Mark Walker Q&A - Answers are here!

Moderator: Grimtale

Mark Walker Q&A - Answers are here!

Postby Grimtale » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:58 pm

First off, thank you for the Q&A session. It was very cool to get to do this. Anyone who takes the time to read my rambling, thank you for your interest in the label and what we have going on.
A practical matter: I've deleted any very similar questions to avoid redundancy.

Thanks
Grim

If you could release any band/singer dead or alive on your label who would it be?

Colin Meloy

What's a record you've been looking for, but still haven't been able to acquire?
Cass MAMA013 Viva L’American – Death Ray Music – Tour edition with hand stamped cover. Probably not worth a lot but it’s been eluding me for too long. I’m trying really hard to have a complete CASS collection, all versions, and all variants. We’ll come back to this later in the Q&A…

If you have one, I’m sure I have something nice to trade you…

What's the first record you bought?
Honestly I can’t remember specifically as in the 70s my local grocery store had a vinyl section, kind of like today we have a magazine section. It was mostly 45s and I twisted mom’s arm on a lot of our shopping trips. My parents listened to old country, my sister was 18 years older than me and she was into Sabbath, Beatles, pretty much anything you would expect a teen to be into in the early 70s, this left me listening to all sorts of stuff at an early age.

What record have you been searching for, but still haven't been able to acquire?

Lots, honestly my want list is very long and I add to it every day. It’s not just expensive records I chase, its little odd ball stuff that I hear about. Sometimes I think I’m chasing mythical creatures but for me it’s not about owning at all, it’s about the chase. This is a very important point to understand about me.

Do you have any interest in releasing non limited records?
Ummmm, no.

As a collector, what two records do you wish were in your collection that currently are not?
The answer to this could change by the week, day, moment, but right now at 4:33 am on a Sunday, I’d say:
1. Misfits – Horror Business – Black Vinyl – (willing to drop $15k for this today) It would complete my crazy insane Plan 9 collection.
2. Underground rumors exist of Ace doing a recording of a song called “rock or be rocked” way before Kiss and a 7” existing around it, don’t think it really exist but if it does, it’s on my list.


What do you consider your greatest find as a collector?
I have many great finds. The most memorable was in the late 70s. Much like Jett, as a kid all the record shops and local collectors loved me and took me under their arm to give me lots of stuff to ‘start my collection’ (this goes away about the time you grow up and get a job). Anyways, I got invited into a guy’s basement once who was a jukebox 45 distributor during the 60’s and 70’s. Rows and rows of records all in mint condition, alphabetically sorted and there for the picking. I probably walked out with what would be $10,000 in records in today’s times for about $5. The love I got as a 10 year old can’t be found in my mid 40s...

Which release has been the most difficult to make happen?
GRIM005, Henry & June – Human Fly reissue. This was two years and many, many thousands of dollars in the making. I’m still in the hole a few grand on this release. There is a long story behind this I believe I posted on the Grimtale Archive website.

Which Grimtale Records release is your personal favorite?
GRIM022 – Coming Soon. The music on it best represents what I’m into these days, yeah I’ve mellowed as I get older.

Any updated thoughts on making a more accessible basic edition of future releases? With each release selling out instantly is there any chance of trying to make something for those that are music lovers (not necessarily limited collectors.)
Yeah, I struggle with this the most as a label owner. I’ve been slowly up’ing the amount of regular releases that I let out. I see this continuing to grow slowly as the fan base grows. Otherwise I’ll be shutting people out. At the same time, I don’t want it to be too easy to own a complete Grim collection, regular or variants.

If you could go back in time and get any artist to record a cover of any song of your choosing for a Grimtale release, what artist and song would you choose?
I really want White Buffalo Woman to do the Stooges “Open up and bleed” for me. I asked early on but they didn’t want to be known for cover songs. Maybe one day…

How did it feel to be asked to repair TMR/JWIII's jukebox?
It was really cool and exciting; at the same time I knew I had to do something amazing and beyond my normal limits to please a man of such an eclectic nature, so a little anxious from that standpoint. By the way, I still have the one Jack owned in my basement to do the same restoration to, one day...

