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Jersey Boys

Josh Wilson & Dick Rizzo Interview

Why we chose Josh Wilson and Dick Rizzo for an interview? The Bronze video Trust alone already answers this question. Why we wanted the Quasi Ams of the first hour (plus a guest appearance of the newest member Justin Henry) especially for this issue? Cause on the one hand they call New York, one of the most interesting places on earth, their home and on the other hand they’re on the road a lot lately, like on this winter trip to Miami with photographer Pep Kim. Therefore, we beamed ourselves via FaceTime right on Josh Wilson’s couch in Bushwick for a conversation about origin, formative places, and smoking crack. A warm cup of coffee in our hands while the freezing cold wind beats through the streets of the Big Apple.

I always say that Josh looks like a Ralph Lauren model, Dick is a spicy little man that’s got some insane moves up his sleeve and Justin is kinda like a warrior. He just puts his head down and starts trying tricks until he gets them. I love all three of those guys. I’m stoked that those are our Ams on the team. I think that they fit the brand really well. I just want people on the team that have good taste in skateboarding and I think all three of those guys have a great taste in a lot of things, not just skating. They all have a direction that they wanna go and they know that. They’re not just aimlessly skateboarding. – Gilbert Crocket

Somebody told me that you guys have a crack problem. 


Josh: No, we don’t have a problem with it. To become a legend, you have to smoke crack. Everyone used to smoke crack back in the days and they’re all legends now, so it must be doing something. That’s our logic.

You’re planning on becoming legends?


Josh: We’re working on it.

Dick: We need the right crack.

Gilbert [Crockett] told me about this, I met him a week ago in London. Do you hang out a lot with the rest of the team?

Josh: Yeah, pretty much. I’d say we hang out with Gilbert the most cause he’s always coming back and forth to New York and we’re going to Virginia. And whenever Jake’s [Johnson] here, we skate with Jake. But he’s always in San Francisco or traveling. And Tyler [Bledsoe] is mostly in Portland.

Dick: In early summer, the whole team is gonna be living in New York. That should be pretty sick.

X7 A0723

Dick Rizzo – Tailslide

Are they living on your couches then?

Dick: No, everyone’s gonna have their own places cause they’ll be living here for a couple months.

When you’re visiting them, are you staying at their houses?

Josh: We stayed at Gilbert’s place when we went there two weeks ago. He’s got a beautiful house. You could raise your family in this house. It was cool, Chad [Bowers, Quasi boss, editor’s note] came over

How’s the Quasi headquarter?

Josh: It’s pretty awesome. The room we’re staying has a bunk bed and a couch in it. And a TV with all these DVDs and VHS tapes, so we just watch skate videos, it’s pretty cool.

You guys live in New York, which is pretty expensive. I always wonder how all the skaters can afford to live there.

Josh: Most of the skaters find a cheap apartment and do odd jobs to make their rent. We’re in the same boat. It’s pretty expensive, but there are ways to save money. If you go grocery shopping, you know spots to get the cheap food.

"Last spring I think every day we were going to a different area of the city. In the matter of a month we didn’t know where to skate anymore."

So you work on the side or is skating just paying your rent?

Josh: Skating pays my rent and I work photo assistant jobs, production assistant jobs, and stuff like that.

Dick: I just skate right now. I’m kind of a broke ass. [laughs]

You also quit college, right?  

Dick: Yeah, I dropped out my second year. It costs a fucking lot of money and I wasn’t really feeling it anymore. 

Josh, you finished college.

Josh: I graduated two years ago. I went to a school for photography. 

But working a full-time job wasn’t an option? You wanted to try the skateboard thing first?

Josh: I wasn’t really sponsored until my last year in college. I just thought I was gonna get a normal job, but then Chad asked me to ride for his company and things started working out, where I had to work less and less. I’m just gonna freelance for a while and gonna see if I can do this.

X7 A0676

Josh Wilson – 5-0

You both come from New Jersey and decided to move to New York. Why? Because Jersey isn’t that far from Manhattan.

