An Interview With coffee_table_vinyl

In this interview I talk to Sean all about music, vinyl and gaming.

Instagram: @coffee_table_vinyl

YouTube: Coffee Table Vinyl

Why did you decide to start a vinyl themed Instagram?

This stemmed from having a personal Instagram account that was starting to look more and more like a vinyl account. I was sharing a lot of my vinyl on there and I don’t really have many friends that are into vinyl so I thought it might be a good idea to spare them the endless vinyl posts and keep it separate. But also to meet and interact with other accounts within the community. Which I’m glad I did as I now have dozens of new friends that are interested in my vinyl posts! 

How long have you been collecting records and how many do you have in your collection?

I started my collection when I saved a mint copy of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band from being taken to the charity shop by a colleague at work. that must have been back in 2004/2005. I didn’t have anything to play it on at the time. then in around 2009 I picked up a special edition of Oasis’ last album Dig Out Your Soul, which contained 4 LP’s and The Beach Boys Smile Sessions boxed set back in 2011. So I was starting to pick up a few here and there but only as collector’s pieces. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when my fiancé bought me record player for Christmas that it really took off and in that time I’ve gone from around 5 or 6 LP’s to around 100 LP’s and 10-15 45s.

What’s your vinyl holy grail?

I have several. Ironically one of my first was a grail. The Smile Sessions by The Beach Boys is an absolute tome of content. I Love it. Another was Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue, which was out of print for years. It’s now easily available but I managed to get hold of an original Dutch pressing that i’m really happy with. As far as something I don’t have my hands on. I’d love the special edition of Julian Casablancas’ solo album from 2009, “Phrazes For The Young” – but as these sell on discogs once in a blue moon and for £500+, I don’t think i’ll get one anytime soon!

You’re a fan of the Beach Boys. I am too because any time I’m feeling down I can put on a Beach Boys song on and they never fail to cheer me up. What’s your favourite album? 

Ironically, my favourite Beach Boys album is probably one of their saddest. “Pet Sounds” will always be my favourite album of theirs, mainly down to the cohesion of the backing tracks, which are so rich and complex with the 5 and 6 part vocal harmonies which they never did better. I have an anniversary boxed set of this album on CD and it has vocal only versions of every song on one CD and isolated backing tracks with no vocals on another CD, it’s the only album I know of that sounds incredible with either the vocals or backing tracks taken away. Mindblowing.

Who’s in your top five of favourite bands?

My top 5 bands would probably be, The Beach Boys, The Strokes, The Kinks, The Beatles and The Beastie Boys… all bands with a “The” in the name! I also acknowledge the lack of female vocalists in my top 5 and on my grid as a whole. There are a lot of songs that I love with female leads but it’s more songs than albums, hence the lack of female vocalists in my collection. But some notable favourites would be The Ronettes, Amy Winehouse, Smith and Darlene Love.

If you could have dinner with any musician from any time who would it be and why?

Great question. I think it would have to be Brian Wilson but at the peak of his career, 1966/1967. Why? because he’s the G.O.A.T and back then before his overmedication had clouded his mind i’d probably get very honest and candid answers. he was always very open to interviewers but since the 80’s and the abuse he suffered at the hands of his psychologist, he doesn’t make a lot of sense when asked about things.

You’re into gaming too, what’s your favourite games to play? 

Well, I’ve just got my hands on a Playstation5 after trying for about 3 months to get one. I don’t have any PS5 games to play on it yet but I’m working through some of my favourites from last gen. Red Dead Redemption 2, which I posted about recently is one of the best games ever made. I’m also looking forward to Playing the Last of Us Part 2 again and Detroit: Become Human. The latter being one of the best examples an interactive movie. I really like RPG’s like Fallout and The Witcher and when a PS5 version of Cyberpunk 2077 comes out with all of the bugs fixed, I’ll be jumping on that.

Any recommendations on movies, tv shows or music?

So many! I’m a huge fan of movies and could talk about them as much as I can vinyl. Some of my favourite films are “Blade Runner”, “Taxi Driver”, “Apocalypse Now”, “True Romance”, “Badlands”, “The Godfather” and “Love & Mercy”.

TV Shows… my favourite will always be “The Sopranos”, but a close second would be “Breaking Bad” and “Boardwalk Empire”. I’ve just started watching “Your Honour” too which has been pretty gripping so far.

As for music… way too many to mention. Take a look at my grid on Instagram. I’d recommend anything on there. My favourite album of the last year was The Strokes: “The New Abnormal”, which I was pleased to see won a Grammy the other day. very well deserved.

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