Lord Leopold & Huscija Crew “Takeover” DVD

Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez

Marko Mrđenović, aka “Lord Leopold” and the Huscija Crew out of Pula, Croatia just released their latest full length DVD entitled “Takeover”. This DVD as well as their previous projects have payed respect to a certain street riding aesthetic which they have continued and built on. I asked Marko some questions in our latest “Theories” article to supplement the DVD which is available in our online shop.

– Why is there so much night footage from your crew?, is it by choice or is it too busy to ride during the day?

I remember filming at night ever since I started making videos somewhere in 2006. The camera was shitty, we used a door spyhole for a fisheye and nobody liked it. Getting the Sony vx2100 was the best thing we could have possibly done back in 2012. She sees so well it would be a waste of tape not to film at night. We only end up filming in daylight when we’re going on trips because you know how it is.. you can’t go to London and wait for evening to come to film a line, it’s either take it or leave it.

– What camera and light setup do you use?

I use the vx2100 with a little Sony light for the aesthetics. I also got a big Sony light with 2 bulbs that I barely ever use and 160 LED light to shine the riding area when its too dark to ride it.

– Are you a die hard SD video guy, or does that not matter to you as long as the content is good?

I am a die hard SD video guy and I don’t plan on going the other route. SD kinda represents what’s real street nowadays. Everytime I see a video in 4:3 in 90% of cases I will watch it till the end, and even if I dont like it I will respek it more than what HD has to offer. HD may have it’s benefits but I dont see it as such in bmx world. But for example when I watch ratkid’s animal house part in HD I don’t think about it.

– What do you think about the video landscape of BMX at the moment?, Any crews/videos you look out for? Is there any stuff you avoid?

To be honest, if you asked me this question few months ago I would probably shit on 95% of stuff I see online.
I completely stopped watching stuff on the web because its garbage. I have crews I like and always keep my eyes on. If there is something new poppin out thats good I got my homie bartek to let me know about it. As i always say whenever someone asks me its 90East, old Animal crew (till 2010),  LA crew from back in the day when the music, clothes and 180 rollouts still meant something to people, and of course my personal favourite Strangeways Crew (till infinity).


 
– Who has your favorite style in BMX? Could you think of a single clip that you showcases that style perfectly?

Its hard to pick only one person for it but if you could combine Edwin Delarosa’s style with E-man Cantero’s smoothness, Bob Scerbo’s landing delivery, and Clarky’s ability to make everything look so dope even if its just pedalling through the dark alley I would say that would be my favourite style to watch. That’s why I need to start playing lottery, win the ticket and pay for everyone’s trip so we can all meet up. I’m sure it would be one hell of a video.

– You seem to really be into 90’s Hip Hop, what are your favorite albums or artists?

Yeah im pretty much all in when it comes to old school hip hop. 80’s and 90’s are my jam. My favourite artists are Slick Rick and MC Eiht even tho you couldn’t tell in videos. There’s just so much good music out there its too bad these kids don’t see/hear/care about it.

– Are you into any of the new American hip hop?

hahaha No! I dont like new stuff and even if it catches in my ear I later hate myself for it. I do check what’s on the market tho but its always a big dissapointment with “where this whole thing is leading”. Only new song I can remember right now that I like is “A.D.H.D.” by Kendrick Lamar, and i dont even like the dude. I accidentially fell asleep in my bed while playing GTA 5, woke up hearing that song because fucking Franklin changes any radio station to Los Santos radio and it stuck in my head for some reason. I don’t think I would like it otherwise tho.

– With all of the Ancient Roman architecture in Pula, are the spots a bust?

Pula is a small town with really good spots but we do lack a lot of stuff too. I guess it’s just boring to ride the same small town for 12 years everyday. Ancient Roman architecture means nothing to me to be honest. I live 50 meters from the colloseum and I couldn’t care less about it. The biggest problem is that in the summer the city is flooded with tourists and you lose a lot of spots for like 6 months.
http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/26579258.jpg

– What are some of your favorite buildings or examples of the Ancient architecture in the city?

