Tag Archives: Wishing Well Records
Unity are a legendary OC Straight Edge Hardcore band as well as being the first band to release anything on Wishing Well Records and being very influential in the Hardcore Scene. It goes without saying that Joe Foster himself has played in some very important bands and now has a band Blood Days with some OG HC top brass; members of No For An Answer, Unity, Ignite and Carry Nation, just to name a few. So when Joe emailed me and said he’d like to do something I jumped at the chance.
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.
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
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.
Lins: I 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.
Marc: I 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!
Marcus: The 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.
DR: When did you become a ”collector” on top of a music lover?
Marcus: I 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.
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.
Lins: I 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.
Regan: Hard 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.
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?
Regan: Not 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.
Marcus: No. 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.
Lins: No 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!
Marc: Not 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.
DR: Do you collect a specific band(s) or label(s)? If so, which ones?
Marc: Bands: 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!
Marcus: Not 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?
Regan: Labels, 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.
Lins: I 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!
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.
Lins: Yes 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.
Marcus: Absolutely. 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.
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.
Lins: My 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.
Marc: That 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.
Marcus: I 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.
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?
Marcus: Man, 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.
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!
Lins: My 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!
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.
Lins: To 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: Overall 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.
Regan: The 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.
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.
Regan: I 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.
Lins: Personally 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.
Thanks for reading.
DR: What are some of you fondest memories in Hardcore?
RL: 2 things in general come to mind. One is all the people/friends i’ve met through touring and going to shows. It makes have faith that there are still decent people in this world amongst all the awful things that are happening.The other is all of the crazy and dangerous situations i’ve been through in those early days. They were exciting looking back but i hope i don’t have to deal with that stuff now. I guess i’ve learned a lot and i’m happy to be here today.
DR: you have a band with Roger Miret right? tell us a bit about that.
RL: Yes. ‘The Alligators’. Roger and I have been friends since 1985. We had randomly talked about doing a hardcore side project for years. The time came when the Insted reunion shows were about to happen. I had written some songs and took the opportunity to record them. We have done a few studio sessions since then. All recordings appear on ‘times up, you’re dead’ released on Bridge 9.
DR: Do you still feel the same way about The Straight Edge? And how do you see it today?
RL: As far as how i see it today, i really don’t think too much about it. The name is just a label. What other people do is their choice. It has no effect on me. But just for the record, to me Straight edge wasn’t a trend like it was for most
of my peers. I’ve been ‘straight edge’ my whole life. That’s not going to change. It’s just part of who i am. Just like vegetarianism.
DR: Tell us a bit about The Underground Faction.
RL: I started The Underground Faction when i moved to Arizona in 2011. It was more of a creative outlet for me since i wasn’t in an active band. I wanted to continue to express myself ‘creatively’ so that’s how it started. It really didn’t become focused until the 2nd year. Now i realize i have the opportunity to raise awareness and continue to promote things that are important to me like animal rights, drug free lifestyle, social issues, etc. Each shirt is like writing a song.
DR: Are you a record collector?
RL: when i was a kid i was really into it. I would save my lunch money in school so by the end of the week i could buy a couple records. I was trading records with Ray Cappo before Youth of today even came to California. It’s still my favorite music format. I really like looking at the lyric sheet, front and back cover, artwork, etc. Nowadays kids just want the song on their ipod. They don’t even know what the band looks like or anything about them.
DR: what are some of your Hobbies and interests?
RL: I like traveling, photography, graphic art, music. I’m interested in like minded people who are trying to do good in the world through some sort of activism.
DR: anything that we haven’t covered that you would like to say?
RL: Thank you for reaching out.
Peace, Rich Insted
I got the chance to interview Rich Labbate (Rich Insted) from Insted. One of my favorite bands of all time.
I remember the first time I heard Bounds Of Friendship I was blown away, the sound was perfect in my opinion. I got my hands on What We Believe very soon after and have probably had both those records on steady repeat ever since. Insted are one of those feel good bands for me, I still get pumped every time I hear them. A few times now they have been the go to band if I’m on my way to a job interview or some other stressful situations.
DR: Hi Rich how are you? What are you up to at the moment?
RL: I’m doing great thanks. I’m living in Arizona with my wife, dog and tortoise. (both pets were rescued)
DR: Your in the same boat as me too right, expecting your first child very soon? Are you excited about fatherhood?
RL: Yes. I’m going to be a father for the 1st time in August. Very exciting for this new chapter in my life.
DR: Ok so can you us give the insted story? Where did you start,how,year and OG line up.
