Despite fizzling out at the end of the 90s, audio cassettes have recently had a resurgence in popularity. Whether this is due to nostalgia or to people just liking the format, cassette only releases are becoming more and more common. As a result of this phenomena I decided to do an interview with several cassette only labels, the first of which is with Andrew Rehberger of Tridroid Records.
Curt: Tridroid began only recently – July 2012 to my understanding. Why did you decide to start a label now in this age of digital downloads, and why of all things on cassette?
Andrew: A few years back I bought my first car a 95 Mercury Grand Marquis and it came with a cassette player. At the time I was just starting to collect music and had less than 5 cassettes. So I went down to Cheapo in St. Paul and looked through their cassettes. Lo and behold they had many metal albums on cassette for cheap. So on the way back home I put one on and was instantly hooked on cassettes. Ever since than I’ve been thinking about pressing some of my favorite albums on cassette so I could listening to them in my car.
It wasn’t until this year that I finally got the last piece in the puzzle-In June I was browsing a local thrift store and found a working cassette duplicator. Soon after that I opened Tridroid Records.
Curt: How do you go about getting a release put up for sale? I.E. how do you get the cassette actually produced and ready to ship?
Andrew: It’s a simple process. When I get the tracks from the artist I make a master tape. I hook my computer to a tape deck to do the recording (Simple red and white audio to headphone chord). Than I make three copies with my duplicator to be sure that the recording sounds good.
Curt: How do you find the bands that you have on your current release schedule? Did you contact them or did they contact you?
Andrew: For my first release I asked a random band I really liked that I found when browsing Bandcamp. The Last three bands all contacted me, they must have seen the post I made about my label in the Metal Archives forum.
Curt: What kind of bands do you look for when considering releasing their album?
Andrew: Well for the most part I look for bands that I enjoy listening to.
Curt: What do you feel is the benefit (If any) of releasing albums on cassette for the consumer? Why should someone bother and get a cassette player to listen to music instead of downloading it or buying it on CD?
Andrew: There are really only two benefits to buying cassettes: They don’t cost much and they are easy to store and maintain.
I can’t think of any real solid reason to recommend getting a cassette player, unless they need another way to back-up their music or are collectors. If you do plan on getting one spend the extra money and get a good one. It will really help improve how the cassette sounds.
Curt: Are you concerned about the “hipster” label that is currently being thrown at people who are buying and listening to cassettes?
Andrew: I don’t care and never will it’s as simple as that.
Curt: Do you think the cassette format will ever truly die out, or do you think that their will always be a market for them?
Andrew: I don’t think cassettes will ever truly die out. They provide a unique listening experience compared to the other formats where you have to sit through an album rather than picking and choosing the tracks.
Curt: Are all of the albums going to be released in limited quantities? If so, what quantities will they generally be produced in?
Andrew: I will have to keep all the releases in the foreseeable future to limited quantities. There is just not enough demand or profit in cassettes to allow for huge quantities. So far I’ve kept the releases limited to 100 copies as the company that I order my cassettes from sell them in packs of 100.
Curt: Is there a certain genre of metal you are mainly wanting to release or are you looking at releasing all forms of metal?
Andrew: Since I listen to all genres I wanted to keep my label open to any genre of metal. But if I had to pick I would do Thrash / Death Metal releases.
Current releases on Tridroid:
Crimson Shadows by Mary Shelley
Through Dreamscapes by Sleep Deprived
Harvest ov Wolves-Whispers of the Black Wulf
And We Will Never Live-Preteen Deathfuk