Shiloh Greathouse has always been a huge inspiration to me. Everything he did was just so proper but with no hint of being a robot. Sure there are plenty of kids out there now landing everything perfectly first go without a bead of sweat on their head, but there really is something to say about someone that just naturally makes stuff look good. Describing 'style' is a strange thing, as in reality you are just saying that another man moves his arms and legs in a way that is aesthetically pleasing to you, but Shiloh's sections (most specifically those in the world days) are just so enjoyable to watch.
Featuring in some of the most classic videos of all time, Shiloh was always impeccably dressed, had immaculate trick selection and an overall style that was rarely matched.
Plus he managed to make the double crouch down not only work but also look tight as fuck.
Sup Shiloh, thanks for doing this man. You wanna start with some standard shit about how you got into skating and when?
Before skating I was really into BMX racing but I always had a banana board and I would ride it up and down the sidewalk in front of my house. Around 84-85 I saw older kids in my neighborhood skating around and I was becoming more interested in it. So I got my first professional deck, a Vision Gator. Basically I just never looked back from there, I knew that I wanted to be a pro.
By the time you were in the public eye, you had all the codes correct, but did you ever push mongo or any other shameful acts back at in the early days? Z-Rollers?
No, I never pushed mongo or anything like that, good style was always very important to me. I had a lot of older friends that led me down the right path with style early on. But I did own a set of Z-Rollers that I skated for a short time. I wish I had a set of those trucks now it would be so much fun!
Were you sponsored before world? I seem to remember you having a couple tricks in an old Liberty video (Liberty Horror maybe?)
I never rode for Liberty. I was on World at the time I had those slams in Liberty Horror. I was just good friends with Tod Congelliere and we would hang out and skate all the time. He would help me with my vert skills and I would help him with his street skills. But my first sponsor was Alva which changed it's name to New School a few months after I got on.
How tight were you with Rocco back then?
I was pretty tight with Rocco, everyone on the team was. Him and Rodney Mullen were a sort of father figures in a way to a lot of us.
What did you think of the way he went about things? There are some mixed reviews about him from those that skated for his teams…
He was always really cool and he loved to take care of his riders! If he was on tour with us or at our other events we would always stay in the best room in one of the best hotels in town, we would also eat out at good places and go on shopping sprees all the time.
I know he used to buy you guys stuff all the time, but were you making good money on World?
He payed us well for the time. Most of us made more than the industry standard for the nineties.
You ever see or speak to him anymore?
No, haven't heard from him in many years.
You got any good stories from the world park days? Seemed like a lot of shit was going down there - strippers, board stealing, booze, drugs etc. sounded like great times.
We would definitely get drunk and high there all the time. But at some point things got way too out of control, we basically destroyed that place - besides breaking into the product closet, we did graffiti all over the office walls, kicked holes in walls, it was bad! Looking back on it, I'm ashamed of some of the things I did there.
I always remember that Big Brother caption - Shiloh skates, not a company, he just does. On that note, did you ever think about starting up your own thing?
I have thought about it here and there and have had many people urge me to do something in the industry. But it's really hard in the skateboard industry now, even big established companies are struggling. Who knows though, maybe sometime in the future.
Who were you tightest with in the world days? I know you guys used to go out tagging and all that, how serious were you with all that?
That's a complicated question. Guy Mariano, Jed Walters and I were really tight for awhile. As well as Daniel Castillo, Daewon Song and Kareem Campbell. But after Tim Gavin, Henry Sanchez and Brian Lotti got on our crew got bigger and then the 101 guys like Koston, Dill and Gino Iannucci were added to it in the world park days. But throughout time I always remained tightest with Daewon, Daniel and Kareem.
Do you still keep in contact with those guys?
I see Daewon the most. He comes by my house and skates my ramp with me from time to time.
Mike Carroll recently mentioned that he asked you and Kareem to be on Chocolate, what happened there?
Here's the short version. Girl wanted to do a second company based around Kareem and I called Sister. So we were secretly plotting to take the whole world team with us. And the day Kareem and I went in to quit we had a change of heart and a fatter paycheck.
You had a way of skating look easy, which is a gift for sure. Which other skaters do you think have a good style?
I have a lot of favorites that influenced my own style like Jason Lee, Brian Lotti, Natas Kaupas, Ray Barbee, Matt Hensley, Mark Gonzales, Julien Stranger and Randy Colvin minus the mongo push. If I thought it about more this list would be much longer. This was just off the top of my head.
Do you keep up with current skating at all?
I try a little. When I go out to skate with people I'll try to get some info from them.
Obviously everyone is technically brilliant these days, but are there any of the new guys that you think is good to watch?
I really like Sean Malto, Jose Rojo, Clark Hassler and Ben Hatchel.
What is your take on Street League and all these other huge contests with thousands of dollars at stake?
I like watching the contests but it's bullshit that they're invite only. I hate that Monster, Red Bull and Mountain Dew are telling the world who the best skateboarders are.
Girl wanted to do a second company based around Kareem and I called Sister.