Sponsor-Hopping: An Interview With Brian Hansen

In the last twelve months, Vista's own Brian "Slash" Hansen has gotten what's known as the "Sponsor Overhaul." When Pig wood went under, he floated around for a while. Since then, he's been fielding offers left and right. He went from Black Label to Deathwish, Vox to Fallen, and according to his Fallen Footwear profile, he's gone from Split to Altamont. Then again, according to the same profile, his current set up is a "CCS Complete."

Ah, sarcasm.

We here at Transworld Business go straight to the source to quell the Internet rumors. Here's what the man himself has to say about a bunch of things that I thought to ask him:

Who was your first sponsor?Slash likes to chill at the beach. Photo: Blair

Decade, it's a shop in Vista.

When was that?

Like 5 or 6 years ago, I guess.

You've had quite the sponsor overhaul lately. Are you finally settled in, or are you going to keep jumping around?

Yeah, I'm fucking chilling.

Are you worried about getting a reputation for switching sponsors? On the one hand you have Steve Caballero, who has been Powell and Vans for 200 years, but on the other hand, Kris Markovich and Mike Vallely have skated for dozens of companies. All three of those guys have stood the test of time.

Ha, I was just put in some un-turndownable situations with all three, you know? I needed a shoe sponsor, because Vox wasn't really doing anything with me. That's how Fallen happened. And then I was on that Wild Ride with the Emerica dudes, and Reynolds just said "Hey we're making a new company, do you think you'll be down?" and this was way before it [Deathwish] was really in the works, no name, no nothing. He said "I don't know who's going to be on the team, but I want you to be the first one." So I said "Fuck, I'm down. I'll do it."Then Label wanted me to commit, and I had to tell them I had this opportunity. Label's sick as fuck, but I had to go see what was up with it [Reynolds' company].

I can see how it would be hard to turn down offers from heavy hitters like Jamie Thomas and Andrew Reynolds.

Split was paying me, but I couldn't really wear any of their clothes you know? I can't wear black jeans, and that's like all they had. They had like one pair of blue jeans. And they wanted to hold my footage for a Split video, when I needed it for the Fallen video. I don't know, if you come at me like that, you've lost.I don't know what's being said about me on the message boards, I don't check that shit. But there's an explanation for every move that happened.

Don't feel bad. I've had four different jobs in the last eight years. Five if you count driving a bus on an Osiris tour. So, has the grass been greener on the other side so far?

Yeah, it's better, but it's pretty much the same, you know? It's not like I was offered quadruple the money or anything. I get paid the exact same, I wasn't leaving for the big payday or anything.

How old are you?

I'm 21. Meet me at Hensley's!

You bastard. Okay, Deathwish dropped the Deathwish nickname. Spanky's trying to just be Kevin Long. So, are you Slash, or are you Brian?

I'm stuck. I'm whatever. I introduce myself as Brian, but I'm pretty much stuck going with it. I'm not repping it or anything. People ask me what I want in the ads, but it doesn't matter to me. That Deathwish kid didn't even want to be Deathwish in the first place.

What's the deal with the footage of you ollieing that gap to grind off Sycamore—it was a spread in Thrasher—is it going to be in the Fallen video?

Yeah, actually it is. It's actually really funny you asked me about that. When I shot it, I met the photographer and videographer there. I went there straight from my house, on my bike. It was like 10 in the morning. It was just us three, and I wasn't riding for anyone at that point. The filmer had to meet Bobier at the Zero park, so I was trying to warm up, and I said "I don't know if I can do it yet." So he leaves, and I ended up doing it in like 3 or 4 tries, so all I had was the sequence. And just recently, like within 2 weeks, I got the courage to go get the footage.

Have you ever ollied the Carlsbad High gap?


They're pretty much the same size, right?

Yeah, I actually compared the two when I was trying it. But for the gap-to-grind there's a curb at the top so you're kind of guessing where you're going.

Cool, I'm glad you got the footage.

Yeah, I'm hyped.

Slash ollies a gap to grind.

[This photo ran in Thrasher’s March 2007 issue and was shot by Nick Scurich. Also, it’s fucking gnarly.]

In the next few months, Brian will have footage in Fallen's Ride The Sky and Baker Has A Deathwish. But until then, you can check out some older footage here. Behold, the power of the Internet!

Vox Black and Blue Promo (2007)

Pig Slaughterhouse (2005)