Local record-shop entrepreneurs discuss the wild world of vinyl – Mountain Xpress

Like a good Shakespearean drama, vinyl fabric records have gone from royalty to pariah and back to the particular throne over the past half-century. According to the Record Industry Association associated with America, plastic sales have grown for 15 consecutive years, with 2021 revenues increasing by 61% in order to $1 billion.

In a music-rich city like Asheville, it’s only fitting that multiple businesses specializing in wax have become fixtures around town. Since 2004, Harvest Records in West Asheville has set the standard with regard to record stores, carrying vinyl from its inception, despite CDs initially transporting the bulk of its product sales.

“I’m honestly not sure how much thoughtful intention was put into it, ” says co-owner Mark Capon,   who notes that he plus co-owner  Matt Schnable   simply followed their instincts and interest. “We’ve always just passively fostered this, I suppose. We never sat in an office plus thought, ‘How can we create vinyl fabric addicts? ’ All of us simply kept it as available, interesting and affordable as we could. ”

Meanwhile, in the River Arts District, the family-owned Information within the RAD launched in April. Led simply by Susan  and  Brian Haynes , along with their son,   Dylan , the three are no strangers to the industry or the area.   The elder Hayneses ran the particular downtown record store, Almost Blue, 1994-2004. Furthermore, they live in the Water Artistry Area.

“We’re also big fans plus friends of Wedge Brewing [Co.], and it turns out many beer lovers are also music lovers, ” John Haynes says.

Like Records in the RAD, Citizen Vinyl is also relatively new, having opened downtown inside October 2020. In addition to the in-house report shop,   Coda, Resident Vinyl’s in-house record press gives the business distinct advantages over its business peers.

“We’re able to partner directly along with local artists, and we’ve even come up with some creative collaborations regarding folks who want to make their own compilation information, ” states producer Cass Herrington . “Our CEO,   Gar Ragland , is also very proud of vinylkey, which is an  NFT tag embedded in a record to show proof of ownership and offers performers continued revenue, even if the album is later resold. ”

Lifting the particular proverbial needle from their curation plus customer-service duties, Capon, Brian Haynes and Herrington  spoke with Xpress about their own roles in the local market plus their particular efforts to satisfy a hungry, music-loving community.

Xpress : What misconceptions do people have regarding report shops?

Capon: I grew up with the cliché stereotype of the pretentious record-store clerk, looking down their nose at your selections with a scoff. Sometimes I wonder if that will idea is so old that it is now obsolete, or if people still feel that way and are still bracing for it when they come into Pick. My hope — and one of our goals through day one — is that they don’t; that they feel welcome to buy or even peruse or talk about any songs these people like. I believe both  He and I have mostly embodied that will, and our staff even more so. We’ve just usually tried to foster that in our culture. And the truth is, music is literally subjective. There is no good, there is no bad — it all just is.

Haynes:   Whatever the misconceptions are, good customer service goes a long way toward alleviating that will.

Herrington:   If there are any kind of stigmas about record stores, We haven’t heard any. I actually pretty much survived high school thanks to the hours I spent at [the shop] ear X-tacy within Louisville after class let out. I’ve just experienced a sense of belonging — from the gritty, death-themed shops in Savannah towards the crisp wooden bins lined up in Coda. Our intention is to be welcoming, plus our own shop manager Kassie [ Guimapang ] does an excellent job from making visitors really feel valued.

Exactly what trends — both positive and negative — are you seeing within plastic in the last few years?

Herrington: On the positive: The particular return to vinyl, period. The growing share associated with vinyl fabric consumers grew up in a digital globe, along with iPhones plus streaming music platforms with their own fingertips. Of course , sound quality has a lot to do with vinyl’s resurgence. But I think this speaks to something deeper, particularly since [the music industry]  saw report sales outpace CD product sales during the pandemic for the first time in 30 years. To witness this cultural pivot returning to some thing analog tells me that we’re discovering the limits when it comes to digital fatigue. Maybe I’m being hyperbolic or even overly romantic, but it makes me feel hopeful about the future and a recognition that will “newer” isn’t constantly “better. ”

As far as negative styles, I’d say the production of cheap turntables that could potentially damage your prized report collection.

Haynes:   The positive is that the revival within production of plastic has led to  a wider selection of songs that has not been  available in many years. The particular negative is that vinyl has become so popular that it is hard intended for manufacturing to keep up with sales, also it can become out of stock quickly.

Capon: Another good trend is that you will find more pressing plants right now than there used to be. They’re popping up everywhere — including Asheville — and that feels like a good thing.

