As you’ve probably heard by now, MACBA is currently being threatened with a skateboard ban. This would certainly be a huge blow to the international community of skaters that make it their home. Considering this pending catastrophe, now is an apt time to talk to an O.G.about the evolution of the scene in Barcelona. SOLO handles business with the online release of its Javier Sarmiento interview from Issue 30. He speaks on the culture of skate tourism that is the foundation of the situation at MACBA.
How was it to be in Barcelona when it got really big?
At first, it was really cool. The people weren’t that famous. You would roll around pretty easy. People that would come from the States would feel really comfortable to go to MACBA, or the bars, without being asked for a photo or an autograph or whatever. After we did the Firm video, we used to hate to go to the skater bars because people knew you; and it’s not that comfortable. So I didn’t come here for four or five years. I didn’t want to go through that.
How was it back in the days with MACBA and Sants?
The roots of Sants go way deeper than MACBA for sure. It’s older and it was bigger for the people from Barcelona. MACBA got popular way later. New kids from the hood started skating there, and they didn’t have good relations with the Sants crew. It was separated at different times. There were so many skaters at Sants before MACBA. They were super good.
There are tons of skaters here all the time. Everybody is always filming. Is it hard to skate in a city where so much is happening?
If you want to make your way up in a competitive way to get sponsored, it’s super hard. If you just want to have fun, it’s super good. All I wanna do is have fun. So it’s cool for me. But it’s not the right place for an up-and-comer. You have to be super good to get proper recognition.
Head over to SOLO to read the rest of the interview.