Igniters: Darkness, Choppers, Death

Darkness, Choppers, Death, or “DCD Co.” is a joint venture between Björn and his wife, Sharon Ehman, known by many for their work as separate entities.

Björn, as guitar and vocals in legendary black metal outfit Behexen, as well as his other projects like Darvaza, Whoredom Rife, and One Tail, One Head, to name a few.

Sharon, for her stunning work with her heavy metal fashion line which goes by the moniker “Toxic Vision.”

Together, they have created a unique blend of their interests and aesthetics with DCD, and I took a few to speak with them about music, motorcycles, and mayhem.

I’ll let the interview subjects and images speak for themselves. Follow them on Instagram at @toxicvision and @dcd_co

or visit their website www.dcdstore.com

Let’s talk motorcycles: how did you get into riding, and what was your first bike?

B: Well for me, I guess it all started with my brother. He was biking hard in the 90’s and had a beautiful Swedish long chopper with a loud Shovelhead engine. I guess that made a big impact together with watching music videos and movies with cool bikes. It’s like I’ve always been drawn to bikes, but took a long time to actually get one and start riding. Allthough I’ve always had the leather and clothing style for it hahaha.

My first bike is actually the Shovelhead I ride now. I’ve wanted a bike and license since I’ve been 13 but when I was old enough, I never had money or time. Music and living wild took all that. But then about 4-5 years ago I just decided enough was enough. Needed to get shit done ASAP! So I actually bought the Shovel before I had the license, and didn’t know shit about anything. Only knew that the bikes I saw for sale looked boring or too much shit on them. Then this popped up, kickstart only oil leaking, no front fender stroked beast. Love at first sight. So I jumped right in it and had a steep learning curve after that, never regreted it a second. I guess I just love the old machines. Not only machines I guess. Made my choice and will stand by that. Choppers forever.

S: I grew up in rural Saskatchewan and my dad was a ‘motor head’, so it’s his fault.  I remember my first ride on a dirt bike at age 5 – a little red 50cc Honda. First, my dad put my brother on the bike and he slowly inched across the field. Next, it was my turn. My dad put me on the bike and I pinned it until I wiped out!  I loved that thing. Eventually, I got a bigger bike and I spent most of my childhood summers on my dirtbike exploring the endless kilometres of forest trails around my family home. So, I guess it was always there too. I had a bike here in Toronto in my mid twenties, but things really became serious during the first few months that we started dating- I had asked Björn what he wanted to do that summer,  and he said that he wanted to go on a bike ride around Scandinavia and was hoping I would join. I told him there was no way in HELL I would be sitting on the back of any bike..so I bought a bike in Norway and the rest is history.

How did Darkness, Choppers, Death come about, and what are your plans for the future?

B: The Wife and I have always been balling ideas back and forth, I was always telling her «this should be a shirt» etc and she told me we should combine our creativity and do stuff we want for ourself and see if anyone else would be interested. It then started with she making me a tool roll and from there ideas just started popping up.We pretty much just make things we ourself would like to find when we are checking out biker/chopper related stores and shops.

The plan is to create more, get better and learn more about everything we do and everything we don’t do yet. And to build brick by brick and create our own world, away from establishment.  I started tooling leather for designs on the tool rolls, and now I wanna be better so I can look into making seats etc.  I guess the goal also is to put together a rad bike at some point. Learn, create, inspire , repeat.

S: As Bjorn said in the first paragraph, DCD was born from shooting ideas back and forth, and finally putting that into action. I’ve already made success and have created my own world within Toxic Vision, but I see this as a welcomed challenge to take everything I’ve learned over the past 14 years and start something new and build it up with my partner. I’ve never really told people outside of my inner circle about my plans for the future – I think it’s best to keep quiet and just take action. If you stick with us, you’ll see. I promise it will be good.

I’ve seen some pretty bad weather and ridden through quite a bit of landscape over here in the States- what are some of the challenges presented by being a biker in Norway?

B: It’s definitely the weather. Cold is always the struggle. And then if you add rain, the struggle is real. We have rides that has been around 3-5 Celsius and rain, then its just Hell. Every bump a blow to the body and time stands still together with every kilometer. Also, of course we have a shorter summer than most I guess, and again colder. So we always have to pack clothes for 4 seasons when going on trips. Also the price of things can be punishing.

