For anyone who doesn't know, Andrew Haeata was a hugely influential part of New Zealand skateboarding in the 90s and 2000s; he did technical tricks bigger than anyone, had an effortless style that made Tom Penny look stressed and did it all with a huge grin on his face or a beer in his hand. A destroyer of street, ramp and life in general, he embodies what that era was about - fun and living life to the full.
Andrew's been through shit loads with some amazing ups and some dark downs. With possibly the most polarising personality you'll ever encounter, Andrew will either be your lifelong friend from the second he meets you or spectacularly burn a bridge... whilst you are standing on it.
Andrew has mellowed a lot lately and is currently working hard, playing with dogs and skating as much as he can. In my opinion, he is the greatest skateboarder to come out of NZ in recent times (his mate Lee Ralph wasn't too bad either) and although I always mock him for getting a bit sozzie (he has definitely been known to enjoy the odd pie now and again) he is the one person that I truly think could make a Mariano style comeback, and fuck - I really hope that he does.
These are not your normal questions, mainly because Muddy is not a normal person - plus he has better stories to tell than how he got into skating (this is covered in the 1999 interview we did with him. See below) or how many sponsors he's had (whether they wanted to or not, pretty much everybody in New Zealand has sponsored Muddy in one way or another). Enjoy.
Cheers, Alex Dyer.
Interview by Donni Allum - oh and go buy his book, it's cheaper than a pint of beer.
Alright bro, let’s start with how you got the name Muddy?
Charles Munt stuck a finger up a chicks butt at a Cuba Street flat, and she got shocked and crapped her pants, we called her Mud Runner. Then Matt Russell started calling me Muddy after that.
You grew up skating Wellington and the Hutt Valley, what can you tell us about UHP and Outcast?
UHP was the homies I grew up with, skating and partying with. Later my mates Jeremy Chin and Charles started Outcast Skateboards which was the good homeboy vibe - not giving a fuck etc.
After Welly you moved to Auckland for a while?
Fuck yeah man I moved up to AK like 99 I think, me and Charles shared a room at Poul's in Grey Lynn, skated every day.
You had a lot of fights during that time, any stories that stand out?
I was walking up Queen Street with Johnny and the Muckmouth boys, street boozing, when a group of muppets and some chick gave me and Johnny some shit. I turned around and cracked one in the face and then quickly turned to his mates that were coming up along side of me and then cracked them.
The girl yelled out “that one guy just hit all you!”
Then the guy came back for round two so I just gave him another jab to the face and then we continued. Good times.
You got stabbed twice, how did that happen?
I was in Manners Mall in Wellington with Charles Munt and I got smart to some guy that later snuck up behind me and stabbed me in the hip. I jumped on the bus to get to the hospital and the bus driver told me “no bleed on bus!”
Almost exactly the same time the following weekend, still had the stitches from the first stab, got stabbed again about an inch lower by another random.
Tell us about the fight at the Grey Lynn ramp
Some drunk cunt was harassing some skaters and a chick at Grey Lynn ramp, just being a twat. When he came up to me I jumped up and jabbed him in the chin. He fell on to Josh Pakie's lap, then took off and returned later with a car full of boys. So I attacked the group with my skateboard, trying to smack them on the head, got a punch in on most of them and that was that. Great times, didn’t want any of the other boys to get harassed.
What was the story behind the stabbing that put you in jail?
A muppet came off second best, thought he was a gangster and then went to the pigs.
How long did you spend in there?
3 years 6 months.
What was it like, were there many fights?
It was ok, mostly over Tim Tams and smokes.
What drugs have you done over the years?
Heroin, cocaine, meth, bath salts, acid, mushrooms, weed, alcohol, GHB and ecstasy.
Are you sober now?
Yes, I have a few drinks here and there.
What’s the closest you’ve come to dying?
Twice; first time when a good mate shot at me, and I could hear the bullets going past the back of my head.
Second time, when I got kidnapped.
What are you doing these days? Still skating?
Just trying to be a fucken good boy, working for a fencing crew and still skating on the weekends, but my body's fucked.
How do you feel about the way the skateboard industry has progressed?
To be honest I’m not up to date with what’s going on within the skating industry. I only really support Def, Outcast and Copius which I think are going to take over NZ.
Do you have any regrets about your career?
Yes, I regret partying hard whilst skating. The two don’t mix, other than that it is what it is.
Anyone you want to say thanks to?
Muckmouth boys, Rascals, David Read, my family, Harry, Cookie, Buddha, Cale at Copius, Ants G, Tylee, Vixon, BooBoo, Jenny the Goat, Lulu, Maka, DTC, Tat Bum, Pookie, Donni and Jesus.