Interview and Op-Ed by Joseph Timmons – IndiePulse Music Magazine
I was, as always perusing the world wide web to gather news, insights and just plain troll the music groups I follow, not in a bad way, really, just looking for scoops and gossip about the music scene I love, and in one such group called Indie Wax on Facebook, and I came across a post by Ryan Irven about this “Sticker project” he was doing, Ryan was telling the group members that if they contacted him, he would send them some stickers, but the stickers was for his online project Wax Addict Music and that they were hand numbered. This peaked my interest, “Hand Numbered” stickers, but… Por Que?
I contacted him by email and sent him some questions, the music community I appreciate is wide spread and email seems to be a great way to do long distance interviews, Ryan contacted me back quickly and the following info will make you want to be a part of this grand plan to unite music lovers with a simple yet effective way to learn about and hear new music.
Ryan Irven is currently a professional package, branding and graphic designer living in Brooklyn, NY and have been an avid record collector (but he admitted to be one that “plays everything”), along with a frequent concert goer for years now. Combining his love of art and design; something that album covers got him interested in as a kid, he decided to join these forces together with his passion for discovering new music.
Wax Addict Music is a place where limited edition vinyl, music recommendations/reviews & album artwork come together. The goal is to not only recommend new and old music that people have never heard of before, but it is also to bring the designers and artists that create these captivating album covers that create such synergy with the music. The project also allows for small independent labels and artist that may not get the deserved exposure a bit of a soapbox to stand on.
Each feature has two posts dedicated to it: one, a Photo of the limited edition vinyl with information on the band/album/pressing # info/label/album artist. And two, a close-up of the full album art with a 15 second selected clip from a song off the featured album. As well as a write-up that talks about the band, the featured album and selected song and a little blurb about the album cover artist and any additional facts about the background of the album cover.
Presently, Wax Addict Music is set up on his Instagram account (which it is currently only being run on at the moment): https://www.instagram.com/waxaddict.music, Ryan did buy the rights to a domain name for Wax Addict Music, but he wants to take the time to do the site right, to keep the simplicity and beauty of the project, as well as have a complete and factual project foundation. He runs the Spotify playlist (that corresponds to the featured song and album): at bit.ly/waxaddictmusic, definitely check it out now.
I’ll wait till you come back….
This is a map of everywhere Ryan has sent stickers so far, and he adds more pins daily !
Welcome back…. So, now to the interview with Ryan Irven founder and operator of Wax Addict Music
IPM: Why did you start wax addicts?
“I initially started Wax Addict Music because I wanted to merge some of my biggest interests which are music, art and vinyl (in no particular order). I was getting a lot of interest and questions from friends who saw my record collection and my limited edition presses, even though many didn’t know anything about vinyl. Album artwork is something that always fascinated me as a kid and eventually led me to pursue design as a profession. I thought this was a perfect platform to combine recommending music (something I am always doing already with my friends), my love for limited edition vinyl, and the story behind the album artwork and artist who did it. No matter what you’re coming to Wax Addict Music, there is something for you; it doesn’t just cater to record fans”.
IPM: How has the reception to you content and delivery been?
“The feedback, followers, commenters and overall community has been so overwhelmingly positive and greater than expected. I’ve had anything from the actual bands commenting and thanking me for the featured reviews I am doing on their record, to the album designers telling me more about their process and how grateful they are for giving them some credit for once. Even small indie labels have reached out to me about working together in the future and a few in person record collector meet ups have come about as well”.
IPM: Do people contact you for input, advice or with questions?
“I have gotten quite a few messages for people thanking me for a recommendation, or asking me where they can get their hands on something I have posted. As well as some people telling me to check out a similar band to something I featured that I may like. Once or twice I have also gotten a correction or elaboration on something in my review, which I always welcome a bit of crowd sourced information”.
IPM: Have artists and those in the music biz been receptive / supportive?
“I cannot stress enough how supportive everyone has been. I have had both bands and labels reach out to me, those who are interested in getting their work featured on Wax Addict or to do a giveaway with. Even a pressing plant owner in Portland, Oregon has extended an invitation to visit and tour the factory if I am ever in the area”.
IPM: Any goals for the future, where do you see this moving to?
“There are so many things I am looking forward to doing in the future, and so many ways it can go as of now. Immediate goals are to build this into a website and something that is more accessible for anyone, not just those with an Instagram and Spotify playlist. I also want to get into interviewing bands/labels/designers more to hear about how they operate and get more of an introspective on them. One of my biggest long term goals is to start a label of my own; my designer self has already started rolling around names and logos for the project. I would also like to work on some more album artwork and show poster art with some bands that I am passionate about”.
IPM: What are some of your musical tastes and are there any upcoming artists you would like to give a special mention to?
“Although my music taste certainly spans across a lot of genres, I have been heavily into psychedelic, garage, surf, and ‘Shoegaze’ for some time now. I try to take advantage of living in Brooklyn and the range of concerts that are available on any given night. The new record label Echo Drug has been doing such a great job recently and really curating a great selection of up and coming bands that fall into my music taste, but I have never heard of (i.e. Sulk, Sunbeam Sound Machine, Kill West, Dead Vibrations & Nowhere). King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard isn’t the newest band around, but they are a band that should be on everyone’s radar if you are into the aforementioned genres. They are a 7 piece psych rock band from Melbourne, Australia who make a ton of great albums that all have a very different concept or thing about it (i.e. an infinite looping album that each song seamlessly transitions into the next or their spaghetti western album that is a spoken word album), they are also planning to release 5 albums in 2017. Another band that has been on my radar is The Mystery Lights, who are a Brooklyn based garage band that feels like they have stepped right out of a time machine from the 60’s”.
IPM: Any drawbacks so far?
“The only drawbacks I have so far is that I didn’t start this sooner, that there aren’t more hours in a day to dedicate to this project and that I keep having to dedicate more space in my room to vinyl!”
As you see, like all good things, something that started out as a personal project of love becomes a huge adventure, one that will keep Wax Addict Music and Ryan super Busy, in the Indie Music Scene, bands are putting out music faster than ever, the production cost for Tapes, CDs and Vinyl have dropped considerably and Indie Labels are becoming the heart of the Vinyl Revival, we at IndiePulse Music want to thank Ryan for all that he does, and we want to give him all the support possible, 8 years ago, I started IndiePulse as a personal blog, now we are read internationally and are covering the music scene with stories, much like Ryan’s, stories of Obsession turning to Profession, and he will succeed, he’s doing what he does, one song and one album at a time.