Author Archives: runexjustanotherday

Collecting hardcore records – an article.

By Rune

Marcus Andrews’ black flag records.

In my adult life a lot of things have changed and will continue to change and take different shapes in terms of interests, desires and general things to occupy my spare time with. I reckon this is normal for most people and often times I hardly identify the change before it has happened. Of the few things that have not changed, unless you consider a steady growth to be change, record collecting is solid as a rock. The collecting-gene so to speak is a fascinating thing that often tends to be a bit more prevalent with the males. Some day when I find the time I will probably read a psychological article on the subject.

Assorted hard to get stuff (Regan Cadd)

This article will be an in-depth talk about collecting hardcore records in 2014. Price fluctuations, hunting down that rare Chain 7” and keeping up with hardcore in the 21st century…. and maybe a little filthy comment on RSD.

Let me just introduce you to four people whose ”collecting-gene” is in peak fitness condition and revolves around hardcore records.

Lins Cuscani is 44 and lives in Newcastle Upon Tune in the UK. His primary area of collecting is Misfits, Revelation Records and late 80s hc in general.

Marcus Andrews is in his late 30sand and lives just outside of London, UK

Marc Hoogenboom is 41 and lives in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Regan Cadd is 28 and lives in Melbourne, Australia

Marcus Andrews on top of his records.

DR: Why are you collecting hardcore records on this level? What does it give you?

Regan: Interesting question, never really thought about it that much. But I guess I started to collect records ‘at this level’ from just buying bands that I like and it sort of just grew from that. When I started buying records I would never own two copies of the same record, but slowly I started making concessions.

Really what was really the tipping point was when I was offered the Brotherhood – Words Run LP on solid green (which there are only a few of) from Aram when he was selling off his collection. I already had a clear green, but couldn’t pass up the offer. After I was lucky enough to make a deal for the solid green I decided I would try and collect all the different coloured Brotherhood records. After that where I drew the line kept moving. Once I had all the coloured vinyl, then you might as well get all the back vinyl and so on.

As to what does collecting give me? I love everything about collecting records. I love talking with people from around the world about their records and trying to make deals or finding out new pressing information. I love after searching for a record for years, or trying to complete part of a collection finally finding that missing piece. The record finally arriving and you get to play it, then file it away in your collection. It gives an awesome sense of satisfaction.

LinsI collect records mainly because I love the sound of them over digital recordings. I have always found the organic sound to be far more appealing than the compressed sound of a CD. Nothing eats cranking up a record and hearing the pop and crackle at the beginning! I also really appreciate the time and effort put into the artwork for all formats of vinyl much more than on cds. Reading lyric/thanks sheets is an integral part of the record collecting thing! And I remember back in the day finding out about other bands because of this well before the internet played such a huge part of the HC punk scene.

Regan’s Chain Of Strength collection.

MarcI always liked the energy that (sXe)hardcore gives me. Both live and on vinyl. It’s addictive. I always tried to collect all releases a band put out. Then came different color versions/pressings, and with some bands i collect little variants like different inserts etc. I also gained new friends who share the same passion about music through collecting. “Friends” on the internet but also friends I eventually met in real life. Almost a year ago I created my Instagram account because a friend of mine showed me Geoff’s (GTC_2 on Instagram) pics of his Revelation Records collection. I really liked his awesome pics and I wanted to see more. Since than I began post vinyl pics (and other stuff too). I really like the comments and stories that people bring up. It inspires me to post new pics and short stories about records. I have met some of the people that follow me on Instagram or Facebook or wherever. People came up to me and “know” me because of my posts. That’s awesome! I can say some of them became real friends and that’s so fucking cool. Band members of bands i collect (and looked up to as a kid) are now following me on Instagram and come up with stories behind those records which is pretty cool too. Music unites!

MarcusThe reason why I collect is simply that it gives me enjoyment. I’ve been buying records for over 20 years, and my life has changed a lot in many ways over that time, but the one constant throughout has been my love for music and my desire to own that music on vinyl. I used to analyse it myself, and wonder why on earth I felt the need to spend money and own several copies of the same record, and where it would all ultimately lead. But I reached a point where I realised that it doesn’t need to be analysed, and I don’t need to worry about where it’s going or what it costs. I enjoy it and It doesn’t cause me any problems. That’s pretty much all that matters.

Some of Marc’s most charished records.

DR: When did you become a ”collector” on top of a music lover?

MarcusI started buying records in 1992 and I guess I started collecting around the same time… although it was a few years until I actually started referring to myself as a collector.

Before I was 16 I didn’t actually buy records at all. In my early teens I didn’t really have much money, and what I did have I spent on skateboarding. I had friends who bought records, so if I wanted some music to listen to I just recorded it on tapes from my friends’ records. Funnily enough, before I started buying records myself, I thought that they were old fashioned things, as CDs had come out and seemed to be the new technology.

Just before I turned 17 I moved a long way away from my friends to the other end of the country, and I had nobody to tape music from. I also had no friends, so I spent more time indoors listening to music, and when I needed to hear something new I realised that I would have to buy my own records.

