When I describe Marcello’s skating to someone who isn’t familiar, I always tell them to imagine mixing Tiago’s pop and power with Quim’s loose, expressive stee. The biggest compliment I can give him as a skateboarder is that he skates the way I think we all wish we could – fast and flowing with a trick selection that is gimmick-free and timeless. When I describe Marcello as a person to someone who isn’t familiar, I always tell them that he is genuinely kind and upbeat with zero pretension – rare commodities in young New Yorkers these days. The biggest compliment I can give him as a friend is that his generosity, attitude and overall outlook gives me hope for the youth.
If you don’t know him, I suggest you get familiar, you’re about to discover your new favorite skater. (Antonio Ciongoli).
Backside noseblunt slide. Photo Jason Sherman.
Ciao Marcello, could you introduce yourself briefly?
Ciao, my name is Marcello Campanello, born and raised in Queens, New York.
What’s living in Queens like?
I honestly love it. I grew up in Flushing and then about a year ago moved to Astoria so I could be closer to the city. I love living in Astoria because it’s laid back and it’s a very diverse neighborhood, so we have some amazing authentic food. Also, when my dad first moved to America from Sicily he lived in Astoria for $150 a month. He knew a guy that knew a guy… ha ha ha.
So you just turned pro, could you expand on that a bit?
Ahh man, it’s a dream come true! It was a pretty funny day. I went to the globe to meet up with our mutual paisano Antonio and some of the guys from 18 EAST for a photo shoot for some of the new stuff dropping. The photographer Scott was doing some test shots of me when out of nowhere a board gets handed to me over my shoulder. I look down at the board and see my name on it and immediately turn around and see my mom and dad with pure joy on their faces. Behind them came running a mob of my closest friends and family. Not only being able to check turning pro off my list of life goals, but seeing my parents that happy truly made that one of the best days of my life.
How did you link up with Karl to get on Maxallure?
Karl hit me up on Instagram about a year before Maxallure actually started. We hopped on a FaceTime call. That’s when I realized that Karl really is the nicest person and I wanted to be a part of whatever he was starting.
Marcello. Photo Ando.
How did you end up taking care of graphics for Maxallure?
Getting on Maxallure from the beginning left some opportunities open. I had mentioned to Karl that we needed a logo, and he agreed. A week later I sent him the MXA logo we have used till this day. That led to Karl asking if I would like to design clothes and board graphics once in a while. I learned how to use Procreate and Illustrator on the IPad and then got to work creating graphics and tech packs. That’s how it all started.
While a lot of pros live in NYC now, you’re one of only a handful that are actually from there. Can you talk about what it was like coming up in NYC and trying to make a career in skating in a place where the industry traditionally isn’t that present?
NYC can be pretty rough for a skater, especially when it comes to winter time. If you aren’t making your way to California or somewhere warm for the winter most likely you ain’t skating too often. We had this indoor parking garage in Long Island we would skate at late nights when it was too cold to be outside. Other than that there really weren’t many indoor skate spots, and the closest indoor skatepark was over an hour away and was too expensive. I think a lot of skaters lose motivation and fall off during the winter. It almost happened to me until my good friend Evan moved to California and that’s when I would stay with him for a few months every year. Good looks Evan!
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you in NYC during a session?
I could tell some crazy stories like when this bum chased us with a heroin needle, or seeing my homie fuck up 5 dudes back to back, but I’ll keep it chill. Back in the day I rode for Vinny Ponte’s skateshop, called Rival, and one day P-Rod called him and said he was coming to New York and needed some people to skate with. So for 3 days we got to skate with P-Rod, and on the last day he pulled out a Nike SB shoe lace bag filled with weed and started rolling a blunt. He said, “when in New York,” and laughed ha ha.
50-50. Photo Jason Sherman.
Where do you usually skate?
