NE PLUS VLTRA

BEFOR INTERVIEW

1. So what crew do you write for and how long have you been writing and what in the world in this day in age would make you decide to pick up a spray can and create pieces under tunnels would be a hobby for you I mean I’m sure you know that graffiti is filled with cops trying to catch you and gang members trying to jump you or fill your paint so what was it that made you want to become a writer and who do you write for and what do you write?

My name is BEFOR and I write for Volta Seven, as well as 3:6. Not to be confused with the T6k. To be honest, I don’t really remember a moment where I thought to myself, “I want to paint graffiti!” Looking back, It seemed to happen a little more organically. I think when I was about 16 or 17 a friend that happened to be a pretty good airbrush artist asked me if I wanted to go painting with him, haha. So I snuck out of my parents house later that night, met up in Lake Elsinore at his crib and proceeded to unload ultra toy-shit all over this old spot he took me to, hahaha! Even though it was clear that I had no idea what I was doing, there was something about it that I loved right away. But even after that, I didn’t jump head first into graffiti. It was an accumulative process that took me a few years to really get into it. I also rode dirt bikes quite often, which at the time was more fun than graffiti only because I wasn’t any good with a spray can. I was just a tagger for the first few years, but the more I did it, the more I began to understand the game and how everything works. Yes, it’s vandalism, but there are rules to this shit and if you don’t abide by those rules… well, bad things can happen to you. I respected those rules from day 1 because I knew of the consequences. Again, I did the tagger thing for a minute, and then in 2012 I crashed on my dirt bike at a local racetrack, which left me with a severely broken back. Long story short, I’m beyond lucky to not be in a wheelchair right now, but when that happened I was laid up trying to recover for about nine or 10 months, so this gave me a lot of time to focus more on my tags and throws because I couldn’t ride my bike. I have an addictive personality, so once I really felt myself getting the hang of lettering and learning the ways of the graffiti world – which truly interested me – it became the only thing I would think about. That’s when graffiti began to consume me.

2. VOLTASEVEN has been a nonconformist graffiti crew with everyone in the crew basically doing their own thing what made you want to get down with VOLTA SEVEN and what style did you bring to Volta seven to stand out.

For me, Volta Seven was one of the first serious graffiti crews that I had learned of simply for the fact that I grew up around Galor OUC V7. Galor is a few years older than me, and I’ve always looked up to him as a human and as an artist, so it was an obvious goal to get in V7 eventually. Realistically, though I didn’t think it would ever happen. Plus, I liked how versatile the crew was with so many different styles. 

Since high school, I’ve always taken an interest in the darker, creepier side of things whether it be movies, books, music and even religion. The same goes for letters. I like the “devilish hands” as some would say. Anything with an eerie or organic look is what drew my interest when it finally came to styling and doing pieces. A couple of the homies I paint with have said that my letter structures remind them of the movies “Spawn” and “Alien” and that my letters look like they could walk really creepy-like, hahaha. The other day, my homie Sage said my letters reminded him of the “Shadow Monster” from Stranger Things, haha so I definitely have a thing for creepy letters. When its comes to simple tags and shit, though, old school cholo hands are my favorite.

3. Most writers have family issues and crew issues. How do you go from juggling that art lifestyle and what does your family think about your graffiti?

I’ve had my fair share of problems because of graffiti. Nothing too extensive, thankfully, but yes graffiti has taken a toll on my life. Obviously no parent is going to be thrilled when they find out their kid is defacing public property, and so was the case for me. Like every kid, I told my parents I’d stop tagging and shit, but kept on doing it behind their backs. My parents aren’t stupid, though so they caught me several times over the years, but after a while I think they began to understand and see that graffiti truly made me happy. I think I was about 23 or 24 when this happened, but my parents had just come over to the house that me and my fiancé had just moved into to check it out. My dad was walking through my garage and saw all my Rusto cans on the floor and said, “Still doing that graffiti stuff, huh?” I replied a hesitantly, “Umm… Maybe.” His response was, “Good! Do whatever the fuck makes you happy!” I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment. 

That was a proud time in my life because I was finally out living on my own, I had the girl of my dreams and I had the job of my dreams! Shortly after that, though things started to change for me. My relationship with my fiancé hit a rough spot, and before I knew it she broke off the engagement and moved out. A 9 year relationship down the fucking toilet! We had arguments over graffiti and shit all the time, so I know it played a factor in her ultimately leaving. I knew it was something that she didn’t like because she didn’t understand it. She couldn’t understand how I could put our lives and futures at risk like that, and frankly I completely understand her frustration. Graffiti is one of those things you have to experience yourself, and you’re either going to love it with all of your fucking heart or hate it! In the end, I don’t want to say I chose graffiti over her, I think the decision was made for me.

4. What crews do you write for and How did you get in?

I write for Volta Seven and 3:6. I was initially brought into YSL by Krul and OG Adyor in mid 2015 I believe. That was a great feeling knowing that I had progressed my skills to the point of other people taking a liking to my shit. YSL was great because it gave me a chance to learn the game more, but most importantly I was connected with a bunch of cool cats like Glesr, Bedr and even some of the CE crew, as Bedr was a CE. Plus, I knew that YSL was potentially a stepping stone into V7! I think I put up YSL for about 3-4 years or so before finally getting into Volta 7! That was a huge accomplishment because I didn’t think it would be possible to end up in the same crew as Galor. That shit still trips me out to this day.

I also write 3:6 with two other homies Sage and Worm. The name 3:6 is an ode to 666, but as I said earlier this isn’t the same as the T6k. Sage, Worm and myself are not religious, as we believe in self-empowerment, so that’s where the 3:6 derives from. No disrespect to any religious followers, that’s just not our thing.

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