MEET MIAMI TRANSPLANT, ALEX OF MO'BOOTY
You might’ve seen him at Sweat Records,
pushing around Lot 11, enjoying occasional street beerz, or playing at Churchill’s—if there’s anything you’re certain of, it’s that Booty is smiling wherever you catch him. This is what a dose of heavy Miami skating and playing sweaty music look like.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself.
Booty: "My name's Alex, I was born in Manhattan, Kansas, and grew up mostly in the Bay Area of California. Eventually I ended up in Miami by the time I was in high school. I come from a mix of different backgrounds, African and Jamaican on my dad's side and Arabic on my mother's side. Since my mother's family is based in France, I've been going back and forth pretty much my whole life."
Explain what came first—skateboarding or music?
B: "I feel like they both grew together at the same time for me, but music came shortly before skateboarding. I think I started playing piano around 4th or 5th grade then later, guitar. I don't really think I was completely into skating by that time. Skateboarding came more around middle school. Since I went to a small private school in Berkeley, me and my best friend at the time were the only two skaters in the school. We would go to the skate park every Friday and skate 'til it closed, then we'd go to his house and listen to a bunch of music. That's when I really got into playing guitar. My mom had gotten me a Ramones CD, with about 30 songs and I learned every single one. From there I was hooked on guitar and really starting to look around for music I liked. I would learn things so fast, just after hearing it once, and I think I applied that to skateboarding as well."
"My mom had gotten me a Ramones CD WITH about 30 songs and I learned every single one. From there I was hooked on guitar and really starting to look around for music I liked. I would learn things so fast, just after hearing it once, and I think I applied that to skateboarding as well."
Did the two ever overlap in your life, if so, how?
B: "Definitely. As I started getting into each one respectively, I realized that they overlapped in many ways. Think of your favorite video part. Now think if it had another song playing behind it, it would be a completely different part right? Things like that made me realize how much skate and music culture were aligned in some ways, as well as finding out that a lot of skaters I liked were somehow involved in music and vice versa. A couple notables are Ray Barbee (obviously,) and Terry Kennedy skating to his own songs, which was the coolest thing ever to me at the time. Later on I started using the two together. Last year for Art Basel, I put together a skate/music show at TF- it was really cool to see everyone enjoy that."
What’s your fondest memory of skating in Miami?
B: "There are many, but what really comes to mind is every time a new skate park opens. It's like a resurgence and everyone's together again. It happens every couple of years and I think there's really nothing like it. When a new park opens it's like you don't have to call your friends to find out where they are, you just know where to go to see everyone. Then the contests and demos and new people coming in-- I really think it's the most positive thing that can happen for skaters in a city. I think my favorite period is when Grand Central was open. That park really felt like it was ours because we built what we wanted, skated when we wanted and it grew so much from the empty lot it started as. It was cool to have pieces from closed down parks in there still being put to use."
"Think of your favorite video part. Now think if it had another song playing behind it, it would be a completely different part"
You used to skate with Peepshow and Nate in Miami Beach all the time—tell us about those skate rat days.
B: "Ha I wouldn't say all the time, but him and Mikey Perez were really the ones that introduced me to the old MIA crew back when they were all young. I always loved skating with Peepshow cause he took everything to the extreme. No one skates like him. I would run into him every now and then all over Miami. Always thought him and Mikey were crazy 'cause they never took the bus or the train anywhere, they would just push from Little Haiti to Dadeland. Everything they did was fast, and hard. A trick didn't count if it was done slow, there had to be some danger involved."
Who are you skating with these days and where?
B: "These days I skate wherever I can. I'm usually doing more music related stuff with the band or working so skating is really in the in-between or down time. Every now and then I'll get a good session in, or spend a day downtown at Lot 11 or Omni Park. But lately I've just been wanting to get together with someone and film a small part. Out of all the years I've been skating I've never really documented any of it. Now I feel like I skate less, so I wanna get something good on film before it's too late. I'm also always looking for spots wherever I go-- it'd be nice to just take a day or two to hit them all."
"I Always thought him [PEEPSHOW] and Mikey were crazy 'cause they never took the bus or the train anywhere, they would just push from Little Haiti to Dadeland. Everything they did was fast and hard. A trick didn't count if it was done slow, there had to be some danger involved."
When touring, do you find time to skate different cities between sets?
B: "Most of touring is driving, so yeah it's nice to have a board in the back to stretch your legs at rest stops. Schedules can get hectic when touring so you don't always have time to stop or go out of the way for a park or a spot, but when it works out and you have the extra time, boy it feels good to skate somewhere new. At that point it becomes a game of, 'have fun but don't break anything 'cause your'e on tour.' Last time I went to Austin I got to skate a couple of good parks with an actual pool/bowl (why are there so few in FL?) and that was a highlight. This year I'm going to Europe and I definitely hope to get some skate time in."
Any upcoming events we should know about?
B: "We have one last show in Miami July 6th at Space Mountain with Nick Deluca, Brine, Jelly, and Pesh Kab. This one should be really fun, a good collection of bands locally and the talented Dion Kerr who's now living in Brooklyn. Then after that it's off to Europe. I'm gonna work for a month or two then the band will be joining me for a month-long tour. This is our first tour as a full band, and we decided do do it in Europe because we've heard much better things from out there than being on the road in the US. Not to say it's easy, but we just want to push our music out there and meet as many people as we can that are on the same page. If anyone knows any must-see places, hit us up!"
List the top 10 songs on your playlist this month.
B: "That's always a tough one. For this month I'll say:
The Stooges - Gimme Danger, The 4 of Us - Batma, Bad Brains - House of Suffering, Butthole Surfers live videos, Anything by Charlie Megira, Dead Kennedys - Police Truck, If the World Was Gonna End Today - The Dewars, The Clash - London Calling, The Ramones - Down to the Basement."
B: "Just wanna say thanks for having me on Foul South! Thanks to Koki and Mariel for doing what you do and being all around bad asses."