In this interview I talk to Lee all about music and vinyl.
Lee: Ok, some background on me, well I’m a single dad of 2 great kids. They stay with me 2 or 3 times a week and they’re pretty much my world. I have a girlfriend who is amazing, so supportive, kind, beautiful and is my soulmate completely.
I am massively into music and I find that it’s a great stress reliever as well as being a comfort in tough times. There is not a day that goes by where I’m not listening to something!
As well as music, I am into photography, street art, nature, gigs, movies and reading all kinds of books
I’ve been on this earth for 42 years now and trust me when I say this, but I have been through some really tricky times but one thing has always been there and that’s music. It totally does save you!
Why did you decide to start a vinyl themed Instagram?
Ok, why did I start a vinyl account page? Well I didn’t, I kind of fell into the vinyl community. Before I started posting records, my Instagram was all about random stuff, gig pictures, books I was reading, days out, nature photos… that kind of thing and if you scroll way back on my account you’ll see what I mean.
I guess it all started when I posted The Queen Is Dead – The Smiths. I was playing it and thought I’d post up a picture and video. That post boomed with tonnes of likes and comments and it just went from there really. I started posting a record a day and using various hashtags to promote it. I went from having a couple of hundred followers to almost 2000 now. I love the vinyl community and take so much inspiration from others peoples posts.
How long have you been collecting records and how many do you have in your collection?
I’ve been collecting seriously now for 4 years but I’ve always had vinyl records. In fact, the very first vinyl I bought was The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead way back in the mid 90s I think? From that point I just bought a few records here and there but at that time it was mainly CD’s!
I had a good collection many years ago but I got divorced and some records I kept, others I lost out on so I stopped for a while to focus on other things.
Around 4 years ago I decided to start collecting again as I saw a huge surge in vinyl records in stores and record shops popping up so I knew vinyl was coming back into fashion again.
I honestly cannot remember what I bought first though… maybe Sonic Youth or Radiohead but whatever it was, it all kicked off from there
Currently I have around 700 vinyl records to date
My collection is mainly Indie/Alternative/Postrock/Shoegaze/grunge stuff. I’ve never really counted them all or even put them in any alphabetical order! I just have a picture in my mind of where an album roughly is if I want to listen to it. My Kallex units are organised chaos!
What’s your favourite vinyl you own and what is your holy grail?
My favorite vinyl? Hmmm… really tough question. I can answer this a few ways. Firstly I would choose my Mogwai boxset. It’s called Central Belters. It’s a 4 LP boxset which basically has all their single and EP releases and spans their career up to that point. If you’ve not heard Mogwai then you should seriously check them out. Incredible band.
My favourite vinyl for Artwork has to be the new “And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead” album. Not only is the record stunning, but seriously check out the sleeve design and accompanying inserts. All designed by the lead singer. Its incredible to look at.
Finally I have a real love for The Smiths. I grew up in the early 90s listening to them post breakup obviously. They were such an influential group and also really important at the time. “Meat Is Murder” is my all time favourite album. So many memories associated with it so yeah, I adore it
I have a few holy grail records – the first 2 albums by Puressence spring to mind. A band that could of been huge. They came in around 1992 I think and were tipped to be Manchester’s next big thing after The Stone Roses. Sadly it all went a bit wrong. Badly managed by Island Records, the guitarist quitting and money running dry but my god they were brilliant. Try finding their self titled debut now…. impossible. Their 2nd record – “Only Forever” occasionally pops up on Discogs or Ebay but you’ll pay well over £150 for it
Another one is the debut album by Mogwai – “Young Team” I’m lucky to own the boxset which again is virtually impossible to find.
Who’s in your top five of favourite bands?
Top 5 bands. Now this changes all the time but I’ll give you my answer now as it stands today
In no particular order…
The Twilight Sad
Explosions In The Sky
But I have to mention The Smiths, Radiohead, Frightened Rabbit, Godspeed You, Black Emperor, The National and finally REM.
If you could have dinner with any musician from any time who would it be and why?
Oh this is easy! Dinner with Morrissey but the 80’s Morrissey not modern day Morrissey. I just find him very intriguing, interesting, flamboyant and intelligent. His passion for music and art was, and probably still is very evident. I just wouldn’t cook him a roast beef dinner!
I saw you like gaming too, what games are you into?
I do like gaming but these days I just watch my 15 year old son steal cars, rob stores and shoot people on GTA5. I used to play a lot of Xbox but my vinyl passion overtook it. I simply dont have time now unless I get a spare couple of hours to load up Star Wars.
To be honest I prefer the retro gaming consoles like the Sega Megadrive And Snes. Street Fighter 2 was mega! Nobody could beat me, I knew all the special moves and combos!
Any recommendations on movies, tv shows or music?
I have to recommend The Twilight Sad. They are on the verge on something big. They have worked so hard as a band since the early 2000s and finally they hit the big time with their latest record – “It Wont Be Like This All The Time” it’s just an incredible album and it was my record of 2019.
Other bands to check out would be – Pottery, Wrest, Explosions In The Sky, The Lottery Winners and my favorite band from Belgium Whispering Sons.
To be honest I’m kind of trapped in a mid 1990s to late 2000s period so some new music does pass me by.
I dont really watch TV at all, I find it monotonous and flat. Nothing on TV really interests me although The Mandalorian series was brilliant. I try and avoid news as it really depresses me!
Films: Anything scifi from the late 70’s to early 90’s – Alien, Star Wars, Terminator, Blade Runner, Robocop, Predator… you get where I’m coming from?
Anyway, that’s me. Gotta go, Morrissey is coming over for dinner.