Fos runs one of my favourite skateboarding companies, Heroin Skateboards, as well as co-running Landscape, designing for Altamont, travelling loads and knowing about all sorts of cool stuff. We asked him for his top five awe-inspiring experiences outside of skating and art, and he replied with a list of five important places:
Burnley College: I went to Burnley College to do an art course for two years when I was 17, it was one of the greatest times of my life. I didn’t have a care in the world. This is where I met my good friend Mark Newton and we used to raise hell together. It’s hard narrowing down one actual experience from this place because the entire two years was just one thing after another.
Manchester: In 1996, the IRA set off the biggest bomb that had ever been detonated in mainland Britain. I was sat in Manchester Victoria station when it exploded (about 500 metres from the blast site). The explosion devastated the city and blew the glass from all the windows out in the ceiling of the station except the bit above me for some reason. I looked around and there were hundreds of people being hit by shards of falling glass and all getting cut and freaking out, trampling each other trying to get out. 214 people were injured and the city centre was completely destroyed, and it took years to rebuild. It was one of the gnarliest experiences of my life, but it made me thankful to be alive.
Osaka: The Osaka Daggers are my skate crew, if you’ve seen Live From Antarctica then you know first hand about these guys, little Japanese punk kids with green hair and no concept of what’s going on in the skateboard world. There was a time in my life when every few months I’d get a plane to Osaka and stay with these guys for a month straight, skating and hanging out every day, learning Japanese, it was a really great time. I need to go back there more.
San Francisco: Shortly after the Manchester bomb went off I went to San Francisco. I bought a ticket for three months out there. Before I went I met these skaters who said they could hook me up with a job at Ben and Jerry’s out there cos he was the manager. I got out there, tried to get straight to work but I didn’t have a work permit so it all fell through, so I had $300 to last me three months. Somehow I managed to survive and came back with loads of good memories.
Los Angeles: Me and my good friend Seth Curtis went to L.A. together in 2004. Damn it was fun. Straight off the plane we got picked up and taken to a party at a hotel downtown and the fun didn’t stop until we got back on the plane home. We were both going through some girl trouble stuff at the time, so the perfect way to deal with it was to go skating every day and going to parties every night. We weren’t really of any importance in the skateboard industry but it seemed like everywhere we went people wanted to give us boards, shoes tee shirts etc., take us for dinner and let us into parties and stuff. The entire time we were there we kept saying “We’re gonna get busted at any moment, someone is going to pull us up and then the whole game will be up” Weirdly enough though, nobody busted us.