Taylor HandyMy name is Taylor Hardy and I am 46 years old and I work In the Hospitality industry. I have been a drummer for 34 years and most of my music experience has been in the extreme music scene. I have played in several hardcore punk bands in the 80's scene in Arizona (I currently live in Colorado) Bands like Corpse Grinder, Bloodspasm, American Deathtrip. Back then the hardcore and metal scene was much different. I opened for bands in warehouses, back yards and clubs. Some of those bands were Operation Ivy, Nofx, Bad Religion, MDC, Cromags, Destruction, NomeansNo, Napalm Death, Suffocation. In that early AZ scene I hung out with the metal crowd as well as the hardcore crowd and I hung out with bands such as Sacred Reich and Atrophy. I also roadied for my friends band Dover Trench. The first band I was in was a metal cover band called Turmoil playing mainly Priest, Maiden and Sabbath. In the 90's I played in an industrial metal band called Scar Strangled Banger and several Sludge Metal projects. In the mid 90's I co hosted a long time extreme music radio show called "The No Bull Show”. I consider myself now to be a professional musician even though it's not how I make my living. I currently am a drummer in several underground Christian Black Metal bands. One is called Elgibbor we just put out our 16th album since 2004 (my first with the band) called "The Path Of Suffering" on Shigionoth Records and are currently working on an ep for release this year. Elgibbor originally based out of Poland now in The States. I am also a member of Armath Sargon, A Christian Black Metal project based out of Finland and we are currently in the recording process for a future release.  In the Christian Black Metal scene I go by the stage name ThünderMørr. I have also done some very minor film score work for some independent films and have some IMDB credits.

When did you realize that you are becoming a collector of Metal CDs, LPs and stuff?

I guess it really hit me late. Back in high school I bought a crap load of metal cassettes and vinyl because that’s all there was. I loved music and couldn't buy enough but with my meager part time job I bought as much as I could. Even now I wish I would have bought more. As I got older I started buying cd's but bought much less (also a huge regret) but it never really clicked for me until about 6 years ago. A guy in my band was telling me how he can find anything free on the internet to download and he was downloading gigs and gigs of weird garage rock that was out of print. I said "hey do you can find me something? I really want to listen to Zoetropes Amnesty record." just randomly out of the blue. He said "sure I can find it." The next practice he brought it in on disc and I put that on and I was flooded with memories of the first time I heard that record at a COC concert in 1985. After that I started looking at all the CD's, cassettes and vinyl I still had and realized that it was my CD's that were basically my true love because I never got rid of any and at that point it was on! I started buying music like I was in High School again. I STILL don't have Zoetrope's Amnesty release on disc (I still have it on cassette) but I am on the hunt for that.

What is the size of your collection?

This is strictly a guess but CD's I have around 3000, cassettes around 200 and vinyl around 300. I recently moved to Colorado and have the bulk of my collection still packed up because I'm waiting to buy a house so the only stuff I have unpacked are the CD's I've bought since I moved here.

Do you also focus your collecting on a specific genre and/or format?

Not really. I Love all kinds of Metal and Hard Rock, that's my main focus, but basically what I buy falls into 2 categories: Stuff to listen to and collect/ stuff just to listen to that has no or little collectible value. How much I buy is based on how much money I have at the time! I can always find SOMETHING! But when I buy I ALWAYS buy CD's. I don't buy vinyl or cassettes unless they are part of a preorder bundle which happens from time to time.

How do you organize your collection?

As I stated earlier, The bulk of my collection is boxed up but when I have them unboxed I just have them in a random order. I buy so frequently now that any order other then random would require a lot of work to keep in sequence. I am very OCD so if I am going to do it at all it would have to be perfect and that is way too much maintenance for me so it is the one thing in my life that remains somewhat chaotic. I have a large drum set and a lot of other recording equipment so I always have a room in my house dedicated to that. In there I keep everything music related. Keeps my wife happy. All my music is in the closet. I'm only taking it out to take pictures for this.

Do you keep a file or an index of your items?

The only file I keep on my collection is in my head. I have never wanted to have it all written down. It's not perfect but it's what I have time for.

What was the first CD you bought? The first LP; and the first Cassette?

My first CD i ever bought was Napalm Death's "Harmony Corrupts”. The first piece of vinyl I ever bought was Punk And Disorderly Vol. 1 and the first cassette I bought was I think AC/DC "Back In Black” or "Highway To Hell”.... I may have bought them both at the same time.

Taylor HardyWhere do you buy music from?