If you could pick any superpower which would you choose & why?
Ability to read minds… why not…

What single record do you most regret not obtaining when you had the chance?
Had a chance at crimpies HP LB #15 before he did, let $1000 come between me owning it and him... I still would have chased #7 but would like to have had both

What is the weirdest/most unusual merch item that you have considered with GTR?
Thought about a little grimtale dude made of something light that you put on your car antenna (not that cars have those any more), but as a kid I loved those things. Remember the orange 76 balls made of Styrofoam? It was just a fleeting thought…

What is something you have learned about yourself from your venture into the small record label business?
My entire life I have had OCD, ADD and whatever other hyper, ‘can’t wait on a damn thing’ disorders exist. I’ve had to learn patience, and lots of it. Watching paint dry is faster than producing records. Everything you plan, count on it taking 20x longer and you’re expectations won’t be let down…

Would you rather continue your success with your day job, or would you rather have similar success with GTR?
My day job is a high stress upper management corporate job for a large international company. My success there has enabled me to do all the cool stuff I do. If I could make the same money doing anything outside corporate politics and BS, yes I would. I’d probably pick running a local record store over running a label or my electronics business, or teaching at night at a local college (there is something you don’t know about me), but then again who says I can’t do all four one day, maybe in Nashville… Gotta have some sort of retirement dreams to make it through the day in my day job.

You played D&D as a kid, are there any skills or life lessons you have pulled from your experience with the game that has helping GTR in any way?
My childhood as a gamer taught me everything I needed to know in life. For example, every third person has a dagger in their back pocket just waiting to slip it in your back the second your dice roll is low. LOL. Life is just one series of quest after another for me…

Is there such a thing as a 'priceless' record?
No. Everything has a price. I know you will say it doesn’t but if the amount of money is life changing enough, anything is for sale. This probably isn’t true in all people’s belief systems but I have to believe it is.

Is there a god, and if so what would his or her favorite Grimtale release be and why?
Ok, this is the winner of the best question asked, thus the winner of a WBW test pressing. I believe god is whatever you want it to be, we all need something larger than life to believe in. So there are many gods in that scenario, it varies per person. No one person’s god is right or wrong as long as it gives them purpose and meaning. My god’s favorite release would be side B of GRIM002, cause the Ultras fucking kick it! and that gives me happiness.

What was the first record that got you into collecting and did you ever think it would have brought you to where you are today?
Collecting Kiss was what got me into collecting records. I knew then it soothed a burning desire I had to have it all, even it if wasn’t valuable or meant nothing to anyone else. I knew then what being a completists was all about and it has defined everything about me to date.

If you had to start the label over today, what would you do differently if anything?
Nope… Actually yeah. I use a pretty detailed contract with most of my releases, there were a few that I skipped that part just based on friendships, having looked back, I would have used it even in those cases. Not that anything bad happened, but it would have removed any confusion or assumptions made along the way for all involved.

Where do you see Grimtale Records in 5 years?
No idea… honestly, it could be non-existent, could be worldwide, or could be just like today. I just go with where the music and fun takes me. If I try to plan it too much, it just gets stressful.

What is the hardest part about running your own, 1 man, record label?
Ok, you found my soapbox… Shipping costs, and how to deal with refunds or not. For me to be able to manage the label, it needs to be simple. When I get emails from people saying “hey I bought an extra record for my buddy, could you ship it to him instead of me”. As simple as that sounds, it takes me outside of my normal system and bring a world of complexity to things. When I drop multiple rounds of records and people buy stuff in several different batches and then want shipping combined, there again it takes me into a manual mode I have to track on paper or spreadsheet vs. my shipping system. I get both sides of the equation, I hate paying more for shipping than it cost. I also don’t have the time to combine shipping for everyone, I’d just close up shop if I had to because the stress and complexity wouldn’t be worth it. And it hurts me deep in my soul to sell a record for $10 and then charge $13 for international shipping. WTF? Yet, I have no choice. I do make it a point to refund most duplicate international shipping as painful as it is for me, just because of this. I don’t even mind the time it takes to ship records, it’s the complexity I’m struggling with, which ultimately leads to mix-ups and mistakes. I don’t have good answers here, I just ask for your understanding…

