Dallas Rockvam





First of all, congratulations for making it this far in the magazine. You are part of a rare species: The homo printus magazinus readingus, or something like that. There are not many of your kind left on this planet. Now let’s get to our subject: Dallas Rockvam. Dallas is part of another rare species: The multi tasking man. Damn, he is a Jack of all trades! He can cook, build, farm, teach, draw, sew, drive… he does it all. He can even run a company. But more than anything, he can fucking skate! Yet I feel like the man doesn’t really know what to do with himself. Or more pre-cisely, he wants to do it all at the same time. That’s ok. We only get one ride on this planet, so you might as well make the most of it and explore as many roads as possible. One of these roads, Dallas chose, took him to Austria and this is why we are lucky to have him in these pages today. So with no further rambling I say, let him talk, because that’s one more thing he can really do. PAUL LABADIE

It‘s rather uncommon for an american pro to move to Europe, let alone a small town in the outskirts of Linz/Austria. What made you decide to leave the american pro-skateboarder dream behind? 

American “pro” haha! I was technically never “pro” in the USA. But yeah, some things just happened where I just really enjoyed spending more and more time in Europe. First Barcelona, then Berlin and now the “Almtal” area of Oberösterreich. How I exactly got to Austria is, because my wife is from this area, we had a child and decided to move closer to her family.

What‘s the main difference between the american and  european skateboarding scene? Was the move worth the hustle of trying to make a living as a skateboarder in Europe?

Skateboarders themselves are generally the same. The scenes vary from each region of the US. I guess it´s the same like each country/city of Europe. A big difference could be, that here in Europe for the most part you must not travel by car and the police are easier to deal with. I have never really made a living being a skateboarder in Europe. Powell said “if you plan to stay in europe we are not going to pay you”. I was Ok with that, because I really enjoyed it here. I also had enough money saved from Element/Powell to survive a little while.

Why did you quit Element to ride for Powell?

I did not quit riding for Element to ride for Powell. I quit skating for Element, because I just was not happy with how they were doing things at that time. They were making the video: “this is my element” and I really disagreed with who was editing it and the music and all that. At that time, Element was not like today and I just could not stand either, that it was, and still is, owned by a banking corporation from Australia. I quit and tried to see what was up with Toy Machine. They were doing a demo near my hometown. After skating there for one hour, I broke my ankle pretty bad… still have the plate and 5 pins in it. This was like two weeks after I quit Element. I knew the Powell TM pretty well. 6 months went by and I thought, I could help them to build a good team and good graphics and all that, so I rode for Powell. All their stuff is mostly made in the US and they were giving me the idea, I could be a part of a lot and I liked that.

You think these days Powell would still cut your payment, as european skating is more on the radar than back in the days? 

I am not sure, but maybe… I came to find out that, they are set in their ways and I doubt they even see this side of it, cus they still run with their same ideas as always.

Did you ever regret leaving Element, as it seems like nowadays they really care about their european team riders?

I don’t really regret it, because after all I kinda got to where I am today, which is where i always wanted to be. It was nice to make like 4 grand a month and all that, but I just was not happy. I could have had a pro board with them and all that shit, but who knows really… I think their whole program is run by the European side now and they have had and still do have people who care about it. They are taking care of them, so they are just smart enough to see that Europe is not just some place “over there”. I mean, they have so much cash and resources to use, I would hope they do something with it. I am happy for the dudes skating for them, but if you look at it, they just go from one team to the next. Maybe less in Europe, but at their core, there are some corporate people, who just want that profit cus they are a public traded company. That is just something I could never fully respect, as far as a skateboard company goes

Brandwise, Antiz was your first stop in Europe. How did you link up with them?

Vntiz better knowin’ as “banVntiz” came about when I met this French guy in Paris, monsieur Paul Labadie de Ashes grip. I met him at a dinner and when I went back to Barcelona, we went skating and he got me on a trip to Belgium with Vntiz, where it rained 10 out of 12 days. Long story short: One night I puked all over the bar, Remy cleaned it up and we both got on.

Later on, you decided to launch your own company Frank. How did that come about?

FRANK was originally going to be a side company for Vntiz, because they had so many riders at that time. I for whatever reason thought I could help with art (not an artist) and direction along with Slamu Karvonen. Originally it was called “Deadweight” but I/we realized, why not just start something completely new. I convinced Eniz Faxliov, Oscar Candon, and Sebi Dorfer for this idea and it was on.  Things since then have changed. Rob Maatman and Tommy May are on now. Oscar rides for Sour and I don’t work with Vntiz anymore.

So did your relationship with Antiz end well?

