Meeting… Marc-A Barbier!

“Growing up away from a big city doesn't suck as much as it may sound to some, in fact I think that it enables you to develop your own skating style, to improve at your own pace and generally stay away from the influence of all the big city trends.”

Photos: Thibault Lenours

We presented you "Safe", yesterday, the latest video production from Augustin Giovannoni, centered around his alter ego, Marc-A, as everybody calls him… Considering the age of this young man, chances are you would not know much about this perfect parisian (therefore coming from the far away burbs!). To be honest, we did not either, so Aymeric went at it for the great collective good, as if we like Marc-A, it is for all the right reasons!
LIVE skateboard media: Hello, Marc-A! Let's rightfully start this off with a proper introduction. How old are you, where do you currently live and how, where and when did you first find out about skateboarding?
Marc-A: I'm 19, I've been living in Paris for about a year now, and I first found out about skateboarding when I was 7, I was still living in the Yvelines region, and its deep countryside, at the time… [laughter]
LSM: So you're originally from the Yvelines region near Paris, right?
Marc-A: Right, I grew up there. I think my story really is similar to a lot of people's: I got a BMX bike for Christmas when I was 7, from then on I tried looking up BMX videos on YouTube in order to learn about tricks and all, but the whole thing turned out to be impossible for me, the bike was just too heavy. [laughter]
A few months later, I went to the chain sporting goods store Décathlon with my mom, and she bought me my first skateboard. Again, from then on, I started lurking on YouTube like crazy for skate vids, and I never quit since.
Thankfully we had a nice front yard and my father was handy with tools so we built a bunch of skate stuff to set up there, we made a bank, a small quarterpipe and even a flat-bar. [laughter]
Growing up away from a big city doesn't suck as much as it may sound to some, in fact I think that it enables you to develop your own skating style, to improve at your own pace and generally stay away from the influence of all the big city trends.
LSM: What was your first ever landmark spot? How did you and Augustin meet, and start filming together, actually?
Marc-A: My first ever landmark of a spot was my front yard and its section with the tile floor, which I broke through twice. Then the street in front of my parents' house and then the Rambouillet skatepark.
Long story short, back in 8th grade, I was at boarding school and there I met a friend, Mathieu, who regularly skated with Maceo in Paris and from then on, I started going to Paris on weekends to skate, rather than back to my parents' house in the countryside. I did that for two years and eventually I met Augustin aka. Noni. From then on we became really close friends and never stopped filming together.
LSM: About said web part, it seems to feature clips from pretty much all over. Do you regularly go on trips? With Augustin I assume? And whenever you're back home, where do you skate? What's your relationship with République, as a spot but as a general location in the dead center of Paris too?
Marc-A: Yeah, Nike SB has been paying for my trips for about four years, now. The first time I really went on a trip with Augustin was last October, then we went to Marseille this February and then to Prague in April with Chill Or Die.
Whenever I'm back home, I mostly skate at République indeed, but I resent spending my whole day there.
Like really, République is awesome but if you stay there for too long you start going crazy because of all the protests, or the bystanders not paying attention to anything, or all the weird freaks...
LSM: About those Nike trips you were mentioning, where did the latest ones you got on take you?
Marc-A: Over the past four years, they took me to Italy, Berlin, Spain, Valencia, London… The first one was the Italy one, tagging along with the Niaks crew from the Paris suburbs, we left from Paris in a van and went around the entire country of Italy for ten days, that was fun!
LSM: What were your first ever influences skate video-wise?
Marc-A: My first ever skate video was a Puzzle Video Magazine tape, the Summer 2005 one which came in a Freestyler Magazine [late french mag quite on the raw side, discontinued in the mid-2000's, Ed’s Note]. Then I kind of got inspired by the 2006 Circa video "It's Time", but my favorite video was the Rare Skateboards video, "Storyboard", notably because of Yann Garin's section. He was, and still is, my favorite skater. I won my copy of that video at a contest in Rambouillet. [laughter]
Gap to 5-0
LSM: And how about more recent videos?
Marc-A: Recently, I've been into Keegan McCutchen's section in the "Valor" video, as well as the "Atlantic Drift" web series by Jacob Harris.
LSM: Your part is packed with crazy trick ideas, like the kickflip nosebonk… and smart spot utilization, where do you get all those ideas from? Do you figure out those tricks yourself, skating with your friends or do you draw your inspiration from certain videos?
Marc-A: [laughter] I really don't know to be honest, but I know I'd rather skate fun and original quirky spots than kickflipping down a 15 or smith grinding a mega rail.
Not too sure whether or not it has to do with the videos I like to watch, however I do know I'm not really following trends, I just skate the spots I like to skate.
LSM: Any skate-related or just personal projects – short & long term? Some new trips maybe?
Marc-A: I'll be going to Berlin this summer, to give the Berlin Open a try and more generally, enjoy this great city.
After that I would like to go to NYC in august to get footage there maybe, that would be nice. And then at some point I might leave on a trip with Wil Miles, Kyron Davis and some other dudes, I don't know exactly where to yet…


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