An Interview With Johnny Wilson

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Photo by Colin Sussingham

You can probably recognize Johnny Wilson’s crew when you see a mob rolling twenty-five deep to a Manhattan skate spot. In a city full of cop-outs (“We got kicked out because there were too many people,” “There are no good spots anymore,” “It’s too easy to get caught up partying,” etc.), they have managed to complete four full-length videos in two years, all while releasing a weekly video blog series, which is up to volume #214 right now. That’s roughly ten or maybe thirty hours of footage, in a place that we often insist to be pretty frustrating to skate in. These guys might truly be the most productive skate crew in the history of New York skateboarding.

A week from the premiere of his new video, Paych, we talked to Johnny about where they come from and how their operation functions. Sorry for not including the obligatory “VX V.S. HD!” and “Is the internet ruining skate videos?!”-questions ;) ♥

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Where are you from?

Born in South Florida, moved to New Jersey because my dad worked in the city, back to south Florida, and then to Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg, which is the capital and two-and-a-half hours from Philly. Once I graduated high school, I moved to Brooklyn.

How’d you get into skateboarding?

I have two older brothers, Mitchell and Andrew. If one did something, we all had to do it. My oldest brother started, so we all had to start. I’ve been skating since I was around seven-years-old.

Were you always the dude with the camera, or was that later down the line?

This kid in our town [in Pennsylvania] made a little video when I was in seventh or eighth grade. He stopped filming immediately after, so I asked to borrow his camera to film my brothers and our friends. It was a shitty Panasonic with a baby Death Lens. After that, I got a bigger Panasonic, which was sort of the predecessor to the DVX. I ended up trading the Panasonic for a VX1000 to this dude in Long Island. I cannot believe that trade went through; I definitely got the better end of it. The dude even emailed me saying “I’m not really feeling this camera. Could we trade back?”

Alternate YouTube Link

Where’d you trade for it, Skate Perception?

Yeah, the kid who I originally got my first camera from had an account on there. He stopped filming, so he ended up giving me his camera, and eventually his Skate Perception password. He had 500+ posts, which grants you permission to post in the classifieds.

When I got the VX, I had no idea how to use it. This dude Kevin Winters, who made Bruns and has maybe five VX1000s, really helped me out with how to set everything up.

Were you only filming friends around your town at that point?

Both of my brothers went to college in Philly, and I was a senior in the middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania, so I’d be going out to Philly every weekend to skate with them.

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Same Thing Every Morning

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Via Grandpa on Instagram

Our good friend Michael Gigliotti made an eight-minute bro cam clip that features parts from himself, Miles Marquez and Alex “$80 Baseball Cap” Olson. It’ll make you really happy you live near the Tompkins though.

Jason Byoun with an avant garde line of the year contender in video blog #209 from the Beef Patty dudes. Also big congratulations to the homie Max Palmer A.K.A. Loose Trucks Max. He has his name on a skateboard now.

Following in the footsteps of Wes Kremer’s wallie bluntslide, and Jake’s trick from Static 4 (won’t spoil for anyone who hasn’t seen it), some guy wallie crooked grinded the Clipper Ledge. It’s not like tricks down Clipper have been tangibly comprehensible to the average human since Darrell Stanton’s Free Your Mind ender anyway

Big pop shoves, Lucien Clarke lines and kitchen freestyles in the “Piff Sticks Mixtape” from the Yes Fam crew out in London.

Some thoughts on everyone’s unwavering Gino fandom and his Six Feet Under shirt.

Even if it’s for a bit of a puff piece, it’s cool to watch Quim and Ricky shoot the shit.

Rochester looks like it has some spots.

Muckmouth caught up with Rob Pluhowski, Richard Mulder, Nate Jones, Scott Kane, and some others in the fourth installment of their “Where are they now?” series.

If you missed last month’s issue of The Skateboard Mag (the one with the “cherry” feature), they posted an extended transcript of the Rieder interview online.

LES Park edits are a dime a dozen, but Eli has a QS tee on in this one ;)

The BEV video features a bunch of LES park locals and premieres on May 24th off the Halsey J stop. Flyer here. Teaser here. It’s mad Tumblr.

The full CT/NY-based Merica video is now online. It’s mad indie.

Spot Updates: 1) The CBS 52 ledge over the six stair is sort of a wrap, though someone will find a way to boardslide it with a lot of wax. 2) There’s a new box at 12th Street, just in time for iced coffee season. 3) There are some temporary gaps all down Lafayette Street that’ll likely get filled in with cement by the end of the week.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Honestly, can’t think of anything that stands out above the rest from the past week, aside from Tony Parker’s entire Game 3 performance. (P.S. We’re Spurs fans here from here on in, because they’re the only team left that can beat Miami.) Still sorta amazed the Thunder blew it yesterday. Also, you should read Grantland’s history of the 2002 western conference finals between the Lakers and Kings. It’s mad sad though. Biebel probably teared up reading it.

