A Conversation with Chloë Sevigny, Sean Pablo &
[Sean cracks a beer]
Chloë: Yeah. Okay, so, I guess we’ll start with the basics. Are you over 21 now?
Sean: No, I’m actually not.
Chloë: You’re not?
Chloë: Bill! You can get arrested.
Chloë: Alright, we’ll let it slide. So, Sean Pablo, is it really your name?
Sean: Yeah. Pablo is my middle name. It’s kind of the name I like to go by.
Chloë: To protect the innocence of your family or not?
Sean: I just like that name more because my last name is Murphy.
Chloë: Dropkick Murphy? Murphy’s Law?
Sean: Yeah. It just sounds weird to me.
Chloë: Sean Pablo is tough.
Sean: Yeah. I like that more.
Chloë: It’s a good name.
Sean: It sounds cooler to me.
Chloë: How do you feel about Kanye co-opting Pablo?
Sean: Oh, fuck, I don’t know. It’s so weird. I don’t know where he got it from.
Chloë: I kind of feel a little upset because I always thought if I had a son, especially if he was a little bit Mehi, I’d like to name him Pablo. I always loved the name Pablo.
Sean: But now it’s ruined.
Chloë: Well, it’s not ruined. But do you think he’ll come on to something else and it will go away or is he sticking with it?
Sean: It seems like he’s sticking with that. I don’t know. What is it? Is it a clothing label?
Chloë: I don’t even know. I mean, I don’t know much about the world of Kanye or Kim. But I feel like the Pablo thing is kind of omnipresent now. No?
Sean: I would say so.
Chloë: “I am Pablo…” What’s the slogan?
Sean: Life of Pablo.
Chloë: “I feel like Pablo.”
Sean: “I feel like Pablo.”
Chloë: So he must be having some emotions. I do want to ask you about being discovered because that’s a big story for me and in my career. How does that happen as a skater? I don’t know that much about skateboarding. Did Bill find you?
Sean: I was just kind of hanging around in LA, like, around Supreme LA or whatever.
Chloë: On Fairfax?
Sean: Yeah, on Fairfax. My best friend Sage lived super close to Supreme. So, like, when I started hanging out with Sage, he would always be hanging around Supreme because he was in the area and he had some friends that worked there, on Fairfax, at a different skate shop. So, basically, I just started hanging out around and I met Dill and Bill.
Chloë: I feel like there’s a parallel. The same thing happened to me.
Chloë: I was just hanging out in Washington Square with different people and it all kind of spiraled. Was it something that you aspired to or they just liked your style and they wanted you to be a better skater?
Sean: I think part of it was that I idolized these people like Dill and Alex or whatever. Those were the people that I wanted to—that I looked up to. So anything I could do to fucking hang out with those guys would be like, oh, whatever. I tried to be around the zone, you know?
Chloë: How old were you then?
Sean: I was probably 16.
Chloë: I’m wondering what’s your relationship to, like, the “elder”—when you say, like, Dill and Alex, you liked their skating and style, but since it’s advanced so much, is there a way to appreciate it or is it more like you appreciate their personalities?
Sean: I think, yeah, it’s both. It’s their personality and, it’s more about style. Like, those guys’ style is just super good. I don’t know. They’re just like cool people in general. So that’s kind of what attracted me, I guess, to that side of skating because there’s another side of it where you’re just fucking athletic and you can do all the hardest tricks, but if you fucking don’t have good style, it’s—
Chloë: Right. I was going to ask you about that. Like, you can admire somebody with ability, but it’s like any other b-ball or something, if you like their whole persona.
Sean: It’s just not interesting to me and Dill and all of our group. When you were younger and you and these other kids were into this sub-culture, you know, whatever it may be, like, skating or a different kind of music than other people in your class were listening to. You feel a connection with those people.
Chloë: Yeah. Even when I was young and Supreme opened, I really respected Supreme. Everything was happening, but I felt like it has now evolved and now represents something a little bit different. Then, it was like when hip-hop exploded and it became this slicker skateboarder kind of contingency where there was the dirtier, punkier kids that weren’t as concerned. And now it seems like it has come back, like, it’s found a new—
Chloë: Yeah. Now it represents something alternative again in a way.
Sean: Yeah. I think so. I think they want to have every kind of genre of skater, you know? Like, they try to be very diverse.
Chloë: So, you’re on their team? Do they have a team now?
Chloë: Or you’re on Fucking Awesome?
Sean: Fucking Awesome the skateboards, and Supreme the clothing.
