Zone WST interview

November 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm


Zone WST has been painting for a while now, I’m sure you’ve seen his graffiti in a magazine or on the internet by now, he’s just known. When I had a chance to meet Zone in Las Vegas and ask him if he would be down to do an interview for Neighborhood Love, he was really cool, and just mellow and easy to deal with. That was nice in a sport where there is always a lot of ego flying around. I personally think Zone has mixed an old classic graffiti look, with a modern wildstyle with his hooks, bars, arrows and extensions. His graft it a blend of both, looking super clean, sharp and colors looking crisp at all times. I chose the first pic, because it too looks classic to me, a tribute to where it all started, you’re first spot you pieced in some abandon house, or dingy back alley or remote train or metro track somewhere. I’m feeling this first pic and hope you are too. Now read as we chop it up with Zone WST!


Neighborhood Love: 

What Neighborhood did you grow up in and what neighborhood do you represent or live in now?


I grew up in Spring Valley, an East San Diego neighborhood. Back in the early to late 80’s Spring Valley was a hotbed of Graffiti. Probably the highest concentration of writers were active in that part of the city during that time period. I believe it was due to the presence of the “2” and “5” yards, both in Spring Valley that Taze AKA Sake  and his crew were painting along with a bunch of other spots in the valley. Things were happening there, and with the Spring Valley Swap meet providing a rack spot for paint, all the pieces were in place for the seeds of graffiti to flourish. I was a young toy just taking it all in for the first couple years, until I finally  stepped into the arena in 1986. I think the heavy competition between all the writers really made us stronger as a group.Nowadays, I’m way out in the burbs with my family Just North of San Diego, but  me and my work will always be a reflection of the environment I came up in, and that was Spring Valley/San Diego.
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2. How did you first get into the graffiti game? Who were your early influences?
 I became obsessed with Graffiti when the early 80’s Hip Hop Explosion reached the West Coast. I read everything I could get my hands on written about hip hop and or graffiti at the time. Steven Hagar’s book “Hip-Hop” with the Phase2 evolution of style illustrations were a huge influence on me, and then seeing Pioneers in my own city like Sake and Quazar putting it down, really motivated me.
3. I see wst as being a staple in Southern California graffiti and especially in San Diego graffiti, can you tell some history about your crew?
Yea, I formed WST in 1992 with the first member besides myself being Zodak and then soon after Dazeroc, Izze, and Sase. By that time most of us had 8 or nine years of writing under our belt, but at the time, we didn’t all fall under one umbrella due to old crew politics. In 92 the tag-banging trend was in full force, and crews were letting in hordes of toys just to help them handle all the  beef. We wanted to start a new long lasting crew based strictly on style and skill and concentrate strictly on good on graffiti.   Over the past few years the crew has grown a little bit but we remain small and pretty tight knit.
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4. I see you got down with MCI and also Lords crew, can you tell us how that happened?
In the early 2000’s Style and Wesk from Lords were going to college in San Diego me and my partner Dazeroc were constantly painting the same yards in San Diego for a couple years but we just never met up until maybe 04.  Me and Style kinda clicked after finally meeting and we started teaming up on missions. In 06 Bizr, Quake, Topr and others from Lords came down to paint a production, and they officially put me on. Something I’ll always be honored by.
Me and Duel were in the Marine Corps together and naturally we partnered up on some things and he put me on MCI along with me putting him in WST.
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5. I know you’ve been around for a minute,so can you tell us some your favorite cities that you’ve painted in?
 That’s tough, so many great places to paint. Perth Australia tops the list with Stormie MSK hooking it up. One mission to the bay with Quake, I need to do that again ASAP. When I lived down South for a short time painting in Durham NC with Woem was dope and the ATL with partner Perve, usually too hung over to get much accomplished.Oh almost forgot a fun ass mission painting freights in Savannah GA getting killed by mosquitos with Isto TCI… I think its more the partners your painting with, than the city itself. Corpus Cristy TX showed us a lot of love last year too. Albuquerque AKA The Burque is always fun painting and Cruising with Pesa WST in his 64 Impala drop top.
6. I know graffiti started it was more of an underground culture. Did you ever imagine it getting to the point of where it is now, and how do you feel about it?
Its funny after all this time of graffiti fighting to be accepted, now that it somewhat is, I’m not really feeling it..I don’t see anything to be gained by complaining about “how things were back in my day” though… I think the best thing to do is try to instill some of those old traditional values by showing and proving..More of us old dudes need to stay active even if its part time. Lead by example.
I Like that answer a lot homie, its good to hear people saying to put it on the walls, not talk it to death!
7. Can you name some graph writers or maybe just styles that you are feeling these days?
There’s a lot of good quality graffiti being produced these days. Some of my Fave right now would have to be  Wand and Kebs up in the bay, Bacon and Kwest up North both kill it. Serval and Reys..I like those good ol’ fashioned NYC Graffiti letterforms man. Serve FBA in NYC is has always been a favorite…Dash TC5, Ces TMT.. You get the idea.
8. I personally see a lot of old hip-hop elements still in your graffiti as with your characters, do you feel that graffiti and hip-hop still go hand-in-hand,or have the kind of gone their separate ways in some sense? I’m just asking your opinion there’s no right or wrong on that, everyone has their different opinions I think.
Everyone has their own reason or motivation for doing graffiti. Me personally, Hip Hop is what I’m into, it’s the era I’m from, and what inspires me, so naturally that what’s going to shine through in my work.  But I’m not a hardliner who’s going to dismiss someone else work because its “not hip hop enough”…I’m more about looking at your letter structure,  and making sure that shit is on point and correct. Your letters gotta be good and solid, I don’t care what type of music you’re into or if you are a B-Boy or not.
9. Do you have any upcoming plans or projects that you’d like to put some shine on?
Yea for sure..You’ll be the first to hear this one..In 2015 I’m putting out 100 pieces or die trying. Let’s see if this old guy can get it done. I’ll be blogging my progress throughout the year as I work towards that goal. Should be interesting. I hope I don’t run outta spots and or paint.
10 I would like to say a big thank you and respect to you from neighborhood love! Thank you for taking the time to chop it up with us, and last is there any shout out you’d like to give?
Peace to the Wild Style Technicians, Zodak, Sase, Daze, Izze, Sake, Arest150, Pesa, Slon, Sphere, Perve Duel, Stae2, and Vern, Lords Crew Master Criminals Inc, and Original Styles in the 505. And of course Else Oner for giving me the opportunity to do this interview, thanks homie.

you can find Zone on histogram here @zone1wst, give him a follow for sure.

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