It doesn’t happen too often, but it happens. Photographer Davy van Laere sent some photos from an Antiz trip. I mean, getting photos from an Antiz trip happens often cause they’re touring the whole time, but there were photos of a guy we haven’t seen before and he skated really unique and looked really interesting. That’s what’s rarely happening. That you get surprised by a new face and are instantly fascinated by his skating and the vibe that he brings along with him. We had to know more about this tattooed youngster from Italy, talked to some other photographers, and it turned out that he had collected some heavy hitters. From there on, it was a no-brainer that we had to get him into the mag. And, luckily, a good friend of ours, Davide Martinazzo, knows Pepe pretty well and was able to do the interview. The best things in life are those that just come together naturally.
I am Pepe and actually I’m gonna have some tea while I’m drawing on this table with a big pen. So not much today, just chilling.
No, it was okay, but I just kind of broke my left hand like two days ago.
I’m 21 right now – legal age – and I’m trying to do my stuff; to draw a bit and skate as much as I can here in this great city, at least when it’s not raining, to travel through Europe in the Antiz van, and to take the tent to fucking yards and skateparks.
Oh fuck, maybe ten years ago, alone, in my fucking garage. And then the beers came about, I forgot everything and just got there somehow.
For sure, what you say is right. The hardcore punk scene was pretty huge in the late 80s and 90s. I for sure got influenced by that. I grew up with people twice my age, but I don’t know about the rude thing either. I’m not a rude boy for sure. I’m trying to keep the skateboard part of the culture hardcore for sure though. I’m more into that, rather than the new generation stuff. I’m not too good at the social networking internet stuff. I’d rather go out and skate with my friends. That’s it.
"I’m trying to keep the skateboard part of the culture hardcore for sure."
No, it was more about the influence of the whole generation though…
For sure, I’m stoked. Thanks to all the Solo guys for this. I’m looking forward to traveling and getting to see new places with new opportunities that I get because of Antiz and stuff. So it’s pretty good to learn for sure. It’s all about learning by traveling.
Actually, a part of the Antiz crew came to my home town during a tour in Italy. Since we were the local guys, we showed them around and my friend Alberto let them sleep at his place. After a few days of skating, talking, and having some beers together, we got along really well and Juju [Julien Bachelier] asked me to jump in the van for the rest of the tour. We skated together and had a good time, no matter what was going to happen later, and we basically just continued to have a good time together.
Yeah, kind of. In a really pure way. Skateboarding is all about being with your friends and having a good time. I fit in and I’m really stoked about it because now it’s kind of my family.
It’s not really pressure, I guess, but you have to be more focused on video parts, more focused on what to say, more focused on the competition – if you do competitions, of course.
"Being stuck between the four walls called school is not for me."
Oh, I didn’t really think about pressure or whatever. I was just stoked when everything came about. During the past six months, I have seen a huge part of Europe that I have never seen before. Every day I was stoked on meeting new people, seeing new beautiful places, and skating new crazy spots in all the cities. I actually just enjoyed it. And now I know what I want to do. We are just enjoying, keeping the good mood up, having fun, and producing what we love in a good way, in a hard way.
I actually dropped out of school lately. I don’t go to school anymore. It’s not skateboarding’s fault, I just felt that I get more input for my stuff when I’m around skating and traveling, seeing new stuff, and making new experiences. Being stuck between the four walls called school is not for me. So I just dropped out and I’m lucky to be in the situation I am right now. It’s exactly what I searched for.
Of course, I experiment a lot. I’m trying to experiment a lot with different ways of expression if you want to call it like that. It’s just different techniques. Printing techniques, tattooing, computer stuff, graphic stuff. Every day is a new day. I’m discovering something new every day because I’m always practicing, trying something new. Nobody is teaching me.
Tattooing is good and fun to do at night. “Bring the beers, I bring the music,” and then I’m like, “Okay, I’m gonna bring the tattoo machine.”
Sure, it’s always for fun too. The sad thing is that I got to feed myself now… You know, I’m a grown-up boy… Suddenly money gets involved and I’m really not good at handling money. But for sure, I have to make it a job at one point. I don’t want to call it a job because, of course, I’m trying to do what I love, but I got to pay the rent too. And beers for my friends. And roses for girls.
If you put it like that, it’s kind of hard. They are super cool persons and I’m the luckiest guy ever. They are pretty chill and, of course, they have a very different mentality than I have. They are another generation, I guess. Right now, I’m super close with them and they support me as much as they can. Of course, they worry about me sometimes. They were the first ones who believed in what I was doing – probably even before I did myself.
"I got to pay the rent. And beers for my friends. And roses for girls."
Right now, I just did a board for a collaboration of Vans Italy and three of the biggest shops in Italy. One in my hometown, which I skate for, Skateboarding’s Finest, bastard in Milan, and your shop, Dave, the Flame Shop. Me and Mattia Turco and Fabio Montagner do the graphics. As I said before, I’m just trying to do new stuff, so I’m experimenting a lot while I’m working. It’s like a journey because I start to think about something and try to get whatever’s on my mind on the computer screen or the paper. The possibility of making skateboarding graphics is the sickest part, to skate one of your graphics or see your friends skating and enjoying it. For sure, it’s difficult to design something in that format. But it’s fun to bring together the two things I love in life.
I can say that we are always trying to get together and skate new stuff with a recording machine running. And yeah, Ludo [Ludovic Azemar] is working on some stuff with Antiz and I’m trying to film with the Vans filmer here in Turin a bit. So when I’m not injured, I’ll see what happens. But the weather here is pretty sucky in the fucking winter. Maybe I can skate once or twice a week. We’ll see in the future, who knows.
Actually, I can’t wait to be in the van again, being around the Antiz boys. I hope – maybe – we’ll be hitting the other side of the planet, maybe this summer. We’ll see. There’s a lot of stuff going on.
I hope I’m still alive. I hope everybody is still alive. As long as I’m alive, I’ll try to enjoy what’s good and not waste time on the useless stuff. Good sunsets, good beer, and girls. I don’t know man, fuck the future.