Chloë: So whose team are you on? Are you on your own team? Are you a team player?
Chloë: Whose teams are you sponsored by? Are you on a team or are you sponsored?
Chloë: Explain that to me.
Sean: Well, I’m on a team and I’m sponsored.
Chloë: Okay. Who are you sponsored by?
Sean: Converse, Supreme and Fucking Awesome. That’s it.
Chloë: And you’re on the Supreme team?
Chloë: Any other teams?
Sean: Fucking Awesome team.
Chloë: My brother was sponsored when we were kids by some brands that you probably think were corny then, like Gullwing Trucks. He was just skating in Connecticut, but I think it was just in the beginning and stuff and they were into kids that were influencing the schools and my brother was that.
Sean: Right. So they gave him shirts and stuff?
Chloë: Yeah. I’m going to do some annoying questions. If you weren’t skateboarding, what would you be into?
Sean: That’s actually the easy question because I played music my whole life up until I started skating. So I’d probably just be playing music.
Chloë: Do you think you could do that now? I feel like kids that start off in something [when they are] young, like you or me, when [they] try and do something different, [it’s like] “Well, he’s just a skater,” or, “She’s just an actress,” and it’s harder to bridge and try different things. And sometimes it’s intimidating because you’re afraid of the way people judge you.
Sean: Of course. Yeah, definitely. I mean, I like playing music whenever I can just for fun. I don’t know if it would ever go anywhere, kind of like skating has. But I’m stoked that I learned how to play guitar when I was super young and I can still kind of do that on the side.
Chloë: Who taught you?
Sean: I took guitar lessons for a couple of years.
Chloë: At the Conservatory?
Chloë: Because you grew up in Silver Lake?
Chloë: Wild. Where were your spots in Silver Lake? Did you always go over to Fairfax just hanging out?
Sean: Just hanging out, yeah, I hung out on Fairfax for a long time, right around Supreme. And then recently I’ve just been hanging out around Silver Lake with all my friends, just skating.
Chloë: I’ve lived in Silver Lake on and off during different years doing a show out there. You never saw teenagers hanging out. Are there no spots?
Sean: I don’t know. It’s kind of weird.
Chloë: Did you go to that high school on St. George or whatever that street is?
Sean: No. Most of my friends went there.
Chloë: It’s pretty Mehi over there.
Sean: Yeah, totally. It’s crazy. My friend Nico went there. A bunch of my friends went there.
Chloë: And you went to a different school?
Sean: I went to a different school. I went to this art school in downtown, but I only made it, like, two years.
Chloë: Alright. So you’re a high school dropout?
Sean: I did home school.
Chloë: Oh, okay. With your mom or dad?
Sean: My dad.
Chloë: Cute. Did you get a GED?
Sean: No. I’m working on that.
Chloë: Some of the smartest people I know are high school dropouts, so I let it slide—I barely passed. I was in the alternative learning program because I was such a delinquent. I was smart, but I just didn’t “apply myself,” which is what they like to say as an excuse when you’re smart, but don’t do anything. So you went to prom. I was really into that photo. I don’t know what it was on, your Instagram or the young lady’s.
Sean: Yeah. It was her prom because I didn’t go to that school anymore, so I just went with her.
Chloë: Right. And how did you guys get there?
Sean: We took, like, an SUV.
Chloë: Like a car service?
Chloë: So kind of like your version of a limo?
Chloë: Because people don’t take limos anymore.
Sean: It was pretty cool.
Chloë: Did you drink at the prom?
Sean: No. We just bought little shooters of whisky and stuffed them in our pockets.
Chloë: Like airplane bottles?
Sean: Yeah, because you’re not allowed to drink booze at the prom.
Chloë: Oh, sure. I went to two proms. I went when I was a freshman and when I was a senior. Both times, I had people drive me. And then we were definitely drinking and then leaving. It was weird because when I was a senior, I was like, “Ah, I’m not really into going to the prom.” It just seemed like something you did. Did she want to go?
Sean: Yeah. She wanted to go more than me. It was probably something that she’s always thought about doing.
Chloë: Or if something she didn’t do, she’d always regret?
Sean: Yeah, probably.
Chloë: That’s like the classic tale.
Sean: I was just like whatever about it.
Chloë Sevigny: Did you dance?
Chloë: Slow dance?
Sean: Yeah, a little bit.
Sean: It was really boring, so we just dipped out halfway through.
Chloë: Who was your biggest crush in high school if you had any?
Sean: Shit. I don’t even know. I was really so obsessed with skating that I don’t even remember.
