Whenever I think of when I first remember seeing something from Volume or Demolition, I think of about 8 years ago or so when a guy was at the local trails on a Dinosaur frame. The guy was really good, and I was at that point where I was convinced riding a certain part or frame would be what made you good. I was only 12 or 13 at the time, but that’s okay.
A lot of things have changed since then. Frames no longer weigh more than me, I’ve accepted riding a certain part will never automatically give me tailwhips, and that if a brand is doing something right, they will continue to exist. With that being said, it was time we did a little catch up with Brian Castillo about the happenings over at Volume and Demolition these days.
Volume and Demolition have been brands that have been in the BMX game for quite some time now. Do you remember the day you decided that you wanted to start the brands, what was your motivation? Why did you start Demolition as a separate parts brand from Volume?
I remember the day when I was working for a man that didn’t have any passion for the sport or any background in BMX for that matter. It just didn’t make any sense to me, why I was busting my ass for a man that was only in it for capital gains. Thinking to myself that it would be stupid to continue on at a job like that made me pissed. I used all my contacts overseas and slowly left that current job… actually now that I think about it, I got fired for conflict of interest. Haha.
Volume was our first brand and Demolition came a year afterwards. I wanted them separate at the time just so we can have 2 completely different looks and teams. It was probably for selfish reasons at the time. Just so I could ride/sponsor my friends that already had frame sponsors.
Where are you guys based out of these days? Has the location changed at all over the years? Could you see yourselves expanding or changing locations ever?
We’re still in the same location from when we first started 10 years ago. Buena Park is a shit-hole (sorry for anyone that lives here, if you’re reading this) of a city just east of L.A. Example: We live next to a church that brings in crackheads and homeless people. I came to work one day and saw some lady, completely laid out in one of our frame boxes (box was still assembled). Seeing that made me want to move. I’ve been wanting to move the company for years but the lease is so affordable in the area where we are, that it’s hard to leave.
Including yourself. Who are all the people who keep Volume and Demolition rolling smooth from day to day and what are their roles?
I have my partner, La. He came over with myself from our previous employer 10 years ago. Eric (sales manager), Kevin (sales), Matt (sales), Sho (shipping) and Enns as T.M. We’re still a very small company as you can see but we’re all pretty tight. It’s a great team of guys and couldn’t ask for a better team of employees.
I know you have got your fair share of your day to day life “not changing much”. But what does a typical day of work look like for you? What is an example of a bad day, and an example of a good day?
Yeah, I get that a lot but when you work a full time job not too much is changing day to day. My usual day is riding in the morning and heading to work right after. First thing is checking email (which consumes way too much time). Thereafter, I try and go over my list of product drawings that needs to be finished and from there I usually go over graphics with Skier J. Somewhere in the middle, I might go over sales with Eric, to try and set goals or if they’ve been met already. A good day is riding in the morning and a bad day isn’t.
What are some goals you have laid out for Volume and Demolition for where you would like to see things go as time goes on?
For this year, I’m really trying to clean up Demolition’s image and have it more consistent. Skier J has been a huge help this year in cleaning my shit up, haha. We’re also trying to streamline our ordering procedures to be on point. With that said, my drawings have to meet the deadlines. For Volume it’s very similar, we’re really trying to simplify things and make things easier in-house. Our main goal is to consistently make quality products and not rush anything to hinder that quality just for the sake of an order.
With 2010 just a few days away, what are a few of your favorite products for the 2010 line? Can you tell us some of the things you have in the works for 2011 at all?
My favorite product for Demolition right now has to be the new Rolls hub. It’s flawless! Like most of the other companies out there, we know the system has been out for awhile but nobody jumped on it. I’m kicking myself for not releasing it sooner. For Volume, I’m super excited to be working on a new frame for Tate. I can’t say too much more but it’s going to be really cool.
I know you have branched out into the road bike/fixie side of things already. How has that been going for you? Do you see yourselves expanding on it, or is it just a short lived thing you wanted to do for fun?