RL: Ok. I joined Insted in 1988. Insted had formed in the summer of 1986 and within a few months they recorded a demo which quickly became popular around the local scene. It also grabbed the attention of Wishingwell records to which they signed in 1987 and started recording what would become ‘Bonds of friendship’. I had met Kevin and Steve from going to shows and one day kevin came up to me, gave me an insted shirt and said they were looking for a bass player and asked if i would try out. ‘Bonds of friendship’ was taking along to time to come out and by that time the Mclaughlin brothers were out of the band and they were down to a 4 piece. I quickly learned the songs and met them at their practice studio. Everything just clicked right away. Within a few weeks Insted was back in action and we were passing out flyers for our next show. It all happened pretty fast. By the end of summer ‘bonds of friendship’ was being released and we were booking our first tour.
DR: where did you guys play out a lot in the early days?
RL: Back in those days it wasn’t uncommon to play a backyard party or a warehouse or a random show in the park. There wasn’t a lot of options and the clubs would quickly come and go. The biggest and most stable venue at the time was Fender’s ballroom in Long Beach. Insted played there quite a few times before it’s closing. The Reseda county club popped up and had a good 3 or 4 year run. There was also Spanky’s cafe out in Riverside. Most places didn’t last but more than a handful of shows before closing or being shut down.
DR: I ask this a lot but it’s a favourite of mine…where did you draw a lot of influence from musically?
RL: In the beginning Insted got compared to 7 seconds and Stalag 13 quite a bit. When i joined the band i think i brought more of that Minor threat/ Negative approach style in. Also at the time, Youth of today and Uniform choice were the 2 biggest straight edge bands so i would say they had a big influence on us as well.
DR: who were some of the regular bands you played with?
RL: In the early days and throughout? We did some great shows with both Youth of Today and Uniform Choice. We also toured with Gorilla Biscuits, Vision, Up front, Insight, Face value, Reason to Believe and Wind of Change. We’re still friends with a lot of those guys to this day. Locally we played with Hard Stance, No for an answer, Infest, Half off, Visual discrimination, etc. As we got more popular we always made a point to help out the smaller bands and when we travelled we really enjoyed playing with the local support. When we did the reunion shows we ask TFS to do the shows with us.
DR: what were you and some of the other guys into apart from Hardcore and music in general while insted was around?
RL: The other guys all had steady jobs and were pretty heavy into sports. I was kinda the entrepreneur of the group. I was not into sports, I was more into photography. I had random jobs in between tours. I would be working at night clubs or somewhere dreaming of starting my own company, etc. but I think for the most part Hardcore took up a good portion of our time.
DR: Did You tour outside of the US with Insted?
RL: We were lucky enough to make it to Europe in 2005. We had done a few reunion shows on the east coast in 2004 in celebration of our newly released discography. When those were done we had gotten a few offers to play the west coast as well as Europe so we did. We had tried to go to Europe back in 1990 but the Gulf war broke out and we were advised not to travel over seas during this time.
DR: what were some of your most memorable shows?
RL: so many…. I think my first show was a classic. It was with Youth of Today, Soulside, Underdog, Bold, Hard stance and i’m pretty sure Chain of strength opened. It was in Pomona 1988, Right down the street from where i would buy all my records as a kid. Also playing the Palladium with Bad Religion after signing to Epitaph records was awesome. There was 3 circle pits going at the same time. Tons of energy. We played a benefit show for Roger Miret at the Anthrax in 1989. I remember it was a bunch of east coast bands trying to intimidate us. We just rolled up and did our thing. I thought to myself “ i’m actually friends with this guy”. it’s not just another hardcore show to play on. There’s a reason we’re here. and by the way “where’s the unity”?
DR: What labels put out Insted Records?
RL: ‘Bonds of friendship’ was put out by Wishingwell records, ‘We’ll make the difference’ was put out by Nemisis records, ‘What we believe’ was put out by Epitaph records. The discography was released by Indecision records.
DR: Who are some of your Personal favourite Hardcore bands past and present?
RL: This will have to be a 4 part answer as i usually break it up into records vs. live shows. For example my favorite hardcore 7” is Antidote- ‘thou shalt not kill’ but i never saw the band live so…. Past bands (live) would include: Uniform Choice,Youth of today, Agnostic front, 7 seconds, Doggy style, Gorilla biscuits, Infest, Fugazi, Bad brains. Current bands (live) : Cro-mags, OFF!, Rise against, Bad religion. Past bands (records): Minor Threat-discography, Bad religion- how could hell be any worse, Agnostic front- victim in pain, Circle jerks-group sex, M.I.A-murder in a foreign place, Dag nasty- can i say, plus many more. Current bands (records): Coke bust- degradation, The First step- open hearts and clear minds, Paint it black- paradise, Outbreak-failure, Rise against- appeal to reason, OFF!- first e.p.
DR: what do the other Insted guys get up to these days?
RL: Steve and I have similar tastes. Not too sure about the other guys.
DR: what was Insteds main ethos?
RL: we were really about creating a positive environment for the hardcore scene. we were passionate about being drug free and vegetarian. Speaking for myself i can say i’m still passionate about being drug free, vegan/vegetarian and i still love hardcore.