Friday, January 27, 2012

Ben Bates-Prairie Dog Interview (stolen off the website)

Raging Hippy

by Kim Jay

Who: Ben Bates

Where: The streets of Regina

He's a member of the 501 Kult. At its best, it's an art collective. At its worst, it's a few friends who hang out and drink beer. Ben is a contributor and, in his own words, "culture corruptor." When he's not making art installations out of old bikes, he's most likely stomping the streets and painting the town. I'm serious though! He recently finished the graffiti wall on the south side of the Copper Kettle restaurant on Scarth St. Meet the newest Street Wear fellow, Ben Bates.

How would you describe your style?

I try not to. I dunno, it's probably influenced by 1970s counter-culture. I don't know if there's one person specifically, but probably the outcast parts of the '70s. The fallout from the hippies, when they got angry… that's what I dress most like.

Tell me about this vest.

I found the vest at the Sears Outlet. Well, it was a jacket and I tore the arms off.

Did it come with the patches?

No. The Bagheera patch on the front is from the Scout's Canada store. I thought it was fitting, because when I was in Cubs that was the den I was under.

Tell me more…

Well, everything in Cubs is based on The Jungle Book and I was in the Bagheera den.

Seriously though, a neon-green patch with a panther on it is pretty cool!

So you ' re good with a needle and thread, I see.

Yeah. I took home ec in grade nine, which was a great thing because now I know how to use a sewing machine and hand sew. I don't know if I would be able to nail down all the seams to make a whole outfit, but I'm pretty good at patching. I have a lot of experience patching up jeans. I refuse to by new ones.


It's hard to find a good pair of jeans in this city, especially for guys. Or it used to be. Now Norwood is open, and they have great jeans. But I think really worn-in jeans look great.

Tell me about those shoes.

I bought these at Iannone's on 13th. I bought them for work but I wear them all the times. Shit-kickers are great. Really shiny boots, not a fan - but a good pair of shit-kickers are essential.

They go with your look pretty well.

Yeah, if I had a spit-shined pair of boots, people would be asking what's up: "Did you intentionally shower in dirt and then put on clean shoes?" I think that's an important thing with personal style - if it's a put-on, people will know. If you're comfortable in what you're wearing, it shows. Everyone has a way that they want to be perceived by how they dress, but it has to be genuine. So when you go out and buy whatever's hot and new, and it isn't a reflection of you or your interests, it shows. Fashion is great. Style is even better.