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Spinning DIY Vinyl: A Q&A with Jay Wopperer from Timeless Babez

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We found Jay Wopperer of notforsalevinyl while attending a hardcore show at Timeless Babez on Allen Street. He was sitting upstairs on the couch nursing a broken ankle with a few other local heads. Turned out he was DIY curator of all the records in the Timeless Babez shop. Jay seems to have an innate grasp on what kind of vinyl people like, and he was kind enough to talk to 1120 Press’s Benjamin Joe about it all. — check out notforsalevinyl on Instagram HERE and HERE TOO on Discogs. — Photos here & on front page by Benjamin Joe)

1120 PRESS: Thank you for speaking with us. How’d you get into the business and how did you start your relationship with Timeless Babez?

JAY WOPPERER: I started selling (vinyl) online for fun in 2016 and then it just kind of picked up. I still consider it a hobby, but now I earn enough to consider it, y’know, a side-hustle ...

I’ve known Becca (Kulik) and Shawn (Gomez) for over 20 years. We’ve been friends, it’s just been cool. The way I’ve always seen it, we’ve always been into this kind of thing. I’ve played in bands for 20 years. Shawn’s played in bands the same amount of time. We’ve all been into music in all different ways and for me now that I’m older, taking a break from bands, it’s just cool to do something different. Doing something different and giving back to that scene; DIY spirit and seeing a generation of kids coming out. It’s funny because I was saying today, we’re just down-to-Earth regular people. A few years ago, we talked about how funny it’d be to have a store. I remember going to band practice with Shawn and just talking about the idea. ‘What if we had a store and had records and gigs?’ Fast forward, five/six years later, we’re doing it. Keep in mind, it’s DIY. Everybody’s helping out … it’s fun, it’s safe. It’s a safe place.

1120: Do you think it’s been a success?

JW: For my business — even thinking of it as a business! — working with someone like Becca who’s like an entrepreneur, someone who’ll give you a boost. I was selling online and stuff and she gave me the opportunity to sell in a shop. … I think people like it. You can go in and get a pin and a record and a shirt all from the same band. All vintage DIY. It adds to the whole vibe of the shop.

1120: Do you carry records by local bands?

JW: I carry local bands if it falls under the styles I cover. I carry copies of my band, Prepare for the Mindscan’s 7 inch. I usually have copies of Avulsion’s 7 inch, a legendary local grindcore band. I have some Debrained CDs listed online right now, which is Buffalo death metal. Anything I like. … You’re seeing more local bands pressed up to vinyl. I know there was a few bands this year I was waiting for their vinyl. Anthropic and Juggernaut. Their vinyls are pretty hot and pretty rare. And our shop, we’ll get a copy. If it’s a local band we’ll get a lot of copies. If it’s a touring band, we’ll get about two or three copies or something. With the local band, we get access, so you might see five copies, a Juggernaut CD … She (Kulik) has a local bin. We pretty much have all the local punk, metal, anything in that area of music.

1120: What are the trends locally?

JW: I stick to the styles I like and know. Hardcore, grindcore and death metal. I was saying how hip hop and hardcore have the most hype. Like Mindforce, the hardcore band. That’s an artist that’s real hyped. I get records like that, and I sell them like the next day. Conway, from Buffalo, the Buffalo rapper. You get a Conway record, I’ll sell those as soon as I get them. That’s how wanted those records are.

1120: So, people like the records made locally most?

JW: Not necessarily. Conway just happens to be from Buffalo but his records are very sought after. Mindforce is from New York. One thing that distinguishes me from the other sellers is I get European grindcore imports. That’s one thing you don’t see in the local record stores. I try to get back into the hardcore. As a collector, I like to get the rare covers … that’s what you’re going to see in my store.

1120: Do you think smaller, local bands will have their music on vinyl? We’re wondering what the economy is like these days for who gets on vinyl.

JW: It’s not exactly cheap, but I ‘d say you can do it. It takes some time. You have to plan. I was in a grindcore band and we wanted to do a seven inch. It took a while. It was a slow process. You have to plan and try to time everything. That was the first time we did it. It’s doable. You get a few labels together to share the costs and then you can get it done.

1120: With streaming and music for free, where’s vinyl’s place?

JW: If you really like something you should get it on vinyl. I think the Internet is better for discovering music. I mean I like bandcamp, too, but from working and stuff, I’ve seen how Spotify’s valuable at work because you do discover bands that way. I just like, at the end of the day, just to chill and put on a record. That’s it. This is my favorite band, that’s my favorite artist and I just, y’know. … I know people always say it, but liner notes are so huge.

1120: What’s the vibe of people who buy records?

JW: It’s a generalized question, but I would say people who are into records are usually cool, but it could be anyone. It could be a young kid, or an older person. I sell the music I like and you kind of see the people who come out of it. You’re going to see all different people though. I know people who buy a Bruce Springsteen record and I see people who buy a death metal record.

1120: Where will you be heading into fall (besides Timeless Babez)?

JW: I just did a Day of Death, and I did Buffalo metal festival. I actually don’t have any plan, but you can expect to see me at a death metal show or a hardcore show, so you’ll definitely see me around. There’s a lot of new hardcore bands out there. That scene is really popping. If you like hardcore, you’ve got to see Buffalo hardcore.


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