Q&A with DJ Redbeard

1. When did you first come in to contact with skateboarding?
My older cousin used to pick me up from school when I was 6 or 7 years old and her boyfriend skated. Me and my other older cousins picked up skateboarding from him instantly.

2. What’s your favourite skate trick?
My own personal favorite is a Backside 180 Nose-grind Revert (swinging’ the full 360 feels soooooo good).

3. Where do you find your inspiration for your work?
Hard question to answer. I wanna say rewatching classic skate-video parts from the late 80s, 90’s and 00’s, basically everything before Youtube & IG. The soundtrack to these time-capsules are ingrained in our collective unconscious. Next to that just researching all kinds of (sub-)genres, artists and producers through reading interviews / articles, watching music documentaries. Anything in life that inspires me I will use in my sets.

4. Where is your favourite place to skate?
I am very lucky to have a mellow skatepark close to my house at the Oosterpark, Amsterdam. It’s not perfect but it has a fun micro bowl with a spine and you can just cruise or pick up speed very easy and shred. The concrete surface is super smooth and there is also a street area with long ledges and manual pads. I’ve always travelled a lot nationally to go skate different spots and parks.

Nowadays I get to hang out all over the world and skate random spots with legends like Pat Duffy, Tim O’Connor, Chris Pastras, Marc Churchill, Renton Miller, Vanessa Torres, Corey Duffel, JP Gillet, Daniel Lebron and many more.


5. How can you describe the difference between the skate scene in Amsterdam and other places you’ve been?
From my point of view we’ve been very divided, there are many little skate crews in Amsterdam. Probably since mobile phones and later social media and the fact we had almost 10 local skate shops. In the nineties we used to have one or two meeting spots and because the scenes were quite small than everybody hung out together. Now nobody needs to watch their local hero’s per se, everybody has IG, YouTube or the daily feed of skate-video parts on Thrasher Mag or whatever for inspiration. Skating has just become more mainstream and therefore more individual. This is something that feels universal. But in places where skateboarding is still quite new I see the need to be together more and skate with a crew.

6. If you could master one trick that you haven’t yet already, which would it be and why?
Backside noseblunt slides on anything! Ledges or Transition that’s my “unicorn”, my dream-trick. If landed it stalling in on banks or small quarters, but sliding: oh la la!

7. Favourite music to listen to while skating? How does this music differ from music you’d play at skate events?
Yes the difference would be that when I listen for my own pleasure It’s just for me right, I’ve got so many all-time favorites: Bad Brains, Big Boys, Black Sabbath, Dead Kennedy’s, Firehose, The Cure, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Talking Heads, Wu-Tang, Gang Starr, N.W.A., Public Enemy, De La, Tribe, Beastie Boys, Aphex Twin, Orbital, Mu-Ziq, Boards of Canada, Coltrane, Idris Mohammed, Miles Davis, Augustus Pablo, Eek-A-Mouse, Lil’Ugly Mane, Andre Nickatina, Three6Mafia, Run the Jewels, Mount Kimbie, Overmono… I could go on & on & on.

The big difference when playing big international events is that there is a wide audience with variety in age (10-70), nationality, sexuality (inclusivity). It’s my job to cater to all and be mindful with explicit content meaning absolutely no obvious content like: the N-word, the F-word, blatant misogyny and general negativity or hate on anybody. To mix it up with my own library I’ll play the occasional Tic-Toc hit, random pop music with lots of reverences to countries / city / language / names. And furthermore for most events the semi finals and finals will be broadcasted live on the Olympic Channel and will live on YouTube “forever” so there is a lot of pressure.

8. What’s the best trick you’ve seen at an event you’ve played?
Overall I’ll get more fired up watching the “Park” contests, the combination of speed, airtime, sounds of grinding concrete poolcoping, etcetera. But this past year I’ve witnessed two tricks during “Street” contests that I thought were executed absolutely perfect and I can still not wrap my head around:

  •  Switch Ollie over a Gap to Switch Backside Noseblunt Slide on a huge Hubba by Jagger Eaton at WC’22 Street in Sharjah UEA
  • The Yutornado! (Nollie Backside 270 Noseslide 270 Revert out) World Skate Tour Swiss stop / Segment Festival in Lausanne CH


9. How would you describe the relationship between music and skateboarding in your life?
Music is life, it amplifies every emotion times 3. Skateboarding is a rhythm, a form of self-expression. Ain’t no half steppin’ in skateboarding. When these are combined and it clicks It turns in to pure gold vibes, there’s nothing better.

10. Can you remember the first album you bought?
Most definitely I can, my dad took me to the record store in 1988 (I was 7 years old). We went to FAME close to the Dam Square. At the time he was teaching in university he had asked his students what “rap” album was the biggest new thing, they’d told him N.W.A. - “Straight Outta Compton”. When I listened to it I didn’t get it and bought the new Public Enemy - “It Takes A Nation Of Millions” instead. Both are still on heavy rotation in my sets!

11. Favourite song/album?
Album: Raekwon - “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx”. This album had just dropped mid’95 when we got our first indoor skatepark in Amsterdam, 3rd Floor in Vrieshuis Amerika. It was just on repeat forever, so many great sessions and everything was so raw and new. Still gives me goosebumps listening to that!

Song/Track: Orbital - “Halcyon”. Best song to start or end your set with. Chillout and rave anthem in
one!


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