If it weren't for Eric and his companies; Pirates Press & Pirates Press Records, it'd be fair to say a shitload of great music wouldn't see the light of day, on the vinyl format anyway. Pirates Press Records have work and still work with some of the best underground artists going around: Old Firm Casuals / Lars Frederiksen The Aggrolites, Bar Stool Preachers, Cock Sparrer to name a few. Pirates Press are doing God's (if you believe in that sort of thing) work, in that they are the biggest Independent custom vinyl manufacturer going AND they brought back the Flexi Disc. It's like the early to mid 80's all over again. Eric, like us, is a vinyl nerd and he was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions. A great dude who does great work. Forget major labels and distributors, Eric is a huge reason why vinyl is STILL alive and well.
1. I won't put a number on it, but your favourite bands/ artists are?
My “holy trilogy” are the Clash, Ramones and Cock Sparrer!
2. Are there any current bands you feel wish more people knew about or aren't getting the recognition they deserve?
This is kind of a tough one in my position without coming across as playing favorites. I’ll answer by giving you a couple of bands that we are working with who are really making waves in terms of how many people are buying their records/merch, talking about them, and going out to shows of theirs. The Barstool Preachers. The Drowns. The Complicators. Territories. If you don’t already know who those four bands are, look them up on Spotify (or wherever you consume music) and get hooked!
3. a) best thing about collecting vinyl?
The amazing vinyl.
3. b) worst thing about collecting vinyl?
No such thing.
4. Have you got a "White Whale", or have you found it? What is it?
In terms of releasing stuff on the label, we have already checked off a whole lot of bucket list entries… there are always more great bands that we would be honored to work with, but our main goal is supporting the up-and-coming bands, and bands who are struggling to survive in today’s music industry, and still making sacrifices to take things to the next level. The more high profile things we have done have been incredible, but often times it’s the small stuff that we end up really loving the most!
Personally, for me, I am a big collector of the Redskins (The UK band, not the American football team). If they ever reformed, I would love to put out a record for them, and would pretty much fly anywhere if they ever announced a gig. I suppose that’s my "white whale” more generally speaking...
5. Have you got a project/album you are most proud of being part of, whether it's pressing it, writing it, playing on it etc? What is it and why?
There are so many amazing releases that we have put out, that I have had a personal hand in the creation of one way or another, it is impossible to pin it down to one I would say.
Because it’s ongoing and something we are continuing to develop, the picture flexi records that we started making last year, which we've made about 60-70 of so far, is definitely one of my proudest projects... Pirates brought flexis back into existence in 2010, and the development of this new type of (full color, awesome sounding) flexi (last spring) allows us to do a lot more with them. I have personally had my hand in the art direction for a vast majority of these that we have worked on, including the entire “Picture Flexi Slide” series (17 records so far!), and it is been a dream come true using so many incredible bands and songs to highlight this new product that I am equally proud of.