Javi Felez Rodriguez (aka Javi Bastard) gave us this interview in early October 2014 at the age of 34. He plays guitar and/or bass with a few Spanish bands: Graveyard, Lux Divina, and Körgull the Exterminator. In recent years he has also been recording and playing with Of Darkness, Dawn ov Hate, Wölfhead, Heavenshore, Necrocunt, Solitude, Terrorspawn and The Bleeding Sun. He owns Moontower Studios in Barcelona as well as Hellspawn Mag currently on its 13th issue. In the past Javi has been writing for some of the biggest Metal magazines in Spain (Rock Hard and Guitar Player) as well as on several fanzines and websites and radio shows. As he puts it: "Music is my job but also my hobby so I’m dedicated to it 24/7!

Javi Felez Rodriguez

Your journey in music collecting starts when…

...when I was a kid/teenager, I have always been very passionate about music and collecting everything related with it, no matter if it is music, videos, magazines, fanzines, t-shirts… whatever. It started really back in the early 90’s, I spend most of 91, 92 and 93 buying tons of live bootlegs (on tape!) from GUNS’N’ROSES, it sounds so weird these days, but they were my favorite band on those early 90s, I guess like most of the kids that were growing up around that time. There were a couple of record stores in my town where you could find a new bootleg live tape every week, so I bought tons of it, I think I ended up collecting something like 40 or 50, it was crazy. Since then, I’ve been pretty obsessive about collecting everything, especially from bands that I worship!

Right now, how many items you own and in what formats?

500 tapes, 500 vinyls, something like 3 or 4 thousand CDs and probably another 3 or 4 thousand promo CDs. The collection was bigger, but I recently sold something like 500 CDs. I needed to free some space in the room! (and get some good cash he he). Ohhh, and don’t forget DVD’s and VHS, I still keep them, I have hundreds! In the last few years, I’m also addicted to buying and reading official autobiographies, I think I have all the official ones that have been released (at least related with hard rock and heavy metal), Thank God for Amazon ha ha!

Do you also focus your collecting on a specific genre/artist/format/whatever?

Not really, I collect everything from RUSH to CANDLEMASS, no matter the style, the only filter is if I worship or not! I try to have everything from the bands I like, including tapes, singles, different releases, promos… whatever, you know.

Javi's Candlemas collection

Is it easy for you to organize and store your collection? How is it organized?

Yeah, it is. I have vinyls and DVDs in the living room and then I have a room for the rest. I have all CD’s and promos in alphabetical order, otherwise it would be fucking chaos to find something, I always arranged it this way and it works. I know some friends that storage everything together without any kind or logic or order, it is very stressful if you ask me!

Do you keep a file or an index of your items? In what format? Do you also use any special software you can recommend?

Back in the 90’s I had a hand written list, but I stopped doing it in the late 90’s, I didn’t have time and honestly I think it didn’t make sense, I mean, those lists were useful when you wanted to trade stuff in order to record it on tape, so when Internet arrived in the 2000’s, we all stopped doing it. I know there is plenty of software tools to index your stuff, but I don’t see any sense doing it, I mean, for me it is easier to go to the room and find something. Besides, I have a really good memory so I know all the stuff that I own and only 4 or 5 times I bought something twice!

So, what was your very first item?

"Appetite for Destruction” from GUNS & ROSES on tape! It was the summer of 91. I think I heard that tape something like 100 times during that summer… Those were the days man, when all was about tapes and your Walkman… girls, jobs and beers weren’t part of your life yet ha ha. Previously I had some recorded tapes from QUEEN, GENESIS and some crappy Spanish pop bands, but GNR was my very first contact with a bit more heavy stuff.

Where do you buy music from?

Nowadays, I mostly buy music from Ebay, Amazon and Discogs. From time to time I buy stuff directly from the labels or internet mail-orders. Because of my bands and my fanzine, I still receive/trade tons of new stuff so honestly, I’m not that much into buying "new records”. I spend my money on Ebay, Discogs and forums looking for those particular items that I collect. Record stores were very important in the 90’s and even the 2000’s. I spent all of my youth there like a cockroach checking out almost every day the second hand stuff. Actually in Barcelona there were something like 10 record stores on the same street, nowadays all of them have disappeared except 2 or 3, so sad!. Cult stores were 7 Pulgadas, Histeria and Revolver Records. I miss those days! Also I used to buy a lot from summer festivals like Party San or Hell’s Pleasure (or even Wacken when it was a cool metal place 15 years ago, nowadays sucks big time!).

Javi's collection

Do you also collect items from artists that you might not like? If so, why?

Specially in the late 90’s, I spent tons of money buying so many records that were crap but were released on the right time at the right label, you know. I remember going to Wacken in 1999 or 2000 and bringing with me tons of vinyls and CDs that probably sucked (mostly low rate average Thrash, Speed or Death) but that nowadays cost a fortune. Those were the ones that I recently sold, I mean, it is not interesting anymore to keep a second class Thrash album from Under One Flag from 1988 if I can sell it for 50 euros. Fuck, I paid 5 back in the day ha ha! I had tons of this kind of records and for some strange reason I loved to collect them, I guess I wanted to have all the thrash/death records ever released ha ha. When you realized that it isn’t possible, you come back from your teenage dream and start getting rid of it. I keep with me nowadays ONLY the real stuff, those records that I really like and sell the rest. If I was rich, I would keep everything and still try to have everything, but this is far from reality ha ha.

Do you also download music? Or you keep it only physical?

I would be a liar if I said that I’m not into downloading. Actually, I don’t download new records. For me it isn’t that urgent to listen to something that has been recently released, fuck that, I’m not in a hurry, there are soooooo many records out here to listen to… What I download is full discographies from classic bands so I can put them in my pen drive and listen to music while I’m driving, this is the beginning and end of my piracy activity he he. Anyway, I own most of those records so none can blame me for destroying the music industry…

What would you say is the "driving force” behind your collecting hobby? Do you have to have it? Is it –somehow- a part of yourself and you must own it? How do you analyze it in psychological terms?

Like I said, 15 years ago it was different than today. I wanted to have ALL the records, all the bands… I cannot explain it from a psychological point of view, I guess collecting is like a disease! Besides, that was my one and only passion, so I spent all my time and money in getting that collection bigger and better. But now it’s different, the older you get the more conscious you are about your real possibilities. I mean, these days I try to be practical; it makes no sense to collect something that is infinite! I think it is better to focus on just a few bands so you can see the end (unless you collect IRON MAIDEN or METALLICA ha ha ha).

Any regrets of an item you sold/lost/gave away in the past that you shouldn’t?.

Not really, I sell stuff when I’m 100% sober ha ha. Besides, I didn’t sell a shit until 1 or 2 years ago, so it is too soon to regret, ask again in a few years! I have a funny story here: a friend of mine went to a Cash Converter (it is a famous second hand store chain) and found that the girl working there was putting a bunch of vinyls in the shelves. He saw the first one of the lot and it was an old DARKTHRONE LP so he run immediately to the shelve and surprisingly he discovered that they had put there something like 50 or 60 Black/Death Metal LP’s from the 1980’s/early 1990’s, all of them for 50 cents each one, go figure… He bought a collection of records that costs nowadays a fucking fortune, for just 20 or 30 euros the whole pack. Fuck, when I was told about it, I hated myself (and of course him) for not visiting the store the minute before haha.

Did you ever bought an item you already had because you couldn’t remember if you got it or not?

Yeah, that’s a classic! Actually, I even bought SAXON’s "Denim and Leather” 3 times ha ha ha. Sometimes when I doubt if I have it or not, and especially if it’s a cheap one, I just buy it, and then you can always re-sell it or just trade it. It happens quite a lot with bands that you have shitloads of albums, editions, CDs, vinyls… Like SAXON, MOTORHEAD, SODOM, CANDLEMASS… you know, classic stuff.

