Hiroki Muraoka was part of our Japan issue because we not only wanted our view on Japan in there but also a Japanese view on Europe, and at that time, Hiroki had just traveled around there for a few weeks. This time, he went to New York to film a part for the new video of his board sponsor Traffic, and his quick feet spit out some of his special tricks on East Coast spots. NYC local Pat Stiener, who works at Traffic’s distribution Theories of Atlantis and is editing the video, is also a good friend of Hiroki, so it made total sense to let those two connect for an interview.
And good morning to you.
At my house.
Yeah, my work is a skate class, so I got to skate during class a bit.
Around 15 people.
No, I just skate with them. Sometimes they ask me how to do a specific trick, like kickflips or something else, and then I show them. Is the interview already going?
"I like Margaritas, but it’s too easy to get drunk on them too fast."
Nice! Are you filming for the next Traffic video?
Yeah, but he’ll get it easily. He’s got great style and he’s a legend.
I started when I was eight or nine. I’m 32 now, so…
In the Tottori Prefecture, it’s near to Hiroshima.
Just once a year.
When I was younger, my brother watched Girl’s Mouse a lot and I watched a lot of the 411 videos – also 7 Year Glitch by New Deal and I watched Static II a fucking lot. Probably the same videos you watched, too.
I watched your part many times, too!
I think Rich [Adler] recommended me to them. He was in Japan and invited me to Traffic. Before that, I skated for Enjoi.
When I was around 18 or 19 years old. Masanori Uruma and Akira Ishizawa skated for 5Boro. Now, Uru is the owner of Kukunochi Distribution. Because they were skating for 5Boro at that time, they went to New York, and I always wanted to go, too, so I asked them if I could come with them. I was like, “I’m gonna pay my ticket and everything by myself, just please take me to New York!” They came to New York to film and I would just follow them around and meet a bunch of the 5Boro dudes.
I went to the Tengu premiere in New York, but I never met him. I think Connor [Kammerer] introduced us when we finally met.
Yeah, he comes to Japan often! So we’ve met in Japan and it’s really easy to communicate with him and to have a good relationship.
Yes, he does! A lot of foreigners can speak Japanese, but they are mostly from Asia and they speak weird, like my English. Connor has a perfect Japanese pronunciation and that is super hard for foreigners. I think he watches a lot of Japanese movies.
We were just skating and filming, and then Colin said, “I wanna make a new video,” and that he wanted to make a part with me. That’s where it started.
For the Spirit Quest premiere three years ago.
I didn’t film the last time, I just met a bunch of people and hung out.
Yeah, beer machine time! I went there for the premiere, and this time, I was filming for Traffic and doing this interview thing. I stayed for one month, the whole August.
"Yeah, beer machine time!"
Luke’s, John’s and Connor’s place.
[laughs] I’d say every house was pretty good. In Japan, the houses are very small and you don’t have enough space, but in New York, America, every house is pretty big, right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah! [laughs] I think I hung out with you mostly.
No, but I like beer better.
I like Margaritas, but it’s too easy to get drunk on them too fast. Do you remember the quesadilla?
Yeah, that was my shit!
We also went to the beach. That was beautiful! That’s my best memory of New York besides skating. We took the ferry there, I really loved it.
No, we just hung out, nothing too crazy. I have a funny story with Rich though. When I stayed at his place, we drank tons of beer and smoked weed at his house. We were completely wasted. I was too wasted to even take a shower and passed out on the couch. Three minutes later, Rich was jumping on me, I guess he was drunk, too, and didn’t see me there.
Yeah, that’s what we drank.
Philly was amazing, lots of skate spots! We went to so many spots, but it felt pretty ghetto there…
Yeah, but it was fun, though!
I want to come back, but flights are pretty expensive.
Sounds fun! When is the video coming?
That’s my favorite place! I can skate there, drink beer, meet people on the couch. We can do everything there. Very chill!
It’s one of my favorite tricks, it’s just a weird one.
Name it? Mhh… Patrickflip?
I’ve always used your name in New York when I went to get bagels or coffee. “What’s your name?” “Uhm, Patrick.”
Luke was funny. [laughs]