Satan is Waiting: Corey Smith

Updown recently had the chance to chat with ‘post-pop’ artist Corey Smith about COMUNE’s new film, his new age beginnings and why the dope feels so good.

Updown: You get laid last night? Corey Smith: A gentleman never tells. But I do have a lady friend and we’re in love — so ya know.

So you’re no longer on the prowl. Nope. I locked it up with my girl. If you find a good one these days you gotta hold on for dear life. Plus she’s younger, so every time we make sweet love a wrinkle gets erased from my face. My face is smooth as an egg these days! Haha!

Would you date a girl with one arm? Probably not, but my friend Catfish lost his virginity to a girl with one arm. Well it was kind of a flipper arm. She gave him the clap too, he was bummed.

So how was new York? New York was insane as usual. Fashion week is always nuts. We hit a
bunch of parties and saw some old friends — it was good.

You hook up with Matty [Ryan]? Not like homo style, but yeah we kicked it. He was ruling at life, happy as ever. He was wearing a Biggie tee looking all healthy. It’s always good to see Matty.

What about Nate? Is he still a total pile? I have no idea about that guy. His Yobeat interview was insane though. If that dude just stepped on a snowboard he’d be cooler than all the
nerd pros out there.

Wait are you referring to the interview we did with him in greece last year? Yeah that shit was wild. If cool tattoos only last forever. (NATE’S TEASER VIDEO: http://vimeo.com/6438493; INTERVIEW: http://vimeo.com/6415511)

You just finished editing COMUNE’s first film — tell me a bit about it? Well I just finished my edit of the film. We had seven guest editors on the project  in total— so there are seven different versions of the film. I couldn’t be happier with how it collectively turned out. [Video will be free to view at the COMUNE site after OCT. 23rd]

Care to drop a few names? Well, my girl Liz Davis and I did one edit, while the others were pieced together by, Hunter Longe, Ryan Scardigli, Matt Porter, Mark Wiitanen, Kevin Castanheira and Shelby Menzel.  It was a pretty heavy project to manage. I ultimately asked a bunch of people to do edits, thinking a couple would flake out, but everyone came through with really unique edits. It was cool to see how different people edit and interpret a collection of footage.

So this isn’t you typical snowboard film? No. This isn’t just another typical snowboard movie. Some people may hate, but I’d rather have people hate on something than just say oh that was cool.

What do you think people are going to hate on? People hate on everything. I mean I don’t know how you could hate on a free online video with mostly unknown riders, homies and a couple pros — it’s not like some big production. I’m sure someone’s pants will be too tight or too baggy, or some spot will be played, or some other retarded little kid shit. People will probably hate on the more abstract edits just cuz they’re weird. Snowboarders hate art, it’s not like skating or surfing where there is an entire culture based around it. The extent of most snowboarders idea of art is buying a snowboard with a Shepard Fairy graphic on it. I mean you pick up a snowboard magazine these days and it looks like it’s published by Nickelodeon. The culture is lost. I blame it on the ski companies and the energy drink brands — they don’t get it and they never will.

So the film is entitled “Black Holes and Invisible Forces Bending Time Through Particle Deformations Creating Infinite Freedom in the Garden on the Moon” — Why? I think snowboard movie titles are funny. They either tough tough sounding, like Frostbite, or ridden with half witted irony like ‘tight bros’. Part of me just wanted to make something over the top and annoying. The real theory behind it is based on the fact that we’re all 99% half empty atoms, vibrating at different frequencies while searching for infinite freedom. People find this infinite freedom through various channels like  art, music, religion or even something as simple as snowboarding.

Sounds heavy… Yeah. I’m not really into extreme sports movies and culture. I think snowboarding deserves better than that. There is more to snowboarding than just the hottest new tricks. If that’s all you’re getting out of it then you’re missing out on a lot. Not just in snowboarding but in life in general.

So you’re not stoked on being stoked? Oh, I’m stoked but I just get stoked on different things. Snowboarding
isn’t a sport, you don’t score any points when you do it. You just do it because you have to, because it feels good. And yeah it feels good to challenge yourself and progress — I get that. The thing with snowboarding is I compare it to playing guitar. Would you rather see some super guitar aficionado who can play every riff perfectly every time, or would you rather see someone like Kurt Cobain, who kinda sucks technically but is just incredible in all of his errors. The same goes for snowboarding and a lot of riders have forgotten that. I’d rather watch Eric Messier, do a mellow powder slash, than watch the baddest-jocked-out-testosterone-neon-bro stomp a fucking triple Lindy. With Eric — I know where he comes from and how he got where he is and why he loves to snowboard — that means something.

