Matt Rudzinski is known as the vocalist of Killwhitneydead who have just recently released their 6th album (June 2014). Matt loves physical products and also owns two indie labels: Tribunal Records (since 1999) and Divebomb Records (since 2008) both have released some amazing CDs and you got to check them out! At the time of the interview Matt was 41 years old and here is what he has to say about his and our hobby of collecting Metal!

Matt Rudzinski When did you start collecting Metal CDs, LPs and stuff?

When I was very young.  My dad had a pretty large collection for that time, but he wasn’t into heavy metal much.  Once I headed down the pathway to Metal I began my own collection and have never stopped.

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

I have CDs, LPs and a few cassettes. The total is unknown as I am still adding to my database, but a safe guess is 5000+ CDs and about 800+ LPs.

Do you have a specific focus when adding to your collection?

No focus whatsoever.  I love all kinds of music, except modern country music.  I gravitate towards metal, but I don’t limit myself to just that.  Journey is my favorite band for example.

How is your collection organized?

It is alphabetized.  I have two main sections that are 1) Anything heavy 2) Rock.  The rest is scattered to fit rack space, but those are by bands with larger catalogs like Maiden, Priest, etc.

Do you keep a file or an index of your items? Or maybe any special software you can recommend?

I use Collectorz software at the moment.  It’s easy to use, but their database is lacking so I have to manually enter in what is not identified by barcode.  It’s a pain. (laughing)

So, what was your very first item?

I don’t remember specifically but my most vivid memory is my dad buying me Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow.  The first CD I bought was a Dio album, I didn’t even have a CD player but I would listen to it at a friend’s house whose dad had bought a player.

Matt RudzinskiWhich are your best places to buy music?

Hippo Records in town, Ear Shot next town over and then online CMDistro, Deep Discount and Amazon.  I do buy direct from labels/bands whenever I can.

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

I used to do it, but not anymore.  I don’t really have a passion for it and now just a lack of space. (laughing)

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

I import my CDs to enjoy the music digitally, but I don’t pay for downloads.  It’s not my thing.  If I dig an album I want to own something, not a digital file on my computer.

What would you say is the "driving force” behind your collecting hobby? Do you have to have it? How do you analyze it in psychological terms? 

Addiction. But I am getting better at controlling it as I have aged. (laughing)  I definitely have more patience these days.  I don’t have to run out and buy stuff immediately.  I have noticed that change over the years.

Any item(s) you sold/lost/gave away in the past that you shouldn’t?

I lost ¾ of my collection in an apartment fire in 2005.  That was a crappy time, but I recovered a bunch of stuff thanks to friends at other labels generously donating old promos, damaged case copies, etc.  I will never forget those labels and the people that helped me out.  But over the years so much good has come from the fire that I can no longer look back on it as a bad thing in my life.  It was actually a catalyst that just happened to destroy most of stuff at that time. (laughing)

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

ALL.THE.TIME. (laughing)

What are the most valuable items in your collection?

I have signed Nirvana and Pearl Jam albums.  I got to interview both of them while I was in college.  So they are valuable to me, but other than that I don’t keep track of the value of stuff, that is until I go to sell something and I see it’s worth far more than I knew about. (laughing)

Do you have a want-list?

After the fire I definitely did, which is why I started Divebomb Records because so many great albums I needed to get back were out of print and going for insane amounts of money.  It just gave me the idea to try and fix situations like that when I could.  But now, I don’t keep a list anymore because it makes the times I find stuff I need more exciting.

Do you have any rules for your family members regarding approaching and playing stuff from your collection?

My wife knows "the rules” (laughing)

A part of Matt Rudzinski's collectionRemember 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….

Those were the best times!  Reading magazines for new bands, reading liner notes and finding all the bands that were thanked and trying to track them down, etc.  Listening to "Metal Shop” on the radio every week waiting for new bands to get played.  Exploration was much more intense for us back then simply because we had to work to find stuff, it wasn’t all at our fingertips like it is now.  It’s why the older generation had deeper connections to bands and music in general I think.  It was far less fleeting back then because of the effort involved.

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

I have a will and friends can come fill a small box with goodies, after that the rest is to be sold.  Right now my collection is simply for pleasure, but over the years it has also become an investment that one day my wife and any future children will be able to benefit from in some way.

Any last words?

Thanks for the interview!  To the new collectors out there, remember it’s not about how big your collection is; it’s about the passion you put into building it.

Check out my labels/band