» » SKATE PHOTOGRAPHY AND MORE WITH CASEY FOLEY

SKATE PHOTOGRAPHY AND MORE WITH CASEY FOLEY

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Casey! Good to have you here with us! This is Guerrilla Skatezine where «dirty» work is done by… YOU! Please introduce yourself to our readers (name, age, born, childhood, how did you meet skateboarding, local place, hobbies out of skate, anything you feel to put here…)

Hey man. Thanks for having me. So sorry it’s taken soo long to get back to you. Life is busy.

My name is Casey Dwyer Foley, I’m 29 years of age, I was born in Whangarei, New Zealand.

Hmmmm How did I start skating… Oh, I remember there was a few cool kids in primary school doing it. They had the fresh bowl cuts, baggy jeans with red stitching, World Industries tee shirts and all the girls loved them. One of those cool kids ended up getting a Mongoos BMX and wanted to sell his skateboard. I begged Mum for $10 and went to school the next day with the note in an envelope and gave it to this kid. His name was Dean. The baddest mother fucker in the whole school, haha. The board was fucked up and each kick was delaminated down to 2 inches on the nose and the tail, but I loved it so much. Since then I haven’t stopped. That must have been in 1999. Holy shit, its been 21 years hahaha.

Do you think it influences a person to move from a small city to a big one? In your case, how do you feel Melbourne affected you? How do you think things would be if you had never left the streets of Oamaru?

Yeah for sure. There wasn’t much going on in my hometown and I would travel to bigger towns and cities to skate whenever I got the opportunity. New Zealand is made up of hundreds of really small towns with not much going on in them, so there are very few opportunities there unless you’re living in Wellington, Auckland or Christchurch.

From the ages of 14-18 I would get the shuttle bus to a city around an hour away called Dunedin, which at the time had a pretty rad scene and the city had a-lot of life.

There were heaps of parties and a lot going on and they had the regional skate competitions which I would always go to and I’d often go there to film with Geoff Campbell.

Young Casey Foley with his board
Maybe is this capture the first ollie of Casey?

«There wasn’t much going on in my hometown (Whangarei) and I would travel to bigger towns and cities to skate whenever I got the opportunity.»

Without a doubt, it is a great mix of feelings to change out and suddenly find the reality of a big city. Are these feelings the same that prompted you to embark on projects such as Ducktales or the Fire Relief Skate Market?

Ducktales and various zine projects are a passion that came later on in my life. My first few years in Melbourne was strictly skateboarding and partying which was always fun but eventually I got over it and wanted to do something creative on the side. I went on a trip to New York in 2012 with a bunch of my friends, shot a bunch of photos on a little point and shoot and decided to make a zine.

It had a great response from my friends and I really got into printing my photos. Since then printing my work has always become really important to me. Having something tangible that will be with you forever is a great feeling. I don’t like the idea of photos getting lost on the internet so making zines is a good way to keep those memories forever. I eventually started shooting skate photos and interviewing my favourite local skaters/artists and running their interviews in Ducktales.

I started running ads and having release parties for issue releases. From there I turned DUCKTALES into not just a zine, but a website where people who appreciate print matter and things alike, can purchase zines/dvds from all over the world. I would get each issue of Push Periodical, NORTH, Vague, Manual Magazine and others. I was the only one who pre booked copies of SABOTAGE 5 and The Evisen Video in Australia and bought a-lot of Tightbooth’s LENZ videos and soundtracks to Australia.

Nathan Mizzi / Skitching / Photo: Casey Foley

«Having something tangible that will be with you forever is a great feeling.»

The website was profitable but was too much work do I decided to stop it after a year or so online. Between managing a skate shop, filming video parts, shooting skate photos and making zines, there was too much going on and I got over it. I’ve now completely gotten rid of Ducktales because I didn’t like the name and it had too much connection to my nickname (Ducky).

I am now focusing on a new Magazine called FORM which is releasing around every 6 or so months. I’ll be releasing issue 2 in a few weeks. FORM isn’t just my photos tho. It is  content from underground photographers and skaters throughout Australia. Its a home for the incredible photos that are constantly being slept on by the bigger mags. It’s a-lot more manageable as I don’t have to worry about shooting every single photo, I’m just the one putting it all together.

Talking about Ducktales, how was your contact with the world of skateboarding magazines? Is it hard to survive with this format versus the digital era where insta-content is forgotten faster than the multiplication table of seven?

There are so many sick magazines out there! It’s awesome to see, but I do often get caught up with insta content and don’t end up buying the print mags, which sucks.

The thing is with print matter, it doesn’t just get forgotten. It might get put away on the book shelf for a year or two but the owner will always have it sitting there and every now and then will pick it up and have a read. It will be in the owners life forever if it is looked after. Thats what I love about it the most about it. Print magazines are always so well respected in the skateboarding world and to see hundreds of people get together for a zine launch/exhibition is something that can’t happen on instagram/online.

Izaak Ashley / Wallie / Photo: Casey Foley
Jack Jourard / Duck under pole kickflip down / Photo: Casey Foley
Casey Foley / Crooked Grind / Photo: Tomoki Peters

«The thing is with print matter, it doesn’t just get forgotten. It might get put away on the book shelf for a year or two but the owner will always have it sitting there and every now and then will pick it up and have a read.»

