Aaron 'Jaws' Homoki's "Raves and Weed Credit" Interview
Aaron Homoki lives inside his own video game, complete with computer-generated techno soundtrack and magical friends. While the rest of us look at the ground, Jaws scans the rooftops for his next spot. Has he reached maximum impact? Sky’s the limit!
Let’s talk about road stories first. Are you surprised at the shit we get away with on tour?
Yeah. We get away with shit on our trips and on tour that we shouldn’t. Plus, we have the Tony Hawk card we can pull.
Every time Jaws flies off a roof you have to take a drink. See you in drunk! Photo: Muller
Well, for instance, you go to a club and fully be like, “We’re the Birdhouse team. Our boss is Tony Hawk. Can you let us all in for free? Tony is going to be with us.” The club is always, like, “Yeah, for sure. Come on in. Let’s go!”
Hey, it works, right? I was thinking more about how tour doesn’t feel like real life and how if we did some of the things we do on tour in real life we’d be in prison.
For sure we get away with stuff. We are just constantly having fun rolling around in the van with open beers. We all just drink in the van to the next spot or shotgun beers on each other. There is always a spliff being rolled. We’ll just get out of the van in a freakin’ In-N-Out parking lot and we are just shotgunning beers and smoking weed. That’s what was going on all day so it just keeps going on into the parking lot. We just keep the party going wherever. It’s pretty funny the stuff we get away with. It’s mostly shotgunning beers. We shotgun beers on each other all the time, that’s for sure.
Explain the ritual of the shotgunning.
I don’t know when or where it started with our group, but we have developed a habit of shotgunning beers. Most of the time we just do it for the fun of putting your thumb through the beer. I’ve been developing the slowgun. It’s when you don’t drink the beer after you punch your thumb through it. You’re just sitting there with a beer that has a hole in it and you sip it slow. Slowgunning it instead of shotgunning it. I really like the fun of piercing the beer can. I don’t know where this came from but we’ve started doing this shotgun in your face thing. Someone will be, like, “Hey, smell this beer can. It smells funny.” Then you put it up to their face and shotgun it so it explodes all over them. So that’s turned into a ritual, for sure. Every time somebody lands a trick you have to shotgun a beer. No idea how that started, but that’s where we are at with it now. It’s quite fun. It’s cool because we get to teach people how to shotgun. Lizzie had no idea how to do it but she has those nice fingernails that she can pierce through the can. So she’s good at shotgunning people now. When thumbs get sore you can hand your can off to Lizzie.
Late grab frontside 360, tucked and torqued. This is insane Sequence: Muller
Is constantly touring a hard way to live?
Yes. I’d say yes. It’s kind of hard to survive out there sometimes. Especially to survive at 100 percent. It gets hard on the body. I have a 20-day mark. After two-to-two-and-a-half weeks I go, “Fuck this. I want to go home!” You get homesick. But when I’m on tour with you guys it feels like home. You guys are all my best friends so it’s not that bad. With us, we are just constantly skating, drinking and smoking so it get’s a little rough on the road sometimes. I think people don’t understand. They think, “Oh, you’re on tour. It’s all fun and games.” You’re not just out there living. You’re putting your body to work day after day. It’s hard on your body and your mind as well.
How is traveling with us instead of other companies?
Definitely traveling with you guys is different because you are all my best friends. You guys are family and it’s a lot easier to travel because it feels like home to me. We call each other out on the bullshit and we appreciate all the hard work that we put in. Plus, we never really seem to stress. If everyone is over skating that day we just go bowling. That’s what’s cool as well. We all really like to have fun outside of skating. So if we all have a bad day skating we can just go ride go-carts or something to feel better. Instead of with other teams they just go back to the hotel and call their girlfriends. Tour is a group think thing, so if you are all really close, group think becomes easier. With other teams—I mean, I love everyone and I love traveling with all my other sponsors but sometimes when you’re in a van traveling with people you don’t know as well, you don’t know how to cheer them up when they have a bad day. If someone on Birdhouse has a bad day, everyone else knows how to cheer them up. We go do something they want to do, like hit the arcade or something to lift them up. Then the next day everyone is skating perfectly fine again.
Do you want to talk about El Paso? Can we talk about that? It’s just weed, so it should be okay.
Yeah, I’m sponsored by Weedmaps, so fuck it!
Do you regret not throwing out that shitty bag of weed?
Yes. In hindsight, I definitely do regret not throwing out that shitty bag of weed.
What was it? Just a half ounce of really crappy shake?
Yeah, it was a half ounce of shitty shake, but we had a long nine-hour drive. We were road tripping from El Paso to Florida. Everyone told me I should throw it out.
Every single person in the van said you should throw it out.