Who is on your artist "bucket list"?
To find some unreleased Bob Dylan sessions and release them first to the world on vinyl. Now who wouldn’t have that on their list…

Which release was the most fun to work on?
I’d have to say the Joel Monroe release. All of them have been fun but Joel just being a kid in his bedroom with “Gene the machine” was all sorts of fun. Even the messed up covers, which I started to just toss, turned into a world of fun for a lot of people including myself.

What is one fact about GTR that no one knows?
There are two close friends of mine who I have mailed one of everything to including test pressings since day one… They will remain anonymous but there is two more of everything out there than anyone thinks. This is on top of Blackwell’s lifetime subscription…

Do you ever plan on expanding a physical location outside of North Carolina?
Yes. I’ll have my three children through college in six years. At that point, I will pack up, sell the farm, and move somewhere I can open a record store / electronics repair business front / concert venue / record label, all out of one building. I figure I’ll make 1/3 of what I do now but who cares about money if you are having fun and can live. It may not happen exactly in six years but sometime in the next 6-10 years, I hope for it to come to fruition.


When you found your holy grail, and found out you could actually attain it, what was it like when you first held it, played it, put in away in your own catalog?
I’ve never had one Holy Grail, I’ve always had many. So as soon as I get something, it’s like… ok what’s next. Picking up from an earlier question, it’s not about owning it, it’s all about the chase for me. Once the chase is over, the fun has stopped for me. That’s why pretty much anything I own is for sale. The holy grail for me wasn’t in owning it, it was in obtaining it. Heck, if I sell it, I could put it back on my holy grail list and do it all over again. See where I’m going with this?

What is your current holy grail? I know you won't answer this because it is most likely so rare that a rocking horse turd has never even heard of it.
Misfits – Horror Business on Black Vinyl

Who is your idol?
Most of my idols are based around my electronics hobby. In designing amplifiers and such, for me it’s all science and math. For some guys out there, they have progressed beyond that to the point they use all the science and math into a higher form of art. They can just sit down and start building from scratch and ‘feel’ what makes sense to put together. For me, I have to draw it all out and make sure it all makes since using simulators and such. I aspire every day to be able to comprehend at that level but just can’t get beyond the math of it all. Sort of like drawing a picture, everyone can do that, but it doesn’t make you a Da Vinci. I struggle the most with this in life.

Hey Mark, what are your top 5 most favorite and prized records in your collection?
#1. Top has to be Spiders “Don’t blow your mind / no price tag”. It was my first expensive record I bought. I’ve had a few copies now and it’s still my favorite.
#2. Is a record I obtained off a friend a year or two ago. I can’t really say much about it other than most don’t know it exist and if they did, they would go ape shit for one. I think 10 or less exist, mostly by the band and those involved in making the record. There are a lot of completest of this artist and so knowing another holy grail existed would set their hair on fire.
3. A prototype for a really, really thick ass record that would blow people’s minds.
4. A set of 5 early Led Zeppelin Acetates (EMIdisc), including Communications Breakdown.
5. A real Sun 45 copy of Dr. Ross - Chicago Breakdown. The 78 pops up once every 4-5 years, the 7”, never. I started out chasing this for a friend but when I found one, I decided to keep it.


Who would been your current dream artist or band to work with?
I believe Colin Meloy, Conor Oberst, and Ben Gibbard are the three top artist I’d like to do something with. I believe they are in a class of their own these days.

Will you carry on with new artists or more established acts like Casper Babypants? What about LPs?
Both. LPs are in the works too. The Capar thing was just too cool to not do.

If we bug you enough, will you get some more Grimtale box's done?
Let me say this, the first batch that were done, there will be no more of those made. Is it possible for a future box to pop up of a different style, sure.

