Klaviyo form snippet

Email signup

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Marcus Ellis 1963 Generator Shovelhead

Fuel Cleveland is happy to announce one of Cleveland's own, Marcus Ellis, who will be showcasing his beautiful 1963 Generator Shovelhead on May 9th. Marcus has been building bikes for a little over 7 years, working under Huey's (Cleveland Motorcycle), Love Cycles, the Gasbox, and even some local Harley Davidson. This bike is only Marcus' second official build by his self but you could never tell with the perfect lines, expert stylization and perfect attention to details this bike has. Topped off with a perfect paint job by Joe Koenigsmark at Angel Dust Cycle Paint. This Shovelhead is a thing of true beauty and you have to see it in person to really appreciate it in all it's glory!

The build took a little over 3 years because of all the time Marcus took to collect the parts. Marcus started with only about 70% of the motor, he had to rebuild the entire frame, fly wheels, trans and even the hubs. With a 3" up Bullneck frame, an 8 over front end giving the bike a distinct stance along with his own hand laced wheels and custom one off bars. Marcus wanted to build something super fun to ride and something with style, which this far exceeds his goal.

Side note: He made the top 12 of the very first Show Class Magazine People's Champ with this build.


Be sure to check out Marcus' 1963 Generator Shovelhead in person at Fuel Cleveland on May 9th and follow him on Facebook.

Heath Braun

What can I say about Heath Braun other then he is one of the nicest guys I have ever met, with an amazing heart and a killer eye that finds beauty in everything. His skills with a camera far exceed not just in still form but video as well. This allows Heath to shine light on the motorcycle culture of Texas very well. I first met Heath two years ago, he was looking like a drenched rat from riding in the rain nonstop from Austin to Milwaukee. The first thing he ever said to me was "Hey man, can I get one of those beers?" I knew instantly we would be good friends. I found out later about his skills behind the camera. They were something out of magazines and things amateurs just don't do. He finds the chaotic stuff, the beauty, and the rawness that excites us all. That's why I love his imagery so much. He has just released his very first book called "The Great White Bison Volume 1" and it is truly remarkable. I am so excited and honored to have not only a friend but a phenomenal photographer such as Heath coming up to Fuel Cleveland on May 9th to display his work! We sat and talked a bit over the inter webs and this is what came of it. Enjoy!

-Mikey Revolt

Heath Braun, where is the place you call home? Where were you born?

H: I was born in a small town called Yakima, Washington and went to school in Seattle and Portland. I now live in Austin, TX and have lived in Texas for about three years, but I think I'll always call the Pacific Northwest home.

The Great White Bison, what is it? Where did come from? 

H: The Great White Bison is an all encompassing name for my photography, it comes from a lifelong interest/obsession with the story of the American buffalo and it's cultural impact on this country's history. The short version is that the bison my spirit animal.

How long have you been creating artistically, how long with a camera in hand?

H: I started shooting photos my freshman year of high school when a neighbor gave me a Pentax 35mm camera for mowing her lawn. I was playing in a band and going to shows every weekend and always had a camera in my hand, and once I got in a darkroom at the local community college I was hooked, I essentially spent the next 8 years living in and out of darkrooms.

What is some of the craziest moments on the road you ever encountered?

H: The most awe inspiring was riding through Yellowstone and getting stopped by a herd of over 100 bison. It was really incredible. There were a ton of cars just stopped because the herd was impassable, and these giant, beautiful creatures just start walking past me with nothing between us, so close I could have reached out and touched them.

The scariest was riding with about 8 guys and watching my buddy, Steve Gill, get run off the road doing about 70 into a gravel ditch and somehow he was able to stay on two wheels and essentially jump his bike back out of the ditch and back onto the highway without missing a beat.

There is a video I saw once of you dancing in a yellow rain suit in the middle of a road, do you remember what song you were singing? That was 3 days of riding in the rain from Austin to Milwaukee, does that happen a lot to you or only when you are with Traveling Dave? 

H: Haha I believe I was singing 'eye of the tiger'.  I have a nasty habit of getting a song stuck in my head and singing it out loud as loud as possible while flying down the road, and once we stop the bikes I'm usually still singing. 

The rain was a killer on that trip, essentially adding an entire day to our ride up there. As much as I would love to blame Dave for the rain, it seems to follow me as well. I think it's a northwest thing. It doesn't bother me too much though, it usually makes for a better story.

What are some of your favorite moments captured on film, or in a photo?

H: Favorite moments are hard, because I have my favorite images, but it's hard to really capture the completeness of a moment, ya know? I think anytime a few of us are riding out to go camping on a random weekend are when my favorite images are captured. 

What inspires you and drives your passion for motorcycles, and photography?

H: The people I've met since I started riding and seeing the creativity that has exploded in the last few years out of this community has been really incredible to watch. Seeing other people's work, whether it's a bike they're building or other folks out having adventures and making great photos, it drives me to be more creative personally.

Camera preferences? 

H: I love shooting medium format film on my Pentax 6x7, but when I'm shooting motorcycles I'm usually using my Nikon. 

Stills or Video? You have a real eye for both, do they play hand and hand for you or are they extremely different in you approach?

H: Well, I would say that still photography comes much more naturally to me. I've slowly been teaching myself video editing over the past couple of years. They go pretty hand in hand for me as far as shooting goes, I'm able to switch pretty seamlessly from shooting stills to video while riding, it just depends on the situation and what I'm using the footage for.  I like shooting videos at events and stuff, because I feel like I can tell a more narrative story.  And I like shooting photos more when I'm just hanging out and riding with friends. Since starting the book, video stuff has taken a bit of a backseat to straight photography, though I'm hoping to do more in 2015.

