Johnny Purcell Interview

Photo by Curtis Rothney


Lil big man, you’re living in Paris on a school exchange, smooth transition? How’s that Euro life treating you?

Overall, everything has been amazing. The lifestyle here is “slower” in the sense that you can actually enjoy and appreciate things.

I had some issues with my first apartment though. I started looking for places super late and ended up booking a room in a retired couple’s house. They were nice, but living with two 70 year olds wasn’t for me.  I wasn’t on a lease or anything, so at the end of September I packed up all my stuff and dipped in the middle of the night and left a note. I got a butter studio now so everything worked out for the better.

Have you made any school or skate friends or is tinder you’re only friend these days?

I actually haven’t been fucking with tinder out here haha. I’ve gone on trips before and used it a bunch, but it hasn’t really been necessary this time around.

I’ve been able to meet some people through school, but mostly just been meeting people through skating. The scene is really good here and people have been super welcoming. Been skating with Valentin Bauer, Karl Salah, and a bunch of others. Shoutout to my young homie Alasdrou and his roommate AlieCoCo as well. They hooked me up with a place to stay while I was homeless for a minute.

You’ve been putting out bangers on instagram all year. You saving any real clips  or just chasing the likes and Glory from your Instagram fans around the globe?

Those likes are dangerous man. Little unpredictable bursts of dopamine. Strangers you don’t know, virtually endorsing something you did. It’s scary that it actually feels good.

I’ve got a VX part with Brian Shannon (@bshanss) right now for his next project, and some HD stuff scattered around. I would like to try and get more things while I’m out here since everything looks so good.


BS Smith – Photo by Benjamin Deberdt


You’re quite the young player, what are some of your most successful one liners with the ladies?

“I’m friends with ‘the ghost’ ”

You’re familiar with French women having lived in Montreal the past few years. How are the Paris ladies treating you?

I mean, it’s Paris.. hahah Sometimes there can be a language barrier, but I kind of like that. I’m really trying to improve my French while I’m out here, and having to use it to communicate with girls is good practice. My advice to any French speaking Canadian skaters is to come here, wife up, and get that European green card baby!

You’re a young, smart, talented skater in university. Are you in these streets trying to make it as a skater? 

The “made it” lines seem a bit blurry within the skateboard industry these days. But in the general “living off of skateboarding” sense, no, I’m not trying to make it. But if skateboarding for brands can help me travel for the time being, that’s cool too. I’ve reached a calming point where, it doesn’t really matter, but I’ll still film and shoot photos because I want to.


Nollie – Photo by Michael Kazimierczuk

What other avenues do you want to explore when you’re done school?

I’m doing some computer science in school, and I’ve got a couple ideas for applications I’d like to do in the future. I’m not very good at coding yet, but I’ve got other friends in school who are doing coding full time. It would be cool to put a lot of energy and time into a project with them and see what we could come up with. Bunt app coming soon?

You’re a closet jock like us over here at the bunt. What are your thoughts on the slowly fading dichotomy between skateboarding and jocks?

*googles dichotomy

Most of my classically labeled jock activities, (going to the gym, doing yoga, eating good) were just a result of getting injured and going insane. I genuinely dislike the gym. The people are usually whack and usually just there to look at themselves, but if going to the gym can help keep my knees healthy, I’m gonna do it.

As skateboarding grows, skateboarders are getting access to information they didn’t have before. Fitness, health, and diet, things previously categorized as jock activities, are becoming more accepted.

Would you tryout or want to skate for team Canada in the Olympics, you jock bastard?

It’s a guilty pleasure, but I actually like contests haha. They get me stoked to try scary stuff. That being said, no, I wouldn’t skate for team Canada. I can’t do backside 270 lipslides, I wouldn’t last in that crowd. I prefer a nice best trick for free money, you know?


Feeble – Photo by Michael Kazimierczuk

You room with the ghost when you’re in Toronto, what’s the best and worst thing about it? 

The best thing is just hanging out and talking shit on stuff 24/7. Plus he’s always got a hilarious mission for me to wingman on. The worst thing is that I’m a chronic late sleeper and I’ve been trying to fix that, start getting up earlier and be more productive. And staying with Cephas is a relapse every-time. The guy is a human sloth, it rubs off on you. If he’s not working we usually have coffee and breakfast between noon-1, leave the house by 3.

What you got lined up on and off the board for 2018?

Linking, building, and strictly good vibes b.

My goal for when I go back to Montreal is to have learned enough french to get a decent part time job while I’m in school for the winter. I’ll be living with Kyle “no shirt till November” Macdonald, roommate of pain. Hopefully have my VX stuff with BShanz come out. Try and go to New York to skate with the ChyrstieNYC guys in Spring. And of course, come to the 6 and stay at chez ghost and skate with my favourite bunters.

Instagram @johnnypurcell

Curtis Rothney

Michael Kazimierczuk 

Benjamin Deberdt


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