Affliction Meets Sons of Anarchy’s Rusty Coones
It’s no secret that we are all big Sons of Anarchy fans here at Affliction. For those of you who follow the show, you’ve probably seen the behemoth of a biker who plays Rane Quinn- the nomad president mentioned since Season 1 of the show. We had the chance to catch up with Rusty to talk about his custom motorcycle shop and his time on the show during his recent visit to our Seal Beach store.
How did you get into building motorcycles?
Yeah it started out when I was a kid- I had a mini bike when I was about 8 or 9 years old. Then when I got older, around 13, I got a little 90cc Honda and the next year I got a scrambles bike. When I was about 15 I rode a Sportster and loved it- but I didn’t have any money. [laughs] When I turned 19 I bought a Knucklehead and rode that for a while- so I’ve always had some sort of Harley, or a few of them.
So would you say you’re a die hard Harley rider?
No, not really. Harley has the best style- it’s really the coolest custom, but I also ride a Victory. The Victory I have is the ‘Vision’, which is the big funny-looking space ship, but what a road bike. The one I have is the big stripped down version, lowered in the front and back. It’s a great cruiser, but doesn’t have the style that Harley has.
How do you think Sons of Anarchy compares to the real ‘biker’ lifestyle? Would you say it’s accurate to some of your experiences?
Well, yes and no. Of course it’s a drama, so there’s a lot of over the top drama and violence going on all the time in each episode. They do go to great extremes to be as real as they can given the circumstances.
Speaking of SOA, we’ve seen you on camera rocking Affliction- Do you have any favorite shirts or jeans in your wardrobe?
Oh yeah, I have a whole bunch of Affliction shirts that I cut the sleeves off of and wear everywhere. Even when I’m on stage with the band [Attika 7] I wear Affliction shirts~
How true to your Sons of Anarchy character are you in real life? Would you say your more of a gentle giant, or a war machine?
I’d say I’m in between.
So you’re ready to throw down if you need to?
If I have to. [smiles] But I’m much more measured now- it’s kind of like the difference between the baby rattle snake and the adult rattle snake. The baby will inject all its venom in one bite, while an adult rattler will inject just enough to do the job.
Have you done any cross-country rides? What’s your longest ride?
Yeah, I’ve done a couple trips back and forth to Sturgis over the years. I’ve gone as far as Iowa from California in one trip, but it’s like work for me. On a ride you are constantly fighting wind resistance, stopping for gas and dealing with the vibrations. After a while, it all starts to wear you out.
What’s your favorite rally to ride to?
I just went to the Lone Star rally in Texas a few weeks ago to do a signing, and I was amazed~ It’s on an island out there, surrounded by water- and they said that they had one million people show up. It was better than Sturgis~ So right now that’s my favorite one.
What’s going on in your shop right now? Any new projects?
We’ve got 4 or 5 of the Rockstar bikes in there now that we built this year, and some of them actually toured across the country to the Harley dealers. We’ve also built some really cool baggers. The bagger is more of a fat, stubby looking bike in its stock form, and I’m a big guy so it looks funny when I sit on it. [laughs]. I like to take them and rake out the neck and put a 26’’ rim on the front. Stock floor-boards actually make my knees hit the bars, so stretching the bike is one of the first things I do.
Having the chance to hang out with Rusty was truly an awesome experience. Standing 6-foot-5, and weighing 285-lbs, Rusty looks like someone you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. He is however one of the nicest guys we have worked with here at Affliction. It’s no surprise as to why he was cast in SOA this season bringing authenticity to the show. Follow Rusty on Twitter @RustyCoones and on Facebook.com/RustyCoones.
Photo Credits: http://bikersofamerica.blogspot.com
Affliction is posted up this year at 1324 Main Street in the heart of the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South