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Those Folks 2014 Recap

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We started off 2014 in San Francisco for some time to reflect and celebrate on the successes that came from the previous year. The short trip was followed up with new “scratch-n-sniff” stickers and a field trip to Las Vegas for AGENDA

Guerilla marketing at it’s finest!

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Our brother Blake Johnson received his first coverage in a skate magazine with his “Question Mark” article for The Skateboard Mag – then he followed up with his first ad for Santa Cruz Skateboards and dropped a video part welcoming him to the team.

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The (Those Folks) interviews I did this year were my favorite! Thank you Danny Trejo, Rick Klotz, Mikey Alfred, and Kevin Bradley - click their names to read each interview.

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We (Those Folks) found a home for our production over at Mixed Media! Thank you Bobby, Ben, Jon, and Nick a.k.a “Old Man” you guys are the best.

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Alina and Scali from The Hundreds took a trip to Venice in March to spend the day with us and interview me about Those Folks for their blog – click HERE to read it.

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Before the interview and before any type of communication with The Hundreds, we received an email from them stating their interest in carrying Those Folks in their stores; I was in awe to say the least. I’ve always believed if you worked hard and smart enough, the right things will happen at the right time.

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We then released our Spring line which would be picked up by The Hundreds and available at their Santa Monica, San Francisco, and New York stores.

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We took another trip to S.F. to celebrate the release of our Spring line and Those Folks being carried at THSF!

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During this time The Hundreds asked if I would like to be a contributor on their website and I accepted the opportunity.

Click HERE to read my first post about our trip to San Francisco and how I felt about Those Folks being sold in stores.

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Juice Magazine reached out to us back in January offering ad space in their upcoming 20th anniversary issue – I couldn’t believe it. The magazine was published in June and having our very own Those Folks ad was a dream come true! It was without a doubt one of my proudest accomplishments so I decided to write about it on my column for The Hundreds blog.

Click HERE to read it.

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Chris Brown was spotted wearing Those Folks on Melrose outside of Brooklyn Projects.

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The most surprising thing that happened in 2014 was AGENDA reaching out to us which then led to us having our very own booth at the Long Beach convention. After attending the tradeshow for years by sneaking in and/or trading off passes, it was a huge accomplishment to showcase our brand for the first time.

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I met a good friend by the name of Quentin Curtat through my buddy Skyler Dahan who both helped me bring my “Honey, I Shrunk The Folks” idea to life. This is by far my favorite photo shoot that we’ve done for Those Folks.

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We released our Summer line exclusively at Conveyor in Fred Segal and enjoyed the summertime as we always do!

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We won 1st place in the All-City Athletics Basketball League!

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Illegal Civilization was given it’s own radio show on Dash Radio! Much thanks to DJ Skee, Karlie, and Mikey for letting me be apart of it.

Download the Dash Radio App and tune into the Odd Future Station every Wednesday at 5pm! (PST)

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We held our 3rd consecutive homeless outreach in Venice – serving over 200 plates of food.

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BEST WISHES TO EVERYONE IN 2015 – THANKS FOR ALL THE SUPPORT!

Danny Trejo

Interview by Richard Massie

Age:   Oh you’re gonna go there fucker!?

(Laughs) Okay never mind.

Ethnicity:   Mexicano. Chicano. Paisa.

Where were you born?   I was born in Maywood but we lived on Temple & Figueroa, that was in 1944.

You just gave away your age! (Laughs)

Where’s home?   Mission Hills – Pacoima

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?   Say my prayers and just lay in bed.

What did you eat for breakfast today?   Oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins, breakfast of champions.

So how did you get into acting?   By accident. I walked on the set of Runaway Train and ran into Eddie Bunker, my friend from prison. We were busted together when I was the San Quentin lightweight and welterweight champion. I was hired to train Eric Roberts for a boxing scene in the movie.

So you weren’t actually in the movie, you just trained the actor?   No no no… I trained Eric Roberts and the director, Andrei Konchalovsky, saw that I could handle Eric. He was a Russian director, really famous in Russia, but Eric didn’t like him. He wouldn’t listen to Andrei or anyone basically, but he was so scared of me that he would do whatever I said. So when the director saw that Eric listened to me, he hired me. I’ll never forget because they were supposed to give me $320 a day, then Andrei says, “You work with Eric, you fight Eric in movie.” I said, “Okay” then he kissed me on both cheeks and walked away. I looked at Eddie Bunker and said, “Okay Eddie look, I’m gonna train this kid for $320 but if I’m gonna be kissing this guy, I want some more money!” (Laughs) Eddie was like, “He’s not gay Danny, he’s Russian.”

