CATCHING UP WTIH THE FOUNDER OF PALACE SKATEBOARDS
──PALACE SKATEBOARDS - LEV TANJU (ENGLISH)
Words by Katsushige Ichihashi, Photos Courtesy of P.I.C
VHSMAG (VHS)：I have heard Palace won the Boiler Room Five Football tournament last summer. Who played in the team? Did you also play or were you the coach?
Lev Tanju (Lev)： Yea we won! The team was Charlie (Young), Rob (Mathieson), (Danny) Brady, me, our homie Umit from our local bar and best bar in london called Barden's, then two homies that play football with Rob on the weekends. I played for about ten minutes and nearly had a heart attack.
VHS：Who scored the most goals?
Lev：Maybe Charlie Young or Rob.
VHS：Do you often play football with the Palace gang or only at such tournaments?
Lev：We only play when tournaments happen really, then we win. Haha!
VHS：Talking about football, you had a collabo line with Umbro and in 2013 came out the Reebok lines. You seem to keep your products “British”, like those collabos and as well as your own Palace garments (shirts & jackets). Is this a conscious effort? Are you trying to keep up the British pride, or is it just easier for you to work with British brands or manufacturer?
Lev：It’s actually way harder to work with British people. It’s not a conscious effort to do so, we are just English and we want to do stuff that we like. We are also all very proud to be British I guess.
VHS：Will you keep on working strictly with British brands? I know you won’t share such secrets now, but which will be the next collabo brand, Kangol? Fred Perry?
Lev：Defo neither of those! We will work with people that we dig basically, it don't matter where your from. We just like what we like.
VHS：Don’t you get also many offers from other European or American brands nowadays?
Lev：We have a few big plans, and we get offers from all over. We just do what we want to do, if it feels right then we do it.
VHS：Do you work full time, only for Palace now? I might be wrong, but I think I heard you are also the team manager of adidas UK skate team. Do you still work for other brands or companies?
Lev：I am the UK adidas TM yes, but most of my time is taken up by Palace, I do as much as I can really. Stuff here and there!
Unfortunately, the most anticipated full length video of Palace has not been released, not even the slightest detail had been announced last year. Far from it, they were bold enough to give away a steaming hot four minutes long part of their newest rider Danny Brady and also a banging one of Chewy Cannon. This should mean that Lev is keeping even better stuff for the full length, right... ?
VHS：The whole world is waiting for the Palace full video. How far are you? Seeing any deadlines? Or do you need couple more tours to get enough footage to finish the video?
Lev：We are working on it, it’s not far off. When it’s ready, it’s ready. It’s all filmed in London, so trips won’t help. I just want to make a London video. I have been saving all the London footage since I started Palace.
VHS：Do you shoot and edit the video only by yourself? Or do you work with anybody else?
Lev：I do all the editing, but now we have Morph (Dane Crook) filming too. He's an OG London filmer.
VHS：Who got the most footage so far? Olly Todd? Or the young guns? Will each member have a full part?
Lev：Yea man, Olly has the most footage. Haha. I'm not sure how the video will pan out, and who will have the longest part. We will just see how it goes.
VHS：Are there any places you would like to tour with the team? Or does the destination, place doesn’t matter? Some filmers/skaters seek for specific spots or mood, scenery to add something more to their skating/footage/photos. How about you or the other Palace members? Does the spot matter pretty much, or is it more about the vibe of the session or the trick itself?
Lev：Yea it’s just about the vibe and the team having fun, if everyone’s happy, shit gets taken care of.
VHS：Everyone would bring up Palace’s name as their source of inspiration nowadays, but who inspires you? Any skate company you love now, or you have been admiring over the years?
Lev：Nope I don't really love any skate companies except Palace, that's why I started Palace. I don't really take inspiration from anyone in particular it just comes from everywhere naturally.
VHS： How about other company’s videos or skaters? What/who blew your mind recently? Sounds pretty silly, but are there any skaters you would like to steal from other companies?
Lev：Na that doesn't sound silly. We steal loads of skaters. Na there's no mind blowing parts I have seen, I don't really watch that much skateboarding stuff at the moment ’cos I'm mad busy. Lucas Puig's Instagram videos are my favourite skateboarding clips at the moment
VHS：In 2012, you visited Malmo and last year the guys came over to you. How is the Palace x Polar stuff going on? Will you make a video someday, or got any other plans?
Lev：Yea maybe I will make a video of the trip. There's no collabo shit coming out though. I just want to make a clip at some point.
VHS：Tokyo was chosen as the host for the 2020 Olympic Games. As a forerunner, could you tell us how the modern day Olympic Games affect your life, changes your city and gives what kinda pros and cons to a skateboarder? Any words of wisdom to share?
Lev：Nothing changed really. I guess it brought tourism but I don't give a fuck about that. It just makes the city mad busy really.
VHS：Have you ever been to Japan? Lucien was recently in Tokyo, right? Did you hear any stories from him?
Lev：I have never been to Japan but I want to come soon. One day maybe I will be there a lot! It would be cool to meet some of the locals and just skate and party. Lucien and Blondey are there all the time, for Supreme shit. They have a wild time when they go.
VHS：Any shout outs for your fans in Japan?
Lev：Shit man I never thought we had fans in Japan. Shout out to all the homies that rep Palace. Fuck with that real shit!