I like twin gates that are 20 meters from my home and only reason I like them is because of this chain you can ride in front of them haha
http://www.istria-culture.com/storage/upload/poi/istra_culture_083_112939.jpg

– Are you into any conspiracy theories?

haha I can pretty much say that there is nothing left for me to watch about 9/11 that I haven’t seen yet. I studied it all for years and years. WTC collapsing made me so mad as a child. I remember my only wish back in the day was to go to NYC see the twin towers and ride in a yellow crown vic cab. As the luck is serving me, I might not even see the yellow crown vic at all either. Even in movies I see it being replaced with all those shitty vehicles. I tried to watch other theories too but none of them stuck.

 
 
-Thanks Marko

Theories: Nick Ferreira & “Challenger”

Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez

Challenger is a new and refreshing project from Nick Ferreira who has a history of creating interesting zines with a unique perspective. I asked Nick some questions in our latest “Theories” article to supplement the zine which is available in our online shop.

 

-You were previously involved with Hole Shot and a few other zines/projects in the past. Can you give a quick rundown of your history of BMX projects?

My first BMX project was called Communication? Zine- it was pretty bad but also awesome in that 16/17-year old angsty way. I was really inspired by Andrew Burton’s Giraffe Brothers zine and web site. If I hadn’t seen his zine I’m not sure I would have actually printed Communication? Then while I was in college Andrew and I started working on some video projects (Suburban Shred, Sizzla!), and a web site called Hold On Tighter. Which was such a fun web site to work on. Andrew would always switch out the layout and some months we’d have featured photographers or Andrew would make some cool edit really right at the time before edits were even a thing. It was so fun and carefree. Then after that I worked on Holeshot for like 4 years off and on. Fast forward like 5 years and I started putting some stuff together with that zine Schweppes last year and had a really good time. I’ve been doing these non-BMX projects called “Inspiration in [insert year]” for the past couple years and just figured I would kind of blend them together. I like working on projects with a strict deadline/constraint since I have a full-time job. It really helps me manage my time.

-You have a knack for a certain type of effortless humor in your writing and projects. Is that something you’re conscious of?

Honestly that probably goes back to just being really inspired by Andrew Burton’s writing and humor. I also really like deadpan writing and art- artists like Ed Ruscha. Sometimes when I write I’ll get wicked serious, like some 17 year old applying for a college scholarship. Then I scrap it and find my tone, which is much less serious. I appreciate you saying effortless but it takes a lot of effort for me to be effortless- if that makes sense ha.

-A few years back you made the move from New England to Chicago. What sparked that and how do you like Chicago?

I moved out here for my job. When I was in RI I was getting my master’s in library science and then I finished in summer 2012. I applied for a job at an art school here in Chicago and surprisingly got it.

It’s taken some time to really feel like Chicago is home. I never ever thought I’d live in the Midwest/Chicago but now I really like it minus some of the issues this city is facing. The only thing the midwest puts a damper on is surfing which is something I really want to do more than once or twice a year. There’s no huge rush for that though. Anyway- yeah I like it here. It’s dope to ride your bike to go swim in an amazing lake and there’s cool music and art stuff going on. Plus the riding is fun too. People are generally mad nice here and in the Midwest in general. I like that.

-Chicago has been in the media due to its violence quite a bit the last couple years, being a resident is there a tension within the city that you notice or do you feel the whole thing is hyped up by the media?

I mean the violence is real and the tension is there. I’m not sure I feel totally comfortable speaking on this as I’m still kind of a transplant and but I’ll offer what I can. The violence in the media is real but you also never see the amazing work people in neighborhoods are doing to combat violence and other injustices facing their communities. I always see stuff like “those people are in the streets for police violence but not violence in their own neighborhoods”, etc. But there are protests and activism fighting against all of the issues like violence, school closures, etc. (here’s a good blog post). I wish that stuff was hyped in the media just as much.

It drives me nuts that one of the biggest cities in the United States has neighborhoods that are essentially deprived of resources other neighborhoods have never even had to think about. Shit like grocery stores and schools. I mean once schools close in a neighborhood it really seems like the glue that holds a neighborhood together can start to crack. My answer is almost nonsensical but as they say there’s levels to this and it’s hard to understand the issues Chicago is facing without looking at other underlying problems. One article that helped me start to understand the issues of Chicago is this article about the history of racist red-lining practices: Ta-nehesi Coates, “The Case for Reparations.

