Chris Joslin has made himself known for his speed-driven lines and mondo sends. You might not know that he listens to Christian music like Zach Williams and keeps his focus for those big days riding in silence. Last May, we got to catch up with Chris in Des Moines, Iowa, between rain showers at Dew Tour and learned more about his music type, skate video influences, and how he came about picking the song for his Plan B True video part. All this and a custom-curated playlist in his On Rotation interview below.

Let’s start with what your favorite type of music is to listen to?
I can listen to all types of music except for techno, on the regular at least. It’s a certain type of vibe, and I used to go to parties and played stuff like that, but I was never really a fan of it.

What genre do you usually listen to? Is it a lot more hip-hop or rock?
It just kind of depends on the mood. But if I’m skating, I typically will listen to like rock or more alternative style stuff.

Are there any bands or artists that you can name that you’ve been listening to as of recent?
I’ve been pretty heavily into church lately. So I’ve listened to a lot of Christian music like Zach Williams and stuff like that. It’s semi-country alternative style. More like upbeat, I guess you could say, and then if I’m not skating, I’ll listen to like the slower type stuff too. But when I’m skating, I try to go for a little more upbeat, high pace, just to get a little spark.

So you mentioned you’ve been into going to church lately, and that’s influenced you to listen to Christian music. How big of a role does music play in your life? Is it something that you always have playing throughout your day?
Well lately, I’ve been waking up pretty early, and part of the whole listening to Christian music is waking up listening to that just to start the day in a peaceful, worshipping kind of vibe.

chris joslin on rotation music interview
Photo Credit: Strand

If it’s you behind the wheel, what’s getting played in the car? And if you’re with the crew, who gets to play the tunes?Not everyone likes country music, and if in the car, I typically like some country just to keep the vibes mellow. So I’ll just hand the aux to somebody else, and they’ll usually play whatever the newest rap music is or whatnot. Which I’m down for. I don’t mind. I’m not like, “oh turn that stuff off.” It’s totally cool to me. But yeah, the chances are if I’m playing a song that I know not, everyone usually knows it’s not too mainstream.

You lightly touched on that you skate with music. Is that normal for you to be at the park with headphones on?
Lately, I’ve been listening to headphones, but my buddy that rolls with me to skate usually has a little speaker that’s pumping some other music. So it’s cool if I like sit down, I take my headphones out, and I hear that on the side.

How about while you’re competing? Do you like having headphones on?
Yeah, as of lately, I’ve noticed that it helps me not just focus but zone out the crowd. It just helps me eliminate a lot of nerves and stay focused on what I’m doing.

chris joslin on rotation music interview
Photo Credit: Durso

Do you have a go-to song that you can name that you’ll be playing for Dew Tour this weekend?
Probably Stand My Ground by Zach Williams or Song of Deliverance.

Are there any skate videos that you’ve watched growing up that influenced you because of the song that was used?
I always thought Arto Saari in his Mindfield [Alien Workshop, 2009] part was really sick. It almost sounded like robot insects moving around, and then once they had those little intermissions of the art playing, it was insect-looking things. That stood out to me, not that I’m a fan of bugs or something. But I really liked how that sound related to the pictures and matched his skating I just thought it all went hand in hand.

What would you choose if you had a video part ready to go and could pick any song you wanted?
It’s funny you say that because I actually picked Barracuda [Heart, 1977] for my Plan B True [2014] part, and I really liked the way that turned out. I’ve tried to come up with a few others since then, but copy rights were just crazy. I can’t remember what the other ones were.

chris joslin on rotation music interview
Photo Credit: Ferra

That’s rad you were able to get the rights to use Barracuda. Was there a reason you picked that song?
I didn’t think it’d be possible and my mom growing up, always played it in the car, and I always thought it had a good pace, especially for fast-type skating. It be sick to skate to some AC/DC, but that’s probably not happening. (laughs)

Is there any kind of music that you listen to that helps prep you before going out and skating something bigger? Do you use music to psych yourself up?
I don’t really listen to music in that case just because I like to focus on what I’m doing, especially if it’s something “gnarly”, like I just would rather mentally prepare for it that way. Like, focus on what I’m getting myself into versus trying to tone it out and then show up and being mentally prepared for this.

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