Featuring singer/guitarist Davey Warsop (Beat Union, Suedehead), bassist/vocalist Dan Smith (The Dear & Departed; world-renowned tattoo artist), and drummer Jared Shavelson (The Hope Conspiracy, Paint It Black), Sharp/Shock is a trio that craft power pop-infused punk of the catchiest order. Signed to Matt Skiba's (Alkaline Trio, blink-182) Heart & Skull label, Sharp/Shock will be dropping their sophomore full-length, Youth Club, later this month. Produced by Davey, the album is packed with the kinds of songs that are perfect for blasting in your car with the windows down on a summer night.
Davey is a full-on music head who through his work as a producer and engineer has collaborated with such bands as Bad Religion, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, and Green Day, among others. It's with little surprise that he's also a vinyl enthusiast, so I invited him to be part of our little Record Collector club.
How long have you been collecting records?
Well, I think i got my first couple of 7" singles when i was about 6-years-old, but I dont think that counts. I was probably about 11-years old-when I became more invested in music and started buying tapes, CDs, and vinyl, and I never stopped. By the time I was in my mid-teens, I had a small collection. It was probably around this time that I realized how much I enjoyed the format of vinyl and the fact that I actually had a collection, so I just carried on buying as much music as I could. But it was never really about collecting certain pressings or colors. I never really considered myself a real "collector," nor did I try to be one. For me, it was just about loving the format of vinyl and trying to consume as much music as possible. To answer your question, I've been regularly buying records for about 25 years.
Where/how do you usually find your records these days?
I live in Long Beach, CA and there's a great local record shop here called Fingerprints. They have an awesome vinyl room, friendly, knowledgable, and a non-snobby staff. It's just a really nice store and atmosphere, so Fingerprints is a regular stop for me. If I'm visiting home, then its Ignite record store in Birmingham. If I'm traveling or on tour, I always like to find a random local shop and buy something. This isn't always realistic or practical, but I really enjoy having stuff in my collection with a memory attached to it because I found it in some random shop in some random city. I'm a total Discogs addict, too.
What is the most you paid for a single record, where/how did you obtain it, and what was it?
Generally speaking, I dont really have the money to spend over $50 on a record. This keeps my collection pretty simplistic. Part of why I don't consider myself a full-on collector is because I know there are some really serious collectors that are way more knowledgeable than me and spend crazy amounts of money on tracking down specific pressings. If i can get a copy on vinyl, it doesn't really matter exactly what pressing it is. It's just nice to own stuff on wax. I've dropped some money on a few anniversary edition records before. The 20th anniversaries of Nirvana's Nevermind and In Utero, because those are massively influential records to me and it's nice to own the b sides/demos/alternate mixes and stuff. All my Jam records were old and worn out so when they released a box set of re-presses, I had to get that. I record bands for a living, so I often get free promo copies from labels and bands... a really nice perk of the job if you love vinyl! The best i ever got was NOFX's entire back catalog boxset from Epitaph! I'd imagine that was two hundred dollars or so brand new?
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?
My gateway to the UK underground punk scene in the '90s was Crackle Records. They were a very small label and mail-order, specializing in 7"s and I really loved that format when I was a broke teenager because I could buy new music for two pounds fifty a pop. Everything Crackle put out was awesome to my ears and really inspiring to the musician in me. The bands showed me I could achieve my dreams of releasing music on vinyl through an underground punk network and DIY work ethic. Crackle Records bands included Skimmer, Chopper, Crocodile God... a lot of the 7"s were engineered by Frankie Stubbs from Leatherface, which was cool for the aspiring studio dork in me, especially in the pre-Internet days of connecting the punk rock dots via liner notes.
Theres so many other cool labels with great history and stigma attached, though. I always enjoy finding/buying anything from Dischord, SST, Lookout!, Kill Rock Stars, Sub Pop, (early) Fat Wreck, Epitaph, and any British punk labels: Damaged Goods, Boss Tuneage, Speedowax, Subjugation, Simba, Rugger Bugger. I obsess over small UK DIY punk labels of the late '80s-00s.
Of everything in your current collection, what is your most prized record and why?
Again, it's so hard to pick just one, that's why we have so many, right? [Laughs] We can't settle for one!
I definitely love my Crackle Records collection I mentioned earlier. Skimmer's Vexed and Chopper's Last Call for the Dancers, and Donfisher's Setting New Standards in Apathy... those records are highly representative of a great scene/sound and era in the '90s that heavily influenced me as a teenager.
I love all the old original Britpop records that I have. Stuff like Oasis' (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, Elastica, Ccean Colour Scene's Moseley Shoals, to name a few. These original presses are especially cool to me because I grew up in England in the '90s, so those are very nostalgic records that take me right back to a time and place, even more so now i live a million miles away!
I mentioned before that I'm a producer and engineer, so I'm always especially proud to own the vinyl of records I've worked on. Bad Cop/Bad Cop's Warriors on Fat Wreck is a modern-day punk classic, in my opinion. World Be free's The Anti Circle on Revelation Records is a modern-day hardcore classic. The Used. Anthony from Bayside's debut solo record. I was also an engineer on Green Day's Back In the USA and Foo Fighters' Sonic Highways... this still kinda blows my mind!
Is there anything that frustrates you about the current record collecting scene?
Just that not enough people are doing it. I've never liked elitism, so I just wish more people bought and appreciated physical records. I know theres been an obvious vinyl resurgence, but the majority of people still dont bother and that's a bit sad. I also think its still a very male-dominated interest, so it'd be nice to see more women involved!
Which records are still on your want list that you've had a tough time tracking down through the years?
ALL's Pummel is a classic that I love and was after for years. They just reissued it, so I was glad I never paid $200 for the Interscope version. There's some records by an early '90s mod revival band called the Odd Numbers I've been after ever since listening to them on old skate videos. I've always kept an eye open for the first 7 Year Bitch full-length [Sick 'Em]. Manic Street Preachers' Gold Against the Soul. Blocko's Edmonson Ave on Boss Tuneage was a short-run British punk record that sold out fast in the early '00s, probably a thousand copies. I've always kicked myself for not buying that at the time. I see most this stuff on Discogs now and then, but I'm going through a dry spell and trying not to buy records. My disposable income for vinyl varies. Plus, I'm starting to deal with the realization of my collection getting big.... do I just keep collecting or is it time to start trading stuff in and downsizing? It's a decision of much stress and heartache [laughs].
Sharp/Shock's new album, Youth Club, will arrive in stores on May 28 via Heart & Skull and can be pre-ordered at this link.
Sharp/Shock tour dates with Against Me! and Chris Farren:
May 11 @ Wild Buffalo House of Music (Bellingham, WA)
May 15 @ Senator Theatre (Chico, CA)
May 16 @ Cargo (Reno, NV)
May 18 @ Catalyst (Santa Cruz, CA)
May 19 @ Goldfield Trading Post (Sacramento, CA)
May 20 @ Mystic Theatre (Petaluma, CA)
May 21 @ The Observatory (Santa Ana, CA)
May 22 @ Strummer’s (Fresno, CA)
May 27 @ Orpheum Theatre (Flagstaff, AZ)