LAKAI Interview

 

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EDDIE CASTILLO: Where are you from originally?

MILES SILVAS: I was born in San Jose.

EC: How old are you?

MS: 17.

EC: When did you join the Lakai team?

MS: Probably like a year and a half ago I started getting clothes from them.

EC: Who was your first sponsor?

MS: Just a little skate shop by my house.

EC: How many sponsors have you had since?

MS: 5, 6 or 7.

EC: When did you start skating?

MS: About 7. Around 2nd or 3rd grade.

EC: Do you live in Sacramento?

MS: Yep.

EC: Do you live with any of the guys from the team?

MS: No I still live at home. They live in LA. I just go visit sometimes.

EC: Right! You are only 17. Good. When did you know skating was what you wanted to do?

MS: Well I played a lot of sports but I just started losing interest in all that.  Then I started doing skating contests.

EC: So you started winning and you decided I should probably keep going?

MS: Ha, I don’t know. It was just a lot more fun than other sports.  I just wanted to keep doing it.

EC: What skaters do you hang out with the most?

MS: I hang out with a lot of the guys on the Organika squad. And on these [Lakai] trips, Sebo and Stevie I kick it with a lot.  It’s a lot of fun to hang out with those guys. 

EC: What’s it like to hang out with Guy Mariano?

MS: This is actually the first time I’ve met him so it’s so sick. He is super nice.

 

 

 

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EDDIE CASTILLO: How long have you been skating?

SEBO: 11 years.

EC: How old are you?

S: I am 24.

EC: When did you get on the Lakai team?

S: A year a half ago? Pretty stoked.

EC: Where have you gone with them?

S: I’ve been to Paris and all over Europe.

EC: Paris, cool.

S: Oh, Japan too.

EC: You forgot Japan?

S: Ha, yeah I don’t know how. Well, it was a quick trip.

EC: How long is quick?

S: 4 days or something. To go that far for just four days…it’s quick.

EC: Where do you live?

S: I live in LA.

EC: Is that where you are from?

S: No, I’m from Oregon… But, yeah. It rains a lot in Oregon, so.

EC: Ha, so LA it is.

S: LA is sunshine.

EC: Who was first to sponsor you and how old were you then?

S: A skate shop called Accent Real World and I was like 15, 16?

EC: How did it feel?

S: It was really cool… just being sponsored at any age, it’s pretty exciting.

EC: Is that how you knew you should keep going?

S: Yeah! And I loved it, so double whammy.

EC: What’s the best place you’ve gone to on skate trips?
S: I’d have to say Barcelona.

EC: Where should our readers look for you? What do you have coming up?

S: Yeah I’m coming for a part in a video called Rat Poison. It’s the guy that does Skate Rat skateboards. That’s going to come out towards the end of the year.

EC: What kind of music are you into?

S: I’ve been listening to blues, jazz, oldies.

EC: I dig it.

S: Yeah. I paint too so I listen to that when I paint. It puts me in the right mind.

EC: Nice. What kind of stuff do you paint?

S: I paint on grip tape. I have an Instagram that’s called SEBOART. Its juts like… Umm I started [the INSTAGRAM] the first day of this year. I have my own personal IG but I made a separate one because I’ve always painted but uh…I made an email so kids can mail me what they want and it’s like $20 for a sheet of grip and I send it to them.

EC: Very cool.

S: Yeah and surprisingly kids are really into it.

EC: Of course, because they want a unique grip tape.

S: Yeah and I hand paint too, with paint pens. I paint specifically with these pens called Boardstix.

EC: Oh. Are they in any way related to skateboarding?

S: Well, I actually ride for them now.  It all came from this Instagram. So I ride for a marker company. I think surfers started it. You can paint of surfboards and shoes.  They have an Instagram as well. It’s pretty rad. They do pretty great art.

EC: So you’re painting and skating.

S: Yeah, I usually have a couple of projects. Kids will just email me pretty random requests. Some is fun, some is challenging. I’ve done Bart Simpson. I’ve done a lot of animals. It’s all on that Instagram, if kids wanna check that out. They can be like ‘oh I want a penguin’ and then you know, I paint it and send it to them.

EC: A penguin?

S: I did one recently that why I said that. Like a big one.

EC: Was this your first time meeting Guy Mariano?

S: No I’ve met him before. Nicest dude. Legend.  It’s pretty awesome being on the  same team with someone that I grew up looking up to.

 

 

 

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EDDIE CASTILLO: How long have you been skating?

Stevie Perez: Umm, I’ve probably been skating for 13 years now. Maybe.

EC: How old are you?

SP: 22

EC: When did you get on the LAKAI Team?

SP: Uh a year and a half ago, maybe 2 years.

EC: Where have you gone with them?

