Miami Graffiti

July 2007
1) What do you write and what crew do you represent?

Bane : RM DAM 727

2) Where did you get your tag? Any special meaning behind it?

Nothing beyond the sounding cool factor. I had wanted to shorten up my original tag, OPTEK, because it was taking me too long when I was bombing with CAR. So I sat down with a thesaurus and wrote out some of the words I thought were cool. I liked the letters in BANE and it stuck. This was towards the end of 1994.

3) When did you start writing and what were some of your early influences?

Graff came to me through my friend PAUL (he started one of the first miami graffiti websites, He rolled with the DTM kids: UCER, BRISK, TWISK, CROME, INFO, EACH, NICA, CHRIS AND TYSON. I was never good at skating, but I gave it a shot for a few years. Graf came a lot easier to me though. Me and PAUL went through a couple of tags until we settled on PAUL and OPTEK. Another one of my friends ran through a couple of tags until CROME gave him MAG44, but that came later. This was around late 1993. My high school, American High, had a couple of writers from Hialeah that eventually ran with CRAS and ELEX. CRAS knew COMA through the hardcore scene, who at the time was running with CAR, OBAE, and CRAE (MEDX). This was after UB had merged with FE and became MSG. COMA, CAR, and OBAE showed me how to bomb proper. After a few weeks I decided my tag was too long, so I changed it and BANE was born. As far as my influences, COMA took me to do my first piece at the 42nd Ave legal. I would say he was my biggest influence. I would later meet SEFER who pretty much gave me my sketching style. CHASE from GC showed me can control techniques on how to cut and fade.

4) What was your favorite Penit/Wall and why?

I don't really have a favorite. Too much of anything in one place is boring to me. I hate complacency. I've seen writer's careers spent on one wall or penit. You should have to do more than that, put yourself out there and paint in as many places as you can.

5) Is there any crazy story that sticks out in your mind from the early days?

One time painting trains in Ft Lauderdale. We squaded up and rolled out like 10 heads deep. A small plane crash landed at that night, so there were all these helicopters and sirens and shit, it was like painting in a warzone.

6) Name a Miami writers work that you respect a lot (thats not in your crew/associated crews) and why?

Those that came before me. It doesn't matter if they are active or quit, they have influenced me directly or indirectly. There's a lot of writers down here that I respect from old lost friends to old rivals to new kids on the come-up. You put in the work you usually get my respect. Y'all know who you are.

7) Any good stories about a time you got chased or busted?

I'll just say this, few things in this world rival getting chased and not getting caught. Thinking on your feet is a talent held by few. However, snitching to get out of something is bullshit. You slip and get caught, you gotta man up and eat it. I've heard a lot of fucked up stories of writers snitching. Snitching to get out of trouble. Snitching on their competition.

8) Whats the biggest problem with Toys nowadays?

Respect. When you gave yourself a name, you did enough research to know that that name isn't taken already or else you were getting disrespected and probably an asswhoopin. I also see a lot of kids using shit they shouldn't. I mean stealing writer's letters for their own shit. Biting always, ALWAYS, comes back. Some kids think "Oh I saw this fresh extension from a piece over in Canada. No one will know I stole it".......we know.

Accessibility. When I came up you couldn't go online. You had to find a store that had graff magazines to see what was going on in other cities. New jacks could always get punked in a penit, so you didn't roll out there in your new graffiti attire and kicks. You went to a hardware store and stole your jiffs, not buy them in bulk online. There was no super neon three adjective european paint with 20 tones of the same color to do your fades. And finally there were no digital cameras to take pictures of every single one of your dumpster tags. You had to get a hookup at a camera store to get your shit printed. All of that being said, it doesn't take away from the writers doing shit nowadays. I mean for the most part it's still graffiti, but damn, we sure coulda used a lot of this shit back in the day. Referring back to the question though I think all of this added accessibility brings more toys into the game.

9) You were one of the first people in Miami to really focus on and continue using the contorted 3D outlineless style that came out of Germany in the 90's. Who influenced you in that regard?

I'm glad this question is on here. Earlier on I said who my influences were. OBAE, SEFER, and CHASE, they taught me how to sketch with a lot of shading/texture. SEFER came up with this way of shading in the 3D of your piece that made that shit pop and I personally always liked having smooth readable letters that were proportionate. So these two things together gives me my style. If you take away the 3D on the letters, it's mostly well proportioned letters, subtlely New York style without an outline (lettering X technique = style). I read an interview a few years back and I wish I remember who said this, but I couldn't agree more: "3D is not a style, it is a technique used to enhance your style".

With that in mind if you look at that style that came out of Europe, their letters were mostly weak. I mean the piece looked dope because of all the techniques they used, but the letters by themselves didn't. Their style was all technique, with no lettering. I was never a fan of sacrificing the strength of your letters by putting your piece in a perspective. German writers used 2 point perspective a lot and unless your tag is DAIM, you shouldn't be doing it. As far as I'm concerned he kinged that shit.

10) What do you think of the Graf Scene in South Florida and Where do you think its headed?

I'm not in touch with the "scene", nor do I want to be. My scene is my family: FUZE, ASIK, RUN, ELITE, COMA, CRAS, DETN8, 3eye, my good buddy SEFER, MAG44, ULT, G-DUB. Aside from that, I believe the scene will go on. It doesn't matter if it gets watered-down or more concentrated, that shit will live. Too many of us have done too much cool shit for it to stop. Do your research, don't bite or snitch, put in the work (real work) and you'll be a part of something.