The Flatmattersonline Pete Brandt Interview!

In my opinion, You couldn’t really script this story.. Who would have thought my childhood hero would organise a go fund me fundraiser to get me out to San Francisco and the One Love Jam.

Wait what????

How many would do this or even think about doing this for another rider? It is and was an amazing gesture. So much so I pinched myself at various points of the long flight over to SF. Is this really happening??

As Pete broke the news, aside from my initial disbelief, and thoughts of finally riding the clocktower and going to the One Love Jam. This was finally my chance after ten years of running Flatmattersonline to interview Pete and ask him all the things I was curious about over the years.

I first travelled to SF when I was seven years old with parents, then again at 14 years old and to compete for the X Games in 99, and 2000. The city definitely strikes a chord with me, it is my favourite place to travel in the world. So much history here, the bridges, all the different cultures, the views each way you look, the people, you can ride around Embarcardero and see all the famous skatespots just a throws away from the legendary Clocktower spot that Pete rides everyday, making the 40 minute BART commute from across the bay in Fremont.

I have met Pete numerous times over the years at contests across the globe, and even at the San Francisco X-Games twice which we discuss in the interview.
I haven’t however, hung out with Pete for any considerable amount of time, until this dream trip. I think it’s fair to say we got along so well I now consider Pete a close friend and we share a lot of the same music tastes, views on flatland, we both vibe off skateboarding, and best of all just a lot of laughs and good flatland sessions.
As I approach my 45th birthday in March, seeing Pete still going as hard as ever was a massive motivation to me “hey you can still do this and work a full time job and juggle family life with kids” and be an absolute monster to boot.

There are multiple layers to Pete’s life, which we cover in this interview. The term “legend” gets over used a lot, but Pete really is a flatland legend. And in fact as I now call it he is an “architect”. Pete has helped shape the spot/artform we all love, have you ever shove-it’ed mid trick, done a crackpacker, held a hitchhiker on the peg instead of tyre, used plastic pedals, use a freecoaster, these are all things Pete invented and made them popular and the list goes on.

The man deserves a BIG interview so much I can’t even stress this enough. Our sport/artform needs to respect the architects that shaped what we love today, and Pete is still going hard and infact I can almost guranteed he’s the last to read this and will be out shredding at the clocktower without a care in the world other than riding his bike and doing what he loves on the daily.

Over the years, I have met just about everyone in the flatland scene and Pete is the realist rider I have met. This guy eats, sleeps, and breathes flatland, and he totally gets it.

Grab a cuppa, and make some time to learn about one of the best riders to ever do it. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s do this, the Flatmattersonline Pete Brandt Interview! This is for all the hardcore riders out there, proud to bring this exclusive to the flatland scene.

Effraim Catlow / Flatmattersonline

23 thoughts on “The Flatmattersonline Pete Brandt Interview!

  1. True OG right here! From Ozone to your home! From 665 1/2 to Clock Tower Power Hour! DJ/Flatlander/Legend Stand Yo Azz up and Clap for Pete Brandt and I Pray for Team USA Olympics

  2. Absolutely LOVED this!! Thank you for doing this Effraim and thank you Pete for inspiring us all with your passion, skills, what you bring to our sport and amazing down to earth attitude.

    • Thanks a lot Mark for the props, really enjoyed putting this together. Was really an honour to do this, and worth the hardworking getting it done. Stoked people are into, I hope people will go back to this in the future.

  3. Rad interview. Big influence back in the day, and full throttle energy/enthusiasm/passion for riding inspiring still. Good job E!!

  4. I can still remember the issue of Go which had Pete’s bio and all the mods done to his bike. At that point we hadn’t even seen RealiTV yet, nor had we even heard of it.

    Warp ahead a few months and some riders from another city came to ride with us. They had a 3rd gen copy of RealiTV- which they left behind.

    I watched that video nearly every day for over a year. So much good stuff, but that whiplash to halfpacker Pete did was amazing and that junkyard perverted to switch foot gyrator he did was even more amazing. Like someone falling out of the sky on that one. So much force.

    Then I met more riders from another city, they too watched that video every day after getting a copy.

    That video was like a bible to us. We wanted to be just like them and even threw pickles at the roof when we went to McDonald’s. My one friend even started watching Streets of San Francisco because of that video, haha.

    After that I never knew what happened to Pete. He kind of just disappeared after RealiTV2- so it was really interesting to hear what really happened and how it brought him back to riding and harder than ever.

    I think in many cases, athletes can’t adapt once their time is over. So for Pete to put his big person pants on then could only be viewed as a huge plus. It clearly worked out in his favour seeing how his daily life is.

    So much of what he said I could relate to in my own life. The doing tricks his way, co-existing with the skaters and street life as well as eating pretty much just once a day were all part of my daily routine throughout the years.

    I think a lot of us can really relate to what Pete is saying because he’s a real rider and always has been. Very generational to say the least.

    I just think it was a very humble interview considering yet extremely sincere and very well thought out throughout. This really helped get to know Pete better I believe.

    Much respect Pete, always.

    Great work Effraim.

    • Hell yes Cory! Totally agree with everything you say and can relate to that a lot also. Really appreciate the respect and love taking the time to comment in detail like that.

      Im getting into this editing malarky, that was my first proper long edit. Worth the effort. Thanks also to everyone who has commented.

  5. I recall showing an old friend who I used to be on a flat team with back in the 80s a vid of Pete a couple of years ago. He asked me if this was the same Pete Brandt from back when we were young. I said it sure is!

  6. Just wanted to the time to say thank you all for the kind words and taking the time watching the interview. Effraim and I had an awesome time developing the interview and I’m really stoked you guys enjoyed it, means a lot to me. Words cannot begins to express my appreciation and all the love we continue to share in this awesome sport and art form. Much love and respect!!

  7. As Cory stated, the guy’s relatability is through the roof. My parents are absolutely amazing people, but have zero respect or appreciation for flatland or bmx in general. It’s basically viewed as a childish activity in their eyes. So I totally vibe with the having love for your parents, but also having to accept little to no support in terms of riding. Maybe other people have folks like Mathias described in his interview with Lionel, and can’t relate to loving something so much, but those close to you couldn’t care less.

    Co-existing with the skaters and other local characters. Fully! Any spot I’ve ever held down for a while, those relationships of mutual respect naturally develop. Where one party observes the other regularly shredding, cleaning up, not tolerating shit behavior and activities that impede riding/skating progression. This is essential when you ride in an environment where you got to look over your shoulder.

    Also, the way Pete describes “the feeling of hitting your tricks”. This is so true, once you feel that, it’s another level of satisfaction that can’t be synthesized. If it could be, we’d have the armchair athlete screamin at the game on TV masses fully addicted to it. I’m sure it’s this feeling that pushes everyone who rides to go ride again. Some more than others, but it’s undeniable that it’s there. When you feel it, there’s nothing like it.

    To clock hours on the bike like that, and hold your life together in a way that you can move it forward in a positive direction demands respect. Props Pete, I look up to that kind of shit. Thanks for putting in the thousands upon thousands of hours.

    Thank you again for doing the interview, both Pete and Effraim. Pure excellence.

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