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Congrats to winner Allen Dougherty!
For eight years, AZPX Skateboards has been thrashing across the desert from border to boarder spreading the gospel according to griptape. AZPX Owner, Rob Locker - the brains behind the board, is continuing his mission on Saturday, March 27 at San Carlos Apache Boys & Girls Club Skatepark with AZPX's 5th Annual Apache Skate Blast and JFA/Dephinger Apache Split Release Show. This day-long skateboarding competition will complete with a good ol' fashioned Rez punk party featuring JFA, Dephinger and some of their friends celebrating the new Apache Split 7" record. I sat down with Rob over the innernets to ask him some hard hitting questions about the record, geriatric skating and when the hell I'm gonna get my hoverboard.
AZP: From what you tell me, you've been sitting on this recording for over a year now. What's taken so long to get this rolling?
Rob: Actually, the idea for it came about in 2008. JFA was already working on another compilation project and had some extra tunes. Dephinger was writing songs for their next full-length release and had a lot of material too. The timing was just right. Not to make excuses, but 2009 was one shitty year man. Fear of being laid-off, a death in the family and being inflicted with a serious illness really fucked my shit up. Besides, AZPX Recordsain't no full-time gig or nothin ' and there is NO cash whatsoever to throw around on projects. The bands were gracious enough to pay for their own recordings but everything else but we had to get creative and raise the money ourselves. Playing lots of shows in this towndoesn't raise shit towards a release. We turned to our roots for some help. Cowtown Skateboards really stepped up and became a major sponsor of the project, basically just giving us cash and saying "run with it". It will be available at all Cowtown's 3 valley locations and on their website. Thanks a million Laura, Trent, Ed and all the CT family!
So yeah, it's taken a year to pull it all together, but hey, it's AZPX Record's very first vinyl release and it's gonna be a banger at that. Besides we are know as "Arizona's Worst Record Label", always choosing to go skateboarding than to work on making records. Basically it exists just for projects like this one.
AZP: The album release show is going to be at The San Carlos Apache Rez. I've noticed that AZPX does a great job expanding the borders for all of your events. Why is this?
Rob: From the beginning our only marketing strategy was to participate in every skate event and punk rock show that we possibly get to. By participating in these events means donating a lot of product and time to the folks putting them on. We came around when the skatepark build boom was in full effect and our original team rider, Brian Pino, just so happened to be the project manager on a lot of these builds and would always mention that his sponsor would be happy to put on a grand opening event for them. A lot of small communities around the state were building so we just followed wherever the next one was. Over the years, these people would remember AZPX and call us back to do other events for them involving theirskatepark.
AZP: Do you get a better draw in the outskirts of the state?
Rob: It's not necessarily a better draw on the outskirts, but yeah, kids really appreciate it more when you take your time to come hang out and skate with them. We hold a yearly to bi-yearly event at the Wickenburg skatepark called "The Battle of Sickenburg". The Battle is basically just an open BBQ with a little contest going on. The only prize is a beer cooler on skateboard trucks and wheels. It goes to whoever ripped the hardest that day. The winner from the last one brings it back to the next Battle, re-stocked with brew. What I am getting at is that at this thing we have kids coming from all over the state as far as Parker and Show Low just to come and skate with us for the afternoon. Getting back to the Rez, which is one of the poorest communities in Arizona, the kids don't have shit to do but get in trouble. They look forward to this event all year. It means a lot to them.
AZP: Why not just hold them at skate parks around the valley?
Rob: Local municipalities such as Phoenix pretty much won't event talk to you about throwing your own event at a park, and they certainly don't want to throw any of their own events. (There are exceptions: Goodyear, Glendale, Peoria). Common practice among the local skate companies is just make a flier for an event a week ahead of time and just go and do it at said park and hope you don't get shut down.
AZP: No Apache Split commemorative board to go with the split?
