Joseph Biais interview from issue 119

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Joseph Biais interview/video part from issue 119

Backside 50-50. Photo: Alex Pires.

Have you ever tried sewing/making your own clothes?

Not really… I know how to sew and I’ve already retouched a few items of clothing but I’ve never made a whole piece. I would really like to design clothes though…


Do you have anything planned for your skate year in Paris? You are finishing up your section in Guillaume Perimony’s video right? Does it have a title yet?

Yeah I’ve been working on this section for Guillaume’s video but I think I’m pretty much finished with it, he’s already started editing it. I think at one point he wanted to call it “Je t’aime” haha. What an idiot!

Guillaume and me are also supposed to go to New York with Bastien Duverdier to try and film a shared section. Other than that I guess I just want to travel as much as possible, I don’t have any proper plans yet though. I know Ludovic Azémar is making a video that will focus on documenting a few different trips so I might get in on some of those. Basically I want to spend as much time away from the Parisian winter as possible.


It sounds like you’ve got some cool stuff lined up. I always enjoy clips produced by the Joseph/Périmony duo. That 23h45 edit (a Minuit/Magenta parody) was hilarious. Can you tell us how making that thing came about?

That dates back to when Guillaume Périmony was still living in Amiens and we went to see him one weekend during the winter. We went skating and it got dark super early but we decided to keep skating for a bit anyway. Then for no particular reason we decided to film with the light and before we new it all of us started improvising lines! That’s when we decided that we were going to make a “Minuit” style edit for a laugh. We weren’t actively trying to be mean or anything… Anyway we filmed one or two extra things after that and released and edit that I still find pretty funny. Sadly not everyone was able to appreciate our humour.


So it was actually quite innocent then… Does that mean you are into Magenta and what they produce? 

Yeah I think what Magenta are doing is really cool, their videos are so well filmed. That Ben Gore clip they recently released was incredible; I love that guy’s skating. It really made me want to step on my board. I like the idea of fun, instinctive skateboarding but I feel like sometimes they take themselves a little bit too seriously even though it’s the complete opposite of what they are trying to express. I’m happy for Soy though because the company seems to be doing really well. When I went to the States I saw some Magenta boards in this skate shop that was literally in the middle of nowhere!

Backside hurricane. Photo: Loic Benoit.

What are you doing for boards these days? I remember that you used to have some sort of Zero deal but that was a while back…

Yeah that’s finished now. I’d say that was at least 4 years ago. Zero had started putting together a big euro team and were planning trips, a video and tons of stuff but just as I got the first boards the recession kicked in and it all went to shit. Suddenly there was no more TM and from then on nothing really happened. I was still getting boards, which was cool but after a while you kind of want more from a sponsor, you want to feel like you are really part of something.

Then I bumped into Alex Deron (Element Europe TM) in the Southwest of France and he told me he was looking for a Parisian skater for Element. Since Alex is a good friend of mine and Element have a proper European team I agreed to skate for them. I reckon they’ll involve me with more stuff too… Having a proper TM to talk to is also a plus. So yeah, I’m on Element now and they are kind of putting together a French team. Bastien Duverdier skates for them as well too. That’s why we are both going to New York to film this shared part.


Damn your spending a lot of time in the states these days…

Yeah I’ve been there twice since the beginning of the year. The first time was to cross the whole of America from East to West and the second was on this Vans trip to Oregon. The annoying thing is that they started the first trip in NYC but I missed that bit because I couldn’t go. That’s why I’m so stoked to go back there in October. I’ve only been to NYC once and that was at least five or six years ago.


What did you think of the place?

I loved New York! It’s really good for skating and kind of reminded me of Paris in a way. It’s probably because of the traffic and the fact that people skate little hidden spots rather than big open plazas (although an amazing plaza has popped up at République quite recently). It’s also a really good city to live in, the sort of place where time flies because there’s always something going on. I’d happily live there. Plus I feel like people are a little more relaxed and open minded than in Paris.

Backside 180. photo: Loic Benoit.

Did it feel very different from the other parts of America that you’ve visited since?

To be honest I haven’t seen much of the West coast. I mostly stayed in SF and I think it’s very different from the other main cities that are on that coast. It’s probably quite different from the rest of the US as well.



I bet people have already heard this a thousand times, but whatever. Basically it felt more like Europe. The size of the city is reasonable, people are open-minded and there are green spaces everywhere. I think it’s crazy culturally speaking too, especially for music. There are so many good bands over there… The scene is huge. Plus the architecture just looks incredible (even though I don’t know anything about architecture), especially compared to the rest of the America. I love the colourful houses, the way everything it’s really spaced out and the buildings aren’t as high and oppressing as in NYC or certain neighborhoods of Paris.

I also kind of feel like the states that aren’t coastal are a little isolated from the skate industry. For instance in St Louis, we saw some awesome spots, awesome skaters, and they all told us that nobody really ever gives a shit about them.  No companies ever bother organizing trips to there and stuff, which is mad because the skaters out there are amazing.
Of course this is just a remark about skateboarding not a generality, but yeah, to sum things up, I feel like in the US there are two coasts, and nobody seems to really care about what’s going on in between them.


Are Randy Ploesser and the guys from the St. Losers video the dudes you met in St.Louis? 

Yeah I think it was them! They were really cool with us as soon as we met them. They took us to some DIY spot under a bridge (which was about to be destroyed I think) and skated with us the whole time. One of them even got tattooed by Sam Partaix’s girlfriend and asked for a cone of French fries in which each fry represented one of the French skaters who were on the tour. She even did a small speech bubble for every fry so that they could talk! It was mental, and the guy did it like 24 hours after meeting us just to make sure he would remember us forever!


Frontside 50-50. photo: Périmony.


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