Art Whore

Art Talk – John Pryor of ‘Dollar Slice Bootlegs’

DSB - Logo - Color
Mr. John Pryor of ‘Dollar Slice Bootlegs’ outta the U.S.A is a punk loving, tatted up, 35 year old resin slinger whose work has gained him a steady stream of loyal fans since debuting on the scene roughly 1 year ago.

His work is unique, expertly crafted and imbued with a sense of comedic danger – creations that you can imagine offering you a joint and a beer as they playfully destroy everything around them

(Picture below of John and his work – Photo by Phil Rohlik)

DSB - John - Phil Rohlik 001

With a steadily growing profile, and collaborations with ‘Art Whore Approved’ artists Falcon Toys and Butcher Brand in the works, now is the perfect time to get to know John and ‘Dollar Slice Bootlegs’, by reading the Art Talk interview, below…

Basics/Getting to Know

Name + D.O.B?

First things first, thank you.  Thank you for asking me to do this, it’s my first interview involving the my involvement in the resin world… So thanks dude, thanks for interviewing me…..
My name’s John Pryor, I was born April 1980!!! Like in the 80s!

(Pictures below of John Pryor on the art grind)

DSB - John - Making Toys 001

DSB - John - Making Toys 002

City, State n Country you’re Repping?

I come from the mean streets of Carmel Valley/Carmel by the sea in California country….
It’s dope, legal weed if you’re medical for almost 20 years, tons of vegan foods everywhere and we got the prettiest girls ever.

Describe a memory from three stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together your pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, women, school, crime… ANYTHING man.

* age 10 – beginnings:

Age 10?
At age 10 I was miserable in a new school getting the snot kicked out of me daily…..
But pivotal moment in the early days?  I was almost 4 and it was Christmas.  I was over at some families house that my parents knew, anyways I was talking to their 10yr old son asking what he got for Xmas… He rattled off some shit I don’t remember but not a single toy.  I asked the kid why he didn’t get any Star Wars figures (cause they were like life) and he told me when you get older you don’t like toys anymore. That blew my fucking mind.  I distinctly remember thinking the child equivalent of “yeah fuck that noise” and promptly ended the conversation…
Anyways yeah that lasted and I always wanted to never get “old” enough to lose my love for toys and I never have.

* age 15 – getting serious:

Oof that was a fucking miserable time, early teens/middle school..
I spent a lot of time inside with TMNT Playmates figures,  crystal Pepsi, my camcorder and lots of pizza.
I never fit in through school ever, so when I found hardcore and straight edge I dove head first into it.  Even there I didn’t really fit in but at least the music was the shit and I got the fuck out of carmel on a weekly basis for shows in the Bay Area.

* age 20 – adult mode:

Well shit, there could be a damn novel right here…  Let’s see… What’s the most precise line I can make to where I am now?
Well on my 20th birthday I met the band Saves The Day and they started taking me along on California tour dates, from there I met tons of folks in the music world..that led me to live in NYC for a while…till 9/11… I moved back… Moved to Santa Cruz, did a lot of drugs, went to jail too much and for a few years I did hair on tour w bands or like by apt only house calls… Then I grew medical weed a while…  Now I’m here.

(Pictures below of John in his salad days)

DSB - John - 1987

DSB - John - 1994

DSB - John - as a child with toys

Personal motto?

DO. IT. YOURSELF.

Favorite band(s)?

Too many to list… Strife, the Beach Boys and Nightmare of You would be a quick top 3.

Favorite TV show(s)?

I’m a pop culture enthusiast, so if it’s been on the tube in the past 35yrs and was good, I was prolly a fan.
I mean as a kid I didn’t really play sports, go out or have many friends.  So the tv was def a large part of my life.
Saturday’s pissed away with cartoons into TNG till My Secret Identity, ya know…

Favorite sport(s) + teams?

Nope.

Favorite movie(s)?

Ah man that’s so fucking difficult cause like what am I gonna do?  List off all my fave flicks like a MySpace profile?
Obvi the Star Wars trilogy was a huge part of my life.
My pops had copies of a new hope and empire before they were out cause of a family friend working w Lucas Films’ attorney.  So I pretty much spent a huge portion of my toddler life flopping around w those movies going just absorbing that whole universe.
I’m obsessed with Christian Slater, so like I celebrate his entire catalog from Untamed heart down….
I really like can’t decide or make a decisive list… Check my dating app profiles.

Favorite books and comics?

All the standard fair from 80/90s comics….top 3 books would be Invisible Monsters, Get in the Van, Banned in DC.

Art Questions

Why the name ‘Dollar Slice Bootlegs’?

I wasn’t happy with the original name “through being cool collectables” it sounded cheesy to me…
I was just scrolling through my IG and saw a post by @pizzanista, a great pizza joint in dtla,  about their day old dollar slices…
I dunno, I was really high and it just came to me….

