It’s been a while since we had the last installment of our Placelist series but we are back with a new mix put together by Nicolas Marti. We have been following him for a while now and we are big fans of his videos and the music he chooses to use. We talked to Nico about getting into filming, the people around him, and obviously about music. We don’t want to tell too much so go ahead, press play on the mix and read the interview to get to know him better.
Intro and interview by Louis Marschall.
Hi Nico, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. For all the people out there who don’t know you could you please tell us how old you are and where are you from?
I just turned 26 and I live in New York. I was born in Queens (NYC) but I grew up in Texas. Out there I really got into skateboarding but it was always my dream to move back to the east coast.
What’s the difference between those places?
The people. There is a different sense of community and open-mindedness out here in New York. There is just such a history in the United States between the North and the South. Do you know what I mean? Just with racism and how people want to live their lives. If you think of it as a state of mind.
I get what you mean. It’s the same here in Germany. East, West, North, and South Germans are just different. They have a different mentality. Obviously because of Germany’s history.
I feel like history kinda defines the culture of the future.
Yeah for sure. What is the scene like in New York? Who is your crew?
Latenitestars is definitely the crew. That’s the boys. I live with my best friend which is Alan Bell. That’s super cool. It’s just been over a year now and during our first months here, it was just him and I versus New York in some sort of way. It felt so diotic. We would always move and discover things together. I move with Alan the most. It’s him and me pulling up to a lot of places. Isaac, Alan, our friend Kalman, and I are really our own media crew. We’ve been working on a video for Ace Trucks over the past year which we want to release beginning of next year. Isaac put so much work into this part and I’m really proud to see how it will all come out.
That sounds sick. I’m looking forward to seeing the video. I know that you have been making skate videos for a long time now. I think the first video I saw of yours was “freygod” from more than four years ago. I really liked that one.
That’s sick! I released that in December 2017. That was cool. I think I got a VX1000 just before I turned thirteen. I had a mini digital video recorder that took DVDs. Super random. That’s when I got into fisheyes and the rest. So filming skateboarding feels like something I’ve been doing my whole life. Or at least for the past fifteen years.
How did you pick it up? Did someone inspire you?
It came from watching Lakai’s Fully Flared. Watching it for the first time was a pretty epic experience for me.
That’s funny. It used to run on a loop in the skate shop where I grew up. We watched it so many times.
Yeah right. It was so sick to me to see the second angle shot where you see Ty Evans filming. I love that. It was just so cool to me. Mike Mo’s switch 360 flip down the double set and you see fucking Ty Evans crouching there and the next angle is his one. That just gave me that look behind the scenes “Oh shit, that’s what the filmer looks like. That’s the stance. That’s tight”.
Sick. Do you have current influences regarding skate videos? Do you even watch skate videos?
Dude, I do. Last night I was nerding out. I don’t see it as a daily thing but at least once a week or every two days I go on to the internet and watch all of the newest videos. I just like to sit down and take it all in at once. But last night it really occurred to me that I actually get really inspired by watching my friends skate. Like old footage from my friends. I watched Chase Walker’s video “Respectfully” last night. Like rewatched it as if it was the first time. Just forget what you know and act like it’s the first time you are seeing it. It was so captivating. I was like stuck in it. My eyes glued to the screen. It was super sick.
That’s really cool. It’s a very nice video and I totally get it with being influenced by friends. It is the same for me. So we learned that you watch a lot of skate videos and my next question then would be: Are you noticing any trends in skate videos music-wise? And do you try to stay away from that kind of music while picking songs for your own videos?
90’s rock music has grown increasingly popular. Especially just because of the more emo-sounding chords which I always had a soft spot for in my heart because it’s very touching. What else is trendy at the moment?
I can give some examples because we get sent a lot of videos and obviously watch a lot of videos. So many skate videos these days come with a Sade, Dean Blunt, or Cocteau Twins song. They all make great music but it’s just been used too often.
True, True. I feel you. I definitely enjoy watching a skate video where you don’t know the artist of the music. You’re hearing the track and you are like “Dude, what is this song?” You just love it. To me, that’s the sickest thing. I like to use music which is almost kind of new to me. If I’m finding a track on YouTube with less than 1000 plays and if it’s kind from 20 years ago, it fits in because it feels timeless. You know? So using a song that I feel like it could be interesting for someone sounds sick. To offer new footage and skating plus new sounds.
Yeah, it feels like finding a treasure, and then you share it with others. We noticed that you use a lot of songs in your videos and you like to switch it up. What’s the motive behind that?
It’s because my videos are kind of long and I don’t want to play out a song for too long. I want to make it kind of diverse too but I also feel like it’s my brain. It reflects my mind and how I take in music because I like such a wide variety of it. I guess I’m trying to put in all the music that I’m listening to at a given time into a video, you know? That’s quite important to me. I would usually film for around a year for video and then edit it in a week’s time. So I really try to encapsulate that year and the music we were listening to throughout the seasons.
Interesting! Where do you find most of your music? Is it YouTube, Soundcloud, or Bandcamp or do you go to record shops and dig for music?
All of the streaming services I would say. Starting with YouTube and then Spotify. Soundcloud after that. Youtube just to get the artist. Spotify would be the virtual record shop because I like to go and hear the whole album, you know? It’s nice to have the whole discography. Spotify is just super user-friendly. Soundcloud is for the deep-cut shits and kind of newer music. You get a lot of newer artists there.
If you had to pick 3 of your favorite artists in no particular order who would they be?
Modest Mouse is definitely one of them because it’s something I had for a while. Definitely, Pavement is another one. I love 2Pac as an artist. It’s a crazy jump from Pavement to 2Pac (laughs).
Yes, but it can be very nice. Do you play or make music yourself?
I have a guitar and I’ve been learning over the past 2 years. I guess my dream is to kind of making the music for my videos. Alan has recently joined a band here in New York called Blair. He is a sick ass drummer. He is the music head. I love Blair. I also like Genesis’ music and how he can tap into the rock music, the guitars, and shit but he gets down with Hip-Hop and has sick bars. Actually, Blair has a new album coming out soon.
Sick I’ll definitely listen to it when it comes out.
By making this mix for you I got hyped to make more. I never uploaded something to Soundcloud but it’s so easy. So I definitely going to be doing this more.
Sick to hear that! Makes us happy to hear that we got the ball rolling for that (laughs). How would you describe your mix?
That’s a good question. I would say “ambient guitar mix”.
Haha ok! Last question: If you had to listen to just one artist for one week. Whom would that be?
J Boog. I used one of his songs in my last video. He has an album from 2007 called “Hear Me Roar” and over the summer I have sometimes been listening to it twice a day. It’s really uplifting and positive music.
Do you have any last words for the people out there listening to your mix?
I honestly just want to express my gratitude to anyone who listens to a good part of it or even all of it. I’m very thankful for that and for everyone who takes the time to read this.
Thank you Nico for your time.