Yardsale: an interview with Dan Kreitem
I think our interview with Yardsale’s main man offers a pretty comprehensive overview of what the London brand is about, so I’ll try to keep this short. I will say one thing though: when we first decided to do this piece we honestly had no idea it would turn into something of this scale. We even got close to sacking the whole thing off at one point because they weren’t coming through with any London photos. But basically the skateboarding they produced in the last couple of months – especially Charlie Birch 2.0, whose talent grew exponentially this winter working at the Palace park – combined with one of the funniest interviews we’ve recorded, left us with no option but to give them the biggest slot in this issue. Which is pretty crazy considering this is the first article the crew has ever had in a magazine…
Interview by Arthur Derrien
Before we start talking about Yardsale we should probably discuss how you got into filming.
Dan Kreitem: Yeah sure. At first it was just me and my mates going out and I’d just film whatever the fuck was happening. It was never like ‘do this trick here’. It was more like we’ll go out all day and then still film throughout the night and just capture everything.
For the memories rather than the stunts?
Yeah kind of more like that. Then I started doing it for Slam (City Skates)…
When you were working at the shop with Casper (Brooker) and stuff?
Yeah, it’s sort of when Jake Sawyer was still the face of Slam, it was sick. I think Casper rang me and was like ‘do you wanna work at Slam?’ and I was like, ‘er fuck yeah, of course’. I’d quit my job at Size (a UK trainer/clothing shop) two weeks earlier and Slam was the dream job. I filmed a lot with Paddy (Jones), Jake, Darius (Trabalza) and Casper because that’s who I liked to be around… And that kind of led to Yardsale. I used to think like, why is London always shown in the same way?
What like Blueprint/VX1000 style?
Yeah you know what I mean? I love Blueprint but I just felt like I wanted it to look different. Even the Hold Tight edits I used to enjoy when I was a kid… But then when City Of Rats came out I just wasn’t into it so much.
Just so grey looking and some of the ‘funny’ bits felt a little forced. I felt like we could do something sick. Also at the same time, the reason Yardsale as a brand started was because I thought ‘well you don’t make money from videos’ and so let’s make some t-shirts or something.
How long was this after Size? I feel like it all went super quick.
OK so throughout the whole time I was working at Size, I used to sit upstairs by the window in the winter, not even moving, just watching people walk in. Just being there, that was my job. Throughout that whole three-month period I was just like ‘fuck me, this is not where I want to be’. And I was just looking around at the clothing (not that I’m trying to sell my clothes in Size) and would think ‘these guys are making stacks off just fucking some bullshit. Fuck I could do something!’ I was starting to know the Slam lot more as well so thought I could sell it there. And then when Slam gave me a job I was like all right: I can fully now make t-shirts and get them sold in the shop. And I did. I didn’t really know what it was at first but that’s basically when I started filming the first Yardsale video. I felt like I just had to do it right then and see.
And you hadn’t had any formal training in fashion design or anything?
No, not at all. I honestly had no idea about anything.
How did you come up with the logo?
So basically my cousin is an artist and he’s really good at drawing stuff up on Photoshop. He still works for Yardsale now. I’d go to his house every weekend for about three or four months, we kept making logos and I was like ‘hmm, nah’. I was so particular with it. And then we finally made one together, which was the first circle logo. And that was kind of before palm trees were how they are now. Everyone’s printing fucking palm trees on shit these days. But I’d had no training. I did business studies but I didn’t even attend the lessons, I got like a D in it. And then with designing shit I’ve always had like hand-me-downs from my great uncle, that’s what I liked. But that’s the hardest bit; you just have to trust your instincts all the time.
What’s the deal with the name?
Dude it’s so weird. I don’t know. It’s literally like the first thing I wrote down and thought ‘that looks kind of cool’. I remember being like ‘oh we’ll just use this as like a template for now, so I can go to my cousin’s house and we can like fuck with it’. And then it just stuck. Plus it made sense because the first video was with my mates in Los Angeles as well. It wasn’t just like a British word, you know what I mean?
