Josh Wilson Interview

March 5, 2018
photos by Mike Heikilla


Do you remember the first time I took you street skating? If not the first, any interesting memories come to mind from your early adventures in the streets?
Of course I remember the first time. We skated some factory spots by your parents’ house. I think you filmed me do a kickflip off a loading dock into a bank. You made me do it twice because I beamed the camera, glad I got that lesson early on. Then later that night I ollied a 12 stair. One interesting memeory was skating Roosevelt School with Fred Gall and Tim O’Connor. I hadn’t had many interactions with pros yet and Freddy did that gnarly ollie into the second bank on the hip that’s in his Inhabitants part.
Tell me about the time Geo Moya left a used board in the trash at the skatepark and you sold it.
Geo would come to the park every so often usually at night when there was less people. One rainy day he came and ended up throwing his board away. I think I sold it for like $10 but I don’t think I knew it was cracked until all was said and done. Haha, sorry to whowever bought that.
What does it mean to Deli Roll” a pair of shoes? Has this ever happened to you?
Deli roll is when you put a piece of cheese under the insole of a shoe in hopes it wont be found until your shoe has an unbearable smell. I got a box of Converse shoes when they first came back to skating from Chase Whitaker. I got deli rolled. Luckily I got two pairs of shoes and had given a pair to my homie so I guess I unintentionally deli rolled my homie. Sorry Trent. Fuck you Chase.


You and Dick Rizzo grew up skating together. Is it safe to say you guys had a little friendly rivalry going on back in the day?
Dick started coming to our local park Drop In, and he was probably 11 and I was 14. He got good fast and stuck through all the bullying and bullshit we would give him. As we got older we got competitive and I think we still are but it pushes both of us to do our best. If no ones pushes you it’s hard to further yourself.
You went to school for photography. Tell me about some of your favorite things to photograph and why? Do you see yourself pursuing a career in photography after skating?
I have a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts. I like to photograph my friends and I enjoy urban still life as well. I definitely have put the camera down lately because I’m trying to focus on skating, but I still have a job in photography today. I will probably shoot more when I travel or when skating isn’t working out.
Luke Malaney or Keith Denley?
Both in 2007.
Name the top 5 things you love about New Jersey.
Family, taylor ham, blue cans? crust, the smell.

Hippy jump

What’s it like living with JP Blair? Do you remember the time when you tried giving him a black eye?
JP is the best roommate; he’s very good with the flow and he’s pretty clean too. I don’t think we’ve ever had an argument about out apartment. He was bullying me. I was like 13 and he kept pushing me into a bush. Every time I would try and stand up I would get pushed back down. Once I got up it was on. I punched him right in the eye as hard as I could. Then he said he hoped it would turn in to a black eye.
Tell me a crazy traveling story.
I was in Jasper, Tenesee on a a Quasi trip and we stopped on our way to Nashville to skate this house bank at a firework store. Gilbert started to try and break this fence a bit so he could try this ollie. The owner of the firework store came outside and saw that. He returned quickly with a shotgun in hand. So we’re at the bottom of this huge bank trying to pile in the van before the unthinkable happens. Luckily we raced out of there unscathed.
What were some of your favorite skate videos as a kid?
I think one of the first videos I saw was La Luz so that was definitely a favorite, also Yeah Right came out right when I started skating so that was pretty influential.
Favorite Ted Barrow trick from Lurkers 2.
I would probably have to say line at CIA ledge with the fakie flip and the switch back tail shuv it. He’s wearing Ipath grasshoppers and a 5 panel hat. I think the outfit sums up that time period well.
Top 5 pizza spots in Ny/Nj.
In no particular order, Carmines, Joes, Prince St, Totonno’s and Spumoni Gardens.
People started to know who you were after your part in that Bronze video. How did all of that come about?
I moved into my first apartment in Brooklyn and was skating with JP Blair a lot. I ended up meeting Pat Murrary through him and I think after skating with him regularly and PJ showing him footage we would get he was like I want to make another video and have you and dick in it. It came pretty naturally.
Before getting on Quasi, you skated for Hopps. What was it like calling an east coast legend like Jahmal Williams to tell him that you quit?
I would never call to quit a company. I went over to his apartment to get boards one day and expainded everything that was going on. He had always told me that if an opportunity arose and it made sense and would further my carreer to take it. I think he was a bit bummed but he was also hyped for me. He still gave me boards that day. Love you Jahmal!


Tell me a good Justin White story from when you guys used to go out filming together.
One time Justin wanted me to skate this rail in the town his parents lived in but he had lost his license and I was like 14 so I couldn’t drive there. I ended up skating there which took over an hour because it was a couple miles away. I think I got two tricks on the rail and ollied my first street gap that day so it all worked out haha. Thanks Justin.
You grew up in Jersey pretty close to the New York State border. What were some of the best parts about growing up and skating in that area?
Growing up the skate scene was pretty big in my area. I was fortunate to meet awesome people with good ideas about how skateboarding should be done. We also have a lot of great spots in the area some that were destinatons for tons of skaters. It also was easy to access NYC and I would go all the time, sometimes with no plan.
Didn’t your dad compete in one of those Ironman triathlons? Do you ever see yourself doing something like that?
Yeah my dad is a triathelete. He did a full Ironman last year at 55. Maybe I won’t be doing Ironman but hopefully I’ll be able to skate still at that age.
What can we expect from Josh Wilson in the near future? Any projects in the works?
We’re working on a Quasi video that should be out in early 2018. I feel like I’ve been filming for it for a long time, everyone has been. So I’m excited to finish the project. Other than that we’re working on another Bronze video and I think that should be out early 2018 also. Keep your eyes peeled.
Last words?
Just want to thank anyone whose helped me get to where I am know who you are. Peace and chicken grease.