Mikael Kula Jensen Interview: Eating Shit with Venom in Norway
Hey Kula, this is our first interview together, lets get to know you a bit. Do you have a full name? How old are you?
Yeah stoked to do this. My full name is Mikael Sjødal Jensen and I am 29 years old. Some people think Kula is my real middlename. Its just a nickname I got for some years ago. It means cannonball, bullet and so on. Haha.
Where you from and where you living?
Im from a sick place called Drammen in Norway. Love this town so I cant live far away from it. I live in a place called Geithus. Its like 30 mins away from Drammen.
How did you get on a skateboard? Have you always gone down hills or end up there?
I started to skate in the mid 90’s I think it was. When I lived in Oslo. There was a dude in my class that was the only skater at that school and we ended up skating together so it all started there. And we skated some hills, but that was pretty sketchy with 7,5 inch wide boards, 50mm wheels in 100a. Haha. Loved to go fast down those hills, but I was mostly skating street. Didnt get a longboard before 2006 so that was when the fast downhill started for me.
While we have the term ‘pro’, and you are a pro, you don’t live off skateboarding, right? What’s your day job?
No I dont live off skateboarding so to make money I run my own tattoo shop.
How long have you been creating art on skin? What inspired this path? Was it more about the art or tattooing?
I’ve been tattooing since 2009. 2013 and 2014 I did not tattoo so much, but July last year I opened up my first shop. When I started to do be good in skateboarding I got a sponsordeal with the local tattooshop. I was hanging out there much and it escalated to helping customers, setting up appointments and so on. Pretty much everything beside tattooing. After some years they asked if I wanted to be an apprentice. In the beginning it was only to learn to tattoo. Now, after several years im learning more about the art. I have found the style that I want to do and learning more about it. Its so much to learn and its really fun.
Do you do a lot of designing? Does the work ever get in the way of the passion or creativity? How do you balance ‘work’?
I try to, but clients these days are doing alot of mainstream shit, so when clients bring me something they pulled out of the internet and want exactly that, I always try to make my own stuff out of those references. They usually go for my idea. My work is a good mix between passion and creativity.
Skateboards and Tattoos have a bit of a natural paring, in my mind anyways, how do they come together for you?
When I started to skate, it was at that time I got to know several skaters that was heavily tattooed so alot of inspiration started there. Skateboarding and tattoos has always been paring with eachother. You can say that after I started to skate and after actually been sponsored by a tattooshop it went “downhill” from there. Haha.
I’ve seen a few people get inked at an event, have you ever tattooed anyone for gear or race entry?
It’s usually money I get, but sometimes I tattoo some close friends and we trade. I once tattooed a friend of mine and all he had to pay with was a Free Former Freestyler board. I think its from early 80’s. Good trade. Haha.
Similar questions to before, this time with skateboarding. Does the ‘pro’ aspect, or racing, ever get in the way of the passion and fun of skating?
Yup. It really does. I mean. Dont get me wrong. I love skateboarding and pretty much everything that comes with it, but I have seen so much people and some friends turn into fucking assholes after they get sponsored and starting to make money off it. If you are lucky to get this chance, dont ever think that you are better than everyone. We have all started from the bottom and when I see people turn into different persons just because they get sponsored my fist itches. I have been lucky enough to be a rider for some big brands out there, but I will never loose my head. I will still be a down to earth person. When I was a beginner and met my big idols in this sport almost everyone is still the same awesome person today. I wanna do the same thing. Be a good name for the sport and be a good person to look up to. Even though im a huge and tattooed blondie from Norway with longer and more beautiful hair than your girlfriend and can sometimes look like an asshole, you still want hug me like a teddybear when you get to know me. Haha. Skateboarding is fun. There was a time you also sucked. Dont ruin it.
Some of us are fortunate to have local spots near by, others have to travel. Seems like you could tattoo anywhere and there always some demand, but how’s the skateboarding near you?
Oh you dont need to travel far to find everything from sick and insane hills to many skateparks around here. Everything within 20-30 mins of driving. Its pretty awesome!
You’ve done a fair bit of traveling for skateboarding, where are some of your favourite places?
I have been lucky enough to travel the world to skate so its hard to pick a favorite, but my best days of skate is skating local hills with the uGGabuGGa Crew.
So for the Venom Eat Shit DVD, where is your part filmed?
My part is filmed at uGGabuGGa’s Hairpin Heaven. Its a sick hill that has everything. Fast straights, fast sweepers and tight hairpins. It was rad to be filmed by Mr. Ameen at that hill.
If you could film anywhere, where would you want to film it?
Colorado and Voss.
Was there an Eat Shit DVD premier screening near you? Have you been to one? It got messy here in Vancouver. Did you Beetus?
I had a screening at my tattooshop. It was pretty chill with like 10-12 people. Yeah I saw some clips from Vancouver. Wanted to be there. Haha. Beetus? I have seen that name somewhere. I guess it has something to do with heavy drinking so yes. Haha.
