!“ Hehe. Tiny wins every day will slowly turn into a great relationship and life together! If you’re in need for some more tips & tricks though, I’d look into Larry Krohn’s work. Robert Cabral is good with reactive dogs, too. Tom Davis is an amazing dog trainer as well. These guys are balanced trainers, so if you’re looking for positive training only, I guess Zak George would be a good read, but he doesn’t work with aggressive/very reactive dogs. 

ulph-anderson-bs-bluntslide

Bluntslide

Thanks! Fully back to skateboarding now: You’re notorious for Fingerflips, haha. How did you find your liking for those and what’s the key to a good Fingerflip?

Haha, am I?! Let’s go back to Gothenburg times now… Ulph is 11-13 years old, everyone is skating baggy and Tom Penny is the coolest thing on the planet. Then this gang of rock ’n‘ roll punks – Team Smod – appears on VHS and I fell in love with them. They just spoke to my heart, 100%. The skating was raw and dirty and they wore tight black jeans and did so much fucked up things that just made you laugh out loud. For anyone who hasn’t seen their videos, try to find them! I think they are on Vimeo, haha! So, long story short: These people skated completely different compared to everybody else and one of my best friends, Mike, does a Fingerflip on flat ground in a line in one of the videos and I remember thinking: „WTF was that?!“ I just had to learn it and so I did. Then, they just stuck with me. They’re so fun to do and I never cared about what others think of what I’m doing – unless I work on a project with someone. Then you talk and figure out stuff together. I guess, filmers and photographers have struggled with me and my stupid ideas throughout the years though, haha! Sorry for that!

You seem to be quite a footage machine. How do you keep filming and finding new stuff in and around Barcelona a.k.a. one of the most skated cities in the world?

So I’ve heard! I just really like skating a lot and if someone is down to film, I won’t stop them. I think I’ve been on the edge of being a bit repetitive over the years. So I’m really trying to skate new spots and learn new tricks, to switch things up a bit. We comb through maps online and if it’s raining I often get the dog and we go to small cities around Barcelona with the car, just to lurk around. Sometimes you stumble upon some really cool untouched stuff! And then we just move around. There’s always someone who has something in mind at a spot you never even thought about skating and then you just join the session!

It’s been a while ago, but we’ve been blown away by that Free Skate Mag cover of yours. Could you take us behind the scenes on that Switch Boardslide?

For sure! I went there with my homie Jack and had another trick planned just at the end of that thing, but it didn’t work out. It was sooo hot that day and I ended up switch boardsliding half of it somehow, completely idiotic. After that session I realised that it would work from the top as well and I wanted to go back for a Lipslide. We were waiting for the summer to pass and for the vegetation to die off a little bit and then I saw the photo of Gabbers lipsliding it. I still wanted do something there, so went back one day and just did the Switch Boardslide. I went there with Gerard (photo) and Damia (filming) one morning and I knew that if I get up on it, I should also go down, haha! I had no idea it would get on the cover of Free. To me, it was just another trick I wanted to get and that’s the whole thing, I guess. In the end it’s all about you having fun, at least to me!

How did you get on Creature and what’s it been like filming for that new video? Did you know up front that  you were going to be in the full length?

I got on Creature years ago. Jack was filming and spotguiding them through Barcelona, so I tagged along. We kept in contact and a box arrived at my doorstep some day! I still find it hard to believe that I managed to end up where I am today, hehe. Much love to everyone who’s helped me out! About the video, I don’t really know too much. I knew I was probably getting squeezed in there, but it’s such a big team and too much good skating, so I don’t really expect too much. It sounds weird maybe, but I would have been filming and skating anyways! I’m just super thankful and stoked on being in there. If you would have told me years ago, I would have never believed you…

ulph-andersson-flip-five-o-fs-revert-copie

Kickflip 5-0 fs revert

Among all your team mates on Creature, who’s part are you personally looking forward to see the most?

Ouf, that’s hard to say… I’ve been around Cody a lot while filming here and there and he is absolutely fucking insane. He skates the gnarliest shit, so I can’t wait to see that. All of them rip, it’s a big team and everyone has their own thing going on, I love it!

Any specific stories to tell from the time working on that project („Gangreen“)? Any people you wanna shout out?

Well, I broke my arm and had surgery! That sucked! I still have some issues with that thing and I’ve got five screws and a metal plate in there… Still have to go back to that spot, haha! During the last trip before the deadline we got to see a naked Frenchman on mushrooms getting showered with beer from the 4th floor (he was in the street), at the same time as the cops rolled up. That was something! But yeah, if you go out skating with these guys there will be stories to tell, so much gnarly shit is going down every day! Shout out to all of you who made it to the end of this interview! Well done!!! And of course everyone who supports/supported me over all those years! Much love!!!

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IRREGULAR
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