Isolation Station: Brian Anderson

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Brian Anderson by Ryan Flynn

 

Our Isolation Station feature continues to roll, during these uncertain times some distraction has definitely been welcome. We have enjoyed many different tangents from past contributors and aim to keep bringing you these recommendations from our favourite skateboarders which may have an impact on your life like it has on theirs.

It was amazing to have the opportunity to check in with Brian Anderson out on the East Coast. Our conversation found Brian house sitting out in New Jersey, a temporary retreat from life in Queens. He gave a chunk of his morning to speak about his Isolation Station picks and what is happening right now on the other side of the pond. His thoughtful choices offer escape and opportunities for reflection. It was a pleasure to hear Brian talking about everything, he answered all of my questions and more without them needing to be asked and shared so much more than just his selection.
 


 
SANTA CRUZ: SPEED FREAKS
 
Speed Freaks, this came out in 1989. Was this the first video you saw?

No I think one of the first videos I saw was, it was really out of order. I might have seen a Bones Brigade video, or a friend of mine had a Vision Street Wear ramp contest that was also sponsored by Swatch maybe and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers played on the deck, I can’t remember. I didn’t have a VCR when I was kid, my parents didn’t have the money to buy something like that nor did they want to. I think one of the first videos that sticks in my mind is actually Hokus Pokus so again an H-Street video is way later than Bones Brigade obviously but a friend of mine who had a ramp in his yard had Speed Freaks and a few other videos so I remember watching it sitting down in front of his television then I had a few other friends who eventually had copies of it.

I liked it because I already liked Wheels of Fire and I was super into Natas and even Julien honestly and so many people. I looked at Youtube to rewatch it cos I don’t own it and of course it’s all chopped up but it came right back to me. I really loved Eric Dressen’s part, I remember loving all these long powersldes he does.

He does those sick fakie powerslides too.

Yeah he does and it’s this long lens angle of him bombing down this hill in Los Angeles and then you hear him ollie and I remember all my friends and being like “ listen to the time he is in the air” we were all like “oh my god this guy is amazing”. He slides some handrails in there in LA. he skated a miniramp, he probably does some salad grinds, his signature move. Some roll out manuals, he does a 360 frontside lien I remember and he’s just flowing through the streets as well. Again, I refreshed and watched it again, I don’t remember everything by heart but there’s a funny clip where he backside 180’s down some stairs in Venice by the beach and this guy is like “ do you think you can make a living skateboarding?” And I remember me and my friends being like yeah idiot, that’s what these guys are doing in this video. We didn’t aspire to becoming professional but as a kid it’s so funny, little does that guy know it’s ERIC DRESSEN!

Then of course Neil Blender, I didn’t know everything about how great and cool Neil Blender was at that time. My friends would show me stuff, I don’t know if it’s Ohio Skate Out but they were like “he spray paints the wall during his run, this guy is super interesting”. But I loved his part, he skates to Dinosaur Jr and he’s skating that backyard ramp, I don’t know whose it was. I’m sure someone like Grosso would, they all know everything about these things in these videos. I loved that it was like this two and a half foot tall ramp with vert. He does a pivot and knocks his head on the car port roof. My friends and I we had limited space. My friend a had a little warehouse space behind his house and we built a three foot ramp with vert. We thought it was so cool, that’s all the space we’ve got, we’re going to make one just like they have. So it was super influential.
 

My friends and I we had limited space. My friend a had a little warehouse space behind his house and we built a three foot ramp with vert. We thought it was so cool, that’s all the space we’ve got, we’re going to make one just like they have. So it was super influential

 
I was super into Tom Knox. Me and my friends growing up, we could find a double sided curb and we could go and wax something up. We ended up having a few double sided curbs. I was really into no comply’s at the time of course and I learned nollie smith grinds, I still do them to this day, I probably really picked up on half of the stuff that Tom Knox did so he was another one.

Then the whole Natas section.