Rob: That's a good idea, Micah. I think I will go hand paint some decks and donate them to the Apache Skate Blast Contest with the JFA and Dephinger logo on it. As far as a commemorative board, I don't think that's a go. We make decks to be destroyed. Sure we have some models that are worthy wall-hangers but that's the owner's choice. Making a deck just to commemorate something and make it an instant collectible kinda ruins the cycle in the skateboard deck 'circle of life' or whatever you want to call it. Occasionally though, if it's for a worthy cause I will create a one-of-a-kind commemorative board to donate.
AZP: JFA has been pretty busy lately playing shows around the Tucson area. Anything we can expect to see more from them in the near future? I head something of a new studio recording in the works?
Rob: JFA has been busy as hell. Last year they released their first proper live recording called To All Our Friends, they played a ton of shows mostly around Southern California and Brian managed to knock himself out into the third song of their last Phoenix gig at the Sets. You just can't count on old guys to catch you for a stage dive anymore. As far as the recent Tucson gigs go, they came out last September to do an Arizona music showcase at Club Congress that blew the roof off the Hotel. The vibe was so killer they wanted to play Tucson again for the underagehomies this time instead of Phoenix. If only Hollywood Alley could do all-ages shows. Five years ago AZPX produced JFA's 25th Anniversary show at the Alley. It was their second biggest liquor sales night in their history and the Fire Marshall showed up freaking the fuck out. The thing is, JFA is all about playing gigs that can reach all age audiences. They will opt for a smaller all age gig over a larger 21 and over show any day. Besides the Apache Split, JFA is presently recording new tracks for an upcoming full-length release. Details coming soon!
AZP: Whats up with Dephinger these days? We haven't heard from them since the V6 comp. I see they often play on the west side lately over at Copper State Tavern. Anything new in the works for them?
Rob: The question should be "What ISN'T Dephinger up to these days?" Since the V6 Comp they've gone on two North American tours, one making it all the way to Ohio's Skatopia, leaving it in more ashes. We've been busy around the Valley, but just in an underground sort of way carefully picking local public performances, opting to play many private backyard and desert parties. Since Dephinger basically owns its own production company, have teamed up with AZPX Records and have been DJing lots of events and skatepark demos. On the horizon, Dephinger is working on recording their own upcoming full-length release.
AZP: How many bands do you actually have under AZPX Records now?
Rob: Technically, we have one band officially on AZPX Records... the mighty DEPHINGER! Yeah, we are doing a project with JFA but they are really not on our label, per say. Other bands have went ahead an put our logo on their recordings like Vacation to Kill the Nation and Greenhaven but they are more our bros who we support and promote because 1) We dig their music, and 2) That's what skate homies do for each other. Don't get me wrong, I would love to release something officially by each of these bands, maybe in the future. Also, we did put a release out by AZ Skate Rock legends Junior Achievement which was a re-release of the original 1984 vinyl re-mastered with added live tracks. Does that count as being a band under AZPX Records? I don't know.
AZP: Where's your favorite place to skate & why?
Rob: This is a great question. I grew up skateboaring in a time where the only places to ride your skateboard were places you either trespassed or you made your own terrain to skate. It was way more renegade back then and you spent more time looking over your shoulder than actually skateboarding. Running from the fuzz, getting knives and guns drawn on you, being chased by dogs was all part of skateboarding. Nowadays, things have changed and the cities have built parks all over just to skateboard in. Although this is great, the new generations of skateboards have no idea how to appreciate what they have to skate. I feel bad for them because the way I came up gave me an appreciation for ANYTHING I have to skate, be it an insane 11 foot bowl with tile and pool coping at the Goodyear Skate Complex or an old fucked up parking curb a down the street from home. So, I guess my answer is my favorite place to skate is anywhere I have the opportunity to skate with some good friends.
AZP: I've always loved skating, but I wouldn't dare refer to myself as a skater. My expertise doesn't stretch much further than a Pop Shuvit. Being the old fart that you are, what's the craziest trick you've ever performed, and would you be able to do it again without busting your hip?
