Jared Collazo Talks Prison, Mental Illness, and The Be Easy Bus
photo - Aaron Burleson
How old are you and where are you from?
I’m 19 and from Glastonbury, CT
How did you hear about Be Easy for the first time?
Pretty sure I was introduced by Mr. Nino (Scenderini) himself. I thought it was sick and something I wanted to be apart of. Nino was filming for Grime Life (Be Easy’s first full length video) and so was Dave (Cadario). Those were the dudes that got me into skating.
I didn’t really know you when Grime Life premiered, but I heard you snuck into the theater without paying? Is that true?
You didn’t know me at that time?! [laughing] Yeah I definitely snuck in.
Did Nino put you up to it?
Probably. I went with my friend Geoff and we tended to be very very high all the time so I was probably really high.
Well did you at least enjoy your free ticket?
It was fucking sick. I mostly remember the mayhem after the video. People throwing shit and going crazy, because how could I not remember that. I remember [Connor] Belcourt smoking a blunt during the premier… and Scott Bedard.
Earlier this year, you were one of the four that took the entire bus trip from Connecticut to California and back. What was it like for you living on the road for two months in an RV converted school bus?
It was the best time of my life. Whenever somebody asks me that, I give them that answer because I don’t know how else to put it. It was literally just the greatest experience I could ever ask for with the most interesting dudes. I think about it on a daily basis and think ‘I did that this one time’ and it brings me back to reality like… Fuck yeah.
What was the daily routine one the road?
Wake up 9am. I’d either wake up by myself of you would wake up me. It’d be “same jobs” right after that. “Same jobs” is making bacon egg and cheeses on some bread. We’d make a sammy for everyone on the bus. And of course coffee plays a huge role in this. We’d kinda just figure it out after ‘same jobs’. We’d have an unplanned day. Well sometimes it was planned. It was usually planned if [Eric] Abo was on the bus. Other than that it was kinda random.
What was your favorite place you visited on the bus?
California was super dope, Mr [Andrew] Hales house, Venice, Santa Monica, Joshua Tree all those places, but Tempe [Arizona] was fucking sick. Tempe was one of the most memorable times. All the dudes in the Laird House are fucking dope. Laird house is a house just of skaters. Their house just reflects skateboarding. The first thing you see when you walk in is just a line of VX1000 corpses. The pool is dope. You can hop off the roof into the pool. I’ve seen one of the most perfect kickflips off that roof by Conor Holiday. That shit was crazy. You gotta have balls to do that.
Tell us about Matt Gil.
Oh, Matt Gil. The mans a legend. The bus driver. Matt Gil I appreciate you. Imagine driving that bus. That shit is crazy driving a bus from CT to CA and back. No matter how awesome the trip is that’s got to be stressful. He is all that is man. I love you Gil.
Honestly how many times did you jerk off on the bus?
Too many to count, I don’t know. I did it once and after that it was a daily routine.
Tell us about Meato (the last of the four guys that were on the entire bus trip).
Meato is a character. Like, sometimes we had our difference because I thought he was trying to kill me. All around he is a character, he is really open to new experiences. Reflecting on it now, overall Meato is a really sick dude. And I wouldn’t have gone on the trip without him. He picked me up from Glastonbury and took me to the bus on the first day.
Why did you think he was trying to kill you?
Well I am a super paranoid dude. So I thought he would put shit in my coffee. We split a carton of cigarettes and we got American spirit blacks. And I felt like whenever I wasn’t looking he would get to my pack of cigarettes and spray them or something because that’s like my thing. Every night I would open up a new pack of cigarettes to make sure they were mine.
"If I'm being a dick to you its because I literally think you are trying to murder me."
Do you still think he is out to get you, or is that something you can look back and realize it wasn’t true?
That’s something I can look back and know it didn’t happen. Hes a good dude. Shouts out to meato! MeatWayne!
Are you on the mental illness spectrum?
I am on the mental ill spectrum. I’m crazy. [laughing] im crazzyyy. They got me with an illness called schizophrenia. Which is kinda gnarly. I have delusions that the entire world is out to get me and make connections that aren’t really there and it fucks with my life. I feel like its something that is environmental and situational. I feel like I can overcome it. But it’s a scary thing to have someone tell me. For a long time I have been on the spectrum, or so you call it.
photo - Aydan Crumrine
Is there anything you would like to say to people that may not understand what you are going through?
