COMBO is a graffiti writer from Sydney. Over the years you may have seen his pieces and bombing from around the North Shore area. He headed off to Canada for their awesome mountains, snowboarding, women and of course a nice freight scene and 10 years later he's still there living the dream. We caught up with him for a quick chat and asked for his favourite five flicks.
1. What got you into graffiti?
I got into graffiti purely by being exposed to it. Growing up in Sydneys inner city, and always using the trains to get back n forth from school, i would see so much great graff back in the mid and late 90s. But i knew absolutely nothing about what it was. It wasn't until early high school in about 98/99 when other mates and people i knew had tags, and it was the cool thing to do. Sooo i started tagging. Skateboarding also got me around all over the city, and seeing weird places, and starting to see burners around that blew me away! Old TM, OSF, SWB, TCB, DRS, were all an early, and major influence!
2. How would you describe your style?
Coming from Sydney, obviously having a big influence from the crews just mentioned. Also being a chronic hiphop head, seeing all the old wizards from the states definitely inspired me, and exposed me to new styles and ideas i haven't ever seen before.
3. Do you have a good chase story?
I always heard about hectic chases, and double barbed wire fences, and dogs, and getting maced and shit. But I never had it too bad luckily! Of course, there sure are a few good chase stories over the years. None recent thankfully. But maybe one of the best/worst was when i was about 16 or 17.
I used to work at a Dominos Pizza, and there was a staff party at a bosses place. Cops showed up when we were all on the lawn, and walked into the house. Mate dared me to tag the cop car, and he would have my back. So, i walked up, looked around, tagged the front door. Looked back, my mate was like 'Yeah, your all good', so i tagged the 2nd door. Looked back, homie, was fukn gone, and this chick cop was like 'Oi, stop!'. So i legged it. Looked back and this guy cop, fukn terminator was bolting past her, and tackles the shit out of me. The rest of the night wasn't too fun.
Another time, couple years later, i was up in North Sydney with Mode. We had just done a couple fill-ins on the small building right on the highway as you head north off the Harbour bridge. We walked back up under the bridge to cover, and Mode went back for another tag. ran across a lane to the barrier, and jumped over.
Few seconds later a cop car pulls up right next to him on the other side of the barrier as he is ducking. They sit there a second and Mode legs it. Both cops leave the car behind and go after him. Im there left with both bags full of paint, a open cop car in front of me, and a choice. I chose to grab our shit and bounce. Got home 15 later, try call moder, he is hiding in a bush, and told me he'd holler back. He got away fine, and i had his bag.
4. You are living in Canada now and painting a lot of freights by the looks of it, how is the graff scene over there?
Yeah the freights are great out here! They get seen quickly after you paint them, and some bench nerd posts it asap. If you paint the right ones they can travel all over 3 different countries. Talk about a rolling canvas! They won't even get buffed if you don't paint over certain numbers and signs for the workers. But their is not as many walls you can just go and paint out here. Ya really need to search for your own spots if you can. That's another reason the freights are great, because if you know the spots and times, you can literally paint any time of the day if your smart.
5. What motivates you to keep painting?
My motivations for painting are definitely friends and peers, but mainly my own drive. I love seeing my name rolling around, suddenly showing up out of the blue. surprising n shit, wondering how far she might of rolled, and who's seen her. Seeing cats that inspired me back in the day still burning is always an inspiration. Seeing a burner that makes you feel like its the first burner you ever saw is always refreshing. The internet is making that too easy these days lol...