S: Yeah, I second all of that. The weather is incredibly brutal. It will test you right down to your very core. It is standard to dress in 5 layers and still freeze your ass off. You can almost expect rain..hell, I built my daily riding jacket to be completely waterproof because of it. I think the coldest day that we had was coming back from Austria. It was a 600km ride that day, from just outside Gothenburg up to the cabin in middle Sweden. Two days before, we were riding in t shirts in Germany, but as soon as we got to Denmark, the cold hit like a ton of bricks. On that day up to the cabin, we were wearing almost every piece of clothing that we had brought along for the trip. It got really cold and dark very quickly. We had about 200 kilometers left on the bumpiest pothole shit highway and I think we both had an unspoken understanding that we were just going to have to buck up and not stop until we were at the cabin. Only one fast gas stop. It was definitely below freezing at the end, and I remember pulling up to the little dirt road that lead to the cabin and the gate was locked. I tried to go around in the ditch and just dropped my bike after getting hung up on a tree root. Everything on my body was frozen…my hands barely worked, and I didn’t realize that my feet were so cold that the feeling was gone, and I completely missed when I put my foot down to balance the bike.

As a married couple of a musician and someone who makes rock and roll and heavy metal style clothing and apparel, I’m sure there are a lot of records in rotation at your house. 

What are you listening to these days, and if you could only choose one record to have with you on a road trip, what would it be?

B: Just checked out Marduks «Viktoria» (Killing it as Always), Been spinning Destroyer 666´s «Hounds at ya back» song a lot lately. And now while working on leather etc I´ve just had some Dark country and Blues collections from youtube rolling.

ONE record? Thats a hard one. Top of my head: Guns N Roses «Use your Illusion II». Varied enough to take me through an emotional roller coaster. Got up songs, down songs and punch songs.

S: My choices in music lately have been quite calm – Dead Can Dance dominating rotation, mixed in with Bohren & Der Club of Gore’s Black Earth, Madrugada and Irfan. That’s what has been working for me to get the creativity flowing.

One record for a road trip? I can’t choose just one. Would need two, to fit the two moods I usually find myself in on longer trips. Pink Floyd’s Division Bell, and Motorhead Overkill. Euphoric mood, and destroy everything mood.

Sharon, many are familiar with you through your work with Toxic Vision. Tell me a bit how that got started, and what your plans are for its future? What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs out there that you wish someone had given you at the start?

S: I started Toxic Vision when I was still in high school, at 17 years old. At the time – I was working at a retail fabric store and I hated every minute of every hour that I spent there..I felt like I was wasting my time when I knew I could do something better for myself. It was then that I promised myself that I would never work for anyone ever again for the rest of my life – that I would dedicate my time to creating something of my own, and from that- Toxic Vision was born. I was all-in, right from the start – a fire in my belly and nothing was gonna stop me. I’m 14 years down the road with Toxic Vision, and I’ve held that promise to myself.

My plans for the future are probably more wild than anyone would expect, but as I said above.. I really dislike talking about my plans. Action over words, always. I know where I am going – and I know how to get there. Come along for the ride if you choose.

If I could give advice to entrepreneurs that I wish someone had told me – Trust very few. Keep your circle small, strong and impenetrable.

Björn, you are pretty notorious for juggling a lot of musical projects at a time. What are your current projects, and what’s on the horizon for you musically? Do you have any advice for other musicians who might be reading this and struggling to “stay the course?”

B: Am I? No idea about that. I just like to keep busy and have been fortunate enough to know many creative souls that I can contribute to share creativity with.

Current active projects are: Ritual Death, Whoredom Rife , Behexen, Dark Sonority, Darvaza and a few more projects in the works. I don’t write music for all these projects, but contribute in one way or the other in all of them. Not sure I ever had a goal, I did and do it because I have to. Something in me demands it, if I don’t I’m dead, insane or worse. If I would say any goal it would be: To fuck their world and feed and inspire the fiery hearts I have been so lucky to come across out there.

My only advice is to work, don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done until you looked into it yourself. Don’t let anyone else take charge of your art. Find others that are willing to sacrifice as much as you. Be inspired, but don’t blatantly steal or rip off. Be with people that FEED your fire, not people trying to shine in the light of your own work or even worse: try to put it out or restrain it.

What’s your dream bike, if price was no factor?

B: Now Im gonna be boring: I have it. My Shovel is my forever bike. I had all these plans when I got it. But it won’t let me. Painted some stuff on it and thats it. I find it perfect. But. I also really want a Swedish long fork. Matt black, shovel engine and brown leather seat. Im a simple man.

S: My dream bike is the one that I am able to build from the ground up. I can see it in my head, all the little details. Hope I get to show you all someday.

Final section, as one usually does with these things, is yours. Shamelessly self-promote, let people know what’s going on, or throw down a few final words of wisdom. 

B: For anyone that is interested in rad, sometimes slightly offensive and useful stuff check www.dcdstore.com. For riders, outlaws, off gridders , hoodlums, biker trash and other kings and queens of this world. We will keep on offering the things we want ourself and at some point start telling more from our adventures from the road.

Wisdom comes with age, remember that. And then remember that the more you learn you will def learn you don’t know shit. I realized that even more after getting an old Harley.

S: My final words are simple – Never settle for the back seat.