Page 4 Interviews
So, Ben, tell me what happened to your ankle?
Basically, I was in Germany for the ISPO trade show and there was a Volcom contest on a mini-ramp, we had just got there, I was messing around, did a tail stall, my back foot came off and Mr. Front Foot kept going with the board and my ankle went inwards! It was the worst, I had to go to a German hospital and get physical therapy for 2 months, but it’s feeling healthier daily.
A short while back, our fearless founder and CEO, Pierre André Senizergues, was interviewed by Sneaker Freaker regarding the success and achievements of éS and the Accel over the past 15 years. Take a look at the interview and learn some skate history!
New year... new feature! Let's skip the big intro and let the man speak for himself. Enjoy Part I of our exclusive Danny Garcia interview!
Rob Brink: What’s the best rumor you've heard or read about yourself?
Danny Garcia: Someone told me once that Lance Dawes was going down the line of skaters he thought were in the closet and he thought I was one of them. That was pretty funny. It still could be true though. We don't know yet. I'm gonna keep it ambiguous.
Why did he think you were gay?
Uhhhh… ‘cause I'm good looking? Maybe that’s why. I'll just go with that one.
Sometimes people think I’m gay when they meet me too.
Yeah, ‘cause you're kind of tall. It's intimidating. You're a tall guy.
Do you prefer coffee or tea?
I prefer tea. Green tea and Açaí green tea. Hahah. There you go. That's a perfect segway from the question about why people think I’m gay.
I'm a green tea guy myself. Are you vegetarian?
I'm a pescatarian. I eat fish and stuff. There’s a specific way for me. But I don't really eat red meat.
How’d that start.
I don't know how it started. I think I did it just to try and do it. I started out vegan for a couple months just to do it and that's kind of hard. It just turned into a habit where I do not want or crave red meat now. I don't even think about it. I'm looking at a menu or making food, it's not even on my mind. It's pretty much habitual now.
You still an avid Food Network fan?
That's my new channel!
What’s your favorite show?
I like Bobby Flay.
Have you been to his Mesa Grill?
No, I haven't been to any of his restaurants, have you?
Hell yeah, Mesa Grill is in New York and Vegas. It’s amazing if you like southwestern food.
My friend told me Mario Batali's restaurant is good but I haven't eaten at any of the Iron Chef's restaurants yet.
Yeah it is. I had squash blossom pizza there.
You had what pizza?
What the hell is that?
It’s like the flowers from a squash plant. On top of the pizza with the cheese and stuff. They are kinda sweet. It was good.
Wow. That's insane. It sounds interesting. I should go there.
I know you are a fan of reality TV, so what are some of your favorite shows at the moment? And what’s your favorite reality show of all time?
God, there's so many. I used to like those dating shows a bunch. Like Blind Date. That would be the staple. Or Cheaters. Cheaters is amazing. But now if it's on I just change the channel. It's just gotten so out of hand—it's so overwhelming now. I don't even need it.
Before it was like dessert. I could watch a little bit. Like a little taste here and there. But now that's all that's on TV and its kind of annoying so I just avoid it at all costs. But a few years ago the dating shows were just awesome. Almost kind of sad... like peeking into the world of dating. Especially the first date... it's just so awkward. And then there's a camera in the mix and everything’s just magnified. Like, how are you gonna be on a first date like that? It just makes it worse.
Do you ever pee sitting down? I do.
Well, if I'm shitting, but I've never sat down to pee.
Oh, I asked Jose Rojo the same thing a few weeks ago and he gave the same answer. I just do it in the middle of the night or early in the morning so I don't have to turn the light and wake myself up too much on or worry about aiming that well. I guess I’m weird.
Yeah, I get it. You're a little weird. No, it's not that weird. You're just lazy. That's what it is.
In an older interview, you were asked what you like most about éS, and you answered “Silas, Scuba and Raymond.” Two of those three people gone now. How does it feel being in the midst of a changeover period for the brand?
Not too much has changed. I still deal with Rick [éS footwear designer] when I go in there and I talk to Scuba about anything and everything I need. I don't stress about it. I don't think about what's going on on that end of things a lot, you know? I get along with everybody. I'm pretty much down with everybody and I enjoy being around all those guys.
A company like Habitat has remained pretty consistent for many years, whereas éS has had some gains and losses and change. How does that affect you?
Well they are different. Habitat is like, people I've known for a long time. People I'm pretty close with. I look forward to any of the trips or anything that goes on. With éS, it's a different thing that’s just as cool for me. It’s a different kind of element. Just a different mix of people. I never really compare the two or think about the two in those terms.
In another old interview, maybe three or so yrs ago, for The Skateboard Mag, Tim O’Connor asked you who your favorite up-and-coming skater was, and you said “Guy Mariano.” Did you know he was skating and filming again or that kind of a joke based on your admiration for his skating.
I'm pretty sure I heard that he was skating or something. But I didn’t know that he would totally go for it and come back the way he did.
What is it about Guy’s Mouse part, in your opinion, that makes it the best video part ever?
I haven't thought about it in a while. But once again, at the time it hit me pretty hard. When I first started skating I wasn't really in the mix, He had like two clips in a couple videos that I saw. I just thought Guy was like a bench player for girl, you know? I knew he was good, but I didn’t fully know. So it just took me by surprise maybe… the shit that he did in Mouse.
