Life on the dark side. Photo: Kevin Winkel/Courtesy K2 Snowboarding
No matter your opinion on the importance of full length videos in the snowboard industry these days, it’s hard to deny that a great video part can make someone’s career. I didn’t think much of Danny Larsen before I saw this year’s Pirate’s Movie “Hooked,” but his three-or-so minute section quickly changed all that for me. After claiming it as the stand out, on account of his badassness and the fact I could pronounce his name, social media soon connected me with the man himself. I thought he only retweeted me because I said he was good in my review, but as it turns out, he actually reads YoBeat. Needless to say, over the past few weeks, Danny has become my favorite person I’ve never met; doing a Hump Day interview was a no brainer. Even without my approval, Danny already has a pretty solid career going over in Euroland, so America, it’s time to pay your respects to one of the most funny, intelligent and talented snowboarders in the entire world.
Yobeat: Why does Ben Bilocq want to look so much like you?
Danny: I’m not sure, haha, first thing he said to me was, “I’m sick and tired of being called Danny Larsen.” I guess we’re just fond of the dark side.
Yeah, what happens when the sun touches your skin?
Come on, I’m not that pale. I just grew up in a country where the sun doesn’t shine that much half the year. But it sparkles, just like in Twilight.
Danny might look like he wants to eat your babies, but he doesn’t, at all. Photo: Mike Yoshida/K2 Snowboarding
That leads me to a question about Norway, in fact! I heard you have an interesting theory on why there are so many lovely ladies there.
(Laughs) Um yeah, so here’s my theory. During the Viking ages our ancestors traveled the world, pillaging and raping whatever they came across. I guess they brought whoever they found the most attractive back home to Norway, and then they had kids. Kinda makes sense, doesn’t it? I heard they just found genes from Native Americans in Iceland, which means they brought Native Americans with them from New Foundland when they were over there around year 1000. (Laughs) It sounds so stupid when written down.
No it sounds deep! Too deep for a snowboarder, in fact. Is it hard being intelligent in snowboarding, having to hang out with dummies all the time?
No, I feel we are at the same level… I’m spotting your little trap miles away, lady. Everyone is smart, some are just focusing a bit more on looking good than using their heads. Pure evolution, the good looking ones gets laid.
Fine, fine. So, is your wife really better than you at jibbing?
She is pretty damn good, she’s definitely better than me on those scary slidey boxes. For some reason I’m really scared of those. She is not.
When and where did you guys get married?
We got married the 15th of August 2009 in Norway. We rented a big mansion called the Castle and held an open bar party for a bunch of thirsty Norwegians. We even had a spontaneous Metallica cover concert, that was pretty cool. All the guests were screaming the lyrics of Seek and Destroy in nice suits and dresses.
He even snowboards in the (almost) dark! Photo: Mike Yoshida/K2 Snowboarding
You’re in a band, right? Did you play your own wedding?
No, I had a friend’s band playing. They play a cheesy version of swing music — really fucking bad. The singer was hitting on my wife the whole time. Then some other friends of mine picked up the instruments and did the Metallica concert.
What’s up with your band? How do you have time to practice, and have a snowboard career?
There’s an easy solution to that, we don’t. So far we haven’t played together once. I guess it’s better since we’re 3 guitar players and that’s it. We record some riffs, write down some lyrics and send it to one of the guys in the “band.” He puts the song together, adds bass, drums and sing the songs… we would suck live.
Haha, have you put out any recordings?
Every time my friends send me some early mixes I immediately show all my friends online. I’m just so proud being part of something that sounds like a real band, even though I played a rather minor role in the whole production of it. But that’s it. I think we have one song that’s almost finished, the rest are even further away from completion.
Is that why you opted for a Pentagram song for your part this year, not one of our own? I gather that was a somewhat loaded choice in the metal world?
(Laughs) Using one of our songs for my part would not add much to the part. But if it would’ve been finished I could have be tempted to use it for sure. Pentagram is a legendary band, and Sign of the Wolf is, my opinion, one of their best.
I’m sure you liked it before it was cool too, right?
(Laughs) Yeah, before it was cool to like metal and all that. Nah, that song is from the early 80s, pretty sure they were cooler back then.
Danny sees the light. Photo: Mike Yoshida/K2 Snowboarding
But next year, you’re riding to (insert the name of your band here,) right? You don’t have any real songs, but you have a name, right?
We’re either called “Beist” or “Det Svartner,” don’t really remember what we decided.. our first song is called Det Svartner, at least, our first unfinished song that is.
Translate that stuff for me. I’m American, dammit
Oh sorry, Beist means Beast in Norwegian.. Det svarter is the Norwegian expression for when you get so angry that the whole world turns black and you just want to destroy everything in front of you.
Woah, why so angry?
The aggression needs to come out somehow, I guess.
Is that just your metal front, or are you really out to destroy shit?
Nah, I’m a pretty mellow guy, not violent at all. Never been in a fight since elementary school. But singing about being nice doesn’t fit metal really, like a gospel choir singing about evil stuff.
Art appreciation. Photo: Mike Yoshida/K2 Snowboarding
True. So I hear you’re also quite the draw-er… tell me about the K2 board you designed this year?
It’s a team designed board, but I guess I got a bit carried away and did a bit more drawings than they were expecting so they slapped them all over the board. I did a drawing called “the Grabby Stabby” for the base. They’re all funny, slightly dark drawings of weird stuff that I find funny, like people with their eyes hanging out of their eye sockets with “tribal 4 life” and “I love babes” tattoos.
Sorry for all the typo’s, a bit tired over here..
What time is it there?
10.40 PM, but first day of riding yesterday in our local hill. So a bit sore and tired right now…
Where do you ride when you are at home?
