1. Tell us who you are, how you came about your name, what crews you rep and how long you have been writing?
I write lead. I started writing in 1991 but have been writing lead since 1993. I am in the crews DNA AOK IMOK/DF and VLOK. I’m in a few others but those are the main ones I push consistently. The first word I wrote, I did a lot of damage with, in a little suburban town where I grew up. In no time I got pinched for it. Luckily much of the damage was made with the son of a cop so the casework was conveniently never processed. After that I used to have a word for the street and a word to write around my school, I was always considered a leader and just always did what I wanted too so it stuck.
2. Who were your biggest influences when coming up?
The highway graffiti in providence Rhode island and on the cross Bronx expressway in NYC played a major roll. If it were not seeing the highways destroyed while driving to skateboard competitions up and down the North East US, in the early 90s I would not have started practicing graffiti writing. As far as individuals, I would have to say Emit, Gaze, Cycle and the whole IMOK crew. My first partner Ased who started DNA with me and pushed me to get better. Also, local Rhode Island bombers like Crick, Bester, and Emyt ups.
3. Favorite 5 pieces of all time and why ?
1. Anything by JA but this specific action. Not because its over saber, he is a real cool cat, but because of the message it sends. No matter who you are or how big or what you do it is NOT permanent.
the rest are in no specific order…
2. Provihence by Hence. holy shit if this is not one of the best freight trains ever done!
3. Kuma (i got you stuck off the realness) freight. I rolled on this guy and monk painting this in the middle of no place Ohio, in like 2000 or something. It was done before he had a name for himself or anyone knew who he was. Its just raw, real witty and honest. Thats the only time i have crossed paths with this guy. That also makes it cool to me because he is every where now.
4. Zeism fatcap tags. Since the days of Forbidden Art Videos this guy has always been so good with a fat cap. Those scenes and tags like this resinate when i think of the essence of graffiti bombing.
5. Every Gaze IMOK piece. Patterson nj jam and Broome st wall pictured here. Chances are your favorite writer bit techniques and processes Gaze was rocking in the very early 90s. Anything from negative letters, splashing paint on wall, blown out letter tips, motion effects and “imok fades”, that most of the graffiti world have been playing out in the last few years Gaze did first.
4. Favorite city and why?
My favorite city is Providence Rhode Island. I’m not saying this is the best city and I have traveled to countless, but it will always be “home” and where I prefer to write the most. It’s the only city I care about being up in and have pride in. I write in every city I go to, but to me none feel like when I’m tagging in my home state.
5. Favorite food / drink /? (Please include recipe if applicable)
This for me is an impossible question to answer. I travel far distances just to visit restaurants. I stay watching food network and cook almost every day. I will drop serious money eating at famous chefs restaurants just to say I tried it.
I can tell you some standouts that are easy on the pocket: Spumoni Gardens and DiFara’s pizza both in Brooklyn. Best pizza I have ever had in the world. Sultans Market on North in Chicago is some of the best Middle Eastern food I have had. NBC Seafood in Monterey Park, CA, has the best Dim Sum in the states. El Pancho Villa and Taqueria Los Coyotes both in the Mission on 16th in SF, Really good authentic Mexican.
6. Biggest vice ?
My biggest vices are probably tagging, stealing and collecting. It’s not so much they are vices but I do them obsessively. Not a day goes by where I don’t write or scratch my name on something. Usually I lift at least one thing every day. Not because I need too, but because I have this overwhelming felling that I want to take it just because I can. I refuse to pay for over priced small items that I need. Toothbrush, coconut water, deodorant, most groceries etc. I know its stupid, but for me it feels better not paying for it. Lastly is collecting. I have a substantial art collection, stamps, books, watches, ephemera, anything of personal and historic value ill get it to hold onto.
7. Biggest Gripe ?
The whole “its not biting everyone has done it” mentality. That shit sucks. I hate it so much. That’s why most all graffiti looks the same and fits into like 3 little tidy categories. “Well fuck it, so and so big name writer does it and he bit it so I can too”. Gross. It creates complacency and a body of cliché contrived works. I wont get into it further because i will hurt feelings and it always ends up getting me more flack.
8. Favorite shoe?
Nike ecue and Nike humara. I troll the internets for any dark colored ecue. They are the most comfortable shoes I have worn. I wear them to skate, paint, and hike anything but super hard to find!
9. Favorite 5 tracks ?
This is also too tough. Its an ever changing list and I’m always playing out songs or artists but to name bands that kinda always seem to stay atop my list that I could listen to at any given time: Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Placebo, Deertick, Ghostface, El-p, Mars Volta/ At The Drive-In
10. Favorite tool of the trade and why?
I Literally have not left my house in the last 10 yrs. without a scribe in my change pocket. It’s not necessarily my favorite for damage but I’m never without it so no matter where I am I can catch a permanent signature.
11. Favorite hand style?
This is a hard one because I’m really really into penmanship and how one writes. To me it is hands down the most important aspect of graffiti. There are some people who can do great burners and can’t even manage to sign it or write their crews properly. Then there are those who can do their ONE tag really well but can’t write shit else worth a lick. With that said probably one of the most well rounded “hand styles” to my particular standards is REMIO. Pretty much perfect. As far as tags and great tagging style: Alert/Dkae. ( the best handstyle of all time in my opinion), SpOne, Cost KRT, JA, Adek, Swek SWS, ZE, Skuf, Nemel, Aero BYI, Gemeos, Cape Ftk.
12. 3 people you would love to have a pint with and why?
I have never taken a sip of alcohol in my life but I would like to hang out with Elton Brown, Jason Lee, JA and MQ, at the same time…. haha
13. Any writer you think that duznt get enough shine or credit?
Gorey from Paris, if it were not for this guy, horfe and the like, would not be doing that clogged cap “machine” style they are. GAZE IMOK/DF, (see my above answer in favorite pieces question). Its a shame Gaze does not appear in more influence lists in interviews. Mesh AOK who did many early outlines for reas and ven. Monk SCA, Hence C&F (not really active now but he was wicked in the late 90s). It just seems most of the “it” guys now cant hold a flame to the soul and originality some people not even in “favorite writer” conversations have.
14. Can you tell us a bit about your crews, its not too often AOK gets a new member, how did that come about?
Well one night years back the NYC transit system went on strike. I drove down to NY to make some subways. I checked several spots but settled on queens to rock the 7 line. Got out to the spot and there were two fellows ducking in the brush. My friends and I pulled out some shit and rolled on them. This giant of a human proclaims he is GHOST RIS and the other VEN. We spent some time talking then got to work. The rest is history. The crew is pretty big so naturally im much closer to some then others.
15. Last time you were caught doing something ?
Its been a very long time but going into details online about any dirt can just cause drama or get you linked up to other crimes so i digress.
16. 5 things that are within arms reach of where you are right now?
My dog, glock 19, MacBook pro, iPhone, Bori Cha (Korean tea)
17. Average day, leaving your house, whats in your pockets?
Money, phone, scribe, lucky coin, silver pen, stickers (always in my vehicle).
18. 3 things to do before you die?
Go to Asia, own a Porsche Carrera 4s, have a son.
19. What are you interested in outside of graf?
Food, music, skateboarding, art are the mainstays. I have always had a motorcycle and even raced cars for a bit. Graffiti for me is habitual but only a fraction of my daily life. Unless im on a mission specifically aimed at graffiti, I have gotten over the hump where it consumes my days.
20. ANY SHOUTS, UPCOMING PROJECTS ?
Never go quietly.