Also.. Grimtale beach towel? haha.. Yeah, I want one!
Hmmm, nope. Although if I ran a contest where you had to take a picture of your towel with a hottie on it half naked… hmmmm there could be something to this.

What are the benefits to a band of releasing a one off single on a small label such as yours?
First and foremost, it’s free to the band. Most bands can’t scrounge up enough dough to do it themselves and even if they could, they wouldn’t know where to begin. For the bands I release, its really simple for them. All they have to provide is two music files recorded well enough to sound good on vinyl, it’s really that simple. They get free vinyl to sell at their shows and they get to be part of something collectible.

Are grimtale releases a long term or only a short term investment?
Great question, if there was a runner up, this would be it. Let me say there is a degree of hype with the label that has gone beyond my comfort level. I never thought I’d see any of my records sell for more than $100. When I started I was just shooting to sell $7 records that elevated in value to $40, or a $20 record that turned into a $60-75 treasure. It’s really hard to say, I think a lot has to do with where any given artist goes onward. Look at Italy records, for the most part all the releases are $20 items or less at this point with really two exceptions: 1. White Stripes Hand Painted Lafayette Blues & related 2. Soledad Bros. My point is, you just never know when that $10 record you buy turns into a $1000 record because the artist hits it big. This has been my goal all along, find small bands and pray one of them hits it big and if not, have a lot of fun in doing it. I’m also seeing more and more collectors of labels in the past 10 years, sub pop really got this going but it is a growing thing from what I can tell. So who knows, does it really matter if we are all having fun along the way?

Do you have any regrets about buying a white Stripes hand painted 7?
Nope, none at all.

Would record price values be high without flippers?
Flippers just piss me off in general. I get it and we have all done it to one degree or another but it pains me to know some people are just in it for the money and not the music. Don’t think I answered your question but the more I think about it the less I want to continue the topic :D

I just wonder, how many of the earlier numbers have not been put up for sale yet?
Pretty darn close to zilch… as in none. I was dumb early on and sold pretty much everything I had and didn’t keep even a few copies back for myself. Heck I’ve had to go on the open market and buy back several of my own releases just so my kids would have copies.

Which other labels (if any) influenced the way you run Grimtale Records?
Loved what Sean was doing with Infirmary Phonographic (it was what really got me thinking about this), CASS has been a model to copy since day one, tried the subpop subscription thing, screw that, Italy, and I’ve learned a lot from labels like Burger, etc. And who can deny TMR as the master of making you want something just because they can…

Which artist do you consider a must-have for Grimtale Records?
Dex is on my list, he lives just up the road from me a bit. One day for sure.

Did you ever see your label taking off the way that it did?
I had no idea if I would release one record and call it done or take over the world. It was just something I wanted to do so we did it.

How do you feel when you see records on your label up for auction on ebay?
It depends. When I run a sale and a week later, I see a variant up for sale (ie flipper), pisses me off. When I see one a few months or year later pop up, I feel proud. Don’t ask me the difference between them, but somehow in my little head they are different.

Holy freaking shirt TMR has a hologram on their new record! We know GRIM always has a trick or two up his sleeve, can you top this?
I’m backing down from this. TMR and others have won! I’m growing tired of the gimmicks and even all the crazy vinyl splatter, swirly, label burst, hologram, rainbow streaks, type stuff. I’m trying to focus on the entire package now and it all flowing well together, more of a piece of art as a whole than any one element of it being over the top. I think the cactus black release will be a great example of this for you to see. Ill Itches 3D cover, while not new in concept it exactly what I’m striving for in future releases, the whole thing just came together so well. Funny, in talking with my contact at the record press I use recently, he basically said the every label that calls him up now ask “what can you do for me that has never been done before or that will one up what X,Y or Z did”… I knew then it was time to back down and get back to the basics of just cool ass music in a really nice package.

