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INTERVIEWS THREAD


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Guest SE4_2002

Shok1

 

Who am I? I'm Shok1 and i started writing when I was 14 back in '84. I started out in East Anglia out in the sticks, but was in london as often as possible so that was my major influence back then. Moved to the Midlands in 1989 but have painted all over the UK since then. Not interested in representing an area! Just myself and our crew SINstars (SIN = Strength In Numbers) - me, Kilo, Skore, Skire and Kato and others. We don't get to paint together as often as we would like because we are so far apart but when we do we have a really good rapport with each other and I like how we can work together like a proper team..

 

 

7 Deadly Sins 1997

When I was at school, I was banned from art classes before O'level standard in 1983. I was a pretty wild kid back then and I fucked up the art classes constantly because I thought that the textbook exercises we had to paint were boring basically because they were about technique and not being creative. But I didn't let that stop me.

 

 

"real?" Coventry 1995

Right now i make a living from my illustration work, journalism and painting skills, and also doing workshops to teach kids about art. I refused to do any art for money for about the first 7 years- I was really into street bombing up until maybe 89-90. Before that me and my friends were into hanging about getting into shit, smashing things up.. We used to nick supermarket trollies and chuck them off carparks and throw bangers at each other. That was the level that we were on so the illegal shit was instantly appealing to me. I always racked and still do although i don't need to much these days. Don't just rack to make a point because that would be pretentious, playing the role. I think you rack as a means to an end, to get it if theres no other way. I've been arrested for graff about 5 times, but always got out of it. Worse I ever got was a conditional discarge in 87.

 

 

Flyer Art

I've written quite a bit for this spot. Everything I wrote is my opinion only. I'm not trying to define this culture of ours because its too big for one person or attitude to define. I'm just telling you how I see it. If you don't agree with what I say then hopefully it will reinforce your own opinions..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.graffiti.org/dj/n-igma5/shok/7.jpg'> http://www.graffiti.org/dj/n-igma5/shok/reality.jpg'>

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Guest SE4_2002

Shok1 part2

 

BITING

 

I have a slightly different definition of biting to many writers. Me and Dreph made up a crew called Hard to The Core in 1992. The symbol is an apple with a bite out of it and a cross to signify "No!" Some writers contested this, saying that biting is the means to learn graff and for style to proliferate. So here is my explanation.

 

 

 

 

"Mo'Bounce" Wolverhampton 1998

Wolverhampton 1995

 

Biting for me is not when somebody uses a style or is influenced by another writer. There is a fine line between influence and biting, and to me the turning point depends on the taker's attitude to the other writer and to the style. Biting to me is taking and then denying the writer the credit for that which was taken. I think it also depends on the the relationship between the writers. I look at it like this. You've got an album in your house, precious to you. Its the difference between a stranger walking in and stealing it, then denying he did it, or a mate who borrows it and says thanks....

 

 

Wolverhampton 1997

One thing you get from spending time in New York is a sense of the importance of knowing who did what and where things came from (I've spent a total of about 3-4 months out there). Nobody could claim to know the whole story of writing; much of it is folk lore and subject to personal opinion and bias. But it is important to always question and push the boundaries of your knowledge... I try to constantly re-evlauate my opinions and ideologies. I will say what I like and think is important in our culture, but I would only say something is wrong if its fucking with what other people are doing. At the end of the day, I might think a style is shit, but thats just my opinion.

 

 

Hear No Evil (SIN crew) 1998

Manifestin' HipHop Skills 1998

 

 

AUGUST 1999

ISSUE FIVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHARACTERS

 

I guess people probably know me for my characters if anything at all. In 1985, i had a nice Al Capone-type character that I found in the local paper. I was getting ready to put up this character, but my mum saw it and her attitude was that it was shit to copy someone elses drawing. At the time, being a moody teenager, I thought that I knew better. But the more I thought about it the more I thought that she was right. It seems strange to me that many writers attitude to biting stops at the boundaries of what they call our art. Like that debate in Subway Art with Kid Panama and Seen about who used the eyeball characters first? That seemed like a strange debate to me. It was neither of theirs to start off with...

 

 

"Orgy" 1996

"Big Head" 1997

"Rackin" Bristol 98

 

Once I started checking the London scene regularly in '85, the pieces in Westbourne and crews like TCA and NonStop reinforced my idea of trying to make my own images and not take from elsewhere.

 

There is another popular debate about whether or not characters are an important part of graff which raises some interesting points. Firstly, I wouldn't be happy only being able to do characters, not because I would be concerned about other writers thinking i'm not "real" (which means exactly what?) but because my gameplan has always been to try my best to shine in all aspects... Letters, colours, backgrounds, characters. Which is hard because you are spreading your creative energies and time much more thinly. I don't think its hard to find individual personality in one aspect if you put some time and dedication into it and avoid being brainwashed by all the "style gestapo" out there (it must be this, it must be that... shut it!).Like most writers, I've never been one for authority, so why would I listen to a bunch of writers telling me what I should be doing? Fuck off, I choose my own rules, mate! Another thing that occurred to me is how "character writers" letter styles are viewed. Like Mode. I think that some of his letters are nice and have more personality than a lot of writers who only have letters. But many slag off his letterstyle. Maybe this attitude comes from the fact that hiphop people and especially writers always look at everything in terms of confrontation. What actually happens is that people make the person's characters battle their letters and the letters get made to look bad in comparison..

 

Another point is to ask why the charcters are even there in the first place. One thing I notice looking at a lot of the stuff that I see is that many people have good technical ability to paint the characters and handle stuff like lighting, shading and all that. But when you strip away all the fancy technical stuff, what you have is a drawing without much individuality or meaning... Why is it there? As a demonstration of technique? I think they are the human aspect of writing, the face behind the abstraction. Sure, mainstream people like them more than letters which makes the natural rebellion in the hearts of most writers dislike them (I mean, oursiders like them? Fuck 'em then!) I just think if they're going to take up space then they should convey something more. For me they are a way of expressing emotion. I get told that mine look like me- I think they pull faces like I do and come off in ways that I do.. Thats a subconscious thing though- its not like I look at myself in the mirror while I draw.. Almost everything I put up is out of my head- I've never been very good at preparation. I sketch quite a bit but that is more a process sorting shit out in my head than making a blueprint to work from.

 

 

SIN Crew Germany 1998

Sticker Design for Westwood

 

Some people seem to think that b-boy characters are out of fashion or something? I am a b-boy at heart. Thats where I've come from and spent all my adult years immersed in. I'm 29 and i got into hiphop in 84. So thats 15 years out of 29 in the culture. And to be honest, all you are concerned about before that age is usually stuff that doesn't follow into your adult life. So thats basically all of my life...