The collecting thing started when I bought a 7″ circa 1991 which was on green vinyl. I was 16 years old, and until that moment I don’t think that I had ever seen coloured vinyl before. I probably owned less than ten records in total at that point in time. But for some reason I thought this green 7″ was the coolest thing I had ever seen, and it just made me want more coloured records. After looking in shops and magazines I started to realise that a lot of the records I liked came on colour vinyl, but in small quantities. Around this time Nirvana had hit the big time and there was a lot of focus on the Sub Pop record label. Record Collector magazine published a Sub Pop records discography circa 1992, for example. So out of nowhere I suddenly became aware that there were small record labels out there that pressed their records in very small quantities of different colour vinyl. I started talking to people about colour vinyl and started writing letters to labels. It was hard work with no internet, but that kinda made it more special when I did find something. The first couple of years I was just figuring stuff out really, but I think the first record that I really went out of my way to track down was the BURN 7″ on Revelation on pink vinyl. I found out that it existed in mid 1993 and it took until 1997 to actually get one.

Regan’s Brotherhood collection (rerelease not pictured above are available at Southern Lord Recordings)

Marc: I always wanted to have all songs a band released if I really liked the band. In the 90’s a lot of bands released CDs with bonus tracks that were not available on vinyl. I bought those too. I have a lot of albums both on vinyl and on CD where the CD version has a bonus track or something 😉 Some bands I was collecting didn’t even release a vinyl version of their album, so that didn’t leave me any option than to buy the CD. So I have always been collecting but on different formats. 

LinsI was definitely a music lover before I become an avid collector. A lot of my teenage years were spent trading tapes with guys around the country and abroad before I delved into the whole record buying phase. Before HC I was really into Thrash metal and I guess I bought pretty much everything that came out record-wise in this genre from 1985 onwards, not so much because I was a collector but just because I wanted to hear the bands and most of the time the records weren’t really rare in numbers or colours! 1987 was when I got into HC big time and by about 1989 I started on my record collecting journey, not in a huge way but enough to score me some really rare records at cost prices.

ReganHard to say when I became a ‘collector’, I guess just gradually overtime. I have a pretty obsessive personality, also I’m a bit of a social spazz, so sitting at home going through endless lists of records and oragnising records and tracking down obscure pressing information is perfect for me. Collecting just evolved from that combined with a love of hardcore.

Talking about obsessive collecting… Take a look at Regan’s Youth Of Today collection.

DR: In terms of money – the big bad subject when it comes to collecting; do you have a monthly spending limit? In terms of money, do you have a spending limit, or is there just a few (hundred!) records on your want list that will be bought when the opportunity presents itself?

ReganNot anymore. When I first started buying records, it was like $50, then $100. Then if you’re going to spend $100, might as well spend $150 and so on. Now, if I have disposable income, it pretty much all goes on records.

MarcusNo. I set myself a budget as a guide, but sometimes I spend more and sometimes less. People who don’t collect always want to know about the financial side of things in order to pass judgement, but I don’t think it’s particularly relevant to be honest, so I don’t want to say anymore. The only thing I will say is that I am an adult with a well paid job, and my record habit doesn’t cause me any financial stress whatsoever.

LinsNo not at all, I basically just spend when I feel the need/want to, no set limits just go with how I feel and at what the prices are. Its getting harder to justify buying records especially from the USA due to the huge increase in postage prices and also the fact that I have a 10 month old daughter though!

MarcNot really. I try to keep up with reissues, but not all of course, only bands i collect. I’ve been without a job for a long time the last 18 months, but I sold a lot of my snowboard gear (I worked for Burton Snowboards and had tons of boards, clothing, goggles etc) so I could keep up with buying records. It’s a feeling…sometimes I don’t spend that much if I know I have other things coming up that cost me a lot of money. Other months I buy way too much, haha.

Some of Regan’s rare records from the early period.

DR: Do you collect a specific band(s) or label(s)? If so, which ones?

MarcBands: everything Walter Schreifels related. So that’s more than 10 bands and projects! But that also includes CIV where he did production. We even started a discography website with all Walter related stuff called Hooligansforlife.com (we had to change the name savethesaveables.com last week to hooligansforlife.com

SNFU, the band I discovered through skateboarding and the band that got me into hardcore/punk in the first place. 

I also collect all music Dan ‘O Mahoney did and does. 

I collect all the bands I was in myself (GuidingLine, X-Men, Crivits and North) and Shelter. I did a small European tour with Shelter, but I never recorded with them. Next to Shelter I collect all Youth Of Today releases (Revelation Rec. only) and all Better Than A Thousand releases. I’ve always been a big fan of Ray Cappo.

Than there are a lot of other bands I collect who released music on Revelation Records, but I also collect their other releases on different labels. Bands like Fastbreak, In My Eyes, BURN, Mouthpiece (and Hands Tied), Nerve Agents to name a few.

Skaterock bands like: Drunk Injuns, The Faction, McRad, Odd Man Out, Disaster Area etc. Too many to mention. 

Labels: Revelation Records. I collect way more than the REV 1-23 a lot of people collect, and I try to get as many variants as possible from those releases. From the other REV bands it varies per band. I don’t collect all versions from every release, but still a lot. I think it’s easier to name the bands on REV which I don’t collect haha. 

Ambassador Records: a Revelation Records sub label. I always liked all of their releases, but it’s a very small label so my collection is almost complete.

