Skateboarder Josh Kalis 1 of 7 - Epicly Later'd - VICE

Uploaded by vice on Nov 28, 2011


JASON DILL: Workshop got divided into upriver and
downriver at one point.
And now that Kalis is gone, there's less upriver.
Like Dyrdek, Mikey Taylor, Barra, is so upriver.
INTERVIEWER: What does that mean?
JASON DILL: They're upriver.
They're where--
you know, where TVs exist, the internet, fishing's better.
BILL STROBECK: I could see where it seemed like if Kalis
felt that way, which I feel like he did, that he felt like
he didn't fit in.
JOSH KALIS: First of all, I can't be mad at
anything Fat Bill says.
Because Fat Bill is my homey.
And he can fucking call me a piece of shit jerk-off, and
I'm not going to give a shit because he's Fat Bill.
He's my favorite filmer to film with.
I fucking love Bill.
Dill, on the other hand--
it really bummed me out.
It was like a lack of respect.
It was like, who the fuck are you to talk about me, in one,
Dylan's thing.
You know?
And two, call me upriver.
I mean, my thinking is like, hey, man.
I'm about as street as you get.
You know what I'm saying?

PATRICK O'DELL: Welcome back to Epicly Later'd.
This episode's about Josh Kalis.
This episode kind of came to be because of the
Dylan Rieder episode.
Dill said some stuff and Kalis didn't like it.
He called me and was bummed and kind of wanted to set the
record straight.
He's like, I got stories.
I was in an insane asylum.
I did this.
I did that.
I was like, all right.
This is gonna be awesome.

So I first started hearing of him in Timecode.
I really remember him doing kickflip
backside noseblunt slides.
And I think I shot a photo of him doing one.
I just think of backside tricks, like backside
noseblunt slides and backside tail slides.
And crooked hat, like all the way crooked.
And like earrings, and like, dirt 'stache.
So I met up with Kalis and talked about skating.
We talked about Lennie Kirk, Dyrdek, Stevie, Philly,
Chicago, Texas, all this stuff.
So it's cool to interview someone that's
such a skate rat.
Like he's like die-hard skater.
And just go through skate history.
I don't know.
I'm really excited about this episode.
So here it is--
Josh Kalis episode.
Where do you think'd be the best zone?
JOSH KALIS: This is good right here.

PATRICK O'DELL: These big-ass SoCal houses don't even have
lights in the ceiling anywhere.
JOSH KALIS: Actually, before I skated, my biggest thing was
I was like this big speedskater kid, you know?
Well, what killed my roller skating was that I
had lied to the cops.
Well, I used to go roller skating every weekend, but
then I lied to the cops about getting kidnapped.
Or not getting kidnapped, but I told them that this
kidnapper was out, like, trying to get me.
It was like the big thing at school, was this kidnapper.
So I lied and said that I met the dude.
And they broke me down in the cop shop.
I mean, they broke me down.
I was tearing.
I told them I was full of shit.
So my dad grounded me from my roller skates
for like six months.
And it was like, that was it.
I didn't even give a shit about it anymore.
Going way back to my first days of skating, it was the
Bones Brigade.
Steve Caballero was probably like my favorite dude out of
all of them.
I don't remember what Powell video it was, but it was
Caballero and Tommy Guerrero and all those dudes were
skating outside.
Like there was a neighborhood.
And that's what I kept watching.
The vert stuff and none of that, I didn't even pay
attention to it.
I just would rewind and fast forward.
And I think that's what got me, right there.

Gonna do some tricks, man.

MIKE BLABAC: I first met Josh--
I lived in Lansing, Michigan.
We just kind of knew one another through skating.
He knew that I shot photos.
So he'd come down to Grand Rapids and
shoot photos with me.
It's funny.
He got grounded.
His dad-- like, he stole a bunch of baseball cards and
shit of his dad's, and he got grounded for hella long.
I don't even know how long.
But he lied and he told his dad that I worked for
So his dad would let him go out and shoot photos with me.
He thought that I was like some magazine photographer.
And I barely knew how to use a camera.
But I was just kind of learning how.
And it's sort of ironic that he's one of the dudes that I
learned how to shoot skate photos of.
That's what he looked like.
It's hella funny.
PATRICK O'DELL: That's Josh?
That's Josh in 1989.
So that was 21 years ago.
It makes me feel hella old, thinking about how long ago
that was, but yeah.
That was the skate-rat Josh.