So the original idea was to have it half London half LA?
Yeah kind of. I mean it was always based in London and I had no idea what it was going to be. I definitely didn’t think it was going to turn into an actual skate company with some of the best riders in the whole of fucking England on the team. It was bedroom as fuck. So yeah my mates were filming in LA and I wanted them to be in the video. And Stephen Spilker who was filming them, I really looked up to his edits at the time and they all had sick footage, so we just blended it together and made this weird thing. It’s literally so random.
Ah so the LA/London thing wasn’t like the basis of the company or anything, it sort of just happened.
Yeah it was literally that!
Coming back to names, when I think about it I basically just wrote something down and I was just like ‘fuck it’. Honestly if you’d have told me this shit was going to happen four years ago I’d have been like ‘you’re joking. You’re honestly fucking with me!’ It’s insane.
How did you get the money to start it? Did you have any backers? Did Slam help out?
Basically I spoke to my dad and was like ‘yo, do you reckon I could borrow a grand and a half?’ I showed him everything that I was doing, where it was going to be sold, what we’d make after and explained that I could definitely give him the money back… And he was down! And we made the first run of t-shirts, which got sold at Slam and Palomino. Shortly after I received an inheritance (2K) from my great uncle, which allowed me to start making quarter-zips.
What about the boards?
OK this is the craziest thing: basically the Slam guys approached me after the first Yardsale video came out. So I had meetings with them for about four months back and forth talking about how they basically wanted to own 50%, but would give me loads of money, would manufacture everything in all the Slam factories, could get me anyone I wanted on the team… It was almost like a bit overwhelming. Anyway I ended up going along with it, designed some boards, they got them sent off and then said they’d start working on the clothes with me. I was so sceptical about giving up 50% of my company that I came to an agreement where the deal would be: we see how the first year goes, we split everything we make that first year 50/50, then if I want to do it, I sign something. So anyway the first lot of boards got made with Slam’s money. And then I kept on emailing them like ‘dude these board designs got sent off four months ago where are they’?
‘Yeah they’re still being made please just stop emailing us that much.’
And I thought ‘what you mean stop emailing you? These are my boards, this is my company, my life!’ I kept on hassling them because their whole part of this deal was that they would give me access to their factories to get clothes made and nothing was happening. So long story short, six months after we signed this deal and I was just like ‘look you’re starving my company, I don’t wanna do this anymore’. Me and my dad sat down and wrote an email explaining ‘thanks, but now we’re done’. And then they were like ‘yeah we were thinking the same too’. And then that was it.
A blessing in disguise though because you know that if they see the potential in a brand it can definitely become something!
Literally! Like I wake up every morning and I think thank fuck I haven’t given up 50% of my company! 50% is a fool move. If it was 49% maybe yeah, but 50, that is not your company: I’d have people telling me what to do. So at that point I was like ‘yo they’ve given me so much inspiration, I know this can work now’. They were so serious about it! Anyway I quit Slam, started doing odd jobs for production companies and started making some money from Yardsale. Sketchy money, like you sell t-shirts one month then you don’t, but I was still managing to live off it because I was living at home.
And then the next season it really took off?
I feel like it did yeah.
From the outside it felt like one minute it was like three t-shirts and a few boards then the next it was big. Like when I came to the office last time I couldn’t believe it. I remember thinking ‘damn he’s got Zak (Mayell), Tom (Delion) and Paddy (Jones) working here, there’s so much product everywhere…’ It went super quick.
