SPONSORS : TASTY SKATEBOARDS
Age : 33
From : Worcester, MA
Currently Resides : Providence, MA
Day Job : Bicycle Shop
Mike is a one of a kind. For him skateboarding, art and music blend into one big pile of awesome. He’s an accomplished artist, tattooer, zine maker, musician, train hopper, neck beard farmer, punk, free spirit, low key and funny. He’s an amazing person who can shred transition with a casual power and and a style that is as unique as his personality. He brings a quirkiness and rad vibe to any skate session he is part of.
2012 INTERVIEW BY ISAAC MCKAY-RANDOZZI
How long have you been skating for Orchard? Since its inception. Been friends with Devo [former owner] for a long time (I used to work his old skate park he had outside of Worcester) and I’ve known Bro and Armin for a long time, since before there was the shop.
Since you’ve been there from the beginning, has much changed with those guys as far as keeping their original vision? The vision is the same since its inception but Devo’s not involved anymore since he’s in California. Armin was part of the whole crew at the skate park too so it’s all kind of the same.
Since it moved to the new location, how do you like it? It’s a lot better [laughter]. It was easier for me to get to the old location and parking was easier but having a ramp and an art gallery…
You used to collect a lot of junk and resell it or something? Me and a good friend of mine had a store named after me called, ‘Happy Birthday Mike Leslie’ and we sold whatever junk we made and our girlfriends made and stuff we found.
What’s the most odd/interesting object you ever sold out of there? Well Dick sold a giant squid stuffed animal he made, ten feet long. We got a lot of weird stuff in there we ended up keeping. My friend Janine gave me this hardcover really nice book that was weird Hawaiian porno somebody put together, a weird Hawaiian porno scrapbook.
After the first Orchard video came out, it got a lot of attention and stuff. Were you surprised by that? Yeah, I was kind of surprised by it. I’d done kind of small video parts for shops before and a crew in San Diego but this was a video that people always talked about even though I had a pretty small part so it’s pretty funny.
Now that there is talk of shooting for the second one, do you feel any added pressure because of the universal respect the other one has gotten? Personally I don’t feel any pressure; I don’t know if Bro or anybody does who had bigger parts or Fritz. I feel that they kind of carried the video but I just felt like I could get more footage.
What’s your favorite Jad memory? I just like any grunting sound he makes. Just a, “errruugh”.
Do you think Orchard has filled a void that has been in the scene for a long time? Yeah, somewhat. I mean I started coming into the city when there was Coliseum and all those kids. They weren’t around long enough in the city as an established shop. I feel that after 8 years of Orchard that they have filled a void. They are different than any other shop.
Is there anyone who’s part you’re looking forward to seeing in the new video? Just Bro. I’ve skated with him forever and every time we go out it’s amazing. Him and Fritz probably. I like everyone on the team though.