Growing up in the '80s, Mike Preston and was a self-described diehard metalhead, until he discovered hardcore at the end of the decade. From there, he latched on to straight edge and vegetarianism, ane he tells me that those are still core elements of who he is. Mike keeps a blog, The One Thing That Still Holds True, where he talks about his music collecting adventures, and he also did some writing for Vinyl Noize at the end of their run.
Welcome Mike to the Record Collector club!
How long have you been collecting records?
While I’m an older dude, and started getting into hardcore around 1990, it took me until around 2005 before I became interested in collecting records. Music has always been a huge part of my life, but I’d grown up mostly buying cassettes and then CDs…but once I started buying and collecting records, it seemed to take that obsession with music to another level…it seemed to make that connection I have with music much more personal and intense.
Where/how do you usually find your records these days?
Usually, I hunt down older records through discogs or eBay. As much as I love physical record stores, and digging through crates to find some treasure, I’m usually looking for very specific pressings, and it is rare for a record store to have what I’m looking for, so I typically do my hunting online.
What is the most you paid for a single record, where/how did you obtain it, and what was it?
When I first got into collecting records, of course I was new at the game, and could not fathom the prices that some people were paying for records. I was like, “60 dollars for an album?!?! That is insane!” But as you get deeper and deeper in the record collecting hole, those boundaries on what you’d spend for a record keep getting pushed further and further. These days, those prices that seemed out of the world when I first got into collecting…I don’t even bat an eye for.
My most I spent on a record was for Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality album…UK first pressing, with the Vertigo swirl label, excellent condition box packaging, and the original poster. UK Vertigo swirl is the way to go when it comes to the first four Sabbath albums, and I’m happy to own them all.
Of everything in your current collection, what is your most prized record and why?
This is an extremely tough question. How am I supposed to just pick one?! I’m tempted to go with my Mindset test pressings for Leave No Doubt and the EP Collection album, or my test press for the Lights Out album on Youngblood (which may be one of my favorite hardcore records ever), but if I’ve got to pick just one, I’d say the blue vinyl tour pressing of Champion’s Promises Kept. I was just starting to toy with the idea of record collecting when I saw Champion play a show in Worcester, MA. They had a merch table set up, and even though it had been a long time since I’d bought a piece of vinyl at a show, I was pretty excited over this album, so I grabbed a copy.
Standing there at that show, with this piece of vinyl in my hands…a record that was made exclusively for this tour…and suddenly something clicked. This one piece of vinyl felt special…it felt important…and I went home that night with the feeling that my mission in life was to capture and preserve these pieces of history.
Is there anything that frustrates you about the current record collecting scene?
I was sucked into the game of buying every single pressing of a record for a long time. It got to the point where I had 14 records in the collection for those first two Turnstile 7 inches, and Reaper posted preorders for the LP with five pressings, and all of a sudden it just felt like a huge waste of money. Chasing all those pressings was no longer fun if it was going to break my savings account trying to keep up. I still had a ton of hardcore and metal classics that I wanted, and it seemed like there was no end in sight with the multiple pressings, so I stopped playing along. I guess it’s cool if nerds still get a kick out of it, but that game isn’t for me anymore.
Which records are still on your want list that you've had a tough time tracking down through the years?
Seriously, my Want List is fuckin' huge, but I don’t think there is anything on there that I couldn’t add to the collection if I threw enough money at it. Some stuff is still way out of my price range, but I’d rather spend a reasonable amount on a record to grow my green label Combat Records collection than spend over a grand for a Floorpunch on gold.
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Tagged: record collector