interview by STEVE OLSON
photos by GABE MORFORD
Rock’n’roll, “GOOD TO GO” Tony Trujillo
I’m a little nervous, so bear with me.
[Laughs] You’re nervous? Alright.
I’m just kidding. Where do you come from?
Northern California. Santa Rosa.
What do you want to talk about?
I don’t know. What do you want to talk about? Skateboarding?
Oh, all right. How long have you been skating?
About fourteen years.
Why did you start skateboarding?
Because my neighbor did it and it looked like a lot of fun. I wasn’t really into BMX or anything. So I just started doing it.
Were you into BMX before?
No. I had a BMX bike, but I never did BMX jumps.
You could do a tabletop, though?
Yeah, sure, I could jump a bike. I didn’t back then.
Where did you get your style?
Nowhere. I’m just lazy when I ride my board because it’s like walking. I’m all loose.
Well, that’s good. Do you have a crew that you ride with?
Yeah, the USSR.
The United Scumbags of Santa Rosa.
You ride that park up there all the time?
Are you still a kid?
Do you consider yourself a new kid?
No, I’ve been skating for fourteen years, so I don’t think of myself as new.
Do you get into that whole thing of old school, new school?
No. People try to classify everything. I just go skating and skate whatever you got.
That whole label thing is a joke anyway. Do you like rock and roll or rap?
I like rock and roll and heavy metal.
What kind of metal?
I like Mercyful Fate, Metallica and Iron Maiden.
Yeah, with fast drumming.
Yeah, like Motorhead, loud.
Right. So, you live in the city now?
Yeah, San Francisco.
Does San Francisco have the best skaters?
It has damn good skaters, but a lot of places have good skaters.
What’s your favorite pool?
That’s a tough one. It’s hard because you usually only get to session them once, and then they’re a bust.
Then you have to split.
Yeah, The Vagabond was nice because it was skateable for a while. That was cool. It’s still skateable, I guess. I haven’t been there in a while. They concreted it up for a while.
What about Rippon?
Rippon is pretty bad-ass for being close to the city. There aren’t many good concrete parks around here, but they just built Berkeley skatepark.
It’s fun as shit.
How about that Cow Palace park?
That was fun, too. It has real steep bowls.
What else, man?
Me and my band played for the first time.
What do you play?
I sing. We cover Metallica, Judas Priest, Motley Crue and AC/DC.
What’s your favorite Crue song?
I like the guitar solo on “Down with the Devil”.
Have you had any injuries in skateboarding?
I cracked my skull one time.
Did you go to the hospital?
Yeah, I had to get eight staples.
Did it bust your skull?
No, just the skin. I couldn’t feel my body for 20 or 30 seconds.
How was that?
It was scary as shit. I saw my skate flopping around in front of my face. It was scary.
Have you traveled around the world?
Yeah, pretty much.
How was Japan?
It was cool. It was a mini ramp contest. When I got there, it was cold, and the next day, it was snowing in Tokyo, which is unheard of. It was crazy. It’s this huge city and it was snowing everywhere and people were tripping. All the little Japanese girls were still wearing their short little skirts out in the snow. It was trippy.
Who do you ride for?
Anti Hero, Independent, Vans, 1984, Spitfire, and that’s it.
Do you like contests?
Yeah, they’re all right. I like seeing everyone I don’t see regularly, and the money’s good, too. I skate a lot of parks, though. When there are quarter pipes and a good set up, it’s easier for me to skate it.
I saw you at one contest at Huntington Beach and you jumped off the thing onto the ramp. I thought, “Thank God. There’s a kid that’s going for it.”
Yeah, I had a huge spike bracelet on and I almost gouged myself when I landed.
But you pulled it.
What do you think of the judges?
Some of them are cool. It’s just skating for points.
It’s a bit retarded.
What’s the name of your band?
Hell on Earth.
When you abbreviate it, it says HOE.
That’s a good name.
Who’s in your band?
We have one guitarist, Jesse Palmer and Hag OZania, and we have a new bass player, Aaron – I don’t even know his last name – and Mike Carly on double bass drums, and Mason.
Can they play?
Yeah. Our drummer is so fast. He’s got great timing. They practice everyday.
Then you come in and sing?
That sounds good. Are you going to play LA?
Well, I hope so. We have to get some original songs first.
You don’t have to.
Well, it would be nice.
Okay, write some song like “Hell, Yeah.”
(laughs) Hell, yeah.
I’m just trying to be creative. So, what’s it like riding for those cats up there in San Francisco?
Are they taking care of you?
Yeah, Deluxe takes care of me more than anyone else. It’s more like home. They treat you like family. They always invite me on every trip and whatever I need they give me.
Mickey is a good guy. He does Real and Anti-hero?
He does all the board companies, I guess.
Fausto takes care of you?
Good. Do you skate with the Gonz?
Yeah, that dude is so funny.
He’s a goofball.
Yeah, he’s like a four-year-old.
I wonder if he’s a bit retarded? I don’t mean that in a bad way.
I like him. I like how he is. He’s great.
He’s funny. Who do you pull your inspiration from?
People like that.
From the Gonz?
Yeah, lhe’s been more inspiring than anybody else.
Do you surf?
No, I’d like to, though.
Do you snowboard?
No, I did, like, six years ago.
No, too far away. I don’t have a license or a car. I got a DUI, so I lost my license.
For how long?
I might be able to get it now. It was a year ago it happened, but I have to talk to my lawyer and see what happens.
Where did you get the DUI?
In Santa Rosa, two houses down from where I was going. I crashed my car into a pole. I was turning left across traffic, and my tires were bald, and I was turning too fast, so I slid out and hit the brakes and a pole. It was the middle of the day, so the cops were there right away.
What were you drinking?
The drink of champions… Do you have any favorite skateparks?
Santa Rosa is my favorite park because it’s home. It’s a surf park. There’s no coping or anything, so you can carve it all.
What about Petaluma?
I haven’t skated there in years. It was fun when it was built.
What about the other park, Hillsburg?
Yeah, that one’s fun, too.
But the pigs up there are whack. I was smoking in the parking lot, and some cop was trying to give me a ticket.
Yeah, it’s like being on a high school campus.
It’s ghetto. Okay, tell me something new. I’ve seen your new shoe. What’s it called?
Is Vans good to you?
They take care of me.
Do you have a girlfriend?
Yeah, Ashley O’Shea.
How old are you?
When did you go pro?
When I was sixteen.
What was that like?
It was a trip. I wasn’t even sponsored that long.
Two years. I started with Deluxe when I was fourteen.
Who found you?
I found Bob Burnquist and I gave him a video tape. I saw him at the Grind in Sacramento, and I gave him my tape and asked him to check it out and talk to AntiHero. And he did and showed it to John and Julian. They had Mickey call me and ask me what I wanted.
Did you ask for a million bucks?
Well, they started out sending me boxes. Then a few years later, I went pro.
What was it like to see your picture in a magazine for the first time?
It was pretty crazy.
Did you think you’d be a pro skater when you were a kid?
Yeah, but I didn’t really care.
It’s not that big a deal?
Well, I was definitely stoked.
When you first saw your picture in the magazine, did your friends treat you differently?
Were they stoked?
Yeah, they were stoked because they were getting all the free product they wanted, too.
What about your parents?
They were stoked, too. They’ve always been behind me. My mom let me get out of eighth grade two weeks early to go on tour with Mickey. I was only fourteen, so that was pretty cool. We went up to Canada and New York and all across the US.