Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Joe is KING!

Paulo is the creative mad man over at Joe King. If you are not familiar with his helmets you have simply got to check it out. With customers such as Gilby Clark, 4Q, Jeff Wright and Love Cycles you know this man has developed a loyal following.

50: Thanks for your time Paulo! I really appreciate it. Can you give us a bit of background… where you from, how long have you been building helmets?

Paulo: I’m from Sao Paulo , Brazil...I’ve always loved racing and motorcycles...helmets were the identity of the pilots/riders during the race and that always caught my attention...I used to draw helmets everywhere...painted my first one at my grandmas garage at age 8...(it sucked)and my father hated that I destroyed his Bell helmet. Been trashing helmets, collecting and “trying” to paint them ever since...First one that came out good was made about 7 years ago...

50: How much of the work do you do? Are you the artist and builder?

Paulo: I shaped the shells out of 60s helmets added a little twist and came up with my own shells, I do the design, drill holes, rivets, mount all the lining, attach the chrome trim, place the straps, I finish ALL helmets...it’s been over 800 now...and I’ll keep doing it for as long as I can...but I have no intention to grow into a mass production...I love handmade parts and that’s what I want for my helmets too.

50: Where do you draw inspiration from as an artist?

Paulo: Inspiration is everywhere...vintage motorcycle racing, vintage F1, old chopper mags but I like the basic 60s and 70s designs... simple designs are always the best...

50: What is the Chopper scene like in Brazil?

Paulo: It’s getting bigger and bigger...nothing compared to the US. Harley sales here are huge...but it’s so hard to find old bikes...so those who have them became hardcore enthusiasts...

50: I understand you are working to develop a rider inspired rally. Whats the info on that?

Paulo: Well, last year I went to Born Free 2 and Brooklyn Invitational 2...it was so great, the people, the bikes and everything that an opportunity appeared and I couldn’t let it pass... It’s time to bring to Brazil something similar to what I‘ve experienced in the States. Nothing like this has ever been done before here...so I’m totally stoked about it.

50: Whats playing on your shop radio right now?

Paulo: the usual, stones, old ac/dc, david allan coe...right now: Jack-A-Roe - Grateful Dead

50: Who inspires you as a builder?

Paulo: Jeff Wright and Max Schaaf... They have different styles but I admire them a lot. They have a very special eye and are just good people... really down to earth dudes...

50: You travel a ton right? Where is your favorite place to hang? What events are you going to this summer?

Paulo: I have to (what a f$&¨%n’ great excuse, right?)...you can’t beat partying in Brazil but the second favorite would be L.A. . I wish I could do more events, it’s a dream to travel to see bikes meet great people and drink beer...I can’t even call it work. I’ll definitely be at BF and BI again...wish I could go to Revenge Run 2 and Ride To Skate 5...

50: So cool man! Thanks for your time here. Any final words, shouts, props, thanks, ect?

Paulo: Just stoked about everything...It’s a great joy to be able to work with what you love... I’d like to thank my family, buddies from SiniStroS, Jeff, Max and Matt/Dean from DicE...these guys taught me a lot and helped me more than they are aware of...I’m very thankful for that. Also...thank you very much for the opportunity and hope you can make it to Two Wheels Brazil!

photo by: Cicero deGuzman Jr

All other photos from Joe King

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