Chad Anthony discusses how he discovered rollerblading and the inspiration for his new clothing brand Southern Scum.
The south, and when we say “south” we mean the southern States of the USA, has always been a hotbed for rollerblading talent and forward thinking individuals determined to develop the industry. After all, it has produced the outstanding talents of Walt Austin, Dre Powell, Julian Bah and, most recently, Montre Livingston amongst many others that would take far too long to name. The south is also home to some of the sport’s greatest innovators including Tom Hyser, who established Skatepile and developed Fiziks, the first ever suspension frame. Carrying on the proud tradition of visionaries, Chad Anthony has established a clothing company unlike any our industry has seen before.
His brand, Southern Scum, may provide the usual selection of T-shirts and crew sweaters much like many other blading companies, but they also produce cut and sew items and one off garments to give customers the feeling that their item is truly unique. The brand are currently producing a selection of denim vests that come adorned with a various patches and badges that can be customised to an individual’s specific tastes and apparently this is one of several items that the renegade clothing company has in the pipeline – that’s if Anthony can keep up with the overwhelming demand there has been for his Americana-inspired designs.
Wheel Scene: How old are you, where are you from and how did you get into blading?
Chad Anthony: I am 27 years old. I originate from Booneville, Mississippi. I did some time in Kentucky and ended up here in Nashville, Tennessee. I started rollerblading in ‘99 simply because my homie Carlos Estrada moved to BGKY. He was into snowboarding and shit just as I and my brother. We met him through our bud Michael Cole. He got Michael into blading and that dude shredded. When I seen how sick he made it look I started meeting other dudes that were into it. I seen a couple of videos, MTV sports and music festival. I guess I can’t really pinpoint what got me into it except simply because I thought it was the raddest looking thing I had ever seen.
Are you riding for any companies at the moment?
Nah, I’m pretty old. In order to skate for someone I think you need to be able to dedicate all of your time to that company. I got way too much going on in real life. Shima has hooked it up with a couple pairs of blades. But my twin brother is in good with a ton of upper heads in the industry and has always managed to keep me pretty set on frames and wheels and shit. M1 Urethane just hooked it up on eight of the Trinity wheels, so I am pretty juiced to try them out.
You recently started Southern Scum. Where did the idea originate from?
I have been screen printing for a few years now. At the time I was working at this super slow shop so I found all sorts of time to play with ideas. Me and an old bud were just kicking it at work and putting together a shirt design for some dudes down south to promote their flick. They were not into the T-shirt too much so we scrapped it. At some point in time my bud scribbled some shit on the drawing and wrote the word “southern” across the top. I had already put the word “scum” on the drawing. We printed a few of those and then people started wearing them. I hooked up with my dude Derek Sabiston who is sick at graphic art and worked on a couple more designs. Then those kind of went well. I got canned at that shop for working on Southern Scum on the clock and then ended up at a rad ass shop where the owners were pretty cool with me doing my own thing. I started rambling on a Tumblr and a couple of months later Stefan Brandow, Derek and my pal Wesley Sandlin turned in some designs for a local artist line I wanted to print. I went a little over board and printed way too much of everything, so I had to get rid of it. I started taking it to contests and shit and next thing I know all the dopest shops and bladers were supporting it. Now, I don’t know - it is what it is!
You have quite a varied selection of items for sale. How does the creative process work?
I have kind of become a home body. Plus I free my mind as often as possible. Just recently I really got into sewing and altering. There is not necessarily a process, I just come up with ideas, draw them and shit, pass them along to the homies and they make them printable. As far as all the limited edition goods, that stuff just happens. I just randomly run into things I think would look dope with an anchor or a patch or something and print all over it, sew a few things here and there and then push it as one of a kind. The demand for custom things has gotten a little extreme. I am pretty far behind on promises but, like everything with SS, I am just trying to let it do its thing. So I am never really in a hurry to make something.
What are your plans for the future of the brand?
Like I said before, I want to let it do its own thing. I have been involved with a couple of other projects in the past and due to overkill and poor decisions they all flopped. But this is the first time I have ever had to collect receipts and worry about taxes and shit. Getting a copyright was kind of scary. I don’t really have any plans. Southern Scum recently purchased a van and so far that is about all the planning it needs. There are a couple of ideas being worked on as far as the next release line - also a couple of southern tours and a video. I want to hit up as many contests as possible to really help push the names of the dudes that support the brand so well. Then there is another project; SS is collaborating with an already established company that is working on a revamp. I am most excited about that. It is a really good choice for both companies and all parties who represent each one. It is probably the biggest and scariest move made yet but I have a ton of faith in both the idea and Southern Scum. It should be a killer.
Is there a team?
Nah, I don’t really support the word team. There are supporters and there are followers, but then there is the crew and they already know who they are (The Wolfpack). They need no kind of introduction, pretty much because everyone already knows who they are. They are the backbone and reason it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Pretty much all the main heads in TN, Carolinas, Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, all the way down to Florida - I can’t thank you all enough for busting your asses and making this get so out of hand. All I can say is we will be getting in where we fit in as often as possible. I know people out there probably think we are not the “scummiest” and maybe not the “best” but we are friends and having fun and don’t really give a shit what the haters have to say. I think I speak for everyone in the SS crew when I say we are ready to fuck shit up and have a good time. Be on the lookout this next year, we will be around.
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