BY: DAN JAMES (BOMBING SCIENCE)
Bombing Science: As always I start with the classics. Who do you write? Who are you reppin’? What paint manufactuer and color do you prefer? What is your favorite surface to paint?
Ricks: RICKS SKATE ALL CITIES. Anything I can my hands on. From $1 Cans to Montana’s. You name it, I’ll fuck with it. You can never go wrong with GLOSS BLACK. Nothing beats a clean train in Europe. That’s what’s up.
BS: What dos the term skate all cities mean to you?
Ricks: SKATE ALL CITIES aka SAC is my skateboarding/graffiti crew. We originally started skateboarding and almost simultaneously evolved into doing graffiti art. So that’s where the term “Skate All Cities” comes from. “Skate” from skateboarding and “All City” from the graffiti term of getting up all over.
BS: Skateboarding and graffiti seem to go hand and hand. I remember skating Philly alot and most skaters were in some way connected to writing. Think there’s a reason why?
Ricks: I’ve been telling people from the start, but the world won’t listen. Skateboarding & Graffiti go hand in hand. I think the reason that they work well together is that the roots of both cultures are based upon the streets so there’s already some type of connection between them in that sense and they are also 2 of the rawest forms of self-expression.
BS: The graffiti culture today seems alot like skateboarding right after ESPN got ahold of it. Do you think they are going to destroy the culture?
Ricks: It’s funny actually, I was just talking about this with a homey a couple of days ago. The media is never going to phase or destroy the culture in general. I think that it actually helps build it in a way. Even though the media can portray the culture as a “trend” or the “cool” thing to do you can use it to your advantage if you know how. People can jump on the bandwagon and start doing graffiti all they want but the minute they get jumped, hurt, or get locked up we’ll see if they can still keep it going. The REAL heads in the streets will always know what’s up and that’s all that really matters.
BS: How hard were you hit when Embarcodero closed? Love park, even?
Ricks: To be honest, I never gave a fuck it because I’m from Los Angeles. I’ve only been to EMB a couple of times in my lifetime. I think it affected more heads out in NorCal because of the history behind it and it was a meeting point for everyone. Lots of skateboarding history went down at that spot that’s for sure. Kind of ironic since we’re “Skate All Cities” but I’ve never been to LOVE before either so that kinda sucked that I never personally got to skate that shit, but it felt like I was there watching Kalis and Stevie Williams tear that place up in their video parts! Haha.
BS: Favortie skate trick? Favorite one you can do?
Ricks: Switch Inward Heels. ALL DAY.
BS: If you could skate anywhere, where would it be? The same question for painting?
Ricks: Hands down Barcelona, Spain. Don’t sleep on that. Best place to skate AND paint by far, minus the bland ass food and expensive exchange rate.
BS: Where does your name came from?
Ricks: Narcissism. Wikipedia that shit for the illiterate.
BS: Do you attribute any of your graff to anything in particular? Daily occurences, skating, other writers?
Ricks: There’s really no particular instance or common ground that I can pinpoint my graffiti towards really. It was something that we all got into as kids and kept it going ever since. Now as far as influences go I would have to say our crew members are what keep me motivated to flip the styles, etc.
BS: How did you develop on your style? Firth hand bombing expierience or blackbooking? Any advice for heads trying to work their style up?
Ricks: My style developed from just going out and practicing. You’re not going to find any type of instructions manual or some fucken 10 step training program DVD by Billy Blanks on how to do graffiti and shit. You just go out and do it. As far as advice goes, “Do What You Do.”
BS: Here’s my little rapid fire section:
1. Regular or goofy? GOOFY
2. Burnside or FDR? BURNSIDE
3. Rails or ledges? LEDGES
4. Skinny or fat baords? SKINNY
5. God or no God? MYSELF
BS: With the election coming up, How do you feel about the chances of the country getting back on track?
Ricks: We’re absolutely FUCKED.
BS: Let me get back to graff. You guys seem to really like holy rollers. Any reason why? How about reefers?
Ricks: Holy Rollers are just what’s in our yard right now. We’ll crush anything. From Reefers to TTX’s, Freeways to Streetspots.
BS: SAC seems to really promote lesser known writers. Any reason why?
Ricks: We’re just building within our squad and anyone who’s down to ride with us, that’s all. We root for the underdogs!
BS: Who was your favorite writer to paint with?
Ricks: Prolly the homey COLT45 back around 01-03. We would smash freights every weekend all night until all 5 of our fingers couldn’t press down on a can anymore. Then we would take day pics and bounce. The hour drive back home from the yard was probably the worst. We would be cracked the fuck out of our minds from lack of sleep and some of us had to go to work the next day with massive paint boogers. Gotta love it though.
BS: Do you think there’s a major difference between freight writers and city bombers?
Ricks: Of course there is. City Bombers get way more respect because the spots that they get are riskier than say a freight spot. Some fools out in the Midwest can just fucken take a 6 pack and go out in the woods and smash freights the whole day without worry about shit. Catching a city spot means you have to avoid civilians, cops, dogs, bums, and gangsters all while trying to paint your shit and trying to come off clean.
BS: How would you compare the west coast scene to the east coast? How about the European scene?
Ricks: The West Coast scene definitely has a difference as far as technique and execution goes. Seems like the West Coast is more about quality and the East Coast is about quantity. (That’s just my opinion. Don’t trip all you East Coasters. Got nothing but love for yah.) As far as the European scene goes, they’re on another level. More like a hybrid of the USA and everything in between combined together.
BS: If Danny Way and Tony Alva had a son together (No gayness through genetics, somehow). Do you think he could jump the moon?
Ricks: First off, NO HOMO DIPSET, but yah I think that kid would be one very talented motherfucker.
BS: Do you guys got any plans to produce boards? Will graff be involved?
Ricks: As part of our branding in fusing both the skateboarding & graffiti cultures together, we debuted with our first ever “Graffiti Pro Model” skateboard by well known Los Angeles graffiti artist HAELER. That’s been a huge stepping stone in getting our products known. We basically get street bombers that we feel are crushing and approach them with a pro model board for them to design. It can be whatever the fuck they want. Even a throw-up if they chose to do so. We then create a limited run of 500 per artist/design and sell them online and throughout our shop accounts. We’re currently working with SEVER, RUETS, and REVOK in the following months so keep an eye out for those. They should be bangers even though we’ve been laggin for a bit on that. Not enough time trying to handle business while trying to skate and paint.
BS: Anything you wants cats to be up on? And go ahead and shout…shout, let it it all out.
Ricks: Just wanted to give thanks to Bombing Science and anyone who I’ve met in my life, whether it turned out good or bad. Much Love. Let’s keep it movin…
Ricks, thank you very much for taking the time out to do a little convo. I hope the questions were as fun to answer as they were for me to write. I look forward to seeing alot from you guys, as I’m sure alot of writers do.