The video parts of Mason Silva are catalogue of modern hits and always carry a well-considered soundtrack. Tracing his musical interests back to the late-1990s and early-2000s skate videos he grew up watching, for our first instalment of ‘The Long Play’ (originally published in Closer #5) Mason revisits the videos which introduced him to his favorite musicians and gives sleeve notes on a handful of his own parts.
Mason Silva with a couple of handfuls of records featuring artists who have soundtracked his favourite video parts alongside his own. Portrait by Jaime Owens for Mason’s ‘The Long Play’ interview in Closer Skateboarding Issue #5.
“There’s nothing that influenced me more,” says Mason Silva regarding the soundtracks to early 2000s skate videos and their contribution towards his taste in music. “Before that, it was whatever my dad was into — Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, late ‘70s stuff… I was watching skate videos when I was, like, 10 so I always had music come from skate videos.”
Mason, who grew up in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles began surfing before he started skateboarding. Although his ears initially perked up thanks to surf videos, skateboarding became his dominant interest and, in absorbing skate videos, his understanding and appreciation of music was nurtured by the pairings like Sonic Youth and Ed Templeton in Welcome To Hell, Built To Spill and Cairo Foster in The Reason, plus Andrew Reynolds and Roxy Music in Baker 3.
“I’ve had people tell me, “You haven’t skated to a bad song yet” so now I feel the pressure to keep up that “legacy” of skating to good songs.”
— Mason Silva
A distinction between surf videos and skate videos, Mason points out, is that surf editing leans away from matching the beat and towards soundtracks that are more malleable. “I think skating is going that way now, using things people just want to listen to instead of trying to hit every single beat, which is interesting. I’ve been noticing that recently,” he says.
Using Brian Eno’s “I’ll Come Running” in ‘Take A Lap’ (his first video part since his high velocity, SOTY-winning output of 2020) was informed by that idea. It’s another entry in a catalogue of modern hits whose appeal is strengthened by their soundtracks. “I’ve had people tell me, “You haven’t skated to a bad song yet” so now I feel the pressure to keep up that “legacy” of skating to good songs,” says Mason, laughing. “People need to evolve, so you can’t hold yourself to one thing always but I’d say don’t stray super far from who you are,” he adds, as a rule of thumb for personal music supervision.
Jumping on a call with Mason towards the deadline for HUF’s FOREVER (for which he didn’t have a song locked in at the time), we spoke about the intersection of skateboarding and music before exploring his favourite early-2000s video soundtracks and a mixtape’s worth of songs that have scored his own skating.
Originally published in Closer Skateboarding Issue #5