Gnarlytown With Chris Cole

Chris Cole is “the Jack”  of Jack of all trades. A legendary professional skateboarder. Business owner. Motorcyclist. X-Games Gold Medalist. Entrepreneur. The list goes on. His most recent venture is co-founding the first annual MUSIC + ACTION SPORTS festival: Gnarlytown.

Gnarlytown takes place at LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles on Saturday, June 22. This family-friendly event features extreme sports from motorsports champion Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Circus and the first-ever Chris Cole’s Rail Jam Invitational. Musical performances range from some of the most punk rock legends to other top music acts which include: Pennywise, Rancid, Action Bronson, Off! And Madball.

Frank151 was lucky enough to ask Chris Cole what they’ve got going down in Gnarlytown.

How did Gnarlytown come about? Did you approach John Reese and Nitro Circus or vice-versa?
My manager, Keith Isola has known and worked with John Reese for years. We all got together one day in Orange County and thought it would be a great idea to explore.

For this being the first annual Gnarlytown fest, you guys have one amazing music line-up. How did you decide on the artists/genres of music for the fest?
Skateboarding has always had a very close relationship with punk rock and many musicians in punk grew up skating so it made perfect sense. The idea of punk rock and skateboarding, its mindset, and its individuality speak to many others, like Action Bronson.

What could we expect will be in the Chris Cole’s Rail Jam Invitational skate course?
We have an incredible Rail center piece to host the jam on that’s  been in my head for years now. We worked with a huge team to develop it out and I’m stoked to watch it come to life.

Which skaters are participating and how were they chosen?
Tom Asta, Chris Joslin and Ryan Sheckler will be there.  My goal is to invite people that represent skating well, rip, and will get the crowd going.

In skateboarding, music has always been a big part of the “skate world;” especially in skate videos for each skater’s part. In your opinion, how does music and action sports go hand-in-hand?
It’s something that tows the line, just like skating. It’s creative, expressive, and uses so much of your mind. As skaters, we always have music playing in our head and we hear music and get a rush of adrenalin that makes us go skate.

Do you feel that music has been a big influence on your overall career? Have you always wanted to do something in music?
Music has not only been a big part of my career, but also my whole life. It’s something that’s ingrained in me. Most songs I can name within 2 notes. It’s a strange superpower that I have. Haha. I’ve picked music for my parts that have flowed well but always have kept the part fast to hype up the viewer and make them want to go skate. I always showcase my favorite bands so other people can enjoy the treasure I found.

Gnarlytown will be taking place at the LA Waterfront Berth 46 which is a beautiful location with beautiful California weather. How’d you decide on making “SoCal” the location for Gnarlytown?
It’s the birthplace of skateboarding, and the hub for a big punk scene. It makes sense to me…

What are you most excited about for Gnarlytown?
Seeing this come to life is going to be incredible. Personally, Rancid brings up a lot of memories for me as a kid skateboarding.  Seeing them perform at this event will mean more to me than anyone actually knows.

In 3 words, describe Gnarlytown.
Experience, excitement and memories.


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