 

I understand that some people see that as something from their youth and maybe get caught up in trivialising something very deep and powerful because the commercialism in the 80's made it look so toy. Apart from that, one way of looking at it is that it almost doesn't matter what kind of person you are representing. The point being, does anyone look at the Rennaissance artists and say, yeah, nice style but all they did was nudes and landscapes? They painted what they saw around them, but above that painting those objects was a means to demonstrate technique, finesse use of colour- all the same attributes that make up a good piece. Its just a testing ground to demonstrate your skills, same way as it is with letters. In fact, its probably harder to do something different with something thats been done so many times by so many people. Like T-Kid was saying that the challenge for him was to keep doing something different with the same 4 letters after all the years..

 

 

5 x 5ft Canvas "S" 1999

The flipside is that its also good to represent other shit too. To me, one of the most underrated artists for this is No.6 from Paris. When I look at Toast's characters (which I rate for their sickness and ugliness) it looks a lot like 6's style and technique (maybe coincidence?). But then again, the first person I ever saw doing that dark-to-light, cutting back method (which is basically an oil painting technique) was Slick from Hawaii who many seem to have forgotten in favour of Hex (Slick was nicer in my opinion but I suppose he did less). I tried to do it in the early 80's looking at comic book stuff by people like Frank Franzetta and Simon Bisley. Couldn't make it work back then because we were using Japlacs and stuff (this is a brand that, like original Rustoleums, reacts with most other brands and can't be gone over. It also oversprays like fuck unless you run most of the pressure out of the can). I brought the technique back into my own shit after we went to Germany and painted with the CNS boys (Seak, Neck etc)- they are all into that technique.

 

 

"They're Here" poltergeist piece in Nottingham 1999

Letters can convey emotion- Dreph used to say he would get vibes from different styles. Like Skore's stuff looks really evil and disturbing (like Skore!).. Petro has that kind of happy Old school party bounce.. Characters should support that. They are also the means to put ideas and actions across that you might have problems with using only letters. Images proceeded letters in the vocabulary of mankind- they're more direct in some respects, avoiding barriers such as language. As we head towards the millennium, I find myself thinking that maybe we should be striving for something more than just self-promotion which is what the name is basically about.

 

 

AUGUST 1999

ISSUE FIVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A GREATER MEANING OR MESSAGE

 

A common criticism applied to graff from outsiders is that it should "mean" more. It often gets compared to the music side of the culture. They feel it should be more "political". I think people associate art and especially lettering in public spaces with either advertising or politics and anger. Because writing on walls has this political history they expect to see some form of political content. There is nothing wrong with style for its own sake. Who said art has to "mean" something? Thats generally an attitude of people who consider theirselves to be one step above the average bloke on the street. What really fucks me off is when some joe public is like "Thats quite good". What qualifies you to judge a writers work? Say you like or you don't, thats fine. But don't give me your pretentious attitude.

 

 

"Ain't nuttin' to it but to do it!" Birmingham 1997

INFLUENCES

 

I'm not really into telling people my influences too much- I've always found it a bit disappointing when you find out how people came to create something that you thought was bad. Like you saw it and couldn't even see where the fuck it had come from.. but what i will say is that apart from looking at graff itself and pop culture, if you can get to the right mindset then almost anything you see can become a style, and explain what I mean by that. Theres a quote about our art from Phase2 i always liked- he said it should be "Seen done and not done seen" (I think!) That sums it up well. It looks best when there is that air of mystery about it, like it just appeared out of nowhere..

 

I see most peoples career in graff as almost following a blueprint. At the beginning they spend some amount of time doing stuff thats either obviously derivative or just not very nice to look at, then find their own style and pretty much do that style and develop it only a little bit from there... Maybe have a "mid career" crisis and start doing something different halfway through. Why is it like this? Well, I suppose that having quite a restricted definition of your style makes it easy to recognise, and one a writer gets known for a style they are reluctant to move away from it in case people don't recognise it or like it as much as the old one. Or maybe some people just run out of creative steam?

 

 

"Props the hard way" 1993

Bus, Wolverhampton 1998

 

For me, the fun has always been that point where you've got something new to try, but yours shitting it a bit because it might come out toy. Its the biggest buzz for me when it comes off. If I try something new, I try to put some elements from my older stuff in it too to give people a connection so that hopefully it still looks like I did it. The best thing I could hope for would be to make a new style that doesn't look like my previous styles but doesn't look like anybody elses either. Thats creative! Whether I've ever done that or not, I don't feel I'm in a position to judge. Drax (with that New York state of mind once again) summed this up well when we were in Ireland. I had run those black and yellow hazard stripes for a while. He said that he liked it but that some obscure writer had probably done it in a panel piece back in '70- something. Thats New York depth of thinking. Thinking about origins.. Who did what first. Somethings will be invented and re-invented. I try to do really weird ideas that nobody would think of. Look at whats out there and then do something I haven't seen. That doesn't mean I've necessarily broken new ground, because some many writers have done so many pieces that probably something similar has been done somewhere. But if I've made it up in my head and I've never seen it before then even if someone else did it first, i've still made something new for me.. Thats whats important to me- to keep trying to test my creativity and imagination.

 

 

"Street SINphony" Dunkerque France 1998. Raw/Skore/Kilohw/Skire

For me, a lot of graff, although it is wicked, lacks imagination. the pieces that often stand out for me are the ones where you can see some fucked-up line of thinking. Don't get be wrong, I've got loads of respect for nice clean pieces with good colours, flow, etc. But so many people are so nice with that now that maybe something more is needed to stand out...

 

I have a few styles that I'm working on now.

 

 

 

AUGUST 1999

ISSUE FIVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STYLES

 

Negative space style. I got this idea seeing a woman on kids TV making one of those things where you fold the paper and cut it to make a chain of people or whatever. The first idea I had was a piece where one letter was a paper shape, and the next one was cut out of a square of paper, and some scissors with it. It got more minimal and abstract and now its the bits that are missing from alternate letters that describe the shapes. It occurred to me the other day that it would be a good style for bombing (at least clean surfaces) because you only paint half the letters.

 

 

"Raw" Notts 1999

"Raw" West Ham 1999

 

Mainframe style. I called it that because the outline of the letters is a frame instead of just a line, and it looks like a computer style. It lets me do things you couldn't normally do like arrows going into the letters and loops in the outline.

 

Organic style. Like I say, I tried to do this stuff around 91-92, but my paint control and the paint we had at the time wouldn't allow it. i brought it back out for the Fresh98 jam- a piece that is splitting open with all that twisted mutated shit coming out to attack the person who got too close thinking it was a normal piece! I got that idea from that film "The Thing" where they don't know who the alien is and they have to test each other? The horror film thing is an ongoing theme I'm running right now, something i grew up on that I haven't seen many people use.

