Interview by: Ray Maté
RM: We’re at Canal Street Market, thanks for letting us use your lovely podcast studio. I’m here with Max Mueller!
MM: Yup! How’s it going?
RM: Anyway we’re here just shooting the shit, talking about… I don’t know, talking about pretty much anything and everything. What’s going on with you? What’s new?
MM: A lot! I have a lot of upcoming projects, shows, collaborations. I’m all over the map right now.
RM: Collaboration is a popular term, collaboration culture. What else? What is the latest thing I saw of you do? Didn’t you do something in Miami with Adidas?
MM: Yeah, in December. So end of last year.
RM: I don’t know if you know this, but I worked with Adidas in 2010 on a basketball shoe.
MM: That’s awesome! With Mighty Healthy?
RM: Yeah, with Mighty and I worked with a buddy of mine, Jack Gray. Yeah, Adidas is, I don’t know, what do you think of the Adidas verse Nike thing?
MM: I love Adidas. I mean…
RM: You got to love Adidas, they flew you out to go do a show.
MM: Yeah, right!
RM: Yeah, yeah, I know for sure. I hear you.
MM: They flow me shoes, so that’s great.
RM: No, of course.
MM: No, but I think if I had the choice between the two, if I had the same benefits from both, I would still choose Adidas.
RM: Adidas is a great brand. Shout out to Adidas. Cullen, Scott Johnston. I don’t know, there’s so many…
MM: There’s so many rad guys there.
RM: There’s so many guys there.
MM: Cullen Poythress. Matt Milligan.
RM: Matt. Who else, yeah there’s a lot of-
MM: There’s a whole lot of Portland people, Portland crew that I don’t even know, the headquarters is over there, at least in the US.
RM: So what else? You’ve been doing art full time, I don’t know what else you doing? The skateboarding. How’s Mike V doing?
MM: He’s great!
RM: Mike V, it’s funny. I sent him an email awhile ago. And just you know saying what’s up? And he wanted to do something with the website a long time ago. I had like an idea…
RM: No, I just wanted to talk to him in general. Just nostalgic over the fact that he was kind of a guy from the east coast, whatever. Everybody wanted to wear Converse and cargo pants
MM: He had Airwalks too… maybe before…
RM: Well he wore Converse. Ghetto wear. I mean I’m just going back to when I was growing up, like all of those years…
MM: Yeah, like late 80s?
RM: About. I remember him saying in an email, hopefully, this is not exact verbatim, but he was saying, yeah, I’d love to do an interview but “no one wants to hear an old dude talk about skateboarding and shit.” And I was like, okay, cool, never mind. never mind…
MM: Hey, perfect issue, right? This chapter, though. New Jersey. New York…
RM: I mean if Chris Nieratko was here he would say the best skaters in New York are from New Jersey. There are some good skateboards from New Jersey, but I think there are a lot of great skaters from New York too.
MM: Yeah, well especially now.
RM: What do I know? I don’t fucking know anything.
MM: Hey, you’re from Long Island right?
RM: I’m actually from Canarsie and I moved to Long Island, and it’s funny because my move from Brooklyn to Long Island, I kind of like…I don’t know, I got to meet a lot of good people.
MM: Gerwer? Didn’t you know Gerwer and..
RM: I used to skate with Gerwer and Dan Pheo and that came from skating Danny’s Rideaway and that was probably 89, 90. But that’s where you’d go to watch demos. These demos were so awful, I felt so bad. The Cadillac Tour, I remember Natas skating like this really shitty setup, and I think me, Gino, Eric Rosetti, Matt Bell were just harassing people, talking shit, the DeCamp brothers were there doing God knows what, shout to the DeCamp brothers, I used to be scared of them growing up but they were actually pretty chill.
RM: This studio’s pretty profesh.
MM: Yeah I like this. Could get used to this.. Ha.
RM: Yeah it’s funny.
MM: I have an upcoming show at The Flower Shop, pretty epic!
RM: The Flower Shop?
MM: Pretty epic, they told me they’d never really done an art show there. Adidas just did something there recently too.
RM: Yeah they did that nice photo show.
RM: Yeah that was pretty sick. I didn’t get any 3MC shoes.
MM: That’s an event with a brand behind it though, you know? I got some, they’re sick!
MM: So that’s coming up next week actually.
RM: Yeah. I’m sure I’ll be going to that. They’ve been going on a rampage lately with events, what did they do last year?
MM: Trivia Tuesdays, every Tuesday. Things on weekdays…
RM: Yeah I didn’t go to that. I have all this useless skateboarding and streetwear knowledge that nobody gives a shit about. But yeah, whatever.
