More park footage?!? Really getting sick of it but the parks in the city are just to smooth and full of homies not to shoot something in them. Anyway enjoy some newer edits from around Toronto’s parks. Having pushed around skate parks far too often recently, We need to get back to the fundementals of true skateboarding, the streets. Pushing through traffic and moving around the city the way people who have decided to walk could only dream of doing. Streets video in the works.
The weather sure is heating up quickly, so getting outside is the only option. Been skating park alot recently as I have become slightly disillusioned with hunting and being chased out of spots in the streets. Plus transition is so much easier on your body and these old joints appreciate that consideration. Here are a few edits from some of the cities skatepark as of late, hope you enjoy – now get outside.
Been a while since I’ve seen FRENS in the flesh, but I’ve been able to keep up with his recent work and pursuits via the interweb, so I decided to do a mini interview with him to get a little more info for you graffiti heads out there, as well as a montage of some of my favourite hits of his. Enjoy -
1.Whats good FRENS? What you up to right now?
- Just cookin up some steaks at the moment roasted patatoes and some bread and butter! A healthy lunch if you ask me. the heats comin down a alittle more so things are gettin slippery these days.
2.Give us a little background information about yourself: where did you grow up and who got you into writing?
- I grew up on the east side of Toronto. I moved there from a land far far away and ended up getting to know the people there through skateboarding. I think thats the most cliche thing about people that do graffiti but that’s how it went. The older homies i skated with were into graffiti and I always wanted to know what that rush felt like i guess. At one point i guess i kind of weighed my options of what i wanted to persue more in my life and ended up dropping skating for the most part.
3.Why FRENS? Is there a story behind that name?
- The name doesn’t really have any significance. It originally started with FRENCH. I was looking for the MF DOOM mask on the internet one day to try and draw it. I had a girlfriend at the time that was in my head pretty hard so as I’m flipping through the google pages something pink caught my eye! Love Alert! BOOOM! It ended up being a funky piece that read” If the English fuck, the French Kiss.” I always had paper and pens around so i kept writing french kiss over and over fantasizing about my next encounter with my girl i guess! So i started with French. Just tagging really. Eventually it got alittle confusing because people would come up to me saying “Ahhhh your french!” Seeing as how i dont speak a word of french i just kept saying no. The CH combo I wasn’t really feeling too much and i wanted 5 letters for the balance so i dropped it and put an S. Frens was Born!
4. How would you describe your style?
- I don’t think i really have a certain style. I try to stay away from the regular Old School New York style with a ton of extensions and the same old arrows most people seem to use. I’m still pretty early in my addiction as well so i think it’s just constantly evolving a little. These days alot of people seem to get trapped in one style because it’s the “safe” and “accepted” style, which i find a little boring so i try to do something different everytime. It doesn’t always turn out how I’d like but i think thats all part of the learning curve.
5. I see flicks of some pretty high spots, is visibility important to you? What about legibility? Any crazy stories about crazy spots? - I think the only reason people bomb is for visibilty. High spots i find feel the best you get to do some spiderman high adrenaline shit and most people wonder how the fuck someone gets up there. In the street i think it’s important that its really legible because at the end of the day i’d like all people to be able to read it, not just people from the scene. A few people here have really influenced me to do that more.
One story i thought was really funny was one night when i came back from a club with some friends around 5 am or something and i ended up hopping up on this rooftop to paint both sides. The drunkeness didnt really help that time because before i knew it 2 police cars start rippin towards me and park at the bottom screaming shit up. Thats when Ninja Mode kicked in! I ended up climbing up higher on some shitty little fence and into some backyard patio kind of area. hopping from balcony to balcony with plastic shitt breaking and falling everywhere. Pure Balance. Climing up higher onto the next level, stacking chairs on tables and shit and eventually just duckin behind a planter that blocked me from the apartment and i was hidden from the view below. Next thing i knew i wake up and the sun is up in the middle of the sky, I’m soaked because some electronic sprinkles been watering the planter i was sleeping behind. I looked back to where i came from and there was my path of destruction with people awake and buzzing around so i couldnt really go back to where i came from. I figured the best way to get out was go through the apartment so i check that door, slides open and there was serious renovation going on with no one around and i didnt end up finding a door out so i went back out, hop over to the next one and do the same. Shoes and bottles all over the place and as I’m headin through the living room this woman walks into the room, stares at me and goes .” hello….” So at this point im getting alittle sketch because she was so calm and i gave her some story about dude upstairs having a party last night and i got locked out and hopped down. She didnt buy any of it so i ended up telling her the true story followed by an akward silence as we’re standing in the living room. ” You’re lucky my husband isn’t home” she says and she ended up showing me the front door! Walking home, soaked and still buzzed i couldnt wrap my head around what just happened…