 

 

"Shok One" Wolverhampton 1998

"Bizar Grafitti Sex" Shok & Kar Amsterdam 1995

 

BOMBERS VS ARTISTS

 

I'm not going over this tired debate except to say that I think that this debate doesn't even really exist. Somebody somewhere has concluded that because "Bombers don't like artists" (which out of all the bombers in the world is probably not that many), that writers that do daytimes spots don't like bombers. Bollocks! And fuck the idiot who put my pieces next to that opinion in a certain toy extreme sports mag (I never even knew they were being used). This is crap! I can only think of a handful of artists who have never bombed, and to me they lack that "edge" that makes a writer in my opinion. Almost every writer I know has done heavy racking, night time action. To me this whole fucking issue is media sensationalism- stirring shit up. I have a particular problem with Graphotism which has contained a lot of comments that support this attitude in my interpretation. This mag proclaims itself to "Support the UK scene" (which is a lofty claim and which it certainly doesn't achieve. Represent the parts of it that we like would be a more honest and acceptible claim- thats all any mag could hope to do and is fine). i just feel that the whole subtext of the editorial is constantly criticizing and belittling whats going on over here and often, it seems to me, from the point of ignorance. I think that this kind of thing has to be done as Kilo did it before he lost the job- you've got to be actually out there dealing with people, different opinions, different styles, different people. The culture is too diverse for one persons opinion to cover it.

 

 

Dunkerque 1998

"Raw" Derby 1999

 

THE FUTURE

 

I think that we are just looking at the beginnings of what our culture can become. If people can open their eyes and also try to educate the new kids coming up, then.....

 

Thanks to Dan for this spot, and respect to all my friends!

 

You can contact Shok by email at shok1@bboy.zzn.com.

 

Background image part of promotional artwork for Noma Productions BAD event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.graffiti.org/dj/n-igma5/shok/bounce.jpg'> http://www.graffiti.org/dj/n-igma5/shok/rev.jpg'> http://www.graffiti.org/dj/n-igma/shok/neg.jpg'> http://www.graffiti.org/dj/n-igma5/shok/hear.jpg'> http://www.graffiti.org/dj/n-igma5/shok/fresh.jpg'> http://www.graffiti.org/dj/n-igma5/shok/cans.jpg'> http://www.graffiti.org/dj/n-igma5/shok/bighead.jpg'> http://www.graffiti.org/dj/n-igma5/shok/rackin.jpg'> http://www.graffiti.org/dj/n-igma5/shok/sin.jpg'>

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Reso - Klan123

 

How long have you been writing RESO? why, how and when?

 

I started writing in the late 80s (around 88-89). for 27 years now I´ve been going to New York every year, to visit my family. I was in New York, when pieces were still running on subway cars. this is where I got my inspiration from and this is how I got to Graffiti.

At that time there was no Graffiti in the city I come from. New York was definitely the main influence.

 

RESO is the name I´ve been writing for at least 11 years now. There has been other names, but they don´t realy mater to me. Sometimes I need a change and this is when I write other names.

 

 

On your website you promote the name "cyne" also, that

does´nt mean anything to you then?

 

There are different names I write. Most of the people

just know I´m writing RESO and that´s good. I don´t

realy want to get deep on that.

 

 

You prefer walls or trains?

 

I love trains, the atmosphere and all that. But I

think walls or freights are interesting aswell.

Trains is where it all came from, but only because of

that I wouldn´t say that this is the only "real"

graffiti. It´s all about letters, no mater if it´s on

a train, on a wall on the tracks or on a hall of fame

or on a bus...it´s all cool as long it has style

 

 

When I think of RESO, I think of DARE and the other way around. Have you guys always been writing together?

 

Dare and I are close friends. We enjoy hanging out together. We´ve done quite a few productions in the last years, so that´s probably why people think of us as a team.

But there are other friends that we team up with. ECB, KETSAR and CESM (KIM Crew), SCIEN & KLOR (123k), KESY (S2R), SWET, DREAM, just to name a few. We met about 6 years ago at a jam in France.

Here´s the story:

 

SCIEN had organized a jam in Dunkerque / France. Among others (CES (FX), DARCO ( FBI), ECB, 3HC CREW, SHOK (SIN)...DARE and I were invited for the Graffiti-part. Everything was perfect, a nice hotel, the food was ok, enough paint and one week to hang out with other writers.

 

Day one: Nothing special...no painting that day because everyone was tired from the trip. All we did was to go out for dinner in a small nice restaurant. After that we got back to the hotel to look at fotos, sketches...

 

Day two: We had breakfast and after that, we wanted to go to the local hall of fame to paint. DARE joined me to get to the wall. As we were driving, he asked me to make a short stop at a supermarket to get a little snack and something to drink. So we got out of the car and got in that supermarket for about five minutes. When we got back to the car, we were surprised that the doors were not locked anymore. All of a sudden we realised (it must have been at the same time), that we got robbed. All our bags were gone! No more cameras and the worst thing was that DARE´s plain tickets for his trip home got also stolen.

 

So no painting for us at the moment...we had to stay at the police station the whole afternoon.

After 3 hours we got to the wall and were finaly able to start painting. This is how we got to know each other.

 

 

I know lots of people are thinking ? "real graff“ when speaking of you and DARE. How do you feel about that?

 

It´s hard to say, what "real graff“ is. I think it´s a personal view on it, in some way a mater of taste. As long as your happy with it, it´s always real.

 

 

Any favorite writers or idols?

 

I´m inspired by many things. At the beginning it was definitely the writers in New York. Right now I try to get my inspiration of the environment. Very often I´m nfluenced by friends of mine

 

 

If you had to pick out one writer ?

 

That´s a real hard question. There are so many styles I like. ECB is very talented, DARE, SWET, CES, BATES they all got dope styles.

 

 

How do you feel about the German graff scene?

 

Eventhough I know a lot of people I´m not too much

involved in the german graff scene. I hate the

atmosphere of jams. It´s not like years ago. Today

most of the people have nothing to do with graffiti.

They only look at mags and think they are able to

understand what´s going on in the heart of a writer.

 

I´m sorry to tell it that way, but I think that there

are a lot of idiots involved in the graff-business.

Ingnorent and arrogant idiots, who think they invented

the whole thing. But don´t generalize this statement, there are some realy nice people too (most of the activ writers are).

 

 

How do you feal about internet graff vs. magazine graff?

 

It´s hard to say...the internet is one thing and mags are another.

