JEFF THORBURN PORTFOLIO
Make a few moves in your adult life and you’ll inevitably end up with friends and family all over the place. Such...
Cochrane’s Steve Graham comes through with a heavy interview to accompany his part in “Beerstorm 3”.
Interview by Kevin Lowry / Photos by Liam Glass
So, where did you grow up?
I grew up in Cochrane, Alberta.
What’s it like there?
It was like a mellow small town when I was growing up. It’s like tight knit, but now it’s definitely developed a lot more.
And that’s where your family is now?
Yeah. My brother and sister live up there. My mom’s in the city, brother’s in the city, but they kind of all split up.
So you have one brother?
I have two brothers and a sister.
What are your brothers up to?
My one brother, Andy, I just do construction with, and my other brother, Chris, is basically a full-time manager of a kitchen.
How old were you when you started skating and how did you find it?
I was probably 12 or 13 when I started skating. My brother Andy had a skate and I ended up just taking over his skate. He took over my bike and we just kind of switched pathways there. I went from biking a lot to just skating.
What made you interested in skating? What aspects of it?
When I was biking, and at that time as such a small child, there is only so much you can do with a bike. There are only so many ways that you can spin or twist the handle bars. Whereas skating, you could grind these crazy rails, or flip in, or flip out of these ledges with rails, or do all these crazy sorts of manuals or just to skate fast with a really good style. So I think it’s definitely the diversity of skateboarding that drew me to it.
Yeah, I hear that. And nowadays, it seems like you’re pretty into say, Baker and Shake Junt and the Emerica stuff. Why does that appeal to you?
Ever since I was a kid, I just like the image of what they put out. I don’t know. I just appreciate that kind of skating and people like Figgy that go out and get a gnarly street clip as opposed to like spending days on it being some hometown hero, you know? I don’t know. I appreciate people’s rawness. How they’re always in the street. They just like to get gnarly and I appreciate that. And I like jumping down things.
These days you’ve been skating some pretty big rails. Do you think you can keep going bigger, like how Figgy and Kyle Walker keep pushing it?
Oh, well yeah, for sure. That’s kind of what inspired it all in the last kind of year or so. I’ve been watching these crazy parts like Figgy in Made Chapter 2. Kyle Walker winning Skater of the Year. A lot of the huge inspiration has been Cole Wilson’s most recent Foundation Oddity part. That part really just kind of opened up my eyes, but he had next-to-no foot trace in this part and just set sail on some of the craziest rails I’ve ever seen. It just kind of opens up your eyes to, like, if you want to grind things like that, you can do it. I definitely think like, no matter what, I just want to keep doing bigger and better things, and that’s it. That’s definitely what I’m going to do. Push myself as much as I can.
True. So, you work construction for a job, right? What kind of construction?
It’s mostly like, exterior steel framing. So I’m usually standing up on huge exterior steel buildings most of the time.
Do you ever have to work after getting served on a rail the night before?
Oh yeah, there’s been a few times where I’ve just been, “I have to go to work the next day” and just kind of bite the bullet and suck it up. I’ve got to make money, right?
As harsh as it is, I skate and I love to skate. It’s not like what I’m doing now is paying any bills in any way. This is what I love to do.
Yeah, I hear that. And so what’s up with the Long Island Iced Teas?
They’re one of the best drinks ever. If you want to go with a delicious beverage. I can’t believe that actually came up. I don’t know, I just love Long Island Iced Teas. Always have. It’s a good drink to have with some friends after some good food.
Do you have a pretty good diet?
I definitely try and eat as good as I can. Definitely wake up and have a smoothie, fruit every day and try and go to that aspect. I live with Ryan Spate and he eats pretty well. We definitely try and stick to eating good foods as much as we can.
So what’s the story with the hookers in Edmonton?
Oh my God. Basically this last series, Game 7 for the Edmonton Oilers against—I’m not even sure. Me and my brother went on downtown to Whyte Ave, ended up just partying and met these two girls. They seemed like pretty much average, normal girls, and definitely didn’t end up being that way. Ended up chilling all night and then went back to our hotel. I was like pretty lost in the sauce and passed out I guess. Yeah, they ended up being hookers. And the one chick I was talking to ended up stealing a bunch of money from my wallet, a bunch of weed, and other stuff. And then that was kind of like when my brother realized and clued in like, “Oh, they’re hookers,” and then gave them the boot. And then we woke up the next day at 6 a.m. and had to go to work. It was pretty rough.
Yeah I hear that. So going back in time a bit, why weren’t you going to have a part in Beerstorm 2?
It wasn’t too long after I quit drinking that me and Ryan Spate and Wes kind of decided to go on a trip to Vancouver with Liam Glass and Rob Thorpe. That was kind of when Liam sat down and told me like, “Hey man, this is kind of a harsh reality.” I wasn’t going to have a part in the video at all. I hadn’t filmed many tricks and that was kind of half reason why I quit drinking previously before, ’cause I was just partying too much and wasn’t skating. So yeah, I went from not having a part to, in less than a year, putting out Beerstorm 2 and now, less than another year, filming a whole other part, and I’m basically already set on a whole other part already so.
You’re not the youngest guy in your crew. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but what made you really turn it on at your age?
That trip to Vancouver and talk with Liam kind of what set a fire under my ass. And, like I said earlier, I was just watching that Cole Wilson video part, and I just want to see what I can grind, and see what I can keep grinding. And keep trying to go bigger and better.
Who are you getting help from these days?
These days I’m getting stuff from Emerica, through Timebomb, RVCA, Shredz Shop, The Juice Company, and Remind Insoles.