“Right after I turned pro in ’99, I had a bad break at the YMCA skate park in Escondido,” says Sayvinyl singer/guitarist Jesse Fritsch. “I sort of sat on my ankle and it just popped. I was out for six months.… I can only skate for a certain amount of years,” the 29-year-old admits.
In July, he heads out as one of the featured skaters on Tony Hawk’s five-week-long Boom Boom HuckJam Tour, but Fritsch has been able to expand his career outside of skate parks…and using his music savvy; Hawk tapped him to cohost a weekly skate-and-music show on Sirius satellite radio. As the “music dude” for Demolition Radio (channel 28), Fritsch chooses which bands get played.
“I try and play as many locals on the show as I can. We’ve played Irradio, Apes of Wrath, Scarlet Symphony, and Reeve Oliver.”
Besides the Sirius gig, Etnies, an Orange County—based shoe company that used to sponsor Fritsch as a skater, hires him and Sayvinyl drummer/guitarist Josh Vargo to score instrumental tracks for commercials and skate videos.
“We’ve done, like, 60 different segments for companies like DC Shoes, Transworld, and Adio.”
Though residuals from a 2002 Sprite commercial that featured Fritsch skating on a ramp in downtown L.A. helped him buy his first home in Encinitas, he says his soundtrack work is a “one-shot” deal where he and Vargo get paid a flat fee.
Fritsch says the music preferred by the skate culture “goes through phases.… It started in the ’80s with punk rock like Minor Threat and Black Flag. Then there was a phase in the ’90s when hip-hop was big. Then, around 2000, classic metal like Iron Maiden and AC/DC was the craze. Now it’s wide open.”
Demolition Radio can be heard every Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. Sayvinyl just released its first CD (titled God Forbid) and appears June 5 at the Beauty Bar.
– Ken Leighton