An Interview with Cash Carter of Kindercore Vinyl

Kindercore Vinyl

This week we got the chance to “sit down” with someone who has become very special to the Vinyl Writer universe, none other than the Chief Operating Officer of Kindercore Vinyl, Cash Carter. If you haven’t heard already, Vinyl Junkies has started its very own record label, Möhron Rercords, and Kindercore Vinyl will be handling the pressing of Vinyl Junkies first official physical release, Boar Metal by Valentin the Mad. As you read through this interview, you will find that Cash is super down to earth, and simply loves music on vinyl like the rest of us. I hope you enjoy getting to know Cash as much as I did!

Andrew:
Cash, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us! Tell us about your back story? How did you get your start? What got you into music in the first place?

Cash:
When I was around 12 or 13 my older brother bought a drumset. While he was working to pay it off, I learned to play drums faster than he did. I started my first band that had a different name every week. I think we played one show in a community center. It was about this time I went to see “Man… or Astroman?” at an all ages club called Einsteins-au-Go-GO in my home town Jacksonville, FL. At that show I met Chuck Smyth and Pete Cochrane. We went on to start a band that Chuck and I still do called The Cadets. Through the Cadets (and my first girlfriend) I learned everything about music. We toured around, played with a bunch of bands, and made a ton of connections. Those connections are what led me to start Science Project Records, then eventually my own record store in Jacksonville, Florida, and ultimately leading me to starting Kindercore VInyl with Ryan Lewis and Dan Geller.

Andrew:
What moment most influenced your decision to work in the vinyl industry? What does vinyl mean to you?

Cash:
Early on when we would play with bands, we would see them selling records. I think my first record was a Man… or Astroman? 7″, that led me to realize that the cadets could make our own 7.” In 1996 we sent a couple of songs off to United Record Pressing and a few months later we got back what would be the first thing I ever put out on vinyl. That is kinda what started the obsession. I wish making records was still that cheap! We got 500 7″ for less than $500!

Andrew:
I’m not sure that all of our readers know this, but Kindercore was actually originally an independent record label that fell on hard times and dissolved, and was then revived as the awesome record pressing plant it is today. Can you tell us more about how that came to be?

Cash:
It was! Ryan and Dan owned and ran the label. As a teenager I worked at a record store in Jacksonville called The Theory Shop. It was there that my interest in music exploded. I remember becoming a huge fan of Kindercore Records back then and gobbling up all the records I could get my hands on from them. Over the years, I would run into Ryan while touring in different bands over a stretch of about 15 years. In 2011, I toured through Athens, GA playing drums for the band Gospel Music and met Ryan again. This time we hit it off big time and over the next two years he convinced me to move to Athens. I moved here determined to get Kindercore Records back up and running. We had a few meetings with Dan and we were going to do that, but it was taking awhile and all three of us got discouraged. One night at a venue here in town I brought up to Ryan an idea I had back in Jacksonville in 2015, which was to start a pressing plant. Many false-starts and set-backs later, we pressed our first record. Kindercore Vinyl pressed its first record on Halloween of 2017.

Andrew:
At Kindercore, I know you all take a lot of pride in putting out quality pressings. As you know, quality control has, at times, been an issue within the industry. What are your thoughts on that? What’s the process like at Kindercore?

Cash:
There are a lot of great pressing plants out there right now; IRP, Gotta Groove, Blue Sprocket, QRP, and of course the mighty RTI. We are in a time where you can get really well-pressed records at a number of places instead of just a few. The pressing industry is a weird place where the different plants think of ourselves more as colleagues than competition. Even when clients move from us to others or vice-versa, it doesn’t seem to cause any conflict. Because of this closeness, we all share with each other the issues we are having, or when there is a batch of bad lacquers going around, or even a weird batch of PVC. This, more than anything, is pushing quality forward in the industry. Competition doesn’t really have much at all to do with it, or at least nowhere near as much as cooperation and openness with our colleagues. Here at KCV, we are constantly listening to the records as we are pressing them and we also QC pretty heavily afterwards as well. Typically, we listen to about every 20th one from the press and also about every 20th one while QCing as well.


Andrew:
What are some of your favorite releases that Kindercore has pressed? Or ones that mean the most to you?

Cash:
I don’t like picking favorites as I don’t want to offend any clients, but we press for Merge Records, which is my favorite label of all times, so that is something I am extremely proud of. We pressed a reissue for them of the first Polvo album and that was extremely exciting for me. Polvo is one of my top 5 bands ever. We also press for a label called PIAPTK (People In A Position To Know), and literally everything they have ever sent us has been absolutely top shelf. We got to recently do a re-issue of The Presidents Of The United States, and that was cool! We did a Beck tour only 7′, which was RAD! The most recent super cool thing we did is we pressed three Martin Denny re-issues!

Andrew:
Tell us how Kindercore came about? What was the moment you knew you wanted to press vinyl?

Cash:
I was kicking the idea around in my head for a few years. I believe someone in my hometown even snagged the idea from me while I was still there. There was an event in Jacksonville called One Spark every year. It was an innovator convention/festival. One year I met Mike Dixon who runs lathecuts.com and PIAPTK and now owns Presto. We hit it off pretty hard and he is one of my favorite people in the world. I brainstormed with him about getting presses and possibly starting up in Jacksonville and he introduced me to Dietrich Schoenemann. Dietrich started helping me source presses, when I had about 9 lined up (the group of presses I believe ended up being Sun Press), but as we were trying to secure the money to get them Dietrich mentioned that he was starting to team up with some people who were in the CT Scan industry in order to make new presses. Somewhere during that time, I had decided that I was going to move to Athens and if anything ever came of this that, Athens would be a better place to open a pressing plant anyway. So eventually Dietrich teamed up with a few people and started Viryl Tech. We were the first people in line to get pressed from them, actually even before they had a name I believe. We weren’t the first to get pressed, though. We didn’t want the first ones of the line, and also we were still securing our funding. I think we were the third plant to have Warmtones installed.


