Interview by Zac
Photo’s by Jonas Adolfsson
Picture the scene….
We get into Malmo, my board is lost in transit, my luggage had left the day before and was sat on the concourse all alone, waiting for me as i entered the country. It’s pissing down with rain and we check in to the hotel where we and are met by 2 blokes in a BMW 4×4, one of them being my mate Seth from Meanwhile who i had no idea was out there, and the other – Danijel Todorovic.
The sun comes out when you meet this guy, this was a first for me but we got on like a house on fire from the off, so much so, i decided to grab some time with him a few days after we got back from the Bowlriders event there at the end of May 2006. Sidewalk Magazine have already had Danijel on their cover and this month (June06) he also graces the cover of Document Skate Mag here in the UK, is there no stopping this forest boy from Sweden?
This interview will be available as our first podcast interview on this site soon, so watch this space. – Zac.
So, what brings you to the UK Danijel?
First of all, my mate Seth lives here in London, and I was told about this Circa event and the new premiere, and I was going to get my boards from the Harmony boys.
Ah, a nice tied in trip! How was the premiere?
Yeah, it was good. Prince Charles cinema, loads of people and loads of good skating. The after party was even better!
Was there any particular rider on the “It’s Time” video that stood out for you?
Tony Tave, I’ve got my eyes on him.
He has youth on his side to..
Yeah he’s still a kid, but killing it.
So, you come from Malmo in Sweden, tell us a little about the Malmo skate scene, starting off at Streetlab.
I’ve been skating for 12 years now and been in the scene for quite some time. Streetlab is a shop that my mate Frederik started about 5 years ago and it was the first time we got to do something on our own, to start building a scene and get people involved and be open minded, because people in Malmo, back in the day, found it hard to get into the scene. People wouldn’t let you, they were kind of a dog-town era, proper dicks. If you weren’t respected, they wouldn’t let you into their gang, but we fucked that up with Streetlab, and we got in touch with loads of people and more people started skating and old friends started skating. We just tried to carry on and build bridges.
Sounds cool. So Streetlab is the skater owned shop…
Skater owned, skater built. Any shop manager out there that has their own part in a skate video… it’s well good I reckon!
When we were in Malmo, we were invited to the premiere and it had a kind of Crossfirenight vibe to it, DJs playing and mixing music.
Yeah, we had a really nice night, it was at a club that we always use. We had a premiere a few years ago and it was almost the same vibe, just without the bowlriders. I think the bowlriders brought in more people, so we had about 420 skaters there. So we were rockin’ the party!
They say that, I dunno…
You’re are probably used to it though! [Laughs] So the video itself, I thought it was of a seriously high pedigree. Who are the guys to look out for coming from your scene that people will get to know over the coming months?
Frederick’s section. I was stoked that he had a full part. All of the Streetlab team because its basically the shop team and there are 9 of us, and everyone is different. Different styles, different types of skating and different ages. We go from kids to 33 year old boys.
Nothing wrong with being 33!
No! [Laughs] But yeah, its always good to see people still ripping. It was our third video and the thing I’ve been battling with since the first video is to get the most fucked up soundtrack and I think this one is the winner!
There’s some really good tunes in there actually. I noticed Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Mew and some others.
There’s a few good ones.
Anyone else that we might not know about?
Fidgit, the song in my section, from the North of Sweden, a rock band. The first section, Fast Forward’s part, it was Disco Volante.
They played at the bowlriders too.
Yeah, we know the drummer, he’s a skater and a friend of ours. And the whole band is Malmo based so it was good to put their music into it.
So which 9 riders appear in the video from the Streetlab team?
Its me, Daniel Sjoholm, Martin “Fast Forward” Henriksson, Christian “Roadkill” Mattson, Frederick “Benhög” Nilsson, Martin “Pennan” Pennlowe, Emre Yercok, Daniel “Kattöga” Sjöholm, Rasmus Sjölin, Peter “Pastorn” Liedberg, Christina Sandell, Love Rydstern, Fredrik “Frille” Grundberg, Fernando Bramsmark and a girl has a split section with 3 others, she has a really nice section.
She really stuck out in that section, I noticed her straight away and she ripped.
She’s definitely one to watch.
Yeah sure, and she’s coming over for this girl thing in London soon I think.
There was one this weekend, in St Albans, they always have a UK girl jam, and it always attracts a lot of Europeans now, so I’m not surprised to see her come out. But yeah, she really lays it down.
She does yeah, and she’s 15 I think!
And when is the video released?
As soon as I get back tomorrow, I’m gonna try to finish off the DVD sleeve and see how the menus will work and send it away for printing.
Sounds perfect. So, have you played a major part in putting the DVD together?
Yeah unfortunately [laughs], I told everyone that I’m not the man to do it, but since no-one took care of it, everything happened to end up on my desk. Wednesday evening before the premiere, at 3.15am, I finished it and put it on a DVD. That was the best feeling!