Yeah. I’m not trying to be a dick… ever. If I’m being a dick to you its because I literally think you are trying to murder me. [laughing] It comes from that place and that place only. Otherwise I think yours cool. I think everyone’s cool. Theres people I don’t even like, and in a week I’ll be like that person was actually pretty cool. That’s just how I am. But in my head I’ll be like ‘nah you’re trying to kill because you don’t think I’m cool’ But yeah, if I’ve ever been a dick to you its because I think you’re trying to kill me.
Which you know isn’t real afterwards, or when you are on medication?
Yes, I hate to be medicated, but its something that is probably for the best. And after the fact, yeah. Sometimes the fact that I thought it is enough for me to believe its true.
So you’re medicated now?
Were you medicated when you were on the bus trip when you thought Meato was trying to kill you?
I was supposed to be but since I went on the bus trip I wasn’t. I quit going to groups for that trip because I feel like I needed the life experience, I feel like I needed to see the country. Now I’m in the same groups I was in before I left. The groups weren’t going anywhere, and that bus was, that’s kinda how I thought about it.
Anything else you want to say about mental illness?
Yes, If you have mental illness or going through the same stuff I’m going through. You can work through it, I know its difficult at times, and gets in the way of all your relationships. You can have it and still live a happy life. It doesn’t have to control you. But yeah.. Fuck mental illness! I feel like everybody has mental illness, some people are just better at covering it up than others. Some people don’t have it as deep too. You can cope with it.
Do you recommend mediation?
If you have some shit like I have? Like you’re constantly accusing people of shit that’s not really happening, then yes, it helps with that. But the medication I’m on can make me fucking sad, and harder to skate, and causes diabetes. So like fuck medication if you don’t need it.
"That was my second time in prison in a month."
A lot has gone down in these few months since the trip. You were in prison for 3 weeks last month. Why did you go to prison? How did that go down?
Yes. A LOT has gone down. That was my second time in prison in a month. The first time around me and my dad got into a fight. I didn’t want to fight him so I restrained him. The cops came over. He was intoxicated. And I don’t know if that’s why he did it, but I was kinda like accusing him of trying to kill me. We got into an argument because of that. I got him to the ground and told him that I wouldn’t let him hit me like that again. I think that scared him. The police were called. In the state of Connecticut the law states that someone has to get arrested if the police are called for domestic violence, so I did. I went to court the next day. He got a partial protective order in place which means I can go home, but I can’t threaten, fight, harass etc my dad and if I do I am facing up to 5 years in prison. No fines, nothing, just don’t mess with my dad. So fast forward a few weeks later, I was at home. I was mad because I thought that my parents were trying to kill me so I punch a cabinet in our kitchen. It broke, like completely broke, if fucking fell off. I didn’t break it on purpose, I just punched it really hard and it broke. Later on after shit settled down, my mom asked me to bring in some groceries and put them on the counter next to the broken cabinet. So I did. As I was at the counter my mom opens the cabinet and a piece of wood broke off that someone had put back on, my mom screamed, and a second later I get hit in the head with a piece of wood. And I’m like “why the fuck did that piece of wood hit me in the head? Are you trying to kill me?”. “you definitely just did that on purpose! You did that on purpose!” I thought that she did it on purpose. My dad says “its not that serious, its not a thick piece of wood”. Then I pick it up and slam it on the table. Then he asks me “well, why is it broken in the first place?” and that made me think that he did, and they did it on purpose and they were plotting against me while I was outside getting groceries. So my dad threatens to call the police. He tells me to go outside or he’s going to call the police. I go outside and after a little bit I come back inside. I was really calm at this point. My dad doesn’t like when I get calm. He calls the police and says, “its my son again.” I went into the woods behind my house and hid there for a bit. I went to dunkin donuts. The police found me. They arrested me. The next day I had to go to court, and then I was in jail. I was in Hartford correctional, I was in a dorm with grown men. I walked in and they were all like whistling at my, and sayin “that’s a nice piece of ass”. No joke, they all did that. I’m pretty sure they were joking. Then I had this skinhead dude with face tats put me under his wing. Then I had this Puerto Rican did give me ramen noodles. He was like “yeah I got you”. Next day I wake up to that 40 year old dude with face tats giving me tea and shit. And then two days of that my