Matt Militano & Neil Herrick – Issue 25 Interview


Introduction & Interview by Zach Sayles

Photography by Zach Sayles, Keith Debottis, Sam McKenna & Reece Leung

Portraits by Zach Sayles & Sam McKenna


Matt Militano and Neil Herrick both have a large footprint all over the East Coast. The two havemanaged to roll out head turning video part after video part, Neil having the last part in almostevery video I know of, while still making time to pursue other interests and hobbies. I recentlycaught up with them to talk about what they’ve been up to and recollect over the past couple yearsduring these uncertain times. I hope you guys dig it! Enjoy.

Neil Herrick – Ollie ~ Photo by: Zach Sayles

Matt Militano – Backside Lipslide ~ Photo by: Keith Debottis

Happy New Year guys, what’s up?

N: Cheers! Happy New Year bud. It’s the end of January in New York so it’s very cold.

M: Just chilling, it snowed a bunch here today!


Right on. Well, it’s been a minute since I’ve seen y’all. How have things been for the both of you recently? Been skating a lot?

N: Recently skating has been slow, as it usually is this time of year, but I’m still able to get out. I’m hoping for a trip somewhere warm this winter. I’m finishing up a few video parts this year which is exciting, and looking forward to a productive year now that things are starting to lighten up.

M: Things have been going well, we were skating a lot before winter hit. I just finished having Covid for the second time, so I was in quarantine for a bit. We tried to go skate tonight, but your camera wouldn’t work because it was so cold haha. I can’t wait to skate all the time once the weather gets better.


Haha yeah, that was a bummer. I can’t wait for the warmth as well. So Neil, you left your full-time job to completely focus on skating. That’s a big leap.How is the change of pace from full time working to full time skating going? What’s a bonus? Anything you miss?

N: Yeah, last summer I quit working full time to focus on skating. I was working at a photography studio in Brooklyn. Since then, I’ve learned so much about the photo world. I was lucky to have gotten a job there before the pandemic kicked off. I’ve taken whatI learned and am now freelancing, it’s been nice. I’ve been able to take advantage of opportunities I wouldn’t have been able to before. It has honestly changed my life in a lot of ways. That’s how I met Brandon Stepanow, his new video Open Container will be out by the time this interview is. Working together everyday allowed us to skate a lot and we were able to film a solid video part over the past two years. I do miss seeing everyone at my old job. I’ve got to thank Mike Damico for being a great boss and giving me the opportunity!

Neil Herrick in ‘Open Container‘ by Brandon Stepanow

Hell yeah! I’m hyped for you and can’t wait to see that part. Matt, you recently went through a work transition too? Can you explain a little about that?

M: Yeah, I was working at Whole Foods for about five years. Amazon bought the company and it gradually became more and more unpleasant to work there. Once that chapter ended I started selling vintage clothing. I’ve been reselling full time for a year now and have learned a lot along the way. I’ve been able to live comfortably, so I’m hoping I won’t have to clock in anytime soon (ever again).


Do you think there’s an intersection between yourlove of skating and vintage?

M: I’d say so! I have always been drawn to old music or skate videos, so the old clothing has a similar feel. Searching for spots gives me the same feelings as digging for clothes. Sometimes you get lucky and find something amazing, other times you walk away empty handed. It also allows me to skate whenever I want, which has been amazing.

Neil Herrick – Frontside Nose Grind ~ Photo by: Sam McKenna

I’m glad you two have both been able to make it all work out. Times are definitely tough right now. What’s been keeping you both mentally stable through the pandemic?

N: I’ve been watching a ton of movies and working on video projects. I’ve built a decent VHS collection. I really enjoy having copies of things, especially movies, albums, and magazines. Something in its original format gives me a nostalgic feeling that’s hard to find nowadays. I was given a collection of tapes from a friend of mine who was a great skate filmer throughout the 90s, Joe Hiddleson. He grew up filming Bam and Mike Maldonado since they were kids, so naturally he became a great filmer. I’ve been archiving his tapes from the 90s and they have some serious gold on them. Check out @joe_hiddleson on Instagram and Youtube. We have more in store this year.

M: Skating for sure, thrifting… extra shoutout to my family and girlfriend. The past couple years have been strange.


For those reading, we took a short trip to London and Paris in 2019, right before the pandemic. If you had to choose one, which city would you wanna go back to?

