The Truth about Everything, with Bruce Irons
The Truth About Everything… Interview by Charlie Smith portrait by Steve Sherman surf shot by D. Hump Bruce Irons is a wise motherfucker. Wise enough to get off the tour, keep all his money and start living a perfect life. We discussed what other wise men said on a breezy December night. I was […]
The Truth About Everything…
Interview by Charlie Smith
portrait by Steve Sherman
surf shot by D. Hump
Bruce Irons is a wise motherfucker. Wise enough to get off the tour, keep all his money and start living a perfect life. We discussed what other wise men said on a breezy December night. I was in Los Angeles wearing a pair of Helmut Lang skinny jeans, a long sleeved, black Dickies button-up and a pair of L.L. Bean Bison, double-soled shearling slippers. Bruce was leaving a store on the North Shore and I don’t know what he was wearing.
C: Bruce? YEAH! Thanks for calling. We’re going to talk about truth.
B: What? Troops?
B: Troops as in fuckin’ army troops?
C: TruTH as in veracity.
B: Fuck yeah. Let’s go. Truth. Yeah, man.
C: Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Egoism is the very essence of a noble soul.”
B: Egoism is the essence of a noble soul. Hmmm. Fuck. I don’t know. What am I supposed to say to that? I don’t know if I really agree.
C: Well, I would say that the public perception of you is that you’re arrogant. Nietzsche, and I, would argue that arrogance is a good quality.
B: Yeah? Arrogant? For sure I think I’m a cocky prick. I mean, you can’t grow up where I did and not be. It’s, like, fuckin’ sort of essential for survival. You gotta be a cocky prick to get by. But I don’t want or try to be egotistical.
C: What’s the difference between being “egotistical” and being “cocky?”
B: Fuck, I’d say that if you’re egotistical you’re always saying shit like, “I’m this…” or “I’m that…” I don’t do that shit. I let my actions speak for me. Being cocky is knowing what you’re capable of and fucking doing it. I’m a confident motherfucker, for sure. Also being a wiseass. I’m definitely a fuckin’ wiseass.
C: Fair enough. Continuing on this theme, do you like being in the public eye? The centre of attention?
B: You know, anyone who tells you “no” is a lying bitch. I like to be the center of attention. I like it. I mean, who doesn’t like to be noticed for what they’re doing? Then again, it can be a little uncomfortable when fuckin’ creepy photogs are coming around and taking pictures or you have to talk to people who are asking weird interview questions…not you, man, you’re totally cool… but
C: Are you sure?
B: Yeah, yeah, you’re cool, but some dudes just ask super weird questions and it gets creepy. But, really, anyone who complains about that is a bitch. It’s fun.
C: Have you felt the spotlight burning even brighter now that you’re stepping down from the tour?
B: Oh, fuck yeah. It has definitely picked up. Fuck, I mean, before I made the tour I was always out there, you know, and it was great. I was doing what I wanted and it was great. Then I made the tour and fucking disappeared. On the tour I slowed down. Everything fuckin’ slowed down.
C: Let’s talk about the tour. Was your exit an act of rebellion?
B: Not rebellion. You can call it that if you want.
C: Marquis de Sade said, “Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain.”
B: I mean, I never really saw it as a rebellion, or a revolution or whatever. Not a lot of guys from Hawaii or from Kauai have ever made the tour. I made it. I did it for six years. Last year the waves were bad. This year they weren’t as bad but still they weren’t great and I just wasn’t happy. Fuck, it got so that when I was at some of the tour stops I couldn’t even call the boys back home because I couldn’t stand hearing that the waves were good back home and I had to ride some sloppy shit somewhere so I just stopped calling. You know, they’d tell me how good it was even if it was shitty and I would just go crazy. I’d fuckin’ bounce off the walls. I was over it. Over not surfing where I wanted to surf.
C: Hmmm. I want you to become a little rebellious Sadist vis a vis the tour, but whatevs.
B: Hahaha. I set my mind, tried it out, it’s just not my thing. If you’re Kelly or Parko or my brother then it’s really cool. They’re all great at it and do really well. It’s not for me though. Nothing against it, just not for me.
C: You seem to be a homebody.
B: Totally. I love being at home, on the islands. I love it. When I made the tour I got to travel, and I’m glad I got to do that, but fuck. Now? I love being at home. Love it. I know a lot of kids coming up too totally rip but don’t want to ever leave so they’ll never do the tour or anything.
C: Lots of time at home, eh? Kierkegaard said, “Boredom is the root of all evil.”
B: Fuck, I totally agree with that. I’ve been in my share of trouble out of boredom. But being home I’m just surfing like crazy all winter and fishing in the summer. Fuck, I could fish 12 hours a day. I got a great boat, a 22-foot Hawaiian Sea Cat, and everything. Yeah, and when I decided to quit the tour I told Volcom and they were super supportive. They bought Gerry Lopez’s house and I have the whole upper floor. So, I’m surfing Pipeline all winter and we’re filming and stuff. And I just got married…
B: Thanks, man. I’ve been married for six months and my wife is six months pregnant…
C: Shotgun city?
B: No no. It was planned. We’ve been planning it for a while.
C: Girl or boy?
B: Girl. Due March 18. And I’m building my dream house on Kauai. So much is going on and everything is fucking great.
C: It sounds great. Gerry Lopez’s house on the North Shore, surfing Pipe, dream house on Kauai, happy wife and baby on the way. Are you worried your whole life has peaked at, what are you, 29? Like, nothing could get better than it is now?
B: Fuck no. I feel that I haven’t surfed in five years. Because of the tour I surf the way I don’t like. I’ve hated the way I’ve surfed. Hated it. Now, not having to do it, I’m so excited to get back and do what I want to do. To fucking push it. Surf the way I can.
C: Who pushes your surfing?
B: I love surfing with Parko, he’s so fucking smooth. And with Dane punting, like, 20-foot airs and with Nathan Fletcher and Koby. Nathan and Koby are with me right now. Those guys push me.
C: Party time at the Gerry Lopez house? B: Fuck no. It’s quiet. People respect it. Anyone who wants to party goes to the other Volcom house… C: That reminds me, I read a quote from you that you would never fucking motherfucking live in LA or something like that. Still true?
B: No, no, I’d move to LA if I was single. I’d be raging all night and flying home for every swell like Koby. He’s like the fucking nightclub king over there (LA) and he flies in for all the swells.
C: So, we’ve discussed Nietzsche and arrogance, De Sade and rebellion, Kierkegaard and boredom. Combining all three for the final question, would you let Kelly Slater suck your dick for $1,000,000?
B: Fuck! I’d take the money and cut his fucking head off. That’s creepy. Fuck. No man is gonna touch my dick. Yeah, I’d fucking cut his head off, but after I got the money. This question is fucked up. It’s so funny, though. Are you gonna ask this to other guys too?
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