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So here is the concept, you find interviews, then you find a flick of the writer so as not to upset those who have the "rules" of 12 oz deeply engrained into their belief system, and you post the flick along with the interview. Simple as that. I'll start it off in a second, so don't get all pissy quite yet, just wait for a few seconds and I'll start it off




HAZE 29.......................................................Page 1

GKAE...........................................................Page 1

EL MACON (THE MAC).....................................Page 1

JA................................................................Page 1

OTHER.........................................................Page 1

DELT............................................................Page 1

CES.............................................................Page 1

SCORE story.................................................Page 1

BATES..........................................................Page 1

BATES again.................................................Page 1

O'CLOCK......................................................Page 1

HECK...........................................................Page 1

SABER/TYKE..................................................Page 1

EAZ..............................................................Page 1

SIME............................................................Page 1

TOTEM2........................................................Page 1

NACE............................................................Page 1

RASP............................................................Page 1

SEEN...........................................................Page 1

TM CREW......................................................Page 1

RIME.............................................................Page 1

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HAZE 29 Interview


CAN CONTROL - Freight Train Special Number Two (Issue 12 - 1996)




Haze of the famed Mad Society Kings and Art Work Rebels Graffiti crews is deep into his two hundred and sixtieth freight...


Zaftig Burners running all country and Canada. Across the doors. Under and/or on the numbers. Over and around the ladder. Top to bottom or end to end.


Can Control caught up with Haze on a short trip up north for FR-8 and wall action.




CC: Why freights?


HAZE: I like the fact that they travel all country. Also that there is so many blank trains waiting. It seems like an open field for my generation. Something in Graffiti that isn't played out. Yet...


CC: Are toys getting it? Are they finding out about freights?


HAZE: Ya. The toys are infiltrating.


CC: Are your crews organized about your freight bombing?


HAZE: Well it's only some of our members who do the freight bombing, but no we're not really organized we just get drunk and go hit freights!......


CC: What about at the meetings, do you talk about freights?


HAZE: Ya we bring it up. The ones who do them say what they did, but we don't talk about them that much.


CC: Has freight bombing replaced much? Have you less time for walls, etc?


HAZE: for me it's replaced freeway bombing. We still paint yards, and we do the right freeways. With the city's buffing, and freeways being the same old thing, freights are the right alternative.


CC: What writers in the crews do freight bombing?


HAZE: Phable, Krises, Bles, Gkae, Fate, Havok, Push, Chunk, etc, etc.


CC: Do you think other city's have a real freight scene or how many city's do you think are just out to get drunk and bomb trains?


HAZE: For kids in city's who don't have a good city or downtown graff scene, freights might be all they have. Their only exposure to graffiti might be trains rolling through their city from L.A. or New York.


CC: Do you keep up with your freights? Do you know where they roll, or what train number is at what yard?


HAZE: I hear by word of mouth, about my trains seen in Seattle, San Diego, Atlanta, Arizona, New Mexico, New York.


CC: Is it possible to hit trains in L.A. Now or is it over run with cops and toys?


HAZE: The scene is burnt! You have to have balls to paint freights out there. Cops roll through the yards, but you know, that makes it real...


CC: I asked some of this a minute ago, but, is freights taking away the drive to do the "ill" shit in city bombing?


HAZE: NO, there's a new wave of hardcore bombing in L.A.. My boy Gkae brought that back (See Can Control All Bombing Issue). Their going up big with letters and with colors.


CC: what are your favorite freight achievements?


HAZE: As a crew, we started to do as many end to ends as we could. AS far as me alone, I've done e to e's, a top to bottom, but I want more.


CC: Is there still a rush hitting freights after 200 trains?


HAZE: I still get a rush going and coming from the yards. It's still the best rush!


CC: Are you able to shoot flicks of all your trains?


HAZE: I did in the beginning. Now I just let them float around, see if I find them.


CC: Are they coming back?


HAZE: Some do. There are some that just disappeared. I don't know what happen to them. Never got to see or shoot them after doing it.


CC: Do you paint only certain trains, or sides of the train?


HAZE: I've seen a lot of people stamped when the workers put the numbers back in. They stamp on both sides of the train when they repaint the numbers. I try to avoid the numbers. I'll do color peices under them, or off to one side, I don't want to see just one of my "E's" floating... The workers will do extra large boxes sometimes to repaint the numbers. Boxes way to big. I've seen dope peices just stamped.


CC: does it feel like it now, or do you think it will ever feel like, the trains are really bombed?


HAZE: I didn't think so at first, but now some places I go to see or hit trains every car is done. Most of it is toys like at L.A.'s Budweiser lay-up. That place was very easy and chill to bomb, but now it looks like a fucking toys yard. Wack pieces on all the trains and walls, empty cans everywhere. I don't know what's happening.


CC: So once again, why freights?


HAZE: It seems like this is my spot in graffiti. By the time I got into graffiti most things seemed burnt, but this is something I could feel good about: "Hitting a lot of freights".



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GKAE Interview




Stole from Guerillaone.com -


Interview: GKAE MSK

Interview by: Eklips Awr August 2, 1999


Q- What do you write?


Gkae- Gkae, Mad Society Kings.


Q- How long have you wrote?


Gkae- A good nine years now, 95' being my best.


Q- Who are your influences?


Gkae- Yeah everything I see, older writers who came before me, gang graffiti, and all the all city writers.


Q- How many times have you been locked up?


Gkae- Five times now, this being the longest. I've done 16 months so far, and I just started a three-year term.


Q- How do you feel about the fact that a rapist got a lighter sentence than you did on the same day?


Gkae- I didn't know that, but it doesn't suprise me; people feel threatened by graffiti, because they don't understand it. When the judge handed me three years he said,"...you don't have one victim you have tens of thousands of victims that have to see your graffiti on their way to work."


Q- What would you tell younger writers?


Gkae- If you do graffiti realize what you are risking, but if you do it go all out!


Q- Do you regret it?


Gkae- No


Q- What do you regret?


Gkae- Hurting my family and friends. I don't regret the graffiti, I feel a majority of it wasn't wrong.


Q- What's jail like?


Gkae- It's no picnic. Ha Ha. It's a headache, constant politics and the food sucks.


Q- Is it a problem being white in jail?


Gkae- L.A. County, yes. Prison, no. It's gotten easier in the past five years. Southsiders and whites hang out more now.


Q- Does it help being Gkae in jail?


Gkae- No, because most of these peoples world's are small, and aren't concerned with graffiti. They could teach you how to cook meth or crack, but they don't know the first thing about graffiti.


Q- How do you feel about your education being on hold?


Gkae- At least when I go to prison I can take my basic college courses.


Q- Do you think you'll still be on point when you get out?


Gkae- Yeah, I won't be gone for that long. I read a lot, especially the newspaper.


Q- Sum up the whole situation in jail?


Gkae- Doing time and I got time to do. Just sitting waiting to get out.


Q- What will you do when you get out?


Gkae- Finish school, make some money, live a semi-normal life as a parolee.


Q- Do you have any last words?


Gkae- If there is something I want people to know is that I did bomb hard, and I don't want to be known as the the guy who went to prison for graffiti. If I bomb again? it's up to me.



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Guest fr8lover





website is down temporarily, otherwise id have a lot more flix...


FF: Alright Mr. Mac, first things first. What do you write, which crews do you push?

MAC: I write the Mac and my main crew is NG. I also push DSC, CIA and TOP, also. But NG is the main crew.


FF: Okay. CIA and TOP, the New York City crews?

MAC: Yeah. DONDI's crews.


FF: Right on. Was he a big influence in your starting to write?

MAC: Very big influence, or inspiration at least. Especially the flicks of him in subway art, we all know the ones.


FF: How did that come about?

MAC: The magic of the internet, actually. Hooked up with DURO CIA who asked me to be down. Normally, I would've felt weird about writing for a crew like that where I wasn't really "down" with all the members. But hey, DONDI was a hero, so I couldn't pass it up.


FF: How exactly did you start to write, and when?

MAC: Well, I did my first character in '95, it was through friends, specifically VENK and STOEK DSC.


FF: Just seeing other friends write, wanting to try it yourself?

MAC: Well, STOEK was a little bit older and had started around maybe '92-93 and I respected his talent, and he invited me to paint. From then on I was hooked.


FF: What kind of artistic backround did you have before you picked up a can?

MAC: I was hardcore into comic books, always drawing comics. I still do actually. Along with a little bit of acrylic painting here and there.


FF: So you were into characters from a young age?

MAC: Oh yeah. For sure, I was always into drawing people and faces and whatnot. Graff was a cool medium that made it exciting to be an artist, to use my art for adventure, you know?


FF: Definetely. Did you ever do letters or anything more typically 'associated with graffiti?'

MAC: Yeah, certainly. Tags of course. I made a few attempts at pieces here and there, I still do an occasional piece, but its not my strongsuit. But I love handstyles.


FF: But since you first started drawing comics, characters were the obvious favorite?

MAC: Oh yeah, characters were the first love. I just enjoyed painting faces, and people and things.


FF: But your characters aren't at all like most of the overused stereotypical graffiti chartacters. How did you start doing the realistic portraits?

MAC: Well thanks. I like to think I'm adding to the scene, doing something at least a little bit different. I don't know how or when exactly I started with the realistics, but I definetely have to give credit to HEX TGO from LA for inspiration. I guess I just like painting stuff that looks real, or at least fairly realistic. I don't get down with the full color the way some people do.


FF: Especially faces? I've always wondered who exactly all these people are. Friends? People you see? Many self portraits?

MAC: Yeah, the faces. Haha. Those are a mix of people. Most of them are of my friends, with a bunch of me too; not because I'm egotistical, but I'm the cheapest easiest model, you know?


FF: Definetely. And you don't have to rely on that person sitting there for you for extended periods of time!

MAC: Haha. Well, of course not. That's not exactly practical.


FF: Back to the color thing. I really enjoy seeing the black and white portraits. Some of them even look like sticking a face onto a copier. Anything to that?

MAC: Yeah, well. Not to take any mystery away from that, but that's what I've used a lot for reference, xerox copies. And if I start seeing other people doing the same thing I keeel you mon!


FF: I'll get the word out!

MAC: Pity the foo!


FF: What do other writers think of your work? Do they all respect the amount of emotion and feeling that they convey, compared to say block letters or a wildstyle piece on a wall?

MAC: Shit, I don't know. Depends on the writer I suppose. Some dig it and are totally cool, others just don't get it. But in general, people seem to dig it, though its an interesting point.


FF: Now I'm a freight guy, and I see a lot of your work and your friends rolling through my area. What got you into the freight scene?

MAC: Ahhh, freights! Yeah, I love freights, what can i say? They're just great. I think for me personally it was just a better alternative to walls. It was a chance to just go and get down and not worry about what other people thought. And of course, there's the fact that freights go everywhere, all over the US, Canada, Mexico.


FF: Well put! How was your first experience going to the yard and doing what would usually be done on a wall or a canvas?

MAC: Hmm. It was frustrating for the first train, a little bit better by the second, and on the third I was feeling pretty damn good. It's a funny thing to be trying to concentrate and be creative, while also keeping your senses open and being ready to run.


FF: I have to ask, any juicy yard stories? Chases?

MAC: Hmm. Well, there are certainly stories that include some close calls with ghetto birds, cops, running, getting shot at, but I'll save those for another time. Haha. Sorry to disappoint. I will mention one time though, that isnt exciting or anything, but it was just a great night. It was a few years ago, when I was visiting Pittsburgh and I painted a couple nice end to ends with some friends, and the weather was perfect. The river was right behind us, and the city behind us, looking all romantic. The paint was coming out just right, felt like I was in a movie. That was just one of those magic moments, you know? Maybe not super exciting or unique, but for me it was food for the soul.


FF: Always better than a chase story, thats for sure. Now you love freights and walls, I've seen a few canvases of yours too. Any gallery shows yet?

