An east coast skater with distinct urban street style, Nick Ferro aka Buggy Talls. We sat down with him and had him look back on his past and present.
──BUGGY TALLS (ENGLISH)
[ JAPANESE / ENGLISH ]
Photo courtesy of_Grand Collection
VHSMAG (V)： Where are you from? You currently live in New York?
Buggy Talls (B)： I live in New York. I was born in New Jersey, grew up in New York State, but I live in Brooklyn now. I've lived there for five years.
V： How did you get into skateboarding?
B： Dude, I was 10 probably. One of my neighbors was a skater, randomly. I grew up in the sticks, so there wasn't many people who did much. Mom's best friend's son skated, and he got me into it. And then he stopped skating a couple months after that. But I was still just into it. And then I just kept it moving really.
V： What year was that?
B： Shit. I was 10, so 2003 or 2004 is when I started to fuck around. My homie lived in a cul-de-sac so we would just skate flat. And then one of my neighbors built a ramp. And then after that, I started going to an indoor skate park. I grew up in the fucking woods basically. So, my mom would drive me 40 minutes to go to this indoor park. And then that's pretty much where I met all my friends, like Dick and Josh and all those dudes. And when we were fucking little, little fucking 15, I just thought it was a cool environment. So, I just kept it moving.
V： Who were your early influences?
B： I got to give a fucking major shout out to Brian Austin, RIP legend. He's not with us anymore, but he was this dude who worked at the fucking indoor skate park that we grew up at. He just pushed us to keep skating. Shout out Jersey Dave, obviously. But for the most part, we pretty much grew up at the skate park. And then after that, I obviously started watching East Coast shit. Definitely John Igei in the Static vids and anything that was East Coast they put us onto. Jersey is a pretty specific place for skating. When you think of Jersey, you think certain dudes for sure.
V： Like Bobby Puleo, Quim Cardona and Fred Gall for our generation.
B： Puleo for sure. Fred Gall for sure. Fred Gall was actually the first pro that I ever met in my life. I remember the day that I met Fred Gall. He's a fucking legend. But yeah, definitely look up to Fred Gall and Puleo and all those dudes for sure. But as a young kid, you don't really get it. You know what I mean? Coming from the suburbs, we didn't grow up in the city. So, it was a little different. We would go to the city, but that wasn't until we were a little bit older, like 16 or whatever. But for the most part it would be whatever the dudes at the skate park showed us was what we grew up on. And those dudes obviously fucked with the ill shit like Static vids and Puleo shit and Quim obviously. But I'm not going to front, we didn't grow up with Eastern Exposure video. We didn't grow up watching that shit.
V： Different generation.
B： Yeah. Once I was 17 or 18, we started watching all the older shit, because we were like, "Oh this is where we're from. This is the history. That's what I fuck with." You know what I mean?
V： How did you the break out from your local scene? What was your big break in skateboarding?
B： I'm not going to lie. Where I'm from, there's no skateboarders at all. I'm probably the only dude in the town who consistently has skated his whole life. The indoor skate park was 40 minutes away from where I grew up. All the friends that I grew up skating with at the park, they knew dudes who would film and shit. So, they were like, "Yo, come skate with us one time."
V： Who was your first sponsor?
B： My first sponsor was a skate shop that used to be in Jersey City, which doesn't exist anymore. It was called Holmes.
V： How did Bronze and all this stuff come into the picture?
B： Well, Bronze has been around for a long time before I was in the picture. Before I skated with any of those dudes, they had been around for a minute, because Peter Sidlauskas used to make the Flipmode videos, which me and my friends used to watch when we were growing up and shit. The way I got into that was through a filmer name Paul Young. He would take me skating and he would send footage to Peter. I guess he was down for it.
V： Where does the name Buggy Talls come from?
B： I've been Buggy since I was 15. When I was little, I had big eyes, and this one dude name Pat Dell that I used to skate was like, "Yo, you got mad big eyes. You look like a bug. You're buggy." It just stuck, and I ran with it. I looked up to that dude because his skating was really sick, and I still fucking got mad respect for that dude. Shout out Pat Dell. Legend.
V： What keeps you in New York? Have you ever thought about moving to California?
B： The only place in California that I would live would probably be SF. And I don't even have a super strong feeling to move out there. I love SF, I love going there because I went there like four years in a row. New York is where my people are at. For me it's a nostalgic thing. So for me, if I get a fucking clip at a spot in New York, it's a good feeling because it's hard. People have been skating in New York for fucking ever. So, if you can put your own piece into that city, it's kind of sick. It's special.
