That was the original idea... To have frames done by the artists. After the first one i realised that it was not going to be easy for some of the artists to work as freely as they might if they had something with a bit more surface. So Harry has good contacts with guys like Velo, suggested we used Seats instead and they supported us with a unique batch of the commisioned seats we needed. After that it was just a case of selecting and talking with the artists we'd wanted to have involved. Klaus is obviously more involved in the graphics scene and he also wanted specific people involved. So it was as ever a real team effort on this and the same goes for the artists. Those involved are either directly, or indirectly involved in the bmx scene (the graphik-rhymes guys, Harrison Boyce and Oliver MAichle for example) and those who are not part of that group are artists who have inspired us through their creativity. Guys like Dface, Mr Burns, Mark Ward, Zeekndestroy and Nash.
Aren't you guys busy enough running a bike company?
Ha, yeah that is only part of it. We're busy doing things we want to do and i guess something like this is just another part of that. Bmx is heart of it, but there are so many things that bring so much to bmx and it's part of us to be involved also in those. Anything from music to video, graphics to photography. We don't think bmx or running a bike company should be limited by current thinking, we think it can benefit from inspiration from so many angles and we thrive on that. There are enough people out there who appreciate our product and that is in part because they also appreciate what went into it, it's not only about designing the perfect product.
Is this for fun or does it add to the wethepeople image/reputation?
It does both; I defo wouldn't want to do something that hurt what wethepeople stands for. Putting something like this together is either going to be both a good time and amazing or I'm not going to waste my time. I knew that all of the artists could individually create something amazing, so it was up to us to make sure that each of them was represented well as a group. There was a reason behind every single artist who took part and for myself it was a great time seeing the project through, choosing the artists, a bit of last minute stress and unpacking the cases as they arrived back at the office. The chance to work with any of those selected was something unique. Being behind something like this was without doubt more about the getting together and the end result than anything it brought to the wethepoeple image/reputation.
Where has the expo been to so far?
Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne and currently Lyon
Is the whole collection still complete?
No, in Berlin a couple of dickheads thought it would be cool to pull a set of four off the wall while the security guards were outside controlling another problem. Thanks to them, four were damaged. Some people have no idea what goes into something like this, or the fact that each of those seats is a one off created by someone who put their time and talent into something unique. At the time i was nothing short of furious, but i still think it's a real pity that the few spoil it for the many and ensure that many people think twice before putting so much effort into something for others.
Which ones are your personal favorites?
Without doubt I got a few. Dface(UK) has always been someone whose ideas and creativity I've respected, Viagrafik(DE) we invited to do the peoples store based on his seat design we liked it that much, Nash... That guy does some crazy stuff and is well known for his limited edition shoe Manipulation(UK), Mark Ward(UK) and Control1(FR) were my favourites. But it's difficult to say that, there are some amazing designs in there and the concept is more about the group than each seat alone.
What artists were you extra stoked on that you got to work with on the SeatBeat project?
With only 35 seats available... We ONLY chose artists we were extra stoked to work with, and we could have easily extended that to another 35 artists.
Any plans for similar projects in the near future?
Prefer not to say. But I'd hope that we can continue to push and stand for something that makes people think less blinkered about bmx.