-The newspaper format of Challenger is a very unique idea, what was your inspiration for that?

Thanks. I’ll be completely honest- I straight up stole (in solidarity, though) the folding format from this leftist paper here in Chicago, The Platypus Review. I like how you can disseminate a decent amount of information for pretty cheap. But I was really inspired by some older political newspapers that I’ve been reading about. And I really liked this paper in Providence, Mothers News. That was a great project. I think Challenger is really different from that but it was inspiring for sure.

 

Photo: Coleman Lopes

-We spoke about it shortly in an email but, your twitter has been very interesting lately with a lot of observations on bmx. What sparked initially sparked that?

I think for a minute I was kind of getting sucked into BMX over the winter, just kind of bored and not really understanding how so much stuff gets a pass- thankfully now I’m basically just trying to focus on my shit, making sure it’s offering something different, and actually riding myself. But when I was getting sucked in I couldn’t help but feel like there is just an absurd level of “yes-men” in BMX- just no thought or self-reflection. Example: “Pink dad-hats are cool, let’s make some!” Or just the constant barrage of BS just because a company needs “content.”

The other thing that was annoying was that if you are older and have an opinion you are just “old and salty.” That type of BMXer is very real but I really pride myself on not being that way- like just hating on everything. There’s so much dope stuff happening in BMX, just as much as there was in 2005 or 1995 but there’s also some straight-up offensive stuff going down and it’s okay to make fun of it and call people out. Maybe I don’t “get it” and maybe “it’s not for me” but I can still call stuff out- just like people can call out my creative projects if they want.

-Being that you’re an older rider with an opinion and also still putting out projects, do you ever get questions or comments from from younger riders that might not get it yet?

Not really- maybe some confusion ha. At the Let’s Roast (big thanks to them) release party some younger kids seemed hyped- one said “yo this is kinda sick” to their friend. That was cool.

-Everyone has their idea of “what BMX is” or “what is good for BMX”. Personally what is the most important thing about BMX to you?

It’s been everything from a vehicle to see the country and learn new things to the best (free) therapy session.

-Your taste in music is pretty eclectic, but speaking specifically about hip hop, Are you into the new generation/style of rap this is out right now?

Yes for sure. I really like it for the most part. It’s great party music. I’m mostly into the production but there’s some great lyrics too. I like how minimal the lyrics are at times.

It’s kind of like BMX- you know? There’s some great new stuff but then there’s some stuff that just kinda doesn’t cut it. And sometimes one person does something different that’s dope but then everyone does it and record labels (or whatever that equivalent is in 2017) try and recreate it but it just loses the magic. Kind of like what BMX companies do…

Anyway, semi-related, The new Freddie Gibbs is so good. I feel like he is the best combo of old and new.

-Are you into any conspiracy theories?

Yeah a bit but Trump and his cronies kind of ruined them for me.

 

–Thanks Nick

Theories: Ratkid & “What Goes On” Zine

Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez

Ratkid has logged some serious miles over the past few years In which he manages to always find some interesting scenery. The “What Goes On” zine is a sampling of some digital photos He has captured over the past year or so. I asked Rat some questions in our latest “Theories” article to supplement the zine which is available in our online shop..

 

-The first part of the zine is photos from China which I assume are from The Make trip. Whose idea was it to hit China for that?

I believe the idea would belong to Orlando, the owner of The Make. A whole bunch of them had been to a different city in China the year before and they liked it so much they planned another trip, which I was lucky enough to be a part of.

 

-Clarky had mentioned the food there was terrible, do you agree with that and did you have a go to food spot?

Well he was the unfortunate victim of apple food poisoning so I feel him on that. I remember the breakfast at the hostel being the most tasteless thing I’ve ever had in my life. Outside of there, we would mess with the late night street food like skewers of any and everything. I got to try some pig brains and other Chinese delicacies. There was some pretty good noodle spots, but after a while, the food would start smelling like the garbage and vice versa. After a couple weeks I had enough.

