SMLTalk with: Village Psychic

Alright - so tell us a little bit about what Village Psychic is, for those out there who (for whatever reason) are unfamiliar.

Mike: Village Psychic is a blog about skateboarding based out of New York City. I try not to say much more than that because it’s really whatever we want it to be. Skateboarding, specifically skateboarding we like to watch, is the central theme.

SG: We are a blog that focuses on the things we love, hate and think are weird about skateboarding.

 

When and why did you guys start the site?

Mike: We started the site in March of 2014 as a way to do something within skateboarding. We’d always be talking about what was going on in skating and both came to this with a lot of ideas for articles and projects we’d wanted to do for a long time.

I briefly did another skateboarding site about 8 years ago and I’d been itching to take another crack at it?

 

How many cooks are in this kitchen?

SG: VP is me and Mike, but we have a squad of other dudes who help out. Our buddy Ian Browning is a pimp writer and regular contributor, our friend Pete Spooner helps with filming, to name a few.

 

Did you have any sort of inspiration outside of skateboarding for the blog? Are there any books or writers that had an impact on you?

SG: I love the Cohen Brothers, Gavin McInnes and James Baldwin.

Mike: I went to college for journalism so I definitely look to how reporters are trained to do things when writing and editing, but I also really like to use VP as something I can have fun with. Kurt Vonnegut, George Saunders and Jonathan Goldstein come to mind on that end.

 

What does the brainstorming process at VP look like? Do you guys hold in person meetings to get stuff in motion, or bounce ideas off each other thru the increasingly important vehicle of 'group text'? (We prefer barbecue joints)

 

SG: VP meetings are skating downtown Friday night after work till like Midnight, shooting the shit over some seltzers and lip slides.

 

Now I know that we grew up skating around the same time, so we have to cover our standard question - what’s your favorite VHS era video? Actually, I’m feeling generous...give us your Top 3.

SG:

1. Mosaic - Most people would pick Photosynthesis, but I was just a little more obsessed with skating when Mosaic came out. Renaud and Pops were some of the first people who helped me realize how much more there is to a part than just fancy moves.

2. Sight UnseenCardiel and Heath’s part still are incredibly powerful to this day.

3. Tilt Mode’s Man DownThey made skating seem like the most fun thing ever. They literally built spots out of trash. My friends and I would dig through dumpsters all the time because of this video.

Mike: Photosynthesis, Trilogy, Midopoly (Minneapolis video by Benji Meyer)

 

 

 

Lightning Round:

Nate Sherwood or Nate Broussard?
Mike: How is this a question? Nate Broussard, bro.

SG: Also gonna have to go with Broussard. Although switch 360 flip revert is a very sus trick for a line.

Nate Jones or Rodney Jones?

Mike: Are you just checking to see if I know who these people are?Nate Jones, peep our post on Kicked Out of Everywhere.

SG: Nate. But for real, remember this?

Brian Sumner or Brian Lotti?

Mike: Brian Lotti was before my time but I know enough to pick him. The On Video that had a piece on him was great. Sumner’s tricks in The End were rad, though.

SG: I feel whack saying Lotti cause I’m too young, but Brian Sumner is pretty much a giant British flag Adio boot and Oasis haircut in my head.

 

Brad Staba or Brad Cromer?

Mike: This one is actually hard. Cromer just because he was the one who made me come around on body varials.

SG: Cromer. <3

CCS or Active Mail Order?

Mike: I don’t know if I ever actually saw an Active catalog. CCS was great, got my first Workshop board out of one of those catalogs.

SG: I don’t think I’ve ever seen Active.

 

So what inspired the name of the blog? Were there any other initial names thrown around until you landed on “Village Psychic”?

Mike: Village Psychic was the name of my Instagram account I used to post signs I found around New York City. It was just a name I kept seeing on psychic parlors and I felt like it spoke to knowing something. Better used on the site than on a boring-ish instagram feed.

SG: It just felt sick. We tossed around ideas and Village Psychic felt cool right off the bat.

 

Okay so now that we know you a little better - Anything new and exciting in the pipeline for VP?

Mike: Yeah, tons of stuff. We’re really getting a rhythm down in terms of getting stuff up on the site. We usually don’t finalize anything until right before it goes live, so you’ll know when we know.

SG: I’m so stoked on our product capsule with Materiel Supply which will be available by the time this is out.

 

How did the throwback wear tests come about? How were you able to find that Stevie Williams shoe in such good condition?

SG: The idea came from talking about how sick old shoes were, in the back of our minds knowing they were so shitty. I always think it is funny hearing people say stuff like ‘man that was the BEST shoe’, but like, dog, 1 original es Accel was the mass of 10 of whatever shoe you have on in 2015. And how we get them is a secret!

Mike: i’ve always been a little bit of a shoe dork. it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. As far as where the shoes come from, shoe people know shoe people. That’s all I can really say.

 

 

 

 

 

What blog do you think you could beat in a fight? Let’s say we all met up like in Anchorman, who would you kick the shit out of?

Mike: Gawker is known to frustrate me quite a bit, so I’d get in a few swings before the cops broke it up.

