Somewhere between 76ers logos and skateboarding, David Shiraki's love for typography and graffiti – among other things – has manifested itself into a zine called Organized Grime. As one half of the duo who puts it together, the zine looks at all things skateboarding, graffiti and music while being brought together by illustrations. With the third edition set to come out this weekend, it seemed like a good time to catch up with Shiraki and dig a little deeper into what got him started in the art world, what we can expect in Organized Grime and just what else Doctor Destroyer has been up to.
Promo photo courtesy of Alex Henery
Just to give everyone a bit of background on yourself, could you tell us a little bit about how you first got involved in art?
I was born into it. I come from a family full of artists. I've been obsessed with typography ever since I learned how to write my name in the 3rd grade. I still have notebooks from elementary school filled with hand drawn Philadelphia 76ers logos and my favorite skate company logos. I didn't get serious with visual art until high school.
What about art in high school got you serious about it? A class or instructor? Or just your experience with it?
My brother was always into art so naturally he influenced me to take classes in high school. I had a teacher that saw something in me and I am forever grateful. Ever since then, it's been a wrap.
The cover of the first issue of Organized Grime, by Chun
You currently have a zine called Organized Grime, which is currently on it's second issue. What's the story behind the name, and how did it originally come to life?*
I've always wanted to do a zine. It wasn't until I met my homie Johnboy here in Philly that it came to fruition. He's got dope illustration skills that fit with my aesthetic so it just kind of clicked. One day last December, we were bored as fuck and we just decided to do it. The name "Organized Grime" is something that I was sitting on for awhile. I came up with the name a few years ago but never had the perfect project for it.
What's the biggest proof of the collaboration behind the work the two of you do in the scope of the zine?
The zine itself is the biggest proof. We both collaborate on what content goes in each issue and he draws a lot of awesome illustrations that tie everything in together. Without his illustrations, it'd just be a boring zine with some photos and interviews.
What would you say is the overall focus of what you're trying to put together with Organized Grime?
Organized Grime focuses on three of my main interests: skateboarding, graffiti, and music. My goal is to show people how these cultures are related to one another. They're not so different from each other.*
What's a prime example of that you feel?
Well I know a lot of skaters that write graffiti, graffiti writers that are involved with music, artists who are into all of the above, etc. It's all about community and supporting each other. Organized Grime brings those worlds together to show just that.
How would you say being a native of Pennsylvania has influenced your artwork?
Pennsylvania plays a large role in what I do. First off, Organized Grime is an East Coast zine. Nothing but that raw shit. I grew up around diversity. The hood isn't so far from the mountains. PA has a great DIY music scene, skate scene and the graffiti here is truly unique. I don't just feature Pennsylvania content but it's definitely the driving force behind the zine.
What are some things in particular you're hoping or are excited to feature in the future, either in or out of PA?
I have a long list of friends I'm excited to work with. Bands, skaters, artists, record labels, skate companies, all that good shit. I pretty much have the rest of my year planned out. The zine is growing and I'm excited to feature more and more content with every issue. The next issue is gonna have a cool feature with my homies in Code Orange Kids. I'm also working on a collaborative project with east coast skate zine, Skate Jawn. That's gonna rule.
The cover of the second issue of Organized Grime, by END
At some point in time, you were also known as Doctor Destroyer. How has your work as a rapper influenced what you do now both as an artist and with Organized Grime?
I used to be known as King David. Now I am Doctor Destroyer. King David was the name I used when I first started making beats. I still make beats I just havent released anything recently. But that's not to say that I'm not working on any projects ;). Doctor Destroyer doesn't just make beats though, I do it all.*
Is there a chance you'll release anything in the coming future, DD-related or otherwise?
Absolutely. You can expect to see a cool project from me and my brother, KOJI -- some next level brother-collaboration shit. I recently started a stoner/doom project called GRIMEWAVE that I'm really stoked on. Shit sounds like Godflesh and The Roots had a fucking baby. I'm also working on beats for the homie Wiccapha$e. Oh yeah, and I'm about to drop this clothing line later this year.
Organized Grime is also apparently the name of a dubstep festival or something as well. Do you get a lot of people trying to get you to listen to their dubstep music or anything like that?
Haha, yeah I am well aware of the dubstep group. No, I don't get any weird messages or anything like that. But give me a few and people will be asking them if they know about me.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks for fuckin with Organized Grime man, it means a lot. Everyone should go cop the KOJI LP April 30th via Run For Cover Records. Shout out to Johnboy, Exit Skateshop, Void Skateboards, Back To Back Records, Run For Cover Records, Skate Jawn, my Wilkes-Barre homies, everybody in Philly and everyone that was involved with the first issues. Peace to my MTS family. Listen to Pantera. Tigers Jaw RIP.