And then I met the Josh with his earrings and fucking pot
leaf and like the thugged-out Josh in SF,
about four years later.
PATRICK O'DELL: And you saw Sheffey then, too, right?
MIKE BLABAC: Back when I lived in Michigan, yeah.
He was the Sheffey with the big hair, you know?
Sheffey from the videos and stuff.
It was sick.
I remember he was just hauling ass, going as fast as you
possibly could.
Yeah, it was insane.
Like crazy--
like how much power he had and how fast he went.
That was the raddest thing about watching
him skate in person.
You know what I mean?
Yeah, he was a pretty main dude.
It just so happened that he lived in Grand Rapids.
JON LEE: I'll show you the three raddest skateboarders
that I know.
The vegetarian powers.
Sean Sheffey, by far the raddest, craziest, gnarliest

JOSH KALIS: It was like this myth, urban legend.
And it wasn't until like a year after
that that I was downtown.
We were maybe 50-50-ing granite curbs,
trying to do that shit.
And this dude with this big-ass 'fro just comes
through and back lips one of the full-sized benches.
Our jaws hit the ground.
We were like, Sean Sheffey.
Holy shit, man.
PATRICK O'DELL: It's definitely
like seeing a legend.
JOSH KALIS: Well, one of the cool things about skating with
him back then was like, you didn't want to sit down.
Like he gave you that vibe and that energy, where like, if he
was skating five stairs, he wanted you to skate with him.
I swear to god I learned more tricks that day, just skating
with that dude, than I ever have, even still to this day.
And he would just--
bounce to the next spot, and everybody's trying to
keep up with him.
You know what I mean?
It was sick, dude.
SEAN SHEFFEY: What's up?
JOSH KALIS: Ever since I met him that day, that was like my
drive to want to skate and always skate.
And like, just Sheffey, dude.
The illest dude, ever.
PATRICK O'DELL: Does he you remember you from then?
JOSH KALIS: You'll have to ask him.
I've never asked him.
I always played it cool.
Like, that's Sean, you know what I mean?
I ain't fucking with that dude.
PATRICK O'DELL: There's a lot of skate history in here.
SEAN SHEFFEY: I would like to say what's up
to the Wu Tang Clan.
I was 17.
I remember I was going by your house once--
JOSH KALIS: Oh my god, that's the story.
SEAN SHEFFEY: And this elementary school where they
used to skate, with the yellow curbs.
Remember that?
Oh, I can't believe this dude remembers me, man.
JOSH KALIS: Yeah, I was grounded.
I was grounded in my room.
And it must have been for like, I think,
three or four weeks.
I can't believe this story, man.
My dad comes in my room, knocking on the door.
And he's like, hey, there's some guys out in the driveway.
And I was like, what?
So I went out there and I looked, and it was Ted Lee--
JOSH KALIS: And Sheffey.
SEAN SHEFFEY: And myself.
JOSH KALIS: Tooling around in my driveway, trying to see if
I could skate.

Ted Lee.

And I was like, oh my god. 'Cause this was after I had
started seeing them downtown.
And my dad let me off grounding to go skate with
these dudes for a while.
He let me off.
I couldn't believe it, man.
That was like the best day in my entire life.
He let you out?
Yeah, that's intense.
JOSH KALIS: Yeah, that was pretty insane, man.
Damn, you remember that shit.
MALE SPEAKER: Less work for you.
Go ahead.
JOSH KALIS: You gonna follow me?
PATRICK O'DELL: Dude, what do you remember about Josh?
SEAN SHEFFEY: Very already mature skater and sharp when
we first met him.
He was already known around his city and state as being a
sharp and clean skater.
So I was pretty impressed when I first met him.
JOSH KALIS: Aw, shit.
That's only because I was out with the big dogs.
And I was trying my hardest, dude, to do my thing.
I didn't want to look like no punk out there.

SEAN SHEFFEY: Great experience to see how far he's came with
his skateboarding and progressed, and the
technicality of it.
I'm very proud to have been a part of that.

JOSH KALIS: I've always loved Matt Hensley's skating.
He was like a huge one for me.
But I think my early days of learning how to kickflip and
how I want to skate is directly related to Sean's
skating and that influence he gave me, like live.
The downtown-- our little city wasn't that big.
But it was like, we didn't want to skate anything else
besides downtown after we seen Sean down there, you know?
SEAN SHEFFEY: And what is your sign?
Well, bullheaded and strong like one, you are, Mr. Kalis.
Nothing wrong with that.
Pretty cool, yeah.
Pretty cool.
Strong sign.