Who are you and where do you live?
Meaning behind the name?
Avia means flight. I actually got the name from some old school trainers in the 80s as i liked the sound of it and its original. I eventually changed the spelling as i could do more with an E in it. So Avea to me just represents me and nothing else. As if i’ve taken over the word. When you know me personally and know all the madness that comes along with that then that name should represent me and my lifestyle. Graff, milfs, parties,lots of booze,travelling, pure wrongness, try everything once, break rules, push boundaries and basically enjoy life no matter how poor you are theres always ways.
And i suppose flight is also a good reflection of things too because i’m always trying to go higher and higher in life and strive for better things.
When did you start writing and why?
Back in 98. We were all in the dj scene when garage was big and you’d get a whole room filled with like 25 people in my brothers bedroom and the smell of green from down the street. Everyone DJ’d in my little crew so everyone had dj names. We used to practce handstyles on our records and it grew from there. There were also a couple of local writers that took us out for a little bombing session One night and i was hooked. I’d get the train to way out east london and just ride a bike or walk a few stops and get a few random hits up. I was proper toy when i started but loved it so went out there everyday. So unlike a lot of writers there wasn’t really a scene around me that i was aware of and no one really showed me the ropes. I had no mentors so learned it all from scratch until i started getting out there and meeting other writers.
Who were your main influences when you started?
It all happened quickly in the beginning but i was definetely influenced by people like astek as he just had next level styles. In regards to bombers, well there are so many and i cant really say anyone in particular influenced me in the beginning, just people that had style and went out there and smashed it. It was only after a year or two that other people started influencing me. People like vamp,kist,diet, cut, tox,pies, hints, lust, drax, akme, atg crew, and my boys in AS, LB, CGO and ER to name a few get my respect just for sheer damage. People that just go all city hitting the lines constantly always push me to do more. I’m sure there’s so many more so apologies if i’ve left anyone out.
Stylewise i gotta say old school london writers definitely influence me as well as people like vibes rt, vfl, odr, cope 2, seen,revok, sever, msk atg and astek again, dvate sdm and bale ID(melbourne), rogue and vues as/er, saber msk and so many more..To be honest i try not to look at magazines because when every writer first starts they’re gonna bite. I thought I’d keep it original but saying that I’ve had a look at a couple recently and I’ve seen some wicked shit which has influenced me again. As the standards in London has dropped you kinda stop making effort to push your styles but seeing how other countries do it, its given me love for it again and makes me wanna get sketching and bringing something new to the table.
Hows the scene in your city changed between when you started and present day?
So much. The scene is pants right now. There’s too much buffing going on and the toys are ridiculous. Its like no one puts any effort in anymore. 600ml chrome and black with fat caps and dirty blobs of shit thrown on the walls. Not many people like to work on letters or even show respect to who was there before them. Its like the rules are out the window. Kids going over old school dubs, wildstyles, pieces etc and what the fucks going on with their attitudes. Going on like they’re proper bad men haha proper little boys trying to take out big men but whenever you catch them they always burst into tears and swear on their mums life it weren’t them.
These young bucks seriously need to learn the history of the lines before the buff and learn respect. They think cos they’ve done 20 dubs on a line that they’re kings and they’re untouchable as they either hide behind a computer or suck dick to get into certain crews and then hide behind a group of them. No balls.
Before the buff you could ride the lines and see whos active, whos dropping fresh things, whos hitting other lines and you can also see some history too. I love finding old dubs and tags as they’re a part of the history of your line. They were doing them same spots before you and had their own stories of missions. I find that very interesting because i know every wall on the line and see every fresh tag or dub that goes up. So if some heads or crews were doing that before i got into the scene i wanna know all about it. Whereas the mentality is now, ah thats shits old or i’ve never heard of them so take it out. Baffling.
Toys dont realise that when your in the game for years you will see certain spots buffed again and again. Just cos you might only see 30 odd dubs of mine on certain lines and faded stuff from over the years it dont mean I aint done my piece. If there werent a buff you would see 100s and 100s more dubs on them lines. Proper fools need to ask questions and start researching before running their mouths and making judgement calls. Real writers know the score.