With the frontside flip

Yeah when Natas has black hair and he’s doing demos. Then when I watched it the other night I realised that he’s at Lansdowne, the skate park in Washington D.C area in Maryland. Then he’s skating school yards in Los Angeles again. It was great and then Mike Valley of course, he had the double tail, I guess you would call it the double tail, the Barn Yard board and he’s skating to Dinosaur Jr. obviously. The whole feel of that video was great, the music was great. It was also really cool to see Jeff Phillips again because he is a tall guy, and I never learned inverts in my life and to this day I still want to get knee pads and a helmet and try and learn some vert tricks.

Just great and there’s some wild cards in there like the guy holding onto he car, pardon me for not knowing his name. Scott Oster doing G Turns, just a wide variety of people, it was cool. I loved Powell videos because my friends had them but you get a Speed Wheels video and there’s so many people from different board companies, that’s why it was so cool so yeah, I love that video.

Kids should watch this…

Yeah it’s really good for kids to watch because I tell ya, Tom Knox. He is just skating whatever ledges he has and doing ollie to nosepick. Ollie to pivot to tail block and blunt to pivot to forward on a curb. Those are things that are accessible even if you are learning to skate to this day, you get to see him tic taccing. Watching him, and it’s not even cheesy to say this, it’s true, the guy is really at one with his board. He is really skating street and in place.

If somebody doesn’t have access to a skate park you could hit up a little cinder block in your yard and try a blunt to pivot to pop out forward and really get used to getting in and out of things, blunts and tail blocks and ollie to tails. Then if you learn to drop in and start skating a ramp you can take all of those curb tricks to a mini ramp and then they’re you go, that starts your path. So yeah kids should definitely watch the video, it’s a cool roots of street skating, vertical and there might even be some freestyle in it who knows.

There is. Joe Humeres has a few seconds of freestyle in there.

Yes! Joe Humeres, wow who did he skate for?

Ah, I don’t know.

It wasn’t Toxic, I can’t remember. I’m not going to google it, I’m going to try and use my brain power. I’m going to write his name down, this is great.

[Joe Humeres was pro for Walker]
 

 
JAY ELECTRONICA. A WRITTEN TESTIMONY
 
Jay Electronica, was this an easy pick? Is it something you’re listening to a lot right now?

Yeah it was when it came out. It came out on Friday 13th March. I had come home from Tampa and it was nice. I was supposed to have an art show in Manhattan on April 15th so before Tampa in December, January and February I had been working on my paintings. This was going to be my first real art show that wasn’t what people would call a “skart’ show you know. I realised that I had picked up a lot of ability to paint, skill from my father and my grandfather. I have some of my father’s works and one of my grandfather’s. So one focal point of the show I was going to do, the centre piece was going to be a painting my grandfather did and it was going to feature six of my fathers and I had done about ten paintings, I had been working really hard on that, focused all winter.

So after Tampa I came back to New York and I was on the bus going down to New Jersey, out to the house to paint by myself in solitude. I was listening to NPR and they recommended that record. I had heard a lot about Jay Electronica and I’ll be honest with you I didn’t have the same information and following that a lot of my friends did. So I get to the house, get off the bus and I buy it on iTunes and I just loved it immediately. Modern hip hop is just so filled with autotune, I don’t want to sound like an old bitter man but a lot of every song I hear when someone drives by me in the car is the exact same beat, the same movement with how the lyrics come out. Songs built for the instant environment we live in, these quick club catch songs where the lyrics disappear into the autotune. I’m not a huge fan of that. I mean I grew up on Lil Wayne though and I can still hear his voice through the autotune so with him I dig it because I just like Wayne you know, liked him since he was 14 or 15

So I started listening to this and I grew up listening to De La Soul, that’s the first hip hop band that really made me enjoy hip hop because I was a heavy metal kid. So to listen to this Jay Electronica record, I hear his enthusiasm for these precious precious samples and beats. It’s really interesting to hear his influence from him being muslim and all of these islamic references. I was listening to this entire album in total silence for the whole night. There’s a song called “The Blinding” featuring Travis Scott and I just thought, he’s barely even on the track. You wouldn’t even know it was his voice because it’s actually kind of autotuned out. I thought that was sort of brilliant of Jay Electronica to throw a name on this record of someone who is very popular in hip hop and you can hardly hear the guy. It’s a brilliant and not so subtle way to attract a listener. You’re attracting a listener with a current star but you barely use his voice.