dad bailed me out for 500 dollars. From there I couldn’t legally go home. I now had a full restraining order against my dad and my house. So I went to my brother Joeys house. I found an old prescription of Adderall in my parents trunk. I was taking that now (which is bad for paranoia). I’m living at my brothers house, takin Adderall, having fun, thinkin ‘fuck it, I’m going to go to jail anyway for this charge’. These are felonies. I hate the fact that they are felonies, but they are felonies. A week later my family is like “you need to go to a hospital, because you can’t stay here anymore, you need treatment”. I had accused my brother’s girlfriend of poisoning a black&mild that I got, and they didn’t like that very much. Understandably so. After like a day or so, I go to the hospital. I’m getting assessed. This dude was taking my blood. This guy misses my veins twice. He looks me dead in the eye with a scary look and says “I never miss”. I was like “the fuck you mean you never miss? What do you just want to see blood pour out of me?” There was blood flowing down me, blood on my gown. It was like dripping on the floor, that shit hurt. So that freaked me out and I refused to stay at this hospital My parents payed for me to stay at a motel that night. They were so pissed. So the next day I went to a clinic to get assessed to get me into a program. I got into the program and had everything lined up, but I had no place to live. My mom was like “what are you going to do?” I couldn’t stay at my brothers house because they didn’t want me there because I’m fucking crazy. I asked my mom to get me a tent. My mom gets me a tent for 40 bucks. I went to the woods in Glastonbury, got some supplies at CVS. I was ready.
"I was talking to someone that wasn't really there."
You were totally okay with being homeless at this point?
Yeah, I was like fuck it ill go tenting. The idea of living in a tent and going tenting. To everyone I was homeless, but to me I was like fuck it I’m going on a little camping trip. I put it next to the river and I was ready to live there. I set up camp there then left to go chill at Panera. At this point I kinda broke down. I was literally texting someone and I thought that someone was watching me through the wifi. I thought that everyone point in time people were listening to me and watching me through my phone, through anything. So I was just writing text on my screen like “If you think I did something wrong, I didn’t do this” and just like erasing the message as if they were viewing my phone. Like mirroring my phone on a device somewhere. I was talking to someone that wasn’t really there. I called my brother I was like “dude I need help, I need to talk to you, I need help”. He shows up and tells me that I need to camp in mom and dad’s backyard.
So I get my tent and all my shit from the woods. I pitched my tent in my neighbors backyard so it was kind of legal, because I can’t live at my house. I tried to sleep, couldn’t sleep because I thought I was going to get caught for being home. So I took my tent to an industrial building in Glastonbury, stayed there for a little. Then my dad kind of invited me to stay home because they thought I was going to kill myself. I had packed up a bunch of TV cords in my bag they thought I was going to hurt myself with. I wasn’t going to, I was doing it out of spite because my brother didn’t want me to use his apple TV [laughing]. I went to the town green with my brother, and there were cops circling around and shit. Then suddenly there were police in the bushes. And then the police showed up and I got arrested.
My parents had called the mental health crisis line, but instead of a doctor showing up, 2 cops came and arrested me for breaking my restraining order. My parents were basically forced to tell the police I had been home. I was charged with violation of protective order. Even though I wasn’t even at the house at the time of being arrested. They called it “probable cause”. I was back in Hartford correctional. This time I was in the mental crisis area. I was in a gown completely naked because the doctors thought I was going to kill myself. Then I see a doctor the next day. He puts me on the medication that I am taking currently. He transfers me to Manson Youth Institute.
photo - Aydan Crumrine
Manson Youth? That’s not Juvie right?
No [laughing] Its prison. Just for people my age. I was locked up there for 3 weeks. At this time you didn’t know what was going on and you just showed up at my house. And you bailed me out with your own money. Shows how good of a friend you are.
Well you are not a criminal. If you were a criminal I wouldn’t have bailed you out.
Hell yeah, well thank you.
Whats prison like for a skinny 19 year old, johnny cash lovin, kind hearted, skater dude?
[laughing] It fucking sucks. Its not good. I was in a cell for 22 hours a day. I had grits that were probably ACTUALLY poison.
My cellie was actually convicted for sexual assault. The people that served him his food would go “RAPIST” when they would hand him his meals. So yeah I think they actually did do shit to his food. Cause he didn’t even eat it. He was paranoid about it.
