Interview: Zak Kaplan talks The Vinyl Heart Project

Written by Matt DeBenedetti

vinyl-heart

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Time to grab flowers! She’ll love chocolates! Trans Charger Metropolis, Dentist, Seaside Caves and Smalltalk are releasing a heart-shaped compilation vinyl! Huh?

You read that right. The Asbury Park music community is coming together once again to bring lovebirds around the world an awesome sounding, awesome shaped compilation vinyl featuring some of the best local talent from the area.

To hype the release of the compilation, the four bands will be playing an amazing show together tonight, Friday Feb 13th at Asbury Lanes, which you can read more about here.

I had a chance to talk to Zak Kaplan of Smalltalk about what goes into creating a heart shaped vinyl, bringing the community together, and more.

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After reading into the info section on your Indiegogo page, I got the sense that this “heart-shaped vinyl” compilation you guys are working on was more of a community effort than the usual comp, where the bands and maybe just one label and/or sponsor are involved. Was this your intention from the start? Did you know the amount of amazing sponsors that would end up supporting your cause?

Vinyl Heart has definitely been a community effort, but it seems like the interest in this project has reached far beyond our little area, with individuals contributing to the campaign from all over the world. I had reached out to most of the sponsors prior to the funding campaign and they were all really excited by the idea and signed on immediately. The response to the release has been great and hopefully people will come out and support the record release too.

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank for their work or help in the process of funding/printing/ preparing these?

Of course all the sponsors – Russo Music, CoolDad Music, Holdfast Records, Chunksaah Records, Pirates Press, and Asbury Lanes; also Arcade Radio, Speak Into My Good Eye, and everyone who has been helping to promote the record and the event.

I’ve seen a lot of different styles of vinyl released from all kinds of bands in recent years, and it almost seems to be a new trend to release limited edition vinyl that people can hold onto as a collector’s item. But this one definitely strays from the typical “paint splattered” or “colored” vinyl, and it’s really cool to finally see something a little different. What was the inspiration behind the theme of this project? Is there any connection between the theme and the bands that were chosen to be featured on the comp?

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The concept, the idea of the heart-shaped vinyl and these four bands, it all kinda came together at once. It was a little bit of a rush to make sure that we could fund this and manufacture the records and to be able to get everything done in time for Valentine’s Day – the themes of love, lost love, unrequited love; they seem to weave through all the tracks, there is a certain vibe to this collection of songs that makes it so all the song really well with each other even though the bands all have their own styles and sounds. If any one of these bands had declined, I don’t know that I would have had much interest in filling their space with someone else, I probably would have shelved the idea.

I know you work for Pirates Press, Zak. What kind of special work goes into this type of project from a production standpoint, that would be different than printing a “normal” vinyl?

It’s not all that much different than producing standard 12” vinyl but the main difference is that you have less time allowed per side than the standard 12” because you need room to work the die-cut shape and you also have to cut the plates with groves towards the center so that there is enough blank space on the outside to die-cut the shape. But other than that, it is very similar. We press the vinyl the same as we normally would and then we send the records out to cut the actual shape.

A little off topic, but it’s been a few months since Smalltalk’s last release in December (correct me if I’m wrong). Any plans to record or release any new music soon?

Yes, we’ll probably be recording the fourth EP in the next month or two. We were keeping a good release pace for those first three EPs, but Tara had a baby a month ago, so we’ve slowed down just a little bit in her absence. But she’s back now, she’ll be with us on Friday, and we’ll probably have a new release by late spring.

Vinyl Heart’s record release party happens tonight, February 13th, at the world famous Asbury Lanes. Tickets will be available at the door, click here for the Facebook event. Fore more details on the album and where to purchase it, follow them their official page, here.

 

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