Brandon O'Drobinak is a 28-year-old musician who handles guitar duties in Nightfear, a band that plays a crossover style incorporating elements of death, thrash, and hardcore. If you love pouring over photos of metal records, you might already follow Brandon on Instagram, where he goes under the "scourge_of_vinyl" handle. The dude's collection is nothing to fuck with.
It's nice having more metalheads in the Record Collector series.
When did you start buying records?
I started buying records when I was about 16, but I would say I truly started collecting them around age 20. It developed from just buying a few of my favorite records on vinyl into a passion (and an addiction!).
Where do you usually find your records?
There are a couple record stores in New Jersey that I frequent. I'll visit Princeton Record Exhange from time to time, but I spend most of my time digging at Vintage Vinyl. It's much closer to where I live and their selection is a little bit better for my taste. Nowadays I acquire most of my records from purchasing them through record label's webstores or online distros. It's easier to find what I'm looking for online, and I have a few trusted labels/distros I order through. Hell's Headbangers, Relapse, Nuclear War Now!, Arcane Altar, Dark Descent, 20 Buck Spin to name a few of my favorites.
What is the most you ever paid for a single record, what was it, and how did you obtain it?
The most I paid for a single album was for my copy of Lurker of Chalice's self-titled full-length. Including shipping, I paid around $110. I found it on Discogs, and I've seen them sell for much higher prices than that. I normally won't spend more than $75 for a single record, but in this case I made an exception because it was a record I had been hunting for years and it was much cheaper than many of the others listed, and in great condition.
What is your most prized records?
My most prized records are my original Metal Blade Records pressing of Cannibal Corpse's The Bleeding, since that is also a record it took me a long time to find. That album I hold responsible for getting me into death metal, and more extreme metal in general. Also, my Type O Negative None More Negative box set, which includes all their albums released on Roadrunner Records. It's very rare, and sells for an obscene amount of money now. To this day, it's also the only way to have the albums World Coming Down and Life Is Killing Me on a vinyl format.
Is there anything about the current record collecting scene that annoys you?
For the most part, I love the resurgence in record collecting. I've met a lot of great people through record collecting, and I'm very proud to be a part of this community. The only thing that I'll mention is record flippers - people who buy rare or limited records just to increase the prices and sell them for a profit. They're making money off someone else's hard work, and ripping off collectors who would truly cherish the album, only to have some idiot buy it and inflate the price.
What are some records that you've had a really difficult time tracking down?
There's always albums on my want list, I'm always on the hunt. That's part of the thrill of collecting, finally coming into possession of an album you have been searching for so long for. I'm a diehard Cannibal Corpse fan, so right now a few of the ones I'm looking for are an original LP of the Hammer Smashed Face EP, and some of the first pressings of early Corpsegrinder-era material like Vile, Bloodthirst, Gallery of Suicide, etc.