I would not say it ended well, but it ended for sure… things changed at Vntiz, people changed and I did not like how they were doing business, so I removed myself from them. I have an Vntiz tattoo on my arm and they will somehow always be family. I do not know any of the new guys really, but that doesn´t matter. The original guys will always be family to me, regardless of what happened. People change and that is OK, its just important to learn from bad situations and move on. I am happy, that I was a part of Vntiz at that time and with those guys.

You still don´t run a webshop for Frank and also don’t sell your Boards to Surf Shops like Blue Potato. I remember you saying, that you just love the idea of people going to a skateshop and buy their Frank Board there. Did you find yourself in situations, you had to make compromises to keep the company alive?

Shit, we now got a BigCartel site trying to sell some stuff, but still haven’t sold one board! And FUX blue potato!! I mean, for sure I could sell more boards, if I sold to them, but I feel like I would be putting shops out of business. It is hard to completely control the brand, once you sell to distributors and also I take stuff too personal sometimes. I just want to do the best i can to support something, that has helped me in my life. Real skaters talking real shit and being real!!

“Shit, we now got a BigCartel site trying to sell some stuff, but still haven’t sold one board!”

Right now there is a rising demand on european Brands. Does it affect the Frank sales or is it just good for a few brands that are riding a hype at the moment?

I think those few brands that have that hype are sick as fuck, minus 1 or 2, haha. For FRANK I’m not going to make pink hats, just cus it’s trendy and might sell. That’s not us. I think our skating can speak for itself and any money being made out of it, goes to the next trip.. flights/food/beers etc. I wish we had more tools (money) to do more, but that’s OK.

Let‘s talk about your new hometown. I guess in your town, an american tattooed ex pro skater is not a very common thing. Were the People nice from scratch, or did it take time until they accepted you?

Well it’s not a city or a village, it’s a dead end road in the forest on the Alm river. Technically it belongs to Vorchdorf, but it’s nearest to Lederau/Pettenbach. I am an “Ausländer” for sure, but Americans are a wanted one. People just ask “why you want to live in Austria and not America?” I tell them, it’s not that fuxing great in the US.

You told us you grew up on the countryside in Iowa. Do you see any similarities from people’s mind set to the countryside in Austria? 

Not really from the countryside in the US, but a small city in Iowa. Sioux City to be exact. Any similarities? Hmmm… ignorance? Conservative ideas? Sometimes in a bad way, sometimes in a good way. Meaning, they may think foreigners/refugees are dangerous and stealing jobs, or are criminals. They basically believe everything on the news as fact.

Do you follow the media situation in Austria? There was a serious threat towards critical journalism from the new government. Any thoughts on that? Is this somehow comparable to the current situation in the US?

Yes, I guess a country as powerful as the US doing this, just helps and allows for a country such as Austria, to do similar things. I don‘t know much about Austrian politics, but I do know that any government that tries to smear objective news, who are being critical, is pretty scary stuff. Isn´t that their job to be critical?

What are the main pros and cons living in the middle of nowhere? Did living in the woods slow you down and how does it affect you running your company and going on trips?

Pros: able to buy local grown Food, quiet/peaceful and safe for my son. Maybe the scariest part is some drunk hunter driving about.

Cons: ignorant people and I started dealing with depression cus I felt/feel alone, from like minded people and friends and having a child and seeing where our world is going. Maybe i got too much time to think about that, haha.

You seem to be a very happy person nowadays. Did you take professional help with your depression, or were you able to master them on your own?

I am generally a happy person, but I suffer from a depression, that I am not sure will ever be healed. One part of it is from my family and all the way from my birth, being born 2 months premature and many crazy events throughout my childhood. I did see 2 people but I can’t say they helped much, but I highly recommend for anyone to try. I read some about it as well and it helped… also just to talk with people about it and know you´re not alone in it.  Second part is just where the world is, which is not so much mine, as my sons grows up with climate change, war and all that stuff. I feel a bit overwhelmed at times, but I know I can do only what I am capable to do, possibly effect my small community and stay positive. So yes and no to answer this…

You started growing your own vegetables this year. Did you have a plentiful harvest?

Yeah, it was my first real legit garden… so much zucchini, tomatoes, beans, cucumber. etc. Lots of work at times but worth it and my son enjoyed it too. I feel it’s important.

Sounds nice! You think it will come to a point you will not have  to buy certain vegetables at the supermarket anymore?

That would be lovely, but I am not going for that though… First I would buy a house/land of my own and try the idea of growing what I enjoy and then trading/sharing with others who grow say grains or something, things I would also need. I think community and helping one another is going to be so important and is important for us.