 

It´s interesting to look at graff-sites. Updates can be made quickly and on regular bases, but it still can´t replace magazines. This doesn´t mean that all mags are good and interesting, not at all. Most of the mags even scare me! It seems like these guys have no idea of what writing is all about. Sometimes you need a magnifying glass to look at burner productions! Or pieces on trains are cut out and all you can see is the style itself. What about the environment? this is what makes a piece alive! To me these mags are a waste of money!!!

 

 

The best thing about graffiti?

 

I love letters and letters are graffiti. I enjoy having a nice time with friends and go out to paint with them

 

 

The worst thing about graffiti?

 

There are very strange people in the graff-business. I hate the attitude of some writers. Some of them seem to forget that there are other things in life.

 

 

Favorite letter?

 

E

 

 

Favorite color?

 

Dark red

 

 

Favorite paint?

 

I don´t care about the brand

 

 

Favorite magazine?

 

It´s hard to say...there are so many.

 

 

Favorite website?

 

same as magazines

 

 

The first three words that comes to your mind when I say Denmark?

Quick, Swet, S-trains

 

 

Any projects of you for the future?

 

Right now I was working on a magazine project. DARE and I were both publishers of magazines. He was the one behind AEROSOUL and I was the publisher of ADRENALIN. because of a few copyright problems because of the name, we gathered and are now bringing out a magazine called ADRENOSOUL. thats a mix of the two names. I was working on the magazine for about 3 months. It was a whole lot of work to do! The concept behind the magazine is to show nice pieces or trains that are worth being published in magazines. We didn´t want to show an objectiv view over the international scene. All we did was to show the pieces we realy liked personaly.

 

There are many interesting interviews with CMPSPIN, SHOW (TWS), and exclusive burners from all over the place. There will be a lot of text combined with fotos, like little statements or special reports: something like some writer who got chased by wild dogs in Zagreb or train action in Cuba. Anyway it´s too long to mention everything.

 

Then I´m working on canvases and Graphics for an expo I´m planing to do this year.

I would like to travel again this summer. maybe to Italy, and I´ll probably go to NY end of this year.

 

 

Being 27- when do you quit?

 

I don´t know. Not yet that´s for sure. There are maybe periods of time in which I´m not too active. I don´t have the time to paint every day! There are other

things in life that can be more interesting or also

can be more important. Sometimes you got to take care

of people that mean a lot to you. If these people need

me I´m there and then graffiti becomes the less

important thing in life!

 

But also projects like the magazine take a lot of

time, time I can´t spend on graffiti. I think that you

simply got to do what you enjoy and this is what I´m

doing.

 

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  • 7 months later...

Coupe interview

 

--First things first…..What do you write and why? And what crews do you assosciate with?

 

I write Coup from Louisville Ky., and the crews I push are Cold Fusion first and formost then WFR, ASP, RA, and I’m also in Heavens Gate. I started writing because I was into politics and wanted to write a word that meant revolution. Now its years later and I'm not as political and more into graffiti art then any thing.

 

 

--How long have you painted for...what got you started?

 

4-5 years but I didn’t get really even half way decent until 2000 I guess maybe early 2001

 

 

--What do you enjoy writing on the most? walls…steel…..etc…

 

Hmm what do I enjoy most just doing a good piece in a good spot that is right in peoples faces.

 

 

 

--What was your best experience in graffiti?

 

I don't really know. I've had so many. Getting into Cold Fusion was nice. Paint Louis 2000 was cool. Having almost 1000 cans at one time was nice. Meeting cool writers is at the top of my list though. Plus the block long block busted I did with Liv 215 in Louisville was nice, but I think really the coolest thing or one of the best experiences is this. When I get a email or run into a writer that says I was a inspiration to them. That’s really cool to actually see people enjoying what I’m doing.

 

 

--Ever been arrested or in some serious shit over art?

 

Nothing real serious. Mostly I have problems with traffic tickets.

 

 

--Give us a good chase story….everyone has em……

 

Well Fosik and I went into this approx. 10 story abandon building in Detroit to do the window trick. It was great we decided to put the outlines on first on the way to the top and then use roller fills on the way down. Well it was cool but when we got to the top we came out on the roof and the whole building was surrounded by cops. It sucked they had flash lights out looking all over the ground and just crazy shit. Well we chilled up there for a hour or so. We didn’t know what the deal was. We had already attempted to do this building once before with Malt and we had to bail that time early in the week because some cop was snooping around. Well we kept a cool head on our shoulders and just watched the cops. It was crazy because the longer we waited the more cops showed up. The cops had all the lights on their cars looking all over the ground for something.. Then Fosik started to tell me he thought they were gang squawd. I was like what the fuck is gang squad? I guess they are these super cops in Detroit that basically get away with what ever they want and they if they catch you. They kick the living shit out of you. That was scary as hell. Well after waiting forever the cops finally left. One at a time and it took over an hour. Then finally we finished all our stuff up and bounced. I still have no idea what those cops were looking for but it was fucked up and every thing ended up being kosher.

 

 

--What kind of music influences you?

 

Deicide, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Ani Difranco, Indigo Girls, John Cougar Mellancamp, Fear Factory, Machine Head, Blues is really good, DMX, Ludacris, and any good metal.

 

 

--Who was the first writer you met?

 

Hmm I don’t even remember it was just some kid who use to write that I was in a political group with. Actually to be honest most of the writers that I've met seem to be dicks. I don't like to many writers and they seem to not like me. I've met a few writers that were such dicks that I wish I didn’t have anything (including writing) in common with them. Once in a while though I've met writers who just blow my mind. When I met the PA kids from Arizona they just were fucking cool kids, same with Fem, Mines and some of the FST kids, RA crew out of Toledo, all the CF guys. When I met Kahn from HM that was nice because I really looked up to him and the other HM guys art for inspirations. Of course there’s been a few kids I've met in passing that were pretty cool too.

 

--Do you rack paint or buy it?

 

They don’t call me Klepto Coup for no reason. I love racking its one of my favorite sports. I did it before I painted and learned it from a ex girl friend. Thank god for stripper girl friends who don’t like to pay for much stuff.

 

 

--Where do you think graffiti is going in the future…..

 

I have no idea really. I wish more positive kids would get involved in it and all the negative shit talking writers would fall off. It really sucks to be involved in a art form that can be so powerful and empowering to people but is plagued by stupid bullshit beef. I haven't ever really had any major beef and I feel blessed. It just sucks when I talk to friends in other towns and cities that have had so much of their art dicked and destroyed for no reason except stupid beef. I really feel for girl writers the most because they a lot of times it seems get the double edged sword. They are either loved or hated and a ton of times there is always some dateless fucker trying to hook up with them and if they reject that guy who knows what kind of psycho shit they'll do. I've seen multiple girls that were awesome writers and awesome people that had their shit dissed for that reason. It really sucks. Any guy writer who does that should just be shunned by the graffiti community. Stuff like that should not even be allowed to exist in graf.