MAC: Yeah, a few, but nothing big time. Nothing serious, and basically nothing I've gotten much money for.


FF: What do you think about writers "selling out," those arent my words, but a feeling felt by a lot of people. I should've said, what is your opinion on gallery shows?

MAC: Well, it's kinda like...you either paint graffiti or you don't, you know? And on the other hand, you should try to stick to your guns and not sell your soul, but sometimes you just gotta get by, or have a family to support. I think as longa s you're actually going out and painting and taking risks and getting down, then it's hard to sell out. I think gallery shows can be great, sometimes pretentious, but sometimes really great.


FF: Kind of along the lines of what is graffiti and what isn't?

MAC: Right.


FF: Well, Mr. Mac, I think I'm out of questions. Any other comments you'd like to make?

MAC: Best I can think of off hand is just thanks for the interest and appreciation, and I'm happy to be painting. Hopefully I can maybe help inspire some other people to get busy too, help beautify our trains and walls, and maybe create a little mystery out there. Make some kid at a railroad crossing trip out and wonder what the hell he just saw passing by. Haha.


FF: I know I did when I saw a smushed face staring back at me!

MAC: Haha. Great.


FF: Any shoutouts or anyone or anything you'd like to say something to?

MAC: Just as I planned.


FF: Haha. You know the drill!

MAC: Just much respect to my crews, my other friends, the southwest, my parents. And much love to Siloette, and I'd like to thank the academy. Haha. Just doing my part to keep the west wild. Paz!


FF: Haha. Very nice, very nice. Thanks for taking the time to let me ask you some questions, and I hope to keep seeing your stuff rolling by on our beautiful freight system!

MAC: No problem, man. Like I said, thanks for taking an interest. America the beautiful, I love trains.

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JA Article




Originally posted by "*see-phore*", who has since been banned - but thanks for posting the article before you left man


Here it is -


THE FIRST TIME I meet JA, he skates up to me wearing Rollerblades, his cap played backward, on a street corner in Manhattan at around midnight. He's white, 24 years old, with a short, muscular build and

a blond crew cut. He has been writing graffiti off and on in New York for almost 10 years and is the founder of a loosely affiliated crew called XTC. His hands, arms, legs and scalp show a variety of scars

from nightsticks, razor wire, fists and sharp, jagged things he has climbed up, on or over. He has been beaten by the police -- a "wood shampoo," he calls it -- has been shot at, has fallen off a

highway sign into moving traffic, has run naked through train yards tagging, has been chased down highways by rival writers wielding golf clubs and has risked his life innumerable times writing graffiti --

bombing, getting up.


JA lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment. There's graffiti on a wall-length mirror, a weight bench, a Lava lamp to bug out on, cans of paint stacked in the corner, a large Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) sticker on the side of the refrigerator. The buzzer to his apartment lists a false name; his phone number is unlisted to avoid law-enforcement representatives as well as conflicts with other writers.

While JA and one of his writing partners, JD, and I are discussing their apprehension about this story, JD, offering up a maxim from the graffiti life, tells me matter-of-factly, "You wouldn't fuck us over, we know where you live."


At JA's apartment we look through photos. There are hundreds of pictures of writers inside out-of-service subway cars that they've just covered completely with their tags, pictures of writers wearing orange safety vests -- to impersonate transit workers -- and walking subway tracks, pictures of detectives and transit workers inspecting graffiti that JA and crew put up the previous night, pictures of stylized JA 'throw-ups' large, bubble-lettered logos written 15 feet up and 50 times across a highway retaining wall. Picture after picture of JA's on trains, JA's on trucks, on store gates, bridges, rooftops, billboards -- all labeled, claimed and recorded on film.


JA comes from a well-to-do family; his parents are divorced; his father holds a high-profile position in the entertainment industry. JA is aware that in some people's minds this last fact calls into question his street legitimacy, and he has put a great deal of effort into resisting the correlation between privileged and soft. He estimates he has been arrested 15 times for various crimes. He doesn't have a job, and it's unclear how he supports himself. Every time we've been together, he's been high or going to get high. Once he called me from Rikers Island prison, where he was serving a couple of months for disorderly conduct and a probation violation. He said some of the inmates saw him tagging in a notebook and asked him to do tattoos for them.


It sounds right. Wherever he is, JA dominates his surroundings. With his crew, he picks the spots to hit, the stores to rack from; he controls the mission. He gives directions in the car, plans the activities, sets the mood. And he takes everything a step further than the people he's with. He climbs higher, stays awake longer, sucks deepest on the blunt, writes the most graffiti. And though he's respected by other writers for testing the limits -- he has been described to me by other writers as a king and, by way of

compliment, as "the sickest guy I ever met" -- that same recklessness sometimes alienates him from the majority who don't have such a huge appetite for chaos, adrenaline, self-destruction.


When I ask a city detective who specializes in combating graffiti if there are any particularly well-known writers, he immediately mentions JA and adds with a bit of pride in his voice, "We know each other." He

calls JA the "biggest graffiti writer of all time" (though the etective would prefer that I didn't mention that, because it'll only encourage JA). "He's probably got the most throw-ups in the city, in the country, in the world," the detective says. "If the average big-time graffiti vandal has 10,000 tags, JA's got 100,000. He's probably done -- in New York City alone -- at least $5 million worth of damage."


AT ABOUT 3 A.M., JA AND TWO OTHER WRITERS go out to hit a billboard off the West Side Highway in Harlem. Tonight there are SET, a 21-year-old white writer from Queens, N.Y., and JD, a black Latino writer the same age, also from Queens. They load their backpacks with racked cans of

Rustoleum, fat cap nozzles, heavy 2-foot industrial bolt cutters and surgical gloves. We pile into a car and start driving, Schooly D blasting on the radio. First a stop at a deli where JA and SET go in and steal beer. Then we drive around Harlem trying a number of different dope spots, keeping an eye out for "berries" -- police cars. JA tosses a finished 40-ounce out the window in a high arc, and it smashes on the street.


At different points, JA gets out of the car and casually walks the streets and into buildings, looking for dealers. A good part of the graffiti life involves walking anywhere in the city, at any time, and not being afraid -- or being afraid and doing it anyway.


We arrive at a spot where JA has tagged the dealer's name on a wall in his territory. The three writers buy a vial of crack and a vial of angel dust and combine them ("spacebase") in a hollowed-out Phillies

blunt. JD tells me that "certain drugs will enhance your bombing," citing dust for courage and strength ("bionics"). They've also bombed on mescaline, Valium, marijuana, crack and malt liquor. SET tells a

story of climbing highway poles with a spray can at 6 a.m., "all Xanaxed out."


While JD is preparing the blunt, JA walks across the street with a spray can and throws up all three of their tags in 4-foot-high bubbled, connected letters. In the corner, he writes my name.


We then drive to a waterfront area at the edge of the city -- a eserted site with warehouses, railroad tracks and patches of urban wilderness dotted with high-rise billboards. All three writers are now high,

and we sit on a curb outside the car smoking cigarettes. From a distance we can see a group of men milling around a parked car near a loading dock that we have to pass. This provokes 30 minutes of

obsessive speculation, a stoned stakeout with play by play:


"Dude, they're writers," says SET. "Let's go down and check them out," says JD. "Wait, let's see what they write," says JA. "Yo -- they're going into the trunk," says SET. "Cans, dude, they're going for their

cans. Dude, they're writers. "There could be beef, possible beef," says JA. "Can we confirm cans, do we see cans?" SET wants to know. Yes, they do have cans," SET answers for himself. "There are cans. They are writers." It turns out that the men are thieves, part of a group robbing a nearby truck. In a few moments guards appear with flashlights and at least one drawn gun. The thieves scatter as guard dogs fan

out around the area, barking crazily.


We wait this out a bit until JA announces, "It's on." Hood pulled up on his head, he leads us creeping through the woods (which for JA has become the cinematic jungles of Nam). It's stop and go, JA

crawling on his stomach, unnecessarily close to one of the guards who's searching nearby. We pass through graffiti-covered tunnels (with the requisite cinematic drip drip), over crumbling stairs overgrown

with weeds and brush, along dark, heavily littered trails used by crackheads.


We get near the billboard, and JA uses the bolt cutters to cut holes in two chain-link fences. We crawl through and walk along the railroad tracks until we get to the base of the sign. JA, with his backpack on,

climbs about 40 feet on a thin piece of metal pipe attached to the main pillar. JD, after a few failed attempts, follows with the bolt cutters shoved down his pants and passes them to JA. Hanging in midair,

his legs wrapped around a small piece of ladder, JA cuts the padlock and opens up the hatch to the catwalk. He then lowers his arm to JD, who is wrapped around the pole just below him, struggling. "J,

give me your hand, "I'll pull you up," JA tells him. JD hesitates. He is reluctant to let go and continues treadmilling on the pole, trying to make it up. JD, give me your hand." JD doesn't want to refuse, but he's uncomfortable entrusting his life to JA. He won't let go of the pole. JA says it again, firmly, calmly, utterly confident: "J give me your hand." JD's arm reaches up, and JA pulls JD up onto the catwalk. Next, SET, the frailest of the three, follows unsteadily. They've called down and offered to put up his tag, but he insists on going up. "Dude, fuck that, I'm down," he says. I look away while he makes his way up, sure that he's going to fall (he almost does twice). The three have developed a set pattern for dividing the labor when they're "blowing up," one writer outlining, another working behind him, filling in. For 40 minutes I watch them working furiously, throwing shadows as they cover ads for Parliament and Amtrak with large multicolored throw-ups SET and JD bickering about space, JA scolding them, tossing down empty cans.


They risk their lives again climbing down. Parts of their faces are covered in paint, and their eyes beam as all three stare at the billboard, asking, "Isn't it beautiful?' And there is something intoxicating about seeing such an inaccessible, clean object gotten to and made gaudy. We get in the car and drive the West Side

Highway northbound and then southbound so they can critique their work. "Damn, I should've used the white," JD says.


The next day both billboards are newly re-covered, all the graffiti gone. JA tells me the three went back earlier to get pictures and made small talk with the workers who were cleaning it off.


GRAFFITI HAS BEEN THROUGH A NUMBER OF incarnations since it surfaced in New York in the early 70s with a Greek teen-ager named Taki 183. It developed from the straightforward writing of a name to highly tylized, seemingly illegible tags (a kind of penmanship slang) to wild-style throw-ups and elaborate (master) "pieces" and character art. There has been racist graffiti political writing, drug advertising, gang graffiti. There is an art-graf scene from which Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiac, LEE, Futura 2000, Lady Pink and others emerged; aerosol advertising; techno graffiti written into computer programs; anti-billboard graffiti; stickers; and stencil writing. There are art students doing street work in San Francisco ("nonpermissional public art"); mural work in underground tunnels in New York; gallery shows from Colorado to New Jersey; all-day Graffiti-a-Thons; and there are graffiti artists lecturing art classes at universities. Graffiti has become part of urban culture, hip-hop culture and commercial culture, has spread to the suburbs and can be found in the backwoods of California's national forests. There are graffiti magazines, graffiti stores, commissioned walls, walls of fame and a video series available (Out to bomb) documenting writers going out on graffiti missions, complete with soundtrack. Graffiti was celebrated as a metaphor in the 70s (Norman Mailer's "The Faith of Graffiti"); it went Hollywood in the '80s (Beat Street, Turk 182!, Wild Style); and in the '90s it has been increasingly used to memorialize the inner-city dead.