Commitment Records: basically COM 1-10 which includes my bands GuidingLine and X-Men and The Return Of The X-Men festival compilation which featured GuidingLine. But of course also the release of my band North and the “Forever In Our Hearts” comp which featured 3 of my bands. 

Bottom line, I collect way too much! This will be a life time task!

MarcusNot really. I collect records by bands I like, and there are lots of them. I would say that my MAIN points of interest, which I have been collecting for a long time, are the bands Integrity and Bane. I have something stupid like 130 Integrity records and 70 Bane records. In terms of labels, the main ones would be Revelation and Youngblood, both of which have always maintained the quality of their releases where others have gone off track.

Bane is a band I’ve always had a soft spot for, mainly because I have known those guys on a personal level for many years, which started when they stayed at my house on their first European tour in 2000. Aaron Dalbec from the band has helped me out in the past get some of their rarer records. I do not have a complete collection of any band or label at all, but Bane is probably the band that I am closest to ‘completing’. I would even go so far as to say that, excluding Dalbec himself, I have the most complete Bane collection in the world. Big claim huh?

Marcus’ Reason To Believe 7″ collection.

ReganLabels, no. I don’t think I have ever come across a label where I like every band they have put out. Bands yes. There are a ton of bands I collect. However I only buy music I like, so if a label or band put out something I don’t like, then I won’t buy it. Obviously I really like early Revelation and Wishingwell stuff, but as far as current labels, React! would be right up there. They have put out so many good records. They always seem to put extra effort into their packaging and orders, which is always an extra bonus. Also I have to give a shout out to Life.Lair.Regret records for holding it down for Australian hardcore! But really any label that is putting out good bands deserves respect.

I have a very generic taste in music, my favorites are: Youth of Today, Slapshot, Turning Point, SSD, Chain of Strength, Judge Warzone and moving to more recent stuff. Champion, The First Step, True Colors, Mindset, The Rival Mob, Boston Strangler, No Tolerance etc etc.

LinsI didn’t collect a specific bad or label for years but recently I’ve been bitten by the Misfits and Rev Records bug so I have been slowly filling holes in those collections. I love all of the early Rev releases, so I’m constantly on the hunt for additions to my collection and especially Warzone, SOIA EPs related, and anything Misfits, Samhain, Plan 9 records related I’m into. I’m trying to add the final pieces to my Chain of Strength and Turning Point collections too!

Lins’ Misfits EPs

Marcus’ In My Eyes – Nothing To Hide (revelation Rec.) records.

Regan’s Uniforn Choice – Screaming For Change records

DR: Do you try to keep up with new releases and preorders?

Regan: I try but it gets hard to keep up with so many new bands, while also trying to collect older band’s stuff. There is a list as long as my arm of current band’s records I want or pre-orders I have missed out on. Also there are a bunch of pre-orders I have missed out on from living in a different time zone. Most of the time if I really want something that is going to sell out straight away, I will have to stay up until 3-4 AM to order online when it is released… missed out on a few Mindset records from falling asleep, still bums me out haha.

Also I think being able to download music has made me lazier. I will download a new band and be really into them, but because I have the music already the urgency to buy the record takes a lot longer to get around to, which sucks.

LinsYes I do, although maybe not as much as some people I still like to check out new releases by old and new bands. Although with the newer bands I use the internet to good use by checking them out before buying. Whereas back in the day I’d literally buy anything HC related. My most recent purchase was the latest and newest Sheer Terror LP on Reaper Records which is a rager! I also buy most of the older Revelation Records reissues when they drop and follow labels like Rev, React, Atomic Action to name a couple.

Marc: I try to keep up with most REV stuff, but not all. Sometimes I get a bit sick of those reissues. Last week I ordered a 7″ and the next day the came with another one I wanted. It happened a lot of times and it always cost me a lot of extra shipping. I have people collecting stuff for me in the US, Germany and Belgium to save me money on shipping cost though. They take it with them or send a few items together which makes it a lot cheaper. I just skipped the Brotherhood re-release although that Seahawks color looked great. But I have teo originals and that’s okay for now. I’d rather save that money for the Excel and 411 Discography reissues that are coming up. Choices and more choices. Life of a record nerd.

MarcusAbsolutely. Despite being old and slightly out of touch, I still try to keep up with new bands as best as I can, mainly because I still love listening to music and I get bored listening to the same stuff all the time. I don’t really have the motivation to listen to every new band that comes out, as there are just too many, and my time is limited, but I do what I can to keep up. Some of my favourite current bands are Angel Du$t, Mindset, Stick Together, Turnstile, Violent Reaction, The Rival Mob, No Tolerance & Give. I buy/collect records by all of these bands and more.

Regan’s The First Step collection (a more recent band that the early Rev stuff)

DR: What are the rarest records in your collection and how did you acquire them?

Regan: Hard to say what is rarer than what, but a short list;

Chain of Strength with Silver Sleeve

Made an offer to Tim McMahon for one of his copies. He didn’t want to part with one of his but was able to help me out and set up a deal with me for one of his friend’s copies.

