19 Feb The Collector Series: Jared’s vinyl records collection
The Collector Series is a photography and interview project documenting vinyl records collectors in their most natural and intimate environment. Want to get featured on #vinyloftheday? Send us a photo of your records collection and a few words about your records collection to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have Jared (@jareds_wax) for this week feature, read below.
Location: Albury NSW, Australia
Size of collection: Around 350 records currently.
Tell us a bit more about yourself:
I’m 30 years old. I’ve been married to my amazing wife for just over 2 years now. We own 2 crazy dogs! I work in the field of assisting people with disabilities and have been for several years now in various roles. As well as loving music my other main hobbies are travel, film & football (soccer).
What started your interest in music? Is there any interesting story or history behind it?
I think the real “obsession” with music started around the time I was 10, when others in my age group at school started talking about the music they liked and I’d then be at home and see the music videos of all the bands mentioned on channel V ( an Australian channel similar to MTV at the time).
One day a friend gave me a copy of “Hanson – Middle Of Nowhere” on cassette that he had copied for me and then I was hooked!
I started doing extra chores to earn some more pocket money so I could save up enough to buy some more CDs and start a collection. Being 10 in the mid to late 90s though meant this chore money would be spent on the likes of Backstreet Boys, AQUA, Spice Girls, the Pokémon soundtrack… many more that have long been forgotten thankfully! Amongst all these mostly terrible 90s acts I would also catch glimpses of the music I would one day appreciate, even though I didn’t realise it at the time.
I can vividly remember seeing the music video for “Paranoid Android” many times as a kid and being disturbed by it, but also fascinated. Even then I had an interest in things slightly out of the norm. During my early teen years I followed whatever people at school listened to or what was popular on the radio. During these few years the passion for music wasn’t there in the same way obviously, otherwise I would have branched out and found something actually worth listening to! In the later years of high school I found my enjoyment of music again.
I formed some friendships that the foundations of were primarily based on sharing the passion of music with each other. At first it was all about alternative punk bands like Reel Big Fish, MXPX, Blink 182, The Matches, Relient K, etc. If it was short, fast and loud it was something I could get behind! I started to then branch off and find some bands on my own again. Post punk, garage, alternative rock..anything that fell into this category I was willing to give a go!
Soon enough bands such as The Strokes, Beck, The Vines, Arctic Monkeys, Wolfmother & many others were covering the walls of my room in the form of posters. My CD collecting was rapidly growing around this time and my attention would soon turn to vinyl.
I was also now old enough to attend concerts and festivals, which also broadened my musical taste and introduced me to new bands. Every few years since then I’d say the genres I mainly focus on change, while still enjoying favourites from a variety of genres that I’ve discovered along the way. Like most though I have my constants that have been around for a long time regardless of what current musical genre I’m diving into.
Some of these include The Strokes, Otis Redding, Arctic Monkeys, Coltrane, Tame Impala, Radiohead, The Cure, Beatles, Bowie, Phoenix, The Vines, Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, Beck as well as many others but I don’t want to make this too boring by just writing a long list of artists! I think those that follow my instagram “jareds_wax” can quickly realise who my favourites are as I tend to post stuff I dig the most over and over! I think also having my parents play a lot of the classics that I love today (Beatles, Elvis, Johnny cash, etc) in the house as a young boy definitely played a part in shaping my taste, even if I didn’t appreciate them at the time! Maybe I was too busy with my Pokémon CD to appreciate the Beatles just yet…
How long have you been collecting?
I have some records in my collection that were originally my mum and dads, but I personally started collecting my own records in 2006 at a music festival where I picked up an incredibly noisy and weathered copy of Abbey Road for $5. Bargain! Before then I had primarily collected cds so the collecting bug had been there for a while in my life and it didn’t take me long after that first purchase to transition from cds to LPs.
What does your collection mean to you?
For me, records contain a lot of memories. I could pull any album from the shelf and 9 out of 10 times it would have some cool memory or moment attached to it. Some remind me of a great live concert, some have memories of great hang outs, road trips, general experiences with friends, important moments with my wife (there are a few that contain special songs from our wedding), maybe even just the first time i heard a particular album and the feeling I got when I realised it was something special. I love that these moments come to mind when going through my collection. They don’t all have personal memories. Some just have great music and really that’s all you need! I, like others, also just love having a physical copy of an album I love. An mp3 is convenient but it definitely lacks something for me.
What’s your philosophy behind collecting records and how has that evolved since you started collecting up until the present day?
As I spoke about in my history of getting into music, I tend to focus on different genres at particular times of my life for some strange reason! Of course, I still listen to a large variety of things, but the pattern of getting into a certain type of music at different times seems to be there. At the moment I’m really enjoying working on my jazz, soul & funk collections. A year ago I’d say my focus was more on the “classics”. Getting the Beatles, Hendrix, Coltrane, Otis Redding, Bowie, The Cure, etc. Albums I enjoyed that I thought were essential to the collection. I’d say whilst I was doing all of this my main philosophy was and still is, only pick up albums I know will get a lot of love and playtime on my record player. If an album is just sitting there on the shelf for looks, I move it on and sell it to someone else who will hopefully show it a bit more love. When first collecting I would buy anything I was half interested in or if the price seemed fair, only to find them collecting dust on the shelf rather than being regularly played, so I’m glad my philosophy has changed there. I think the only other thing that has changed is now that I’m married I do tend to focus a little more on albums my wife and I can both enjoy together. If I can find an artist she enjoys that I’m into as well, I’ll definitely pick up more of their albums! Music is always more satisfying when you can enjoy it with someone else.