We’re kinda lucky, the Oslo area is just covered with ski resorts so you can choose a new hill for every day of the week, and then some. But I mostly ride Kirkerud, Tryvann and Varingskollen.
What’s the scene there like? Do they think you are cool?
No, I’m not cool cause I’m not working on my spin-to-win slidey box dances in colorful pants.
And, back in the dark. Photo: Mike Yoshida/K2 Snowboarding
You’d be cool in Portland. Any plans to ditch the Pirates and hook up with a US crew to film?
I’ve been to Portland, I love Portland. I hung out with (Nick) Dirks and saw Shane Flood, that was cool… But no plans for ditching Pirates. I love hanging in Europe; not having to deal with sleds to get to spots, and no other crews stealing your spots. I love the idea that the terrain is so easily accesible that you don’t have to ride the same spot twice, you just go up some resort you have never heard about before and most of the times you’ll find some fun new spot that no one has ever hit. But of course, there are lots of great American companies that look awesome to film with.
Definitely, and your name is easy to pronounce, so it probably would be easy for you fit in in America… Do you think having a good simple name is an advantage for a snowboarder?
Well, I decided when I was a kid that I would just use Danny Larsen when I got pics in mags just because of that. I knew it would be harder for foreigner to remember Dan Espen MÃ¸ller Larsen. So I went with Danny which was my nickname since I was around 5.
Why not just ditch it entirely and go with “the darkness,” or did that crappy band ruin that for you?
(Laughs) I think Kevin Winkel gave me that name this year or so, so I haven’t had that one for long.
Are you sad Kevin quit to work for the big B? Will riding for K2 ever be the same?
I guess it will, but Kevin was awesome, he was a great guy and TM.
Yeah, I don’t know. photo: Mike Yoshida/K2 Snowboarding
So rumor is you still shoot photos with film. Did you know they make digital cameras now?
I thought you were from Portland, film is the hipster thing to do. Didn’t your friend tell you while he passed you on his fixie this morning? Film is way more fun, digi is fun and fast, but film feels more like something real, and you have no idea how they will come out.
I see, but fixies are over dude. It’s all about cyclocross.
Sorry, I forgot to read the last issue of Vice.
Ha. It’s ok, the trends will get to Europe eventually..I think they have to pass through freeskiing first, then they hit Europe.
What? fixie, cyclocross, freeskiing and then cyclocross hits Europe.. is that the new trend? Freeskiing… better write this shit down, can be worth gold over here in Commie Europe.
Haha, you’re welcome! Seriously, though, it was pretty hard to come up with dirt about you. How do you manage to stay on the straight and narrow hanging with metal dudes and sketchy snowboarders?
I got a well functioning moral compass. I try to be nice to people, and I prefer to get “Norwegian drunk” rather than trying to come up with stupid shit. And I had a girl for ages so no need to being a jackass while trying to impress the ladies. It surely helps. Metal people are mellow, snowboarders are way more sketchy.
What’s “Norwegian drunk” exactly?
Norwegian drunk is how drunk Norwegians get when there’s a chance of getting drunk. Which usually means quite drunk. Quite similar to Alaskan drunk, I would expect.
Given that, you must have at least one skeleton in your closet… what’s one thing you’ve done you wish you could undo? You know, so no one else makes the same mistake.
Hmmm. I’m trying to come up with something, but I usually go by a no regret rule. But there’s got to be something. Oh yeah! I got one. I was in Japan drinking a whole night, buying drinks, even hanging out with Peter Line, which I’m still a bit star struck by. Then we put the entire bar bill on Joni Malmi’s room. I kinda feel bad about that one. But still, kinda fun, Peter actually told me to do it and I didn’t have the balls to say no. The bill was kinda big. But yeah, not that bad really.
(Laughs) Peter is a terrible influence
That guy is awesome.
So, it’s T-Shirt Week. I feel I should ask, what’s your favorite T-Shirt?
My favorite t-shirt is a black Darkthrone – A blaze in the Northern Sky t-shirt. The graphics are all cracked up from to many rounds in the washing machine and the intensity of the darkness is somewhat faded, just like any good band T-shirt should be. If it’s clean that’s the one I’ll put on right away. My tolerance for what counts as a clean t-shirt is pretty high by the way.
You need a Yobeat black metal logo as well, I’ll make you one.
Danny wasn’t lying. Here’s his Yobeat Black Metal logo. We liked it so much we made it into a shirt, which you can get one of, in red or black, in the store.
How are you celebrating T-shirt week?
I have been celebrating T-shirt week like you should — buying new ones, trying on old ones I have forgotten and giving away t-shirts I don’t use anymore to bums. I have already worn 5 today and I’m looking forward to my new Yobeat Bathory t-shirt. Happy t-shirt week, or as we say in Norway, God T-Skjorte Uke!
Is there anything else we haven’t covered you think the Yobeat public would find interesting?
The reason why I spent a lot of time never visiting Yobeat, despite hearing a lot about it, was because I thought it was some kind of lame hip hop site.
(Laughs) I named it when I was 15!
I think the name is awesome, but you can see my confusion being a freedom deprived Euro.
Yes. Any final words, sponsor thanks, shout outs?
Thank you to all my sponsors, friends, family, my wife, freedom, the bald eagle, liberty, Budweiser and Yobeat.
You’re welcome. I’ll let you go curl up with your pet rats and get some sleep now.
Thank you very much, Brooke. appreciate it… Way less scary than I thought it would be.
Want more Danny? he blogs. Check it out at http://www.dannylarsen.net/
Who said he was afraid of the sun! Photo: Mike Yoshida/K2 Snowboarding