Also the fact that Jay-Z is all over this record with absolutely no credit. He has credits in the end when they mention the writers but it doesn’t say in the track title “featuring Jay-Z”. It just doesn’t say that and I think wow he’s that gnarly that he’s gonna be all over something with no credit. Of course he is because it’s the record label he founded but it really says something about somebody’s success/ ego to be all over something and not put their name in parenthesis, I think that’s so cool of Jay-Z. So it’s also about Jay-Z, I really wasn’t a fan of his style of rapping growing up. I was a more of a Wu Tang or Tribe Called Quest guy or Gang Starr you know.

On that note if you read about this record and the history of Jay Electronica’s career, they compare him and his style to Kool G Rap and Guru. He has a strong deep voice like Guru. It was this thing, this record that hardcore fans, and I am now one of them but I wasn’t till I heard this record, were waiting 13 years for this.

This is his first proper studio album right? Before that just a mixtape and single tracks or appearances.

Yeah it is. It’s interesting, there’s something else we’ll talk about when we get to my documentary choice. The last track is called “A.P.I.D.T.A” which stands for All Praise Is Due To Allah. That whole song when you listen to it, it’s right in there. They are rapping and speaking about losing someone, having their messages in your phone, listening to them when you miss someone. That’s a really interesting part of our modern experience with these cellphones.

 

They are rapping and speaking about losing someone, having their messages in your phone, listening to them when you miss someone. That’s a really interesting part of our modern experience with these cellphones

 

He talks about screen shotting text messages so he’ll always have it.

Yeah and it’s such a great ending to this record. The record is full of really strong, powerful, fast beats and samples and incredibly crafted rhymes. Then it just ends with this sleepy tune, reminiscing about lost loved ones, it’s quite beautiful in my opinion. It’s just great after so many peoples records. I have no problem with people rapping about their jewellery or their choice of drink or the women they like or the cars they’re into. That’s cool man, that’s a type of hip hop but I was so stoked to hear this well thought out beautiful record.

I just want to say one last thing. People can say what they want about social media and Instagram. Half the time I find it to be completely overwhelming but it is a great tool for people who are trying to become and artist or a photographer, whatever it may be. I repeat this often now because I heard the artist Todd Francis say it, it’s a free billboard. Anyone who says screw Instagram that’s stupid, I get it but I don’t think that way. It has frustrated me, a year after Instagram started it began frustrating me. But on that note there’s a track on the album called “Flux Capacitor” and Jay-Z says something which I’m so intrigued by.

I’ve even done this on Instagram myself. Somebody passes away and it’s almost this therapeutic thing to say I miss you and I love you. But there are some people who do it to where it’s almost like this race to say “ I knew them and blah” it’s like this contest. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite because I do it myself but jeez I really do miss that person. But sometimes, when you can’t talk to someone, maybe that is this new form of saying goodbye.

But in that song Jay-Z says “when I die, please don’t tweet about my death”. It’s not about how many likes you are going to get, you can’t go and hug my mum. I just thought hell yeah man that’s true. There are some people when someone passes away and they post it and you think, you didn’t even know them. And it shouldn’t be like that you know, you shouldn’t be bitter. Because maybe they did really admire that person, and maybe that is their way of kind of saying goodbye and having a little peace. But I just thought that was such a cool lyric, when I heard “when I die, please don’t tweet about my death” I thought heck yeah, that’s really cool Jay-Z. I just wanted to highlight that.
 

