A conversation with Tony Trujillo.

During the launch of the new TNT Advanced Prototype shoe model, at the House Of Vans in London, we had the pleasure to have a conversation with Tony Trujillo about his 7th signature shoe with Vans, about skating in SF, about his band and being on Vans for a long long time. The TNT Advanced Prototype will be available worldwide on Saturday, July 14.

Ciao Tony, how are you doing?
I’m doing good, thanks.

I don’t think this is your first time at the House Of Vans in London, right?
No, I’ve been on this couch before ha ha.

Do you like Europe?
Yeah I do, you know, it’s been a long time since my first time here… Marseille and all these contests.

You have been on Vans for a long time…
Yes, a really long time!

Have you seen many changes in the company compared to the past? Is the brand is still the same?
Well, you know when I first started I was young likes 14/15 years old. Mad age, you don’t really pay attention what corporate structures are or what is going on, you just get shoes and skate. You don’t really pay attention to all the politics. Years later I started to pay more attention to these aspects, and Vans was the right choice to me; the brand is still the same, shoes improving and supporting skateboarders all around the world.

Right now skateboarding is connected a lot with fashion, what I dress, what shoes I had to put on etc etc, before it was more about fun, I wanted to go out skating and skateboarding was the first thing…
Yeah that’s a good says.

So with all these things influencing skateboarding nowadays, where did you get inspiration for your new shoe?
The shoe is supposed to be functional first, supposed to be durable, confortable and make you feel you board. So what I have done since the beginning with my shoe is to take care of these 3 aspects and then they have to look decent enough to go out and fucking doing your shit and rock and don’t look down on your feet being bummed.Colors was a different thing… I used to rock a lot of weird colors shoes, but right now skateboarders don’t need these weird things, they want a simple and plain shoes.
They are functional shoes, fucking solid and I’m really proud and stoked of what designers at Vans have done, they took everything I had in mind and put it down.

Let’s talk about music, what about your band?
My band sucks, we are playing the same 30 songs from how long? 2006? Ha ha ha!

Is a long time, how is going?doing any shows?
We have just done “Skate Rock Bowl” with Hard Dick Nuge, Figgy and Freaks. Figgy couldn’t make it so it was just Nuge and Freaks. Freaks got too hammered the first night and he couldn’t play and Jake couldn’t play so it was fucking melt down, but at the end we finally find all the guys together: Pedro Barrios at the drums, me at the guitar and Nuge at the bass. It was good fun!

You used to live in Santa Rosa, but skating in San Francisco a lot, have you seen some changes in the city over the years? Also, any memorable trick you want to mention?
Nothing, the city is still the same; people, skateboarders, etc. They have built new unskateable stuff, but people still going out and search. About the tricks I think Hubba Hideout was something really hard and big at that time. First trick that comes to mind and I have revised the other day is Jeremy Wray’s fs 270 to bs lip on that one. Then Sean Young’s hill bombing in the rain is brutal. But any spot in San Francisco had some crack in it, or the run up is fucked etc etc, that’s make the city special to everyone, because is hard to skate!

Ok Tony, I thing we are ok with this. Thanks for your time and hope to see you in Italy soon.
Thanks to you, and hope to come to Italy as soon something happen there!


Interview & photos: Mario Torre.