123KLAN INTERVIEW

MTN-AUS: How and when did you start? Where are you from and where are you staying now? Tell us about yourselves.  123KLAN: We born and raised in North of France. We started to paint in the 90ies (1989 for Scien & 1992 for Mrs Klor). We actually live in Montreal, Canada for 5 years. And we will move to a sunny place soon ;p How long have you been painting? More than 20 years, we just celebrate 123KLAN'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY in June at New York http://www.123klan.com/post/186 Yes we did celebrate our 20th anniversary last June in Brooklyn. Everything begun 6 months ago when I (Scien) got the idea to organise a big party to celebrate our crew anniversary with all our closest friends. I wanted to make a big surprise to Klor, so I didn't tell her anything, it was really a big deal for all our friends to hide her this huge surprise. Basically I had to organise everything without doing anything, I contacted all our friends from around the world and even a good friend of us came from New Dehli India... I told to Klor that we were invited to celebrate the birthday of Rama, a real good French friend based in Brooklyn, once arrived, almost 60 people were packed in his backyard, wishing Klor a Happy Birthday. It was simply awesome to see all our good friends in one place, Indie and Cope2 brought a giant carrot cake with our logo printed on top, it is certainly the best carrot cake we never had. Of course klor was warmed welcome with flowers. That night was simply magic, friends were spinning good music and we all had so much to share since the last time we all met. We even got a private live show from our good friends at T&K As we are graffiti writers we couldn't miss to rock something to celebrate it perfectly. mtn colors covered the paint for everybody! And our buddy Owns settle with his boys a 300ft wall. We really had a blast to rock this wall with MickeyCope2Dabs & MylaKem5, Rath, Sye TC5, Acid, Wen, Sebs, Yes1, Owns, Sen2, Wane, Deck2, Brus, The YokKid Crap, MostReggieNychosFlying Fortress, Signal and few others joined up too, sorry for those who i forgot. The other surprise was to see Martha Cooper around, she covered the whole thing and we had a great dinner together, Thank you so much Martha, you have no idea how we appreciated your venue and thank you Mickey for this amazing surprise.  After all this we simply party each single day during one week with all our good friends from Lille, SF, BK, Biarritz, Toulouse, Montréal, Toronto, Amsterdam, Paris, L.A., Boston, Austria, Barcelona and Germany. )    You guys have a distinct style you are known for. Tell us how you developed this Style, what influenced it or how it came about? Each others, I would say. that's one of the advantage to be a duo. I won't talk you about the disadvantages ;p Seriously, all the American culture, iconography and typography always influenced us a lot, we love letter, typo. That’s why we are more focus of painting styles, more than characters.   What motives you to paint and being creative? Our main motivation is to progress on letter, always to try to make our style evolve.   Is sketching important to you? Or do you prefer freestyling? Both are a part of our processes, but you can't free-styling without working hard on your style.    Do you prefer quality or quantity? Quality for sure, but we love to be productive ;p   You guys are also known for the fresh graphic design and illustrations works that you have been creating and collaborating with some world famous brands like Zooyork, Stussy, Nike, Adidas, Carhartt and many others. We kept graffiti writing for hobby, graphic design is to pay our bill ;p As a girl, I would say you that money is the more important thing on the earth ;p But in fact, we began to paint really young, thanks to this experience, we quickly realized that the  graffiti jobs were poorly paid and not respected by customers. at best, we could keep the spray can half empty as salary. In addition, we were not free to create, and the owners of the wall often felt inspired submit topics for us shit. ( dogs, buddha, wood, forest, unicorn, rainbow ... )  So we decided both to have our own job to pay the bill, and protect our style by painting only for our pleasure.  This is the same mentality that we have created our website, no customer work, but just personal vector productions. It has enabled us to develop our own style, and then customers were approaching us for this style.    Which one is more important to you at the moment? Graffiti or graphic design?And how do you balance them?  