An Interview with Amanda Schutzman of All Media Supply

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Some of us are just born with music, more specifically, vinyl, in their blood. Amanda Schutzman is one of those people. Her Dad is Mike Schutzman (whom I interviewed back in October), the super cool owner of Slipped Disc Records and the founder of Vinyl Revolution, the amazing traveling record show we have all come to know and love (on the east coast that is). You can read Mike’s interview here.

I first met Amanda at one of the Vinyl Revolution shows back in 2015 or 2016. She was working the tables at the front door. I was short a couple dollars for admission, and she let it slide. Over the years, I’ve gotten to know her a little bit better. Up until recently, she was the manager at local Long Island, NY shop, Needle + Groove and the buyer at legendary NYC shop, Generation Records. Very recently, she’s made the move to AMS (All Media Supply). Regardless of what she chooses to do, she’s a true asset to the vinyl community, and I am very happy to have had the opportunity to “sit down” with her. Until next time. Enjoy.

Andrew:
Amanda, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. I’ve interviewed your Dad (Mike Schutzman), and now it’s your turn! Tell us a bit about your back story. How did you get into records?

Amanda:
Well, it’s easier to explain now that you know the history of Slipped Disc Records. I didn’t have to get into records. I was born into records! My father opened the store in 1982 and I wasn’t born until 1990. So I was raised in a record store from Day 1.  It was an amazing way to spend my childhood but I did miss a lot of great in-stores and most of my favorite album releases…because I wasn’t alive yet. 

Andrew:
You’re Dad is Mike Schutzman, the longtime owner of Slipped Disc Records, and general vinyl legend. What was it like growing up with him? Did you spend a lot of time in his store as a kid?

Amanda:
I did spend a lot of time around the store. I actually attended kindergarten right around the corner. My grandparents would pick me up and bring me back to the record shop on most afternoons. My grandma would let me help fold the band shirts or change over the window displays (which was always my favorite). When I started growing a little older, I would alphabetize the stickers or help fill the button wall, things like that. Slipped Disc was very old school and all the receipts were handwritten, so I learned to write and spell that way and learned how to do basic math behind the register. I was very immersed in learning everything I could about retail. Not just music retail but customer service in general. And I consider my father one of the very best in the business, so it was an honor to learn from him.

Andrew:
You also help your Dad with Vinyl Revolution. I actually think the first time I met you was at the Astoria show a few years back, and I always see you working the admission table, as well as behind the stacks. Anyway, what has it been like working those shows with your Dad?

Amanda:
I first started traveling with him to shows out of state, helping him set up and sell as Slipped Disc Records. I really loved meeting collectors and vendors in different areas and getting to know the local record stores. Eventually, I felt really at home in the record show community and wanted to work any and every show. So, when my father decided to start running and promoting his own shows in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, I was really excited to be involved in any way I could. In the beginning, I was helping mostly with promotion and handling the admission table. But now I do a little bit of everything.

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Andrew:
You’ve started to cement your own legacy within the vinyl community as the manager of Needle + Groove Records here on Long Island, and as the buyer at Generation Records in NYC. Tell us about that.

Amanda:
It’s funny because I’m not really sure how any of this happened. In early 2017, one of my friends reached out to me about covering some shifts at Generation, just to help out. But within a few months they lost two great employees and I found myself in a full-time position as Head of Purchasing. I wasn’t prepared for it and I’m still not prepared. It’s a very large store to stock and with new releases flooding out every week, it’s a lot to keep track of but it was a great change of pace for me. I have been in sales my whole life, focusing more on what’s selling and what’s leaving the store. It was exciting to finally be a buyer and to focus on all the new stuff coming in.  I loved getting to know the different labels and distributors, dealing with sales reps and taking special orders for customers. I’m also addicted to merch, so ordering thousands of dollars worth of band shirts and posters is more or less a dream come true for me. When Needle + Groove approached me to help them open up a shop on Long Island, I was hesitant to leave my job in NYC because of my love for Generation but Needle + Groove is right here in my own backyard. I had been doing so much traveling in and out of the city and out of state for shows, I felt I could use a little break from commuting.  I grew up only a few miles from Needle and Groove and Slipped Disc was only a mile or so down the road in the other direction, so I knew I would feel right at home. I had never managed a store before and to be honest I’m no expert on what Needle + Groove specializes in. Both Slipped Disc and Generation specialize in Punk and Metal and I do tend to feel more comfortable in stores with stock I’m more familiar with, as any person would be. But it was an exciting experience and it’s really cool to learn something new every day. It wasn’t until after the outbreak of COVID-19 that I went back full-time to Generation to help them re-open and get things back to normal. We recently hired a new Head of Sales at Needle + Groove and he’s the best! So I can now better split my time between both stores. No matter where I am, I love what I do and I’m grateful. 

Andrew:
While out on my own digging trips, I’ve seen you out and about around NYC handing out flyers for Vinyl Revolution with your Dad. Is it still mainly a grassroots organization? What other ways do you try and spread the word for Vinyl Revolution?

Amanda:
It is! We really enjoy going out and having an excuse to shop locally. We like to support our local stores and talk to the customers and collectors about our upcoming shows. A lot of the store owners that we see on our flyer runs are good friends or vendors at the shows and they all help us promote. We do a decent amount of social media promotion as well. But all in all, Vinyl Revolution has built a pretty good street team over the years and my father and I always seem to have an easy time working together. 

Andrew:
Shifting gears now, despite the efforts of organizations like Women Who Rock, and Women In Vinyl, women are still very underrepresented in both the music industry, and the vinyl community. What has your experience been like in that regard? In your opinion, what needs to happen to change that?

