Even though I was the designated “curator” of Saturday afternoon’s Animal Style skate video program at FAAIM’s annual film festival, there was still some room for surprise. I had actually never seen Chiayo!, the third video released by the preduce shops/crew from Bangkok. But I had a feeling it would totally rip just like its predecessors, and that is exactly what happened. Loosely framed by a self-deprecating bachelor party theme that channels the spirit of the Bones Brigade, it shows shredding from all over Thailand, China, and even the United States. Next-level skating, crazy style, and amazing scenery leads up to Lert Saeri absolutely killing it in the final sequence. And if that weren’t enough, there’s a totally rad ’80s Thai new wave soundtrack on top of that!
Luckily, if you missed the premiere in Bangkok or tour of Thailand that followed (highlights here)–or even the Chicago screening that I coordinated–you can watch the entirety of Chaiyo! at preduce.com. (But not the same as on the big screen, bro.) Before hitting the link, check out this short Q&A with preduce boss Simon Pellaux about the video and tour… All pics except for the final still courtesy of Simon’s Instagram account.
MW: I love that Chaiyo! has a message and story. Can you tell me about that?
SP: “Chaiyo” is a word used in Thai for celebration. It could be translated to something close to “Hooray!” We choose this title because 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of preduce, and we’ve come a long way since 2002. Thailand has also been in a couple of crisis the last years, with a military coup, a mob uprising that ended up in bloodshed (one of our shops got burned down during the crackdown), and the worst flood in 50 years. By using a cheerful title we want to give a positive message and show our confidence in better years to come.
MW: Looks like the tour ranged from a proper theater in Bangkok to TV parties in smaller towns. Can you tell me the range?
SP: The Bangkok premiere was pretty crazy with over 1,000 people packing the club where we showed the video. We had an open bar, free preduce tattoos all night, pin-up chicks, and the whole shebang. Everybody had a blast! Right after that we went on a two-week cross-country tour to premiere the video in the provinces and do demos. We went to a lot of small cities where there’s a small scene and a store that carry preduce. We showed the vid, did demos for the locals, and partied with them. So yeah, it pretty much went from a huge party in Bangkok to a premiere in a skate shop with the town’s 20 skaters. Some of the premieres and demos in the provinces were still quite big, though, with over 100 people showing up. Not many people know that there are skateboarders all over Thailand, and not just in Bangkok.
MW: I loved how you offered free tats to the fans. Who was the artist? How many people took you up on the offer? What was the most popular piece?
SP: We offered free preduce tats at the 2 biggest premieres, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. In both cities, the tattoo artists were homies that were down to do it. We honestly thought that they wouldn’t have to work too hard because we didn’t think that that many people would be into it. It turned out that at both premieres they had to tattoo nonstop from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. People were lining up, and it was really insane to witness that. Most popular tat was the Chaiyo! logo that we used for the video. It has a cool meaning and people loved the vid. Right after that was an old logo with a machine gun and the motto “Ready to Kill Spots.”
MW: Who went on the trip? Were there any casualties?
SP: The entire team went except Kyle, who’s in the States right now. We also had Janchai and Leo (a.k.a. “Big L”) for filming duty and our friend Burny for photos. All together 11 people–a solid crew. Tao blew his ankle mid-trip. That sucked. He couldn’t walk the next day, so he left early. Lert cut himself pretty bad after a little motorbike accident one night. He definitely should have gotten stitches. But Lert is a warrior. He just poured some whiskey on it and kept skating for the entire trip. MVP of the tour, for sure. We found some amazing spots, too. It’s always good to venture in the provinces to find gems. Most people think that the spots in the vids are all in Bangkok, but they’re actually spread out throughout the entire country.
MW: When does the next video drop? How much time do you need to recuperate?
SP: We’re not really sure yet. We’ve been coming up with a new video every three years pretty much since we started. So maybe by 2015. The big challenge is always to find the budget. Converse supported Chaiyo!, and hopefully they’ll be down to chip in for another one. We’ll see.