Kill Pretty: When did you first find out about graffiti?
PASER: I would go under bridges where I lived and see gang graffiti. I was an outcast type guy. I wanted to do something different. I found pitchforks and “666” type graffiti around ditches that were close to my house and it kind of intrigued me, “How’d that get there? Why is that there? What’s the point?” There was an old video game called Road Rash, I think it was an old motorcycle game. When you drove through the interstate in LA you would see graffiti on the sides of bridges in the game. I was always curious…it brought me back to crawling in the ditches. I wanted to dig deeper into it and found out there was a culture called, “graffiti.” It was with a spray paint can. You make a name for yourself and you spray it everywhere.
KP: What’s the Tennessee scene like?
PASER: Tennessee’s a southern state. It’s not a very large state. The cities are somewhat small. There was a crew, TM – Thoughts Manifested, when I was coming up. Crawling under the bridges,I would see them up and they were doing something different. I saw a lot of west coast stuff, east coast stuff in magazines and there was something about the southern work; Very abstract and their letterforms were very loose. It was very intriguing and I felt like it was something I wanted to move into and vibe off of. Not saying, by any means, that the south hasn’t caught influence from different parts of the world as far as graffiti. It just seemed that some of the southern writers were bringing something abstract to the table that I had never seen before.
KP: Why do you think Tennessee ended up being one of the major hubs for more artsy graffiti?
PASER: Because there’s not a lot of writers out here; wasn’t a certain style to grasp on to. You had to be really open minded to things and there wasn’t a certain letter structure that was formed in the south like there is in other parts of North America. Everybody had to just do their own thing and make their own letterforms and a lot of it ended up very abstract. It comes from JEKA, CODAK, REX2, w MESKO, PAKO, AUROCK , VERSE AND ZEW bunch of guys in Tennessee that just had a different letter structure. They definitely vibe off other parts of the country, but there was always something different about the way they presented their work, at least in my opinion.
KP: How did you get the name PASER?
PASER: I was writing a different word and I got arrested doing an 18-wheeler sitting off the interstate going towards Nashville. I took a couple of months off, tried to regroup and did some skating. Kinda hung out and did my thing for a bit to clear my head.I heard that my uncle had a pacemaker put in. His heart wasn’t up to par. Around that time I was trying to do a name change and I was thinking ….PASE…PASE… I always liked an “R” or a “K” at the end of any name. Just something to kick off, a little balancer if you will. So I just ended up with PASER and started doing handstyles with it. After that it was game over.
KP: I’m trying to imagine you thinking about a name when you have such abstract letters. Do you think about it differently than the average writer?
PASER: My mind’s so bizarre ,it’s all over the place. It’s not from some standard, “I’m doing the letter P" with a couple of bends and my dimension is going to the left.” It’s all over the place, the way my mind works and the way I want to paint my graffiti. The way I perceive my graffiti and my name. I want it to be something different. I don’t want to do things that have already been done. That’s something that I’ve always had imbedded in my mind. There’s a lot of tricks that have been done and there’s so many things you can do with a spray paint can. There’s no limitations, there’s no boundaries to what you can do with a spray paint can. There’s no graffiti rule book as much as a lot of folks want to think that there is, there’s really not. You can paint anyway you want to and make it a letter. I like to go with the flow of the surface I am painting. There’s not a straightforward process, it’s just the way that my hand moves at the time and the mood i am in.
KP: When you are imagining a piece are you thinking about the overall shape or are you just painting one part at a time?
PASER: It’s the overall look. It’s the overall design. It’s not, “Each letter has to have this bend. Each letter has to have this arrow. My “P” has to match my “R”, “I’ve got to have a kicker here.” It’s the way that the piece flows and the movement of it. I like people to look at my pieces and say, “There’s a bunch of movement. I can feel energy in the piece.” It’s not standing there like a sticker. I’m not, by any means, saying anything towards anyone’s graffiti. I catch a lot of influence, and respect so many writers that paint very clean, simple styles. I love all of it. I love all aspects of graffiti, but that’s not the process I go about. I paint a very different way and I really can’t describe it. It has a lot to do with depth and perception. The overall look of the piece, the flow and the motion. I don’t look at it as a graffiti piece. I look at it as an art form or an object that has movement and flow. I am inspired by earthly things. Nature and leaves falling off of trees, rocks and insects. As weird as that sounds, that’s how I look at my pieces. Different light sources, the way the sun is going to hit my piece and where I need to put my highlights and low lights. I really try and catch a vibe off all types of natural forms.
KP: What crews have you been in?
PASER: I was in a crew called UH – Urban Heroes. It a southern based crew but it’s moved around now. They’re doing their thing. I was also in a crew called LAWS – Life After Wild Style which was and still is a big influence on my work. Rest in peace LOSER. Those guys are awesome, I just moved in a different direction. I’d say I’ve found my home base with MFK, TM and CREATURES crew. I’ve got a huge brotherhood with those guys and we all have an abstract outlook towards our graffiti and keep each other very motivated to keep killing those boxcars! I found that we’re all on the same page. That’s a huge part of why I’m in these crews.
KP: Can you tell me the history of MFK?
PASER: It started in Muncie, India in 2003 with WRUCK41, FATIGUE, BERLIN ,MR. MARVEL and BOZAC. I linked up with those guys in 05 and they had moved elsewhere in Indiana and I ended up moving up there with them. We started to push it as much as we could traveling the midwest and slaying freights. Me and TIMBER linked up and really started vibing and painting a lot together. We were both into the same styles and both into the freight culture. We were all gunning for the rare cars. We would match back and forth. He was coming to Indy and or we all would head out his way. We wanted to do something different and wanted to make a staple stamp as a collective of very like minded writers on boxcars. We now have a couple young gunners in the crew that we are pleased to have and are pushing their own objectives.
KP: Who’s in the crew today?
PASER: WRUCK41, TIMBER, VELCRO, FATIGUE, VIDEO, SPUD, AVERT, EXAUST, WASP, LEVIS, JIGL, SNACK, and BOZAC.
KP: How did you ended up getting with TM crew?
PASER: I met AUDROK in 2004 and knew CODAK as he lived in the same city as I did. I went to Nashville and painted a wall with him and SAYSO who is not in TM but he’s a good friend. In 2011 I linked up with REX2 and PAKO. We painted a couple of walls and got some good cold beer drinking time in. Rex invited me to the 20 year ™ reunion to paint with the whole crew. We had a blast and that weekend I was official writing Thoughts Manifested. The rest is history…
KP: Was there any initiation?
PASER: We had a talk. I already knew what the crew was about and had the upmost respect for them and what they’d done for Tennessee. As far as art and graffiti goes I have always followed their work since I was a young buck. I kinda knew their mentality and what they were going for and it was something I was pushing as well. It just kind of all worked out. We all vibed off each other and being from the same state. It fit like a glove.
KP: Tell me about CREATURES crew.
PASER: The majority of them are out of Colorado with a sprinkle of others in various places. My guy Vogey, the founder, presented it to me. I thought about if for a bit and soaked it in and I thought that I would be a good addition to the brotherhood and style they are pushing. I was definitely feeling the crew’s abstract backgrounds, letters, and colors! Those guys really know how to crush some solid work with great effects. They were stoked on the stuff I was doing and I was into the stuff they were producing. It was a good fit. The crew has been around for a long time. I think since 2001 so it was an honor to be put down with their collective. Looking forward to some great work with those Creatures this year!
KP: How has your style evolved?