Mike Ciero lives in Jacksonville, FL where he's a concert promoter, as well as artist relations/event organizer for The Music Experience, which is a traveling instrument exhibition mostly appearing at metal and hard rock festivals across the US. In addition to that, he's also in artist management, currently working with thrashers Rhythm of Fear. Yep, the dude lives and breathes music.
Please join me in welcoming Mike to the Record Collector club.
How long have you been collecting records?
I very loosely have been collecting since I got into music about 30 years ago. I would go through phases where I would add to my collection, however, over the past two or three years, I've been pretty insane about it. Probably like a lot of people, Discogs really helped in being able to figure out what exists which not knowing enough about pressings and such had always been a pretty huge hinderance for me in the past, as far as collecting goes.
Where/how do you usually find your records these days?
I'll check eBay and Discogs now and again, but there's something to be said for going into a record store and finding some cool shit. I get to do some traveling with my job and try to go to record stores in different cities, if time allows. I also like to support underground record labels and buy from them direct when new stuff comes out as well.
What is the most you paid for a single record, where/how did you obtain it, and what was it?
Probably spent way too much [laughs]. The Judas Priest Painkiller picture disc got posted on Discogs and I had it on my want list. Once I got the alert that it was available, I instantly purchased it. It was about $150 but after searching for 27 years to obtain it, I couldn't resist.
If you had to pick one record label you feel had/has the best track record of quality releases, who would that be and what are some key titles you love?
Wow, that's a really tough one! First that comes to mind would be Roadrunner/Roadracer/RC, which had some of the all-time greats, including Biohazard, Life of Agony, King Diamond, Gorguts, Suffocation, Immolation, Type O Negative, Sepultura, Fear Factory, Obituary, Vision Of Disorder, Pestilence, etc. Man, so much rad shit. I would be doing an injustice, though, if I didn't mention Earache, with legends like Carcass, Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel, Entombe, and Godflesh! Of course, Nuclear Blast, Relapse, Century Media, and Metal Blade have all been powerhouses throughout all these years and I frequently get stuff from them.
Combat, In Effect, Revelation, Wax Trax were the shit back in the day. Now there are labels like Bridge Nine, Deathwish, Dark Descent, Season of Mist, Flatspot, 20 Buck Spin, and Graven Earth that have all had my attention these days! Sorry, I know you said one but there's too many rad ones to choose from [laughs].
Of everything in your current collection, what is the most prized record and why?
This may be a little bit cheating for my answer, but for me, it wouldn't be just one record but more so the collection of one artist, and that would be my Slayer collection. I certainly don't have it all, but I feel I have a pretty impressive stockpile of Slayer vinyl. They have always been one of my all time favorite bands and there is something amazing about owning a wide variety of releases from them.
Is there anything that frustrates you about the current collecting scene?
I try to focus on the positive but for sake of the interview I would have to say that a lot of record stores are def trying to cash in as much as possible. For instance, a store in Atlanta I was in recently had a used copy of Peter Gabriel's So for $20, or something like that. I assumed it had to some sort of special copy but it wasn't. They had most of their used titles overly priced like that. Standard selections from artists like the Eagles or Barry White were just priced pretty aggressively. Definitely a trend that a lot of places seem to be following these days.
Which records are still on your want list that you've had a hard time tracking down through the years?
Aside from the obvious answer of anything Slayer-related (minus bootlegs), I've been trying to get an OG press of the first Gorguts album, Considered Dead, that's not going for an insane price! Actually, a lot of the old school death metal albums are tough to find original versions of. Still hoping for that day to come where I wander into a store and the new arrival section is littered in OG death metal albums. A guy can dream!
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Tagged: record collector