Tony Trujillo interview

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Watching Tony skate is as probably as much fun as he is actually having himself. He is one of those skateboarders that pushes everything over the edge and can surprise you at will. Mix that up with some black metal and a care free attitude and you have Trujillo down. During a long tour of European skate parks and events in summer 05, Trujillo landed in Marseille for the Bowlriders event and caught up with Zac on the hill.

This interview was not at all planned, so it’s straight off the cuff and is cranked due to the amount of beer, wine and whatever else that was flowing on this particular day…in fact both the interviewer and interviewee are totally wasted. Sorry, but that is life…

It’s windy on this hill, what were you saying mate?

I was just saying that I’ve never smoked a joint with menthol cigarettes before!

Well I smoke them!

I know you do, I remember from last night, I was pretty drunk!

Yeah they work for me. At least you know that when you go up to a bird after the party tonight you can think to yourself hold on a minute at least my breath don’t smell like a total fag bag!

Haha, if only….oh…and boy do I smell! I was on the train the other day and fuck it man, the only girl I talked to that spoke English was from Mexico or something and she let me sit next to her and I was just reeking, sweaty armpits, I hadn’t changed my pants in a couple of days and I didn’t wipe my ass properly! So we got on the train and we post up and sit, and it’s all old people it’s like a graveyard in that train! This lady is like “can you please put your shirt on, you are perspiring” (laughs)”and you made the seats wet” (laughs) I was like…I haven’t even sat down yet but fuck……fuck you, I’ll put it on! So I took my shit and went to the next car…

Welcome to Europe!

Yeah!

When was the last time you came over here?

Last year, me and Tony Miorana came to Marseille….not together, we met here and we’re like ah lets just fucking go for a while and do what ever! So we went on that Quicksilver bus and we went to Brixlegg Austria and I talked Senn in to going to, so we had a whole posse going on!

He’s living in Hawaii now?

Oh yeah!

You got that lit? (its windy!) Put it under your t-shirt and then light it up the other way from the bottom.

Yeah, it works!

So how old are you now?

I’m running 22….I will be 23 this year.

How long have you been skateboarding now?

I think it’s like 15 years.

So you were on a skateboard at 7!

Yeah…I lived in the country man, we had 10 acres of farm, and we had all sorts of shit in the middle of nowhere. My neighbour skated and he was the same age as my sister so they like hung out together and they were really good friends. He skated and he had mini ramps, so I grew up skating in his barn and there were jump ramps and shit. So I started skating ramps first thing.

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So when you were growing up skating who were you checking out?

Any of the H-Street shit. I didn’t pick people that I liked a lot, I just got stoked on seeing the tricks and shit.

You seem to like to skate everything, how did you get hooked up?

Yeah that’s a question I get a lot, like “what do you prefer bowls or street”, I’m like dude, it’s all the same, it’s just skateboarding. After school I would go and hang out in a shop like 7 miles away from where I was it was like the closest little town. I would just do the stamps and send all their fucking postage shit and just do odd jobs. So I got free boards from them for a while. Then me and my buddy Jessie went to Sacramento Skatepark and I brought a tape which is a tape of me skating and I see Bob Burnquist there and Cardiel. I was just like fuck man just watch this tape please and he actually took it back and watched it and they hooked me up from there. Then I got the looks man and it just all came together. Anti Hero, Indy, Vans, Spitfire all the best shit that I like…

How does it work with your sponsors?

Oh, they try to pressure me but they know who I am and know how I am but I do what I like to do…

Look at those guys with crates…hey bring the beer!

Hey, yeah….I’ll put $10 bucks in. Get a bunch of red wine as well!

(CRACK!)

What the fucking hell was that?! (a football hits Tony smack in the face at speed!) haha!, another experience gets onto a tape! I had my tape recorder on the trip here and me and Phelps and Hewitt went to go and buy hash just at the train station. We where skating down the street I had one of those pocket shirts and I put it in there pushed record and you could see the red light on the thing. So we are buying our hash on tape recorder like it was $40 bucks worth and there were all these dudes were super sketchy we were like how much $40 bucks? And he was like “no $50 bucks” and we’re like no $40 bucks and I got it on tape and it sounds so funny! But we were recording as a joke it was the funniest thing ever (laughs) we listened to it several times and it was like 40 no 50 no 30 like fuck! Haha!

