"P.J. Ladd's Wonderful Horrible Life," a shop video out of the Boston area, became a sort of watershed in 2002, breaking the idea that innovative videos had to come from somewhere in California. While some of the fanfair is owed to P.J. Ladd's groundbreaking part, the video featured amazing skating all around, especially from Ryan Gallant. Soon after, Expedition-One picked Gallant up for a few years, until Danny Way and Colin McKay offered him a spot on the second revival of historic skate brand Plan B. Now, after five years on that squad, he's returned to Expedition-One, reconnecting with where he started and continuing to skate with Chany Jeanguenin and crew, simply enjoying the ride.
How does it feel to reconnect with Expedition-One and go back to where you started?
It's kind of a trip, man. It still hasn't sunk in, too much. It feels fake, like some weird five year gap just went by, but it seems like only a day went by. I don't know. It feels tight.
When did you originally get on Plan B?
Um, around 2005, I believe...about five years ago.
That was the full on rebirth of Plan B, right?
Yeah, that was P.J. [Ladd], Paul [Rodriguez], myself, Danny [Way] and Colin McKay.
Did that seem like an exciting time when that was starting up?
The Plan B situation? For sure, that was crazy, because Plan B was such an influential company growing up, so to actually have Danny Way and Colin McKay be psyched on my skateboarding and be a part of bringing it back to life, was amazing. It was an opportunity I definitely couldn't say no to. I'm glad I did it. It was a great five years and I owe a lot to those dudes, for sure.
What are some of your best memories from being on Plan B?
Oh man, just hanging out with all those dudes was pretty fun. Camping in Vancouver was pretty insane. The filmer Hoops was non-stop entertainment. Going on trips with them was pretty funny, man...just to sit back every once and a while and just think Whoa, I'm sitting in the room with Danny Way...it kind of trips you out, you know? Traveling with them was awesome.
Do you have any bad memories from that time?
No, it was alway good times. We went on a Euro trip and I blew my knee, so that was kind of sh*tty, but even that trip was fun up until that point, you know? So, it wasn't a total loss.
Going back a little bit, you got really thrust into the limelight by "P.J. Ladd's Wonderful Horrible Life" video and so did a lot of the Coliseum crew. How does it feel to look back on that time?
Ah, man, that was the best time in skateboarding, you know? It was pure kid fun. Like, the owners of Coliseum would just take us on these trips with 16 dudes in one hotel room just eating candy and skating until six in the morningthat was the best time ever, you know? Things didn't work out eventually, but we definitely all owe everything to Matt and Arty at Coliseum and Dave Korden for filming everything. Those were the best times ever.
It was weird, because I thought I was just filming for a little local town video and all of a sudden there were dudes around the world talking about it. If I'd have known what was going to happen, I wish I would have tried a little harder [laughs].
What ended up happening to Coliseum? It ended up going under, right?
I think it finally went out of business...I know people started going in their own directions. I think one of the guys started getting into real estate and they ended up selling the shop to some new kids and I heard they ran the place into the ground or something. But, who knows?
So, when you were on Plan B, were you still skating with P.J. a lot?
At points...I mean, not as much as we used to. He lives up in LA and I live down in San Diego, so we don't skate together that much.
He lives up in L.A.? I never knew that.
Yeah, he lives in Hollywood and I live in Carlsbad, so he comes down here a little bit and I go up there a little bit, but we don't skate together as much as I'd like to.
That's funnyI wouldn't think of him as someone who would be into being in the middle of all that Hollywood stuff.
Dude, I never would have guessed it. He's changed a little bit over the years, but he loves it up there, man. He loves L.A.it's got everything he needs up there.
I always think of him being a really quiet guy.
Oh man, he eats at all the restaurants where you see Ashton Kutcher eat at and s**t. It's so funny. He's fully in the Hollywood scene. It's insane, but I'm sure in the typical P.J. stylejust all quiet in the corner.
Being on Plan B with P.J. was kind of the last connection you had with that beginning era of Coliseum and "P.J. Ladd's Wonderful Horrible Life." Does it feel weird to really leave that behind and get on a different team?
Um, a little bit. I mean, growing up, we always rode for different companies, so it's not completely new. We're homies beyond sponsors, so it's not a big deal. It was fun to be able to travel with him for those five years, but everything comes to an end, eventually.
Do you keep up with any of the other people from "...Wonderful Horrible Life?"
Um, I talk to Jereme [Rogers] here and there on the Twitter, but I don't see him too often. I didn't see Alexis [Sablone] for a lot of years. Then, suddenly I've seen her out here skating a lot. I guess she's going to ride for Organika, which I think is really cool.
It's crazy. I talked to her and she graduated with an architecture degree, I think.
Yeah, from Columbia University or something like thatsome school that's really gnarly.
It's cool for her to kind of disappear and get a degree in something like that and return still just as good at skateboardinglike she hasn't lost a thing.
Yeah, it's pretty amazing, so I'm pretty hyped on her right now. It's so sick. I see some of the other dudes around, here and there, and talk to them on the Internet. You know, keep in touch with the homies that way.
Like you said, it was such a formative era for you all.
Yeah, we were just young and amped on skating. We all grew up and got into different things. But, while it lasted, it was f**king amazing.
So, as far as Expedition, are there any other changes going on over there?
I'm not sure. I know they're adding one more dude. I don't know if it's top secret, but I know there's one more am getting on the team. I think we'll be working on a video.
When's that due out?
I really have no idea. I'm still just working on the intro-to-the-team type stuff, but I'm back filming with them and trying to get some tricks, so hopefully I've got some time to get a legit part together.
Now that you're back, what are you looking forward to the most?
Probably traveling with Chany [Jeanguenin]. I think that's going to be insane. He's the funniest dude to hang out with and he's kind of running the program, so...that'll be pretty enjoyable to watch. Just skating with those dudes, you know? We all seem to skate the same stuff, so it's fun being able to go out and skate flat ground and just enjoy skateboarding.