Warzone 7″ on clear

Youth of Today – CCME Gold w/ Batman stamp

Youth of Today – CCME Some Records

 I got all of three above from one guy. He was selling some rare stuff on eBay, so I messaged him. Turned out he had a bunch of other stuff he was looking to sell. I made an offer on the 2 YOT records (as well as a Chain on Clear with Green sleeve). Once we made a deal and those arrived I still wanted the warzone 7” on clear he had, but I didn’t have any more cash. So we worked out a trade for the Warzone 7” for my Minor Threat – filler 1st press and my SOA first press on green. After the trade both the SOA and Minor threat 7”s shot up in price and are now selling for more than double what I paid for my first copies. I’m still trying to replace them.

Youth of Today – BDTW Red and Blue (on Wishingwell)

I got both of these through different ebay auctions by making offers on the listings. I was lucky enough that both sellers agreed to do a deal outside of eBay.

LinsMy rarest records are my Misfits – Earth ADs on colour and Gorilla Biscuits Warzone b-side label EP. I got my Earth AD’s via a trade and purchase and my GB Warzone B side I got from a local record store back when it came out. Funnily enough I know of 3 of my other friends who scored the Warzone B side from the same store!! I later found out that most if not all of the 60-90 Warzone B sides were sent to Europe, hence the large amount of them found over here.

MarcThat must be a test pressing. Tests are rare since there are only a few made. Back in the days 4-8 were pressed and sometimes 12. Now it’s about 25 for most releases. I decided not to collect tests a long time ago, except for the bands I was in. I know a lot of people will think I’m crazy and call that the holy grails of record collecting. That’s true but tests are pretty hard to get, especially if there are only 4 made and 150+ people want that same one. I rather spend my money on other vinyl. And most of them are just black with a white label and some writing or stamp on it if you are lucky. In most cases they come in a white dust sleeve. I know there are some cool test out there (GB 7″ on grey, The Way It Is on green, YOT – BDTW on green, BOLD – Speak Out on green) but those will probably never change owners anymore. The only test I have is Walter Schreifels’ – An Open Letter To The Scene which I got by trading. That’s the only exception. I have it because it’s the record I have most versions of, 11 different colors to be exact. So that will be my most rare record.

MarcusI have two things that I always cite as my rarest records, even though technically they are not. I have a Judge ‘Chung King’ record which I traded from Jordan Cooper in 1996 for some toy Corgi cars. What I like about my Chung King compared to most is that it came straight from Revelation and nobody owned it before me. Not many Chung King owners can say that. My other favourite rare record is a Chain Of Strength ‘What Holds Us Apart’ test press, which is numbered 1/1500, and which I bought back in 1995 from the guy who released it. The funny thing about that one is that the guy offered it to me on the phone, but he wanted £20 (circa $30), and I said I would think about it for a couple of days and call him back because it seemed like a lot of money.

Marcus’ Chain Of Strength test pressing.

Regan’s Judge collection.

DR: We’ve already sort of covered this, but any good stories about hunting down a record? Or stumbling upon a gem in a trash bin?

MarcusMan, I have loads of good stories from my years of collecting. I’m trying to think of one I haven’t told before. I don’t really have any stories of finding stuff in a bargain or trash bin though. Most of my rare records I just bought from the label when they came out, from someone selling their collection, or from eBay.

One story about hunting down a record though that I probably haven’t shared before…

I went to see the band Earth Crisis play in 1997 and asked the singer if he had any spare colour vinyl copies of their first 7” laying about. He said he didn’t, but he told me that the guy who released it (Guav) still had some left, and that he also still had the same phone number that was printed on the cover of the record. So I called the guy up and he agreed to sell me one for $10. I then sent him $10 in an envelope (this was before paypal). A couple of months passed and nothing, so I called again, to find that he had moved away. I wrote the money off and never expected to get anything. But then about two years later, the internet had started growing, and I somehow ended up chatting to Guav on aol instant messenger. I reminded him about the money and he remembered me. He seemed pretty bummed because the record had become quite sought after by this point and was selling for a lot more than $10. But he took my address and agreed to send me one. I didn’t believe he would do it, but true to his word, a few weeks later the 7” showed up. From sending the money to receiving the record it was two and a half years, which remains to this day the longest that I have waited for any record to be sent.

Regan: Since I live in Australia, record stores are nothing like they are in the US or elsewhere. Also I got into the collecting game way later than most, so I have no good stories about finding a rare gem in a record bin.

The closest would be the few times I have found records listed on eBay where they were listed poorly. I found a second copy of Brotherhood – Words Run on solid green on ebay that was just listed as green and didn’t have any pictures. I think I ended up getting for about $60. Also same thing happened with a Brotherhood LP on pink/black mix. 

Regan’s True Colors collection.

Marc: Not really exciting stuff like I read sometimes, I’m sorry. I always have my eyes and ears open, and sometimes I get help from friends who know what’s still on my want list. They see or hear something and they tip me. Some of those live on the other side of the world. One friend in Canada (who I never met in person) almost bought an expensive SNFU record on Discogs so I wouldn’t miss out on it because it just came for sale. Sometimes you miss stuff because of the times zones. I guess most record collectors will recognize that. In the end I bought it myself, but he made sure I would get that one by already informing the buyer. Super nice! 