Andrew:
I my opinion, pressing vinyl is both a trade and an art form. Would you agree? Can you expand on that sentiment?

Cash:
DEFINITELY an art form. I run sales now, but for two years, I ran a press. Ryan still runs one of the presses. We wanted to know how to do it ourselves because we wanted to develop all of our practices down to QC for this place. Running those presses everyday for two years puts you in a place to see how much it has to do with the person running them and the artistry they develop on how to run them. Everyone runs the press differently and they find little tricks of their own to keep everything running smoothly and sounding great. Miniscule changes in setting times or temperatures can totally change the way a record sounds, so becoming an artisan while pressing records is essential.

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

Cash:
I grew up in the 90’s and my main thing has always been 90’s Indie Rock and 60’s Garage Rock. I have about 100 favorite bands. My daughter always says, “You say EVERY band is your favorite band” or “EVERY song is your favorite song.” But the first 10 bands that come to mind are: Polvo, Magnetic Fields, Man…or Astroman?, The Mummies, The Kinks, Bruce Springsteen, Superchunk, The Breeders, Silver Jews, and Teenage Fanclub. I kinda hate listing them because there are so many more. I know my taste is pretty “typical white dude who grew up in the 90’s,” but you like what you like I guess.

Andrew:
This may seem like a silly question, but do you collect records? CDs? Tapes? Or, are you all digital now? Regardless, what are some of your favorite songs, and albums, or ones that will always be special to you for any reason?

Cash:
I collect vinyl for sure (I am on Discogs under the username Cadet001). I Used to collect CDs and tapes as well, but most got sold at the record store or stolen by various exes. I actually am a rare person (I think?) in the industry who admits that I also listen to streaming services as well. Mostly in my car though. My favorite song of all time is ‘Sleepwalk’ by Santo & Johnny. My favorite album of all time is probably 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic fields. Not sure if it is still my actual favorite album as that changes every few months, but this is the one I’ll always say is my favorite album.

Andrew:
If you do collect physical music, what got you into that? What are some albums you don’t have, but hope to find one day? Where do you like to shop for music? What’s your favorite shop?

Cash:
I definitely got into it buying records from bands at shows. That was my first taste of it; the records just looked cooler on the merch table. I am on Discogs so I can find just about anything I want, though I try to go to physical stores more and use Discogs when I just can’t find a particular album anywhere. There is one album I have been trying to find on vinyl for over 20 years. I have seen it on Discogs and one day I may just break down and buy it, but I REALLY want to find it in a store since I have been looking for it since I was a teenager. It’s a comp called “Freedom Of Choice” and it’s a bunch of indie bands covering 80’s songs. Wuxtry and Lo Yo-Yo here in town are both amazing stores. I think Wuxtry has been around for over 40 years or something.

Andrew:
Once COVID-19 calms down, what types of new releases can we expect from Kindercore Vinyl going forward. If you can’t give explicit details then maybe just a hint!?

Cash:
Can’t really mention stuff we are pressing until it is announced by the label. But like I said, we press for Merge. Not everything for them, but I am always excited about their stuff, and PIAPTK has a few cool things coming out soon. Dixon always threatens to stop putting out records, but I really hope he keeps going because everything he does is crazy cool. Hopefully he can weather this pandemic!

Andrew:
On that subject, we do know that you’re pressing a record for Vinyl Junkies. What made you want to support Vinyl Junkies? Why is it important to you?

Cash:
We have been to all the Making Vinyl conferences and Sam has always been an outspoken ally of the industry and we love how he doesn’t take crap from anyone when it comes to his passion for vinyl. We need more people like that in the industry and in the world as a whole. We want to do our part to make sure that happens!

Andrew:
What drives you? What inspires you most?

Cash:
When I get bogged down on a particularly hard job, or a client is being less than helpful/nice, I always tell myself that this is the culmination of their dreams. I don’t know how long they have been working on this record, it could be ten years or more, and I am the final stop before they get the physical representation of their dreams. To a lot of people, this may be the most important thing to them that they will ever do. No matter what is going on around the project, I always pause and remember that I am facilitating that for people and remember how it felt to me when I was 15/16 and that first 7″ I made came in the mail. I have a responsibility to make the moment they see their finished product as reverent as possible.

Andrew:
Is there anything else you want the general record consuming public to know?

Cash:
Be patient and kind to the young record collectors just getting into it. We were all there at one point and we need them!

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Dig this interview? Check out the full catalog 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, USA, Andrew has always loved writing, music, drumming and collecting music on CD, tape and vinyl. After losing his life-long vinyl collection in 2014, Andrew began his vinyl collection from scratch again when he met his future wife Angela in 2015. Andrew’s love of music only further blossomed as his collection spanned all genres possible. After amassing over 3,000 albums in under two years, he knew it was time to finally follow his dream of being a music journalist, and thus, Vinyl Writer was born.

Andrew’s not only the go-to friend for music trivia, but his intricate knowledge of the ins and outs of the music industry allows him to develop engaging questions that really tap into each artist and individual to deliver insightful and enjoyable interviews. He’s 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, NY, with his wife Angela and their four cats, Oliver, Patrick, Charlie and Kevin. Andrew’s collection of over 4,700 vinyl albums, plus several hundred tapes and CDs, tells the story of his passion for all that is music. Andrew works as a Horticultural Operations Manager by day and runs the Vinyl Writer website by night. Andrew is also the admin of several Facebook groups dedicated to music.

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