I don’t really know how to start this interview. I have known Myles for years and he has always been the nicest dude. He’s got bags of style and skates really fast. This is the first actual interview I have ever written so I thought I’d just ask Alex Bird (Birdy), a good friend of ours and Myles, to say a few words which would sum Myles.
Right , lets start with the boring stuff. How old are you and where do you come from?
I am 23 years old. I’m from Barnsley South Yorkshire.
So how long have you been skating now? The first time I met you you was a little kid wearing a red helmet covered in RAD stickers.
Since 1998. I would of been 7 when I started.
How did you actually start then? This doesn’t seem like a town where skating would thrive.
Well its funny because when I was 5 before starting skating I went to Blackpool with my mum and dad and saw skaters on the sea front and I thought “I wanna do that”. I then found a plastic skateboard in the garden and just rode it every single day. I just skated outside my house all day and then my mum and dad started to take me down to the House Skatepark when I was 7 or so and carried on going ever since.
I haven’t seen you there in a while?
You going to start changing my words around to make me look like a dick?
Of course. If anything I’m going to make you sound like a complete dick. Thats my agenda anyways.
Can we start again?
No we’re just going to keep it rolling. So do you ever actually get out of Barnsley now?
Whats that suppose to mean? (Laughing) Of course I do! I was in Wakefield 2 days ago.
Out of Yorkshire?
I was actually in Milton Keynes a month or 2 ago.
So you’re not turning in to a hermit then?
I am getting out skating as much as I can. I’m going to see our Rob (Salmon) soon. Going to be meeting him in Nottingham as we are meeting half way as he’s moved down south. So yes I have been leaving Barnsley and I plan too as much as possible. But If I can kill it as equally as hard here then why not? (laughing)
So you have been putting some videos out with quite an aesthetic style with a load of rough sketchy looking spots that seems to be in abundance in Barnsley. Is that through choice? Or a case of get what you’re given?
Get what your given!
So not a point of going out to find something “quirky”?
No not at all just a case of skating what ever is in front of you. It’s not pre-meditated if thats what you mean? It can be like that some times obviously, for shooting photos and what not, but most of the time its just a case of wanting to just skate. I suppose its a mix of everything really its just not one way of looking at something.
It kind of leads me to my next point, as every time I come up you always have something in mind you want to shoot/film with a mind of how you want it shooting.
Yeah we know what we’re doing (Laughs). I watch a LOT of skate videos
Myles popping a huge Kickflip over a picnic table
Yeah, everyday before work. I wake up early to go on the computer and watch videos.
So is that new stuff or the same favourites?
No its new stuff, but then its old stuff as well that brings a nostalgic feel to things. I don’t know I just like it. I always have. I watch skate videos because I’ve always liked watching skate videos and then I get motivated to go out and skate. When I skate I get motivated to actually get stuff done. So all the end product that you see is from me liking skateboarding.
So what would you say you have watched a lot of recently?Do you ever go through fazes of just watching one skater/video?
Really? Chad Muska? I wouldn’t expect that.
Well yeah because there’s no bullshit. It’s straight up and as you get it. Swanny flips over roofs gaps!
So when you were growing up then did you have the one video you would watch religiously?
Yeah Brain Damage a local Barnsley video from Wayne rat eye. Thats where I got in to most of my music. No actually, Blueprint’s ‘Waiting For The World‘, Transworld’s ‘Feedback‘ purely for the Muska’s section, ‘Brain Damage‘ (local Barnsley video) and ‘Pulling Teeth’ a local Leeds video. They were the ones I would watch as a kid back to back.
So how old must you have been when these videos were out?
I must of been 7 or 8.
Thats why when I first saw you you had to wear an helmet then?
(Laughs) Yeah that red helmet. It was only red due to Muska’s backwards red hat. I couldn’t wear a hat down the house as I had to wear an helmet because I was so young so I got a red helmet. I did get a red hat infact. An Osiris one from Avit the second day it opened.
I take it watching all the old scene videos is what inspired you to make your video then?
Yeah thats where I get motivation from is by watching all those old scene videos.
Thats what I got the sense watching your video its was like watching something from years back rather then something recent especially with all the 8mm film of Barnsley mixed in. So whats it actually called?
What the fuck does that mean?
Its from the Barnsley coat of arms and its the latin phrase thats on the bottom of it. Its got a man with a pick axe on it and a glass blower. Yeah its not got like a real meaning behind it its just on the Barnsley coat of arms.
50:50 in the back alleys of Barnsley
You’ve got the first one now out the way. It found its way to the Sidewalk site and did the rounds on the internet, was it your intention to have it has a web edit?
