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Rafael – Guerrilla Skatezine
To me, Guerrilla Skatezine is the voice of the underground and local skateboarding set on paper. But not only. Through his rad fanzine, Rafael spreads the stoke from Sevilla to South Korea, via Switzerland.
First thing, can you shortly introduce yourself? (Name, Age, ...)
Hey Daniel! I’m Rafael Álvarez a 23 years old kid from Jerez de la Frontera (Spain). I’m actually living and working in Barcelona and feeling so good to be here. Before this, I spent two years in Sevilla studying a grade of photography. This period was really important for me because I then discovered my passion for taking photos and for the skateboarding community, the two pillars that guide my ups and downs in life.
Can you tell us about Guerrilla Skatezine?
At a time when almost everybody has the nose stuck on screens, what does motivate you to publish a printed zine?
Guerrilla Skatezine is a little A5 format size fanzine printed in b/w where I post interviews, articles, trips and more stuff about mainly skateboarding (not always made by me because I like collaborating with other people around the world) half Spanish/half English. I consider this as a challenge. Anyway, we all know that reading and touching skateboarding texts and photos on paper is much better than viewing it on a cold screen; where the post is instantly forgotten as fast as I can eat a kebab (and I’m really fast at it)!
Why «Guerrilla Skatezine»? Where does the name comes from?
I remember Elam Revuelta from The Room Skateshop (Sevilla) who had a kind of website blog about skateboarding called «Skateboarding Guerrilla» around 2013-2014, but it disappeared quickly because he got too busy. When I decided to start this project in 2017, I thought about it, and wanted to revive the spirit and the feeling of the homemade newsletter... I also love the meaning of the word «Guerrilla». I think that it just perfectly fits the way of how the fanzine makes sense and works.
Do you have any favorite zines that you look to for inspiration? What else inspires you?
Yes of course. If I need to say the most important ones for me, I should mention “Versus Skatezine”, the best by Jeremy Durand. His work is just amazing, and I really think people need to know about his zine that gives meaning to the word SKATEZINE (and he is making to reality DIY Skateparks too) double points for my man Jey. The other one is a fanzine from Spotter locals called “SENTFIELDS #1”, the first skateboarding zine I meet, some pure funny pages with superb design and perfect articles to read if you want to kill a boring day.
Publishing one’s own zine is an amazing opportunity to send out a message or an idea.
Is there one (or more) message(s) you try to communicate through Guerrilla Skatezine?
Guerrilla Skatezine’s message is that you can transmit whatever you want to the world without a big budget, you only need to believe in it and start working on it! How something made by an untalented guy like me can cross the whole world from Sevilla to South Korea for example? (Sigh!)
Publishing a magazine/fanzine is a lot of work. How does the making of an issue works? With whom do you work?
Well, I need to say that with every new issue, I don’t sleep the 42h before “go print”. That maybe can give you guys an idea of the work that means to me... Guerrilla Skatezine takes a big percentage of my main routine, constantly thinking about new ideas even while taking my monthly shower. I only have advertisements of the brands inside the issue or those I collaborate with in some articles.
Besides the time needed for its making, the production of a magazine/fanzine isn’t costless. How do you manage Guerrilla Skate zine’s financial aspect?
Thanks obviously to all the people who support Guerrilla Skatezine; Skate shops and people that really love this and don’t want to see print disappear; buying Guerrilla merch or supporting it on their way. When I have to talk about this, I’m overwhelmed by emotion, deep inside my heart. I mean words sometimes can’t express this kind of things... Thank you all for making this dream possible!
Regarding finances, do you accept any kind of advertisers?
Or did you impose on yourself some kind of safeguards?
Advertisers in Guerrilla Skatezine are skateboarding friends or end up being mates because of the close relationship. I always pay particular attention to the good principles and the philosophy of the zine. So, if your brand doesn’t fit in with my pages, you won’t be able to advertise in them. In fact, I had to say no, not only to one or two «brands» that have «strange» intentions behind...
In recent years, the interest in print media has continually decreased.
Skateboarding zines are increasingly harder and harder to find, even in skate shops. Do you worry about it?
Maybe I should worry about it, but I don’t know why I just don’t care about it... Maybe because I’m not looking for the numbers. I just feel that If someone finds the motivation to go skating, or taking photos, or even making his own zine, so all my hard work is worth it!
At the same time, I have the impression that while less people are buying zines, more and more people are making them. Do you share that view?
Yes, why not… To be honest, I really don’t pay attention to all these things. But I think that it’s is something important to know if I want to set the future of Guerrilla Skatezine.
Any plans for the future? How do you see Guerrilla Skate zine’s future?
Oh, talking about future (laughs)! I don’t know, maybe printing in color!? A revolutionary «The Hottest Skater» new section? (laughs)... Who knows? The future is so uncertain! But I will still work hard for Guerrilla Skatezine at least 100 years or more! For sure :)
If you had to choose between a session with your mates or finishing the next edition, what would you do?
Duuuuude! F*ck! Why the hell do I need to choose one? (Laughs) So it would be a session with my mates because without them, I wouldn’t be able to make the next issue. But you are really a bad person Daniel! (laughs)
A last word? Any shout outs?
Thanks a lot for having me Daniel, and I want to let people know that you are an important key for Guerrilla Skatezine with your unconditional support in every issue. Shout out and long live to ZineNation! Thanks world for people like you guys!