Unlike a lot of people you come across these days, Josh Harrington makes no attempt to explain what he’s done or what he has. Overall, Josh may be come off as maybe even a bit too mellow when you first meet him, but after you get the chance to hang out with Josh, it’s easy to see he’s one of the most genuine people in BMX. He puts his friends and family above anything else and going against the social media norm, he enjoys keeping his personal life, personal. So, it’s a treat for me to hit up Josh with a few questions for this week’s Friday interview.
First off, that recent Premium promo was absolutely unreal. A lot of the footage was spread out, for example the clip that you got the cover from was filmed in late 2010. Was the promo an active project or something that was just thrown together?
Thanks, That promo was mostly filmed this year, that clip of the over grind just never got used for anything so I decided to throw it into the promo. The majority of the footage was from a couple trips down to Florida and a trip around eastern NC with Rick Scott and Brian Kachinsky.
The X-up grind. Thoughts on it in general and its seeming resurgence in BMX these days?
X-up grinds are really fun but also can feel a bit awkward. I'm stoked to see it getting done a bit more lately. It's one of those tricks that either feels really dialed or can end up really bad if you get in a bad position. I'm excited to see a bunch of X-up grinds these days. There is a lot that can be done with that trick and it's fun seeing the x grind progress.
You recently went to China for Greg Illingsworth Make It Happen DVD project. How'd you end up being part of the project? How was the trip?
The trip to China and Hong Kong was amazing. Greg and the whole crew were really chill and the spots were unbelievable. I ended up getting on that trip because Brian Kachinsky asked me earlier in the year if id be interested in going to China. I was hyped to get a chance to go so he talked to Greg and it went from there. Vans hooked it up with a flight over and they are sponsoring that video, as well.
You just had, I believe, your first photo published in our 25 Years of Handrail article with Brian Kachinsky doing a monster gap-to-manual. How long have you been shooting photos? What's your photo setup?
I’ve been shooting for about a year. I have a Cannon 7d with 8-15 mm 50mm and 24-105mm L series lenses. Don't really have much flash game yet.
You've been filming for over a decade, how does photography compare for you?
I enjoy both, but shooting photos has been a lot of fun because it's new to me. It’s fun learning more and more and finding more creative ways to shoot. It is very satisfying to get the photo that you had pictured in your head. Digital age makes it pretty easy to become decent at shooting pretty fast.
I believe you recently stated that you were going to begin wearing a helmet full time now. What caused the revelation?
On that trip to China there was a major sponsor of Greg's video that didn’t want people riding without helmets in the video so I wore a helmet on some street clips for the first time since I have been riding BMX. I have always thought about wearing a helmet all the time, but I just rode without one on street for so long that's just what felt natural. The longer you ride your bike you obviously want to progress and with that often comes a little more danger. I have been riding BMX for 18 years so I guess its time to protect the head a little more than my hat does. I will probably not wear a helmet every time I film a clip, but am going to try and at least have it with me to strap on when needed.
Social media comments. Care to expand on your "Travel teaches you more than college" statement?
The more I think about that statement I realize it's true and false. Traveling obviously isn't going to teach you how to perform brain surgery. For me personally, I notice that travel teaches you to open your mind and be more accepting of different cultures and how to adapt to any situation. Traveling is a way to absorb the positives out of other cultures and not just think that everything people in my country do is the right way just because we are us. Every country out there has something to share, you just have to open your mind and get out there.
There seems to be a lot of opinions on the state of contests these days. As someone who gets invited to all types of events, what are your thoughts?
BMX events are very unpredictable these days. We are not organized at all; nobody ever knows how you qualify into events or what steps to take to be included. The courses are usually built for skateboarding and bikes are just allowed to ride them. It seems like BMX cant stand up for itself like the skaters, because riders think we are just lucky to be included in X games and such events and the events know that. BMX just goes along for the ride with practically no input in the events we are riding in. Who knows if we would get bumped out if riders stood up for itself from time to time, but it could be worth a try.
You're on Premium with Kerley, Foley, and Ricany…all three relatively young dudes. Do you ever inadvertently see yourself going into older-brother mode or having to give them some sort of "I've been there" advice?
Maybe from time to time as a joke, but those three kids have it together pretty good. Sean needs to be grounded every now and then, though…
If you got thanks, here's the spot…
Thanks Premium, Oakley, Rockstar, Vans, my family and Ride for this interview.