ANDREW BURNS INTERVIEW | AGAINST ALL ODDS
By Rob Lemay | Photos [o] Ben Girardi Andrew Burns. That name goes hand in hand within Canadian snowboarding. It’s one that...
Dillon, let’s talk about one of your favourite things in life: pizza. How and why did this happen?
I don’t really don’t why [laughs], just everyone loves pizza. The vibe around it is the best. When you travel a lot, there are so many spots and different kinds of pizza. Plus, a lot of times growing up my family didn’t eat together too much or make dinners, so we’d order in a lot of pizza. I always liked it and grew up eating it, but only recently did I get really hyped on it and try and find different pizza wherever I go. A lot of the times that I eat it, and post a photo of it online, is when it’s after the bar or late night, so it’s classic.
Yeah, when you’re drinking, you need that Vitamin P in you.
I just started posting whatever the slice was at the time… usually really bad pizza. But I also really love good quality pizza.
Yeah, but oftentimes “bad pizza” is “good pizza.” Have you ever had a dollar slice in New York City?
Yeah, but that’s like good pizza.
It is, it’s delicious. But to some it’s just… a fucking dollar slice.
Yeah, for sure. True. But in Montreal, we don’t really have any dollar slices or thin slices; it’s just all shitty after-bar pizza, or there are a couple gourmet spots like in Little Italy, or one spot in St. Henry. South Shore is good for some spots, but overall Montreal isn’t too great for pizza.
So you’re a bit of an aficionado.
[Laughs] I guess.
Well, like you said, pizza does give off that sweet vibe. No one’s bummed on pizza. Ever.
That’s true. First off, it’s cheap, you can get it anywhere, it’s quick, and everyone loves it. There’s that vibe… watching sports or movies with friends, it’s go-to.
Totally. Growing up in the ’90s, the term “pizza party” was thrown around like the ultimate prize… when in reality, it was just you get to eat pizza.
As an adult, it kind of goes hand-in-hand with beer… same vibe, hanging out with friends, and having fun. Same thing.
Do you think there’s a correlation there because they’re both unhealthy?
I mean, the best things in life are usually unhealthy.
Damn. But in principle, pizza is very hard to fuck up. It’s fantastic. Melted cheese is great on anything—melted cheese is never wrong. Get some tomato sauce, some meat…
The crust and the tomato sauce you can easily fuck up, but for the most part, you’re right. The rest is pretty straightforward.
Pizza is sort of like sex… when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. But there are still rare exceptions, like Pizza Pizza in Ontario is straight toilet—just a trash slice. It’s been years.
I guess that’s why I get hyped to find new spots in new places. Really good pizza that’s made differently in one place than another. Wherever you go, pizza is never going to be the same.
Or, if you want the same… there are the staple chains that are decent, the same wherever.
I’m down for a chain classic slice now and then, for sure, but I always like to try and find low-key spots, or family run restaurants where it’s unique. Yelp is great for that.
You cruise Yelp for pizza spots when you’re travelling?
For sure, it’s the best. I even ordered a book that shows you the best places to eat pizza in the world. Pretty much shows you the best spots with menus, addresses, and chef testimonials.
You should put a Yelp sticker on your board. Are you down if they sponsored you for free pizza as long as you write a review for every slice?
Dude, for sure. That would be the sickest thing ever, actually become the “Pizza Guru.”
It could probably come true. Honestly. Look at the some of the dumbass sponsors some people are running with and the things they have to do. It’s simple: you go eat pizza on the road—Yelp will pay for it—and in return you write reviews.
Damn that would actually be so dope. Get the mag to make it happen!
I’m also told you carry a keychain container of hot sauce around with you everywhere you go?
Yep, my little Sriracha keychain. I need hot sauce on every meal. Not on cereal and shit, obviously.
Yeah. Everything you can imagine having hot sauce on, I’ll put it on. Before the food even gets brought out at a restaurant, it’s decided. Growing up with spicy food at home—my dad is from Trinidad—I need spice on everything. Now anytime I don’t have spice on my food, it tastes plain to me or like I’m missing something.
Do you feel like slowly your tongue will get so used to it that you’ll eventually have to up the spice dosage? Graduate to something beyond Sriracha?
