LECTRICS: When did you start graffiti ?
NOMAD: I started writing graffiti 1994 in my hometown Bremerhaven, in the north of germany. I painted my first piece in the backyard of my school at daytime – like an idiot. Although Bremerhaven is a small city, there was a big Hip Hop scene with a lot of talented artists at this time. Maybe you know Bremerhaven because of the hardcore rapgroup “No Remorze” and their DJ Stylewarz. There was a big graff-scene with very active and nationally known writers, too. The guys who teached me the first aspects of style where from the SIM crew, like Phex, Phem, Skion and Toe and another guy named Lans from the TJ crew, who is still painting. The scene at this time was focussed on “stylewriting” and there was a big influence from Berlin writers, who were also part of the SIM crew.
But the scene were destroyed at once in 1998 because of massive police surveilance and nearly all stopped painting. I moved to Nuremberg (Bavaria), where I started writing my name Nomad. I had painted a few trains and line-pieces in my hometown, but in Nuremberg it started the real way. I became am member of the oldskool SM 365 and the NBG crew, and untill now we are really good friends. In 2001 I moved to Hamburg and I think I will stay here.
¬†LECTRICS: You are part of the Hamburg/Berlin OBS crew. Could you please tell us more about this crew?
NOMAD: The crew was founded in the early 90′s by Deser in Berlin. The crew got bigger and bigger and now there are members in Berlin, Hamburg and Braunschweig. I got in contact with the crew through Emir, Oldi and Shy 134, the Hamburg-Chapter of the OBS crew. Although there are so different members, there is one important common interest: The love for style. The Hamburg-Chapter was further represented through Deak, Sway and Eas, and from the first drop of paint the OBS crew in Hamburg stands for style-writing in the New York and Berlin tradition. So you know, the mission is: Only Burners! Back in the days I was impressed by the work of Emir, Deak and the others, and they were impressed by my work – so I became a member in 2004. Today the crew is in close contact and a lot of things are going on: Graffshit, airbrush, clothes, jewelry, canvas in Oil… In 2007 Deak and Oldi released the first music albums and time will tell, what will come next. But there is a bigger connection than aerosol and thats very important – above all we are friends…
¬†LECTRICS: You live since a long time in Hamburg. You are certainly the right person to tell us more about the graffiti scene in this city?
NOMAD: ¬†I live here since 2001 and it’s a great city. Hamburg is a traditional graffiti-city, like Berlin, Munich or Dortmund. There is a long graffiti history – you know some Hamburg writers for sure. All kinds of graffiti writing were and are done in Hamburg. But I am not the right one to tell you about the city history. For me it took some time to get involved into the scene, because a lot of writers were very reserved at the beginning. My first partners were the BASF crew, who did a lot of street- and subway bombing. Nowadays there is an active scene with a lot of action going on, old and known artists, new and talented writers do their thang. There are done S-Trains, Subways, Streetbombings. Two years ago a famous oldskool writer opened a gallery with monthly streetart vernissages. So shit is going on and on – for sure, Hamburg is worth a visit!
LECTRICS: ¬†It seems that you like the science-fiction.¬† We can see it on your background but also on your pieces: they are like complex machines. Could you please tell us about your influences and their impact on your style.
¬†NOMAD: ¬†There are two important things for my writing: First, I like the wildstyle thing, the letters have to be wild, aggressive, like a dancing b-boy… that’s what I liked from day one and I’ve learned in my young years. For me it’s a must to create new letters, I try to never paint the same piece. The influence is oldskool New York Graffiti and of course the mid 90′s Berlin scene, like SOS crew. Some people tell me, my style is old skool ‚Äì but for me there wasn’t a style in the last 10 years, that fascinated me like the pieces from Macigkid Phem or Phos4, that I loved from day one. A wildstyle has to be a wildstyle, a complex arrangement of letters, arrows and connections. The colour is a minor matter. I think true “stylewriting” is a kind of science with a special philosophy, we are like the monks in the middle-ages designing the calligraphic letters in colorful old books.