LinsMy greatest stumbling upon a gem in a record store came about 7 years ago. I was in a local record store here in Newcastle and the dude behind the counter who I knew said “Lins we’ve just bought a HC Punk collection in today” obviously I was straining at the leash to find out what had been sold and tbh I wasn’t expecting anything groundbreaking but after getting the box of eps I quickly realised that this could be the day when I eventually scored something big!! Anyway about halfway through the box I spotted a Danzig “who killed Marilyn”, my initial thought was bootleg!!! The after checking the cover which clearly had the Plan 9 logo on it I quickly checked the vinyl…..yup it was clear purple!! There was even a sticker in the ep to….Now I knew this was the real deal and worth anywhere between $300 – $400. I tried to stay calm and said to the dude behind the counter “how much for this ep?”….this was the moment I was expecting him to say some crazy price which would mean clearing my bank account out…”£3.00” He said!! I couldn’t believe my luck!! I gave him the cash and literally ran out the store before he could change his mind! I guess this was a once in a lifetime event but I’m hoping it may happen again sometime!

Regan’s Turning Point 7″s

DR: What do you think of record collecting anno 2014 – I’m thinking on how the rare records have grown significantly in price, the eBay flippers, RSD, limited versions, etc. etc.

LinsTo be honest, I buy records because I love the music/bands…limited shit is awesome because I’m a collector nerd that likes different variants of records. I guess with rare records you are always going to have an increase in price due to the fact that records/variants are getting harder to come by as most collectors have what they want and have either wiped out the market due to buying the rare records and not selling so you’ll find that these records are becoming few and far between now. I don’t mind RSD limited versions but what I do mind are the ridiculously inflated prices. I mean come on, do you need to charge a 200% mark up on a record just because it’s RSD!? Also those people who flip records as soon as they buy them boil my piss, it’s such a selfish self-centered attitude to have and it’s stopping someone who probably loves the band/record from buying one at cost value. I’ve always been a fan of limited records so I’m not going to talk shit about them, its fun to collect and hunt down variants and lets be honest in the grand scheme of things; its harmless fun.

Marc: Sometimes I ask myself, wtf am I doing. But the love for music in general, certain bands and meeting people live or on internet make it all worth it. There are some records I’m not really after, like the Chung King, some colored versions of Warzone, the Together 7″ compilation etc. For some of those records I started seriously collecting way too late. I don’t wanna spend $750+ on a record. Family is far more important and sometimes you have to make decisions. But maybe someday I will own some of those, you never know. But for now I concentrate on other stuff. I never paid more than $250 for a record. I did that only once and I spend $200 on a record twice. The rest was way and way less! I don’t like the flipping thing but it will always be happen. And if you think a record is worth that much for you; go for it. I only buy RSD versions of the bands I collect. I think it became much too big. It’s not supporting the record stores anymore like it was originally intended. Lots of the RSD stuff is on Ebay the same day for way more. Yep the flipping thing again. 

Marcus’ NYHC The Way It Is collection.

MarcusOverall I think that record collecting is in a good place in the current day. My dad went on holiday to the USA in 1992 and came back telling me that America had pretty much got rid of records and their stores were almost entirely CDs… yet here we are 22 years later and CDs are pretty much dead with records still going strong. Who could have predicted that? Regarding the issues you raise, however, there’s good and bad in everything, it just depends your perspective.

Limited versions – these days, it feels like there has to be at least 4 different versions of every record by default, and it feels like some things have become the norm, e.g. release show sleeve, friends press, preorder press, tour press, final show press, etc. It kinda sucks because it feels like people are taking advantage of collectors, but at the same time it keeps things fun, as people are always looking for an excuse to buy more copies of their favourite records.

Price inflation can also be seen as good and bad for me – it’s good because it means I could probably get most of my money back if I ever wanted to sell up, but it’s bad because it makes it hard for younger kids (who tend to have less money) to get some of the older gems.

eBay flippers are bad because they’re just in it for the money, and they jack up prices, but they’re also good because they give people a chance to own a record that they might not otherwise get a shot at, e.g. selling a limited tour cover to someone who couldn’t go to the show. Everyone slags off flippers, but I have bought from flippers in the past and been grateful for their service!

RSD generally sucks, but mainly because it is clogged up with reissues and it doesn’t achieve what it is supposed to achieve, which is getting people to support their local record shops (they only go there once a year most likely). But RSD is also good because it attracts people and money to record manufacturing.

The way I see it, the mere fact that records are still being made and younger kids are getting interested is really positive, because it keeps the whole thing alive. If we didn’t have limited versions, RSD, flippers etc. then most likely interest in collecting record would have pretty much died out and be the preserve of old farts. Anything that keeps it going and makes it attractive to younger kids is good in my book.

ReganThe price of records has gotten pretty crazy in just the last few years. A lot of records have doubled or tripled in price. That said some records seem to fluctuate a bit, just seems to be supply and demand. The more popular hardcore becomes, the more kids are scrambling for whatever is popular or the ‘must have record’ and I’m sure I’m part of the problem with driving record prices up. I don’t really have an opinion on record prices though, if people are happy to pay for a record then that’s their business. If other people think paying over $100 for a record is stupid, that’s cool too.