People just ask “why you want to live in Austria and not America?” 

I tell them, it’s not that fuxing great in the US.

At the time this Interview is printed, the Part you filmed with Luci Jankoschek, will be released. How did that come about and did you enjoy filming with Luci?

Yeah, Luci is great! Great skater, motivated and just a real dude!  I had just been out skating with him a couple times. I love the VX 1000 and wanted to do something here, at home in Austria. I asked Nike if they could help with train tickets or food (let’s see if that happens), to get some hype and help him out. Also I tend to do my best, when I pressure/force myself to do things and it kinda worked out. In the end I think we really didn’t go out that much, but it’s a different type of skating than my normal jumping I guess. Thanks Luci! Turtle life!!

For the filming Process, you spend a lot of time in Vienna. What are your thoughts on the City also compared to other cities you lived in Europe.

Vienna is probably one of the best skate cities nobody is going to. Smooth as fuck everywhere and so many untouched goodies. The Spoff guys also been killing it and I should probably move there, but I don’t know, haha.

You´re always welcome in Vienna! Let´s talk about your videography. You released 4 main Video Parts for different Board brands (Powell, Element, Antiz and Frank). You got a favorite one?

Yeah it’s pretty interesting. I realized awhile back, that the Element video “Elementality vol. 2” was a free DVD in “The Skateboard Mag” and free in shops all over, something like 80,000 copies. Then Powell “FUN” was also a free DVD sent all over and the same with Vntiz “OAF”. So pretty fortunate to be apart of them… I guess my OAF-part is my favorite, cus it was the first euro one and I felt, I really worked for that one. Also all the FRANK ones! I have to say it, or I will get fired.

Where does your strength in nollieng come from? It seems like sometimes it´s even easier for you to jump on stuff nollie than regular.

I guess it was always there… but since I broke my back ankle it may have even got stronger and I feel comfortable skating nollie, so I just go with it, haha.

Btw. when I watched your parts on You Tube, I randomly found a video with you and Mike V. touring threw Israel. Any good stories about that trip?

That was a random trip. I just wanted to travel and asked/offered to pay my own ticket. In the end they paid it and it was like 9 days long with 4 demos. I remember one time Mike V and I were floating in the Dead Sea and we bumped into one another and he said “Homo you don’t”, super random and hilarious. Also on the way home I got strip searched and couldn’t take anything on plane cus I said, that we were hanging with kids and talking with them at the demos. Fuxing fascists!

Strange scenario… Did they tell you, what they were afraid of?

No, at the time. I didn’t know much about the situation there. I suppose they just wanted to check all our shit.

Let us know about the demos. The whole setup looked really weird and Mike V. was acting like some sort of wrestling character. How was skating the demos alongside this „weirdmaniac“?

Man he is such a showman. Like, he has certain music to start the demo and to end it. When AC DC “Hells Bells” comes on, you know it‘s the last song and you should do some fuxing great ender. To be honest, it was quite enjoyable with him. He gives the kids/people a good show and sits after and signs every single autograph, no matter how long it takes. I think that‘s nice. I was all new to this, but I don’t agree with everything he says or does. I thought it was OK. I was younger and loved to skate a new park at that time, so I enjoyed it.

What are your future plans?

FRANK wants to get a new rider on. Maybe someone rich, with nice beach place for the winter and a grandma, to make nice food for us… know anyone? Maybe make more dumb graphics and some shirts, someone wants to sponsor us? Myself? Deal with my depression. Love my kid and go forth. Thanks JAN!

You´re welcome! Btw Dustin ended his interview with his favorite recipe.. You want to continue this by adding one ?

Ok let´s go! PANCAKES (American style)

1 1/2 cups Flour

4 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 TBSP sugar

All together and mix

Then add:

1 egg

1 1/4 cup Milk

4 TBSP Melted butter

Mix all dry ingredients, then slowly add in the „wet“ ingredients.

Let it rest for 10 minutes. Heat up the pan on medium/high heat, until the butter is sizzling in that shit. Make a fixing pancake, as big as your little heart desires. When it bubbles on top flip and don‘t burn it (typically 1-2 minutes each side). When they are done, fry some bacon. Afterwards put some eggs in that bacon grease. Top the pancake with peanut butter, eggs, bacon and maple sizzzurup (Ahorn Sirup). Eat that tasty goodness and then 1 hour after, go to McDonalds in your car and think how good it could be to be American !!!

Peace and love!


I remember one time Mike V and I were floating in the Dead Sea and we bumped into one another and he said “Homo you don’t