What led you to a career building bikes and customising?
Being brought up in Wolverhampton there was a big outlaw motorcycle club presence, I remember being in the back of my nan’s Nissan Micra when we were overtaken on both sides by a club on a run, the sound and look of those Harleys blew my mind. I wanted to be THAT guy…. but cleaner with a pretty girlfriend. When I was a kid the only people who rode those sort of bikes and had big beards were the real deal, there weren’t many custom bike shops about then and the ones that were had no time for a 14 year old spotty youth- I still wanted a chopper though so I learned how to do it myself, I made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot. When I’d built a few and my bikes started to get recognized people started offering me a lot of money for them, then people started offering me money to build them to order, my business grew out of that. I really just like making stuff.
Describe your personal style?
A gentleman welder, 70’s throw back biker and chopper geek – I like to build period custom bikes for myself from the 1920’s through to the 70’s. I dig the whole bike scene that was going on in the late sixties through the seventies.
I think I might be a hipster but I was into old chopped motorcycles before it was cool but isn’t that what Hipsters say about everything? I am a geek though, I am big into the history of custom bikes, I’ll search all over the world for a specific tank that hasn’t been made for 30 years.- for sure, i could make a replica but that’s not the same as having the original piece and knowing the history or imagining it.
The bikes come first but I guess if I had to describe my personal style it would be somewhere between Sonny Barger and Rasputin.
Who are your design and music icons?
David Allan Coe and Waylon for music, for the bikes it’s the innovators of the custom bike revolution, guys like Jeff Mccann and Billy Budde, I’m a traditionalist in most aspects of my life, from bikes to architecture to clothes. I like inner city Birmingham architecture, I love the old factory buildings that I know used to make clever shit out of metal before they were an apartment or restaurant. I don’t really do modern stuff.
What’s the most inspiring place you’ve ever visited?
That’s a difficult one for me to answer, i get inspired by things that have been and gone, When it comes to the bikes a lot of those early customs just don’t exist anymore, they got broke up into parts and sold off, crashed or left to rot. the only way I can see those bikes and touch, feel and ride them is to re-create them. My mind is a pretty wild place… I get a lot of inspiration from rummaging around my own noggin and reading old chopper mags… I probably need to get out of the workshop more…..
What drew you to working in collaboration with Buster + Punch?
Me and Massimo had worked together on several bikes the first bike being a hot Harley Davidson Sportster in a lightweight rigid frame, a little tyre splitter from hell, Mass has a great eye for bike design, That first bike we did together still pops up all over the internet after quite a number of years- it was a pretty iconic bike and had some interesting hand turned brass parts on it that echo the B&P designs. From there we have worked on several more builds for B&P the latest being a limited edition Mutt Motorcycle built specifically for B&P.
What new business/projects are you currently working on?
We started Mutt Motorcycles a couple of years ago and it’s growing daily , Essentially we redesigned the idea of small CC motorcycles and made them cool and desirable, they are an extension of the higher end vintage stuff I build and they have developed somewhat of a cult following and seem to be quickly becoming the machine to get around the city on., The bikes themselves and the whole process is a blast, I get a real buzz out of designing new models and seeing our bikes out on the road.
We’re working on a new premises which will be a workshop, retail, cafe and an all round pretty cool place to work and hang out in. You should all comeover.