Hi Mark. What do you feel has been your biggest achievement so far and which record are you most proud of?
Biggest achievement, the Record Collector full page article was pretty much what told me, someone more than our little Jack White collector community cares about my records, I got lots of inquiries from around the world post that article.

So far from all the Grim releases which features your favorite artwork?
I personally did the labels on GRIM001 and they are still my favorite labels of any I have seen. As far as cover artwork, the band submitted the cover artwork for the Ill Itches but I told my artist that I needed some variation of it for a variant, when he sent me the 3D cover; I did a back flip out of my chair. I love it! Then again, the Von Munz GRIM005 cover is off the charts too.

What artist or graphic designer would you love to have design cover artwork for a future Grim release?
Honestly, it was Eric Von Munz. So I can kind of say I’ve done my holy grail here. When I reached out to him and he was more excited than me, I was blown away.

What do your wife and kids think about Grimtale Records? Do they have a favorite release?
Wife, she doesn’t follow it much. Doubt she has heard more than a song or three from the label yet. My kids follow the stuff pretty well. My oldest son is a huge White Buffalo Woman fan, I hear their music coming from his room all the time.

With Caspar Babypants you went into childrens music, have you thought about doing some other more nontraditional records? (Spoken word, comedy, experimental noise..etc)
Yeah, I’ve had this idea kicking around. I live in what some would consider the backwoods of NC to a degree. Lots of old timer moonshiners around the area. Thought about doing some spoken word recordings of interviews with them. Just got to find the time…

Do you ever plan to turn Grimtale Records into a more traditional record label? (with digital music distribution, help with recording..etc)
Doubt it. I once asked Blackwell why he did something he did, and he said “it’s a ‘money maker’, I use it to fund other stuff I want to do” or something along those lines. Ever since then, the idea of doing something larger every year or two just to make some money off of to fund the label has entered my mind…

What musician do you have the most vinyl from in your record collection?
Probably Led Zeppelin, followed by Dylan, followed by Kiss (at one point I may have had the largest Kiss vinyl collection on the planet, but I sold off over 2000 pieces to fund a down payment on a house), followed by White Stripes, followed by Misfits. But I mostly collect rare obscure 45’s of various bands so what I collect doesn’t play well into your question.

What vinyl record do you think you have you played the most in your life?
Velvet Underground S/T or Led Zep IV, close tie.

Is there any genre of music you just not like?

Modern country. I have nothing against it, I just can’t get into it.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Ask for feedback from others, real feedback. I’ve had demos sent to me that I always submit to my little secret listening group. They often provide very honest and transparent feedback for the artist. Often I flip this feedback to the artist and many times they say this is the first time anyone has given them any real constructive feedback about their playing, singing, recordings, etc. Most are appreciative and take the feedback to heart and do something with it, others I never hear from again, I think it’s a maturity thing as to what they do with the feedback. So don’t ask your mom, dad, best friends what they think, they will tell you what you want to hear. Ask other seasoned musicians (which I have in my listening group) for some straight up and honest feedback, you can’t improve what you don’t know isn’t right.

Who got you started loving music?
There was no Internet, iPhones, x-box, etc in the early 70’s. Just the outdoors and music as far as I’m concerned. So if you didn’t want to be bored, you got into music.

Many bands and record labels influence events and people. What story or anecdote related to your label are you most proud of or gave you the biggest thrill.
Lying in bed on my laptop and a facebook message from Marty Klotz pops up that says “hey, are you interested in buying the original Henry & June pressing plates, Jimmy told me you might be”. So before it was done, I had negotiated a deal for: original pressing plates, original test pressing, original handmade cover mockup, and the rights with the label and band to reissue the release. All out of nowhere… a dream come true.

Between your Regular job, Family, Electronics restorations, and your record label how do you find the time to do it all ?
I sleep very little. Its 8am now and I’ve been at this Q&A since about 4am. I figure I can sleep when I’m dead.

How many hours a night do you sleep ?
5 hours on average. I do enjoy a Sunday afternoon nap.

