- When RSD first started, it was an attempt to get people back into record shops, and to try and get people interested in vinyl again. With the recent resurgence in popularity of vinyl over the last few years, it could be argued that it has been ‘mission accomplished’. Do you agree, or do you think there’s more ground to be made?
Our work here is never done! Complacency is dangerous. The renewed interest in vinyl could die as quickly as it rose. Just look at what has happened to the download market. We have to keep engaging, keep exciting people, keep providing something they can’t get elsewhere.
2. How has RSD changed over the years, and how you see the role or focus of RSD changing going forward?
We all know it has strayed from its original ethos but that’s kind of inevitable with anything that achieves this level of success. While the day may have alienated some of its early supporters, it is still attracting new people every year. We have had more tweets & emails from people new to the event this year, than in any previous year.
The role of the event going forward is to keep engaging new customers & to ensure that when they attend an event, they are well looked after, feel the culture of the shop/s that they visit & that they get the record shop bug. Labels need to release good products & shops need to deliver them in a warm, inviting, helpful, fun, comfortable environment that makes people want to come back. If it’s treated purely as a cash cow by the labels & the shops, we won’t win hearts….or return custom.
3. What has been your highlight of the last 11 years of RSD?
Emiliana Torrini playing in our shop in 2009. She was late. We had a packed out shop & no artist. I was panicking, calling the label, trying to track her down. Then she wandered in, all chilled & beautiful. She’d been drinking on the beach & lost track of time. She played a magical set that mesmerised a very happy RSD crowd – staff & customers alike – all joined in end of Record Store Day bliss.
Also, having 6Music broadcast from our shop 2 years ago. Lauren Laverne did an outside broadcast with us & invited Fatboy Slim, Tim Burgess, Simon Raymonde along for contributions to the show. It was an amazing experience to see one of the most influential shows on the radio done live in our shop & seeing what a pro Lauren is was humbling.
4. If you had one piece of advice for labels thinking of releasing something for RSD, what would it be?
Make us something truly special – something we can get properly excited about with our customers. Something people will genuinely want to get out of bed early for. A package to cherish. Dig deep into your catalogues & talk to us about what’s missing from the racks that would work well for the day. Then, don’t forget to tell us why what you have made is so special & make sure your artist tells everyone too. This year’s David Sylvian release is the perfect example of a catalogue item, long out of print, extended & delivered the way the artist originally intended & supported/promoted fully by the artist. Daughter & 4AD have also done a great job of promoting their release this year – loads of images of the product & details of what it is shared on their socials & website, driving people to shops on the day.
5. Which release(s) are you most looking forward to this year?
Personally, Blanck Mass – Odd Scene / Shit Luck & Michael Kiwanuka – Out Loud! But when we asked the team to pick their top releases, pretty much all of them were different. There’s loads on this year’s list if you take the time to go through it all.
Thanks Nat! To find a store near you that’s participating in Record Store Day this year, click here.