What vision or message do try and put into your work?

H: I don't know if I have a vision or message in my work as much as I have a documentary focus. I try to create compelling images that are snapshots of good times with good people riding, creating, and enjoying these machines that we all love.

Your new book “The Great White Bison, Volume 1” is amazing, what challenges did you face with it and how does it feel to have tangible and beautiful work forever in history in an actual book?

H: It is definitely an incredible feeling. The reason for doing the book was mainly being tired of creating images and not using them anywhere. I put them on Instagram and my website, but I grew up printing in a darkroom and having physical prints to show for it. I wanted to create a physical piece of work that people could hold in their hands and flip through the pages and have a tangible thing to enjoy. I had no idea that so many people would be into it. I thought it would be something that my friends would like and maybe a few people would be into but I have received such a positive response from it, it's really been overwhelming and super humbling. The main challenge I faced was myself. I knew I wanted to make a book but I knew that at this point it wasn't going to be the end all, be all of my work, that's why it is volume 1. I'm hoping to release a volume 2 in the next 6 months or so and I want it to be a pretty regular thing, but I'm not really a designer and I'm not a publisher, I'm a dude with a camera that likes to ride motorcycles, so the biggest challenges are definitely going to be teaching myself the skills to create and design another good looking book.

Who did you look up to as a kid and did they have influence on you as a person today?

H: My neighbor Jason was always a pretty big influence on me. In the summer he would take me dirt biking in the country and in the winter we would go snowmobiling in the mountains. When I finished college I decided that I wanted to sell my car and buy a motorcycle. I knew nothing about bikes so he took me to check out my first real bike, the Honda Shadow, that I still ride to this day. I was lucky enough to see him over the holidays this year and give him a copy of my book, he had no idea that I still ride or the influence that those little moments with him would have on my life. 

Whats your dream machine?

H: Dream machine is hard, I want something that I've built from the ground up, that is reliable daily and that I could just hop on and ride a couple of thousand miles. 

Whats one place you would want to go if you could just jump on your bike and leave town right now?

H: I've had a really strong desire to ride down the east coast of Mexico to Belize. I really want to ride in another country as I've done a little bit of international traveling but I've never done it on a motorcycle before.

Any stories other interesting facts you would like to share?

H: Can't think of too much for this one, except for the time that you took a picture of my ass tattoo and a buddy bought it and put it on his wall, without knowing it was me.

Is there any life mottos or words of wisdom you would like to give?

H: Do what makes you happy.

Black Sabbath, Ozzy or Dio?

H: Wait, is this a real question? Ozzy.

What’s your favorite 90’s show?

H: Pete and Pete.

Anyone you want to give a shout out or thank?

H: I want to thank my wonderful girlfriend Mary Catherine for putting up with my dirty, loud, and probably obnoxious antics, my parents and my sister for their support, and every single person that has ever let me shoot pictures of them and share a bit of their lives with other people. 

You can see more of Heath's work not only at Fuel Cleveland on May 9th but on his website: www.thegreatwhitebison.com 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Josh Scott "Old School Helmets"

Josh Scott is one funny, talented, and overall excellent dude that paints some of the coolest helmets and bikes I have ever seen. His paint work speaks volumes to what choppers represent, it's easy to stare at the details. For the past 6 years, Josh has found away to make his art a full-time gig and keep the American dream alive. You never know what you will get from Josh when it comes to his designs, which always keeps his work interesting and fun. Sometimes, it could be a crazy flaked out, lined, traditional design and other times it could be a crazy caricature like the one he did of "The Dude" from King Pin on the back of a Biltwell Gringo (see below!). Everything he touches just rules and his amazing, funny, and humble personality that comes along with the talents just adds to the whole package of awesomeness. Fuel Cleveland is extremely excited to see what Josh comes up with for his helmet design for the show on May 9th, I know he will absolutely kill it.

-Mikey Revolt

Josh Scott, where do you call home?

J: Dublin, Ohio...suburb of Columbus

What got you into motorcycles? Did you find them or did they find you?

J: I had mini bikes, dirt bikes and quads as a kid. After high school and through college I didn't think about them that often. Then I moved to Southern California when I was 24. While I was living there, my older brother and my dad both bought street bikes. I heard about this and it peaked my interest in them again. I was also living in a place where you can ride year-round! I researched what I wanted and then made the mistake of buying new. In 2004, I bought an '03 Honda 750. Soon after buying it, I found a forum online where guys were chopping the shit outta the bikes. Hardtailing them and stretching the tanks, etc. This really got the fire started and it has never gone out.

How long have you been painting and when did it start colliding with motorcycles and helmets?

J: I think it was around 2005 that I attempted my first real paint job on my bike. I was living in an apartment in Marina Del Rey, CA and I turned my balcony into a paint booth! I bought a large compressor from Home Depot and returned it soon after I finished the job. Looking back on it, I should have been arrested. Fast forward two years and I am living in Colorado and working at a small custom bike shop. I became friends with the owner who built XS650 chops from the frame to the paint in house. He taught me a lot about sheet metal and metal fab in general and that is mainly what I did. But I was always interested in the paint side of it. I would watch him paint simple one or two color jobs. This helped me understand the process from primer to polishing. I started painting helmets in my free time at his shop in early 2009 and sold them one at a time. It all snowballed from there. In 2010 my family and I moved to Ohio and I never went looking for a job. The helmets were selling like hot cakes so I kept pushing forward with it and pushing myself to learn more and become better. I also started painting tins at this time.