But as much as graffiti has found acceptance, it has been vilified a hundred times more. Writers are now being charged with felonies and given lengthy jail terms -- a 15-year-old in California was recently

sentenced to eight years in a juvenile detention center. Writers have been given up to 1000 hours of community service and forced to undergo years of psychological counseling; their parents have been hit

with civil suits. In California a graffiti writer's driver's license can be revoked for a year; high-school diplomas and transcripts can also be withheld until parents make restitution. In some cities property owners who fail to remove graffiti from their property are subject to fines and possible jail time. Last spring in St. Louis, Cincinnati, San Antonio and Sacramento, Calif., politicians proposed legislation to cane graffiti writers (four to 10 hits with a wooden paddle, administered by parents or by a bailiff in a public courtroom). Across the nation, legislation has been passed making it illegal to sell spray paint and wide-tipped markers to anyone under 18, and often the materials must be kept locked up in the stores. Several cities have tried to ban the sales altogether, license sellers of spray paint and require customers to give their name and address when purchasing paint. In New York some hardware-store owners will give a surveillance photo of anyone buying a large quantity of spray cans to the police. In Chicago people have been charged with possession of paint. In San Jose, Calif., undercover police officers ran a sting operation -- posing as filmmakers working on a graffiti documentary -- and arrested 31 writers.


Hidden cameras, motion detectors, laser removal, specially developed chemical coatings, night goggles, razor wire, guard dogs, a National Graffiti Information Network, graffiti hot lines, bounties paid to

informers -- one estimate is that it costs $4 billion a year nationally to clean graffiti -- all in an effort to stop those who "visually laugh in the face of communities," as a Wall Street Journal editorial raged.


The popular perception is that since the late 1980s when New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority adopted a zero tolerance toward subway graffiti (the MTA either cleaned or destroyed more than 6,000

graffiti-covered subway cars, immediately pulling a train out of service if any graffiti appeared on it), graffiti culture had died in the place of its birth. According to many graffiti writers, however, the MTA, in its attempt to kill graffiti, only succeeded in bringing it out of the tunnels and train yards and making it angry. Or as Jeff Ferrell, a criminologist who has chronicled the Denver graffiti scene, theorizes, the authorities' crackdown moved graffiti writing from subculture to counterculture. The work on the trains no longer ran, so writers started hitting the streets. Out in the open they had to work faster and more often. The artistry started to matter less and less. Throw-ups, small cryptic tags done in marker and even the straightforward writing of a name became the dominant imagery. What mattered was quantity ("making noise"), whether the writer had heart, was true to the game, was "real." And the graffiti world started to attract more and more people who weren't looking for an alternative art canvas but simply wanted to be connected to an outlaw community, to a venerable street tradition that allowed the opportunity to advertise their defiance. "It's that I'm doing it that I get my rush, not by everyone seeing it," says JA. "Yeah, that's nice, but if that's all that's gonna motivate you to do it, you're gonna stop writing.

That's what happened to a lot of writers." JD tells me: "We're just putting it in their faces; it's like 'Yo, you gotta put up with it.'"


Newspapers have now settled on the term "graffiti vandal" rather than "artist" or "writer." Graffiti writers casually refer to their work as doing destruction." In recent years graffiti has become more and more about beefs and wars, about "fucking up the MTA," "fucking up the city."


Writers started taking a jock attitude toward getting up frequently and tagging in hard-to-reach places, adopting a machismo toward going over other writers' work and defending their own ("If you can write,

you can fight"). Whereas graffiti writing was once considered an alternative to the street, now it imports drugs, violence, weapons and theft from that world -- the romance of the criminal deviant rather than the artistic deviant. In New York today, one police source estimates there are approximately 100,000 people involved in a variety of types of graffiti writing. The police have caught writers as young as 8 and as old as 42. And there's a small group of hard-core writers who are getting older who either wrote when graffiti was in its prime or long for the days when it was, those who write out of compulsion, for each other and for the authorities who try to combat graffiti, writers who haven't found anything in their lives substantial or hype enough to replace graffiti writing.


The writers in their 20s come mostly from working-class families and have limited prospects and ambitions for the future. SET works in a drugstore and has taken lithium and Prozac for occasional depression; JD dropped out of high school and is unemployed, last working as a messenger, where he met JA. They spend their nights driving 80 miles an hour down city highways, balancing 40-ounce bottles of Old English 800 between their legs, smoking blunts and crack-laced cigarettes called coolies, always playing with the radio. They reminisce endlessly about the past, when graf was real, when graf ran on the trains, and they swap stories about who's doing what on the scene. The talk is a combo platter of Spicoli, homeboy, New Age jock and eighth grade: The dude is a fuckin' total turd. . . . I definitely would've gotten waxed. . . . It's like some bogus job. . . . I'm amped, I'm Audi, you buggin . . . You gotta be there fully, go all out, focus. . . . Dudes have bitten off SET, he's got toys jockin' him. . . .


They carry beepers, sometimes guns, go upstate or to Long Island to "prey on the hicks" and to rack cans of spray paint. They talk about upcoming court cases and probation, about quitting, getting their

lives together, even as they plan new spots to hit, practice their style by writing on the walls of their apartments, on boxes of food, on any stray piece of paper (younger writers practice on school

notebooks that teachers have been known to confiscate and turn over to the police). They call graffiti a "social tool" and "some kind of ill form of communication," refer to every writer no matter his age as

"kid." Talk in the graffiti life vacillates between banality and mythology, much like the activity itself: hours of drudgery, hanging out, waiting, interrupted by brief episodes of exhilaration. JD, echoing a common refrain, says, "Graffiti writers are like bitches: a lot of lying, a lot of talking, a lot of gossip." They don't

like tagging with girls ("cuties," or if they use drugs, "zooties") around because all they say is (in a whiny voice), You're crazy. . . . Write my name."


WHEN JA TALKS ABOUT GRAFFITI, HE'S reluctant to offer up any of the media-ready cliches about the culture (and he knows most of them). He's more inclined to say, "Fuck the graffiti world," and scoff at graf shops, videos, conventions and 'zines. But he can be sentimental about how he began -- riding the No. 1, 2 and 3 trains when he was young, bugging out on the graffiti-covered cars, asking himself, "How did they do that? Who are they?" And he'll respectfully invoke the names of long-gone writers he admired when he was just starting out: SKEME, ZEPHYR, REVOLT, MIN.


JA, typical of the new school, primarily bombs, covering wide areas with throw-ups. He treats graffiti less as an art form than as an athletic competition, concentrating on getting his tag in difficult-to-reach places, focusing on quantity and working in defiance of an aesthetic that demands that public property be kept clean. (Writers almost exclusively hit public or commercial property.)


And when JA is not being cynical, he can talk for hours about the technique, the plotting, the logistics of the game like "motion bombing" by clockwork a carefully scoped subway train that he knows has to stop for a set time, at a set place, when it gets a certain signal in the tunnels. He says, "To me, the challenge that graffiti poses, there's something very invigorating and freeing about it, something almost spiritual. There's a kind of euphoria, more than any kind of drug or sex can give you, give me . . . for real."


JA says he wants to quit, and he talks about doing it as if he were in a 12-step program. "How a person in recovery takes it one day a time, that's how I gotta take it," he says. You get burnt out. There's pretty

much nothing more the city can throw at me; it's all been done." But then he'll hear about a yard full of clean sanitation trucks, the upcoming Puerto Rican Day Parade (a reason to bomb Fifth Avenue) or a

billboard in an isolated area; or it'll be 3 a.m., he'll be stoned, driving around or sitting in the living room, playing NBA Jam, and someone will say it: "Yo, I got a couple of cans in the trunk. . . ." REAS, an old-school writer of 12 years who, after a struggle and a number of relapses, eventually quit the life, says, "Graffiti can become like a hole you're stuck in; it can just keep on going and going, there's always another spot to write on."


SAST is in his late 20s and calls himself semiretired after 13 years in the graf scene. He still carries around a marker with him wherever he goes and cops little STONE tags (when he's high, he writes,

STONED). He's driving JA and me around the city one night, showing me different objects they've tagged, returning again and again to drug spots to buy dust and crack, smoking, with the radio blasting;

he's telling war stories about JA jumping onto moving trains, JA hanging off the outside of a speeding four-wheel drive. SAST is driving at top speed, cutting in between cars, tailgating, swerving. A number

of times as we're racing down the highway, I ask him if he could slow down. He smiles, asks if I'm scared, tells me not to worry, that he's a more cautious driver when he's dusted. At one point on the FDR, a car cuts in front of us. JA decides to have some fun.


"Yo, he burnt you, SAST," JA says. We start to pick up speed. Yo, SAST, he dissed you, he cold dissed you, SAST." SAST is buying it, the look on his face becoming more determined as we go 70, 80, 90 miles an hour, hugging the divider, flying between cars. I turn to JA, who's in the back seat, and I try to get him to stop. JA ignores me, sitting back perfectly relaxed, smiling, urging SAST to go faster and faster, getting off, my fear adding to his rush.


At around 4 a.m., SAST drops us off on the middle of the Manhattan Bridge and leaves. JA wants to show me a throw-up he did the week before. We climb over the divider from the roadway to the subway tracks. JA explains that we have to cross the north and the southbound tracks to get to the outer part of the bridge. In between there are a number of large gaps and two electrified third rails, and we're

135 feet above the East River. As we're standing on the tracks, we hear the sound of an oncoming train. JA tells me to hide, to crouch down in the V where two diagonal braces meet just beside the tracks.


I climb into position, holding on to the metal beams, head down, looking at the water as the train slams by the side of my body. This happens twice more. Eventually, I cross over to the outer edge of the

bridge, which is under construction, and JA points out his tag about 40 feet above on what looks like a crow's-nest on a support pillar. After a few moments of admiring the view, stepping carefully around the

many opportunities to fall, JA hands me his cigarettes and keys. He starts crawling up one of the braces on the side of the bridge, disappears within the structure for a moment, emerges and makes his way to an electrical box on a pillar. Then he snakes his way up the piping and grabs on to a curved support. Using only his hands he starts to shimmy up; at one point he's hanging almost completely upside down. If he falls now, he'll land backward onto one of the tiers and drop into the river below. He continues to pull himself up, the old paint breaking off in his hands, and finally he flips his body over a railing to get to the spot where he tagged. He doesn't have a can or a marker with him, and at this point graffiti seems incidental. He comes down and tells me that when he did the original tag he was with two writers; one he half carried up, the other stopped at a certain point and later told JA that watching him do that tag made him appreciate life, being alive.


We walk for 10 minutes along a narrow, grooved catwalk on the side of the tracks; a thin wire cable prevents a fall into the river. A few times, looking down through the grooves, I have to stop, force myself

to take the next step straight ahead, shake off the vertigo. JA is practically jogging ahead of me. We exit the bridge into Chinatown as the sun comes up and go to eat breakfast. JA tells me he's a vegetarian.


IF YOU TALK TO SERIOUS GRAFFITI writers, most of them will echo the same themes; they decry the commercialization of graf, condemn the toys and poseurs and alternately hate and feel attached to the authorities who try to stop them. They say with equal parts bravado and self-deprecation that a graffiti writer is a bum, a criminal, a vandal, slick, sick, obsessed, sneaky, street-smart, living on edges figurative

and literal. They show and catalog cuts and scars on their bodies from razor wire, pieces of metal, knives, box cutters. I once casually asked a writer named GHOST if he knew another writer whose work I had seen in a graf'zine. "Yeah, I know him, he stabbed me," GHOST replies matter-of-factly. "We've still got beef." SET tells me he was caught by two DTs (detectives) who assaulted him, took his cans of paint and sprayed his body and face. JA tells similar stories of police beatings for his making officers run after him, of cops making him empty his spray cans on his sneakers or on the back of a fellow writer's jacket. JD has had 48 stitches in his back and 18 in his head over "graffiti-related beef." JA's best friend and writing partner, SANE SMITH, a legendary all-city writer who was sued by the city and the MTA for graffiti, was found dead, floating in Jamaica Bay. There's endless speculation in the

grafworld as to whether he was pushed, fell or jumped off a bridge. SANE is so respected, there are some writers today who spend time in public libraries reading and rereading the newspaper microfilm

about his death, his arrests, his career. According to JA, after SANE's death, his brother, SMiTH, also a respected graffiti artist, found a piece of paper on which SANE had written his and JA's tag and off to

the side, FLYING HIGH THE XTC WAY. It now hangs on JA's apartment wall.


