· By Mike Lewis
Winding Wheel Supply Co - Kenny Bozich
The year was 2008. We (Emery) were all grizzled old men just trying to make a living on the road, and we were invited on tour with a band called The Almost. They were becoming quite popular and were making waves in the Rock/Christian-Rock scene. The frontman was Aaron Gillespie (Underoath) and despite being a great singer and guitar player, he was an even better drummer. However, he wasn’t playing drums. This cool-looking kid with long blondish hair that could’ve been Toby’s son was playing drums, and he was phenomenal. Guess what - that kid was you! How old were you when you started playing with The Almost?
Hahaha! It’s wild to think back on how long ago that was. Man time goes by so quick. I had just turned 17 when Aaron offered me that position. It changed my whole life. Very thankful for what Aaron and Jamie did for me.
That was a great tour! Was The Almost your first real experience in a touring band?
That was indeed a great tour. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard on a tour. You all are ridiculous and I love it. Yeah that was my first legitimate touring band.
I can remember that you enjoyed it, but you were already talking about leaving the band if I’m not mistaken. And correct me if I’m wrong, but you were already planning to be married, right?
Yeah at that point I believe I had been in the band about 2 years. And yeah that was my last full tour with The Almost. I was engaged at that point and soon to be married.
Do you have any regrets about getting out so quickly?
I do have regrets about leaving. For some reason I had it in my head that when I got married I needed to stop touring and get a regular job. I made a lot of bad decisions out of fear back then. I have learned a lot and I'm glad I learned it early in life, but I do have my regrets with it. My wife and I got married in 2008 when the American economy was going downhill. So after I quit touring and got a job, I was let go from four different jobs over a span of six months. And then I ended up back on the road after all as a drum tech to make some money.
But I don’t have one regret about marrying my amazing wife. We have been together since we were sixteen and have been married for eight years now. Love her to pieces. She loved me through all that and we grew up and learned together.
What prompted you to get into leather? Was that always something you wanted to do?
Since touring was my only job at that time, when I would get home my wife would be at work and I would have nothing to do at all and be real bored. So after this one tour in 2013, I decided I wanted to do something different and learn something new just for fun. So I came up with the idea of doing leather work. However I have an issue - it’s hard for me to keep things as a hobby. They quickly escalate and that’s why Winding Wheel went from a hobby in my living room to a full blown business with its own workshop, etc.
How long has your company Winding Wheel Supply Co been in business?
Its coming up on 3 years on May 17th.
You guys do some really cool work with leather. I also like how you’ve incorporated your love for music, specifically drums, into your work with the Bighorn Stickroll. Is that a pretty popular item?
Yeah it has been very popular for us and one of our first products. It is an expensive item so I was nervous about it at first. But people buy it and like. Some people choose to buy a canvas, nylon, or fake leather stick bag over and over, and some people choose to spend the money on a lasting product that they can pass down one day.
I love the dark brown and georgia clay colors of your leather. In regards to staining the leather, how does that work? Is there a specific way of doing it across the board, or is there a slight difference each time?
We purchase the hides like this from two different USA tanneries. It takes a lot of time, capital, machinery and years of experience to get them to look like that. I’d love to say we do that in house but there is no way we could do that at the moment. Takes a lot of resources that we just don’t have. Most leather companies don’t stain their own leather for this reason as well.
Do different color leathers require different care or products?
Some do, but the colors on our product line all have the same needs in that department. We just started offering a leather conditioner made for us by Leather Milk. It works wonderfully on all of our colors.
With all due respect to our bovine friends, how many cows do you think you go through in a year?
For cows, I bet we have gone through about 50-60. Somewhere in there.
There are a lot of people, including myself, who don’t really know the best way to protect and care for leather. Would you mind shedding some light onto that for us?
It really depends on the leather. Without knowing what specific kind of leather you are referring to, I can’t speak for them all. But for our product line and for the products we've made for BC Supply, just a simple leather conditioner will do. We just started offering a leather conditioner made for us by Leather Milk. It works wonderfully on all of our colors.
With BC Supply, we want to continue working with people we have met over the past fifteen years in the music industry. We really appreciate your collaboration with us, and we love Winding Wheel's leather products.
Thanks for having us be a part of your company. We love what you all are doing and it is great to be working with old friends. Thanks for the kind words. Good times ahead!
Visit www.windingwheelsupply.com for more leather products.