Let’s face it, Marcus Mcbride doesn’t do interviews very often. He’d much rather let his skating do the talking as opposed to answering questions about himself. If you’ve ever seen Marcus at a spot, then you know that he’s one of the most powerful there is. With that said, we’re extremely hyped that he answered the following questions for us.
48 Blocks: How did you first get started skating?
Marcus: I was about nine. My cousin had a skateboard, we were in Oakland at our other cousin’s house. I rolled down the hill on it, but his skateboard had nails nailed into the trucks and I was trying to ride down the hill on my knees cause I didn’t even know how to ride it. I SCRUBBED! I fell and fucked up my elbow and my knee. That was pretty much the first time I got on a skateboard.
48 Blocks: From there, how did you get started doing tricks and what was the first real set-up that you rode?
Marcus: After that, we moved out of the projects to a new place. I went to a new school and met my boy Tank and Nick Lockman. They showed me a real skateboard and the real shit about skateboarding. They showed me the real tricks and all that, they taught me how to do an ollie. I had a Jesse Martinez board, that was the first board that I skated that wasn’t some generic board that you get at a flea market.
48 Blocks: Was that when you first started going downtown and skating or was that more some neighborhood type of shit?
Marcus: That was more of some school shit and just finding out about skateboarding. I didn’t even really know about tricks or that you could do tricks, it was more about just riding a skateboard. I didn’t even understand that you could do tricks with it, I just thought it was something for cruising around.
48 Blocks: The first video part that I remember from you was in Mad Circle’s Let The Horns Blow. I think your brother came out with some stuff before that in some World videos. Talk about that time period, growing up skating with Lavar and progressing from being just another kid riding around on a skateboard to being sponsored and going down a career path with it.
Marcus: Well basically, it’s a long story so I’m gonna try to put it short. Me, Lavar, Gary, and Pat all used to skate back in the day. We all grew up in the Avenues after we moved out of the projects. Nick introduced me to it, then I showed Lavar. Lavar picked it up quicker, Lavar picked it up real fast! Him and Gary used to be really REALLY good. Lavar is still the bomb, you know what I mean – he’s the shit and Gary is still my nigga. They picked it up real quick and I couldn’t really keep up, so I used to quit a lot. I used to do BMX and ride through Golden Gate park and do all the jumps and shit. Then I started up again, I started going downtown to Embarcadero. I used to always go down there, but I would stop and my brother Lavar used to go down there everyday with Gary. They would just be learning shit and putting shit down. Those fools used to fuck it up. I used to just chill… gettin in trouble, not any real trouble just little kid shit. I had to have a surgery on my ankle after I started getting better and fucking with them. That took me out for like a year and a half. Before that I was getting shit from Justin Girard, he used to hook me up with New Deal shit, New Deal was giving him product for me. After I got out of the hospital, Justin hooked me up with Mad Circle and I just kept skating.
48 Blocks: So from Mad Circle to 101, how did that go down?
Marcus: Lavar was skating for Blind. He would always want to take me with him to LA when he used to go film for Blind. I went down there a couple times – well more than a couple times. We used to stay with Rodney Mullen, Rodney was a cool dude. He used to look out for us… take us out to eat and skate everywhere. Jason Dill used to see me skate and he would give me boards from 101. I had no problems with Mad Circle, but you know – I was messin’ with my brother and I seen some other stuff that they had going on down there. I just decided to go with 101 cause you know… Jason Dill, Gino, Clyde, and Natas; Natas hooked me up. They really looked out for me, so I gotta thank all of them down there. It was cool.
48 Blocks: How long had you been skating at this point, when you got on 101?
Marcus: Probably about… I’d say about four years.
48 Blocks: That’s pretty fast, really fast compared to some people…
Marcus: Yeah, I had been really skating since I was about twelve years old; but I had to go through that surgery shit and that took me out for a year and a half and that really set me back. After I came back it was about three or four years before I got sponsored.
48 Blocks: 101 was considered to be one of the best companies under World and World was considered the best distribution at that time and now a lot of people say that that was their favorite era in skating. What was it like to be there?
