Talking vinyl with Silverstein's Billy Hamilton
Contributed by ben_conoley, Posted by Vinyl File

You're the lucky reader of the fourth edition of the 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.

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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 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