Based in Little Rock, AR, Robert Warner's official career title is "Theatrical Lighting Designer and Technician," which sounds pretty cool, if you ask me. But since this is a music site centered largely around hardcore and music geeks like myself, today is a day we welcome Robert to No Echo's Record Collector club.
How long have you been collecting records?
I started collecting records about 7 years ago. I pre-ordered a Between the Buried and Me album package that had a vinyl copy of the album with it. Not knowing anything about vinyl, I bugged my grandma for a Crosley record player (yes, Crosley) for my birthday and haven't looked back.
Where/how do you usually find your records these days?
I'm all over the place when buying records. Normally I hit up my local record store (Arkansas Record and CD Exchange) but I'm also friends with a lot of people who play in various bands so, and am frequently sending Facebook messages asking them to hold me copies of their releases. I variant collect a lot of different bands releases, so I'm constantly scouting Discogs, or waiting for labels to drop releases so I can buy all the colors at once. I'm a big Profound Lore and A389 Recordings fanboy and every time those labels drop a record I'm the first person to buy the most limited version.
What is the most you paid for a single record, where/how did you obtain it?
So, my most expensive story is actually a couple releases I got from my homie in The Netherlands. As I said earlier, I variant collect a lot of bands. Well the collection I'm known for world-wide is my Full of Hell Collection. I started variant collecting Full of Hell right after the Merzbow collaboration dropped. Well with FOH, a couple of their releases had bigger releases over in Europe. After 4 years of collecting every color of every album, I got down to like 7 or 8 records (mostly test presses) that I was needing to finally complete this extremely complicated collection.
Well, I have a friend over in The Netherlands named Danny Kuiper who also variant collected FOH and he was calling it quits. Well we struck up this crazy deal where I would send him like $400 in advance, and then $100 when the records got to me while also sending him a copy of the first Full of Hell Noise 1 Cassette that he was needing to complete his FOH Tape Collection. So, $500, a cassette tape, and many of conversations at 5AM, i was finally able to complete my FOH Collection.
If you had to pick one record label you feel had/has the best track record of quality releases, who would it be and what are some key titles you love?
Hands down, Profound Lore Records. Seriously, that guy could release a sandpaper circle with a hole in it and tell me its limited to 100 and I'd still by it. He has such a good eye for bands that its crazy the quality that comes out of his releases. One day he could release a black metal release, then a grindcore, then a french death metal band, and much much more. Also the care he puts into making sure each vinyl release has the sickest of colors and color ways. Those New Infernal Coil and Innumerable Forms LPs are AOTY contenders but also Pallbearer's Foundations of Burden and Heartless, Full of Hell's Trumpeting Ecstasy, Wayfarer's Worlds Blood. I could seriously brag on this label all day.
Of everything you own in your current collection, what is your most prized record and why.
I have two and they both hold a special place in my heart. I have a form of autism called Aspergers Syndrome, so its very hard for me to socially interact with others. Normally I let my anxiety beat me down. Well while I was in high school, I forced myself to go to a couple of local shows because I knew that I needed to actually experience live music instead of hiding in my room with my iPod or record player. At this time, I was very new to collecting records and only owned like 5-10. It was the final show at Downtown Music Hall and it featured Napalm Christ, Seahag, and Jungle Juice.
The first 7" record I ever owned was the one I bought from this show and it was Jungle Juice's Involuntary Convulsions. Seeing them live, and talking to their vocalist Stan Liszewski, was the first time at a show where I actually felt accepted and like I belonged there. I jammed that 7" every day for a solid year and to this day not only is it my favorite 7" but I now have a 99.9% complete Jungle Juice Collection.
My second one is my Full of Hell's Trumpeting Ecstasy Test Press limited to 4 copies. This one is really just the cool factor. To literally own something that I could never own ever again kinda makes it have that prestigious feel in my record collection.
Is there anything that frustrates you about the current record collecting scene?
It bugs the hell out of me when people only buy things because its "limited." I've heard so many times "I only bought this because its limited to 100 copies." Also, it bugs me when people know you're a collector and they bump up the price just because they know you need it to complete a collection.
Which Records are still on your want list that you've had a tough time tracking down through the years?
I really want the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Green Day's American Idiot musical, Meshuggah's Chaosphere, a green variant of Sleep's The Sciences, and Infernal Coils lathes for every release they put out. Sell me all of them.
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Tagged: record collector