KADE - The Interview

We recently had the pleasure of speaking to Kade - undoubtedly one of Sydney's OG writers and true style masters. Among the first to pick up graffiti in Sydney, adopting the classic New York style, Kade's pieces and handstyles are unmistakable. He's been through it all and has come out the other end with years of wisdom, some of which we were lucky to gain from him through this interview. Enjoy, and soak it up - this is Kade - The Interview. And check him out on Instagram @kadethecrazy G'day Kade! First things first - where did the name Kade come from? And what crew(s) do you represent? One of my best mates, J-Keen has a brother who used to write Made. I changed up the letters in his tag and came up with Kade which I really liked the sound of, and the letter combination – I also came up with the acronym: Kill, Annihilate, Destroy Everything As for crews, I have been in several over the years. My first crew was Mix Artists in 1985 which turned into Def Crew in ’86. I then wrote for PIC, TFP, PSK and IBS from ’89 – ’94 In 1994 Scram and I started TM which is a crew I still represent 21 years on. Its really just a select group of mates that has always been at the core. The thing we all have in common is a love of writing from NYC. When and how did you first discover graffiti? And how long did it take for you to get hooked? I first noticed pieces at Bondi Beach in early 1984 at the age of 14. I used to catch the train from Redfern to Bondi to go to the beach. I started seeing colourful pieces and bombing on the lines, and I wanted to do one of them myself! It was so unique, different and colourful - I was already into drawing from as young as I can remember and it was an extension of my passion for art and drawing. I remember trying to do tags in the underground carpark of our apartment block in Waterloo as soon as I got home from Bondi. It was a rush and I was instantly hooked.KD1 Who inspired you most as a writer over the years? Who inspires you now? There have been many writers whom I’ve admired their work, for a variety of reasons, although my favourite has always been Lee from the Fab-5 because I liked the way his wholecars told a story. I love the NYC subway art era as a whole. New York City provided the background and blueprint of inspiration for all those early writers to paint sensational work. To this day I can still get inspiration looking at it. Nowadays, different things inspire me. Things like Adult Swim, underground animation, cartoons, and of course music – I love seeing live bands – real humans playing real guitars real loud! Who's out there that we should be keeping an eye on? TM of course! Haha…! If you don’t keep an eye on everyone, you’re not learning…so everyone. The whole aspect and landscape of writing has changed so much today, there are so many kids that can paint so well, it’s quite impressive what can be achieved with the humble spray can.KD2 Back in the day paint wasn't as readily available nor as high quality as it is today.  What did you normally use, and how did you acquire it? We’d use anything we could get our hands on - automotive paint, shoe paint, florists paint…you name it – we’d steal it! I mean, borrow it. The obvious way to get paint for a 15yo kid would be to walk into a shop like an auto spares and use your street intellect and start putting cans into your bag or under your jumper. After you’d done this a few times, it became second nature…but when you had a big job on…that required bigger tactics…sometimes we’d gain unauthorised entry into a premises, usually after hours, that way you’d go home with hundreds of cans! Thankfully kids don’t have to resort this illegal activity anymore, with the increase in graffiti stores and art supplies that actually cater to writers needs. You've been painting for longer than some new writers have been on this green earth. What would you say to a young up and comer who wants advice from someone like yourself? Draw, draw, draw. Refine and perfect you sketches before you take on a wall to replicate. It’s not easy but if you have the basics down, your pieces will follow, then it’s just a matter of using colour, fills and your imagination to create your own style. Don’t forget to study Subway Art.KD3 What do you think about where graffiti is today? It’s great that it’s being more accepted in the general public such as advertising, signpainting, graphic design, fine art etc – This means more opportunities for graffiti writers to usilise their talent in a legitimate domain. This wasn’t the case 30 years ago when I started out. Do you look back on when you started writing as the 'good old days' or do you think it's better now than it was then? I have very fond memories of the good old days, as I was young, reckless, gung-ho and my whole world was graffiti. The scene has constantly evolved from the time I started until now, and I’m glad it’s still relevant in society today. What about graffiti today grinds your gears? And on the other hand, what do you love about it? I hate seeing writers doing the same lettering style over and over again, year in year out. I don’t go too much on ‘Street art’ although some is ok in small doses. I love how I’m part of the biggest art movement in history.KD4 As you matured, did you find it hard to still find time for graffiti? Or were other elements of your life fighting for attention as graffiti took the number one spot? Yes, being a father obviously shifts your priorities for sure, but even so, I still found some time to get some painting done. As a kid starting out, my whole life revolved around writing…day and night…draw, draw, draw, paint, paint, paint…I used to cut school to go bombing…it was life and death! As a signwriter/artist, I’m fortunate enough to be able to incorporate graffiti into my line of work.   We play a little game in our interviews called Top 3. We'll spit out a category, and you tell us your Top 3 of whatever that may be. Bands/Artists: 1. Black Sabbath 2. Kyuss 3. Corrosion of Conformity Old School Writers: 1. Game 2. Dem 2 3. Bezz New School Writers 1. Set 2. Snarl 3. Peque Cities: 1. New York 2. Melbourne 3. San Franciso Beverages: 1. Macchiato 2. Peroni 3. Chivas Regal Train Models: 1. Classic NYC flat. 2. Electric door red rattler 3. Hitachi Must Haves When Painting: 1. 94's 2. New York caps 3. Music Do you find yourself trying to replicate old school pieces as far as colours or technique? Or do you adapt to new techniques pushed by the cans of today and colour ranges available? It’s all about mood for me. I try not to do two pieces the same - it gets boring doing that. Like anything you’re always learning, so I adapt where possible - all the while remaining true to the essence of what I do. Any last words or shout out's you'd like to give? Thanks to MTN Australia for the opportunity to be on your blog.KD5 KD6 KD7 [catalog-product slug="mtn-94"]

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