Dick: It’s another land! A fucking island. [laughs] Yeah, it’s super close to the city. We both grew up in northern New Jersey. So New York City is the city to go to. The suburbs in Jersey are all centered around New York. Everybody’s parents work in the city.

Josh: We’d always be in the city, too, before we lived here. I came here to skate when I was 12 years old.

You could save a lot of money if you stayed at your parents house. Why did you move into the city?

Dick: Commuting would be shitty. That’s pretty much the main one.

Josh: In New Jersey, you need a car to get around. I like the convenience that if I wanna skate somewhere, I just can hop on the train really quick and get somewhere.

Dick: And all my friends live out here. I only have a really small group of friends that I still talk to when I go back to my mom’s crib. When I go out there, I’m just there for family time.

Josh: A lot of our friends are older, so they’ve lived in the city beforehand and we’d always come and visit them. I would totally neglect my friends back home to come skate with my friends in the city. I think that’s why I gravitated towards here. And I went to school in Manhattan.

"If I’d live in L.A., I’d lose my shit really quick. Two months and I’d probably lost it."

What’s the difference between the New Jersey skate scene and the New York skate scene?

Josh: It kinda seems like the scene in Jersey is getting kinda weird right now. It’s getting really small. When we grew up, there was this huge indoor skatepark, everyone went there.

Dick: It was the local park for northern Jersey skaters.

Josh: All pros who lived in New York at that time came to skate there, but it shut down five years ago. Ever since then the scene’s been slowly decreasing. There’s just not so many places to skate.

Dick: You can skate the few shitty parks, but the street spots in our area are pretty hard.

Josh: Most of the dudes are over it cause in northern Jersey there’s too much to deal with. You gotta drive super far to get to a spot and then you could just get kicked out and there’s nothing else in that area.

Dick: And Jersey spots usually look really sick, but for the most part they’re all pretty shitty.

Josh: And no one’s ever gonna be sitting there waxing spots and things like that. You gotta work hard if you’re skating hard out there all the time. It’s too much. I think that’s why people out there just skate the shitty parks.

Chris Nieratko has his skateshop in Jersey. Is he really working behind the counter?

Dick: Yeah, on weekends. NJ is the shop we go, that’s our spot.

Josh: He’s hilarious. Some days you’ll catch him on a mellow day, where he’s normal and just chills, and sometimes he’ll be super wild and eccentric. Both of those dudes, he and his partner Steve Lenardo, are funny as fuck and some sick dads for sure. I aspire to be a dad like them if I become a dad. Those dudes kill it! 

How about spots and tricks in New York? Isn’t it hard to find something new or film something new?

Josh: Sometimes we get burnt out on spots. Last spring I think every day we were going to a different area of the city. In the matter of a month we didn’t know where to skate anymore. We kinda skated everywhere. Then we started traveling. So you travel and then come back and get an idea, get a fresh mind. Sometimes you just need a break to figure out what you want to do or film.

So, it’s still more of a blessing than a curse to live in New York despite all the ABDs and stuff?

Josh: It keeps your mind fresh, trying to figure out what you could do different.

X7 A7425

Dick Rizzo – Frontside 180

Is it a problem that there’s so much going on in New York that a lot of skaters get off track?

Dick: I definitely watched a lot of our friends kinda fall off for a second and not really skate but then get back into it. Basically, you need to do some other shit, too, besides skating. Everyone does. In New York everybody seems like they have shit that they have to be doing all the time. And when winter hits, you better have shit to do. Otherwise it’s too much to deal with.

Josh: We haven’t been out skating for probably two weeks. You have to spend the time in some other way. Everyone has their own hobby.

What are you doing when it’s snowing in New York?

Josh: I try to learn how to sew and do embroidery. I just got a sewing machine and try to figure that out. 

How did you get into it?

Josh: I was in L.A. last year with Gilbert and Chad and we went to this embroidery party, where this lady would do this crazy stitch. It looked like a chain and she would write whatever you wanted on your shirt. I thought that was so cool. Then one day I bought some stuff and tried to learn how to do it by hand, with needle and thread. I got really into it and at Christmas my grandma gave me a sewing machine, so I’ll try to figure that out.

