Josh Fish is our resident renaissance man. Fish has been with DOPE in some capacity since 2008, initially hanging out at our shop in the Midwest as a member of the original Bougie Crew and most recently as our Production Manager. He spends his time in the office helping to make everything DOPE a reality and his evenings joining a staggering amount of obscure subreddits. We took some time to speak with Fish about his work, his varied interests, and where to eat in LA.
My name is Fish, I am the Production Manager for DOPE. I have been involved since 2008 but an employee for about a year and a half now.
How did you get involved with DOPE?
I met the guys when DOPE was based in Indiana in 2008. I became fast friends with Matte and the rest of the team, and then the boutique opened up. When the shop opened, that was our base in college. We all worked there. Well we didn't work, we drank and hung out. We would meet up at the shop, I would always be out on the stoop watching everyone else skate. (Laughs). When the company moved out to LA, I came out to visit. I helped out with the Fairfax opening, and just enjoyed the new space.
In 2011 I moved to LA to work for Dim Mak Records and after about two years I was looking for a different job. I was living with DOPE's Art Director Chris and still hanging out with the team, so I hit up Matte and he gave me the opportunity to manage the remodel of the Fairfax boutique. I slowly snuck my way into production and eventually became the Production Manager. That's where we are now.
What was the first DOPE piece you bought?
My first DOPE tee was a four-way collab between DOPE, Motivation, Leaders, and Mick Boogie. It was for the primaries of Obama’s first term. It was a picture of Obama that said "Can I kick it" over the front and on the back it said "Yes we can." (Laughs) Then on the back were the logos of DOPE from Indiana, Motivation from Michigan, Leaders from Illinois and Mick Boogie from Ohio. That was my first DOPE tee.
Let's talk about your role as the Production Manager. What do you do?
So what I do now is manage production, which means my main responsibilities are dealing with manufacturers to make our products a reality. I meet with creative and get ideas onto paper, and then I directly work with manufacturers to make the physical goods which entails sampling, adjustments, all that stuff.
You once told me your hobby is hobbies.
That is true.
Give me the last 3 hobbies you've had and how long they lasted.
Reef tanks, like self-sustaining reef aquariums. Full on inductive systems that sustain themselves with minimal maintenance. It took me four months to get everything acquired.
How did that go?
Horribly. Spent a lot of money and it died after 5 months. I was actually researching fish tanks last night. I’ve got a really nice newsletter I’m subscribed to.
Ramen, got pretty intense into ramen. Thank you, David Chang. It consisted of going to multiple Asian markets and spending weeks figuring out how to make the best ramen. As a pescatarian it is nearly impossible to make good ramen because you need to be making it with pork, but I did it in a traditional fish-based stock. It was okay.
Food I can handle. Fish tanks? Way too much maintenance.
Motorcycles were pretty intense for a good four months. I took the class, spent a good time trying to find a motorcycle, and didn’t buy one. I still don’t have my license, but I could if I went to take the test. That’s a good one.
One hobby that has lasted is cooking. I want to hear a little bit about your last job involving cooking and ingredients.
I worked as the buyer for New School of Cooking in Culver City. My job was to do all the food buying for the cooking school which mostly entailed working with vendors. I have a sausage casing guy, you know. Anything you can think of food-wise, I’ve got a guy. I was going to farmers markets and building relationships directly with farmers and vendors there. And then I would also assist classes which was more or less hanging out and assisting people who don’t know how to cook.
Were you into food before this?
Yeah, I’ve been into food for as long as I can remember. I’ve been cooking probably since middle-school, at the time it was like one of the major things I would do. This consisted of watching Good Eats with Alton Brown and learning the science behind food, helping my mom cook, and trying out new things. I was a horribly picky eater so I would only make like 4-5 different things but I was really good at them. Junior year of high school I opened up my palette and started being a little more adventurous and since then it’s been a fairly consistent thread through my entire life.
Give me three restaurants that I have to visit in LA and why.
Little Beast, because it’s right by my house and the food there is amazing. It’s a great setting, fairly pescatarian friendly.
Son of a Gun, which is managed by the guys from Animal. Its their seafood restaurant just down the street from our shop and one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life.
Al & Bea’s. You gotta go to Bea’s and get a chile relleno burrito because you can’t go to LA and not eat legitimate Mexican food. It’s a little cash-only walk up place right by our offices that has beans that I’m pretty sure are the greatest thing I’ve ever had. I’m also pretty sure I’m not supposed to eat them because I’m a pescatarian and I think they use pork.
Two of the places you mentioned are known for their beef and pork dishes, yet you are pescatarian.
I knew this was coming. A group of us went a month to see who could go without eating meat. That was three years ago almost. Everyone made it the month, and I’ve never gone back. I started eating fish two months after that but that’s been my diet ever since. I understand meat is delicious, I just don’t eat it.
What’s the most difficult piece you’ve worked on for DOPE?
It would be the Flight Suit from Fall '14. It’s pants and a shirt all mixed together. That’s not easy. (Laughs)
What has been the most fulfilling piece you’ve worked on for DOPE?
Every button-up ever. Another piece would be campers, probably the Argentinian found fabric campers. They fulfill me because those are the pieces I want, those are the clothes I get to help make for myself.
What are you most excited about for Fall 2014?
I’m excited for people’s reaction to the Hockey Pullover. It’s a little bit of everything we are doing this season; we're doing a lot of reverse terry, we’re doing vinyl heat transfer. It’s also a jersey which we are all about, but it’s a pullover too. I think it’s the sickest piece.
Listen to Zappa.