Life is funny sometimes. You get something you've wanted for as long as you can remember—like riding for your all-time favorite company, Habitat—then a few months later an equally legendary brand, the so-called mothership (no pun intended), Alien Workshop, summarily rises from the dead, and you are faced with the difficult life choice of riding for one or the other. Joey Guevara, of no relation to Che that I know of, faced this Sophie's Choice of a decision in late 2014. Now unveiled as one of the resurfaced AWS' first roster picks, Guevara sits down for 20 Questions to detail his induction to the Sovereign Sect.-Mackenzie Eisenhour
Photos by Dave Chami

Joey Guevara

Switch heelflip. (*click to enlarge)

1. How is the new version of Alien Workshop shaping up? When did you first hear about it coming back?
I first heard about it about three months ago. I was talking to Brennan Conroy at Habitat. I was getting some stuff from Habitat, and he asked me then, like, "Yo, would you be down to ride for Alien?"

That must have been a gnarly thing to hear.
Yeah. I was already working on a video for Habitat, so he decided to hire my friend Miguel [Valle], who I skate with most of the time. He hired Miguel to be the filmer for Alien, so it made sense to just start something new after that.

2. Coming into it, were you a bigger fan of Habitat or Alien growing up?
It's tough, but I'd have to say Habitat. Obviously, I was a big fan of both, but I'd say they were a bit different just in terms of the music, graphics, and vibe.

Man, that must have been a tough decision. And you're good friends with Mark Suciu, too, right?
Yeah. He's the one who originally got me hooked up.

3. How did Brennan frame it? Like, "We think you fit this company better…"
No. He basically just explained that Habitat was pretty set right now and that it would be better for me to do something with Alien because they were in the process of rebuilding it. It's going to be a whole new squad, so none of the riders that used to be on will be involved.

4. I heard a bunch of rumors about it, but Jake Johnson is fully gone and starting a new thing with ex-Alien riders…
Yeah. I have no idea who Jake is riding for. I heard Krooked and then I also heard about the old Alien TM, Chad Bowers, starting that new board company called Mother, so he was trying to get all the old riders on that. But behind Alien, at this point, it's pretty much Brennan Conroy and Mike Hill.

5. Going back a little, how long were you on Habitat flow? You said Mark originally got you on?
Yeah. I got on about a year and two months ago. I had known Mark since I was younger, and we always skated together with him and Miguel, who was always doing stuff with Habitat.

6. Miguel filmed the Cross Continental ['12] stuff of Mark, right?
Yeah, he filmed all of that. He's pretty much my best bud. Plus, he freakin' rips at skating, which is insane. But I pretty much got on through both of them.

Joey Guevara

Backside Smith grind. (*click to enlarge)

7. Before that you were riding for Think?
Yeah. I can't remember how long exactly, but I was there until it ended. But it was sick. I was really good friends with this guy Justin Carlson who was the TM, and Think was like all San Francisco and I'm from San Jose, so it was really easy to just go up there and get in the van with them and skate. I got to see a lot of SF through that—just all the spots I never would have made it to alone.

8. Were you on Organika, too, for a minute?
Kind of. That was before Think. I just knew Justin Williams, who worked at the warehouse, honestly, and he just hooked me up with a couple of boards.

9. How was filming for your Atlas part? Was that your first big part?
That was awesome. I would just go out. It was mostly filmed by my buddy Justin [Ching]. He lived out in SF, so I would just go out and stay with him, drive around and look for spots all over the city. Half the stuff was from there, and the other half was filmed down here in downtown San Jose. I had some little YouTube parts before and I had a Think welcome part, too, but the Atlas part was definitely the first big part on that kind of level.

10. How did you meet Mark Suciu? Did you guys click as friends right away? Are you a fan?
Oh, definitely. He got me psyched on so many things. I've done a couple of cross-country trips with him, and I got to skate a lot of the East Coast spots for the first time with him. He has influenced me on a lot of things skating-wise and in general. Traveling out to the East Coast, I'm just really psyched on the spots out there and the vibe, and it makes me a little more selective about what types of spots I'm looking for. Mark definitely influenced all of that.

