As a the host of START UP, Gary Bredow gets to see every episode through the entire production process. On the show, he is right in front of the camera, asking the tough questions and engaging in activities with entrepreneurs all over the US. We thought that it would be fun to turn the tables around and interview him for a change.
Tell us all a little about yourself - maybe something people may not know:
I love music. I actually used to play in a band called the Lindaman’s with Mark Damian (START UP’s post and field audio engineer.) I played bass, sang, and I wrote about half the songs. Here’s a link to a song called “There was a Time” https://soundcloud.com/the-lindamans/there-was-a-time21years-later-mix
I still write music and play acoustic guitar. I’ve also been an avid writer since the time I could first hold a pen and write a sentence. I write prose, poetry, stories, everything - I have crates and boxes full of endless notebooks, napkins, hotel notepads and just about anything else that you can write on.
I have a slight obsession with 1980’s Honda Three-Wheelers. I own an 1983 Big Red, it looks like a big tricycle with a 200cc engine. I really want a 350X, but it’s probably not a good idea at this point in my life. They were banned in the late ‘80s because they kept flipping over and severely injuring people, but I haven’t flipped in a while, so that’s a plus.
I also have a wife named Rebecca, 2 kids, Zoey and James, and lots of pets. 3 dogs, a bearded dragon, a hermit crab, a turtle and a cat named “skits.”
How would you describe your role on the show?
I’m the host, which means I’m on camera talking to the business owners and doing lot’s of fun stuff. This year, I got to hang out with a bunch of Alpaca’s, swing off a trapeze (and I’m terrified of heights) and paddle board in the pacific ocean, so everyday is truly a new adventure. Also, I’m a horrible actor, so I try not to learn anything about the business before going in. I believe that it makes the interview much more authentic. If I already know a bunch of stuff about their history and what they do, it ends up limiting how deep we take the conversation. There’s nothing like engaging in a good conversation with someone you just met, and I think that’s what I love most about hosting this show.
What is your favorite episode of Start-Up?
My favorite episode is Season 1, Episode 1 with the Gouda Girls; it has a very special place in my heart. When I saw that episode on TV for the first time, I couldn’t believe we had pulled it off. I’m mean how in the heck did I end up on TV? It was surreal, seeing it air and knowing that it was being broadcast to millions of people. At that time, we really had no clue what we were doing, so it was amazing to see it all come together. It’s still pretty surreal.
If you were to start a new business right now, what type would it be? Why?
I would want to start a company that has no employees, buys and sells nothing, has literally no daily responsibilities, doesn’t have to market or do social media and makes billions of dollars. Seriously though, I’m happy doing exactly what I’m doing.
If someone were to take your phone out of your hand and listen to your music, what is the first song that would play?
By default, every time I plug in my phone, it plays “Murder of One” by the Counting Crows. I’m pretty burned out on that song, but can’t change! Anyone who has ridden in a car with me knows that song well. But what I’ve actually been listening to intentionally is “A Moon Shaped Pool” by Radiohead. I’ve also been listening to Bon Iver, Alabama Shakes and just random new artists that pop up on various Apple Music channels. I also listen to lots of jazz and classical as well - I’ve been listening to a specific album “Mozart for Brain Power” when I pick up the kids from school. It’s relaxing, and the kids seem to love it.