What are some of the most challenging things for you, when it comes to painting?

J: Basically how labor intensive it is. If you have never painted, you have no idea. Whether it is brush work or spraying. The shit takes a LONG time and a LOT of intense concentration. I push myself pretty hard so I think that adds to it as well. I have a deep respect for the painters out there who are good at what they do.

What other forms of art do you enjoy or are dabbling in? Anything you love more than painting?

J: I have been playing guitar on and off for 22 years! Fuck, I sound old!!!! Hahahahaha I played in a band that gigged regularly for 2 years while living in Southern California. It comes and goes for me. I was real intense with it for about 6 years and was also into home recording. I own one acoustic/electric guitar right now which was a gift from my wife on our first Christmas together 11 years ago. It's a Takamine.

What are some of your favorite motorcycles you have ever owned and/or still own? What makes it so special to you?

J: When I was 10 or so, I rode an old Suzuki 100. I don't know the model but it had darker green paint and chrome fenders I think. Early to mid-Seventies if I had to guess. That bike probably made the biggest impression on me. I dumped it quite a bit but that comes with the territory and makes you respect it that much more. Also, the first bike I ever built from the ground up was my Yamaha XS650. I now own my first Harley which is a 1972 Ironhead. I am in love with this bike.

Do you have a place of serenity that you like to ride to or does painting give you that sense of peace?

J: I like riding out into the country here in Ohio. I grew up in the country and will soon be living out there again. Not a whole lot of people running around and that's how I like it! Painting also gives me a sense of peace. I try to remind myself to enjoy it as much as I can because it is very rare for someone to be able to make a living doing something they have always loved to do.

What are some of your favorite things about motorcycles, the community and the industry?

J: The FREEDOM to do whatever the hell you want . . . almost! Normal guys like myself get to start and run small businesses. When you run a business, you get to put it out there into the world. You get to show everyone what it's all about and what you are all about through your work. You get to put together rides and runs and campouts and (almost) no one can tell you what to do or that you are doing it right or wrong. I also like to see the concentration on craftsmanship and quality on a daily basis. I follow some amazing artists and craftsmen on Instagram. I love seeing something and just thinking, "WOW!"

How do your ideas generate into reality? Is it a line you first draw and go on from there, does it come off the top of your head, or is it carefully mapped out via computer?

J: I have always steered clear of the computer when it comes to getting my ideas down. I usually sketch with a pencil. When it comes to laying out tins, most of that is a simple idea that grows into whatever it wants. I just get to say when it's finished. I like that about art and songwriting. A simple idea gets out of control real fast and when it comes to a screeching halt, you sit back and think "how the hell did that just happen!" And most of the time you really dig it!

If you could jump on your bike and go anywhere right this moment, where would you go and why?

J: Mountains or Ocean. I don't care which and I don't care where. I would prefer CA or CO since I lived both places and loved every second of it but I also like discovering new places.

What are some of your favorite memories that painting and motorcycles have giving you?

J: My Dad visited me in CO a few years back. We rented him a Harley and I rode my rigid Honda 750. We did a giant 250 mile loop that day up through the mountains and along the Arkansas River. We encountered rain, high winds, and finally sunshine. That was a good day! As for painting, I think being a part of the Oil and Water 2 show was special. It is put on by the US vs. THEM dudes and I was even filmed and in the trailer for the show. I painted a tank for the show and went with my wife and a couple of good friends. There were some great artists in that show and I am proud I was asked to be a part of it. Thanks Mike Glory!

Who are some of your biggest influences or inspirations?

J: My wife is the first. She is a special person and not just because she is my wife but because she truly is. She lives her life differently than most people I know and encounter. She has never changed the way she lives in the 12 years I have known her. She has always supported whatever I wanted to do without hesitation and her positive attitude and beautiful smile is inspiring to me. Booyeah! Gettin' lucky when she reads this!

As for painters and bike builders there are too many to list. Instagram has opened my eyes to so many talented people around the world in our community/scene/industry.

Is painting your full time gig or a goal to make it eventually the only thing in your life, or do you find it as an escape and better to keep as a passion?

J: Painting has been my full-time (or part-time) gig for the past 6 years. I think the fact that it is my job really pushes me to get better and stronger at what I do. People pay me money for what I do so I better give them the best that I can. I think if it was a hobby, I would not be disciplined enough to do it almost every day. Over the past 6 years I have regularly made it a goal to tell myself that each job I do is for someone and that someone is gonna (hopefully) cherish it. I know when I have someone make me something I truly love it. I spend my money on it and I expect it to be awesome! As of right now, I have painted or helped paint 1,277 helmets. Some customers buy a few helmets at a time but for the most part it is one person buying one helmet and I want that one helmet to be the coolest they have ever seen or worn.

Any big goals or projects you are currently working on you would like to share?

J: Not motorcycle related but still cool is the fact that I traded my beloved XS650 chop for a 1950 Ford 2-door Sedan (shoebox) project. This is my 2nd such car. The first I owned for 3 years. I plan on building this one into a convertible.

Is there any other hobbies or interesting things about yourself that some may not know?

J: I like taking baths lately. I am 38 years young. I exercise my 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms and I think that it is extremely important that this right never be taken away. You see what happens around the world when citizens cannot arm themselves. Whether you like guns or not, it is in our Constitution and should be protected at all costs.

