Posts Tagged ‘Interview’

Interview with THE LOST CAUSE

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

(The following is a conversation between Asker and The Lost Cause.)

(Photo Credit: PSSA)

The Lost Cause, a.k.a “T-L-C”, started as a graffiti writer and consistently built up a body of work transitioning into characters, stickers and technicolor murals. Noted is his “Winston the Whale” character, who appears in multiple variations on stickers, t-shirts and the naughty list of local street sign scrapers. Recently, TLC’s work has taken an interesting turn as his characters have become more ornate and complex, appearing in cities across continents.

I first met The Lost Cause in a small paint jam in Portland. He had an immediate enthusiasm and an infectious sense of humor. We had been talking for a while about doing an interview and it finally happened when he started working on a project outside the house I was staying at that day. After a surprise wake up call (TLC turning on all the lights to the basement) I stumbled outside into the summer heat of 2014 and hit the record button.

Asker: This is Asker 3 Dots the Third, sitting here with The Lost Cause. I’m looking for something to eat, I’m pretty hungry, TLC woke me up at 11:11.

TLC: Good morning.

Asker: Now we’re sitting here, TLC’s painting a car.

TLC: I hate it, it’s covered with spiders.

Do you have arachnophobia?

Asker: No, actually I like spiders I think their great.

Wait, are you eating something?

TLC: Yeah, I’m eating a tuna sandwich.

(Photo Credit: TLC)

Asker: Can I try some?

TLC: You want this other half?

Asker: I’ll just eat a bite. (chews sandwich, starts coughing)

TLC: (Laughs)… what’s wrong with it?

Asker: This is gross, I want some waffles.

So, how long you been working on this style? I feel like the stuff you’ve been working on now is different than the original work you were doing on the streets. There’s more patterns, there’s more of a resonance.

TLC: What does that mean, resonance?

Asker: Resonance is like…

TLC: I have a limited vocabulary.

Asker: Sometimes I make up words, sometimes I use words and then I’m like “wait, is that the right use of this word…”

TLC: I used to use the phrase “affirmative action” because I thought it just meant to do something.

Asker: That’s like when you’re a minority and they put you into school because they’re trying to fit a quota.

TLC: Right I learned that afterward. But before I just thought affirmative action meant “we need to do this”, so I would be hanging out with friends and I’d say “we need to take affirmative action!”

Asker: (laughs)

I’m gonna start saying that.

TLC: Don’t, it’s risky business

Asker: So what projects are you looking forward to lately?

TLC: Forest For the Trees.

Asker: What’s going on with that?

TLC: A bunch of people coming into town and painting walls. Get to hang out with NoseGo and Curiot. Get to meet all these people, I’m stoked.

Asker: Have you painted for other mural festivals before ?

TLC: Nope, this is the first one.

Asker: Whoah!!!

TLC: Yeah brah. Oh snap!

Asker: I mean it’s not like mural festivals happen all the time in Portland either.

TLC: Yeah, this is the second one for Forest For the Trees.

(Photo Credit: PSSA)

Asker: What would you think if I did this?

(takes spray can and paints line across arm)

TLC: Ahhhh, why’d you do that… you want me to do your whole body? I could do a series of nipples running all the way down.

Asker: How long do you think it would take to wash off?

TLC: Well there’s that solvent downstairs, should only take 30 seconds.

Asker: Solvent!? That stuff’s wicked…

TLC: Yeah, I use it on my hands sometimes. That’s probably why I got teeth falling out of my head.

Asker: Yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have done that.

TLC: I got a wicked gum disease going on and I’m pretty sure it’s from licking my brushes after using mineral spirits.


RENEK Interview – March 22nd, 2013

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Renek Graffiti. (Photos supplied by Renek.)

ENDLESS CANVAS: How long have you been doing this?

RENEK: I’ve always been interested in graffiti and have been drawing letters as long as i can remember, but didnt really start writing till 2008.

EC: Do you represent any crews?

RENEK:  I represent ALL Crew based out of Chicago and WFK.  I don’t represent crews because I’ve seen them up or because they do dope graffiti… to me a crew should be your family who your down for and whose down for you.  If people in a crew are not close to me like brothers then I don’t rep it.

