Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, September 2008
Bryan Herman struck me as a simple dude who just wants to enjoy his ride. Simple is always better. So let’s keep this intro simple too, shall we? Bryan made me laugh harder than anyone I’ve ever interviewed. The way he says shit, and the way he laughs before and after he says it is contagious. We sometimes forget how important laughter is until we spend 15 minutes doing it uncontrollably, ya know? Makes you wonder why you don’t do it more often.
So tell us about G Code…
Pretty much if you don’t know what G Code is you can’t have it explained to you. You just got to know what it is—the code you live by, you know?
Whatever happened to the Bryan Herman’s Big Adventure video and the Skatetopia you were gonna build?
I want to do that still. I’ve been filming with Beagle for a long time. We’ll just go and fuck around and that’s the stuff that’s kind of cool. I was going to put it together for my mom for a Mother’s Day gift—all the things I’ve been doing over the years. It would be sick to come out with a video and call it Bryan Herman’s Big Adventure.
Did you get your mom anything this Mother’s Day last week?
I cut out a bunch of pictures and I made a little collage book for her. Me and my two brothers did it. It was all artistic and shit. Reminded me of third grade.
Awwww… the sensitive side of Bryan Herman. This will be a touching interview.
Nah man. That ain’t gonna happen.
Is it weird growing up in the public eye?
The industry has had my back for a long time. I couldn’t have done it without them. I ran away from home when I was thirteen. Donny from Pharmacy took me in and I was going to school at his house. Once I turned fourteen I was asked to go on a Baker tour and he was like “Fuck it. Run with it. You already ran away from home.”
I’d already failed fucking home school and everything. I had no options. I was fucked. I didn’t care about much but skating. If you got it going for you and you love it so much, you might as well keep it going.
So I relied on that and kept skating and the industry had my back the whole time. They let me live. Even through my injury they always called me to get an interview or something or had some old dirty photos that washed up that they wanted to run real quick, you know?
Do you have a girlfriend right now?
Are you allowed to tell the story of a pinky ring and a threesome?
I’ll quote Lil’ Wayne. “What happens on my bus stays on my bus.” That’ll work.
Who has your favorite meltdown?
The Sinner has a pretty good one.
Pat Pasquale. He’ll try a trick fucking twice and just freak out. “Fuuuuck! “Fuck!” He will be pissed as fuck. Lizard King had a pretty good meltdown the other day. Freaking out. He really didn’t want to skate.
Why do you call Pat “The Sinner”?
Because he’s fucking full of sin, man. He’s no joke.
How about Antwuan stealing your car?
We’re homies. We just got to know each other so fucking well. He would swoop up on my ride once in a while and it would piss me the fuck off.
Like would it disappear for a couple of days or what?
I mean I’ve got six cars, you know what I’m saying? He’d be like “I’m going to go to the store and get some blunts. I’m gonna get me a burger.” And I’m like “Alright get me one too.” Fucking three days later I’m like “Where the fuck you at, man?”
I think he would go hang out with his mom. He’d come back and had blown up the whip. And I’m like “You blew up the mother fuckin’ engine?” But he went and took care of it. Bought a new engine. Made sure it was all crispy and back in action.
Before you were skating, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Ninja Turtle. Like the super Ninja Turtle and have all the fucking techniques of every one of them mixed into one. Kind of like how Splinter is. Is that his name, the little rat dude? I don’t fucking know man but they are fucking masters at shit.
You got a good Spanky story?
Spankdog. That’s my boy. Last time I hung out with him he was able to cry on command. We’d be like “Just cry, Spanky” and tears would drop from his eyes like he was super fucking sad and then he’d just snap out of it and I was like “Damn!”
That’s some Tom Hanks shit. Do you think he just thinks of something sad in his life and starts crying?
I have no idea. He’s just able to do it. It’s pretty crazy.
Outside of the Baker crew, what skaters are do you admire?
That kid Brandon Westgate kills it. He murders it. He’s got mad pop.
Any tricks you can’t do but you really wish you could?
I wish I could backside flip super good but for some reason I feel more comfortable nollie backside kickflipping. Nollie Cab to backtail.
Like Gino did in Mouse?
Exactly. I tried one day and got broke the fuck off, man. I got smashed.
What did you try it on?
The bottom part of a picnic bench with no top on it. I got on it to front blunt on the other side somehow and just smashed myself out. Like a back breaker over the end of it.
Are you mainly working on the Emerica video right now?
Yeah, it’s all Stay Gold right now.
There seems to be some conflicting stories about you shaving your eyebrows off. You told people that Andrew Reynolds made you do it but Andrew denied it.
Oh man, he was saying I wouldn’t do it. So I did. People were telling me after I did it that sometimes eyebrows don’t even grow back. And I was like, “What? For real? This isn’t just like a temporary thing?” I told Drew before “I’ll do it and blame it on you. Tell people you paid me a thousand dollars to shave that shit.”
Justin Regan said he called Andrew like “Dude you can’t make the younger dudes shave their eyebrows. That’s not cool.”
Andrew was like “Yo, I didn’t make them do anything!” The cool thing about it was I was tripping motherfuckers out. I’d just be hanging out with the homies and be like “Yo, what up dog?”
Even with girls. They’d be like “What the fuck is wrong with this dude? He’s cool but I don’t know what’s wrong with this motherfucker.”
You don’t always notice right away.
Nah, you have no idea. So I was running with it for a while.
Do you think ten years from now you’ll have a career like Andrew has?
I’d like to because I’ve always looked up to that guy. The passion he’s got… that’s what I want to be when I’m thirty years old—killing it like he is. He’s doing hammers now at 30 that he wasn’t doing at 20. This is the dude I look up to and the dude that pays me and does everything for me. It’s good to be around him. I go over to his house and skate with him. It’s super fun, I like to see him hanging around with his daughter and doing his father thing, but yet still we go and play SKATE. We battle.
What’s a trick you can always get him on?
Nollie heelflip. He don’t got it at all. If you guys see him around ask him to do a nollie heel. He’s going to work on it now that I’ve put it out here. I used to be able to get him on the switch heels but he’s got those now. Spank used to get me on back threes all the time and it made me learn those.
I heard you just saw some dude get hit on a motorcycle or something?
Oh yeah this fool got nailed, dog. So we’re in the skate tank and this lady in front of us was trying to turn left and taking forever. We were all like “When is this bitch gonna turn? All of a sudden she went at the sketchiest moment ever and the motorcycle was coming as the car was turning left onto the freeway and the motorcycle dude T-boned her. He hit the car in the back wheel and flew off his motorcycle. It was crazy as fuck. It was no joke, dude. He was going like, 30 miles an hour and she was going all slow, like 10. His bike was all crushed. And the dude just got up too. Like all stunned.
How about life after pro skating?
Hopefully I’m skating forever. But when I’m older, I wanna start a skate camp for kids. I always thought having a skate camp would be rad and I think I’m pretty qualified to teach kids to skate.