 

 

--With harsher penalties for being caught, do you think that's only gonna make people go bigger and harder?

 

No, I think that graf goes through cycles of popularity. Depending on what city you are

in. That dictates if the scene is rolling high or low. Some cities right now are on the top of their game while others are having a stagnant period. I think getting busted has little to do with that but it could.

 

 

--What do you think about a graffiti artist spending 3 years in jail and a rapist doing a year?

 

I really feel for Gkae. In a lot of ways he's one my heroes and a hero, but most people see him as a little bastard. He damaged a lot of stuff in their eyes and when he got busted they threw the book at him. It really sucks, but in reality that should tell a lot of writers and people where our country is at and how sexist it is. If they put more punishment on some one writing their name on something. Then a rape that is clearly a sign of a fucked up society. In the city I reside in currently Columbus Ohio. They just cut a program (I cant remember the exact name I think it was the counsel for Women’s issues). That program helped women with a lot of women’s issues including but not limited to single mothers and helping them me better mothers. That program cost approx $250,000 a year to run. There is a similar program for men too. While about a week after that program got cut from the Columbus budget $300,000 grand appeared out of no where to pay for new and improved buffing.The men's program is still in place but the Women’s one got dismantled. Now I don't know about you all but when I'm roaming threw Columbus I don’t see 3 kids and one dad just chilling on their way to the store. I see a lot of single mothers. To me it's pretty common sense who needed what program more. That showed me like a slap in the face how sexist Columbus was. It shows how much they care about women and where they are compared to buffing graf.

 

 

--Why do you write? Is it to see your name all over? Is it to show your freedom? Is it for vandalism?

 

There is so many reason why I write. Sometimes to show how fucked up things are. Sometimes as a stress reliever. Sometimes its a good chance to chill with close friends. Sometimes its a chance to make closer friends. Its always just fun though.

 

 

--What influences your letters?

 

Fonts, HR Giger, LTS crew, Revok, and Kept from 95-98

 

 

--Do you plan to paint forever? Or do you see yourself being satisfied at one point?

 

Hopefully not forever because if I do at the rate I’m at now I'll look like Frankinstien because of all the cuts and bruises I'd have. I think in about 2 years I'll have done every thing that I'd ever wanted too, but who knows, maybe at one point in my graffiti career I'll decide to stay in it for the long haul and try to blast as many cities as I can. I've been trying to stop doing graf for 4 years and I haven’t yet, so hopefully I will someday.

 

 

--Whats the worst part about graffiti to you? Is it the penalties, the beef, the toys….?

 

Hookers and Crackwhores. I'm telling you negative writers suck. Dealing with narcs, toys, cameras, beat downs, and all the other shit sucks, but Hookers and crackwhores are the worst. I hate it there is so many nights that I've just got pissed. I hate hearing hey white boy you want some sugar? I'm just like yo I’m doing my own fucked up shit right now I can't deal with your shit. It really sucks also because sometimes you know you're lonely and just like hmmmm maybe.................. Then you snap into reality and say what the fuck am I thinking?

 

 

--Seeing how we were all toys once, what do you think about toys?

 

Toys are awesome. I've seen a lot in my days. The toys come and go.

Sometimes they suck but sometimes you just can't compete with them. A really good toy can last so much longer then I could. Over all though toys are fun if you get the right one. Personally I can't deny it, I love going to the adult store and picking up some toys for me and my lady friend.

 

 

--Who is your favorite writer when it comes to letters and what they are about?

 

Hmm Revok, LTS, earlier Kept stuff 95-98 they do great spots and good art. They are willing to take chances with their art and their spots. They do something different and just awesome. I have a severe love for those writers.

 

 

--Do you like stock caps, thin caps, or fat caps the best?

 

Rusto fats, german thins, and NY thins and what ever I can get for cheapest

 

 

--What 2 people do you admire outside the graffiti world and why?

 

HR Giger because I really feel his stuff. and really good pin up artists from the 40-70s Gil

Elvgren being the best. In the last week or two I came to the realization that I really really

like realism. Those artists do stuff that looks so real and just awesome. The beauty of the art blows any thing away I will ever be able to do

 

 

--What motivates you to paint in the middle of the night?

 

Damn I have no idea. Nothing better to do and addiction at this point. Plus trying to be at the top of my game.

 

 

--Where is the weirdest place you got laid at?

 

hmmm the list is so few hmmm. I wanted to have sex infront of a piece once but this girl wasn’t for it. As much as I want to say crazy places I'm more into the bedroom action, but

that's because I normally date girls who are into crafts and are pretty calm and not to freaky. Hopefully though when I move back down south I'll find some nice girls that

dated Ludacris that will turn me out. Plus ontop of that I try to date a lot of girls and do end up with them, but as far as fumbling the ball I'm really good at that almost pro.. I'm the only one I know who could fuck up getting a booty call at 3 in the morning and didn't get with it. I think it's because I sold my soul to graffiti and my mind is so focused on getting over in the right spots that I don't think enough about having game. Well what can you do?

 

 

--Where do you see your art in 10 years?

 

Fuck who knows bufffed more then likely maybe one to ten pieces will be riding some where.

 

 

--Any last thoughts…..?

 

Hmm just thanks to all the writers that have been cool to me in the past. I would list them all but it would just be too long. Sorry to all the writers/people that I pissed off or offened. I have to thank the cities of Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis, Dayton, Toledo, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Louisville, Nashville, New York, and St. Louis for having nice good spots to paint in, nice friendly people, and most of them having good spots to rack at too. Thanks to Adult Zone in Toledo and Star Dust Entertainment in MPLS. Thanks to the Latin lover who cock blocked on me in Indianapolis. Fruit Leather. All of Cold Fusion, ASP, WFR, and RA. The magazines Life Sucks Die, Dead In The Dirt, Revolting, Short Cuts, Taste Like Chicken, and any other quality mags. My current favorites are Show and Improve (get me my copies bro), 12 oz Prophet, Life Sucks Die, 3rd Shift, and Short Cuts. Plus here’s some good web sites too. Silent Wrytes, Motosoul.org, deadinthedirt.com, bastardartist.com, http://bombingscience.com/freight.htm,

http://graffiti.org/stlouis/freights/main.htm, nashvillegraf is good, paint by face rocks toowell from Coupe Nugent to you all take it easy

 

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Re: Coupe interview

 

Originally posted by RATT

[b --Seeing how we were all toys once, what do you think about toys?

 

Toys are awesome. I've seen a lot in my days. The toys come and go.

