Life, Happiness and Skateboarding: A Candid Interview with Mike Vallely

Posted by Carson Joyner on

Bloggy, Featured, Made In USA, Mike V, mike vallely, Skate, socco78

We’re always excited to catch up with Mike Vallely. We’ve done a few collaborations over the years and where all are special in their own way, the new “No Comply” signature series is an important dogeared page in Mike’s book of life. It marks a new, yet familiar, chapter inspired by brilliant moments. Perfectly captured instances that not only started a movement but solidified a mindset. One for overcoming obstacles, doing things your own way and to just keep pushing.

Over 30 years later, Mike’s message is unwavering. It’s a genuine call to arms for skateboarders to treat the world as a canvas to create new lines, to enjoy the camaraderie of the culture and to share the love they hold inside.

Please check out the interview below and visit mikevallely.com.

It’s always a pleasure to catch up with you. What are you up to these days?

I’m currently touring with Black Flag, and helping operate our family owned Skateboard Company: Street Plant, with my daughter Emily out of our family garage in Long Beach, CA.

We understand you’re exploring and developing other avenues for artistic expression beyond skateboarding and music. What can you tell us about these next steps?

My only focus at the moment is Skateboarding and Music.

SOCCO is extremely honored and humbled that we’re able to partner on this signature Mike Vallely model sock, featuring your art. Tell us about the inspiration for this design and what it means to you.

The art is from a photo taken of me while filming for the Public Domain video in 1988. Somehow this video, and this image have endured and brings people happiness. That’s a nice feeling

Which artists speak to you and what mediums are you drawn to?

I don’t really have specific artists or mediums. Anything with heart speaks to me.

Switching gears a bit, what’s new and exciting at Street Plant?

We always have new products that we are working on and are excited about. Our collaborations with the Bruce Lee and Jerry Garcia estates were a lot of fun. We also did a collaboration with Chad Muska this year, and we are working on more collaborations with other Skaters as well that we can’t wait to share with our audience.

Can you believe it has been five years since SOCCO and Street Plant celebrated the 25th anniversary of the "Barnyard" deck with uniquely original socks? Now that Street Plant is celebrating 30 years of the groundbreaking design, how do you envision the next steps in skateboard design?

I don’t envision it. I just do what I feel, what speaks to me, what I like, and I try to develop products where I see or feel there is a need and an interest but that is also true to me and our brand.

We absolutely dig the Skate.Create.Enjoy! mantra. How did that come about?

Thank You. I just felt that "Skate & Destroy" no longer said what needed to be said. Skate. Create. Enjoy! is my philosophy towards Skating and Life.

SOCCO wholeheartedly loves and respects you because you’re authentic through each progressive chapter of your life. We’d call you a renaissance man, but we’d prefer to hear it straight from you. What are your current passions and what drives you?

Thank You, truly. I just think there’s a lot of living to do, and that pursuing your interest and passions for their own sake is how you do it and is always rewarding.

The word "Authentic" has become a buzzword of late. What does it mean to you?

It doesn’t mean anything to me. I don’t think about it. It’s just a marketing thing. Living is where it is at.

What does it mean to be a legend?

I don’t know. That word is used so loosely, I don’t really value such titles. You have to get up every day and get on with it. No word is gonna’ do that for you.

What is one piece of advice you would give to all your faithful followers, especially the next generation of skaters?

Don’t faithfully follow me or anyone. Live your own life! Skate. Create. Enjoy!