One morning, JA and I jump off the end of a subway platform and head into the tunnels. He shows me hidden rooms, emergency hatches that open to the sidewalk, where to stand when the trains come by. He tells me about the time SANE lay face down in a shallow drainage ditch on the tracks as an express train ran inches above him. JA says anytime he was being chased by the police he would run into a nearby subway station, jump off the platform and run into the tunnels. The police would never follow. KET, a veteran graffiti writer, tells me how in the tunnels he would accidentally step on homeless people sleeping. They'd see him tagging and would occasionally ask that he "throw them up," write their names on the wall. He usually would. Walking in the darkness between the electrified rails as trains race by, JA tells me the story of two writers he had beef with who came into the tunnels to cross out his tags. Where the cross-outs stop is where they were killed by an approaching train.


The last time I go out with JA, SET and JD, they pick me up at around 2 am. We drive down to the Lower East Side to hit a yard where about 60 trucks and vans are parked next to one another. Every vehicle is already covered with throw-ups and tags, but the three start to write anyway, JA in a near frenzy. They're running in between the rows, crawling under trucks, jumping from roof to roof, wedged down in between the trailers, engulfed in nauseating clouds of paint fumes (the writers sometimes blow multicolored mucous out of their noses), going over some writers' tags, respecting others, JA throwing up

SANE's name, searching for any little piece of clean space to write on. JA, who had once again been talking about retirement, is now hungry to write and wants to hit another spot. But JD doesn't have any paint, SET needs gas money for his car, and they have to drive upstate the next morning to appear in court for a paint-theft charge.


During the ride back uptown the car is mostly quiet, the mood depressed. And even when the three were in the truck yard, even when JA was at his most intense, it seemed closer to work, routine, habit. There are moments like this when they seem genuinely worn out by the constant stress, the danger, the legal problems, the drugging, the fighting, the obligation to always hit another spot. And it's usually when the day is starting.


About a week later I get a call from another writer whom JA had told I was writing an article on graffiti. He tells me he has never been king, never gone all city, but now he is making a comeback, coming out of

retirement with a new tag. He says he could do it easily today because there is no real competition. He says he was thinking about trying to make some money off of graffiti -- galleries. canvases, whatever . . .

to get paid.


"I gotta do something," the writer says. "I can't rap, I can't dance, I got this silly little job." We talk more, and he tells me he appreciates that I'm writing about writers, trying to get inside the head of a vandal, telling the real deal. He also tells me that graffiti is dying, that the city is buffing it, that new writers are all

toys and are letting it die, but it's still worth it to write.


I ask why, and then comes the inevitable justification that every writer has to believe and take pleasure in, the idea that order will always have to play catch-up with them. "It takes me seconds to do a quick throw-up; it takes them like 10 minutes to clean it," he says. "Who's coming out on top?"



KEVIN HELDMAN lives in New York. This is his first piece for "Rolling Stone." (ROLLING STONE,FEB 9,1995)



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Guest HAL

The Mac interview is fucking awesome. Now that's what graffiti is all about for me.

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here we go...some shit on some KWOTA crew guyz outta Canada... caught this article in a mag my freakin parents get called "Utne Reader,"

later caught it online when doing some research... my bad on the format tip....


The Art of Vandalism


by Allen Abel for "Saturday Night" magazine




Trainpainters work at night, trespassing in rail yards. They go by code names to shield themselves from arrest. This

is their world.


Canada's most beautiful vandal is a fallen angel with filthy hands. He is one of about thirty-five such criminals

across this country, white males in their twenties, who obsessively, furtively, jubilantly practise what they - and

some who see their creations - hold to be a form of art.

The vandal and his accomplices haunt train yards and paint elaborate graffiti on the boxcars. They do this

because it is illegal, because walls and alleys are boring, because it unites them with hobo tradition. They do it

because freight cars move.

"Every artist dreams of having a show in Chicago," he says. "Well, I have a show in Chicago every day, and in

New York, and in all the small towns along the tracks." You may look at these photographs - some are of his work -

and decide that this is true art; or the opposite, that it is bestial sabotage. Maybe you will want him and the others

locked up, sent away, attached for damages, paddled (they tried to pass a law allowing that in California), forced to

scour the rolling stock.

I have pledged not to identify him - or any of his peers - although naming, "monikering," tagging, proclaiming an

invented identity is the nucleus of his endeavour. In public, the Canadians who paint freights prefer to be known by a

single, choleric noun: CASE, FLOW, TAKE, CHROME, FEAR. Or a maudlin adjective: ALONE, OTHER, SOLO, HIGH. They

baptize themselves into brotherhoods with puffed-up titles like "Those Damn Vandals" and "Bombs Away."

They like to trespass in the Canadian Pacific or Canadian National or Burlington Northern yards in Ottawa,

Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Toronto, or whistle stops in between, to floridly paint a boxcar or a tanker or an

auto-rack overnight, alone or with their crew, identifying themselves by moniker and telephone area code (FLOW 514

from Montreal; OTHER 604 when he's in Vancouver).

Then, they send it off with a benediction, that someone might spot the train in Charlotte or Saskatchewan or

West Texas and notify the creator with a message on another rail car:



Alternatively, a painter may forgo a major production and simply move rapidly from car to car to car, tagging each

with a small logo or ornamental signature, keeping score in a notebook of the serial numbers of the wagons he hits.

An American man who signs himself "The Solo Artist" is said to have autographed 100,000 cars over twenty years.

For larger works that can cover an entire seventy-foot hopper or tanker, a lifetime count of 300 pieces marks a man

for the defacers' Hall of Fame.

Some of the painters I've met are the sons of bankers and university professors. Most can cite chapter and verse

of the Criminal Code, and several have been fined, or briefly jailed, under section 430 (1): "WILFUL AND FORBIDDEN

ACTS IN RESPECT OF CERTAIN PROPERTY. Every one commits mischief who wilfully (a) destroys or damages property;

(B) renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective."

Quite a few have been to art school. Most work afternoons, invisibly, as Mike or Art or Steve or Joel, their fever

dissipated in the daylight world.

The Internet is rife with photographs of their "productions" and "end-to-ends." (Webmasters give these domains

such names as "Visual Cancer" and "Visual Orgasm.") Some trainpainters add their e-mail addresses to their pieces, so

that anyone spotting a car they have bombed can instantly report its whereabouts. Occasionally, legitimate profit

comes when they are asked to co-opt their creativity into a civic mural, or design a T-shirt, or colour a canvas for a

gallery wall.

They spend the money on markers and spray cans. Lacking cash, the compulsion is so strong, they'll steal

whatever they need.

The beautiful vandal I am talking about is in a wheelchair. A train crushed him when he was a teenager; he won't

stand or walk again. His moniker is the universal symbol for wheelchair parking with a railroad track running through it.

It is painted in white, a foot or so high, on about 5,000 of North America's 1.6 million freight cars.

Now he is twenty-four. His hair is already greying, fingernails blackened, eyes bottomless. He tells me, "I'm in a

league of my own, 'cause of my predicament."

The urge is still in him. Friends carry him down to the yards. Last spring, he rode a boxcar across the country.

Getting on, getting off, he would hand his chair to an accomplice and climb to it.

"We thought, if our art can move around this system, why can't we?" he says.

"Do you envy the hoboes of the Great Depression?" I ask him.

"That's not envy," he replies. "That's empathy. I've spent excessive hours talking to tramps in the hobo jungles,

searching for the meaning of what that was about. It was about hardship, man."

He believed, when he was younger, that graffiti was a deposition of American ghetto frustration and creativity. In

Canada, short on slums and grimness, it was merely copycat crime.

"Then, trains started bringing the art in," he says. "All of a sudden, in a stale environment where there was no

other graffiti, I would see a piece and think, 'Holy shit! Where's that from?'

"It became an issue of synchronicity - being around at the right time, when a car happened to be passing by.

There was that sense of wonder - where are these guys from? - and I built this chaos theory of it. All this art,

moving around chaotically, where none of the artists are in control of where it goes.

"Think of it, man - you're sitting in your car at some crossing on the Prairies and all of a sudden this art comes

rolling past you, and you happen to look up and you see this thing and you have about half a second to see it and

you'll never get another chance.

"It's just synchronicity - that's why seeing a piece on a freight is special, as opposed to seeing a piece on a wall

where someone tells you where to go to see it.

"That's my favourite theme - synchronicity. Do you know how to increase your synchronicity?" he asks.

"Increase your awareness."

The two men who conduct me into the Montreal freight yards could not be more opposite. One is a self-professed

wastrel, defined by his apartness; the other is groomed and Spartan. One is the son of a physics professor; the other

doesn't want his father's occupation revealed.

The latter is part of an established crew that bombs walls and abandoned factories as well as freights. He calls

himself FLOW, because as a child he had a fascination with wolves and FLOW is wolf spelled backwards. He is

twenty-eight, muscular, soft-spoken, a non-drinker, he says, non-smoker, no drugs. He has hit about 1,500 boxcars

this year alone with his moniker of a diesel engine coming at you down the tracks. He has model trains at home.

"If I didn't have the job I have now," FLOW says, "I'd love to work on trains. This is where the new generation of

rail fans is coming from - from graffiti."

The other man is slender, twenty-seven, unkempt, bushy, matter-of-fact when he professes that his best work is

done alone, after midnight, with forty ounces or more of strong malt liquor in him; a "solitary committer," as in

Whitman's Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. He, too, loves trains - he rides freights and even buys tickets on VIA and

AMTRAK, just to be moving, to stare from the window, high on awareness.

He used to sign SHAMUS (his real middle name) but changed to OTHER because it suited the personality he was

trying to create. His railway art is unlike anything I have ever seen, anywhere - faces, haunted, downcast,

tormented, melting as if they were waxen, heads four feet high on tankers and hoppers, painted freehand,

spontaneously, often accompanied by verse:


She left me Alone












Friends have tried to steer him into a university fine-arts program - he has taken a few courses - but he detests

the classroom setting ("I don't really fit the school thing") and fears the critique that inevitably comes when art

stands still.

"It seems like such an obvious thing," OTHER says, walking toward the yards. "Put your name on something and

see where it goes."

"When you paint a wall," says FLOW, who has painted hundreds, "everybody can stand there as long as they

want and see all the mistakes you made."

We hike south of Central Station, cross the Lachine Canal from downtown Montreal, pass the CN police depot,

scramble up and down the loose, weedy embankments, and end up under the Victoria Bridge. About 300 freight cars,

mostly greasy black tankers and corrugated Hanjin intermodal containers from Korea that graffiti artists rarely bother

with, are lined up in a skein of engineless trains.

Some of the cars have been sitting here for quite some time - a monumentally troubling work on a grey hopper

labelled OTHER AS AN EARLESS SPERM was painted weeks before; he is delighted to show it off, and dismayed that it

has not yet been moved down the rails. It is a self-portrait of the science professor's son, with the side of his face

leaking away.

From another of his freight cars:



"I'm not crazy about this term 'artist' for what I do," FLOW says, methodically chalking his moniker on a

succession of CN boxcars, while sleek VIA passenger coaches and thunderous switching engines and motor traffic on

an overpass roar by us. He turns toward OTHER, who is sketching a series of angular aliens holding pitchforks, and

some warped teddy bears and pussycats - venally cute.

"He's an artist," FLOW says. "He can draw faces and stuff. I don't think my stuff belongs on canvas. But his


"Why do you do this?" I ask.

"I don't know why I still do it," FLOW replies. "Maybe I'm just a loser?" In answer to the same question, OTHER

hands me a photograph of a soliloquy he painted on a grey chemical tanker:






"It's all about movement," OTHER says. "Message in a bottle, but the bottle always comes back."

