February 7, 2011
Marcus Waldron is the guy behind Skate Jawn, a zine made by, for, and about the skate rats of Philadelphia. There are pictures of skaters in mid-air and hardcore bands in mid-shred. Skate Jawn’s version of Philly is all grimy basements and skate parks, an urban playground that was built to be grinded on and abused.
The mag is not just a documentation of skater culture though; it has genuinely amazing black-and-white action shots of moments that look impossible. Marcus is one of the coolest self-described skate rats we know, so we decided to ask him some questions about his hometown, photography, and tail-dropping off of kitchen counters.
Where are you from and how long have you been skating?
Marcus Waldron: I’m from some little town called Hopewell in New Jersey. It’s between Princeton and Trenton. I’ve been skating since I was 13 and am now 21 now, so over eight years.
What’s the skate scene like in Hopewell?
I’m from a little town so there was not really a scene, that’s why I moved to Philly. We got a good park in my town though that I skate when I’m home.
What’s the story behind your magazine and how do you operate it?
My friends in Philly kept taking me to spots that were too gnarly for me to skate so I’d just watch. One day I was sitting down at a sesh and I was like “Yo! I should make a mag, I bet I know enough skaters.” I tried to make a skate mag in high school, but I only knew five skaters then so it didn’t work. People have been sending photos and everything, so it’s been going good.
What have been some of your favorite photos you have put out in the magazine and stories behind them?
The night we got the pic for the first cover was awesome. Some New York homies came down, and that night we were chilling my kitchen. Christian tried to tail-drop off the counter and everyone got out their cameras. He slams, tries again, eats it, and continues to eat shit a few times. Then Dylan James gets his board and climbs on top the fridge and gall-drops off, and sticks it. I was like, sick–that’s the cover.
What do you search for in a photo when deciding if it goes in your mag or not? How do you see photography’s role in skating?
Composition, lighting, etc doesn’t really matter to me. I usually select photos based on heart and soul. I like things that look fun, and stuff that’s east coast, or original in some way.
How have you seen skating progress within the last decade?
I don’t really think about it. There’re fads that go in and out, like with anything. I guess more stuff has already been done so people take that into consideration then just go try whatever. I don’t know.
What do you think skaters should be focusing on in terms of staying on top of the game?
Just do whatever gets you psyched. Have fun, do stuff harder, bigger, steezier, but most of all, just however you can.