Most days I’ll be out filming so we’ll be at random spots around NY. But, if I’m just skating for fun or trying to learn a trick most likely you’ll catch me at Globe, Tompkins or Astoria park with the locals.
How long did you film for your latest Maxallure part? Was it all good fun working on it, or a bit stressful too?
It was about a year in the making and it was pretty stressful, but mostly toward the end. Most of the time when you’re filming for a full length video with a team there’s a bit more structure and motive to getting the video done. There are trips lined up, a team to hype each other up and a deadline. Since this was a solo video part it was just Diego and I. He was getting really busy with his personal work, so we weren’t getting out too often. Honestly, the part wasn’t finished. I still had a couple lines and some heavy tricks I was battling when I fucked up my wrist. I ended up fracturing and dislocating this bone in my wrist that tore through my ligaments and pressed against my carpal tunnel. When I found out I had to get surgery and wasn’t going to be able to skate for a few months I knew we had to put something out.
Photo Jason Sherman.
Do you like to go out filming and shooting photos?
Yeah, definitely. I think street skating revolves around going out and pushing through the streets, trying to film a clip or get a photo at a spot before you get kicked out. That’s what it’s all about, at least that’s how it feels like here in New York.
Has your approach to skating changed now that you have your name on a board?
Not too much now, if anything I started to approach skateboarding differently when I got my NB contract a couple years back. Still having fun but looking at it more as a job and just being more strategic, making sure I take good care of my physical health as well.
Who are the skaters that hype you the most?
Heitor da Silva, Tom Knox, Dylan Rieder, Tiago Lemos, and Tyshawn Jones.
Name 3 of your favorite skaters from NYC with Italian origins from any era.
Gino Iannucci, Anthony Pappalardo, Giovanni Reda.
You have deep Italian roots, do you follow Italian traditions a lot in your family?
Yeah, we definitely keep the Italian tradition alive in my family. Ever since I was a ‘bambino’ we would stomp on the grapes and make ‘vino.’ At my parents’ house, every night for dinner there would always be at least a pound and a half of pasta, a gallon of vino and a brick of cheese. At the end of every dinner my dad would grab the cheese and slice off a piece for everyone, offering it on the knife pointed right at you. If you said no he would say you had something in your teeth and, “here, the cheese will clean your teeth.” I get where “offer you can’t refuse” came from. The funny part is my mom’s not even Italian but she loves her vino and Lavazza espresso. She’s the one who put me onto the Bialetti Mocha espresso. I recently upgraded to the OG La Pavoni espresso machine from 1983.
Marcello & parents the day he turned pro for Maxallure. Photo Scott Furkay.
Have you ever been to Italy, and if so, where and how was it?
Man, it’s been at least 15 years. My family and I would visit my Dad’s family in this little town near Catania, Sicily called Grammichele. The first time I went to Sicily was the first time my dad had been back there since he left his town. Everyone was yelling, “it’s Gesualdo Campanello,” coming up and hugging him as if he was the mayor of the town or something. The funny thing was that the actual mayor came up to my dad to say hi. I plan on going to Sicily with Anthony Claravall and some NB riders in 2023. I told them we should bring my dad with us, that would be so sick. ha ha.
Are you into motorbikes a lot? I know you own a Triumph, which is probably useful to get around a busy city like NYC quickly.
I love motorcycles man. Aside from skateboarding, my motorcycle is the only time where my mind is fully in tune with what’s in front of me. Plus, having a motorcycle in New York is the ultimate cheat code, just gotta watch out for the cops, ha ha.
Apart from Maxallure, who else supports you and how’s it goin’ with them?
New Balance shoes, 18 East for apparel, Independent trucks, Bronson bearings, Jessup griptape, Satori wheels, Belief skateshop and SUNZIKI açaí. Everything is great, I have a lot of love and support from all of them.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Surgery, physical therapy, travel, get a tan, drop some more video parts and get my name on some more product. I wonder how my name would look on a shoe 😉
Arrivederci, amico mio!