An interview with the main man himself!
Once all was done, the trips had been completed, the streets had been destroyed, and the clips handed over to our editing wizard Pwee and compiled in such a way, with just the right music selection that would inevitably make the watchers head explode with an overload of stoke.... Then Theo called up Zak whilst he was cruising in his car between Bear Mountain and San Diego on his way back from Hot Dawgs & Handrails, to see how he thought filming his very first movie he can call his own went.
Interview by Theo Acworth (Method Mag Editor)
Hey Zak, how’s it going?
Just driving back to San Diego, hungover.
How was Hot Dawgs & Handrails?
It was fun. Classic Bear. Lot of people. NOFX played. Lot of fights.
So Ethan Morgan was supposed to do this interview for me when you guys were in NZ, but he’s a drunk piece of shit and forgot, so now you have to do it with me.
We were both drunk pieces of shit the entire time.
That’s fine. I guess I don’t know you as well as he does, so this might not be as funny, but I’ll do my best.
We actually met once very briefly in Innsbruck. I watched you put a drunken Sam Taxwood in a headlock.
*Laughs* Oh yeah I remember. You’ve got to put him in his place sometimes.
So let’s get into it. What’s the deal with TRASH?
So Trash is me, Jesse Augustinus, Harrison Gordon, Chris Grenier and Carlos Garcia Knight. It was kind of a last minute thing. November rolled around and I wanted to do something with Method, so I hit up Chriso and asked him if you were doing a movie, and he said that you were partnering with Scandalnavians on a two year thing, but we should try and work out a solo project instead. I was like damn, that’s an insane opportunity to be able to do that. It was pretty last minute but it all came together really well which was awesome. I went on the first trip in January with Ethan Morgan in Europe. I’ve been home for two months since then. I was in Helsinki for a while, and then it just rolled from there. So yeah that’s how it got going.
Are you happy with how it turned out?
Yeah I’m really stoked. Everyones’ riding is insane. Pwee killed it on the editing. Stoked with how it turned out for sure. I got to pick all the music too, and we seemed to get pretty lucky with the songs I picked. It’s all gone over really smoothly.
Was this different from other projects you’ve done in the past?
I’ve never had so much input on a video project before. You know, doing the Burton thing and some other stuff with Monster. You don’t usually have a ton of input. But I’ve been emailing back and forth with you guys for three months, switching things up, finding music, it’s cool to have so much input on a project.
You let me come up with the name too. That’s always the hardest part, trying to get something that’s not a shitty generic fucking snowboard movie title. Trash just kept coming to my head. It’s a word that me and my friends say all the time. You know, ‘That’s trash, it’s trash, you’re trash’. And then I was talking to Sage Kotsenburg, my best friend, and I was saying that I wanted to name it Trash, but I was kinda worried that it would be super easy to hate on it when it comes out if it did turn out to be garbage. But he just said if I was hyped on the footage and stoked on my year, then just call it Trash. So I said fuck it, I’ll call it Trash. The response has been pretty positive so far.
I watched it yesterday. It’s rad. Each song totally creates a different vibe. Having the phone clips in there is for sure good too, adds a lot of personality.
That’s kinda how I wanted it. I wanted it to be kinda like that skate video Boys of Summer. It’s not the most insane skating in there, but it’s entertaining, you know? There’s personality to it. And that’s kinda how this project is. All those phone clips are my life. That’s my 24/7. It’s cool to put that in a project, so it’s not just me snowboarding. It matches the style of my life. I think Pwee adding in phone clips and also having that stuff in the end credits is sick.
I’ve got to ask, what’s the deal with that shot of everyone being broken out of the elevator?
Dude. We were at summer XGames, it was like 3am. We piled 20 people into an elevator that was only supposed to hold around 14 people, and it got stuck. We were stuck in there for a fucking hour. Chloe Kim was in there, Sage, Jamie Anderson, 3 Olympic gold medalists stuck in the elevator with a bunch of other people. It’s 3 in the morning, everyone’s wasted. Someone pissed their pants, someone threw up, and another girl passed out. So everyone knew each other in the elevator, except one girl. This one girl got in the elevator with us, and she was fucking pregnant.
So there’s this one girl, with 20 or so wasted people, and she was freaking out like she was going to die. Super worried about her baby.
