Found this while looking through dated versions of Tribal’s website on the Web Archive
How was it coming up in Albuquerque?
Coming up in Albuquerque was really fresh. Doc from LA, Agree from NY, and Stack from Seattle really shaped the scene. Albuquerque writers like myself came up around lots of dope styles. I feel like I was schooled well and was fortunate enough to come up in a town where paint was easy to get and there was an endless supply of good walls. We also had chill train yards and the cops weren’t really hip to graffiti like they are now. I have a lot of love for my roots in Albuquerque.
How long have been writing?
I’ve been writing for a little over 7 years.
Every once in a while I go through my old stacks of magazines and find a little gem. This one from T. DEE’s Under Cover magazine from the Nineties.
Here, he interviews KAWS at the age of 21
KAWS – STRAIGHT OUTTA JERSEY
KAWS HAS FOR A FEW YEARS NOW BEEN A PERSONAL FRIEND, AND AN EFFECTIVE PARTNER. BUT THAT’S NOT THE REASON WHY I WANTED TO DO A FEATURE ON HIM. I FEEL THAT HE HAS IN A SHORT TIME DEVELOPED A VERY INFLUENTIAL STYLE, AND HAS BECOME A VERY WELL RECOGNIZED WRITER. WHAT FOLLOWS IS AND INTERVIEW KAWS GAVE UNDER COVER ON FEBRUARY 25, 1995.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
Jersey City, New Jersey
WHAT’S THE SCENE LIKE THERE?
It’s very slow. There’s mostly just a bunch of kids that bomb. Not really doing that much as far as piecing. There’s not that many kids doing walls period. There’s a few kids here and there, but they come out like once a year. Besides the kids I paint with, that’s about it.
Jersey City is definitely a cool place to live. It’s kinda out of the spotlight, and rent’s cheap. (laughs)
J.C. is about 20 minutes away from Manhattan by train, and with no traffic a 5 minute car ride, and that’s pretty much where the scene is at. Most kids I paint with are there.
HOW, AND WHEN DID YOU GET STARTED?
I can credit Roger Gastman for first introducing me to Shepard Fairey. His magazine While You Were Sleeping was ahead of its time in all aspects of culture and taste (or lack thereof). I dug through my old stacks recently and decided to reproduce this great interview with Shepard Fairey from the 4th issue of WYWS. Long before Museum Retrospectives and Obama posters, Fairey was paying his dues just like every other artist.
From: While You Were Sleeping, Issue 4, 1998
Why Andre The Giant?
I saw his picture in the newspaper and saw it as something that I could show my friend how to cut a stencil. I was just amused by it and we decided to make it our inside joke, that it was going to be the new cool skate posse. It makes fun of the popular culture, but it is a popular culture phenomenon. It makes fun of consumerism but then I encourage people to buy a t-shirt because it funds me making more stickers. It was just a really funny memorable picture. He is an oddity. This was around 1989. We put the stickers around town. I thought it would just be a joke that lasted a few weeks. I made the original sticker with a ball point pen and a photo copy machine. For some reason people kept asking where that sticker came from. They wanted to know if it was a band, a cult or what? I was even in the line at the super market and heard people talking about. That’s when the plan started to unfold. The more you put out there, the more people are going to think it means something important. It was just something funny to do. The local indie paper had a contest that anyone who writes in and says what the Andre the Giant sticker campaign was really about would win tickets to a show. This was going on in Providence, Rhode Island. I had a few friends who were doing it for me in their cities.
I was even in the line at the super market and heard people talking about. That’s when the plan started to unfold. The more you put out there, the more people are going to think it means something important.
You don’t have a sick fascination with giants?
Not at all. It’s just the power of propaganda.