MM: It’s coming in handy now though?
RM: Yeah it comes in handy cause you remember stuff and you put it together. It’s funny like actually talking to RB about some things a few days ago and it’s just so funny that friends and people overlap and like all these historical moments that you are part of but you don’t realize that it’s like, you know, this is a part of like skateboarding history.
RM: Cause I remember, did you ever watch Zered’s “Vicious Cycle”?
MM: Zoo York days? Or before?
RM: No man it’s Zered skate video with his friends
MM: It was one of his earlier ones right?
RM: It was yeah. Never mind. It might be before your time. I don’t know.
MM: Yeah, possibly.
RM: Anyway, we’re talking about Zered’s part and how we were like at Nassau Community College. They have this ten stair and a rail. I remember at the time he was like I think I’m going to skate this thing and RB was filming. Reda was shooting photos, and he did every trick first try.
RM: Back to fucking back. Like I think he did tail slide, fakie five-0, lip slide under 20 mins.
MM: Like a rail that no one had even touched either, you’re saying?
RM: No no one touched it because no one really knew it was there. Not that it’s gnarly. I’m pretty sure in your prime you could board slide or front board it or 50-50. But it’s just like one of those things. He just annihilated the rail within I don’t know, less than half an hour.
MM: Yeah! That’s rad!
RM: And then it ended up being like that video. I was like wow I was there for that. But it’s so funny being such a skate nerd watching all these things first hand, seeing Stevie Williams do tricks down the Roslyn Banks, seeing Gino do stuff on the Javits, seeing him do stuff. Anyway, just seeing gnarly stuff it’s kind of memorable moments.
MM: Yeah. You got to see the best times, 80s / 90s New York!
RM: I got to see a lot of shit. I got to see one of the first skate contests in Tompkins Square Park
MM: When was that?
RM: That was like probably 88, 89, it was when Shut and H-Street was like at it’s peak. Brian Lotti entered but then Shut was on the forefront of East Coast skateboarding.
MM: Talk about Tompkins, where I first lived in New York in 2011.
RM: Wait, where you from again?
MM: Well I was born in Washington D.C., but I’m from Maryland, kind of a similar stomping grounds of Bobby Worrest.
RM: Robert Worrest is my favorite.
MM: I love that guy!
RM: Yeah I remember doing like a speech in Colorado for a Zumiez event and he’s like 10 minutes earlier telling me “Hey Ray, make sure you shout me out onstage.” I don’t remember what we were doing but being Colorado, the altitude is a little higher and where we were at, Keystone, it’s like 10,000 feet above sea level and he’s like “Man you gotta be careful drinking .”
MM: You’ll get dizzy.
RM: Yeah so I think I had like 4 shots and 4 Tecates and so they’re like double of what you usually drink, I’m like I’m fine, I’m good, I got tolerance, and I remember just not being able to see straight. Anyway, shout out to Bobby Worrest. Bobby’s one of my favorites. I met him through Chris Hall, Chris Hall used to hang out with us at Long Island and skate legend.
MM: Isn’t Chris Hall… the same Chris Hall that does Witches Brew?
RM: No that’s Danny Finkelstein. Chris Hall, he’s like a, how do I say this, he does a lot of vintage collecting, he’s also a hell of a dude, if you mess with him he’ll stab you. I don’t know if I should be talking about that but whatever. Shout out to Chris Hall and Bobby, yeah Bobby used to come to my office when I was in Midtown. But yeah, back to you…you’re from Maryland.
MM: Yeah. So I moved here to go to college, went to Parsons, I was living in Tompkins area for almost 5 years before I moved out to Brooklyn. So that was awesome, I was always skating there and there was always you know everybody cool I could think of.
RM: I think a lot of people lived down there at that time.
MM: Yeah and that’s where all the Supreme kids were growing up. They were always at Tompkins, like every morning, so that was always cool to be there, you’d see crazy characters like Earl Sweatshirt and Jasper, the whole Odd Future gang. A whole cast of characters. Nakel Smith, Tyshawn Jones many more.
RM: Yeah I think I remember partying with Earl one time, Sleepless in Seattle boat, I don’t know why, they rented that boat and then like some dude, they had a party there, it was kind of cool.
MM: That’s awesome!
RM: It was like ok, I was like oh man, I love that movie. I sound really soft right. Sleepless in Seattle was a good movie.
MM: Yeah. Haha
RM: I fuck with Tom Hanks and Megan whatever her name is. But yeah back to Maryland, do you watch The Wire?