On the second hand, I like the mural thing. If there is enough time, I want to present my letters in the best way I can – with a largescale background. The background is like an illustration, supporting my style and it’s a simple thing to orientate on comic-backgrounds – I wasn’t the one who did this first. Of course I like the Marvell-Comic style, but I try to paint a large variety of backgrounds. Beside b-boys, hip-hop backgrounds, comic and graphic illustrations I like weird, mystical and fantastic themes. In private I love the books from H.P.Lovecraft, J.R.R. Tolkien, films like Blade Runner & Conan and the comics from Moebius, for example.
LECTRICS: How are you organized to make such colorful production ? Do you already planed and sketch everything ?
NOMAD: ¬†There is a lot of freestyle work in it, but mostly I have some parts on sketches by the hand, which I arrange on the wall. The styles are often freestyle, the characters on sketch. The clue is, to work hard – the big walls I did on three days. It’s about discipline and patience. You have to do everything, the smallest background design, with love and effort. The last big walls were mainly planned in the concept, the small parts and the finally arrangement were done freestyle on the wall.
LECTRICS: You probably travel a lot to meet your crew partners in Germany? ¬†
NOMAD: ¬†The last year I visit New York, this year I travelled a few times to Braunschweig and Berlin, to paint with my OBS-homeboys. Back in the days it was an important thing to travel around, to connect and paint with other writers. So I painted in Amsterdam, Vienna, Edinburgh, and nearly every big city in Germany. I want to do it again, but time is short.
LECTRICS: Do you find similar way of style between Hamburg and Berlin ?
NOMAD: ¬†In german graff-history there was no city, that influenced the stylewriting like Berlin did in the middle 90′s. Berlin writers shocked the whole nation with their aggressive style at this time. So a lot of writers got influenced from Berlin-Style, me too. And of course there is an influence from Berlin in Hamburg, especially at the young guys. So like in every german city there are guys, painting a city-own interpretation of – like Odem said – the “New York Rockin’ Groove” Berlin-Style. But there is a special Hamburg style and a lot of oldskool writers paint this way.
¬†LECTRICS: ¬†What do you think about Internet and graffiti ? Are you of this kind of people that are thinking that it kill the particularities of each countries?
NOMAD: ¬†As a private person I’m afraid of the dangers (surveillance) and addictions, the internet creates for everyone. As a writer it’s on the one hand an opportunity to get your work shown and connect with writers all over the world, but on the other hand it can be a difference to what somebody is in his own city, his own hood. You can be a big one on the net, but on the streets you are nothing – the net is creating illusions and we have to be careful with it. Also, the internet is destroying the traditional graff bussines, the mags and videos. I think we can use the net, but it’s dangerous to overestimate it. The graffiti flavour is on the outside, the street, the yard, the hall, the jam, not the dark room where you managing your forum activities.
LECTRICS: ¬†Do you think that you will still a writer ?
NOMAD: ¬†¬†I will be a writer for sure – because I decided it. Around 2005/6 I thought about stopping Graffiti. But the fact is, that graffiti is such a big part of my life, my soul, that I wouldn’t be able to be happy without making graff-art. Maybe I will make breaks or develop in a new direction, but there will be still the focus on spraycans, letters and graffiti swing, flow and flavour. I am not interested in graphik-design and streetart, so for me it’s no perspective to go in this direction. I dream about being 45 years old and painting a large wildstyle mural with a kind of style and complexity, you never seen before… but: we will see!
LECTRICS: Big shot ?
NOMAD: ¬†It took a long time to become what I am, it was a journey full of ups and downs. I would like to give a shout out to all the people who support me over the years and all the ones, who are on the same journey into the unknown galaxies of style: My oldskool boys PHAX, SKION, DEE-One, LANS, VILM, KHAN KID 7, especially TOE-One, my bavarian brothers TOWN and FASER, OG PLAK, LOGEK, FIEND, ALOIS, PRANK, UNOKS, my BASF crew, especially URNE, RISK, SEM and TROUBLE, my OBS homeboys, especially STEY, AROK, MADOK, of course EACH, EMIR, OLDI, DEAK and SHY 134, my Hamburg buddies RAMS, KICOE, ICE-G, VENIR, FABS, BTN Cru, the DSU and BK crew, my Berlin boys DRIK the villian and COP81, DJ Sick SENSE, BKEY, VENOM, and last but not least my mural partner ENTA-One.