GraffHead interviews 5AM producer E-Dub. He was also the producer of the WAR movies that set the bar real high for all live action graffiti movies. Be sure to check out our review of the 5AM DVD.
1. You have some amazing graffiti footage in the 5AM DVD. What was your motivation for creating this project?
I didn't start out with any intention of creating the DVD. As a producer of the War DVD's I was always collecting footage. There came a point
where I had collected so much I decided I would try to put out my own DVD.
Once this point came my motivation was to create one of the dopest graffiti DVD's people have ever seen. I watch a lot of the graffiti DVD's people put out and there was only one project I saw that was all out in action bombing. That video was State Your Name from NY and that only focused on one circle of writers.
So my goal was to bring out a video where you can see a variety of writers from all over the US and even Canada and keep it strictly bombing footage which I believe has never been done before.
2. Towards the beginning of the video, it looks like the police caught you filming. Tell us about that incident. How did you get the footage back?
Lets just say it involved a trip to the police station. No charges were filed and when the camera was picked up from evidence the tape was still in it.
3. The film focuses on illegal graffiti. I think Trigz is heard saying: "Props to the real motherfuckers that are killing the street. Not you fairy ass motherfuckers that are doing 20 color pieces on Melrose alley thinking that shit is dope." Do you think graffiti has to be illegal to be called graffiti?
First let me say Trigz was not taking shots at anyone with this statement. He likes to see tons of illegal bombing and doesn't give a shit about style. (Which is kind of refreshing in the graffiti world).
When you see people up doing legal walls who have never put in the work on the street I think some writers question their credibility. With that said I think graffiti is graffiti no matter where its done.
If your talking about the legal pieces on Melrose, those guys are talented artists who had permission to do what they are doing.
4. What do you think about the graffiti artists that show their work in galleries?
I feel both sides on this issue. First I agree with the side that says graffiti belongs on the street and not in a gallery. Its a street art form that came from the streets and is for the streets.
Once its on a canvas and in a gallery it takes away from the street cred and you have people with no idea of the culture looking at the work in a gallery that never noticed it when it was on the streets.
But then again, if you're that talented that you can put your work in a gallery and have people paying thousands of dollars for your canvases then why not? I cant hate on anyone making a living off doing something they love, i think thats a major goal in life.
5. You film in Los Angeles and San Diego California, Philadelphia, Arizona, Canada and New York. Why did you choose those locations? Which part of the country do you feel has the greatest graff scene?
The locations just kind of fell into my lap without much planning. Im from LA so obviously thats going to play a big part in the DVD.
I owe Koer credit for the Philly and SD footage. I was a fan of Ensoe but didn't know much about Van City, after reviewing the footage I became of fan of Snak and Hose and the rest of the NWK's.
Out of the cities I have actually been to I think New York has the best graffiti scene with San Francisco and LA following behind.
6. Quality or quantity? Do you think it’s better to be up more or have less with more focus on great looking pieces?
Its a tough call. I love seeing people up who bomb hard with simple bubbles SF or NY Style then again I really respect the quality of work people put in with full color illegal pieces like they do in LA.
Id have to say more is better though because people are going to notice when someone puts in tons of work.
7. Girls and graff are a beautiful combination. In 5AM, someone paints a piece on a girl. It seems that lately this has become very popular often referred to as live "girl paintings" at art shows. What are your thoughts about it?
Yes that would be Ensoe from Vancouver painting on the most beautiful girl I have ever seen getting painted.
Graffiti writers and men in general love seeing naked women so combine that with graffiti and your winning.
In 5AM we have a very talented artist painting a beautiful girl which I think was done very tastefully. When I see some nasty girl with a wack ass toy piece on her I think it takes away from what we are trying to accomplish with these "girl paintings".
8. California recently passed some harsh legislation for graffiti. Do you think any law will deter graffiti writers?
No i don't think any laws will change what people are going to do. Graffiti is an addiction and people who write are going to do so no matter what the penalties.
I do think people serving longer sentences for writing on walls then violent offenders is ridiculous. Don't get me started on our "laws." Our government is so corrupt and we have tons of bullshit laws.
I understand graffiti is a crime and if a person is caught there should be consequences but officers should be working harder on putting violent offenders away and not people who are defacing property and in some cases even making the city nicer to look at.
Dest put it best when he hit that judge judy billboard and wrote "catch a real criminal."
9. In 5AM there is footage of marijuana, skateboarding and violence. Do you believe these are parts of the graffiti lifestyle?
I know a lot of skateboarders also do graffiti and the two also live similar lifestyles so yes i think the lifestyle brings skaters and graff artists together.
Unfortunately there is a lot of drug use and violence in this lifestyle also. As far as violence I really wish it could stop but people are quick to fight rather than talk it out. If people could just have a conversation I think most problems can be handled without violence.
It was a tough choice including the fight footage in the video. I almost left it out but in the end I am as guilty as the next guy because I do enjoy watching fights.
I'd like to see the graffiti world go back to how was in the 90's when crews who had an issue would battle instead of fighting or dissing each other. Whens the last time we had a great battle that was kept on the walls in Los Angeles?
10. Jesus Saves talks about wanting to write in areas that already had graffiti. Do you believe in the “broken windows theory”? Do you think graffiti attracts more graffiti??
I first heard this theory on the news during a graffiti news piece. It was about 15 years ago and i thought "that's some bullshit."
You know what though they are right. When someone hits a spot it goes from one tag to two tags and so on and so on. You can really see it on vacant store fronts.
A business moves out and a writer notices and catches the window and a week later there's a hundred more tags right on the front of the window.
GraffHead.com 5AM DVD Review