One time I shit my pants racing my bike home from a friend's house when I was 11 years old. It feels good to get that off my chest. It was embarrassing and liberating at the same time.

Hahahhahhha. I don't know where to go from there. ahhah

Any life mottos or codes you try to live by?

J: Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try
No hell below us Above us only sky
Imagine all the people Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too
Imagine all the people Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one

I think John was onto something here.

What is your ultimate go-to flavor of ice cream?

J: Coconut, if it is available. Mint Choco Chip, if not.

Anyone you would like to thank or give shout outs to?

J: My awesome Wife! My incredible kids! My family and friends!

THANKS to Mikey Arnold, Tyler, Kyle and the Lowbrow crew and Jesse at Gasbox for the invite. I am honored. THANKS to Bill and Mcgoo at Biltwell. If it wasn't for their helmets, I would not be doing what I am doing right now.

Make sure to come see Josh's skills at Fuel Cleveland on May 9th and if you want to check out more of Josh's paint work go here: www.digthelid.com or on his Instagram www.instagram.com/oldschoolhelmets 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ken Carvajal

Have you ever met someone and instantly knew there was something about that person that just stood out as humble, caring, sincere and screams, "this is a good person!"? That was my thoughts about Ken Carvajal when first meeting him at this past year's Hood Bush. Not only is he a great person but an amazing photographer. Ken has this cinematic touch to his photos that makes you feel like you are in motion but still staring at a still. His first person shots while riding are some of my favorite, it puts you right into the scenery and makes you feel like you are the one riding. I absolutely love his compositions, color choices and his look on the motorcycle culture. Ken is continuing to constantly grow as an artist. I am extremely happy to announce Ken will be showcasing some of his work at Fuel Cleveland on May 9th. Here is a little conversation we had via e-mail. Enjoy!

-Mikey Revolt

Ken Carvajal where do you call home? 

K: I live in the west suburbs, roughly 30 minutes from downtown Chicago. We chose this town for its location to all the areas we used to frequent when my wife and I were just starting out.

Give us some background about yourself. What makes Ken Carvajal and all his awesomeness?

K: Haha! I wouldn’t be here today answering these questions if it wasn’t for my beautiful wife Melissa, who always stands behind my ideas, regardless of how crazy they may be. But I’ve always been into some form of art as a kid. My mom used to take me to art class on Saturday mornings where I learned illustration, sculpting, etc. I was also into music after high-school and produced/DJ’d house music for a number of record labels which gave me an opportunity to travel a little and got to see the UK, Vancouver, and a bunch in the US. I did that for about 10 years or so. I even had a recording studio where I’d record demo for local bands etc. It was a great time. I wish I still had that gear since now my son is into music. (Go figure!) As for photography, I’ve always had a ‘can do’ attitude and when my son was a year old, we used to take him to those mall photography studios. I remember wanting to try it out so I picked up my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel that I used for about 7 years. I didn’t really take it further by getting new lenses until around two years ago when I saw some of Cicero Deguzman’s work. His composition is very unique, and combined with choppers, which to me is an art in itself makes for an even more beautiful image. 

What drives you as a person?

K: I like to get inspired, whether it is from others with similar interests, type or whatever it is I’m working on at the moment. The cool thing about being into the custom culture is there’s so much talent that you get inspiration from every direction. I think it’s why I’m really enamored by it.

What is your favorite thing to photograph?

K: I haven’t really taken it seriously until recently, so right now I would say choppers and candid images of people. I just like the natural element aspect of it all, especially those one-off parts that someone put so much time and effort into to make it into what it is.

Who and/or what inspires you and your photography?

K: Cicero Deguzman. His composition is very unique, and combined with choppers, which to me is an art in itself, makes for an even more beautiful image. Billy Childress’s work is also amazing, Ben the Boog, Matt Aimes and of course, you Mikey. ahaha

How many miles did you put on your bike this year? What kind of bike is it and is she reliable or temperamental?

K: I ride a 1965 Triumph TR6 in a rigid frame, king queen, spool front, and I probably put about 6k+ miles on it last year. We escaped winter and trailered our bikes to New Orleans and rode from there to San Antonio and back. I’ve also ridden it to Pinned, around Lake Michigan, Violation tour, NFLP, etc. For a 50 year old bike, I’d say she’s extremely reliable. Triumphs have a reputation for being temperamental but that hasn’t been my experience. But I usually fix things right away and learned it inside and out even though there have been times when I just want to throw a wrench at it.

Any crazy stories of being broke down or on the road?

K: One that comes to mind was our trip from New Orleans to San Antonio. One morning at the half way point, I was strapping my bags on the bike and while giving her a once over, I noticed a crack on the backbone. My heart just dropped. To make it worse, upon further digging, I found another crack about 12 inches up on the same piece directly under the tank. Being 350 miles from our truck, roughly 300 from our destination and about 1200 miles from home, I really wasn’t sure what to do. Luckily, my friends, Chris Hartman and Panhead John were with me. We called around and found a metal shop 6 miles away. That’s another story in itself but in short, the guys at Babin Machine Works in Beaumont, Texas saved me. They tigged the cracks, even spray painted the newly welded area but wouldn’t take a payment. Luckily, I was able to convince them to at least let me get them a case of beer. But after packing and getting back on the road, not even 5 miles away on I-10, the clamp on my clutch lever snapped. With exhaust clamps and zip ties, I was back on the road headed towards San Antonio. We posted the incident on Instagram and got in touch with Joey Cano who directed me to Stu at SOS Cycles. Called him up the next day, rode to his shop where he had the lever waiting there for me. The rest of the trip went smooth. Looking back, even though I wasn’t sure what the outcome was going to be, it was an amazing experience. 

