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Meet the Innovative Duo Behind The Simple Machine: Adam Fitzgerald and Gregory Moore

After Iron & Air Magazine announced its closure in January 2023, thousands of people in the motorcycling community poured out their condolences and rued the end of one of the best modern print publications. In the summer of 2016, I started working with Iron & Air, first as a full-time editor and then as a part-time contributor, and with each issue released, we wondered if we had just published our last copy of Iron & Air. While print isn’t dead, it has been struggling to breathe and every day the air around it gets thinner.

Bearing witness to the inevitable fate of Iron & Air reminded me why I got involved with the publication in the first place: the people behind the pages. Throughout my career, I’ve contributed to dozens of well-known media outlets that have allowed me to work alongside some of the world’s most impressive creators, but few peers have more positively impacted my life than Adam Fitzgerald and Gregory George Moore, who functioned as the lifeblood, brains, and hearts of Iron & Air. I sat down with Fitzgerald and Moore— who will forever be two of my dearest friends— to better understand the end days of Iron & Air and to hear more about their next endeavour: a content marketing company called The Simple Machine.

Chris Nelson: How did motorcycling bring you to Iron & Air

Adam Fitzgerald: Motorcycling was catharsis. I hated my job, was tired and overworked, and wasn't doing something I was passionate about. I got into Iron & Air to explore something new. We corralled a bunch of like-minded people to join us on this journey, and said, “Hey, we don't know where this train is going, but we want you guys to come with us on this trip.”

"Coming out of the recession, people were trying to figure out how to build bikes on the cheap"

It was about creating something that we wanted to see in the world, and in the early days it was very malleable, we didn't know what it was going to become or what it was going to look like, but we had a general idea of what it was. In 2011, it started as an Instagram channel that expanded to a Facebook page and a website, then we tested a digital magazine, and then a print magazine in 2012 — it was a grand experiment to see what sort of traction we could get. All of us were putting immense creative energy into it, and it was fun to try to harness that moment in time. It was a unique moment in time for motorcycling specifically. Coming out of the recession, people were trying to figure out how to build bikes on the cheap; no one was buying a $70,000 bike from Orange County Choppers, you know? It was more like, “How can I get a $200 Honda CB750 that’s been parked in the back of some dude’s barn, that hasn't been ridden in 30 years, and make something from it and use creative energy and creative inspiration to build something unique?” That was what we were trying to harness, collect, and put into Iron & Air.

Navy Lincoln Waistcoat / Vest


Gregory Moore: For me, when the recession hit, I was in college, I had no money, and I was working part-time at a screen-printing company that made t-shirts with weird howling wolves and Internet memes, and motorcycling was my escape from the computer.

"Everyone was saying that “print is dead,” but we wanted to create something that you could hold on to."

It was a way to get away and engage with something physical and to be more present. At the same time, I met Adam and the other guys behind Iron & Air. We were all into the same stuff and became fast friends. As Adam said, we started trying things, and ultimately that manifested in a magazine because print media aligned well with the motorcycle culture that we were exploring at that time. It was the antithesis of what everybody else was doing. Everyone was saying that “print is dead,” but we wanted to create something that you could hold on to. We were fighting against this flood of disposable media. We were creating something with Iron & Air that was not like any other brand at the time.

Sunday Shirt Utility Navy


CN: While Iron & Air started as a motorcycle-centric media property, it quickly evolved into a culturally diverse magazine that pulled inspiration from the spheres of influence that orbit the motorcycling scene. Was that a conscious shift, or did it come about naturally?

AF: Motorcycling was at the core of what we built, but look a little deeper, and there are so many more interests beneath that. It was like skateboarding, which has many peripheral elements that made me more passionate about the culture: the music, the clothes, the designs, the influences, and the things that I would’ve never been exposed to if it wasn’t for skateboarding. With Iron & Air, we wondered how far we could push the boundaries of our content; if we liked a story that wasn’t about motorcycles, we figured someone else might enjoy it, too. At the end of the day, this thing was not built to appease but rather to explore.