As far as limited versions go, these usually help bands and labels sell more records, which I’m all for… even if it means more versions I have to track down, haha. Buying limited records to flip on eBay, that’s pretty shit. However it’s easy to talk shit about people flipping records. If people are going to buy it, then people will continue to flip records or merch. So where really should you point the blame? The people that flip it? The people that buy it? The band for making it so limited? It’s a little more complex than ‘flipping records is shit’, and I’m not trying to defend flipping records, far from it. I’m just saying it’s a product of a scene that hypes records and merch, which most of us are guilty of.

Some of Regan’s rarest Wishingwell Rec. LPs

DR: We already touched this subject, but what effect do you think the increasing price of the rarer records will have on hardcore record collecting? scare off new collectors? make the old ones more old? or maybe it is just a testament to how popular collecting records has become. Many people talk in negative phrases when money is mentioned in record collecting though.

ReganI think record collecting amongst hardcore kids is as popular as ever. Sure there will be a whole bunch of kids now who wouldn’t even bothering putting a Chung King on their want list, but I think kids will continue to collect records within whatever their budget is. 

I definitely think that the higher prices of records reflects the popularity of hardcore as well as the global world we live in. I think you really have to put it in context. Sure in the 80’s, 90’s and even early 00’s records that now go for 4 figures were relatively cheap. But now you have every kid with a smart phone around the world able to buy records in an instant. I mean just yesterday I won an eBay auction in the last seconds while I was in a meeting at work. People are now competing with a lot more people for the same record. Record prices have been driven up by supply and demand, as well as inflation.

As far as people talking about high record prices in a negative way, that has always been the case. Regardless of how much people talk about a Chung King selling for $6000 being idiotic, it doesn’t stop it from selling. Some people just have different priorities than other people and that’s fine. I mean, I’m never going to buy a $50,000 car or have a baby, but I plan on buying a Chung King.

LinsPersonally I think that the bigger the increase in price of rarer records the worse it will become for record collectors in the future. I base this on the fact that record collecting will cease to be fun because most collectors will not have the income to be able to compete against the few that do. I’m beginging to see that now where kids who are half my age have bigger and better collections than a dude that’s in his 40’s who has been a part of the HC scene for decades. Saying that I also think that there may be a tinge of jealousy in there to and if it’s a case of supply and demand then those with the biggest wallets will always have the best collections!!! Long gone are the days when you could get a decent price, trade or even finds in your local second had record stores.

I don’t think record collecting will cease for newer collectors but I do think there will be a shift in what collectors buy and I think that modern bands will reap the benefit because kids will want to buy up the limited pressings of newer bands because these are their Black Flags, Minor Threats, Gorilla Biscuits of their own generation but at a more afforable price. Yes collecting records has become more popular but I think that collectors are starting to realise that their has to be a bit of give as far as record prices go and that maximum ceiling prices are currently way above what they should be so more and more you will see records listed for high prices not selling.

I guess whenever money is mentioned in hardcore there will always be a negative that goes hand in hand with it whether it is bands playing for large guarantees, to the prices of gig tickets, t’shirts etc  so record collecting is the same. People will always moan about the kid or guy that buys everything or that a Chain silver sleeve is costing $500 in 2014. As the years roll past these hard to find and obscure records will become even harder to find and more obscure, you can see now even on Ebay that these records are few and far between because collectors have bought up the majority of them and are not giving them up as much, so unfortunately prices will remain high and probably get even higher. The one negative for hardcore punk record collectors is the fact that these records are between 20-30+ years old now and were pressed in such small numbers that the amounts surviving are getting smaller and smaller as each year passes.

Regan with his two Bring’ It Down on green.

Thanks for reading.

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New: Decline – Chicago Hardcore!

By Rune

 

Decline

New band out of Chicago, IL. Feature members of Noose and Expired Youth! You know it’s good. 

The demo (August, 2014) is available for stream and download from their bandcamp page and it is really…. really bloody good. Not as chaotic and pissed as Noose, but a bit more edge than Expired Youth. 

Follow their facebook page for future updates. Keep an eye out for these guys – with such a promising demo I cannot wait for their debut release.

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Perfect People Preorder is up!

Yo! Preorder is online now for Perfect People (St. Louis HC)’s Midwaste 7″ at Just Another Day Records.

FFO: Count Me Out, Right Brigade, Have Heart, Sinking Ships and such…

Listen on the JAD Bandcamp

midwastesquare

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Freewill interview

by Rune

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This post on Freewill’s facebook page made me go into a frenzy that lasted a couple of days and it made my hands clap in an irregular, spastic manor.

In my weird hardcore fantasy, Turning Point would call Freewill you know just to see what’s shakin’ and then Freewill would say “boys, we’re working on this new hardcore thing where we play it a bit more sensitive – many years from now people will call say that “emo” derived from what we did, and then years ahead of that, people will use the term emo in a fucked up way”.

That is what I’d imagine a conversation between Freewill and Turning Point would be about.

Anyway, that post on facebook made me happy because at that time (four months ago) I did not own a copy of thee holy grail of Wishingwell test pressings – at least it is to me.

Freewill – Sun Return test press 1988. This record only exist as the test press because the actual pressing never happened. It might have been due to the problems Wishingwell had or due to the problems Freewill had with their name. 

