The Josh Clemens Interview

"There has always been 100% support from my family for BMX"

9 Dec 2015

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Intro, interview and photos by Devin Feil

It is my pleasure to introduce Josh Clemens, a 22 year old from Klamath Falls, Oregon pursuing his dream in the BMX mecca of Southern California.  Josh lives BMX, working full time at 180 Distro and off on filming missions just about every other spare moment.  You'd be hard pressed to find a more polite, humble, and appreciative young rider, plus he's damn good on a bike too.  Without further ado let's hear from Josh...

Name, age, and current residence?

Josh Clemens, 22 years old, currently residing in Long Beach, California.

How long have you called Southern California home? 

I have lived in Southern California going on three years now.  Pretty much moved out here right after I graduated high school, and I am originally from Klamath Falls, Oregon

You live with Broc Raiford these days, how'd you to come to be roommates? Any funny stories?
So Broc and I met about 4 years ago at Woodward West. I was working and he was a visiting pro. I was riding the flat rail by myself haha and Broc came and started riding it with me and then we just became friends. We kept in touch for a while, and coincidently both moved out to Southern California.  Then about a year after we had both been living here, we decided to get an apartment together and it has been nothing short of awesome ever since! Broc is like my brother now. I couldn't ask for a better roommate/friend. A pretty funny story is a long time ago when I was probably like 13, I messaged Broc on MySpace and asked him how to get sponsored and he replied in like 10 minutes. I thought that was the coolest thing ever... Haha and now we are best friends. It's pretty insane when I think about it.

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Seeking shade from the scorching hot Portland afternoon sun.

"I was probably like 13, I messaged Broc on MySpace and asked him how to get sponsored"

When and how did you get hooked up by Volume?

I got hooked up Volume about a year and a half ago. I was friends with Broc a long time before I was hooked up by Volume, so he would always bring me with him when he would go out in the van with Mastroni and everyone. And at the time I was already getting flowed Demolition stuff here and there from Brian, so I had built a relationship with him and everyone at the office. I just got to become good friends with Mike and the rest of the Volume team over time and then randomly one day Mike asked me if I would be interested in being on the "B Team". I was more than stoked and it was awesome because I already felt comfortable around the whole team and knew them somewhat, so it kind of just felt natural and I think that is the best way to be brought on to a team. There were definitely no awkward feelings or introduction to anybody. It worked out great.

How long have you been working at the warehouse?
I have officially been employed here at 180 Distribution (Volume & Demolition) for about a year and a half. I started off just helping out one day when they were short handed, Brian and La asked me to come back and help again and then I started working part time for about 6 months. Then at the beginning of this year I started working full time, Monday through Friday. Its insane how it all worked out, I always dreamed of working at a BMX company since I was in high school. Now I have my own office and stuff, its crazy haha.

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Once Mike and I were setup Josh laced the double peg to crank arm in a matter of minutes.

Was The Finer Things your first project with Volume? 

Yes. I got on Volume about half way through TFT, so I didn't think I would get to have that much footage in the DVD, but I just tried to film as much as could and actually managed to get enough stuff to have a split section with Eric Bahlman. It also helps that Mike lives 4 blocks away from me, so filming is pretty convenient for us.

How'd it feel to put together your first video part for Volume 1?
It felt amazing.  As soon as Mike said he wanted me to have a full section in this new video, I really wanted to try and make it my best. I'm my own biggest critic (I think everyone is), and most of the time I'm usually pretty hard on myself and not to stoked on a few things here and there, but over all I'm very happy with how it all came out.  Just getting that personal satisfaction is the most important part to me.

How's the reaction to the project been?
It's been overwhelming honestly. I guess I just didn't expect to have people hitting me up about it, because that's never really happened to me before. So when people personally told me they were stoked on it, it made me feel good, knowing they watched it and appreciated it.

Related Video

Volume 1 In Review With Josh Clemens - Volume Bikes

Behind the scenes look at Josh's excellent Volume 1 section - More Info

Were you excited to head to Oregon and your hometown of Klamath to film?

I was very excited. I've always thought it would be so cool to bring everyone back to my hometown. So when the opportunity arose, I had so much stuff in mind. The wall ride Demarcus did was one of the craziest things I've seen. That spot was something my friends and I would always joke about doing... and he did it haha! I also had a few things in mind that felt cool to get done, the crank bar and double rail hop. Like when I lived back home I never had a filmer or anyone to shoot photos, so going back there with Mike and Devin was awesome. It motivated me more to do some "scarier stuff" so to speak, haha.

How about showing the other guys(Demarcus, Billy, Krejmas) your local spots? 
I felt like everyone loved my local spots. I think because no body had ever even been to Oregon before so just the landscape of the spots and the hills was so much different than what they had ever ridden before. I was afraid they wouldn't be into anything I showed them, but they were so hyped on everything, it was great.  I was really hoping nobody would be let down.

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A bag of tools and pump on hand can go a long way towards keeping a session going.

Tell us a little bit about your family's background in BMX and how long has your dad had GonRacin open?

My dad rode BMX when he was younger and got me into it as well. I raced from about age 6-15. We would travel all the time to races and whatnot. My dad opened a BMX shop and he would bring stuff out the local track and sell race gear and tools and just little stuff, hence the name GonRacin BMX. Then when the local scene kind of graduated to freestyle he started carrying more and more brands and eventually turned into a core BMX shop. My whole family actually still races, my sister, mom and dad. That's the best part. There has always been 100% support from my family for BMX, I think that's another reason why I never got bored or burnt out on it when I was younger. And then doing the shop stop at my dad's shop was like icing on the cake for that Oregon trip.  

Say you hit the track tomorrow, who is finishing where in a race?

Haha, that's a tough one. My mom would probably beat all of us!

What did dad think after tagging along for a day of filming?

My dad was actually really impressed I think. He still rides, keeps up with BMX and knows pretty much everything that goes on.  But he had never seen what work goes into filming a video, like setting up for a photo, setting up both video cameras and then just trying it over and over until it works, or even doing it again until it looks the way we want. I've always just wanted my dad to experience some of the stuff I've gotten to do, because I know his dream as a kid was to do exactly what I'm doing now, so having him out with us that day was one of the best days I've ever had. 

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Josh's father Tim was more than down for the mission as the crew roamed Klamath Falls.

Mike Mastroni trusts you to handle filming his clips and second angles. Has filming always been an interest of yours?

I have actually always looked up to Mike ever since I started getting into filming. I used to film all the time back home and make videos of my friends, but when I moved out here I didn't really have time to do that, because I just wanted to ride all the time. It's crazy that Mike trusts me so much to film for him, sometimes I get nervous like I'm going to blow it, but he's super fun to film with, so it always works out great!

Now that Volume 1 is out what's up next? Any plans yet for 2016?
Well I'm currently working on a little video with Doeby, we don't really know what it's for yet but other than that, I just like to stay busy and try to be as productive as I can. I'm sure we will have some fun Volume trips this year, so I can't wait! 

Who would you like to thank?

First and foremost, my entire family for the endless support and motivation to keep doing what I love. The 180 Dist. staff, Brian, La, Kevin and Matt, everyone in the Volume family, Mastroni, Broc, all of my friends(you know who you are) and Devin Feil and DIG for giving me opportunity to have this interview.

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Josh living the dream, filming in Portland first full video part.

"I've always just wanted my dad to experience some of the stuff I've gotten to do, because I know his dream as a kid was to do exactly what I'm doing now"

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Volume Bikes - Volume 1 - Full Video

Incredible full sections from Josh Clemens, Billy Perry, and DeMarcus Paul - More Info