 

-The area you guys rode looked like some sort of slum/poor section, what was the deal with that neighborhood?

The first time we ended up in a slum like that we were like ok this is pretty cool, there’s some good obstacles here. Then we realized that there was several of these neighborhoods scattered around the city, and that their puzzle-like alleys were filled with shit to ride, as well as shit in open sewers. They were noticeably darker, colder and smelled worse than the outside world. They were by far my favorite terrain to ride out there, for Marv, not so much.

 

-What are all the places you traveled in the zine photos?

There are photos from China, New York City, Philadelphia, Texas, Mississippi, Baltimore, Upstate New York and Greece

 

-What are some places you would like to go but haven’t had the chance yet? (For riding or other reasons)

Top of the list would probably be Philippines and Seoul just for the culture and visual aspect. Not to mention some cities in South America for riding and then in the US, Nebraska and Arkansas just for lurking purposes.

 

-You definitely have an interest in the run down or overlooked neighborhoods of a city, why are these places so appealing to you?

Well I grew up in a fairly nice neighborhood and it just got boring real fast, so the run down neighborhoods were very inviting and refreshing. At this point it’s very unexciting and sometimes uncomfortable to be riding or lurking around some nicer areas. As far as the overlooked part goes, it’s not really something I set out to do differently than other people, I just like to be in places I enjoy for whatever reason they might give to me.

 

-That same thing sort of applies to your riding also. Is that intentional or is it the natural way you ride? (Finding obscure spots and neighborhoods)

I’m just a product of my environment.

 

-The zine is named the same as a video project you put out years ago, any chance we could see a “What goes on 2” video?

So I’d just like to say that the name of the video was made up by Dave Belcher while we were living together and riding / filming said video. While making the zine, I figured why not just keep the name going and he was cool with it. As for the second video, I have some footage stocked up ready to make a small video with and the plan would be to put it out on DVD along with the first video, which should be getting done pretty soon.

 

-Are you into any conspiracy theories?

I don’t particularly research any, but I’ve sure listened to some drunk people talk about them. I might have a couple of my own too…
 

Thanks Mark
 

 

Theories: Sam Jones & “Connetication”

-Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez

Whether the medium is DVD or Youtube, the feel of a full length style project that someone spent time on is always good. Sam Jones recently released his “Connetication” project which was filmed over the past year and a half mostly in Sam’s home state of Connecticut. I asked Sam a few questions about the video for our series of quick “Theories” interviews…
 

 

-Given that individual edits are commonplace, what made you want to make a full length style video?

Well, this was originally going to be a 5-7 minute mix style video that myself and my good friend Josh Foisey were going to make with riding from Javaun, myself and a few others. I ended up filming a lot with a few people early on, then started riding with a couple of the younger guys from my scene who were motivated to go out and find new stuff to ride. From there it just molded into a longer style video and all the guys were down to keep filming for it.

 

-As with any CT video there is a good amount of Uconn clips, are cops there still a bitch to deal with?

It definitely was pretty hard to ride there a little white back, but recently it’s been a bit easier.

 

-Noticed a healthy amount of new spots. What is your preferred method of finding new stuff, are you a IG/street view lurker or do you keep it old school and ride/ drive around?

A solid mixture of both. Generally, Javaun and myself would spend some time on internet/google maps during the week. On the weekends we would try to have certain spots we would want to go to, then just drive around and explore those areas. Our good friend Kevin Job helped us out with finding some fresh spots as well.

 

-I know you have ridden with skateboarders quite a bit over the years, are you influenced by skate videos or filmers?

I don’t watch skate videos too often, besides local ones, or a few that my skate friends will show me, but I definitely like the way certain skate lines are filmed. There has been a lot of awesome local skate scene type videos from around the area with some friends in it that I am psyched on.

 

-What’s the deal with that roof/storm door setup you barspun? How did finding that come about?

Javaun had recently gotten hurt and couldn’t ride but he was still down to go pedal around on his cruiser bike. We actually had no real plan that day but I brought my camera bag with me and we stumbled upon it tucked away off a side road.