 
THIS AMERICAN LIFE
 
Next you picked This American Life. Tell us the premise of this podcast hosted by ira Glass…

There is a new one every Sunday. I remember a long time ago on a drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco with Eric Anthony and Aaron Meza. Aaron said to me “do you ever listen to this American life?” And I said no and he said “Oh Bri I think you’re going to like it”. So we listened to one and it’s great. If you enjoy having a bit of an imagination and you don’t have a ton of things on your mind you’re able to shut part of your mind off for an hour. It’s a great escape. So I’ll tell you why it has stuck.

Down here in New Jersey at the house we don’t have a television. We have cell phones and my husband and I look at the news maybe twice a day then we try and put them down. Luckily we have two bedrooms so we can go and be in different parts of the house. I know not everybody has that so we say to ourselves, oh my god we’re so lucky. We have a stove and a refrigerator, we’re lucky, so we are cooking food together and then washing the dishes, drying the dishes, putting them away, we have this new routine. We stay aware, we stay informed and we look out for our loved ones. But in the evening I would light a bunch of candles in the living room and I just called it “candle time”. We could look at our phones a little if we wanted and not talk. I like to stretch on the floor, I’m a pretty tall guy. Then we would listen to This American Life.

We’re fortunate again, we live on a Cul de Sac, it’s quiet. You have the candles lit and you’re just listening to these other stories which would take you away from the Coronavirus, the news, the tragedy and the death. I heard an interview with Stephen King during this pandemic on Fresh Air which is another show on NPR with Terry Gross. He said that we all need an escape hatch, we all have to use our imaginations for a few hours a day if we can. Some people might live in a one bedroom with six kids, one parent, kids are bouncing off the walls, I can’t imagine. But for those of us who may have a small window, maybe it’s meditation, but for me it was escaping into a story from this American Life.

One of the stories I heard during that time was about this wind phone and I just wanted to talk about it. It’s about this man after the 2011 tsunami in Japan who built a phone booth in his backyard in Northern Japan. There’s also a documentary about it so that ties in with what documentary I watched called NHK Phone Of The Wind. People are allowed to go into this mans yard and go into this phone booth. It’s a disconnected rotary phone on top of a grassy hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You can call and talk to your dead relatives and loved ones and the wind carries your conversation away. We listened to it via This American Life or another podcast called Heavyweight with Jonathan Goldstein, he’s great. Anyway it was so moving, it was so beautiful. They had recordings of these people and in their culture they really didn’t talk about some of the loved ones that died or went missing. They tried to be strong for their children and carried on being sturdy parents.
 

People are allowed to go into this mans yard and go into this phone booth. It’s a disconnected rotary phone on top of a grassy hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You can call and talk to your dead relatives and loved ones and the wind carries your conversation away

 
You hear these recordings, they were told they were being recorded and they said they could be used. These people go in there, some are laughing and nervous going in there. Then they pick up the phone and dial and they start weeping. I just thought it was such a beautiful exercise man to just go and do that for yourself. It’s interesting that we just talked about “ I got numbers in my phone” that track and I’m not trying to parallel that and wasn’t planning that but we are all losing people.

This whole discussion is about what do we do during the quarantine when people are dying. So that was really beautiful story to hear about because it was about how people mourn and deal with loss. To me it was a great way to give someone a push or to hold their hand and say hey it’s alright to lay in bed and talk to somebody who is no longer with us. You’re not crazy for talking out loud and saying I miss you and I love you. That’s healthy man. Not everybody wants to do that and that’s fine but for those that do, you might find that’s a good way to deal with loss.
 

 
I thought that story was great, I’m sitting there tearing up listening to it. I lost my brother last year to cancer and I think about him all the time. Losing my friend Nicky, my old room mate last year, she died four days after Jake Phelps and then Jeff Grosso. These people around me. As you get older you realise that the longer we are here the more people we are going to see pass away. So any kind of tools we can gather through life to help us get through that loss. To me it’s just better, anything you can hold onto to help you process are good things in my opinion. So yeah, I thought that was really beautiful.