The most glaring downside I see along with vinyl is the rising cost. It’s become prohibitively expensive for some people, and that will surely create a backlash towards the collection of it. We all hate the idea of major labels catching wind in some boardroom that vinyl will be “cool” again. Because what do they do? They jack the prices up. Go figure. It is gross.

In what ways offers your own store been impacted by the particular COVID-19 outbreak?

Capon: Our own main adjustment was becoming infinitely a lot more engaged in our social media and other online outlets during a time that folks couldn’t make it in here. That seems like an obvious move which most companies would make with or without a pandemic, but we can be a little slow sometimes. I believe all of us simply attempted to upward our own game [in regard to] customer engagement. Before the pandemic, we would sit back and think, “It’s all good: People can come in and see what we have to offer” — that is true, however it doesn’t hurt in order to furthermore put records in front of their  eyeballs digitally.

And, obviously, the outbreak pushed people inward to explore plus reengage with their home life experience. More individuals started buying records,   and we have seen this. We’re busier than ever.

Haynes:   It didn’t really play much of a role. The space that we wanted at the Wedge wasn’t still obtainable until recently. While we had already been contemplating the store throughout the pandemic, we really decided to do it when the space became available.

Herrington:   We have accomplished a lot in just over a year. Along with pushing thousands of information, we’ve hosted national acts, released a podcast plus added a third push to our factory. But just as it has for  numerous within the hospitality and music industries, the particular outbreak humbled us from your very beginning. With that in mind, I’d say we are the majority of proud to still be developing plus cultivating a community close to songs. That work is never-ending. We discuss creating something that will outlive all of us.

How do you stay current with music?

Capon: I am always  mining a wide array of sources, which includes but not limited to: discussions in the store with our personnel, conversations along with customers, emails we all get from record brands and distributors every day, songs blogs, social networking, the radio. I have often got my antennas up.

Herrington: There is absolutely no better way to discover a new artist compared to by listening. Around Citizen Vinyl, we call it “a sacred act. ” If I read an article or review of an album that will catches the eye, We add it to my running list of musicians to check out in my notebook. I actually listen to what my favorite musicians are listening to. I also pay attention to exactly what musicians I don’t necessarily like are hearing. I have a soft spot for music artists who are producing new sounds plus genres of their own. I think the less all of us define musical tastes in terms of genre, the more we all open ourselves up to that gratifying feeling of finding a new report performer we enjoy.

Haynes:   Whilst staying present can sometimes be challenging, we are a multigenerational, family-owned company with each person bringing their very own taste and knowledge to the mix. All of us also make a point associated with reaching out to clients to get input concerning artists that people may not yet be aware of to add to the inventory.

How can you approach representing local performers and how does stocking their particular vinyl compare with doing the same pertaining to nationally touring functions?

Herrington:   We all like to have a healthy blend. We are keeping tabs on what’s going on locally and place these works next to bigger names. Rising tides lift all boats.

Capon: Any local take action along with any type of release can bring in a copy or even two, plus we’ll put it on consignment. We have “Local” sections meant for Compact disks and vinyl fabric, plus whenever we especially love a local record, you can bet we’re gonna push this far and wide, whether that’s visibly displaying it more thoughtfully this website or recommending this on the internet or just telling out-of-town customers what is hot within the Asheville music scene. This does not generally happen, yet a handful of nearby acts — Wednesday, Indigo D e Souza , MJ Lenderman — sell as well as anything else within our shop.

Haynes:   We now have continually, as a family and as a store, believed that will supporting local musicians is an important part of being a record store. Asheville is home to an amazing volume of music talent, and we want that skill well represented in our shop. We are attempting to reach out to almost all nearby musicians who have produced plastic and are increasing our selection daily. The goal is to be a store where a good representation of local artists can be found.

Is there a camaraderie among nearby vinyl shops, or even will everyone operate independently and without much overlap or communication?

Haynes:   There are many fantastic report stores in Asheville, and each of them have their own distinctive qualities, and am wish the same can be said for our store. We have at all times felt a bond with other record shop owners, and with Asheville becoming house in order to so many songs enthusiasts, you can find enough clientele for each of us to prosper.

Herrington: The more report shops there are, the greater record stores you will find. We benefit from each other, though we are not really dependent on one another. Our buddies on Collect possess definitely helped all of us build our own library — and on a personal level, you can find me personally digging in receptacles all over city.

Capon: We’ve in no way experienced any sort of heated competition along with other shops within Asheville. All of us send folks to other stores when they’re wondering where else to get some high quality wax. Yet truthfully, we  should probably communicate a lot more with the fellow stores. Probably we could have got monthly get-togethers in order to complain about how certain marketers deliver confusing invoices, or even how Joni Mitchell ’s Glowing blue has been out of print for too long or whatever.

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