V： How did you get hooked up with Grand Collection?
B： Just through people that I knew. Like I said, it was pretty much Paul who put me onto everything. He gave my footage to Peter, and then I started skating in New York a little more than I did when I was a kid. And then I met JP Blair through that because he was doing shit with all those dudes. JP's OG as shit. Been filming forever. Things snowballed from there. And then I got introduced to the Grand Collection founder Ben. I guess he was down.
V： Seems like everyone's got mad respect for Ben.
B： Ben's the greatest dude I know, straight up. Honestly, that dude would not hurt a fucking fly. That dude will look out for anybody. That dude has looked out for me since I met him. Straight up.
V： Grand Collection started in 2016 and you had "BUGGY: Nick Ferro" part in 2017. Was that your intro part?
B： I guess. Me and Ben knew each other for a minute before that I guess. And then he was like, "Yo, you skate with all these dudes who are already down with me. I'll send you somewhere if you want to film some shit." And then he sent me and JP to SF.
V： That's why you had SF clips in there.
B： Yeah. I had a lot of SF clips. That was probably the first trip that Ben sent me on, which was really crazy to me because I was never the type of dude to be like, "Yeah, dudes are going to pay me or send me anywhere." And he was like, "Yeah, if you want to go to SF, I'd love to use your footage." If he'd love to use my footage, I would love to fucking skate, for sure. I guess things escalated from there.
V： What's the best thing about Grand?
B： Obviously Ben makes fucking good clothes. The quality is fucking amazing, and the clothes are sick. The hats are fucking sick. But he's down to listen to what you have to say, and you get to skate with dudes that you fucking look up to. Like, Dana is one of my favorite skaters. Wade... I'm younger than all these dudes. So, my inner child is like, "Damn, Wade's sick." Don't fucking let him know I said that, because he can suck dick, but it's sick. I don't know, it's fucking cool. Everyone gets along. This Japan trip was incredible. Get to go on a trip with all these fucking dudes and skate with people who are so good at skating. For him to include me in that is an insane feeling. I don't feel like I'm up to par with these dudes, but they're the homies at the same time.
V： Let's talk about "Tonal." How long did you guys film for?
B： Honestly, I didn't even know he was trying to make that. I had some footage that I was saving for Grand just to have on deck for whatever. And then Ben was like, "We're going to Tokyo to do a premiere." And I was like, "Wait, what?"
V： Like, "What video?"
B： Yeah. I was like, "What the hell? Holy shit. Like, If that's the case, all right. Give me a couple of months to get some footage." I was working on other shit at the time but when he told me that, I was like, "Fuck dude. Anything I get, I'm giving straight to Ben."
V： What about that switch hardflip fakie manual? You were throwing your board after that line.
B： I went back six times to do that. I've been a big fan of switch hards for mad long. And I've been trying that trick for fucking ever. And I was like, "Damn, that's the spot to go do it at. I'm going to go try it." Could never fucking do it. Went back six times to try it, fucking so many times. I would never do that for any other trick, but I just got lucky I guess. Shout out Guy Mariano. Did it on the curb. It's a beast.
V： Oh, you mean from the Mouse video? That's where it came from?
B： Yeah. Shit is fucking fire, dude.
V： Other than skating, is there anything you're into recently? You had a mix tape thing on Jenkem.
B： Yeah. I used to make a lot of mixes. This is winter in New York, you can't really skate too often, so if you don't have anything else to do, you go stir crazy. For a while I was making mixes but I stopped doing that to just try and focus on skating more. Recently I've thought about making more mixes though. I think I'm going to start making them again. Most of my spare time that I'm not skating, I'm usually just walking around or riding a cruiser board. Just chilling outside really. Even if it's cold, I'd rather be outside than in the crib. Because I don't have shit to do in the crib. I don't have skills. I can't do shit really. I don't sew, I don't fucking thrift, I don't do any of that shit. So, I'd rather just be out and about spending my time in the streets.
V： Okay, last question. What makes Grand different from every other brands out there?
B： The squad is definitely a big part of it for me. I love skating with all these dudes and they're all fucking great people. Ben is obviously the shit. So, it's like, what is there to really not be down with? You know what I mean?
Born in New Jersey. An up-and-coming with east coast style, making his mark in the skate history. He rides for brands like Grand Collection and Bronze 56K.