I hear that you are in a band…

Yep, I’m in a band. When me and my friends got out of high school, my skater friends were at the park all the time skateboarding, we got out of high school we moved in together. My friend got kicked out of his parent’s house….they said that I couldn’t live there anymore because I smoked weed. I could get into trouble if you have fucking weed so we got an apartment and brought drugs just for the fuck of it because it was our place what ever we wanted we could have drum set and guitar & a microphone and that was it. Well that was a three piece then and we called ourselves The Young Guns for a while.

Ah Monsieur….merci beaucoup! (more beers arrive)

Ah thank you waiter! So then we had all the equipment and shit. Went through a bass player at first I just sang then we didn’t have a bass player so I just picked up the bass and I was like “alright teach me some shit. So I play bass and sing and we have two guitarists Jessie Palmer and Hague Ozanius and Mike Harley is on the drums. We got a double bass, 6 toms, 7 cymbals china’s rides all that bullshit and all of it gets used …..we have a kick ass drummer!

So how often do you guys rehearse?

Oh man it just depends…..we haven’t practiced, played or rehearsed or anything for about a month now…because I’m on the road.

Do they do stuff together though when you are on a trip?

The most recent thing that I did was a buddy of mine opened up a studio as a business so I was like alright let’s do this…. I’m gonna get all my friends involved I’m gonna get my friend Matt Ramerez to do our artwork as he grew up skating with us. I’m gonna get this guy that just opened the studio up hook him up because we are gonna have a track on a Tony Hawk’s fucking game!

The new one?

Yeah! We were like fuck it, he would be so psyched to get his name on that. So we hooked up all of my friends.

That’s the only way…

Yeah why try and find some person that you never met?

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What’s an average day in the world of TNT?

My day’s usually sleeping in…..but not past noon and then try and hook up with Tony Miorana and go skate or something. He lives across the bridge so if there is somewhere we wanna skate on my side he’ll come over. Rippon’s kind of local, like an hour away. You sometimes just you wish it was closer. Then maybe skate the streets if I find a good place and then go and get a few beers…..

How many times in the week would you actually go out and film? Do a lot of people want to take you out to film stuff like on a weekly basis?

No, they don’t ask me….shit man, people leave me alone. I like it and I don’t like it, it goes both ways. If it became too much I would be pissed but if you guys have got a sesh, fucking call me up! I hear about so many and I never get a call. But you know I don’t call anyone either they know I’m there. I skate everyday, not like in sessions but I skate to the store and I skate just around my neighbourhood and shit just cruising along.

When you look back at in bloom what is the one thing that you think of?

Oh, I’m cursed with this fucking Motley Crue tattoo! (laughs) and people think that I went through a lot of shit, I didn’t go through shit but Nikki Sixx tried to sue or he did sue Thrasher magazine.

What happened then?

It was err…. Ok….Thrasher had Nikki Sixx come down. They said present the award to Tony and we will buy your wife a room for the weekend in the best hotel and you guys can go out to dinner and then go to the party. We do all that shit and you know what, Thrasher paid him to do it and Vans got a photo and they fucking put it in every Vans store window. Then Nikki Sixx was like “whoa fuck Vans are using this photo for what?” So he sued Vans first, but although he was in Thrasher there was like a Thrasher banner in the background on the photo and that was in every fucking shop. He was like “I didn’t authorize that someone dropped the ball at Vans and then didn’t pay up.” So I don’t even know all of the details man. I tried to stay out of it because it’s not even my problem. I didn’t ask for it but I’ve kind of condemned the Crue now because the new tour sucks and Vince Neil can’t sing a lick. I mean everyone I’ve talked to that has seen that show is not psyched and they don’t have that many classic albums to keep rocking them you know. They don’t even play Merry Go Round or any of the old shit. I don’t know it just kind of bummed me out about that, it’s just cursed because of the tattoo and it’s not even what it’s for. There’s more meaning behind why I got it. It was the people that I was hanging out with in Japan like Lee Ralph and all these fucking weird random people. Like this is the Motley fucking Crue man and at the time I was listening to them everywhere I go. Every time I leave my house I end up with the strangest people and that’s why I got it.