You can read about it or watch the documentary or a short film, however you want to find out about it. But we listened to it through a small speaker, we had our eyes closed so we were just picturing it. Hearing the microphone, with the door closing in the wind so that was actually rad to not see it. That was part of my story. I have no problem with documentaries, watching Tiger King or whatever it’s called, all these things. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else watching those things but I’m glad that we found something like This American Life which led to us using our imagination.

Just seeing candles too, that’s so primal, the flickering light of a candle. It really just got you to slow your heart rate down which I think is so important during these times. You’re worried about a loved one or you’re arguing with your partner or your children. That was another thing to breathe during all this. We are all looking at the news and throwing all of this information into our faces from our phones all day long you have to stop and breathe during all of this.

From looking at the archives of that podcast it seems like you could jump into a story from any point.

Yeah you can jump into a story from ten years ago, stories before the coronavirus and really escape and that’s not a bad thing. It’s not hiding from reality, it’s giving yourself a little break.
 

 
LOW LIFE BY LUC SANTE
 
Tell us about your book choice…

I’ll start by saying I don’t read very often. I have a problem, I think one day I might need some medication, I have what I would call a lot of static. I stopped drinking when I got out here, I haven’t drank in a month and a half so there’s nothing flowing through my body, no alcohol. My attention span, I’m such creative person so it’s flying all over the place. I always have a pen and paper around. So the cool thing about this book is that you can kind of jump all around.

It’s interesting as a New Yorker going through the lockdown so to speak, to read about another time before this city was built up into skyscrapers. You’re reading about the beginnings of Saloon’s which came from the term Salon, they just added another O so it was a familiar word. You’re reading about the very beginnings of his huge, wild, major city, the start of the twentieth century. It talks about prostitution, the slow introduction of police, drugs, the beginning of Chinatown. At one point it talks about there being 100 Chinese people in New York City then within three years there are 1000. It’s strange to think about a city which is now so culturally diverse and to hear about the beginnings of it.
 

It’s interesting as a New Yorker going through the lockdown so to speak, to read about another time before this city was built up into skyscrapers

 
There are cock fights, and people betting on humans fighting for a nickel, sexually transmitted diseases and all these wild things. Again during the pandemic were people are all stuck inside. Now we have showers most of us and access to water and you’re reading about these people living through these crazy, terrible summers when the tenements weren’t even fully built yet. It’s sweltering and people are stuck inside these brick buildings melting. Large percentages of the children who were born didn’t make it. I don’t know the exact percentage but it was like 4 out of every 10 children born could die.

I always find it interesting finding out what streets have been there for this amount of time and what actually happened. Then you go to them now and you have other memories and other experiences. It’s a good book to skip around. I just loving knowing facts about where words come from, terms like getting 86’d when you are kicked out of a bar, the whole impact of bootlegging. It’s broken into four parts so you can skip around like I said. I’m yet to finish it and maybe that wasn’t the best description of it but I’m still reading it now. Being that I don’t read very often I was more super focused on realising my art show wasn’t going to happen so I just had that book to nibble on which is where more of the This American life stuff came in. I could only take in so much so yeah, I’m gonna be real (laughs) I’m still working on this book but it’s the only one I’m reading and I’m determined to continue on.

It’s going to be great to learn more. I went back to New York City because I had a pipe burst in my building and my landlord called. I was going to get the Antibody test so I went to a clinic near my house. In the beginning you don’t go and et the coronavirus test unless you feel like you really have it. I never wanted to be the person banging on the door of the clinic, there are more important people who were sick. But after some time had gone by I went to go to the clinic where my husband had got his test done and there were about 50 people outside in a line around the block at 1pm and they said the line is even worse in the morning. I said I’d come back at about 5 or 6. So I left Queens, got on my skateboard and went and skated around Manhattan in my city that I live in and I love.

