Posted by Tilman on December 15, 2011 at 04:20 PM
Guy Mariano wrote Skateboarding history. Enjoy the ride from “Ban This" to the classic "Video Days", the legendary "Mouse" part, his Comeback with "Fully Flared" and to what's up next.
Hey Guy, thanks for taking your time on a Sunday. What are you up to? How do you usually start your day?
Getting ready to go skate a schoolyard in LA. I usually start off my day by having breakfast at home and then hit the streets. During the week I like to spend most of my time at my park.
On which tricks are you working on at the moment?
I've been working on some hurricanes. I've always liked how that trick looks but never got around to learning it. I just learned a 360 tailslide big flip out. You'll probably see that on Thrasher's King of the Road.
How many times do you go skate? Does your body hurt and feel sore?
What do you do to stay fit?
I try to skate everyday but at the very least 5 out of 7 days. I do get sore but I ice a lot, see a chiropractor and get regular massages. I take vitamins from a brand called Metagenics—lots of fish oil and I try to eat healthy as much as possible. I hurt my knee a few months ago and worked with a personal trainer to help me get back on track. All of this helps me to stay in my best shape.
Do you have a fixed plan what comes after Skateboarding?
I plan to continue with being involved with skateboarding. I've been spending more time in the office at Girl becoming more familiar with that side of the industry.
How much are you involved with Fourstar nowadays?
A lot of great things are happening with Fourstar right now. Eric and I have been able to spend more time with the company's team discussing plans for the brand's future. We have some great new additions to the family with Shane and Ishod and the clothes look amazing. It feels great to be a part of it all.
Was it just you and Eric who started Fourstar? Did you have a fixed business plan on a napkin?
Eric and I partnered with Girl. We didn't have an official business plan. Girl was already making clothes and knew the business so it was a perfect fit. We've learned a lot along the way. You might think if you have a solid skate team you have it made, but there are so many components to making a successful brand and making it here to stay.
You had some advanced items like the jerseys & sporty pants… did you test out a lot different materials at that time?
Back in the day, we sampled a lot of the styles and materials that we were wearing. Some worked and some sadly didn't. Trends… what can I say!
There were not too many skateboarders leaving Fourstar? Which one did you miss the most on the team?
Andrew Reynolds was our guest skater on King of the Road. He's amazing. When he got in the van he motivated everybody. He's not high maintenance. I would say I miss him the most.
Who's is always hyped for a session?
Sean Malto. He always amazes me. Whether it's in the streets, demos, contests, pools. Even knowing that he's one of the best skaters out there right now he blows my mind every time. Sean has one of the best attitudes in skateboarding. I'm really happy for all the great things happening for him right now.
When you know look back on the Powell Peralta Ban This time and you were part of the LA Boys (Rudy Johnson, Gabriel Rodriguez, Paulo Diaz & you) – were you psyched to hang out with Stacy and the Bones Brigade?
To tell you the truth, we never really hung out with anybody besides Lance Mountain. Lance was the one that made the effort to get to know us. Basically, right after we got on, Stacy left for his own reasons. We were really bummed. Lance was the one that stepped in and filled those shoes. Before I got on Blind I was going to get on The Firm because I loved Lance so much.
What is Paulo Diaz up to these days? Are you still in contact?
I'm still in contact with Paulo. He's been struggling with some drug addictions. We're trying to get him back on track. He's still an amazing person, friend and still rips at skating.
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Did your parents approve Mark Gonzales so you could hang out at his house?
My mom was always really cool with me and all my skateboarding friends. But one time Mark took a trip to San Francisco in the middle of a school week and I went with him. My mom was super pissed. I ended up rolling my ankle on that trip. My mom was sad to see me in pain so I didn't get in too much trouble.
Especially after Stacy left Powell Peralta; what impact did Mark (with his personality and his vision of skateboarding) have on your skating and your development as a teenager?