How do you think your skate career would’ve been like if you hadn’t been living in New York? Has the city had any impact?

Josh: I think East Coast in general, growing up in this type of environment, it trains you. You have a different mindset about skating. People out here skate in a similar way or have similar ideas about skating. I think it’s just the people we’re surrounded by day to day that influence us. 

Ever thought about moving or is New York your place to be?

Dick: I don’t wanna live anywhere else right now, but I could definitely live in San Francisco for a little bit. If I’d live in L.A., I’d lose my shit really quick. Two months and I’d probably lost it.

Josh: I was there for a month and then I was over it.

Dick: After traveling so many different places in the country, I’m like: “Yeah, this place is cool, but New York is way better.”

"After traveling so many different places in the country, I’m like: “Yeah, this place is cool, but New York is way better"

Dick, you skated for Chocolate for a while. Was it ever an option to move to the West Coast?

Dick: I went and visited dudes out there when I was riding for them. I’m sure I could have just gone out there and lived on someone’s couch. But I wasn’t really rocking with L.A. that hard. It’s completely different there. You need a car and you’re gonna be stuck in traffic, no matter what. In New York you could go out with one thing that you planned and end up having a bunch of other shit that spurs off that. Running into people, someone hits you up. It’s easy to go from one place to the next. In L.A. everything needs to be planned out for the whole day, otherwise you’re just fucked sitting in traffic. You drive to a spot for an hour and then the spot’s a bust and you don’t know what to do. That sucks.

In L.A. you would have good weather at least. How is the feeling in New York different from winter- to summertime?

Josh: Polar opposites. The wintertime is dead and the summertime is alive and jumping. Everyone’s going crazy.

Dick: In the summer it’s hot as fuck and humid.

Josh: Some days could be too much and you don’t wanna skate at all and then in wintertime it can be freezing temperatures, really shitty, windy.

X7 A6452

Justin Henry – Ollie

Do you go on a lot of trips during the winter, like the one with Pep Kim to Florida?

Josh: That one was kinda random, it just happened within a week. Chad got us a hotel in Miami.

Dick: It was right before Christmas and he was like: “What are you guys doing? Are you losing your minds yet? So go to Miami, get some sun.” Then from Miami, I flew to L.A. and was there for a week.

Josh: I went upstate with my dad and my brother, snowboarding for a few days and then we went to Barcelona for two weeks.

Dick: We got back a week ago. We kinda just been skipping out the winter.

How was the trip to Miami? Was it a classic road trip?

Josh: Yeah, we drove down there. Our filmer Paul [Young] loves to drive. We joke that he’s the Transformer – half man, half car. We drove down there in two days cause it takes 24 hours to drive there. So we did 12 hours one day and then 12 hours the next day. It was pretty gnarly. I’ve done it before three years ago non-stop – 24 hours with four different people driving eight-hour shifts. It was insane.

Did you skate along the way?

Dick: It was still cold on the drive down till you get to Georgia and then it gets warm. So we didn’t really stop anywhere before we got down to Miami. Why waste time?

Was Justin with you on this trip or did you meet him there?

Josh: He flew there from Ohio and met us.

How was Miami?

Josh: It’s a great place to go. It’s tropical, really warm. You can go to the beach, there’s palm trees, coconuts, good spots, cute girls. Danny Fuenzalida is there.

But isn’t it a bit crazy in Florida? I once was at Tampa Am and it seemed crazy to me.

Dick: They are completely different places, Tampa and Miami. I’ve been to Tampa before. The place is kinda crazy. Ybor city, that shit is fucked. [laughs] Tampa Am and Tampa Pro, that town completely revolves around that shit. Every year that is the big day for that city. 

"We’ve been staying 16 people deep in a big-ass Airbnb but, after the fourth day of rain everyone was losing their minds and shit got weird."

And how was your trip to Barcelona?

Josh: We went there for two weeks and it rained half of the time, that was a bummer.

Dick: We’ve been staying 16 people deep in a big-ass Airbnb but, after the fourth day of rain everyone was losing their minds and shit got weird.

Josh: We didn’t know what to do. We were just sitting in the apartment, played dice, and gambled.

