R.I.P Hiar/Grud FFL: Tribute in Rochester, NY
Shockwaves thrash communities when one of their own dies, especially when a young life is ripped from them suddenly. Seth Bachmann, aka Hiar, or Grud, (depending on which side of the arrest you knew him), was struck and killed by a train while painting with his best friend on Rochester’s railway in October of 2012. The two were situated just after a bend in the tracks, painting next to a noisy refrigerated car, unconscious of the swift train that approached. Feeling the ground shake, Aekor shouted to alert Seth. Bachmann didn’t clear the train quickly enough, was clipped in the chest, and cast aside. He had only just recently turned 23.
The crew has been carrying the ghost their friend with them when they paint (you can hardly spy a Hayda tag without seeing a Hiar tag in Hayda’s hand close by), but recently the group convened to collaborate on a tribute portrait of their departed friend.
“It’s really hard to put into words what his life was and how many people he touched,” says his big sis, Jenna Bachmann. There is a great tribute piece on a wall at the site of FUA Krew’s annual BBoy BBQ, which took place last weekend. Pozer painted a beautiful portrait of Seth, and various members of the crew, including Aekor, Hayda, Raket, Perts, Tely, Bile, and Gastro, painted the names Hiar and Grud in their own styles.
While Jenna knew the FFL crew was going to put up a tribute piece, she didn’t know a portrait would be involved. “It’s really touching because I don’t want people to just remember the names that he painted,” she says. Jenna is grateful that people will also remember her brother’s face and name.
After the accident, there were rumors going around that foul play was involved, Jenna told 12oz Prophet. “In fact, one of the local news stations who reported it that evening or the following evening reported it as such,” she says, with sympathy, to Aekor. “It’s not a small detail that it was one of Seth’s best friends who had to hold my brother as he died.” It was also Aekor who had to convey the horrible news to Seth’s kin. Though authorities came to the scene, many hours had passed and they hadn’t reached out to his worried family members.
Despite the tragedy, the family still supports Seth’s choice of creativity and his mom has made a habit of photographing all of her son’s remaining works when she stumbles upon them. “I can understand why people would look at this craft in a negative light after you lose someone so close to you because of it,” says Jenna. “If you knew Seth, and if you knew how much he loved what he did, you can’t be mad about it,” she says. “So we tried to embrace the things that he was so passionate about and keep the things that he loved alive for as long as we can.”
Seth and Jenna’s mother spends time at the tracks, behind the building where Seth died. One day, the yard master introduced himself, and offered an old train car now used for storage to the FFL crew for another Hiar tribute piece. “After all of that property that Seth defaced, he’s there freely offering up one more car,” says Jenna. Sometimes hearts trump all.
“Anybody who is involved in graffiti or any creative medium…keep doing it,” says Jenna. “If Seth could give his two cents, I think that would be it. Get bigger. Get better. And fucking be safe, man. Don’t take anything for granted.”
Images of the Seth Bachman Tribute mural courtesy The Lobby. Images of Seth Bachmann’s pieces courtesy Aekor.