John Craigie,
The TVD First Date and Premiere, “Scarlet”

“I have always loved records as a whole. Even when I was a kid it was very important for me to hear the whole record, in order, from start to finish. I liked going through the journey, some songs good, some songs bad. Seeing where the artist would place the “hits” vs. where they would place the deep cuts. What songs they would open with, and which songs they would close with.”

“I was born in the era of CDs, so vinyl was not something I listened to as a youth. It wasn’t until I got to college and hung out with some friends who had a record player. I was immediately drawn to the larger size. Seeing the artwork better and not dealing with plastic jewel cases.

I found a record player for myself and started getting some vinyl at the local record store. I was in Santa Cruz at that time and Logos and Streetlight Records had great dollar bins. I would dig through those and whatever looked interesting I would get. One dollar wasn’t too much of a risk. And if it sucked I would just give it to a friend or donate it back. I always liked how vinyl kind of forced you to listen to the record in full. I mean, you could drop the needle on any song, but I found people tended not to do that.

For my own music, I was always putting it out on CD and online. The dream of being on vinyl was there from the start, but I knew the initial investment was huge and I wasn’t sure my fanbase would actually buy it. In 2013, for my new release The Apocalypse is Over, I did a small Kickstarter just to see if the interest was really there. I found that to make 300 records it would cost altogether about $1800. So I set up a Kickstarter page with a simple $1800 goal. Letting people know that if they really wanted vinyl, now was the time to put their money where their mouth was. The Kickstarter was a success and from then on I have had the confidence to put out my releases on vinyl.

My personal collection is modest compared to some. Nothing too rare or expensive. Mostly pulled from dollar bins and thrift stores around the country. One rare one I have is a limited edition pressing of the Cat Stevens’ Harold and Maude soundtrack. Supposedly, only 2,500 were pressed. A friend of mine that works at a record store got it as a gift for me because he knows I love that movie.”
John Craigie

John’s Craigie’s new album Scarecrow, which was recorded live to tape, mastered to tape, and pressed to vinyl, arrives in stores on 4/21.

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PHOTO: DYLAN O’CONNOR

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