Absolutely. How do you feel about snowboarders hating on the very act of snowboarding? Seems conflicted to me. Its like a is-my-radness-really-that-rad-type insecurity. Yeah it’s weird. I mean there’s a lot of wack aspects to snowboarding, like all the cheese-ball brands and bizarre clothing, but for the most part the act of snowboarding is amazing — there is nothing more fun. That’s why I dedicated most of my life to it. I think its funny when people try so hard to emulate skateboarding too. Like they try to do the exact same tricks and dress the same as their favorite skater or whatever. Snowboarding is cool as shit — I want snowboarding to have its own identity.

Do you believe in miracles? Never underestimate the power of the lowest common denominator. That shit is so unbelievably dumb it’s incredible. (MIRACLES VIDEO HERE )

And ICP? Yeah I’m down for the clown. Sometimes there’s an ignorance so pure, so steadfast, all you can do is sit back and appreciate it. You know what’s funny is most rap music sounds like ICP to me — fuck, for all I know it could dope yo!

Your not down. ICP is about as cool as getting raped. Yeah, ear raped by a white trash clown in a tall tee.

Alright. So you were raised in a psychic cult… Well I was raised in the Church of the Divine Man based in Berkley California. It was loosely based on Christianity mixed with New Age mysticism. It was created by an ex scientologist so it was pretty interesting. They all believed they were psychics or if you gave the Church enough money they could teach you to be. I guess growing up and seeing how easily adults could be brainwashed and controlled helped me realize that all religions are deception and the only truth is love and forgiveness.

Does any of that belief system or so called psychic freedom resonate with you today? I believe in quantum interconnectedness and A.T.W.A, but I’m pretty skeptical of any particular belief system. People are scarred of dying and they want to think theyíre going somewhere better than here. Because of this they’ll cling to any belief, religion, magic, power structure – like rats on a sinking ship. Sometimes it feels like most people are half alive or half aware of life and how fragile it is. People don’t want to think about it— ignorance is bliss. If you’re not aware of A.T.W.A then you need to get there—life is short.

That was coined by Manson, no? Yeah kinda.  He’s famous so he’s associated with it. It’s a philosophy and an acronym that can stand for anything you want — All The Way Alive, Air Trees Water Animals, Against The World Always… It’s what so many people miss out on in life. ATWA is what surrounds us and what gives us life. It’s acceptance, truth, love, compassion, creativity, and learning. Man is intimidated and scarred of nature so he’s in competition with it. But there’s no way we can ever compete. There’s nothing we can ever do or create, that is as complex, beautiful and unyielding. We can try, but we really just excel in destruction and not creation. Ha ha! the half deads, they excel in war, hatred and lies.

Best mellow psychedelic? I don’t know its been a while. The shit that goes on everyday in the world is psychedelic enough. I’m trying to plan a trip out to Joshua Tree soon to check out an energy vortex so that should be interesting.

Isn’t that how Belushi died? Yeah, no… He died from being a shitty junkie over at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset. He let some skank shoot him up with heroin and coke and he OD’d. Pretty tragic really.

What’s a crazy story you can disclose to our readership? Haha! I mean what do you want to know about? Naked models and a pyramid of cocaine?

Cocaine and nude models sounds like an appropriate starting point… Haha! Well you gotta at least buy me a beer first before I spill the beans.

You’re the creative director for COMUNE. Mike Quinones is the Creative Director. My title is Art Directo  but lately I’ve just been working on snowboarding team stuff like the movie as well as Drop City artist related projects.

Fuck, that’s right. So you split the time between COMUNE and working independently as an artist. Before we touch on your art why don’t you enlighten those unfamiliar with COMUNE… COMUNE is a clothing brand we started a over a year ago. It was myself and a bunch of like-minded friends who had worked on another project together. It’s contemporary clothing, and our goal is to create tailored fits, that are classic and timeless. We sponsor skaters, snowboarders, musicians and artists because that’s stuff we’re all into and passionate about. It’s definitely not an action sports brand. We sell to boutiques, better board shops, and some contemporary chain stores. We just wanted to do something different and create clothing that reflected what we wanted to see rather than just making stuff that sells. It’s not for everyone, but usually the best stuff isn’t.

Interesting. Has it been difficult to gain traction within the industry? Not at all. We’re not in the action sports industry we’re in the apparel and contemporary fashion industry. Because of that we’re able to sponsor skaters, snowboarders, artists, and do the things we love. Our stuff sells just as well in high end board shops and boutiques, as it does in fashion chains like Urban.

You’re doing so much with each individual piece. Has this posed as a difficulty while maintaining such an affordable price point? Not really, I mean it’s always a balancing act with that kind of thing. We have some really resourceful designers and good relationships with our factories so we’re able to make it happen.

You do art as well. How would you describe it? Someone said Neo Dada meets Post Hope Pop. I don’t really know what they meant. I’m still not sure if I’m an artist, but I’ve had more shows and continue to produce more work than most people who call themselves that.

Last words? Run till the cuffs are on.

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