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What's Happenin' | Evan Smith

August 06,2020



Yo Evan, What’s Happenin’? You’ve been on many magazine covers, but did you ever think you’d get the cover of a video game?

I had no clue that would ever happen. By far. To be on the cover of the game and PlayStation main page is pretty surreal. Now that it’s happened, it will allow me to proliferate my career. If I die, kids can play the game and I will forever be in the algorithm.


Congrats on the cover! Have you played Skater XL yet? What do you think?

Yes, I got to test the game while we were all figuring out who was going to be in it. It was really, really cool. I’m not so good at video games, but the aspect of the game that is fucking beautiful is that it’s like skateboarding where you have to learn from the ground up. You have to learn how to push, how to ollie, and then you take what you learn to the next level. You don’t just get good immediately, you have to build a strategy around how you do it. And every person can do it in their own way. Which is really rad.



Skater XL allows you to customize the skater and their footwear. How do you feel about seeing your new Hyde S signature colorway in a video game?

It is amazing. It seems like a lot of people are picking it too, because there isn’t many colorful shoes in the game. And it’s rad because it’s all original artwork. At DC we’ve been working towards this drop for a while and the fact that it lined up with the game is incredible. It’s another dream come true as well as having other skater-owned brands in the game like a “Grimple Stix/Anti-hero” board as my board with “No Hotels” stickers on it. These are brands that actual skateboarders have started and pushing these brands out to the public has been our dream forever. I’m just really thankful to Skater XL for allowing this to be a platform for them. That makes us all happy.


What was the story behind your signature colorway of the Hyde S?

The shoe was a 4x7 foot acrylic painting that we originally turned into pairs of shoes that we did a giveaway with. Then coming full circle, the Hyde S was available to do a colorway so I wanted to do something bright and grabby. It has this ancient, ethereal vibe to it. Its ancient Egyptian in a way. It’s cool, we got to print it on canvas for one of the colorways and the other one is all black with the artwork on the insole. I got to design it with Jimmy Astleford and the shoe designers at DC. It was a team collaboration and we all got to put our 2 cents in. It’s a vulcanized skate shoe with the aesthetics of the original DC’s. They’re available now for purchase and it’s all lining up perfect with the video game. That’s exciting.



Speaking of perfect alignment - You got a new part called “Modern Frequency” dropping on Thrasher this Monday. Tell us more…

Yes. I wanted to call it “Modern Frequency” because it’s kind of an underground mixtape - which is the vibe I’m going for. It lines up well with the art direction from the DC ad that we just put out. Everything’s dropping together in huge correspondence, which is great. It’s something accessible for people to grab onto.


What’s up with the music? I heard you and your band made the track.

Yeah we made a 42 minute album. “A” and “B” side on vinyl. UV WAYS is the name of the band. You can find the music on iTunes and Spotify and we have a YouTube account as well where we’re going through every song, making a music video for each one. We’ve already dropped a music video for one of the songs, “SERPENTS” Check out the video on YouTubeIt’s really exciting because it’s gives you the visual aesthetics. I really liked skating to the music as well because it speaks to skateboarding. It’s really eclectic underground stuff. Really trippy and slowed down. It’s a fabric of sound.


Talk to the people about pain. Why is it necessary for growth and what have you learned from it?

In this world,  a lot of people come from broken homes and different life situations. All of these things create pain in our lives and that allows us to see where stand on our belief system. If we stand up for what we believe in, then the world is becoming a better place. That pain and suffering can be used to understand the duality of life. A yin and a yang has a dot on either side of it. That’s a protected space for evil and vice versa. You need to use those things to learn how to grow. Life isn’t always going to be glorious and beautiful, those moments teach us every day. The people that use those moments as opportunities to move forward are able to be a part of the right things in this world. Those are the people that rise.


Anything else you would like to tell the people out there?

I would like to say. In the midst of the chaos, just find the people and the things that make you happy. And just hold them really close, because you don’t know what you got until it’s gone. That includes skateboarding, playing video games with your friends, going camping out under the stars, starting crazy ideas/brands and trying to make them happen. Just work towards some sort of enlightenment in your life. We choose what we do. We choose what we listen to. I would just hope that everyone out there could feel a little bit of peace reading this. That’s it.


Ladies and gentleman, Evan Smith.

Thanks for the interview, I appreciate it.


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