Eddie actually said, “Thanks to you we finished this movie because we couldn’t get Eric to do a motherfucking thing.” He was all spun on coke and wouldn’t listen to anyone. So what I did was I got my cousin “Sidewalk Sal” to be Eric’s connection so he would do whatever we told him. (Laughs) Sal had the San Fernando valley sewed up with coke so I would have him come to the movie set and him and Eric became buddies.

So that’s the guy who ruined his career?   (Laughs) Nah his career was already ruined.

Talk about Eddie Bunker, how did you originally meet him?   The first time I met Eddie was on the streets in 1962 when my uncle Gilbert bought a robbery from him. Then the next time I saw him was in 1966 in Quentin when he saw me win the title. After that was when I ran into him on Runaway Train.

You said your uncle bought a robbery, what do you mean?   Eddie Bunker was a genius. He would plan out robberies and sell them. That actual robbery my uncle bought ended up being a scene in the movie Straight Time. Let me tell you something about Eddie, that guy actually bailed out of jail before and the cops put a bug on his car to follow him, and he pulled straight into the bank on Fairfax & 3rd and robbed it. Right out of jail, with cops following him, and got away.

Wow. I actually got to meet Eddie with you before he passed away! Gilbert (Danny’s son) and I went to meet you in Century City and I just remember taking a picture of him because he was this old ass white dude driving a corvette with a hat that said Compton on it. Fuck, I wish I still had that photo! 

Oh yeah I remember that.

I didn’t know who he was but Gilbert told me all about him after. Then when he passed away I ended up buying a few of his books. “Education of a Felon” is my favorite book of all time. “Little Boy Blue” is a great one too.

Yeah we’re gonna make “Little Boy Blue” into a movie eventually.

Okay so Runaway Train was your first movie, but what’s crazy is I feel like everyone knows you from Blood In Blood Out. That’s the first movie people mention but you had the smallest role, like did you even say anything in that movie?   Yeah I had a couple lines. But literally everyone knows me from Blood In Blood Out.

What’s your favorite line from Blood In Blood Out?   “La Onda don’t shine shoes.”

(Danny’s cell phone rings and he walks out the room for a second)

Okay so I don’t appreciate you answering the phone, I didn’t answer mine when it rang.   Oh shut up stupid! (Laughs) If Maeve (Danny’s ex-wife) calls you, you better answer. (Laughs)

Okay what else you got?

How much time did you spend in prison?   In total about 10 years. The last jolt was 5 flat.

For what?   I sold 4 ounces of pure sugar to a Federal agent, no drugs were involved. That motherfucker got mad. They beat the fuck out of me! They beat me all the way from North Hollywood to the Federal Building in Downtown L.A. and turned around and beat me all the way back. Richard, they beat me so much I liked it. I was like “I like that shit, hit me again motherfucker.” That was in 1965 when I got busted.

What’s the best advice someone’s given you?   “I’d rather have a mangy dog for a friend than an enemy.” -Eddie Bunker

Who inspires you the most?   My children.

What’s your favorite cereal?   Oh man, Raisin Brand. With a little milk and hot water, that’s what we used to do in the joint.

What’s your favorite cartoon?   Ninja Turtles. I’m actually working on that right now, I did voice overs for it today.

Who’s your favorite Ninja Turtle?  Donatello

Wow I was gonna guess that! I always ask people that question because I feel like it says a lot about the person they are. It’s like you like the one that you are more alike.

Okay so what’s your favorite movie of all time?   The Searchers with John Wayne

Favorite director?   Robert Rodriguez

Who’s your favorite actor?   Robert De Niro

What’s your favorite role that you’ve played?   I’d have to say Machete. I would’ve liked that movie even if I wasn’t in it. People always show me Machete pictures on the internet, they showed  me one that said, “Chuck Norris, never heard of her.” They’re like what do you think about this one Danny? I’m like, “Shit, I hope Chuck Norris doesn’t see this.” (Laughs) Me and Chuck are friends though.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen a fan do?   I was in New Mexico and my cousin goes, “Danny you gotta come down to this bar, I want you to meet this girl.” So I go to this bar and she had half of her head shaved with a Machete tattoo on the side of her head. Her husband came running in screaming for us to take a picture together. He was like, “That bitch wouldn’t let me get it tatted!” He wanted it. (Laughs)

That’s fuckin’ crazy.   Yeah I was like you guys are tippin’ me out. A lot of people have Machete tattoos, it’s crazy.

