Interviews

Jochen Paesen is a car designer for BMW where he plays an active role in shaping the interiors of its future cars. Jochen is also a skilled photographer and artist who knows how to capture a moment in time.

 
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“I currently live in Munich and work for BMW Design. I was born in Belgium where I spent the first 9 years of my life. Before moving to Germany I also lived in South Africa, France, England and The Netherlands. Despite moving around so often I feel at home wherever I live. It has broadened my way of thinking and has allowed me to discover new cultures and learn new languages, which has been a valuable way of stimulating my creative thinking.”
– jochen paesen

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Based out of New Bedford, Mass., Choppahead is at the forefront of new (2001 and on) Triumph chopper scene. In fact, Choppahead offered the first production hardtail frame for new Triumphs. In this interview, owners Jay and Truth expound on the Choppahead’s mission, how they bring the punk ethic to their business, and explain what a badass cafe racer is doing in their lineup.

 
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Choppahead
Choppahead
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“We are Choppahead…It’s a metaphor for who we are – we’re societal outcasts – shitty, gritty, grimy old punk rock kids but at the same time stand up dudes with class.”
– truth

 

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Proudly hailing from Indiana, Corey and Casey Wilkinson run Wilkinson Bros. – a design and illustration studio. (I would almost instigate a small crime spree to have their amazing space). In this interview, Corey talks about their studio, motorcycles (their blog, Good Spark Garage covers moto-culture) and how working close to the Racing Capital of the World is good for business.

Wilkinson Bros
Wilkinson_Bros_Sidecar

Tell us a little about you and Casey and where you live and work?
We’re graphic designers and illustrators who run a small shop in the Indianapolis area. We live and work in the northern burbs where our office is located in the Carmel Arts & Design District. Though many of our clients are in the Indy area, we serve clients all over America.

Wilkinson Brothers

You guys are twins. (Identical?) How are you the same? How are you different?
Yep. Identical. Lotta folks who know us don’t have trouble telling us apart, but nearly every day when we’re out n’ about we’ll hear, “you guys twins?” Our personalities are pretty different, but our work ethic is similar. We each have our own families and live in different communities, so we’re not inseparable, but when it comes to work or motorcycles we’re on the same page.

Wilkinson Brothers

“Our personalities are pretty different, but our work ethic is similar. We each have our own families and live in different communities, so we’re not inseparable, but when it comes to work or motorcycles we’re on the same page.”
– corey wilkinson

 

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Craig Lynn is a seasoned photographer with a love of motor racing and motorcycles. Speaking of motorcycles, he’s had the pleasure of riding with another bike fanatic – a somewhat obscure singer from New Jersey who simply goes by Bruce (or “The Boss”) in some corners of the world.

Photographer Craig Lynn

BRUCE – AKA “THE BOSS”  

Bruce Springsteen and his Confederado

From Craig: I’m in my early 50’s. I live in London. I was an actor when i was very young, lived in NYC in the early 80’s, lived for a spell in Tokyo, then moved to Los Angeles in 1985 for 10 years. I did some acting but also Art Directed some commercials and Music Videos. I also represented a good friend of mine who is an artist, sculptor, furniture designer, Mark Brazier-Jones. Towards the end of my time there I started to get some photography jobs.

“My father was a director so there were always viewfinders around the house growing up and round his neck! I was interested in my late teens and really took an interest when I was going out with a fantastic girl who I really wanted to photograph and make her look great.”
– craig lynn

 

Read the entire interview with Photographer Craig Lynn after the jump below…

 

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A motorcycle so dark and sinister-looking, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Darth Vader reserved one of these bad-boys. Bandit9’s Daryl Villanueva tells the story behind the “hand-and-eye” building of this bike, what it means to have an emotional connection with a machine, and his total belief that China is on the rise when it comes to creating quality products.

Limited Edition Nero Mark II :: By Bandit9

What you were trying to achieve with the Limited Edition Nero Mark II?
With the Nero Mark II, we wanted to create a bike that’s hard to categorize. Is it a café racer? A bobber? A chopper? I have no idea. We just set out to create something fun to ride that will really turn heads. We wanted to create a blend of vintage machinery with contemporary design, and the Nero Mark II does just that.
The only thing that hasn’t been redesigned on the Nero Mark II is its original 750cc Chang Jiang engine, although it has been rebuilt. There’s a lot of character and history behind the Chinese engine. Everything else, we pretty much threw out the door. The Nero Mark II is everything I wanted the original Nero to be.

Limited Edition Nero Mark II :: By Bandit9

The frame was completely reshaped so that we could create a bike with an elongated body and a low, athletic stance. The original hexagon tank and fender were carried over from the original design but we’ve made some modifications, including tapering the overall shape, making it slimmer than the original. We refashioned the gas cap to make the bike’s silhouette truly flat. There’s a gentle curve on the rear fender and this time, it’s directly welded to the frame. The brake light is also embedded inside the fender giving it that futuristic look. And, the seat was engineered to make the rider look like he’s sitting on air.

All the hand and foot controls are made from stainless steel and were re-engineered to make the ergonomics far superior to the original. We also revisited the inverted levers to give that vintage touch to the machine.

