What do you write?
Elex One, DAM, HRT, ROLE MODELS CREWS
What’s the background & history on DAM?
Well, DAM started in 1988 as DAE Crew: ‘De Artistic Empire’. Now we spell it De Artistic Mpire… The crew for the most part has stayed pretty consistant since it’s birth with both legal and illegal graffiti.
Which brands of paint did you use most frequently in the early years?
I used Krylon and Rust-Oleum for the most part and sometimes I would use Zynolyte, ‘Touche’.
Were there other brands besides Rusto and Krylon that you or your crew experimented with that you remember? How were the color choices? Coverage? Touche had a nice Grape and Burgundy, as well as a nice Aqua color, which was close to Krylon, Pastel Aqua. Spruce had a ‘Parrot Green’, which was real close to Krylon, ‘Jungle Green’. At the time we used whatever we could get our hands on.
Can you share a few good racking stories with us?
My racking experience consisted of a group of three of us going to Home Depot. One would steal something expensive, then take it back to the car, then the other homie would go back into the store and return the stolen item for store credit. We would come up nasty on paint when we did it like that! like 200-300 cans per store. We would do like 3 or 4 stores a day. I had homies that did some pretty wild shit as far as racking.
Any favorite old hardware/paint stores that you remember?
Home Depot, Builders Square, Ace Hardware, True Value, and Scottys Lumber as well as the good ol’ mom & pop spots that were my favorites.
So when did you decide to start saving cans to form a collection rather than tossing them?
I started collecting cans as soon as I noticed I could no longer find them at a store anymore. I usually would get at least 3-4 of the same color. You never knew when you would need just one more can to finish what you were doing.
What are some of your most treasured cans from your collection?
I have to say my most prized gems are my Krylon, Pineapple Yellow, Burnt Orange & Jungle Green notch tops – but I love them all ’cause they’re mine!!
Which brands/colors have proved the most difficult to find?
Well right now it’s pretty hard to find Krylon or Rusto’ with the male tips anywhere at all. These new tips are OK, but it’s not the same, at least to me it’s not.
In your own view, what was the best discontinued domestic paint, and why?
Krylon or Rusto’ for sure. They were just the shit man… You put a New York thin on that can and it was just like butter.
Any favorite old school color schemes?
Black and White to me is one of the best color schemes. That’s when you can tell a mother fucker has style! There’s no hiding behind fill-ins… You either got style or you don’t!!!
In the early days did you ever mix many of your own colors?
I never mixed colors – I was too lazy.
Do you spend a lot of time planning your color schemes?
Sometimes when we do a big production I do spend a lot of time thinking about my color scheme, but most of the time we usually make a theme with somebody choosing a color scheme.
Your nomination for worst paint ever?
Krylon, Living Color – Sucked BALLS!!!
Do you remember your first exposure to European paints like Belton or Montana? What was your reaction?
Yeah… It was when Loomit, Daim & Can2 came to Miami to paint! We bought ALL of their left over Belton! It was the new shit!
Current favorite brand for outlines?
Anything… It’s all in the wrist…
Some of your best painting experiences to date?
When I paint with my friends, the DAM Crew!
How do recent paint sessions compare with those from your early years?
The art and styles have evolved, but it’s good and bad at the same time…
Any current/future projects?
Art Basel 2011.
What do you think of CMC documenting paint history?
It’s awesome! It’s what we do… It’s like what it says on the company flow track… “Lune TNS if you don’t understand what this is about then it wasn’t made for you so fuck you!” It’s really cool that we have our own thing going. It’s like dudes that collect vinyl or comic books – It’s for us!
Any other comments/shouts?
Shout out to my brother from another mother – Threat, Def, Same, Abomb, Nemo, Doper, Freek, Big Scott, The Krylon Kid, Meal, and of course, the almighty DAM Crew!