Continue reading after the jump!
Best city’s you have painted in?
Hamburg, Berlin, Glasgow and Melbourne.
The German cities are just battered on a next level everywhere.
Melbourne is battered too but its all pieces and burners on the lines. The difference is the writers get a lot more permission out there to do murals on the street so better quality goes up. There is also a lot less security measures taken to prevent writers from getting onto tracks so people can take their time on the lines too without having to climb steel spiked fences and avoid a trillion cameras.
London is by far the most hardcore city I’ve painted in though because we have the most obstacles and the tightest security by miles.
One thing i gotta say about the London scene is that it doesn’t really revolve around graff. People get into it for the gang culture. People want to be a part of a crew for both protection and status and they all wannabe a bad man. They join a fake gang and just happen to graff too. Whereas every other city and town i’ve been to in the world has a community where people mix and don’t try to do each other over. Obviously there’s dodgy crews all over but the whole mentality in London is who is the baddest instead of whos up most and who has the best style…its a joke
Best and worst times painting?
The best thing about graff is the people you meet and the places it takes you. I wouldn’t be where i was today if it wasn’t from meeting certain writers. But my best missions are them grimey ones. Its all about tracks to me. Big walls and tunnels and some serious bombing. I cant really pick out a best mission as there is so many but almost being hit by trains, getting stuck in a tunnel with 2 trains heading towards me and opek at the same time, hitting steel overseas and painting new countries and cities are always a highlight.
Poland was a funny mission. I was paralletic drunk with Enos AS/ER/CLUB and could see the security guards patrolling the yard with balaclavas on and bomber jackets. After giving it a little while we had to climb some barbed wire fence which set off a kind of schoolbell/ fire alarm sound when you put your hands on the wire. There was also a spotlight that would flash on the bushes for 20 seconds and then go off for 20 seconds and so on. We also had to hide under the train as someone patrolled further down….then we just destroyed the streets after that. Throw ups over shop windows, street dubs, trackside dubs while watching huge football gangs come into the station and doing press ups in a circle while shouting at the top of their lungs. That mission could’ve gone real bad too after bombing up some entrance to a club for not getting in. That was sooooo messy and you dont wanna fuck with some of them nazi racist poles. But it was all worth it in the end.
The worst part is getting nicked. I think having to leave Australia on the run with a warrant out for me was the worst time. When it starts to mess with the good things in your life thats when you know you need to behave a bit more and get your shit together because writing on a wall is not worth jeopordising your life..
Favourite five writers?
Akme – International damage
Drax – International damage
Vamp – All city damage
Saber msk – Style
…. I cant really think right now. My mind is blank today. No one really deserves full credit for stuff because there are thousands and thousands of writers and so many influence me in small ways.
What pushes you to carry on?
People that continue to smash the scene, seeing some sick styles come up and basically i’m a writer for life. I cant help it. I don’t go places to bomb but everywhere i go i’ll get a reach up…and i get about. Fuck buying postcards. I’d rather get my name up so if you ever visit there then there will be a lovely little surprise their to welcome you.
Oh and cheeky up and coming toys that think they’re big influence me. I’m stubborn so I wanna get back on them lines and show them how its been done for over a decade and put them in their place.
Any plans for the future?
Keep active, keep getting my name up in new towns and cities and keep letting people know that i’m still around and aint going nowhere. I’m not the kinda guy to just fade away. I’ve done way too much damage in my time to be forgotten. I want you to always see my name even if i do get lazy or busy due to real life outside of graff. You’ll always see that name AVEA pop up somewhere random
Booze or Drugs?
Definitely booze. I think its a good thing I don’t do drugs because I get into enough trouble as it is when drunk.
Soul, RnB, Hip Hop, Hed Kandi, garage, Bassline
All my AS boys, ER, LB, HTB, NHS,RT, 42, CBM all the other crews i’m in. CD, ATG, and basically all the safe writers i’ve met all around the world. Whether you’re the king of the lines or just someone that’s done a few dubs here and there. If you love graff and you’re a decent person then you get my shout out.
To keep up to date with what Avea is up to check out his FLICKR!