INVESTIGATING BRANDON WESTGATE

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While most 24 year olds are still figuring out “what they wanna be” and lazily sharing Buzzfeed articles on Facebook, Brandon is handling business. He might not be able to tell you the best way to download a song but he can cut down trees, fix a lawnmower or build an entire house. He makes our generation look like a bunch of internet dependent whiners. Over the last 5 years, the dude has produced 4 full length video parts, and I’m not talking those new bullshitty, 2:00 minute throwaway internet “parts”. Strictly full length, ender deals, accumulating more quality footage than many pros have in their entire lives. He reminds me a bit of a Jeremy Wray type: “normal” looking, mellow humble dude with no stupid gear or cheesy gimmicks, but when he gets on a skateboard he performs miracles.

Boxers or tighty whities?
Tighty whities all day.

Have you ever landed on your nuts skating a handrail?
Oh yeah, definitely.

You piss blood?
Luckily a lot of times I almost see it coming and it hits me first on the inner thigh then nuts me up. Nothing to the point of pissing blood. The last time I sacked pretty badly was in the Emerica video, where I ollied over the handicap bar and boardslid up another rail right after. One time I didn’t even take my board with me and basically jumped up the second rail and sacked myself. Since it was going up and my board wasn’t with me, I tried to lie down a bit so I didn’t nut as badly. I think that was the worst one in a while.

Have you ever heard of a pro skater wearing a cup?
Nah.

Is that just a myth?
I don’t know. I think a cup would be pointless though because a lot of times you fall straight down on the rail, so even if your balls are up in a cup, you’re still getting it in your grundle and ass. You’re still slamming your grundle bone right into the rail. The cup could pinch skin around there too.

That sounds even worse.
Yeah.

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I interviewed Jeremy Klein and he said he took you to a stripclub & got you drunk when you were 16. Do you remember?
Yeah, that was not a good moment. That was in Japan, Jeremy was just like a crazy guy the whole time. I was pretty young so I was just going for it I guess [laughs]. Jeremy was just doing a bunch of crazy shit, he would go out late at night and lie down next to bums and stuff and film it. He had like a whole separate life over there, it seemed like he went there a lot. Another time Jeremy started talking to this random dude on the train, and got him to drink a couple beers. The dude didn’t really even want to drink and his face was getting super red. He’s like, “oh no, no more!” but next thing you know, Jeremy is getting him another 2 beers. Jeremy just has a crazy outgoing personality and knew a lot of people.

You seem pretty mellow now. Was there ever a point where you had more of a party lifestyle or were more reckless?
Not really, for some reason I kind of just like being at home, on the east coast. I would party with everyone but not really go to the bars all the time. I think like, where I grew up, it’s not really like that here. It was always like people partying in their sheds or whatever. In high school we’d just party with friends and do dumb shit. We made this underground fort in the woods, and even took this old wood stove and hooked it up in there so we could hang out in the winter and stay warm. I think when I was old enough to go to the bars or whatever, I just wasn’t that hyped on it anymore.

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You went on tour with 5boro when you were super young, Do you think you got your fill early?
Yeah I think so. Also Steve Rodriguez would always take care of me and be like, “Dude you see that? You don’t wanna be like that guy.” Just pointing out people being retarded and stuff and he was always a really big influence because my mom would always want to make sure I wasn’t getting in trouble and drinking. He was pretty good at taking care of me.

If I was a parent I don’t think I’d be stoked on my 13 year old going on tour with a bunch of 20 – 30 year old skaters.
Yeah. When I talk about it with my mom she said they were all nervous, because I was never the kid that would like stay over at people’s houses or anything. I was pretty homebody or whatever you wanna call it. She didn’t think I was actually gonna make it through the whole tour. I just like the comfort of my own space. If you’re at someone else’s house it’s just awkward sometimes, like going in the fridge or whatever.

You are a vegetarian & make a lot of juice mixes, what is a good one to recommend to skaters?
I always make a green apple, celery, lime, and mint drink. It’s magical.