Sometimes they suck but sometimes you just can't compete with them. A really good toy can last so much longer then I could. Over all though toys are fun if you get the right one. Personally I can't deny it, I love going to the adult store and picking up some toys for me and my lady friend.[/b]

 

hehe... that's clever

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http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ingerson/dsf3.jpg'>

 

RAGE KHC/DSF/BIRDS crews

 

Since when and why did you start writing?

I started to paint in 1995 but had my first taste of graf in 1994. I used to hang around at places where graffiti was, that made me interested and later on i tried it myself. My first attempt was the painting of a character next to a sportfield. I remember afterwards being so frightened that i went to the woods and with bare hands I dug a hole in the ground and buried my cans and gloves.

 

What was your first aquaintance with graffiti?

Actually the first graffiti i saw was on trains. I used to live on one of the most bombed S-train lines so i had the chance to see lots of panels and wholecars in traffic. This was also my first contact with the KHC/DSF crew. Veh, Wem, Candy, Jepsy and Razor had a lot of pieces on that line.

 

The style of DSF writers is different from common German styles; can you explain why you think that is?

I think the DSF crew is a group of real individual persons and personalities. We got ideas and together we try to give them the right form. I mean you combine the style ideology of all crew members. We inspire ourselves so everyone's style contains a piece of the others. To me style means to give my thoughts a form. I try to express myself in letters, this is what style means to me, showing your personality in the letters and pieces. I think theres a big parallel between style and personality.

 

Why are you writing on the trains?

Because walls don't run and freshly painted pieces on trains, parked in a yard, get protected for free by more security guards than one possibly ever can afford!

 

What has graffiti on trains done to your life?

One of the most positve things about graffiti is the friendship you gain. While travelling Europe I've been to a lot of places and made a lot of friends. I've also learnt about other countries and cultures. Then theres my crew; I don't think you'll find a stronger friendship outside the world of graffiti.

 

How do you look at graffiti on trains?

Its important for me to have fun. Its nice just to start to paint without taking care what people say or do. Its nice to paint for two hours in a relaxed yard and take care of quality but on the other hand its fun to paint a cool piece, have a chase from security and in the end get away with it.

 

Whats the difference between your city and other graff cities?

The scene is more quiet than in cities like Berlin, Prague or Copenhagen. Theres no such thing as a writers corner here in Hamburg. Other cities try to scare writers away by putting up fences, cameras and guards. In Hamburg the yards look soft and easy at first sight but they're not. Guards, dressed in military suits hide in the bushes and you have to run your ass off in a chase bacause their condition is better than that of the average writer. When you get caught they mostly throw you in jail for just one night. Its not like other countries where you go to jail for weeks or months after being busted. I am lucky as i've never had any problems with the cops but it was often fucking close though.

 

What does the future have in store for you?

My goal is to paint as many trains as possible in foriegn countries. I don't care about what happens in the future. You get into graffiti the regular by painting legal walls and after a while you start to think what will come after a colour-wholetrain!?!

 

Shouts out to my crew partners also to these cool guys Kripo, Wem, Veh, Mr Beam, Icnoc, 1999, Psychokorn, Kaos (Stockholm) and to the DOS and BIA crews!

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Guest phem9

Coupe is tha shit!!!!! Aside from the fact, his stuff rolls thru once a week, or more...he's an great guy! Good interview. Peace 9er.

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an article by elk PFB I posted a while back. It's not an interview but fuck it....

 

UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE

Despite the endless B-boy revivals, graffiti is the last element of hip hop culture to resist the mainstream; its stars remain unknown. In this account of a life on the tracks, ELK tells why some people will risk their lives for a painting no one will ever see.

 

I was drawn to graffiti as the first tasters arrived in London from New York. The first names I had seen painted on streets were the nicknames of London punks in the late 1970s. Written only with cheap British car paint, the poor pigments of red and blue that were soaked up by the brick were no comparison to the strength of what I was yet to see on the sides of New York subways. I was 12 years old and it was exciting. I knew nothing of the movement, only that it stirred something inside me in a way nothing else had.

'Graffiti' was the term used by the media to describe the wave of aerosol activity that appeared on the subways of New York and Philadelphia in the early 1970s. Its birth coincided with the recession of the time. 'Coco 144', a New York graffiti artist, who was active then, described it as "a cry, a scream from its streets...This was one way of saying, 'Hey, I'm Coco. This is where I'm from and this is what I'm doing'".

In New York, the city's infrastructure faced collapse under the leadership of Mayor John Lindsay and Mayor Abraham Beame. The Wall Street Journal said at the time: "Basic city services, once the model for urban areas across the nation, have been slashed to the point of breakdown...the subway system is near collapse, plagued by ageing equipment, vandalism, the frequent breakdowns and derailments." This was the perfect environment for those early writers. The cut-backs meant there was barely the money to run the system, let alone erase their work. The numbers of young writers were multiplying rapidly and it became increasingly difficult to compete with their onslaught. By 1975, Mayor Lindsey openly conceded that the fight against graffiti was "a losing battle". The scene crossed the Atlantic and arrived in London in the early 1980s. The city's teenagers quickly took it up and, as in New York ten years earlier, it spread rapidly through the many boroughs. By 1986, there was an established body of writers who were regularly visiting the depots of the London Underground. I was one of them.

The first time I went to a railway sidings, 'Skate', 'Kam' and me could hardly reach halfway up the side of a 12-foot high Metropolitan Line (or 'Big Met') train. We were 14 years old, miles from home; it was dark, cold and exhilarating. All we wanted to do was scrawl our names in 'matt dark earth' and 'gun metal' model spray. The concept of painting a whole car seemed unimaginable. How would you steal all the paint you needed, and how would you reach the top of the train? How would you get enough time before sunrise? How would you distinguish all the colours in the dark?

Answering all these questions was a slow process of discovery. As well as the physical implications, you had to learn the rules of the graffiti world, had to prove yourself and hopefully become accepted. This probably took me about five years. The community that existed on the London Underground consisted of competitive, judgmental and aggressive young men. A disregard for the rules of the community could result in immediate rejection, not just from the tube line you were painting on, but from all the lines across the capital. Initially, you had to develop your tagging style, which is a form of calligraphy. Maturing your tag seems essential in the progression towards 'pieces', and unfortunately it is these experiments that the public is subjected to. From the tag you'd progress to the 'throw up', from the 'throw up' to the 'dub', and from a 'dub' to a 'piece'. Really it was the mastering of the 'piece' that would be the recognised initiation into the upper echelons, though writers that only 'bombed' (to tag one's name) could achieve a King's status through the style and proliferation of their 'tags'.

