"It was almost too surreal to grasp how heavy it all is," says Riley Hawk on his new Lakai pro model shoe collaboration with Motörhead. "I've worshipped everything that Lemmy has done, from Hawkwind to Motörhead, and everything in between. The fact that I get to play a tiny part of his incredible legacy is pretty cool."
Hawk is shaping his own legacy in skateboarding, having dropped two of the sickest video parts last year, including his Shep Dawgs 5 part and the finale in Lakai's The Flare (which was set to Metallica's "The Four Horsemen"). Meanwhile, his stoner-rock band, Petyr, just finished their second album, titled Smolyk and due out June 1st on Outer Battery Records. The pro skater/musician's idolization of Kilmister makes sense: Like Lemmy, Hawk's DNA seems to have been forged in heavy metal, and he, too, represents pure and unfiltered authenticity in his respective world. (It's also notable that, like the late Motörhead main man, Hawk loves his whiskey.)
To commemorate the release of the collaborative capsule collection (which includes hoodies and tees as well as sneakers), Hawk went out with lifelong friend and director Jacob Nuñez and filmed a video part to Motörhead's track "Iron Fist." The short film, which you can watch below, was premiered at the release party on April 25th at The Rainbow Bar and Grill in Hollywood. Revolver sat down with Hawk to discuss his new collaboration with Motörhead, filming the video part for the release, and to hear about that time he met Lemmy.
RILEY, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW PRO MODEL SHOE COLLABORATION WITH MOTÖRHEAD. HOW DID THIS ALL COME ABOUT?
HAWK Thanks! I originally was in the Lakai office and they asked if I wanted to do a collaboration shoe and I was into it. I never would have thought that Motörhead would have been obtainable for something like this, but Lakai was able to make it happen. Their imagery is so awesome and something that I dig — the graphics, the font and the whole look of everything they do. We used the song "Fast and Loose" for our inspiration, because I love that song.
SO YOU WERE INVOLVED IN THE DESIGN OF THE SHOE?
HAWK Yeah, it was kind of bizarre because we were designing a whole new shoe, but at the same time we were doing this collaboration with Motörhead. It was weird for me, because I was picturing my shoe as a Motörhead shoe, but I had to step back and actually think about what the shoe would look like and how it would feel — beyond the Motörhead branding.
DID YOU EVER GET TO MEET LEMMY?
HAWK Yeah, I actually met Lemmy once and it wasn't even Motörhead related. I saw his band the Head Cat — a rockabilly band — at The Roxy Theatre in Hollywood. This girl I was dating at the time knew the band and we got to meet them. It was trippy, but also super cool seeing Lemmy standing around in this small club.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS ABOUT LEMMY AND MOTÖRHEAD THAT INSPIRES SO MANY PEOPLE?
HAWK I was watching a Twisted Sister documentary about their first ever gig in England where they opened for Motörhead at a big festival. They came out in all their shit — the makeup and outfits — and everyone was booing them and hating on them. And then, Lemmy came out on stage, told the audience that Twisted Sister were friends of his and to give them a chance — and the fans cheered for the show and supported them. Just those few words from Lemmy launched their career. That just shows you the power and respect that everyone always had for Lemmy. And it was so sick that he did that.
LAKAI HELD THE RELEASE PARTY AT THE RAINBOW BAR AND GRILL IN HOLLYWOOD — LEMMY'S FAVORITE HAUNT. HOW WAS THAT?
HAWK I've been to the Rainbow plenty of times, but I didn't realize that all the Motörhead people were going to be there — their tour manager and marketing team. They were so stoked on it all. I think they had an idea of who I was and my vibe, but when they saw the video we made for the release, how everything came together and all the people that came out to celebrate — they were super stoked. To see people who genuinely spent a lot of time with Lemmy, knew him and oversee all things Motörhead — they were hyped. I really couldn't ask for more than that.
Sometimes these events are really bizarre to me, because I really don't like being in the spotlight. And here we had this big event surrounding my new shoe — my name is on all these banners and my video is being played over and over. It's kind of weird in that sense, just because I just like to be more low-key. But I also understand that's just how those kind of events are and a lot of people put a lot of work into it. So when it finally happens, we had to have everyone out and just say, "Fuck, we finally finished this project."
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOTÖRHEAD SONG?
HAWK Right now, I'm listening to the Iron Fist album. Jacob Nuñez and I filmed a little video part for the shoe release. We were able to secure the rights to use the title track for the video, so I'd go with "Iron First" for now. But honestly, you can't go wrong with Motörhead — they're all so good. It's more about whatever you're feeling at the moment.
YOU SPIN RECORDS AT BARS SOMETIMES. DO YOU PLAY MOTÖRHEAD?
HAWK Yeah, for sure. I'll bring Ace of Spades and play some shit off that. It's funny, because Motörhead is such a universally liked band. If I'm at a bar, people seem to be stoked on hearing them. I always try to have one or two of their records when I show up anywhere to DJ.
GETTING TO WORK WITH ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC ROCK BANDS OF ALL TIME, WHAT DOES ALL THIS REPRESENT TO YOU?
HAWK I don't mean to sound jaded, but when we were developing the shoe, I thought it was just going to be known in the skateboarding world. And then when I found out it was being embraced by the Motörhead camp, and that they were going to get behind it and push it out to the rest of the world — it's just trippy. All these people, that don't even skate or know about skating, will be rocking my Motörhead shoe. I wish the dudes were around to give it a thumbs up — I know Lemmy wasn't necessarily a skateboarding fan, but he definitely respected skateboarding culture, so I think he would have been pretty stoked on how it all came out.