Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Mark 'Fos' Foster

Simultaneously the brains behing Landscape and the evil mastermind behind Heroin, Mark 'Fos' Foster has always had a lot going on. In between filming for the next Heroin video, working as Art Director at Altamont Apparel and regular trips from his native London to Japan; Fos is still endlessly enthusiastic about the music he loves. Naturally, we wanted to find out what he had to say, so we hassled him for an interview. Now pay attention.

What's your favourite video section track?
Oh man, probably that McRad track 'Weakness' on the Rubber Boys (ams) section of Public Domain. Just 'cause when you see that for the first time when you're a kid who grew up in Lancashire and you hear that jam and see how much fun they're having skating down the street then it kind of sums up all the reasons that you skate. That's closely followed by Andrew Reynolds part in Stay Gold (Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros- 'Om Nashi Me'), which I think is possibly the best video part ever made.

What's your favourite video overall, for music?
Hard to say. I grew up in the 80s so stuff like Santa Cruz Wheels of Fire, Streets on Fire and Speed Freaks introduced me to bands I'd have never heard of otherwise, so they were influential. I liked the early Consolidated videos too, they were all great for the skating as well as the music. I actually think that the video I have watched the most times is Scarecrow 'Disturb Not the Sleep of Death'. They have Slayer, the U.S. Bombs, Nerve Agents and even Patsy Cline.

How do you go about choosing music for your videos?
I grew up listening to punk and metal almost exclusively, but when you start making videos you need to listen to a lot more music, 'cause not everyone wants to listen to that stuff, so I started listening to way more types of music. As far as Heroin music video choices, me and Alan Glass just usually argue about stuff or try and find stuff that either takes the piss out of the teamriders, or makes 'em look good. Like Pulman sent us loads of weird stuff for his Live from Antarctica part- some of it was kind of ridiculous- and in the end he just said, "I trust you guys, use whatever just as long as it's not the Smiths or Morrissey", so of course we used Morrissey. It's just what we feel works for the rider an has good bits to edit to.

What's your favourite album of all time?
The one I always go back to is Minor Threat, 'Complete Discography'. It's just amazing, pure energy. It's hard to say one, can we say it's closely followed by 'Scumdogs of the Universe' by Gwar?

What was the first album you bought with your own money?

I'm pretty sure it was Iron Maiden, maybe 'Killers', and definitely on tape.

What's your favourite album art?
I loved all the Iron Maiden covers when I was growing up. They were always rad. I'm gonna go with 'Killers'.

What's your favourite band t-shirt?
A Bootleg Tom Waits tee from the Edinburgh show in 2008. I wanted to buy a real one but the merch there was total crap, it was like skinny fit tees of artwork that he'd done with oil or something, so I got this one outside for a tenner and it's amazing.

What are you listening to just now?
I saw the Black Angels play just before I left L.A. recently, they're amazing. Stoked on them right now, I saw Thee Oh Sees recently, they were sick, I'm trying to see Grinderman this year, and I've been listening to the latest No Age album a lot. Mainly those four bands with a smattering of Tom Waits and some Japanese Pop thrown in there.

Anything coming out soon you're excited about?
Well, I'm working on a new Heroin video, so we're just filming for that at the moment. Had a few ideas for songs I wanna use for my part if that comes together, but everything else is still up in the air, we're all just filming.

What was your first gig? How was it?
I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1990 in Manchester. I was 17 and obviously first gig is always amazing, but the fact that it was seated and it was a bit weird, and the Chili Peppers were still really a punk band back then.

Favourite gig ever?
Tom Waits in Edinburgh 2008. Tickets were £100, I had to buy 'em for both me and my girlfriend at the time, plus plane tickets to Edinburgh, then hotels... That was basically my holiday for that year, but it was incredible. I feel lucky that I've been able to see him perform live, he's such a legend.

What gig in history do you wish you could have been at?
Any of the Sex Pistols shows would have been amazing, early Tom Waits shows, wish I'd have seen the Stone Roses or Joy Division, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, or the Rolling Stones at Altamont when the Hell's Angles beat the shit out of the Hippies.

Do you play any music yourself?
Yeah, I was the singer in a punk band with a load of crazy Japanese kids, called Doku Dango, for a while. They kind of tricked me into joining the band it's a long story, fun times though!

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