12 Questions: KGB CREW – Sydney, Australia
Please introduce yourselves, how long KGB has been operating as a crew, crew members, etc?
We are the KGBoogie a tight nit team of vandals and scally-wags causing havoc on Sydney’s streets and rail network since 2001.
2- Is it safe to say that KGB is a crew who places a heavy emphasis on painting trains, which crews and writers in Sydney would you say influenced you the most to take this approach and keep painting trains on the reg?
Sydney has a strong train scene that has been going for almost 4 generations now, so growing up in Sydney during the late 90’s early 00’s if you do graffiti you paint trains, you bomb insides, you bomb outsides and the rail corridor. TM, OSF, TCB, ML, KOC were the crews we looked up to as young toys and naturally tried to follow in their footsteps.
3- KGB crew as a whole has a pretty distinct and cohesive style, could you break down the history of where it came from, influences both locally and globally?
It’s a Style that has become synonymous with Sydney graffiti I guess, Heavily influenced by New York pioneers and its foundation passed down through generations in Sydney. Crews like TM TSC OSF developed and pushed it really hard during the late 90’s early 00’s and we have just picked up the baton and tried to leave our own mark on what they began.
4- How much emphasis is put into the longevity of KGB crew. What is your process in recruiting writers, and what is the process of ‘jumping’ in new blood to the crew and who was the last recruit to undertake this?
Over the years KGB has become much more than a graffiti crew for all of us. Its our second family, Regardless of whether we are painting we will all take life’s journey together. Our crew has a strong history of bringing young, motivated and talented youngsters into the fold and helping them develop into real forces in our system and more importantly into good people. Almost all our team has been schooled up by another member and so the cycle continues down the line. All endure the 100 filled in throw ups all city in 24hours mission to earn their stripes, an idea passed down to us from Kerock Osf, after Germs Osf was jumped into there crew in a similar fashion.
5- The Sydney Olympics saw an extensive buff of the rail system, which lasted a few years. In 2013 the buff seems to be a lot more relaxed, with most lines copping a decent assault. What is the current situation with panels running and how long do they stay in service?
The rail corridor in Sydney has always seen a good coat of poo brown, or depressing grey paint from the buffers. The period pieces stay up fluctuates from anywhere between a day and a year. The general public enjoy having something colourful to look at out the window during there daily commute, but for some reason the powers at be seem insistent in wasting resources to take that stimulus out of their day. In terms of our rolling stock, Sydney has always had a strong insides bombing culture, our double deck trains are perfectly designed for some alone time in the back car. The introduction of new sets with internal cameras is slowly seeing this die out which is really sad. Riding City circle back cars doing insides and front-runners is something that is quintessentially Sydney, and it is something of a tragedy that those days are all but gone. Panels painted outside of a maintenance yards usually run for at least half a day, 2 or 3 max.
6- A few crew members have taken to Europe to leave their mark in the clean train scene out there. What’s your favourite country to paint trains, the rarest train stock you have painted, and the most memorable painting mission?
The best thing about travel is the people you meet and relationships you build with other individuals and crews around the world. We have all had a lot of fun in different places and met some cool cats. Shout outs to Whel, Risk, WCA Killers, Rioga, Det, Lose, Pornik, Samsn, Stur, RHB crew, A?S crew, D30 crew, Plus crew.
7- What’s your feelings on the internet as a source of study, for young up and coming writers. It seems like studying and being schooled by an older well established writer in your city is a thing of the past. And what’s your thoughts on social media platforms like Instagram for sharing, stealing or whoring photos?
I wouldn’t say it’s a thing of the past, there are really influential older guys all over Australia who take the time to help young kids with good attitudes. At the end of the day it’s the older generations responsibility to keep their traditions and values alive. If they aren’t interested in doing that they negate the right to have the cliché’d “back in my day” winge. I think the Internet has definitely started the demise of local styles, young kids have access to so many different influences that forming localised traditions is almost impossible. Social media, everyone does it even though it usually ends up with your house getting raided.
8- Skateboarding, snowboarding and even formula one racing are well known for having their share of ‘pro hoes’. Women who strictly jock these athletes. What’s your thoughts on graff groupies, and girls who strictly fuck with graff writers?
There are some real good girls in graffiti and some real bad girls in graffiti, both are a lot of fun for very different reasons, Being a bunch of graffiti losers we aint gonna hate on any girls who want to sleep with us, so lets leave it at that haha.
9- Graff life and everyday life. jobs, wives, girlfriends, study. How hard is it to juggle joe public and your ‘alter egos’. The train vandal life is pretty consuming. Checking yards all night, painting missions, racking paint, is there ever a happy medium?
It’s a full time job, fortunately being part of an active team spreads the load and it becomes a lot easier to keep some sort of normalcy in your day-to-day life.
10- What’s the Illest chase, raid that you have ever had to deal with in Sydney and what’s up with the current security measures on yards and lay-ups?
We’ve all endured some monumental chases, usually in our younger more red-hot days. Whether its taking security guards in hostage situations, high speed car chases or being chased through the tunnels by train services trying to run us over, we always seem to dust ourselves off and get back out there. Sydney’s a big system with a lot of yards, back jumps and lay ups. It’s different from spot to spot but it encompasses all the usual security measures, Cameras, sensors, tremors and a lot of security guards, which makes for good rock fights. We also have the latest re-incarnation of the Sydney vandal squad who seem to be learning fast and are regularly checking spots and setting traps.
11- The KGB MSK panels that have been posted on Instagram the last few weeks, can you break that down and let us know how the two crews got together on this?
We have painted with some of their guys in the past. A number of them where in town so naturally a few came out for a 24 hour galvathon, we did 3 or 4 runners that night so I guess people took notice.
12- Who in the crew holds the most panels, whole cars under their belt, and what’s the future hold for KGB crew?
We view ourselves as a team so individual success is not so important, we include some of Sydney’s most accomplished train writers with more than their fare share of whole cars panels and the rest. We currently have a pretty potent mix of experienced heads and the crème of Sydney’s youth, if we can avoid the vandal squad and usual hurdles the future looks much the same as the past decade.
Thanks to Left Out Store for connecting 12ozProphet and KGBOOGIE. For rare zines, labels, inks and hard to find graff related products. Visit Left Out Store.com