MM: I did, Haha. That’s funny, I watched The Wire back in the day, whenever it came out, I maybe watched the first season. That was a long time ago though.
RM: Yeah it’s crazy.
MM: I feel like it was like 10 years ago.
MM: But that’s Baltimore, I’m closer to D.C., I’m from a suburb like 20 minutes outside of D.C., so that’s why I was like a Pulaski kid. I was going up there young, before 10 even, I started skating around 7, really started going out to like Pulaski when I was like 9 with a huge crew, take the Metro out there.
RM: I think I’ve never skated that place but I’ve been there tons of times. D.C.’s so nice, they have really cool ass restaurants.
MM: It’s just illegal to skate there…
RM: Yeah, just illegal to skate.
MM: Makes it more fun though! In some ways.. to still run.
RM: Growing up here in New York you’re used to everything being illegal.
RM: You can’t do anything, well now you can do it. Growing up you couldn’t do anything fun.
MM: Even skating though? You got tackled for skating?
RM: I mean, we’d fight security guards, hit them with their walkie talkies, I think I’ve clubbed a couple of security guards with my board. You know, little scuffles, shit like that. That’s what happens.
MM: It’s crazy even now, you’ll go down there and as a grown ass man you’ll get like tackled by a cop, they’ll put you in jail and give you a fine and they keep your board. It’s a whole thing…
RM: I don’t really, like yeah I’m good with cops, I’ve had bad experiences, I remember getting, I remember driving under the influence a long time ago, in the late 90s and the cop just talking crap to me like hey you look like fricking Brandon Lee and all this crap. I used to have long hair and I remember saying something in the manner of, with a reference to pork.
MM: Like calling him a pork chop? Haha
RM: Yeah and then he like smashed my head into the hood of the car and I was like this is bad.
MM: But you got off?
RM: Well I thought I was gonna get the shit kicked out of me cause I got a big mouth but whatever, things happen, you live and you learn and you carry on. But what else, what else you got planned?
MM: I’m working on a show at The Flower Shop.
RM: Flower Shop Show?
MM: Got a ton of skate graphics coming out this year…
RM: And that’s with Adidas?
MM: No that’s just for me.
RM: For you?
MM: Yeah, Solo Show!
RM: Oh wow. Are you doing this with any other artists? Or just you?
MM: No, solo show. That’s why I was saying just for me.
RM: Good for you, good for you, it’s good to see you’re doing your own show, man good for you.
MM: Especially there, it’s a hell of a spot!
RM: How old are you?
RM: I didn’t start doing my own shit til I was like 28, I was late. In fact I finished college, I got a degree in computer science, I did the whole 9 to 5 thing and I had a great job with benefits, 401k, you name it, but I started late…
MM: You wanted out of that? Haha
RM: No I mean, not that I wanted out, I just wanted to live.
MM: You wanted to do your own thing too, exactly.
RM: I wanted to do my own thing, I’m into skateboarding, I’m into clothes, I mean, it’s great!
MM: The Man!
RM: Working for the Man is a great opportunity, but I was just at a point in my life where like you know what? I want to live, I want to do this,I want to do that.
MM: It has it’s trade offs for sure.
RM: I didn’t do enough of that. I mean, I did do enough of that, you know, I was doing well for myself, you know how it is. To me, like success is when you can do whatever you want to do, when you want to do, with who you want to do it with.
RM: Which is actually easier said than done. It’s actually a very, very difficult thing. I mean I’m sure you know, you’ve had odd jobs.
MM: For sure. All do them up in the design industry. But yeah, doing a ton of skate graphics, murals, paintings..
MM: Yeah, that’s like my main income right now.
MM: A lot of murals in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, so I still go down there a lot.
RM: We should talk, cause I had people some random, whatever, I can’t drop names, but like some guy would be like yeah you know we have this brand and a warehouse, we need artists.
MM: Yep. Down.
RM: And I’d be like cool, definitely.
MM: Yeah for sure. Like PBR.
RM: But then you’ll have to break me off.
MM: Yeah I’m down.
RM: I take 30%. Anyway, but yeah.
MM: PBR is always looking for murals, they’re like if you can find a wall, you get 2 grand, boom, go.
RM: Damn, what a fucking hustle, I should’ve been an artist.
MM: Crazy, right?
RM: God damn.
MM: But I mean, finding those walls is really hard. That’s why I do a lot of murals outside New York cause New York’s fairly hard to get walls.
RM: You know what’s really like, think about who owns the walls now.
