Labrava was born in Miami, Florida but was raised in Europe. He grew up riding dirt bikes and got his first Harley Davidson when he was 17 years old. Labrava was hired to be the Technical Advisor for Sons of Anarchy and then was cast as Happy; he has been with the show since its inception in 2008. He also co-wrote Season 4/Episode 10, titled "Hands". Labrava writes a column in the national hot rod magazine, 'Ol Skool Rodz, called "Burnin' Rubber with Jimmy Carbone". He is credited as Dave "D.L." Labrava. Before that he used to write for the Horse Motorcycle magazine and built a bike that made the cover in March 2001. He also owns a tattoo shop called "Evil Ink" located in Oakland, California, a film company called "Artful Dodger Filmworks", and his own clothing line called "DOGKULCHA" which benefits animal rescue.