 

Do you think skate blogs are the new ‘zines? Are we carrying a torch since print died or are we responsible for the decline of printed mags?

Mike: Yeah, we’re definitely continuing something that can no longer exist in it’s previous form. It’s sad that we’ve had to see great magazines like Skateboarder go away, but I like what’s going on with some of the smaller print magazines - 43 Mag, Skate Jawn and Dank are all great for their own reasons.

 

Name the top three people you would love to interview, dead or alive, and tell us why.

Mike:

Tom Wolfe - Badass

Donald Fagen - Pimp

Kurt Vonnegut - Badass pimp

 

If you were to list your top 5 skateboarders all time, where would you place Gershon Mosley?

top 5 sweatiest skaters:

1.Gershon Mosley

2.Gershon Mosley

3.Ishod

4.Cory Kennedy

5.Gershon Mosley

 

On average, how many times a week do you get laid strictly because you run a skate blog? Just trying to compare numbers here.

SG: If women love one thing more than an adult skateboarder, it is an adult skateboarder who isn’t very good at it but blogs about it.

Mike: We were just talking about this, I feel good about having a full time job and a girlfriend and still have time to skate & do a skate blog.

 

In your opinion, what’s the toughest part about running the blog? Do you pay much attention to negative comments/criticism?

Mike: Not really. I have a full time job and plenty of adult-ass responsibilities on top of VP, so if anyone is talking trash I’ve probably got my attention somewhere else.I really only get positive feedback, which is really rad to hear.

SG: The toughest part is just finding time. When I have free time I wanna ride my skateboard or work on cool shit for the blog, I don’t wanna use energy thinking about the lame things people say about stuff I put time into.

 

Given how fast the internet moves these days and how much information is out there, have you ever had an idea for a piece only to find it the next day on another site? How difficult is it to remain creative and original with so many different websites?

 

Mike: Yeah, definitely. We’ve had some ideas that weren’t necessarily stolen, but when we saw what somebody else was doing it was just like “Oh, come on dude. We had that idea first.” It happens though, there’s just a lot going on in skating in general. Thankfully I’ve got several years of ideas piled up from not writing about skating for a while.

SG: I’ve gotten pretty bummed working hard on something and then seeing someone else with the same idea who moved faster, but I try to just say fuck it and move onto something else. Also, with all the content coming out all the time, I think it sparks ideas. It’s a giant online conversation we all have, which is super sick.

 

Both of our blogs seem to touch on similar “golden eras” of skateboarding. Why do you think nerding out over the past is so important? And as a follow up, what do you think is the most influential/important era in skateboarding?

 

Mike: Yeah, I definitely get that from SML Talk as well. I think it’s just part of having skated for an extended period of time. No matter how ill some new kid is, I’ll always be partial to Gino in The Chocolate Tour.

SG: If you don't know your history, you might fuck around and end up another Kasparholic. Josh Kalis in Photo is one of my favorite representations of skating. Mosaic had such a heavy impact on me. Every video Crailtap did up to Fully Flared I feel would change skateboarding each time. It is important for skating to feel timeless. If you look at someone like Ed templeton or Rick Howard, it is hard to put a time stamp on their video parts, and that is really special. I also really love skateboarding right now. We care so much about style and how things look, I think we are doing great at the moment.

 

If you could have one non skateboarding related sponsor for the site, what would it be?

SG: Perrier or LaCroix. We are some seltzer boys over here.


What piece have you written for the blog that you’re the most proud of and why?

SG: An Ode to the Covered 5 and The Search For Ty Dicky were really fun. Just doing stuff on Minnesota, which where we’re both from originally and where we both grew up skating. There’s a really sick scene in Minneapolis and we want people to know about it.

MB: I’m really pleased with how our wear test videos have turned out, they went from an idea to reality pretty quickly.


Congrats on your recent collaboration with Permanent Distro. How did that come about and can I get a long sleeve?

SG: Permanent approached us asking if we would be into doing a colab. I’m not even trying to pole ride, i am a really big fan of the brands they represent, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. The Permanent store should have them, I’d hook it up if I could!


What would you say to someone who’s thinking about starting their own blog?

SG: Do it. You get to decide how seriously it is taken, which is really nice.

MB: As someone who’s done it once before, the magic to me has been in having people to hold me accountable. If I don’t do something I say I’m going to do, Spencer let’s me know, and vice versa. Having a collaborator who’s as into it as you are helps a ton.


Where will Village Psychic be in five years? 10 years?

SG: Sipping LaCroix on a weeknight, doing lipslides on ledges talking about the golden era of skateboarding, when DLX would release full length videos without any warning, Nyjah only used drugs recreationally, and people only posted ‘quick’ clips, not their bangers, on instagram.

MB: We’ll be fully hooked up by LaCroix.


Thank You’s/Shout Outs?

Ian Browning, Zach Harris, Jonah Miller, Jon Sannes, Pete Spooner, Cassie Johnson, James @ Labor, Quartersnacks, SML Talk, DLXSF, Russian Bob, Mike Munzenrider, Shane Brown, TJ Moran, Jan Jacobson, Rob Sissi, and anyone else who is helping us out in anyway at all.