Yeah it just got to a point when I thought: ‘it has to happen now’. We filmed the third edit and the fourth was about to come out, which is the one that Julian (Kimura) is in. That was two years ago in December. And I was like ‘I want to make a line of clothing’, like an actual line of clothing. And then basically with this factory that I used at the time, which I still use for half of my shit, you don’t have to pay for the clothing until it comes here. So I just thought ‘we’ll just commit hard and if it fucks up it fucks up whatever. If we owe like 25 grand… It’s not the end of the world, we’ll come back from that’. That’s if we don’t sell it. I was confident that we were going to sell it. It was going to be good shit. So anyway that’s why there was so much… And then that came out with a cool photo shoot (okay they’re not so cool now, but they were at the time) of everyone wearing it and the video. That’s what boosted it. And once the cycles are in motion you can grow it, if it’s selling. And it was selling so it was cool.
How come you guys kept going to LA?
Basically we (Curtis Pearl, the Church brothers, Zak) grew up going to LA. And then as people got added to the team they came… To escape winter really. We were like ‘we can be in LA right now with our mates filming a video or we can be in London in the winter at South Bank or Mile End’, so we were like ‘fuck that!’ So we started to go once every year for a month or two months to film.
Curtis told me to ask you about the first LA trip and some fucked up house party.
Oh my days, yeah. So basically, this was in 2014 and I somehow… I basically emailed this lady who lived in this crazy villa in the Palisades, which is the rich mountain part of LA, and managed to blag it for half price because it was off-season.
This was the first proper ‘Yardsale’ LA trip, and the place was crazy! There was a terrace; you could see the whole of LA! So on one of the last weeks Josh Church who came with us was like ‘oh we should have a house party and get a band to play on our roof’. And I was like ‘ha ha, yeah man, jokes’ or whatever. And he was like ‘nar man we should definitely do it’. He’s a bit tweaked. He was like ‘we’ll film it, it will be a cool video’. I just thought he was chatting shit. So anyway Friday evening I’m at the local supermarket down the road from our house and this group of people come up to me and ask: ‘Do you know where this event is? We’re going tonight, it’s on Instagram’ and I was like ‘ah let me just see I’m not from around here…’ And I was looking at it… ‘1334 Goucher Street?! That’s my fucking house! What you mean? What is it?’ There was like this massive flyer for this party where this live band was playing! Josh had gone and just done some fucked shit. So anyway I was like ‘yeah it’s just up the hill I guess; I’ll see you in a minute, whatever’. So we get there and these guys had pushed my bed out the way and set up the drum kit. My room was like the bit where you could see the whole of LA. So to Josh I’m like ‘dude what the fuck have you done?’ But he was all ‘fuck it, it’s the last week whatever, if we get kicked out, we get kicked out’.
And then slowly, probably about 250 people showed up. Like this band was playing, it was sick! There was 15 Mexican bruddas drinking Modelos in the corner just staring at them the whole time, ha ha. And everyone was on the roof and you could see it starting to bend in and shit. Then at four in the morning predictably five police cars show up to the house with megaphones and shit but our mate Guffy just goes down and tells them they can’t enter and somehow deters them from coming in! I woke the next day just like: WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED! And we didn’t even get kicked out! It was the funnest party ever.
I’m sure everyone was probably underage as well.
Oh dude for sure. Imagine being from there and seeing that there’s a house party with a band playing in the Palisades, it’s free… Everyone in LA is obviously going to go.
So LA and these trips have sort of become one side of the company. I guess the other big part of it is all the missions you guys do to all those bleak towns to skate sick brick banks spots. Like Maidstone and stuff…
Mate that’s the mellow one. That city’s not as gnarly as the other ones we’ve gone to. That place is like semi-alright. I don’t know what it is… Me, Curtis and Sam used to always say, ‘there’s no spots in London’, which is not true there is loads of spots in London, but we’d filmed there so much at one point and had been to all the spots that we liked to skate that we’d say that. Like we’re not gonna go to a stair set, we’d been to all the weird cutty bank spots, so we decided to just venture out a bit. I’d just passed my test and I had a car so we started driving to like Chatham, Peterborough and other places. I’d Google Maps a town that looked like it had at least four estates in it and we’d go check it out.