Are you a weirdo magnet?

Err no, but my girlfriend is!…nah….she is my best friend. Yeah, she can’t leave the house without being fucking harassed some how.

What’s she up to?

She models lingerie, swimsuits, clothing and she does runway shows…she does it all.

Ah, that makes sense with the harassment then. Do you go to her shows?

Yeah I’ve been to some but usually it’s just like err…she’s so busy anyways and like I’ve got no one to hang out with so I would be there by myself.

Do your eyes wonder when you go into one of these places by any chance?

I take her to these castings and stuff and I wait outside in my car and I just see them all coming in, you can tell because they all have their modelling books (laughs) and they wear tight pants (laughs) and mini skirts, it’s funny stuff – but she rocks, she’s my girl.

So, here we are drunk in the Marseille sunshine, you come back here every year for the comp?

This time it was like we were truly like French locals. We took the train and the bus here, you know like in public transit! OK, we started in SF, JFK transferred to Munich.

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Did you stop there?

No not Munich, the cheapest tickets we could get was three transfer points. So from Munich to Bologna and then we were on the road hit it. Bologna took a train to Milan tried to skate but it was raining. Then we took a train to……dude it’s so blurry I know where we’ve been we have been to Geneva, Leone, Milan, and Brixlegg.

What happened down in Brixlegg? You came in 4th at the comp?

Yeah 4th. People were getting gnarly there! People were skating their fucking arses off! Omar passed for fucking gold there for it! It was pretty gnarly.

And Bologna?

That was the best dude. We started there and Slayer and Iron Maiden played!

At the skate park?

We got to Bologna, the fucking bags come out of the tray thing and they don’t show up! We go to the ticket lady says “oh they lost your bags, they’re still in New York” so nobody had shit dude, we only had what they brought on the plane with them. We only had 2 boards. So we leave the airport and go to the skate park in the taxi and we get to the skate park and we were all in this parking lot and there was just metal heads everywhere, just long hair in black Deicide Slayer and Crue shirts, and all that shit and we’re like what the fuck is going on? So we got to the skate park and kind of put our shit in a circle and just found out that Slayer, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue were performing at a 2 day event and we stayed up that night, first night in Europe! We were skating the park and at one an a quarter of a mile away they were playing outside live! We got there in perfect timing, it was like 2 bands and then it was Slayer and Maiden. But it was still light out and we were just tripping dude first night! But Bologna was the shit man it was the best park and it was the funniest and most random shit and then we had to go to fucking to parks that we had been to already and that we kind of burned out already like Brixlegg and Marseille. So it started off with a bang and then it’s kind of been kind of down from there.

Brixlegg is a big park as well though, that must have been fun…..

Err… well we fucking had a lot of Jim Beam! We brought like 4 or 5 bottles started drinking at 6, hung out at the park, watched some skating, hung out with the locals and we were just all fired up knocking all the tables over, harassing the beer tent, playing dice, losing hundreds of dollars! It’s getting fucking weird. People are scared of us. They wouldn’t even fucking approach us (laughs) because we would yell at every person that would walk by. So we’re like drinking and doing whatever and then we had a fire. We were like let’s start a fire so we go to the street course section and we take all of the banners even though they were on the bracket system it’s on a huge poster and we took it down and we started to burn all this plastic and then we were like, oh it’s the fucking fun box over there, no one was even skating….I didn’t see anyone skate it, so there was a little grind box and I pulled it over the fire and we started to light the wooden skate park on fire which is funny because we were reading a book called Lords of Chaos and it’s all about black metal and shit and they fucking burn churches (laughs) but this is was our version…..we burned wooden skate parks!

So people got all pissed at us because we were burning their shit and they came over with the fire hoses and sprayed it out and we were like oh fuck the party here is over. So we went back to the hotel and it was like 9’o clock and we were like fucking hammered. Some people were blacked out, everyone at the hotel was outside eating dinner it was like 20 tables set up there was a full crowd people were kind of relaxing having a nice dinner and we all went on fire and sat down where ever the fuck there was as open chair, yakking at each other. I don’t know what the hell we were talking about but one of their dudes came up and he was like I’m sick of this shit, got up out of his chair he was sitting about 10 tables away.

