A few weeks back I was offered the chance to interview one of the most creative skaters I have seen, Danny Gonzalez. He has seen both the good, the bad, the pretty and the ugly sides of skateboarding. He left the professional skateboard scene to work normal day jobs and came back again. Now he has joined the Jart Skateboards team as a pro rider and there are more than a few skaters out there eager to see him on the board again.
How’s it feel to be on the Jart team as the first US pro? Notice any differences in work ethics, attitudes etc. compared to American companies?
To be the first pro on Jart I feel a bit of responsibility to help promote the the brand in the best light possible meaning getting ample coverage in magazines and videos. Contests in which I have placed well in the past have yet to be determined. I feel contest skating today is a different animal and if I pursue that route, I want to be prepared. As far as work ethics and attitudes go; I’m a bit unsure because its the early stages of riding for Jart, but I can say that I am happy thus far with everyone associated with Jart skateboards and cant wait to move forward.
Do you have any other sponsors than Jart Skateboards currently?
Currently Goodtimes skate shop and flow for Veece clothing and Supra Foot wear.
Are you still living in San Antonio, Texas?
I have been living in Los Angeles for 9 years now. (Editor: *haha* okay guys, I get an F for my homework on this question!)
Reading an interview can sometimes be a bit boring to me as I don’t get a feeling about what the person being interviewed is currently up to. How does a typical day in your life look like, what do you do from the time you wake up till you fall back into bed?
I have a very busy schedule. I paint, skate, commercial work, shoot photos, gym, take care of three dogs and live with my girlfriend. Between all of that and them; I find it hard to find time for anything else.
Your creativity on the board has always attracted a lot of attention. Coming more from a vert background myself, I enjoy watching street skating which emits plain fun and not just another skater doing a huge set of stairs with some crazy flip. Do you have days when you feel like you have to practice some trick for hours or does it all just come naturally for you?
There will be times when I’m lying in a bunk bed pressing my feet against the wall thinking” Hey it’s like doing a wall ride” and then, I’ll think there’s the ceiling “I’ll ride up that too.” Just playing like a little kid you know. But then I come-to and I realize, well shit I can do that in real life. So then I’ll go film it and get it done. But on the other hand if I wanted to do something like a kickflip one-foot nose grind down a rail I would need to practice it a lot in a skatepark before I went to film it on street; so it just depends…
After seeing your skating in the Deconstruction video from Project Hardware, what can we expect from you in the near future? Have any special new tricks up your sleeves? That ollie to frontside noseblunt to second board ride (I’m making this name up as I gave up on trick names a while back. you know the trick footage I mean I bet…) is just great!
Thanks for the compliment. I will try to push for innovation as long as it doesn’t become a gimmick or cheesy.
Photo sequence by: Seu Trinh
Let’s say you could teleport yourself right now to any spot on the Earth – where would that be and why?
Tuff question, I suppose Spain or japan. But sometimes I think about Wallenburg a lot, It would be like seeing an old friend.
Who are you currently skating with? Which skaters are in your opinion making the biggest impression on skateboarding today and why?
I like to skate with Patrick Melcher, if not him I like to skate with Tim Martinez and Armenian Joe. Basically they all know how to not take skating so seriously when they skate, and thats important to me.
The contests are getting bigger, more media coverage, more money, more big business. Are you a contest skater, do you thrive on the atmosphere at a contest? What are your feelings about skateboarding going more and more mainstream?
Skating for me going more mainstream is fine; It only creates more interest in the common public ,which creates more income for you. As a skater you have a choice weather to buy into it or stay more core. Smart skaters know mainstream will fade, but none the less Tony Hawk in my opinion is the best thing that happened to skateboarding; we thrive because of him.
Five basic questions: favorite food / favorite drink / favorite music / favorite shoes / favorite book
Japanese food, Vitamin water, rock and roll, Cali Supra’s and Favorite book the Da Vinci Code. The idea of the Church being handed down to a women; Women in general being the divine ones for being able to create life raised thought provoking ideas, which in the out-come only leads to the belief that the church is propaganda, but let me not forget to say that the book it self is science fiction.
It’s good to see you back skating and with a team backing you. How does the near future look for you and what are your plans? And final words for us?
Everything is looking fucking awesome! Near future you asked… ripping, lots and lots of ripping!
A big thanks to Danny Gonzalez – all the best for your future! – and Jart Skateboards, especially Mikel Arbiza and Tim Martinez. And word up to Seu Trinh for the pictures!