Is that how you guys would do it then? You’d look for estates that look like they could have spots and hope for the best?
Pretty much yeah. So for instance Chatham: I would say is the first town that we consistently still go to: we love it. It’s a shithole but has the craziest, most British looking brick bank spots. I Google Mapped it and saw these tower blocks that had wallrides and was like ‘yeah let’s just drive 45 minutes out the way’, we went and it was so sick. Everything was amazing. Now Chatham is like the go-to! It’s heavily featured in the Yardsale videos. But the place is fucked… So the main spot is these amazing red banks outside the shopping area, and you just see the people leave the shopping area and get on the bus. That’s the whole thing you’ll see… And there’s a massive TV with a loudspeaker like preaching the news to everyone, it’s almost like mind control. There are people just going in and out of the shopping centre looking so fucked. It’s so grey; people are smoking so many long cigarettes and just like pushing trolleys along. We went to Woking recently actually, which is also a complete shithole.
That’s where Sam does the nosegrind right? Sam (Ashley) told me about that day…
Yeah. All right so we’re driving into Woking and we passed these two crackhead dudes. Just standard English chavs and there’s one chav like bopping behind him and he’s
like ‘I’ll give you £2 for one bun on a zoot’ and we were like:
‘did you just hear that?! Ha ha!’ So anyway we drive in to the town, don’t think anything of it, get to the spot and this guy – the same guy who asked for the £2 bun on the zoot – is strolling over and he’s like ‘give me your skateboard, give me your skateboard!’ He took one and gave Kyle his pouch saying ‘there’s half an ounce of weed in there and an iPhone, be careful’… He was just off of his nut. Anyway he got on the skateboard, tried to do a front flip over the rail without the skateboard, just holding onto it, and smacked his head and like completely split it open, gushing out with blood. It was insane! He was like ‘that’s what happens when you take 19 Xanax…’ Just tripping out. And then he tries to rap to the camera with this massive hole in his head. Suddenly there are loads of people crowded around looking at this dude now rapping to me while I’m filming him, with this hole in his head. It’s the best footage! So he’s bleeding out, rapping then he was like ‘you go this way, I’ll go that way’. We were like ‘dude we ain’t robbed the bank’ like you’ve just come up, you’re fucked up and now you’re bleeding: you should go to hospital’. Then he just started sprinting off.
And then, about three hours later when we were in a random part of the town, we just saw drops of blood and were like ‘let’s just follow it and find him! He’s probably in a hole somewhere’. It was so fun. I remember we had to leave the rail because it was covered in blood and tissues and water from where we tried to wash the blood off so we could skate it. But yeah that’s basically how it goes, we’d drive an hour and a half to a town, think ‘hmm, I dunno about this place’, then instantly be so hyped because this random crackhead has just made all of your mates crease. You’d just be so glad to have come to Woking just for having seen that, but then everyone’s hyped and we get loads of good footage. These weird, random situations just get everyone hyped.
I guess that’s the blood you can see at the bottom of the rail…
So disgusting man. It’s sad, that’s what happens in those towns though.
It’s so sick that you guys put Charlie (Birch) on.
Dude it’s weird I think Kyle (Wilson) is the one who got him on. He DM’d me when the Palace park opened. He must have seen Charlie skate it and was like ‘dude we need to put Charlie on’. I was so sceptical at first because obviously Charlie’s the kind of kid who’s had a career in skateboarding from a young age so he’s kind of got that weakness to him where you can judge him easier because you’ve seen him as a kid.
Yeah it’s a lot harder say if you’re like Louie Lopez, than if you’ve come out of nowhere as a grown up and straight away everyone thinks you’re super steez.