No, well to start with I didn’t intend to make a video. I uploaded about 10-30 second clips on my youtube page and then I sprained my ankle really bad so I had nothing to do. It was that bad I had to walk around with a walking stick. As I was injured I just used to film single tricks and then footage kept building up and building up. This was in the winter a couple of years ago. When I got better and started being able to ride around I started filming lines and got so much footage in a timeline which just turned in to peoples sections. Once it started looking like people would have section I just thought it would just be cool to make a full video as Barnsley hasn’t had one since ‘Brain Damage’. So it built up and built up and there you have it. We made a Barnsley video.
I literally only thought it was you and Birdy that actually skated in Barnsley, but every time I come up here I see loads of different kids skating.
Oh yeah there’s hundreds of skaters, theres loads. I can’t really say why theres loads apart from its just a small town with nothing really to do. You either go one way or another, you either turn in to a shit head or you get a hobby.
With it being such a small place then I take it there’s no animosity?
Oh no were all friends.
You ever get in to any shit with the locals?
I don’t really know about anyone else but as you get older you tend to get less shit off people compared to when you are younger, so I can’t really say anything about the kids around here but I never get in any shit. Plus everyone I hang with is my age.
You seem to be quite involved with the local skate shop (AVIT), whats your actual involvement?
Well we all just go in and help out. There isn’t really like a team or whatever you want to call it, its just a crew of people. We’re all just a big family. Thats it, we’re all like a family we all help each other out.
When I went in everyone was super friendly. It wasn’t like your usual skate shop. Just felt like a family run business. Got a tea made for me off Carol.
Well thats it, it is a family run business. Theres a guy called Paul that owns it and his mum Carol works in the shop. We are just a big family as we’ve all grown up skating together.I thinks that why thats why there is no animosity or segregation between any of the skaters or BMX’s here because we are all one big family. I suppose having the shop and all that stuff brings us all together.
Just popping down Barnsley market for a noseblunt
You keep saying family, you’re not all inbred are you?
(Sighs) yeah check out my 6th finger.
So moving swiftly on.
Lets talk about my new video. You’ve talked about the old video what about the new one?
Really? Is anyone really going to give a shit?
Probably no one. But I give a shit and thats all that matters. I don’t care if no else gives a shit.
Ok then so who is going to be in the new video? Is more people wanting to be involved because of the first video?
Nah not really its the exact same vibe again with the same people in it. I remember Birdy said “aw fuck that I’m not filming for another video” and surprise surprise he has ended up getting more footage then anyone and he didn’t even realise he had enough footage for a section within the first 3-4 months. Its a natural thing, it just seems to happen and I’m a hoarder, I save all the clips that I get. I don’t just upload them to a web edit or upload then straight to Instagram. I quite like things materialised I like to touch something in my hand you know? Like my first video I put that on to DVD first and after a while I uploaded it to the internet. I’m sure there is people still like me that would prefer something in there hand, something that you can look back at in 10 years and go oh yeah I remember that video. People would rather dish out a fiver on a coffee that isn’t that fantastic, thats going to last them 20 minutes max, then buy a skate video or a magazine. A skate video or a magazine can last you a lifetime but people would rather waste there money on shit like coffee but when it comes to paying a fiver for a magazine or video everyone’s like “I’m not paying to watch people skating, I’m going to buy a fucking Starbucks”. Whoops I’m rambling on.
So as you hoard a load of your footage do you ever send any to your sponsors or do you just kind of hold on to it until they ask? Or are you just saving for your own thing?
I try to just focus on one thing at a time. So at the moment I’m doing this new video section and then after that I’m going to focus on trying to film for Chris (Pulman) for Descent. Then I’m going to to try and have a section in Adam Todhunter’s new video that he’s started on.
Didn’t you have a few clips in his last one?
Yeah in Coast to Coast, just like a minutes worth of stuff. I just had a few days out with him skating to get some stuff. Good fun!
So you’ve mention that you have been hooked up with Chris at Descent, does he ever ask you send in footage in ? His he wanting you to constantly do stuff or is he pretty mellow with it?
No, Chris is cool as it gets when it comes to stuff like that.
How did it come about then you riding for Descent?
Well i just got a text off him one day randomly, which was really flattering. He got my number off Chris Mann, who must of put in a good word, which I’m thankful for cheers Chris!. But yeah to get a text off Chris, one of your child hood favourite pro’s. Its really lame and he probably doesn’t know it but me and Chris (Mann) used to wear brown cords and used to always get heroin boards with pink wheels and stuff like that. We used to to be like 14 year old kids doing no complys because of Pulman (Luaghs). I don’t think he knows that but yeah he will now.
So before Descent you used to ride for Sore right?
Yeah i just used to skate Leeds a lot and Vince hit me up and just said “do you wanna be on some sort of flow deal with Sore?” After that I got put on the full team which was pretty cool. That lasted like a year or two and then it ran its course and it was time to move on. Although I said it was time to move on, I didn’t really move on to anything I just left the team.
