Mike DFM Interview with Mook-Life
Below is an excerpt from the an interview conducted by Mook-Life, a Montreal-based site devoted to low-life culture and street graffiti, which relaunched just last week. For the complete conversation, click here.
For a lot of so-called “writers” graffiti was just a phase in their life that came and went, like baggy pants and bleached hair. As life changes, so do the things you value and most people value the things that graffiti will never bring them. Some can afford a decade and only a small handful go as far as 20 years of active bombing. These days, graffiti has been completely demystified and reduced to a .gif on some 16 year-old girl’s Tumblr. Being a full-time graffiti writer is definitely not for everyone but someone has to do it or Cindy won’t have anything to reblog when she’s bored during her grade 9 history class.
Someone has to go and do all that crazy shit. These rumors, stories and legends have to come from somewhere. These photos won’t just magically appear on your Tumblr. But who are these guys who turn their backs on society to give you that awesome flick for your graffiti Facebook fanpage? Who are these people who will go through the risks so you don’t have to? One of them is Mike.
Mike is the real deal. He lives this graff shit so hard, I can’t separate the writer from the person. There’s no taking breaks or doing it only on the weekend. There is no quitting after getting arrested or visiting the hospital repeatedly. He just keeps going. This is not a phase or a hobby. This is his way of life, 100% true to the bone.
I’m sure fans and hater alike are eager to know what he’s been up to lately….
ML: So, I see you’ve been having a lot of fun in Oakland lately. Tell us a bit about some of the less fun things that happened to you while running on them streets? I know you been in the hospital a few times..
Mike: Well, there have been a few wild ones. The latest thing was being shot at and me being from a different place thinking it was a BB gun. So I kept rushing on him with a fellow crew member so he hopped back in his car and ghosted. It’s the Wild West out here. I’ve taken a few bad spills, a fair one is a myth out here. It’s some safety in numbers, bitch shit. Whatever, you win some you lose some but they know they where in a fight.
ML: Violence seems to be a big part of your life. Why?
Mike: Violence was somewhat of the problem solver in my upbringing and being from the neighborhood I did most of my learning in, it was a way of handling your business. It’s not always the best idea but when in doubt, knock them out.
ML: How do you get away with not paying your hospital or dentist bills?
Mike: Well, that’s a fun one right there. Usually I would say a magician doesn’t reveal his secrets but it’s simple: They are a hospital, not a police station. Go in, no ID. Make up an alias. If you are not clever enough, think of someone you’d want to pick up the bill. By the time they figure out you gave them the Buck Ridge special you are already getting rest in your own home all bandaged up.