MM: And they’re so expensive.
RM: They’re so expensive. And they want a cut.
MM: They want a cut and the landlord wants a cut. You’re paying them all the money you’re getting.
RM: Dude, yeah.
MM: There’s like no use. Brooklyn’s different than Manhattan though.
RM: Brooklyn’s way different.
MM: And Queens, there’s probably a lot more stuff out there, Bronx as well.
RM: Speaking of murals, do you follow Colossal Media?
RM: Holy cow.
MM: But I’m not like that, that’s like the hyper realism stuff, I really envy those guys…
RM: No, no, I know, I’m just saying it’s amazing how like they actually paint the ads.
MM: Oh yeah. And that’s a thing like when people come to New York, cause I don’t know where else Colossal Media does their “Sky High Murals”, like every time people come here and I’m like walking and showing them around Brooklyn, and I show them that they’re all handpainted.
RM: People don’t know that, right.
MM: Yeah like all the murals in Brooklyn basically.
RM: They’re like oh wow that’s a nice shoe and I’m like you know that’s handpainted right? They’re like, no?
RM: You’re like you look closer and, it’s like no it’s not hand painted, alright fine, too many Moscow Mules for you. So what are you single? You party a lot? Tinder?
MM: No, no, never used a dating app… but that’s a thing that a lot of people probably don’t know about me though, cause I get jokes cracked at me all the time when I’m out. I’ve been in a relationship for over 4 years now. Love it, love her.
RM: What are you, married or something?
MM: No, no, but I suppose I might as well be.
RM: Look at you, you’re such a wholesome white boy. Good for you man. So you got a steady relationship, you got, you’re doing like all these things for yourself, you’re doing like art shows.
MM: Haha, yup… Next weekend I got asked to be a contest judge for the first time!
RM: For what? Street League?
MM: Haha, no that’d be crazy, hey I would take that money though, for sure!
RM: I love Jimmy, that fucking hip hop monkey.
MM: Jimmy Gorecki, Yeah! See that’s the thing, is that, when I got asked, I was like… I don’t really feel that credible to be a judge, I never really skated contests, I’m not a pro skateboarder.
RM: Yeah but if you skate, you know what’s hard.
MM: Yeah and that’s what they said, if you know the history and industry… they’re like you are qualified and I’m like, alright, I’ll take it.
RM: Fuck it, do it.
MM: If I don’t have to MC, I’m down.
RM: If somebody asked me to do it, I’d be like fuck no.
MM: I know, it’s like a full day…
RM: For what contest?
MM: Collegiate Skate Tour!
RM: Oh the North Carolina kid? Yes, yes. Something, what’s his name again?
MM: Yeah, he called me out of the blue couple days ago.
RM: I know that kid.
RM: I know some shit. People think I’m 43, like oh man you’re washed.
RM: That’s cool.
MM: Shout out to Keegan at Collegiate.
RM: I know that guy.
MM: So that’ll be cool, hey if that’s a future for me later on, I’m down for that.
RM: What do you think about skateboarding in the Olympics?
MM: We can’t really hate on it, cause the reality is that it’s where we all kind of wanted skateboarding to go eventually, right? I think it’s just for a specific type of skater…
RM: Yeah, that’s fine.
MM: It’s like the whole conversation with people like Bam Margera, Rob Dyrdek, all these people that basically were smart and utilized the industry, even if they weren’t like the best skaters in the whole world, they were smart businessmen… made their mark by TV, so I kind of compare that to the Olympics, inevitable I feel like with skateboarding.
RM: It’s inevitable that the things that you love will become popular and then you’re gonna fucking hate it.
MM: The culture dies, yup haha.
RM: Cause it happened to skateboarding, hip hop, streetwear, but you know what, it’s kind of funny. You go through stages in life.
MM: I think my real answer is though, is that when it comes down to it, things like skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding are subjective.
RM: Wait, you surf?
MM: No I grew up snowboarding, wakeboarding and skateboarding though, since around 6 or 7.
RM: Wakeboarding, that sounds fun.
MM: In Maryland we had some nice lakes and mountains. We actually had mountains in Maryland, a lot of people don’t know that… near West Virginia. Once you go higher up. So yeah, wakeboarding is fun as hell!
RM: Yeah it looks fun.
MM: I didn’t have a beach to surf. I’ve tried it a bunch in my life, but never got good at it. But I was just gonna say, that they are all subjective style hobbies, I don’t even like the word “sport”. Being in the Olympics means it has to become objective, you have to rate and judge everyone, score everyone, so then it becomes less about style. I mean, you watch the X Games and Street League… on the grand scheme of things, most of the people going to the Olympics probably don’t have a lot of style… they’re like robots, they’re too good, so technical.
