What do you write and who are you down with?
DILK. Crews: Anti Drip (Sunk, Neas, Soviet, Garcon), FHJ (Sunk, Musa, Flai, Cry)
Which brands of paint did you use most frequently in the early years and why?
Car Plan, Dupli-Color, Spectra Chrome, and Smoothrite paints. These were the most easy and common paints to get.
These paints seemed good at the time and you mastered them, because there was nothing to compare them to.
^Dilk – Painted with the Sabcat Crew, Hong Kong 2012.
^Dilk – MUSA Birthday gift, Nottingham UK 2011.
When did you open the Montana store and what brands do you sell?
We started the store in 2002. My friend Ziml came up with the name ‘COVERAGE’. At this time, we were one of the first Graffiti stores in the UK. (It was) a very different time than now, where it seems extremely fashionable to sell cans. In Coverage, we sold Montana Colors and Molotow and a few smaller brands now and again. In 2008, after some talks with our good friends in Barcelona, we decided to open the first official Montana Colors Store in the UK (Nottingham).
Do you collect vintage cans, and do you still have a stash set aside that gets worked into your walls from time to time?
Yes. I collect vintage cans and have a small collection of US brands and a bigger collection of European brands. I’m also collecting brands currently available from all around the world. I’m not using any of these cans at my work at the moment, but as I’m getting older I have more of a feeling to use them.
^Me and my friend Hols found this store in Brussels, Belgium in 1992. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we got inside… We got all the Buntlack and Krylon! The French Krylon had paper labels which we ripped off to find the original USA Krylon cans underneath! I still have Hot Pink and Mauve from this trip…
^The early days. Dilk – ‘Very Mad’ 1986. Painted with mostly Dupli-Color and CarPlan.
How long has it taken to build that sick Buntlack collection!?
Started using (Marabu) Buntlack around 1990, I had a couple of cans and made them last for many pieces. Around this time I was given a color chart and dreamt of getting all the colors, so started picking them up from wherever I could: UK, Holland, Paris, and Germany.
What do you remember most about Buntlack?
The color choice, because we were starved of pinks, lilacs, and purples in the UK, and that it covered in one coat and it was talked about by more established writers, and it seemed impossible to find. If you knew anyone with a can, they would cherish it and use sparingly on a number of pieces. And also, I remember once coming home to find some of my Buntlack was empty, because my mum choose to spray the garden gnomes with them…… not joking…..
^Dilk – Hong Kong, 2012 – One for Cap Matches Color!!
^Dilk – Madrid 2008.
Which European brands or colors proved the most difficult to find during the early years?
All European paint was hard to get hold of and require a trip overseas. Mainly trips were to Holland to pick up Sparvar, Belton, RAL, and Belton Deco spray– one of my all time favorite can designs.
In your own view, what was the best discontinued domestic UK paint, and why?
Probably the same as a lot of UK writers, (Finnegan’s) Smoothrite will always be close to our hearts. It always stood out back then, although limited in colors it covered so well and was perfect for outlines.
^Dilk with Cren on a super cold day in Berlin, 2012.
Any favorite old school UK colors?
Not so much. Just tried to use what covered best and make the most of it…. olympic blue, peppermint green, and later rainbow blue spring to mind.
Did you ever mix many of your own colors?
Not really, tried a few times but never enjoyed it. It just made a mess of me and my bedroom at the time.
The worst paint you ever used?
It’s really hard to say after using a lot of really poor quality paint over the years. But I think if we talk about today, I really don’t like these cheap brands getting produced in China with companies with no history in graffiti.
D’you remember your first exposure to European paints like Belton or Montana? What was your reaction?
Montana was in 1995. I was writing to many people and trading photos. I was in contact with Mookie from Barcelona and after seeing all the fresh stuff that was happening out there, we got the train from the UK to Barcelona (me, Omen and Sunk). We could not believe these Montana Colors covered with one coat on bare brick. This was impossible back then. We threw away our clothes to make room in our bags to bring more cans home.
^Dilk – Nottingham UK 2010.
^Dilk – Sevilla, Spain 2009.
Current favorite brand for outline work?
Montana Hardcore as been my favorite for many years. I love the power, speed, and sharp lines this can gives with its stock cap.
Do you still use domestic paint in your work today?
No. I only work with MTN because I have mastered these cans, and I can rely on them and don’t want to waste time on other paint that doesn’t give me the desired result.
Some of your best painting experiences to date?
This is the hardest question of them all. Over the last 26 years, I’ve had just too many great times. I don’t know where to start….painting on the beach in Rio, Graff-Con in Mexico 1999, the early trips to Holland. The time before the internet tracking down pieces in the flesh here in Nottingham…. receiving photos from all over the world in the post. Meeting so many cool and crazy people and making friendships that will last a lifetime. I would like to make a book……
^Dilk – Leicester UK 2011.
Your thoughts on CMC documenting paint history?
I think it’s great what you guys have been doing. I love graffiti and its tools of the trade, so it’s great to see photos of people dedication to collecting cans. Keep up the good work and many thanks for letting me do this interview for you.
Any other comment or shouts?
Keep painting for yourself. Thanks to all the great people I’ve met, painted with, and shared time with. So many that I don’t want to list in fear of not putting you down — true friends!