Curren Caples, a wielder of style on transition, streets, and waves, takes the definition of an ATV skateboarder to new lengths. We got to sit down with Curren while at Dew Tour Des Moines to see what type of music drives his flow-like skateboarding style. Scroll down below to learn how his parents influenced his music taste, his favorite skate videos as a youth, and a custom-curated playlist in his latest On Rotation interview.

Let’s kick this off with what’s your favorite type of music?
I listen to a lot of stuff, and I only have a few genres I do not listen to, like country and reggae. I just can’t stand them for some reason, but I’m super into like 80s music where it’s more like New Order, Joy Division, and that kind of style like The Cure and some David Bowie.

What band has been your current favorite as of late?
Right now, I’ve been listening to a lot of Ween that’s been a big one lately, and their song Ocean Man. They made a lot of the soundtrack for SpongeBob, they’re sick, and all their songs are just so different. I listen to a lot of them, David Bowie and Rolling Stones.

Who introduced you to that style of music?
Definitely my mom. Her favorite band is The Cure, and actually, when I was younger, I hated The Cure just because I heard it every day in the car. Once I grew up a little bit, I learned to like it, and that’s because I’ve grown up listening to it. Then, my dad was the polar opposite of my mom, like driving with my mom and dad, she would only play like The Cure and Nirvana, those style bands, and then my dad liked a lot of rap. Like a lot of Tupac, West Coast Connection, and stuff like that from the 90’s style of rap.

Those are two far ends on the music spectrum.
It’s funny, my dad still likes all the music my mom listens to, but now he’s totally changed. He listens to full metal like a lot of Dio and stuff, and I always give him sh*t for it. I’m like, that’s not even the cool [Black] Sabbath. I mean, he listened to a lot of Sabbath stuff too. 

curren caples on rotation
Photo Credit: Arias

How does music plays in your day-to-day life? Is it a routine that you always have music playing, or is it during selective times?
So, honestly, I’m obsessed with speakers. My house is decked out with speakers like I have the Sonos ones, and I’m super particular with sh*ty noises; I just hate it. So, those speakers are really good like my whole house can shake. It has a sub [woofer] and all that stuff in there. I mainly listen to music while I’m driving, like when you’re street skating, your whole day basically consists of listening to music in the car while driving, so the sound system in the car needs to be on point.

Who usually gets to play the tunes while you’re driving around looking for spots?
It depends on who I’m with. Most of the time, it’s me, but one of my best friends, Jake Anderson, always likes to be in charge. He’s got a really good spread of music. He knows a lot of sh*t, so I always find new songs from him and I don’t know where he’s finding them, but we have a similar taste in music. He’s more into Velvet Underground and slower-type stuff. He listens to a lot of female artists too, whereas the songs I like have a lot of ups and downs. I don’t like songs that keep the same pace the whole time.

How do you go about finding new bands and songs?
A lot of my music comes from what I’ve heard other people play. I try to discover my own music as well. But basically, I find a song that I like, and I start a station of that song and see if I get anything on the same vibe. It’s always so fun discovering a new song and loving it. I get to a point where my music gets super stale. Then all of a sudden, I’ll get five new songs, and I’ll be like, ‘how have I never heard these before?’ I’m also into a lot of techno stuff, not like hardcore, like EDM but more like deep house stuff.

curren caples on rotation
Photo Credit: Arias

Switching gears real quick, do you like to listen to music with headphones while skating?
I can’t listen to music while I’m skating. You’re just not as connected, and I’ve always been scared of it because I’ve collided with so many people wearing headphones, especially skating tranny. I like to be aware of my whole surroundings when I skate, and it’s like an element you’re missing. I like hearing the sounds of skateboarding, and it just doesn’t feel like skating without them. 

Does that go for the same when you’re competing or trying to get focused for a contest?
I’m not one of those types of people that use music to get into a certain mood. I can’t like try to hype myself up. It’s either there or it’s not. I don’t try to force it.

Any skate video parts that are you’re favorite because of the soundtrack?
There’s a lot that came from the Sorry [Flip Skateboards, 2002] and also Yeah Right [Girl Skateboards, 2003]. Those two skate videos I’ve watched really impacted my view of your music. I think watching what people are doing with the music, and the editing makes it on a different level. I actually like paid attention, and I was probably eight years old when those videos came out. I sat there and watched those religiously. I got a lot of my love for David Bowie from Arto’s [Saari] song. It just felt super powerful.

If you had a video part ready to go, what would be your dream song to use?
I’m filming a part right now, so I don’t want to give away my dream songs if I might be able to get them. Some Rolling Stone songs are kind of not that possible use yet, but it’s crazy you never know. There’s a Rolling Stone song called Monkey Man, and that one has such a good feel for a part. I just like certain parts of songs that come in fast, and then they die out. It’s really hard to find a song that works well for a part.

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