Dick: We almost got thrown out of this Airbnb. Everyday someone’s complaining and saying the cops are gonna be called. We don’t know what’s going on. There’s 16 people. How do you even get the information that someone just knocked on the door and you should be quiet now to all the people?

Josh: And not everyone’s gonna listen.

Who was with you?

Dick: It was a Bronze and Zoo York trip cause a bunch of dudes who ride for Bronze also ride for Zoo York.

Josh: There’s gonna be a Bronze Barcelona clip.

Dick: And maybe a Thrasher article, too.

How is Europe compared to the US for you?

Josh: That was my first time in Europe and I was really hyped on it and then the rain bummed me out. I think I don’t wanna go back to Barcelona for a while. [laughs] I’m down to go to other cities in Europe. I like the vibe, it’s more relaxed than in the States.

Dick: Different way of life for sure. You can just walk down the streets and drink a beer.

Josh: But he actually got a ticket for drinking a beer at Macba.

Dick: It was 12 bucks.

Josh: I had the cop put his arm on me and ask me for my ID and I just walked away and he didn’t follow me. 

Sometimes you get tickets for stuff, but most of the time it’s pretty mellow and I think you had pretty bad luck with the weather.

Dick: We were told that it was the most rain anyone had seen in Barcelona in years.

Dick, you have Italian heritage. Have you ever visited Italy?

Dick: No, I haven’t visited it, but it’s on my list. My grandparents are from Italy, from Ischia.

"Dudes in Barcelona are just beasts, it’s insane. They’ll do heelflip backside noseblunt on a ledge or something and I think: Holy shit!"

It seems like the European skate scene is still getting stronger and stronger. Are you observing what’s happening in Europe?

Dick: I’m really stoked on Europe shit.

Josh: I think the London scene is really cool right now. I’m really into that. Tom Knox is super cool, Kyron Davis, dudes like that. I was watching a bunch of Barcelona stuff when we went there, so I was pretty hyped on that lately. It’s like a different style of skating, but it’s really interesting and mind-blowing.

In which way is it different?

Josh: It’s really tech there. Everyone’s super good at ledge tricks and manuals. They’re super on point with all of their tricks. We just don’t skate like that. Dudes in Barcelona are just beasts, it’s insane. They’ll do heelflip backside noseblunt on a ledge or something and I think, “Holy shit!” They’re just ahead of us in that aspect.


Do you know any German skaters?

Josh: No, I don’t think so… Oh, I know Tjark [Thielker]. I met him in San Francisco a few years back. He’s super cool. He was there for a month or two and I skated with him a bunch.

What would be your favourite travel destination?

Josh: I really wanna go to Asia. I’ve never been there and it seems really cool to skate. Really modern cities and all the spots look amazing. He got to go to Japan end of last year and I was so jealous.

Dick: I was there in the fall and it’s so sick. It’s so weird. It’s completely different. I went to Europe first and thought that was awesome and completely different and then I went to Japan and was like: “Ok, this is really weird!” Shit works completely different over there.

Some of the guys have their own style of skating, like Gou Miyagi.

Josh: Gou Miyagi is sick.

Dick: Rich Adler was living there for a period of time. He was always a sick skater to see and then he went out there and saw this style and developed into that weird Japanese kinky spot weird shit. That shit’s sick. There’s definitely so much to do out there.

When you go to countries like that and you see the different skating, does that influence your skating?

Dick: Yeah, for sure.

Josh: It makes you think about things differently.

Is there one place or one spot that changed your skating the most?

Josh: I think the skatepark we grew up at. If we wouldn’t have that skatepark, we probably would’ve stopped skating and we would not be where we are right now.

Everybody needs a local spot.

Josh: And the people there helped influence our skating, too. All the obstacles there were catered towards the style of skating we do now.

What are you guys doing after the interview? Continuing to smoke crack?

Josh: Yeah, we didn’t get our first hit yet.

Dick: So we’re fucked. [laughs]

Josh: It’s freezing today, we can’t do anything. We just drink a lot of coffee and get anxiety.

X7 A2229 Final

Josh Wilson – Wallride Nollie Out