EC: What does A.L.L. and W.F.K. stand for and who else is in those crews?

RENEK: ALL stands for “Always Loving Life.”  There are a few different chapters so it’d be way to long to name every one.  We have chapters in a few different states and even cats in other countries.  I’m the leader of the California chapter and out here its me, Berg 45, Zenphonik, Wors, and Mucho.

WFK stands for “Wanted For Killing.”  It’s been around in the east bay since the 90’s. The cats currently still rocking it though are Advek, Zenphonik, LoveKids, Aeon, Mucho, Dvide, Resn8, Blue22, Chunto and a few others (sorry if i forgot you).


EC: You have a bit of an LA aesthetic to your letter structure. Where are you from originally?

RENEK: I don’t even know where I’m from.  I know where i was born but to me those are two different things.  I’ve lived all around.  All around California, Chicago, Utah, Oregon. I don’t like to stagnate in one place for to long.  I just drift around.  I’ve never really spent more than two years in one city. As for graffiti, the first graffiti I saw was cats from LA.  Plus my graffiti is really inspired by different tattoo fonts so you can see the inspiration of both in my letters.

EC: How do you feel the scene in California, Chicago, Utah, and Oregon differ?  Do you have a favorite?

RENEK: I wasn’t really involved in the Utah or Oregon graff scene.  I lived in those states before i Started, but with Chicago and California… the bay more specifically, there are many differences.  In Chicago there is way less graffiti because of the strict laws and punishments around it.  It’s even illegal for hardware stores to sell spray paint in chicago.  Plus if the police catch you out there your not only going to jail but receiving a brutal beat down by the pigs first.

I feel like in Chicago graffiti is way more in touch with its hip hop roots.  It’s just different.  The bay is all about bombing and fools grill shit out here. Even the way people beef in Chicago is different.  When people beef in the Bay they line each other or catch a bomb over a burner. In Chicago when cats beef they flip each others letters.  If you where beefing with me you’d do a cleaner piece over me. The point is to show skill during beef out there. Its more of a battle… more than anything the point is like, “I’m so much better than you. I can do your own name backwards better than you.” There was this cat in Chicago who wrote Zulu just so that when you flipped his name is said “u luz.”  Ha ha. I love both scenes so its hard to compare. They are both very different.  Although I always seem to end up back in the East Bay no matter where i go.  So I’d have to say I like the East Bay the best.


EC: You hit a lot of billboards. What’s you motivation behind choosing those spots?

RENEK:  I see so many billboards put up by corporations every day… polluting what I see every day… telling me, “Fuck you! Buy this! You wont be happy till you get this!” It’s like a game for me.  A lot of people see graffiti as visual trash. That’s how i see advertisement.  If I have to see your trash, you’re gonna have to see mine. They pay thousands of dollars just to put there brain washing slogan in my face, so every time i smash a billboard it costs them thousands. I love that.  Also, I hear so many cats bragging about throw ups or how they get it… don’t get me wrong, I love throwies, but I’m always trying to push my self to go further.  I like to show cats i can flex a burner on a billboard and can push myself past a throwie on the street.

EC: What’s the spot you’ve painted that you’re most proud of?

RENEK: Hmm, I’m not really sure.  I once painted a throwie on a billboard in the day time.  That was kinda cool.  I usually get sick of my work a few weeks after i do it.  So it’s always changing.


EC: You sound like a man who appreciates difficult spots.  Who do you think the best climber in the Bay Area is who’s up currently?

RENEK: I’d have to say the cat I see getting the most crazy spots out here in the Bay would have to be Gufe.  I see him getting super high up rooftops and backs of freeways signs with multi-colored burners. I see Anemal getting a bunch of those suicide free way shots too.  There are a lot of cats getting some crazy spots, but Gufe stands out to me the most.

EC: Any shout outs?

