Image You're the lucky reader of the fourth edition of the Punknews.org Vinyl File. This column aims to keep you informed with upcoming releases as well as spotlighting interesting releases, your favorite band's own collections and labels with an history of vinyl releases worth talking about. As always, Vinyl File is brought to you by Ben Conoley.

This week's Vinyl File Spotlight features an interview with Billy Hamilton of Burlington, Ontario's Silverstein. Billy's got quite the collection, particularly when it comes to Hot Water Music releases (he has over 200), and he shares some of it with us. Also below you'll find a list of some great upcoming vinyl releases from bands like Radon, Off With Their Heads, Big Business, American Steel and more.

Click Read More for the full article.

VINYL FILE SPOTLIGHT

This week Vinyl File is pleased to bring you an interview with Silverstein's Billy Hamilton. Billy is an avid record collector and has one of the most impressive Hot Water Music collections that you'll ever see. Silverstein recently released their third album, Arrivals & Departures courtesy of Victory Records. In addition to the interview, we've got news on new records from a whole slew of artists, so read on.

How did you get into record collecting and what record kicked it off? Why do you continue to collect records?

I got into record collecting a number of years back. I had come to the realization that all the CDs that I owned were getting scratched, broken or lost, and I had started downloading and sharing a lot of music. I saw collecting vinyl as a way to support the bands and records that I really liked, and liked the idea of records coming on different colours. Originally I just planned to get some of my favourite records on vinyl, and collect 7"s that had unreleased tracks on them. That kind of grew to buying everything exclusively on vinyl, which then grew to collecting multiple colours of the same record. I think one of my first vinyl records that I bought was Hot Water Music's Fuel for the Hate Game on a yellow/blue/green split colour, which looked so cool I HAD to buy it. At that point I would have never thought I would have over 200 Hot Water Music records.

Your Hot Water Music collection is one of the most extensive in existence. What caused you to delve so deeply into their catalogue?

Hot Water Music has always been a very important and inspiring band in my life, and aside from putting out some of my favourite records, the fact that they had such a large vinyl catalogue is mainly what got me into it. At first I started collecting their numerous 7"s, and eventually set out to get one of each of their releases. After coming across so many colour variations, I kind of went full on and started shooting for one of each colour and as many test pressings as I could get my hands on. I found a website put together by this guy named Davey Moore who had an extensive HWM collection, and used his site as a model and reference to build mine. I contacted Var from No Idea Records, which is where I got a lot of my rare records, and eventually got in touch with Davey Moore and acquired the final pieces to my collection.

Most of the records by Hot Water Music come in a number of colors, something popular with No Idea. Do you like that aspect of it or do you think it can be discouraging when trying to complete a collection?

I definitely have loved chasing down all the different colours that No Idea has pressed. For instance, there are something like 25 different colours of Fuel for the Hate Game, and I have them all. Against Me!'s Reinventing Axl Rose is another record that has had something like 40+ colours pressed, but my collection falls short around the 15-20 mark I think. I think the only thing that really started to discourage me was after getting the last few records I needed from Davey, Var decided it was time to repress all of the HWM full lengths that were originally released on other labels like Some Records and Doghouse. He did a small run of No Division as a 'mix colour' press, and ended up with 500 or so records on 15 different variations that were all just different shades of grey with a few different pinks, purples and blues mixed in, and some variations being in the <5 quantities. It made tracking down each colour a lot more discouraging, and I am still waiting to figure out which colours Var set aside for me, but it's certainly not one of each.

Are there any Hot Water Music pressings that you're still after? They have some notoriously difficult to find pressings.

I am missing a couple test pressings from some of the older 7"s that were released on smaller, obscure or overseas labels, and I think a Japanese pressing of the No division LP, and a couple promo comp LPs from overseas.

What other bands are you trying to complete collections of?

I have extensive collections of Against Me!, The Get Up Kids, Jawbreaker, Pedro the Lion, Braid, Lifetime, Comeback Kid and a few others, and some of them are even nearing completion. After finishing my Hot Water collection, and seeing some friends who also collect these bands, I know the kind of time, effort and money it takes to complete a collection, and I know that with there being pressings out there that are limited to < 5, it's really hard for any one person to complete a collection, let alone two people. I'm content with being "the Hot Water Music guy" and letting someone else be that guy for those other bands.

How important is it to you that Silverstein releases be available on vinyl?

Extremely important! As a band we've always pushed to have our records pressed on vinyl, and encourage multiple colours and limited pressings. Our first record came on 115 copies on grey, and around 400 copies on blue, both with hand screened covers. The second record I believe was 100 copies on white, 500 on blue and 1400 on clear coke bottle. Our newest record Arrivals & Departures should be available in the next week or so, with 900 copies on yellow, 900 on baby blue, and a limited run of 200 on mixed brown/orange. I've always been the one that picks the colours and what not, which I have been stoked to do.

What release that's not available on vinyl would you like to see printed?

There are definitely a ton of records that aren't available on vinyl that I wish were. maybe a top 10 is in order?
Mew - And the Glass Handed Kites
The Jealous Sound - Kill Them With Kindness
The Gloria Record - Start Here
Smoking Popes - Destination Failure
None More Black - This is Satire
Blink 182 - s/t
Cirteria - En Guard
David Bazan - Fewer Moving Parts
Motion City Soundtrack - Commit This to Memory
Brand New - The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me (coming soon maybe?)

