Words: Rob Brink
This was the original 2008 Year's Best Am Nick Trapasso interview for The Skateboard Mag. When all was said and done, Nick asked that the interview be redone with someone he knew better and it ended up being assigned to Mike Sinclair. No hard feelings or anything like that. It's not drama. It just is. Nick's amazing. I'm a fan. Enjoy.
“I wish I knew Nick.”
“Nick has been one of my favorite skaters since Suffer the Joy. It always confused me that I won Years Best Am last year when Nick should have easily got the award. If he didn't win this year I’d whoop someone’s ass! Well deserved. Congratulations, Nick.”
“Nick stands out from the herd because of how original he is. He's not a new version of this guy or an amalgamation of these two types of skaters or part of some skate trend movement—he's just Nick. Skaters, young and old, pick up on this refreshing originality and relish it.”
Nick Trapasso is a quiet fellow who doesn’t seem to trouble himself worrying (or caring, for that matter) about much in life. He doesn’t have answers to many of the questions presented to him… not because he’s clueless, but because he seemingly knows that none of it really fuckin’ matters in the grand scheme of things—which is somewhat admirable actually. It’s apparent he’d rather be kickin’ it with his crew or out skating than sitting on the phone talking about himself. Which is just fine, because in the last year or two, his skating’s been speaking volumes anyway. So make Nick proud: Grab a beer or twist one up and enjoy a glimpse into the modest world of 2008’s Year’s Best Am… “fo’ sho’.”
So Nick, how’s Mexico so far? Is this your first Converse trip?
Yeah. Shit’s sick.
Who else is there with you?
Sammy, Anthony, Raymond, Ethan, my brother and Dave Hoang.
Anything crazy happen yet?
I got some bunz last night in the van. We went to some RVCA party. I don’t even know how I did it. I was faded and somehow made it to the van and bunned it up.
Front or the back of the van?
The back. She was just a ho trying to get a skateboarder that night. She didn’t speak any English so I don’t know how that went down.
How do you end up communicating then?
Fuckin’ sat next to her and got some shots and one homie who spoke Spanish just asked her name and how old she was and that was it.
Ah… the international language of sex.
Yeah. A lot of bunz out here. Just probably ho’s that’ll do anything. Too bad I don’t speak Spanish.
How do you feel about doing interviews?
What’s the worst thing people ask you?
Just when you hear the same questions over and over. You’re like, “sheesh.”
Every Trapasso interview I've read, people asked you about your pants.
That shit is annoying fo’ sho’. I’m pretty sure no one cares about my pants.
Everyone’s always freaking out about tight pants or baggy pants or plaid pants. For such a heterosexually dominated activity, skateboarding sure is concerned with boys’ pants.
Yeah, it’s stoops.
People were really into your Suffer the Joy part. Do you feel pressure to produce something as good as that now?
Not really. As long as I keep going on trips and shit, there’s always something to fuckin’ do something on.
Is it different filming a part now than it was back then?
I skate with the same people pretty much. Same fuckin’ shit.
Did you pick the music for your parts? It’s not typically what someone would put in a video part but it compliments your skating really well.
I picked John Lennon, but Kevin [Barnett, Toy Machine filmer] found that one song for Suffer the Joy and I was down.
Are you aware that you’ve won the Years Best Am award from The Skateboard Mag? That’s what this interview is all about.
Yeah I heard. I was fuckin hyped fo’ sho’. That shit’s crazy. Hell yeah!
If you had to give your award to another am who would it be?
Woooo! Fucking Slash is tight. Eric Fletcher… that fool’s crazy as hell.
I skated with Fletch last night! Who can roll a joint faster? You or him?
I dunno! Fletcher is my fucking right hand man, dude. We’re probably about the same. If we had a twist off we’d probably tie.
How ‘bout quality-wise?
I think whoever rolls a joint, likes his own the best, ya know? But his seem pretty much identical and shit. Shit’s sick! Fletch is good.
How much weed do you smoke in an average day?
It depends if you’re fucking going out at night or something—maybe twelve joints or something?
Are joints your preferred method of smoking?
Yeah, fo’ sho’.
Does anyone smoke out of bongs anymore? Seems like a lot of work.
And some fool will just break it probably. None of my homies do. I don’t even own one.
When was the first time you smoked? Did anything weird happen?
Probably like 14 or something. I didn’t get high and I was fuckin’ over it. Then I smoked some actual good weed and I got extra high.
Has weed changed your life?
Shit, I don’t think it’d be the same with out it.
Are there any downsides to the amount of weed you smoke?
I guess when there’s no good weed to smoke. You just end up smoking a bunch of cigarettes. It could be seen a downside.
Other than weed and Halo, what else are you up to when you’re not skating? These are the only things people tell me about you.
Just getting faded and chasing buns.
I think a lot of people are strangely envious of how simple you are.
Hell, I’ve been wanting to do something else. Play guitar or some shit. That shit is complex. Playing pool is tight.
Are you afraid of dying?
Shit, kinda. I’d just like to live long. That’d be sick.
How much time a week do you spend doing griptape art?
If I actually have fuckin' paint pens… until they run out I guess.
