I did this interview with Felix Arguelles in late December of 2011.
Do you feel like skateboarding is in need of a revolution, or are we just used to companies frequently marketing themselves as being revolutionary?
I don’t look back, I only look forward, so I won’t comment on other skateboard companies. I will say that my movement of creative empowerment is pure and has been on display for many years. *AMMO* is an extension to that, and the revolution will last far beyond the New Year and further than any marketing ploy could ever have lasted.
Looking back in world history which revolution intrigues you the most, and why?
Unfortunately the saddest and closest one to home. Fulgencio Batista being overthrown by Fidel Castro Ruz and Che’ Guevara in 1959. Although Batista was not the best, the well-being of Cuba and the Cuban people went down the tubes under Castro’s regime.
My father went to school with Castro and could see what the future was to have in store. He left the island while he still could so that I could be born an American and live the dream. I am very grateful for my father’s vision and try to live up to the chance I was given, daily.
You’re a believer in the motivational power of words and proverbs, so are you also big on New Year’s resolutions, and if so as disciplined as you are, do you stick to your resolutions for the entire year?
My yearly resolutions are the same.
I resolve to skate everyday of the year. I have even got out of bed and tic tac’d in the middle of the night to keep the streak alive!
I resolve to improve in my fields of choice in Fashion, Art, Music, and Entertainment by becoming more educated in each and by trying to create stimulating projects in each field.
Finally, I resolve to improve my health by making better choices in what I eat and drink as well as exercising. This all goes back full circle to keeping me skateboarding everyday.
You say that a person’s “ammo” is an activity or hobby that they’re wildly passionate about, no matter if it’s skateboarding, designing, dance, or painting. Your ammo is basically what fuels your life. It’s what gets you up in the morning. So for the first video from Ammo Skateboards, can we expect it to be the kind of video you watch everyday because it always gets you hyped to skate? Does it have that feel to it?
The *TROOP* is 3 generations of very distinct individuals who have different styles and trick selections – all of whom are lifers in this skateboard game, so I hope to have a little something for everyone to appreciate in there. I know we thoroughly enjoyed the highs and lows of filming it.
Approximately how long is the video and will it only premier online or will there be screenings nationwide?
The video is 1 song long and will be only online. We may burn some promo copies and give them away.
When it comes to you, Manny Santiago and Javier Nunez, you’re all people who lead extremely busy lives. In 2011 you worked for Street League as a commentator during their ESPN broadcasts, while Manny skated in just about every contest not named Street League, and as an actor Javier is blowing up from HBO, so how were you able to manage this project with all three of you having so little time to spare?
Everyone’s hectic schedules heavily influenced the brevity of the project. The video is a progressive step forward for the brand from the one-person commercials we have done. I felt it was important for the *TROOP* to be seen moving as one. I like projects that are short, to the point and you can watch them over and over again.
You just came back from Puerto Rico, which funny enough I’m sure people often think is where you’re from, so I’m assuming we’re going to see footage from that trip in this video, but please name all the places you filmed for this video:
That’s easy. Texas, Southern California, and Puerto Rico. Like we mentioned, the scheduling and short period of time we filmed, gave us mostly just our home base to work with. Luckily SoCal has a lot of stuff to skate and great weather.
Are there any guest parts we should be looking forward to, and will they be coming from what you filmed in Puerto Rico?
We did not plan on doing that as I wanted the full attention of the project to be on the *TROOP*. We have great friends so maybe once we start editing we may throw a *FAMMO* section in there.
Where did the title for the video come from?
Just an idea I had. I get those a lot. I kind of make my living that way.
Obviously with the title, it’s going to correspond with the drop date, but I want to know how long you were planning this? A year in advance? Two years?
It was at least a year ago, I often sit on ideas or skate spots for so long, I loose them to other people putting them out first. It is a bad habit I have but I still enjoy it partially when someone else likes an idea I had enough to execute it themselves.
Is everything filmed and edited by Mr. Multimedia, Spanish Mike?
90% of the project has been filmed by Spanish Mike. Joe Krolick and Aaron Brown filmed a few clips. Manny and I filmed a few as well. We are very involved as a unit and will be part of the editing process as well.
Considering Manny Santiago dropped a full part on his birthday, will we see a full part from him in this video as well?
Manny is a bull charging ahead with full steam and would have it no other way. Even with a full contest circuit, other sponsor’s commitments taking him away from this project, he will not disappoint.
How much of Javier Nunez are we going to see?
I am a big fan a personally, so my answer will always be not enough! Javier is a life long skateboarder and will look better than ever in this project.
You had a dope part in the Famous video, and your 40th birthday part at the Berrics was sensational, so what do you have in store for us this time around?
I’m not gonna say it is easy to keep putting stuff out in such a short time span, but I got a little something-something, for you guys. This is like my 4th or 5th little part in 2 years.
Will there be a Luis Tolentino sighting and will he be on the team in 2012?
We haven’t started editing yet so you will have to log on NYE to see if Luis is in there.
As far as Luis being the newest member to the *TROOP* – I don’t think anything else would make us more complete.
What do you say to people who say Ammo is nothing more than a Spanish-speaking skateboarding team, and that it’s a gimmick?
I’d say you’re absolutely wrong… We speak English too!
The only gimmick is actually having a truly uplifting and mutually empowering movement in skateboarding. IMAGINE THAT!