SP: Pretty much just have gone to Tampa. I haven’t really gone on trips with them.  I’ve been on trip with Girl and Chocolate more than with Lakai.

EC: Where have you gone with Girl and Chocolate?

SP: Um went out to Europe, went out to the Midwest and the South, you know.

EC: What was your favorite place?

SP: I’d have to say Barcelona.

TREVOR BURKE: That’s what everybody says.

EC: Yeah, I ask this question to skaters a lot and everyone says Barca.

SP: Barcelona is so fun, just everything about it. The food is good, the nightlife, the people are, you know, mellow.

EC: The atmosphere…. There’s something in the air.

SP: The whole vibe about that place is sick.  People go out there super late and don’t come back home ‘til 8 in the morning.

EC: Who was your first sponsor?

SP: First sponsor was Val Surf Skate shop which was two blocks from my house. It was the first skateshop ever.

EC: Ever in that area?

SP: Like, ever.  Big ups to Val Surf. Thank you for…everything.

EC: How old were you then?

SP: About 14, or 15.

EC: Is that how you knew you should keep skating? Were you wining competitions?

SP: Well, I always just skated streets. Never really skated parks like this one or anything. I just grew up skating school yards. So yea, I used to film and give them my tapes and they gave me boards or whatever.

EC: Where do you live?

SP: North Hollywood.

EC: Where are you from?

SP: San Fernando Valley.

EC: I watched your “Slice of Life with Stevie Perez” Video on YouTube and umm, I have a question for you. Can you drive a stick shift yet?

SP: Yeah! I can.  

EC: Last question also regarding the Slice of Life Video. Where did you learn how to play the little guitar? What do you guys call it?

SP: its call the Harana.

EC: When and where did you learn how to play it?

SP: I don’t know. My dad’s just a musician so any instrument he picks up I tried to pick it up as well. So pretty much, anything he does I try to do.

 

 

 

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EDDIE CASTILLO: I was wondering how involved you are with the decision making on the creative process of  your companies.

GUY MARIANO: The most involved I am is with Fourstar. That’s the clothing line. That’s because I’m a partner with Eric Koston in that one.  That’s probably why I’m the most involved in that.

EC: What do you pick, the colors…

GM: With us, it’s like… the team is really close, so, you know, we might be on a trip and someone might be like ‘the pants aren’t fitting right.’ You know what I mean? So it’s just [done through]ncommon complaints from the team.  It’s easy for us to take stuff like that and come back to our designer and people that do the cut and sew and describe stuff like that.  It comes down to like ‘dude, the buttons are falling off.’

EC: Do you get to look at them before they go out?

GM: No they get them in a big quantity. But even with a company like Girl Skateboards, we’ll be hanging around and like Jeron Wilson or something will be just joking around and people come up with funny ideas and nicknames for people and those actually become graphics.

EC: Alright, so that’s what I was wondering about. Where do the graphics originate?

GM: The graphics come from people being close with each other. Those are mostly the one-off series, those graphics. The rest are just the regular logo. For example this shirt. Everybody is feeling this shirt.

EC: Its lighter, a summer shirt.

GM: Yeah, it’s a Tampa shirt.

EC: Yeah, we’re sweating here.  Okay, so are you into social media? Are you interacting with your fans or followers?

GM: Yeah, I am actually. I just started, you know. It wasn’t a big thing, like no one told me ‘hey you should do that’ but the way it is nowadays, if a kid doesn’t see your Instagram once a day you’re out of sight, out of mind.  That’s a newer process for me, being older—I’m 37. But I like it, actually.  It’s one of those things where I thought it was going to be a hassle but come to find out I do do some interesting stuff that I’d like to share with people.  Like I’ve been doing the new one, Vine—making little videos.

EC: We just got into Vine. What kind of stuff are you posting?

GM: You wanna see one?

EC:  Yes, of course. What is the name of your Vine?

GM: My stuff is always Guy Mariano. Here’s Ride To Tampa ….here’s my Rick Howard sketch … This one is my best one.

[LAUGHTER]

EC: Do you turn off your notifications?  I imagine people  tag “@guymariano” all the time, you must get a lot of notifications.

GM: You know what’s funny, with Instagram too, I try to get back to anybody who tags me or something. I like to checkout skateboarding hashtags. Go through the photos and like them.  That’s because I’m old school. If when I were young Tony Hawk had reached out to me… something like a “I see you,” you know what I mean? That would have meant so much to me.  And that never happened so if I could do that for a kid nowadays, I’m happy to.  Social Media, you can take it one way, or a totally different way. I f you inspire people and have a good impact on their lives, and they respect you enough to reach out and talk to you, then it’s a gift that we have today.

EC: When I was doing some research on you I went to your Instagram first, to see what you were up to.