Whats your cellie like besides being a rapist?
He was just a bad person. He was just not good for society all around. He was like “I’m getting a ‘slammie’ when I get home”. He was talkin about getting a gun. He would say “I’m goin head huntin when I get out”. I was like “really that’s what you want to do when you get out of prison? Try to kill people?”
photo - Aydan Crumrine
That’s a good pair, someone that admits they want to kill people living with you
[laughing] We did not go hand in hand.
Get into any fights?
Well, me and my cellie were talking, then we started arguing. It was my last thing of ramen I was eating out of an empty lays back. I yelled at him “suck my dick”. He was like “your mom can suck my dick”. So I got up jumped in his face and started screaming “WHAT” “WHAT” WHAT”. Then I got real in his face and spit ramen noodle and saliva in his face. And he got up and started swinging on me and really trying to hurt me. I didn’t want anyone to see me actually fighting because that would go on my court report. So instead I just blocked every one of his punches, except one got me right in the lip. I kinda busted my lip. He punched me in the face
So you instigated it?
Yes, I did.
I don’t know we were arguing over something I don’t remember. But I mean this dude would wake me up everyone morning. He said I snored in my sleep. So everyone morning at 6am he would scream at the top of his lounges. “WAKE THE FUCK UP NIGGA”, no matter what every morning. It was so loud, he would yell it.
But its all good when you bailed me out I shook his hand and said take care of yourself. I wasn’t tryin to stoop to his level. I did tell him suck my dick quite of few times though.
Whats some prison slang?
“Word to me” “word to who” “make it official” What does that mean? How do you say “make it official” properly? Alright so like in order to make it official. You have to put it on your mom. So like “word to my mom” or “word to my dead sister”
Oh so like in order to make sure you are telling the truth, someone will ask you to make what your saying official, by swearing to your mom?
Yeah thats the only way you can tell the truth in prison.
They were like ‘what kinda music you listen to?’ They were singing the worst type of music you could listen to. I told them I like Johnny Cash and Frank Ocean. They were like “you have a terrible taste in music. You don’t like 50 Cent?” I was like “fuck no I don’t like 50 Cent”.
Are you excited to have a part in the next full length, the Be Easy video?
Hell yeah I am. I’ve never had a full part before. I’ve never had someone want to make me a full part before. Well I mean kinda, but not actually going through the motions of doing it.
Well hopefully you stay outa trouble because we aren’t going to put out this video until you are free. What do you think about FREE JARED shirts?
Thatd be fucking sick. Can I have the bad kids thing on it to?
I would be the most hyped if you did that. Literally. A pocket tee with my “bad kids” design on it. Big Free Jared on the back.
When do we find out if you go back to prison or not?
How many years could you be facing in prison?
10 years and 6 months
Whats the minimum? dismissal?
What do you think will happen?
We are going to propose a 2 year program that if I stay out of trouble my charges will be dropped. I would be so grateful if that is accepted.
Your family has been really supportive?
Oh yeah, I saw them not too long ago. I’m staying with my grandma right now. My brother has been calling me every day.
How’s your relationship with your dad been since being out?
Its been getting better. He sees I’m on a good path. He told me the other day that he doesn’t regret me going in. And I agree with him. I’m now finally getting help and he sees that. I needed help.
You kinda needed to hit rock bottom before you realized what you needed.
Whats your opinion on eating ass?
Eating ass is something you should definitely do because its sick.
Whats your Instagram incase girls want to get ahold of you after this interview?
@jaredcollazo just @me, you feel me? Word to my mother. [laughing]
Last thoughts? Shoutouts?
Shouts Outs Justin Gotthardt because he’s the fucking man. Eric Abo. Laird House. Scotty Englund. Meat Wayne. Matt Gil. My Family. My Grandma even tho that is my family. Cumberland Farms. Be Easy Boards, The whole Be Easy crew. Pony Boy. The Moon. Tori whether you believe it or not you helped me with life. My brothers. Sara. Cashew my cat. Cashew my stuffed animal. My blanket. Coffee. Cigarettes. Beer. Skateboarding. SHOUTS OUTS.
That’s it, its done.
That was sick, I’ve always wanted to be interviewed since I was a little kid.
photo - Justin Gotthardt