Aside from the seemingly unstoppable force that was world champion Brian Aragon, until he actually decided to stop, there has never really been too much to say about the blading scene in Colorado. Sure, Jeremy Spira showed some promise when he joined the ranks of the Razors amateur team all those years ago, but filming for the 2008 team video Icons didn’t really go to plan and he never excelled to the heights of professional status that many believed he was capable of. Since then, he has only dropped a few edits here and there to show that he is still as talented as ever. However, the past couple of years have given rise to a notorious clan known as Scumpire and they have bolstered their reputation as a force to be reckoned with thanks to some brilliant edits, an exceptional video that ended up being the first blading release via Vimeo on Demand, and a solid crew that consists of one Cody Lampman.
Lampman has gained a certain degree of attention thanks to some exceptionally interesting edits for USD, combining technical, and sometimes unconventional, tricks, unusual obstacles and just the right amount of arrogance in his style, making him stand out amongst the endless sea of mundane online edits that continue to plague blading websites with each passing day. In 2013, the release of Scumpire’s online video El_Chvpo saw Lampman come into his own by taking every one of his afore mentioned attributes up a notch with a section that threatened to steal the show until Howie Bennett came out nowhere with a closing part that included no less than four ender tricks that any professional would have been happy with. In other words, if you haven’t seen El_Chvpo by now you are shit out of luck because it has since been removed from Vimeo on Demand and it is easily one of the best pay to play blading videos released to date. Yes, the standard was that high…and we didn’t even mention Geoff Phillip‘s killer performance.
After the release of El_Chvpo, Lampman defected to the Xsjado team near the end of 2013, in a similar move to UK blader Elliot Stevens. It started to seem like this decision would also suffer the same doomed fate as he released an introduction edit in the December of that year and then we heard very little from him for over eight months. However, Lampman stormed to the forefront of our minds once again with his Xsjado 2014 edit, reminding everyone why we became so intrigued with the Denver native and clocking up just shy of 10,000 views in the process, which is no mean feat for a flow skater from a part of America that many consider to be the middle of nowhere.
With news that a fresh edit is about to drop very soon, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to sit down with Cody Lampman and find out more about the mysterious man that dresses mainly in black, rocks a healthy amount of tattoos and possesses an enviable trick vocabulary. Apparently, his next online edit is just the first in a series of projects we can expect to see in the near future.
Wheel Scene: Last year we saw a few edits of you promoting USD but now you are riding for Xsjado. What’s that all about?
Cody Lampman: The switch to Xsjado was something that I had been thinking of doing for some time. I was feeling a bit burnt out after riding Carbons for so long, and the image and skating of the Xsjado team was something that I had always felt an attraction to. After talking to the right people, and taking a few months to become used to the 2.0 skates, I was more than happy with the decision I made. I can still safely say that switching to Xsjado is one of the best choices I’ve ever made concerning my skating “career”.
Your section in El_Chvpo was amazing, but since then we haven’t seen much from you. What have you been up to?
Thank you! After El_Chvpo, and my short Xsjado introductory edit, I made the decision to spend as long as necessary working on a part that I could actually be proud of. Up until that point, I had never really had a section that I could watch and be happy with every trick. Mykel, my longtime friend and filmer, agreed to work with me on the part, with the shared image that it would be something that we’d both be satisfied with. I wanted to have it done by summer, but as each subsequent month went by, I found it easier and easier to put off finishing it until I felt that I had enough of the quality footage that I was searching for. We travelled a lot, filmed as often as we could in Denver, and spent a few late nights filming around the city for the key night clips. Hence you have the last section I released; my Xsjado 2014 part. We began filming in December and wrapped in August. Although it took nearly a year to film, it was fun only focusing on one project with one filmer, and I’m happy I took my time on it.
When can we expect a new edit?
I’m currently working on something special for Halloween. Other than that, almost all of the projects I’m currently filming for are videos, so I really can’t say when my next solo edit will appear.
Denver seems to have a really strong scene at the moment, with the Scumpire guys, Howie Bennett, Jeremy Spira etc. What are you guys going to do next?
Denver is an incredible place to live for street skating and I’m lucky to call it home. There are definitely a few projects currently in the works, although I’m not at liberty to say more.
Come on, at least give us a hint!
I can’t be too specific, but we’ve definitely got something in the works. El_Chvpo was much more successful than we ever could’ve hoped for, so when we follow it up, we want the project to be something well worth the wait. We’ve been having more fun with blading than ever before, and have raised our standards for both filming and skating to a much higher degree. With all of the excellent filmer/skater combos we currently have in Denver, it’s safe to say that you’ll be seeing plenty of high quality content coming from the Colorado scene in the near future.
