Have you ever wondered how the first issue of Underground Productions looked like!? Well here it is, recorded by Betongliv.com! The magazine was released in 1991 in Stockholm, Sweden and did exist until 2012!
Times change, and with them the graffiti scene. It’s been 23 years since UP’s first issue hit the streets. When we started in the spring of 1992, shortly after the very first Swedish graffiti magazines Trains/Sniart and Kilroy, there was no internet nor hardly any books about graffiti. All information, images and interviews, were worth their weight in gold. Anyone who sat on contacts to writers in other cities and countries ruled. The graffiti magazines arose from an existing net work of photo traders that spread images and information in and outside of the scene. After only a few weeks after number 1 came out we received letters from readers in Australia.
Interest was high for what happened in other places. In Sweden we sold graffiti magazines from all over the world and abroad people asked for Swedish magazines.
Read the whole text about UP’s farewell here
Blått Stål (Blue Steel) is a unique chronological story about the graffiti train writing scenen on the commuter trains of Stockholm. It is the most solid historical document that addressed this topic ever. Over a hundred painters, drivers, cleaners, security guards are heard to give the overall picture of three decades of this until today controversial culture.
Today, the classic old blue train type X1 only a memory. The majority of Stockholm residents who traveled with it daily do not even reflect that their transportation to and from work, school or daycare has changed colour and shapes. For others it is an era gone to the grave. Blue Steel provides a unique insight into an otherwise very closed and difficult understood subculture, graffiti on trains. While the book is a declaration of love and a nostalgic journey through Stockholms graffiti scenen on the commuter trains from the first painting in the mid 80’s until today, you will also experience the consequences of graffiti and it backsides.. Get a glimpse behind the graffiti guards secret methods, the “blue painters” routines and marvel at the graffiti writers stories, sacrifices and human destinies.
The book Blått Stål (Blue Steel) is a chronological unique story about graffiti culture in Stockholm on the commuter train. It is the most solid historical document that addressed the topic ever where a hundred painters, drivers, cleaners, security guards are heard to give the overall picture of three decades of this until today controversial culture. We got the chance to have a chat with one of the editors.
How did you get the idea to make the book and why is it only focused on the Stockholm commuter?
The last classic blue Stockholm commuter train was taken out of traffic and scrapped out during the spring 2011. All of us friends that made the book grew up on along the commuter-line on both the north and the south side for us it was no doubt that the book should be about these trains, in most medias the subways are raised to the sky’s Let me quote Dano in the book from his chapter “The subway are like schlager-music and the commuters are like heavy-metal!”
How many hours did you guys put into this project and would you still make the book if you knew before how much work it was? We have been working on the book for two years time, all of us put in every hour possible, blood, sweat and tears!
The book not only feature interviews with the writers, you also interviewed some of people from “the other side”. How did you get in contact with them and why do you think they chose to participate in the book?
Through contacts, its a small pond, either if you are a writer, driver, buffer or from the vandal-squad we will find you!
Did you manage to get interview with all the people you wanted to include in the book or do you still have some favorites that you couldn’t get hold of?
We are very pleased about the result, I think its a impossible task to cover 100% of 30 years of train graffiti but this is our story about what happened and I think we covered it as good as possible.
Do you have a part in the book that you are extra happy with?
Looking back now when the book is finally finished I would have a hard time to point out a specific part, its a chronologic story and all the puzzle pieces are important for the whole picture, for us I think the possibility to bring out unpublished material and spread our whole story around the subject is the main goal.
The book is only available in Swedish, on our international readers behalf – will there be an English edition later?
Its our ambition and i hope Stockholm train graff still hot out there in Europe, first of all of us that busted our balls working on the book need a cold beer or two at the release party!
The book will be released the 26th October, more info in swedish over here
Blue Steel is a unique chronological story about the graffiti culture around the Stockholm commuter. For three decades graffiti writers have been painting thees steel monsters and now they are gone for ever. It is the most comprehensive historical documents ever dealt with the subject. A hundred graffiti artists, drivers, cleaners and security guards are heard together to give an overall picture of this still controversial phenomenon.
The writers that will be featured in the book are: Dano, Slisk, Erse, Star, Fher, Aman, Skil, Nug, Slice, Kaos, Sear & Dne. Also watch the trailer about the book here and the facebook event you got here