This morning, I thought for a moment that Mother Collective – one of the beacons of light in the dark world of skate brands – had died. They’d posted a picture of their brand name engraved on a tombstone, along with a tiny peace-out emoji. So it seemed that as quickly as Mother had come into our world and reserved our adoration, it had passed on to the afterlife.
An hour later they posted a glitched rainbow picture titled with the word “Quasi” in an elegant white font. The sly smiling emoji beneath the post restored our hopes, along with the account name which had been changed to “Quasi Skateboards.” Of course, we needed the scoop, so we just called the founder of the brand formerly known as “Mother” to find out what was up. Here’s what he had to say.
According to your Instagram, Mother is now called Quasi Skateboards. What happened?
About 3 months ago we got a cease and desist letter from another company claiming they owned the name Mother, and I was kinda like whatever, fuck it. Then I got another one and had to get a lawyer, spend a fuck-ton of money, and try and figure out how to fight it or what to do with it.
At the end it was best to change the name and move as far away from it as possible. I talked with the entire team about names and told them what happened, and after talking to everyone it was just like, fuck it man, if we’re into it lets just change it. We ended up changing it to Quasi.
We don’t have logos on shit anyway for the most part, so it doesn’t really matter. I like that it’s a Q word, the definition of it, that it’s 5 letters, and that it’s not mother or brother or sister or any common word.
And, dude, in this day and age, it’s fucking impossible to trademark anything or own anything. I assumed you couldn’t own the word “Mother,” you know. That’s crazy, but you can. And someone does. There was no work around, you can’t call it Step-Mother, you can’t call it Mom; I tried all that. It’s just a name. The art, graphics, what it’s about and who we sell to – none of that changes. I just wanna pay the riders to support them and make rad videos. It’s all really small and really on the fly. It’s just like that what’s happened. What are you gonna do, go out of business? No, who cares.
We’re gonna see what happens. None of this was planned, it’s not some marketing stunt. I don’t want people to think it’s premeditated. It wasn’t.
What did the other Mother company do that sued you?
They make goods.. you can fill in the dots. I’m not afraid to talk about it but its irrelevant really. I think if anyone looks hard enough, they can find it.
I think that happened because we got sort of big on the internet, like the perception was bigger than it really was, really fast. I think the other brand was like, what the fuck? No, we own it. I fought a hard fight and spent a lot of money, to me, on a lawyer to sort it out. I wanted to move on and didn’t want to fight something with money. I’d rather pay Jake Johnson a bonus check or put new people on the team instead of giving a lawyer a bunch of money.
Can you sell the old Mother boards left in stock still?
Yeah, we can still sell them. There’s not many left but those decks will still be in the online store for people to buy until they run out. I’d like to think people might want to buy them or something but there’s so many rad brands and shit brands. I don’t even know if people care. I try not to worry about it.
So they are basically collectors edition now?
We’re still selling them to shops and we’ll be putting them online when the new stuff arrives in a few weeks.
Why’d you pick the new name Quasi?
I always liked the word, when we first started to conceptualize the brand 9 months ago, I had that in my head. But I thought maybe it was too out there to just come out of the gate with. I always liked it for 5 letters, the Q, and it’s just ambiguous. It can be whatever we want it to be. Same with Mother in a way; it will redefine itself over time.
Are you working on any video projects?
Yeah, we’re working on something with Gilbert Crockett which should happen in the next few months. Jake Johnson is doing the GX1000 thing which will happen this fall. Tyler Bledsoe is working on Fourstar stuff and just got on HUF. We’re planning to do a full length video shortly when everyone’s schedules align and we’re adding a few guys to the team shortly…
Any parting words with the Mother above?
Nothing changes. The way I look at it, same band, new name. And in a few weeks, none of this will matter.
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July 30, 2015 1:24 am
As long as their art/team is still the same they’ll do just fine.
July 30, 2015 6:01 pm
“No more corporate blues” eh boys? Looks like somebody could have done with having a couple of suits around in the first place. Who starts a company without checking the trademark situation, ha ha!?
July 31, 2015 6:45 am
my bledsoe mother deck close to snapping. Hella keen to get a quasi cos theyre brilliant decks. Hope all the best for the Quasi boys, i’m sure this won’t hold em back
July 31, 2015 1:58 pm
if only projectfreetv would bounce back just as fast
August 2, 2015 9:16 pm
Kareem Campbell ran into the trademark issue with Menace skateboard too!