Vinyl Reckoning - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Matt and Tim from Vinyl Reckoning. We discussed how they started the podcast and YouTube channel, the continued vinyl resurgence, how the vinyl scene has changed over the years, favorite records, favorite podcast episodes, upcoming plans for the YouTube channel, and more. Check it out below. 

First, thanks for the interview.

Matt: No no, thank you.

Tim: Agreed, thank you for the opportunity.

Can you tell me a little about your podcast and YouTube channel and how it all got started?

Matt: The podcast started out as a way for myself, and my best friend/partner in crime, Tim to talk about the dumb nostalgic vinyl purchases I made after a night of too many beers. Most of these purchases were bands I loved in high school, so like…early 2000s pop-punk mostly. Tim and I would get in to fairly heated conversations about bands we liked/didn't like, why things still rocked, what we didn’t like about a specific record, etc.… you get the idea. I thought it would be fun to document all the things we talked about. Tim was down for the ride. 

I’ve since stopped drinking and have come out of a creative rut (pandemics aren’t fun) and really wanted to take the vinyl side of the podcast and switch that over to YouTube and keep the podcast more about the music itself. Having been a collector on and off for over 20 years, I felt the collection aspect of YouTube needed more than 5 dudes in their 50s talking about how the new YES reissue campaign was a “must buy.” I wanted to represent the scene I grew up in, and the collectors I associate with. I love the YouTube side as much as the podcast side. Tim is sticking to the podcast side while I jump around to both. 

Tim: The way I saw the podcast, was we were always talking about music so why not record it? With me being the non-collector of our duo, it’s given me an opportunity to go back and revisit albums that haven’t been in my rotation for some time. Even the albums I didn’t want to listen to, the discussions they sparked have been a blast.

A lot of people might be familiar with you from some of your past writing at Modern Vinyl. We actually interviewed you several years ago about your vinyl tumblr, which if I remember correctly it was called ‘A Record A Day’. What are your thoughts about this continued vinyl resurgence? What’s kept you interested in vinyl all these years?

Matt: ModernVinyl.com was a great time and I do remember that interview! That had to have been 10 years ago at this point. Man, I miss writing. Watching the popularity of vinyl grow since I’ve been collecting over the last 20 years has been awesome! I love seeing people get excited about the format. I love fielding questions about it, and I LOVE all the reissues coming out for albums I never got the chance to own. But just like with anything growing that fast, it has its downsides. Waiting a year for a pre order is a trash scenario to be in. Also, in my opinion the variant game has gotten out of hand! Yes, I'm specifically calling out Black Pumas on this one. But it is what it is. Have fun, listen to music, be awesome. Now if you listen to the podcast already, my goal for 2022 is to get Tim to start collecting…maybe not vinyl, but something!

As far as what keeps me interested? I don’t think my answer won’t be different than any other collector. I absolutely adore music, all kinds…truly. Listening to a record forces me to slow down, and if you know me at all, my brain goes a mile a minute, so that is no small task. I really enjoy the tactile nature of a record, and we could argue all day on if vinyl sounds better than this, that, or the other thing but in reality I love the sound that vinyl has the capability of producing.

Tim: I may not be a collector but I have a lot of respect for it. I live vicariously though Matt and a few of our close friends. I do have to admit, when someone puts some vinyl on when we are hanging it just hits different. 

How do you think the vinyl scene has changed for the better, or worse, since those days when you had your tumblr page?

Matt: For the better? We are getting albums on vinyl that 10 years ago no one would ever think of putting out. I think it’s helping people discover music, new artists, or music from bands that broke up 20-30-40 years ago, and I think we can all relate to how awesome it feels when you find that right song, or band. I mean, it’s giving people an excuse to buy cool shit that they can be proud of. It’s like owning stock in a company, it’s a piece of that band in physical form. We could also boil it down more….it’s creating jobs and supporting the artists, so that’s cool. 

