Fos is a machine. He has been constantly putting out ridiculously awesome artwork for over 20 years. After starting Heroin skateboards, which is stronger now than ever, he has also collaborated with an endless amount of well-respected brands and artists with his distinguishable style. We caught up for a chat about growing up, music and of course, his artwork..
How did you first get into creating art? Are you from an academic background or a more self-taught one?
Its something I’ve always done, always loved drawing and when I was done with school I gravitated towards art, it really the only thing I was interested in, so I ended up at Burnley college and then eventually Blackpool briefly and then Goldsmiths in London, so I have some fairly intense art training.
What inspires you to create artworks? Inner demons? Music? Please give us an insight.
Both, too much coffee, hearing a lyric from a song that resonates with me, definitely inner demons too.Listening to a lot of Spiritualized right now.
You have now relocated to the USA. Has this effected your artwork in anyway?
I think changes in your life will inevitably affect your art, art is just the expression of creative people of showing their interpretation of the world, and then when your world changes then your art will. Maybe my art has more sunshine it now or something, not exactly sure.
Heroin is now a worldwide renowned company. What expectations did you have when you were starting out?
I was in a hospital bed with a broken wrist waiting for an operation with no food for four days when I started it, I wasn’t in the best state of mind really, my girl left me, i had no place to live, and I was like “Fuck it, I’m starting a skateboard company, I’m gonna call it Heroin” I honestly had no idea that people would even be into it, and certainly had no idea that it’d last 20 years.
Was it always your vision to branch out from the U.K and get people on the team from abroad such as Tokyo and the US?
Heroin was never just a UK company. I feel like it’s important to have pride about where you’re from and where you started, hence the London Paris Tokyo Burnley shirts we made, but Japan has been a bit part of Heroin Skateboards, our first Pro, Chopper is Japanese, and I’ve spent a lot of time there. I’ve Everything that has happened has been very organic though, the growth, the distribution, the team, the video projects. We have really good riders in Canada, the US, Japan as well as the UK now, it’s pretty international.
What’s happening next with Heroin? New video feature or coffee scented decks?
Ha, not a bad idea. We just did a Texas Chainsaw Massacre collab which is huge for me. I loved that film, and our very first boards were Texas Chainsaw Knock offs, so to be doing an officially licenses collab 20 years later is massive. Stoked on that, and we have some good artists doing boards for our 20 year anniversary.
Who is the best dressed rider on the team?
Anyone wearing Piilgrim, ha ha, no, I don’t really know, years ago I could have said Pulman, with his weird school trouser style, but nowadays it’s hard to say. We’re all just scruffy skateboarders really. That’s the thing, skateboarding is pretty much about rolling around in the dirt and having holes in your shoes and clothes and bloody palms, knees and elbows.
I know you have a very eclectic music taste. Which bands have you been feeling recently?
Spiritualized, Spacemen 3, Night Beats, Old Blues like Leadbelly, always WU LYF, Lost Under Heaven and Francis Lung too!
What if you could only listen to 5 songs for the rest of your life. What would these be?
The Ship Song - Nick Cave.
Soul on Fire - Spiritualized
Jockey Full of Bourbon - Tom Waits
Heavy Pop - WU LYF
Waterfall - The Stone Roses.
Tell us what it was like growing up skating in Manchester
The greatest!! No security guards, no CCTV, No skate stoppers. Skateboarding was a curiosity, people weren’t bummed about it yet, they were just like “Oh that’s back?” We got to skate amazing spots all over the city and it was pretty poor still back then, so there was no money to pay security guards. Growing up seeing Animal skate at Crown banks was amazing.