"Look Left" / Joe Yates / PREMIERE

Just in time for the new Traffic Skateboards drop via Josh Stewart's great Theories Of Atlantis platform, comes this web premiere of Joe Yates' section in "Look Left", the latest Traffic full-length video offering by Josh himself. All of this, with a quick, five questions-styled interview with Joe to boot! Peep now, get inspired, and make sure to thank them later!

LIVE Skateboard Media: Where are you based now and where do you come from? Canada, right? I remember you had a solid section in Rob Mentov’s Street Feet video, "Overture". Funnily enough, we just interviewed Rob recently...

Joe Yates: I’m currently based in Toronto. I was born in Ottawa, but I lived in the States for most of my life.

Yeah, I remember filming for that video when I first moved to Toronto. Rob is a good dude; I don’t see much of him anymore.

LSM: Who were your influences skateboarding-wise growing up that eventually got you into city skating? Favorite styles? Favorite styles one might not expect to hear you mention as some of your favorite styles? (Locals maybe?)

Joe: Daniel Shimizu, Jake Rupp, Bobby Puleo, Mike Carroll, Gino Iannucci, Rob Pluhowski, Kennan Milton, and Jason Dill for obvious reasons.

As for locals: probably John Lennie, who had last part in Rob’s video "Overture", and then there's Dylan Barnes.

"[Ricky Oyola] is truly a pioneer of street skating [...]
and is an insanely talented pool player"

LSM: When did the Traffic connection happen, and how?

Joe: Two years ago maybe? So, my friend Rich Preston who works at the skate shop I ride for called Blue Tile Lounge started a little distribution company called Gord. Gord happened to have Theories, Traffic, Lewis Cruise, as well as some other brands in it. Rich asked if I had footage to give him for Traffic to get some boards flowed, and I complied. As weeks went on, I gathered some stuff up to send him, then it got relayed to Pat and Josh. Some people from the team were coming down here to do some last minute filming for “Look Left”; that's when I met Luke, Kevin, Ricky, Pat, Brendan, and Joe Bressler.

Wallride up. Ph.: James Morley

Meeting Ricky was a trip, because the guy is a legend and I grew up watching him skate. He’s truly a pioneer of street skating, he paved a way for lots of people, and is an insanely talented pool player. The team was here for four days in total I believe, before going to some other city. Rich, Will Jivcoff who is one part of Medium Magazine, and myself were showing the guys around the city, filming, and partying. Shortly after they left, I got an email from either Pat or Josh inviting me on a trip to film for the video.

LSM: What was it like filming for "Look Left"? That’s Toronto, SF and Chicago, right? Did the filming happen pretty organically? Was it hard for you to get clips, did some of them feel like missions or a lot of them happen on the fly?
Joe: The filming took place in Toronto, SF, Chicago, Syracuse, and Baltimore. Some of the filming happened organically and a few of the sessions felt like missions. There was definitely some pressure filming for the video partly because they had already been filming the video for some time along with not having much time to film for the video due to work.
LSM: Why do you reckon your skating style is what it is; what do you look for in a spot, how picky are you in terms of aesthetics, what do you like to see (in your own footage and in others’)? Is there a particular way you approach trick selection?
Joe: I’m not sure if there is a particular way I approach trick selection when I’m at a spot, I just go with whatever feels right at that exact moment. I feel like the way I skate stems from growing up in an East Coast city together with watching a lot of Japanese videos, i.e. FESN. Those videos were so well curated, it appeared to me that they had it all figured it out. From the aesthetically pleasing spots, to the trick selection, the ill fitting clothes, finally down to the music, truthfully it was nothing like I’ve ever seen before. Subsequent to watching the video, I noticed I emulated their cultural offerings. All the guys I skated with when I started were into East Coast skateboarding, so I guess it rubbed off. So everytime I go out on my endeavours, I try my best to look for spots that are peculiar, and quite possibly locations that nobody has skated.
LSM: Bonus question - what happened after you stole that girl’s heart, seconds after scaring her to death, all in front of her man?
Joe: I got the digits... [laughs]


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