Photo by Nathaniel Harrington. Interview by Danny Griffin
Danimals. Some knew the name long before VG’s Shoot The Moon, but now the whole lot of us do. So what is there to say about the man? He likes bombing hills, the House of 1817, believes in aliens, and digs Mexican food. I’d say something about his snowboarding, but it speaks for itself in volumes.
Heard you just moved into new pad. How is it?
It’s freakin’ sweet. It’s pretty empty still so it has a good echo to it but were fixing that. We just got some couches and a dinner table today.
Who all are you living with?
I’m living with my friends Cody Beiersdorf, Jake OE, and Sam Fenton.
Sounds like a good time. You guys gonna warm it up with a sweet welcome party? or two?
Haha, yeah we already had a house warming party but we’ll probably have some more. Actually we will for sure. Probably a lot, like 17 more. Or less, I don’t know.
Always a good call. See how well the house echoes. It seems as though Jake OE can party pretty hard. Any truth in that?
Yeah he parties.
Are you two filming with VG again?
Yeah, but he is still in school right now so until the semester is over we won’t get to ride much together.
Bummer. Are you in school right now?
No, not right now. Just working and now that we have some snow around here I will be working a lot less. Probably a day or two a week if that.
Where do you work?
Right now I work at a shop where I tune skis and snowboards. It’s cool though. The guys I work with are really cool and then in the summer I fix bikes there.
Shop jobs are pretty mellow — good work environment. Have you held down a bunch of different jobs or mostly in shops?
Not really. I mow lawns in the summer also but I’ve pretty much just worked at the shop for the past five years.
Do people ever roll into the shop and say, “Oh damn, you’re that guy from Shoot The Moon?”
Haha never. Unless it’s a friend or something, just messing around. I never see anyone I just fix stuff in back all day.
Ah Gotcha. Were your friends as surprised as you were when they saw your part?
Yeah definitely. I got a couple phone calls from my friends when they saw it. That was cool.
I’ve got to ask, who chose that song, ‘Monster Gonzales’, for the part?
Haha yeah that song is so sweet. I’m not sure exactly who found it but I’ve heard rumors it was Dirks.
Do you get to ride with Dirks much?
Nah, I wish. I’ve never really ridden with him before but I’d like to. I remember seeing him ride Hyland one day, that was really cool.
I’ll never tell, haha. Just kidding it’s in Bloomington.
Are there a lot of mountains to ride in Minnesota?
Haha, nope. There’s one way up north that is considered a mountain but even that is pretty far. There’s lots of fun hills though.
Is that basically what Trollhaugen is?
Yeah that’s pretty much exactly what it is. Hills with the trees cleared off them, but for some reason they’re really fun.
Was Trollhaugen your first mountain?
Nah, my first mountain was Hyland Hills, haha. I’m pretty sure my first real mountain was Winter Park.
Colorado is awesome. Are you trying to get back there to film for VG?
Yeah, Colorado would be sweet the mountains are the funnest things ever to play on.
How many times have you pushed the play button on Burning Bridges?
666 times. Haha, I don’t know. A lot.
Sounds like a good amount. Did watching it influence you a lot?
Yeah of course, Ricky Tucker is a boss.
The most mellow rail rider I’ve ever seen. Seems like Mikey [LeBlanc] and his ilk do it right.
Everything about that video is sick. I feel like those guys have a really cool outlook on snowboarding. Their perspective is definitely different.
It’s a silent hype. Like influences outside of snowboarding that just play into it really well.
Exactly. You can’t be too focused on snowboarding.
Did you get a chance to film with any of those guys like Jordan [Mendenhall] or [Jon] Kooley?
Yeah this winter I got to ride with Kooley for about a week when he was here. That was super fun.
Guy is a beast. Heard he’s like 7 foot 7.
Haha, something like that.
Do you and the Minnesota crew show guys all those hometown spots or just ride around looking for spots?
Yeah, we do a lot of driving but a lot of times when other people come into town they already have an idea of what they want to do so we just go and go and go until they have to leave.
Do you guys have to hit spots at weird hours? Any Joe-citizen types that give you guys a hard time?
Sometimes that happens here but usually everyone is really nice and just wants to see what’s going on. Like, last night we hit this spot and the camera man was pretty much set up on this guy’s front stoop. The guy who lived there came out and wasn’t even mad at all.
And do all the VG guys call you Danimals or just Dan?
Yeah they pretty much just call me Danimals.
Seems like that name just sticks. Are you a part of DWT?
Dans Working Together.
Haha, I don’t know.
It’s just a collective of Dans all over the place. My buddy cued me in, so I recruit – I guess that’s the point. Dans just well… working together.
Haha sounds cool.
No problem. Who has a better stache: you or Jonas?
I hope he reads this and gets inspired to do more with his upper lip.
Yeah his is pretty good. Psych.
Haha. Got any good Jonas stories?
Man, his whole life is a story and a good one at that.
I believe it. How about you? Besides snowboarding and skating, what’s your down time like?
In the winter I feel like I watch a lot of movies and I like to work on little projects and then for the summer I like to ride my bike a lot.
Seen any good flicks lately?
Yeah I watched Ace Ventura the other day and right now i’m watching Sherlock Holmes. Actually, it just ended. You seen any good ones lately?
Me and my buddies watched a bunch of “guy” movies the other day like the first Harold and Kumar, Step Brothers, Macgruber, all that silly shit.
Heck yeah, those are all good ones.
What kind of music have you been jamming lately?
I guess I’ve been mostly listening to more blues rock and roll sounding stuff and then also Andre Nickatina. The complete opposite. I’ve had ‘Saw A Gansgter Cry’ in my head recently.
Ah nice. Do you rock headphones when you ride around?
Sometimes. Most of the time I don’t but when I’m riding Hyland by myself, I do.
It’s nice bumping some jams while riding. Like driving a car, but way more fun.
Yeah I agree, there was a kid at Hyland yesterday that was blasting music out of his backpackÂ on the hill. That was pretty cool.
What’s your setup these days?
Right now I’m riding a Signal board, Union bindings and some Nike boots.
Now that the season has more or less started, do you always try and find something to tweak on your board since you work in a shop?
No, not really I just wax it a lot more often than I normally would.
Does that help when nosepressing triple kink rails?
Probably not, but it would be nice if it did.
So this is a pretty cliche question, but what runs through your head when trying something like that nosepress?
Nothing really. Nothing that I can remember anyways.
Just do it to it huh?
If you think too hard about it you’ll just frustrate yourself if you don’t get it.
Most definitely. So any parting words Dan? Advice for the kids at Trollhaugen?
Haha, nothing too crazy. For the kids at Troll I don’t know what kind of advice I could give them, they know what’s up.