Exclusive: Independent Vinyl Manufacturers Unite To Stand Up For The Craft of Vinyl

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Did you ever think about where your vinyl records come from? Probably not. Last month a fire broke out at the Apollo Masters Corp. facility in Banning, California, who are well-known vinyl makers. There was a massive outcry from the music industry that got many talking. Independent vinyl makers became aware of this and decided to step up. We got to speak to Alex Cushing of the newly formed Vinyl Record Manufacturers Association of North America on it all.

How did the Vinyl Manufacturers Association come about?
In late-winter 2019, twenty-eight founding members got together in Nashville, TN to discuss the current state of vinyl manufacturing, supply chain issues and external business threats to North American makers, primarily out of Europe.

What happened at the Apollo Masters Corp. in California?
It burned down. I don’t have information as to the cause of fire etc. Sorry!

What should vinyl buyers know and be aware of?
Know where your records are made. Huge swings in plastics quality and mastering are affected depending on who physically makes your records. Discogs is a great resource to find out what factory made your LP.

What is so special about these lacquer plates?
Lacquer quality degrades quickly as it is a softer material than vinyl (PVC). They are very delicate and integral to vinyl manufacturing, as they are the first step.

Where do you suggest the average consumer go to buy vinyl records?
Online, direct from an artist website or their local record shop!

So how exactly does one make a vinyl record?
That’s a lot to type, some great videos out there, the best one is “How It’s Made” from Discovery Channel a few years ago.

What do you see as the future of vinyl?
The future looks strong! Double-digit growth is continuing, 2020 will be the biggest year in the last 30 years!

What are some of your favorite vinyl records that you own?
Currently, in love with The Lumineer’s “III” and Steve Earle’s “GUY”.