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It got all quiet, he came over, got in my face, he was like “you disrespect us, you don’t respect what we do here” and I’m like, what the fuck are you talking about man? He was like “you fucking Americans just come over here you scare people you were scaring people all weekend people were timid around you.” We were like fuck man that’s just how we ride man, and he was like, “you don’t respect what we do”. I’m like fuck what you do here, we built this shit, this is Dreamland man, this is American built, this skate park in your shitty arsed town, you should be a lucky man you should feel lucky that shit is there! Don’t fucking talk shit to me about how you think I feel about Austrians or whatever….it was like a real bummer. Then Frank Gewer spoke to some other kids earlier and those guys were pissed about that too. Frank was like “you can suck my mother fucking dick” when everyone was eating and it was quiet. No one said a thing before he said it and he yelled it out and the dude just ran over and choke-held Frankie, dragged him off his table like pulled him away out to the street!

We don’t want to have a fucking fight man, these people are tired, we got nothing to fight for like. I’m not trying to fight but they were getting in our faces and then Omar’s whole team got into it, we were hammered on the Beam we were just hammered you know, what the fuck. It was still light out almost all of them had weed and couldn’t handle it and they were trying to step up but we got our asses kicked!

We left at 7 in the morning to get on the train and we were outside of the hotel and Omar hears us outside and he came out of the hotel to the front of the hotel and getting in my face what you still want some? You think T.A (Tony Alva) knocked your teeth out I’ll knock your fucking teeth back! Do you remember Marseille a few years back?

Yeah…

You remember the Austrian kid fucking cradle fag? I was getting a burger over there and I seen him he was like “what’s up you fucking cradle boy” and he was like “you fucking burned my fun box!” I was like yeah, I did! I thought he was joking like it was alright. He was like “yeah you fucking try that again come down by yourself next time!” I was like what the fuck you got a problem with that? He was like “your fucking team, they don’t skate, they just drink booze and don’t skate so what the fuck”! I’m like, that’s how it is man, don’t think that you know us, what are you judging us on? You don’t really fucking know us…that’s our life! So don’t even bother trying to defend your shit, we are just being ourselves….You know what though, shit happens but we all make up. One night, I had a room with Jake Phelps and in the middle of the night Jake was sleeping on this futon couch thing, then he fucking tips the thing over and falls and hits his head on the light stand and he has a big scar there now!

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He told me he fell off his board….

No, he has been in hospital three times this year for falling off his board though! Yeah I’ve seen his X-ray. Another doctor was like “we need to keep you in for three days and cut you open and drain that shit” and he was like, “yeah fuck that”. Yeah, he is a maniac dude, he is like the heart of a 16 year old skater!

So do you get many injuries?

I haven’t had many injuries….

Touch wood obviously…

Yeah I was looking for some…ah, here’s a cork!

You seem to compress out of pretty much everything the average bloke will die from where did you pick that up from?

I dunno. Well I just don’t want to bail. Bailing feels so lame some times. When you bail a boneless, it feels so stupid because your feet are in the air and you’re just running out of shit I just try and keep my board under me. The last couple of years I’ve squatted mostly everything I fucking do! I get weak legs after only a little bit of skating.

Hey, what’s your band called?

U.S.S.R

What does it stand for?

United Scum of Santa Rosa (ouch fuck the cherry fell in between my fingers!) (laughs) Every name that we came up with just sounded really cheese ball…so many good ones are taken.

What are your influences?

I guess I would say the band Mayhem. Its black metal.

Give me your favourite song’s first verse.

“Oh leave the door open in the middle of the night eat jail house burritos in the early light….And all of the scumbags that our couch has slept all the junkies and drunks you know here’s where they crept.”

That’s my favourite song it is gonna be in Thrasher Skate Rock the new one. They are doing one now but I don’t know if they will keep doing it. But there are tons of bands out there…..

Which other bands are gonna be on it?

I think The Sheds are gonna be on there. Sam Hitz and Darren Navarette. Sam sings and plays guitar Naverette plays bass and then they got another guitar player and a drummer. I’m trying to organise a tour from S.F to Boulder to Chicago to Louisville to Phoenix to San Diego. When I get home I should be there to record and shit and then we are gonna do the split album and take it on the road with us. So there is a lot going on.