How about when someone you really like, say a Jovante Turner or a Guy Mariano or Gino… when they just disappear and you don’t get to see any more of them. Does that bum you out?
No. It doesn’t really do anything to me. I just take whatever is given to me. That's the draw of Guy being my favorite skater… because it's always been like that. That makes it a little more exciting. It would change things if you were seeing him all the time.
Plus, I'm on the other end now, and personally, I don't feel I owe anybody anything. I mean obviously the people that pay me, but other than that, no. I just take what I'm given. I think that's the way it should be.
Why is Goldfish your favorite video?
When I started skating and that was the first video I kind of latched on to and. That was just the time. It was a nostalgic video. If I watch it now it's still awesome for that reason.
What’s your favorite personal video part?
Probably my last Habitat part. I didn’t try, but I liked it. Not that I didn’t try, but I wasn't going for it. I wasn't trying to prove something, you know? It's just the freshest part. I feel like my favorite part will be the last one I did.
I noticed you refer back to very specific time periods in skateboarding that you are fond of. Like you mentioned on the Habitat site that your favorite city to skate in isn’t just LA, but “LA in 1998.” I think it’s a very unique and human/observant perspective.
Yeah it was like, there's nothing like too special about that time other than that’s when I was just going there. I think that's when I was a senior in high school and I finally had a car so I'd drive there. If you had a car and you skated, you might as well go somewhere cool. So I think that's when I was driving there a bunch… way more than I do now.
I always associate you with the Chaffey ledges for some reason.
That's funny ‘cuz I didn’t spend too much time there, but I did film there a lot ‘cause it was just easy. It just had everything you needed to get a minute of footage real easily.
Do you mostly skate your Garcia 2 model?
Yeah. I skate Justin's Theory once every two months or something like that. Just to mix it up, but that second shoe I did… I still like it a lot.
Are you working on a third pro model now?
Yeah. I saw a sample a couple days ago. I think it'll be a cupsole, but a thinner cupsole.
What’s the last trick you learned?
Today on this mini ramp by my house I learned a frontside nosegrind pop out. I think I've tried it like a total of 10 times in the last six months or something and today I just decided to go for it. And all the tricks I've been learning lately are on transition because I've never skated transition and it's easier. When you learn it you can do it almost every time. So that's what makes it really fun. I'll take it to the Liberty ramp next.
Last trick you lost?
Kickflip noseslide. I used to kickflip noseslide all the time… like really easily and now I'll try and I can't even do it. It's so weird. I'll seriously try ‘em and I'll be there for a little bit and I just suck at em. Usually if I lose a trick I can get it back really easily but that's the one that I start yelling about. I used to have it, I really did. I really had it, I swear to god. But it's not the most exciting trick to me so I don't mind losing that one. I mean it's a cool one, but I don't really need it.
I heard you have a vast knowledge and fondness for porn stars. Who is your favorite and why?
I think I'm pretty fickle, dude. I don't hold onto any of ‘em. Like whoever's new… there's so many too. It's weird cause like, porn… I'm completely fascinated by it. Like, what these fucking girls are doing… it's insane. That's what I think about too. I'll just be watching it and be like “Holy shit!” And rarely it’s an actual really good-looking girl. Like when it's a good-looking girl I start to think like, “Holy shit! What is she doing?”
But yeah, I don't want to name anyone as my favorite because I can't. I just can't give them enough credit. It's awesome and it's scary and it's sad too… it's like, everything.
Tell us the story of Ryan Gee getting attacked by the deer.
You know when someone asks you, “What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you?” Or “What’s the funniest thing you're ever seen?” Well, I know the funniest thing I've ever seen. I'm like really proud that I know what number one is. It's the Ryan Gee story.
I'll try to make it semi-brief but we were in Costa Rica on a Habitat tour and the hotel we were staying at, it was a cool place, it had a lot of stuff going on, but there was a little fenced off area with three deer in it. Like two little babies and the mom. And there was this pool table that had a little canopy over it with two tables next to it. So we were just playing pool and hanging out one night. It was all of us. And Gee started to climb the fence and kind of walked in there and he was sitting on a tree stump and the two little babies walked up to him and I remember he put his hand out to pet one and it just squealed and ran away.
So the mom deer just looks over at him and naturally walks over and starts checking him out. And the deer starts batting at Gee and she starts poking him with her head. So right there we're all just standing there watching going like, “Oh my God!” ‘Cause you could tell that the water is starting to boil. And she just gets on her hind legs and starts… it was like a machine gun. Her paws just hitting his head, like "bap bap bap bap!" Just like, pounding on his head and that starts to happen so he starts running but she's basically able to chase him on her hind legs. So she's still hitting his back while he's running and he runs for the fence and one sandal flies off. He jumps the fence. Or stumbles over the fence, rather… and it was just insane to watch.
I mean, it was just hilarious. Mainly it was Gee though. He was just Gee. And he just got pounded. He really didn't get hurt. He was red. I remember his neck and his head were all red, but it was awesome.
He’s not the most athletic dude out there.
That's what made it rad. He was like sprinting and just jumped the fence in like one-and-a-half seconds. So that's what put it over the top.
Stay tuned for Part II coming soon!