Features

Record Collector: Bernard Zuech, aka sanity_x_decays

Bernard "Bernie" Zuech is a 22-years-old music fan who was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He's currently in school pursuing a career in either law enforcement or education. Although he's never been in a band, he still dreams of one day getting in the van, so to speak.

A friend of No Echo on Instagram, it's time we include him on the site's Record Collector club.

How long have you been collecting records?

I've been in the game for three or four years now, heavily. I first started getting interested when I stumbled upon my dad's old copy of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here when I was 12 or 13, but didn't have a record player or the funds to feed a growing collection. I also started getting into heavier music at around that age, and it has greatly influenced my life.

Where do you usually find your records?

I usually have to shop online for my records, because it is such a niche market, and most of the music I listen to (hardcore mostly) isn't available in the Toronto record shops that mostly sell that of older classics or current trending artists. I appreciate crate digging, but usually come up empty handed, unless I'm lucky. Record stores like FAITH / VOID, and the recently deceased SRC Vinyl (physical stores) in Toronto and Niagara are/were solid, go-to places to pick up though. Discogs, the online record re-sale market, is also one of the best places to go when collecting variants, or that super limited joint you've been searching for forever pops up out of nowhere.

What is the most money you've ever spent on a single record, what was it, and how did you obtain it?

The most expensive record in my collection would have to be a test pressing of Foundation's debut album, When the Smoke Clears. I was approached by the lead singer, Tomas Pearson, on Instagram. He told that he was selling off some of his private collection to financially prepare for the birth of his child. It ran me close to $200 (US), which is more than what I would like to admit to in Canadian dollars. It put a massive dent in my wallet, but it was for a good cause, and an important piece to add to my collection.

What is the most prized record in your collection?

My most prized record would have to be the tour press of Foundation's final release before exiting the game far too early: Turncoat. They sold them at Not Dead Yet, the annual hardcore event which takes place in the heart of the city every fall. So many good memories revolve around this record, like attending the shows, having a good time with friends, and getting to see Foundation for the last time. It's also an awesome, heartfelt release with a very minimalistic, stamped cover and labels.

What annoys you about the current record collecting scene?

The exchange rate sucks! This hobby is very expensive, and our 70 cents to every American dollar is rough on every Canadian collector. I'm also on the fence about how crazy some of the re-sale mark ups record collectors have to pay for sought after releases. We sometimes pay through the nose for prized pieces, and people often take advantage of that by flipping their records to make a quick buck. On the other hand, if someone is willing to pay for it, then they should go for it. My feeling is that people should be in it for the passion of music, not for the profit.

What record have you had a hard time tracking down?

As you can see, I'm a huge Foundation fan, and I am still searching for a few test presses and limited covers and such to this day! I mostly purchase one pressing of a release, unless it's a band I'm really into, then I usually try to collect all the variants. and the test if I'm lucky. I also have large collections from Backtrack, Blistered, Expire, and Incendiary that I am always trying to add to!

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Follow Bernard on Instagram.

Tagged: record collector

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