 

-Since the video is SD/4:3 I gotta ask if you are a hardcore VX/SD guy or do you not really care?

I don’t really have a strong opinion on it. I appreciate both. I wanted to buy a camera 3-4 years ago, and a DVX setup was a somewhat cheap option that looks good so I got one. We are probably going to be filming HD for our next project.

 

-You rode to a classic Pete Rock track, and the rest of the music in the video has a smooth groovy feel. Is that a reflection of what you listen to on a daily basis?

For the most part, yes. I definitely wanted the music to reflect everyones riding and style well, but at the same time be the type of stuff I listen to.

 

-Did Javaun attempt to ride down any ladders for this video?

Thankfully no, haha. He almost did at one point, but thought twice about it this time.

 

-Are you into any conspiracy theories?

No comment

 

Thanks Sam

 

 

Theories: Jon Schimpf and Jib “Tape 4”

-Intro/Questions: Lino Gonzalez
-Photos via @jibbmx
 
Amidst the haze of instagram content and vlogs, Jon Schimpf has released the fourth installment of his Jib series, “Tape 4”. The DVD is another quality full length street video that Jon has added to the East Coast scene. Great care and thought was used in the production from the filming and music, to the riding itself. I decided to ask Jon some questions to get insight into the video in this new feature interview series entitled “Theories”. See what Jon had to say below.
 
The Jib “Tape 4” is now available here in the online shop.

 

Photo: @foolhandluke

 

-You’ve used the term “realistic street riding” in the description of this video. Explain the concept behind that.

Simplicity. all the little nibs or stylish spot use clips that some people feel self conscious about actually using in their part, i love that stuff. i like to go out and document exactly what’s happening in my scene, what an average session feels like in this area. to me, some of the most enjoyable clips to watch don’t always have to require hours of attempts or absolutely killing yourself. i think the fun can start to fade away at times for everyone involved when the aforementioned scenario’s drag on for too long.

 

-The documentary footage you used about Philly is actually really informational and sets the stage for the video well. How did the idea for that come about?

I really wanted something historical about pennsylvania given that the large majority (over 95%) of the video is filmed within the state. i like the common theme of odd interludes using appropriated footage in skate/bmx films, so i thought that continuing doing that on topic would make sense for this release. pat schlitzer and i stumbled on an old documentary from 1981 called “penn’a du” and knew it would work well when cut up. i loved how certain scenes were from the areas the crews reside in (or in between) and how certain shots/dialogue paired with scenes i had shot.

 

-Since theres so many crews in Philly riding and filming, was there any concern for ABD’s or is that not something you care about?

I mean, i definitely care about that.. but probably a lot less than others. like anybody else doing this, i try to stay informed on what may have occurred at a spot i’m filming at. so do the other riders in my scene that i ride with. if someone films something and realizes the ABD and doesn’t want to use it, i get that. but at the end of the day, if something similar goes down at a spot or someone films something that someone else has been sitting on and they couldn’t of known, does it really matter?  i think it says more about someone’s character if they get totally bent out of shape over that, if it’s not intentional. go film another one haha.

 

-You had mentioned avoiding trends and gimmicks when it came to the soundtrack, is that in regards to a certain type of music?

I really love all types of music. when approaching a soundtrack for a video, i try to select tracks that I can listen to over and over again, not just something that i enjoy right now. spending enough hours in a timeline cutting clips up usually helps me realize the difference between the two.

 


Photo: @kevinbasss

 

 

-Are you a die hard SD/VX guy, or does that not matter to you as long as the content is good?

No way! caring about something like that is too much man. something is of value because it evokes feeling, is of interest, and made well. regardless of the medium. i love all cameras and appreciate how other film makers/artists arrive at their own results. if it’s good, it’s good.

 

-Any notable A/V issues while making the video like a broken camera, missing footage, or any other type of glitch?

One DVX-100b filmed the entire video and it ran perfectly the entire time.

 

-The hop hop selection is very atmospheric and smooth in the video. Any particular groups or artists whose work influences you?

I’ve always been a big music fan. it varies quite a bit! but my recently played items on my device have artists like: currensy, bad bad not good, mick jenkins, bronson, squid ethics, jhfly, vince staples, jonwayne, telequanta, bsd.u, anderson.paak, wun two, creepoid, nothing, etc.

