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Innercity interview in English

Alot of people have been asking me about the recent interview I did for Innercity Magazine #23. The interview was only printed in French, so here is the interview in English!

The Soten interview, in English, from Innercity Magazine #23

Q: Present yourself, your crews?

A: I write Soten and I’m down with the SSH crew together with good friends like Boner, Velk, Kers, Past, Powel and Maes. I try to represent on all surfaces with everything from tags and t-ups over to burner pieces. I don’t discriminate!

Read the rest after the jump!

Q: Present yourself, your crews?

A: I write Soten and I’m down with the SSH crew together with good friends like Boner, Velk, Kers, Past, Powel and Maes. I try to represent on all surfaces with everything from tags and t-ups over to burner pieces. I don’t discriminate!

Q: How did you find your name? What does it mean for you?

A: My name came up pretty random because I liked the letters so the word doesn’t have any meaning. In the beginning it was without the E, but I ended up feeling my pieces needed some balance, so added that to the name. I think of my name a bit like if it was a brand, I like people think about style when they hear about it…

Q: How did you get into graffiti? What motivates you to do it?

A: I never found out why I got into graffiti, but it just happened through a friend that just had bought some magazines and a video. In the beginning I didn’t know what it was, I just thought it looked cool and was fun, so the first years was just random tagging here and there and inside the trains. Later on my friend stopped and I just kept on doing it, some years down the line in 2000 I meet Bates. He schooled me in the art of letters and passed on a great amount of knowledge, of course its a motivation and a honour to keep alive what was handed down to me.
Competition is also good motivation, I like to see other people dropping nice stuff and burn my ass, so I have to go out and do something even better. Then love for the whole thing is a motivation, what can be better to chill at a wall on a sunny day with the boys or walking home from a night action, see the slow sunrise and hear the birds sing?

Q: Tell me about your inspirations?

A: I was lucky to grow up in a time where Copenhagen still had alot of talented writers and I think each of them inspired me in some direction. But some of my main inspirations have for a long time been Bates and what he did through the 90´s, including the collabos he did together with Ken20 and Tiws. Also inspirations come from other Danish oldtimers like Swet, Toys Crew, Sabe and Pesto. Each one mentioned is still active in the scene, some even more than the average writer from todays generation, and after more than 20 years it’s a really big achievement and very inspirering in my mind.

Q: What’s most important about style?

A: First of all style is something that you build up over the years and that grows together with you through knowledge and personal development. It’s not just something that drops down from heaven in some magazine with the latest trends, so a bit of originality is the most important thing about style over all. Then comes the rest, like swing and classic elements which always can be defined in different ways depending on the person doing it.
As an example a guy like Sabe have this crazy way of breaking all the rules of style and at the same time still staying true to them and when you see the piece its burning like crazy.

Q: In Infamy or Stylewars, we see the mother’s opinion about graffiti, what about yours? How is it perceived by your family or friends?

A: In the beginning my mother, or lets just say my parents, was really worried about it because they didn’t really understand where it came from and why. Before graffiti I had never been in to any kind of trouble with the law or whatever, so especially the illegal part of graffiti and me getting busted in the first year as a toy, came as a surprise and was a little hard on them. These days I guess that they have learned to live with what I’m doing and accept my choice of lifestyle, although they think that now I’m just to old to go out at night or travel to other parts of the world just to fool around.

Q: What do you like to do when you don’t paint?

A: Graffiti takes up ALOT of my time, but when I don’t paint or do something related to it, I really enjoy listening to music, chill out and all the other stuff that regular people do.

Q: What do you think about the Danish scene?

A: Despite the fact that we had zero tolerance against graffiti the last ten years, with hardly any legal spots plus chances of going to jail for a long time and high fines for painting trains, we have a really active scene and new people are constantly joining the game.
The bad thing about the scene is that over the years subjects such as normal respect writers-in-between, respecting people that came before you, not biting, a throw-up goes over a tag, a piece goes over a throw-up and so on, have been forgotten and exchanged with brainless and primadonna attitudes that leads to constant beef within the scene and actually only hurt the whole movement from the inside.

Q: How are the politics there?

A: The old hardcore anti-graffiti politicians are gone and that have made it possible to get a few real legal spots, but we still have a rightwing goverment in Denmark which seems to be the way the whole world is going, politicians fill the people with fear, hate and lies everyday, it sometimes make me wonder about how the world will look like if it keeps going in this direction.

Q: We see you are linked with Molotow, do you travel a lot thanks to them?

A: My whole last year was one big travel more or less, thanks to Molotow, but my work and projects together with Molotow is based on so much more than travels and sponsored cans, its a long friendship with some really cool people that have showed me love and I only got love for them. It’s a company that dares to support some upcoming artist as myself and not only the big shots and its a connection that have brought me together with other cool artist like Mad C, Kacao 77, Dare RIP, Towns and many more and I have learned something from all of them.

Q: How do you see the French scene? Any writers you like or follow?

A: The French seem to have a strong scene with alot of cool writers in all the aspects of writing and i always enjoy to look at burners from friends like Ogre, Vision and Supe along side with his crew the FMK, also galactic styles from whole GT crew, weird stuff from Horfe, funny trains from Smole and nice bombing from Sonick and Gorey among others, is in my mind worth checking out.

Q: Any projects? Tours?

A: I already have two projects going on at Molotow, which you can see on the website . The first is about tagging and testing out all there different products for it. The other one is a project where I first do a canvas, then do it on a wall afterwards. Both projects is extremely fun and I have done them to try and push myself in different directions and not just to stay in the same lane. At moment I’m a part of a big graffiti team at something called the Roskilde Festival. The festival have over 100.000 visitors and the team consist of 30 different artist who is painting the whole area. Last, I’m just looking forward to travel the world and visit old and hopefully new friends.

Posted: 7. October 2010  Posted By: soten