Joseph Shabason
Welcome To Hell


What does hell look like? The introduction of Toy Machine skateboard's seminal 1996 video “Welcome To Hell,” with its pulsing overlay of the Stars and Stripes on top footage of police officers, businessmen, and fast food service workers, would appear to paint hell as the mirage of American exceptionalism. A thick, centuries-spanning unreality that may not outwardly trade in fire and brimstone, but if you turn your nose to the wind, you’ll smell sulphur.

A young Joseph Shabason felt that impact. That invigorating, improvisational, full-body experience of skateboarding is one that Shabason likens to jazz, where a shared language exists between the wheels and woodwinds. Reflecting on this relationship and the Toy Machine classic would ultimately lead Shabason to wonder: what does hell sound like?

The answer was a concept album that, like his previous records, lives in the personal. One that, much like skateboarding itself, would push him to try something new: rescoring “Welcome To Hell.”

Made Possible with the support of Ontario Creates & FACTOR