 

-JDilla fan?

Yes. he’s one of the best to ever make beats/produce tracks. slum village, donuts, his independent beat tapes, his work with tribe, pharcyde, the roots, list goes on forever. RIP.

 

-Meek Mill or Drake?

Del the funky homosapien

 

-Do you listen to trap, or any popular type stuff?

A bit of post trap, cloud rap, it’s never consistent. a track or two or album here and there. top rappers of the moment often feel like pro wrestlers to me, it can be really entertaining but deep down you know it’s all smoke and mirrors.

 

-are you into any conspiracy theories?

I heard 9/11 was an inside job.

 

Thanks Jon

 

 

Zack Cooke Photo Gallery

-Intro: Lino Gonzalez
-Photos: Zack Cooke

No matter where the session is you can always catch Zack Cooke with some type of camera on him. While a lot of people who call themselves photographers are worried about using the newest gear or whether you use film or digital, Zack is not worried about any of that. He is more concerned with having a good time with his friends and snapping a flick of that scene so he can look back and remember. Here Zack has selected a few photos to display that show just that. Enjoy, and don’t let the good times pass you by.

The SSP Tee with photo by Zack Cooke is available here in our online shop.

 
 
 

Another Brick In The Wall – Government Center Station

-Text: Lino Gonzalez

 

As of March 22 2014 the Government Center MBTA stop is officially closed for 2 years due to renovations. As part of the update they will be demolishing the brick headhouse which which has been appearing in BMX videos and magazines for the last 15 plus years.

First a bit of history about the building itself. Following the demolition of Scollay Square, the station was built in the early 1960’s as an entrance to the Boston subway system a.k.a. the “T”. The name was changed to Governmnent Center from Scollay square in the mid 70’s during the construction of the new Boston City Hall. The station served as stops for the blue and green lines of the MBTA system. The Govt Center station was one of the last of the brick bank style stations still standing. There was a similar but smaller style building at Copley Station as well as a few others in the system that also were used as BMX spots but have since been demolished. Boston used to be synonymous with the look of the brick spots due to these stations and the Boston Medical Banks being in just about any footage or photos that came out of Boston. The city now seems to be in favor of replacing the classic brick look with a modern glass and aluminum look which definitely lacks the familiar character.

Here is a photo of the head house being built during the 1960’s redevelopment of Scollay Square. More photos of Government Center construction can be seen in the Boston City Archives at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cityofbostonarchives/sets/72157635055147123/
 

 
Here is an artists rendering of what the future station will look like:
 

 
As far as the BMX history goes the building has made appearances in many well known and local videos over the years. While the exact beginning of the building appearing in footage would be hard to pinpoint but I imagine would be sometime in the mid-early 90’s. Over the years the building and Govt Center area has served as a meeting spot for locals as well as out of towners. For a lot of people this is the first spot in Boston they have ever ridden. After 9/11 security was stepped up a bit for a few years and riding the banks was pretty much a bust for a while. I had my own personal run in there with Boston’s finest by being ticketed and wrestled to the ground by one of them but in recent years it seemed that the BPD has had much better things to do.

The station has appeared in many videos over the years but here are some clips and photos that stand out to me from some well know videos and publications:

 

Standard Domination – 1998 – Jerry Bagley

The spot appears twice in Jerry Bagley’s part in Standard Domination which was one of the biggest video that year and one of my all time favorites. Jerry does a high carve on the bank in one clip and also hits the bank and manuals the brick platform. Jerry’s clips along with the rest of Standard Domination can be seen here: http://bmxmdb.com/films/631-Domination

 

Props Road Fools 4 – 1999 – Nate Wessel & Mike Tag

Road fools 4 brought some of the best riders of the time through the city of Boston. Here Nate Wessell can be seen stalling the top of building which is possibly the first time that had been done. I have heard tales of other people stalling it before him but have never seen footage to back it. Also seen in this video is Mike Tag doing a gap to manual on one of the green sand boxes that are kept outside the T stations during the winter months.