Quote of the Week: “Tiesto is my favorite.” — Geo Moya

How long do you guys think that box is gonna be at 12th for?

The 2013 New York Skateboarding Year in Review: 5-1

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2013 was okay. What is it about New Year’s this year that makes it seem more garbage than usual though? Anyway, like, where’s everyone at tonight? ;)

Previously: #s 25-21, #s 20-16, #s 15-11, #s 10-6, The Year in T.F. Obstacles

5. The Subway Track Ollie

If you have ever stood on a subway platform staring at the countdown clock, the thought has come to mind: “Could someone hypothetically ollie over the tracks?” In theory, if Jeremy Wray did that water tower ollie, it’d have to be possible. Then you’d consider the additional curve-in, the timing, the train, the bust, and eventually, the third rail, which stands to give anyone who touches it an unpleasant departure from earth in the event of a worst case scenario.

The speculation ended this year, as Koki Loaiza ollied from platform to platform at the 145th Street A station…going towards the third rail and earning press from media outlets far beyond skateboarding’s typical reach.

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Loose Trucks Max: Remixes & B-Sides

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Photo by Colin Sussingham

Coda Skateboards has a new “remix” edit up of some Loose Trucks Max footage, which is actually a bit more like a minute-and-a-half Coda promo, followed by a four-minute Max part with guest tricks from all the Beef Patty dudes starting at the 1:55 mark. It features a good bit of footage that didn’t end up in Beef Patty, a replay of many analysts’ leading contender (see 3:15) for “Frontside Flip of the Year — 2013,” and is oddly edited to Billy Rohan’s song from the 2004 ABC skateshop video.

Since the sun is crossing the equator and stuff soon, summer “officially” ends on Sunday. So, it would probably make sense to put our “End of the Summer” clip online tomorrow, huh? It’s not as good as this Max part, but it’s okay.

Previously: Beef Patty, Max Palmer in Mama’s Boys, Max Palmer in Wassamattayou

Fashionably Late Links

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Cara Delevingne gets “garbage fashion ad with a skateboard” Monday Links headline honors this year because she has good taste in cruisers, or, uh, “cookie boards.”

Happy second half of Fashion Week, guys! Sorry we could not procure a dedicated post in its honor this year. You could still check out past editions though.

For all the bums too broke to have supported a $10 video: Check out future New Jersey Senator, Jersey Dave (A.K.A. The White Corey Booker) in Outdated.

Pietrasanta, Italy, one of the epicenters of the marble industry, is making a skatepark entirely out of recycled white marble. Add the Italians to the #smart list.

Here are a ton of sick photos featuring tricks that appeared in Beef Patty.

A (previously unseen?) alternate long lens angle of Brian Wenning’s one-time “Most Important Switch 360 Flip Ever Done.”

A few notes on the incredible Marcus McBride Manolo Mixtape: 1) He skated to “Livin’ in the Bay,” which is the same song from the Lavar McBride’s Greatest Misses compilation part. It doesn’t do much to alleviate the chronic underuse of nineties Bay Area rap in skate videos (particularly when edited alongside identical eras in skating), but it’s cool he used “My Opinion” for the end section. When is someone gonna skate to “Sick Wit Tis?” 2) Do you think he just showed up to Pier 7 on random days and decided to try tricks over the blocks mid-session, or came to the spot intending to nollie back heel one? 3) One of the most glaring omissions from the nineties skate gear #listicle that was linked last week is blow up sport brand logo shirts, as exemplified by the black Starter shirt worn for the heelflip back 5050 down Hubba Hideout. (See also: Fila and Nike Air logo shirts in Keenan’s 20 Shot Sequence part.)

Grey Skate Mag interviewed Joey Pepper about South Bank, Huf and Aesthetics.

The switch crook in Zered’s new Spitfire commercial is kinda nuts.

Pontus Alv’s Parisian jump ramp clip for Converse has been getting some rave reviews. Even if its on the artsy side, it’s great to see a tradition that began with Goldfish, and continued into Yeah Right! get revived.

A summer montage from the young’ns via Kasper. They don’t leave the skatepark much, but at least they devised the most progressive use of a Citibike thus far.

QS Sports Desk: If some NBA administrator wanted to ruin the Knicks season, they could easily just drug test J.R. Smith every five games

Quote of the Week: “You guys are ruining benches that cost millions of dollars.” — A Fort Greene cop regarding two recycled plastic benches. Good thing he became a cop and not an architect.

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