Gaz is one of those people who if it wasn’t for this website… I would probably have little or no idea who he is. I have had the oppertunity to meet him and without a doubt he is really on top of his stuff as a co-owner of Mutiny. I think with this recent new law involving the standards for lead testing in the bike industry, this was a good time to do the interview. Enjoy this and leave Gaz a little love!
Photo: Devon Hutchins
Gareth Michael Sanders
What is your first memory of when you got hooked on BMX?
There is too many for me to name just one memory, the good times keep coming every time I ride my BMX.
Growing up riding, did you ever think you would be an owner of a company, or even working in the industry at all?
Roey and I were talking about this recently, I had never really thought about it. He was saying how he dreamed of being in the situation he is in now. Looking back I guess I always did want to do this, just goes to show you, you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
It seems like the guys who are running the show at most companies don’t have much time to ride… Does the same go for you or do you make a fair amount of time during the week?
It just depends on how busy I am, of course Mutiny comes first over everything but you have to make time for your girl, friends and bikes.
How are things going over at Mutiny these days anyways? Any changes to the team, new products, trips, videos, or awesome stuff like that in the works?
Things are good; we are always working on something new. We have lots of stuff in the works but I can’t share the details with you guys yet, they are nowhere near done. Something that will be out soon is the revised versions of Roeys, Ryan Smiths and Randy Taylors frames, they should be out Spring.
What kind of an effect will this new law that requires bike manufacturers to do a 3rd party test for lead and stuff be on Mutiny? Are there any ideas of how to get around these things?
We have been working with various people on this and I’m confident we have a good grasp on it all. So I’m hoping it won’t affect us too much. There seems to be some people on message boards suggesting that it is only for companies making stuff out in Asia. The new CSPC guide lines are for everyone manufacturing. Even if your making the stuff in your garage in America.
I don’t think there is anyway around these new rules; you just have to make sure your playing the game.
What’s a typical day in the office like for you?
Wake up around 7, get some green tea and fruit and hit the office. First part of the day is answering e-mails and updating the website. Once that’s out the way I will go down to the warehouse pack any orders and ship them out. After that it all varies, I could be up till 3am talking with our contacts in Asia, sat working on new products designs, meeting with Aron our art director, or chasing down the team. My job is very varied and I love it.
Photo: Sandy Carson
Living in Austin, Texas which is one of the biggest BMX scenes in the country. I would imagine you never run out of places to ride. Where are some of your favorite spots, or where you can be seen the most?
The last few months I have been enjoying riding trails, I have never really rode trails in my life so it’s been awesome. I’m only hitting the girly jumps but shit is really fun. So thanks to all the guys that keep Ninth St. and Red Box running! Empire has a pretty sweet mini ramp so we have been riding that every Tuesday evening.
Who is your typical riding crew these days?
I have been riding with Hanson, Randy, Hunter and Joe when he gets his ass out of the house. Ryan Smith recently moved to Denton but he comes back to Austin so he is always down for some BMX.
I would imagine you have had the chance to travel a fair amount in your days… Where are some places you have been?
Yeah I have traveled quite a bit, for 9 years I was pretty much just commuting back and forth from the UK to America. In the last few years I have been to Spain, Mexico, Canada and all over the US. I am hoping to get out to Taiwan next year.
If you could go on a road trip with 5 people, and one person running the cameras. Who would you pick, where would you go, and why?
That’s a good one, the crew would have Roey, Ryan, Randy, Joe and Sandy Carson. I would clone Joe so he could film too, although I would rather not take the camera at all if I had a choice. I have never been before but I would like head out to the North West; camp, take the road bikes and BMX’s. That would be a rad trip……..
What are some things you really like about BMX, and what are some things you really hate?
I think BMX is amazing, if it wasn’t for Bikes I don’t know if I would have traveled anywhere near as much. I have met some of my closet friends from bike riding and had some amazing times; hopefully there will be plenty more……….
As for as things I hate; people on message boards talking about shit they have no idea about whatsoever. It drives me nuts and I ignore it for the most part.
What do you think you would be up to if you never got into BMX?
I was doing a engineering apprenticeship when I left school, so I would think I would be operating a CNC machine, drinking tea and eating biscuits.
Did you ever go to college at all or did you just learn everything on your own when it comes to business and everything?
Nope, everything has been self taught, it’s very hands on here. We have a really good accountant and he is always down to help us out with advice.
What are some things you are looking forward to with 2009 coming up soon?
Personally, the new president and waiting to be accepted for my green card. We have one project we are working on with Mutiny that I very excited about and it should be a reality in the summer.
Photo: Devon Hutchins
Obviously you spend a lot of time with Joe. Do you guys ever get in fights or big disagreements over Mutiny stuff, or other stuff?
Of course we do we’re friends, by the end of the day though we’re normally friends again. Disagreeing on stuff is good, this is a partnership so we both have very strong ideas about how shit should be handled, by disagreeing and bitching at each other we can make the final answer with more confidence.
Speaking of fights, are you much of a brawler or ended up in the back of a cop car ever?
I’m a lover not a fighter.
You have an accent… Where are you originally from anyways? When did you move over to the U.S?
Originally from Derby, UK. I moved to Austin March of 06, so coming up for 2 years.
About how many ladies has Gaz slayed in his day?
I don’t think people really care about this. I’m a married man!
If you couldn’t be an owner of a BMX company, what would your other dream job be?
A pro skateboarder.
Since you spend a lot of time on the computer, Any favorite sites?
I do, even though I work on one most of the day I just can’t help it. The web is amazing, you can look, listen or watch whatever you want when you want.
What are some things you are hoping to get for presents this holiday season?
I’m not sure what I’m getting, it was my birthday last week and I got an I Phone, which is the best thing ever. I really want a seat for my road bike, the one I have right now feels like my nuts have packed up and left after a ride.
What are some things you would like to accomplish in the next few years?
To continue to grow Mutiny and in turn do more for the team and people that work for us.
What is your drink of preference?
Whiskey on the rocks. Perfect winter beverage.
If you could be driving any car in the world, what would you pick and why?
I hate cars, I only learned to drive this year and I’m over it. Riding a bike around is much more fun.
Photo: Joe Simon
If you could change anything about the world, what would you change and why?
That’s a big one, I’m going to leave that one…….
Do you have any shout outs or thanks?
Thanks to my wife Vikki, Joe, Aron, Tina and Tom at Empire, Rachel and Ron at Sparkys, Caleb Everitt, the whole Mutiny team, Stu and the boys at Seventies, Frank and Ernesto at Dans, all the disto’s worldwide and shops that carry Mutiny.
Anything else you would like to say?
To everyone that has brought anything we have made, thanks so much for the support! Get off the computer now and go ride!
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