Where are you from and what do you write?
I’m from the Canadian prairies and write Rove.
What crews are you a member of?
AST and Fr8ophiles.
How did AST and Fr8ophiles first start? How long have they been around? How and when did you first join?
AST has been around since the mid/late 90’s.. I started noticing the crew when Veks, Job, Crum and Sebo were in town and did some pieces under the Broadway Bridge. Around that time I was also noticing all the sick pieces rolling through town on the freights. Whenever I went to Calgary I would fill rolls and rolls of film with AST pieces. I joined the crew a few years back when, after clearing it with the rest of the crew members, Beast and Afex asked me to join by sending me a flick of a freight they did for me welcoming me to the crew.. a little presumptuous on their part but it was a no brainer that I would say yes. I’ve been friends with Beast, Afex and Physk for a long while and we are like family for sure. It just made sense to be in a crew with them, and given how much the crew inspired me in the past, it was a nice honour. It’s also super dope to have House in the crew too. AST is just as much of a family as it is a graffiti crew.. we all really care about each other.
Fr8ophiles started around 2000. Theory was talking to Here and they were talking about starting a crew of freight fiends. Theory was telling me that we should have a crew name that was more than just the standard three letter crew name…. something you could say.. like KWOTA…. I pitched Fr8ophiles and it stuck. Here pulled his friends together and we pulled ours and it was a super ill crew for the early 2000’s. We had some sick people down with the crew and we were all pushing it really hard. Eventually things fell apart out east and the crew started dissolving. No one really pushed the crew hard any more but I think the only people that have written it in the past few years has been me, House and Theory.
Do you get to paint with your crew members often?
In the past few years I have painted mostly with House and Afex. Now that me and Theory are back in the same hood, I’m hoping that this year we get to rekindle the flame.
How long have you been doing graffiti for?
I did my first tag in 96′/97′. Started with my man Theory.
What was your influence to start doing graffiti?
I was really into Hip-Hop. I really liked drawing. There was a crew in town called TAU and they had all the elements on lock. We would see them break dancing in parking lots, djing and rapping at shows they put on, and they had tags on every corner in town. They were definately a big influence on me and Theory and I’m super stoked to now be in the same crew as Crum who was was a member of TAU. TAU influenced me as far as taggin and bombing, but what got me into freights was a Take5 train Theory showed me laid up in our downtown yard.;He saw it biking one day and told me I had to check it out. We biked down and just stared in awe at the piece. I thought it said Takes at the time.
You seem to paint a lot of freight trains. How are freight trains different from painting walls?
I think it would be misleading to generalize the difference. The difference between legal walls and freights can be night and day; literally. Some freight spots demand painting by moonlight in some cutty neighbourhoods or in the middle of the prairies. Some freight spots are chill and can be had anytime, night or day. So it depends on the spot. If I were to generalize, wall spots allow you to push yourself a little more as far as thinking bigger, collaborating with many people and being able to take your time. For me, the less time I have the better. I tend to over think my pieces and get frustrated and with a train, it rolls away, I can forget about it if I want and move on to the next one.
Do you have a favourite type of freight train you like to paint?
If I haven’t hit a boxcar in a while, I want a boxcar. If I haven’t hit a wheatie in a while, I crave a wheatie. I used to have favourites. Now I really don’t care as long as there is something to hit. I still love streaking Canada hoppers though. I like to think that one day me, Theory and Tic Tac will be on every Canada hopper.
Can you share any interesting stories you’ve either experienced or seen in the train yards while you were out painting?
There really is too many. But I guess what always comes to mind is how back in the day we were pretty careless. We had this spot we called sunny time station because it was a line of hoppers in the trees. We used to roll there with a ghettoblaster bumpin’ invisible skratch piklz and would bring a picnic and eat and paint all day. I think I did my first 10 freights at that spot. I don’t know if we realized it at the time but the trains were parked on military land. I went back in the winter and a second before I pulled out a can, I had a guy in full army great running towards me yelling. He got our licence # and we had a visit from the RCMP but nothing every came of it. That was interesting.
When do you prefer to get out painting?
I prefer early evening at a chill freight spot. That said, there are very few chill spots around. People assume there are freights laid up everywhere around here but it’s not the case at all. We have very few spots that are consistent and even less that are very chill.
Do you have a favourite wall or train you’ve painted over the years?
My favourite wall I’ve done was a piece I painted on a train I painted on a wall. I wanted to do it for years but was real nervous about it. I didnt want it to look hokey or cartoonish. I was happy with how it turned out and had a lot of fun doing it because it felt like I was painting a train, not a wall.
Who’s graffiti have you been feeling lately?
I haven’t really been checking on graffiti as much as a I used to and think that I may be missing out butI find I get more nostalgic the older I get and enjoy the same graffiti now that I did 10 years ago. Anything by BSM, WCB, A2M, Boxstarz, AFC, KWOTA, ASP, TMB, WH, Networkm HM, TCI, AKB and other crews from that era that roll by really put a smile on my face. I also enjoy some newer stuff too.
How would you describe your style of graffiti?
I think my style for the first half of my graff career was experimental, meaning that I experimented with a lot of wack styles. I recall when I started I would be heavily influenced by this person or that person but I would be so self conscious that my influence would be obvious. Nobody wants to be called a biter. But, I think the older you get, the more confident you get in your graffiti and you aren’t so overprotective about what your pieces look like to others. If House does something I like, I’ll straight up bite it and tell him I like that. I’m going to do that too. I would expect him to do the same. It makes graffiti more fun for me to be able to do that with my friends and it makes it easier to turn half my brain off and let others come up with color schemes and bits and do dads to add.
Have you done any traveling with your graffiti? If so where?
I’ve never really travelled for graffiti purposes alone, other than to Montreal for Under Pressure two years ago. That was alright. It was a quick trip and I got to kick it with Jesk and my man Israel which was nice. I also went to Scribble Jam in 2004 I think. That was a nice trip with some friends. I painted a wack piece there. I met up with Met TA there and was suppose to go paint some freights with him and his homies but I turned them down so I could watch the rap shows. Big mistake now when I look back. Oh well, the follies of youth. I ended up out on a freight mission with Each2 on my way back through Madison, WI. Unfortunately there was no freights to be had that night. I made it down to Minneapolis a few years back and ended up painting with Each2 and that time we bagged a couple. On the same trip I alsoheaded out on a mission with Much and Stalk but we got chased out of the yard by the bull. The night ended up alright. We met up with Hope4 and Yen34 for some beers. It was great to kick it with those guys.
Since it’s a new year. What can we expect to see from you in 2012?
The big plan is to get some nice themed cars done with Theory. We were living apart for a few years and I haven’t had the chance to paint with him as much as I would like and he’s been doing these magnificant themed cars. I’ve been streaking more these past few months than I have in the previous few years so expect to see more recent streaks from me. ha.
Do yo have any last words for the Senses Lost readers?
Keep it rail.