Nothing went sour then with Vince or anyone?
No not really I just slowly became over it. There was numerous factors involved but me and Vince now get on. Wait that sound pretty wrong, we always got on anyway and he’s sent me all the footage I filmed with him straight after I left, which I’m very grateful for. I hope Vince and everyone all the best.
So they basically got rid of you and put Birdy on the team then?
Well Birdy got put on the team when I was still riding for Sore. Vince was looking for someone to put on flow and I thought well, Birdy is always skating with me, Vince and all those guys and just fitted in really well. It just worked, yeah Birdy fits in well with those guys. He likes all his erm raw spots, no thats sounds cringey I don’t know, you know what I mean.
God this is going to be so lame, I don’t even know what I’m meant to be saying. Your going to have to cut this up and not make me sound like a dick..
Front Board dodging the both the locals and traffic
Its going online anyway, nobody reads to much on the internet anyway right? Moving on, what do you get up to outside of skateboarding?
I play Guitar. I’m not going to say I play bad but I’m not going to say I play good either. I take photos. Girlfriend stuff. Work stuff. Thats about it really. i’m sure I do other things as well but you’ve put me on the spot. Actually I don’t think I do.
Ok then lets talk about you photography stuff. You’ve got a website for things outside of skateboarding. Is there any influence there?
M: Its just photos I’ve taken of people, like fashion stuff. Its just spontaneous portraits. I just go out with my friends with my camera and then ask them if I can take their photo. Its not a case where i’m telling them to look moody or anything like that. I don’t think “oh I’ve got a location where I want to shoot, I’m going to get a model, dress her in these clothes and go out to get Vogue covers”. I just take my camera out when I’m with friends and then take picture of them.
Do you get anyone asking to take photos of them?
Yeah loads. Bands are the worst! I hate bands asking me to take photos of them, well band photography if thats a thing? They request the stupidest stuff and they always want it doing for free because they never have any money. I got something published in NME and they gave me fuck all. Is that Mag even still going?
Photography is not something your wanting to peruse then?
I don’t know. If something came along then I’d probably give it a shot. But you have to make the opportunity I guess.
Whats your job now then?
I basically work in admin for the NHS in Barnsley. My actually job title is clinical coding clerical support, its just admin. Basically I put dead peoples names on to spreadsheets, update discharge notes, just stuff like that.
That sounds grim.
Yeah pretty much. Any more questions?
Typically Myles, huge ollie
So you looking forward to anything coming up this year? Got any trips planned?
I don’t know. I’ve never really been abroad on a skate trip. Me, Mark Kemp, Kirk Barrell and Jack McCallum went on a tour of the east coast and then we ending up camping in Scotland on top of an hill looking over Edinburgh which was pretty cool. We then worked our way back down home. That was pretty much the last trip I went on. We was planning on doing another UK trip at end of this month but thats not happening.
You not bothered about going to any of the European hotspots?
I couldn’t give a shit to be honest. I’d like to skate Barcelona just to say I’ve done it, but I wouldn’t want to go on a filming mission. Whats the point? I just like having fun really and I’d like to say I’d been to Barcelona but I’d prefer to go somewhere like Latvia you know? Somewhere untouched. Its kind of hard to find stuff that hasn’t been done and I don’t really like competition, you know? Like skating the same stuff and feeling like someone is trying to comp you out. At the same time you don’t want to do the same trick as someone else but if you try a different trick it just seems to turn in to a competition. I don’t know. With trips like that it just seems like organised fun. its like you have to set a date just to have a good time. And then if you feel like you’re not having a good time, you feel like you’ve wasted your money. I don’t like organised fun. Thats one thing I don’t like. If some just says ” you wanna go here this weekend?” there is no expectations then. You just go and have a good time and have a laugh.
Couldn’t you just do that If you booked a flight somewhere though?
Yeah that be cool if it was out the blue. But the thing is I have a job so I’d have to organise it and agree it with the girlfriend etc etc. Saying that why would I want to go to another country to skate a ledge which a million other people have skated when I can skate a ledge half an hour away up north in some small town no one goes to and have just a good of a time?
Probably the weather?
Good point. Then again though if you go on holiday for nice weather, surely you’d just want to relax? You can’t skate in boiling hot weather. I don’t know, its just what ever you content with doing. Maybe I’ll get to a point in my life where I want to start travelling more. At the moment i just think “yeah what ever I’ll do it eventually and if I don’t fuck it.” Who cares? We all end up in the same place (laughs). Just get on with life.
Well on that note I think we should end it there.
I am genuinely a happy person, honest.
Anyone you want to thank?
Lily my pet tortoise.