David Sausage: Sooo ….
David Sausage: I asked before about your tag ‘Magnet’ and you said it was a secret but I’m curious. Where does the name come from?
Magnet: It’s because ####### ### ########.
David Sausage: Oh! I see, THAT’S why you didn’t want to say Ok! When did you start writing?
Magnet: About the time of being a Junior High School student. I liked the famous writers styles so I just wanted to… How you say in English? In Japanese we say ‘miyo ni mane’
David Sausage: So… Was there a book or a film like Style Wars that made you start painting?
Magnet: I just saw Sakuragichou that big long wall.
David Sausage: How old were you at the time?
Magnet: Fourteen,, fifteen or something like that.
David Sausage: So you would have seen all those old skool writers like Kazz Rock?
Magnet: Yeahhhhh, Kazz Rock, QP and Esow
David Sausage: Who did you look up to?
Magnet: All of them! I just saw their work and thought ‘yeah I wanna do it like that’
David Sausage: As a prolific tagger what’s your opinion on doing pieces compared to doing tags. Are they separate or is it all the same thing as far as you see?
Magnet: Errrr… I don’t know about that I just want to make original tags. Concentrate on my tag and then get famous. I’m not sure which is different…
David Sausage: It doesn’t really matter right?
David Sausage: I’ve seen your tag pretty much everywhere. How the hell do you do that? You must be getting up every night?! Everywhere you go, all the time.
Magnet: I used to do the stickers… then the tags but it was so toy!
David Sausage: It’s the same for everyone when they start I reckon. What was your best placed tag?
Magnet: I think one of my drip tags in the Yokohama area. The drips were just perfect.. I’ve just wanted to design the tag better so I started thinking about it… How do you say in English?… I just wanted to tag perfect so… Sona kanji kanaaa…
David Sausage: How did you become motivated to get up so much?
Magnet: I started writing my name and seeing it. I liked it and went from there. Other writers i see up and those who became famous are what motivates me.
David Sausage: So who’s handstyles do you like the most here?
Magnet: I like Zephyr and I dont know about now. I don’t see the magazines recently so.. But recently I saw in Ueno tags they look so good. But I dunno…
David Sausage: What’s more important, good handstyles or getting up more?
Magnet: Yeah…. I think it’s the style first.
David Sausage: I know you lived in Australia for a while. Did you paint regularly there?
Magnet: Yeah I was a tagger so I just did a lot of tags… So…
Magnet: I was in Australia back in 2000. Trains were the shit back then, and the scene was growing. Most dope pieces were near ghettos and that motivated me to progress in that aspect of it.
David Sausage: What can Japan learn from Western countries culture? What can Western countries learn from Japanese culture?
Magnet: Both cultures have good points and bad points. If only we could trade all the bad for good. Really, there are too many to mention…
David Sausage: Who’s work did you like out in Australia?
Magnet: I saw the stuff in Downtown Sydney, Bondai Beach….
(Machi no piece ga atta sore ha nanka…sugoi.. Sore de nihon de nattara…) I just thought that kind of work would look cool in Yokohama.
David Sausage: Who would you say is the most up in Tokyo and Yokohama?
Magnet: Tokyo? Yokohama?… Dare dalor ne?…Styx, Wanto…
David Sausage: And I would say you, right?!
Magnet: Ahhh… I just write Yokohama area. Tokyo is Wanto I think. Yokohama is Styx, he’s up the most. I’ve seen that everywhere. I think he is the best.
David Sausage: Errm… You’re familiar with that wall in Sakuragichou then, it got covered in grey…
Magnet: Yup it’s sooo boring…
David Sausage: Why the fuck did that happen?!
David Sausage: I know you don’t have the answer but why do you think that happened? The problem I see here is there is now nowhere to paint. It used to have a massive long wall – quite possibly the longest wall of graffiti in the world, and now… There’s nowhere to paint…
Magnet: Err… I think that… Nan dalor neh? Nihongodemo ii?
David Sausage: Yup.
Magnet: [Japanese translation] The boss of Tokyu group (a massive corporation that owns a large percentage of the train systems, shopping centres, buildings and companies here) said ‘let’s stop this painting on the wall’,, He really didn’t appreciate the graffiti so he has decided to change the place. We have to keep on painting and hopefully peoples opinion will change.
The Tokyu line was a special one, like a sanctuary and it’s now just a concrete wall. Graffiti is dying although in Uraga graffiti has survived. I just hope it becomes more popular. [/Japanese translation]
David Sausage: Thanks for the interview Magnet.
We here at The Chottomatte hope that once again, one day, the mammoth Sakuragichou wall will get a lick of paint and government backing like the SeeNoEvil graffiti art festival did in Bristol, UK. Big up the Lord Mayor of Bristol chillaxin’ with TATS Cru
Sakuragichou graffiti wall was well over a mile long. Not far from the center of Yokohama near the famous Landmark Tower chock a block full of pieces including works from Kress, Kane, QP, Ames, Daste, Dems, Esow, Phil, Neim and some out of towners Very and Casper. Just begs the question why the hell would you cover the wall?! Does it really look better? Maybe Yokohama should take a look at how most major cities are capitalising on graffiti. The wall is a gift. It’s strange to see all the perspex Banksy shields in the UK and then come back here and they’re painting over what had to be one of the longest fully pieced stretches of wall in the world with grey, GREY! Isnt there enough of that colour already? Suppose it didn’t fit in with all the swanky new shopping malls and apartments being built around there eh?
Here is a very looooong join up: