Interview of Rock from the crew ADK done by the website Gossip graffiti.
Quick intro in a few lines (Name, Crews…)
I started tagging when i was 12 years old, under the name “Aser” with my friends from school. Our Crew was “4CT”, a name we picked after the book “Paris Tonkar” and the group that made it, the “4AD” crew. We were very much influenced by the book, the likes of “Bando”, “Mode2″ etc… When you’re a kid, you’re easily influenced, and we were no exception to the rule. Drawing the exact same letters as “Dea”, “Nasty” and everyone else we had access to.
When i turned 15, i moved back to Paris from the south of France where i was then, and started with another name: “BOWEN”, which was my older brother’s first graffiti name. At that time, i was spending every afternoon tagging the insides of the subway with “Acroz”, a little nervous kid that didn’t get all that lucky in the graffiti thing. The day before i turned 17, the vandal squad showed up at my house at 6 in the morning. It calmed me down for a bit, I gave up the whole thing for about a year or so, then, at 18, I moved in my first apartment with my best friend. At that point, shit had to go down. I was back in business. I picked up a new name “ROCK” as i wanted something very common, anonymous, a clear change from my last name and style, a new beginning. No more tagging the train interiors, my first target was a subway tunnel between Saint Lazare and Liege, by myself, during traffic. It was in 1998. Not long after that, i got in touch with “DONAS” who used to be in my high school, and who had found out “BOW” and “ROCK” was the same person. We started painting lots of tunnels together, and after a bit, they asked me to join the crew “ADK”.
Why the name ROCK? Is it related to the music and the rebellious connotation of it?
A little about the music i guess, I was already collecting records then, even if it was more Rap than anything else, but mostly because i wanted a boring, anonymous tag so i could try to prove myself by my actions, by the quantity more than by the originality of my name. Also, i have to admit that the letters were easy to me. Note that i’ve never painted a single parisian subway under that name…
Never painted a subway under your name…Why? Paranoia? Being discreet? Almost everyone uses undercover names, but never using your own, it’s very rare…
As i said before, “Rock” was a very common, boring name. I liked the letters, yes, but i also knew that the name had been used in the past and will be used in the future and i had no issues with that. Never using my name on subways was partly due to my past experiences with the vandal squad, and there was no way i was gonna go down that path once more, but it was also due to my state of mind at that time. Being recognized by the very few that were doing the job, fine, but i liked better the mysterious aspect of it, i liked better that no one would really know what i was doing exactly, and how much i was painting. It wasn’t about getting famous, never. The rush of the action, the adrenalin of the moment, that was it for me. All that mattered.
ADK, in my opinion, is a very vandal driven crew. Lots of tunnels, stations, subways, trains…Who was the leader? who was bringing everyone together ?
ADK has a long history and lots of members. What the new generation sees of the group is just the tip of the iceberg really. The group was started in 1987, et there has been a few generations of writers. To these days, I’m not aware of everyone that was part of it. I believe every generation had their leaders, of course, “NOISE”, who was the founder, then lots of others like “THER”, who was a very productive one in the mid/end 90′s, “MULDEE” who was pushing for more tunnels, myself for a minute when it comes to subways, and of course “MIER”…But it has to be said that all crew members were important somehow and brought a lot to the group. We had great thieves, drug addicts, stylers, vandals. All good friends, even if there was different teams within the crew, with different focus, different interests.
Read the full interview after the jump