Features

Record Collector: Marc Strömberg (Hardcore and Soda, Visual Artist)

Hailing from the city of Umeå in northern Sweden, Marc Strömberg has been part of the hardcore and punk scene for many years. His work as both the vocalist of hardcore unit Håll Det Äkta, and as a graphic design artist, has kept Marc busy, but if that weren't already enough, he's also behind Swan Sex, a solo project that fans of '80s synthed-out film scores should seek out.

Marc has a fun Instagram page called Hardcore and Soda that combines his two favorite things. So, it's a no-brainer that I invited him to be part of the Record Collector series.

How long have you been collecting records?

I bought my first record with my own money when I was 8 years old. Tears for Fears' The Hurting, and The Cure's Disintegration. I started playing in bands and doing our record covers when I was really young too, around 10, so I learned to appreciate records and design early. Earth Crisis were the first hardcore band that I got records from. I’ve had times when I’ve sold off a large amount of my collection (in failed attempts to start my life over), and I have regretted it every time. So my collecting have had re-starts, the latest one five years ago.

Where/how do you usually find your records these days?

Shops here in Sweden or (unfortunately) the Internet. It’s a such a boring way to find records through webshops, but up here in the cold north there’s not a lot of options. The kick of finding something in shop after looking around for an hour is still the best one.

What is the most you paid for a single record, where/how did you obtain it, and what was it?

I think I have paid more for a rare soda than a rare record. An unopened original bottle of Crystal Pepsi. I paired it with Suicidal Tendencies at home at Dennis’ place (from Refused). Compared to some of the OG collectors I don’t think I have any record that would compare in price to theirs.

Of everything in your current collection, what is your most prized record and why? 

I really really cherish Frodus' Conglomerate International, just for the experience of being transported into that world the album creates. Some records are better suited than others to play loud in a room, opposed to having them in your headphones when you’re outside. The Frodus record really takes me somewhere else. 

Re-presses are harder to get into. Knowing that the physical piece of vinyl is from the time the album was released is really important to the experience, right? Dust and crackles doesn’t matter in that case.

Is there anything that frustrates you about the current record collecting scene?

I wish that bands, labels, and graphic designers put even more time into making the most out of a record cover. I often feel cheated when I open a record and only get a one-sided inlay. I want as much ”stuff” as possible to take me into the records’ own little universe. That is the one good thing about the music business being digitalized and pirated. That labels and artists know they have to convince the buyers with loads of extra stuff included. I’m a sucker for posters, foldouts, stickers, pins, dumb extras [laughs].

Which records are still on your want list that you've had a tough time tracking down through the years?

Some are not very hard to track down, but hard to get if I don’t empty my wallet. Everything from The Swarm, the Majority Rule LP, Converge's When Forever Comes Crashing LP (one of my favorite album covers!), the Ink & Dagger LPs. Newer stuff ike the SZA album (already sold out) and KING's We Are King. I also look for american Dr. Pepper cans and everything soda-wise that is not available in Sweden. It can be a problem to send sodas overseas by mail, so getting those are a hassle. Dr. Pepper is the best soda ever made, along with my own, Cloudberry Grenade.

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Follow Marc's Hardcore and Soda page on Instagram for more carbonated visual porn.

Tagged: record collector

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