How many releases do you have planned for 2014 ?
About 10…

What is your favorite release so far ?
It changes day by day for a variety of reasons. GRIM002 is way up there because of the Ultras, I’m a punk fan at heart and that’s just up my alley. The Henry & June Human Fly reissue was a dream come true. GRIM010 was just a load of fun. GRIM001 was amazing, etc.. But if I had to pick, GRIM011 just because of the fun it was to make.

Right now, how many projects are set for a firm release?
At least 15 things in the pipeline right now

How many of them are 7"?
Most all. I do have a 10” EP in the works. The artist on GRIM022 is busy recording the 6-7 songs for it right now. So once the artist gets announced, you can count on at least one more with them.

Dearest Mark, Can you please discuss the overarching differences you see in "collecting vinyl" over the decades, compared to how it is in the 2010's? Thank you
Man has it changed a lot. The Internet and eBay have been the biggest factors. For example, I searched for many moons for records that I could find 5 copies of right now just by searching, they may not be cheap but I can find them. In the 80s, I spent hours every time a new issue of Goldmine dropped searching for stuff to mail order. I mailed out want list every week all over the globe that I hand typed on a manual typewriter. Its all easy now and there is so much more to collect, it’s easy to get lost in it all. Set a couple focus areas, like grimtale records (shameless plug) and go hard after them. Then for everything else, just buy what you enjoy listening to. That’s what I’d recommend to anyone getting into it today.

Do you think the cover art for any piece of vinyl enhances the appreciation of the music or is it irrelevant in your opinion?
It is everything. It’s the whole package experience I’m after these days.

Do you ever worry that the very nature of your label being so collector oriented and having such small runs, but gaining popularity at such an amazing rate, might actually prevent music from reaching the ears of people who might enjoy it?
Yes I do. Got any suggestions?

What was the toughest record to track down in your collection?
Necros Skate Park Edition, I helped track one down for a friend and then I realized, I wanted to own one too so I had to chase down a second. Not easy at all to find. Maybe doing it twice was what made it the toughest.

What words of wisdom do you have for new collectors of vinyl?
Have fun, the minute you find it feels more like work than fun, stop and rethink.

What’s the most interesting story you have about your collection?
I have 9 Beatles butcher covers in my collection, none of which I paid more than $1 for, most were bought for a quarter. I picked them all up at the same flea market over a ten year period in the late 70s and early 80s. Most are mono but one is a really nice stereo 2nd state. This flea market is in Lexington NC, middle of farmers, rednecks and trailer trash. If the flea market would have been in a bigger city like Charlotte, me and dozens of others would have been looking each week. With it being a farmers market that expanded into tailgating, I think I was the only one looking at records most weeks and there were lots of people who had opened their trunks, threw down blankets and spread them out for my picking.

How do you as a label (and one person) stay focused on putting out good music and art and not getting dragged down by logistics and financial issues?
Well, the finances of it all are kind of irrelevant. I’ve yet to make a dollar on the label, I’ve lost money on most all releases and even when I have made money, I put it right back into the label. However, I fund it like any other hobby I might have so it doesn’t really stress me. I figure I’ll spend thousands a year buying collectible records or making them, it’s all the same in the end, just money blown on hobbies. The shipping costs and combined shipping along with how I sell records I do lose sleep over. I just have to stay focused on the music and having fun with the bands while creating something.

What are the main factors you consider before signing a new band?
Do I like the music is the major factor and do I think it is right for the label. I’ve had two larger well established bands that are playing stadium type stuff contact me recently about releases. One was a country artist who I could have sold thousands of copies easily, but it wasn’t right for the label. The other band has a few decent releases but I just felt it was too main stream for the label. It’s quite funny telling a band, you are just too big for my little label and fan base…

Mark, I'm sure you had thought about starting a record label for a while - what was the moment or event that got you to take the leap and actually get going on it?
Standing in line at RSD in 2011 at TMR talking with the guys from White Buffalo Woman. There is a great video I made on the history of the label up on youtube. Just search for “a grim tale 2013”.