How tight was it in the lift, could you move?
We were shoulder to shoulder, you could barely move. You could turn around, but that was it. The fire department had to come out. So everyone is coming home from the bar and is waiting in the lobby, and we’re all stuck in the elevator. They had to jaws of life the doors open. (editors note, this is a hydraulic tool usually used in car accidents)
Colt filmed that clip of the door being busted open, so funny.
So I wanted to ask if you there were any standout moments from the winter, besides being trapped in a lift with 3 Olympic gold medalists and a pregnant woman?
Honestly the whole year. I did whatever I wanted. It felt like this was the first year that I was able to have full control of my season and do whatever I want. If I want to go to Helsinki for a month and a half, I’ll go to Helsinki for a month and half. I got to snowboard what I wanted, and when I wanted. I think you can see that in the video. Some of the projects I’ve done in the past I felt like I had to do things a certain way to make people happy. This year I just put all that behind me and said you know what, I’m just gonna snowboard for myself and give it my all. Honestly I’ve never been more stoked with my footage than I have been this year. As long I know I’ve put in 110% and didn’t leave anything on the table, then that’s all I wanted out of it. And that’s kinda how it went.
It’s nice to hear how genuinely stoked you are on it. Ok, I think we’ve rounded out the project pretty nicely. So I’ve just got a few other non-Trash related questions to ask you to close things out.
What’s the most amount of money you’ve won at a contest, and what did you spend it on?
I won this Burton Rail Days contest once. It was $15k and Burton matched it, and then Monster gave me $5k or something. So one night I walked away with $35k or so.
Yeah, that was insane. I think that money went towards my first house. Nothing crazy.
Fair enough. To be able to say you own a property at your age (26) is no small achievement. Better than buying some stupid shiny watch or something.
Yeah. I mean that’s sort of what I do on the side of snowboarding. I’ve invested in a few properties that I rent out to college kids and snowboarders. It’s awesome. I’m lucky, my dad is my financial advisor and is a really smart dude, so it’s rad having him help me out.
So what’s up with your nickname Scroter?
Scroter is actually the most random one. My dad gave me the nickname and has called me that my entire life. Finally he came to Salt Lake a few years ago and was yelling it the whole time, and my friends were like ‘Who the fuck is Scroter?’. I’m not exactly going to tell my friends to start calling me Scroter. And my dad was like ‘You guys don’t call him Scroter?’ And then it just took of, and everyone calls me Scroter now. I don’t hear my first name that much anymore.
I presumed it would have origins in a drunken story about balls, but that’s much funnier.
My mom hated it. Still hates it. Imagine your kid is running around the mall and dad’s yelling ‘Scroter, Scroter get over here!’ and she’s like ‘You can’t call your fucking son Scroter.’
Thanks for shedding some light on that one. Ok tell me something people don’t know about you.
Damn that’s a tough one. I was with a girl the other night and she asked me the same thing. I’m a pretty open book man, nothing too crazy. I wear my emotions on my face, and I don’t have very many secrets in my life. I tell people everything. I mean I shit my pants in front of Rob Gronkowski in Vegas, and I tell girls that story. He’s this American football hero who played for the Patriots, you know, Tom Brady throwing 50 fuckin’ yard passes to him at Superbowl, and I shit my pants in front of him. But everyone knows that, how am I not going to tell people that story? I’ve gotta tell people that story. I think the more you don’t tell people about you, the less they know you. And I think it’s cool that you can be an open book to your friends at least, so they know who you are and there’s no fucking secrets.
Describe Ethan Morgan in three words.
Fuck, dude, um… Actually, that’s how you should describe him. That’s three words.
I think that’s a pretty fair response to Ethan at all times. Ok, I think we’ll wrap it up there. Any closing words?
Thanks to everybody at Method that helped out with this, the filmers, all my friends and anyone I rode with through the winter. It was honestly the best season of my life, for me personally and also my riding. I feel like a learned a lot from this year and grew a bit with it, so yeah just thanks to everyone who stuck behind me. The last two or three years of my snowboard career have been a bit up and down with sponsors, so it’s cool having people that have my back and still believe in my snowboarding.
Watch the full movie TRASH Here: