Who is Richie Jackson? An eccentric skateboard wiz? A psychedelic urban scientist? Or just a giant attention whore “trolling” the skate community? These are the questions that I, and I’m sure many skateboarders have thought about in the recent months, as Richie has been popping up with appearances on Free Lunch, The Weekend Buzz and his new show on Network A. Richie’s self-awareness, seemingly deep pool of knowledge and hyper-articulation make him one of the most exciting skateboarders right now. Always ready to conjure up some great entertainment, I gave him a ring to talk about stuff like hallucinogens, unique pubic hair designs and the secret to happiness.
Do you think psychedelics have the possibility to enhance one’s skateboarding?
I think it absolutely could. Take Tom Penny as an example. The period when he was most in control and connected to his own ability was supposedly fueled by magic mushrooms.
Is that even true?
Oh fuck yeah, you know those clips where he’s skating that 10 stair rail in that hallway? The one he switch flips over? He was on shrooms as legend has it – I hope it’s true. Penny has got that savant thing going on. I could totally see him regressing into a corner of his own mind where all that shit was possible and everything else just falling apart outside of that. That kind of makes sense to me.
How many drugs do you actually take?
Here’s the thing, people are going to decide what my drug consumption is. I am gonna have absolutely no say in it. The reality is not going to correlate to what anybody is thinking. We were trying to play that up in the show, like, “oh yeah so many drugs!” I won’t say how much that correlates to the truth or not but fuck it, everyone will make up their own mind.
What do you think about weed starting to become more widely legalized?
The weed legalization is fantastic. I don’t even smoke weed, which is an extremely disappointing thing to anyone that’s like, “hey man come over and we’ll smoke a spliff and we’ll fucking blaze it brother!!!” I do always appreciate the offer. It’s fucking fantastic that it’s being decriminalized.
You must get that daily…
Yeah, I mean I did that to myself. Weed just straight up doesn’t agree with my neurological composition. It did at a point, it was fantastic growing up. I almost feel like it’s age appropriate, there’s an age when it’s the best thing you could be doing.
Is your audiobased system of thinking up new tricks real or total bullshit?
That is a real thing. You only think of so many new tricks because the visual cues can distract you from coming up with anything new. Because you know what a kickflip looks like, you know what a treflip looks like. So if you switch off the visuals on a skate video and only listen to the audio – It’s like how some people say radio is better than television because you have to use your imagination. It’s exactly the same thing. You are forced to use your imagination because you are not seeing the trick, you’re only hearing it.
Have you ever been asleep and dreamed that you can do a trick you’re unable to do in reality, then upon waking find that it’s now possible?
Yeah that’s a real thing. That happens. I think it’s probably cues, subconscious cues in your brain. Like have you noticed that you get better at a trick when you don’t do it?
Right, it’s like your brain catching up to it?
Yeah and that could take months. You could have the weakest back smith, it could be total garbage, and if you leave it alone for like 4 months, you’ll suddenly come back to it and be like, oh wow this is much easier and I can actually do this now. It’s like the learning goes on even when you’re not learning. It’s very strange.
What do you wear to bed? Boxers? Tighty whities?
Fuck no, I sleep naked.
What about if you stay at a friend’s house?
I’ll pretend that I’m going to sleep in my boxers and take them off and just sleep naked anyway.
The old bait and switch.
How often do you shower?
Every day. This ties back in with what I was saying earlier about imagination. The internet obviously provides no olfactory stimulation whatsoever, so you are forced to invent your own. Occasionally people I have never encountered will make comments about the way I smell, and this is something I do take issue with because my god do I make an effort to smell nice! I have all kinds of vanilla colognes and do everything I can to make my scent a pleasant one. Such a shame that it’s all for nought because so many dudes with long hair stink like patchouli oil and shit, so I end up guilty by association.
Like your beard, do you have an eccentric or unusual style for your pubic hair?
Yes. Because I believe myself to be the current earthly incarnation of the archangel, I shave my pubic hair into a pentagram. This ensures, in accordance with lucifer’s plan, that my seed shall give rise to satan’s army, unleashing hell itself onto the surface of planet earth.
Do you ever worry about the internet leaking a picture of you before you started dressing all crazy?
I actually posted up one of those on my Instagram on a Throwback Thursday. I mean c’mon.. are we really gonna pretend we all dress the way we dress in our mid 20s our entire lives? It’s simply not factual. I think I captioned the photo, “emulating Rock & Roll’s biggest retard Sid Vicious at age 16.” Before that I just dressed like Josh Kalis. There was a jump from Kalis swishy pants to Sid Vicious leather jacket which is pretty hilarious.
What do you think about some people comparing your rants to Mr. Jereme Rogers?
Oh, that’s one of the highest honors. J Casanova, what a phenomenon!
This is the one thing people don’t know about Jereme, because there’s such an abundance of clowning and hatred going on. The thing is, that dude earned his stripes in the industry, and despite what he’s doing now, the respect he earned has some permanence in the eyes of other pros. When I saw him at Colin Mckay’s house mingling with other pros, there’s an eye to eye respect thing that I’m not sure people are aware of. I think people would be surprised how much respect he actually gets.
Funny you are such good friends with Sierra Fellers, he seems like the most vanilla dude out there.
We’re more similar than you think. First of all he’s a drinker, we were at The Berrics one time and he just pulled out this gigantic bottle of whiskey. We’re always getting wasted together, which is why the Weekend Buzz was appropriate. He’s my favorite guy to get really drunk with and argue about religion, he enjoys it as much as I do. We always keep it to where we’re still friends, but we get into it. He will tell me about Christ and I will tell him about how Christ is a fantasy, and we’ll do that for a couple of hours and it’s always really fun.
So are you anti-religion?
Well here’s the deal man. I never even cared one way or the other.. but the reason I do care now, the reason I do have any passionate atheist outlook is that there was a period there, whether it be through psychedelics or searching or whatever it was where I became almost quasi-religious. Almost! I thought about these ideas seriously for the first time and almost began to think… but then you realize what you’ve gotten yourself into and your critical faculties kick back in and you’re like, what the fuck? And so only because I almost goaded myself into becoming semi-religious do I now feel passionately the opposite. What more beautiful delusion is there that you are unconditionally loved by a gigantic cosmic grandfather, and are also immortal? I mean this is the most outrageous and convenient of all fantasies.
”Because I believe myself to be the current earthly incarnation of the archangel, I shave my pubic hair into a pentagram.”
You seem pretty knowledgeable about lots of different topics: biology, religion, philosophy, evolution..etc. Do you actively read or study these topics? Did you ever go to college or attend any institution post-highschool?
I have a huge interest in all those topics but never was interested in school. I do remember one moment in biology class where I properly grasped natural selection for the first time and felt that transcendent understanding that comes with science. Aside from that, I always found school pretty miserable. Some SLAP goers described me as a pseudo-intellectual and I guess that’s exactly what I am. I read about what interests me and have always had a strong inherent fascination with the universe and our place within it. I’d be all about making a genuine scholarly contribution to the world, but the part of my psyche that got me into skateboarding in the first place still persists.. I went to Mosman High School in Sydney, and skateboarding was actively discouraged every single day. Looking back I can see that this is probably what drew me so much closer to it.
I never got fulfillment out of a fucking report card… a piece of paper saying you did what was expected of you… What the fuck kind of reward is that? I found fulfillment doing the one thing school told me I wasn’t supposed to be doing.
If you were offered a lucrative contract with an energy drink company would you take it?
What’s the secret to happiness?
Taking that energy drink contract and getting lots of money.