It was during these early stages that the writing fraternity would skim off the weak. Train writers are very proud and there is no room for incompetence. If you had the skills and, more importantly, the motivation to ascend through the stages of style and colour, you then had to prove yourself by displaying fearlessness. Writers whose nerves were weak, who couldn't take the pressure of an illegal career were quickly weeded out. The apprentice would have to prove himself to a mentor before earning respect. This could involve anything from the ability to steal, to displaying the necessary courage to enter a depot on a reconnaissance mission. Once you had all entered the yard it was fairly easy to distinguish the 'throbbers'. If it wasn't something obvious like the shakes, you could tell by the look on their faces that they were scared.

Being nicked and not cracking under the strain was a fairly effective way of gaining acceptance. The news of a raid and an arrest would spread rapidly, with the community eagerly awaiting the result. Would those that got away have an unexplained knock on their door by the 'graffiti squad'? If the writer took the punishment and continued to write, he would instantly find himself in a position higher up the ladder. He would have proved his dedication by continuing after prosecution and would have instilled a sense of trust by keeping his mouth shut. The irony of the British Transport Police's efforts is the kudos it creates amongst us. Personally speaking, I found them an incentive - writing on trains wouldn't be half the fun without them.

But why do it? Why channel so much energy into a painting no one may ever see, that may have to be done in dark, cold and cramped conditions, and where there is potential for imprisonment or death? I never cared about the answer. I just did it. People seemed to spend so much time deliberating, I didn't give a shit, I just wanted to paint trains.

Though part of the same movement, the legal and illegal scenes are completely removed from one another. There is train graffiti and wall graffiti. When I'm painting trains the flow is a product of tension and adrenaline. At any point you may have to run. As your head looks from side to side in anticipation of a raid you don't even watch the paint you're applying. Every so often you lie on the ground to scan through the wheels for any approaching legs. The result is totally different to the writer who buys his materials and paints concrete walls in the comfort of a Sunday afternoon. Only through the acceptance of art with danger can the writer rise to become a 'King' - a high achiever of the graffiti world. To quote one such devotee, such writers are the 'true soldiers'.

On any one Tube line you may find many different Kings: 'King of insides', 'King of outsides', 'King of stations', 'King of the tracks', 'King of roof-tops', or 'King of style'. The highest accolade imaginable is 'All Out King' which is a very rare occurrence. Competition is fierce and writers will go to incredible lengths to stand out from the rest, scaling high buildings and walking through dangerous tunnels. Before you can get to this point you must be relaxed in your unusual working environment. I vividly remember the first time I got onto the tracks. It was like entering a new world. It was three o'clock in the morning and I knew track workers and train drivers were the only people that ever went there. I didn't know which rails were electric, which way we should run, and I felt sure that somebody was going to suddenly appear and try to catch us. I didn't relax once while I was painting, and yet the following day all I could think about was going back. I was hooked. Riding the train to school that Monday and seeing my name gave me an unmatched sense of satisfaction.

This feeling of personal achievement compared only to acceptance within the scene. The height of this was getting to know the Kings. Watching one draw in his black book or sketch up a first outline on a train carriage were invaluable lessons. I shall never forget the day I went to Rickmansworth 'lay up'. I was a young 'toy' out on a Saturday night 'bombing insides'. On my way back home I pulled into Harrow on the Hill station and saw a group of kids gathered on the back wall. Writers would meet at benches on the different lines. This was the 'Big Met', so I knew they were writers. I had to get home but I also wanted to go and see who it was. I paused while the doors closed and at the last minute jumped off. As I got closer I realised the importance of the company I was approaching. They were from different areas, so all of them being here meant they were doing an 'all nighter'. Kast was the 'All Out King' of the 'Big Met', Fuel was the King of the 'Little District' (Wimbledon line), Ganja was one of the many Kings visiting from the Little Met, Chain was the King of bombing and lastly there was Steam, an up-and-coming King of the Big Met and one of the most feared Kings around. I didn't have any paint of my own, so spent the night 'keeping dog' for the others, wandering up and down the lay up as their pieces developed. Watching Kast paint his 'top-to-bottom' was a highlight of my career.

 

It wasn't long before the electric world of the Underground became second nature to me. As my confidence grew, so I got more daring. I remember walking on the live rails being a kind of initiation. You know it can kill instantly, but you also know that the rubber soles of your trainers can prevent the connection. Every time I do it there's a little bit of apprehension bubbling away inside. The fact that you can die lingers in your mind, and, until your foot is firmly on that steel, you don't fully relax. It makes you feel a bit funny but you still go back for more. It's the same with stealing.

In my experience, almost all the major writers in London are criminals to some extent, and more than the obligatory stealing and 'breaking and entering' that are now the basics of painting a train. This might be small-time drug peddling to support a weed habit or a more serious involvement equivalent to a paying job. In essence, it's impossible to become a King without being a criminal. There is no way that a writer could afford to pay for the paint, pens, inks, sketch books, camera films and train fares necessary. You could say that thieving, or 'racking' is compulsory. It is certainly unavoidable if you want to sustain a career in graffiti.

When racking started getting difficult in London we began travelling further afield in search of paint shops less clued up to our ways. Initially this took us on British Rail journeys out to the country, and when that got difficult it took us to the continent. Going to Europe was like discovering an endless string of gold mines. Not only was it easier to steal, but the quality and range of colours was far superior. 'InterRailing' became known as 'InterRacking'.

First port of call when starting a trip in Europe would be Amsterdam, to stock up on skunk and Afghani. We'd go away for anything up to a month, sometimes having to return to England every seven days to relieve ourselves of stolen property. During the first jaunts abroad, the acquisition of as many spraycans as possible was the primary aim. If we picked up some clothes along the way it was a welcome bonus. As time progressed we became more familiar with what was on offer in the various European countries. Germany was, and probably always will be, the best place to steal paint - they have the best in the world. Scandinavia was always good for winter clothes, and Switzerland was the best for electrical goods. The beauty of this way of life was the independence it gave us as teenagers. As long as I had the money to cross the Channel I knew I could survive on the other side and paint to my heart's content.

The fondest memory I have of those tours is of a friend of ours who left for the continent with £10 in his pocket. 'Rozer', known to his friends as the 'Man with the Magic Trousers', returned five weeks later with the same tenner. He'd stayed with a Chilean family in Amsterdam, on a yacht in the South of France and had rolled across Europe sleeping in couchettes. Arriving home, he had a completely new wardrobe, cameras, leather jackets, a stun gun, hand-held Segas, sunglasses, bottles of bubbly, and enough paint to lighten the lives of many a Tube carriage.