I was, like, “No, we are going to need this for a nine-hour drive!” I told everyone I’d put it in my bag and I’d claim it if they find it. Sure enough, they pull us over and they find it. They asked whose it was, so I claimed it.
Catchin’ fish in a dry riverbed, Jaws hooks a monster Sequence: Muller
You didn’t even try to hide it! You just put it in the side pocket of your bag that was sitting right next to the van door. You left it in plain sight. That was so sketchy!
Our friends in El Paso gave us a warning. They said it was one of the gnarliest border crossings. I didn’t listen.
Why didn’t you listen to us? Do we normally give you bad advice?
No, that was all me! I think that out of everyone on the team I fiend the weed the hardest. So that was all me, for sure. I don’t know. I just thought you guys were all crazy. I was, like, “We will be fine. You guys all know we need weed.” I should have listened but unfortunately I didn’t.
Why didn’t you try harder to stash the weed? You’re smarter than that.
Because I didn’t think I’d get caught. You’re right; I’m smarter than that, but at the same time I was thinking if anything did happen I wanted it right on my bag so no one else would get blamed for it. I didn’t want anyone else to get in trouble. You guys kept telling me not to do it so I wanted to make sure I got all the blame. I was kind of just testing also. Just testing the limits, just seeing how far I could go.
The homie was, like, “Yeah, they definitely check you at that border check.” When we were going through, we thought we had it. The dog walked by and we were driving through. Mills looked in the rearview and said, “The dog is running back!” We were, like, “No way!” Sure enough, the dog was booking it towards us. Everyone’s hearts were racing.
They made everyone leave and had me stay in the little holding cell there. I asked how long I was going to be in there and they said a few hours at least. So I started doing push-ups and sit-ups because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re in jail. I was only in there for 20 minutes. I was doing handstands also.
Handstands in jail, as easy as 24-stair board skidders Photo: Vaughan
Yeah, at one point we all walked back there to see you and you were doing a handstand! They let us all in there and locked the door on us. Shawn Hale was, like, “This is the only time all my bros are going to be in jail at the same time, so I’m going to take a shit.” He took a shit with all of us in there.
I was in there for 20 minutes and they gave me a ride to wherever you guys were.
Yeah, didn’t the cop know who you were? He’d seen you on TV, skating X Games or something, right?
Yeah! Plus, do you remember those really fucked-up people they brought in? Some lady was throwing up and moaning.
I think she swallowed a bunch of drugs to smuggle them in.
I think they let me go because they had bigger fish to fry. They ended up just giving me a $400 ticket and letting me go.
Do you still do the contests?
Fuck, when was the last time I did X Games? I don’t remember the last time. I do still like doing those contests. I just don’t do them as much because I’ve been filming a lot for this video.
It’s hard to do both isn’t it?
Yeah, because you don’t want to sacrifice getting hurt on each end. Contests are awesome because you can make a lot of money. I’m still down to do them but I’ve just been concentrating on the video.
Is it weird being on TV?
It has its ups and downs. I don’t really care at all. It’s cool and everything but I still get random people going, “Hey, you’re that one guy from that one show. You put a funnel up your ass and let people poor a beer in it!” I just go, “Yep, I’m that guy.”
You’re the butt-chug guy now! Do you do any solo butt chugs?
Solo butt chugs?! No, that shit doesn’t work.
No, dude! Instantly when it goes into your colon, you instantly feel like you have to diarrhea and it’s just pure liquid! The second time I did that I tried to get beer inside of there and it didn’t happen. So no solo butt chugs. It doesn’t work. I solo shotgun sometimes but no chugs.
Did Weedmaps end up paying for your weed ticket?
I wish! Nah, they wouldn’t pay for shitty weed.
Don’t they have a bunch of money?
I honestly don’t know.
Is this your version of an energy-drink sponsor?
Ha! Yeah, it’s my version, for sure. Weedmaps is the shit. I assume they have money. I fuck with them. I used them before I was sponsored by them. I’m pretty sure they are very well off.
How did the weed sponsor happen anyway?
I think from King of the Road they saw that I smoke, so they hit me up and said they were trying to form a team. It’s super random, but it’s the sickest fucking sponsor ever.
He finds new spots at old spots. Nollie the bar on the back of Ft. Miley Photo: Zaslavsky
So you get paid to smoke weed and skate and they give you free weed?!
The free weed isn’t as free as everyone thinks. I gotta go pick it up at a store and they give me credit. I can only get a certain amount at a certain time. It’s a 300-dollar credit every two weeks. I go through that in a week if I’m with my friends, but if it’s just me and I’m chilling, I can stretch it out.
Do you use weed for pain at all?
I use the CBD for pain. The CBD works a lot better.