They teach me the craft and the code. Never paint over the serial numbers of the cars; the workers need them.

A green Burlington Northern boxcar whose number begins with 249 is headed for its home in Vancouver. If you hop a

freight, huddle in the end of a Wheat Pool grain hopper; bring water and a sweater. Lie to the cops; you're just here

to take pictures. Never lie to your friends. Lie low.

I walk away as the two men attend to their industry, and study the emblems and the signatures on the cars:

HAPPY FR8s; ROCKIN' ON STEEL; COSE from Winnipeg; CYDE from Switzerland. I am amused, intrigued, a little afraid -

I feel as though I am standing in a canyon between skyscrapers that could jolt into life at any moment.

When we leave, walking north through the derelict streets, we pass a shop that has placed, in its windows, prints

of Van Gogh sunflowers and starry nights. I ask if the men consider this to be true beauty.

"If I was going to buy a piece of art," FLOW shrugs, "I'd get something with trains in it."

There's a rail line that slides behind Gastown in Vancouver, towards a dock called the Ballantine Pier. A sculptor

named George Pratt has his studio down here, and he has erected a plinth inscribed with a Biblical quotation from the

book of Jesus Son of Sirach. The quotation praises carpenters, engravers, artisans. It could be the anthem of the

graffiti writers and their belief that they embellish the blankness of their towns: "All these trust to their hands: and

every one is wise in his work. Without these cannot a city be inhabited . . . . They shall not be sought for in publick

counsel, nor sit high in the congregation: they shall not sit on the judges' seat, nor understand the sentence of

judgment: they cannot declare justice and judgment; and they shall not be found where parables are spoken. But

they will maintain the state of the world, and [all] their desire is in the work of their craft."

I am on my way to meet TAKE5, another of Canada's most respected rail-yard fiends. Early for the appointment, I

wander along the tracks, as I now find myself doing everywhere I go, looking for the wheelchair logo, or The Solo

Artist's flourish, or the work of OTHER and FLOW.

TAKE5, an ebullient young man in a CP ball cap, meets me at a beery, down-market hotel. His work is to the

expected standard - his own handle in huge, elaborate letters, which he paints in vibrant colours on the sides of

worthy freights. He does not attempt to imitate OTHER's mad, moody portraits - no one could.

"One night I bombed the roof of my high school," he says, beginning his story. "The principal came out and said,

'Aren't you TAKE5, who's been doing graffiti all over town?'

"I said, 'Oh, no, sir - TAKE5 is a girl. And then I said to him, 'There's nobody else up here, sir - tell me, what do

you really think of it?





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You're from Amsterdam, how important is Amsterdam for you?


Important. it's got everything you want from a city like dirt and tolerancy (ask MILK and FUME)


You're one of the famous pioneers from the dutch graffiti scene and member of the legendary U.S.A; Flashing back; can you give the readers any idea how life was back In the days?


I started in 1983. When I started I wasn't aware of graffiti elsewhere than in Amsterdam. I never heard of subways in NYC and piecing, I only knew about tagging, because that's what I saw, tags: EGO, DR.AIR, WALKIN JOINT, OK. I started together with JEZIS, I wrote FIX. Back than I never understood that "QUIK-thing". It was a huge throw up, but I couldn't figure out how somebody was able to do such a thing, it must have took him at least 20 cans I thought. Later I found out that there was a graffiti gallery nearby which showed the graffiti heaven for me; photos from Henry were exhibited. That's when I started piecing together with six other guys the U.S.A. Those days were cool, we were experimenting with different styles and things, trying to find out wich styles would fit the best to us. All the time we could find out something new, things we didn't know yet.


What's the secret of your success; like where have you got your style from?


I don't know


Are you influenced or inspired by someone?


I’ am influenced by letterstylers, the people who were really into letter designing.


Are you using any form of art education?


Yes, I think so I’ am using more 3d effects. My letters are supposed to be things which you can just pick of the wall; that suits to my education, designing objects.


How Important is NYC to ya?

New York is where the roots are. The best graffiti ever came from New York.


What's your view about style?


Style has got to be recognizable, individual. I respect everybody who's style is like that


What's your goal, anything you wanna reach?


Fame, I’ am reaching for fame and recognition, more fame and more recognition and doing the best piece I ever did.


Who do you respect and who are your partners?


I respect my INC-partners; GASP and CES furthermore CAT, BANDO, BLADE, LEE and T-KID. They have my deepest respect.


Why do you write MESS? Nice letters, better to form than DELTA.


Some shorties;

What's you're favorite paint?

no favorite.


What's you're favorite comic?

Heinz, Krazy Kat by Herriman.


Who's you're favorite girl ?

Antonella, Axellina, Babet,


What do you think about oral sex?

I think oral sex sucks.



Source: Bomber Magazine Vol.3 Issue 1, May-June 1992


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NS: How did you get your name?

CES 53:1 started to write NICES, then one time I decided to put the N and the I away that's how I got CES. 53 comes from 5300 the zone area of the center of the city from Rotterdam.


NS: By whom are you influenced?

CES 53:Jimi Hendrix, using drugs, American comics. The Fact that you're doing illegal things.


NS: What do you do daily?

CES 53:I'm a maximum profiteer.

NS: Why do you do graffiti?

CES 53: I think it's funny.


NS: What attracks you most in graffiti?

CES 53:The fact that Graffiti is illegal and done by underground people.


NS: What is style according to you?

CES 53:They always ask me that, next question.


NS: When is a letter right?

CES 53: A letter can only graphical not be right. But a letter is made by that artist at that moment and he stands behind his work so the letter is right.


NS: What kind of spraycans do you prefer?

CES 53:I use everything it does not matter what brand it is. But mostly German paint because that is the best.





NS: What caps do you prefer?

CES 53:German caps and caps from deodorant cans like Henry M. and L’Oreal.


NS: Who is the king for you.


CES53:There is always such a bullshit about this. There is nobody the best that is such a crap. If somebody finds a writer a king than is that an opinion and that’s different for everybody. It's better to say Kings, because there are always people who get as much as possible out of themselves. For me those Kings are: CAT 22,DELTA, SHOE, GHOST, REAS, SENTO, CEMNOZ, MILK.


NS: Where have you been on this earth. to see or to do Graffiti?

CES53:Amsterdam, Prague, Paris, Berlin, Dortmund, Munchen, Koln, Dusseldorf and Oranjestad(Aruba).


NS: Have you ever been caught?

CES53:One time they took my body for committing certain facts, but I have never been caught because you stop then immediately.


NS: Do you have contacts with writers in Holland or in other countries?

CES53:No I talk a lot with myself.


NS: How do you get your paint?

CES53:Let's put it this way: I have never bought one can.


NS: What colors do you like to work with?

CES 53:I spray with anything but I like to use black the most but not for the outlines. I like all colors one most beautiful color is bullshit.

A color becomes beautiful depending like how you use the color it has nothing to do with the

color itself.


NS: Your most recent work is sprayed in a new style how did you get to that?

CES53:I will explain how I got that it is very

simple. Everything a writer writes is a reflection of his opinion and state of mind

at that moment. And my opinion at this

moment is to spray shaky. That is why I also think that you don't need a sketch when you are spraying. You stay the same then.

I always spray what comes into my mind at the moment itself.


NS: With who have you done

pieces with?



NS: What do you think of American style?

CES 53:I think it is very cool because everything is more free over there.

In Europe writers are more quiet that’s why you see a lot bubble style. A lot of writers are afraid to try something else.


NS: Do you have a message for all writers? CES53:Keep on writing and stay yourself.


Source: Nowskool, Year:3, Issue:3

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i dont think ive ever stared at a computer screen for this long ever at one point in my life...but still a tight thread...bump for tired eyes...

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This might be the most interesting post I've read on 12oz in a while. Big ups for the idea....wish I could contribute

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Re: B_________U________M_________P


Originally posted by moyen

This might be the most interesting post I've read on 12oz in a while. Big ups for the idea....wish I could contribute



i totally feel the same way.

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I decided that I am going to put an Index up at the very top of page one, so that you can look at it and find what writers have interviews and what page that particular interview is on. I'll update it whenever someone adds a new interview. hopefully this thread will go for multiple pages, I love being able to read interviews that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to find.


Peace - The Trewth

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Guest WebsterUno



HA! Finally…someone has the same issue of Can Control

as me. There is a Virus fr8 in there, with a girl on it.

Do you know of a site that might have a bigger flick of it,

or at least a better shot, that fr8 is one of my favs.

There is some choice fr8s in that issue. Early Nace stuff,

Bates on a fr8, and some other sick ass shit.


This is a good idea.

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picture stolen from one of the location12 sites i think..


Story about trains by SCORE



Trains, there I said it, so strange that the very womb of our artform casts such controversy and friction through our fellow artists. Strange that a jewel so precious as the London Tube network, the cold steel serpent that cuts through mile after mile under the city streets is possibly the closest transit network on an obviously smaller scale to the original mother of our artform, the NITA. Having personally experienced the vibe of the NYC subway system itself, and many other systems besides, I sincerely believe that what we have in London is a' blessing to be cherished not shunned like some skeleton in the cupboard.


The trains themselves, rough, raw steel, rickety, dirty, flat panelled, silver giants, varying in degrees from line to line, the long tunnel networks hiding century old doorways

and passages to times past, the yards varying from dark tunnel lay-ups, huge underground yards, large shed based depots, and suburban lay-ups, and the passengers, silent, unfriendly, multi racial, multiclass, herded through long poorly lit passageways and escalators all add up to a network so complex that hardly anyone could possibly know everything.

The visible ghostings and stains give a reminder of what were once the etchings in raw steel that told a million stories.


I personally visited Amsterdamn recently when trains were no longer being buffed and trains were pieced end to end (panel pieces over whole cars, far out!), and although one of the most uplifting sights I have ever witnessed, the habitat itself was about as romantic. as a bag of shit, only four yards, trains and stations of a spacious easy going layout, much of the system more open than the BR to Dungerness and all the life of a corpse. In some the paranoia has become so strong, that the mere mention of the word train, almost like the word graffiti (another debate) may pull the carpet from under their feet, and leave them on their arse, when really the only thing to be pulled is the wool from their eyes, (selfish, look out for No 1, forget those who got you where you are low moral fools). Trains rather than being feared should be utilized, as it is obviously a powerful media tool if used correctly, without it the artform would not exist, and would have fizzled out with all the excitement of farting in the bath.


Trains however I will concede have meant the death of many great artists in the UK,

some literally and some metaphorically, drowned by the rapidly rising tide of the judicial law, but this was in the past and due to ignorance. We as an artform were to blame for our lack of unity, support, and knowledge. The thrill and the chance to insult was what drew most of us and is

only now wrapped and drenched art that we are exploring and experimenting in new realms.


Trains is our history and one to be built on and to be proud of, not forgotten. Even painting the trains is not essential to all who may not feel to risk getting caught (understandable in the UK it's no joke) or are afraid to go back to basics and learn new techniques such as having to feel sense and color, the challenge of a limited canvas, painting at speed, in the dark in a small space, constantly on edge, but the treatment and respect for the only true kings of our scene is paramount, sad that an eden such as this is situated in the UK's sick society, police attitudes conservative stiff upper lips and sick laws are enough

barriers without internal combustion SCORE 1992


Source: Graphotism Issue:2

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J: Do you write any other names bees BATES?



J: How old are you?

B: Old enough.


J: In an interview for the On The Run magazine you gave your deepest respect to the Holland old skool, What's your relation with Holland?

B: I have always looked up to Holland; SHOE, JOKER and BANDO went to Copenhagen in 1986 and changed most of the Danish style, they gave us an idea, that theirs was a new style beyond ours. For example, in doing small letters with very steady skinny outlines, it was something we hadn't seen before... Besides, my father is from Holland so I feel I' am half Dutch (in a way) although I can't speak the language.


