London skateboard team Palace releases their eagerly anticipated new skate video ‘TRES TRILL’ filmed in Normandy. Working with VHS, the lo-fi style has become a synonymous trademark showcasing the super talented professional UK skateboarders they represent. Alongside the videos, their product range and design work is gaining a cult following and reputation outside the skate community. Palace founder Lev Tanju talks to us exclusively on the latest video and the hype around his young company, gaining as much attention for its super tight skate gang as it’s style.
Dazed Digital: How would you sum up Palace as a brand?
Lev Tanju: TRES TRILL.
DD: Vice & ASOS pinned you down as one of the most interesting people in London.
Lev Tanju: I think it’s really funny. There are other people I’d like to be pinned down by, to be honest.
DD: Where does the name come from?
Lev Tanju: We’ve got a skate gang called the PWBC, and the ‘P’ in that stands for the Palace. All the skate houses we’ve lived in over the years have been called the Palace.
DD: Do you have a background in filmmaking?
Lev Tanju: No not at all. I have more of a background in sitting at Southbank and skateboarding.
DD: What led to you using VHS?
Lev Tanju: I always used to buy VHS skate videos. When I started to film it was with industry-standard DV cameras, they kept glitching so I decided to dust off an old VHS camera I had bought off eBay a few years earlier and have a go with that. Instantly I just loved the way it looked.
DD: What is your most memorable moment from the Normandy shoot?
Lev Tanju: I got some really sick footage of one of the team buying weed at a skate spot. I filmed it from across the street when he wasn’t looking. You can see he’s really hyped on scoring and he does two amazing tricks right after it; all in one shot. I still feel like that was just the funniest shit ever. Just funny real life that wasn’t ever supposed to be caught on camera.
DD: What about the soundtrack?
Lev Tanju: The video’s called Tres Trill, so we used our favourite gangster rap songs with the word 'Trill' in them.
DD: How do you feel about non-skaters wearing skate-branded clothing?
Lev Tanju: I like it! There’s more to us all than just skateboarding. That’s our favourite thing ever but we like all sorts. I like people who wear whatever they want to wear and don’t give a fuck about anything.
DD: Is it okay for girls to wear Palace?
Lev Tanju: Oh my God fuck yeah it is, most definitely. I saw a girl wearing one of the T-shirts like a dress once. She looked good.
DD: Who would you love / hate to see in a Palace tee?
Lev Tanju: Haha! Good question. I’d love to see them being worn by any of the future riders I’m going to put on the team. And I’d hate to see them worn by, oh I don’t know, not that many people really. Tinie Tempa’s manager asked for some recently. I deaded that straight off. Nein!
DD: Have you seen the Celine fashion adverts with the skateboards? What do you make of the growing interest in skate boarding as a fashion reference and interest in its associated culture from a more mainstream audience?
Lev Tanju: Wow: I just Googled those Celine adverts. Errrm…I think they’re fucking terrible? Generally I think it’s great when there’s interest from more of a mainstream audience in skateboarding. I’ve met some of the best people in my life through skateboarding and it’s really made me the person I am. If a few really awful Celine adverts or whatever get more people into something that’s productive and fun then fuck it: I’m not opposed to skateboards being in shoots like that. The problem with the Celine shots is just that there’s a really ugly skateboard in them, really badly placed.
DD: Aside from your hometown London what other cities are unique for skateboarding?
Lev Tanju: New York and San Francisco are the two best I guess. They’re all unique for skateboarding. I mean: Baghdad’s unique for it, it’s just probably not that good.
DD: Can you tell us something uncool about yourself?
Lev Tanju: I really like The Only Way Is Essex.
DD: What happens when you not skating /designing/filming?
Lev Tanju: Right now I’m working on my C.V so I can get a job helping Celine out with their skateboard campaigns.
DD: Where do you see the future of Palace?
Lev Tanju: I just want to look after the team and always be about good street skateboarding and make nice stuff. Make things because we like them, not because we know they’ll sell. Then eventually I want to buy a Caribbean island, cover it with diamonds, dig it up and shoot it into the moon.
Text by Dimitra Sotirchos