We met up with Cole Giordano (@colegiordano) in Greenpoint BK last week at the launch party for his new book featuring photos of skateboarding and punk rock titled Sibling Rivalry. Capturing New York to Tokyo, Cole’s work display a relationship of the two worlds he’s admired since he was 12 years old. Here’s what Cole had to say about putting the book together along with some photos from the launch party below.
For readers who don’t know you, give yourself a little introduction.
I grew up in Yonkers, NY, which is just outside of the Bronx for those who don’t know. It is not *Upstate NY* haha. I moved to Greenpoint [Brooklyn] after college about 8 years ago and have been here ever since. I got into skating and punk rock around the same time, when I was around 12 or 13. I started playing in bands around the age of 14, and still do now. I’d say my first real foray into the skate industry was working as an editor of 43 Magazine with Allen Ying. I learned so much from Allen and working on that magazine, not just about photography and the skate world, but also about producing a curated set of images into something tangible you hold in your hands, how important the quality of the paper you use is… things like that went into the process of making this book.
What was your vision when making the Sibling Rivalry book?
Initially, Grant, the man behind SR’s publisher Duke’s Distribution, and I wanted to make a zine. This was based off of another zine I had done, Sakura, that he saw and that’s what brought us together in the first place. I came up with the idea of doing an homage to the punk zines that permeated the underground in the 80s, but to also include skateboarding, and with a style that was slightly more polished. I wanted it to be all black and white because those zines were, simply by default of most of them being made on cheap copy machines. The concept of the book was to show through the photos how skating and punk are related visually, stylistically, thematically, etc. Over time as we were working on it, we decided it should become the book that it is now. The original vision is still there, but I think this format does better justice to the images.
“I came up with the idea of doing an homage to the punk zines that permeated the underground in the 80s, but to also include skateboarding”
Why did you title it Sibling Rivalry?
Part of the reason I got into punk and skating simultaneously is because at that time, coming out of the 90’s and into the early 00’s, they were so inseparable. Like punk rock, skateboarding was, and still is now when it’s at its best in my opinion, a fringe activity that defied rules, stereotypes, and often authority. All of my friends who skated also listened to punk, and most of my friends who listened to punk also skated. Both skateboarding and punk offered the chance to be an individual who displayed creativity and self-expression, but still be part of a group.
So, the book got it’s title from the fact that, as Anthony Pappalardo wrote in the foreword, “Skateboarding and punk rock will always be holding hands. They’re relatives.” And as I said above, I wanted to show that relationship, and to play with the concept of each subject as a sibling vying for the attention of their parent, which in this case is me as the photographer.
“Both skateboarding and punk offered the chance to be an individual who displayed creativity and self-expression, but still be part of a group”
Who’s in the book?
Skaters include: Dave Caddo, Takahiro Morita, Eby Ghafarian, Mike Lent, Connor Kammerer, James Sayres, Dylan Drew, Ryan Tassi, Anthony Savillo, Peter Brock, Zach Fink, Jared McAllin, Kento Yoshioka, and Alex Hancock. Bands include: Subhumanz, I.O.D., Crazy Spirit, Vilkacis, Converge, pg.99, Youth of Today, Dreamcrusher and Sannhet.
How long did it take to make?
From conception to completion a little over a year, but it has a lot of the photos I was already sitting on. I’d say it was 50/50 as far as photos I had already taken to photos I shot specifically for this book, which is why it was able to come together so quickly.
Do you have a favorite photo in the book?
I don’t have a favorite photo, but I think I have 2 favorite spreads: I.O.D. and Connor Kammerer, and Mike Lent and Dreamcrusher. These spreads just embody the theme of the book so well for me – the way the skate and music photos play off each other. I especially enjoy the way Mike’s body and Dreamcrusher’s body are near mirror images of each other. There’s a couple of spreads that do this well in the book, but I particularly love these pairings.
“I especially enjoy the way Mike’s body and Dreamcrusher’s body are near mirror images of each other”
Any photos you regret not making the cut?
I mean there’s always going to be photos I wish were win it, and I’ll probably take some photos in the future that I wish could’ve gone in. But at some point you have to decide when it’s finished and what works and put it out. Of the photos we were considering at the time, I believe all of the strongest ones made it in. Hopefully whatever didn’t make it, or whatever I shoot in the future can be in the next one!
Where can people get the book?
It’s currently available at dukesdistribution.com, which just officially launched on March 16th. I also know that all the homies in Japan will be able to get it at FESN Laboratory, Fat Bros Skateshop, and Beacon in Tokyo some time next week, as those shops just ordered it. We’re currently working on adding more distributors and putting together a list of worldwide stockist so stay tuned for info on that. But it’s currently very limited edition with only 100 copies printed, and we sold a lot of those at the launch the other night. So, don’t sleep on ’em!
Any future projects on the horizon, sounds like you’re planning on doing another book?
Nothing particular at the moment. After having this as a constant undercurrent to everything else I was doing over the past year it’s really nice to have it finished, and out there. Working with Grant/Duke’s Distribution and the guys who designed the book at Our Place Studio was a really great experience. So hopefully we can all do another project together in the future. I’m still skating and still going to punk shows, and I love to make tangible things, so when the time and ideas come we’ll see.
Grant & Duke’s Distribution, Alex Gross & Our Place Studio, Anthony G. Pappalardo, all of the skaters and musicians in the book, Michael Cohen, Northern Co, Sixpoint, NYSB, and all of my friends and family!