I get asked all the time, “Whats a DroneBoy?” or “A traffic cone with feet, thats stupid?”. Here is the story of how a young man became DroneBoy.
Droneboy wasn’t always attached to a traffic cone, you know.
Neither was he always referred to as ‘Droneboy’. He used to have a normal name – although this cannot be disclosed due to restrictions laid out by the Data Protection Act (1998). There was a time when he walked the streets like any other normal, average, person. Trouble was, though, Droneboy was never a normal, or indeed ‘average’ person. In fact, from an early age, he harboured an intriguing disdain for what he perceived to be ‘normality’. You know the lifestyle I’m talking about, you may even know the people. The sort who spend most of their lives saving up for a second-hand Audi so they can pretend to their friends and neighbours they have ambition and a job which doesn’t involve subservience to an obese capitalist in Leeds with bad breath and a history of gambling addiction, currently undergoing his third divorce – and is now considering ending it all. The sort of people who push their faces up against the train window at 7.50am staring at the gray expanse of industrial decay, wondering what it’s like to do something meaningful with their lives whilst the person next to them in a wet raincoat flicks through a soggy copy of the Metro with their chubby fingers, whilst listening to their cassette player unnecessarily loud. The sort of people who choose to take a pew at the table of fortune and scoff daddy-sized portions of monotony to keep their bellies bulging with dissatisfaction, On his way to school Droneboy would see these individuals, filing out of their homes and pouring onto public transport – emerging into a daily void of sheer insignificance. He called them Drones. Each one exactly the same – in some way. Each one of their pale, dissatisfied faces representing a blank canvass of lost potential. He never wanted to live his life like these, and set out to avoid them as best as he possibly could for fear of becoming one. However, one day Droneboy realised he couldn’t hide anymore. He had finished his education, and was now cruelly exposed to the very same people from whom he had tried to conceal himself for so long. He went from one job to the next, each time hoping that his new venture would quench the thirst to achieve something that brought more satisfaction than some letters on an exam certificate, or some figures on a wageslip. Each new appointment, though, gave rise to a fresh estuary of disappointment. He was still young, and had already realised the momentum life had to offer. He was now the face at the window on the train, deep-set shadows cast upon his cheekbones by the rolling charcoal skies.
He was a drone. A drone boy. Resigned to a lifetime of unparalleled mediocrity, the only thing that could now be done was to immerse himself in creativity in an attempt to prevent his mind from receding into redundancy. He had always loved to draw and paint when he was a child, and now he felt himself returning to the easel as a means of providing relative sanctity in an otherwise mundane existence. He started off drawing on paper. In work he would doodle on the various health-and-safety-related documents strewn about the office, and at home he would etch carefully-crafted scribbles into his Woolworths notepad. In time, these drawings turned into paintings on canvasses that he bought from the market for a quid each, each one representing a colourful moment of inspiration indulged. They became bigger and bolder in their nature, until eventually Droneboy could no longer contain his ideas within the restricted parameters of the canvass that his currency had afforded him. And so one night, following a particularly gruelling day of mind-numbing corporate underachievement, he came home and started work on his last A4-sized canvass. Possessed by a determination to produce his most inspirational offering yet, Droneboy rapidly used up the space available to him on the confines of the canvass, and with a blissful lack of consideration, spiced with a flagrant disregard for the unwritten etiquette bestowed upon him by ‘developed’ society, he continued his efforts onto the walls surrounding him. Then onto the floors. And next, the wardrobes. His bed got painted. Then his lampshade. Even his copy of Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’ wasn’t spared.
At around midnight, he stopped for a breather and looked around his room. Every last part of it had been painted, making one big three-dimensional portrait of Droneboy’s imagination. Inspired, he continued to paint – only this time just a red line, 15 inches wide running from his bedroom door to the top of his stairs. He continued.
Down the stairs. Over the sofa (at this point he realised that his landlord really wouldn’t look to favourably on his creative exploits – but hey, what the hell. He was never coming back.). Out into the hallway. Through the front door. Down the garden path and over his neighbour’s (second-hand) Audi. Into the street. Through the subway. One big red line, 15 inches wide. Over the main road and onto the railway station. Down the track (taking good care to make way for the occasional freight train). At about 4.45am he reached the city central railway station and looked up at the sky. It’s colour was beginning to adopt a subtle tint of purple in its blackness – indicating that sunrise, and therefore the presence of Drones, was nigh. He continued into the railway station. One big, red line – 15inches wide. Over the platform. Down the stairs. Into the tunnel and out into the foyer. One big red line – 15 inches thick.
