10 Spot Interview with BACK - DBM, XTC, RB crew

Photo by The Lines Don’t Lie

Photo by The Lines Don’t Lie

BACK INTERVIEW by The Lines Don’t Lie

Q1: What is style to you?

Style, to me, has always started with handstyles and throws and being able to rock proper quickly! The flow of a nice handstyle is how I approach my pieces, but with a li'l more flavor added. I've always tried to focus on the complete package of style, letters, flow, and color schemes! These days you see heads rocking 12 color pieces with all fancy paint, but handstyles and crews around it look like someone rocked them blindfolded with their foot!

Q2: What motivates you to get up?

Over the years this question would definitely be answered a few different ways. As for today, the answer is: I'm motivated by the drive to constantly get better and push myself to produce quality work on trains and walls!

Q:3 Why freight trains?

I've always been fascinated by trains since I was a kid. I always lived near train lines growing up, so I would read the pieces going by. In the mid to late 90's, Boston and right outside the city had a few really nice spots to paint trains so I took full advantage of those spots and made them my playground for a handful of years. In my experience, rocking steel has always brought out more of a raw style of mine compared to spending 8 hours at a chill wall!

Photo by The Lines Don’t Lie

Photo by The Lines Don’t Lie

Q4: What does your graffiti say about yourself?

My work has pretty much represented how I'm living at the time it's done. I've had my personal battles with drugs and alcohol over the years so, at times, it was very rebellious and chaotic to say the least. The better part of the last 10 years or so, it's been pretty organized and thought-out on a more focused level, whether it be a chill burner or a throw on a billboard!

Q5: Who is a writer you respect and why?

I would have to say my friend ETIPS. We've been friends for 10 years now, and I haven't seen him rock the same style twice. He's constantly creating great work and pushing himself to get better. He's also helped me many times on projects that I couldn't handle solo. Plus the dude stays on the tracksides, trains and galleries at all times!

Q6: Can you recall your first experience with the rails?

In the mid '90's, there used to be this small abandoned yard with old boxcars and out-of-service commuter rail trains. I remember skipping school in 7th grade and just checking out all the tags on the inside and really analyzing the pieces on the trains up close. This was a couple years before the internet so there was more of a "get up off your ass and go explore" mentality to writers back then.

Q7: What are some of the harshest lessons you have learned from graff?

One of the biggest lessons I've learned is not everyone that claims to be a writer is cut out for it. I won't mention specific names but, some people over the years have gotten caught or found themselves involved in some beef. Then, all of a sudden, you've got people's houses getting raided shortly after that... For those reasons right there, I only paint and associate with people I trust.

Photo by The Lines Don’t Lie

Photo by The Lines Don’t Lie

Q8: When were the golden years of writing for you and what were things like then?

Without a doubt, the golden years for me were pre-internet days and just shortly after it came out. When I was getting started with writing, you had to actually get out and explore to find spots and take pictures. In those days, you knew who the dedicated heads were when you met up or went to their houses and saw shoeboxes and photo albums filled with hard copies (flicks). One of the first magazines I saw was "Skills" out of Boston. I remember wanting to find these pieces to see in person and was on the hunt from that very moment. Some of the New York based mags I had were filled with work from the Bronx, and the next time I was in NY visiting family I remember asking my aunt to drive me to the Bronx to take pictures and she looked at me like I was crazy. I said, "I'm serious. I need to find some of these pieces in this magazine I have". She ended up taking me to the Bronx and I found some of the walls I was looking for like FX, AOK and COD productions. The difference between now and then is I had to wait to develop the film and I was so amped to get all those flicks back to add to my collection. I still have that photo album from the '90's with Boston, Connecticut, and New York flicks! It's the one particular photo album I look through from time to time to remind me where I started.

Q9: Does your graffiti have any political influences or messages?

Zero political influences. Most people that seem to have strong opinions on politics seem to be full of shit when you listen to them for more than five minutes.

Q10: Can you share some of your crew's history or stories?

In 2004, while doing a street spot with my boy HARE, we got rolled on as we walked back toward the neighborhood his car was parked in. As we approached this bridge, the cops came at us in two different directions full speed, with their lights on in one direction and on foot in the other. We only had one option and it was dip into this backyard. So, immediately it turned into jumping a few fences with them close behind us. After the second fence, I lost one of my sneakers. At that point, HARE jumped this big fence to get up on the tracks but I couldn't make it up with one sneaker missing. And right then, the cops had caught up and yelled "Freeze" with their guns drawn. Fair to say I didn't comply. I jumped off the garage I was standing up on and continued to jump a couple li'l small yard fences until I found this great hiding spot a few yards away. I could hear HARE running up on the tracks as I hid. At that point, I realized my hand was sliced open from the fences but, luckily, I was wearing a black hoodie so the blood wasn't visible. I stayed in that spot for about an hour and a half and the cops stopped searching. By then, it started to get light out so I had to get out of the yard I was in. I started walking back toward the street the car was parked on and wanted to see if he got away safely, or if he was hiding still, or got arrested. I approached the car which was still there and I walked up to the door praying it was unlocked. When I grabbed that door handle and it was unlocked I said, "HOLY SHIT! THANK YOU, GOD". I climbed in the back seat and covered myself with a couple jackets; at that point, I just needed some sleep and a safe place to rest. I fell asleep and thought I was dreaming when the car started moving. I peeked my head out and it was HARE driving, looking rough as fuck covered in dirt and soot. I popped out from the back seat like, "YOOOOOO, WHAT YOU MOTHER FUCKER!!" And we both started dying laughing and continued down the block to peep the fill-ins we did that caused this epic night!!!