Jan-Michael Andresen. Urbandale skate park. April 2007. (Click to enlarge)

Photos and interview by Adam Morris

I could share dozens of anecdotes about Jan-Michael Andresen, but I could never do justice to his personality. His presence is worth experiencing for yourself. So I’ll keep it simple: Jan’s a great friend, and the Des Moines scene is unbelievably lucky to have him.

Backslide. Des Moines. (Click to enlarge)

Name: Jan-Michael Andresen
Age: 19
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Job/education status: Undergraduate student
Years skating: Five
Skate setup: Razors Murda 3s stock, rusted laces, and perfectly grooved GC frames
Favorite skate video: “Face the Music.” It’s short and gets to the point, perfect before skating.
Favorite skaters: Erik Bailey and Mike Lilly
Musical interests: Indie/electronic/rock and mixtures of each
Outside activities: Well, I like to play soccer every now and then, you know, practice my ball-handling skills. I really like filming/editing, and I’m working on getting a legit camera this summer. I also enjoy painting.

Q. OK, you had better start with your name. I had always known you as just “Jan,” but I went to look up your e-mail address in your college’s online contact directory, and you’re listed as “Jan-Michael Andresen.” So do you really go by Jan-Michael?
A. Eh, I guess I respond to a wide variety of names: Yon, Yohan, Yanny, Jan, Jan Michelle, Jean Michelle, JC, Michael, Mike, Mikey. It just depends on the person who is referring to me and their level of “douche bag-ness.”

Backside unity. Ames. (Click to enlarge)

Q. So you were a freshman at Drake University in Des Moines this year. What classes were you taking, and how much time each day or, say, during a typical week do you spend doing homework?
A. Throughout my first year I took Intro to Biology, Biology 1 and 2, General Chemistry 1 and 2, Chemistry Lab, Biology Lab, ‘Shams, Scams, and Other Bargains,’ Calculus I, Asian Art, ‘Walking out there’ Painting, Finding Theology in The Lord of The Rings(BEST class ever!). I would spend pretty much all of my day going to classes or getting ready for classes; however, around 4 every day I would try to go out and skate for 30 minutes if I could. As for the number of hours in a week, I’d have to estimate around 2 hours per day at least so a total of 14 hours, AT LEAST.

Q. How do the demands of college affect the skating side of your life?
A. There definitely is a strain on my skating time, but I feel that I have been skating more this year than I had my past year in high school. During my junior and senior year of high school I was really busy with school soccer and club soccer. I almost never had a free weekend to skate. Anyways, I guess high school and soccer is more strenuous than college. So kids, stay in school and go to college!

Sweatstance. Des Moines. (Click to enlarge)

Q. You have said that you’re studying pre-medicine. What do you want your job to be, and why?
A. I have no idea, honestly.

Q. Here’s another question about Drake and college. I went to Drake, too. And I remember meeting cool people, but there was really no one who was interested in skating. As far as making friends at college, what has been your experience at Drake? What kind of people do you hang out with there? Do they know you blade? If so, what do they think of it?
A. Well, I hang out with a wide variety of people. They all know that I skate, some make fun of me and call me names that they think are funny. Or they make fun of the way I dress. But I don’t give a fuck, so I just find something about them to make fun of. Then we fight and I get my ass kicked. But yeah, there are a good amount of cool folks at Drake.

Front torque to fakie. Clive. (Click to enlarge)

Q. You skate a lot now. But how do you see skating figuring into your life as you grow older?
A. I hope that I will be in the same shape that Dante Muse is in. I would love to be able to do the things he does when I’m his age (40). But it just depends on how my body holds up. Either way, I want to stay connected in some way.

Q. Aside from Iowa actually having a cold winter, how has your experience in Iowa since you arrived in the fall compared with your life in Texas?
A. I really enjoy being on my own and not having my parents breathing down my neck all the time. I can go out when I want and come home when I want. As for the way I live my life, I haven’t necessarily changed much. I party hard and skate hard just as I did in Texas. I guess the only thing that has changed is that I have a serious relationship with my girlfriend, Holli. Normally, I don’t let the females get in my way, haha. I guess I have met someone that actually surpassed my love for rollerblading. But it’s good and I believe I have a great balance of obligations in my life right now.

Rocket fishbrain. Urbandale skate park. (Click to enlarge)

Q. You’ve gone to the Hoedown skate competition at Eisenbergs Skate Park for how many years? I don’t know of any Iowa bladers who have experienced it. Can you tell us what it’s like to be there, and how you got there this year?
A. The Hoedown is always one of the highlights during each year. I have been going to the competition for four years now. It’s just a fantastic time. You skate and party with the best of the best. Everyone is friendly and it brings people from all over the world. This winter I had the luxury of experiencing a similar event, the Bitter Cold Showdown, which is basically the same concept. I went with Jefferson, Logan and you (Adam). You were the only one that I really knew at the time but it didn’t matter because I knew as long as I was going with rollerbladers it would be fun. And sure enough I had a great time, not only during the competition but on the road trip, too. It was just four bladers hanging out and fucking around, there’s nothing better than that. I also just was asked to go on the Roll Series Tour so I am really looking forward to that this summer; thanks to Adam for introducing me to Collin Martin. If you have never been on a road trip with rollerbladers, then you haven’t lived!

Q. Can you explain why Dante Muse calls you dys-Texic (a mix of the words dyslexic and Texas)?
A. This is a stupid story. I was meeting everyone up at Ames and for some reason the Iowa Department of Transportation was on crack when they labeled the streets of Ames. Anyway, I got lost while looking for the Iowa State University campus and I had to call Dante several times to figure out where I was. After maybe five calls, Dante referred to me as “dys-Texic.” Dante, you are so clever, give yourself a pat on the back. So now he calls me “dys-Texic” every now and then when I say something stupid, which happens quite frequently…

Fast plant on curb to tree stall 180 out. Des Moines. (Click to enlarge)

30 Responses to “Interviewed: Jan-Michael Andresen”  

  1. 1 Michalec

    these new pics are awesome!
    the first one on the broken pole reminds me of some pics in one!

  2. 2 Lucas

    fun stuff. I hope to skate with you soon Jan.

  3. 3 BJ Bales

    Nice, very nice. I really enjoyed the question about how Jan got his nickname, pretty unique. I’m sure being a pre-med major is tough to mix with skating during the school year. Good interview for sure though.

  4. 4 Martin

    Blast Skating and hanging out! Many more to come!!
    (Ps. Co-worker car incident happened tonight 🙂

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