SKORE is a graffiti writer from Sydney. He started painting in the 80's and is a member of RBS (Rebels) & KO (Kings Only) Crews. He was active through some of the the best times in Sydney Graffiti when the scene was tough and it was all about the trains. We caught up with him and asked for his favourite five flicks.
1. What got you into graffiti?
The house I grew up in at Wentworthville was right on the tracks, so that’s where my interest in writing or bombing come from, like most writers I found it easier to write my name rather than break dance, I racked a box of graffiti stickers which I wish I still had, my primary school was bombed constantly by DTL, NSC, MTV, PN and TDF, Wentworthville canals had some incredible old pieces so it was pretty obvious which path my life was going, I would rack Solar Streams from Franklins and then dupli colours and Pascols from the local hardware and car shop and paint the canals in Wentworthville doing my best to learn, Relik NBL, toy as fuck but you got to start somewhere.
I became obsessed with learning crew names, different tags, tagging styles, throw ups etc, by the time I got to year 6, I could recite meanings of PIC,BHS,BC,TDF,MTV,RCF, CIA,CIS etc etc etc, just like other kids could recite football teams, all from watching the trains, the train system was like the modern day internet.
2. How would you describe your style and who were your influences?
I would describe my style as defiantly Sydney, but with my own twist to it, My influences came from what I saw in the city I grew up in, watching writers when I was young like Poser, Kode, Troose, Fatal, Jcee (RIP), Jerk, Spook, Jeno etc out west, Wish (RIP) who inadvertently gave me my tag ‘Skore’ in ‘89, and gave me my first cone, hence where Skore comes from, but then as I started bombing more and going out it was who was up, the new style that was out, how could you compete, but not bite, guys like Taven, Haro, Metro, Dmote, Kerupt, Gane 2 etc had the style and the rep that everyone was after, these guys were the bench mark that you strived to be like, OK was one of the first bigger writers that I met that took myself and Upset out and more or less added the final piece to the puzzle, the guys I grew up with and write/wrote with FCK, BRP, WL, RBS and KO all had/have influenced me in in one way or another with my style and pushing yourself to be the best you can, but with out doubt one of my biggest influences and good friend and he’s basically family is Gane 2, I thought I knew how to bomb, paint, rack etc, people like Gane just take everything to a whole new level.
3. What was the Sydney train scene like and growing up in the 90's?
I was lucky to see the 2 eras cross over in Sydney, the 90’s started off exactly were the 80’s finished, and writing was about trains and nothing else, with crews like PIC, RCF, MTV, PSK, TDF, TFP etc etc still bombing hard, but it was changing to the next generation, you not only had other writers, and the above said crews, but you had colour gangs as well as some pretty bad people that were all merging in one scene, crews like RBS, KOA, BRP, UTB, PSK, PIC, PE, IBS etc the list goes on basically just crushed every train running and wall in the city, there was always someone up in the back carriage, front runners, hang outs etc and panels ren often as well, IBS were painting a lot of legal walls but this was the beginning of the modern day, big join up back ground etc productions, but there was a new, or maybe more influential factor that came in and that was crime, who got a Porsche? Who made the first $100g searching, Who had the latest air max’s, or Sergio, Country Road, Jag cloths etc. this all become, and not saying it wasn’t before as I know searching etc started in the 80’s, but it was now a major part of the scene, every crew was doing it, people knew the answers to the above and those peoples reps proceeded them, this was all part of going All City, and with all these crews crushing Sydney at one time it was something to be seen, and awesome to be part of, Def Wish Cast were taking over with their battle, attack style of rap which fitted in perfectly for the time because that’s how everyone was, that was the attitude, Unique and DWC were instrumental in merging so many different areas/crews together weather they knew it or not.
The next lot of crews in that 93-95 time period that continued or rose with the non stop bombing, destruction and panels, were WL, ML, TSC, TM, PLS, FUA, ADC, MOC, KOC, TRA etc just to name a few, yards were cool, Hornsby, Waterfall, Woollahware, Waverton, Marryong, Flemington etc, but there was nothing like doing Central yards, turning around and looking at the city of Sydney under lights, best yard ever, but you had to grow up fast, if you didn’t you got crushed, there was no in between, you either were or you weren’t, your crew either had respect or it didn’t, battles were common place, and the winners weren’t always decided by who was up more.
There are a lot of incredible writers from this era that still write today. This was the time that the rattlers stopped and the first Tangaras came out, you could still open the doors on the ridgeys and bomb and destroy as much of the train as you could, spray fire extinguishers through the city circle, all the seats, lights etc went out the door, windows disappeared with swift kicks and you’d pull the hand brake and get off where you wanted. Sydney was smashed, you had numerous police forces set up to catch, literally teenagers, who were running amok in the city, suburbs and all linked by a train system, Pure Vandalism Good times.
4. Do you have a good chase story?
I don’t have any great chase stories, not graffiti related anyway, I have funny stories, like painting a drain one night and a car pulls up five metres away and a guy and girl decide to create their own porno movie while I was trying to finish a piece, I’ve had to jump off numerous back cars when seen bombing trains and having to run out of tunnels or through peoples backyards, pulled plenty of handbrakes when the train coming from behind on the next track would catch you on the front runners, so rather than cop the chase at the next station just stop the train beforehand, had to leave a few yards quickly, but once out of the yard you’d scope the surroundings and most times you could take off pretty quick and get away, or just hide off the platform at the next station and get away, but yeah, never really had the graffiti related big chase, so yeah, bit boring really.
5. What motivates you to keep painting?
Writing is who I am, more people know me as Skore than my actual name, even though I don’t get to paint as much now as I would like due to my work commitments and location, but hey, such is life, I do my best to keep up to date with the latest pieces and seeing the trains getting done lately by KOS, NRC, INC etc is a mad gee up to get up, find time and do a piece.
My last piece I done was for a good friend that recently passed away, Hooter, I done this with two other good friends Mare and Dont, to me this is what writing is now, hanging out with my mates, reminiscing, having a drink, having a paint, talking shit, have a laugh and having a good time, because there is no other culture that is so destructive and life destroying as graffiti yet the final product is so creative and colourful, this is why I have no respect for Street artists, it’s not that they can’t paint, they just don’t know the culture, writing is not a hobby, writing is a lifestyle, I was never the best and there’s plenty that can burn me hands down, but like every other writer you just can’t stop, unless you have lived this lifestyle, you’ll never understand,
Respect to all those who have passed,
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SHUTE from KOC CREW is a graffiti writer from Canberra. He first got into graff in the mid 80's and has been hooked ever since. His style is public but with his own fresh and unique flow. Check out the Route 666 videos to catch loads of his and the crews rolling steel.We caught up to find out a bit more about him and asked for his favourite flicks.