What's your preference in cameras?

K: I’ve only had experience with cropped sensors but I’m toying with the idea of upgrading to a full frame. I think I need to make that step the way this year is going.

Is there anything big you are currently working on or any projects you want to talk about? 

K: The biggest thing I have lined up currently is the Fuel Cleveland in Ohio. You, Mikey, the most selfless, generous human being invited me to participate in the show to display my photos.

I’m looking forward to working with BadWolf brand on some ad and promo work. They have killer merchandise and have a huge following for being a recent start up clothing company. I’m also looking forward to the 4 Points Cycle show giveaway bike which I have been commissioned to photograph the build progress and the final photoshoot for Lowside magazine. Lastly, I have another bike that will be featured in DicE issue 60 and another in Showclass. Aside from that, I have a few bikes lined up to shoot for Chopcult and wherever else they end up.

What's the craziest thing you have ever done or witnessed?

K: I would say welding a hard tail kit with a 100 amp mig and without a jig on my first bike. I may have soldered before. Haha! That bike is still standing today. I slugged the heck out of it though. I’ve also been called crazy for riding my triumph as much as I have. I guess when it’s your only option to go on a journey with your friends, you have no choice. 

Cheeseburgers or pizza? Ahahha 

K: Both. Pizza in a burger or visa versa sounds terrific!!

Anyone to would like give a shout out to or thank?

K: I really want to thank my beautiful wife and son for allowing me to be me and for being supportive of all my endeavors. I’m really fortunate to have such an amazing family who either cheers me on or smacks me when I’m being crazy. My mom who’s always been there and for also being my cheerleader. My friend, Chris McMorrow (Black Horizons) who is like my big brother even though I’m 6 years older than him. He watches out for me and he is someone I know will always be there as he has proven time and time again. My buddy, Chris Hartman (Violation Tour), the super planner, project manager extraordinaire who is behind all the amazing bike trips I’ve been on. My Lost Cause Engineering homies, Darryl, Cory and Josh who are extremely talented and always keeps me in mind. Matt Aimes who is an amazing photographer and for trusting me with his strobist secrets. Sean Wilkinson who is also a brilliant photographer and for being a teddy bear since day one. Lisa Ballard for giving me the opportunity and an outlet for my photography through Chop Cult.

Last but certainly not the least, I'd like to thank you, Mikey, for seeing my potential, your generosity is surreal. You see me as a peer rather than competition which is a true testament to you as a person. You are definitely one the reasons for my success in photography and why I’m sitting here doing this interview. I am forever in your debt, Mikey. Seriously, from the bottom of my heart…Thank you!

I’d also like to give a shout out to Chop Cult, Badwolf Brand, ChopperProphets, Malvista, Jumpstreet Customs, 4 Points Cycle Show, DicE Magazine, Iron Invasion, Pinned Ohio, Violation Tour, BlackHorizons clothing, Zombie Performance, Rice Paddy Motorcycles, Lost Cause Engineering, Strangle Cycle and Capitol City Tattoo.

Be sure to check out Ken Carvajal's work at Fuel Cleveland on May 9th and for more of his work check his website: www.kencarvajal.com

Monday, February 16, 2015

Jason Sheets 1940 Knuckle Pantry Find

Jason Sheets, hailing from Hagerstown, Maryland, has been building custom hot rods and old Harleys for a little over 20 years. If you are looking for someone to restore an old Harley or car on the East Coast, Jason is the guy to see. He is currently working on 4 projects and creating masterpieces from some of the oldest finds like this 1940/1947 Knuckle Head. Jason found this bike in a "million pieces" in a local guy's pantry. As the story goes, in 1940 a farmer bought it brand new and rode it through the gas rationing during WW2. The farmer wrecked it in '48 and left it in his field where it was used as target practice until someone saved it from going to the scrap yard for $200. From there, years passed and all the original pieces sat dissassembled in the pantry where Jason had recently discovered it. It's incredible to see something like this get brought back to life and roam the roads once again. Jason restored it back to life having almost every original part but he did put a 1947FL motor in the 1940 chassis to make it have a little more power so that his wife, Jen, can race it at this year's "Race of the Gentleman". He used the '40 motor for another project.

"I started putting it back together going through the crates and coffee cans of parts trying to use every bolt and clamp that I had. I repaired the frame and rebuilt or repaired every part. I was missing some things like the wheels, seat and sheet metal. My wife's uncle had given us his old gold '47 knuckle gas tanks before he passed away of cancer so we thought that would be a nice tribute to him when she raced it, so I used those on the bike. I patched the bullet holes in the oil tank and left the other ones in the exhaust and the primary cover." - Jason

Jason's 31 VL build
Jason's 31 VL build
'29 Ford Roadster
Few of Jason's Hot Rod builds

Jason was an invited builder for Born Free 6 and showed off this beautiful 1958 Panhead build. This is also the bike on the cover of the newest Lowside Magazine issue 15.

1956 Pan Head
You can check out Jason's Pantry find in person at Fuel Cleveland on May 9th and stay up to date on everything he is working on at www.instagram.com/56panhead

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cicero deGuzman Jr.

