Niche VTS interview

Can you introduce yourself for us?

My pretend name that I write on stuff is Niche VTS NR. It’s a bit weird saying my fake name, but whatever

Is it weird to say out loud?

Yeah, people don’t call me that, and I don’t talk about graffiti a lot either so it’s weird to talk about out loud. It’s not really a topic of conversation amongst my friends and myself, it’s just some thing that I do.

How’d you get introduced to graffiti? Where did it start?

Well back when it was big in the late eighties was when I started. Back in ’89 when I was a little kid in primary school a couple of kids from school showed it to me, and I discovered rap music and all that sort shit at the same time. It just kind of started from there. Maybe I have some compulsive tendencies or something because I’ve just stuck with it for this long.

Do you think there’s an OCD side to it?

For sure. I’ll sit there and make stickers for like four hours doing the same tag over and over non-stop and not even notice that the time has gone by.

Do you need that outlet?

I don’t know, as the years have gone by there’s time that I do a lot and times where I won’t do anything for weeks or months. It’s weird, the inspiration will come and go, and lately it’s been back. I’m busy with other shit now as well, I’m not a teenager anymore with infinite time to run around and do shit.

You’re from Melbourne originally right?

I grew up there, and I left when I was about twenty-one and went and lived in Ireland for a while and then moved back, then moved over here. So since 2000 I’ve only been there for a year and half or so. It’s been a while.

And you were painting with the 70K guys in Melbourne back then?

Pretty much the time that I lived in Melbourne was the time that that was all going on, so that short little period was the time that I was living there.

How did you get down with those guys?

Well I knew Stan, he travelled a lot so we actually met overseas. When I came back I didn’t really have any friends in Australia anymore, you know the people that I grew up with I didn’t really talk to anymore. So they were like the only guys that I knew, and we all just kind of came together as a group of people and somehow came up with a name for ourselves and started running around writing it on things. It all happened very fast and we were very productive, and well you know what happened after that.

During that time period in the early 2000?s when you were painting with 70K did you have any sense that it was all going to fall apart like that?

Eventually they’re going to come looking for you. When regular fucking pedestrian-ass people recognise the name, and know the name, that’s when they’re going to come looking. The city got pretty saturated with that name, so it was only really a matter of time. Plus, a couple of the guys did some things that I’m sure pissed the authorities off a lot and that probably didn’t help. But that’s par for the course, you can’t do this shit and not expect it. It’s only a matter of time before something happens.

 

Was that always the ambition? To be recognised on that level?

No. We were just a bunch of guys who liked hanging out together and it just happened that we all wrote graffiti as well. It wasn’t really a thing, like WUFC and SDK and MOA and those sort of guys all run around and their goal is to get that name really big, but for us it was just our group of friends.

Do you have any regrets from that time period?

No. Not really. I should have done more, I’m sure if I had of drank less I would have done more.

How much has your approach to graffiti changed since those days?

I still love it and it’s fun and everything, but I don’t sit there and look at pictures on the Internet all day and really nerd out on it anymore. I don’t follow it, like I don’t know what’s popular anymore. I know what some of my friends are doing, like a talk to Rime and he’s always off travelling and doing crazy shit. There’s so many paint companies and just weird shit, it’s like fucking pro-skateboarding or something. I don’t really keep up with any of that stuff, I’m out of the loop, and I don’t know what’s cool anymore.

 

Is that a conscious effort on your behalf though?

There’s just so much going on, where do you start? I wouldn’t even know what websites have graffiti that’s worth looking at. I might go on one or two blogs, or occasionally Tumblr but really unless it’s posted on fucking Instagram I’m probably not going to see it. I haven’t been to a shop that sells graffiti stuff for years. It’s not really a conscious thing, it’s just that I have other shit going on now. I’ll paint my stuff and if people think it’s cool, whatever. What people are doing now is just way beyond what I’m doing. I was looking at those guys like Vltraboys and those dudes, and what they’re doing is fucking crazy. I’m totally out of the loop on that, dudes are getting really technical and I’m not near doing anything like that. I still like simple graffiti.

What’s pushing you? Why do you keep painting?

Maybe I’ve just been doing it for so long, it just becomes like who I am or something? That sounds weird to say but I’ve done it for so fucking long it’s just like why stop? Guys like Twist and Os Gemeos are pretty old are still doing it, so I guess I can too. I used to think that the age would come where I was past it, but people stay younger older now so I think it’s okay to be in your thirties or forties and still write graffiti. And it’s still fun, so fuck it. It’s fun to walk around the streets with your friends and write your name on shit, that’s never going to stop being fun.

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