DALLAS — What’s old to you, is new to others, or what’s new to you is old to some. This is true about vinyl records. As more things change, this medium of music is the same and looks like it’s here to stay.
In a world where it’s super easy to stream, a group of music lovers in Texas is making it easier for you to get your hands on a record from your favorite artists.
You can feel the music by listening, but it’s an even greater experience if you can feel the record by touch too.
Despite the advancement of technology, there’s always someone somewhere looking for a specific vinyl to add to his or her collection of music records.
“When the iPad came out, people said, ‘Oh it’s going to be the end of books,’ it’s just a different experience. It’s just a cool way to enjoy music,” said David Grover.
Grover owns a record store called Spinsters in the Dallas neighborhood of Oak Cliff. He is not surprised to see an analog product thriving in the digital world. He says music has no bounds or limitations, vinyl records are one example. He also says his point is proven by seeing how close it connects people.
“It bonds people in a different way. Someone who is a total “Trumper" and a young girl who has got spacers can bond over their love for Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, or some classic band or any band so that’s kind of cool,” added Grover.
Whether it’s pop music, rap, indie, country, or rock, any piece of music on a vinyl that you find in a record store has to be made somewhere. That’s where John Snodgrass comes in.
“When you come to our plant, you see an actual number one on the machines, and we refer to that machine as Johnny, and number two is actually Willy. So you can guess who those were named after,” said Snodgrass.
He is one of three people who are in charge of Hand Drawn Pressing just 20 miles north in Addison. The trio of men first started as only a record label in 2011. They started learning how to flesh out vinyl records all on their own three years later. Now the company is one of the most sought out manufacturers for vinyl records in the country.
"The Universals, the BMGs are there. They are doing business with us and they keep us busy and we certainly like that, but we’ve also said from day 1 we want to make sure that have enough room and enough capacity to service the local guy, the small guy, the guy that’s paying for the project themselves,” added Snodgrass.
Recording artists typically make more money off vinyl sales than online downloads or streams. For music fans, it’s not about the money being spent trying to collect records, but about the moments you can attach to those records. Snodgrass calls it a blowback to technology.
“We are all bombarded every day. Everything we do is in the cloud. It’s just a way to actually have something physical. Something physical in your hand again, that 12x12 piece of art on the front and if it’s a gate folder, maybe more art. I can give it to you, you can loan it to me. You can come over and we can have a beer and we can talk about a lot while spinning,” Snodgrass explained.
Vinyl records are more than just an old school format, some are saying it is a renewed fad, while many believe it’s the value and experience you have while spinning that’s timeless.