Exactly. But he’s like a prodigy. He’s also at that stage where he’s grown into an adult and he’s from fucking Liverpool! He’s like a Rowley! And the thing is as well, you got the first stage of someone riding for Yardsale where you’re like ‘they’re good at skating: sick. They look steez: sick. Your mates like them: sick.’ And the next is ‘OK, we’re going to go to Paris next week, what’s it going to be like when he’s on the trip?’ And then he comes on the trip and he’s instantly part of the family! Straight away he’s just like fully blending in, cracking jokes. Almost like ‘I’m so glad you’re here, what did we do without you before’. It’s perfect, he’s not in the corner on his phone being like ‘I miss this…’
On these trips, like Paris, you have to be just fully focused on everyone you’re with, and Yardsale. Oh the van breaks down and we’re stranded for 24 hours? We still have the best time.
How was it having Sam (Ashley) on a trip for the first time?
I was a bit worried because he’s like a legendary UK photographer. I didn’t want him to show up on this trip and Charlie’s on mushrooms, Kyle’s rolling zoots… Someone’s not even here yet. And it was the gnarliest fucking trip.
Ha ha, well he loved it.
Everyone got to the office an hour before Sam got there, ha ha. I’d lied about the time… The first few London missions with Sam were sick. People actually fully committed, I think it helped him being there. Having someone shooting for a magazine that everyone fucks with and the fact that he’s shot all of their favourite skaters, it’s almost like this is the childhood dream: in a weird way you have to commit.
The van situation sounded hilarious. He was sending us live updates that were so good.
Okay so maybe 11 hours before we went to Paris we still hadn’t decided if we wanted to go to Paris or Budapest. So when we finally picked Paris, I told Sam Sitayeb ‘get here now, I know you’re good at this sort of shit, we need to book a van’. He rang up this fucking sketchy ass guy called Paul that he found on Gumtree and I heard Sam on the phone say ‘£600 really?! Automatic car? Really? And you can have as many drivers as you want?! Yeah yeah yeah we’ll take it! I’ll come meet you and get it right now.’ We couldn’t believe it, ‘this guy is going to let any of us drive the car, for like a week, a 15-seater van, and for £600?! And we can take it to France for no extra cost?! When Sam came back he was like ‘yeah about the van… It’s manual. It is a 15-seater but the petrol cap doesn’t work. He had to spend like half an hour trying to get the cap off. It’s also falling apart and it smells like vomit.’
Anyway on the way back from that trip it broke down an hour outside of Paris. We stopped at a petrol station and Sam rang the dude up: ‘Paul when you said this was your prized possession we really trusted you and believed you. Now we’re stuck an hour outside of Paris and it’s broken down. That £150 we paid for breakdown cover can we use that?’
‘Uh I forgot to put it on…’
‘Paul I’m really disappointed in you…’
He’s so good at being a little bullshitter. So smooth… We ended up convincing Paul to drive six hours from Bermondsey to where we were outside of Paris to pick us up in his van, leave his other van there and drive another six hours back to London. In that time while we were waiting for him we were like ‘we just need to drive to a river somehow’. The van could drive 10mph so we drove the van at 10 miles for an hour and parked outside an Aldi, bought loads of wine, went by a river and just got absolutely fucked. And Austin (Bristow) fell in the river. That’s when I was like ‘Sam Ashley’s going to hate us forever…’ Everyone was so fucked, just being such dicks, lobbing shoes across the van. One hit Sam in the head; one hit me in the head.
Ha ha ha…
And then OK so two hours from Paul arriving to where we were in France, we found this abandoned hotel just where the van had broken down. Like in the middle of nowhere. So I go with the VX and everyone just runs in and starts smashing the shit out of it! Charlie’s got a chair and he’s like smashing through a double glazed windows as hard he could, Curtis is like spraying a fire extinguisher everywhere. Everyone was out of control… Sam (Ashley) was like ‘we’ve come this far, waited 24 hours, the guy is finally going to be here in 30 minutes and we’re going to get the police called on us!’ So we slowly left but Charlie couldn’t stop, ha ha. Ten minutes after we’d all left he came out saying ‘come back we’ve got more damage to do you pussies!’
