WORDS by DAVE ASHLEY
PHOTOGRAPHY by OLIVER BARTON
Hi, Jose. You ready?
Here we go. So, rumor on the street is that you have been murdering shit. Why? Something special happening?
No. Skateboarding has just been really fun lately. And I’ve just been feeling good on my board. You know how shit is in skateboarding, people talk…
Is there a big Joe Red pro model in the works? Has the enjoi brand manager finally gave you the green light?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see?? I have my fingers crossed, that’s for sure.
Interview continued below gallery.
So, lets backtrack a bit. You are from the Southside of the best place in the world, San Jose. When did you first pick up a skateboard?
Well, I was pretty much surrounded by it my whole life. All my cousins at the time skated and that’s all I wanted to do also. That was when I was about nine, but I really didn’t get into it till about fifteen years old.
And I believe that’s when we first met… Do you remember telling me about the first time you were about to blaze a girl when you were fifteen? Haha!
Haha!! I kinda do?
So, when you first started to get really into skating, were you really serious about it, or was it just something that kids do when they are growing up?
Well, I actually thought it was going to be one of those things that I’d be into for a short while. All of my friends at the time were into it for a bit, then stopped. I felt my self progressing and learning new tricks and that drove me to keep skating. Thank god! I’d hate to see what I’d be doing without skating.
When you were fifteen, the kids you skated with were some of San Jose’s finest, like Ricky Espinoza and Chris “Fatty Fatbody” Black… Did that help you progress being around such talented little shits?
Yeah! I was hyped that I found dudes to skate with that loved skateboarding as much as I did. Ricky and Fatty were doing the sickest tricks at the time!! It was a great way to go out and just skate all day everyday.
So, being with those dudes and hanging around NC Boardshop is how you met everyone, and that is how you got a starring role in the first “Tiltmode!” video… How did you meet Matt Eversole and how did that video part come about?
The first time I met Evs was actually skating with Ricky. We had gone out one day with Jesse Erickson and went to a school and Evs, Louie, Jerry and a couple more heads were skating. I just started skating and actually filmed a trick with Evs. Later that day he told me to come to NC and that’s when I got my first hook up, I was so hyped. Then I just started going out every weekend and next thing you know, I had filmed enough stuff for a small part.
And from there you got hooked up with MJ and the whole crew. How did you initially get sponsored?
I was just going out skating with them every chance I had. I think it was after the filming of Tiltmode. I remember coming home from school and my dad said that I had a voicemail from a guy named Marc. I listened to it and it was MJ saying that he wanted me to ride for his new company. I was trippin’ man!!
And hence the birth of enjoi. How were the early days? The trips? Filming with Avery? Give us one story from one of your first trips and don’t skimp.
The early days were amazing, man. We had no care in the world, it was just pure fun. The tours were nuts as well. Those guys are the ones who broke me in basically. They were the first to get me wasted out of my mind, first to take me to a strip club, etcetera. Avery was so awesome. He only filmed if he felt like it and would call you out super hard if he thought your trick was whack. I love that man!
Chris Avery is a sterling individual indeed.
Now, that you’ve have been on since day one, you have seen a lot of team riders come and go. Who was the least liked? Dobstaff? Haha. Seriously, who?
Seriously, it wasn’t that anybody was disliked, it was more about if these dudes fit on the team or were on the same page as us. They are all cool ass dudes.
Nice answer, very PC. So, it’s years later and here you are. Are you happy with all your sponsors now? You have done quite a bit of team hopping in the past. Who do you ride for now?
I’m extremely happy!! I skate for enjoi, etnies, Insight, Royal, Spitfire, Bones Bearings, NC Boardshop and get flow from Diamond hardware.
That’s nice. So, we are on the eve on a Tiltmode video, and we are all very excited for it. Are you getting a part in it, or is your footy going to go to etnies? I hope not. You need a full part!
I’m gonna have a part, but I do need to start filming for the etnies project pretty soon.
Were you happy with your Bag Of Suck part? It’s my favorite part in that video. Do you think your part would have been longer if it was not for that fucking car accident?
Of course. I was so bummed on it. I had gotten in the wreck about nine months before the deadline. I remember being at the hospital laid out and all I could think about was that I couldn’t film anymore. It was pretty heartbreaking man!
That shit was white! But it all good now and you’re taking care of business. You have been getting quite a bit of coverage lately—covers, ads, all kinds of shit. Does it keep dark Evs off your back or does he still bust your balls on daily basis?
He busts my balls here and there, but it’s all good. He wants the best for us and it works out. I use to catch feelings but I know why he does it. Thanks Matt!
What the hell is up with Clark? Does he still live on this planet or did he transcend to another universe?
I have no clue? He’s in NY I think? I miss him.
What is the “bassturdz”?
It’s a crew of us homeys who love to fish. Bassturdz is our Web site that we update with fishing trips, reports, and information about tackle.
What is the website?
Are you and Cece ever going to have little niños? Baby Josers?
Nope! She’s not into the whole kid growing in the belly stuff. Fine by me.
Then you are hyped. The best thing about kids is making them. So, it’s all working out for you. You just got on etnies, you’re going to have a part in the new TMA video Bonus Round, and we might be able to expect a Jose Rojo deck on the wall in a shop near you. I’m proud of you boy! Who do you want to thank?
Thanks duder! I’m just glad that everything has worked out. Thank You, Matt Evs, Heath Brinkley, Cece, Family, Bassturdz, Tiltmode Army, Jim Thiebaud, Rudy Johnson, Mike and Alex from NC, enjoi crew, etnies crew, San Jose, Wormheads, Dronez, Widgets, Meet Mool, and everyone who’s helped me out.
See you soon.