If you have been living under a rock and don't know who Cicero deGuzman Jr. is you may want to type in your Google search bar "Godspeed 45/06" and get your mind blown for a bit. I have looked up to Cicero as an artist for a pretty long time. Not only is he an amazing artist that captures the true essence of motorcycles and it's culture but he is one hell of an amazing human being too. The way that he looks at photography is something special with a real distinctness. After a while you start seeing a lot black and white chopper photos and immediately you know which ones are Cicero's. With countless bikes and people he has shot, I feel like his portfolio and computer's hard drive must be to the breaking limit of awesomeness. Cicero's dedication to the motorcycle scene over the years has been truly a remarkable thing to witness and also really inspirational to me as an artist. I am so excited to announce Cicero deGuzman Jr. will be showcasing some of his work at Fuel Cleveland, May 9th. We had a little one-on-one interview the other day and this is what came of it. Enjoy!

-Mikey Revolt

Cicero deGuzman Jr., where do you call home? Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in San Jose, California and have called Brooklyn, New York home for a little more than 20 years now. I'm 44 years old, husband to Katie, father to Rush, and sidekick to my dog Rivet.

I have always wondered this, why 'Godspeed 45/06' and what is the significance of the numbers associated?

C: Honestly? It's just about time. I guess all of my photography is about collecting pieces of time. My father passed, and I became obsessed with time. He lived from 1945-2006, and believed in me much more than I could believe in myself, so the 45/06 was just a nod to him and what he meant to me.

When did photography and motorcycles become such a big part of your life? Is there history there or something that kind of found you.

C: My mom gave me a camera when I was about 15. A 35mm Minolta. I've always liked taking pictures for fun, I think it gives guys like me an excuse to hang out. My entire professional career has been spent as an art director, choreographing images for clients with photographers. When I started shooting bikes, which was only a few years ago, I did it because I wanted an opposite outlet to all that.

Where has been your favorite place and/or time to shoot a bike?

C: I kind of like being in places that aren't perfectly scenic. Busy cities. Messy garages. It's easier for me when things are moving, when people are doing things and not paying attention to the camera. That all helps to bring some spontaneity to the photograph.

What is your dream bike or do you have it already?

C: Yeah, I'm in love with my bike. And I don't want to hurt her feelings by talking about another one.

When did you learn how to shoot and ride at the same time?

C: Man, I still haven't learned to! I've got so much respect for all you guys that do. It really makes the photograph that much heavier.

When you do color photos I noticed you wash a lot of it out and add just a bit of saturation to one or two main colors, it’s really cool man. Do you like black and white photography more but feel some need that tiny touch of color or is it just sometimes what you are feeling that day?

C: I love the way a black and white image kind of asks you to learn its story. And I like that I have more control over the values -I can move reds towards black, or I can move yellows to white. But sometimes you just can't ignore the color. So I keep it, but I mute it down.

What and/or who inspires you and your vision?

C: Photographically? Too many documentary and street photographers to mention. Photographers like Hedi Slimane, Nick Maggio, Michael Schmidt, Scott Pommier, and Mark Choiniere all got me takin' notes. Apart from photography? That'll just go on and on. I trip on how good people can be at shit.

Is there any messages or things that you try to say with your images at all, or do you leave it to the eye of the beholder?

C: I don't think there are any messages yet. Maybe when we're all a little older, we can look at a couple of my photos and remember what a good time it all was.

What's next for you? Any plans on a 5th book, or any other awesome things in the works?

C: Yeah, if I can fill another book, I will. I'd really like to do some video this year. Hit a few new places. Ohio. Texas. Meet some new folks, have a few laughs.

What has been some of your biggest challenges for you as an artist and getting your vision to be seen? 

C: Just getting it done. The hardest part is making the choice to be somewhere with someone and just shoot. It's too easy to stay home.

I feel like you have seen every bike in the world with your humungous portfolio, Who's bike or bikes were some of your all time favorite and why?

C: It's neat getting a personal tour of a bike from it's builder. I like the stories behind every detail. The hidden tricks. The provenance of certain parts. When you see a bike by someone like Brandon Casquilho or Paul Cox... the level of craftsmanship is way past remarkable, but my personal favorites always tend to be the banged up leaky deathtraps that are just loved and ridden. 

Anyone you would like to give a shout out to or thank?

C: All my love to my mom, my wife, my son, my dog. And my motorcycle.

Be sure to check out Cicero deGuzman's work at Fuel Cleveland on May 9th, and you can see and buy more of his amazing photos at www.Godspeed4506.com

Monday, February 9, 2015

Chris Galley "Devil Chicken Designs"

Walking through the rows of parts at Timonium swap meet in Baltimore, Maryland last year, I saw a peculiar bright lit tent with a guy that looked like I had already known him from sometime but couldn't put my finger on it. He was painting a crazy skull overtop of what look liked a bunch of hodgepodge newspaper and picture clippings. I took a gander at his work not trying to disturb what looked like an elaborate process and immediately fell in love with every piece hanging on the walls of the tent. The incorporations of day of the dead, motorcycles, Evil Knievel, and Steve McQueen all with a crazy street art feel mixed with insane hodgepodge techniques really just blew me away. I managed to interrupt him anyway to say how amazing everything looked. To my surprise, I could not have interrupted a more humble and nicer guy. I had instantly became a fan and found myself a new friend in Chris Galley. Chris has his own distinct style, once you see his work you always know when you see it again "Hey that's Devil Chicken!" I asked Chris to showcase some of his amazing talents on a new Gringo S helmet to share with Fuel Cleveland, May 9th and I am excited to say, he said "HELL YEAH!" Check out some of his work and a little one on one we did the other day. Enjoy!

