Crew Spotlight episode #1 featuring VNDS CREW. In this video you will find loads of action in Brisbane from running panels, backjumps to on platform wholecars. We caught up with a few members for an interview to find out a bit more about the crew and share some epic stories.
Q. What is the history of VNDS Crew, when and where did it all start?
(Chevy) VNDS was born in Melbourne around 2012. Skatman and Rides were cooking up a dream team of miscreants that rounded all the bases. Panels, bombing, walls, all the good stuff. It was an incredible time to be alive.
(Skadderz) we're a pretty diverse crew and we all come from different walks in life. Some of us are socially conservative dads with families and who run their own businesses. On the other end of the spectrum, we have a few liberal hippies who don't eat meat and vote for the greens.All in all, we all shared that one thing thing in common which made us a crew.
Q. What does VNDS stand for?
(Chevy) Very Nice Days
(Skadderz) Some people say it stands for Visions and Dreams and others say it stands for Vandals.
(Pivot) Vancouver Night Destroyers, very nearly dead squad.
(Venis) visions & dreams
(Rides) Vicious N Delicious, Vacation Dons, Victory Not Defeat, Vandals, Victorious Niggers Doin Shit, Victorious Night Dwellers, Venereal Disease
Q. Who are the current members of the crew?
(Chevy) We have a solid international network spanning a few countries. No particular order; Rides, Skatter, Ciser, Pivot, Soy2, Shore, Cybrusss, Pures, Newr, Siderous, Getbies, Kenyo and Venis
Q. Are you only interested in trains or do you paint walls too?
(Chevy) Panels are definitely a high priority but our group is diverse and is capable of burning any wall.
(Cybrus) I like painting everything, they all provide a different experience.
Pivot- Trains and walls and everything as long as we are coming correct!
(Venis) Trains are the funnest, walls get boring, however its also eets to sell canvas’s to rich people for thousands of dollars. Also the art groupies are way better than graff groupies.
(Sider) I definitely love to paint walls, especially when there's a level of exploration or adventure. Whether it's walking through creek systems to find a clean concrete wall or exploring abandoned warehouses, the more interesting and unusual the environment and surroundings the better.
Q. Do you guys do much travelling and painting other systems around aus or other countries?
(Chevy) Always. Travel is a necessity for graffiti now. There is a constant push to hit new and risky systems. It seems that holding a system is boring to many now and the urge to complete the checklist of models that never stops growing. It’s a double-edged sword.
(Cybrus) I travel for various reasons but I always get up somehow where ever I go.
(Venis) were all from different walks of life so travelling is big part of the crew.
Q. Have you guys ever had trouble with the law?
(Chevy) Many of us have. In Vancouver we have an advantage of having a driverless system so our odds of encountering other humans is smaller than most locations. That being said, it is completely unpredictable for a set-up or to encounter a consistent patrol. Knock on wood our military style execution has been impenetrable.
(Pivot)I had been painting an on platform wall in my neighborhood a few nights before and got spooked so I bailed, my friend had already returned and finished his piece so I was eager to do the same.
When I got there I scoped out the spot for a while it seemed pretty quiet but as I got closer I could hear a girl crying, I was sat in the bushes above the wall just listening to see what I could hear. It was pretty unclear but it sounded like a girl crying and then maybe 1 or 2 guys that were with her, from their voices they seemed pretty sick of her shit, sat there for a bit longer and decided they were probably all drunk and out the line of sight of the wall, and really I only needed 5 minutes to finish the piece.
Jumped down started painting almost done and one of the voices gets a lot closer, I look up and there’s a cop at the top of the stairs on his mobile phone, he’s looking the other way so I put can in bag and then kick a track rock loose. He sees me and I bail with him behind me I’m going flat out down the tracks and the copper has given up pretty quick so I stash the bag and get back on the road, I took of my t-shirt ballie and changed it out with the t-shirt I was wearing then ditched that. Got on to the road and double backed in the direction of the spot. (They’ll never expect that right)
Making my way down the road back to where my car is parked and I see basically what I guess I expected it’s a cop car slowly driving down flashes at me and we stop. I’m kind of still out of breath right now and know I have nothing on me but I’m 17 at this stage and not too sure what to do so I stay put to talk to them. I say I’m coming home from a party and they ask why I am out of breath, I spout off this total bullshit story about hooking up with some guy’s girlfriend at a party nearby a school I mention to them. I say her boyfriend and his friends were chasing me down trying to bash me so I was just running to the train station to get out of there. They don’t look convinced.
The chick cop radios into base and asks them if there are any parties in the area of the school I mentioned, I was thinking they might have me here but the radio call comes back and HQ says theres a big party in the area with over 300 people. A mad sense of relief comes over me and they let me on my way. Luckily I wasn’t ID’d by the cop at the station otherwise things might’ve been different.
(Venis) All i’ll say is that “no comment” will get you out of a lot.
Q. Can you tell us about a memorable crew mission?
(Chevy) There was a time when the Canadian side had a jailbreak style exit from one of the SkyTrain yards. Entering and action was a complete breeze. However, luck turned while we were trying to exit and the yard turned into Alcatraz. Sirens, alarms, and lights flashed in the yard as we hit the nitrous to get out of there. We managed to escape unscathed.
One of my fondest memories painting with crew was a time when Pivot and I were painting a lay up. We had to dip through a fence and both of us got stuck going through it. We flopped around like fish out of water and got cut the fuck up. It was ridiculous.