RM: Yeah I mean, it’s you know… skate jocks. I appreciate that shit. A lot of the stuff they do now is like out of control, look at the shit that Nyjah does.
MM: I was gonna say… Nyjah!
RM: He’s out of control dude.
MM: Yeah I mean, he’s amazing. It’s been fun watching his progression, I loved it when he was the little dred kid on Element. I loved him then! He got on Element when he was like 12, or even younger.
RM: I mean, he’s killing it right now. Props to that Nike Campaign with Lacey Baker, Colin Kaepernick, I kind of have mixed feelings on stuff getting commercialized.
RM: It’s nice that skateboarding has grown, I know that I’m not going to be pushing my kid into becoming a skateboarder.
MM: I feel like the time of that is right now. They see the money signs.
RM: Yeah people are like, well my kid can be a professional skateboarder now…
MM: Cause even when I was a kid, my parents were like, yeah that’s not a viable livelihood.
RM: My parents were so, yeah skateboarding’s great, you’re getting all this free stuff, but when it’s all said and done with the lifestyle after partying, you’re not gonna have shit. And I was like so what are you saying? But you know what’s funny, I bet if it was a different time like now, they saw what’s going on now, I’m sure my Mom and Dad would have approved.
MM: Yeah, for sure.
RM: They’d be like wow. But it’s funny cause like growing up, they were like, oh you love skateboarding? Let’s just go to Upland, let’s go to the Pipeline, let’s go, hey I heard that guy’s name is Salba or something, or Gator. Watch those guys skate and I’m like oh wow that’s kind of cool. My parents were not for it, but they were for it. So they made sure I got to experience and learn it. My Dad drove me to the skate park in Bellmore, NY.
MM: You got to see those contests?
RM: No they actually brought me to the skate park to learn how to skate the parks. And the crazy part is I could barely ollie. They’re like just roll in a ditch or roll in the pool and I’m like okay cool, like fuck.
MM: See that’s awesome, you had parks, cause it died in the early 90’s.
RM: It died in the 90s.
MM: I didn’t have any parks when I was a kid cause they were all gone or closed.
RM: I mean we had parks in New York.
RM: The main one that we went to was Skateboard Madness which was in Bellmore and I used to go Mullaly’s a lot and then I don’t know.
MM: Which none of those exist now right?
RM: Nope, then a friend of mine had a lot of obstacles that we all skated. It was like a rail side bar, spine ramp, jump ramps and flat banks
MM: Like driveaway set up basically?
RM: Yeah but it was like full blown. It was almost like a skate park.
MM: That’s awesome!
RM: Oh then I also had another buddy who had a tennis court full of obstacles that we skated.
RM: I skated that too and he had a mini ramp with extensions on both sides.
RM: So I got to skate mini ramp.
MM: Yeah so that’s how it was basically in Maryland, people had backyard set ups or driveway things, but that was about it.
RM: But then, you know, the weekend comes and you take the train to the city, you go to Benji’s, you go to the Projects, you buy a skateboard, you come back out, you skate the Brooklyn Banks, you go wherever, you skate downtown by the water. I don’t know. It was a lot of fun then, I can’t imagine doing that now. Now I’m just happy to be rolling around a skate park you know.
MM: For sure, the positives in skating! I feel like there’s a lot of talk about the 2020 Olympics and the commercialization of skateboarding in general, but what’s awesome is women in skateboarding.
RM: Women skateboarding, a lot of those ladies rip.
MM: And you know what’s crazy to me? I’ve always told people that when I was a kid I actually had like one or two girl friends who I’d skate with, and I never thought it was weird or thought twice about it.
RM: I never thought it was weird. Like Jamie Reyes skateboarding was really dope.
MM: Yeah right. Exactly!
RM: She was doing like switch kick flips and like, front boards down handrails.
MM: Yeag! You all hung out with her right?
RM: Yeah. You know this is going to sound pretty crazy but girls now that skate, some of them are really fucking hot.
MM: Oh yeah, for sure!
RM: They’re really good and they’re really hot. It’s like crazy.
MM: That’s like the whole thing for skaters, like how skaters look, their style… I totally agree.
RM: Yeah, this is fun. Just sitting here, talking shit. Nothing rehearsed.
MM: We should’ve had like a webcam.