Marcus: It was really fun, I ain’t gonna lie… I had a ball. I was really young, it was just really different. I didn’t really see it how other people saw it. I was just skating, all I really wanted to do was get sponsored and just skate and be in videos and stuff like that. I wasn’t really worried about the whole outlook on World Industries and how people saw it. I basically just wanted to skate, that’s all I wanted to do – just skate and film and do what the people did when I watched videos.
48 Blocks: Was Rocco still in the mix back when you got on, do you have any stories about him?
Marcus: Yeah, he was there all the time… he never really left. It wasn’t how it was when Love Child and all those videos came out. He really kind of played the background, played the business side. We went on a tour and it was fun. I had a ball with Rocco, he’s a cool dude and real smart business-wise. I have a lot of respect for him. I don’t have any crazy stories– I’m sure other people got more stories than me.
48 Blocks: Your first board came out on World after Trilogy. Was it before or after Trilogy?
Marcus: After Trilogy.
48 Blocks: What was the process for you going pro? Were they like, “hey, we’re gonna give you a board” or what?
Marcus: I think it was because a lot of people were leaving and a lot of stuff was going down over there. I guess they didn’t want me to leave so they put me on World. They told me, “eventually we’re gonna turn you pro.” So I was like cool – why should I leave World Industries when they’re gonna turn me pro. I didn’t have any reason to leave, other people had their reasons…
48 Blocks: Were there any offers back then to go with certain people?
Marcus: Yeah there were offers, but I didn’t want those offers because I didn’t really see anything wrong with my situation at World Industries. There was no point in going somewhere else unless they were offering way more or something that I never had. I was real happy at World, I didn’t have any complaints.
48 Blocks: So then World morphs into Deca, I remember that situation was sort of back and fourth. You were on, then you weren’t, then you got back on. What was going on at that time?
Marcus: I ain’t gonna lie, that was basically my fault. I wasn’t really skating, I was doing some dumb stuff – getting into all types of shit. I just wasn’t really focussed on skateboarding. I was paying attention to some stuff that I wasn’t supposed to be paying attention to… know what I mean? Shit happens, I just had to get on my grind and skate harder. I had to take it real serious, cause before I didn’t really take it serious. I would just fuck around downtown too much. I had too many people around me. I would just get into all types of shit, but at the same time I was having fun too. I can’t complain about those times either.
48 Blocks: So then Deca went under and before they came back with anything there was a lull and DGK popped up around that time. How did you first meet Stevie?
Marcus: Man, that’s a crazy story… this muthafucka just called me, Lavar, and Pat out of the blue one time! We was all posted at my crib choking on that good as youngstas. We was chillin’ watching TV and the phone rings. I picked it up and this fool was like, “yo, this is Steve Williams… I’m from Philly.” We were all like, “we know who you are… we seen you in the videos!” We just started choppin’ it up and this fool was like, “I’m gonna come out there,” and we were like “yeah right, you ain’t gonna come out here.” Pat was talking to him like, “come out here – I got you!” Steve just said “fuck it,” and ran away from home and hitch hiked all the way out to California. Then the first time I ever met him, me and Lavar was down in Huntington Beach chillin’ with Rodney Mullen. We went down there to go skate with Jason Dill. We came back from eating and walked up Jason Dill’s stairs and Stevie’s standing there with a water gun fucking around with a fucked up ass leather jacket on. I was like “Oh shit, who’s this muthafucka, oh that’s Stevie, oh shit!” We kicked it that night. We went to go skate then we went to the store, we were young bucks. We weren’t even old enough to drink but we got fucked up. We were all fucked up in the parking lot and me and Steve started slap boxing and shit. We were testing each other and they broke it up like, “stop man, you guys are gonna start fighting.” We were like, “come on man… this is some hood shit!” We gave each other pounds and from then on we’ve been like brothers.
48 Blocks: So with DGK, you were already on Gold at that point right?
48 Blocks: So that was like a natural progression, but when did Stevie actually call you or how did you first hear that it was going down?
Marcus: Basically Eli hooked it up, it was me and Steve at first and then we added some more people. That’s basically how it started.