I fill my want list from ebay but try not to go on too much. It's too easy for me to get carried away. I buy new from bands and labels on occasion because there isn't much where I'm at for new. I have to drive to Denver to go to stores there or fly back to AZ to hit my fav's. I want to keep those names to myself just in case there are local collectors wanting to hit my hot spots. I really enjoy looking in used stores as opposed to online. There is something about finding a $100 CD in the used rock section of your local store that really just fires me up. And because that's my main supply source I have an incredibly high success rate on finding rare items. I never thought I did until I started to analyze my finds. It's very similar to gold mining. I dig and dig and dig and some days I come with minor pittances. But other times I score the mother load of major nuggets! SO exciting! It's a rush for me, all this talk is causing me to want go to my local used book and music store, they set stuff aside for me to look at before it goes on the shelf.  I'll be right back!

Do you also collect items from artists that you might not like?

I don't. I'm a musician and I'm into the music. If I buy something I don't like I probably won't ever listen to it. So buying stuff I don't like just for the sake of collecting? I won't do it.

Do you also download music? As a musician, what do you think about downloading?

I did download music for stuff I can't find and want to listen to when I first got my iPod but as a rule I seek those items out so if my hard drive takes a dump I have the physical copy. I Always listen to MP3 because it's just so convenient and it also keeps your disc's cherry. I have 110 gigs and climbing in my iTunes and 90% I have physical copies of. Illegal downloading is scourge. As a musician I tried for years to make a living at it and it's the hardest thing ever to get to that level. Illegal downloading makes that even harder. Now with a family me traveling, making jack and working a crappy part time job is not worth it. Today's musicians have it so tough, They have no idea what it used to be like. And what it used to be like was still hard but easier then today. I record and put out music in very small quantities and it sells out quick then we never reproduce it again. Small underground labels. I do what I want and have fun creating but no hassle of the industry. Ok rant over.

Taylor HardyWhat 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? 

For me it's several things. I love the music and I love the physical form it comes in. It's tangible. It's a solid piece of music history. It has weight. I can touch it. Hundreds of people (sometimes) labored for many hours to create this piece of history. That to me is cool. Physical formats are starting to die off. I think that there will always be a physical format being produced SOMEWHERE but for the most part labels are phasing it out. Metal is always going to be underground so we will always be the last hold outs. A collection of digital music to me is cool in the fact that you have a lot of music but really it's worthless. The physical format of CD's and vinyl is Valuable in dollars and in the experience. It's tactile. Like books. I can't get into reading a digibook. I have to have the pages!  I also really love the hunt. Searching out those rare gems for my collection. It's really like crack to me. The quest is a major part, you never know what you are going to find. I also really like watching my collection grow, I'm very proud of it but in the end it's all about the music. I also consider myself a metal historian so I like to have a lot of everything. I get something cool that I may not be that familiar with and then I read up on it and it adds to my Metal music knowledge. That part to me is cool. People ask me stuff about Metal all the time and I am able to regurgitate all these cool facts. It's fun. I don't know if I am considered an expert or anything but I certainly am on the road. When I got into Metal in the 70's there was not really a lot out there. It's really great to look back on what I have lived through and seen. I'm one of those old guys that always spouts off "why when I was your age we only really had 4 metal bands..... Now you guys are spoiled and you don't even buy anything." My wife hates it. HAHA!

Did you ever sold and gave away something from your collection that you shouldn’t?

Yes and no. Back in the day I let one of my neighbors borrow my original press "Show No Mercy” vinyl and all three of the Metallica EP's on Music for Nations and then he moved a week later but his mom still lived there so there were no moving trucks or anything. I still think about that, was back in '89. Also back in early 2000's my wife and I were going through the adoption process and I sold the bulk of my vinyl off on ebay and made a small fortune. I do kind of regret that only in the sense that I don't have the vinyl. But it was a fun experience and my son is the most amazing person I know so having him around is priceless. During that sale time I let go my first press copy of Dark Angel’s "We Have Arrived” for way too cheap. Also my copy of a local band called Aftermath I had a copy of their first ep "Straight To Hell” and that sold in seconds for way too cheap to a collector in Germany. After that I never did "Buy Now" ever again. I still have all my CD's. There is a ton of stuff I saw back in the day and didn't buy for one reason or another and now knowing what that stuff is worth I kick myself but that I think goes for all collectors.

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

Haha yeah all the time but I do it on purpose for the most part. I like having multiple copies of stuff I really like. Call me crazy but there are just some releases that if I find a excellent copy of it, I'm going to buy it. I don't care how many copies I have. If the time comes where I'm hard up for cash I sell the copies first. I actually have multiple copies of lots of stuff. Especially if I'm picking stuff up for $5 or $6 bucks a piece! No brainer.