The DVD is called Eat Shit, but the cameras aren’t always there, can you share with us your worst story eating shit on a skateboard?
I was hit by a car once. Smashed my balancenerve in my brain so I had to learn to walk properly. Was told that I should quit skating. I didnt!
What about eating shit with the Venom Team, whats your favourite Venom team shit show, on or off a skateboard?
Its hard for me to hang with that sick team since they are based on the other side of the world, but drinking with them is fucking hilarious. Always a good time, if you can remember it. Hahaha.
Have you ever iced or been iced?
You mean been covered with valuable materials such as platinum, diamonds and other sparkly stuff then yes. Hahaha.
Venom seems to have a love with all things gold, have you ever made anything gold, just to bling it out a little? Shoes? Sunglasses? Is a gold tattoo possible yet?
All gold everything. My gold spray have been treated well. Shoes, wheels, rims, the list goes on and on. Gold tattoo? You can, but its not as shiny as you want it.
The Venom team can come off pretty hard, but it also brings some silly out in everyone. You look like a serious guy. I mean, you’re a big dude, and come with the thunder, what’s your soft side like? Are you a Kesha fan too?
My soft side is my tummy. Ke$ha or die.
Okay, I’m getting carried away, lets bring it back, what’s good with Bombsquad? What board are you riding? I thought they were taking it easy, but things are also poppin this year with a couple boards and that Chubbs video. Are we going to see Bombsquad line up in 2016 or just boards for riders? What can you tell us?
Bombsquad could not be a better fit for me. When it comes to designing they have been working with tattooartists so designs are obviously insane. Top dawgs Tanner and Wes are talented guys in what they do and are two rad tattooed guys. Good fit. Board right now is my promodel, but I will try Chubbs’ board this year also so I will switch between those. Some damn good boards right there. We released some boards late last year so plan is still to push those I guess. They are still new. I think the plan is to focus on them another season and then see where we go from there.
You’re also riding Rogue trucks? I imagine you beat the hell out of them, how have they been treating you?
Yup. Rogue Trucks is the shit. Its hard to beat the hell outta them when they are so beefy. Haha. I like them alot. I like the insertbushing idea and they are really giving me a smooth ride and do not twitch when you slide. Right now I ride them in 150mm and 53/19 degrees.
What else is good? Do you have some skate and travel plans lining up for 2016? Races?
Other than that everything is good. I work hard at my new tattooshop, trying to make it a good shop so travelling alot this year is not going to easy. Im still gonna skate alot and attend pretty much everything here in Norway and I have a Outlaw title to defend from last year. Since I work alone I must focus to keep shit up and running smoothly. Hopefully I get the chance to travel to some world cup races when fall/winter comes.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Stoked to get to know you a bit better. Any words you would like to leave our readers with? Where can they get a tattoo when to come to your hood? Sponsor shout outs?
It was rad to talk to you as well. I feel that I have said everything there is to say, but I would like remind everyone in this sport that we have all been on the bottom. We all have started somewhere. Some of us lucky and are beeing sponsored and get free stuff whenever we need it, but dont become an asshole and dont think that you are better than everyone, dont chase the money and stay faithful to your sponsors and most of all, have fun. If not, you are doing this for the wrong reasons. Shred hard, shred fast and wear that helmet. If you want a tattoo when you are around you should stop by my shop, Radich Tattoo.
Would like to thank Bombsquad Longboarding for giving me my first promodel and for the massive support ya’ll have been giving me since I started to ride for you in 2013. Tanner and Wes. You guys are awesome! Venom, Rogue and Gangster Grip. You guys are fucking insane and I love it. I am proud to ride for you guys and getting the chance to be in the Eat Shit DVD is something I will never forget. Its already been 4 years with Venom and I hope its gonna be many many years more. Zak, Rolo and G Money. Thanks for taking such good care of me. I love ya’ll. Longboardgarage. A small webshop run by Dag and Sondre here in Norway. We are nice little group of hardcore skaters that shreds hard when we skate together. Love this crew. Thank you for having me on the team. Tikibrakes. TikiAlex. You must probably be craziest Luger I know. I have just recently started to ride for you, but I have known you for some years now. Thank you for providing me with the best soles on the market. uGGabuGGa Crew. The nastiest crew out there. We are 9 dudes in this team and everyone is a sicko in their own sick way. Together we make a huge pile of vikings that everyone love (and hate). Haha. And thank you Les and Skate[Slate] for doing this with me. I really appreciated it. It was fun.
If ya’ll want to see more my shit and everyday life as a familyfather, tattooartist, football player and a skateboarder follow my Snapchat and Instagram: @kulatheviking – Thank you!
If you haven’t seen the DVD or ordered a copy, you’re blowing it! Enjoy the Kula part here and then get your hands on the DVD now!