6. How is the current graffiti scene where your living now?
- The Barcelona scene is really cool. Alot of cool people here and things are pretty active. Theres alot of tourist that come through so theres some new flavor all the time. The locals don’t deal too well with new people coming in and crushing the city so theres beef every once in awhile but thats fun as well. People seem to think things are easy to paint because in videos from 5 years ago or so you see them painting during the day. Shits a little bit different now and you got 3 different police forces patroling the streets so theres about as many cops running around as i’ve ever seen in any city. The spanish way of life is pretty relaxed so when you get caught nothing serious happens. Some fines or you spend a night and do some community service. If your lucky they don’t show up to court and you sign and say good bye! It’s a nice playground but barcelona can suck you in and spit you out in pieces of you don’t treat it with care.
7. What other writers styles inspire you?
- Europe has some nice flavor which has influenced me alot in the past year or 2. NIMEK GFM Crew is the straight letter Street crusher who influenced me to keep things a little bit more simple. METAL36 is always up for Tags and drippy goodness at any time of the day. REKO GBAK Crew brings the Notch on the Pieces and fuels the fire with insults to push a homie ahead! SMASH137 always pushes the boundaries in a new direction which i find really interesting. CYRUS from BLOW Crew has caught my eye lately with serious freshness in style and color selection. The list goes on and theres probably 100 other people but for now thats whats up.
8. Whats your favourite medium for writing? And whats your favourtie stuff to hit?
- My favorite medium would be nice drippy mops or a Pink dot for a nice BOOOMMM. In the spot and no one can miss it. Needle caps are very cool too for really small tags or really big ones as well. Anything that leaves mark really. If theres no markers around then a key will do to leave a mark. Piss in the sand to leave a mark or use your ketchup to write it. Whatever works really. My favortie thing to see is trucks. Theres no better feeling then sitting on a patio with a cold beer and some nachos and a truck drives by with your piece on it! And glass and brick and metal and concrete and steel and so on.
9. What does the future hold for FRENS? Do you see yourself writing 10 years from now?
- The future holds a lot more traveling. All around Europe. The world really at some point. More painting. Alot bigger. Alot higher and alot faster. Improve everything and add alot more flavor into my own direction. One step at a time at a steady pace. 10 years from now? Paint for life would be the cool thing to say but at the end of the day we don’t know what tomorrow brings so I can’t really say. Ideally yes.
A 35 second edit from Ashbridges Bay featuring Tanner Grisbrook and Blake Saye, as well a some footage from the first Old Mans Bowl Jam at East York skatepark, featuring Everett Maclean, Nick Pierre, Kyle Troll, Andrew Davidson, Matty Mo, and myself.
Get Ready. For what he’s bout to do. Lionel and I have been creating tracks under the moniker of “Thudercats” over the past couple of years, and for a couple of drunkards, I think a few of them sound pretty damn good. Lionel deserves all the credit for this track, and damn is it catchy. I like the song so much I made him play it numerous times for me while i shot some clips, the result of which being this little video. Expect a couple more of these over the next few weeks. Hope it encourages you to go out and make something. Something that makes you feel good. Reel good.
So the website is back up and running after a long hiatus, and as I master the techniques of HTML wizardry, things will start rolling up fast. So keep checking back regularly for new videos, music, interviews, photography, and all the other things that make us feel reel good. I know it doesn’t look like much now but I’m gonna make this page a priority for a while so things will change quick. Its gettin red. More fire.