Let’s focus now on the Fire Relief Skate Market. Australia is punished by the forest fires and so Melbourne is, when did you come up with the idea of creating a second-hand skater flea market? Tell us a about the history of this magnificent idea.

I was watching the news one morning and the fires were gnarlier than ever. The smoke had come over Melbourne that morning meaning that the air quality was «Very Poor» and was the second or third poorest air quality in the world. Something that I had never seen in my 11 years living in Australia. Not being able to leave the house was horrible and I couldn’t just sit around doing nothing about it.

I had this idea a long time ago and would always wondered if it would work of not. I decided to message my good friend and Australian skateboarding legend Morgan Campbell and to if he would be keen to collaborate to make this happen. Morgan was all in and I knew that once he’s got an idea in his head, he’ll make it happen. I DM’d 30 or so skaters that are sponsored in one way or another and they were all down to donate to the cause. I said that if we can donate 1 or 2 items each, we could raise $5000. The skaters I messaged were feeling as useless as I was and all decided to donate a-lot more than I proposed. Nick Boserio was the first one to donate and gave me something like 10 Polar boards, 20 pairs of Nikes a bunch of brand new Polar apparel, 10 sets of OJ’s wheels and other shit. I was blown away and thought to myself that this was gonna be huge.

I then went into work the next day and my friend Brad Saunders who rides for Adidas and the Adidas reps came through with like 20 pairs of kicks and a bunch of apparel. All of a sudden I had people calling me every hour with old wall boards they wanted to donate, brand new kicks, brand new wheels, trucks, literally everything! We even had brands like Passport and Buttergoods donating thousands of dollars worth of brand new stock. It got out of control! All of a sudden I had around $120,000 worth of stock sitting at work that was all donated by the skate community. I had to put out a message on Instagram that we’re no longer taking donations as we didn’t want to be left with any left over stock.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing / New Zealand / Photo: Casey Foley

«I decided to message my good friend and Australian skateboarding legend Morgan Campbell and to if he would be keen to collaborate to make this happen. Morgan was all in and I knew that once he’s got an idea in his head, he’ll make it happen.»

Originally my intention was to just take a few tables to the park and hustle product as a cash only event, but due to the amount of stock we had, we needed a shop front for the day. I talked to my friend who has an unused retail space in a central part of town and he was keen to donate it for the day. Another act of generosity during such a shitty time in Australia.

My good friend Louie Dodd designed a flyer and all of a sudden it was all over Instagram. Everyone was sharing it, literally everyone! From your average city skater, to the retail shops, to sneaker blogs to pro skaters. We had the feed covered for days. We decided to price everything at 1/3 of retail so we could get rid of the stock easier. Decks $40, tees $20, Jackets $30 etc etc.

I was going on a holiday to New Zealand with my partner and her family the day before the market, which meant I had 6 days to organise everything. Without the help of the community and my good friends Morgan Campbell, Louie Dodd, Josh Roberts and Leigh Barlow theres no way this could have happened.

Did you expect such welcome? How did you take it? How do you manage that bunch of people/money?

Originally I didn’t expect it to be this big and it was really overwhelming, On the day of the market we have 5 or so people working on the shop floor putting through transactions and making sure there wasn’t a riot. The 90% of the stock was gone in the first 2 hours which means that around the guys sold around $50,000 worth of stock per hour!!!

While relaxing in New Zealand, looking at Instagram and seeing hundreds of people lined up for this was such a trip! I was consistently calling the boys to make sure everything was ok but they were all on top of it. It was incredible to see what can be done in a time of need. We ended up raising $36,000 for Fire Relief For First Nations, CFA, Wildlife Victoria and Red Cross.

«The 90% of the stock was gone in the first 2 hours which means that around the guys sold around $50,000 worth of stock per hour!!!»

The viral phenomenon has always been closely linked to skateboarding videos: from downhill falls #hallofmeat or the first taildrop of a newbie. Do you think that it should be given more importance and space to acts like this market for the “Muggle world” (no-skater) than a video of a guy breaking his bones in a miniramp?

Hmm thats a good question actually. I cant remember the last time I watched a Hall Of Meat or some dumb viral skate clip. That shit doesn’t appeal to me. I would much rather hear what someone like Brian Anderson has to say about growing up as a queer skateboarder or listening to Josh Stewarts’ views on skateboarding, but there is always a place for dumb youtube videos. I can guarantee that the makers of the videos that I watch, dont give a fuck about how many views they might get.

I manage a skateshop in Melbourne and everyday I see different skaters of all types of backgrounds, so for the simple minded and younger skaters, something like a Hall Of Meat or some shitty instagram «trap edit» is what gets them hyped, so be it!

Well this has been all Casey! Thank you very much for your time and thanks to Karl Dorman for contacting us via Instagram (life things) I give you the last lines sir, safe!

Thanks mate. Cheers for reaching out! Love from Melbourne.

Casey Foley / Portrait / Photo: Rolan Gravenall

Interview by Rafael Álvarez
Text by Casey Foley
Special thanks to Tomoki Peters & Rolan Gravenall