Portrait shot by Scott Bankey. Click to enlarge.
The first time I can recall knowing 'of' Joey Martinez, it was sometime in probably 2009. I didn't know that many skateboarders outside of the people (read: person) that I skated with every single day, and I knew of even less 'like-minded' skateboarders. So, what I did was add Refuge's MySpace, and then immediately go through their friends list. I started adding everyone that didn't seem like a total kook. Joey was one of those guys, and shortly afterward, I had a chance encounter with him in Dearborn one spring afternoon. Although I haven't spent all that much time with him until this summer, (aside from one day trip to Birmingham, when I told Joey to follow me there in his truck. I was assuming he was bringing Scott, Ivan, Corey, etc with him, and that the only feasible way to get everyone there was with two vehicles, however upon arrival he stepped out of his truck alone.... Sorry again for making you drive there and home by yourself, Joey!), I've always been a fan of the guy. He has an interesting, almost artistic way of looking at things (which goes hand in hand with his clothing endeavor, Weird Feet / Model Mouth) to do on his skateboard. Joey Martinez is a stand up guy, an opinionated man of few words (but only because a high ratio of the things that come out of his mouth are cartoon sound effects), and I am delighted in bringing the five readers of this blog his story.
- Allen Dillard
"SOAPING it up..."
Rock 'n' Roll --- Photo : Hagelstein.
Click to enlarge.
Skateboarding for me began when I was in fourth grade... Actually, fourth grade may just have been a weird year for me. Something popular at that time were the shoes called "SOAPS", basically, they were some weird looking shoes that allowed you to grind on rails or ledges. My friend Ryan across the street and I used to wax up the curb in front of our house, and you could find us outside "SOAPING" it up, everyday.
"...I knew I wanted one."
Ollie Hydrant to Street --- Photo : Williams. Click to enlarge.
"...I always thought they looked so cool."
I can not recall who the very first person I knew to have a skateboard was, but when my friend Ryan got a skateboard, I knew I wanted one. I remember at the time everyone was getting World Industries boards, and I always thought they looked so cool. Christmas time came around, so I asked my Aunt for a skateboard for Christmas. I would have been happy with any kind of skateboard as long as I had one, but I was amazed to open the gift up and see a Bucky Lasek Birdhouse deck. I was amazed. I was so happy I could join all the neighborhood kids with my skateboard.
Bank to bank Ollie --- Photo : Williams.
Click to enlarge
I really enjoyed skating back then, and I did it every single day. I was not allowed to go very far from the house at the time. seeing as I was a little kid, so that waxed ledge that was once used for shoe grinding was now ready for skateboard grinding! I remember going to Refuge when it was still on Telegraph, right near my old middle school. As I got older, a lot of my freinds I grew up skating with had quit, and by the time I had gotten to high school, I rarely skated until I was a senior that is, when I started skating with Cory Hagelstein and Scott Bankey a lot.
"I rarely skated (when in high school) until I was a senior..."
Backside 50-50 --- Photo : Williams
Click to enlarge.
Skating with them made me love it again. Then I met this crazy little foreign kid that lived down the street. He turned out to be Ivan. Seeing Ivan so excited to skateboard everyday at 8 in the morning made me even more stoked to skate again. At that point I was skating pretty much every day with Scott, Cory, and Ivan. As we have all gotten older and started working and going to school, we haven't had as much time to skate together like we used to, but we still manage to have the best time together.
"...we haven't had as much time to skate together like we used to..."
Ollie --- Photo : Williams
Click to enlarge
"...but we still manage to have the best time together."
I have always been a big supporter of Refuge. Z and the Burnerz are all people I really look up to, and I am thankful to have grown up near such a sick shop. Skateboarding pretty much helped me make all the friends I have today and it has really opened me up to life and I could never thank it enough.
"I could never thank it enough."
Tail Drop Ollie into the bank --- Photo : Williams
Click to enlarge
I started Weird Feet sometime in about 2010. I had gotten a starter screen printing kit and just tried to teach myself how to do it. I really like local Michigan made, things, so I thought I would make some shirts with some designs I made on them. I thought of T-Shirts as a new way for me to make art. I do not really have a professional way of making my shirts or anything, just use a table and a single screen and hope for the best with every shirt or hat I make. The feeling of seeing people wear something I have made is pretty cool to me. The name "Model Mouth" got thrown into the name more recently, though I have no real reason as to why.
"...I just tried teaching myself to do it."
Feeble Grind --- Photo : Williams
Click to Enlarge
Lately, I have started really getting into it, and even opened up an online store so people all over the U.S. could order some products. I really enjoy printing things and I have plenty more ideas to come out in the near future. I just have to wait till the time is right and my funds are stable. Thank you to everyone who has bought anything from me!
Joey Martinez gives back to skateboarding through his clothing endeavor, Weird Feet / Model Mouth. He also rides for childhood friend Scott Bankey's American Antique Skateboards. Finally, he is filming for a video that I'm really anticipating, Recess. You can check out the threads Joey makes and support one of metro-Detroit's more creative minds by going to modelmouth.bigcartel.com Thanks go out to Joey Martinez for answering the questions, and to Cory Hagelstein, Scott Bankey and Nick Williams for taking some seriously amazing photos. Good job, guys.