Like I said, in March I did not yet know about the future vinyl release of Sun Return. I still had that test press as my white whale – and in May I got it for a whopping $405 + shipping. Best money I’ve ever spent.

I was thrilled to know that Freewill is actually attempting to release Sun Return this year, even though I had just thrown $400+ dollars for that test. I think it is thee most underrated hardcore record of the 80s.

I asked Scott Gravois (vocals) and Paul Cranston (guitar) a few questions about Freewill, their problems back in the 80s and what the future held for Freewill.

Gilman St. 1988 . Freewill’s 2nd Time with Uniform Choice and Insted.

DR: Hey Scott and Paul. Tell me a bit about which hardcore bands influenced you back in the late 80s?

Scott: Hey Rune, I grew up on bands like Minor Threat, Gorilla Bisquits, Verbal Assault, Black Flag (Keith Morris era), GBH, Channel 3, Dag Nasty, Bad Brains, Youth Brigade and the like.

DR: What was the atmosphere like at shows? How was the intensity?

Scott: My favorite bands at the time were playing at a venue called Fender’s Ballroom in Long Beach, Ca. The atmosphere was incredibly electric, and often times very violent. There were usually several gangs converging at shows, Suicidals, LADS, skinhheads, and the Samoan gangs that ran “security” at the venue. The shows Freewill played were usually set up by ourselves or other friends’ bands and were a lot of fun. These shows were often at impromptu locations such as VFW halls, community centers and rehearsal studios and were attended mostly by friends. I remember attending and playing shows with bands like Uniform Choice, Insted, Wind of Change, Chain of Strength, Against the Wall, Face to Face, Reason to Believe, and the Offspring.

DR: I think a lot of people wondered what exactly happened back in 1988 with that Sun Return LP. The test presses exist, but the record never got pressed. 

Paul: Our label Wishingwell had some sort of legal dispute with their distribution. In the process, our material was held in limbo.This is why we later re-tracked it and released it as Stonetelling.

Scott: Wishing Well had a financial falling out with their distributor (Giant) around the time our record was to be released. This more or less led to the demise of Wishing Well.. We were also told that there was another band that had the rights to the name Freewill and that we would have to change our name. After that, we started to experiment with different music styles and our founding member and bass player, Mike, left the band to play guitar in a couple of other projects. I’m not sure which version of the album will get released, we’ll have to take a listen to whatever masters are available and pick the best one.

DR: Are there any reunion talks in the wake of the forthcoming release?

Paul: Yes. we are all excited about getting together soon and Playing old material as well as some new.

1988. Trojan Studios. Huntington Beach, CA

DR: That sounds amazing! But, wait, some new? you’re writing new stuff?

Paul: I personally have a lot of material that never saw the light of day with Freewill/Stonetelling.So Yes, hopefully we will track some new songs at some point.

DR: Will you be performing as Freewill or Stonetelling from now on?

Paul: Great question! I am not sure, most likely Freewill because that was the original name with Mike in the band.

DR: So the legal dispute about the name is not relevant anymore perhaps?

Paul: With regards to performing probably not but, we would have to record new material under a different name most likely.

DR: What set the spark for a Freewill resurrection?

Paul: I have been wanting to do it for a few years now and then one day Mike suggested over Facebook that we do it. Everyone agreed at that point.

DR: What do you the members of Freewill do now? Except for bringing freewill back to life!

Scott: As for what we’re doing now, most of us are family men. I have been married for 8 years now and have a five year old son. I work as an audio engineer and still live in So. Cal. I have been playing drums recently in a folk band with some friends. I keep in touch with the other guys a bit on Facebook and would love to hook up and play some shows, hopefully all of our schedules will allow. The short time we were together as a band was a fun time and it would be great to revisit some of that old FW magic.

No further details have yet been revealed regarding a future Freewill release or gig dates.

Be sure to visit their facebook page to find out.

 

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Perfect People – Midwaste 7″ out early September

By Rune

PERFECTPEOPLExJAD

St. Louis-based hardcore band Perfect People has announced their debut 7-inch. The record will be titled Midwaste and will be out in early September on Just Another Day Records. The band is the current project featuring past and present members of notable St. Louis bands such as Cardiac Arrest, Resolve, Sore Throat Syndrome, and Can We Win. Preorder information for Midwaste will be available soon, but album art, track listing, and two new songs can be found at the label’s Bandcamp page.

FFO: Count Me Out, Right Brigade, Sinking Ships and Have Heart.

Just Another Day Records was resurrected back in April after a good 4 years hiatus. Back then it was run by a guy in Belgium, but it has now relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark and is back in business with Midwaste being the first new release since 2010.

I asked James (guitar) and Drew (vocals)  of Perfect People a few questions:

DR: Midwaste will be out in September and is your debut release. How was Perfect People born?

Drew: Perfect People officially began in early 2012. I had known the 3 original band members (Finney, Darrell, and Travis) from their previous band, Sore Throat Syndrome. There used to be an online message board for everything related to St. Louis DIY punk, hardcore and metal, and one of them had made a listing saying something like, “We have some songs written and need someone to sing over them.” So I scheduled a tryout, brought along some of my notebooks of lyrics, and by the end of that first tryout session, we had a song written. A few days later, they told me I got the gig, and we started working together.