GM: I'm fascinated by how things are connected. You start to see similar qualities across different interests, and you can distil those down to the essence of what makes something good, what makes something interesting. Is it craftsmanship? Is it care? Is it creativity? The closer you can get to that essence, you suddenly start to see it everywhere, in everything. So, we published what we liked, what we loved, and what interested us, because we figured there was a high likelihood that a bunch of other people were also going to like it. The thesis was that it would attract more of the people that we wanted to work with, to be around and talk to, and to create with. That was true and something we continue to put into practice with our new content marketing agency, The Simple Machine.

CN: Ultimately, what happened with Iron & Air?

AF: When the parent company bought Iron & Air in 2017, it added stability, but there was also a sense that these people were going to ensure our well-being, which was naïve. That’s not true anywhere, and you're always going to have to look out for yourself in some way, and for many years Greg and I were selfless with the business. We weren't looking out for ourselves, we had brought this thing into existence and were trying to take care of it and nurture it, oftentimes to our own detriment. That was difficult to grapple with being very, very entwined in this thing that we had built but realizing that it wasn’t ours, that we didn’t own it, and that it could go away at any point in time. But still, the parent company had stabilized us, and we felt an obligation to see it through. Once investors got involved, we were expected to show a return on investment. But let’s be honest, in the motorcycling and print media industries, this is a formidable challenge. 

GM: We struggled a lot along the way, but we never lost sight of the fact that this was an outlet for us to create, and a lot of times, we succeeded against all odds. But what do they say? An adventure doesn't start until everything goes sideways.

"Every brand is a content creator now, and it’s easier than ever to make good content, but harder than ever to rise above the noise with great content."

CN: What was it like working on the final print issue of Iron & Air?

AF: We didn’t know it was the last one when we were doing it. Though to some degree every issue always felt like it could be the last. Reading the foreword hits differently for me now. I don't even remember writing it. And when I read it after everything happened and the company shuttered, I realised I was writing some weird, subconscious things that felt like I knew what was coming. It was strange and sombre.

GM: For whatever reason it felt like it might be the last one for us. But, getting to 50 issues is an incredible milestone. I want to look back on Iron & Air from a positive perspective and remember that we made the thing we wanted to make to the very end and move forward with the lessons learned and skills acquired over the years. We’re taking these 12 years of learning and applying that to a much more focused creative services business with The Simple Machine.

CN: What is The Simple Machine (TSM)?

GM: It's a content marketing company specialising in content strategy, content production, and content distribution. Every brand is a content creator now, and it’s easier than ever to make good content, but harder than ever to rise above the noise with great content. Brands rush to be everywhere without taking the time to ask why they're doing what they're doing or if what they’re doing is serving their goals as a company. TSM helps to find the “why” and create interesting, compelling, and authentic stories and works with brands and the best media outlets to distribute those stories.

The London Baker Boy Hat- Blue indigo


CN: How’d you plant the first seeds for TSM?

GM: It started as an exploration of social media growth, trying to understand audience engagement and what's moving the needle.

I managed the Iron & Air channels for a long, long time, and I wanted to prove to myself that I understand how these things work, maybe in a way that other people don't. I broke down the social media landscape and realised that all these social media channels operate on fundamentally similar principles, so I built a tool to look at these channels and organise the most popular trends and posts for me.

Then I started curating, republishing, and sharing the best-performing content, and because of that the TSM channel grew really, really fast. This gave me some distinct insights into the nature of social media growth which we are now using to help our clients.

CN: Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re pretty much doing what you did at Iron & Air, but with more focus and without as much baggage?

GM: Exactly, no anchors. Twenty per cent of Iron & Air’s activities – like branded and sponsored content — drove 80% of the revenue. But 80% of our time was spent managing the website, the magazine, and creating content, which provided very little monetary return.

The Simple Machine is just doing 100% of what worked. The strategic thinking and performance-driven mindset of TSM mixed with the heartfelt storytelling of Iron & Air has real potential to make an impact and create some great work for brands. I'm excited, I'm reawakened, and it's kind of scary, but it feels exactly like what we should be doing. I'm convinced that most things in the world only exist through sheer force of will, and if there's anything that we have, it’s a force of will.

CN: How does someone start a project with TSM?

GM: Visit, or email or We’re excited to hear from you.

Interview by Chris Nelson

Photography by Adam Fitzgerald and Gregory Moore

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