This is about a week ago, it was a sunny day and I’m going down the streets like Broadway, I got off at Times Square and I’m skating South on my cruiser board. I have my bandana handkerchief around my neck. I had read all about people being upset about joggers running too close to them and breathing so I’m trying to be a good citizen. I’m blazing down the middle of the street nowhere near anyone, no water or saliva droplets flying around from me, then I get to a red light and put my bandana up. But I tell you, a lot of these bars and restaurants I saw before these riots that just happened these past six days were boarded up. I knew that was the case but it was so strange being around this city that has been around for so long and slowly built itself up. Wall Street and these towers and all these new buildings and it’s all just on pause.

There’s a smoothie chain called Juice Fest and I used to get off the F Train and go there. I’d go there before going to this Russian Turkish Bath spot I’d go to after skating when I was sore. I go to this Juice Fest place, it was apparently the first one in the city and now they have like 20 of them. I go there and the refrigerators were gone, some of the signage was gone. It’s not a pity party, I hope they’re still doing alright but I went there and thought whoah! It was one of these places that was totally thriving.

Maybe I’m rambling on here but I had been in New Jersey. I guess what I’m saying is New Jersey was second only to New York City with infections and deaths too. It was really really scary for a lot of people, a lot of older people in nursing homes. But in the last couple of weeks, a lot of people in my little Cul De Sac, people can walk without a mask on. But when I got to New York last week oh boy! The subways have never been so clean because they clean them from 9am to 5am and they’re now closed which is really sad for a lot of homeless people. I know we all wish they weren’t sleeping on trains but that is a place for them to go.

I went looking at skate spots because that’s what I do and I felt for everybody. I saw some girl, some kind of supermodel or something, she was like 6.3”, this tanned, strong women walking her dog with no mask. She didn’t have a handkerchief around her wrist, nothing round her neck. I don’t know, maybe she lost it but if you go to New York right now and your mask isn’t in the right place, or on your hand when you’re sipping your coffee. I saw all these people just beaming her and I was like wow! It is still an epicentre. It’s surreal to be there as I’m sure it is in London and so many cities.

When we were in New York before we came here we went to the grocery store and the market wearing masks and gloves. If I was going down an aisle and I saw a person who looked high risk, an elderly person, I would go around, go to the next aisle and get what I needed. Luckily we are not these kind of people who are hoarding toilet paper. We’d get our stuff, get in line and breathe lightly, not huffing and puffing. Everyone else is running the risk if they’re going out. Sure it’s New York I could have maybe got groceries delivered, but could I have actually?

At the beginning there was a lot of stuff that wasn’t running. I really think we did the best we could but I saw a lot of reckless people out there in the beginning, in our building. I get that everyone is stressed out but in the beginning our neighbours would let their kids go and play in the courtyard of our building and I though to myself oh my gosh. I don’t want to yell at them but aren’t they going to go upstairs and be near their grandparents? I want kids to have fun and go outside but at the beginning it was really serious.

It was so frustrating to be in our apartment and they were doing construction on our building. They were grinding the fire escapes with this power tool every single day. Then one day I heard an ice cream truck and I was like No!!! How is that allowed right now? This renegade ice cream truck where children are gonna run up and touch money. Where we live in Queens is an epicentre, there’s a hospital two miles away so every 4 minutes we would hear another siren, someone going to a ventilator again. I don’t want to be like, oh poor me, but it was crazy for a human and I’m a sensitive guy. There were just these constant reminders. I hope I wasn’t too short with the book part.

We were deeply saddened to hear about the death of George Floyd. Are you hopeful change can come?

I have a lot of friends who are activists and I’ve often said that I don’t think I’m cut out to deal with confrontation the same way other people are in regards to protesting. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t protest but I have found myself out here in New Jersey. I could get a train and go back to Manhattan and be a part of that. When my husband Andrew had to go back to Queens because of a problem in our building he attended a peaceful protest for Black Lives Matter in Jackson heights, Queens. He said it was an hour long and people were all wearing masks and social distancing. It’s great that he went and was another person there to be a voice. He went with our other friend and his husband who are both very involved so I was glad that he went from our couple.