RM: No, I don’t want to see my dumb face. I’ve seen it enough in my life, I see it in the mirror in the morning, I’m good. But you know, this is, we’re supposed to do that here, but we’re gonna jazz it up a little bit, we’re not gonna go you know full blown Nine Club.
MM: Yeah, yeah. Shouts to Nine Club, I love those guys!
RM: I’m not gonna lie I remember wanting to get on there.
MM: Oh yeah for sure, you still should.
RM: I don’t think I’m important enough to go there. Actually that might not be true I think my name
was dropped on there a bunch of times.
MM: Yeah I definitely think all the New Jersey / New Yorkers that have been on it would drop your name.
RM: I keep on forgetting how important I am.
RM: For the culture.
MM: You should do it!
RM: I can say that right, the culture?
RM: So tell me, who’s one of your favorite skaters from New York. Name at least 3.
MM: Any era?
MM: Right now?
RM: There’s too many to actually list.
MM: You know who I really love, Keith Hardy. I love that guy. Crazy style.
RM: Shout to Shredmaster Keith. Are you fucking kidding me? Hell yeah I love that guy. Shout out to Shredmaster Keith. He’s the best.
MM: Yeah, he rips!
RM: I’ll see him at like the library, like at 1pm in the afternoon. He’s got a good style, actually he’s got a good style on and off the board.
MM: He rides for Death Wish.
RM: He’s on HRS right? Shout out to Erik Ellington.
MM: He really took him under his wing too.
RM: Fun fact, fucking me and Erik were out one night, just chilling with our kids, just had a good time. My son and his daughter were talking and me and him were just, what were we talking about? I think we were talking about music and skateboarding and being sober.
MM: Yeah? Rad.
RM: And shit like that, I forgot, cause we were talking about sobriety and like, I don’t know, I just started to sober out, not drinking any alcohol, nothing.
MM: That’s great.
RM: No partying, just going through a time.
MM: Not going out on the weekdays… right.
RM: No I go out on the weekdays. I go out Monday, Sunday through Thursday. I’ll go out on Friday
MM: See that shows the real control. See when people stop going out cause they can’t not drink.
RM: I’ll be the fish hanging out, Tino Razo.
MM: Shout out to Marc Razo too!
RM: Shout out to Tino and Marc Razo. I love those guys.
MM: I don’t really know Tino, just Marc.
RM: I remember Tino used to kind of look at me weird cause I used to go to the Fish by myself and I was like let me have a Jameson on the
rocks and I want to chase it with the Jagermeister. He’s like what?
MM: He’s like why?
RM: I’m like cause I’m gonna black out tonight.
MM: To put some hair on your chest.
RM: Yeah it didn’t work, I’m Filipino, I have no hair on my chest at all, but he would look at me, like why are you doing that? I think I would do that like 3 or 4 times a week.
RM: And he’s was like alright I’ll do it too.
MM: Yeah LeftField, back when that was a thing…
MM: Yeah! Matt Kruz and Bogdan, back when you know, they gave out a bunch of free drinks… haha
RM: Are you snitching on these guys?
MM: That’s not a secret. Plus they went out of business, the bar is now closed. But Skate Night events were at their prime, when I was doing the flyers… like over 2-3 years and doing art shows at a lot of them. Speaking of Jagermeister, like on tap there haha.
RM: Dude Jagermeister. Ha
MM: That was the only way we could get free drinks. For them to be random. They’d be like take a shot of Jager after Tequila, I’m like oh god.
RM: I got a fun story about Jagermeister. So the first time I started drinking that was when I met Mickey Reyes and we were out one night somewhere, somewhere by Spoon, and I forgot what he said, I think I was drinking like a Corona, just basic, drinking a Corona and he poured a thick shot of Jagermeister….slammed it on the bar and was like drink this, I was like what is this, he’s like it’s Jager, drink it. I told him I can’t drink this and he was like if you don’t drink it I’m gonna punch you in the face.
MM: He actually used to be a cop too…
RM: Oh right. Yeah.
MM: I’m just bringing that up cause he’s like jacked.
RM: Anyway, fucking gnarly. One of my favorite skaters, fucking Sick Boys. Made me want to travel, anyway that’s when I started drinking it. After that I started having the best time, I think I counted like 6 shots of Jager that night. I didn’t puke.
MM: That’s disgusting.
RM: But I had a great time cause we were out like partying, making fun of everybody, talking shit, remember seeing one of my home girls break dancing at like one of the bars we were at. I was like, what the fuck she’s spinning on her head, what the hell’s wrong with her? Anyway, it has nothing to do with anything but except I wanted to talk about Mickey and Jagermeister.
