Poet. Skateboarder. Bohemian. Traveller. Wayward Boy. However you picture Olly Todd, you need to appreciate that he's an interesting guy - with a lot on his mind. Since returning from the US to skate for London's gritty designer triangle-enthusiasts Palace, he's been filling his head with skateboarding, poetry and music; the latter of which shall be discussed forthwith.
What's your favourite video section track?
The opening credits to ‘Wheels on Fire’ - the old Santa Cruz video. I'm not sure of the name of the song but it’s by Claus Grabke’s band, Eight Dayz. (The song is 'What's So Strange About Me.') It was literally the first song I heard accompanying skating and it just embodies that excitement and awe I felt towards what was to become, for me, a whole new world.
What's your favourite video overall, for music?
Stereo’s ‘A Visual Sound’. An almost entire jazz soundtrack was the perfect compliment to the style of skateboarding and locations in that video. As a thought-out, planned concept, from start to finish, it just totally works.
Did the first skateboard videos you watched influence your listening preferences?
Of course. And it was rad because no-one at my school knew any of those bands so it felt special.
Is there a song you play in your head to get you hyped when you're trying something?
Err, ‘Let’s Get It Up’ by AC/DC?
What's your favourite album of all time, and why?
I dunno man. It always changes but for now let’s just say ‘Exile on Main Street’ by The Rolling Stones.
Where has the best music- the UK or America?
I reckon the UK’s take on American music so, effectively, both. The Stones, Led Zeppelin etc. How they interpreted and responded to what was happening across the pond.
What's your earliest musical memory?
Folk songs round the campfire in the middle of Stone Henge at summer solstice.
What was the first album you bought with your own money?
I can’t remember the name of the album, but it was Iron Maiden on vinyl.
What are you listening to just now? Tell us about it.
I think I’m having a midlife crisis because I’ve just started getting into hip-hop. Rob put a playlist on my iPod and it’s called ‘Toddy loves Rappers’ and it’s so sick. Biggie, Wu-Tang, Dre, Snoop, Ghostface, Mobb Deep… All the classics.
Who has the best lyrics?
Anything coming out soon you're excited about?
Oasis have split up mate!
What was your first gig? How was it?
Despite the Oasis fanaticism, it was Blur, sometime in the wonderful nineties, at Mile End. This chick at school who I fancied broke up with her boyfriend so she took me instead. Ten hour coach trip from Whitehaven, first time in London, first note I ever heard live and it’s the opening chords to the song ‘Tracy Jacks’ and I’m bouncing around with 50,000 people. Did not know what to expect. It was fucking awesome. Did not seal the deal with the chick though.
What gig in history do you wish you could have been at?
Jesus. When King Arthur serenaded Lady Guinevere at Camelot?
What's the best gig you've been to?
Wu-Tang at Kentish town summer 2011. EPIC.
Do you ever dabble in making music yourself?
No. I mean... Well... Me and my house mates plus Joel O’Connor had a pretty epic jam-sesh one night and laid down a pretty tight track. I mean, well, I screamed our address, by way of lyrics, repeatedly for an hour while the lads played guitar and harmonica. Safe to say it’s a classic.
What was the last album you acquired?
‘The Element of Freedom’- Alicia Keys. No shit.
What band do you wish you could have been inn and why?
Girls Aloud. Why? Need you ask?
Who on Palace has the best and worst taste in music?
I have the worst for sure. Rory has one of the most impressive and eclectic tastes in music I’ve encountered.
Anything you'd like to recommend?
Hall and Oates.
Chomsky argued that music is integral to evolution, as it essentially existed before language. Pinker countered that music is 'auditory cheesecake', and exists purely for pleasure. Your thoughts?
Forgive the hyperbole and sentimentality, but music is of vital importance. For our happiness, our relationships, our intelligence, our responses to the world, our everything. I think that gentleman is wrong to trivialize it. It’s not even like I’m a fan of music because that’s like saying I’m a fan of oxygen.