I know this is a touchy subject in BMX but I love it. I always said, “if you give a BMXer any type of bike, he’s gonna jump it and basically treat it like a BMX bike.” The reaction to our fixed gears has been overwhelming. We had no idea it would take off the way it did. It was by total accident. It started off as a pet project of mine just for commuting. It wasn’t started off to be a freestyle fixed but that’s what it got categorized as. The fixed gear guys that are doing tricks fully endorse BMX components and support a lot of other BMX companies. Which in return puts money back into the BMX scene and not in the hands of Italian bicycle manufacturers or Taiwan knockoffs.
How is the softgoods, stickers and other random things you make looking like? Do you have any new designs or anything like that going on?
We’re in the middle of revamping Demolition’s image for the new year. We’ve done away with the whole war thing and really focused on a more consistent look that the team is really stoked on.
We’ve also been tackling new softgoods for the seasons. We’ve never really did that in the past since we didn’t put the proper amount of time on our softgoods but now with our freelance graphic guys, it’s becoming reality.
The team has been busy filming for the new video right? How has that all been coming along, and do you have a deadline for when you want people to be done filming by? When can we expect that one?
The team is busy as we speak. Filming, going on trips and everything else they do. With the team we have, I absolutely can’t wait to see the final outcome. Just seeing the monthly clips, I know it’s gonna be nuts. The filming deadline is Aug and we’re expecting to have copies by next year of 2011.
Do you have any team trips or or events planned at all anytime soon?
Yeah, every month Enns has the team doing something. Nothing really major planned, most of the team are last minute guys. WIth contests and demos they do for their other sponsors, it’s hard to lock down anything that much ahead of time.
Who is all on the team now days from pro to flow? Any up and comers you think people need to keep an eye out for?
I’d hate to single out anyone being better than the others but the young guns coming up that you wanna look out for is: Larry “Lil Larry” Edgar and Daniel “Lil D” Martinez. Those 2 blow my mind and they aren’t even 17 yet.
The Volume A-Team is as follows: Biz, Enns, Wise, Tate and Alfredo
B-Team: Lil D, Drew, Brown, Smoker, Cobbs, Skyler, Sumida, Riley, D-Boy, Skinny, Matty, Lil Larry, Ludwick and Johnsson
Demolition A-Team: Biz, Enns, Doyle, Dillewaard, Osato, Rooftop, Enarson and Wise
B-Team: Alfredo, Brett, Christian, Lil Larry, Tate, Drew and Bryan
I’m sure you have got a pretty good grasp on how you go about picking a new team rider. What’s your process like, and what kind of advice do you have for the kids looking to get hooked up someday?
There really isn’t a right and wrong process. With the internet and everyone having the means to a camera, we always ask kids looking for a sponsor to first email us a link of your online video of themselves. With that said, we really only pick guys off word of mouth or through a shop. It’s rare to go off a video alone but you never know. Our ultimate goal is to get guys that are capable of getting along with the rest of the team and not be that douchbag in the van that everyone doesn’t like cause he thinks he’s better than everyone else. It’s more of a team effort of picking up new recruits.
Lets say somebody has an issue with something like a Volume frame or some Demolition hubs. What kind of a warranty do you guys offer, and what kind of a turn around time can somebody expect if they have an issue? Who should they contact to get things fixed up?
We’re really relaxed on the process but we just ask all warranty claims to have a receipt. One way or another, we’ll do our best to solve the problem and have you back on your bike sooner than later. We’re all riders here at the company, we all know what it’s like to be off a bike for long period of time. The turnaround process is usually up to the customer on how soon they can ship the damaged product back to us. The sooner we get the product, the sooner you’ll get the fixed or new product back to you.
What about general questions about Volume and Demolition? Who should shops and distributors contact if they would like to carry Volume and Demolition products?
For all Volume/ Demolition shop/ distributor inquires, please call us at 714-690-6454 or email us at [email protected] or [email protected].
Anything else you want to say that I might have missed?
Yeah, I’d like to thank all you guys that have supported our brands over the years.