What’s worse? Running with your board to jump on it and clipping the tail with your foot and eating shit or hauling ass and hitting a rock and slamming?
The first one fo’ sho’. That shit looks sloppy.
What kind of name is Trapasso?
Are you full-on Italian?
No, my mom is Polish. So I’m like half Italian.
I’m half Italian too. There’s not a lot of good Italian food on the West Coast. It sucks.
Yeah. I eat pizza. That’s Italian and shit.
How is living in California compared to Arizona?
I’d say California kills it. It’s tight to go back to AZ too ‘cause you got a lot of homies there. You know where all the goods are at. Lots of great parks. But I like California. It’s the goods.
Do you ever see kids biting your style? Skating like you? I’ve seen a bunch.
Yeah, it’s tight. As long as I’m not hanging out with them they can do whatever they want.
Do you have any good Ed Templeton stories?
Hell yeah, that fool’s crazy! On King of the Road he got a fuckin’ tan. That shit was pretty funny. He just got fuckin naked. They put all this shit on you before you get tanned and afterwards you just stand there and look funny as hell.
He didn’t go in a tanning bed? Just got tanning liquid sprayed on him?
Yeah. He’s crazy.
You once said you only wanted to ride for “OG companies” and that you wouldn’t want to ride for Nike. Now you’re on Converse, which is owned by Nike. What changed for you?
Some shit wasn’t going good at Vans and they did some weird contract stuff. I was like “Fuck it.” And Converse, even though it’s not like, an OG skate company, it's still OG.
I heard a story that you showed up at a Vans photo shoot wearing Converse and Geoff Rowley wanted to kick the shit out of you. True?
I think it was at a fuckin’ Volcom catalog shoot and I was wearing Converse instead of Vans ‘cause we weren’t skating anything. I guess a photo came out and you could see the Converse and they got all butthurt.
I remember a bunch of drama because you said shit about Darkstar once. Is it weird that something you say becomes all controversial?
Yeah. I wasn’t even being serious. But I think Darkstar’s kind of funny, though.
They even wrote about it on their site.
Yeah, I never even looked at that. I just heard. My brother would give me updates and shit.
That’s funny that you just get web updates from your brother. So who in skating right now do you like watching?
Fletch is dope, fo’ sho’. Slash. That last part [Ride the Sky] was tight. I just like watching crazy shit go down in person. David [Gravette] is crazy. I still like watching fuckin’ Tom Penny and fools like that.
Who do you usually skate with?
Mostly Fletch and Dave Hoang’s posse. The whole Toy Machine team lives in Long Beach so I go skate with those fools whenever.
Do you envision being with Toy Machine for a long time? Does that feel like home to you?
Yeah, I mean, that shit is sick fo’ sho’. I go on trips with all those fools too.
Who pushes you to skate better?
Whoever I’m skating with that’s trying some crazy shit. Pat Pasquale gets me hyped up. He’s always thinking about where he wants to go skating and shit. Just getting hyped.
The Sinner. That dude’s awesome.
Yeah, the Sinner. He’s the shit! That fool’s the best person you could chill with.
Who’s had the greatest impact on you over the years?
That’s fuckin tough, but I guess whoever I looked up to and whoever pointed me in the right direction. Everybody at Cowtown helped me out a lot—let me know what’s the goods and what’s not.
What will you miss the most about Van Wastell?
He skated so light-footed. One time he wrote me a letter. It was fuckin crazy. None of my homies write letters. So it was tight getting that. Just going on trips with him and Andrew Allen. Talking shit to each other. He’s sick... just a nice fool.
I hear you have some pretty extensive slang. What’s a munson?
Just a mark. Somebody stoops. You’ve seen Kingpin right? Roy Munson. Just like a fuckin munce... a loser. Someone you wouldn’t want to hang out with.
What bothers you about our little skateboarding world?
Just fools being fake sometimes. Being extra nice to you and shit like that when they were dicks before.
I heard you always roll with a large crew.
I hate skating alone. Unless you’re the last one trying something and there’s mad homies on the sidelines… then they buy you a tall can if you make it!
What’s the gnarliest thing you’ve ever seen in real life?
In Thailand I saw a lady just fuckin’ drop her pants and take a shit on the side of the road. She was extra faded. She, like, couldn’t make it anywhere. That was pretty gnarly.
So what’s the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?
Uh… I dunno.
How about the best and worst decisions you’ve ever made?
Oh sheesh. It’s tough on the spot. I dunno the worst decision I’ve ever made!
Something you did when you were a kid that’s embarrassing to admit?
Shit! I’ll have to call you back or something. This shit is tough. I gotta think.
I’m stumping you? We’re almost done. Don’t worry. Before you were sponsored and pro, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Na, I pretty much wanted to be a pro skater since I was in fifth grade.
So now that you’ve made it to the big time, pro and all, what are your goals?
I just want to learn how to play a tight instrument and just keep chillin’. Fuckin’ stay happy, make duckets somehow and try to live with homies. Then once I become a geezer... get married or something.
Go through the mandatory motions of life...
Get a sugar momma.
Have you ever dated a sugar momma, being that we’re in Southern California where they all fester?
Hell no! I wish, dude! That would be the fuckin' key... a hot mom or something. Hell yeah!