Nico Welmer is a born and bred Dutch guy who used to run a zine, a record label, and used to be in a band, like many other hardcore folks. These days, he spends more time working in IT, but he's still hunting for records and going out to see live music. Oh, he also runs a record collecting blog, and a low key blog on Minor Threat and Dischord Records.
Nico is the latest human being to join the Record Collector club.
How long have you been collecting records?
I think I got my first record at the age of 9, so that was around 1990. However, I was interesting in music before that, when I starting taping several radio shows to hear certain songs, that must have started somewhere around 1987. Soon after I got my first vinyl single, my parents got a CD player and my first CD was Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction. I still have that one to this day.
Around '93, I shifted a bit from Guns N' Roses to Nirvana and soon after started to discover punk and hardcore music. In 1994, I went to my first punk show but it wasn't till the late '90s when I got more involved in the local scene and got more focused on hardcore instead of punk rock.
So basically, from '94 the first few vinyl records made it into my collection and by 2001 I decided to leave CDs behind and focus solely on vinyl. Mostly due to vinyl records having bonus tracks, the bigger and better artwork, and a lot of punk and hardcore bands only releasing stuff on vinyl. That's what made me switch. Another huge benefit at that time was that if major label releases where available on vinyl, they actually would be cheaper than the CD counterpart. The nly downside was that my local record store had to special order them for me. But I got the most of my records at shows anyway.
Where/how do you usually find your records today?
Nowadays, I mostly rely on Discogs, and occasionally I use eBay or private deals made on a wide variety of forums. Sometimes at shows and sometimes my good old local record store. Of course ordering straight from bands/labels is still something I do, but with the ever increasing shipping costs, I need to be a bit more picky, especially if the label isn’t based in the European Union. But my broad interest in music is really beneficial either to be picky.
Since I am working in IT, and I know a thing or two about automation software, I made a few computer scripts to help me keep track of new records being offered on several websites. That made it possible to scoop up some good deals, must noticeable being an Minor Threat test press.
What is the most you paid for a single record, where/how did you obtain it, and what was it?
That would be either be the Floorpunch 7” on gold or the Minor Threat In My Eyes 7” with Cousins sleeve. That last one has a funny story, I got it from a member of Negative Approach who got it from Brian Baker back in December 1981. When I bought it, I got it shipped to my cousin who lives in New York city, she delivered it to a friend of friend who happened to be in New York at the time on holiday. He took it back to the Netherlands and handed it over to our mutual friend and he gave it to me and so it ended up in my hands a few days after purchasing it. That 7” travelled more in those few days, then it ever had in the previous thirty years.
What is your most prized record and why?
That's kind of difficult to say, obviously those earlier mentioned Minor Threat records come to mind. Minor Threat is one of my favorite bands of all time. Their output has been flawless from the first to the last song. I have a few weird, maybe one-off records such as a Skewbald/Grand Union on orange vinyl, some rare test presses, and some aborted pressings of several bands.
But I can be equal happy with finding a not-so-rare record that completes the collection of a certain band. I really enjoy the hunting part of the game: Figuring out the pressing info and tracking down a copy. Especially when not to many people are interested in it and not much information/knowledge has been saved in the passing years. I love to discover new information and track down the details.
Is there anything that frustrates you about the current record collecting scene?
Not really, but I am not really a person that can be frustrated that much about record collecting or pretty much anything. I do find it annoying that some pre-orders sell out within minutes. Finding an affordable copy later, can be quite a task and there still are a few records, I gave up on. Obviously shipping costs are annoying, too. But I've met some amazing human beings trough record collection, those encounters are worth more than the records themselves.
Which albums are still on your want list that you've had a tough time tracking down through the years?
The wishlist at the moment looks something like this:
- Antidote, Thou Shall Not Kill (1st press) 7"
- Black Flag, Nervous Breakdown (1st press) 7"
- Common Cause, s/t (blue vinyl) 7"
- Dag Nasty, All Ages (matte finish sleeve) 7"
- Embrace, s/t (test press) LP
- Faith, Subject to Change (clear vinyl) LP
- Faith, Subject to Change (white vinyl) LP
- Faith, Subject to Change (4th press $4.00 NO masterdisk etched, if it exits) LP
- Keep It Clear, A Lesson... (record release edition) LP
- Panic, Strength In Solitude (green/black/yellow vinyl) LP
- Rhino 39, Xerox (OG Dangerhouse) 7"
- State of Alert, No Policy (green vinyl, 1st press sleeve) 7"
- Urban Waste, s/t 7" (1st or 2nd press)
Hopefully, I can cross off one or two before the end of the year. Some of them aren’t that rare, only expensive. Some are maybe a bit rare, but for some reason never shows up for sale or maybe I just can’t find it. Obviously any Minor Threat, The Smiths, Morrissey, Bruce Springsteen, Turning Point, and Insted record I don’t have, is a big priority. Since those bands are among my favorites, but there are few more bands, that I am trying to collect.
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Tagged: record collector