Wassup man! Thanks again for taking the time to do this interview. To start things out can you introduce yourself, what you write, where you’re from, and what crews you rep?
I write Sker from HNR Crew and I’m from Stockton California.
I’ve been to around 20 different countries ranging from East Asia, Central and East Europe, and Central/South America. Some of my Favorite countries are Vietnam, Colombia, and Ecuador. I have so many places and locations saved around the world that I want to travel too but unfortunately traveling is expensive. As of now, I will be sticking to South America.
You seem to put heavy priority on lurking and exploring new spots, tunnels, bandos, and everything under the sun. But from your page, I can see tunnels are the most popular. What exactly draws you to painting and exploring spots like that?
If you’ve been in this game for a while you’ve probably painted every kind of surface. Exploring bandos and climbing to the top of something is an amazing feeling, But a good amount of the spots I paint are tunnels. A big reason is because of longevity. I know that most likely Whatever I paint is going to last. unless someone goes over it, being the city or another writer which is quite rare. Or until the paint fades away. Also exploring tunnels is really fun. creeping under the city with some flashlights and usually some kind of water is involved. Searching out a location and then finally getting there to see if it was all worth it or what you expected. It’s secluded and it’s always unpredictable. Some have fresh creek water running through it you could even drink. Others have a dual system of rainwater and sewage and it’s a horrible smell. I love the craziness and when it’s all over you can go home, take a hot shower and look at the pictures.
Have you ever been in a tunnel when it started flooding or so deep you lose oxygen? What’s the craziest story you have with them?
I’ve been in tunnels when water started to pour in from some kind of drain that leads into the tunnel. It’s usually really loud and all you can do is picture some huge armageddon wave coming towards you. In my experience, the water level rises some and you have time to get out of there. In South America the water level gets pretty high in these tunnels (above my head) so if I expect the rain to come I’ll try and make it fast or don’t go at all. Just the other day I was walking and I didn’t know the tunnel dropped down 3 to 4 ft and I fell in about waist-deep water. So far I’ve been lucky and have not been swept away yet. One tunnel in Northern California I entered had Chandeliers hanging from the roof and a table with a red cloth on it. Had some candles on the table and Some kinds of herbs or leaves IDK. It was a satanic ritual thing but that was pretty weird to stumble upon unexpectedly and alone.
It doesn’t really look like you’re one to paint the same wall twice. Some writers seem fine with the repetition of spots, for example rolling out a legal wall that already has 50 coats on it. What are your thoughts on that?
To be honest I hate those kinds of walls. If that’s your thing, cool I’m not knockin’ it. But for me, I want my graffiti to last. I don’t like the idea of taking time to paint something and then it’s gone in a week, month, or even sometimes a day. That’s crazy to me. Plus if you know me, I’m not the type of dude to show up at the wall with crates of fancy paint and 20 different colors. I’m always using whatever the hell I can get my hands on and trying to make it work. I also travel a lot so most places I visit I most likely won’t be going back to for a long time or maybe even ever. I want to leave something behind permanently, or as long as possible.
Have you ever been locked up abroad for painting yet? Or just fined? What’s the worse experience so far?
The only time I’ve been locked up for graffiti was in the States. But of course, I had my run-in with the police in many different countries. Usually, the police will take all your paint. Sometimes they give you a ticket. Also depends on what country you’re in. Some countries you run when the police come. Others you stay and try to bribe or talk your way out. I guess I’ve had more situations of civilians trying to play hero more than police bothering me. A ticket was the worst so far but I guess the best was when I convinced the police to just take my local paint and leave me the low-pressure blacks because I was an artist and needed it for work.
Any plans on returning to the States? Or are you a permanent nomad?
Would love to go back to the States and see friends and family. As of now, I don’t think I will ever go back to live there. But who knows, 5 years ago I would have never thought I’d be living in another country.
What advice would you have to people that are interested in traveling as much as you do?
Save up as much money as you can. Research what you can but don’t over plan it. Don’t think you know a country just because you’ve been watching youtube videos about it. If you can try and link up with someone that’s the best, buddy system yall. Use ride-sharing apps or public transport to save cash. idk lots of travel advice out there. It all depends on the country, to be honest as far as safety goes. Most importantly, have patience. Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where everything has gone wrong and nothing has gone to plan. Sometimes these are the most memorable moments.
Thanks again for taking the time to do this interview. Any shoutouts you would like to end it with?
It’s an honor to be able to do this interview, thank you. As a kid, I remember buying products off of Bombing Science before I even knew what to do with it. Have to shout out my brother Goon, Spot, My crew HNR, Operation Under, Esk31 dudes a straight tunnel legend. Rise, we used to lurk some really good spots in Cali together. Homie Orgie and the homie Overt as well. So many people to name but appreciate you if you support the hustle! Stockton stand up!
Follow Sker on Instagram @undersocietys