Mark 'Fos' Foster no longer runs Heroin Skateboards from his old New Cross HQ. He has re-located to the City of Angels, with the weather being what it has been who can blame him? Fos did a good stint back in the day working for Slam at our old warehouse, it was there that he came up with the idea for a skateboard company. He's been in the States for a while now so we thought it was high time we caught up with him to see what's been going on...
Yes Fos! What's new?
Not too much, just clocked off work, relaxing at home right now.
Not so long ago you relocated to LA, how did that come about?
When I started doing the art direction for Altamont in 2006 they asked me to move over and I said Hell no, I'm staying in New Cross. Then I did more trips over to LA and realized its not such a bad place, sunny all the time, you can shoot guns, girls like the accent. So why not give it a go. So I called em up at Altamont and said "You still want me to move? I'm keen, lets do it" So they got me a visa and I moved there in November 2011. I came back for month in July 2012 and it rained EVERY day, I kid you not.
What's your schedule like there?
Couple of days a week at the office, one or two days over at Baker, cos they're looking after Heroin there, so I work with them on that, rest of the time it's just skateboarding, painting and driving around in the sunshine.
I think Stoner park may be one of the best parks I've ever skated, what are your top five spots to skate there?
Top five spots to eat? Have you made it onto the wall of any new establishments?
I'm up on Fatburger in Los Feliz for doing the triple King Challenge, I'm up at Spikes Junkyard Dogs in Boston too. My top 5 spots are
Roscoes Chicken and Waffles
Chic Fil A
Spring Street Smokehouse BBQ
Top five guns on the menu at your local club and for what reasons?
AK47 all day. Those things are the best. You can be super accurate with em without too much practice.
Glock 17. A decent 9mm handgun, thinking of buying one of these for personal use.
Uzi 9mm, It' s not strictly at my local, but I went to Vegas the other week and shot this, so much fun, illegal in California, but fully encouraged in the state of Nevada.
Kriss super V
H and K MP5
How is FOS fm going? We listen to it here at the warehouse, have you any interview scoops on the horizon?
Glad you dig it, It's going great, I was kinda coerced into doing it, but I like it now, it's been a blast.
A bunch of people are coming up, Jim Greco, Ty Evans, loads more, I'm having a couple of weeks off at the moment, just got a few things coming up and filming for Video Nasty, so it'll be back on in a couple of weeks.
You've left Landscape in Snowy's capable hands presumably to focus more on Heroin, what can we expect from both companies this year? What is the new re-vamped Heroin team list and will we be seeing Howard Cooke part?
Howard definitely has a few things. A part might be a bit of a stretch. But he'll definitely have some rad stuff in there. I'm stoked how it's going, I've always just been able to run Heroin as my vision of skateboarding, so I sponsor whoever I want and art direct it however I want.
It's nice to not have to answer to anyone. Video Nasty will be rad, we're getting it together now.
Landscape came on leaps and bounds since Snowy took the reigns, it's been great, so much good stuff coming up from Lanners, its the 10 year anniversary this year. I'm hyped how it's all going.
Of all the videos you've put out both for Landscape and Heroin which one stands out as a favourite? What was the most fun to film for and watch come to completion and for what reasons?
Live from Antarctica. I'm very proud of that one. I felt as if we'd really achieved a lot with that one, having Chopper, Pulman and Howard Cooke parts all on one DVD, I mean just actually being able to get a part out of any of those three is a miracle in itself, but it all came together so nicely.
I'm really hoping for the same with Video Nasty, I'm stoked that Rogie is going to edit it.
I'm proud of everything that we've done though, Portraits was understandably rad, I give all the credit to Chris Massey for that one, then the genius that is Alan Glass working on Good Shit, Everythings Going to be alright, LFA, Magic Sticky Hand and Horizons. I'm proud of it all.
