For Durham’s Red Collar, self-releasing its first full-length album, Pilgrim, in February was an impetus to take the show on the road and make a full-time go of rock ‘n’ roll. The CDs were pressed and packaged, a publicity campaign was implemented and dates were booked. The band members packed into ‘Vandrew Blass,” the vehicle named for former keyboardist Andrew Blass. And, so far, it’s been paying off: The band picked up favorable reviews and college radio airtime nationwide and earned a slot at the recent CMJ Music Marathon in New York.
But Pilgrim, save for local consignment, wasn’t in stores. ‘One of the big problems with not having a label is not having physical distribution,” says guitarist Mike Jackson. That, though, is no longer a problem. Suburban Home Records and brother company Vinyl Collective picked up Pilgrim for distribution starting Dec. 1. The distribution deal coincides with a re-issue of Pilgrim as a limited-edition LP, pressed in a batch of 500 by Loose Charm Records.
The vinyl version is different than the CD, as the band shifted and pruned the track order. ‘It was harder than we thought,” says Jackson. ‘We had to cut some of the songs … We just couldn’t fit the album onto one LP and still have it sound good.”
‘Stay” and ‘Hands Up,” which also appeared on Red Collar’s Hands Up EP, didn’t make the cut. They remain, though, on the LP’s digital component, a download card featuring all 11 tracks from the original CD version, plus an acoustic cover of Jawbreaker’s ‘Jinx Removing.”
Plus, vinyl has its own rewards: ‘There’s something more physical and immediate about having the record,” Jackson says. ‘CDs almost seem disposable at this point.”
For a video of Red Collar playing “Tools” with Maple Stave at Troika Music Festival last weekend, hit the jump. And for more of Spencer Griffith’s videos from Troika (and elsewhere), hit Scan’s YouTube channel.