In an interview that Sean Kelso did with Mushroom Blading, he almost brags about the fact that KCMO was the first VOD full video, but EL_CHVPO came out before it and is actually a legit VOD video because it was released successfully on the Vimeo VOD section, unlike KCMO which was removed for music copyright infringement. What do you think about that?
Sean actually reached out to us for advice on releasing KCMO, since he downloaded El_Chvpo himself and thought the VOD format was the way to go. That being said, I don’t know him on a personal level, so I wouldn’t feel too comfortable discussing him.
Do you ever bump into Brian Aragon now that he is living back home?
I have not.
It’s now Autumn, which means winter is rapidly approaching in Colorado. What does that mean for you? Have you ever thought about leaving in search of kinder climates?
I enjoy winter. It gives me time off from the monthly skate trips and events that make up the summer and allows me to focus on my interests outside of blading. I’m comfortable with spending large amounts of time at home alone, so winter is sort of a vacation for me. That being said, other than a few weeks of snow, winter in Denver is not bad. We typically skate almost year-round. Colorado has a bad rap. We truly have some of the best weather for skating that I’ve ever experienced. The funny thing is, the only other place I’ve really been interested in living is Seattle, which has a much worse climate than Denver. I grew up on the ocean, so I long for foggy days and rainy evenings.
Are you working or studying at the moment?
I’m currently working in a small restaurant in Northwest Denver, just a few blocks from my house. It’s not the best, but my bosses are cool and give me all the time off I need for skating, so I can’t complain too much. I’m going back to school this spring. I’ll be studying screenwriting at Colorado Film School.
You are going to study screenwriting? Is that with a view to someday writing your own scripts for films?
Absolutely. I’ve enjoyed writing fiction since I was a child. It’s my longest running hobby, even holding a few years over skating. That being said, it wasn’t until now that I felt comfortable enough with the way my life was going to try and pursue it as a career, instead of just something I worked on during rainy days. To me, making the move from collaborating and sharing visions for skate edits, to making films, is something that seems more plausible than ever before. I’m excited to begin this journey and start pursuing a fresh artform.
Are you a big movie fan? Tell us about some of your favourites.
I love movies! When I’m not skating or working, I spend a good amount of time at the cinema with my girlfriend, who is a cinephile herself. I’m fond of far too many films to name, let alone choose a favorite. A few that have been released this year that I greatly enjoyed were; Only Lovers Left Alive, Frank, and Cold In July.
I once heard someone refer to you as the Russell Brand of rollerblading, what do you think about that?
I have no idea what that is supposed to mean! (Laughs)
Moving swiftly on! What interests do you have outside of blading?
It’s safe to say that I’m a bit of a loner when I don’t have skates on my feet. I enjoy reading, writing, bicycling, cooking, going to the cinema, and spending quality time with my lady.
Have you been buying many of the VOD parts? Do you have any favourites so far?
I’ve purchased (almost) all of the VOD sections that have been released this year and have been pleasantly surprised with them. I hate to pick a favourite, but I’ve definitely watched the Alex Broskow in NYC section more than any other VOD. The filming, vision, editing, music and, of course, skating all come together in a way that makes that section a modern masterpiece.
I know that you are sponsored by Xsjado and Haunted Wheel Co. Are there any others that I don’t know about?
Nope, just those two. I choose to only support companies that have a distinct look and vision that I can relate to. Haunted has been pushing their company in a direction that I’m really happy with and Xsjado has been a long runner in the field as far as supporting a distinctive style of skating goes. I don’t consider Scumpire a sponsor, since above all else we’re just a group of friends who love to skate together and film tricks.
Have you noticed any differences in Colorado since the legalisation of marijuana?
No, not really. Police are a bit more strict now about smoking and driving, which is natural given all of the tourists who come to the city just to get stoned. I suppose I would’ve noticed more of a change as far as buying marijuana goes, but I still had my medical card when the legalisation bill went into effect, so that changed nothing for me at the time. Now that I’m sober, it doesn’t have any effect on my life. Out-of-state friends are blown away by it when they visit, and the state is making massive amounts of money off of it, so I certainly don’t think it’s a bad thing. More of a natural progression in the direction that America needs to go if it wants to survive as a country.
Photos: Mykel Fatali, Ace Kieffer, Ian Walker and Greg Schlosser.
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