GM: Also, right now it’s super important to show your product. Show the stuff that you’re doing and get people involved.

EC: What do you have coming up?

GM: What do I have coming up?… I have nothing right now.

EC: Nothing? That’s nice.

GM: I just got done with a lot of stuff.  Okay, I’ll tell you what I actually got. So, I hurt my knee. I just  banged it on the ground, nothing serious. So I had these three trips planned, this—to come to Tampa and skate a little bit—then,  going to China, the day after I get back.  And after that I’m finishing up a Lakai Commercial in Venice, Italy. We started off in Venice, California.

EC: You know, there’s  a Venice Florida. You should go there.

GM: Do they have canals? The objective is I’m going through a canal.

EC: I’ll google it, because if they do you can go there too.

GM: Yeah! Just one quick one. I could even roll through this canal, this little moat here.

 [laughter]

EC: Who’s your best bud on the Lakai team?

GM: My closes bud on Lakai would be, probably Marc Johnson. Or uh, I was going to say Mike Mo Capaldi , but he doesn’t ride for Lakai no more.

EC: Oh, that’s okay. So he is your buddy too?

GM : Yeah. But, [on LAKAI] Marc Johnson. He is around my age and he is a smart guy. I like to surround myself with people that are pretty intelligent and hopefully it rubs off. He inspire me, you know what I mean. On the board and off the board.

EC: Does he live in LA too?

GM: He does. And I’ve actually been spending a lot of time with Rick Howard lately. We’ve just been trying to work on Fourstar and work on Girl and just tighten up a couple things that we thought maybe needed tightening up. It’s been really cool seeing his job over there at the plant.  A lot of people think that girl is this big company that makes all this money but it’s not.  Its kind of mom and pops. A lot of the cameras you see on the videos are borrowed, things are done really guerilla style—there’s no permits or anything. It’s like, people tend to think ‘oh Girl Skateboards is really huge’ or  ‘oh Spike Jones!’

EC: Well, it’s at least marketed really well.

GM: Yeah. That’s marketing. But It’s really core skateboarding, and a lot of the people in the industry know that core skateboarding doesn’t make a lot of money.

EC: I do think it’s obvious how close knit it is. Because of what is housed under Girl. Fourstar and…

GM: The Girl Umbrella, yeah.

EC: What advice do you have for young skaters?

GM: Finish school. Have a backup plan. Enjoy it and have fun because if you’re planning on skateboarding for a really long time, like being over 20 years in the industry and you’re not having any fun, it’s going to be a really miserable time. I see a lot, nowadays, kids like 15 years old and he’s already stressed out and he’s already bummed out, and he already has to film this, and do this and do that. It’s going to be a long time if you’re doing it that way.  If it comes from the heart you’re going to have an easier time.

EC: You, for example, have your own companies so you don’t need to be skating but you do because you enjoy it.

GM: Yeah, I was talking to someone just recently. You know, when I hurt this knee, I had to go to the hospital and I was in there and the nurse said ‘ yeah, you shattered your kneecap—

EC:How did it happen?

GM: I just fell from a handrail and bagged it on the cement, straight up. It was funny because I got emotional, I didn’t really know what that consist of because none of my close friends had done that one. And like, I was tearing up because it’s not about being sponsored—I was working on a video. But I love skateboarding, you know what I mean? When I have those moments when I can’t do it, or something is going to be changed, [in] my career or in my lifestyle, I get affected by that emotionally. I think that was a reality check to myself because sometimes when I [skate] I get stressed out and I’m like ‘what am I doing here, I’m old’ and this and that. But that was straight from the heart, if I couldn’t do it I would be bummed out.

EC: So how long will you be out?

GM: I don’t know. Not long. It ended up being a lot less than I thought it was. But still, like a couple of months.

EC: Why did you retire for a little bit?

GM: I just got caught up with the bad scene and there’s like—like anyone knows about skateboarding—there’s a lot of partying at a really young age. A lot of skateboarders drop out of school, start hanging out with a bunch of skaters, partying at a really young age. There is always going to be those certain chosen few that fall victim to that, to addiction and alcoholism. It’s a crazy lifestyle, you know what I mean? We’ve lost a lot of skateboarders—went  to jail—because  kids grow up with this no-responsibility lifestyle and they are thrown tons of money at a young age, and it’s just a recipe for disaster.

EC: How do you think a young skater can avoid that?

GM: I think the people like Andrew Reynolds  and people that have been through it themselves, talking and speaking about it… its happened to a lot of them. They were lucky to pull themselves out of it.

EC: It is a cool lifestyle yet dangerous for those reasons. Because you’re hanging out with your buds doing what you love

GM: but then you become thirty-thirty-something and you went from hanging out with your buddies to being a loser.

 

 

 

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