48 Blocks: Talk about Sanch, that was your road dog for awhile – you had that Transworld part.
Marcus: Me and Sanch used to go skate all the time. That was basically during the time when I got kicked off Deca and I was getting on my grind with skating. Henry was on the same level as me as far as the grind with skating. We used to go everyday and get tricks just to stay on our grind. We skated every day…. feel me, we would just film and get every trick that we could. We were all on DGK together, but some shit happened – I can’t really talk about it, but it is what it is.
48 Blocks: Do you still talk to Sanch?
Marcus: I try to call him up. I tried to call him the last time that I was in Sacramento. I probably called him from a number he didn’t recognize. Yeah man, I love Sanchez… that’s my homeboy and I got nothing but love. That’s one of the best skateboarders to ever put a foot on a skateboard.
48 Blocks: So when DGK started did you ever think it was gonna get as big as it is now as far as RBK deals and heads popping up on TV?
Marcus: Nah, I never thought it would be this big. That has to do with a real BIG deal with Stevie Williams, he really put his grind in and hooked up this team. He really looked out.
48 Blocks: How much input do you put in on the whole package as far as shoe designs or graphic ideas? Are you involved with that or are you more focussed on just the skating?
Marcus: We got a whole team of workers that look out for us. We come up with concepts and series ideas – it’s basically whoever comes to the table with ideas, we’ll work on them. I come with ideas, Steve comes with ideas, Nick comes with ideas, we all come with ideas and if we ain’t feelin’ them then we can’t do it. We gotta work as a team. That’s what we’ve been doing and it’s been working. We work together as a family and a team.
48 Blocks: Let’s talk about the European connection. I remember back around Deca you were on a shoe company with JB called Link and you started traveling to France and Spain a lot. Now, you still spend a lot of time over there. Talk about what takes you out there and what keeps bringing you back.
Marcus: I love Europe, I love to travel and be somewhere and be around things that I’m not used to. I like to experience new things. There’s only so much that you can do in one lifetime, so I think you’ve got to live your life to the fullest. Traveling is a big part of that. Whenever I go out there they show me love and I show them love. When you skate, it’s just like a respect… it doesn’t even matter where you’re from.
48 Blocks: What projects are you working on now?
Marcus: We’re gonna come out with our own DGK video, that’s the main goal right there. We’re also working on some RBK stuff, I’m about to go on another European tour with them. I’ve been filming, don’t worry about that. You’re gonna see me, you probably haven’t seen me in a minute, but I’m here and I ain’t going nowhere.
48 Blocks: With all the highs and lows that you’ve been through, what’s been the hardest part about making it to where you are now or what’s the main thing that keeps you focused?
Marcus: Staying out of trouble, staying focused on doing better things for someone who doesn’t think they can make it in the skateboard industry or just make it period. There’s a better day out there for everybody, I know there’s tough times – everybody goes through tough times. I just try to stay focused on being positive and stay off that negative shit.
48 Blocks: The other question that I have to ask before we wrap this up cause I know a lot of people reading this are probably wondering… what’s up with your brother, have you talked to him recently; and is he skating at all?
Marcus: My brother is basically just doing his own thing right now. He raps a lot. I talk to him every so often. He’s basically just living his life right now. He went through a lot when he was younger. He’s seen a lot and done a lot, he’s done so many tricks that people have never even thought of. Some people get bored with it, some people just want to move on. He still skates, he can get on a skateboard and do whatever the fuck he wants to do. That’s one thing about him, he can get on a skateboard and just do whatever he wants. I guess he’s just taking a chill break, but he’s still here… he ain’t going nowhere.
48 Blocks: Any last words or shout outs that you want to say to wrap this up?
Marcus: I wanna shout out the whole DGK squad, my nigga Steve, my nigga Nick, my brother Lavar, my nigga Rain, Pat, Geez, all my niggas down there still gettin’ it in. Nibs, keep your head up! Shout out to the SFC and whole Yay Area. What’s up to all the people out there and thank you for supporting DGK, I love ya’ll, thank you very much, and that’s it. It is what it is!