She Skates with Bass: A Q&A with Liv Collins

Words By Matthew Spence:

Aye! Thanks for stopping by, Yo! Today is Cherry’s Worldwide Day of Play.

[YO! DON’T CLICK OFF THE ARTICLE! I’m not stupid; I know the drill. See “Worldwide Day of Play,” then immediately change it to Cartoon Network. [I know, I was probably the first one ever to do it.]

Unlike Nick’s “Worldwide Day of Play,”  I’ll actually give you some ideas of stuff to do outside. Instead of just fucking up the daily schedule routine and expecting us to piss in the wind, Are you game?

Challenge 1: Roam the streets gonzo style. Knock door to door, Jehovah’s Witness style, and try to preach the American Dream of Yesteryears (handout pamphlets to look more legit).

Challenge 2: Prepare a playlist of the Drums and figure out what comfort show to watch, cause your self-esteem is gonna need the pampering after being rejected more than Duckie from “Pretty in Pink” all day.

 

 

The “American Dream” is dead yo and the only one probably grieving it is Clint Eastwood. Not too many of us miss it, like that pink medicine.

 

 

30 years after Gen-X bum-rushed with Teen Spirit, Gen-Z is reaping the generational royalties and aiming for the future. Not the American Dream. But embrace the American Wasteland (salute to the almighty Tony Hawk). Now, of course, let’s not be naive. Of course, we all want stability and security, whether financial or mental. However, FUCK the picket fence if we lose ourselves to get it. People will judge you no matter what; you might as well be your true self. Why conform to society’s rules for security? The system and economy are fucked anyway; we might as well walk our own paths. Aim for happiness by doing what we love, and hope to inspire others to do the same. We’re not masters at it. Like everyone before us, we’re students helping each other and peers helping peers. Now, it doesn’t necessarily have to apply to creative living; it could apply to people who wanna be veterinarians, own a car wash, or build hammocks, as long as it’s pure from you. Living in American Wasteland, you’re gonna run into many others living the same. It’s like unlockable characters in a video game. American Wasteland unlocked Liv Collins a long time ago.

 

Skater, bassist, Converse All-Star, TV Star (eh, kind of? ), and so fucking friendly that she’d make the 100 Arce Woods posse seem eviler than the Woodlin Critters from South Park. All that, and then some. Starting off in Connecticut, the city of Milford, Liv walked the streets like all of us: daydreaming and trying to get by with a smile—-

FREEZE! a “Just Jordan” interruption here, we’re gonna fast-forward through Liv’s childhood, because my dumbass didn’t ask many questions about it. It would’ve been nice to know. Whelp <VCR Forwarding Noise>

,….. and stop here. Proceed.

—-and that was her 16th birthday. Forging through her late teens, however, would be where her bio-film would go from the editing floor to Sundance. As she and a close homie, Ang Calwara, decided to get up, get out, and start skating, then skate some more, then some more after that. Here’s a dramatic re-enactment:

Liv: Yo, let’s skate.

Ang: “Yeah, that’s a good idea. We Should!

SCENE

Photo: sk8babes

 

 

Little did they know that one day of conversing in Converse would lead to another idea. An Instagram page called Sk8Babes. Nothing too fancy, just them posting clips of them practicing, showing their progress, and just having a blast being homies. Just adding to the lore of culture, that is, 2016 (motherfuckers love 2016). Now, 8 years later, Sk8Babes is a community committed to being a space for women, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC skaters and those who are interested in trying it out. Inclusivity is the name; helping each other out is the game. “Because a lack of women and LGBTQ skaters, like, it was what made me have my first meetup at Edgewood Skatepark.” Hosting events, offering skate lessons, connecting with many women skaters and connecting women skaters together, and giving anyone who felt like the odd one out. While simultaneously linking the CT and NYC skate scenes even closer. “It was to bring people to CT, but I eventually made so many friends outside of the state and traveling to New York every single weekend to skate with this community of non-traditional skateboarders.”

Along with the Skate Kitchen crew [Shout-out, in no particular: DeDe, Nina, Moonbear, Ajani, Rachelle, Jules (you’ll see her again soon), Brenn, and the honorary 5th Beatle Crystal Moselle] around the same time, the two camps would become peanut butter to one’s jelly in spirit and in bonds. Think the Native Tongues, Soulaquarians, or whatever we call the friendship of Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Kathleen Hanna. As a fan of both, it’s dope to see. Granted, if you combine all of the core members of both, it’ll feel like so many motherfuckers to introduce that it’d give you nam’ flashbacks of the Skate 1 or “Snatch” opening.