Rob: The other day I did a switch 540 McTwist up a sidewalk wheelchair ramp on my way to the liquor store. C'mon, Micah! You puttin' me on the spot here or what? Let's see, I am 43 now, I started riding a skateboard seriously about 1984-never quit (slowed down a bit when the kids started showing up) - and I still suck!!! I mean, I can hold my own in any session on anything with anybody, but I wouldn't say I'm a heavy hitter in any session. My 9 year old son has now surpassed my in skate gnarlitude . What's more important would be some of the many many adventures seeking out skateboarding and making it happen-the people, the places, the situations-be it epic or horrific all adds up to quality skateboarding. This question could be a whole other interview if you want more details.
AZP: Not to get off track, but something has been troubling me for quite sometime, and as a skateboard maker, maybe you can shed some light for me. It's 2010. By any standards our generation grew up with, we are living in the proverbial "future". In this "future" we were promised ahoverboard, yet here I am, 32 years old, and I have no hoverboard. Why don't I have a hoverboard, Robert? When will I get the hoverboard I've been promised since Back to the Future 2?
Rob: Micah, you would make a perfect skateboarder because you are such a fucking nerd bro! I can certainly tell you that there will never be a hover board in the AZPX catalog. Right now there's all kinds of 'deck technologies' and 'green' manufacturing techniques-mostly just marketing campaigns. AZPX skateboard decks will always be just 3 things: wood, glue & pressure. We try to keep it as simple as possible by using the most ravaged old-forest depleted wood, the freshest horses for our glue right from the horse track. (settle down all you PETA freaks, I'm kidding!!) Getting back on track here Micah, it sounds like you really want a hover board man. Embrace the skateboarder ethos and make one yourself. I'll take it for a test ride for ya!
AZP: Did you know that AZPunk and AZPX are twin bastards from Hell?
Rob: Yes, I was aware of that. I saw that in a vision when I was hallucinating last summer from skateboarding when it was 113 degrees out. Little AZPunk and AZPX chupacabras were chasing me around Tempe Skatepark . Did you know that AZPX owes it's name to AZPunk? You guys started up just a couple of months before AZPX did. Our original name was AZPunx which was to be azpunx.com (funny how that links takes you somewhere suspiciously familiar...) Well, I thought the name was just too close to this other music driven website and confusion would occur so I just took some letters out of our name and ran with it. Over the years I got to know you guys pretty well and we have worked together on some pretty epic projects, and hope to do more. Plus, I think AZPX has put a little dent in Chris' mortgage payment with his awesome punkit.com service.
AZP: Any last requests?
Rob: I want to say thanks and give a shout out to everyone who has supported AZPX over the last eight years. Our little company has beaten the odds in the brutal skateboard industry environment and has outlasted a lot of other brands. I'm notsayin' that we're major players now and we don't want to be. The mission is to provide quality skateboarding to my home: Arizona. See you at the skatepark!
The latest Fall Dates for Rhythm Dragons Billy 3.0 Tour (Part 2) that starts October 1st.
Anarchy 520 Radio Show 9pm @ See Details • All Ages • Free Show! with 1. -the Clash – Know Your Rights, 2. The Slits- Not Anyone’s Little Girl, 3. Death- Politicians In My Eyes, 4. The Hives- Supply And Demand, 5. Rachid Taha- Rock El Casbah, 6. The Vaccines- Teenage Icon, 7. Iggy And The Stooges- I Got A Right, 8. Fishbone- Fight The Youth, 9. Pat
Latest album "Billy 3.0"by Rhythm Dragons plus all the past catalog of original songs by Phoenix,Arizona's own Rockabilly trio "the RHYTHM DRAGONS" - check it out at : https://www.itunes.apple.com/us/album/billy-3.0/id814571587
Check out the Latest album "Billy 3.0"by Rhythm Dragons plus all the past catalog of original songs by Phoenix,Arizona's own Rockabilly trio "the RHYTHM DRAGONS" - check it out at : https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/billy-3.0/id814571587
Come see G.C.O.M.