Tell us who you are, where you’re from, what you do for a living and why you talking to us
My name is Matt Hillier I’m from the Isle of Wight, currently living just outside of Brighton UK on the coast. Im a Focus Puller for TV and Film for a living but I have also just started a company called Beer Slash which is why Im talking to you guys.
I grew up in the country side on an island got into skating, got into surfing and punk rock and never got out of
it. I started skating because my Uncle gave me a fibre glass slalom board and I just loved i right from the start.
What’s your favourite skate deck ?
Well I have a lot of favourites, I like the Powell Per Wilinder nordic skull deck because that was my first proper board, from the same era I liked the schmitt stix Steve Douglas and the Vision Lee Ralph too. I had a Alien workshop rainbow alien logo deck I loved when I was skating really hard day in day out in the 90’s. My two favourites at the moment are my GGI deck and my powell Steve stead ham pig.
If you had to pick up a skate company which represent your style and attitude the most, what would that be ?
It would be Beer Slash! If not my one the Assault skateboards. All about punk, diy, curbs, pools rails, shaped decks and cool fun stuff like that.
Beside the quality of the decks nowadays which really improved for technology’s matters, what are new companies truly missing out in your opinion ?
I think actually nothing. That is for every company that sucks or isn’t doing something that you like there is heaps of others out there doing something rad. Skateboarding is so vast you just have to dig around to find something new that is amazing. All the best stuff takes time to find and is never in the mainstream. Nothing is missing it just has to be found. The truth is out there!!!
If you had to listen to a song to motivate you to start shredding around in a matter of seconds, what song would it be ?
Alcohol by Gang Green or some S/T.
What’s your opinion on bloody go pros, young kids trying to film any shit they take on a board and new high level videos ?
My rule for go pros in surfing is if the waves isn’t barreling then you shouldn’t have a go pro on the nose of your board. They look great if you have someone willing to film you from the water with one other wise, no. Skating wise we live in a throw away clip youtube world whats new is new for a day then the world moves on. New high quality stuff is ok but in my opinion low budget skater made and filmed films are better than trying to make it look like a hollywood production but thats just because i grew up watching stuff like the new deal videos etc and all those 8 minute VHS promos that came out in the 90’s.
What’s your favorite video of all times ?
Surf video its ….Lost’s Whats Really Going Wrong and Skating its New Deal’s 1281. I also like momentum 2 and Acme a go go and the uk 90’s film Juice.
Do you surf, right ? You think surfing is still related to skateboarding like when everything started ? Is it true that skaters have a weird approach to surfing when they start ?
Yeah I surf got my first taste really young, I would say properly surfing since I was 13. Been sponsored on and off by quite a few companies and still surf as much as possible. I think surfing will always be related to skating as that is where it came from but a skateboard is a much more adaptable tool that can be ridden on multiple terrain, than a surfboard. Skating’s progression rocketed before surfing because it was more widely available and its taken time for surfing to catch up so to speak. Ultimately they are completely different disciplines now. I don’t know any skaters that have taken up surfing after being good at skating first. Mostly its the other way round, like people skate because the waves are bad and that want something similar to do. I’d imagine a skater my struggle as the learning curve is longer for surfing.
What’s Beer Slash all about ? What you want it to become ?
Beer Slash came about while i was shooting some footage for the Old boys skate video. I had an idea for a shot that i would line up some cans on the coping and Adrian would slash grind them and knock them over. It was funny to film and we had a good time doing it. After that I said in future I’d film some more when the weather was good and I’d make a little video out of all the footage and all it Beer Slash. The weather never got better as its been winter and I wanted something to do so I stuck all the clips id made and some photos on a Facebook page and called it beer slash, then i posted just photos of Jay Adams, Duane Peters and Christian Fletcher just to keep it going. IT got some interest and I went to Thailand while i was there I got 200 stickers made and Adrian Willard the Tattooer at Tiger Bones in Brighton who is a life long great friend of mine designed the Keith Meek Tribute beer slash T shirt.
Since then Ive been asked to sponsor a part of the Zero Degrees Peacehaven skate Jam and Ive been asked to supply T-shirts to Supernova surf shop in Newhaven and Freestyle Skate store in Newport Wales. I want to do a run of hats next new bunch of stickers and maybe another T or hoody and just see how it goes. I’d like to do some decks printed on old school shapes and just make stuff I and my friends like and just see how things go. Its all really new at the moment so I’m just taking it easy for now, theres no big business plan or anything like that.
Thanks for the interview! Cheers ,Matt
*All pictures by Mat Hammond