Since everybody is staying home in these strange Corona times, It’s the perfect moment to spend time with your record collection. To get you started or inspired we are presenting a new young collector story. This time we talked (digitally) to Tom, a graphic designer and photographer who loves music as much as the design of records.
What do you love about playing records?
Since I was around 12 I started to listen to a whole album. It made me interested in the story an artist tells via their album, and I still am. Me and one of my friends were studying graphic design and during that time he decided to put on the album In Rainbows from Radiohead when we were working on our assignments. These evenings eventually became music lessons where we listened to all of the Radiohead albums and I would research the design of the covers. From that time on I’m a Radiohead fan and when A Moon Shaped Pool came out in 2016, I bought it straight away. I had the feeling I really deserved it, because I’ve done so much research about the band.
I don’t want to fall into cliches but I also love vinyl because there is so much space for design. If you unfold a double album it is almost as big as a newspaper, with all this room for design to tell the story of the artist. When I buy an album I need to love the music as much as the artwork.
With which record started your record collection?
My collection started with the record collection I took over from my parents.They didn’t have a lot, it where records like Queen and Otis Redding. The first record I bought myself was Favourite Worst Nightmare from the Arctic Monkeys.
How would you describe your record collection?
You can find a mixture of styles, especially since my girlfriend and I are living together. My side of the record collection can be described as alternative guitar music. You will always find a guitar in the songs I listen to. By listening to my girlfriend’s records, I discovered a lot of new music and artists. That is the fun thing about two collections merging.
If you had to choose your album top 3 from your collection, what would it be?
- The first one I have to think about is the new Torii album called Return to Form. This cover inspires me a lot, the house you see is a model of a house set on fire. This is a good example of an album where music and artwork fit perfectly.
- Quiet Signs from the artist Jessica Pratt is an album you can always put on. It just asks to be listened to on vinyl.
- Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life. I grew up with this album, my mom is mostly responsible for this. We listened to this album with the whole family in the car or at home. Lyrics for the song ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ were also mentioned by my sister on the birth announcement of my niece.
What is your most expensive record?
That is a fun story to tell! I was photographing the show of The Last Shadow Puppets for an online music platform called The Daily Indie. I’m a big Alex Turner fan and after the show I was just chilling around the merch table. I looked around me and a line was forming, I asked someone next to me what was happening. They told me the band was going to sell limited edition albums and the first 10 copies would be signed by the band. I decided to stay in front of the line and bought the signed album for €60,-. Crazy expensive, but so cool to have. It’s the only limited edition album I own.
Where do you buy your records?
Most of the records I buy are from the merch during the show or directly from an artist. If that is not possible I go to Plato. But I prefer to buy albums directly from the artists, because it makes it more tactile for me.
What is your advice for people who want to start collecting vinyl?
I would advise them to choose an album that challenges you to listen to it more often. Another important factor is that a record should fit with the way you listen to music at home. I would not buy records within the hard noise genre for example, I prefer to listen to those records on headphones.
All the images are made by Tom van Huisstede.