As our tastes matured, so did our destinations, the finale of which were yearly trips to the French Riviera. Cannes and Saint Tropez were ripe. Hardware shops stocked aerosols in beautiful shades of 'Framboise' and 'Bleu Fonce'. Then we would visit the supermarket next door and help ourselves to the racks of Dom Perignon. If there were none in the fridge we would take our bottles to the freezer section and bury them amongst the frozen peas, returning an hour later. We would spend the night drinking champagne and then, in the early hours apply our fancy 'couleurs' to the local SNCF rolling stock. Our favourite train sidings backed on to the beach, where we would stand in our shorts, painting till dawn.

Customs officers are a problem when you cross borders with enough luggage for a family of five, but the Graffiti Squad is our main opponent. We might laugh and joke when amongst ourselves, but when you've just been chased out of a siding by a team of them, your heart beats overtime. It doesn't matter how many times it's happened. When they've sat in their unmarked cars until the early hours, and they finally walk round the front of that train and see you standing there, spraycan in hand, they really do want to fucking catch you.

If the surroundings are appropriate it's always amusing to conceal yourself somewhere and watch what they get up to. Quite often you can listen to their conversations because of the quiet of night. You get to observe their movements and how they conduct themselves. It gets even more hilarious if they try to hide in wait for you. Watching police who think they're watching you never fails to put a smile on my face. I'd love to share more of the moves we use to our benefit, but I don't want this article to be of too much use to the police.

 

They have a difficult job. If they are chasing us, chances are they will never know the area as well and won't be prepared to take the risks we will. If I'm painting a train and get raided, I will run for the most dangerous escape route. That might be into a tunnel, down a drainpipe or across a rickety roof. They might want to catch you, but it's not worth their lives.

Even when they make an arrest, they fuck up a lot. The most ridiculous example I can think of is when Diet got nicked on Boxing Day. It was the year Karl and Cherish had done the whole train in 'Snips' (Parsons Green Sidings) and a large group of writers had collected at Edgware Road where Fuel and Prime had both done 'whole cars'. We were all on one platform admiring the paintings when the transport police appeared on the opposite platform. We all left the station, hopped the barriers, and saw the empty car of the police we had just left downstairs. Within seconds a pen appeared and moments later the car was being tagged. Diet was the last to get the pen and decided that the front windscreen was where he wanted to write his name. He had his feet on the bonnet and his hands on the glass as a second police car pulled up.

Many months later, young Diet was up in court. With two policemen and the station foreman as witnesses we all thought he was definitely going to get done. The police, however, had no evidence and couldn't even remember how the crime had been perpetrated. I can't recall exactly, but they did something along the lines of accusing him of tagging the vehicle with blue spray-paint when in fact he had done it with a black marker. Diet's barrister highlighted their incompetence and fortunately the case was dismissed.

Christmas Day is when the 'true soldiers' of the writing community really come into their element. It's the one day when the whole system shuts down, so for someone who loves painting trains it is the highlight of their year. There aren't any drivers with timetables to keep or cleaners to inspect carriages, just rows and rows of shiny canvases waiting for you. The person you're most likely to bump into on Christmas Day in a depot is a graffiti squad officer. It took them many years before they started showing their faces on our special day, but once they did, they became regulars. A team of them is on duty and will drive round the various stomping grounds hoping to find some of us getting up to mischief. It's pot luck where we go in hope of avoiding them. Whenever you're arrested doing graffiti in this country there is a compulsory house raid that follows. Waking up the folks on Christmas morning with a gang of police wanting to search the house is never a good way to start the festive season.

I know that some of the kids that are bombing now think that they are the real writers. The new generation has to deal with security measures such as laser trips and infrared cameras. The first yard I ever went to only had a wire fence that barely reached my waist. They have a sense of superiority because they feel that we had it so easy in our day. I suppose that's just a matter of opinion. I know that a particular era of London's cultural history has gone and can never return. When we used to get on the system we were lost until we returned to street level. Now there is no station, ticket hall, platform, or subway that doesn't have a CCTV camera. There really is nowhere on the system you can go without being watched. We used to chase our pieces, trying to photograph them. If you do that now your every move can be followed. When 'WD' and 'The Bash St. Kids' started the Circle Line 'train jams' in the late 1980s, hundreds of kids used to descend on the Underground, free of any watchful eye. We gathered at a tube station and, soon enough, would pour into the back carriages of our chosen train. The neon lights were twisted off, magic markers brought out to provide the decoration, and, with the music blaring, round and round we went. When it came 'on top', we simply moved to another line. Within minutes we were lost again in the labyrinth. I don't even think LTs (London Transport workers) had radios then.

The PFB crew restarted the tradition in the early 1990s. The last one ended after a long wait in the tunnel outside South Kensington station. Once five minutes had passed we knew we were getting raided. It was a familiar tactic - containing you while they collected the necessary manpower. We started to spread along the train, mingling with the other passengers. Paints and pens were thrown out of the windows, while the really guilty ones jumped out the back into the tunnel. I sat down in my pinstripe shirt and buried my head in a newspaper. With the passenger doors still closed, the old stinkies entered the train one by one through the driver's cabin. They filed straight past me. The unfortunate ones were taken to the police station.

Writers may be seen as criminals, putting up our names everywhere, but is it any wonder? We are living in an age of brands and logos, where the sign and its duplication is king. Imagine a train covered in tags moving overland through London, past all the hoardings and the billboards - perhaps there graffiti has its true context. As long as there are big cities there will be graffiti. Out of the 70 or so Kings that have existed since the mid 1980s, over 60 are from broken homes. Graffiti gives you a family and a focus. Certainly, in my case it kept me away from more serious crime and taught me about colour, form and design. As daily life grows ever more homogeneous, it's one of the only ways kids on the edge of society can make their mark.

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Guest WebsterUno

Re: HAZE 29 Interview

 

Originally posted by trew

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

 

WRITERS SPOTLIGHT - Haze 29 - AWR, MSK

 

 

I have this issue, best fr8 zine Ive ever seen!

It was the only zine I had for a few years!

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Re: Re: GESO

 

Originally posted by --OhToo--

Cant Find it...I know it was in LifeSucksDie....Oh well

i got it but its way too long to type.heres part of it

lsd-when did u start your dedication to a life outside the law

g-fuck,12 13

lsd-wat were u getting into then

g-car theft,smoken cigarettes

lsd-was it cigarettes that led u ashtray

g-yea

lsd-wat led from that to graff

g-my freind was a thug and he did graff on the buses(in sf) seeing him do it got me into it.that was probably 93 94.i would just go along and watch but i was always scared to do it.

lds-but u were stealing cars

g-yea i wasnt into graff that much i wasnt into art .i got graff to be destructive.just being a little kid.i lived in a small town.wen i moved to san francisco......

its 4 long pages...and my comp is slwo

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