N: The spots and the city of London itself is more up my alley, plus everyone we skated with was so cool and funny. I love the culture and I’ve always wanted to go, that trip was great. Besides the rain, it was a remarkable experience. My mother’s from Ireland so I feel an attachment. I took French in high school fort hree years but honestly don’t have much to show for it. Not to mention everyone got food poisoning except me haha. Nevertheless another trip to both countries is in order, we had a great time and met some awesome people. Seeing friends from the states in Paris was a great bonus as well. London and Philly are comparable due to the weather beaten rough crusty spots that get totally destroyed by the locals. New York and Paris have a more glamorous feel to them, but if I had to choose it would be London.

M: London for sure! I can’t wait to go back. Everything about the city is incredible, the architecture, skates pots and the people. Everyone was so welcoming and they showed us a great time. I’ve been to Paris a few times before, but this trip was the roughest. Almost all of us got food poisoning the last night we were there, which was insane.


Ooohh man. Yeah, we made the mistake of going to London, Paris, and then back to London. It was 2am and everyone was throwing up anywhere they could, in a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment. It was so chaotic, haha. I for sure thought we weren’t going to make our 8am flight, but somehow we did… with no accidents along the way.

M: That really put a damper on the rest of the trip. Somehow Neil was the only one not sick by the end of the trip haha.Yeah, that trip took a messed up turn haha. Funny to look back on it all now.

Neil Herrick – Frontside 180 Fakie Nosegrind ~ Photo by: Sam McKenna

Matt Militano – Backside 180 Fakie Nosegrind ~ Photo by: Reece Leung

So you both grew up in the same area. What was it like growing up together – skating and filming, having your own sponsors, to now being on the same team and going on trips together?

N: My first time meeting Matt I was blown away by how good he was at skating. I remember filming a few clips of him and it seemed so easy for him to get footage. Ever since then we have both put a lot of effort into our video parts and really pushed each other. Filming in our younger years was a very progressive time for us both. Matt lived in LA for a few years and I’ve lived in New York for a few years now, but we didn’t lose touch. We still skate together a lot. It’s dope he’s been back on the East Coast. Skating Philly, New York, and taking trips with you guys is the best. It’s cool having Matt on 5Boro since we’re such good friends. It felt like the right thing to do since we needed more people on the team and he was looking for a change.

M: I’ve known Neil for over a decade now and we’ve remained good homies the whole time. He gets me really hyped to skate, it’s been sick going on trips with him. I’m always hyped to be with Noodle, whether skating or chilling.

Neil Herrick – Backside Tailslide ~ Photo by: Sam McKenna

Matt Militano – Slappy Crooked Grind ~ Photo by: Zach Sayles

What are you both working on right now? How’s the process been?

N: I can’t wait until your video comes out! We’ve allbeen working hard on it. A 5boro video is in the works too, Mike Sass behind the lens. It feels so natural filming with Mike, especially since he’s so familiar with the brand and the history behind it. Pep Kim at Chrystie has been backing me for the past year, working on a new video. Brandon’s video I mentioned earlier is premiering, so we’ve wrapped up filming for that. Filming feels so natural since we’re all good friends in and out of skating. Things always work out better when you’re filming with people you trust. I’m hoping to work on a few projects this year for my other sponsors, but one thing at a time.

M: For the past two years I’ve put a lot of energy into your video Zach. It’s been fun as hell, I can’t wait to see the finished product. I’ve been going to New York every now and then filming for the next 5boro clip. I’ve also been trying to film with some other Philly homies as well.

Neil Herrick – Boardslide ~ Photo by: Zach Sayles

How have you guys been approaching skating differently than in previous parts? Anything particular we’ll see in your footage?

N: I think the footage I have been working on will be diverse as far as the spots and regions I’ve been to over the past three years. I’ve been striving for quality over quantity, I try to take it naturally as the days present themselves. I usually have ideas for things I want to do, but I’ve noticed that now that I’m a little older, sometimes I’ll have to go back three times or more to get a trick rather than settling for something I think I could do the first time being at a spot. Sometimes having an idea and trying it out, even if you don’t get it that day, is half the battle. You know what you’re in for next time. Particularly our European footage, since we talked about the trip already. That was my first time filming in another country, so I’m looking forward to seeing it.

M: I’d say with this one we have been very particular about the spots we’ll skate and the tricks. We have also been more selective about clips that will be in the end result, rather than trying to use everything – really trying to make every clip count!


I wish we had more page space, but thanks for chatting guys. Last question, what are you both looking forward to in 2022?

N: Being positive and productive this year, all things considered. Taking my mental health more seriously and staying healthy. I hope we can give ourselves a break and get back on track.

M: I’m looking forward to making some trips. We’ve been talking about Puerto Rico and some US cities. I can’t wait.


Read our interview with Zach Sayles by Jono Coote here.

Watch other released ‘Veil‘ parts here.


Filmed + Edited by: Zach Sayles

Filmed + Edited by: Zach Sayles