But that’s always how it happens for premieres, I’ve put on a few in the last 5 years and its always the way that the party is planned, but the video gets done but just in the nick of time!
I think the 50/50 video we did was finished about 2 hours before it got to us from Bristol, it was tight!
Its always like that, even though we had a premiere the last time, at the same place, same people involved, we told everyone we wanted to get it done beforehand properly so we could actually sell it at the premiere, but… that didn’t happen!
A lot of work though, I don’t think people understand the amount of work it takes to put out a high production film these days.
Just time. I don’t think it’s that classy, just friends putting a video together, it’s always better like that.
But there are some amazing spots in this video that people wouldn’t have seen before…
That’s the good thing, you get to see things that maybe you’ve never seen before.
And that’s what people want. Keeping it fresh and exciting. Have a lot of pro skaters come out to Malmo to film parts?
No, not really. If something had been arranged in Sweden 5 years ago, everyone would have gone to Stockholm because it’s the capital and everything was based out of Stockholm. But that’s not a factor anymore, down South is growing and thanks to the concrete park, we’re definitely going to grow even more.
It certainly stuck out like a sore thumb down there, that park is pretty special. How did the park come about?
We have a good indoor park, John Magnusson, who has been working at the park for ages, and he has his heart and soul in his skateboarding. He used to be a professional hockey player but he gave it up to put everything into the skatepark and just wanted to skate. He’s the guy we need to thank a lot for this park and the opportunity to skate these incredible spots every day.
You have a street section in that park, a bowl section in the park, a pool in the park… it has everything in that park that anyone needs! I’d highly recommend people travelling out there to check it out.
It basically has every element in it. I was on the designer group for the street course and that was a really nice thing to be a part of but at the end of the day, we didn’t get anything that we wanted. The architects were like “this wouldn’t work with this and that won’t work with that” so in the end it went shit anyway. But still, its good.
There’s still a lot in there though!
Oh yeah, I’m just picky. [Laughs] When you have a good park and you know you could do a little bit better, you get it in your head that they didn’t make it perfect.
There’s no perfection guaranteed when you build.
But its concrete though, so its good.
So, you’re sponsored by The Harmony , which is run out of England. How did that come about?
Funny story actually. I used to ride for Minute Skateboards, I was their only rider outside of the UK, same as Harmony. Just after Minute quit, I got involved with Adam Mondon, Tim Crawley, Frank Stevens, Paul Sylvester, and Alex Irvine the photographer. They came over to Sweden, stayed at mine and I showed them all the spots and we had a good week skating. That was in September, and then in January the year after, Mondon just contacted me and told me about this company they were starting and asked me if I wanted to join. And I wasn’t riding for anyone at that time so I found Harmony really nice and got on the train.
It’s obviously an independent company but it seems as if they have some very cool graphics with David at the controls, was that something that was an influence for you joining them?
Yeah, I’d only met Mondon and then met Dave who did the graphics and was amazing at his designing and his art stuff. Like, every t-shirt and board he did was a work of art and I really enjoyed that.
I think he goes under the name of Dist One.
Dist One UK Yep.
www.distone.co.uk – You can go there and check out all of his incredible work with Harmony. The movie just dropped, with the Harmony, how do you feel about that one?
That was also a stressful project, we didn’t know how we were gonna end it and what we’d be using but the result was really, really good. Got some Malmo in there because they took a trip out here and we’ve got the first Valencia trip the Harmony boys did. So the movie is like a timeline, how the company went along, what we’ve been doing and what we’ve been involved in and had really good music and me and Tom Harrison put in a good mix. I really enjoyed that one, but I’m not sure its out yet. They’ve put it with Sidewalk but I think they’ve pushed it back. But it’s coming, maybe in the next issue in July…
So, do you get to skate much in the UK, come over and visit the team?
I’ve been over here a few times. With Seth being here, its really easy for me to come over and its cheap, with the tickets from Malmo from Ryanair, booked in advance. But its hard for me to travel the country, I always stay in London when I get here. It’s easier. If we go on a tour – like we just went to Scotland with Harmony – it was a mission. Bob Marley And The Wailers Tour!
Was he on the stereo?
Oh yeah! And I met Jamie, the new kid, Jamie Bolland. Amazing guy, he’s on the up. It was good to be back with the team. Unfortunately Tom was injured but we skated some good concrete in Scotland and some good downhill action in Glasgow.
Drunken downhill! Always the best way to do it. Did you manage to get to the Dundee skatepark on that one?
Yeah we went there, Div was there killing it. It was really nice to see, good park and we skated Livi too that night, its open 24/7 I think.
And it was dry?
It was dry yep.
It was a good experience. Not as smooth as the Malmo one, but it was good.
What’s your favourite style of skating? What’s an average day for Danijel, what does he do?
