Modern Fix

THE GILLEY – interview by hunter bliss

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Ben Gilleys skating is amazing, Going fast, grinding huge rails, 5-0ing 20-stair rails first try. He skates solid and raw. Hey Ben, want to do this interview?
No! No, go ahead.

What is your age and sponsors?
I’m 24. Faith Skate Supply, Black Label, Revolution Wheels, Monster Trucks, Speed Metal Bearings, and November Clothing, that’s it right now.

How long have you been skating for?
Since I was about 9, actually right before I turned ten.

What kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to all kinds of music. I’ll listen to Cradle of Filth and then 20 minutes later I’ll be listening to PJ Harvey or Torrey Amos. If I like it I’ll listen to it, I don’t care what it is, it’s real diverse.

What goes through your head before skating big rails?
I know I’m going to land it, I know I’m going to do it.

I saw footage of you lipsliding some big handrail first try the other day?
You gotta tell yourself you know you can do it first try, I try to pretend it’s a flat bar. Just skate it like a flat bar. Ok I know I can do this trick, I just have to hold it a little longer, you know.

It is all about the confidence.
Yeah exactly. I’ll go to a rail and if I don’t feel it I won’t jump on it. You just gotta have the confidence. Their days I go to rails and I don’t have confidence at all, I don’t even feel like I can do it.

Do you take some gnarly slams?
I slam more on smaller stuff than bigger stuff. I did that opening line in the black out part, I didn’t get hurt on that. And then the next weekend I went and did El Toro.

The 5-0?
Yeah, you know and I did that first try and I didn’t really get hurt you know, I got a heel bruise, no big deal. But then I’ll try to skate some random spot and I’ll just get worked, like at a gap or something I’ll just get beat up so bad.

Have you done any traveling lately?
I just spent a month in Alabama. I was starting on an interview with Slap and I just wanted to get some photos at home. I’m going to Europe next month, I went to Japan not too long ago, that was amazing, it was the first time I ever left the country.

Did you like it in Japan? What part of Japan did you go to?
It was amazing. We went to Tokyo and then we spent a day in Osaka. I was out their with Circa, an article on it just came out in Slap.

Are you working on any new video parts?
My friend Joel is doing a video called “Reason to Believe”, I’m not sure what he has going on with that, or when it is going to be done. I’m still filming like I’m filming for a video part, but just wherever the footage goes. I’m just trying to stay on it.

I heard you didn’t drink before, but lately you have been?
Yeah it’s true. I haven’t drank in a long time, I did it for a little bit, and I had to skate so I quit, I’ll deal with skating, I keep it under control. I put skating first. I keep myself in check.

Check out his part in the new Black Label video, “The Blackout”.