Wednesday, 10 December 2008

"Get Your Bearings"

Pro Skater, TV Presenter, Death Teams Dan Cates

Hey Dan, lets do this...

Hooked: Dan, you're the longest standing Pro on Death - that must feel pretty good. What's the main difference between the newer death riders and the O.G.s? Is the bar always being raised?

It is not only an honour to be one of the longest standing pro's on the company, it's also a miracle. And yes, the bar is always being raised and the new guys have a lot of energy.

Hooked: You said in an interview with Document how there aren't as many characters in skateboarding as there used to be - is that why Death seems to be attracted to the wild cards like Moggins, Steak, Melcher and pretty much everyone on the team?

Character is essential in skateboarding and neccesary to keep it in a healthy state where it can continue in a direction that keeps things new. Characters are people who are strong enough to lead skateboarding to a higher place, they are original and have the ability to inspire other skaters, but most of all they are the ones that say "hey this is lame, I don't wanna do things like this anymore i'm gonna do my own thing and it's gonna be fun" and people pick up on it.
That is what we are all about at Death and that is why you see alot of the people on the team that you do: Melcher, Richie, Moggins etc. Over the years there have been numerous examples of outstanding skaters with very little personality who have consequently not gone as far as they should have just because they didn't have that extra little something that kids could pick up on. That said I will leave you with a quote from Harvey Keitel: "Just because you are a character, doesn't mean you have character".

Hooked: Nice one

Hooked: How do you find new talent for the team, and what words of wisdom would you give to anyone breaking through and trying to get noticed?

We don't usually find the "talent" it finds us. 
Anyone trying to "get noticed" as it were, should be prepared to do a lot of traveling and get ready for a very long hard struggle.

Hooked: How did you start skating yourself, and what differences do you see between skating now and skating back then? 

I started skating in 1987 on a cheap low quality set-up from my mum's catalogue. I was hooked imediately and no matter how frustrated I got trying to learn tricks I just couldn't stop. As far as the differences between now and back then; everything was a lot more inocent back then.

Hooked: Where is your home town, and what is your favorite thing to skate there?

Myself and Dave Allen are both from a small Hertfordshire town called Ware.
My favourite thing to skate is seventies/early eightee's concrete skateparks and the streets, there isn't a great deal of either in Ware.

Hooked: If you could do a trick all day, which one would it be - and what are you learning at the moment?

My all day trick is of course a frontside grind... I'm still trying to learn street plants.

Hooked: What sort of music are you into.. we've heard you like Motown?

You heard right.

Hooked: What event do you look forward to each year? And do you prefer events that are film related or live jams + comps?

As much as events can be a real blast like Munster or Basel or even Skegness the other weekend, at this point in my life I have to say that I prefer having my own time to have a session somewhere I have chosen with just a few friends. Trips abroad with the team are even better.

Hooked: Was it a surprise to be asked to do Genex for Extreme Channel?


Hooked: Zorlac started Death and he gave you your first 'Cates is a c*nt' pro board - does that hang on your wall at home?

No, but my friend James still has one above his door.

Hooked: If you could change something about your life right now, what would it be?

I would have one of those gigantic vaults full of money like Scrooge McDuck.

Hooked: You must have been through some boards on the wild Death tours - what has been your favourite Death graphic?

The hollographic one with the target on it is probably my favourite because it started out as a simple sketch in one of my note books and ended up being a really bold graphic that sold out in a couple of weeks. Also later on I bought that book;"Disposable" and I saw a picture of a Lance Mountaindeck that never got released that had virtually the same graphic

Hooked: Do you create or have input on your own or the teams pro graphics?

Give or take one or two, I thought up all of my own graphics. Nick thinks up most of the other graphics though. He is a regular John Lucero when it comes to that.

Hooked: What pisses you off?

Normal people.

Hooked: Would you like to thank anyone?

I would like to thank all my true friends. The guys at the magazines who have helped me out time and time again and put up with me on trips and shoots-Ben Powell, Andy Horsely, Leo Sharp, Wig Worland, Chris Johnson, Percy Dean, Sam Ashley, Stephen King, Richard Giligan, Alex Irvine, Richard Hart, David Steel, Richie Hopson, Alexis Kembury, Will Linford, Matt Price, Joe Brook. Anyone who has ever filmed me; too many to mention. The Death team, Nick Zorlac, "Day Release", Jerome and chris Allen at Shiner, Birdo and Leticia at Consolidated and all my sponsors: Death skateboards, Vox, Ricta, Fury, Victory hardware, Motel-6 skateshop, Brimley, Eastpak, Mobgrip...If Ben Davis or New Era want to hook me up please feel free.
Hooked: Ha ha, good luck on that one.
Great to meet you, thanks for your time Dude!


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