I think spending time with Mark Gonzalez was the best thing that could've happened to me. I basically wanted to be Mark. I tried to dress like him. Tried to skate like him. Tried to do all of the tricks he did. I could say I learned a lot from him. He's more of an artist than an athlete. He does more of what he wants and not what he feels he's obligated to do. This is something I like to follow in my own life.
How much percentage did Spike Jonze really direct "Video Days" and how much was improvised?
Spike and Mark improvised more than what was planned out for sure. If you've ever hung out with the two of them — they are crazy. They're like wild kids with wild imaginations.
When you think back at the Blind Skateboard era (like the “Fucked-Up Blind Kids” series, your drop out of school), do you think skateboarding robbed you of your youth?
As an ordinary kid you could say it robbed my youth, but more than that it enriched it in so many ways. If I could go back in time I wouldn't change it one bit.
After Mark left Blind, it was time for another positive change and you made an refreshing transition to Girl.
When I was on Powell we lost Stacy. He was the guy that created all the things you loved about Powell. The brand, at that time, was lost without him. That was the exact same thing I felt about Blind when Mark left. But we did have Jason Lee. After Jason left, we felt hopeless. Those days were still fun but let's not kid ourselves, Blind was not the same without Mark & Jason. Getting involved with Mike and Rick was exactly what we were looking for — a skateboarder owned company. Not only that but their intentions weren't to look out just for themselves but to help out everybody they brought along with them.
When you hung out with the Menace Guys, were you ever involved with sketchy gang situations?
I spent a lot of my youth skating and traveling. When I started hanging out with the Menace guys I really started to enjoy partying and girls. What's funny is at that same time I started filming again. It was something about watching those guys being motivated and filming their video that made me want to do the same.
After not filming that much for Goldfish you came back with the legendary Mouse part like boom. How long did you film for this part?
I filmed for a couple years probably. I had a good relationship with Tim Dowling, the Girl Skateboards videographer. I did a lot of solo missions. I used to like to skate by myself. It made it easier to go to as many spots in one day. Filming was a lot different back then. You could almost film a whole video part at one schoolyard. Nowadays you're flying to China for a clip.
What is your fave footage from Lockwood?
Gino nollie 180 nosegrind shove it. Keenan switch flip.
There are different rumors (*) what happened during the period when you disappeared — there was the party lifestyle, booze, weed and drugs — but what was the worst thing that kept you down? What would you recommend to anybody in a similar situation?
I just got caught up. I was partying a lot which got out of hand. It was no longer recreational. It's very common with skateboarders in this free spirited lifestyle we live. My one suggestion is if drugs or alcohol start to affect you physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally you might want to check yourself.
On the other hand I always thought that you had this legendary status and those small bits and pieces of rare footages were so dope — that 3 tricks in a video were definitely enough to keep the fans sparked.
Sometimes less is more… but not all the time.
How did the Fully Flared comeback come together? Fixed training times, healthy nutrition? Who helped you the most?
I could say Ty Evans and Rick Howard had the most faith that I could pull it off. Even when I didn't think I could do it myself. Eric Koston and Steve Berra gave me a key to their park before it was The Berrics. That was big because I had a place to practice and kind of learn to skate again. Having missed out on a lot of opportunities and being given a second chance was a huge motivating factor for me as well. Not to mention having friends and fans rooting for you doesn't hurt either.
Your comeback is such a positive message; any words of wisdom?
Try to enjoy it all. It would be a shame to look back on your life and have any regrets.
(*) Rumors from the SLAP forum: > He had to put his skateboarding career on the back burner to play the voice over for David Schwimmer’s character Ross on Friends.
> I heard he got zapped by an experimental shrink ray while filming a trick outside of Area 51. He lived for several years living along side the Smurfs until he was caught by Gargamel. Luckily, he was able to escape and make his way back to the Girl HQ riding on the back of Ralph S. Mouse's motorcycle. They took him to the shipping dept. where they put the machine they use to shrink wrap boards on reverse which returned him to normal size.
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