There are so many people that will take advantage of somethings popularity. No, this isn’t going to be a “flipper” rant, those people are dicks and they know it. It sucks when a 20 dollar record is suddenly 60. Majors are truly taking something that was really helping smaller bands create something physically and sonically beautiful, and absolutely sucking the life out of it. With that being said I ABSOLUTELY bought the colored reissue of Billy Joel’s Storm Front…so who is the real bad guy here?

Tim: I totally agree with Matt. In the digital world we live in, I appreciate more physical media being available to support musicians. I think the biggest thing that keeps me out of it, besides the space you have to dedicate to the setup and storage, is how out of hand the resale market gets. I’d want that money to go to the artist and not somebody trying to flip something.

I think you said your favorite record you had at the time was a test press of RX Bandits during our first interview. What’s your current most prized vinyl possession?

Matt: UGH! I had to sell that test pressing probably a year or two after our first interview, desperate times “something something” desperate measures. I still have a normal copy of that record and it’s a banger for sure…. Right now, I’d have to say it’s a toss up between my copy of Something Corporate - Leaving Through the Window, because that album aged like a fine wine, OR the BONGRIPPER Live at Roadburn boxset. Gone are the days where an albums rarity dictates how much I love a record. I have tons of test pressing, tons of rare stuff, but really it’s all about the music on the records. 

Tim: Although I’m not a collector I do own two records. Paramore - Riot! Which a very dear friend gave me as a present that has never been opened, and a copy of Whitney Houston - Self Titled that was being used as a backing for a Glassjaw shirt I bought from a local second hand media store. It was such a weird thing to find when opening the shirt up. I’m sure it came from a thrift store and is probably trashed but I kept it for the story. If I did have to choose a favorite piece of physical media, it’d be the cassette of the single F.I.N.E. by You, Me, and Everyone We Know. This was a release we put out as a limited run under VRP Records.

Do you have a favorite podcast episode of yours or one that you would recommend to people who may be new to it?

Matt: Has to be the Boys Night Out episode. In the early days it’s the one I worked on the hardest. The band tweeted about it, Brian Southall reached out, it gained a ton of traction. In our eyes, all of that kind of exploded the podcast in the best way. I’m almost positive it’s one of the few episodes Tim and myself totally agreed on as well, which is rare. 

Tim: The Boys Night Out episode is for sure a stand out because we really did get a lot of traction from that, and I’m so thankful to Brian being as cool as he is. It’s so hard to pick one because I have enjoyed recording them all, even the ones where it sounded like I didn’t. I’m going to go with the Four Year Strong episode, there was a lot of passion in that one for me. If you want to know, you got to listen to find out.

I’ve really liked what you’ve been sharing on YouTube. What are some of your upcoming plans for your YouTube channel?

Matt: We still have a ton of people listening to the podcast. My goal is to bring that to YouTube. As Tim is more the podcast side of things, and I’m more the get in front of the camera and be an idiot type…We will be two entities under the same umbrella (and name) except on the rare occasion I get Tim to be in a video or two. We have the crate digging series where my girlfriend Stacey and I hit up all of the record stores in or around Austin, Texas and any other state we happen to visit. We have at least 3-4 of those completely filmed. Also I’m sure you’ll see some of my collection featured over the course of a few videos, but I don’t wanna give too much away! Go subscribe and find out! 

With our AMAZING editor and friend Danny doing all of piecing together…expect some cool stuff.  As for the podcast, once we are ready, we have a new episode of the podcast kind of fleshed out…it’s a completely different format than what people are used to but it’s going to be awesome. Here’s a little hint; Tim tries to convince me to like a band I’ve made fun of multiple times throughout many many episodes. 

Tim: Yeah, YouTube is very much Matt’s project. I’ve never been someone who likes to be in front of the camera, but I really like what he’s been putting out as well because it’s more welcoming than similar content on YouTube. I’m still very involved with everything we do but my main focus is going to be with the podcast. I think it’s important to know your limitations and focus on your strengths. I like talking about music and if you like listing to a couple of dorks wax poetic about music you used to listen to we still got you covered. 

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Matt: Thanks for your awesome questions! If you wanna see some big idiots get excited about record shops, records, and music in general go check out the podcast, and subscribe to the YouTube channel!

Tim: Ditto!

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