For over ten years, NSK has had one mission: to destroy the Athens metro. And they have become authentic coal miners, to say the least. So we went to Athens to talk a little bit about it.
When was the NSK crew born?
The crew was created back in 2009 but not as something serious, just some kids growing up, chilling and tagging around the neighborhood. In the early years many people entered the NSK crew because we were trying to establish a good, active team, but not all of them stayed in the crew for various reasons. Year by year the situation started getting more serious as we got influenced by some magazines and many oldschool writers from the area. As time passed by we went through complicated situations, the most serious one was the moment we lost our crewmate BTS1. BTS died in an accident while painting the subway in Athens (Line 1). After this incident many thoughts were on our minds but the most important one was to keep doing what we did best, but with more dedication and mostly in the memory of BTS. In 2020, we are seven people in the crew, four of us are active in the graffiti game. In the recent video you see actions from Adiso, Issue and Dein from the NSK crew and from the NR4T crew.
“The last few years we have a mentality of quality over quantity”
What role do you think you play in the Athens graffiti scene?
In conflict with modern writers, we are a crew that does not like to judge the level of our work, we just do what we like and what we think is best depending on the situation. Surely, we can say that we are one of the most active crews in the Greek graffiti scene since 2015. The last few years we have a mentality of quality over quantity, as you can see from the video and the photos provided. We are trying to use more color combinations and do more characters, something that we think is missing from the Greek graffiti scene lately.
Innocent question (¡hum!), you can see MTN Water Based cans all throughout the video…why paint using cans without solvent?
The MTN Water Based spray cans play a role in Athens just like in every city in the world. They are odorless and work better for some missions depending on what you want to do. However, they’re surely a key to making things better in hard situations.
It’s been said that there’s the “real” metro and the “fake” metro…what’s the difference?
There are a lot of people confused with Athens metro system. Only a few people understand how things are with the subway and metro lines here. The metro system consists of two lines (the red line 2 and the blue line 3). We also have the green line 1, which is a mostly overground and more accessible subway. Imagine something like the S-Bahn and U-Bahn in Berlin. Nowadays, line 1 is completely covered with graffiti from top to bottom and you hardly even see the colors of the model. The other two lines of the real metro system are something more serious and they get buffed immediately.
So you’d say that there are some lines that are hotter than others, basically. Overall, what is the situation of the metro today, can it still be painted?
The situation with the subway in Athens changes year by year. There is never something standard but there are always some possibilities here, depending on how much you want to push it.