As for the front end, we’ve given the Nero Mark II Harley Davidson headlights, which are brighter, clearer and more durable than the original. We’ve left the front suspensions exposed, which gives the bike a lot of character since it gives you a glimpse of the mechanics. As for the steering, we’ve welded the handlebars directly to the fork. It’s something that we did on the original Nero as well. It feels far more responsive and gives the bike a cleaner look, which is better than the alternative – a mess of nuts and bolts just to hold a bar in place.

And of course, we’ve kept the Nero’s signature stealthy matte black.

“The difficult thing about launching a motorcycle company in China is that you don’t have access to a lot of parts and accessories, as well as the tools and machines that you’d normally use to do the most basic of tasks. So everything about the Nero Mark II had to be done by hand-and-eye.”
– daryl villanueva

 

Read the entire interview with Bandit9′s Daryl Villanueva after the jump below…

 

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Recently, photographer and Bonneville racer, Gunther Maier introduced me to the work of Sven Doornkaat. His mastery of night photography came from many years of trial and error.

Sven Doornkaat :: Photographer & Light Master
Sven Doornkaat :: Photographer & Light Master

“I was born in Germany, raised in Austria and came to the US more than ten years ago. It took me quite some time to find my niche in photography. I started as a photo reporter for a local newspaper, had a still life studio for a couple of years, worked as a food photographer for a PR firm, was hired by a big news photo agency and traveled all over Europe, I even worked for an adult magazine for a while.”
– sven doornkaat

 

View more photos, and read the entire interview with Sven Doornkaat after the jump below…

 

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Hailing from Copenhagen, the Wrenchmonkees are one of the most influential custom motorcycle builders around. I caught up with co-founder Nicholas Bech to discuss their design philosophy, and to find out what drives these Danes to create some of the most ruggedly-handsome bikes on the planet. (Yes, I used handsome and bikes in the same sentence).

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“We don’t want to do the same bike twice. And that’s mainly just because we want to keep ourselves active with the design and aspects of doing these bikes, and trying to figure out what kinds of bikes people are riding in different styles.”
– nicholas bech

 

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I asked Benny how he would describe himself. He wrote me back, “…motorcycle enthusiast, artist, and gentleman welder.” Brevity with complete honesty. Special thanks to photographer Sam Christmas for introducing me to Benny, and providing additional images for this story.

 

Benny Thomas of Boneshaker Choppers
Benny Thomas of Boneshaker Choppers

“I never set out to build bikes, I just always wanted a chopper after seeing my first one in an old custom car magazine, it was a full on flamed up Panhead chopper but I didn’t know that then, I took the centerfold out of the mag and laminated it with sellotape and put it on my bedroom wall, the urge for a chopper didn’t go away.”
– benny thomas

 

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Since graduating from Otis/Parsons back in 1991, Jim Hatch has built an extensive and impressive client list that includes ICON Motosports, Volkswagen, Tourmaster, Buell, Honda, Dunlop, Nissan, Lexus, Specialized, and Giant Bicycles.

ICON Overlord
ICON Vest
Specialized

“My first job was working for technical illustrator Kevin Hulsey where I learned a great deal. I was then asked to help design and build the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. That was an amazing experience seeing it come to life and meeting nearly everyone in the car world in the process. I left the museum to live and work in Santa Barbara, California and built a studio/garage to work and tinker with my motorcycles.”
– jim hatch

 

Read the full interview with Jim Hatch after the jump below…

 

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Garrett Meyers from Redding, California on why he waits for the perfect shot (instead of firing off a hundred frames), his obsession for older style bobbers, and how he tries to tell a story with each of his shoots.

Garrett Meyers :: Photographer
Garrett Meyers :: Photographer
Garrett Meyers :: Photographer
Garrett Meyers :: Photographer

“I broke my shoulder riding dirt jumps on my BMX bike years back and while healing I read an old photography book and thought I could do it. I bought a film camera and fell in love.”
– garrett meyers

 

Read the full interview with Garrett Meyers after the jump below…

 

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Besides being a creative director, blogger, entrepreneur, Mark Kawakami’s photography is a favorite of speed sites of the two and four-wheel variety. In this interview Mark, tells us how he really got going with photography, why his blog focuses on the personal side of motorcycle and car builders, and who he’d love to shoot if he had a time-machine.

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Jamie O'Brien

mike D

“From an early age I knew I was going to make a living doing art in some way. I would always be drawing something when I was growing up. As I made my way through high school I started to focus on going to art school to get my degree. So after high school I applied and got accepted to Otis Parson School Of Design in Los Angeles.”
– mark kawakami

 

Read the full interview with Mark Kawakami after the jump below…

 

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Self-taught photographer Robert McCarter on why he’s drawn to Bonneville, what it’s like to create emotion for others in his photos, and why shooting Walmart parking lots was way more fun than Black Friday shopping.

Interview with Photographer Robert McCarter
Interview with Photographer Robert McCarter
Interview with Photographer Robert McCarter

“I’ve learned most of my skills the hard way, self-taught. Having never attended art school or taken photography lessons I’ve just winged it. Even my main source of income is a trade that is mainly self-taught, upholstering hot rods and customs. So far this method has paid off, though I admit it probably isn’t the easiest route.”
– Robert McCarter

 

Read the full interview with Robert McCarter after the jump below…

 

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