Zero’s relationship with punk music
Zero skateboards and punk music have been working alongside each other for around 25 years. For Jamie Thomas himself, it has been even longer. Before he had properly created Zero, he was still skating for Toy Machine and was also the video editor for the legendary Welcome To Hell video in 1996. In Welcome To Hell, Jamie used London Dungeon by Misfits for Mike Maldonado’s opening part of the video, which may be one of the best openers to any skate video ever. A huge statement, but a hill I will happily die on nonetheless.
Once Zero had transcended the weird t-shirt stage it was in during the Welcome to Hell days and became the deck company it was destined to be, the use of punk music did not slow down. With their first two skate videos, Thrill of it All and Misled Youth featuring songs from Danzig, Drunk Injuns, Black Flag and The Ramones. These videos, and the music that accompanied the parts, really solidified the vibe of Zero of being one the gnarliest teams on the scene.
Synergies between Zero and Misfits
Misfits are one of, if not the most famous punk band ever. Forming in 1977 during the beginning of the punk movement, Misfits encapsulated the punk genre. Diving completely headfirst into the scene, not only did they record amazing music with albums such as Static Age, they created a whole image and persona for each band member. This obviously evolved more and more over time, but straight off the bat, the songs recorded for Static Age (recorded in 1978 and released in 1996 due to legal reasons) contained subject matter that was incredibly gnarly, designed to shock and create a horror movie vibe to the music. Incredibly similar to a Zero video.
Ian Michna once asked Jamie Thomas in a Jenkem interview whether making a skate video was similar to directing a horror movie, Jamie responded by saying his favourite movies “start with some fight scene and end with some victorious scene, and skateboard videos aren’t that different”, I totally agree. Especially when it comes to Zero videos. If you want to be pro for Zero, you have to be willing to push the boundaries of skateboarding at the gnarliest spots you can find. There are no half-measures. The perfect example of this would be the opener for Franky Villani’s No Ca$h Value part. Not only is the first song of this part Misfits – Angelfuck, but the way in which Jamie has edited the part is exactly what he says in the quote above. Franky’s very first ‘trick’ in the video is a bailed bs 50-50 down a triple kink where he sacks the rail hard. The rest of the part then continues (amazing part by the way) only for the bs 50-50 down the same kink rail to be conquered at the end of the part. This encapsulates the similar natures between Misfits and Zero, being as gnarly as you can whilst putting on a show.
What about the decks?
The two decks we have from this collab are absolutely stunning, with colour-filled, full-dip matte finishes and iconic imagery. We have two sizes of each deck, with sizes ranging between 8”, 8.25” and 8.5”, so if you do decide to skate these, we have you covered!
We will start off with the Die Die Darling graphic, inspired by the 12” single released in 1984, released seven months after the band broke up. This is possibly one of the most famous Misfits record covers in skateboarding due to a number of reasons. Firstly, it is of course a great single, possibly one of my favourite tracks from Misfits. I remember my friend Jack using this song for a bail montage he edited when we were around 12 years old and I always thought that was such a perfect song for the edit. Again, another great example of Misfits and skateboarding working hand in hand. Secondly, you may remember Zero releasing a very similar graphic a few years ago, and you would be correct. In 2017 Zero released a super limited Marisa Dal Santo pro-model deck inspired by the exact same record cover. Instead of the original cover being used, the lady behind the glass in a cocktail dress is now Marisa herself in a zip-up hoodie. Genuinely one of my favourite graphics from one of my favourite skaters of all time. Lastly, Chris Cole’s In Bloom part was to this song, and if you haven’t watched that, I suggest you do. Tre-flip noseslide on the J-Kwon gap to ledge… It’s not even the ender. Need I say more?
Next up we have the Fiend graphic. A black background with yellow detail hits, showcasing the legendary Misfits ‘Fiend Skull’. There are only a handful of bands with imagery that has seeped into the mainstream world as prevalently as the Misfits Fiend skull has. Maybe, the Ramones logo, or perhaps Black Flag’s four-bar logo and a few others compete with the Fiend Skull of being equally as iconic in recent time. The Fiend Skull is the official symbol of the group and is instantly recognised as so. Originally adorned all over the band member’s equipment, jackets and anything else they could get it on, as the band rose to popularity, so did their symbol. This graphic is just straight-up rad. To go full circle within this blog post, I mentioned that Jamie edited the Toy Machine’s Welcome to Hell video and included London Dungeon to Mike Maldonado’s part. Jamie gave himself the last part in this video (understandably so, it’s a classic Chief part) and can actually be seen wearing a t-shirt with the Fiend Skull placed largely on the front, doing a huge bs 50-50 down a handrail at the now defunct Brooklyn Banks. I honestly don’t think any brand other than Zero could pull this collab together, and this is exactly why.
Jamie has always had an affinity with Misfits, using their music throughout his career and often wearing their t-shirts, he is a massive reason why Misfits and skateboarding have such a close relationship with one another. There is just something so right about listening to a Misfits track and seeing someone go as hard as they possibly can on a skateboard, whether they are sacking a handrail or landing something insane, Danzig screaming in the background just works. This collaboration is a match made in hell, and I mean that in a good way.