Devils Walk As Saints, The TVD First Date

“I grew up in suburban southern Ohio and at a young age I had an affinity for music. I remember my very first vinyl record: Styx, Paradise Theater. I was transfixed by this object—the elaborately decorated package that was art within itself, this black disc that would release this big, grand music. It immediately tapped into my curiosity with music and this vinyl format.”

“That is when I discovered my parents’ vinyl collection…which to my excitement contained Led Zeppelin II and The Beatles’ Revolver. Again, the packaging being just as interesting as the music. I remember listening to “Whole Lotta Love” while looking at the inner sleeve of the album…trying to figure out what this damn blimp was doing and what did it have to do with this heavy, psychedelic music I was hearing. That experience led to my next step, which was getting a guitar and trying to figure out how to play this stuff.

Like many Gen X’ers of my time, divorced parents and suburban boredom turned into an interest in punk music and skateboarding. As was typical with that culture, there were the older kids who passed on their music, wisdom and lawlessness to us. They got their drivers licenses first and would transport the younger kids to exotic places…like downtown. On one such trip we landed at Everybody’s Records in the Silverton neighborhood of Cincinnati. Like Reckless Records in Chicago, it is the quintessential neighborhood record shop, with new and used vinyl editions of everything from reggae, to country to punk rock—which was where my saved lunch money went.

I picked up vinyl copies of The Exploited, Sex Pistols, Fear, Generation X, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, 7 Seconds, Minor Threat, D.R.I., and many editions of one of my personal favorites: the Misfits. I remember purchasing the Misfits Evilive record and when I got it home and pulled it out of the sleeve, the damn record was green! Green! And translucent—you could see right through it! Wow, I realized these things don’t just come in black.

The excitement of that colored vinyl, which I still own and listen to today, went beyond the music, as the package itself was just as interesting and imaginative. Like Metallica, the Misfits employed the services of the artist Pushead to make sure their album sleeves had a level of artistry that matched the music. Likewise, bands like Black Flag used their album sleeve as a medium to provoke…check out the cover of Slip It In and see how your parents may have reacted to that one. The package was just as rebellious as the music it contained.

The fascination with vinyl has waxed and waned through the years. I feel like some bands tried to hold on to the medium as compact discs and the digital revolution began to take hold. I remember when you could get an advanced copy of Pearl Jam’s Vitology but only on vinyl…which I was happy to grab and hear their vinyl tribute “Spin The Black Circle” before any of my friends. But at some point everybody, listeners and musicians alike, seemed to give up as the digital revolution set in and music became ultra accessible. Which in general has been a good thing, but it certainly altered how music was created, distributed, packaged and experienced—much to the detriment of the vinyl format.

I can’t say that I am really into many of the trends of the day. I think contemporary music in general is incredibly safe, though it includes some extremely talented people. However, it’s exciting to see this resurgence in vinyl. For me, the interest in vinyl is not really tied to audio quality. It’s more of an experiential preference. Like the cork versus screw top debate in the wine world, it’s a question of experience. Screw tops may have their advantages, but nothing is better than popping the cork out of a nice bottle of wine. Similarly, downloading new music can be quick and convenient, but there is still something special in getting a new vinyl record…looking at the art that comes with it, reading liner notes and dropping the needle.

When my band, Devils Walk As Saints, decided to do a full record project I immediately insisted that we do a vinyl release. This was for no good business purpose, only that I wanted to have that experience with music I helped create. So, when I received the boxes of our record This City Will Burn, I uncorked a bottle of wine, pulled the vinyl out of the sleeve and dropped the needle. To me, it remains an elevated way to experience any music, particularly your own.”
David Zaidain, Guitar

Devils Walk As Saints’ This City Will Burn is available now.
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