We put out César Bijnens‘ part roughly two weeks ago now, and after it did the rounds, hitting number three on the Quartersnacks top 10 even. It is now time to talk about the full video. Better yet, we ended up talking to the video’s creator Pierre Alexandre about living in Brussels, going from phone footy to a real camera and how they found the title “FINE, GO SKATE WITH YOUR STUPID FRIENDS”. Enjoy!
Tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m Pierre I’m 28 years old and I live in Brussels with my girlfriend. I work in carpentry for a couple of years. I wanted to do something with my hands. I was a bit scared of getting out of my comfort zone but I’m so happy I did. Physically it is way harder than my previous job in a skateshop but I love it. Otherwise, I skate and I film as much as I can.
When did you start skating?
I was around 10/11 years old when I saw a guy on a skateboard passing by my street at full speed and he ollied up the sidewalk in front of me. I was so shocked, it was unreal. The way the board just stuck to his feet really impressed me. After that, I asked my godfather to get me a board for my birthday and he took me to a sports shop to buy one. For almost a year I just rode around without managing to do anything. I started skating seriously later on with Martin, a friend from school who lived in the same neighborhood as me. We were always skating this small parking close to home, those were some really good times.
When did you start filming for this project and with whom?
A little less than 3 years ago. In the beginning, there wasn’t really a concrete project, it started with big sessions with all the friends. I just wanted to film as many tricks as possible. César quickly had a lot more footage than the others so we spoke about releasing a part of his before the full video. Still, my goal was to do a video with all my friends in it. So, in the end, I asked him to wait a bit until I got more clips from the others. This was easier said than done… Jonathan and Victor already had some good tricks but it took some time until they got enough for a part. After all the filming it took me like 7-8 months to edit the thing.
“So sometimes sentences like “Fine, Go Skate With Your Stupid Friends” come out…”
Tell me about the title, how did it come about?
Like most skateboarders, we do not make a living from our passion, most of us have full-time jobs. Sometimes it is hard to find the balance between spending time on our boards and having quality time with our loved ones. Personally, it often happens that I cancel plans that I had with my girlfriend or my family just for a skate session. So sometimes sentences like “Fine, Go Skate With Your Stupid Friends” come out (laughs). I think that’s something a lot of skaters can relate to.
The crew is eclectic how did you gather all these people to be in your video?
I guess Brussels is eclectic, most people in the video live in the city, so we frequently skate together. Some guest tricks happened naturally, meeting people at the spot, in Brussels, or during a trip. Or it was friends of friends from friends… That’s skating, you meet new people all the time!
Tell me a bit about the scene in Brussels.
Brussels isn’t a big city. There are loads of skaters, everyone kind of knows each other, either closely or from a distance. Everyone’s got their crew or their favorite spot. It’s just a shame there’s no kick-ass skatepark where everyone can skate together. I mean, come on, it’s the capital of Europe, for real! So, during the week, everyone’s doing their thing at their own plaza scattered around the city. Then, on weekends, folks hit the streets or dip out of the city to find some rad park.
Brussels is a city that never sleeps when it comes to bars and night shops. There’s always some party going on, making it a bit tricky to find peeps ready to hit the streets on a Sunday. But that is life in the capital I guess.
This isn’t your first skate video, tell us a bit about your past work.
I have done some small stuff before, but nothing serious. It all really kicked off a few years back with Pablo (Six) when we were roommates. We were both injured, so we decided to grab the Death Lens app and a fisheye for the phone and started filming street shenanigans with our friends. We called it ‘NRVX.‘ We did two videos, “Bullshit” (2019) and “Négatif” (2021). The cool thing about the first two videos was that we filmed them on the phone; it was super easy. We had a little bag with the phone, a power bank, and the mini fisheye. Enough to go on a mission, no hassle. Then, through skating with Phillippe Mottet, who had already been making skate videos for a decade, I bought a proper camera so our footage would match. That’s also what got everyone pumped for the third video; sometimes a camera gives you that extra push to step up your game.
So, I kinda see this one as my first ‘real’ video. There was a lot more work and thought behind it, the level is way higher, and so is the level of filming. Plus, it got screened by the cultural center of the city at our homespot. So many people came to see the project we were really stoked, it was a sick night, very good vibe and of course very good afterparty. We made a little collaboration with « Rendez-Vous », a local brand created by friends, we made t-shirts and boards that will drop at the same time as the online release. All of that made this project way different from the first two videos.
“We split everything, feeling like Narcos, thanks Vinted…”
I need to know about the soundtrack. Tell me how you came to use those songs and tell me your general process of picking songs and how important that is to you.
It’s super important, I think, that the music vibes with the skater, their style, and their trick selection. But it’s also a matter of taste, so it’s always tricky to please everyone. For César’s first part, we really wanted a local track since everything was filmed in Brussels. Jacques Brel came up pretty quickly, and for the second part, it was a song César suggested, and I was on board right away. As for the rest, some of the riders suggested songs for themselves or others; that was cool and really helped me out. I tested out sounds I liked, I listened to a bunch of albums for this video. The problem was that when I got too immersed in it, it was hard to take a step back and figure out what worked or not. I changed my mind a lot of times. At the premiere, people seemed to like the result, so I’m happy!
Brussels is hard to skate, kick outs are often, and spots are rough. How is it being a skater in the EU capital?
It’s not the easiest city to skate, that’s true. First off, we don’t have the best weather. But it’s home, and we’re used to it. Luckily, we have Luxembourg Station, probably the most versatile spot in Brussels; it feels like you are in EA Skate 3 when you are skating that square. We also have a few plazas like Trone station or Place Morichar with super clean flat ground and homemade modules. Otherwise, street skating, we often get kicked out by locals or security guards. You gotta know the routines and the timeslots to have a decent session. That’s the game, and we love it that way too! There are loads of interesting and creative spots; you just gotta do some digging… and the ground is often filthy, there are cobblestones everywhere. But the city is renovating a lot at the moment, so we have some new cool spots and it looks like there will be plenty. Brussels isn’t huge and a lot of spots are close to each other, you can make an all-day session going from one spot to another in 5-10 minutes of skating, that’s really cool. However, we really lack a great outdoor skatepark. That’s a bit frustrating because these days great skateparks have popped up everywhere in Belgium, except in Brussels… It feels like the city just doesn’t care. In winter, Byrrrh&Skate saves us a bit. Thanks to Youssef, who’s been fighting alone for years to keep the only indoor skatepark in Brussels alive.
Any special stories you would like to share about your project (funny, sad, extreme)?
There are way too many; it’s hard to choose. But the first one that came to my mind is this one
We went on a trip to Malaga, and on the last day, we were chilling on a spot in the center when the guy with the whitest teeth I’ve ever seen showed up and tried to sell us some haschisch. We politely said no, and then he shrugged and said he was leaving that evening and didn’t have time. He dropped something at the feet of one of us who was sitting and left, greeting us. It was literally a brick. This thing apparently worth a lot, we went back to the Airbnb and tried to figure out how to bring it back to Belgium. So we managed to get it delivered to Belgium through a second-hand selling app! We made a sale from one to another to get a shipment label to my neighborhood’s post office. We dropped off the filled shoebox at the parcel point with Victor at 6 in the morning in Malaga, just before catching the plane. Then, we waited four days for the pair of shoes to be delivered to Brussels and went to pick it up. We had flattened the hashish into the insole of the shoes, and everything went smoothly! We split everything, feeling like Narcos, thanks Vinted, and the super white teeth dude!
(laughs) Ok, that was pure luck, we hope! Well thank you Pierre and we hope to see more of you in the future.
Thank you too.