What are the most valuable items in your collection?

Wow, I don’t know, honestly! If you ask me, I think I don’t have any record that you can sell for 1000 euros, unfortunately ha! I’m thinking right now in some cool albums like "Deathcrush” from MAYHEM (First edition), VULCANO’s "Bloody Vengeance” (first Brazil edition), MORPHEUS DESCENDS (first cd), NECRODEATH’s ("Into the Macabre” first edition), a lot of first editions from SAMAEL, CARCASS, ASPHYX, MORBID ANGEL… Lots of singles and rare stuff from CANDLEMASS, SAVATAGE, RUNNING WILD… lots of demos from ANCIENT RITES, HETSHEDS, DEMIGOD, PHELEBOTOMIZED, EDGE OF SANITY… A good pile of 7” from ROTTREVORE, EMPEROR, GOREFEST, GOREAPHOBIA, CEREMONIAL OATH, UTUMNO... I don’t know man, I should check out the whole fucking room ha ha!

Do you also have a want-list?

Not really. It would be fucking endless! If you’re focused basically on one style, it is easy to have a want list and focus just on that list of records. If you like everything from Rock to Black Metal and everything in between, that want-list is infinite. I’m not one of those guys that look in every corner of the planet in search of one particular record. I prefer to check out constantly ebay, discogs, forums… And when I see something cheap, I get it. There are records that I have been searching for years but I can wait to buy it a few more years until I see them at a reasonable price, I mean, for example I don’t have the first CANDLEMASS record on vinyl, I have the rest but not the first one, and I’m not going to buy it until I can get it at a fair price, I mean of course you can get it now if you want and pay 50 euros. I prefer to wait and buy it next year when some idiot put it on ebay for 10, that’s how I work and have always worked! I don’t mind to wait 10 or 15 years to buy a record, probably I have it on tape or CD anyway ha ha.

Do you have family and kids? How do you talk to them about your hobby? Are they allowed to approach your collection?

No kids yet! If I had one, I should get rid of my collection, my flat has only two rooms ha ha! I live with my girlfriend for the last 7 years and "the room” is always a discussion issue, trust me. Actually our relation is like a threesome, both of us and "the room full of crap” ha ha. Just joking… She’s into Metal as well but I respect she doesn’t understand that collection/obsessive thing. My cat sleeps always in the Metal room so in a way everybody in this house is allowed to check in whenever they want. And I have a record keeper :)

Javi Bastard

Remember the days before the internet? I am sure you must have been kind of more thrilled when discovering new music… and what a chase was to find more information about records no one else ever heard of….

Yeah, I got Internet in year 1999 or 2000 as far as I remember. I was 20 years old at that time, so I had spent the previous decade reading magazines and fanzines and looking desperately for information. Actually, I am very nostalgic about it, I mean, it was so cool to listen to an album without even knowing how those guys looked like, or how their logo was or where they came from or if they had previous material released… It was just you and a TDK tape full of cool music. Now that magic is forever gone, you can have all the information about a band even before you had actually listened to it. In a way, those who enjoyed music long before the internet, if you ask me, I think we have sort of a different approach to music compared to young kids nowadays. When I was 15 years old, I probably had 50 CDs, 20 vinyls and 50 tapes, so it was ALL my collection, I could listen to those records again and again and again and really get into it. Nowadays, you can download 1000 records in a week, so your mind is swamped by tons of albums that you will probably check out a couple of songs and then move on to the next record. Music turns into fast food, wrong! Some albums deserve a few spins until you get into it, and it will not happen if you have 567 records waiting in your cue list.

What would you like to happen to your collection when you will leave this world?

Bury it with me!!!!! Just joking… I guess give it to someone that will enjoy it and not sell it for a few euros in a Cash Converter ha ha!

Any last words?

Buy music or fuck off!!!!!!!

-Thanks Javi for this one! I hope to meet again in the future for more mega-trades, in-depth discussions on music and more beers!