In 1976, Led Zeppelin released The Song Remains the Same, a film and subsequent album that comprised three hot shit nights of performances at Madison Square Garden. That was during the hey-day of hard arena rock and ultimately bears no semblance to anything you’re about to read here today… aside from the title, that is, because despite a new name, snappy logo, and fresh coat of paint, our song will in fact remain the same—dazed and confused though it may always seem at times.
Why StrangeLove, the name, in particular? Well, it’s basically the culmination of everything that’s influenced us up to this point on our respective human timelines: the movies, the cartoons, the revolutionaries, the comics, the late night TV, the toys, the art, the books, the music, the magazines, the absurdities, and, of course, all things skateboarding. Biologically speaking, think photosynthesis is to plants as pop-culture is to humans—it’s all absorbed and processed in the exact same chemical way and results in a waste product.
That’s StrangeLove in an ADHD nutshell. Now let’s crack open the king crab for those who prefer a leisurely stint at the buffet.
From the outset our mission has always been to provide a ground zero for artists to do, well, art, I guess, or at least the kind of art we’ve always enjoyed seeing on skateboards. You know, the creative kind that may have an actual purpose or story, could quite possibly ruffle some feathers, or may just be silly and something that only a skateboarder could love—or hate, I suppose, because if there is one thing that has never been cyclical or in short supply in skateboarding it’s definitely the opinionated. Anyway, whatever the good or bad case, art has and always will be an important facet of the skateboard culture, and we intend to keep tending that garden—or crapping in the cesspool, whichever sentiment you prefer—with a few friends from our past, like Todd Bratrud, Dave Carnie, and Chris Reed, as well as “newcomer” Marc McKee, whom I once worked beside at World Industries, circa 1992–1996.
What if anything will be different at StrangeLove? Not much, really. We’re still going to provide quality wood and shapes, because they are skateboards after all. Sure, we talk up the graphics aspect a whole hell of a lot, but if that’s all we cared about then we could easily be ordering blue-plate specials off a Chinese OEM menu instead of working and shaping with Paul Schmitt and PS Stix. Beyond the ply, the formal team going forward will consist of myself, doing whatever needs to be done at the creative and production helms, and Adam Washell, the Sales Manager, managing all things sales. Co-conspirators along for the ride will be Nick Halkias (assisting in a creative consultant/events coordinator capacity) and Rob Sissi (responsible for fostering a roster of team riders).
We’re still in the process of raising the StrangeLove roof (and I mean that in the Amish barn-making way, not the idiotic anthem heard on dancefloors or echoing through sporting arenas), so please: Take a number, have a seat, and wait for your one-way ticket to the resurrection. —Sean Cliver