We finally got back to London at six o’clock in the morning the next day and had to have like an hour conversation with him trying to get a discount. Sam was like ‘Paul you’ve let us down man we need a discount’. He didn’t give us a discount, ha ha. He was like ‘I’ve lost so much money what do you want from me?! I wish you never rang me. The whole drive to France I couldn’t stop thinking about how much money I would have paid for you not to have rang me; this is such a ball-ache.’ It was funny…
But wait there’s more: you know how this past weekend some of the boys went back to Paris? Found another guy on Gumtree. Same thing super cheap and weirdly at a similar address. We call him up to arrange the picking up of the van and he’s like ‘Ah man these kids they fucked my other van up…’
Yes… And it was Paul using another name. We’d already paid the deposit and shit so we had to get it! So we send Curtis in a disguise to pick it up. We gave him a flat cap and shit, ha ha. And it worked! But guess what? The van ran out of fuel!
No fucking way ha ha ha. Paul to the rescue?
Nah luckily he didn’t have to come get us. We just trekked through a field for an hour to get fuel. But when Zak brought the van back he fully recognised him… So crazy.
He must be having nightmares about you lot. You mentioned Austin falling into the river… I heard that boy’s been providing quite a lot of entertainment on the last few trips. Can you give me the shoe story from LA?
I fuck with Austin man, he’s cool, we will take him for a month and he’s just hyped. Like he’ll even sleep on the couch the whole time and not give a fuck. He’s so appreciative. Also he was 19 and had never been to America before, so I kind of had to take a step back and remember what if felt like when I went the first time, how mad that was.
Anyway so a few days in we’re just driving around and we find ourselves at the top of this gnarly hill. It looks pretty scary. Julian films me on his iPhone doing a slappy and just about bombing it. I was stoked. And then we look up and Austin is on a cruiser board with the 5D camera in his hand (that he’s not filming with) just tanking it down this massive hill. Austin’s good at skating but anyone on a cruiser board, holding a camera and going down that isn’t making it in one piece.
The crazy thing is I remember asking him after it happened ‘why did you do it? Why did you bomb the hill with the camera?’ and he was like ‘well I saw you do it and thought we’d probably have to film something in a minute so it would be good to see if I could actually go down it myself.’
So anyway when we look back and he’s like halfway down this thing and I’m like ‘OH MY FUCKING GOD’. Julian’s tripping out, he’s going so fast and when he hits the bit of the hill that goes straight he gets more speed wobbles. He senses that he’s going down, somehow flings the camera up but then his head goes directly into the back of a parked van and he disappears. I’m instantly sprinting over thinking ‘he’s dead, stop the trip, the cameras fucked, everything is fucked. It’s all fucked!’ I get to this van and there’s blood everywhere. He’s face down on the floor… He gets up, has tears in his eyes, and he’s like… Keep in mind that the camera is completely smashed to pieces on the floor. He goes: ‘my brother’s sunglasses! Oh my god I broke my brother’s sunglasses!’ So Austin could have died, the camera’s been destroyed, he might have to go hospital for which he hasn’t got insurance, and the first thing that comes into his mind is his brother’s £50 sunglasses! He was like shredded to pieces! And then, to top it all off right, this was a white van and you could see his faceprint dented into the white van. No lie we’ve got a photo of it: his head shape was dented into the van. Me and Julian saw it and were like ‘that’s his face in the van! We have to call an ambulance you can’t make that imprint and not have done some serious damage…’
Did you call an ambulance?
No he didn’t have insurance and he was like man ‘please, please don’t call my mum!’ It was insane.
We were trying to make him not sleep because if you sleep after you hit your head you can die or whatever. So we were trying to keep him awake but he slept through the night, woke up and was just absolutely covered in scars and blood. And then he put this like tape… He didn’t even buy a plaster! I was like ‘let me buy you plasters!’ But he taped around his thumb and then a week after he un-taped it and his whole finger was completely white, like an alien finger. It was wrinkled to shit. Julian and I were looking at it pointing and laughing… He’s insane.
