Motorbike collector, tattoo artist and owner of Vagabond Tattoo Studio Paul Hill recently joined the team at iconic American brand, Sailor Jerry for The Ride 2016, which pulled together the UK’s most legendary motorcyclists into three motorcycling teams –Kingdom of Kicks, The Originals and FTH – for an epic ride around the UK. We wanted to find out more about Paul’s love for motorbikes and tattoos…
Watch The Ride videos on Sailor Jerry’s YouTube channel…
Do you think motorbikes and tattoos go hand in hand?
Historically certain aspects of bike culture and tattooing have been intertwined. As cliche as it sounds I think that still exists. The kind of person that is into customising bikes is likely to be into customising other things, including their body. Bike styles of the 60s and 70s bring with them an interest in the aesthetics of that era and those bold traditional tattoos are a big part of that.
What made you first fall in love with motorbikes? And also with tattoos?
I’ve always been into customising and putting my own stamp on things, bikes are a good way to channel that energy and tattooing is the ultimate expression of that.
What was your involvement in The Ride? What was it like?
I’ve met a lot of new people and created friendships through tattooing and even more through motorcycling, often both. The community surrounding motorcycles is constantly growing, a lot of the friends I’ve met are in a similar position to me. Young(ish) person usually within the creative industry all supporting each other. For me it has a community feel that allows us all to work and creatively do exactly what we want. My friend James (team Kingdom of Kicks) is one of these people. We met through the bike scene and I tattoo a mutual friend. He got in touch saying Sailor Jerry were planning a ride this year and offered me spot – a bunch of us riding around the UK camping and partying courtesy of Sailor Jerry, hard to turn down!
What was your favourite moment from The Ride?
The ride itself was awesome, there are so many beautiful roads right on our doorstep bikes being the best way to take advantage of them. Riding through North Wales and the Brecon Beacons is hard to beat. My favourite moment by far was making a BBQ using a piece of slate over a bonfire. We had just finished a great day’s riding through some of the best roads we’d ever ridden and all sat around the fire until the early hours eating and drinking. Moshing in a hay bale bunker to Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes was up there too!
What do you like to mix your Sailor Jerry with?
I mix my Sailor Jerry with Ginger beer.
We asked Sailor Jerry to sum up The Ride in a sentence: This summer Sailor Jerry hit the road once again for round two of The Ride, this year three bad-ass, bike building teams from across the UK were tasked with a series of epic challenges and compete against each other on a hell raising journey of balls-to-wall riding.
Paul was in team Kingdom of Kicks, but unfortunately it was The Originals who took the crown. Better luck next year, Paul. Sounds like he had a great time anyway. Check out Sailor Jerry’s Ride competition on their website.