Oh man, SO many amazing stories. He hit Biebels bag pretty hard at the bottom with his right, and bruised his hand I think, so the footage I sent was with his left hand. Pin rules. How about Jamie Thomas ripping the piss out of him non stop when he was skating the Berrics? "No wonder you like skating on your own Pin, you get in everyones way, you cut that guy and his kid up", "Your instagram is set to private? That's like having a lock on a bin" "Does Pin have an artificial leg?"
All were words that came from Jamie Thomas about Pin, it was amazing.
Rogie is staying with you right now! How is that going?
Rad, he's broken his toe, as to be expected from the Glass Giant. He's not letting that get in the way of shredding though. We just did a trip to San Diego where he got robbed on a trick so we're going back to get that.
Do you sometimes visit spots from the Neighbourhood video just to recount what a good time in skateboarding that was?
Ha ha, you mean the Scarecrow video more like. I live down the street from Lockwood.
Do you miss working at the Slam warehouse? Have you got a favourite story from your time there?
So many good times there. Yeah I miss it. We were down the street from a gypsy campsite and they'd always come round and be like "Whats in dose boxes deer?" and we'd always say "Just Cardboard" then they'd duffle off, but one time this little pikey kid ran in, turned the stereo up really loud and started dancing, then ran off. There were so many rad people who worked there, and funny things happening all the time, even the elf laughed.
What's the best thing Dave the accountant and Paul ever did?
Geez, we used to go to this sketchy cafe called the Embassy, I swear it was named after a pack of fags, cos you'd go in there and it'd be a mix of chip fat and fag smoke, and they'd do a sketchy fry up, we'd eat there all the time, and one day it was near Christmas and Paul said "I'll treat you guys" and it was the only time he really went there, and he got us lunch, then after we got back to work, he was like "I feel ill, I'm going home" The Embassy was too much for him. Ha ha.
Ha ha, I'm sure they'll figure something rad out. We used these fire extinguishers and blasted each other all the time when Paul wasn't around. It was a fun place to work.
What do you think is the single best thing you ever saw go down at Stockwell?
Bam's kick flip at the end of Good Shit was pretty good. I think Alan Peterson's backside 180 though, he rules and did that when everyone had tiny wheels and when the park was super rough before its first resurface. I saw a kid pull a pair of Nun-chucks on Simon True once, that was pretty funny.
What things do you miss about living in London and when you're here what do you miss about LA? Is the confectionery scene better or worse there in your opinion?
Chocolate over here sucks. It's made using vegetable oil, and its just nasty and greasy. They have some good gummies and sour candy though. I miss a lot of stuff. Lucozade, decent cups of tea mainly. Pin brought over some Wispa's that was rad, kept me stocked up for a bit.
I miss Stockwell a lot, and there's some really good lads in London, a good crew, miss those knob heads.
Have you seen Tim Jackson in the wild yet?
No, I Facebook messaged him though and we rapped out a bit. Just kinda waiting for the planets to align I think and see him in the streets.
You won with the Morrissey sighting in Slam, have any celeb sightings in the States come close?
McLovin from Superbad was at the bar the other night, me and my friend got a photo. Then Stevie Janowski from Eastbound and Down is always lurking around too. Saw Tim Armstrong at Coachella last year and bro'd down with him, that was rad, he lives down the road. Them Odd Future kids are always around.
Have you been to any good gigs recently?
Nick Cave!!!!!!! That good enough for you? It was amazing. One of the top three gigs of my life. Cost $160 a ticket though!!!!!! Got Black Angels and Marina and the Diamonds coming up. There's a Morrissey show on Saturday but me and Rogie are gonna go to Vegas.
Do you have a new local comic shop?
Yep, Secret Headquarters, in Silverlake, those guys are rad.
What new art projects do you have on the boil?
Lots of stuff, been doing a lot of stuff for the upcoming DVD, Video Nasty, and that has boards that come out with that. Always doing Altamont stuff here and there. Some freelance stuff too. Always working.
Will you be back in the UK anytime soon?
Back in March for 10 days, it's probably gonna rain. If not I'll see you at Stockwell.