What do you write?
Castro: I am the one they call Castro. I’m based in Montreal and my crew is VC.
How long have you been doing graffiti?
Castro: My first graffiti experience was in 93 94. I wrote Ris at the time. I went around my neighborhood claiming shit. Ris park, Ris school, Ris alley. I had no real concept of what graffiti was I just got a can and thought I would be a good idea to write on things.
What was your first appeal to start doing graffiti?
Castro: I didn’t really know what I was doing until I met Seven. This was in 96. He thought me that there was a scene behind this graffiti. He showed me the graff store, graff mags and the rules of the game. That’s when the shit hit the fan for the city of montreal. Its at that time that I really fell in love with graff.
Did you write other tags before Castro?
Castro: Ooof.. ok here we go. Ris, Ice, Toast, Fox, Sick, Jazz and finally Castro in 97, since then I wrote Gesmo for a couple months after the metro bombings of 99. The heat was too high to continue writing Castro. And recently I fucked around with Kicker, I liked the letters and wanted to try something new but I came back to Castro after a couple months.
What made you choose the name Castro?
Castro: I wanted a name that already had impact when you saw it. I first thought of Capone but we all know that there’s a Cap One so I settled for Castro. It’s an unorthodox graff name with 6 letters so it take longer to do than the average but more impact in the end.
How would you describe the Montreal graffiti scene?
Castro: At this time the graff scene in mtl is changing. The writers that were toys last year are getting skills and taking over the game. You have to be down with it and not hate which is unfortunately a predominant feature of most Montreal graffiti writers. As one of the last pre millennium writers still active In the city you gotta stay young and keep on raising the bar so you don’t become a graff politician that is more known for talking shit than doing shit.
Have you painted in other cities? If so which cities?
Castro: Not as much as I would like. I’m not allowed in the states but I try my luck once and a while and get through. I’ve hit LA, Toronto and Montreal. I’m definitely going to be hitting other cities, if you want that fame you gotta travel so mafackaz can see yo shit.
Who are your favorite writers to paint with?
Castro: Writers in my crew VC. They the best. We know each other and we are all experienced so no stupid shit goes down. I like writing with the newer generation too, they got that energy that make you want to do more. At the end of the day thou going by myself is hands down the best. I like to go big so I’m usually taking complete walls, not fun for the next guy. My best works were done by my lonely.
What has been the most difficult spot you’ve hit? What made it so difficult?
Castro: Geez I don’t know. All those spots that take multiple hours to do were your spending more time ducking than actually painting. Those spots that you should’ve done on a week night but decided that you coudn’t wait and make your life way harder by doing it Saturday night with humans walkin around everywere. But now that I think of it there was this one billboard that I had to do some Mac Guyver type stunts to get to. Went up a fire escape, then got onto the rooftop jump down a level on the other side, sneaked through a court yard, climb a fence that had those plastic strip in them go down a fragile wood frame made to hold vines climb another fence then shimmy across a foot wide ledge to get to the top of the billboard. Good times.
What gets you inspired to go out and paint?
Castro: Full cans of paint inspire me to empty them. My bombing is limited only by the amount of paint I have. Some people have stock piles but I can’t keep a can around. I must use it. Also I love that feeling of adrenaline you get from bombing, just thinking about it make me want to go.
Do you think the Internet has helped make the graffiti scene stronger?
Castro: It has changed it for sure. Some people have more ups on the net than on the streets.
It’s made it more accessible to everybody, making experts out of people with no experience. It’s a dangerous thing. But if you know how to use it, the internet can be like any other spot. The point is to get up.
Who’s graffiti are you feeling these days?
Castro: Ja One, Optimist, O’Clock, Rime, Ich, Bates, Jays rip, Kuma, Adek, Ket, Gasm…. people who know what there doing naam saying.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Castro: More. I’ve been on a back to basics tip lately, throwys and tags.
I’m gonna be raising the bar, going bigger getting fresher and traveling abroad give everybody a taste of the realness. I’m trying to get VC crew apparel going nothing serious just a handful of sweaters, shirts and headware. Quality embroided limited edition stuff. I’ll see were it goes. I don’t want to do the decaled American apparel t-shirts like everybody else you know
Any last words you’d like to share with the Senses Lost readers?
Castro: Graffiti writers… keep it real and keep the shit talking to your fists. No need to outrage yourself with things just because you can. Think for yourself and make your own decisions. Base them on who you really are, not on who you are trying to portray.
That’s how you get respect, fake ass bitches get exposed.
Peace you mafks
CASTRO VC 2011