Because I’ve been wondering, can you go bigger? I feel like you’ve gone as big as anyone can go. So what do you do now? Can you go bigger than the 25 in France?
Only time will tell.
Do you think your body can handle it?
Honestly, I really don’t know. I can’t answer that question until I’ve tried it. In my mind, I’d like to think that I can.
You could. You can sail off some stuff that normal people aren’t able to do. So that’s pretty cool. I wish I could do what you do, bud.
I wish I had your pop!
Oh, thanks, man. But I want to know, do you ever scare yourself?
That melon into the bank scared the shit out of me—the one in the SOTY issue. I had to wear the crazy power gloves for that one.
That one was insane!
Yeah, it was taller than the one in France, but it was just a straight drop. You don’t have the forward momentum to help with the fall. It’s just more of a splat and that shit was starting to hurt my back. I don’t ever really hurt my back jumping down things, but that was a straight spinal compression! It was hurting in weird ways I hadn’t felt before. So it starts to get scary once I notice weird pains or something. But usually I know right away if I can do it or not, it’s just the act of trying it.
Wow! So the only time you get scared is when you feel a pain you’ve never felt before? That’s insane.
Dude, you know when you’re looking at a rail or something, you know when you’ve got it.
Yeah, but you definitely push your limits. Do you have a doctor on call at all times?
No, I do not. I should. I use my dad as a doctor but he’s not even close to a doctor. He’s more of just a motivational speaker. If there are any doctors out there that would like to work with my weird-ass body, hit me up!
No doctors, cooks, therapists or nutrionalists were involved with this front shove. Photo: Broach
If you were rich, would you have a doctor travel with you?
No, I’d have a nutritionist, for days! Someone who would cook for me. I could just tell them what I wanted and they would make it all healthy. Almost like a cook.
That is a cook.
Yeah, I wouldn’t bring a doctor. I’d bring a massage therapist. Someone to give me a massage every night. If I was Nyjah style, that’s what I’d do.
Do you do any kind of special exercises to keep your legs impact ready?
Jumping on trampolines. That’s the best exercise I got.
You have the best life: you get to skate really good, smoke weed and jump on trampolines! So next question, how many roofs were jumped off of during the filming for this video?
This video? I don’t really know. I have to think about it. Quite a bit. It’s fun going out skating with Jason. He said one time, “It’s fun to go skate with you because I’m used to looking on the ground for spots.” He says he likes it because he gets to look up. It’s been fun finding weird spots with Jason. Usually I’m the one looking at stuff thinking, “I can do it,” and people are, like, “No, don’t try that. Come on!” But skating with Jason, he’s, like, “Oh yeah, you got that.”
Drawing lines in a concrete jungle Photo: Vaughan
Let’s talk music: you listen to a different kind of electronic music than I do.
I listen to really hectic stuff. I like that destroy-your-brain shit.
I like underground techno with not too many people.
I like 20,000 people around me.
You don’t seem like the kind of person who would like techno. How did you get into it?
Okay, so to set the story straight, I liked techno before I started skating. I had this weird almost little-kid phase of listening to that kind of music. I didn’t even know what it was; I just called it fast-pace music. I got into it because of the Mortal Kombat movie. I was very, very into that movie when I was little. I was, like, ten when my mom bought me the soundtrack. It has one band on it called Orbital. It has this one track that I would just put on repeat forever. One time my uncle heard me listening to it and he was already into techno so he was, like, “Oh, you like Orbital? Let me show you this!” It was stuff that sounded like Orbital but it wasn’t. I was, like, “Wow, what is this stuff?” It opened up this realm to all other kinds of music for me. Then I stated skating and me and my brother would listen to it wherever we were skating. We would carry around this little CD player bumping the Mortal Kombat soundtrack. No matter what we were doing, skating, playing video games whatever. It just turned into this thing. I enjoy listening to it when I’m skating and when I’m not skating. To me, it’s just the most relaxing, positive-energy, loveable kind of music.
This backside 50-50 is also probably relaxing for Jaws. Photo: Vaughn
So if there was a soundtrack to your life it would all be techno?
For sure. There is a song on the soundtrack called “Halcyon On & On & On.” Dude, that song changed my game. That song was like me meeting my one true love. Then I found skateboarding and I was, like, “Oh my God, I can combine these two loves!” It blew me away.
So you’re telling me without techno we wouldn’t have Jaws? I love it.
I think now in skateboarding people don’t care about music. I think you can listen to whatever and people don’t judge you by it. Back in the day skateboarders were infused with rock ‘n’ roll and being all punk rock.
Yeah, and if you listened to techno you were a geek.
