Interview by Daniel Nodzak
Images provided by Matt Garrity
Hey Matt, thanks for talking with us. Pitcher 2 is the follow up to your video from 2015, for anyone that missed that, can you walk us through the concept of the Pitcher series?
Montreal has always had a big media scene, with D-Structure having a stacked team back in the day. Felix Rioux was always putting out amazing videos. Sadly there is no one left to promote our unique scene so I kind of stepped in and try to promote the scene with the @Montrealblading instagram account.
As for Pitcher 1, it kind of started off as a joke with Yanis and I just getting bored at his place and dumping a GoPro into a pitcher while we drank a 40 before a hockey game. People seemed to enjoy the concept of the level of beer in the pitcher decreasing as the video progressed and thats when I realized I could get away with doing a second one.
How long did you guys film for?
It varies. Guys like Daniel and Tomek got their respective clips done in 2-3 months, but for myself, Denis, and Vincent it took around 2 years to film it all.
The videos first profile opens with Yanis Khabet lacing up to play for the Algerian National Hockey Team. That’s got to be pretty cool to see a friend compete on an international level like that. Tell us about how you came to film the team?
Yanis is a talented hockey player, and its always a pleasure to see friends succeed. Yanis talked to his coaching staff and event organizers and got me a press pass for me to walk freely around the arena and in the locker room. I even got to hear the captain give his pre game pep talk!
You guys took a trip to the Vermont to film for this. What was that like?
Anytime we travel together it’s always a great time. Vermont is a beautiful place. I think I was the only Canadian in the 2 cars we came in, the rest of the guys were from France or Belgium. It was a retreat from the city to enjoy some fresh air and to swim in non polluted (or less ha!) waters. Any time we travel we always try to make the best of it and keep a stress free mentality.
Denis Raby had a horrific but unique injury and you spent some time allowing him to share his story. What made you decide to devote a segment to the unpleasant side of skating?
Denis is the corner stone of blading in Montreal. We call him “Blade Legend”, kind of a parody of “Blade God”, except we are serious about this one. Denis has been blading well over 20 years and loves rollerblading more than anyone I have ever met.
When he first got hurt I went to his place to see how he was doing. He could barely walk around his house and I was thinking “damn, he’s never gonna skate again!” Then after his surgery he was out and about on big wheels ripping around the city, then after that back on his classic anti rocker set up just skating hard as fuck! It’s more of a recovery/inspirational story and every time I see Denis blade I know that theres no injury none of us can’t over come and get back to some level of blading. In Denis case he never missed a step.
Is there anything that stands out most for you about filming for this video?
How much my friends mean to me. A lot of my friends played a long with what I was doing, doing tricks a second time just so I can get a second angle. The entire into part took around 3 hours to film and I appreciate how patient everyone was for that. I don’t take the video very seriously, like I worked hard on it, but it’s not some ground breaking video. It’s more of a video of a bunch of best friends just having an amazing time on rollerblades.
Alright, before I let you go, let’s get some shoutouts in.
First and foremost, Stephane Julien. He sponsored the video and it would have never reached the internet without his generous donation. He’s always been a rock solid dude and showed me that he can be even more solid if thats even possible for a nice guy like Steph. Kaya for always giving me sound advice. My former boss Catherine Alegre for taking out her drone and helping us out in the intro. The most important shout out I can give is everyone that has a clip in the video. From guys letting me crash at their place while I was visiting or just being patient with me while trying to find the best angle when they were already set to skate. I just appreciate everything everyone has done for me to make this video happen. Oh and you guys at Blader Union!