RENEK: I wanna give a shout out to my homie Wors.  That fucker has lost his mind.  He has been in the game too long.  This cat taught me a lot about the graff game. I’m a give a shout out to my boy Berck ALL LD from Chicago.  That homie taught me how to burn pieces and the concept of letter structure.  A shout to my boy Rare, homie your nuts. Then a shout out to all my close boys in my crews ALL and WFK; Zenphonik, Advek, Blue 22, Love Kids, Mucho, Aeon, Resn 8, Dvide, and every one else reppin’ to0!  And free my boy Snek fast!!! Rest in Peace to my homie Jkat, fool was like an older brother.


YOUR CREW, YOUR FAMILY – An Interview with 7Seas – August 2011

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

7seas goats.

7seas graffiti van.
7seas graffiti piece.
7seas graffiti.
7seas graffiti.

ENDLESS CANVAS: How old were you when you first started writing?

7SEAS: I was about 13. That’s when I did my first piece. Started tagin’ in 4th grade. My homies older brother got me into it.

EC: Is Seven Seas a reference to anything inparticular?

7SEAS: There are so many stories an reasons behind it. It’s one of the first names I ever wanted to write, but I didn’t care for having a number in my name. Got used to that real quick. I went through quite a few names like everybody else, but this one definetly stuck on me. I see the number 7 everywhere I go… hella stands out to me for some reason.

EC: You seem to have pieced every yard in the east bay. At any point would you be satisfied and just say I’m done?

7SEAS: Nah, you’re never done. Graffiti just keeps going. Move on to the next yard, city, state… there are endless spots to be painted everywhere!

EC: Do you try to keep your identity anonymous?

7SEAS: Yeah, but it don’t really matter these days. I aint tryna label myself and show face everywhere, but when you paint legals and kick it here and there people become familiar with who you are.

EC: Why be in a crew?

7SEAS: Crews are like a big family to me. You meet so many people over the years. You usually paint with your homies… people you know you can trust no matter what kinda shit goes down. As time goes on the people you meet over the years just become your crew, your family… bbq, drinking, partying, you aint even got to be painting to kick it.

EC: Has coming from a rural area influence your graffiti actives and style?

7SEAS: I grew up seeing a lot graffiti. I lived by a few freight [train] yards. I got a lot of influence at a young age. Walked to the yard soon as it got dark in 7th-8th grade. Graffiti was way more chill in the mid nineties.

EC: What would you call your style?

7SEAS: Never thought to much about it. Its kinda got a Mid Evil L.A. flow to it. I don’t use to much color… mainly black and white. Certain styles look better with more color than others.

EC: If you could collaborate with any artist in the world, who would it be?

7SEAS: Revok, or Versuz… the color skemes and constant flow of the lettering over the years has been a big influence on my style.

EC: What do you like the most and least about “graffiti” culture?

7SEAS: The street life. Walking around, ploting on spots, climbing random shit, all the different styles that have progressed over the years. You witness and experience so many different things. To me that’s what keeps graffiti going. With a mission always comes a story.

EC: How long does it take you to produce a piece?

7SEAS: Usually a couple hours, but that could turn into 3 or 4 very easy. It just depends on how long you think you got at the spot. You gotta stay on your toes. Though, maybe come back on it a few times.

EC: What advice would you give to young inexperienced graffiti writers?

7SEAS: Be prepared to deal with whatever it brings you; goodtimes, bad, going to jail, fighting. It’s definitely a crazy life style. You witness and experience some life changing shit on the streets. A life like no other.

EC: Ever painted a boat or a ship?

7SEAS: Yeah, I caught a few tags here and there over the years. Nothing to big though.
Still searching…

EC: Shout outs or thanks to anyone?

7SEAS: All my close friends an family.  Roar, Aura, Gunk, Logo, Epoxe. Thanks to all the photographers out here in the bay! They be taking some amazing pictures! You know who you are… thanks a million!

7seas graffit piece oakland ca.

The Devil’s Heart – An Interview with ROMANSE of HYSU Crew

Monday, June 11th, 2012

This interview was originally published in December 2011.

Romanse HYSU Graffiti.

ENDLESS CANVAS: What do you write, where are you from and how long have you been at this?

