What Don “Nuge” Nguyen loves about skateboarding is the exact same thing he loves about music: there are no rules. Both are lawless, leaving you to create your own version. And they’re two things that Nuge plans on doing for the rest of his life. For Nuge, skateboarding, playing guitar and bass, and running his clothing brand, Volume 4, have no boundaries. There’s no one telling him what he can and can’t do, and there are no specific rules or guidelines he must abide by. Rather, these intertwined loves perpetuate his overall outlook on life—”live heavy, travel light”—and maintain his ultimate sense of freedom, on the board or on the stage.
What are some similarities between playing music and skateboarding?
The feeling of landing a trick and playing in front of people. It’s hard to explain the feeling of landing a trick, but it’s kind of the same thrill and adrenaline rush when you’re playing live.
Baker is much more than just a skate company; it’s really a family.
It’s a straight up family; once you’re on you’re on. I don’t think anyone has ever quit Baker. It’s like Girl and Chocolate, they are a family too. They take care of each other. It’s the same shit. Baker was my dream team. When Andrew [Reynolds] called me I was in a van with all the Baker dudes, and he wasn’t there for some reason, he called and was like, ”This is Reynolds, I talked to everyone and we decided that you should ride for Baker.” I was like, “Yeah right,” and hung up. I looked around, and everyone I knew was in the van so they couldn’t be pulling a fast one or anything. Then he called again, and of course I was like, “Yes, I’ll quit Foundation right now,” like let’s do this. That was the craziest phone call ever, and I didn’t even believe it at first. It felt like I was landing at home when I got the call from Drew.
Everyone is looking forward to Baker 4; can’t wait to see what kind of massive shit you pull. You’re kind of known for always going big—when you ollied El Toro, the Baxter Street hill bomb, the kickflip at the apartment complex in Los Feliz—is that a thing for you?
I always loved skating big shit for some reason. I always had this urge to charge. Watching the Baker videos and seeing them do massive shit, I wanted to jump off shit, do stuntman kind of drops. That was my favorite shit, but now it hurts more. Back then I could try all day, then wake up the next morning and do it all again.
Photos taken by Kris Evans.
Read our featured interview with Nuge in upcoming issue 12 out September 30th. Pre order the issue here.