NORWAY’S DANNING IS ON THE RISE
Portrait courtesy of Martin Danning
Interview by Ryan Loewy
Martin Danning is a part of the new generation. Although on skates for almost on a decade now, he has started to gain more attention in 2018 it seems; GQ good looks paired with a stylistic yet calculated approach to skating, the attributes combined would in turn warrant a sponsorship with Roces. Not even in his 20s yet, Danning has a mature understanding of what he wants out of himself and his skating. He’s focused on style and the intricacies in his craft; something that is evident when you watch him skate. And while he may get a brunt of hate for his approach to skating, Danning is assure of himself. We sat down with Martin recently to learn more about him and to see what he has in store for 2019…
So bring me up to speed with you and what’s been going on for you the last couple of months. You recently got on Roces….
Yeah. I mean I kinda was riding for Valo before all that. Or at least getting skates from Jon. And when that whole Valo thing ended I was kinda in a dilemma. Hung out with Jon and the whole THEM crew at Winterclash and that kinda seemed like the obvious move for me. But then I got contacted by Marco (team manager) for Roces, telling me that he wanted me on, and it was almost a no brainer. I felt like I would play a bigger part in Roces than what I would if I was on THEM. I felt kinda bad in the beginning, not supporting Jon and all, after all, he helped me out the previous 4 years, but seeing how well Jon and THEM are doing makes it easier for me. I wasn’t ever involved with the Valo thing as much as I’d like to have been. The M12 boot is also the perfect skate for me; slim, sexy and simple. I’m also super thankful for what Jon did for me and stoked that everything seems to go well with THEM.
It’s good to see your perspective, it’s very mature. So let me Ask, how long have you been skating and how did you get into it originally?
I think the first time I had skates on my feet was in 2008. Normal rollerblades, black and yellow. Removed the middle wheels and shredded on them for a while. My brother was the one who started blading and I guess I was an annoying little shit who wanted to do everything. He’d eventually quit and yeah, I still blade. So roughly 10 years now. Fuck. Hahaha.
Martin reviews a spot in Oslo, Norway in June of 2018. Photograph by Alex Francisco.
Isn’t it crazy how fast it goes?
Yeah. Pretty surreal to think about. 10 years is over half of my life
How old are you?
Turned 18 in September. Born in 2000… Shame on me, didn’t experience a single hour of 90’s.
The end of a BS Royale 450 Out in Oslo in August of 2018. Photograph by Didrik Lomsdal
Haha! It’s all good. I’m a big geek for nostalgia. Like while we are doing this interview, I’m watching this series on Netflix called the 80s. I enjoy learning about the time periods before me and like, the ones I grew up in. There’s something romantic about it…
What would you say are some of your major influences or inspirations in your life?
Dylan was one of the best. There was something incredibly unique about him. Like a James Dean.
Yeah I know. It’s weird for me having someone I idolized so much since I’ve never had that before.
His landings are my favorite; his arm placement…I feel that’s very important in making a trick look good
Oh yeah definitely. Just look at the overall most liked bladers. Broskow, Farmer, Sizemore, Aragon….. they all have a very specific style. It very rarely changes drastically. If it changes, it does have a smooth overlap. Not like a teenager who is one day a punk and the next day a pop artist.
Agreed. Style is a natural progression i feel. And i feel Blading has progressed a lot over the last decade. I know you probably hear it, as i hear it quite a lot, but this theory that blading used to be better back in the day due to the magnitude of the tricks done…I don’t buy that shit at all…
I really like the idea of how the sound is important to you…
Yeah. Maybe it’s something to do with the fact I’m a music nerd…
It’s a intriguing theory. You are kind of a composer in that regard, a beat is made…
Danning dials in a Backslide in Oslo in October 0f 2018. Photograph courtesy of Martin Danning
Agreed. So you also do modeling too yeah? How did you get into that?
Haha yeah. Umm… Well the agency I’m in now first tried to contact me last summer, but I didn’t see the mail. At that time, another agency contacted me but I wasn’t really feeling like doing it after the first meeting cause they were like “come back tomorrow to take Polas. Just remove your nail polish, rings and bring tighter pants”. So I basically said goodbye in a rebellious teenage at that point. And then a couple weeks after, the first agency that contacted me that summer contacted me again and then I saw it. Went to a meeting and they were super down with everything and love the blading side of me and actually wants to push blading also. They want me for who I am and know what I’m into and not into. It’s pretty fun. You see a lot of hot chicks.
So let’s wrap this because i feel we have covered some good ground. What’s in store for Martin Danning in 2019?
Well I’m working a full-time job in a kindergarten so that takes up a lot of time. But hopefully I’ll be traveling more, maybe release some music, keep filming, piss people off, make people happy and hopefully not make people sad. That’s my plan…
In the midst of a BS Unity to Budget Top Soul in Central Oslo in Late July of 2018. Photograph by Samuel Cabezas.
Martin Danning lives and works in Strommen, Norway. He currently rides for Roces, Ground Control and This Is Soul Skate Shop.