J: Who do you know from here?



J: What was your first acquaintance with Dutch graffiti?

B: Your style in tags and throw ups! As long as I can remember you've always beat one step

ahead what it comes to tagging' style and nice throw-ups. Don't get me wrong, but I like your old style better that your new stuff. Get organized go out and do a big great wall like back then, to show that you're kicking. Together we are bombing strong, so unite and do something solid.


J: How did the Danish graffiti scene grew to what it is today, like who's ruling and why?

B: Because of the elite, the old skool, guys like: SIDE, REZEN, TONE, SABE, JAP, RENS, SEK and me, BATES. They made graffiti in Denmark what it is today, ‘cause they kept on painting throughout the years.




J: Where do you stand in the Danish graffiti scene and how did you reach that?

B :I've always wanted to be in the top, I have been painting for about 8 years now and I’m still doing nice pieces.


J: How do you design your letters, by hours of sketching or do they flow straight from your pen?

B: I’ am looking at various timeless things that inspire me. I draw nearly every day and I always carry a few sketches with me that fit to the wall. If I want to I can always do a few bits here and there.


J: What inspired you to ever start writing?

B:I was definitely inspired by New York in the beginning of my graffiti career...but I've now reached a standard from wich I can do my own private style.


J: What do you think of trainbombing?

B: Graffiti looks the best on trains, but these days you can't do what you feel like doing and that's why I mostly paint walls. But our local "S" trains get bombed in periods, these trains only run in Copenhagen and there's always something running...


J: What's the most attractive in graffiti, the art or the destruction; legal or illegal and why?

B: The illegal art and legal destruction is attractive and means lots of fun...


J: Any goals you wanna reach?

B: Yeah several;

- I wanna go to New York and bum a train.

- To be in a graffiti book to never be forgotten

- To become a legend in graffiti


J: Have you ever participated in contests?

B: Yeah, in Bridlington(England), may 1989.


J: Who were involved?



J :How do you feel about graffiti contests?

B: You can't compete in graffiti.


J: In '91 you told Akim in an On The Run interview that you wanna reach international fame, do you think you’ve got it already?

B: I’ am still reaching



Source: Bomber July-September 1992

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Interview with Bates



1. How long have you been painting ?

Bates: 8 years, since 1984.


2. Did you start alone or with friends ?

B: 1 started alone.


3. Do you paint both trains and walls ?

B: Yes, mostly walls.


4. What crews are you in ?

B: All - in - one (AIO), Pathetic Children Painting (PCP) and LA’S West Coast (WC)


5. Do you paint in other cities besides your own ?

B: Yeah, 1 just visited another big city called "Odense" (2 Hours from Copenhagen) - my weekend finished with 3 wall pieces and one train. Later I would like to go to: Stockholm (again), Oslo, LA.

and New York - that must be my future plans.


6. What do you think of the Danish scene ?

B:I think some of the best writers come from here, some of the baddest styles around - this is my opinion, still a lot of bullshit is goin' on... People makin' rumors and talk crap behind your back, destroying each other pieces, because of jealousy - its fuckin our culture up from the inside.


7. Where have you painted?

B: Sweden, Holland, Germany, Spain.


8. Who do you respect ?

B: People who respect me.


9. What music do you like ?

B: Hip Hop (old school) and world wide music. Something that puts me in the mood.



10. What the last cinema movie you saw ?

B: Boomerang


11. Did you like it ?

B: Yeah!


12. Has graffiti opened any doors for you ?

B: Some.


13. How tough is Copenhagen ?

B: I don't see Copenhagen as tuff.

14. What's the best thing about graffiti ?

B: The exciting feeling nothing else can't beat! To go out there and you know you did something bad


15. Are you inspired by anyone ?

B: Yes, all of "you" inspire me to out again and again ... the best thing, I know - is when you're reading Tuff Stuff, Flashbacks etc and see new pieces by Seen, Loomit or Delta.


16. What do you prefer: Bombin' or piecing ?

B: Definitely piecing ...


17. Favorite paint ?

B: "Quick spray paint from Norway


18. What do you think about the future?

B: I don't know, but lets make 93 a good year for the graffiti scene.


19. A last word ?

B: To let you know, that there’s other writers beyond me, Rens and CMP - here in Denmark we have for example: Sek, Sabe, Spide, Tower, Level, che, Isde, Basik, Rezk, Rezen, jest, etch - just 2 name a few - Peace and Respect.



Source: Tuff Stuff Issue:3 May 1993

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interview taken from http://itw.aero.fr/oclock.html and photos from http://www.ksurf.net/~armvr


translated from french to english by my lovely wife isabelle




When did you start your “job”?


I started in 1989 with tags and by doing a few pieces here and there, but nothing really serious .At the time I still lived in the south east suburb of “Panam” (Paris), where the RER (train) line was fully killed, I was just observing. I also used to hang out with GURU and NOCTUS but I never thought I would be able to do something like that, but the idea of doing it seriously started to take root at this time. In 1995 I knew what direction to take and I came out with the name O’CLOCK and I had decided , then , to become well known. Keep this in mind! O’CLOCK! I’m here to stay!




Any particular reason why you chose that name?


I needed a name that really meant something to me, not just a word. Believe it or not, for years I’ve been waking up , sweating, in the middle of the night because I was horrified of the fact that I would eventually die someday too! The countdown had started and I couldn’t get used to the idea. I wanted for the people to remember me after my death and this name would be my way of controlling everything when the time comes.( and, like you saw, this doesn’t mean that I arrive in time for interviews!)




Yes we saw! But then, why choosing Graffiti? Were you sure that this was the best way for you to come out of the crowd?


It is very attractive because it is illegal, who knows what I’ll be doing in 3 years? Right now Graffiti is my way to escape so I graff! I was making my stats in relation to my stocks of CORIO and with one marker you can do 50 Tags so I do 100-200 tags in my best days and that is when I’m satisfied, when I get home and that my markers are empty .Even the useless tags are worth it because they are the ones that stay the longest, writing might be dirty and polluting, but it gives me the strength to live and it gives the workers of “the COMATEC” the opportunity to make sure that their cleaning products are still efficient!...And the best is that I work for them, I’m a Chemist in their laboratory and we are not going to get caught by those fucking plastic suits!




What do you think of the writers who thinks that doing pieces is cool but tagging sucks?


they can go fuck themselves! There is many stages in Graff and tags are the first one. The real taggers like: CLICK,COLORZ,OENO,HAVOC are the ones that impressed me the most .Tagging made me famous in Paris amongst taggers but also amongst normal people .That was my aim, and now that I got to it, I’m doing many different things but tagging stays my best thrill, by vandalising, that’s how I get off! Not by staying there ,3 hours trying to do something clean! But I’m not doing tags just to release tension, I’m drawing a lot before hand, looking for styles and trying to do something new…..I can put 20 tags side by side on a wall if it looks good! A tag is not only a signature, it’s something alive and every time I make one, I’m trying to make a tag that fit to it’s support .




Are you just a tagger?


Of course not! I’ve always done pieces . But the people have only noticed the mass of tags…..at the moment I’m trying to do more complicated , I’m touching more at colors and try to work with the typography of my paintings. I’m doing walls and trains but as I said before I never seriously made pieces before 1995.I didn’t dare before because I was not sure of what Styles I was able to come up with. The typical French style of the start the 90’s is the base of my graffiti culture, but I also wanted to be opened and try to new directions




So what’s your favourite style?


I love them all when they are well done! From crazy PME to clean styles like CES’s ones. With clever curves and logical connections , things like that.


I also love TWIST, REVS and also the styles of NASCIO, I even love DAIM’s pieces! I’m very impressed by his technical capacities. In each style I can find something interesting, but on the other hand I hate this “simple graff! Style tendency which is so ugly (this being in purpose) What’s the use to do a piece in 1999 imitating the style of a NYC piece from the 70’s? I cannot comprehend this need to go back in the passed. What I mean is that, fair enough it can bee cool once in a while just to shock, but to abuse and do it all the time , that’s just too easy.




Do you like to paint the walls?


Walls are great to better yourself and do whatever gets in your head. Now , when it comes to the point that you have been passing again and again on the same hall of fame, then it’s not my thing I like to explore new territories and paint in new places every time .I don’t have enough time to do walls at the moment. But maybe when I’ll be older and that I will have been busted too many times I’ll think about it! But for now I thrive in the streets and in the train yards.




But right now , trains are what you’re really into right?


I started not long ago. I started with long distance trains and cargos, now I have realised that what it feels like to have people looking at your pieces “rolling”! So since then I did a lot of pieces on trains on TGV’s and also others, but I’m only a starter, I need to do more to get better, doing trains is not simple but anyway, we are in 1999 and we can still kill them here!




Do you think it’s more risky to paint in the streets?


I think that once you found your “own way” to paint a train, it becomes easier.


The streets , it’s more complicated because there is so many sudden and unplanned things that might happen. A pig dressed civil, taxis working for the pigs, and even a total idiot might want to play superman and try to fuck around with you. You never know, and sometimes it’s hard to get out of the net. But I also have my own methods to bomb in the streets, most of the time I work alone and also observation is key!


When I started I had a map to prepare my attacks block by block. Those last months I came out more to do pieces than to tag, but I’m still a tagger, I got tones of ink CORIO and JET at home so don’t you worry I’ll be back soon!




Did you try the Paris Metro ?


When I was a kid I lived in the suburbs so I was more fascinated by the RER (suburban train) than the Metro (Paris city train). I did many because I live in Paris now but the metros that have been painted almost never runs, so I’m not interested to take risks simply if it means getting at the end of the tunnel, do my piece, take my flik and then simply be happy with what I’ve done, it’s not worth it. this does not make the metro a less fascinating target, but since I’m wanted by the RATP (metro company) I prefer to lay low.




what’s the atmosphere like in Paris at the moment?


Too many pigs! I always keep them in mind. I’m not acting like, “yea whatever fuck them!.... and then I get mad!, no, I know perfectly well what could happen to me if I get busted, so I take all my precautions first, in case where something might happen. But there is also a lot of jealousy in the graff scene. I don’t care because I only see the people I know and the ones from my crews: LT27 and 156….but I always have the rage in me , there is a good few guys that I don’t know personally and who don’t like me and who don’t even know why, I already tried to talk to them but it’s no use, there’s nothing that can be done and it’s no use to even talk about it…




what are your goals at the moment?


I want to try a lot of thing in different styles. Testing new 3D’s , bubbles and so on…Without falling in the trap of copying as some do, it’s a current practice nowadays and I find it’s a shame! If I go and a Hall of fame and that afterwards I see some pieces which are from far away, sometimes I can see the difference between the original and the reproduction. My aim in graff is NOT to buy a magazine so that I can recycle It’s ideas and then have the bollocks to go and put it up a wall! I want for people to like my pieces and on the other hand I want to keep laughing inside when I hear them complaining about my tags on the walls.




Your whole life seems to be devoted to Graff?


That’s probably what my problem is, I paint too much and don’t spend enough time looking for new ideas and trying to be more creative , and that pisses me off. I don’t feel like I evolved at all. I would like to be able to stop for a little while and think about the meaning of everything I’m doing. But now that I’ve started I can’t stop!


It’s like a bobsleigh I run into walls , the walls are jealous writers, pigs and all who wants to fuck with me, the reality being : all the different existing targets are simply waiting for their turns to be taken in hostage! I just want to leave a trace.


A little while ago , I stopped painting for a few months…but after a while I came back to the source, I cannot forget what is the most important in my eyes: BOMBING!



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B: Name; HECK Crews; GVB, INC, CWF en MSN.

B: Trainwriter since; 1989

B: why did you start bombing the trains?

H: the city I lived in at that time, didn't offer me any challenges. you get greater kicks out of doing trains and back then, the shit was in service for a long time.

B: then? is there any difference between then and now?