Amanda:
I was so happy to discover Jenn D’Eugenio and Women In Vinyl. I immediately became her biggest fan! I think the fact that Women In Vinyl exists is a great example of how things have shifted in the music industry in just the last few years. You can see from all of Jenn’s interviews, that women have always been involved in the music community and even more so now. The truth is, I forget I’m a girl until someone brings it up. To me, I’ve always been in record shops and around music and it all feels very natural. If anything, it seems strange when it doesn’t seem natural to someone else. I do notice male customers dismissing me or going out of their way to find “the guy at the store.” Or someone will offer to help me set up a table at a record show…after I’ve set up the whole room. But at the end of the day, I am very capable of helping customers, ordering new releases, lifting record boxes and tables, all of the things any “guy at the store” could do. So I try not to let it get me down. I’m not worried about changing anything. I think I see a new Instagram account every day about a girl that collects vinyl, or works in a shop, at a pressing plant or for a label or distributor. We’re popping up everywhere. And the more of us there are, eventually the less weird it will seem…I hope. 

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Andrew:
I know this is a broad question, but who are some of your favorite artists? What’s your favorite genre, and why?

Amanda:
I grew up on a lot of older Rock, Punk and Metal bands. Anyone who knows me complains that I’ve been listening to the same 20 bands my entire life. The Stooges, MC5, New York Dolls, Bad Brains, Thin Lizzy, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, those are some of my favorites. I barely ever listen to anything new, which is terrible. Most of my knowledge of new releases comes from spreadsheets and emails if I’m being totally honest. I’ve recently been getting into a lot of the 90’s Hip-Hop I missed out on when I was young. And most of my collecting has shifted to finding stuff I’d never given a chance before instead of buying what I already really love. 

Andrew:
I think it’s pretty safe to assume that you collect records. How many do you have now? Are there any albums you don’t have, but you hope to find one day? Are you like some of us who purge records, only to buy them back again?

Amanda:
Well, I’d love to say every time I buy a new record, I add it to my collection on Discogs but that doesn’t happen. My collection online may be off by 50-75 records. I recently decided to set aside some time on my days off to start recataloging my collection…but I bet that won’t happen either. I think I have between 800-900 records. I do purge old copies and upgrade to better ones. I’ll get rid of old compilations or cheap things I may not be as attached to, to make room on my shelf for something else. I don’t have enough space to keep adding shelves every 6 months, although I wish I did. So for now, I need to limit myself to under a thousand LP’s. There are SO MANY records I don’t have that I hope to find one day. Like I said in my last response, I tend to buy stuff I never appreciated as a kid, so a lot of my favorite Metal and Punk records, I don’t even own. And I have close to a hundred 12” singles that I probably shouldn’t own. But I’m sure my collection will even out the good, with the not-so good…over time. 

Andrew:
You work at both Needle + Groove, and Generation Records, which has to be a lot of work. I can only assume it’s a labor of love. Do you have plans to try and open your own store someday?

Amanda:
That’s easy. No. I haven’t put much thought into that at all.

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Andrew:
What does music/vinyl mean to you? Why is it important to you personally?

Amanda:
Music has always been one of the most important things in my life. It’s really the only thing that has connected me to people. Most of the records in my collection I’ve bought with someone else in mind. Sure, it may just be a record that I love. But if it’s a record I grew up on, I can most likely say, “My dad showed me this in ‘98 on my way to camp.” There’s a story behind every record I purchase. When I first started going to shows, I would ask vendors for Melanie records. I only started looking for Melanie because my best friend’s mom would play it for us when we were little. What I didn’t know was how cheap Melanie records are and how many people weren’t looking for them. The record show community is awesome and over a 5 year period, vendors and store owners flooded me with Melanie promos, test pressings, German pressings, sealed originals, you name it. And I’m now overwhelmed by the amount of Melanie in my collection. I’ve recently gifted close to 20 of them and I still have more than 50. Every record I buy has a memory attached to it and that’s probably what I love most.

Andrew:
What is one album that means the most to you and why?

Amanda:
AC/DC- Powerage was the first album I remember hearing and loving. So it’ll always be my favorite record of all time. There was a 2 year period, maybe when I was 4 and 5 years old, when I would NOT go to sleep until I heard ‘Rock n’ Roll Damnation,’ so my parents had to play it every night. At 30 years old, it’s still my favorite AC/DC album and I can’t be in a bad mood while listening to it.

Andrew:
What drives you? What inspires you most?

Amanda:
This may sound cheesy, but…people. I love working in retail and customer service. I love talking to collectors and tracking down the records they want. Whether it be a limited upcoming release or some $600 “holy grail.” I love being the person to help you find it. I really enjoy learning music trivia from collectors and watching people geek out over a record they’ve been looking for for years. I know that feeling and I really love watching it happen for someone else. I tell everyone I’m available any time. I answer my phone after we close and before we open. If you have a question about a record, I’m here to find the answer for you. It’s my favorite thing to do and I’m not terrible at it. 

Andrew:
Is there anything else you want all of us here, as well as the general record consuming public to know?

Amanda:
No matter what you’re buying, remember to buy it from stores you know and trust. A lot of record stores have shifted to online-only since the pandemic hit, so make sure you support the stores you love whether it be in-person or online. We are all in this together and it’s important to keep record stores alive.

Image may contain: Amanda Schutzman

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

Published by Andrew Daly

Since he was a young child growing up on Long Island, NY, Andrew has always loved writing and collecting physical music. Present-day, Andrew is proud to share his love of music with the world through his writing, and the result is nothing short of beautiful: articles and interviews written by a music addict for fellow music addicts. Andrew lives on Long Island and works as a Horticultural Operations Manager by day and runs the Vinyl Writer Music website by night.

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