I recently got the pleasure of speaking with Rezone. He also goes by Hooks, who is ½ of the duo Zed’s Dead. As a duo, Zed’s Dead creates bass heavy, edm music. They derive their name from the Quentin Tarantino film, “Pulp Fiction.” Specifically, the scene where Bruce Willis’s girlfriend asks him, “Whose chopper is this?” and he says “It’s Zed’s.” “Who’s Zed?” “Zed’s Dead, baby. Zed’s Dead.” 

While he may have a successful career as a musician, Rezone has also been consistently painting despite touring the world. Rezone’s style is loose and fluid. His letters flow into each other, around each other and through each other. Sometimes, he styles his letters with a harder and blockier structure but no piece is without circular curves and bends. Hooks drops bass and Rezone drops burners. Whichever life he’s living, he’s always having fun experimenting with his work and just living in the moment. Take a coffee break and check out his interview below.

For those that don’t know you… who are you, what do you write, and when did you start writing?

I’m Hooks, half of a music duo called Zeds Dead. When I do graffiti I usually write Rezone and have been doing so since about 2007, prior to that I wrote some other words, REAL, REZN, going back to 2004 (toy times).

How did you get into graffiti and what keeps you doing it?

I’ve always been into drawing but stopped for a long time because I couldn’t ever think of what to draw. With graffiti, you always have this word to work on and flip in different ways so that got me back into art as a teenager. Weed also had a big part in it, hah. I don’t know exactly but I always liked looking at graffiti and then decided to try my hand at it.

As for what keeps me doing it, painting is just fun. That’s really the main thing. I love hangin with friends and just creating something, collaborating. It’s also a discipline that you’re always trying to perfect. Each piece is like an affirmation you’re improving in life or something, it’s a never ending climb. I used to love the adrenaline and the sheer feeling you get inside from going on missions. The adventure of finding spots getting into them is great as well. Then there’s seeing your name all over the place makes you want to get up more and more. Now though I hardly ever get up like that. A part of me misses those days but it’s become a different thing to me now. I just want to promote the culture and spread the aesthetic of art that I’d like to see as much as possible.

Who/what has inspired you and who do you like to paint with?

I got into graff in high school. I was obsessed with hip-hop, I was making beats, rapping, even tried break dancing, and then got into graffiti. I started doing it around town and discovered other people that were doing it at my school and we made our own crews and sort of came up together.

My dad got me the book “Subway Art” when I was just getting starting to show an interest and some of the sketches and pieces in that book really informed my early styles. Also graffiti around Toronto really inspired me. I grew up downtown so I always saw it my whole life and then eventually started learning what was what and how to read it etc.. Crews like HSA, BSM, AU, HFB, were all influential in my early days. When I was painting a lot I’d usually be with friends in BR crew. I do the most painting with my homie VEKTR. We both got into graffiti at the same time and have a lot of the same influences so it’s dope to do walls together.

As someone that has toured all over the world, what have been your favorite places to paint? Why?

When I first started touring a lot I didn’t know how to get in touch with any writers from other cities or anything so I would just go roaming till I found a spot, usually solo. I liked those adventures because I’d always end up off the beaten path and see parts of cities that tourists wouldn’t go to normally. I liked painting in Athens Greece because it seems like the cops just don’t care at all and there’s graff everywhere (mostly bad). My favourite thing to paint though is freight trains. There’s just something about freights in general, they make me feel all nostalgic when I’m around them, even since I was a kid.

Describe what painting means to you

In a lot of ways it’s like being a kid and just playing. In the end you hopefully changed the environment for the better, gave people something cool to look at instead of just a plain wall. I guess with most art I just want to pass on the excitement and inspiration that hit me when I was a kid looking at this stuff, music as well, in a lot of ways I do it for a kid out there like me.

You said you used to post in the bombing science sketch battle, would you say that helped you improve? Why or why not? What else has helped you improve your craft?

I think I submitted twice for those but I didn’t win. It was cool, it forced me to really sit down and try to make something better than usual. I did the word PROX and tried to really make it all flow together, and then did a california raisin guy in there for fun too.

Is it hard to get the time to paint while touring for Zeds Dead?

Travel is exhausting and sometimes it’s a show every day so I have to push myself. I have to push myself just to not take a nap all day sometimes but I know that I’ll be much happier with myself when I have some memories from a place, and of course graffiti is like leaving your mark. I try to do it whenever I can. We started our own record label last year called Deadbeats and have been throwing shows all over the place. I’ve been trying to paint at all of them and bring writers from different cities out but this is only the beginning.

What is your advice for the kids?

I wish I had some good advice but knowing how I was at a young age I don’t think kids who want to do graffiti are really the sort to want to listen to advice anyway.

Last words?

Thanks for the interview. If you’d like to see more of my work or get some canvases check out my instagram, I’ll be posting stuff there @zedsdead_hooks.