Both are focus on style, lettering. Just the tool is different. We spend the same energy to build both. The thing is vector jobs are bankable ;p Graffiti inspired in our vector and vice versa.Both are essential to our identity and our productivity.   What do you think the relationship between graphic design and graffiti nowadays? Nowadays it is enormously developed, we had the chance to be the cause of this. and it always makes us smile to see the codes of the graffiti included in major ad campaign. (drips, bubbles, 3d, tag typography etc.)    Do you prefer to see your designs on products or pieces on walls? Everywhere ;p still our state of mind, certainly  coming from the tag mentality  ;p  We want to write our name everywhere on reality and virtuality world.    Travelled much? Favorite places you have painted? There is so many places that we love, each place have a different story, different meeting, different souvenirs, so difficult too choose one.   Sure our first piece in NYC in 1998 was really great souvenir, may be this one if a have to give you only one.  But It's depends also of the time, we used to love our painting trip all over in Europe, Moscow was amazing, LA is really great too, but this last year we specially appreciate south America, so big energy over there.   Have you ever been to Australia? What have you heard of the graffiti scene here down under? Yes, 10 years ago. We loved it. We were there just for one week for the semi permanent in Sidney, and just have time to paint with Dmote. We regret to not spend more time to discover the Melbourne too. As soon, we can go there again, we will be glad to do it again.    What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Australia? Clichés ;p  Do you like Montana Colors products? Do you prefer Hardcore or 94? Sure we love Montana, we almost paint only with Montana 94, execpt when we travel to a country where there is no distributor, such as Singapore, or Asia.  (or a different sponsor for the event ) But when we can choose, montana 94 first.  We are really lucky that such a brand exist, back in days, we use to paint with average cars'spraycans which not made for graffiti writing.    Tell us about the projects your currently working on. Any up coming projects? We working on our new book, it should be a fat one, till now, we made 250pages on the 5 last years, fuck we are too productive ... What are we expecting to see from you in the near future? We would like to develop our own brand www.bandit-1sm.com  BANDIT-1 $ M (origine of the name)   graffiti is a crime, isn't it  because we  making money on the Crime, it is called the BANDIT-1 $ M 1 $ M = 123 123KLAN 1 = 1 $ = 2 M = 3 in rotation Bandit-1$M was create first because of frustration of working for clients, it's more our laboratory. we work for many brand, and because we are at the beginning of the process, we have to wait 1/2 years for receive our t-shirt. ( Brand have to work on the catalogues, distribution, event, etc )  then for us, we all this work is done, and when they sent us our sample,  it's too old to wear it, even if it's fresh for the  market.    So we decided to print our brand in Canada, made a 100% North America, and check on the quality of the print.  Our printer is based at Montreal, and we always take care of every details during the processes. We love this part too ;p  Make test, choice the paint, make some mixcolor with the printer…  The good thing, is when we decided to print a design, the next 2 weeks, we have it ;p  We are kids, we made things because we love it. and we want it for ourselves. Selfish, may be ;p  We play a lot with our brand, we play with clichés, French arrogange, sarcasm... We have a lot of fun around it.    Why do you call it Bandit-1$M and not 123KLAN ? We don't want to call our brand 123KLAN, because we want to stay free to create what we want, when we want. Because we are small, we are free... Free with the concept, free with the quantity, free with the season, free with the market. (no marketing departement, a dream for a lot of you guys ;p )  The fact is  if one day Bandit-1$M grow to much, and become something to big, with rules, and restrictions because of the market, so we will stop it, and begin a new project.  As Cindy Lauper said " girls just want have fun " ahahahah All tees are limited series of 100 pieces, not because we want it limited, but because we create a lot, and we prefer print 6 different design than one design on 600 t-shirts.        Any last shouts? Find a way to bring us back to Australia ;p  More info about 123KLAN, please visit: http://www.123klan.com http://shop.bandit-1sm.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/kingscien/ https://twitter.com/123klan

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