 

DigBMX issue cover – 2001 – Jared Zorowski, Photo by Ryan Worcester

As far as print goes, the banks appeared on the cover of DigBMX magazine issue 19 in 2001 with Jared Zorowski blasting a tabletop.

 

Standpoint 4 – 2004 – Sean “Fish” Hoskins 

Fish made his way from California to the banks during a trip to Boston in summer 2003.  Fish did a few different lines here but this transfer from the lower to the upper bank is the clip that ended up being used in his standpoint 4 bio. Fish’s bio can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N10eZH8zH8

 

S&M Edit – 2008 – Rory Ellis

Rory Ellis does multiple moves on the banks in this S&M edit including Barspin, Tabletop, and Icepick. Corey Martinez had also done the Icepick on the roof in 2003 while filming for Animal’s Can I Eat video. Rory’s clips can be seen here in the video: https://vimeo.com/3175160

 

Chris Marshall Photo – 2011 – Garrett Reynolds

This is probably my favorite thing that has been done here. This is one of those things that didn’t seen possible until it was done but Garrett Reynolds has a habit of making wild stuff come true. This photo was shot during the filming of the Deadline video and was featured in a SoulBMXmag.com photo gallery with photographer Chris Marshall.

 

All good things must come to an end. Here is the station as it sits behind barricades on March 23 2014:

 
 
 

CAYPE Interview

-Intro: Lino Gonzalez
-Questions: Anonymous Contributors
-Photos: K.C. Russell

Upon working with Caype for a second time we thought it would be fitting to ask him some questions to give a background on his work. You might ask “what does graffiti and BMX (specifically street riding) have in common?”. They both exist in different but parallel worlds. Both carry extreme risks. They both require a level of obsession that will not be understood by the average person. They both ultimately hold no reward and do not offer anything of value to normal society except when it is regulated by their terms. They both have people that are just passing through who will not leave an impact. They also have people who’s work is respected and remembered such as Caype’s…

 

-What drew you into writing graffiti? Were you immediately obsessed or did it take time to get interested?

What first drew me to graffiti was my elementary school art teacher, Mr P. In 1986, he showed me the books, Subway Art and Spraycan Art.  Those books blew my mind.  I skated with the older kids from my neighborhood.  They had beautiful tags.  The first writers I noticed were Fate, Jester, Soap, Mass, Detect, Mach, Jayroc, Sly, Sick, Kon, Remote, Tale, Knoe, Prank, Secret, Deseat/Deceit, Blame, Fame, Haze, Demise/Dem and Sez. The main crews I saw were DCA (Def City Artists), and AMPM.  Then in 1990, OD crew took over the graffiti scene.

-What does Boston graffiti look like to you from the throne. After over 20 years of activity what does it look like from that perspective?

I don’t sit on a throne. I’m lucky to find a seat on the train. There’s no pot of gold at the end of the graffiti rainbow. Just an 8 X 10 cell.

-We know you’re sober now, but could you explain the ball and chain relationship between drugs and graffiti? Why do many of the best writers OD?

For me, graffiti like alcohol and drugs are an addiction.  I could never do enough.  I always wanted more.

-Top 5 pieces of graff in Boston?

To name any specific 5 pieces would be misleading.  Graffiti is a subculture.  My favorite tags, Pieces, and throwups are those done by Boston’s first generation writers.  They are and always will be the originators of the Boston style.  Their graffiti was the foundation for whatever Boston graffiti has been and will be.  In every era there have been a handful of innovators producing quality work and a majority of followers playing it safe.

 

 

-What was it like being one of the first victims of the internet vandal squad?

It was bugged out.  When I started writing, the internet didn’t exist.  In the mid to late 80’s, the only exposure I had to graffiti was what I saw in the books I mentioned, and what I encountered locally.  My relationship to graffiti was personal.  The knowledge I gained about graffiti came first hand.  There were no graffiti magazines, no digital cameras, no cell phones, and no beepers.  I had a rotary telephone in my house.

