Welcome to the first of two interviews, with, as Lakai dubbed them, The Royal Family: Danny Brady and Nick Jensen. Now this dual interview idea came to me when I saw Palace’s Palasonic video back in November. Nick Jensen has a guest clip in the video, and it donned on me, “Ah! Nick Jensen and Danny Brady are reunited in a video in 2017. How cool is that!” I do have some bias as I’ve been a huge fan of these two since Blueprint’s monumental Lost & Found. So I decided to reach out to Danny and Nick and see if they’d be down to do a couple web interviews tracing the arc from bookending L&S, to 2017 where they’re both reunited on the big (YouTube) screen. Here’s Danny’s take. Cheers mates.—Blair Alley
So basically I wanted this interview to start with you and Nick bookending Lost & Found in 2005. What was life like in 2005 for Danny Brady, and what are your memories of filming for that epic video?
The way I remember it life was good. I was just in the transition of moving to London from Blackpool which was very exciting. I remember just skating Southbank a lot and making lots of new friends. I wasn’t a crazy partier, but I was 20 years old and was definitely going out and having lots of fun. And then obviously filming a lot. We were traveling around Europe and the UK which I look back on now as one of the best times of my life. I was lucky to be surrounded by such cool, genuine people a lot of the time. It was a dream.
Did you have any idea L&F would have the impact it did?
To be honest I never really thought about stuff like that. Like where it would lead. I just knew I was really enjoying it and getting to travel. It was maybe so bizarre that I just didn’t question it. And weirdly thinking back on it I never felt pressure or anything. I don’t ever remember being stressed too much. Maybe that’s just being young and naive. And really zooted. Like I said it was a dream.
Then two years later, you share the Royal Family part in Fully Flared. One of the most hyped videos of all time, how were you feeling leading up to the release and did you see any of the edits ahead of time? Like the six-panel intro?
Again even at this point I don’t remember worrying too much about expectations. Although looking back, part of me wishes I had taken it a bit more seriously and filmed more. But even though we shared a part I really liked how it all came out and how we fit into the video. And also it was an honor to share a part with Nick. We were really good friends and it felt really natural for us to have a part together. It was a real privilege to be involved with that video in general. I remember being at the premier in Los Angeles and the atmosphere was electric. It was in a huge cinema, full to the brim, and people were going crazy. When the intro started playing people just couldn’t believe it. I think it was a really special moment and I was there to to witness it. Dreamy.
Your next part was Make Friends with the Colour Blue in 2010. What was your feeling on the growth and strength of Blueprint at this time? Now you're one of the OGs on the team bringing up new talent.
I was definitely more established but I wouldn’t say I was an OG. That was always Shier, Colin, Baines, Scott,Vaughn and Dan. I may have been more cocky but I was always still in awe of those guys. But around this time I do remember being more driven and taking it more seriously and really wanting to push myself with filming.
In 2012, the Blueprint team leaves the brand. How did the news get to you that everyone was leaving? What was your initial thought on your next board sponsor?
Shier called me and said enough was enough. It had been a long time coming. It was really sad. Blueprint was my first ever sponsor and I loved and still do love it. I can’t thank Dan, Shier and everyone on the team enough for those years and what I experienced and learned. But it was also a relief in a way as the feeling from the early years had gone and it was time to move on.
Funnily enough it was Shier that got me flowed at the beginning. I went to a DC demo that was at my local park, Bolton. He spotted me snaking everyone trying kickflip back tail shove out on the driveway. I remember it like it was yesterday. I even asked him for his T-shirt when it finished. It was drenched in sweat. I wish I still had it.
By the next year, 2013, you joined Palace (Definitely Brady). Was it an easy choice/transition?
It was so easy there wasn’t even a choice. I was living with Lev and Palace was amazing and part of me had always been sort of jealous of what those guys had going on. Seeing all your best friends start a company and not being able to be part of it was hard sometimes. But when Blueprint finished me and Lev just looked at each other and he said let’s do this then. He just had my back straight away and I love him for that. PWBC.
What year did you become Palace TM and why was that decision made?
It’s been over two years now. At first it was a very loose thing. Palace was growing bigger and bigger and Lev didn’t have enough time to do everything himself. I was at a point where I needed something more to do than just skating, so I asked if I could help. I wasn’t so much a TM as a facilitator. Just making sure people had what they needed. Then I started helping organize the trips and stuff like that. As time’s gone on, there’s been more responsibility to take on and I’m definitely still learning but I enjoy it and love all the guys on the team and everyone who works in the office and shop and warehouse. Everyone’s safe, it’s weird. Even Carl in the shop. They’re all my best friends and I’m lucky to get to work with them all.
Nick went on to co-found Isle in 2013, and they dropped the amazing Vase video in 2015. What are your thoughts on the brand and that video in particular?
The video is amazing. I really like Jacob and used to filmed with him a lot for Blueprint. I love everyone that skates for the team and how they all skate. And I just think it’s amazing to start a company with your close friends and make something you love and that other people love and make it successful. Its an inspiration and I’m proud of Nick and Shier and all those guys.
2017 saw you put out amazing footage in The Merchandise and Palasonic. Is this footage you've been sitting on? Have you been filming more in recent years?
I’m definitely filming a lot more these days. I love filming. It’s weird. It stresses me out and sends me mad but I really enjoy it. And there’re so many different ways of doing it. I like going on trips which is what we do for stuff like Merchandise. That sort of thing, you pick a location or two and go there for two weeks and just go to all these new places and spots in the city every day. It’s harder on your body, but it’s easier to be focused and it’s exciting. Filming for Palasonic was different. For most of us, it was all filmed in the place we live, London. That can be tough as you can get lazy and put stuff off, but I also really enjoy going out and finding spots and exploring the place you live in. But thank fuck it’s over. Lev, the next video’s in the Caribbean.
Lastly, Nick has guest tricks in Palasonic, so at the end of 2017, you and Nick are reunited again in a video. But his tricks were in Lucien's part, I'd expected they'd be in yours.
That’s easily explained. Nick used to be number one Victoria benches local. That’s the spot where Lucien’s part starts. It had been skate stopped for ever until Lucien took a hammer to it. And I’m not talking about that nollie front heel switch crook.
When I first moved to London, Nick would always be there skating and I didn’t really like it. The benches were too tall for me. They also still are.
Danny’s part comes in hot at 19:45: