The Frisbys,
The TVD First Date

“It’s the effort of taking it out, putting it on, and listening to it start to finish; the songs you like and the undiscovered.”

SAM | My Dad used to have boxes of vinyl in our home. Like relics, they sat in the corner covered in dust waiting to be heard by anyone who would make the effort. I grew up on tapes, so I’d just spend hours looking at them. I loved the artwork, the cover sleeves, and the fact I could read the lyrics.

HELEN | But nowadays with downloads, it’s just the music. It’s lost that sense of time and perspective of what was happening to the band at the time they made the record.

SAM | Exactly. I recently bought a record by Jackson Browne after listening to the album for years as Mp3 downloads and discovered that the album was recorded on the road in various hotel and motel rooms. It was essentially a “live” album—they didn’t have studio equipment to enhance the sound and I had never realised because I hadn’t bought a physical copy. I fell in love with the album even more after finding that out.

MARC | The artwork is totally what drew me in initially, but I loved the idea that music needed to be worked for. We grew up in a generation where we could skip, fast forward, and pause music without thinking about it. I would buy an album and simply press a repeat button of my favourite song and the CD player would sort it out for me.

And then there was the sound itself! Hearing the warm crackle of a vinyl is something that would really bring these albums to life. The first time I heard Dark Side of the Moon was on vinyl and my Dad has played it so much that I couldn’t work out what the speech samples were saying at the beginning of the record before “Breathe.”

SAM | And now, vinyl is a massive part of our lives. Regardless of the fact that it has made this big revolution that everyone has spoken about, I think it is just people wanting more from having a digital music collection, where everything you want to hear is so easy to find. Our parents passing on their record collections has an almost “passing of the torch” element to it, but what are we supposed to pass on to our future children…a hard drive?

MARC | Sam and I spend a lot of our time bin-hunting around charity shops. It’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon and really exciting to see what the next cover you flip over is. Vinyl is expensive to produce, and you kind of get this feeling that in order for it to be pressed—people would have had to believe in it! Saying that, we’ve bought some absolute howlers!

HELEN | Yeah, a few certain albums have had us sat there questioning them…but the point is we listened.

MARC | Absolutely! The fact is that vinyl is special because people listen to them. We now have little vinyl parties where friends come round and have to select an album (or side of an album) to play…and we play them until we hear the paper scratch at the end. It makes people really think about what they want to hear, and also listen to the tunes they don’t know without being able to skip it after a couple of seconds.

HELEN | As a modern artist, you quickly get over the fact that most people will listen to your music on a phone speaker, but in an ideal world you secretly hope everyone will listen to your songs on a brilliant sound system or through amazing headphones. With vinyl, I suppose, you have the feeling that people who buy your music have really invested their time into hearing your music as you intended for it to be.

MARC | Plus, you cannot beat the sound of a vinyl. I first set out to buy a system after going to an event where a load of guys met in a room to listen to London Calling by The Clash on vinyl in its entirety. It was great fun but the company behind the event had been sponsored by a big AV company, and played this album (as it was intended when originally released) through the latest hi-tech equipment that totalled around £30k.

This to me took the whole point out of the event. In order to truly try to capture The Clash’s seminal album of 1979, I’d want to hear it on a system available in 1979—the way that people heard it. But then I reflected and thought, well, I’ve got my Dad’s old Bowie LPs, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dire Straits…and systems were changing all the time. So I decided it would be best to buy a system that was “true” in terms of its quality.

I do now use an automated player that then runs into an amplifier with a flat EQ. I want to hear my collection as true to its original as possible, so I kept it as basic as possible. The final sound on LP is really warm and rounded. There are certain records I’ve got that feel a little more toppy, but I like this because it’s as close to what’s under the needle as possible.

SAM | It’s great going back through your CD collection and hearing the songs that you’ve listened to for so many years that haven’t yet been remastered. I even love one of the Carole King 45s that Marc and I found, where the previous owner had written “so and so LOVES so and so” on the label.

HELEN | It just shows you that song meant something to those people… I love the romanticism that music means so much to people. It’s like when you find personal messages in old used books, you are almost reading into a part of someone’s life.

MARC | I do just worry that so much music is left going dusty in people’s lofts, being mistreated in cardboard boxes. When families sit down to watch a film, or go to an art gallery to look at a piece of art it becomes their absolute focus. Nowadays, music easily drifts into the background and is heard, but not listened to.

People should get that dusty box out and spend an evening listening to the music that meant so much to the people who made it. You might even find a few hidden gems that will make you want to write how you feel about “so and so.”
Marc Robinson, Samuel Keer, and Helen Frisby

The Frisbys release their forthcoming EP, “The Cause” on January 29, 2016 via Dantobaccus Records.

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