MM: Yeah, yeah. Another guy… so number two, you know Jesse Mac? Jesse McEneaney.
RM: He’s from Long Island
RM: That kid rips.
MM: Yeah, he rips. I mean, every time I see him at House of Vans, I swear he was going higher than anyone on the quarter, the big one too, next to the gate. RIP House of Vans.
RM: Not for nothing there’s a lot of great skateboarders from New York, a lot of them from Long Island, a lot of them from Upstate, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Harlem, there’s so many.
MM: For sure! And Another one…
RM: Are you looking at your phone?
MM: I had to check the name!
RM: You’re looking at your phone! You’re fucking cheating!
MM: Cause you know what’s funny, I actually only remember his Instagram handle right now, which is so sad.
RM: Oh you’re looking at Instagram?
MM: I was like wait I don’t know this guy’s real name I don’t want to say his Instagram name…
RM: What’s his name?
MM: Michael Dworak but his handle is literally… AlienOrgy? I knew it was that, I didn’t know his real name.
RM: Let me see, let me see.
RM: Give me your phone.
MM: See I had to do the cross reference.
RM: That’s fine, that’s fine.
MM: But this guy also skates like Jessie Mac, full speed ahead, love him!
RM: This dude looks gnarly!
MM: And he’s always at Owls Head and I’m not really a bowl / vert skater, so watching people like him go full Grant Taylor on it is so sick.
RM: Dude this, okay, I can’t really see anything cause bad service, I don’t know, but I’ll take your word for it. Pretty sure you have good taste.
MM: No this guy skates like Cardiel, when he was young.
RM: I mean anybody that skates like Cardiel…
MM: Just balls to the wall, you know? And that may not be like the contest skaters today, cause they have to be on point and not fall.
RM: Speaking of Cardiel, you ever see that rail in SF, that he grinds and then he does a 50-50 into the street? That one rail?
MM: the crazy rail with the dirt patch?
RM: No, not that one. It’s like a gold rail in downtown San Francisco.
MM: I mean if it’s in like old Anti Hero stuff… Yeah.
RM: I remember when, back when I had my warehouse in Hayward, I’d be there obviously like once, twice a month.
MM: That’s awesome.
RM: I remember being down there just like seeing that rail that Cardiel grinded, I was like damn, you could like die like 50-50 get hit by a bus or a car and like the amount of speed that you, how fast you go after hitting that rail, I was like damn man.
MM: Probably crazy fast.
RM: Fucking psycho. Anyway shout out to Cardiel. He’s amazing.
MM: I love what he’s doing now too. He’s in all these Chrome ads, you know the bike bag company?
RM: The bike bag. They used to send me a bunch of stuff and then they stopped.
MM: Too bad. Yeah when skaters are done with their career, I know it’s sad to say that, but when they reach the point they’re obviously not in their prime anymore, a lot of them become artists, even if they weren’t artists before; but I like the ones that really stay true to themselves, and Cardiel always actually loved bikes and motorcycles, so perfect transition, he’s not gonna like BMX on the X games, but now he’s just riding and loving it.
RM: But not for nothing, skaters are always able to adapt and do things like, if you look at Natas Kaupas, he got hurt, he became an artist, he started learning things on the Mac.
MM: Art Directed like everything, Quiksilver…
RM: Quiksilver to I mean..
MM: To that… surf trunk company, Birdwell Beach Britches.
RM: I saw that on Instagram.
RM: Skaters in general, they’re all like….
MM: Super creative!
RM: We have the best you know, we’re like the worst and the best critics. We’re pretty much born trend forecasters.
MM: We’re like super opinionated. Ha, yeah.
RM: It’s a real fact, I’ll tell you how cause I get paid to consult for that.
MM: Yeah for sure. That’s a big thing also for people right when they’re off all their brands / sponsors, once they’re not pro anymore. They just become like Art Directors and or consultants or you know, trend forecasters for sure!
RM: I mean there’s tons of skaters that have kind of like graduated and you know, their next thing to do is go corporate or to do something different.
MM: Those are probably like the best bosses in the action sports industry, cause they actually lived it. They’re not coming from the outside…
RM: Yeah dude seriously, god bless skateboarding, god bless streetwear, god bless New York, like I swear if I did not grow up here and do the things that I was involved in with friends and family and just experience, oh dude, I’d just be so boring. I’d probably hate it, I’d probably live in like somewhere in like Holbrook.
RM: No I wouldn’t live in Jersey, I’d stay in New York bro, dude you know, it’s funny cause we get to see things different. This girl is smiling at me, anyway…
RM: I don’t like sitting here, next time. I’m sitting on that side! Ha.
