Here are pseudonyms which stand for their own – no need to be a psychologist to foresee the person behind. For those few of you who missed it: For a long time now, SLAYER has not just stood for smashed hotel rooms. SLAYER smashes cities. Those of you who have already been to Dortmund will nod their heads. So far, nothing special. That graffiti writers smash the Ruhr area has a long tradition in graffiti history. So what is it that makes SLAYER so special? This portrait tries to find an answer. In the end it went a little different than the usual graffiti writer portraits – SLAYER simply is a little exceptional.
We tried to not just portray you as a graffiti writer, but to show the total of SLAYER. Would you tell us how this came or what the reason for this was?
The fundamental idea was that if you’re looking at interviews, you mostly see graffiti writers who are presented with their graffiti art works. But for those people who may read a graffiti magazine some time it could also be interesting to show what else this young man, who in the eyes of others destroys a lot of things, produces, like canvases or sewed stuff. There are a lot of guys who don’t only concentrate on this goddam graffiti thing, but who do a lot of stuff around it – the writer who pastes stickers, makes posters and who also sews wild fashion or paints freaky canvases, simply without a spray can. But it’s rarely shown. Namely not at all.
Being motivated by the fact that I want to do a DVD with such writer portraits this year, I just wanted to see if this would also work with images.
Regarding this, what does your life besides graffiti look like?
Actually, my life is graff. 24 hours! Being strongly involved in the non-existing graffiti scene I’m confronted with it 8 or 10 hours a day. And I hear things which I don’t want to hear. From little suckers, simply toys, who use every minute to tell you they did this and that and that.
My life besides graffiti is somehow OK. I have nothing to complain about. The disease is a little strange. I’m quite limited by that. But the motivation arises when lying in intensive care unit for five days, not knowing if you got cancer or not. You think about it and say to yourself that you have done enough, or you have not done enough. Have you had a great life or didn’t you have a great life. In the end the motivation is to wake up with a smile in the morning and to do what you think is right.
What is it that keeps you going with graffiti?
My motivation is the stupidity of the people. The motivation is not to put up with what society offers you, and to show: Hey, I don’t get myself narrowed down. I am not one of you.
This might also concern the feeling to not have the ability to change something?
The feeling somehow plays a role, but if you notice on your own that you cannot change anything it’s some kind of resignation and by that you’re not able to create something productive. Resignation, no matter in which way simply is unproductive and depressive.
You seem not willing to lay down on one way to paint, compared to other graff writers.
Nah, I paint anything, I don’t care. I also paint with every colour even if it comes out a tube. You can, and even should, use anything, which somehow contributes to the change of an object. Graffiti is not that much narrow-minded. Graffiti is not just HipHop. That’s what people like to show – that graffiti is HipHop. Graffiti is NOT HipHop. Well, not in my eyes. It’s a culture which goes its own way, influenced by guys who really contribute to it with a lot of individual stuff.
Are you satisfied with your social environment or do you think something should change?
Oh, like I always say, there’s no real scene no more. There are guys who band together and do something or work against each other. I got steady people, whom I can trust, and I know how they would react in certain situations. Also, I’m not the type of guy who says “No!” when someone asks “Ey, you wanna go paint somewhere?”, because I really like painting. But it doesn’t mean that you have the right to spam me.I also don’t always have to go out and do a wholecar somewhere. Especially as I’m shit scared lately. I just enjoy painting with different people. But I prefer doing things which are more seriously with people I know and whose reactions in stressful situations I know.
So your social environment mainly consists of graffiti writers?
My circle of friend consists of a lot of people in general, but 99,8% are graffiti writers and no normal people.
The thing is, normal people don’t interest me, because they can hardly grasp your thoughts and actions in this whole graffiti thing. They just see some pictures and guys tagging. But they neither see the motivation, nor the preparation. But that’s a lot of work, which a normal person could not appreciate. A graff writer knows what you’re talking about and he can somehow comprehend. I can have a talk with normal people, but they don’t give anything to me. Well, not really. OK, few. One of them is dead.
Can you image to have a different social environment?
For sure I can imagine. But I don’t know if I would still be that much motivated when I would have grown up in a different parental home. My motivations mainly are aggression and hate, which are simply there. Hate on those things which happen and on the indifference of our society.
