If you are recruited to play the legendary Z-Boy Shogo Kubo in a Hollywood Production, you're good. If you can frontside heelflip UP stairs, you're great. If you ollie El Toro, you're fucking legend. If you can live with Lizard King and somehow survive it, you're not from this world. If you can do all these things, you must be The Nuge!
This is The Don Nguyen Interview
Is it more difficult to find time skating while running the Volume 4 brand? What’s a day in the life for Nuge these days?
Not really because skating IS Volume 4; but yes there's days when you have to balance both. Work on the new line half the day then go skate the last half. But it keeps it fun for sure. I love it.
When did you first come out to California from Oklahoma? What was your initial impression?
I moved here in 2001. I had been here a couple times before I actually moved. The first time I came I was hooked though. The weather, the air, skating was insane out here. Then I moved in 2001 and never left.
Was your first video part in The Oklahomies video?
I guess so yeh. Those were the good old days. Love those bros. TDS!!!
Any good stories from the Hellrose days?
Too many to talk about. We had a lot of parties and rotating posses coming in and out from everywhere. So fun. 365 days of ruckus.
Around that same time you rode for Hollywood Skateboards. What ended up happening with them?
When Kris left Hollywood we all kind of were young and didn't know what we were doing. And now we had to run the company for a bit. That was Kris' baby ya know. It didn't feel right without him, so it ended.
Did you ever kick it with some of the older guys on the team, like Dorian Tucker or Kris Markovich?
I lived with Kris for a while in his pool house. Before that I was homeless. He took me in big time and I owe a lot to him. He's the man. I still talk to him every now and then. He's doing good with his art and still rips!
How did you avoid becoming “the dude who ollied El Toro”?
I'm not sure if I avoided it. Kids still ask me about it hahaha.
And why did you decide to do ollie it in the first place?
Beer and Whiskey.
Why don’t you tie up your hair when skating life threatening gaps?
I only tie up if im tryin' a flip trick. Other than that I'm hair down.
Regular or switch frontside heelflip?
I can only do regs, so regs.
Who has the best heelflip in skateboarding?
What Asian stereotypes do you most embody?
How good is your Vietnamese?
Do you cook much? What’s your go to dish?
I cook all the time. A lot. BBQ a lot. Go to dish is marinated tri tip with white rice, grilled asparagus with garlic and parm.
What’s the deciding factor between good pho and bad pho?
The smell from outside the building.
What was harder to adapt to - getting married or living with Lizard King?
Getting married. Lizard is easy.
What sort of stuff are you playing when you DJ at bars?
Heavy Psych. No Requests.
If someone runs into you at the bar, what’re you having?
Tell us more about Volume 4? Why did you and Sammy decide to start the company? Who is on the Volume 4 team as of now?
Me n Sammy wanted to start something. We named it Volume 4. We make clothes that are what we think is cool. It's fun as fuck. Planning trips with your homies, the team is now Baca, Dee Ostrander, Nathan Jackson, Me, T-Spliff and Bobby Long.
Why did you decide to include your 69’ Harley as part of the Volume 4 Facebook contest? Who ended up winning?
I thought it would be good to get some hype behind the brand, and my friend Josh Landau from The Shrine won. He's never ridden a bike in his life.
Are you riding any other bikes nowadays? Do you ever ride with Corey Duffel?
I have a Triumph that's in the shop getting finished. I've been to Corey's and he has a few bikes but never rode with him.
What's up with Arctic, how long have you been a band now and how did the group come to be?
Arctic is Me, Figgy and Frecks. We started a few years ago. We all like the same music and just started a band. It's the funnest shit ever, just like skating, so we go on skate trips and play music on the way, who wouldn't?
Have you always played bass or do you play guitar too?
I played guitar first then played bass later. I like both but when I'm around the house I play guitar maybe a little more.
Best story from the road so far?
Baker tour was insane. Just wait.
What’s next from The Nuge in 2016?
Skate Skate Skate.
What’re you going to do now that you’ve finished all these questions?