-Mikey Revolt

Chris Galley, where do you call home?

C: Buffalo, NY.

Buffalo eh? Did you die in that storm like a month and half ago, or have
any significant damage to your house? A lot of people had
videos of snow to their roof tops, were you a victim of that crazy snow fall? It looked insane!

C: We ended up being pretty sheltered on the West Side. That crazy wall of snow was literally two miles from our door. We only had about a foot of snow while everyone to the south got buried. The whole thing actually worked to my advantage as my school district was closed for a solid two weeks. That time allowed me to get about 100 Christmas ornaments painted in preparation for some holiday shows. I was all about skulls, pinstripes and 1 Shot for a solid two weeks. My philanthropic side kicked in after a couple of days and I made my way to the town I work in to help dig out the elderly and handicapped. It was wild how much snow they got in a 3-day period. It looked like the end of January in the middle of November.

What's your favorite thing to paint on?

C: That’s a tough one. I started out with traditional canvas but realized in a hurry that I beat the hell out of them too much. I switched to boards after a few months. Typically I work on ¼” sand ply. Home Depot is way cheaper for art supplies than traditional art stores. The boards allow me to stab, slice, sand and tear up my backgrounds and really hold up to the layers of paint, paper and wheat paste.

With all of that being said, I’ve also been getting a lot more jobs painting custom helmets for people. Like I said earlier, I’ve painted a lot of glass Christmas ornaments. I think my total number is somewhere in the 400 range. It’s been really cool to take those painting skills and apply them to a larger surface. I think I’ve done something like a half dozen Biltwell helmets in the last year. It’s always surprising to me that people not only dig my work, but trust me enough to customize a helmet for them.

When did art become a significant part of your life? I know you are an art
teacher, does that effect your love for it sometimes or make it just that
more rewarding?

C: I was actually talking to some of my kids in class about this not long ago. I can’t really remember a time when art wasn’t important to me. The moment that made me realize it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life was the time I spent at my Aunt Mary’s cottage. I remember being the only kid there, that meant the adults needed to find something to occupy me so they could all go party. My Aunt Mary gave me a stack of paper and box of crayons. She came back after a few minutes and raved about my drawing. She grabbed some tape and hung it on the wall. That was it, I was hooked and the adults didn’t have to worry about me for the rest of the night…

As far as teaching goes, it’s a pretty rad job. Don’t get me wrong, it’s stressful and it can make you crazy, but the fact that I get to go to work every day to draw, paint and be creative is pretty amazing. I work with high school kids. It’s cool that you see a massive change in them over a 4-year period. It was actually one of my kids that motivated me into getting my work out to the public. When she graduated she wrote me a thank you note for helping her over the years. The last few lines of the note were about how I shouldn’t wait anymore, that she believed in me. That didn’t really leave me much choice. I’m really glad she wrote me that note.

Your style of art is very collage, pop, paint meets crazy street art all
while mixing motorcycles, Steve McQueen and other amazing references to
motorcycle culture. Is there reasoning behind the madness of it all or
is it just what you see in your head?

C: I remember sitting in a critique session one time with a bunch of other artists. We all had work up on the wall and everyone had these really developed conceptual ideas behind their work. When it came time for me to discuss my work, I explained that my brain worked differently. Basically I picture the inside of my head as a monkey with a hammer riding around on a unicycle breaking stuff. I was done trying to make my work be something I wasn’t. I decided that my work was going to be an amalgamation of me. All the stuff that I thought was cool or that I was interested in was going to be included. Good, bad or otherwise, it was all going in.

I know my work isn’t for everyone. I’m cool with that. I don’t make it for anyone other than myself. I had a review of my stuff written up in a local publication. Most people dug it, but this one guy said my work “ looked like the scribbling of an untalented high schooler trying to be provocative”. To be honest, I thought he was pretty perceptive about the high school connection. 

What is the process on how your ideas come to reality? Is it a line of
paint and it goes from there or something you map out in your head or a

I probably paint every picture about 50 times in my head before I actually start physically working anything up. Once I have an idea, I obsess on it. I’ll wake up at 3:30 in the morning with my brain going a hundred miles an hour on all of the possibilities. I try to research my subject to round out what I’m trying to put together. That always helps me evolve my original concept. Once all of that is complete I jump on the computer.

Part of the concept behind my work is that its about juxtapositions and connections. I do a lot of computer work at school. I teach graphic design and digital photography and I’ve done my fair share of contract design work outside of the 9 to 5. It always felt a little artificial. I like working on the computer and I’m fairly adept at it, but it lacks the handmade connection. It always felt like “cheating” to me. My painting is a way to connect both the digital and handmade. My first “sketches” are almost always digital. Everything after that is done by hand. I get a lot of people who see my work and assume that I screen print all of the large images. They’re always surprised when I tell them that it’s all hand drawn.

How long have motorcycles been a part of your life? Any history there in
your family or is this your own passion? 

One of my earliest memories was riding down the street on the tank of my Dad’s Hasqvarna. That was all it took. He didn’t always have a bike in the garage, but they were never that far away.

Why Devil Chicken anyway? Where you attacked by a chicken when you were a
kid once or something? ahahaha

C: Everyone always wants to know where the name comes from. Unfortunately it’s not that cool of a story. Back in high school I had a friend who was really into D&D. He finally convinced a group of us to come over one night to play a game with him. The only thing I really remember about the game is that we made a complete mockery of it. When he told us that we needed to name our character I went with Devil Chicken, because it was the most ridiculous thing I could think of. After that I felt like I had to redeem the name. I guess I should have let it die…

What is your favorite thing about art to you, is it the message it portrays
to the viewer or the expression you get to leave on the canvas, or
something completely different to you?

