What do you write and who are you down with?
Hey people! I write Seez One and I proudly rep the following crews: Xmen, IBM, BT, AK, MOD, TBK, TST, CIA, 7DS, DOG, CB5.
Which brands of paint did you use most frequently in the early years and why?
The paint that was most available to me was Krylon, or Supreme Quality Red Devils only because I had a hardware store directly across the street from my building that had those particular brands at a five finger discount reach! Back in the day it had nothing to do with preference, it had all to do with whatever you could get your hands on.
^Seez, (far left), unkown yard mission circa late 80s.
Besides Rusto and Krylon, what other brands did you or other members of TC5 really like and use a lot?
I would have to say Wet Looks and Supreme Quality Red Devils. Hell we even used floral paints back then.
Thoughts on Zynolyte Epoxy?
The only Epoxys that I would ever use back in the day, and that I would reccommend, would be the Avocado. I just liked the way it felt, you know? I mean I like the way it laid down, it was like the perfect green you know? It had that military type of blend that you could mix with like Jungle Green… and get something like that cool-ass FBA style out of it you know? Something like a little bit of Jungle Green just set it off.
^Seez, ‘Ann’ panel 1989. Photo: William ‘Nic One’ Green, Foto Kings. “Remember these colors like it was yesterday!”
Fill: Krylon, Pastel Aqua. Designs: Krylon, Jungle Green. Red Devil Supreme Quality, Chinese Red. Outline: Krylon, True Blue.
^Iz, TMB and Seez, X-men.
Can you share any good racking stories with us?
I remember one time in Brooklyn I was racking in one of my favorite spots. The reason I say it was one of my fav’s was because no one but me and one other person knew about it. I wanted to work on getting stocked up and went in there. Now when I got in there it was business as usual and I had about 6 cans in my army jacket. I had the drawstring tied up inside so I could just shove the cans in my jacket. So after I was ready to leave the owner meets me in the front grabbing my arm telling me; “Alright son hand them over!” So I said; “Ok…” As soon as he let go of my arm, (big mistake on his part), I hauled ass through that door like a bat outta hell! Needless to say the 360 fan tip spot was history from that day on. Shame, cause they had a nice array of Rusto and Red Devil.
Any favorite old hardware/paint stores that you remember?
My favorite rack spots were paint stores on 13th ave in Brooklyn as well as Home Depot and random mom & pop hardware stores.
There was this one store… I want to say it was in Brooklyn, actually it was in downtown Brooklyn to be exact. I’m gonna say it was off Atlantic Avenue or Flatbush Avenue around that area. I honestly don’t remember the name of the store, my memory is hazy because, well, those days were just hazy! lol. Anyway the guy was like; “Yeah, we’ve got some old paint in the basement.” So the guy told us to go down to the basement and take what we wanted you know for like a quarter or fifty cents something like that and we thought we were gonna end up with like one… or two… goodies you know? DUDE! He had old Sparvars, he had old Epoxys, he had Wet Looks, he had Krylon, he had Rustos and we were like; “Whaaat?!” Literally the cans were like thrown all over the freakin’ floor! We were just like; “I want this one, I want this one, I want this one!” I mean, oh my god…
Man… we used to have so many nice mom & pop stores down in our neighborhood it wasn’t even funny dude. This one place… Coleman’s was literally across the street from where I lived. It was so great because they had stacks upon stacks of Red Devil, Rusto, and Krylon! I mean all the Cascade Green big faces I used to have ALL came from there. It’s long gone now.
Also I ended up getting a Krylon, Hot Raspberry from there! I wound up showing it to Lee Quinones… and his mouth was like! I remember because right when I got it, I mean can collecting wasn’t such a big deal at that time ’cause it was still in the 80s… but when he saw it, ’cause it was still a rare color back at that time. He was actually working on a canvas for a show at Henry Chalfont’s place, and he was like; “Yo, Seez how you doin’ man?” and I had my backpack and was like; “Yo, look what I got!” and he’s like; “Yo, what? What you got?” and I just showed him the cap, and he’s like;”Nooo!” lol. He was like “I’ll give you a hundred bucks for it!” and I was like; “No my brother you’re gonna have to get your own!”
If you had to choose between Krylon & Rust-Oleum in their hey day?
Personally I’d have to say Krylon because of its extensive color palette.
Do you collect vintage cans, or do you still have a stash set aside that gets worked into your walls from time to time?
Unfortunately I no longer have my collection but I’d love to start one again.
Back when… would you travel far to find a spot, or did you have plenty of access to stores nearby?
I had easy access to all 5 boroughs, plus I never paid for a train ride, so yes, I travelled all over to get good rack spots all the time.
In your own view, what was the best discontinued domestic paint, and why?