ROMANSE: I write ROMANSE 179, I’m from San Jose, Cali.  I’ve been writing since i was 8 but with ROMANSE 179… I been at it since 89′.

EC:  Who got your into graffiti?

ROMANSE: I was influenced by my older brother Noone from DA crew.  He was an oldschool writer with talent.  He started back in 82′.  He taught me my first letters.  I also was taught by Twister (from San Jose) aka ZOOK.  Him and my brother ran together.  I have a lot of cousins and brothers that were oldschool writers that taught me the way of THE GRAFF GAME.

EC:  Who all is in HYSU?

ROMANSE:  We have a whole brotherhood of people in HYSU?  a.k.a. as THE H.  We have NUCS, DUEL8, YQUE, DEVEL, SAETO, RIVE, BHANG, HORID, MEAL, GAKS, INSUM and many more.  We are a union type based crew, very tight knit.  More like a family.

EC:  When did you start doing the heart with the horns?

ROMANSE:  I started to do the Hearts with Horns aka THE DEVIL’S HEART in 2008 after a tragic accident that left me in the hospital.  I was on a drinking bienge for up to 3 months.  Finally I collapsed in front of my family at my home.  I got rushed to the hospital.  When I woke up the doctors said I was in a deep coma for two weeks but in my so called dreams while I was in the coma all I can remember is a burning heart with horns.  While I was still in the hospital, I started doodling on napkins of a heart with horns, then I was like “I GOT SOMETHANG HERE!”  That was the birth of THE DEVILS HEART.  So now if you see it, you know what it represents… “Rebirth.”

EC: Do you make an effort to recruit younger kids into HYSU in order to keep it going longer,
or do you feel like crews should stick to their original membership and be more of a snap
shot of a certain time period and style?

ROMANSE: I do recruit young kats. If I see potential in them and also if they know the history of the graff game.  But what I mostly look for is
attitude.  I am not just going to pick up any ol chump. You must have a great brotherhood personality.  If you don’t, sorry this is not the job
for you.  HYSU was made by me to open doors to all kinds of artist that wanted to join for a certain purpose and that is to “Destroy,” but in a
artistic way.  You can be old school or a new kat, it don’t matter as long as you have graff blood in you.  I started HYSU in 2005 and it will be here
for years to come.  Like I tell my brother, “we aint going anywhere but up.”

EC: What years do you think were the peak time for graffiti in San Jose?

ROMANCE:  The best and greatest years in San Jose’s graff history would be early 80’s and late 90’s.  I remember when I was young and I would help my brother
carry a ladder down the main streets in broad day light with two duffle bags of paint.  We were headed to the walls of fame in West San Jose.  Those days, the
pigs were to busy with the Cholos and drug dealers.  The 80’s was the beginning of the free graff movement.  What I mean by this, is nobody tripped about graff that much. You were free to come as you pleased.  Ahhh, the 90’s, it brings back so many memories and writers.  Bus hopping was in, throwies were evolving to better standards and hundreds of writers in one single city.  Our mission was to fuck up everything in sight.  I try not to think that much about the 90’s graff scene because it just makes me miss it.  Writers that lived it sometimes talk about it as the best years of graff in San Jose.  It is true, those years were the best. I’m glad I was a part of it.  I want to give a shout out to the fallen writers like REM, TMC,
Paws, Tie and many more that are now at peace.

EC: Do you think writers should try to reclaim the freeways?

ROMANSE: The freeways have always been another way to get your name known or to get stupid drunk and fuck shit up without anybody chasing you… LOL.  I believe we should take back the freeways due to the fact of tourism and traveling on them.  They get to see free art without paying… LMAO.  It don’t matter if you aint popular or good, if you hit the freeways your shit is going to bee seen by a lot of fucken people.

EC: What is the Anti-Graffiti Task Force in San Jose or is it handled by Gang Unit?

ROMANSE: The Task Force, hmmmmm… is a bunch of fucking clowns trying to beat something that will never stop, even if they bring the National Guard.  We aint going no where bitches.  You fucks aint shit with your unmarked visible cars and your wanna be swat uniforms.  This is to the S.J. Task Force, “Fuck you. Suck my big fat veiny cock!”   That’s what I feel about you clowns.

