SHUTE, Woden Drains, early 1990’s. Photo: @parlifunk

I started in 1988 (seriously anyway, I went through the beat street breakdance thing like everyone else in 1985) but seeing Subway Art is what really kicked it off for me. I never left my suburb much in high school so the first stuff I really noticed was a dude that tagged CHASE. I saw it heaps around Weston. For the time, looking back, he was pretty advanced and had mad hand style. He looked like Robert Smith from The Cure, but I never got to meet him ‘cause he thought I was a mad toy. A guy who wrote KWOTE – KWOTE killed it too.

I’d say (my favourite spot was) Woden Drains, Phillip College end. My partner in crime at the time, Bent, went to Phillip, so he pushed me to do that spot. It was great coverage for the drains, as everyone that went to Phillip college walked past there to get to school. You could also just see the pieces from Launceston Street too. Too bad – all my pieces there were crap as!

I also liked Weston Drains. No one saw it but was close to home, chilled and was good for drop off pieces

Paint was so different before. It was more exciting to be honest. If you found a paint brand and colour that you hadn’t seen anyone else use it was exciting. When I learnt to mix paint it was exciting. But sorry, enough old school wank! I used Tuxan Tana, Killrust, Pascol, power plus black, touch ups were the bomb, fiddly pits chrome, rust guard, whatever we could source, we used pottery spray paint,’cause no one was on to it then.

Early on in my end of Canberra the SWM crew killed it.

I ended up moving to Sydney about 1997, and there was heaps I missed in Canberra.

What was cool about Canberra is that if you bit someone’s stuff, ’cause the scene was small, it was pretty apparent. Because of that I think Canberra dudes tried to do something different. For me, I know when I read Subway Art ages ago that was the whole point – ‘have your own style’. Other larger cities seemed to have this percentage of writers that just did the popular style of that city. I don’t think Canberra has a ‘Canberra style’ but I think most dedicated Canberra writers have a style of their own, which is great, a creative thing.

Shute, Woden Drains, 2003. Photo: @parli_funk

Sharing photos was a lot different, ages back (really showing my age now). I met Caibs through swapping photos through the mail – we were ‘pens pals’. Sounds nerdy as, but he mailed me (through the post) photos of him and his mates’ pieces in Sydney and I did the same from me and my mates. It was cool, but so weird thinking about it now, with the net it seems really accessible now. I remember when I first moved to Sydney, Siphn used to come round and swap photos. He’d have stacks of train flicks of stuff he’d done and you’d never see that stuff unless you knew him or benched at train stations for photos. It was like an exclusive club, more so than now. But saying that, (I am) loving all the stuff getting unearthed these days, loving seeing new styles too and for any writer to progress I think you need to be In touch with what’s going on no matter how old you are.