I would like to do everything right and people often say you should use your platform and you should use your voice but it’s so hard. You know yesterday with the black square and the blackout Tuesday thing. I don’t like this term but to be very basic it’s “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. Not trying to be funny but goddamnit we have got to do something. It’s great to see some images of peaceful protests blocking doorways to stop some of the looting in places like Los Angeles but that is another huge conversation of course. With everything that has happened in the last couple of months I feel very lucky that I can be skateboarding safely in the woods and that’s what I do. I just don’t want to say the wrong thing sometimes. It’s so hard when you do have good intentions and you do love humanity and you want peace and you want everything to change.

I don’t want everyone to like me and love me I just want to help. It’s such an in-between time where new information comes every single hour. As for yesterday and today, I don’t want to be what you call white silent but I just want to see what happens. The other day when Donald Trump wiped those protestors who were outside of the Whitehouse. He wiped them like you would the windscreen wiper on a car. Wiped them away so he could walk to that church and hold up a bible. It was just disgusting, absolutely disgusting. That guy should be ashamed of himself on so many levels. When you are frustrated at that guy and his administration there are so many things to think about. I don’t want to be copping out here but I feel like with my friends and my family who are people who are as aware as we can be. I’m starting to get really depressed, not suicidal but I don’t want to say the wrong thing, it’s so tricky.

I’m looking to my friends. Leo Baker last night, I was talking to Leo and I said “hey man, I know I should try and use my platform and my voice but I just don’t know what to say” I don’t want to come off as white privileged but it’s a whole new pressure if you don’t do something. Social media has become this institution of authority. Whatever you do you are just so scrutinised. In that regard it’s so hard because that’s become what you are supposed to do.

Maybe I’m not right but in everybody’s eyes you’re meant to go on there and help everybody the best you can. Right now and maybe this is a thing a lot of people say and I don’t want it to seem like I’m copping out. But I do believe in prayer and positive thinking and in the last two years people have thrown around the word meditation more than ever. I know a lot of people believe in it. I believe in all kinds of spiritual things. Honestly before I go to sleep I just think of everybody that’s suffering and I imagine healing.

Maybe in the next day or two I will say something. Leo gave me some great tips because he is a white person and he put a lot of good things on his Bio. Some helpful things about what it’s okay to say. Helping people who have been arrested for protesting to get their bonds. Helping people who are trans who have been arrested and awaiting a bond. That was yesterday evening I spoke to leo and I said thank you so much for giving me some advice. I have been out skateboarding for four days and I have been off Instagram because it just drives me crazy after a while. I think if I take a little rest I can gather up the right information that I think is the best thing I could put out there.
 

I’m a very sensitive person and it hurts me and it keeps me up at night sometimes. I’m just glad I’m surrounded by people that I know truly do care about humanity, everybody’s eyes are open and ideas are moving

 
Besides that I just support my friends and silently support a few charities to help. Honestly I’m going to start making some art too because it’s therapeutic for me and I think if I do some healing I can be a better person in society. If I come out of this in the next few weeks or months, maybe I can be that much stronger to where I can help some other people who are suffering. I don’t know what to do sometimes. I’m a very sensitive person and it hurts me and it keeps me up at night sometimes. I’m just glad I’m surrounded by people that I know truly do care about humanity, everybody’s eyes are open and ideas are moving. I like to think that my friends and family will connect me with the best ideas going forward.

Any closing words for readers out there?

Just listen to each other and vote.
 
Words and questions by Jacob Sawyer
 

Many thanks to Brian for taking the time to speak to us. Be sure to watch Jeff Grosso’s Loveletter to LGBTQ+ for more insights from Brian.

If you enjoyed this Isolation Station and want more please check out previous interviews with Dom Henry, Rory Milanes, Sam Sitayeb, Ben Kadow and Tommy Guerrero.