10 Years, 10 Questions - Garden Skateboards x Welcome Skate Store
10 Years, 10 Questions - Garden Skateboards x Welcome Skate Store
10 Years, 10 Questions
As we celebrate our 10 year anniversary we've hit up a few brands from across skateboarding and put together some new collaborative collections.
After setting in motion the More Information Promo last year Garden Skateboards quickly began to be a favourite choice for ourselves and locals alike. The 'Dave' collection encapsulates Talking Heads head honcho David Byrne with a £5 donation going to the National Autistic Society from every item.
Headed by Kieron Forbes Garden Skateboards showcases the Edinburgh scene as well as other hidden talents in Scotland. We took a few minutes of their time to ask them the all important set amount of 10 questions.
1. Why/When did you start More Information/Garden?
In earnest probably around the end of 2016, it was something me and Miles (Kondracki) had joked about, talked about, thrown names about, for quite a bit. I had been doing a company called Harvest with our friend Jamie Johnson and that had ran its course. Jamie and I had other creative pursuits we wanted to focus on, so naturally things lead to doing Garden.
'Why did we start doing Garden?' is a good question that I ask myself a lot haha. Genuinely because I think my friends and artists that I like are worthy of attention and often it feels like things can be too considered in my day to day life. With Garden we just try to do what we want rather than thinking too much about what other people will 'like' or think.
For example I couldn't find a Kate Bush t-shirt I wanted to wear, so I made one.
2. How many people told you it would be a bad idea to start a skateboard company?
Do you know how Pi as in '3.14' goes on forever but we just write 3.14 because it's easier.
3. Who rides for Garden?
Miles Kondracki, Rory Muirhead, Cameron Lenton, George Horler, Neil Kellas who is about to have a great North mag interview, we've been sorting out top geezer Billy Wells with some boards as well as our pal Dunder (Scott Anderson).
Basically all people that are much cooler than I am and make me feel pretty god awful at skateboarding.
4. Where's the number one tourist spot in Edinburgh?
I'm meant to say the Castle, but you could miss that and not regret it. Arthur's Seat early or late is a must.
If you're with us it's likely you'll end up at the Mosque Kitchen which is sort of a right of passage in Edinburgh skateboarding. When old Bristo Square was around the Mosque was a 'go-to' for cheap food and good chat. Most of us involved with Garden have kept going ever since, our filmer and decent scran sherpa JJ Jabbar would more than likely take you there if you visited.
5. What's the number one skate spot in Edinburgh?
Old Bristo Square around 2008 at 3pm. Nowadays whatever scheme has the worst bank spot.
6. What's the deal with David Byrne?
Man Burny-D is the coolest. Most folk don't know he was born in Scotland. When I was in the first year of High School we had double music one day and our teacher played us the 'Stop Making Sense' film by Johnathan Demme. That lesson sort of stuck with me because at the age of 12 for a teacher to be so clearly into a band, but also to be like "Watch this it's important." is memorable. That's a hard one to explain to your boss an hour and forty minutes of David Byrne wearing a big suit.
To be serious though I hadn't really switched on to the whole art school rock thing and that really cemented it for me...well actually no I moved schools the next year and brought up the Talking heads to my new teacher who promptly told me they were "talentless" so that endorsement probably made me love them more.
7. What's the best Talking Heads song?
There's all the obvious ones that you're a liar or trying to be a cool guy if you say you don't love, 'Psycho Killer' I'm never going to be mad at that. I don't have a definitive favourite but lately I keep going back to 'Life During Wartime', also 'This Must Be The Place' was played at my wedding so that's always going to be important.
8. Who's produced art and graphics for you so far?
Some of the best people have produced work for us and frankly they are our mates and that's a big part of it, Harry Whitelock, Jack Fletcher, Elliot Snowman, Cameron Lenton, Chris Coatham and myself too. I think we are guilty of just going to friends but at the same time those friends have all never made skateboard graphics and it's a solid argument, it's opened them up to many more people.
I would love to work with more people and the plan is eventually to do open calls for artwork, as well as working with the shops that stock us to make suggestions based on locals and artists they admire.
9. What's the future for Garden?
Honestly keeping things tight and clean, I really just want the product to be the best it can be which is pretty tough when this is essentially a side project and our spending power is maybe 10 spaces behind the guy in front of us. I've been joking about setting up a UK board company co-op although I don't think anyone would go for it.
It would be the best to make some more beautiful things and that is on the horizon. It's about having some sort of bedrock where we can be adventurous with our decisions. We just need some old Edinburgh art benefactor to fund us! We're definitely keen to make some really nice rugs or an amazing jacket, actually there's no end to good ideas. Who knows what's next?
10. Is Garden a Scottish, British or European brand?
That's a really interesting question. I think about it like this; growing up skating I could easily travel to mainland Europe and instantly make connections. That freedom coupled with skateboardings lack of cultural borders made me feel quite free almost like we had it figured out and everyone else was blowing it.
Lately be that due to politics or the pandemic my own personal world seems stunted and that's upsetting because despite whatever was going on it seemed like that undercurrent that wasn't going away. I don't think Garden is anything other than a skateboard company and doesn't need geographic definition, the amount of times we've vetoed making various products because they were too "Scottish" is untold. This is an annoying statement but not invalid, you can act locally and impact globally and by that I mean we can keep doing our own thing in our corner and still be relevant to someone on the other side of the world.
If someone is buying a deck or a piece of our clothing just because we are A,B or C then we should probably call it a day.
Shop the collection here
More from Garden Skateboards here
Learn about the work of the National Autistic Society here