ReturnInterview with MTN Shop Madrid
The Montana Shop Madrid is the latest spot to talk to MTN News. The team told us about the story behind the store as well as what it means to run an official point of sale in a city with such an established graffiti scene. Make sure you check out the Spotify shop playlist selected by the squad in the Spanish capital!
Who are you?
We are the Montana Shop Madrid team. Daniel is the boss: a photographer and a writer, he’s been the manager of the store for six years. Amanda is also a graffiti writer, the second in command, sharing her experience on the street for four years. Then there’s Nacho, an Asturian artist and designer, who’s been with us for three years, contributing his creative points of view. We can’t forget about Jorge, a writer, designer and the latest addition to our team with a fresh vision, always ready to cover for us.
Tell us the story of the store opening.
Locus, a vocalist and former owner of the Triburbana store, opened the store in 2010. He was already a distributor of MTN products. In response to the growth of the scene, plus the support and increase of national distribution by the brand, the shop opened in Madrid with Jeosm and Thor in the team. To celebrate its opening, on May 28 of that year, Blade was signed blackbooks and chatted to local writers at the opening of the exhibition space.
What do you like the most about the neighborhood where the shop is located?
The best thing about being in the center of the center is that everyone passes through here. It doesn't matter if you are from here or there, from one neighborhood or the other, everyone swings by sooner or later.
The closest metro stations are Gran Vía, Sol, Sevilla, Callao, Chueca and Tribunal.
How would you describe the community of artists that pass through the shop?
In this city we are lucky to have all sorts. From the most classic graffiti writers to cosplayers preparing their outfits using MTN Pro.
In the store we give advice and give personalized service, adapting to each customer’s needs, whether it be for creativity, fixing something, signage or decoration.
We serve graffiti writers, muralists, painters, sculptors, decorators, designers, students, professionals, grandparents, parents, children, pets (always welcome), Playmobil friends, DIY enthusiasts, electricians, bricklayers, film and television producers, mechanics and, with the increase of 3D printers, a very interesting scene of creators is emerging.
What’s Madrid's graffiti scene like?
The Madrid scene has always been old and influential. From the birth of “flechero” graffiti with people like Muelle to the influence of hip-hop graffiti by Mast.
It's a huge scene where writers of all styles and all generations converge.
Which events are held in the city?
This year, the events have completely changed, but there is still action throughout the year with activities, open calls, workshops and interactive experiences. There are loads of sunny days to go out and paint wherever everyone wants.
Any place that you recommend to visitors?
Let’s see. If you like to see graffiti in the streets, Madrid Centro is the place, always in constant flux. You can also check the neighborhoods of Malasaña or Lavapiés, where the bombing never stops.
If you want to see art: the Swinton Gallery, Galería La Causa or Delimbo have urban influences in their exhibitions. And in February, during art week, Urvanity - the new contemporary art fair - takes place.
If you want to paint in Madrid, there are no guarantees. You can propose a project to La Tabacalera cultural center, but you can’t go and paint without problems. Now, the idea of legal walls in the city is being investigated again thanks to “WallSpot”, a website that manages legal spots to paint through an application system.
What are some of the special or unusual products that you sell?
At Montana Shop Madrid we have the entire MTN range and if we don't have it, we can easily order it. We get two deliveries a week to fill our shelves and inspire our customers.
Our star products are the 500ml Nitro 2G that provides the best lines on steel, the brilliant Unipaint PX-30 silver marker and the Street Dabbers whose easy use has been really popular in the city and can be seen everywhere.
The store isn’t limited to selling spray cans and markers. We have an exhibition space at the top of the walls and a collection of clothes for artists and brands related to the aerosol: local, emerging, national, underground or specialized. So Mad, Mighty Warriors, Vandals On Holidays, Krink, Mr Serious and Handmixed are some of the brands that we carry.
We also give introductory courses and workshops to kids, as well as organizing sketching meets to strengthen community ties and share colores and ideas among writers.
The store is constantly changing to adapt to the needs of customers. For this reason, in Spring 2019 we decided to change the entire space and to a self service system, where each client fills a basket with the products they need, always accompanied by the best advice from the team.
In autumn 2020, an office for Tramontana Magazine was incorporated into the facilities, a biannual editorial project that covers the global scene of aerosol art and beyond.
What kind of music does your playlist reflect?
In the store, music is playing all the time. The only rule is that’s not in Spanish to not confuse the customers’ requests with the lyrics.
Depending on who is near the computer, you can hear the French touch, New York boom bap or more salsa sounds.
Are there any unusual anecdotes from your experiences running a graffiti shop?
All kinds of characters have passed through the store! Some of the most memorable were CornBread, Terrible T-Kid, Blade, Martha Cooper, and Henry Chalfant, among others.ShareJanuary 08, 2021