Labels like TMR have been doing a ton of reissues and document series releases. If you were able to go back to any record/song that has influenced you the most over the years and repress it on your label, what would it be? Why did it influence you so much?
I already did, GRIM005. Such an amazing piece of work. I am not a big fan of re-issues so don't expect much in this space from us.

If you could come up with one signature vinyl what would it be. For example the triple decker or ice record. Have you had any weird or wild ideas on how you want to press a record?
If any of you have ever been interested in coin collecting, you might know that coins used to have words pressed around the edges of them where they now have little notches like on a dime or smooth like on a penny. I’ve often thought of having a record edge cut flat and putting wording all the way around, a new sort of run out etching per say… Haven’t found a press yet that can do it. Maybe TMR could pull it off, they have much more influence than me.

When you hit the button make your sales go live do you feel like a god?
Well, I like to think of it more like at the end of any Star Trek episode where Kirk gets in his chair, sits back, and sets forth the next journey.

I know a few releases have been done with Danger Limited Sound, is there anybody else you'd like to work with in a similar capacity?
Yes, and sooner or later it will happen. We are just searching for the right artist to share.

is the raw series still alive and are there any plans or ideas to start other series?
Yes, it is. More to come… Maybe but haven’t thought a lot about series.

Is the feeling of releasing a 7" any different today, than in the beginning?
Yes, in the beginning I was learning, which is always fun. Now it’s less about learning and more about the chase for new artist, remember me saying it’s all about the chase…

Would you start the label today, knowing what you now know about running a label?
Absolutely.

How many PM's do you get each day, related to the label, over here and on Facebook?
A lot. No less than 10 on any given day, sometimes 15 or 20. But I love it so keep it coming.

How are the label's fans treating you?
Very well, I am surprised with their loyalty and patience. I do not take anything for granted, everything they do and everything they buy, I very much appreciate.

Are we bothering you too much?
Nope, not at all.

Have you ever tried to talk Jack White into releasing a single on Grimtale records?
Hasn’t even crossed my mind because Jack is just like me, a control freak. It would never happen.

Are you one of those few people who can actually explain what happens when a needle hits a groove and bliss overflows through a certain space?
Yes, at a very technical level. I’ve spent my whole life focused on audio electronics.

What release number are you up to now? How many are in the works?
GRIM022 is coming in June with others behind hit catching up quickly. A good 15 or more in the pipeline. I do think I’m going to slow down the pace a bit given other things to distract people at the moment :P

When can we expect a full length LP from an Oliver Richard or WBW.
There is another Oliver Richard 7” in the works. Anything is possible in time.

Do you have any long term plans with any artists who might become the "next big thing"?
I wish…

If so how would you handle the transition of becoming a collectors label in the event that a record could eventually sell thousands of copies?
No idea..

Have you tossed around the idea of releasing 2 or 3 variants and then doing a run of 200-500 on black or colored vinyl to accommodate your growing fan base and people who are just now getting turned on to past releases?
Yes, very much so. Been thinking more about growing the variants to 50 and doing 300 regulars. Black vinyl, H*&L NO!
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Re: Mark Walker Q&A - Answers are here!

Postby arewhyehen » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:58 pm

That was a pretty cool read!! Thanks, Mark.

Also, congrats to the winning question!

1) I find it so very cool that you still have the jukebox owned by Jack, that you will one day restore and have for your own collection. I started out collecting 45s way before LP's because one day it is my dream to have a restored jukebox in my basement/music room with all of my favourite 45s. I guess I know who I will be going to to find a nice jukebox..

2) I find it very interesting and inspiring that you have that dream of opening up that shop with many uses/services once your children move away to college. Being an Architect myself (though we are different kinds) I can agree on the high stress and high demand part of the job. I am pretty young and enjoy it (sometimes) but I know I can only do this for so long before I need something else. I hope it works out well for you when you make the transition.

3) I totally agree (And I think most do) that chasing that holy grail is much better than actually obtaining it. You're always looking for a new one every time you get that new big piece.