11. He's a big Anthony Pappalardo fan, right? It seemed like he would sort of seek out those East Coast/Pappalardo-style spots. Are you a Pops fan, too?
Oh, yeah. Definitely. I'm a fan of all of his parts. Mosaic ['03] and Photosynthesis ['00] were probably my favorites of his.

12. What were the big videos for you growing up?
I would say those two for sure: Mosaic and Photo. But honestly, I was always mostly into every video that Habitat or AWS put out. Even the newest one, Origin ['10] and all the tour videos. I'm just so psyched on the music and the skating. It was always my favorite mix of lifestyle and skating.

Joey Guevara

Frontside 50-50. (*click to enlarge)

13. I was told to ask about your family situation. Do you babysit your cousins or something like that? Are you a seasoned child caregiver?
Yeah. When I'm not skating, when I'm all sore and tired, my brother has a kid and my mom watches him, so I try to hang out with him a couple days a week. It's crazy just seeing somebody grow. I had never seen a baby grow, and it's cool to witness with my nephew. My mom still does the diapers. He's only like a year-and-a-half old, but my brother has three other kids that are a little older. They're all confused on what to get psyched on, so I've been trying to get them into skating. It's just something active and healthy that isn't going to cost everybody a bunch of money.

Skating is sick like that. Just grab the board and head out the door.
Yeah, exactly. Like one of them just got super stoked on paintballing, but that's just not something you can do every day. It's going to cost you a fortune.

14. How was growing up in San Jose?
It was pretty chill. Definitely a lot of good homies out here. It's rad. It's kind of a big skate town. We meet up at the skatepark and next thing you know everybody is together.

15. First pro or sponsored skater sighting in person there? Who were the legends when you were coming up?
Pretty much the Tiltmode squad. Caswell [Berry], Jerry [Hsu], all of those guys. They were pretty much legends to us growing up. I would always see them over at Sunnyvale skatepark.

What about the enjoi Mansion and all of that?
Yeah. I know Zack [Wallin], so I've been over a few times; they have a cool mini ramp in the back.

16. What is the goal right now for Alien Workshop? Are they going to add more riders? Will it be revealed through the "Resurface" videos?
Yeah. I think the goal right now is just to get the team together. They're still building it right now. It's not done yet. So far, as far as I know, they have Frankie Spears from New York, this dude Paul Liliani, and I guess Bobby de Keyzer is still either going to be on Habitat or Alien.

Man, that would be a rad crew. I feel like de Keyzer is sort of on the same tip as Suciu, too.
Yeah. He's sort of on that ledge level. All the fakie and switch tricks.

Joey Guevara

Boardslide. (*click to enlarge)

17. Is there a new AWS video in the works?
Yeah. They're talking about doing a video for April 2015. A couple of the new riders just finished up parts, so they're trying to get them all filming parts. I was working on a welcome part for Habitat so I can use all of that footage now towards this Alien video. I just have to get a couple of last tricks.

18. Is it a trip to be on Alien Workshop filming for an Alien Workshop video?
Yeah. It's definitely crazy when you say it like that. Especially since I was always into the Habitat vibe and now Alien is going to be something completely different.

19. You mentioned East Coast spots and that. What does real street skating—dodging cars, pedestrians, hills, driveway bumps, et cetera—mean to you versus skating in a schoolyard or in a TF? Is it important to you?
Oh, hell yeah. I'm all about trying to find spots, skating around downtown of any city, looking for spots that just aren't blown out. I was skating SF a lot, and I started going over to Oakland and realized there are all these spots that nobody has really found yet.

Even finding new ways to hit blown-out spots, too, can be rad. Like Ben Gore does that a bunch.
Yeah, definitely. He's rad. All those GX [1000] dudes are all down to find shit. Make something out of nothing. You'll go to the spot and you won't even believe it's a skate spot. But they make it look incredible in the footage or photo.

20. Here are my enders:
All-time best Habitat video?
Inhabitants ['07]. 

b) All-time best Habitat rider?
Stefan Janoski.

All-time best Habitat video part?
Austyn Gillette in Origin. 

All-time best Alien Workshop video?
Photosynthesis. 

All-time best AWS rider?
Jake Johnson.

All-time best AWS video part?
Jake Johnson in Mind Field ['09].

Get ready for Joey’s Transmission part dropping tomorrow!