And then yeah a few days after, I gave him a pair of my Vans and he mixed his other Vans with mine. And halfway through the afternoon, after a whole day of having them on, he realised he was wearing two left feet. We couldn’t believe it… He was like ‘oh gee I didn’t even know…’
Ha ha ha!
They weren’t even the same colour! And they were different sizes as well because I’m a size under him. ‘Yeah I thought it felt funny…’ Oh mate… I love Austin man he’s so sick and such a good filmer.
What about the skaters? How did the team come together?
Basically how it all happened was Darius and I were skating a lot together at the time. This is when it first started. Then one night after Slam I went to Mile End (skatepark), saw Curtis (Pearl), and I was just like ‘this kid’s so fucking steez!’ I almost hated him at first because I was like ‘he’s a bit…
He looks like he’s too steez.’
Yeah he almost skates like he’s showing off but in the best possible way. It looks so sick.
He skates like he’s showing off but it’s almost like you want him for your own skate mentality so you can skate like that. Because of that when I asked him I was kind of scared. But ‘fuck it’ I thought, ‘if he says no, whatever, he’s a cool guy, fuck him’. But he was like ‘dude I’m so down, can’t stop smiling you made me so happy. I’m so fucking down.’ And then his skating has developed into becoming like my favourite skater. I’m genuinely inspired by how Curtis skates. It’s like street tranny you know? Like snappy banks: your board goes down and then snaps out. It’s really pushing your board into these weird positions; it’s full energy. I feel like a lot of younger kids in England can see the style. They fuck with him hard.
I guess the next dude was Jake Church! Jake and his brother Josh they need to be involved in this somehow, I’ve known them forever. I still remember the car journey as a kid going to see Jake being born. I was like fuck this, got to meet Josh’s baby brother ha ha. This kid is ruining my Sunday! Anyway Jake doesn’t ride for Yardsale anymore in terms of filming for it, (it’s a long story) but he’s always going to be a part of it. He’s going to get a clip for the new vid.
He has to have a trick!
Dude for sure! I’ve been trying to get him to do a trick. His legs are kind of fucked though…
Then after Jake it was Sam Sitayeb?
Yeah. I wasn’t sure about putting him on at first… I think Sam’s 19 or 20: so he’s young. And he’s always been like super intelligent. Like wouldn’t go to bed until seven in the morning because he’d be up learning how to program and shit. And he’s now made this game or app. He also doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, doesn’t do anything like that. I feel like this is kind of reflected in his skating, how he flicks his board into tricks. It’s almost like, not robotic because he has style, but you can really see how he does everything.
He’s very meticulous.
Dude his new footage is the best footage in the whole video. It’s almost like he’s pushing to go pro first.
Oh yeah you don’t have any pros do you?
No, no pros.
I like it when brands really wait to turn people pro. Like wait ‘til they’ve really made an impact, had loads of parts… Like how (Dan) Magee did with Blueprint. What about Kyle?
How Kyle got on the team? I remember Curtis was like ‘yo you need to come to
Mile End right now and watch this kid Kyle skate.’ I was like ‘really?’ I went to Mile End and
I remember watching him and thinking that he was really good but it’s almost like he didn’t have his own image yet… I’m not trying to like be a dick, you just don’t really when you’re a kid.
And then I basically slept on the decision for too long. Like a month and a half maybe. And I remember getting a text from Curtis or Zak who worked at Slam at the time saying that Kyle had just come in and picked up a package from Palace… I felt it instantly: I knew I fucked up.
