Photos by Oliver Barton, Words by Josh Brooks.
Danny Brady’s an interesting little Wayward. Plain old enjoyable style has kept most people from even realizing he’s only had two switch tricks in his last two video parts. In the world of skateboarding, where people clamor over the most minute details, his skating’s like a cup of tea— seemingly simple at first glance, but made with just the right preparation… or some shit like that. From the bogs of Blackpool to the elite of London, it’s that same “enjoyablility” (close cousin to drinkability?) that makes his MFWTCB part so epic. Let’s just hope he never skates to a Donk song.
How was it finishing Make Friends With the Colour Blue?
It was amazing—a big relief. Five years in the making. Nick [Jensen] and I had the Lakai video in between. Then, there was a year where Blueprint almost went under, so it was on hold. I’m really loyal to them. It’s the first company that sponsored me. Paul Shier and Dan McGee took the reins, talked to people and kept it alive. So, the last year was intense getting it finished—going on as many trips as possible. It was great to premiere it after so long.
At the risk of sounding like a dick, did you have any switch tricks in your part?
Yeah, I do. I have one, just like last time [laughs]. In the last vid [Lost and Found], I had a switch 180 on flat. I had two lines with a switch 180 for this vid and I told Dan [McGee], “Right, one of those needs to go in” [laughs]. I’m gonna play some more SKATE. Hopefully get more switch. When I’m skating, I can do that stuff, but when the camera comes out, I guess I stick to what I know—normal skating and fakie stuff.
Are you pretty copacetic with your place in skating?
Yeah, I’m hyped at the moment. That’s the second full part I’ve had. I get to come out to the States and travel.
Are you content because you’re already hanging with London’s elite?
[Laughs] I don’t party as much these days, but I’ve gotten to know a lot of people out there. I’m kind of a stay-at-home kind of guy now.
Who would be the most shocking celebrity you’ve hung out with?
Shocking? There’re a few random celebrities I know. My flatmate goes out with this girl from the band Florence and The Machine—she’s become a massive pop star overnight. I’ve known her for ages. Now my flatmate is in all the gossip magazines. They call him her “Hunky skate guy” [laughs].
Who’s the most famous celebrity you’ve seen naked live in person?
Naked? Shit. I gotta give it some time. Maybe one day, but… maybe I’ll stumble into his room and accidentally see her naked. That’s as close as I’m gonna get, I’m sure.
Do most of the people you hang out with know you once lived in squalor, sharing rooms in the Ice Palace?
They know I still live in squalor. A lot of kids I know in London want to live in a squat and be all weird. It’s kind of the cool thing to do, to be all pikey.
So, you still live in the Palace?
I still live in the Palace. We moved to a new Palace, so we have our own rooms. I used to share a room with Stuart Hammond and Joey Pressey. Weird thing is we argue more now than when we shared a room. Four of us live there. There’s a dog. We only had three plates, so my parents gave us some cutlery… made me kill the mouse that lived in the kitchen [laughs].
You guys all had a crew out there, the Palace Wayward Boys Choir. How did that name come about?
I think it was a night out, a bunch of people fueled by alcohol, talking shit. I think Stuart came up with it.
Throw some castles and shit in there, play a little donk in the background and this Norcal DIY spot could pass for the coast of Blackpool. Kickflip backside tail.
Is the weather getting better now?
I couldn’t come over because I was delayed by the volcano in Iceland. People kept thinking it was raining ash in London or something. But, it’s the most beautiful weather now.
You worked as a tea boy in your hometown of Blackpool, right?
I was a waiter in this hotel down the street from my mum and dad’s house. I finished college [high school] at sixteen, so I got a job. I served tea, coffee and toast from five until twelve, breaked for about five hours, skated and then worked five ‘til eleven. It got me through a couple summers. Then, I worked at a bar on the main tourist street. People go there to get f—ked up—so many fights, crazy girls in mini skirts in the middle of winter.
Have you ever brought your famous friends to bathe in the Blackpool?
They want to go. I’m just waiting for my parents to be away—maybe during Rebellion, this punk festival.
I meant to cure any ailments. I read that sea bathing in Blackpool was a popular way for wealthy people to try to cure diseases in the mid 18th century.
[Laughs] I don’t know about that. Blackpool did have a lot of money, though. People caught the train there, vacationed for a bit and then took the ferry to Scotland, because the train couldn’t go through the mountains north of there. But, with EasyJet, that ended.
Do you still prepare the tea for everyone on tour?
Yeah, still got that. I do make one of the best cups of tea—bring a stash from home. They don’t have the right stuff elsewhere. I’m pretty picky—gotta have the Yorkshire tea.
I remember reading an essay Douglas Adams [author of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] wrote about how Americans butcher tea. So, what is the proper technique?
I haven’t read that. But, you just gotta have the right bags and let it sit. Can’t rush it. I’m picky. Everyone has an electric kettle in England. No one really has one here. It’s all about coffee here.
This was a switch fakie frontside tailslide… otherwise known as a frontside tailslide. Okay, okay…it’s not switch. But, he’s workin’ on it for crikey’s sake!
Was it Donk music that made you want to run away from Blackpool?
Ah man, that’s funny. That’s new shit. You saw that VBS documentary? In my town, they have those clubs and people take ecstasy. I’m not scared of the donk, though.
It’s this music from the region where I live. They put a baseline over songs like, “donk, donk, donk, donk…” It could be a soul tune or pop and they donk it up. There are clubs and everyone in there’s drunk with no shirts on, neon lights, some people on steroids—they don’t even know what they’re doing.
It’s like 150 beats per minute and they shout jibberish over the music, right?
The lyrics are crazy. There’s a time and a place for it. That fast paced music is big there and in Britain in general. There’s these albums called Bonkers, with squeaky voices and weird sounds—it’s too much.
On a more mellow tip, I’ve always thought Blueprint videos are the perfect rainy day vid—gets you hyped to skate if the weather’s good, but still stands alone and stokes you out when it’s raining and you can’t skate. What’s one of your favorite rainy day vids?
I used to watch Waiting for the World a lot on rainy days, before I skated for Blueprint. Cali vids get me hyped, too. I don’t really get jealous of the nice weather. It just takes me away. We need rainy day videos here, though. It gets wintery and rainy. A lot of us left our hard tricks ’til the last minute for MFWTCB, so some of the footage was between the rain and cold of winter. We need rainy day videos to inspire us. We gripe about that sometimes.
Isn’t that just the English way to gripe about the weather?
Yeah, it is. It’s good to have it though. The weather lets you justify taking a few days off from skating. You can’t do that in Cali.
Now that MFWTCB is done, what’s next?
We’re gonna do another video straight away—not take five years this time. I’m really enjoying skating now, though. I just want to travel more and do little projects with Matix and Lakai, like that Am I Am thing.
Do you have any words you live by?
Tea, coffee, toast, man [laughs].
TAGS: Am I Am, Blackpool, blueprint skateboards, Bonkers, Britain's Jersey Shore, coffee vs. tea, dan mcgee, Danny Brady, donk, douglas adams, fake pikeys, florence and the machine, hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, iceland volcano, Jerome Campbell, Joey Pressey, Lakai, lost and found, Make Friends WIth The colour Blue, matix, MFWTCB, Neil Smith, Nick Jensen, palace wayward boys choir, palace waywards, Paul Shier, rebllion punk festival, switch, tea, VBS, yorkshire tea