There was another time I attempted a solo action at the yard. It was first snow and after inspecting the tracks it was decided that it was too dangerous to cross without a spotter. Before leaving I sat for a while and watched the trains pull into the yard. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed two mangy looking furry backs silhouetted through the light from the bushes. My primal urge was the run, but I slowly turned and started to walk. About 20m I turned around and saw a pair of Coyotes running after me. Normally Coyotes don’t attack humans but these yellow-eyed bastards looked fucking mental. Against all best practice when dealing with aggressive wild animals, I decided to fuckin leg it. It became very apparent at this point that they were in full chase. As I ran down the footpath at full sprint another Coyote joined in from the bushes. And then another. It was the first time I experienced a true fight or flight moment. The end of the trail came closer and closer as my legs were about to give out. Luckily my whip was left unlocked and I collapsed into the drivers seat. I turned on the whip and starred at the pack of 4 Coyotes as they realized there prey was gone. I rolled down the window a flipped them the bird and yelled “COCKSUCKER”. Fuckin Canada eh.
(Skadderz) Okay, serious face now. When we first decided to start the crew, we (randomly) did our first piece on the platform at Flinders Street station in the middle of having a night out on the town. I think we had just left a party and were on our way to Revolver on Chapel Street (for those who do not know what Revolver is, it's one of the top 5 attractions of Melbourne, just ranking under the 12 Apostles and Luna Park).
Anyway, if you're a normal person and you hang out with a group of writers, you know that one guy (or gal, or what ever gender they like to assume) always has to have fucking paint on them, whether it's a social gathering or your cousins wedding. Naturally, we ended up doing a piece - because on that night, I was that fucking person. That was me.
This was memorable for me because the only thing I can recall about it was having a drunken audience of friends and tag-a-longs telling me how my piece was shit and the extremely constructive criticism I was getting, which included such classics like 'do flames in the background'. I normally do not paint a drunken piece, but on this night, I was 10/10 proper smashed and my letters looked like shit so added flames probably wouldn't of hurt it.
And that's how it all started...
(Shore) immediately after arriving in Vancouver I had only one thing on my mind, figure out the system and start getting panels. A few days before my first plan is when I actually ended up connecting with chevy and piv. A few conversations and a week or two later I received a text while at work with a date and time and it was on. I was picked up and we ended up catching a really relaxed mission. That night was my first introduction to the system and to a few of the best lads a guy could ask for. being new in the city I thought things would be a little tough but it was all seeming to fall into place.
(Venus) My most memorable mission with rides, was one were we didn’t even start painting yet. He was visiting my ends of the woods, I hadn’t painted in a while as I was busy selling canvas’s to rich people and banging art groupies, It wasSundaymorning and we’d just got over the fence when a police car sped in out of nowhere, lucky there was two fences between us, we jumped one and ran down an alley till we popped out on a busy road. As we started walking down a tunnel about 120m’s long, another police car blocked of the other of end the tunnel, we were simply fucked, I had priors and if Rides was caught with me, it would of made things even worse for the both of us. There would of been no way for him to play dumb tourist, and I would of been even more fucked.
We were exactly half way through the tunnel, with the cop car starting to drive down. In a split second we agreed to split up, In my head I was almost sure wed both be caught but at-least being separate might of helped the case. Rides without a moments hesitation agreed to be the one to face them. As I turned around and started walking back towards the other side, a police car parked about 15 meters from the other end of the tunnel, two military cops with machine guns jumped out, one came running directly towards me. “Alright 3 days in jail for trespassing” I thought, not the end of the world.
The cop literally brushed my shoulder and kept running past me, to the hole at the start of the tunnel, me and rides had just prior come out from. I realised without even thinking I had aligned my self with an old man in his 70’s walking down the tunnel, we probably looked like father and son. I started making small talk with him, without daring to look back. We ended up walking together till we reached the circus which was the reason this road had been so busy on aSundaymorning. I ended up paying a weirdly expensive fee and entering with him. I wondered around a bit, although it was hard to enjoy the circus, as I was almost sure one of my best mates just got done. After about 30 minutes or so I get a call from Rides, asking me if i’m ok. Turns out the cops at the other end had stared him down hard, but were to confused as they were looking for two men, and the original cop car would of described two men in orange vests, which we’d ditched in the alley.
The reason this mission stood out, more than any successful mission were we pulled of nice panels, is because it’s a reminder of what a crew, and more specifically real friends are. Also it’s a lesson in the good karma of not thinking selfishly, In a split second rides took the choice to walk into what seemed like a certain arrest. For that very same reason neither of us got arrested that day. There is very few people in the world who ever get the experience such a level of trust and loyalty, as most people are simply never faced with these circumstances.
Q. Do you often add new members?
(Chevy) If the shoe fits.
Q. What does VNDS have planned for the future?
(Chevy) More panels, more walls, more paint to be sprayed. Consistency is a virtue as well as a privilege.
(Pivot) For me personally its about longevity so like I wanna still be painting trains 5 or 10 years from now and still be motivated to never give up on the dream. I just want to keep painting, make more calculated moves and stay out of trouble.
(Shore) I recently finished up dealing with some legal bullshit and can travel again. Future plans are to get out with the rest of the crew, smash as much of everything as possible and keep stacking wild stories with a bunch of fuckin solid guys.
(Venus) Smashing it on all levels of life.
Any shout outs or final words?
Shout out to Transgender Link. We are not sorry about your trains.
Molek Beam Stoe and the rest of my HP family. As well as my dawg Zoner GMF Norks Lineo Lore Cmore Fuegos Nat Asoh Glof Sloe Sigon Feds Talk Wonk Dubs Since RLPS Crew Sacer Wezo Sodek ST6 WG RFW HD BDS BFS Crew SRBOYS