Favorite other artist(s)?

Killer Mother Fucking Bootlegs, destroys the game with his creativity! Hands down that guy is on another level!
I also love the shit outta Falcon Toys, dude owns the Star Wars bootleg mash up game ya know? Like why bother when he’s there crushing it on every level….
Then obviously there’s HealeyMade and Sucklord being the yin and yang to the top of the game, they do some inspiring shit in one form or another.
Like those 4 dudes, that’s the standards I hold myself to….

Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?

Door mirrors and Instagram plus Star Wars bootlegs.

Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?

All the money, fame, models and fast cars.  That shit rules!

Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?

I’m making radical toys man.  Fun shit I wanna have on my shelf that stokes me out to see and make.  It’s art for sure but that’s a side note to me, I just wanna make cool ass shit that makes me smile and if other people get stoked too, that’s even better.
I mean who wouldn’t wanna be able to put smiles of people’s faces just with some fun toys?  Putting good energy in the universe?  Yeah that’s ripping.

(Picture below of John in his art space – Photo by Phil Rohlik)

DSB - John - Phil Rohlik 002

When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (drawings, paintings, anything)?

I’m pretty sure I always was kinda drawing here n there but the pivotal moment in my life was a visit from my god father Burne Hogarth when I was like 8?  I remember the 1st issue of Nintendo Power had just come out…
Anyways he came to visit and brought me a set of colored pencils, pens and tracing paper.  He showed me how to get down on some of my favorite Mirage TMNT covers tracing the characters and man, I was set!
That lit a fire under my ass like nothing!  I didn’t end up sticking to drawing but because of Burne I started down the road.

What did you draw as a pre-teen child?

Haha oh man, tons of Double Dragon/Bad Dudes inspired battle scenes with little stick figures kicking the shit out of each other.
I’d zone out on those for as long as I could before the teacher catching me.
Then once ’88 came around I pretty much obsessively drew Ninja Turtles like all the time ON EVERYTHING.

What did you draw as a teen?

Shit my teen years I spent a lot of time drawing band logos or straight edge warriors on notebook paper.  By the time I was a teen I’d decided I wasn’t good enough to pursue drawing and get anywhere…
It was fun and all but at the time I thought I sucked.
Oh wells.

Any pivotal artistic moment/influence?

Oh man yeah, 8 months ago pivotal artistic moment when I found the bootleg resin scene!!  It was like a kick in the face.

Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?

It was about a year ago?
I didn’t have a choice.
It was either start making radical shit or never sleep again. Like I couldn’t sleep…like I found out about resin bootleg toys and that was it… I felt like I was on 70s movie set cocaine, I dunno what the hell happened but I couldn’t sleep for weeks till I had my first mold and cast poured…. Shit was bananas!

Describe the method of making a ‘D.S.B’ work? (dot point all o.k.)

If I don’t just have something come to me during my day to day or right before sleep! I’ll choose from a few different boxes of toys I saved growing up and I’ll just stare.  I’ll dump the toys out on the floor like I’m 3 and I stare those fuckers into a new existence….
Then I bump some sweet pan flute jams and pour the awesome into molds/casts.

You have released many resin sculptures so far under the ‘DSB’ label – What are the character’s back-narratives and bios for…

(i) ‘Slaughterbot’?

Gnar.  Kill.

(Picture below of the ‘Slaughterbot’ figure from D.S.B)

DSB - Slaughterbot - Bagged

(ii) ‘Watcher in the Woods’?

He’s just a happy little dude that’s very similar to the scarecrow in wizard of oz.
Just dumb happy, chillin in the forest being stoked.

(Picture below of the ‘Watcher in the Woods’ figure from D.S.B)

DSB - Watcher in the Woods - original kit bash

(iii) ‘Duckman’?

Duckman is Ducky from Pretty in Pink, if Ducky had fallen into a bush before heading to the prom, that happened to be hiding an inter dimensional porthole, leading to a horrible mutation.

(Picture below of ‘Duckman’ from D.S.B)

DSB - Duckman

(iv) ‘Robo Creature’?

Dude, a Robo Creature…. Like that’s just cool!

(Picture below of ‘Robo Creature’ from D.S.B)

DSB - Robo Creature - Front On

(v) ‘Robo Juice’?

If Justin Pearson of The Locust jacked off into a robot sock, that’s what their ankle baby would look like.

(Picture below of ‘Robo Juice’ from D.S.B)

DSB - Robo Juice - loose - front

(vi) ‘Death to False Resin’?

The bringer of the death.
His wings will spread and before anyone is aware it will be far too late as a firestorm purifies the false resin from the earth.
Plus my magnet pegs kill what anyone else is doing for articulation.