When is the record coming out?

Its gonna be in August on Yeah Obsolete records

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How are people gonna find it, do you have a website for the band?

Well once I get home and organise more shit because it’s only just questions right now about what we are going to do. We will be getting a new website once we have sorted it all out.

So what are the biggest bands that have influenced you to make music?

Err… simple bands like GG Allin’s band because it’s simple and powerful with good lyrics. It’s just stuff that I can learn to play and just power chords and simple shit. AC/DC! I fucking love the AC/DC and Motorhead. Then we started recording shit….it was like Slayer and Maiden style, real thrashy. I kind of want to do my own shit because those guys don’t like the shit that I listen to, like Black Metal. They want to stick to straight Pantera, Metallica and Slayer. But I want to go deeper, just dirty, fucking fast, simple shit.

Are you aware of the English hardcore scene like Napalm Death and all of those bands?

Yeah! I only listen to the classics really.

(CRASH!)

Ouch, fucking hell! I bet half my face is on that football! (girl laughs her ass off after ball hits Tony again smack in the face!)

Haha! You took half his makeup off! (laughs) So, your top 5 bands ever?

Ok at the moment I would say Mayhem, Slayer, Distopia, Mercyful Fate and Van Halen.

Ok top 5 skaters?

I only like friends that I skate with like Cardiel, Peter Hewitt, Frank Gewer and Miriana. My entire fucking team dude they are my favourites!….and Christian Hosoi.

Which company would you sign for if you decided that you wanted to jump from Anti Hero?

Something that I made up…

Nothing that’s out there at the moment

Nope…nothing. It’s always been and always will be…

What does it mean to you?

It explains it in Anti Hero. We are here, they’re there getting their glory and we are just getting our own personal glory of what we want of life you know, and not like conforming to what is right or what happiness is.

What is happiness for you?

I would say living on the road.

Would you prefer to be hotels or a tent?

It depends on how many nights we are talking about. I can go a couple of nights in a tent but I need a fucking room for a shower sometimes. (laughs) We slept on the street half the time in Lausanne. Whilst we were sleeping some hoods patted our pockets down to see if we had anything. They just wanted some cigarettes but they were touching us and shit so we got out of there in the middle of the night, went to a park and slept there. I didn’t have anything as our bags were in the only room that we had and we couldn’t all sleep in there. So I had nothing. I was freezing my ass off like Tony we gotta go dude it’s too fucking cold! So we went back to the bench we were sleeping on and we got roused by the pigs and got kicked out of there.

We kind of knew where the skate park was so we went there and slept on the vert ramp. In the morning I woke up and there was a dude on the other side of the deck taking photos of us! We were like what the fuck is going on, can’t we get decent nights sleep out here?! So last night we slept out here. In Bologna we made our own wood. We didn’t have anything because our bags were gone. So they had a mini ramp that had been torn down it was like just ply wood and we put the triangle pieces of wood together and we made a full house of scrap wood. We slept in it like a tent and we didn’t use any nails or anything we just leaned everything up against each other and it was fucking classic! We were on the move for like half of the European trip.

Hell’s Angels….

Yeah, we were living cheap and fucking right!

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Ok…I can’t do this anymore, I’m too wasted. Punk or Metal?

Metal…er, no dude that’s too fucked….Metal punk from Venom!

Tea of coffee?

Neither the caffeine fucking kills me can’t do caffeine I get all jittery and then I don’t talk and I’m like quiet and people ask me shit and I’m just like one word answers like yep and no but if it was either or for the rest of my life it would probably be tea.

Jack Daniels of Jim Beam?

Beam because Beam is fucking cleaner and Jack is just dark weird and Beam will go down smoother…

Marseille or Burnside?

Burnside. Yep Burnside has way bigger shit than Marseille. I like big stuff!

Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath?

Sabbath. There is so much Black Sabbath that it over runs Maiden I think. The Sabbath albums all the songs you hear are just like fuck yeah!

Wanna thank anyone?

Yeah I wanna say thanks to Julian Stranger for taking a chance on an unknown scumbag and that’s it.

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