I maintain that without the pioneers writing tough in the mid 80’s that laid the foundation, Boston graffiti wouldn’t be what it is today.  I sought out knowledge of the art form by leaving my house, taking the train to random destinations and exploring the city.  From a young age I was borrowing my mom’s camera to take pictures of what I found.  They were sacred gems.  I hunted it down and only shared my pictures with a select few.  Graffiti was underground at that time.  Every image anyone had was a hard copy.  My family had a typewriter. Information wasn’t available at the click of a button.  Nobody had computer. I put in miles of footwork patrolling the city and train tracks.  In the early 90’s, Boston started to have its own style.  OD crew broke free of the traditional bar letter structure with the no-negative space style of piecing.

To see the effect the internet has had on the subculture of graffiti over time is sad.  The internet destroyed graffiti.  Graffiti was a rite of passage when I was growing up.  It was street and artistic.  There were unspoken rules to learn.  The rules weren’t told they were experienced.  There was actual risk and danger involved.  It was a way of walking through fears.  Now, cops and writers hide behind the computer.  A lot is lost.  What is a cop without a robber? Nothing. Writers used to rob walls, trains, busses, and streets.  If they got away then they got away.  Now writers post pictures of what they see or do as if it’s not a crime.
The internet broke down the infrastructure of the subculture and pimps it out.  The internet is used to pimp writers out like hoes and when writers post, they’re the tricks putting money in the pockets of the same system they’re revolting against.  If nobody ever posted anything ever again, graffiti could stand a chance of going back to its roots.  The game is to be sold not told.  To look at a picture of graffiti is a privilege.  They’re priceless. Evidence that what can seem impossible is possible.  Pictures represent proof of historical truth.

Pictures are also what the DA uses in court to prosecute you and confine you to a cage.  And lawyer fees are pricy so if you’re going to whore yourself out on instamyspaceafacebookafriendstergram, think long term in terms of money. Make a book and be professional about it.  At least you’ll stand a chance at breaking even on the lawyer cost of doing the graffiti you’ve done and have a record of how your addiction manifests itself aesthetically for historical purposes. Scientists studying ego or art history professors may want to refer to them in the future.

 

 

-You have schooled so many writers in generations after you; including kings from the ground up. Who are some of your favorites?

My favorites… They know who they are.

-Most graffiti you have done in one night?

No matter how much I wrote, it wasn’t enough.

-Has there ever been a time where you actively decided to distance yourself from graffiti? If so what pushed you to do so?

For certain.  I tried to stop writing graffiti countless times.  I swore to myself I’d never do it again.  I’ve prayed to God that I’d never write again.  I could stop for a period of time but never quit for good.  I wrote graffiti just as prolific as ever right after finishing a year sentence in prison for graffiti.  I thought I had a graffiti problem. I never had a graffiti problem.  I had a graffiti solution.  The problems were still there.  Graffiti wasn’t the problem.  I was.  I can relate to those people who consider themselves addicted to graffiti.  I tried to fill my internal void by writing graffiti for decades and it never worked.  At times I thought it was working but I’d always end up back in a cage wondering how it all happened.  I thought… Man, I must have the worst luck.  No matter how many times I tried to stop, I always went back to it.  It provided me with a temporary solution to the problems in my life but it always kept me trapped in a vicious cycle of my own demise.  I’m so grateful I found the way out.

 

-What is your favorite instrument to write with?

I like them all, but my favorite was ultra flat black KRYLON spraypaint with a New York fat cap.

-Why is it important to sketch with a pen instead of a pencil?

Hahahahaha!  Silly rabbit, pencils are for triers and I’m a doer.Art is a competition. The clock is always ticking and I have no time to worry about the past.  Erasers don’t make sense.  I’ll make sense of what I’m doing in the now. As long as I focus on the present, I know the end result will be off the hook.

-How do you feel about older heads posting a lot of flicks and/or personal stashes online? Do you feel like it can cheapen a respected writers name if they self promote online?

I think I’ve said my peace with that one.

-What are the best and worst things graffiti has given you?

I loved graffiti but it never loved me back.  That’s the best and worst thing I’ve realized.  My new solution has given me perspective.  I don’t have to dwell on the past or worry about the future.  Today, I have a solution that offers me the choice to be truly free.    -CAYPE

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