I feel that Krylon made a huge mistake by switching to the 360 fan tip. But other than that I wish that Wet Look was still around only because of the cool colors. It was all about colors for me, even back then.
What were some of your favorite old school color schemes?
Usually all greens with a Krylon, Icy Grape outline. My all time fav’ was Krylon, Baby Blue blended with Pastel Yellow, a Plum outline and Hot Pink izms & bits.
Thoughts on Wet Looks or Wet Paints?
They had amazing can designs, but from what I distinctly remember not too many people were crazy about them because they tended to be watery. I mean, we had them you know? We made with what we had. Laying it down though… I didn’t like it too much. I mean I remember using Loving Purple and Mad About Pink, like if I was gonna do like “apples” or different types of fruity looking blends. You know I mean you just made it work, like just hints of it here and there. Today they would be considered more like transparents you know? You had to build it up. You couldn’t just lay it on there and expect it not to run.
Do you remember your first exposure to European paints like Belton or Montana? What was your reaction?
My first reaction to European paint was “Wow.” If we’d have had this back then we would have been killin it even more than we did. I mean come on… imagine Lee with Euro paint. The man had sick can control to begin with.
Your best painting experience so far?
This would have to be when all the TC5 Crew and myself killed Tilden High School in Brooklyn. This was before it became the Brooklyn Hall Of Fame. That was a memorable night for me because all my fam was there reppin’ strong. We’re talking about Web One, Staf 27, Doc, Doze, Poke, Beam etc. It was awesome that night… good times people.
When Doze did the ‘Omega’ piece it was in a particular order. From left to right it was Skate, Beam, myself, Doom (by Web), Arab (by Doc), and Omega (by Doze). Now the thing with Doze’s piece was that he used a lot of floral paint in that piece. Now I’m sure you know… floral paint was the way to go back then for odd colors, you know? I mean we were even racking up in floral shops dude! There’s a lot of things that people didn’t know back in the day like a lot of people were actually taking those little extended cans of self spray enamel, and custom making their own colors and doing like masterpieces with that stuff. At that time I’m gonna say they were using a lot more enamel. They were diluting it and layering brush enamel on enamel, ’cause you know like water-based wouldn’t actually hold.
The same thing with floral paint. You had to give it a base and then had to work with it like a mist, like a little haze if you want a hint of this or that. There were just so many tricks that we used to have back in the days it wasn’t even funny. The new generation doesn’t understand just how easy they have it.
^Seez, ‘Ann’ panel 1989. Photo: William ‘Nic One’ Green, Foto Kings.
So thoughts on Red Devil?
I’ve always liked Supreme Quality Red Devil. The only bad thing about it was that basically in the winter they got clogged, I mean they would get clogged beyond belief. The last Supreme Red Devil can that I actually owned was a Pink, and I let it set for a little bit, I mean I was actually getting silly string. I tell you though… the coverage on the Supreme Quality Red Devil was off the chain!
Yeah, like people say the stock cap that was on the Devils was good too, like it was ready-to-go material?
Yeah. Just the stock cap. Like if you got your hands on a nice Black, I mean man…
And so Krylon, Hot Raspberry was rare even then… and Icy Grape… Did you come across Icy Grape too?
Um yeah, Icy Grape… that was like Web’s color. That was Web’s favorite freaking color man! I know at the time of Tilden High School he had Icy Grape in his possesion. I had the Hot Raspberry and he had the Icy Grape, he also had the Harbor Blues, he had the Cascade Greens, and Baby Pinks… Also he had a lot of Wet Looks and Wet Paints.
Man I’ve been doing this thing of ours for 34 years and I’m still in the mix grinding and trying to do my thing just for the love of what I do, but yeah I’ve always got things going on. Stay tuned… lol.
Why is it important to document spray paint history?
Back then there was really no such thing as paint sessions. It was considered just getting down with your crew or crews that got along with each other, but now it’s become this worldwide melting pot of styles and techniques. In all honesty the essence of what we did back in the day has gotten diluted and people just don’t understand why we did what we did. It’s good that the craft is still evolving but you should always remember your history.
I think what CMC is doing is dope and more people should go into this site and learn that we didn’t have it as easy then as the new generation does with low pressure paint, specialty caps and such. We worked hard to get where we are. This page shows the true essence of what we did back then.
I’d like to shout out my boys: Tatu and the whole XMEN crew worldwide. Staf 27, Doc, Beam, Doze, Poke, Sen one, Pase, Jew and my BT fam Zear One IBM, XMEN, Epic IBM, Smog one, Flik, Know 7, Grae, Wie, Teck, TBK Posse, my Brooklyn Modeeee Pose, Aerosol Kings Crew, Nic One, Fume, Zulu Kings Chapt. 50 and everyone else out there that was part and is part of my graff journey… Love, Peace, and chicken grease… Out!