Chloë: Who was your biggest skater crush?
Sean: Dylan Rieder.
Chloë: Cute. That’s fair enough.
Sean: I can have a crush on him. He’s pretty.
Chloë Sevigny: And now you live in Chinatown?
Sean: Yes, for the time being, I’m staying in Chinatown.
Chloë: We had this conversation last night, but I’ll just repeat it because I’m curious. Because I feel that people who read this magazine are New Yorkers and will be curious about where you’re hanging out.
Sean: Oh, where I’m hanging out in New York?
Sean: Well, Tompkins, obviously.
Chloë: The TF?
Sean: Yeah, the TF. That’s like pretty much everybody just hanging out there.
Chloë: But that’s daytime. What about nighttime?
Sean: Nighttime, I just literally hang out with my friends, go to their crib. There’s, like, 50 skaters there just drinking and hanging out.
Chloë: Where are the girls?
Sean: I don’t know.
Chloë: It’s still a boy-centric scene?
Sean: Yeah. I’ll do that then I’ll do my thing with my girlfriend and stuff.
Chloë: Still the prom date girlfriend?
Chloë: Is she here or in LA?
Sean: She’s in LA.
Chloë: We were always hanging out at older kids’ apartments, but you guys have your own.
Sean: I mean, seriously, it’s a different thing every night. It’s like, “Oh, we’re going to this dude’s place.”
Chloë: Because it’s cheaper to drink in an apartment or —
Sean: Yeah. I feel like most people do that because it’s easiest, you know? Some people are underage, so not everybody can get into a bar.
Chloë: I think I prefer it too because you can smoke and drink. That’s what I liked when I was living in the East Village. It was so great. Everybody always wanted to come over and smoke and drink at the same time. You can’t do that anymore.
Sean: Yeah. You can’t do that in a bar.
William: I remember Max Fish when you could smoke in there and then when you couldn’t.
Chloë: I mean, it’s so much better because I remember I would always come home stinking and smoking way too much. So now I guess we’re all better off for it. So I guess you’re known a little bit for your style, which is another parallel to me and my trajectory in my life and whatnot, and you’re kind of a standout.
Sean: Thank you.
Chloë: So where are your spots? Where do you shop? I want to know the hidden spots.
Sean: Okay. Well, just literally thrift stores and —
Chloë: So, like, Goodwill, not vintage stores like Search & Destroy?
Sean: I don’t know. No, I do both. Because sometimes you go to Goodwill and there’s, like, nothing there.
Chloë: I feel like it’s all Old Navy. Like, when I was young, they were so fruitful. There was so much to be gotten there. But now it’s just so lacking to find stuff, right?
Sean:Yeah. Seriously. But when I think of a thing that I want to get, it’s usually inspired by someone that I’m hanging out with or a movie or something. I look all around until I find it.
Chloë: That’s good. I like your style. I kind of do the same thing. If I go into a store like Wasteland, for instance, I’m super overwhelmed. So I’m like, “I just want to find a top or whatever,” and just try and narrow it down. What about in New York? There’s no secret spots?
Sean: I mean, we go to thrift stores sometimes like—I don’t have any secret spots by any means. What’s that one place on 2nd or 3rd Avenue?
William: The Metropolis.
Chloë: Oh, yeah.
Sean: It’s probably like the same spots still that everybody’s been going to.
Chloë: I used to go up around 23rd, which I feel like is really good for you. There’s the City Opera and Goodwill and Salvation. And then on 3rd Avenue, there’s one called Vintage, which is pretty good. We went there once. Bill got a hamper. That’s my spot. They don’t have a lot of men’s.
Sean: Yeah. It’s easier for women.
Chloë: For sure. When I saw you in SF, we went to some vintage spots. Yeah. That was pretty good.
Sean: I try to do that any place I go.
Chloë: Yeah. Just because it’s fun or just to kill time?
Sean: Just for something to do and kill time I guess.
Chloë: Is it like the thrill of the hunt? Do you think you get as much of a dopamine rush as I do?
Sean: I mean, definitely when I find something, I’m like, “Fuck, yeah. That’s so sick.” Japan is the best place to find anything. They have vintage Polo.
Chloë: I just feel like it’s you and Dill, like, you’re so innately stylish, but you’re both really handsome. You both have nice physiques, so everything looks good on the two of you. But there’s something that just seems very—it doesn’t seem cultivated in a way. It’s very easy, but very personal. I like that.
Sean: Thank you.
Photography by William Strobeck
Styled by Havana Laffitte
Originally published in Let’s Panic Issue 03