Share with us your current top 3 records and tell us why they are your favorite?
I think if you give any collector this question and even limit them to 100 favourites they would struggle, let alone 3! I could mention a number of different albums from some of my favourite artists but I would really struggle with who to choose and who to leave out. Instead, I will focus on 3 albums that I’ve been enjoying in recent times that I hope those who haven’t heard them before might check out and discover a new favourite.
Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left/ Bryter Layter/ Pink Moon
I feel like most collectors have that list of iconic artists that they have always wanted to explore the discography of and know they’ll get to when the timing is right. Nick Drake was one of those for me. I think if I’m being honest with myself, I’m glad I waited for the perfect opportunity too. I knew a couple of his songs, and had enjoyed those that I had heard, but didn’t feel inspired at the time to delve further. When a friend bought me Bryter Layter for my birthday, it couldn’t have been a more perfect gift. It’s easy enough for someone to get you an album you’d like (although that can be tricky when collectors usually have most) but it’s a thoughtful and bold move to buy someone an album you think they might dig. The gamble paid off and within a couple of months, I had the complete Nick Drake discography, which is sadly quite small. There’s something quite special about that too though, as for me personally, all 3 are perfect records. I know a lot of longtime fans see Bryter Layter as a lesser record, but not for me. I love that it’s quite a change in sound to the other two and gives you an alternate choice when you’re in the mood for some “lighter” Nick Drake, for lack of a better way of describing it. Also, I’m sure many musicians would kill to make a record as good as Bryter Layter, even if it is indeed known as a lesser album from him. One thing that I struggle with is when people write off artists like Nick Drake, Radiohead, The Cure, Death Cab For Cutie, etc because they find the overall tone of their music depressing. For someone who has had depression, there is nothing more encouraging/uplifting/comforting in the world of music than artists who sing about themes you can relate to. In tough times I don’t feel this kind of music brings me down further at all. Instead, I almost find it to be like comfort food. It’s always helpful to hear how others have been through similar situations whether it be through music or anything else. Nick Drake’s music is some damn tasty comfort food.
Grizzly Bear – Painted Ruins
Around the mid to late 2000s the primary genre I was interested in once again changed (which is no surprise if you’ve been paying attention so far) and I delved deep into bands like death cab for cutie, the shins, fleet foxes, iron and wine, etc. I don’t think any of them had quite the same impact on me though that Grizzly Bear had. It was during the time I was heavy into fleet foxes in particular that I came across grizzly bear as a recommended similar artist. I bought Veckatimest for a friends birthday as I had heard two weeks and thought it was a cool song and maybe the album would be good too. When I got around to listening to the album myself I realised that song was just the tip of the iceberg! To me, that album is an all time favourite but I’m not wanting to talk about that one today. Instead, I want to give some love to their latest release, “Painted Ruins”. Grizzly bear songs are quite unique in the fact that not only do they have that instant pop hook that makes them a pleasurable listen first time through, they also have an incredible amount of complex layers that unravel upon each re-listen that makes you realise how talented each musician in grizzly bear is! Also, I think there’s plenty of music that’s been released that I can listen to and understand that it’s a great song, but not get any sort of emotional response from. With every grizzly bear album, Painted Ruins included, there are several songs that give me a feeling that not many other artists can. They make the hairs on my arm stand on end quite regularly. A year after release I’m still putting this record on as much as I would when first owning a new release. I don’t see myself getting sick of this, or any other Grizzly Bear album anytime soon.
Hank Mobley – Soul Station
I won’t ramble on too long with this last one as I feel like I’ve done enough of that already! A couple of years ago I decided, after mostly being a casual jazz fan, that I’d like to explore the genre more seriously. It can be daunting knowing where to begin your journey in the genre of jazz as there are hundreds of albums seen as “essentials”. They all are in their own way but for me, it’s about finding the ones that make me think “this is exactly what I was looking for!”. I’ve found a few like that and Soul station is probably one of the most recent of those finds that I’ve made. The record has quite a laid back & fun vibe that makes you think they really must have been enjoying this session when recording. Like most jazz LPs the inspiration for listening to it came through the vinyl community on Instagram where I usually write down any albums that people post that look as they might be of interest to me. This one was mainly because I had not checked out any Hank Mobley yet and it features one of my favourite artists, Art Blakey. Keep checking out albums you’ve never heard before! You never know when you’ll discover a new favourite.
Was there ever a record you had a chance to buy and now regret passing in it?
There’s probably been a couple, but none of them come to mind straight away and I’m definitely not haunted by any of them! We are very lucky to be collecting in a time when records are at a high level of popularity, so plenty of new pressings, reissues, and even some things released on vinyl for the first time are appearing. There’s always going to be another opportunity to pick something up, so I find it’s best not to focus on what you’ve missed, instead look forward to what you might pick up next!
Any tips for other record collectors out there?
I’ve found in recent times it’s most important to go with what you’re currently digging. Just because you have a bunch of records doesn’t mean you have to play them all regularly. If you’re feeling like playing one particular album over and over for a week then go for it! Also, find others who share your hobby and enjoy it together! If you can’t physically find anyone who collects records near you, there’s a great vinyl community on Instagram that would be happy to have you. The vinyl community on there has many benefits. You will find like minded people who share the same passion as you, you will discover albums you otherwise might not have by linking up with people who have similar tastes, and you can release some creativity in the way you share your collection.
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