Taylor Hardy's collectionWhat are the most valuable items in your collection?

Wow this is a tough one because so much of my collection is boxed up right now, but according to a recent Facebook post by your awesome site for sure one would be the Maniac self-titled release on KOCH records. It last went for $627.17 on ebay and I picked that up used for $6. NO WAY am I telling the exact location of it's purchase. At the same time I bought that, I also scored a used copy of Angel Witch’s "Frontal Assault” with the US cover on JCI records. I also own everything by Invocator on Black Mark. Black Mark is one of those labels that I buy always if I find it. I have a large portion of their catalog. I also recently scored a NM copy of Mayhem’s "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” (Deathlike Silence Records Anti-mosh 006) with the blue cover for I kid you not $7! I was literally shaking when I bought it, I felt like I was trying to sneak drugs through customs or something like the beginning of Midnight Express. They had no idea what it was. Really nice mom and pop store but I don't want to clue them in on the stuff I pull from there. They would either want to hire me or ban me from the store. Nuclear Assault’s "Survive” on I.R.S., I have that too. One of my crowning achievements. My Stormwitch collection! Love that band. I've been told that they are very collectable. I also have so awesome hand made CD wooden cases for some underground Christian Black Metal projects that were part of special preorders. The Katumus black box/candle holder with spikes is one of 25 and the Armath Sargon wooden CD case is one of 15 I think. Very cool stuff!

What about want lists? Do you have one? Or Two?

My want lists are as follows. New releases and Collectable. For new releases I add stuff as it comes out but I also wait for the end of year best of lists to come out and I make a want list compiled from those and cross them off as I get them. Literally pen to paper. My Collectable list is in my head and I try and always hunt of that. Anything off the collectable list if found used in the store will always be underpriced and I will always buy it no matter how many copies I have. I've taken the time to memorize best of the best, rare of the rare lists so when I find one it's a no brainer. STILL looking for a good copy of that first Zoetrope album on CD! My new release list is 50 or so titles and my collectable list is around 200.

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

I have an AMAZING wife and son and they both know better to approach the stacks or the boxes of music. My wife humors my addiction but truly doesn't understand the thrill of the hunt. She and my son learned a long time ago that you should never ever under any circumstances go to a record store with me! They both learned that lesson the hard way!

Taylor Hardy'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….

Yes i remember the world before the internet.... you mean real life? LOL! No back in the day we had an Indie record store in town called WREX records and my good friend Joe E. Furno was the owner. I co hosted his radio show "The No Bull Show” for a time in the 90's. But back then I would Go to the store after school and hang out for hours just looking at stuff and discovering new bands. Then I would listen to his show and tape it so I could create my "want lists" from his play lists. I would also listen to a show from the singer in the band Blood Spasm called "The Middle Finger Show” and learn about new bands there. I never did any tape trading through the mail but I did in town. We all helped each other out. "Hey have you heard this band?" "WOW!!" that sort of stuff. I have a lot of rare punk cassettes Joe would order from Europe of these sick D-Beat bands. Stuff I'm not willing to part with. Too many memories. These were reproduced on a Xerox machine and colored with markers. REAL DIY hardcore stuff. I would never have discovered this stuff if it wasn't for WREX records. Metal, Punk he had it all!

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

I hope that my collection will be pieced out individually on Ebay and redistributed back into others collections. Not everything I have is super valuable but the valuable stuff I would want pieced out and the rest I would want donated to one of my favorite Mom and Pop stores. The money generated I would want my son to have to do something special to remember me by. Unless he gains an interest in collecting Metal then the collection I would want him to have.

The last words are yours….

Support the underground. Today's underground is tomorrow’s collectables. Don't download, don't use streaming sites. To quote David Birne of The Talking Heads "The internet is sucking all creativity out of the world." Let’s not help it do that any faster. There are a lot of metal blogs out there that bash musicians and their craft either because they play a form of music they don't like or understand, or they disagree with their personal life choices.  Don't be a dick. Metal has evolved over the decades to be a great number of things to a great number of people. Let it happen! Back in the day I hated Glam but now I really like it. I love Nu metal and I even like some Metalcore. And in a decade they will be something else and something else after that. Not all of it is good but all of it is Metal. Just let it happen and don't be so harsh on what the kids are listening to today. Yeah I cringe when the younger people at work tell me they like Metal and then try and talk to me about  A7F or BVB. I cringe even harder when I ask them about Testament and Exodus and they answer "Who?" But they listen and learn from me just as I listen and learn from them. In the end it's all music and all art if we don't support it, it will die off.