Richard Heaven: My gut reaction is to say ‘yes’ to
more about collecting the color and the pressing
vinyl but that wouldn’t be completely honest. If you
information instead of the experience of listening to the
can manufacture 300 7”s for £600 then there is very
vinyl itself. The cassette, for me, is about listening to it…
little difference in price per unit but there lies the issue
since it’s kinda a shitty format sonically. I’m obsessed
- how many bedroom labels can afford to drop £600 on
pressing a record? Can the band even shift 300 units? Probably not on the scale we’re talking. So it may be
Steven Hill: I would say the value of the tape is being
about the same cost per unit to press vinyl but making
able to pass on the saving to the customer, with vinyl
100 tapes and selling 80 of them is much more sensible
costs being relatively high and volumes matching those
then pressing 300 record and being left with 220 under
costs, you need to be pushing people to commit to
your bed. I hope that makes sense.
buy at £5 a unit roughly - and you need to ensure high volumes of purchases in a shorter period of time to
Now for CDs - that’s a minefield. You could go all
break even. Tapes are more relaxed, because you don’t
ACDSleeve and make something awesome, spending
shell out a high amount to start with you can keep a
£3.50-4 per unit or you could just photocopy an insert
healthy stock and let people pay a low price for them,
and stick a CDr in a plastic sleeve which will cost just
a few pence. There’s too many variables. For the sake of argument, the Dashwood ‘Hurt/Heal’ EP we released
Lee Burgess: Definitely! Money is tight, especially in
cost about the same per unit as the Burn Daylight
independent music. A limited run of cassette tapes is
cassettes which came out the same time. If you want to
far more cost effective to work with, as it costs less to
make something worth having then I reckon the cost is
produce, and it’s an easy option to repress for a similar
about the same.
price if your first run sells out; in comparison to putting far more money into a larger pressing of vinyl and
Does production cost become a big factor when
risking the chance it might not sell well.
deciding to produce tapes compared to other formats?
Do you think there is a nostalgic factor behind the revival of the format?
David Conway: Yes, this sort of ties into the last question, but deciding to spend $300 on tapes is much
David Conway: Definitely. 10000%
easier on the business side than $5,000 to make a run of 12 inch records. We can then assess how the band
Justin Collie: Absolutely, it goes back to what I was
is growing from there and move into vinyl.
saying earlier about people being romantics. They just want something to hold in their hand
Justin Collier (Lost Tape Collective): I typically
release cassettes that we’re already released on another
Steven Hill: I would say nostalgia features highly in
format so I don’t have to pay to record the album, so the
the appeal of tapes/cassettes in recent times. I think
production costs are strictly for the cassette itself so the
fans of punk/hardcore etc are always looking back to
overhead isn’t nearly as high.
it’s heyday in the 80’s and trying to emulate that attitude. Another important factor is the DIY element, taking
For me, the sort of starter package now is digital +
the production into your own hands, again it relates to
cassette and then roll into vinyl when the band is of the
nostalgia - but it’s nice to be in charge of the production
right size. We still will do some 7inches and 12inches
process from start to finish.
for established bands, but the costs are high up front. I also think the whole vinyl thingis a bit bloated now. It’s
Lee Burgess: Yes, I feel the main nostalgic factor is
Published on May 4, 2013
Published on May 4, 2013
Here it is, Issue #6 of the occasionally mildly popular zine 'Pornography For Cowards'. This issue features interviews with Defeater, MC Lar...