Okay where’s your favorite place to eat?   The Pantry Cafe in DTLA or Musso & Franks

Do you prefer more peanut butter or more jelly?   More peanut butter. They call it peanut butter & jelly because if you put the jelly first you can’t put the peanut butter on.

What’s the last song you listened to?   ”Ain’t No Big Deal” by The Radiants

How many cups of coffee do you have a day?   Damn, about 8 or 9 – with a little cream. In the joint we used to drink coffee all day long.

What’s something that you have to do every single day?   Pray. I don’t really have to do anything else, go to work I guess.

What was your first job?   Working in a wrecking yard for 3-4 dollars an hour.

Did you graduate high school?   I got my diploma in San Quentin.

Do you still have it?   Yeah it’s somewhere.

I would have shit like that framed and up in my house if I was you – San Quentin diploma right next to a picture with De Niro.

What’s your favorite country that you’ve visited?   Rome, Italy. It’s beautiful, just unbelievable. There is streets and streets of shopping, you gotta tear up your daughter’s or wife’s credit cards before you get there.

Who haven’t you worked with that you would like to work with? Any actors or directors?   No. I mean I’ve done over 280 movies, I’ll work with anybody. Just let me know how much I’m getting paid. (Laughs) A lot of actors don’t like that I treat this industry like any other job. I’m the same as a painter, as a brick layer, this is my job. I just go to work and this is what I do. It’s special in everybody else’s eyes but it’s not special in my eyes.

What are you working on now?   I just finished Bad Ass 3 and I’m leaving to New York tomorrow for the Howard Stern Show.

Any last words?   “The whole world can think you’re a movie star but you can’t.” -Eddie Bunker

Those Folks 2013 Recap

We started off the year with our Valentine’s Day release. At the time I wanted to design some non-cornball shit that was against (in my opinion) possibly the worst holiday to ever go commercial. The drop included 3 different t-shirts and a snapback.

The first design was a Kim Casali tribute called “Love Is…”

The second design was something I’ve had in mind for a long time and perfect for Valentine’s Day. I searched all over L.A. to find the right oxeye daisies, checked my little brother & sister out of school early, then took some pictures of them playing the game “She (or He) loves me, she loves me not.”

The snapback was designed from the absence of LOVE…

Our good friend Cole Moss released his “Why Unicorn Drinks” book.

We made new stickers and some new lookbooks for our field trip to Vegas for MAGIC.
Guerilla marketing at it’s finest!

My childhood friend Gilbert Trejo jumped back on the scene and I was privileged enough to put together a TDRT (The Dead Reagan Tour) x CBG (Chill Black Guys) show. It was the first time Gilbert’s band TDRT played a show in over 5 years, and the first time CBG ever played with a live punk band. The night was definitely one to remember!

FRANK151 reached out to us for an interview and posted the article on their website!
Click HERE to read it.

In May we released our second collaboration with Crap Eyewear. This time around we got to design 2 different styles. Our “T.V. Eye” style frames are possibly my favorite thing that I have ever designed.

Our brother “Black Daniel” was finally released from jail. In my best attempt to keep him out of jail, I decided to take a skate trip up North to Santa Cruz, Sacramento, Oakland, and San Francisco. He had the time of his life during the trip but my #KeepBlackDanielOuttaJail campaign didn’t work for as long as I wanted. He was arrested once again shortly after we returned to L.A.

We held Warm Brew’s listening party for their album “The Ride” at Venice Orignals.

A girl named Autumn in St. Louis got a Those Folks tattoo on her foot!

We purchased 2 VHS video cameras to start filming a new Those Folks video, and just like every year, we enjoyed every day of the Summer!

My cousin “Juice” started making Those Folks jewelry, it will be available soon.

We signed up in a basketball league for the first time, and definitely not the last.

I took my first ever family trip to Kern River. I had never been camping before, it was the best time I had all year.

We held our very first skate contest at the skatepark in Venice. We filmed the contest with our VHS cameras but we’re saving the footage for the new Those Folks video that will be out next year.

Our boy Miles Silvas from Sacramento got the cover of Transworld Magazine!

Mikey Alfred from Illegal Civilization put together his first art show featuring work from Nakel Smith, Lego, Cedric Grandberry, Myself, as well as his own.

I finally met Bobby Hundreds so we could talk about things that happened in the past and left a sour relationship between The Hundreds and Those Folks. I’m glad we cleared everything up and now there might be a TH x TF collaboration coming soon…

For the second year in a row, Those Folks fed the homeless in Venice for Thanksgiving. We served over 200 plates of food and handed out socks & beanies as well. It’s always good to give back and although the government is trying to make it illegal, I hope we can keep this tradition going.