Uhh, not really. I don’t like stuff super spicy. Those liquidy Texas-type hot sauces that burn your mouth I’m not down for. I like a lot of homemade hot sauces made of crushed peppers and chilis… things that are more of a paste. I like Sriracha because it’s not too hot, and I can just refill the keychain bottle whenever.
You definitely need to add Sriracha to your sponsor list too.
[Laughs] Another one that would be insane.
Sriracha is definitely number one for me too, the chili peppers… I go for it way before a Frank’s Red Hot or a Tabasco that are cayenne or Tabasco pepper-based.
Yeah, it depends on what, like for breakfast the Mexican Tapatio is great on eggs and things like that. Any other time, though, it’s either homemade or Sriracha.
I agree, although I’m clearly not as committed as you to the point of carrying around a portable hot sauce unit. What else do you have going on in life?
Right now, on an early trip in Kalamazoo to try and get some pre-Christmas clips for the Vans video. Going back home for Christmas, because I never miss my favourite holiday. Other than that, last week just worked my last shift of my summer job at Savoie Fils, which is a little clothing store and coffee shop… it’s tight. Was working there, got my first apartment in Montreal with my girlfriend—it was the best summer.
Sounds legit. So you work at this fashion store/boutique. Does this job help feed your addiction to cargo pants?
Oh, dude. OK… it’s not a personal choice to be addicted to the cargo pants. It’s because I have super skinny legs and a wider torso, so the cargo pants fix the body proportion. The cargo pants fix it by making my lower part baggier and the pockets fill it in. If I wear any other pant, I look like a frog. I do love them because you can find tons of different styles and camo patterns at army surplus stores and stuff, but it’s actually just because it’s the only pant that makes me look normal.
So you have like weird body image issues, hey?
[Laughs] Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. When I look at myself, I’m like, “Damn I have really skinny legs.”
You’re carrying issues in those extra pockets. So they have to be cargo?
I mean, I have other pants that aren’t cargo… but with really skinny legs and no butt, cargo is best. They last a lot longer than other types of pants too.
Exactly. I’m down. And not to say that I was like “first” to do it, but I was definitely wearing cargos way before they came back as trendy again. So I guess I am trendy, even though it wasn’t on purpose.
Yeah, that hurts, man. I’ve worn only white Vans for the last six years and when the “Damn Daniel” thing happened, it killed me. It was awful.
Yeah. It doesn’t matter. It’s kinda cool at the same time to be on top of certain trends. Some of them are sick, like I’m down for all the super-tech outdoor jackets that are in right now, Gore-Tex and stuff like that. Coolest style.
How about being a SoundCloud DJ?
[Laughs] I’m not a SoundCloud DJ.
Someone said you were, so you better back that up.
Not a SoundCloud DJ. I started getting into DJing this summer with my friend Tyler; we’d throw parties and DJ at bars in Montreal. I’ve always been super into music and stay up on it, but was never really a part of it. I don’t play any instruments or anything, so it was the only thing I could really do. All my friends are on SoundCloud and posts mixes they’ve made, so I just joined it and started posting my stuff on there too to show people what I’m into.
Yeah, I remember going into TRH bar in Montreal and seeing you guys DJing on another side of a fence, with your shirts off and wrapped around your head.
Yeah, that place is funny. It always gets packed and super lit, but a lot of people that end up there are crazy. The girls are reckless and the guys are there to skate at a bar. It’s just fun. When you live in Montreal, it’s the worst, but if someone is in town, it’s an experience they won’t get anywhere else. There’s a pool and a mini-ramp in a bar, it’s crazy.
I’ve never been there without someone shoving Jäger in my face five steps in.
Yeah, and the girls are there to pick up skaters. If you’re there and you skate, you’re probably have a funny time getting free drinks or getting hit on by girls.
They like the pipe—and not the one to skate on.
Wanna give a shout out to the people helping you make these pizza trips possible?
Thanks to my sponsors Empire shop, Ride Snowboards, Vans boots and outerwear, Dragon goggles, Beaverwax, Howl gloves, Gnarly clothing, and my crew the Bruners.
Hopefully soon Yelp?