C: That’s a tough one. I guess my favorite part of it is the challenge. To me the fun and excitement is tied up in the act of actually pulling it all together. I go from being excited about the idea, to hating all of the work and hand cramps that go into the drawing, to the sense of accomplishment I get when it's done. It’s kind of weird that if I don’t paint for a few days I get really bummed out. For as much as I dislike a few small parts of the process, it’s something that I have to do. 

What kind of bike and/or bikes do you have right now or are in the works?
C: The herd is always growing! We are up to 5 running bikes in the garage. My wife rides a ’73 Honda CB 500. I call that bike “The Angry Bee” because it’s got a 4 into 1 pipe with a megaphone muffler at the end, and it screams! I picked up a Brat Style 72 Honda CB 450 to ride around town with her a couple of summers ago. It’s got scrambler pipes and dirt tires, so it’s a blast to ride. It also has a sweet brown Honda tank so I call him “Hot Carl”. My buddy Dave Roberts at Broken Sprocket Garage is putting the finishing touches on an 04 Sportster swing arm chop for my wife. This one will be her first Harley. I’m hoping to have it ready for the show. I also have an 04 Softail Springer that I call “The Grocery Getter”. It’s another mild chop that is always dependable and great to ride. Finally, my baby is a 1959 XLCH in a Paughco wishbone rigid frame. It’s a kick only traditional chopper. I picked the bike up from a guy in Pittsburgh around 10 or 12 years ago before I traded it out for a jockey shift rigid Sportster in Baltimore. I always regretted getting rid of that bike. It was the one that always haunted me. Low and behold it shows up back in Buffalo for sale. I guess it traded a few hands and was slid under a Ford Taurus before it ended up in the hands of a talented fabricator (Jason Smolinski of Filthy Habits Fabrication). Jason did some mods before deciding to move onto something else. Dave at Broken Sprocket finished the job and it will be ready for the street this spring. 

If you could jump on your bike and just go somewhere where would that place
be and why?

C: I would like to give the Outer Banks another shot. Last April we took a trip down to Rodanthe, NC. My wife, Jo and I made a run out to the Oracoke ferry one night. The weather had sucked all week, so when it finally broke, we made a run to the ferry. The break in the weather didn’t last very long. We had to stay with our bikes on the deck for the hour trip through rough seas and rain. When we got to the island it was pouring, by the time we made it into town to dry off, everything was closed. We finally found a store open and grabbed some “drug rugs” and $0.99 plastic bag ponchos for the ride back. We missed the next ferry and ended up tailgaiting with some fishermen while we waited. We slept, on our bikes, in the rain for the trip back. The run back to the rental house was filled with rain, blowing sand and fog. We called it “The Oracoke Death Run”. For as much as the conditions sucked, it was a blast. I remember running wide open through the sand dunes in the rain laughing hysterically. I’d like to give that one another try.

What other forms of art have you mastered?
C: I don’t think I’ve mastered any of them. I’m always working on trying to get better at what I do. I was a printmaking major in college and I still put together a couple of block prints a year outside of painting. I’m presently working on learning screenprinting. It’s definitely been a winding road. It’s frustrating to see people who are so good at it and I completely suck. It’s a good motivator.

Who and/or what is a big inspiration to you as an artist and person?
C: There are a lot of artists I take inspiration from. Basquait, Raushenberg and John Langford have probably been the most influential in terms of my development as a visual artist. I also take a lot of inspiration from my city. Buffalo has made a big turnaround over the last few years. For as bad a rap as this city gets, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. We are extremely lucky to be surrounded by great art and architecture. It’s an amazing place, you should come by sometime.

Any life mottos or codes you live by?
Not really. I’m more of the “just be a good person” type of guy. If everyone did that, things would be a lot easier.

Whats in the works for you, any big shows, gallery openings we need to know

The show calendar tends to fill up pretty quick once the spring rolls around, but for now I only have a few things on the calendar. I have a solo show coming up in November. It’s going to be based around the concept of the Day of the Dead alter. My goal is to come up with 13 alters. So far I have 3 done and 10 to go… 

On July 25th we’ll be putting on another Voodoo & Burnt Rubber event. It’s our 3rd year for the event and it gets a little bigger and better every time out. We put together a car and bike show along with art and music. It’s all done in a bike shop just outside of Buffalo. It’s a great ride through some beautiful country roads to get there.

Favorite band growing up as a kid and are they still?
Hands down, Faith No More. They were so different and creative. You never knew what direction they were going in from album to album. We just picked up tickets to see them in Philly. We saw them 3 or 4 years ago in Brooklyn. It was the best show I have ever seen.

Are you a veggie head or a carnivore till the end!? Ahahaha
Carnivore. I’m from Buffalo. I was born with a blood stream that’s 35% chicken wing grease and Franks Red Hot Sauce.

Anyone you would like to give a shout to or thank?
I want to thank my wife Jo. Without her I wouldn’t be able to do as much as I do. She is my number one supporter and biggest promoter. Hell, she even quit her last job because it would have meant that we would have to miss a show. She’s an incredible person that I’m lucky to have at my side.

Be sure to check out more of Chris' work at http://www.devilchickendesign.com/ and for more info on the Voodoo & Burnt Rubber event he puts on go to http://voodooandburntrubber.weebly.com/