SOEM is a graffiti writer from Boston. He first got into graffiti in 1999 and since then has perfected his tags and pieces. His skill with a chisel tip marker is second to none as you can see on Soems Instagram. We were lucky enough to get him on board with a design for our new winter drops, but before we get to that we had to get him on for a Five For Five Interview to find out a bit more about him.
1. What got you into graffiti?
I got into graffiti by way of friends in middle school, and then more serious in high school. Over all though, graffiti being so different, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen, I felt like “why was this hidden from me for so long?” I was always a fan of art, but to literally see graffiti on the streets as a child, and not know what the hell it was had me strangely upset, and confused.
2. How did you learn to tag the way you do?
I honestly owe a lot of how I tag to my friend ocio of pfp. He was the one who literally showed me graffiti Handstyle culture. It’s funny because he was showing me a lot at age 14. Him constantly practicing was something that I saw and learned to do myself. He’s left handed, and funny enough, a lot of people I know who are left handed have some great handwriting, including my mother.
3. Do you have a good chase story?
I do actually, and this was back when I was doing more bombing in 2003. Me and a friend C.E. “Cat Eater” met up to bomb the downtown area. We did a decent amount of damage and right near the end of the session we were hanging out smoking, and a cop stopped up and asked what we were doing. C.E.’s friend was so shook the entire time and I was like “yo just be cool chill the fuck out”. The cop asked to see my bag and it was full of paint, but what I used to do was bring a beach towel with me and underwear and kind of cacoon the cans together in the towel to hide the rattling. When I unzipped my bag C.E.’s friend took off running..... I just looked at the cop, and he was like ?!?!?!? I stayed cool and I said I honestly don’t even know why he ran.... lol I told him we just came from the ymca and I had my underwear and swimming trunks in there. He looked in and saw the towel and was like, get outta here guys it’s 2:40 am.... Go Home.... C.E. Looked at me while we walked away and said.... “Yo I don’t know how you did that but I owe you.” Lol. He said I’m not going bombing with anyone else after that. Lol.
4. Do you do many pieces or mostly bombing?
Now a days it’s been more pieces than bombing, but I’ve slowed down a lot. Living in Boston you kind of have to do both. Warmer seasons scream for pieces and occasional bombing. But when it’s cold you pretty much have no choice but to go out and bomb, and go home and sketch some heat.
5. What motivates you to keep painting?
Whats been motivating me to keep painting is the fact that I don’t want this to be for nothing. I really want what I am doing to have some value. The writers I’ve met over the years, and people I look up to have merit to me. There are sadly people that aren’t living anymore that have played major roles in my graffiti career. To just quit would literally put me in a deep depression, it would just feel like it was for nothing, and I can’t accept that.
For this winters new range we worked with SOEM to bring you the new "REMAIN ANONYMOUS" and "BROKEN SYSTEM" long sleeve tee's. Check them out on the link below.