It was about 5.27am when Droneboy was putting the finishing touches to his red line which had run all the way to the cash-point at the bank directly opposite the Central railway station. ‘Excuse me, son,’ came the voice. ‘What the hell do you think you’re playing at?’ Droneboy’s creative utopia instantly disintegrated around him as he turned around to face his challenger. And there, stood before him, he was confronted by his ultimate nemesis. Chief protector of the Drones, and enforcer of all Drone legislation and philosophy. There he was, in all his magnificent mediocrity – a police officer. For a moment or two, they stared at each other blankly – each aiming to anticipate the other’s next move. ‘Well, well, well!’ said the police officer, ‘deaf as well as stupid are we?’ Droneboy blinked. It was now or never. He dropped his paintbrush and, as the officer went to grab him, he dived beneath his legs and made a dash back towards the train station with his adversary in hot pursuit. He ran as fast as his tiny legs could carry him, but made little ground on the police officer – whose giant strides kept him within leaping distance of his target. Droneboy managed to make it back to the station, which was now busy with trains pulling in ready for another day of service. He ran into the foyer, through the tunnel and back up the stairs onto the platform where he had emerged from obscurity less than an hour beforehand. He sprinted to the platform edge, and wobbled precariously on its precipice. ‘Give it up sunshine, you’re coming with me.’ The policeman was confident he had nailed his target, and the self-satisfied tone in his voice was enough to confirm that the game was up. ‘Now step back from the edge of the platform you little tosser before you fall over’. On the other side of the tracks was a desolate expanse of wasteland – littlered with discarded shopping trolleys, traffic cones and washing machines, and characterised by a motley brood of disenfranchised pigeons and seagulls. If I could just make it over there, he thought, I can get away! At that moment, the deafening sound of a freight train’s horn reverberated through the early-morning air as it galloped its way through the train station. It’s now or never thought Dronesy, and just as the speeding engine approached he hurled himself with an almighty effort from the platform and into its path. The police officer shook his head and furrowed his brow as a subtle, smug grin emerged across his chops. Such a waste, he thought to himself. Never mind, though. One less ‘weirdo’ on the streets for the Drones to worry about. He didn’t bother phoning an ambulance, either – the pigeons and seagulls would make light work of Droneboy’s remains after all.
Or would they?
DroneBoy Laundry, an independent brand that offers quality clothing, released in limited quantity. By combining innovative design with quality apparel, DroneBoy Laundry strives to create classic, timeless clothing. Since 1998 we have been heavily involved with Cardiff’s underground street culture. Immersed in the homegrown music industry and specializing in
drum & bass and dubstep, with years of skateboarding, dj’ing, producing, promoting and street art. DroneBoy Laundry Embodies our roots and has been ten years in the making. Our brand represents Great Britsh street culture and everything creative and positive that emanates from it.
Droneboy Laundry started as a discussion between myself and DJ Moneyshot (Solid Steel) while I was designing his mixtape cover. He was talking about hip hop and me graffiti, subjects that wove in and out of each other. Roy (Moneyshot) was telling me about a famous throw-up, all the graffiti artists were duplicating in 80′s New York, mentioned in the lyrics of Beastie Boys ‘Sure Shot’ – “I’m Like Vaughn bode, I’m a Cheech Wizard, Never Quitting, So Won’t You Listen”. It got me thinking about how this character would look today after being influenced by 80′s New York and the culture that surrounded hip hop & graffiti. Vaughn Bode’s character ‘Cheech Wizard’ lived within a wizards hat and dressed in red tights, he refereed to himself as the cartoon Messiah and spoke in very urban ungrammatical dialect, having very liberal views, his appearance was never revealed. The Droneboy is the British reincarnation of Cheech, he now resides in a traffic cone and wears shelltoe shoes, but is still the cartoon messiah, often quoting ‘Of Millions – One’ which some think refers to his traffic cone shelter.
WHEREs THE JUNGLE
Where’s The Jungle is a clothing company with its roots deep in the concrete jungle. There is not a drum and bass rave in the world in which ‘Where’s The Jungle’ is not represented, born from a time when drum and bass was firmly a music from the underground, hawking our goods in clubs and independent dance record stores, drum & bass’ insurgence into the mainstream conscience over the last year has led to the clothing brand breaking out with acts like Pendulum, Chase & Status and High Contrast, Where’s the Jungle has sold t-shirts on every continent, not bad for a company with distribution akin to selling from the boot of a Car.
Where’s the Jungle is a t-shirt company thats sincere and genuine, it has deep rooted links with the scene its graphics depict, for the past ten years the designer drone1 has operated in/worked for clubs and nights in his hometown, for the past four years he has run the night Aperture (nominated for the past three years for ‘Best drum and bass promotion) and run this clothing label, that has what most of its peers aspire to have, soul. Its not a label not was born out of vanity, it was born out of necessity, it was a rallying call and still is a call to the drum and bass community worldwide ‘Where’s the Jungle’.
All the t-shirts falling of the production line now are printed on 100% cotton, from a supply chain is encouraged and assisted to adopt environmentally sustainable and ethical production methods. The screen printing takes place locally by a family run business in Cardiff.