Laura Kerkhofs is a 22-year-old music fan living near Leuven, Belgium. At the moment, she's still in college, but come January, she'll graduate as a Social Worker. When she's not studying, Laura writes reviews for Grimm Gent, and she's also working for a friend’s label to gain more experience. She also told me that she's planning on starting her own record label, which I will definitely be supporting come the time.
Today, the Record Collector club welcomes its newest member, Ms. Kerkhofs.
How long have you been collecting records?
It all started with CDs for me. I remember buying one myself for the first time as a teenager, which was Hatebreed’s Perseverance. My uncle is also a record collector and as a kid I used to visit him every weekend. I think he inspired me a lot. I remember us listening to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin all the time. He gives and buys me a lot of records, which obviously makes him the coolest uncle ever. He also gave me a decent turntable and helped me out when I wanted to buy a new setup. The first record I bought was the Gardens of Grief EP by At the Gates. Back then, I didn’t even had a record player, I loved the golden colored details on it and I just had to buy it. I haven’t been really collecting for a long time, I guess it will be almost two years now. It’s also not always that easy as a student.
Where/how do you usually find your records these days?
I prefer going to stores and fairs. You can almost find me every week at one of those. I usually go to Antwerp, the city where I also go to college. When I buy records online, I prefer ordering them from the labels themselves or from friends labels with an great distribution collection.
What was the most you paid for a single record, where/how did you obtain it, and what was it?
My most prized single record is my Type O Negative October Rust, original European pressing by Roadrunner Records. I paid around 200 euros for it, which was also my allowance for two months [laughs]. I have to say, it’s my all-time favorite record and I’m a huge Type O Negative fan. That’s also why I called myself cinnamon girl on Instagram. I didn’t care about the price, I just had to have it. It’s the only record I ever bought on Discogs.
If you to pick one record label you feel had/has the best track record of quality releases, who would that be and what are some key titles you love?
At the moment I’m a fan of Dark Descent Records. I think I can say I mostly collect heavy and death metal records, so Dark Descent is definitely a label where I’ll always find something I like. Unfortunately, the oversea shipping is very expensive so I’m also a fan of a few european labels like: Raw Skull Recordz, Dawnbreed Records, and Everlasting Spew Records.
Some awesome releases by Dark Descent this year are the new Spectral Voice and Phrenelith.
Of everything in your current collection, what is your most prized record and why?
It’s hard to pick one record that I cherish a lot, so I’m just going to say my ABBA collection and my copy of the Beatles' Abbey Road on Apple Records. These are all records my uncle gave me and there’s a whole story about the ABBA collection. Unfortunately my mother passed away when I was 3-years-old and because I was this young I also don’t have any memories of her. One day my uncle told me she was really into music and even skipped school several times to go to concerts. A few months later he gave me all these ABBA records and told me they were my moms. It’s kind of weird because before I knew all of this, I was also really into ABBA. I even travelled two times to London, just to go see the musical, Mamma Mia! It’s odd to see how much we have in common, without having any memories of her. These records mean the world to me.
This post is going to be a little more personal. I normally don't really do this but these ABBA records mean the world to me. As some of you might know, my mom died when I was 3 years old. I grew up with my dad and younger brother. Since I was only this young I don't have any memories of her and because everyone in my family copes with it differently I never wanted to bother my dad asking about her. When I was around 15-16 years old I started thinking about it more and found a lot of comfort in listening to music. At that age I mostly listened to hardcore music, later on this evolved more to metal. For some kind of reason I was always fascinated by ABBA. In my teens I've been on a lot of trips to London, and 3 times just to go see the musical Mamma Mia. I love it. A few years later my uncle told me my mom was a big fan and gave me her old records, shown here in the pictures. Finally I knew something about her and it made me feel connected. Last week he told me she skipped school back in the days just to go see ABBA when they were touring. Another recognizable thing to me. My dad isn't really into music so I guess I must have gotten it from her. When I'm stuck in traffic and get irritated like a lot of people, I put one of my ABBA CD's on. Nothing calms me down and makes me happier than their music. With this post I don't want to sound sad but simply show you the power of music and how it connects people. There are many bands and albums that mean a lot to me, and these are some of them. I know a lot of people who follow me on here are mostly into metal, but you should give ABBA and other genres a chance sometimes �� So the message here is to keep buying records and listening to music because there's nothing more magical!!! #abba
What frustrates you about the currect record collecting scene?
One word: Discogs. It just ruins everything. The idea behind it is really cool, but lately the prices are getting insane. There’s now even an Instagram page that makes fun of it, I guess that says it all. Well, I have to say it’s not all bad because otherwise I probably wouldn’t own my favorite record on wax at this very moment. And those people without passion, just buying everything to resell it for twice as much, are everywhere I guess. But of course you can easily spot them on Discogs.
What records are high on your current wishlist?
There’s always a lot on my want list, but I hope to get my hands on the Type O Negative boxset one day. Today it goes around for 1000 euros, but I’ve heard a couple rumors about Type O Negative reissues in 2018, which would be awesome.
Follow Laura on Instagram.
Tagged: record collector