James Bower Interview
March 28 2014
James Bower is one of my favourite people to watch blade, he's the epitome of London street skating. Jonny told me he had moved in with him and got a whole bunch of footage in the first week which they wanted to do something with for the website. Apart from his skating I didn't know much about James and thought it would be a good opportunity to get an insight into the man behind the can of Holsten's. Enjoy. - Sam
Let's kick off with a little background on your new part, how long have you been working on it and what made you guys decide to start filming in the middle of winter?
It’s just been a few skates since probably December. It didn't really start that we were filming for this, Jonny put a few clips together and thought might as well. Skating in the winter aint no ting, long johns and another jumper you'll be alright.
A lot of us in the UK aren't as productive in winter or retreat to indoor parks, what's your secret to staying on the streets and getting footage in the dark months?
There’s a good group of skaters in London, we meet up pretty much most weekends of the year. What ever you film is a bonus. Skate spots, drink tins and bun zoots…standard weekend session. Also London is a lively city so there’s something going on all year round so I guess it’s a lot easier for us to be out as long as it isn't raining.
Sounds like you have the beginnings of an English FP house in London at the moment?
Well maybe. We have the potential, now Jonny has moved in the productivity is going through the roof. It’s me, Leon, Jonny and our main man Luke! Good times, a lot of old school VHS sessions.
Let's talk about that backslide, I hear you done a bit of studying up on a certain clip in an old video before you went out to try it?
Yeah me and Jonny were up the night before watching old vids and old footage. Saw the clip of me doing a makio on it, and then Latimer’s backslide in coup de tat. Put two and two together and manned up. Pretty much all down to the super flats though!
Did you have to work for it?
It’s kinda funny, I was being a pussy and then this random guy started watching. Ended up he was some old school blader and it gave me the juice to show him what he's been missing out on. All for Latimer!
To close out the backslide part of this interview, what's your top three backslide plates of all time?
1: Super Flat
2: Salomon (I know its not a plate)
What’s the story behind raging at that skateboarder?
Basically the guy was a nob, he knew I was skating that ledge and did it on purpose. He did it a few other times, so wanted him to feel as kilned out as possible. We de-capped that spot so its ours.
If you could have any non blade related sponsor who would it be?
Holsten Pils! All day uuurrrr day.
If there's anyone from Holsten Pils reading this is there anything you want to say to them?
Yes Holsten you guys are a bunch of legends!
You've got a joint part in 'Vine Street', how was your time down under?
Amazing, made some really good friends and had some really good times. Was planning to do a bit of travelling about but got stuck in Sydney because the lifestyle was pretty much sent. Big thanks to Dom and Katie for looking after me soo much over the year..and Jamie Knapp the absolute legend! Love you dog.
What trips have you got lined up at the moment?
Well I'm in Barca at the moment with Jonny, then probably Summerclash followed by Barca again. Want to have as many holidays as possible at the moment. Stop working so much and do what I want to do.
Can you tell us anything about 'Bottom of the Barrel'? Will you have a full part?
Bottom of the Barrel is a video that Jonny is working on at the moment. Yeah I'm gonna try and film something for it, there’s a good bunch of skaters that Jonny’s got involved. He does his shit correct so its something to look out for!
How's the London scene at the moment?
Yeah all good, everyone’s still about. More people are moving to London so there’s always people about. I love the variety of people we have, it’s what London is. Now it's turning to summer I can't wait for the sessions.
Any progress with the Southbank campaign?
Couldn't care less haha, nah I know my skateboarder mates would say different because they see it from a different perspective but from a rollerblader’s side I say take the money and get something better! My experiences are nob heads who dislike you for being a rollerblader, ego maniac graff heads, hipster 'all the gear no idea' skateboarders and people just looking to rob your bag. Now urban sports are socially acceptable you have these middle class rad dad’s reminding people they used to skate there! Don't care, it’s butters build something better.
Were you there when the Salomon tour came through?
Nah, just remember watching focused as a kid and being so juiced it was in London! Feinberg’s roll is one of my favourite clips to of ever been done in London.
I want to thank you and Jon for taking the time to put this together, enjoy the rest of your time in Barcelona. Is there anything else you want to add?
Yeah just to say thanks to Jon for filming and editing, Holsten and piff for getting us through.
Filmed & Edited by Jon Lee
Photos by Jon Lee & Nick Lomax