(Picture below of the ‘Death to False Resin’ figure from Dollar Slice Bootlegs)

DSB - Death to False Resin - Carded - Front

What role has Mr. ‘Killer Bootlegs’ (and ‘Art Whore’ OG), Peter Goral  – played in your resin slinging adventures?

He’s a great dude!
Had the pleasure of meeting him at dcon this year.  It was one of the best moments of my life!! Dude chased ME down to introduce himself!! It was insane and made me lose it on the inside.
One of the first artists I discovered also and definitely a huge influence in finding my own voice/style.

(Picture below of John with Peter Goral of ‘Killer Botlegs’)

DSB - John n Peter Goral

Odds n Ends

What does punk music, art and culture mean to you, and why?

Punk?  Like pins and studs?
I have no clue what punk music, art and culture is anymore or was now by today’s standards.

Please describe the signs and sounds of the late 90’s American hardcore scene? – of which you were a major player as both a fan and singer…

I was mainly involved in Northern California back then…. I dunno, the Bay Area was still gnarly, the shows were in some epic shit holes, lots of guy liner, diesels and creepers cause 18 Visions were starting to really influence the California vibe…
I dunno, OBHC was a strange animal back then.

(Pictures below of John in hardcore mode)

DSB - John - 1999 - Singing

DSB - John - 2000 - Singing

DSB - John - 2010 - Singing

DSB - John - Singing with Gohan

What role did the ‘Straight Edge’ movement play in your development?

It gave me a fucking home and an identity!  Before I knew what straight edge was I didn’t feel like I could fit in since I didn’t have any interest in smoking/drinking/getting high… Then I found the name for what I was plus amazing music that was part of a community I never knew of.
Once I hit my first show (Eyelid, The Missing 23rd, Redemption 87, h2o and Good Riddance) I was hooked for life.

(Picture below of John with Strife lead singer – and fellow ex-straight edger – Rick Rodney)

DSB - John - w Strife singer

What role did toys play in your childhood?

Haha really?  Man, they were everything!!  My dad started me out at 2yrs old teaching me not to open toys, it was insane!!
From there I collected the living shit out of them, always keeping Em prisons and later always buying a second to keep mint in package.
That shit paid off in the lean years, there were many months that vintage toys paid the bills in my late 20s…

(Picture below of John and his old man)

DSB - John - With his Dad

Please describe your experiences growing up in America?

Fucking miserable.
I fully understand why we are the butt of the worlds’ jokes.

Who was your 1st crush and why?

Shaymaila White in 3rd grade.
She liked to play video games with me and would play GI Joe w me too… I thought she was the most beautiful girl in my class for sure.

Does sex change everything?

No, I’ve shared a joint that’s meant more to me than some of the drunken bs that occurs in life.

Please describe your latest dream in detail…

I was in a super nice rich house kinda like a giant polished oak cabin w vaulted ceilings… And I owned the place… I might have been going to the mall?

Have you ever tried psychedelics of any so And what was the experience like?

Fuck yes!!  Often!  Shit always gets weird.

Of everything you have done what would you most like to be remembered for and why?

This art I’m making dude!
Cause if I’m remembered for it, that means at least one other person got as happy as I was to see the finally product ya know?

Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?

Great way to make a living if you’re planning a rap career later on in life.
STITCHES!!!

Please describe what you think the AmericanPsyche/Zeitgeist is today?

Dunno, it upgrades too quick.
There would be a whole new os going on by the time this hits.

The Future

Any collaborations on the horizon?

Fuck yes!!  Got one coming up with Butcher Brand!! Really excited to get that one dropped….
And this is kinds mind blowing to me but I’ve got a collab coming up with Falcon Toys!!!!!
I’m beyond excited and a bit intimidated but like whatever, that’s a great reason to be intimidated!

Any major projects you want to hype man?

Yeah this July, something nostalgic on steroids is coming…
I wanna just shout my big brothers in Strife @strife_la, ETC Toys, Eyeone, Seeking Heaven and Cross my Heart Hope to Die…. Check that shit out, I’ll have plenty of wild stuff coming soon….
And Finn Mckenty, of Creative Live and stuffyouwillhate.com, for believing in me from the start and hooking me up with the $$$ to get off the ground.

Links

DSB - Logo - BnW

  1. Solid interview! That was great. Frames up john as the driven creative that he is.

  2. john can’t f*ckin’ slow down is the raddest dude in the universe!!! living on endor and all, he rocks the dopest toys and motivates me to try to stop being lazy and get creative. one day i’ll come close to catching up. great interview!!!

    • Huge thanks man! He’s nicknamed ‘Can’t slow down’ for a reason right! 😉

  3. keiron

    Brilliant interview . Inspiring and a lovely fella
    D $B FOR LIF

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