James:  I actually joined the band a year or so after they formed. I had been trying to join Perfect People for a while, then finally they all talked it over, I practiced with them once and played my first show with them on 9/11/13.

DR: The discography tape is great, but Midwaste is on a whole other level. I guess you put some time and money into this release, because it sounds incredibly.

Drew: A lot of what makes the 7” such a step up from the demo recordings is just the overall growth as a band. When the first demo was recorded, the band had 6 songs already written, and I put lyrics over them. By the time we did the second demo (the last 6 songs on that tape), we had an idea of what our writing process was like: they knew how I wrote lyrics, and I knew how they wrote music, so we could each write separately with that in mind. When it came time to write the Midwaste songs, we had an even better understanding of how our band works. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had such an easy time clicking with a group of musicians like I do with these guys, and I think that really comes through on the record.

James: The Both Demos tape is kind of a hodge podge of recordings. The lead guitar, bass and drums were all recorded by our drummer Travis in his house. The vocals were recorded by a friend of Drew’s some months later and after I joined the band, I recorded at a local studio and added my guitar parts. All of this was done in peoples houses for free. When we were initially talked about doing a 7″ we all decided that we wanted to record at Firebrand Studios here in St. Louis. We dropped a lot of money on the recording but in the end we all agree that it was worth it. Brian at Firebrand did a great job with the recording, mixing and mastering of the record and we couldn’t be more grateful for all the time and effort he put into our project.

DR: Just Another Day Records recently relocated to Denmark from Belgium with a new guy running it. Why is a Danish label releasing a 7″ by a St. Louis band?

James: Our other band Resolve worked with the previous owner of JAD to put out an LP and a 7″. After the label went under, we never got those 7 inches until the resurrection of the label happened. He managed to salvage a number of copies and sent us a stack of them. That really stuck with me, so when I saw the JAD Facebook post about looking for demos of newer bands, I sent him the 7 inch to see if he’d be interested in putting it out. Working with JAD has been an amazing experience and we couldn’t ask for a more supportive label to work with.

DR: The lyrics on Midwaste are quite emotional, but in an aggressive manner. Experiences with lost love and family issues delivered with a sledgehammer – Is this your way of coping and making distance to the aforementioned themes?

Drew: I like to write songs about topics or situations that bother me. I think it’d be sort of weird to be yelling my head off about the things that make me happy, y’know? So when I’m writing, it’s usually with the intentions of helping myself understand my own situations in life. If anything, I’m not attempting to distance myself but to gain an acceptance of various aspects of my life in order to rectify the situation. I suppose it’s an overly elaborate process of having to admit a problem before I can solve it.

Photo by Sarah Souders

DR: The first time I read the lyrics, I got a strong Have Heart vibe – without focussing too much on comparison – because your voice makes it all just a bit more pissed off and angry. I guess this wasn’t something you deliberately went for, but are you surprised at that comparison?

Drew: I am surprised by that comparison, actually. In the past, I was really guilty of ripping off specific bands that I liked when I wrote lyrics or music. For Perfect People, I intentionally tried to not rip off anyone; I wanted to say what I was thinking without channeling my words through some other band, if that makes sense. But I’m certainly not upset by the comparison at all! It’s kind of flattering, so I will definitely take it as a compliment!

DR: Describe the St. Louis hc scene.

Drew: The St. Louis scene is super cool. It’s a tightly knit little group of people, most of whom are in bands themselves, all supporting each other. And there are sort of two scenes at once: we have the bands like us who play the type of hardcore directly influenced by bands like Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, and the more modern B9-style bands; then there are the basement bands—the grungier bands who find inspiration from the earlier punk bands. Every now and then, you’ll find people who transcend the divide and attend both types of shows, but a lot of people stick with their own group. One day, I think, we’ll get both the sub-scenes together, and it’ll be a bit more cohesive. But until then, I’ll just keep encouraging people to check out every band they can.

James: I think St. Louis is a city that doesn’t know what it has. There’s such a broad range of punk and hardcore here that a lot of people haven’t heard due to shows being at certain venues or just a difference in the crowds. Bands like Lumpy and the Dumpers, Out of Time, Q, Rüz, Cardiac Arrest, Everything Went Black, Lamentors and Life Like. All of them bring something different and it’s so cool to see those bands progress and be able to be a part of that progression. There’s a certain bond that goes with being a band from the Midwest. It’s been said a hundred times, but I feel like band from this area DO have to work harder to make a name for themselves.

DR: What lies in the future for Perfect People?

James & Drew: We’re going to continue writing, so there will be another release in some form or another soon enough. Hopefully we’ll be playing out of town more often and try to hop on some fests. It’s tough because some of us have full time jobs, others are in school still, and one of us has a wife and baby, so longer touring isn’t exactly in the cards right now. But we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing for now ‘cause it’s worked out well so far.

Perfect People have 2 gigs lined up at the moment:

August 6th: : Power Trip, Mammoth Grinder, Perfect People, Cathedral Fever, Crvcifer @ Fubar in St. Louis, MO

August 16th: Graf Orlock, Dangers, Perfect People, Bitter Thoughts @ The Mousetrap in Chicago, IL

Check them out on the label’s bandcamp or attend the shows if you live in the area. Midwaste is definitely worth a listen!

 

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