H: hell yeah, then trainbombing was easy, less organized vandal squad. You knew exactly which yards were hot, because only a hand full of writers were doing trains. Back then there were the legendary Rolling Steel Wheel Crusaders. Nowadays a lot of writers are doing trains. Because of safety reasons you don't paint or even talk to many other writers. Therefore it's impossible to know everything that's going on.

B: why do you still run the trains then?

H: the excitement and just having a good time. The kick nowadays is having that good time plus having good photos of your always improving trainshit. Back in the days you get your kicks out of sitting at the station watching your shit passing by this just won't happen anymore.

B: do you sacrifice a lot for your kicks?

H: it's a daily operation, racking cans, the nights that your on the tracks.

B: but you can still live a normal life?

H: hardly, but I keep on trying.

B: what's your personal spraypaintset?

H: good paint, a skimask, a pair of gloves, fatcaps, a camera and if possible a car, so I won't be forced to sleep half a night on benches or at graveyards.

B: how do you prepare yourself?

H: how I ‘am preparing myself? I clean my cans, drink lots of

coffee while smoking a big phat blunt.

B: what do you like best; solo or teamactions?

H: I rather go along with ot-hers, people I trust, you know like homies. You're someti-mes depending on others, so you must be sure you can count on them. By the way how much fun would it be if you're out there spending a nightbombing with someone you hardly know.

B: how important are con-tacts?

H: in a way they're very important cause it makes you able to know other yards, plus you can get a clear view on what's going on. And for example when you travel to a country where you already know some-one it's easier racking cans and fuckin up yards.

B: what about the vandalsquad?

H: they never sweat me till this day, my opinion is that these guys stick by collecting state-ments from toys who usually don't know where they're tal-king about. I know as much about them as they know about me; less, zero, nada.

B: what's your knowledge on the yards?

H: I know a lot of yards, unfortunately the N.S. is very unpre-dictable. You can enter a yard 3 times and everything is cool but the fourth time things are different when your there with you're buddies.

B: do you operate on a national or an international area?

H: as much as possible I’ am covering a large international area.

B: if you could judge yourself on a low, normal or cool level where would you end?

H: low when it comes to quantity, but cool when it comes to quality.

B: who do you admire and of course why?

H: Reaze, Mellie, Bizar, Eror, Delta, Gasp, Rhyme, Cat 22, Fume, Milk, Colt, Deal, Ces 53, Sprite, Sick, Sperma and Bomber Jay; these guys know why themselves.

B: what's your goal?

H: one man whole cars on the bananas.


Source :Bomber Magazine Volume 5 jan/feb 1994

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http://nuclearhosting.org/ths/pics/Saber%20-%20LA%20river.jpg'> Interview: Saber and Tyke





Interview by: Eklips and Sync


Q- What do you write?


Saber Awr Msk

Tyke Awr


Q- How long have you been writing for?


Saber- At the year 2000 it will be ten years.

Tyke- Huh, probably more than 10 years now, since 87.


Q- Why do you do graffiti?


Saber- Basically I have no choice too many feelings to many unanswered questions eating away at you you have to go challenge them if you don't either you go crazy or just drop everything, die, or do something else, who knows, it has to be that (graffiti), it has to be full force. Graffiti is the perfect medium for expressing full force type shit. I always wanted to clown around like and idiot be straight.... and now its like were doing that for a good reason, expressing ourselves.

Tyke- Why do I do graffiti? like going out and painting? drawing and shit? I guess to keep occupied I enjoy it.


Q- What's your greatest enjoyment about graffiti?


Tyke- Just keep producing work, try to change my work keep evolving it until I'm happy with it.

Saber- Two things, influencing other people like younger generations, and getting feedback and also just always adding to the bulk of work and always knowing that its invisible money to yourself; putting into yourself always having a product. Something you care about that's the best thing, just to sit back and look at it, that's the best thing.


Q- You said its like invisible money, but you're not a person that really cares about money so do you really mean money money?


Saber- No I didn't mean it like that, it's hard to describe, theirs no word for it, maybe it's just more respect for the craft, or just props, just building the voice; echoing it larger and larger and watching where the echoes go, and watching the repercussions of your actions of what you paint and the reaction it causes in its environment.


Q- So its like an asset to you?


Saber- Right, right; everything we do from scribing on a bus to doing a mural for three months, its all asset, because its put in the environment; it's put their subjectively. That's basically adding to the whole collection from the first step of actually doing the process of graffiti; its just adding to yourself and your crew.


Q- Tyke, how do you think graffiti has changed since you started doing graffiti?


Tyke- I don't know, maybe I think in L.A. things have changed because their is not as many yards anymore. So when I first did graffiti what inspired me was just burners at yards, shit that KSN and WCA were doing, whoever, shit at Belmont, like all that old shit was fresh those productions was what inspired met to keep producing and that's the level I wanted to get to with the art. Master shit like the way Slick use to do shit, Krush, Rise, Eklips, you did shit that influenced me a lot, all these dudes, Mystic influenced me a lot back then. And now its just a little bit stagnant, but I think its starting to change now because there are yards now; there are spots now, people are going up more, shit is starting to evolve again in L.A..


Q- So would you say that graffiti was hot then it went cold, now its warm again working its way up?


Tyke- Yeah, yeah I would definitely say so.

Saber- It's working it's way up; because as these times are growing closer and closer to a new age these people that are producing the images that we all see, their images are slowing down, there getting stagnant, stale, so people are starting to need us to create these knew images and these high energy situations. So basically its growing for as being accepted, and more accepted as an art form, and even going more neurotic and being accepted for being twice as neurotic as the next guy; and this is acceptable because you're proving it through your actions of your art; so its just expanding in different ways , its good, toys are starting to catch onto certain aspects of graffiti like moving it forward to rollers, whatever, just venturing out, trying new mediums just trying new things. That's the only way it's going to survive.

Tyke- I think what's changed is a lot of its just they way letters are, a lot of the knew shit I see I cant read it; I don't understand the graffiti. I might be out of it, but the only shit I understand is the shit my crew is doing; what I appreciate and understand. Back before when I was younger there was a lot of shit that inspired me, today the only thing that inspires me is the people around me.

Saber- Its rare to see somebody that really shocks you or that your are really impressed with. A lot people are kinda scratching they're way up to their little top with their little ego, but its rare that we see somebody coming through with true heart ready to go full force, its rare, but I guess you just keep watching keeping your eyes I open for those certain people who have that spark. There always will be new people like that, its going to be one in a million, but there are those people some where out there, maybe not even around yet.


Q- If you were to list 5 people in the past 5 years that you think had that spark, who would they be?


Saber- Revoke, Zes, Ayer (rip), Tie (rip). I think Tie and Ayer especially had and enormous amount of spark, probably too much for their own space. It was too much for their spirit, too much for their body thats..thats why there not around cause it was just too, too much energy in one body you know. Zes is a maniac, he is doing things that people wish they could do. Things that aren't even suppose to be happening like climbing obstacles that don't even exist to people and doing full 5 color wild styles. Its almost unheard of; He's doing things that people ten years ago would think that some alien did the shit and this is like really shit happening now, modern shit, the most advanced shit yet. Tyke- That's so hard to say; I'm mostly in touch with just people in my crew. So I would have to say guys like Saber and Gkae; Krush is still doing his shit, still burning man. Mear, for sure mear.


Q- Where do you see graffiti in the next ten years?


Saber- I see graffiti controlling the corporate realm, I see graffiti making political moves, I see graffiti being 80ft. sculptures, I see graffiti writers designing fuckin' architecture. I see the next Frank Lloyd Wright's, Picasso's, Dennis, fucking you name it man...there's a lot of us, were all going to take our position in society. Regardless if its underground or above ground, were all going to take our position, and its going to be significant; our voice will be heard...we cant help it...our voice will.. be heard.


Q-Explain your artist terrorist idea?


Saber- Just nighttime stuff, taking over; its a mystery, its all mystery- that part; who what where when why and how type shit, like how the fuck? Its all about baffling, baffling. Baffling citizens. Baffling commuters, baffling whoever, its just all about baffling, straight up; making people think what the fuck is going on in these kids heads.

Tyke- That shit is maturing, like graffiti in L.A. I could tell you. The people who did graffiti and who were fresh they've matured and moved on to different things like Rich from Nasa.. he's doing shit for Vans. These graffitiartists are controlling and creating the images that younger generations are going to see, kinda like the way I used to see skateboard graphics, the visions, the pictures they put in my head; like those guys are controlling shit, they in a sense had a lot of influence on people like me who started doing graffiti; these graffiti writers are going to start doing cartoons...


Q- What do you think about corporate America jocking graffiti?


Tyke- Jocking graffiti is one thing, but they can't market it as graffiti. They just got to get the artist, who's got his style, to do something. Maybe the artist just doing that job knows how far he should go with it. He's not going to bring real graffiti to the table; it's just good art.

Q- On the bottom of a jnco shoe there is like some little piece, have you seen that? that's not graffiti?


Tyke- That's definitely not graffiti; its a replica of graffiti...

Saber- That's not graffiti...its a clone, a clone...

Tyke- Exactly its a clone of graffiti. Real graffiti I guess, is on a wall, or on a surface, probably illegally, is real graffiti.

Saber- You wouldn't go to the corporate table with your best shit... you would not go there and spend a 100 hours on a oil canvas for some corporate motherfuckers. They would say we want a soft drink logo, there gonna get just a soft drink logo. You're not going to give them some super way out shit, you're not going to give them your heart. I wouldn't give a soft drink co. my best shit I would give them what they want to see, just play them, humor them, I don't give a fuck about them. I need to put food on the table now, I would never come to them with my best shit never, I would never show them my best shit, I would never show them my illegal graffiti.


Q- What if a soft drink co. came to you and said they wanted you to rock some L.A. River type shit?


Saber- I would never do it...never do it.


Q-You'd be like fuck you, even if they wanted to give you 5 grand?


Saber- If L.A. County came to me and said, "you have permission to go in the daytime and will supply you oil paint..." I would do it for L.A. County.

Tyke- That jnco shit is not you're real graffiti. I think that the real graffiti artists who have the skills they're going to make the right business decisions and they're going to control their own shit, and they're going to control what they are putting out, and they don't have to put out some fake ass graffiti shit that someone is like, "yo we want tags and some arrows and sparkles..." there just doing some raw shit. People wont even understand that its graffiti. Images that like... Dr. Zeus is straight up graffiti to me, that shit is just as much real graffiti, like character wise, you see burners and shit, creativity and originality is where its at.

Q- What do you think makes a graffiti writer valid?


Saber- Innovation, prolificness, getting his ass kicked, eating shit, getting cut by razor wire from hiding from helicopters, watching your friends go to jail, everything you've done, getting dissed. Tyke- I like style man, piecing, burners, and bombing too, a little bit of those two pretty much. Kids who take it really far in bombing and kids who just take it really far in burning, and if you can do both the more the better.

Q-You said going to jail, you have a member from your crew in jail how do you fell about that? Gkae;


Saber- My brother Gkae is in maximum security prison and I pray every day for him. That hurts, it hurts my heart a lot, without him I wouldn't be me, I wouldn't know how to push my limits. I know without Gkae a major portion...he was my right arm and my left side of my brain at the same time. Without him I would not be here, that's plain and simple; he's the whole motivational source of what happens within our crew, he's the engine of everything he's like grrrhhghgh...Eklips is the steering wheel, Eklips is the head lights and the steering wheel.


Q- Tyke how do you feel about Gkae?


Tyke- I feel really bad for him, because I think he's got a lot of talent and being locked up is in a sense wasted. Like what he did I respect him a lot for it anyone that puts that much on the line really deserves to be taken careof. I wish he wasn't there, I wish he was just here with us just chillin'; that's more important you know, there's other ways to get up.

Saber- Yeah I think these experiences, though, will change him. I'm sure he's definitely learning a lot bout himself spending all this time by himself; he's going to come out sick, he's gonna come out ready to handle life. .