Exaclty. But nowadays, I don’t think it matters. Plus, there is so much electronic music that there is a huge difference between techno and that dub-step EDM bullshit that they play on the radio. Like the shit that you listen to! It’s not bullshit; it’s just not my cup of tea.
Does that music get you hyped to skate?
I definitely bump the Tailgater while I skate. Eventually I’d like to infuse skateboarding with techno. Or bring techno into skateboarding somehow, but there is definitely a fine line. It’s a delicate situation because people still think if you listen to techno you are wack.
We definitely bump some crazy music while we skate. It’s a good energy. It’s fun to bust it out on the session sometimes. It’s better than just the van-ride music. We need that energy pump up! Wait, should we talk about—
No, not drugs or anything. It’s not what you’re thinking. We were at Hard Summer—
That was our first time actually raving together. We saw Boys Noize, right? We didn’t leave the set for hours. We stayed right there.
Dude, 20,000 people and then me and Jaws right in the middle dancing with each other, sweating with our shirts off. That’s what it looked like. So funny. You have such a good time; no one is there judging anyone or anything stupid.
Yes, team building exercises! It was dope. Most of the time you find some chick and she’s down to dance, but this time it was, like, “Nope, I’m dancing with David. Me and David, this is our moment!” We had lots of team building activities thought the filming of this video.
We shared a magical moment! What about the Tony Hakkasan?
We were in Vegas on a trip, and Club Hakkasan is out there. My friend is a manager so I called him up and told him we were in town. He handles the celebrities and athletes that want to come. I told him Tony was here and wanted to come and he hooked it up! We all went, the whole Birdhouse team. They brought out a marching band with Birdhouse banners and bottles. It was nuts. It was the full treatment. I think Tony danced? I don’t know. I danced; that’s for sure.
You were ruling it that night. You were doing shout outs on the mic! I would grab the mic if I’d see Lizzie dancing to Beyoncé or something and I’d have to say it. It was so fun.
We have had some serious team building exercises on Birdhouse!
How do you think Tony got us here? The current team I mean.
Well, I think what kind of happened was, there was a phase when Tony was kind of doing his own thing. He got so big that he kind of, how do I say this right? I wouldn’t say didn’t care but he kind of lost track of Birdhouse and his team a little bit. I think he brought it back together by including himself in everything, by being on all the trips and being there for everyone. We all saw that. Tony actually cares not just a little bit but he cares a lot a bit. Dude, Birdhouse is his baby and he wants it to be the best that it can be. So I think that after all of that he kind of whittled it down to the people who put forth the work and who care. Tony saw who we are right now and just believed in us and in it. Then it was, like, you guys are my new team; we are all going to make this happen; we are all in it together. He’s the dad, for sure; he’s the father figure of the team. If Tony ever asks you to do something, you just do it—no questions asked.
Did Tony put you on?
Actually, I got on because of Riley. I guess Riley was into watching my parts or something and he told his dad about me and sure enough one random day I got a random phone call from a number I didn’t know. I was, like, “Who the fuck is calling me?” I was sitting there with Matt Price and he answered the phone just joking around and then with the most serious face ever goes, “I think it’s Tony Hawk.” I took the phone back and he was all confused. He was, like, “Hey, is this Aaron?” I was, like, “Yeah, yeah, it’s Aaron. What’s up, Tony Hawk?” Not believing it was him, of course.
Kickflip over a spiral staircase? There’s only one Jaws Photo: Vaughan
You didn’t believe him?
Fuck no. I didn’t believe it at all. He goes, “No, I got your number from Steve Haring. Riley’s been showing me your footage.” That’s when I figured out it really was Tony Hawk! My face instantly just sunk into my stomach. I walked out of the room to where I could hear better, plugged my ear and then went, “Hello?” I just pretended like that other part didn’t happen and did like a start over! It was so funny. He asked if I could go on a trip to see if it would work out.
I guess it worked out!
Yeah, I guess so!
Have you ever seen Tony get out of tickets because he knows Tony Hawk?
Yes! This one time on the Gumball 3000 thing we got pulled over going so fast on the freeway. I don’t know how fast we were going, but it was the damn Gumball 3000 so we were definitely speeding. The cop pulled us over and saw Tony sitting in the back. They had him get out of the car, take a photo with him and then just gave us a warning. I’ve also seen a lot of people go up to Tony and say things, like, “Hey, anyone ever told you that you look just like Tony Hawk?” Or “Dude, you look so much like Tony Hawk.” Tony will respond in some funny way. He usually just laughs and says he’s Tony Hawk’s brother.
Is it weird to have Tony in the van?
Yeah, man, that’s the thing about Tony. He’s just like us. He’s us but older and more responsible. That’s what Tony is to me: he’s the most responsible skate rat I’ve ever known.
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