Mild Orange Grill Skateboarder Kento Yoshioka

New Zealand’s dreamiest indie-pop band have returned with a floaty new track that will transport you straight to the streets of Tokyo.

‘The Time Of Our Lives’ premieres today alongside a music video featuring one of Mild Orange’s (and ours) favourite young skaters, Kento Yoshioka, directed by talented filmmaker Tomoyuki Kujirai. Opening on a Radiohead drum machine glitch, the new video flows through the busy streets of Japan, Yoshioka’s effortless style a perfect match for frontman Josh Mehrtens ruminative vocals. It’s a helluva collab, all done from across locked-down borders, and so we asked Mehrtens and Mild Orange’s man of the moment, Mr Kento Yoshioka, to take turns interviewing each other about their mutual love of skateboarding, music, and travelling to far off places (well, soon). Take it away boys.

Josh Mehrtens: How did you get into skateboarding?
Kento Yoshioka: My parents had a skateboard in our house when I was about 10. I lived in the countryside and there was nothing else to do but skate!

JM: What is your fondest memory while on your board?
KY: I’m having the best time right now! My memory keeps on updating every day when I skate with my friends, so life is great right now!

JM: Do you listen to music while you skate?
KY: I don’t listen to music when I’m doing a session with my friends because I want to live that moment. But when I skate alone, I blast punk music! I got to know Mild Orange through this music video and I listen to you now too… I feel your music best when I’m listening to it while hungover in the morning.

JM: What was it like filming the music video for ‘The Time Of Our Lives’, did you enjoy it?
KY: It was so awesome! I had a blast, thank you for this great experience! Street skating in Tokyo is extremely severe, so it was a miracle that this music video worked out, we were so lucky!

JM: If you didn’t skate, what else would you want to be a pro at?
KY: I can’t imagine…. Probably shoplifting or fare jumping.

JM: Did you always know you wanted to skate?
KY: It wasn’t really a choice. The only thing that made me happy was skating! And it still is. It’s more like, I become mentally insane if I don’t skate. It’s some sickness I have  (laughs).

JM: If you could skate anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Kento Yoshioka: Did you always know you wanted to make music?
Josh Mehrtens: I’ve never not been able to make music. Since I was a kid I’ve always been making noises to keep myself sane, like beatboxing, whistling, singing. I still do it and it annoys the hell out of the people closest to me because I can’t turn it off and I don’t know that I’m doing it. Making music is a necessity for me.

KY: Can you tell me about the inspiration behind the song?
JM: I travelled alone to Japan a couple years back to explore, I hadn’t done anything remotely like that before. It’s inspired by a time when I had nothing planned but to skate through the beautiful country, make friends along the way and soak up that constant stimulation of seeing new things. I wrote it while thinking about NZ’s border restrictions, and found an escape back out to the world through this project, which I look forward to other people enjoying a journey through it too. Which is what happened, Kento shared a ride with us! Legend.

KY: How did you get into skateboarding?
JM: My older brother skated, and I wanted to be cool like him. I was 12 when I finally got my own and it was like when you first get a driver’s license—it gives you freedom to leave the house and travel places without your parents and get up to mischief with your mates.

KY: What is your favourite memory of skateboarding?
JM: There’s heaps. The best are the ones shared with mates. Shoutout to my mates in Queenstown.

KY: Do you listen to music while you skate?
JM: Yeah, it helps me get new perspectives on what I’m working on currently. It’s always the next Mild Orange album in my ears, so if I listen while I skate, then I listen in a flow state and hear it for what it is. If I listen like I normally would, where I get thinking intricately about DB’s, EQ’s, panning etc. then I’ll probably smack myself on the pavement.

KY: If you could skate anywhere in the world, where would you go?
JM: Back in Japan! I’d head right back to Hiroshima to be with the guys from Charlie Skate shop. They looked after me there and showed me such a good time. Skating with homies is the best.

Mild Orange will finally be heading off for long-awaited tour dates in the UK and Europe, USA and Canada. For details and tickets to their The Looking For Space tour head here:

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