An Interview with Simon Bannerot

Interview and photos by Andrew Peters

What’s up Simon, tell me all about this farm you live on in the middle of nowhere?

I do, but I’m just giving some beers to my homies right now in the hot tub.

You’ve got a hot tub on the farm? You’re only 18, you’re not even allowed to drink.

Oh yeah, I mean sodas, but hell yeah I’ve got a hut tub, you ain’t got a hot tub?

You have a barn too?

Yeah, a barn, some chickens—the eggs are great—three dogs, we’ve got a bunch of birds and they’re the best homies, we’ve got some fish, I’ve got a snake in my room, two frogs, and a lizard. We’ve got a bunch of animals but not any real farm animals. We’ve got a donkey and we had a zonkey.

What’s a zonkey?

Well a month ago our zonkey, which is a zebra donkey, passed away. RIP. A long time ago someone couldn’t have the zonkey at their house. Maybe he was getting into trouble or whatever but they had to get rid of it. My family was always accepting any animals so we were just like, “A zonkey! Fuck yeah. We’re gonna take that.” We took him in and it was a sick pet and we had him a long time but he just passed away which sucks.

So whereabouts is the farm exactly?

It’s about 45 minutes south of Seattle, right at the bottom of the foothills in a town called Enumclaw. I really like it here. It’s nice ’cause you can get away from the shit that you don’t wanna be around.

So how’s that gonna work being the brand new Girl and Lakai am and working on a video?

It’s tough but it’s also kinda sick ’cause every time I get to go on a trip it’s like, “Ok, I’ve got seven days, this is all I get,” ’cause when I go back home it’s really hard to have an HD camera around. Basically up here if you have enough money to pay for an HD camera then you also have a legit job, so that means you can’t actually go out and skate. So I just film VX out here with the homies and then I go on a trip and it’s like, “Ok, let’s get it.” But it is pretty difficult to get it done for the Lakai video.

When are you gonna be outta school?

I’ve gotta turn in one thing tomorrow and then I’m free for a little bit, but basically until the end of March.

That isn’t helping your deadline is it?

Deadline is coming really quick. It’s hard being in the group message between the team and they’re like, “Two weeks left, let’s go out and get it today,” and I’m sitting there doing homework, reading texts at my school like, “Fuck, I’m trying to get it but I can’t.” But it’ll come, it’ll be all good.

You have any plans to move out?

Actually, today I just found that a couple of my teammates—James Capps, Yonnie Cruz and Stevie Perez—got a new place and James said there’s an office space room that would maybe fit a twin bed. If it’s bigger than a closet, I’m down. So I’m planning to move into that in April.

You’ve also only just started travelling for skating?

Just recently. Last year was the first time I’ve ever travelled just for skating which is pretty fucking incredible. I’ve been to a lot of places with my family and it’s great, but going on a skate trip is a completely different feeling.

Where was the first trip?

Well, I was just down in LA for the summer, but then my first actual trip where you’ve got the whole team travelling together was back to my home town, Seattle, with Girl. It was nice ’cause I know the spots in Seattle and I had my car and I could take everyone around. The next trip that summer was New York and that was life changing. A lot of shit went down that would never happen if I wasn’t riding for Girl and Lakai, so it was pretty amazing. Chico (Brenes), Tyler (Pacheco), and I got to kick it so much on the trip, same with Mike Carrol and (Rick) Howard, and they’re there for you any time of the day, just vibing. Chico would wake up and go skate for three hours while Tyler (the other new Girl am) and I were still sleeping, dusty from the night and trying all day the day before. He would come back every single morning and wake us up with a nice espresso. So I was just like, “Damn this is the life, this will never happen again.” It was incredible.

Which other skaters have you looked up to the most?

I’ve always really looked up to Marius Syvanen. He was randomly in the first videos I ever saw and really stuck out to me. And then I know he’s down with a bunch of my other friends now and so I’m like, if he’s down with all those dudes he must be tight. I’ve never met him but I still look up to that dude.

So you recently just turned up to stay at my house in LA with a full head of hair and then you came back later that day with a shaved head, what happened?

Oh shit, I dunno, ask Daniel (Wheatley). Some shit went down, my head got shaved, I wasn’t too stoked about it.

Haha, well at least hair grows back.

It’s alright. I used to always get my head shaved as a kid. All my little kid photos are with buzz cuts, all the way through till I was 15 and then I grew it out, but it’s nothing too new.

You should finally have some long hair again by the time you turn 20.

Oh shit.

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