Why don’t you have an Instagram or any social media?
I think at this point I’m just too far behind the times. I’m just over it, by the time I get Instagram there’s gonna be some other bullshit. Zoo York was doing this Facebook fan page thing for me, but I felt like it was kinda dumb because people thought they were talking to me directly but no one ever responded to them and then I’d goto demos and people would be asking me about it and I wouldn’t even know what they were talking about.

So what do you do on the internet? I feel like there’s nothing to do without social media…
Yeah I know, that’s what I always think! I’m like what the fuck do people do on the Internet all the time? I guess they are just checking their Instagram and stuff. I don’t know, I’ll go on and check stuff like Thrasher, Berrics, Skateboard Mag, and like that’s pretty much it.

Typical week how often do you go on the computer?
Maybe like twice. I never know what to do on there! Maybe I’ll Youtube something to learn how to fix something I’m working on or Google. That’s pretty much all I use the internet for.

So you don’t use it for internet porn?
I thought you had to pay a subscription..

Nah.

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In another interview, they asked you for your 5 top bands and you said you didn’t have a top band. Do you not listen to music?
Yeah not really, I’ve never really been that big into music but it seems like every trip I go on there’s like a certain song or band everyone is hyped on. I’ll usually like whatever they are listening to, that’s pretty much where I get my music from. It almost becomes like a theme song. For instance we went on an Emerica trip recently and the “theme song” was Paul Simon – Obvious Child. We’d listen to it everytime we got in the van, and after that I just bought the album and listened to it all the time because I was hyped on it. Leo would always play the Avett brothers, this one album, so I just downloaded all of their albums too.

So you got an iTunes right? How many songs you think you got on there?
I don’t know maybe like 500 or something. Sometimes I make stupid purchases before I get on the plane. Last time right before the plane was boarding, I just downloaded this one album and it was all acoustic guitar. I just typed in acoustic guitar I was just trying to find, I dunno, some underground shit or something. I thought it would have some people like, jamming out, but it’s literally like 40 songs of just people playing really soft mellow guitar. Now I just listen to it to fall asleep on the plane.

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You’ve traveled all over the place, where have kids most been psyched to see you?
We just recently went to Argentina, that was crazy, the kids there just maul you. Fucking, get you in a circle, touch your head, scream and freak out. It’s like nothing I’ve seen before. You don’t know what they are saying and they are just putting papers in front of you to sign. When we went with Emerica in 2012 we had security guards, which we totally needed. With Zoo we didn’t have them and went to skate with the kids and I have never have seen that many kids in one area tying to skate.

We were just getting surrounded, so after a while we left to the parking garage but the kids broke into it and followed the van. Half the crew got split up, Chaz was somewhere else and I made it back to the van with Dave. We were driving around and the kids were banging on the windows, licking the windows, we couldn’t get rid of them [laughs]. It was in the city and we kept hitting red lights so right when we thought we were getting away, they’d catch right back up, and they kept seeing us and wouldn’t quit. They chased us down the road for miles.

You sign somebody’s forehead before?
Yeah… maybe?

You sign some tits and asses?
Nah, not that.

Do you like being skate famous? Does it do anything for you, being recognized?
I’m stoked in a way because all the video parts I work on, I put a lot of time and energy and effort into them. So it’s always nice when people are like, “Hey that was a sick video part!” That’s always a good feeling.

How often do people say you look like Dewey from Malcom In The Middle?
All the time. I used to play basketball when I was in middleschool or whatever and went to a basketball camp thing and that was like my nickname.

Are you bummed on it?
No, I don’t really care. Actually it’s funny because my dogs name is Dewey too. I couldn’t think of name for him and my dad was like, we’ll just call him Dewey, that kinda was my nickname and with Malcolm In The Middle, like, fuck it [laughs].


Words: Ian Michna
All Photography courtesy of Emerica
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Comments

  1. zanzibartchaikovsky:

    fuck, dude is like ghandi next to me.

  2. howard stern:

    “Tighty whities all day.”
    best westgate interview yet!

  3. mountain dewey:

    his style puts nyjah to shame

    haha he called his dog dewey

  4. Roberta Flack.:

    What’s up with the big style change in his latest pro shoe?

  5. The dirty skippah:

    Wareham’s finest right here
    And he never forgets his home land.

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