It means that your action also has a political background?
Yes, I’m an extreme leftist. But once in a while I also use some Nazi slogans, but I’m not very serious with that. That’s simply sarcasm and I think that somehow you need to make fun of those nuts who think the Third Reich was simply the best. I cannot burn them or send them to a lonely isle, but I can make fun of them. Same for the stupidity of people.
Which other things play a role in your life and what is their share besides the art thing?
Well, what’s really important to me is music. Music’s the core of my life. The first thing I do when I come home, is to turn on the music — even before I take off my clothes. When I go to work, I directly turn on the music. I cannot work without music. It eases me and it just gives me back what I invest. It maybe even arranges my thoughts when I’m at home chilling.
Let us know more about your daily routine.
When I’m not sick, my daily routine is: go to work, after that going home, smoking or thinking about doing something with the guys with whom I’m around a lot – standard. Meeting my girlfriend, having some chilling time without any stress, to finally devote yourself to the stress again, that life offers.
Would you like to change something?
Yes, creating world peace and making huge metal dicks out of all guns, cartridges and tanks which women from all over the world could buy. Thus they would be satisfied, too!
During your travels you have already seen quite some cities. If you would leave Dortmund, where would you go and why?
I’d go to Hamburg, engage a marriage-like relation with RÄTSEL and I’d probably found a commune.
What’s so fascinating about art?
To put together sick thoughts in some kind of application which can only be seen when you’re able to read between the lines.
Describe your style. How is it and how would you like it to be?
I’d love to be DELTA, I dream of CHINTZ. SEEMSOE is the ocean and the sky, and BATES picks apples in my Garden of Eden. Nah, I cannot describe my style, because I just paint how I think the letter is most effective and beautiful. I just paint things I like. And if I don’t like them I overpaint them or I don’t take photos of them.
Why did someone like you never attend art school?
Well, art school. I tried it twice, they didn’t accept me and somewhen you just need like a thousand Euros per month to live. You don’t get one thousand Euros by grants. And with two additional jobs you neglect your studies. I think if you devote to art, you should be really “into it” and devote to it to a hundred percent and not serving burgers here and there or selling whatever.
That’s just strenuous. Art studies are not just painting.
What do your pictures deal with?
If it’s pictures with characters they are mostly meant to be self-destructive or sad. But it reflects my situation in this little world. Styles are my motto.
Did you change the crew? For quite some time you’ve been marking TNC next to your pieces. What’s it about?
I just cut off from this one crew by the end of 2006 because the people who were with me in that crew just don’t have that much in common with me no more.
They all do their own things and there’s just no more a crew spirit, like it had been around the year 2000. That was great.
But it just pisses me off if my crew doesn’t communicate and when the spirit is only there when you do graff together. In this area there aren’t many members. There is RADIO in Essen, in Dortmund there are three – BUG, QUASH, and DEM – who actually care a little about it but mostly do their own ego stuff. What’s important to me is: crew first, name second.
I really get along with the guys from the TNC. And I know them for the most part. They are really nice guys. I really like the things they do and it’s a progress to me being in a community with them.
How did it come about?
I’m a lot in contact with RÄTSEL, actually most of all with him. A little less with the others. We have a lot of fun together. We think the same, he listens to good music and he simply is a good guy. I told him about my crew situation and suddenly he said that he would ask the others if I could write TNC, too. And here I am...
What is “Art is just a four letter word” about?
There’s a song called “Hate Is Just a Four Letter Word”. Somewhen I got the idea that a lot of people take art too serious and constantly try to pigeonhole it. This is abstract, this is fine arts, here and there. To me it’s a spectrum which is endless and which does go much further than you could describe with three letters.
You got a final statement or some greetings to give?
Statement: When I’m down, below’s above.
Greetings: EWC, YESYO, 143, Y2K, EPSC, INF, INCH, IOR, DIST, RECK, JACK, JUICE, SVANTE, TIMO, BUNDY, TONI, INGO “WATER”, WOLKE, HELT, HOTE and all the others... Keep care of your asses...
And I send greetings to my grandpa. Rest in peace!