Q- You lived in Frisco for a while, how would you compare San Fran graffiti to Los Angeles graffiti?


Saber - Well, L.A. graffiti its at a more advanced state as far as images go and technical type of aspects, bombing aspects, climbing, all those type of situations pretty much spawn from here. San Francisco is very fast, very fast moving, a lot more layers than L.A., a lot more kids coming in and out its such a smaller city; that city is meant for graffiti its a graffiti playground they love it their. The DA doesn't recognize felony vandalism so its just basically a playground you can do what you want and have good time and be safe. You can be in the worst part of San Francisco with a million fiends around you and they'll watch you're back. Here fuckin fiends cook dog; straight up they cook dog, its competition for that type of shit out here. People in the streets are very hostile towards graffiti out here, police, cameras, helicopters, there's no helicopter in San Francisco; completely different elements. But bringing the elements of la to San Francisco? was very fun; it created a whole new aspect and repercussions. Kids caught on really fast over there, kids catch on very fast in San Francisco because its such a small city. Kids put a lot effort into it; there's a lot kids that bomb hard that really do care about the city. San Francisco is definitely on its way to being top type shit, there's a lot of shit going on there; a lot of shit. But L.A. is moving forward too, L.A. is on some alien shit, L.A. is on some whole other type of shit, its different its like apples and oranges.


Q- What s your most memorable graffiti situation or experience?


Saber- There's a bunch, probably going to Tie's (rip) funeral, finishing the L.A. River piece, the 5 freeway bridge with me and Gkae that was definitely a mind bending experience, the shit was fuckin an acid trip doing that shit. Pretty much those three stand out the most in my head, Tie's death is kind of a big deal.


Q- Tyke what's your most memorable graffiti experience?


Tyke- They all kind of blend into one its all the same to me. The way that they all built up the way it is today. I guess the last one is the most memorable having everybody down there its all the same.

Q- Our friend Tie's death, can you talk about that explain it briefly?


Saber- yeah uh.. our friend Jonathan Lim, Tie, he was an 18 year old Asian young virgin Buddhist he was a good kid. He had more energy than I ever seen in any graffiti writer in my life. If you put all us together, he would be four our five of us energy wise and nobody could stop him, he was an unstoppable force. Yet fate seem to stop him uh a man named... uh.. William, William Porter, that's his fuckin name, well he executed my friend while doing graffiti, and blew his head off and he was acquitted. It was in the newspapers it was a really big deal within our scene we've had a lot of memorials, and he was there and he would videotape us and talk shit I don't know he's just a very evil person, he got away with murder.

Q-Why did he shoot him?


Saber- ...you know San Francisco is very tight its very ghetto, ghetto as fuck, a lot of dirt a lot of crack sales, fiends, in this neighborhood, specifically, it's very crack infested neighborhood and this guy lived there and um he (Tie) was just walking up the stairs and climbing up the pole and he didn't know that he lived there and the guy came out and pulled him off the pole, hit him with the butt of the gun and executed him.


Q- Shot him?


Saber- Shot him in the back of the head as he was running, and this man has been in Vietnam; he has shot people before, he has targets on his door, he shot a fiend there two years before, he videotapes his premises, he has sensors on the stairs, he's also a famous photographer in San Francisco, so uh, he got away with the shit man straight forward. I seen him with male hookers I seen him with all kinds of hookers. And every time I see him I scream at more about that, him, I scream my heart at his ass, he'll just be like , "fuck you I murdered your friend..." I don't know what to say much , who knows where that guy is going to go from this point, who knows, he's definitely got some serious karmatic justice heading his way.


Q- Is graffiti worth dying to you?


Saber- I don't want to die so I can’t say no, but that's been an issue that's definitely been an issue many times. I don't want to make that an issue any more, but that will always be any issue; anytime your in the public and your painting its always going to be an issue.


Q- Have you been shot at painting before?


Yeah I have been definitely been shot at doing graffiti...


Q- Tyke do your parents know about you doing graffiti?


Tyke- Yeah they definitely know.


Q- How do they feel about it?


Tyke- They don't really get into it man...they try to get me to do other things, definitely (everybody laughs), they try to get me to do other things. I cant do other things you know? so I kinda juggle what I do with graffiti and what I do scholastically, they're not really on my case. I take care of what they want me do, I try to, they let me do what I want to do, I guess they do support me because I remember when I was young they used to take me Levitz and Belmont at night to take pictures or to look at graffiti, they're always real cool about that, I don't think most parents would do that.


Q- Any last words?


Saber- Revoke, Zes, Gkae

Tyke- Don't ever talk about Fight Club....

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Courtesy of lay-lo.com.




1. L-L: What crews do you paint for and what are the underlying meanings of the acronym(s)?

EAZ: There really is no other meaning for FX....


2. L-L: Where are you from and/or where did you start?

EAZ: I am from West New York, NJ and started toying it up there!


3. L-L: Who influenced you the most coming up?

EAZ: Alot of old school heads that have alot of style. Its hard not to be influenced by dudes that have history and letter styles for miles!


4. L-L: How long have you been active?

EAZ: Well I started in 7th and 8th grade and stopped for lack of interest. Then I started back up strong for about the past 6 years.


5. L-L: What did you write before Eaz?

EAZ: Mez


6. L-L: What is your preferred brand of paint?

EAZ: Belton MOLOTOW!!!!!!!!!! and Multona!


7. L-L: What is your favorite surface to paint?

EAZ: Smooth freshly buffed concrete!


8. L-L: Do you wear a mask?

EAZ: Unfortunately, I am growing a third leg and can see into the future because of not using a mask.


9. L-L: Any particular person or people you love painting with?

EAZ: My fuckin boys from my crew...FX...


10. L-L: Have you ever traveled outside the US to paint?

EAZ: Nah...Since I only get a 2 week vacation at work and there is so much that can be done in the Bronx that it isn't on my agenda to go anywhere at the moment.


11. L-L: Have you ever been bagged for graffiti?

EAZ: Nope....I was a quick sneaky little fucker when I was younger.


12. L-L: What do you think about the documentation of graffiti on the web?

EAZ: I love it...Its cool to see that writers have computer skills. Its only natural as a writer to want to see your shit out there. So its fresh to see writers flexing graphic design skills aswell.


13. L-L: Do you think using brushes/markers/rollers/wheat paste takes away from the original concept of graffiti?

EAZ: This IS the original concept!


14. L-L: What is your current occupation?

EAZ: Creative Director/Marketing Manager/Graphic Designer


15: L-L: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

EAZ: Living my life, coughing and painting steady with my 3 legs in full force.


16. L-L: Who in FX is bombing hard right now?

EAZ: That might incriminate that person so i would rather not say...but let me tell you the crazy fucker is all over EVERY borough of NYC!! ALL CITY!!!!


17. L-L: In your opinion, who¹s the king of the NYC cleans right now?

EAZ: Who knows??? There is so much wack shit that clutters alot of mags that there is no way to tell!!!


18. L-L: What area of the game right now is your strongest?

EAZ: I am digging my letter style these days...I think I like the directions I take on occasion.


19. L-L: What do you think of graff artists who turn their art into commercial work?

EAZ: Where? Here in the US??? Impossible! All I see is wack ass fuckin bullshit,graff wanna-be clusters of color in a fuckin background of Gym's commercials. Or a cheesy lame ass impression of graff by a stupid fuckin art director somewhere. I would LOVE to see a movie title or more than one CD cover of these so-called HIP-HOP brotherly love havin fucks, done by a REAL writer for a change. That is another reason that graff should not be coupled with fuckin HIP HOP. Sorry, that pisses me off. In short, make money and live.


20. L-L: If there was one spot you could hit without getting bagged, where would it be and why?

EAZ: The whole statue of liberty crown...now THAT is king.

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1. L-L: What crew(s) do you paint for and what are the underlying meanings of the acronym(s)?

SIME: i write with gkc, grossmutieskleineclownz (grandmas small clowns) from wuerzburg germany, ftw, fucktheworld, fistinthewify,etc. and whatever you can come up with. and last but most definitely not least, DOTCOM thats my shit! dotcommunicationz, dotcombat, etc....


2. L-L: Where are you from and/or where did you start?

SIME: i'm from everywhere, grew up all around the us and germany, i first started gettin into it in 91 in Frankfurt germany (place is ill).........


3. L-L: Who influenced you the most coming up?

SIME: some of my old influences, straight up german cats, from frankfurt, munich, wuerzburg, berlin, aschafenberg. bomber, sik, snek, zimt, belt, odem, can2, scoutnscum blok, shok, bust, trd, gbf, dbl, abc, thats who i looked up to in my younger days, when i was first gettin into it, and i still have a whole lot of respect for them cause they still doing their thing. i remember watchin can2 and zebster paint at osterjam in wuerzburg germany back in 94, back when daim was paintin 2d styles.... NOW i would have to say i keep my influences within the crew, some ill cats, ultra ewok mega demon totem2 they keep me intrigued.


4. L-L: How long have you been active?

SIME: i never really got busy until i'd say late 93, 94, so i guess you could say i've been hyperactive for seven years.


5. L-L: Any meaning behind the name?

SIME: sime, see me


6. L-L: How long have you been writing SIME?

SIME: 7 yrs.


7. L-L: What is your preferred brand of paint?

SIME: i would have to say i use krylon more than anything, rusto for bombin, if i could get quantities, most definitely sparvar and belton, can't say ive used montana yet, so i would have to go with undecided... oh yea, i dig them 99 cent silvers too...


8. L-L: Rack or Buy?

SIME: its just money, too old ta get bagged for dumbshit...


9. L-L: What is your favorite surface to paint?

SIME: steel. no question...


10. 10. L-L: Do you wear a mask?

SIME: when i'm gettin busy with the girl i put on some ol halloween joints, nah, not when i paint... every blue moon, if i'm indoors maybe.


11. L-L: Any particular person or people you love painting with?

SIME: THE CREW (ultraewokmega) primarily, i like paintin dolo quite a bit too, my brother, back in 93, 94 he used to do my silva fills on the db's n mailcars...


12. L-L: Have you ever traveled outside the US to paint?

SIME: yea, i'd say i've been outside the us a bit, berlin, frankfurt, heidleberg, nuernburg, wuerzberg, switzerland, aschafenberg, munich (germany), spain, juarez mexico, nothing current, planning a trip back to europe within a year or two...


13. L-L: Have you ever been bagged for graffiti?

SIME: pleading the fifth.....


14. L-L: What do you think about the documentation of graffiti on the web?

SIME: its cool, magazines can't run the world.........just remember EVERYONE sees it...


15. L-L: What area of the game is your strongest?

SIME: i'd say piecing, letter structure. font specialist, whatever you wanna call it.


16. L-L: Do you think using brushes/markers/rollers/wheat paste takes away from the original concept of graffiti?

SIME: i don't think it takes away from the original concept, you can do some huge blockbustas with rolla fills, cans can get expensive...


17. L-L: What’s your current view on the DC and Baltimore scenes?

SIME: dead, no doubt, can't really speak for bmore, but dc is diggin they own grave, bunch of young bucks, i ain't sayin that no one out here is gettin busy, cause there are some doing they thing.but there's a whole lotta beef with such few writaz, lotta crossin n dissin n shit, we got tha thugged out graffiti roun here, we don't have writers, we got bammas...


18. L-L: What is your current occupation?

SIME: i work for a paint dealership, lemme know if ya need some rolla colors...


19. L-L: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

SIME: ten years from now, hopefully i'll have this clothing line up and swimming in the profit, possibly still workin at the paint store, collabin with tha crew with tha graphic enterprise. liven.....................


20. L-L: If there was one spot you could hit without getting bagged, where would it be and why?

SIME: can i get 2, back to europe for some dbsteel, then i would have to say i would like to do a 50 ft blockbuster on the washington monument.......

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