No Class is a DIY tattoo parlor run by skater Jesse Brocato from his living room in Fairplay, Colorado. Every tattoo from No Class is free, provided you’re at least halfway tanked when you start laying the ink on yourself. Which I think explains why the place is starting to pick up some steam among the skating community.
On a recent skate trip to Colorado, I visited No Class and had a chat with Brocato.
VICE: How did you guys get started? Jesse Brocato: It all started one night when we found out that our friend Shane had a tattoo gun. We told him to bring it over, and he thought he was going to tattoo us, but we were like, “Fuck, give us that,” and we started tattooing ourselves.
That night I fell in love. I was like, “I’m never paying for a tattoo again.” Everyone pays thousands of bucks to get these fancy tattoos. The idea behind No Class is, why would you want a fancy tattoo when you could have a shitty ghetto tattoo?
And it took off from there? Well, I used to make moonshine, so we’d get drunk on moonshine and then just start tattooing ourselves. Then we started buying more equipment online. Now we have three set-ups. People see our work, and they want a shitty tattoo too. I tell them they have to do it themselves. That’s what No Class is all about.
Is it hard to get the hang of it? It took us a little while. In the beginning, we’d have the needle set way too far out, like a quarter inch, and I was going so deep it stopped the machine like a lawnmower in thick grass. It just destroyed the bone and took forever to heal. You start digging and it ends up looking like hamburger meat. You lay in all that ink, and then it heals up scarred and white.
Anything else you had to learn? Pick the cat hair off the needle.
Does that “sterilize” it? I mean, maybe I would have to read a little on bacteria and all that, but whatever, what we do is just hook it up and do it. We don’t share needles or anything like that. I mean, it’s happened, but you really shouldn’t do that. You think you’re clean, but you never know what you have. Somebody that actually tattoos would probably freak out if they came up here, but that’s part of it, part of the “fuck it” attitude of No Class. None of us has swelled up yet.
In the finale of Keith Hufnagel’s Epicly Later’d episode, Keith juggles the responsibilities of pro skating and starting HUF—the brand that began as a backup plan, but took on a life of its own. He also looks back on some of the people who helped him most over the course of his career, and begins to do the same for the next generation of skaters.
In part five, we take a look at Ed’s life as an artist. From being coaxed out of hoarding his early paintings in Huntington Beach to confronting the homophobia of the 90s New York skate scene and finally finding success with his Teenage Smokers series, Ed’s art career has been defined in much the same way as his skate career—Ed just does Ed until people get it.
On Saturday 18 May 2013, Converse took over an unused section of the Port of Barcelona to create the first CONS SPACE, an initiative to transform disused urban space through skateboarding, art and music.
Local artists Txemy Basuelto, Fernando Elvira and Ruben Sanchez collaborated with Converse skaters Kenny Anderson and Pontus Alv to design a skate spot inspired by the abandoned industrial materials and incredible location.
Epicly Later’d steps out of its 90s comfort zone with a skater who’s been pro for five decades. Yes, five decades. Turning pro in 1978 at the age of 13, and then going on to become a pioneer of street skating, Eric Dressen has had a very well-rounded career. He has witnessed firsthand the rise and fall of skateboarding three times, and each time affected Eric in a different way. These days, Eric skates for Santa Cruz and tattoos full time at Will Rise in Hollywood. In part one of the series, we hear about an era in skating when most of our viewers weren’t even a sperm in their dads’ balls, and kick-turning was consider a trick. Enjoy!