Moritz Maus is a 31-year-old music fanatic living in Germany. If you're both an H2O fan and a collector of the band's vinyl output, you might already be familiar with Maus as he's holding a lot of wax from Toby and company. Read on to see what else Maus has in his private stash, in this new Record Collector entry.
How long have you been collecting records?
I basically started collecting around five years ago, when I was in my mid 20s, and I'm 31 now. While visiting some close friends in Münster, one of them went to Green Hell record store with me, where I bought my first few H2O records, and some other stuff. I remember Casey Jones' Hope We're Not the Last record was also in my bag. It's one of my all-time favorites and a record that inspired me to go straight edge when I was 27. After 13 years of smoking, partying and goin nuts pretty much every weekend, it was enough. I was like: You can't listen to all those sXe bands, feeling the message, screaming around at shows, and then get drunk after that, so I stopped. It was the best decision I ever made!
After listening bands like Millencollin, Pennywise, Green Day, Offsping, and Nirvana in my teen days, my taste for music went into a heavier direction. It was before I just turned 20 when I discovered bands like Machine Head, 36 Crazyfists, Pantera, and Lamb of God. Somewhen between 16 and 18, I first saw some real hardcore bands, and it totally blew my mind. I saw Pro-Pain and Biohazard, and I had thought that it was the most insane stuff ever. From there on, I was mostly listening to Terror, H2O, Have Heart, Casey Jones, Bane, and other stuff like that. I didn't discover all of the old school stuff like Minor Threat, Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Descendents, and Judge till later.
Where/how do you usually find your records?
I buy my stuff everywhere: Discogs, eBay, and there are some different worldwide collector groups on Facebook, which are also pretty cool. But the most authentic way, and of course the way I prefer, is to enter record stores and dig through all of the boxes. If you collect records and your'e visiting a city you haven't been to before, you automatically scan your enviroment to find those magic letters ("record store") on random buildings. Sadly, I have to work almost every weekend, so I'm almost never able to go to big record fairs. But when I do get to go, shit gets expensive all the time [laughs]. You know what I'm talking about! One of the most thrilling things about collecting vinyl, for me, is
that you never know what you'll find next. All the records on your want list are out there in some boxes, you just have to find them. It's a hunt, and it's addictive, but it's the most perfect way to spend your hard-earned money. And honestly, I've never left a record store without buying anything.
What is your most prized record and why?
On this one, I don't want to talk about money, but the prettiest record I have in my collection is not the one I paid the most for. One day, a few years ago, a dude from Germany uploaded a list of records he wanted to sell and I found a copy of Warzone's Don't Forget the Struggle, Don't Forget the Streets on Fist Records. It is the very very first press, with the little note behind it that is signed by the one and only NYHC legend, Raybeez. I bought it seconds after he uploaded the list and that's the my most prized record, even if I didn't even pay that much for it. Honestly, I wouldn't eveb sell it for $5000. I'll keep that record forever. I'm the third owner. The first owner was the dude who ran Fist Records back in the day, and he got it signed back in 1987, and then he sold it to the second owner, sometime it the '90s. It's pure NYHC history. Even if I'm way too young to have seen him singing for Warzone, I can easily imagine what a big emptiness Raybeez left behind in the scene with his early death. RIP RAYBEEZ!
Since you don't want to get specific about numbers, how about you just tell me some of your more valuable records?
Here are some examples of expensive records that I own. For some I paid a lot, some of them I scored for cheap. I got all three variants of the Stick to Your Guns record The Hope Division. That one is very hard to find. I have Have Heart's The Things We Carry record release sleeve on blue/yellow vinyl. I also have their Songs to Scream at the Sun Sound & Fury 2008 edition. Let's see...Minor Threat Out of Step second press, Limp Bizkit Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, Madball Set It Off first press. I also own The Cure Bloodflowers LP which is worth a goddamn fortune, and I have a lot of test presses. Mostly H2O tests, cause I try to collect a complete collection of those. It's insane that records like a green or orange Lower East Side Crew EP are selling way behind the $500 mark, fukk for sure i would like to own one of those or a ,,Chung king"(best example) but i would never spent that much for a record.
Is there anything that frustrates you about the whole record collecting scene?
I'm feel pretty happy to be a part of a great scene, and I've met a whole lot of cool humans, on and offline. But, for sure, we got things going on which aren't perfect. The first thing that came into my mind while reading the question was probably the problem where people buy new rare records just to put them on Discogs the next day for a huge amount of money. Best examples of this are the new Gorilla Biscuits 7" variants, or some Record Store Day releases which are picked up by flippers just to sell them as fast as possible for double the price. Collecting Have Heart demos was pretty frustrating too. I won't go into details on here, most of you know what I'm talking about. I used to own like 30 different variants and sold them all last year. What a relief it is not to have to hunt for all those variants anymore [laughs].
Which albums are still on your want list that you've had a tough time tracking down through the years?
The main wants on my list are the H2O records that I'm still missing from my collection. A few test presses, like the first album on Blackout! Records, or the F.T.T.W one. If you own any H2O tests, let me know! DEA Records did a split 7" with H2O and a japanese band [Coke Head Hipsters], which includes some variants with a blue cover. I need them all. I have the ones with the standard cover, but to find the blue cover ones is a pain in the ass. Hopefully the H2O collection will be complete one day! I have a huge Terror collection. I pretty much have every 12", but I'm missing like 15 7"s. So, to have all of these would be pretty rad, too. I also need the first pressing of Out of Step with the black back cover. That is one of my main wants.
To have all Machine Head records would be sick, and I'm thinking about starting to collect complete Bane and Frank Turner collections. Oh. and I love Ten Yard Fight, so everything I dont own from them is on the want list as well. Trade Winds Suffer Just to Believe 12" EP with the pre-order sleeve is so hard to find. I could kick myself for sleeping on that when it was up for pre-order. By the way, I'm always looking for Champion brand H2O basketball jerseys. If you own one and are willing to let it go, contact me on my Instagram or Dead Format.