MM: Ha. I was even lucky to move to New York, cause I would say the same thing, that all the things I’m doing right now, I know it wouldn’t be happening if I didn’t move to New York City.
RM: If you didn’t move to New York City, you probably would have been doing a totally different thing.
MM: Oh for sure. I mean I would’ve moved to California, I mean when I was 18, about to move, I was like in between, I got into all these schools in SF and around L.A. area, and it was either like go to art school out there and like study painting or illustration… or go to New York and study design, challenge myself; it totally changed the trajectory of my life.
RM: Of course, of course.
MM: Cause I ended up studying Industrial Design!
RM: Sick. I love California, California’s a great place to live, great weather, I have some really good friends there, but seriously I love New York way more.
MM: I like the hustle here, I like the grind. And that’s not all of it, but it is a big part of who like all the people are here, we like to get shit done.
RM: Yeah we get shit done, we move at a different pace, we work faster, harder.
MM: People actually follow up
RM: Some people say things and do it, some people say things and don’t do dick.
MM: That’s true, that’s true.
RM: But like you know, people like us, we stick together, I help you, you help me, there’s like a what’s that word? Quid pro quo.
MM: Oh yeah, yes!
RM: But that’s like, no one ever talks about it but everyone helps each other out in some capacity.
MM: That’s the biggest part of New York skateboarding, I tell people that, especially at like the Skate Night events, that whole scene, because before then I didn’t really know a meeting ground, where the old and the young met up, we’re talking people like, ages 21 to late 50s. Skate Night events were all at like different spots, Dardy Bar, Library Bar, LeftField, Epstein’s, and obviously Max Fish now, or again I should say.
RM: Skate Bar.
MM: John Grigley, he’s probably in his 50’s… or close to it… he comes out to them!
RM: He’s 60?
MM: John Grigley was like the original Vision skater back when… so I’d guess close to that. Sorry John, you’re not old.
RM: Yeah yeah, for sure. He used to hang out with Lucero and shit.
MM: Gonz…. Yeah, yeah for sure.
RM: Shout out to John Lucero, I learned how to smoke weed out of a bong at his place like at Huntington Beach when I was 16 years old.
MM: Label Kills days?!
RM: Around then, I think I filmed some stuff with that shit.
MM: That’s awesome!
RM: I mean, who cares. Whatever, no one cares even, whatever.
MM: No that’s cool though, cause that’s how Mike Vallely and Kristian Svitak met, and those are two of the riders on Street Plant that I do a lot of work for. Joey Jett is on there too, he’s a little younger than me.
RM: That’s right you did Street Plant boards!
MM: Besides Adidas, I’d put Street Plant up there with one of the main brands that I design for.
RM: That’s kind of dope that you work with Mike V!
MM: Oh yeah man. It’s so rad to be friends with him, he’s an awesome mentor to have!
RM: Can you tell him that I say, what’s up. I never, I didn’t really …. Mike V’s kinda gnarly…
MM: Yeah, but he’s not scary… he has this image that people put on him from back when.. from CKY footage of him.
MM: Back in the day or whatever. People just think of the CKY fight… but he’s like the most humble, nice guy when you meet him.
RM: When I think about Mike V I think about him running through a graveyard.
MM: Oh that too! Mike gets bummed on that footage.
MM: He was bummed when that happened. Being forced to run through a grave yard for a video part.
RM: Oh no, I know.
MM: Like you can watch it, when was that… in Public Domain? Yeah.
RM: Whatever, all I know is he made me wanna skateboard, skate everything, buy Ghetto Wear pants. So I tried to, I don’t know, I’ve tried to do my best rendition of Ghetto Wear pants and it never took off. That’s just another story…
MM: Definitely. Huge shout out to Mike Vallely for all he’s done for me! I like going out to Long Beach, where it’s at! Rick Sulz of NYSkateboarding just moved out three too, you know.
RM: Oh Rick, he’s out there testing out California. People just realize California’s there. So it’s like, oh it’s nice here, they’ve got nice weather. It amazes me that people discover California and like discover driving. I’m like you know you can drive in New York too.
MM: Yeah, right. Ha.
RM: Why would I do that? I’m like I don’t know. You can do that, you could take a bus, you could take a train, you could take the railroad…
MM: We have the best transportation here!
RM: We have the best transportation, for sure.
MM: Most places you go… there’s nothing else like it.
RM: It’s a NY Skate Of Mind.
MM: Always. It’s been real!