Are there any records you really want but have been hesitant to shell out big bucks for?

I think the main one would be that first pressing of Gorilla Biscuits' Start Today on purple vinyl, with the embossed cover. I think it goes for at least $250 on Ebay. Theres also a ton of tour/fest pressings of Comeback kid's Turn it Around that are usually limited to 30-80 copies each, and they always seem to slip out of my price range on Ebay. The other record that i really want but hesitate to shell out for is the Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness 3xLP. There's something like 10000 of them, yet they always seem to go for like $300 a piece on Ebay. bummer.

What's your most prized record?

I think my copy of Jawbreaker's Live record from their last show. They made 100 copies and sold them via lottery through mail order. I ended up buying a copy a year or two ago for less than the average Ebay price which tends to range somewhere between $350-700. Maybe if Jawbreaker does a reunion show and the record's stock on Ebay sky rockets, I'll cash it in and fly to the show instead.

Besides the obvious, what sets vinyl apart from other formats?

There is definitely something very special about vinyl, It has that crisp analog sound that other formats lack. For me there seems to be another special element in the packaging. Every time I crack open the packaging of a brand new record, it's like I'm opening that wonka bar looking for a golden ticket, anticipating if the record will be on a special colour or the regular black. Being a fan of artwork in general, having a 12" canvas over a 4" one is always better to showcase the album artwork and liner notes.

Are there any upcoming releases you're looking particularly forward to?

I just heard that the Heavens record was just released on vinyl, so I need to get on ordering that. Also waiting to get a copy of Against Me's New Wave, and the new Chuck Ragan record. I've been really into Toronto's latest hot export Attack in Black's new record Marriage and really hope Dine Alone gets that out on vinyl. As far as stuff coming out later in the year, I think i'm mostly anticipating the new Weakerthans record set to hit in September.


Photos of Billy by Brooks Reynolds


THE PUNKNEWS.ORG VINYL FILE

The Chicago Tribune recently ran an interesting article on the growing popularity of vinyl. You can read it here.

Hawthorne Street Records has just released three new records. They include Your Black Star's Beast, Forever by Sweet Cobra and Yellow Belly from Brian Banger. All three are limited to 500 copies and are available here. Hawthorne Street has also announced that they will release vinyl versions of Pelican's March Into the Sea and The Life and Times from Suburban Hymns.

Fat Wreck Chords has announced the pressing info for American Steel's Destroy Their Future to be released on October 2, 2007. The band's first album for the label will be be printed with 200 on white vinyl and 500 on black.

The Manchester Orchestra has announced that a 12" vinyl version of I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child will be printed. It's set to contain additional artwork, but that's all the band has announced regarding the release. Yesterday the band released a limited 7" single from the album featuring the songs 'Wolves at Night' and 'Sacred Heart.' It's an import to those outside of the UK, though, so you're going to have to fork out some cash to get it overseas.

Big Business, featuring members of the Melvins is set to release a vinyl version of their second full-length courtesy of Hydra Head Records. Here Come the Water Works will be released on five different color varieties that include gold, black white with gold yellow and green splatter, clear orange with gold haze and lastly black and gold. All versions will be pressed on 180g vinyl.

No Idea Records doesn't usually make us wait for vinyl, but they did so with Radon's Metric Buttloads of Rock. Regardless, the label has finally stepped up and pressed 237 yellow, 200 blue and 192 orange copies of the album. They still haven't done anything about putting Whisky & Co. on vinyl and I'm still sour about it.

Also from No Idea, they've got a pre-order rolling for Off With Their Heads' new album, All Things Move Toward Their End. If you pre-order the album you'll have the opportunity to get a limited-edition t-shirt with it. Stay tuned for shirt pressing info on an upcoming edition of our new column, Shirts, Everyone Needs 'Em! The label also announced new colors for Against Me!'s Reinventing Axl Rose and The Disco Before the Breakdown 7", new colors for Bridge & Tunnel's s/t 7" and Hot Water Music's Finding the Rhythms.

Headcount Records recently repressed Coke Bust's demo 7". All new copies are available on trash colored vinyl. The release is limited to 500 records.

Arcade Fire's new tour with LCD Soundsystem will be celebrated with a split 7". The limited edition 7" will feature Arcade Fire covering Serge Gainsbourg's song 'Poupee de Cire' while LCD Soundsystem will cover Joy Division's 'No Love Lost.

Skinheads Still Scare People have a new album coming out on Koi Records. Their band's debut full-length is available in limited colours here.

Lovitt Records reports that a vinyl pressing of the Glos' full-length album Harmonium will soon be available as will a vinyl version of Sleepytime Trio's Plus 6000

Although still a recent release, the Alter split between Boris and Sun O))) is being re-pressed on white vinyl.



If you have information about upcoming vinyl releases/sales/repressings/etc, please contact us. Also if you're in a band Punknews covers we'd love to talk to you about your vinyl collection. Email Ben [at] Punknews [dot] Org.