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Home Alone – Pontus Alv Interviews Dane Brady

The first time I ever saw Dane, was when Pontus showed me the rough cut of his section for the new Polar movie. This part is more than just on point – it’s Dane. Therefore, the actual real life meeting felt like a Déjà-vu. Dane came to Malmö this summer with a one way ticket. He just wanted to feel the Malmö-vibe, hang out with Pontus and the team, film a couple of more tricks and see where he ends up. But who is he? Honestly, I don’t know. Dane’s not much of a talker, but when he does, you better listen because it’s probably about a spot that no one ever saw, yet he could imagine doing something on it. And you bet Dane will go for it. I kind of picture Dane as a lonely wolf. If he was born 150 years ago, he‘d probably be a cowboy riding on a horseback, searching for spots.

Dane Brady Beach Fabian Fuchs
Where are you from, Dane?

Portland, Oregon.

I'm working on your video part just as we speak, so let's break this down. You recently turned 21. Does it feel like a relief now that you don't have to hustle with fake IDs anymore?

No, not really. It’s just easier when I’m with people that are older.

But you had a fake ID right?

I did, but I didn’t really like using it. I maybe used it once or twice. It’s pretty much a common thing that you would get a fake ID when you’re 18 or 19.

But coming to the topic of skateboarding: How and when did you get into skateboarding?

It was about the time when I was starting High School. I think the summer before that and I got into it because I pretty much had a longboard and my friend left his skate- board at my house. With the longboard, I was just bombing hills and stuff. So I started riding it and he didn't use it anymore and didn't remember he left it there. And then, I just rode that thing till it was done. I remember it was completely soaked and I was pretty stoked on that.

I had cruiser wheels on, totally not knowing what I’m doing

What kind of board was that?

It was some local company called M&M. I don't know who did the company, it was just some random small brand.

What was the first board that you actually bought, do you remember going shopping for it?

I don’t remember that scenario but I remember going to the skatepark with that board after riding it super long. It was so beat up and some guy was there and he saw that I was riding this old board and he was like: “Hey man, you want to try out this board?” It was so random, but I rode it anyways and he asked like: “Do you want it? You can have that board, I’m just from out of town and I’m leaving and don’t need it.” I was kind of weirded out, but said: “Yeah sure, why not?” It was like a golden Birdhouse Tony Hawk board with a huge hawk skull on it and some Indies and really big wheels.

Dane Brady No-Comply-Polejam

No-Comply Polejam

Who were you stoked on back in the days?

I think it was mostly like Mike Carroll and the EMB stuff that got me really stoked. It had a cool vibe to me and I am now kind of rediscovering it. Now I am watching a lot of Natas, Tom Knox and Sheffey, but, back then, I was watching random Youtube videos all day anyways. Nothing really specific and my taste changed really quick back then. But I had nothing else, because in my neighborhood it wasn’t really a common thing to skate, everybody was like playing team sports.

So were you like a lone skater?

Yeah, I just skated whatever driveways and other small spots I could find till one of my friends told me about this indoor skate- park. It was called Department of Skateboarding. I think the first time I went there, I had cruiser wheels on, totally not knowing what I’m doing. But I kept on going back there because I was so stoked on the whole vibe there and that’s pretty much where I met all the people I know now. Once I started feeling com- fortable there, I’d just go every day.

I have never been able to go anywhere and not think about where I am

Is that park still around?

No the skatepark is closed, but there was the Cal’s Pharmacy Skateshop right next to it and that one moved. I’m actually work- ing there now.

How did you end up working for them?

I would just go there almost every day for years and got to know the people really well and when the skatepark closed, I had a couple of last sessions there with everybody. The skateshop closed a couple of month later too. It was a period of time where everybody kind of did their own thing and no one really talked to each other. I sort of tried to move to New York, but that didn’t really work out and then the people from the skateshop told me that they are opening a shop again and because I wasn’t feeling New York, I asked them, if I could work there.

I never knew that you wanted to move to New York. When was that?

I think I was 18 and tried it for a month or two before I moved back home because it wasn’t my thing. I just got done with school and was working since I was 16 so I had money saved up and everybody I knew was going to college and I had to do something to get out of town.

Dane Brady Tailslide


Why New York?

I didn’t want to make it as a skate- boarder there or anything. It was just a place that I have always been interested in and I knew people that moved there, so I just wanted to go and check it out.

How important is Portland to you? It seems like it’s really connected to you. I always felt like, no mat- ter where I went, I always wanted to come back to Malmö for some reason.

It always feels more comfortable whenever I’m here. It’s even kind of hard for me to go to other places to skateboard. Here it has always been right. I just know the people and the spots. We used to explore all the random spots here and now I feel like I know a lot of the areas here and I can go wherever I want without having a hassle.

Same with Kevin [Rodriguez] and Paris. You just know every little corner and when you try to think of a trick you know exactly where you can do it…

Yeah, there are just certain people who can skate wherever they want to. But to some people it matters where the spot is, because they have to feel comfortable. I have never been able to go anywhere and not think about where I am. Personally, it means more to me when a spot is next to your house or something you see every day.

Dane Brady 5050 Hippie Jump

50-50 Hippie Jump

It is also cool when you see a spot every day and think like: “Damn, I think I could slide that rail some day or wallride that wall some day.” The last trick I had in “Miraculous”, the boardslide on that white hubba, I have been eyeing that thing since I was ten years old. Do you have any spots like that in Portland?

There is definitely some stuff that me and my friends have always looked at and thought who could do something on there. You gotta have the balls to do it. With the stuff that I look at, maybe some- day I will get the courage to try it. For example, there is this curved 25-stair kink rail, I thought about that for a long time…

You started to film things with Tom one day, just to tell my story of it, but it was really really random how you got on the team, because no one had re- ally heard of you. One day Waylon [Bone] send me a Youtube link and I thought he knew you, but you didn’t, right?

I met Aaron [Herrington], but pretty briefly. I never met Waylon…

For example, there is this curved 25-stair kink rail, I thought about that for a long time

What was your motivation behind it? Were you just filming your best shit to put together like a sponsor me tape?

It wasn’t really like a sponsor me tape. I just filmed a lot with Tom and he put it on his private Youtube account. I don’t really know why, just to have it, I guess. I send it to my friend who lived in New York and he knew Waylon and I guess he showed it to him and then it got in your hands. But I wasn’t trying to get on a company at all.

I don’t even remember how we first got in contact then. I just remembered that I watched your thing and I thought it was really interesting, because you have a completely different approach and that’s always what I am looking for. Do you remember how that happened?

I think we started talking over emails and then we skyped and just talked. You told me that I should hold on to the footage because Tran- sworld wanted to use it for an online edit to go with my feature in the mag. They were kind of bummed that you told them to not use it. I was kind of surprised, but really pumped and then we met in LA.

Dane Brady filmt Pontus NoComply

Dane filmt Pontus’ No-Comply

Yeah, I remember that we skated that fire hydrant together and you kind of moved in with us for a couple of days. We were hanging out kind of in holiday mode and then there was the legendary meeting with Neil Blender – can you tell us something about that?

It was pretty damn epic. We went to say hi to Tom [Remillard] and you wanted to meet Neil and he randomly just lived right down the street from Tom and we just went to check it out. We just went by his house and it was amazing.

[laughs] It was super embarrassing, but I’m just too much of a Blender fan. Another funny side story was that Tom always came by my house in San Diego and I used to give him my old boards, when I rode for Arcade. Years later, when he was riding for Anti Hero, I met him in Berlin and he told me: “Yo, I’m Tom man. Thanks for giving me all those boards back then, I’m that little kid that came by your house!” – But anyways, the first official thing that we did together was the “Manhattan Days” thing, but that wasn’t really planned. You were just there and joined the sessions. And then you went on the UK Trip with us and got to know everyone.

Yea, it almost took like a year and a half for me to get on. It just kind of happened, but it always has been a thing that I loved to be a part of and it kind of seemed like it fell into place. I was pretty surprised still. I couldn’t be more stoked.

Dane Brady Film Footy Check
Recently, you spent three months in Malmö and Copenhagen, you have been to the UK and France back then – what would you say is the biggest dif- ference of being in America and being in Europe?

I’d say that Malmö and Portland are kind of similar when it comes to skating because it kind of has the same rough spots and industrial-sort-of-zones. But as far as people are concerned, I guess they are more laid back in Europe. A lot of people here are stressing for no reason, I guess. Here they are kind of on edge, getting mad at the traffic, getting mad at smaller things... And maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like when it comes to food, the portions over in Europe are a little bit smaller. You can notice when you come out here for a little bit…

You said earlier that you like to watch all that old stuff nowadays. What do you like about it?

It’s just the way they were skating back then. Not just what tricks they did, but also how they did it. The flow in their lines and everything. No one can make a slappy look as cool as it looked in the 80's. It’s just so raw.

Do you have any recent stuff that you are into?

Ah man, it’s so much stuff out there and it’s hard to find something that you like. Definitely what Kevin and the guys in Paris are doing is really sick. That whole scene is really cool because it feels like they really are a crew and that’s hard to find nowadays.

No one can make a slappy look as cool as it looked in the 80's

But you are definitely producing a lot of clips on Instagram and what I like is that you really chop your things up and don’t have like full lines in it and stuff – how did it come about?

I just thought it was kind of fun to see how much you can fit in to this little time slot they give you. I just try to make something quick that I like to watch and that makes you want to go skate. When you film with a phone, it’s also less serious and you don’t have to think as much as you do when you film with the big guys. Especially now it’s just important to that other side where it doesn’t really matter as much, where it’s just about having fun.

And that’s where we come back to skateboarding in its beginnings, when it was just a toy that you were playing with on the street, having fun with it... Do you think skateboarding is too fucking serious?

It definitely can be sometimes…

Do you have any more thoughts to wrap this thing up?

Just thanks to you and everyone on Polar and all my friends from Portland that have been getting me very stoked lately!

Dane Brady Wallie