Neil is a skateboarder and musician from Birmingham.
“I like playing in bands and there’s so many aspects of skating that you can take in to your music, and I am liable to bend your ears about that, especially when I’ve had a drink or two. I think the most important thing I take from skateboarding is that it is a libidinous form of expression. You do what you want to do, you do it because it feels good and you work at a trick because you want that feeling. I don’t feel like music or skateboarding are a catharsis, they’re just a pleasure to do. If I’m having trouble with playing, writing, if I haven’t skated for a couple of days I know I can get into a clearer cognitive space skating, putting lines together, how you interact with your environment, there’s a lot of ways in which the experience of skateboarding is analogous to other creative processes.
The people who hype me up in skateboarding are the people who want to learn, anyone who’s hyped, no brands or artwork inspires particularly just the people around me, seeing people’s personalities in their skateboarding, I think skateboarding or whatever creative endeavour you participate in is in part about discovering and inventing yourself, becoming comfortable with your own idiosyncrasies, so watching younger kids growing into their own skate styles and then start to kill it is a constant source of inspiration
I think The No Comply network is a great idea, I think if you skate and if you still skate past a certain age there’s a mindset, where you’re just doing it because you love it, all the shit your colleagues and family give you has long turned into background noise. I think if you can connect those people, all with that attitude of not giving a shit much, I think you’ll have a great big bunch of people who don’t give a shit much.”