In the middle of the this pandemic we were able to catch up with our friend Big Truth to take a little glimpse of his life… sit back and give a read!!!
1. Can you state your name and tell us what ya do for a living?– Big Truth – I own Choppahead Kustom Cycles – a full service shop. We build, service, repair bikes, have a parts counter/showroom, and do some online parts & swag sales. We used to make a DVD series (look out for Choppahead TV coming soon to Amazon Prime), I own a tattoo shop/laser tattoo removal business (Atomic Ink / NewSkin Tattoo Removal), and just started a podcast. Gotta have different hustles to survive!!
2. I feel like there is a lot of ground to cover but let’s start with bikes.. When did you first get into bikes and what drove you to start Choppahead? – I first started getting into bikes in the late 90’s. Got my first chopper in like 2000. What drove me to start Choppahead is basically I have a strong DIY ethic and wanted to bring more of a punk rock element into custom motorcycles…
3. What are you currently riding ? and is there any build that you did that you look back and say “damn, we kiiled it”? – I have my 57 Pan/Shovel (the Sex Panzer), a 1980 Shovel, a 2004 Night Train, and the Rum Runner (56 Panhead) trike. As far as any of our past builds that standout to me… my 2nd chopper, an old Triumph I called “The Chobba”, was a standout cause it got us a lot of business from people that wanted a bike like that, the bike we built for Born Free 8 (The Hail Mary), The “Too Boku” 113″ black chrome build, The “Piss Flippah”, The “Nickel Peeper” and a badass sporty chop I’m building right now for my bro Lenny Lashley all stand out.
4. I gotta believe the riding season up in Mass is short!! how’s the bike scene up there in general ?– The bike scene up here is growing – as far as choppers go there’s a lot of new/young blood coming up. Things seem a little fragmented and disjointed but we do events to help get everyone together – like our monthly bike nights and Full Speed Ahead events.
5. You guys put a show on in the summer, the Full Speed Ahead Show – the promo vids you and Packer do are awesome! How did that concept come up and are you doing it again this year?– Packer started it as a car show at the USS Salem and did it himself a year or two. He asked me to come on board to bring the chopper element in and we partnered up and blew the event up into a two day thing as a chopper/hot rod show. We do the pre-party on board the USS Salem in Quincy, MA – we have a full liquor license and have awesome bands play. It’s basically a drunk fiasco on a ship of war! Then we do the chopper/hot rod show main event the next day at the Brockton Fairgrounds. As long as the corona shutdowns aren’t still going on we’ll be having it August 21/22 this year! IG: @fullspeedaheadshow / www.fullspeedaheadshow.com for more info. We also do a cabin fever chopper party in the winter called “The Winter Moto Expo”
6.. Shifting gears (see what I did there??!!) lets talk music. You’re big into the hardcore scene. What got you into Hardcore music? Can you talk about the bands you’ve played in?- I got into punk / hardcore when I was in 7th grade and heard Suicidal Tendencies on the local college radio station – that started a downward spiral that’s lasted my whole life! My first hardcore band was called Intent to Injure – started in like 88. We had a couple 7″s out and were on a few comps. After that I had another band called Civil Defense – we had one e.p. out. Currently I’m in a band called American War Machine with guys from Agnostic Front/Slapshot/Blood for Blood/etc. We have a 7″ and an LP out on Bridge 9 records – it’s a throwback to extremely aggressive old school hardcore.
7. What’s your go to band? And can you turn us on to any good bands folks might not of heard of? – Oh man – that’s a tough one. Depends on what I’m going to music for! But all in all Cro-Mags “Age of Quarrel” sums it up for me. That and COC “Animosity”, Blitz “Voice of a Generation”, Negative Approach, Agnostic Front “Victim in Pain” and the first Judge 7″ are all-time favorites of mine – and that also probably answers your second question!
8. Hardcore has a big DIY attitude and as you noted above you have a big DIY mentality . I understand you launched a record label too – can you tell us about that? How’d that come about ?– In the mid-90’s I launched a label called Brick Records – the first release was a hardcore compilation 7″ called “Respect Due” that was a memorial to a friend who had passed. After that it turned into an underground hiphop label and is still running to this day. My partner, Adam, handles it now basically.
9. You are like the world’s most interesting man…in a previous life, you worked for the World Health Organization. A. How did that happen B. What did ya do for them??- In the past I worked as an Anthropologist for WHO, the CDC, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. I have a degree in Medical Anthropology. For WHO, I worked in their Traditional Medicine Program – and basically studied the state of indigenous medicine in different countries around the world, and looked for ways to integrate indigenous healers into local public health systems. Basically looking at how Shamans / medicine men / curanderos could also be trained in a public health capacity to disseminate better health practices into their populations. Later I worked in HIV and then Cancer prevention. I gave up a pretty interesting and lucrative career to build motorcycles and barely make enough to get buy! Lol but I love answering to no-one but myself.
10. Because you don’t have enough going on, you recently started a podcast, which EVERY ONE should check out. I fucking love it and I hate podcasts. How did you come up with it and tell us a little about the concept?
– Thanks man, I’m glad you dig it – it’s simply called “The Big Truth Podcast.” Years ago my friend Ian McFarland said I should do a podcast, but I hadn’t really listened to many and thought podcasts were basically one person ranting – which I had no interest in. Then I started listening to some and became real interested in interview format podcasts. So with my anthropology background / interview skills, and given that I know a lot of interesting people, I decided to jump in the fray! I spent a lot of time researching and saving up for equipment before I pulled the trigger (I have to thank Josh from Revival Motoring for all his help with that). I won’t do anything half ass, and really wanted mine to sound professional (at least sound quality wise)! As I started to listen to more podcasts I’d get bummed when I would come across one with a guest I really wanted to hear, download it, then it sounds like garbage/is basically unlistenable. To me that’s complete disrespect to the guest who is taking time to do the podcast, the listener, and to the podcast itself. I wanted mine to sound legit! Anyhow, mine basically focuses on interesting people who live outside the normal 9-5 grind. So far it’s been mostly musicians, tattoo artists, and chopper guys – cause that’s who my friends are – but down the road I want to get into more weird / science / psychedelic stuff as well. I’m only 2 months in, so there’s plenty of time to expad! I wish I had started this earlier, it’s a lot of fun. I basically shoot the shit with people while getting hammered! Everyone please download/subscribe/leave feedback! I want to turn this into a good media outlet for our subcultures (motorcycles, music, weirdness)
Podcast: www.bigtruthpodcast.com (episodes are available wherever you get podcasts – Apple, Android, Spotify, YouTube, etc)
Tattoo Shop: IG @atomicinkswansea
American War Machine: http://www.bridge9.com/americanwarmachine
Or on the IG @Americanwarmachine
Thanks again, Truth. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. Everyone should subscribe to the Big Truth podcast immediately and hit up Choppahead and buy t-shirt or something – support small business!!!!!
Check out some pix!!!