EC:  Most writers blow up really hard for one to three years and fade away. What has kept you doing this for so long?

ROMANSE:  I have seen a lot of writers come and go. It’s a shame that it happens, but I understand when you get slammed with felonies and all kinds of shit you just want to quit. I understand how bad that feels and the sleepless nights just wondering, “Was it worth it?”  I want to let those who stopped or have taken long vacations know that it’s fucken alright if you quit or take time off because you have given inspiration to a young writer who would love to experience graff for themselves.  Some writers need vacations or time away from graff to support their families, continue going to school or to mentally collect themselves.  As for me, I am going to be doing what I’m doing until God himself comes for me and says, “I need you up here.”   That will be the day when there won’t be a Romanse 179 anymore.  As for now, I’m going to rape this city with no jimmy on and fuck shit up… LMAO!

NON STOPPERS – An Interview with NAVER of AMC Crew

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Naver AMC Interview.

ENDLESS CANVAS: How long have you been doing this?
NAVER: Been paintin’ since about 96.

EC: What’s your perspective on graffiti?
Ever since i was a kid I’ve found myself doing graffiti. When my life was at it’s worst graffiti made me forget all the rough shit I was going through. I like getting up and going places normal people would never even think of  going like the side of a freeway or some cutty ass yard five hours away; on drugs; doing drugs all the way there an back.  Driving a hundred miles an hour with no license, trunk full of paint and an empty glove box blowin’ on some fire ass tree; Pryors for all types of shit; Probation in five different counties. Like fuck it, always must crush!

EC: Those crazy jagged styles you do look like they would take a long time yet I see them bombed in some pretty high profile freeway shots.  How long do they take you?
NAVER: 20-45 minutes tops.  Always Stock Caps Rusto and even the new Rusto Caps go too.  Depending on the spot or the color or who im with.  My favorite is solo missions because you don’t got to worry about any one else you are with making shit hot.

EC: For a long time I had no idea what your pieces said but they always stuck in my mind.  What do you feel influenced your style?
NAVER: Drugs. All types of drug use as a kid. Thizle, Mush, Trees, an more Thizzles. Skitzoefective. People I saw as a kid that made me wanna get up. Swerv, Boiler, Luter, Crook GMC, Deaf GMC, Widm ADS, Veg, Skoe, my old school homie Tea, Serve, Think, Gusalen, Ceaver 640, Kose, Revok, Saber, Skert, Adek, Keda, Adios, Dayser, Rise Above! Bely, Bloat (RIP big homie), Ferm, tfam, Dream, Amend, Natrl, Chez, Pastime, Lewse, Piers, Neon, Apex, Misk, Paser, Timber, DAF, HTF, MDK, KOD, ESL, Orfn, Tie, KR, Percept, UGS, MSK, AWR, HA, Else, Arrows, Destn, Harsh, Plantrees… just mainly influenced by the Bay Area where i grew up.

EC: How long has AMC been around and what does it stand for?
NAVER: Swerv started it in 94 and the funny part about it is swerv used to write all over my shit when we was youngsters.  I used to be like, “Man fuck graffiti, that shit is all bad.” Then two years later me and SW were on a tear to wreck shit!  Always Making Cash! Always Must Crush! Amongst Many Criminals!

EC: It seems like AMC has grown a lot in the past few years.  Are you guys adding new heads or just traveling more… or is Endless Canvas just lazy about getting around?  Ha ha.
NAVER: AMC looks for non stoppers. People that are about graffiti that live this shit everyday!

EC: Is there a lot of cross over between AMC and WKT?
NAVER: It’s all the same family. They’ve been cool for over ten years! Me and Yesm linked that up many years ago.

EC:What do you think about the ongoing Occupy Movement?
NAVER: Beast up!

EC: Any shout outs?
NAVER: Isabella… AMC, WKT, TFK, RA, ATB, GMC, OMS, TAK, BE. All you haters too. Free Luter! Free Noner! I’m out!