10 Spot with RANT - LL crew
RANT INTERVIEW by The Lines Don’t Lie
Q1: What is style to you?
Style, to me, is how you structure your letters and what elements stick out when a panel rolls by.
Q2: What motivates you to get up?
My crewmates are always on me about painting another panel. Also, when I see old panels I've painted, I say to myself, "I could've done this better." So, I feel like I can always paint something better than the last time I painted, but for some reason I never feel 100% satisfied with what I've done, so I'm always back for more. Maybe it's just me being a perfectionist. I also like getting critiqued by my friends and seeing what they have to say about my stuff; what they like, what they don't like, etc. You can never get too comfortable.
Q3: Why freight trains?
The reason I started painting trains was because Spre put me on to them. When he was tattooing me, he would always talk about how they travel across the states, rarely getting covered or dissed, unlike painting the same old wall at that same old chill spot. (This was about 2010-2011, when there were still clean panels). Now I feel, as the years go on, freights are getting so popular and less panels are available to paint. I've also always liked the challenge. I actually like painting around the LD LMT, the numbers, etc., and for that reason it's a lot more fun than painting walls. You also never know where freights are going to end up. For example, back in 2014 my buddy Opres flew down from Minneapolis to visit, and we painted a few panels and walls. One of the trains we painted was a CN boxcar, and somehow 2 years later it ended up at a spot where he benches in Minneapolis which was pretty wild. It was funny, because I remember Opres texting me the picture that day and he was stoked that he saw the train we painted in Massachusetts 2 years prior.
Q4: What does your graffiti say about yourself?
It's all over the place, and so am I. And I don't mean my graffiti is everywhere, I mean it's a mess. I like how there are no rules or boundaries when it comes to painting or sketching.
Q5: Who is a writer you respect and why?
This is a difficult question (because I have a lot of people I've looked up to over the years), but if I had to say one it would be Kaput. He's super talented in every aspect of graffiti and art. Also he is a very humble and down-to-earth individual.
Q6: Can you recall your first experience with the rails?
One of my first experiences that I remember was painting a spot I was definitely not supposed to be painting; it was "claimed" by another crew and I was painting in broad daylight. It got dissed by people I'm crew with now, which is hilarious. They did tags over me that said "nope." I occasionally see that train every couple of years, but someone's probably gone over it by now.
Q7: What are some of the harshest lessons you have learned from graff?
Don't get into beef with junkies... and don't cover something you can't completely burn. Also, humility goes a long way; don't be a snob.
Q8: When were the golden years of writing for you and what were things like then?
I feel like they're still in process, but having an infant daughter and a full-time job is making that a little difficult right now. I haven't been writing long enough to have "golden years" just yet, and my best years might not have even happened yet.
Q9: Does your graffiti have any political influences or messages?
No, fuck politics. Fuck Donald Trump. Fuck money, fuck homophobes, fuck racists. Every once in a while I'll say a little something about that, but for the most part I don't get political.
Q10: Can you share some of your crew's history or stories?
MA was formed in 2008, and it was the first crew of my own that I created. I started with a friend of mine, AN1, who I met in Newbury Comics. We were looking at graffiti magazines and we started talking, and it just happened. BNI was formed by Knox, Efyou, and Venus in '05-'06 out of Lowell, MA, and it's funny because these dudes dissed me everywhere I painted in the area when I first started. But then I met them all through a mutual friend, and we got along really well. I was put down in LL probably 3 years ago by Apple Head. I met him through Juce and Spre. Spre vouched for me and we ended up linking up through him. I also should mention ARE, which is based out of the Springfield area. I was put down by Spre, who I met randomly because one of my friends was getting tattooed by him in his kitchen. I walked in his apartment and saw all these dope graffiti canvases and trains in his house, and of course we started talking about graffiti. Before I left, he told me what he wrote and I was kind of shocked because he'd had a huge influence on me and my style. We linked up a bunch of times after that, for me to get tattooed and to paint. He was probably one of the most humble people I've ever met. He taught me "slow and steady wins the race," meaning if you're out there painting every night, you're more at risk to get caught. If you enjoy life for what it is and don't make graffiti your number one, you'll last longer in the game.