4)
Do you ever worry that the very nature of your label being so collector oriented and having such small runs, but gaining popularity at such an amazing rate, might actually prevent music from reaching the ears of people who might enjoy it?
Yes I do. Got any suggestions?

You've got a beautiful site with every release with photos and track listing, you post recordings on your site for stream, with something as simple as soundcloud. I think that is a pretty typical thing now days. Anyone around the world could go to your site and stream the songs and not have to have the vinyl in their hands, because let's face it, very few get a chance at the records :lol:

5) Thank you for that read. I almost never sit down and read an article for more than 2-3 minutes, but I really enjoyed this and sat and read from start to finish.

Best of luck in the future with everything.
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Re: Mark Walker Q&A - Answers are here!

Postby kalv04 » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:12 pm

Very cool read! Lots of great questions and really good answers. I am also extremely happy to say......I won the WBW test pressing!!!!!! Awesome. I am beyond excited about this. I never win, plus this will be my first tp! :D
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Re: Mark Walker Q&A - Answers are here!

Postby maxman142001 » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:41 pm

kalv04 wrote:Very cool read! Lots of great questions and really good answers. I am also extremely happy to say......I won the WBW test pressing!!!!!! Awesome. I am beyond excited about this. I never win, plus this will be my first tp! :D


:clap: :thumbup:
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Re: Mark Walker Q&A - Answers are here!

Postby dmdv1 » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:19 pm

kalv04 wrote:Very cool read! Lots of great questions and really good answers. I am also extremely happy to say......I won the WBW test pressing!!!!!! Awesome. I am beyond excited about this. I never win, plus this will be my first tp! :D

Sweeeet!!
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Re: Mark Walker Q&A - Answers are here!

Postby shteev » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:31 pm

kalv04 wrote:Very cool read! Lots of great questions and really good answers. I am also extremely happy to say......I won the WBW test pressing!!!!!! Awesome. I am beyond excited about this. I never win, plus this will be my first tp! :D


He'll to the much fuk kin yea! Congrats. And great question
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Re: Mark Walker Q&A - Answers are here!

Postby gst510 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:18 pm

Grimtale wrote:#2. Is a record I obtained off a friend a year or two ago. I can’t really say much about it other than most don’t know it exist and if they did, they would go ape shit for one. I think 10 or less exist, mostly by the band and those involved in making the record. There are a lot of completest of this artist and so knowing another holy grail existed would set their hair on fire.
3. A prototype for a really, really thick ass record that would blow people’s minds.


If someone guesses either of these do they win a test pressing too? :) Just kidding. Great interview. Thanks for taking the time.
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Re: Mark Walker Q&A - Answers are here!

Postby bh1644 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:18 pm

Do you ever worry that the very nature of your label being so collector oriented and having such small runs, but gaining popularity at such an amazing rate, might actually prevent music from reaching the ears of people who might enjoy it?
Yes I do. Got any suggestions?

Suggestion: selling digital downloads of each release...

and I have a follow up to this:
Do you have any long term plans with any artists who might become the "next big thing"?
I wish…

Mark, just curious as to what exactly the benefits to you would be, if say your next artist becomes the next White Stripes? Is it mainly added exposure for the label's future releases?

and lastly, what a great read, thanks for taking the time to do that, and I think we all learned some things from it...
<bh1644> @Jack White was front and center last night in Shreveport, thanks for the best musical experience of my life
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Re: Mark Walker Q&A - Answers are here!

Postby Alabama Woody » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:51 am

Just now got time to read this. Very good read !!! Congratulations Mark for a very successful start to your label. Looking forward to the future releases and seeing what the future holds. You have done a great job. Thanks for taking the time to answer all the questions.

I would love to open a record store/music hall/music equipment sales and advice, etc all in one store myself. If that did not cover the rent maybe throw in an electronic cig shop in the back with a cigar bar. Last resort have a small room with paraphernalia ... Got to stay a float with all the fun stuff in one shop if I created a cool atmosphere for folks to want to come in !

Good luck with everything ! Looking forward to and curious who Grim022 will be :-)
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