Nighted Life Presents: Ray Mock (aka Sabeth718), founder of Carnage
Carnage puts out meticulously crafted graffiti zines from the most prolific writers around. The content and quality is unmatched. Here’s a look behind the scenes of Carnage with Ray Mock, aka Sabeth718. Enjoy!
From the outside, it looks like Carnage started as a (ridiculously high-quality, awesome) graff zine, and has been expanding into other areas. How would you define Carnage?
Thanks very much. Carnage is about the basics: Documenting graffiti, showcasing some of the best work out there, whether it’s stickers, hands, fills or pieces, and having fun doing it. But ultimately each zine is only as good as the contributions I get. I have been fortunate to collaborate with a bunch of very talented people, so I’m extremely grateful for that.
How did the idea for Carnage originally come about?
I like making things that I can hold in my hands. Growing up within the DIY hardcore/ punk scene, I was already making zines in highschool. After posting photos online for a number of years and watching them just disappear in the ether, and at the same time seeing some of the awesome zines put out by other folks in NY (Culture, Rat Milk, The Old NY, Making Deals, etc.), making my own zines was a logical next step. Once the first one was done I just wanted to keep going and make every one a little better, or at least different, than the one before.
Who else is involved in your projects, other than you and the writers?
Peter McGouran at Polluted Eyeball has been doing a fantastic job screenprinting covers and prints for the zines. I’ve also learned the hard way not to let anything go to print without having my girl proofread it.
You’re known for bringing out the rare characters who aren’t typically known to do interviews and put out creative projects outside of their graffiti. How do you link up with such prolific and illusive folks?
Through luck, persistence and a commitment to quality and integrity.
Not to bring up the played out topic of what the evil interweb is and is not doing to graff, but- You’ve obviously chosen to present your work, along with the work of your collaborators, in physical form. Why is that important to you?
I don’t think the Internet is bad for graff on the whole, there’s just a lot of noise. I could produce an online zine with the same layout as the print zine and it would probably reach more people. It just seems very impersonal to me, and I wouldn’t feel like I’m really doing justice to the work writers are putting in. And obviously by working with physical materials, there is a much greater range of creative options, such as layering, packaging, hand-finishing and adding other handmade extras that make each copy unique.
What else do you do? How much of your time is spent on the Carnage hustle, and all the meticulous detail you put into your stuff?
Right now Carnage is my main creative outlet. Taking and editing photos and the zines themselves take up most of my free time. I’m hoping to get back to playing music this year, but I’d also like to film more. Maybe make a non-graff zine at some point.
Can you tell us the back story behind that Kuma zine you dropped recently?
Kuma’s been a constant presence in NYC and he’s done a lot to build bridges with some very creative writers in Europe, so it was very cool to have a chance to devote an issue of Carnage to his work.
What’s next for you and Carnage??
2013 is going to be a big year for Carnage. There will be more additions to the handstyle series. Without giving away too much, I’m also looking to expand into some other creative collaborations. But most of all there will be zines, beginning with Carnage #4…
Go check out all the quality product at the online Carnage Store, and follow ‘em on flickr!