I knew I should have put him on… But I got Curtis to ask him anyway, just in case ‘who knows, maybe he’ll go for Yardsale instead of Palace’. Curtis texted him – and I remember we were at the top of this hill about to bomb it and he replied ‘Yeah: 100%. Fully down’. To which Curtis secretly recorded my reaction! I was like ‘yeaaaah, so stoked, let’s bomb this fucking hill right now!’ And now his style has developed into something completely mind-blowing.
Yeah. And this winter of working at the Palace park, getting sick at transition has just made him ten times better.
Yeah, he’s incredible. That’s why we pay him. And he loves Yardsale! It makes me happy that he loves it like that… Honestly how this whole shit worked out, thinking about it now, it fully trips me out. I really appreciate everyone fucking with it.
What about Julian?
Who is Julian? What is Julian? Oh man, I think you could write a book about Julian. Basically Curtis went to skate Paris one time and met him, then instantly was like: ‘yo you have to put him on!’ I was I was a bit like ‘chill out man, you just made me put on Kyle, don’t get too hyped…’ Then later he came to London and I saw him skate in person and realised just how talented he was. If you were a kid and you saw Julian it would almost be even more entertaining than to watch Kyle because it’s so mesmerising. The skateboard is like glued to his feet. When he slides a ledge he just sticks in there and flows out… Also when you think about the whole team with Julian as an addition, he’s so special. He’s this weird dude that’s lived around the whole world… He’s like everything, half Japanese, half Brazilian, a bit of this, a bit of that. Lived in Miami, lived in Prague, Barcelona, Tokyo…
What sort of stuff do you draw inspiration from when you’re thinking about the clothes?
The clothing is a huge part of Yardsale. Obviously the skating is the main thing but most of the money comes from clothing. It’s always just been what we’re into. I feel like the way it started off was when Curtis and Darius first started filming for Yardsale… They would come along with these clothes, and it looked good but I’d be like ‘yo maybe wear this…’ I remember the first line Curtis ever did, bombing that hill and doing the wallride, he’s in a Fila piece that me and Josh bought. And that’s the shit we always wanted to make… Like me personally, I hate designing t-shirts because I don’t really wear t-shirts. I wear polos or longsleeves or quarter-zips and shit. We’ve always heavily taken inspiration from the 80s and 90s. We don’t think like ‘oh this is cool now’. I’ll be inspired by shit I randomly find on eBay… Like weird shit. Everyone is always making 20 t-shirts a season but I don’t really want to do that. So we make other stuff instead.
Also finding a good graphic for a shirt is so hard…
I guess it’s ‘skate clothing’ because we skate in it, but skaters want to get laid just as much as the next dude: they want to look cool. You know making clothes that you want to go out in… Nobody wants to go out in a massive logo t-shirt. At the same time I want it to be fully: ‘this is skateboarding’ and we don’t fuck with posey Instagram skaters’.
Which is funny because I feel like people outside of London who might not know so much about the brand might get that vibe from it.
I honestly don’t want it to be like that. I want it to be cool but not in a way where it’s like hey ‘this is me, I’m an artist/motivational speaker’ and all this shit. No: I skate, I smoke weed, I fucking fart on my mates when we’re on trips. We’re idiots but yeah we still look cool…
You know who I fuck with as a skate company? 917. They’re core as fuck and they look cool without being posey. I think that’s the most important thing. I don’t want it to be like a posey company that’s all about lookbooks. I think there’s a way of being very core to how skaters see you and also being cool in people who don’t skate’s eyes. You can kind of get a perfect match.
I’d say Palace have succeeded in doing that.
Yeah for sure. And of course Lev’s so sick and everything he’s done for skating is fucking amazing. But put it this way, if he was still making PWBC News edits and a kid like Blondey came out of nowhere and was doing exactly what he’s doing: he would be number one on the hit list. Rory, Brady, Charlie and Torey are the ones that make me want to wear the clothes. They’re the ones I want to see.
Ha ha cheers Dan. I think we’ll leave it at that. Can’t wait to see the vid!
Click below for a gallery of photos by Alex Pires and Sam Ashley