 

 

On her daily agenda, while holding things down with Sk8Babes in NY (where she currently resides) while Ang is running things in CT, Liv is also swimming in the world of music. Shredding not only on the board but on the bass (if shredding applies to bass, I never thought about it until recently). Picking it up around 2022 and documenting her growth on Instagram, now she’s in a band with her boyfriend and close friends. Joopi. Fronted by equally talented Jules Moriah (see, I told you, you’d see her again!). With all of this under her belt, it’s no wonder she’s a Converse All-Star. Now, I had the pleasure of having a convo with her and asking questions. On some day, I asked her questions. Let the interview start. I’ll shut the fuck up.

[Challenge 3: Read all of this in one breath.]

 

8 years of SkBabes! Do you feel the skate community has gotten better at making a more comfortable environment for women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+?

I’d say it’s completely different from when I first started. When I first started, it was kinda a lonely journey. Just feeling super different, it was pretty obvious. I definitely wasn’t treated the best at certain points, but I think I did find my community, and in 2024, I’ve never seen skateboarding so diverse before. You can go to a skatepark right now, and there’s probably gonna be a woman skater there. Without a doubt!

SKATE OR DIE. Why?

Like having memories of when I first started skating and going to these CT skate parks all the time. When I was younger in college, I didn’t give a fuck about getting hurt. People in the skate scene in CT know. Y’all KNOW! I was EATING SHIT, I’ve had to get stitches and fractured shit before, and I’ve hurt my shoulders, my foot, and my ankle plenty of times.

[The Jackass crew has seen the hospital less than her.]

I think back to now—definitely someone closer to my 30s side now. I may try to avoid getting hurt as much as I used to, but back then I didn’t give a fuck. It was just a lot of adrenaline, the hype, and being proud of learning something new. That’s the thing about skateboarding: you’re gonna get hurt, if you wanna learn new things, you gotta pay your dues and eat it, so that’s why Skate or Die.

[Case in Point: the viral clip of Liv eating shit]

 

 

“That clip is such a meme lore; I’ve met people in real life, and they’d be like, ‘Oh, wait, you’re from that video’, and I’m like, ‘How the fuck did you guys see this’. But man, that was a crazy time going viral.” No one can really predict going viral, especially when it wasn’t necessarily intentional. So you could imagine that her reaction to the likes and views raised her eyebrows and heartrate a bit.

 

 

However, she doesn’t look at that moment in time with gloom and doom, but as something to admire. “I mean, the thing is, yes, I did bust my ass, but guess what? I got back up after busting my ass and landed that shit after. So, I did not care, like you see that I ate shit and I was like, ‘Fuck it’  and still got over my fear and went for it. It took balls; I got a lot of trolls and hate for that, but also a lot of support. I feel like when I have kids someday, if I showed them that, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, my mom is pretty cool’.

Difference between CT vs NYC skate scene?

Definitely, New York is so much more diverse; there’s a lot of different representation everywhere. There’s so many different communities in this big community, so I feel like we could find a lot more diversity and find a lot of people you can relate to easier there. But CT definitely has women skaters; I see a lot of women in CT rollerskating too! The rollerskating scene there is crazy; it’s so badass!

Would you consider doing another Sk8Babes video part?

Oh my gosh! Actually, here’s the tea: my first part came out in 2021. It took, like, 2 years. My boyfriend recorded it on his camera. It was my intro to skateboarding in NY. I still can’t believe I have my own NY part; that’s so crazy to me. From there, my boyfriend made a few more videos, and then two years in a row, he had really bad skating injuries. So he’s been dealing with recovery and finally getting back into it, and he’s finally in a place where he’s comfortable again. So that’s the plan; he’s working on his next video now. I’m definitely gonna get a part, and there’s gonna be so many more homies in it than before.

 

 

A song in mind for your part already?

YESS! It’s called Inaka by Mei Semones. My fav artist, she’s like this indie Japanese Pop/Bossnova artist based in Brooklyn. And she gave me her blessing to use it too!

Liv Playlist Recs: “Signal Dreams” by Small Crush, “When I’m Thinking About You” by The Sundays, and “Tegami” by Mei Semones

 

Favorite episode of Betty?

I would say… the one I’m in <chuckles>. There’s this episode where Janay was looking for Yvette (played by Jules), and Jules is my bestie in real life, so it was cool that I got to play her little sidekick, hanging out with her throughout the day. Our friend, Ursula, was also apart of the little friend group we played. It was fun; we went to a bubble tea shop.

 

Storytime with Liv

“It was cute on the show, but crazy behind the scenes. We filmed it in a bubble tea shop in Chinatown. First of all, this was in the morning. Mind you, they were like, ‘We don’t have any bubbles right now; we don’t have tapioca, but we have black beans. So they literally put black beans in our drinks. I would forget that it was black beans, so I’d accidentally swallow the black beans. Then, on top of it, there was this man—he was a little unhinged and crazy—on the street. He saw the cameras and stuff and was kind of freaked out. So he tried to bother us and yell at us, and while filming that scene in the shop, he was at the window at the bubble tea shop flipping us off.”

 

Photo: girlbrainz

 

 

How did skating and bass build your character?

I feel they both built my confidence up. As corny as this sounds, these hobbies have shown me that I’m capable of anything that I want. As a kid, I didn’t really grow up with the opportunities to do what my peers did. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I finally had the freedom to do what I wanted. I got my skateboard as an adult; I didn’t learn bass till I was like 24 or 25. Once you realize you can push on a board or go down a ramp, ollie, it starts to click like, ‘Oh, I’m so capable’.

Scenario: All of your Converse had to be tossed on a powerline because… reasons. You could only keep one pair of your Converse; which one are you keeping?

Honestly, I’d have to say whatever skate ones I have at the moment. I have the All Star Pros right now, but I wouldn’t say they were my fav. I don’t have my favs right now; they [Converse] should send me some <laughs>.

—– Having the luxury of being a Converse All-Star, Liv got to go to Camp Flog Gnaw in 2023. Being the 2nd Cherry Interviee to have been there, the first being Quinn of Yo! I MAKE RUGS. Now in a full circle, Liv’s experience marks the closing chapter of Quinn’s story.

 

As Quinn experienced this:

 

And Liv witnessed this:

 

The Joopi Interlude

Joopi. An up-and-coming band based out of NYC. The four-piece ensemble has an alternative sound that can blossom on the Lilith Fair stage and mesh well with the ears of music lovers who gravitate towards the spirit of the 90s alt of the past. However, it’s still refreshing in itself. Let Liv explain: “People have told us it sounds kinda 90s and grungish. This has been such an honor to hear; there’s been multiple people, ranging from 40 to 60, who recently told us, ‘This reminds us of the Sundays’ ‘ This reminds us of going to shows in the 90s’. It’s a huge honor for people to think our sound and vibe are similar to that.” As of now, no official music is out, but they are consistently performing to where they might end up at Lollapoolaza before their debut album. They’re that impressive.

Photo: Joopi

 

Describe Joopi in 3 words

Whimsical, Grungy, and funny—we’re some funny people.

The Joopi Manifesto: What do you want fans to take away from the music?

Well, so our music is originally by the lead singer, Jules; she’ll come to us with a song. An acoustic version, then we’ll build off of that and figure out the vibe from there. But I’d say, Jules’s mind, it’s just so complex. It just brings so much complexity, and it’s [the music] really telling her feelings, emotions, and views on womanhood. Her lyrics are so fucking sick!

Recording the first project yet?

Working on it!! Yes, we’re currently working on it. This is the first thing we’ve done together.

Being a bassist for only 2 years, were you hesitant to join any band?

Yeah, I was like, “I don’t know if I would do it like I really thought, but Thomas was super supportive and he knows music. So I figured I trusted him. I also took it as the thing I do, where I’m gonna try to something once. I’m gonna go for it. What’s the worst that can happen? I suck?…Ok <laughs?

 

Band Name Origin

Aww, it’s so cute, Jules. She has a twin named Brenn. They’ve always called each other Boopi and Joopi, and when we came to her with the project, we were like, “What the hell do we call it?” She was like, “We can all it ‘Joopi’ for now.

 

 

[Any photo in this, I don’t own nor will try to claim. My broke ass just can’t afford photo shoots.]

 

Follow: Liv. Sk8Babes. Joopi.

Be sure to check out, Joopi, live if they’re around you.

Be sure to join the Sk8Babes movement

Remember, keep hope alive, you are somebody!

 

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