(Interview by El Gallito somewhere late November 2020 – pictures by Switn)

Lockdown 2 had just started and I took the time to interview Fries Taillieu. Fries grew up in Lauwe (West-Flanders), he’s 31 and skating since he was 12 years old.  A Zumiez/Rampaffairz/SBQ soldier who had sponsorships among others from Analog, Gravis, Afends clothing, Ratata Skateboards…  and even his very own shoe colorway on Globe shoes! Now he lives  in Amsterdam with his girlfriend.

Listen to Fries Taillieu’s guest mix for Curtains, broadcasting on Tuesday 26.01.21 from 18h till 19h CET via wearevarious.com

EG: “Hey Fries, what’s up? How are things going in A’dam for the moment? Covid/Lockdown … what’s the situation?

FT: “All good, thank you. Things are pretty strange with all this stuff going on in the world these days. The rules over here are a bit more loose than in Belgium I’ve noticed. More laidback with the mouth mask, slightly larger amount of people that can come into your house and all that. All of the restaurants are closed though, which has been my source of income for the last two years. The flipside of it is that I have a lot of time to do the stuff that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.”

EG: “From your stories and our interaction on Instagram I’ve noticed you buy a lot of records lately and it’s a wide variation of genres… Can you tell me more about that?”

FT: “Yes – Definitely been trying to buy more and more records but the collection is still fairly small tbh. Quality over quantity is of much importance to me. I do love a lot of different genres, very curious about all sorts of music, but I would say that right now Chicago house, trance, dub techno and roots reggae get played most often. Lots of Malinese afro too.”

EG: “So you dig a lot of music.  Where do you buy your records?”

FT: “Most of my records are coming from Rush Hour or Discogs. Very, very addictive. 50-50 between new and secondhand I’d say. Still discovering new record places as well. I’m taking my time.”

EG: “Any plans of dj’ing? :-)”

FT: I’m very new to mixing vinyl (mixing in general really) and I’m trying to learn as I go. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and practice – building enough confidence to dj in front of people. But I’m all up for it – I’m obsessed with music!

EG:”Any favorite dj’s? Influences?”

FT: “Favorite DJ’s… Larry Levan rip, Frankie Knuckles rip, Omar S, DJ Koze, Andy Weatherall rip, Kerri Chandler, Leon Vynehall, Ferro, Moodymann, DJ Sneak, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Antal, Roza Terenzi, LNRDCROY. Very, very impressed with David August’s en Nicolas Jaar’s NYC Boiler Room from a while ago.

On a side note, I can call myself lucky to have Fred Kramer as my brother in law. This guy has a deep record collection and is well respected within his niche. He showed me a lot of soul, funk, afrobeat, highlife, rebetika and all kinds of obscure world music that I would never have discovered if it wasn’t for him. In all the years I have known him, his selections have been nothing short of impeccable and he deserves more recognition. He’s one of the founders of Radio Martiko and recently started his own label called Souma Records. Keep an eye on it, he’s your man for eclectic sounds. My sister and him do events together where she takes the stage as a bellydancer. The unique thing about it is that she makes her own costumes and focuses on a total different genre of accompanying music.

Influences? Too much to write down here but i’d say AFX and Boards of Canada really shaped my interest in music. Analogue Bubblebath genuinely changed my life, S/O to Lanne & Dirkie ;). I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a clean copy recently.


EG: “I found a playlist recently with songs you selected for Globe – “Around the World”?  What’s up with that?”

FS: “My Teammanager over at Globe Europe asked me to do a playlist for their Spotify “Around the world..”. I guess I liked how that sounded. It’s not necessarily a continental mash-up of genres. I love every single track on that list – every song is intertwined with some kind of a memory. Waylon Jennings’ version of ‘Crying’ was playing on the way to every skate spot back when I was filming for my Hi-Tide part. A lot of the footage is at night and the song just goes so well with that.” 

EG: “Since this is a “skateboard-soundtrack” show I have to ask you… What music did you listen to growing up as a skater? Bands you got to know through skateboarding/skate life/touring..etc” 

FT: “Thankfully I have a dad that loves the Blues. That’s one of the genres I grew up skating with and have come to appreciate it a lot, especially when I got a little bit older. Raw Delta Mississippi stuff. So many subgenres within that range too. Also Sister Rosetta Tharpe comes to mind. “Didn’t it rain” is phenomenal. I recommend everyone to go check that out on YouTube, the live 64′ version at the train station. If only I could have been a part of that audience.

Most of my time was spent in skateparks and on the streets. I have always been really into downtempo, breakbeat and ambient kind of stuff, because it calms my mind and gives me focus. So, video’s like “Menikmati” were a blessing to me: Amon Tobin, Air. Nobody – Green Means. First time I heard that track on Ronnie’s part was like.. Damn how can everything melt together so perfectly. The phone conversation, song gliding in, the backtail combo’s and mirror lines, fishing hat with the baggy pants.

Bands? Dinosaur JR, Fugazi, The Adolescents, Cleaners from Venus, Pavement, Stone Roses, Blur, Tool, The Centurians, Siouxsie, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth, Balthazar, Absynthe Minded, Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, Severed Heads, The Cure, Kraftwerk, …” 

EG: “What are some of your favourite skate parts/videos/skaters…?”

FT:“Arto is a straight legend, Bobby De Keyzer – “Bob”, AVE in “Mindfield”, Andrew Reynolds in Birdhouse “the End”, Heath in “Sight Unseen” and this youtube vid called “The Legend of Tom Penny” with all kinds of Penny footie… Also everything that Tiago Lemos produces is mindblowing!  As mentioned above I like that ambient-downtempo kind of steez from Es “Menikmati”,  411VM Europe, Transworld vids like “Modus Operandi”. That rawness from Zero, Toy Machine and Baker. Alien Workshop and Habitat vibes… Too many to mention.”

EG: “Did the music shape you as a skater?  Did you choose all music yourself for your video parts?”

FT: “I guess as a rail skater you get pushed in a certain music category. Regardless I was able to choose most of the songs in video parts. Song choices mirror personalities in my opinion so I always put some thought in selecting tracks. At the same time your hands are tied because obviously IDM is not going to work on a skate part.”

EG:”Besides music and “hanging”/ work etc.. How’s skateboarding?! What up with Globe/other sponsors?  Any plans for the future?”

FT:”The shove-it nose grind revert forever loops in my brain, Galle! I miss the skatepark at times. Especially the Friday nights with all the locals. Next to my parents, Zumiez was my second upbringing. Forever gratefull for the good times and memories that you, Maarten and David have given us as a team throughout the years. I hope I can make it soon enough after all this Covid misery ends.

Skateboarding has not been a priority for the last 2 years in all honesty. Had some personal stuff going on in my life and I was a bit fed up with putting all my energy towards one thing only. I’ve been working full time as a cook, a job that’s very demanding but rewarding. It’s cool to explore different interests.

I have to give it to Globe for the relentless support. I remember getting my first pair from Hans Claessens. After a few different shoe sponsors I landed back with them, so it became full circle. A few months ago they released my part that had some older footage in it and I got a lot of positive feedback from that. Slowly getting back into skating now though :). You know it’s good when you feel like a kid again.”

Upful! Take care Fries and see you soon.