Because of the park, we go down to warm up for a bit, its easy because it’s only a few minutes from my house, and then we just hit some random spots. I’m filming a lot with Pontus Alv, because he’s got a new film coming out and I’m trying to get a full spot in that.
His first film “The Strongest of the Strange” is one of the best skate films ever made.
It’s a good one, it took him 3 years or something but it turned out good and you could see, the way he skates, he’s so creative and inspiring. If I get to skate with him, I enjoy it so much because he pushes himself to a limit that no-one else could. He always takes you on a mission.
And his bowl?!
I should kill the designer for that. That bowl is so rough. You have to have 2 or 3 weeks of skating it every day to learn how to ride it, but I don’t have to time. I can’t stand it, its so hard to skate. It looks good on the video though.
But I mean, they make it look really easy to skate on the video, they really put it down.
D Boy especially because he’s so small, its easier for him. He cruises every corner of it, its amazing. I wish I could skate it.
So do I. In fact, some of the boys went out there when we were in Malmo, I was stuck at the bar, unfortunately, so I missed the bus.
Yeah I think Silent Will went out there.
Silent Will and a few people took some photos of Pete King, Ross, Josh and a few others. But they only skated it for 25 minutes before it rained so they didn’t get too much action in it but they had a good time on it. It looks amazing fun. I’m certainly going to be hitting that place up myself next time I’m there.
You should, you should!
So, what about music? You say you picked Fidgit for your part in your DVD, but what’s on your stereo?
I have a really strange mix of music. You either love it or you hate it. I download loads of stuff and my iPod is full of shit. I just want songs that remind you of something or give you a good feeling about something. Especially with the music in certain skate videos, they’re the tunes you remember. And they’re the ones you’re chasing when you see a film and that’s what I do. I don’t have a favourite band or one type of music I listen to.
So if we were to put you on an island and gave you 5 desert island discs, what would they be?
Five whole albums? Shit. Some Bob Marley, to relax to. Definitely a Rolling Stones album. Maybe some Nina Simone, some kind of Soul, like Al Green or Nina Simone. I need a mixtape with all my shit on, like Vanilla Ice, Technotronik, all those disco and 90s electro tunes. It’s funny stuff, all the breakbeats. So I’d take 2 mixtapes as well. Some classics and 2 mixtapes.
Am I correct in saying that Streetlab are big fans of Crossfire radio? So we’ll probably have this played in the shop.
Yeah, I take my iPod in often. And some of my friends love what I have on it and some hate it. But to play the same thing every day gets boring so we play loads of Crossfire radio shows. And they’re pretty long so as soon as one is finished, we put the next radio show on.
I couldn’t believe it, I was so stoked, as soon as I got to Malmo this guy came up to me and said “Oh! You’re the guy from Crossfire, we listen to your radio shows!” and you know what, that made my day! So if that bloke is lreading this right now, thanks for telling me and making my day! So what plans have you got next? Obviously you’re going back to Malmo…
Malmo yep tomorrow morning. Next thing is actually Rune Glifberg’s 20 years of skating. All the Volcom riders got invited so we’re just going to have a big jam in Copenhagen. Its one of my favourite places to skate. It’s an 80’s theme so everyone’s going to be dressed up as 80’s skaters and we’re going to have a wall ride comp and a fly out comp. It’s gonna be a good thing, and Rune is gonna be there to represent the whole thing.
He’s been pushing skating a lot now for many years and he never lets up, he’s probably one of the best on the circuit.
I was surprised to see him at the Bowlriders in that condition and killing it. I’ve never seen him ride a bowl like that.
I’d never seen him rip that much, with no pads on aswell.
And putting street stuff into it aswell, doing all the street stuff inbetween his vert and bowl stuff. Really amazing.
People like Rune have photos taken by your friend Jonas Adolfsson, do you?
I get loads done with him, he’s actually one of my favourite to go out with, we really push each other. He’s very talented and well under-rated so I go out with him a lot. We actually got some photos for Sidewalk. I talked to them as he had loads of photos that hadn’t been used. That’s Jonas’ problem, he’s not involved in magazines enough, so we got him in touch with Sidewalk and him and Horsley split the Haunts thing. These pics on this page are all taken by Jonas, he is a talent.
People will be able to check out a whole feature of Jonas’ photography in the features section on this site at some point over the summer as we’re going to be running a huge photography feature with various people from America, the UK and Europe. Ok, so let’s wrap this shit up, Danijel, thank you very much…If you wanna say thanks or hi to anyone, it’s all yours.
Let’s do this! I wanna say thanks to all my friends and family, girlfriend Liv for standing with me. My sponsors, Nike SB, Kaspar from Holland, we have Streetlab the shop (thanks Freddie for doing everything), the Harmony boys, Adam Mondon and Dave Earl Dixon, thanks for bringing me on this Harmony trip. John at M&O and Spitfire and Thunder trucks. – Thank you everyone!