Record Store Day 2012: Interview with The Jimmy Cake

"For us, a tattered plastic bag with a record or two in it was a badge of honour."

The fifth annual international Record Store Day will be celebrated in style in Ireland's most southern city with The Jimmy Cake, Nanu Nanu and Melodica Deathship all cramming into the Triskel Art Centre's downstairs theatre development space for a night of syntheseismic fun.

In the build up to the big event, The Jimmy Cake's Dara "Dip" Higgins looks forward to Record Store Day 2012.

What is your favourite record store and where is it located?
Over the years there have been many of them. The first store I ever went crazy for was the Sound Cellar in Dublin, a specifically metal emporium. I used to hang out there after school, trying to learn the lyrics off album covers and attempting to grow my hair. Metalness was judged on hair length in those days; It was like an apprenticeship. Freebird was also a very cool shop, and Amoeba in San Francisco is the biggest, most complete shop I’ve ever been in. I think it used to be a bowling alley, so think of those dimensions, and compare them to the Sound Cellar which was the size of a toilet.

Amoeba Records
Are there any specific happy memories that you have of this store?
I can still vividly recall getting …And Justice For All the day it was released in the Sound Cellar, having paid for it in advance on an instalment scheme.

Are there any particular albums recommended to you by record store staff that have influenced your music over the years (or that you have simply loved and adored)?
Too many to mention. Tommy down the Cellar was always pushing some dodgy thrash shit on us. Tosh in Smile [which was located on South Great George's Street, Dublin] would always have a pile of stuff he would be recommending. Back then I could just head to the shop wanting to buy something, but not knowing what, and most of the time there would be something playing on the stereo that would catch your ear. These days, with the constant stream of information, and indeed the dearth of record shops, that’s highly unlikely. I only ever buy old stuff from second hand record shops now.

Somebody somewhere once sold me a Subhumans 7" (for a quid!), and that changed my outlook from metal to punk, which was kinda crucial, because the bass is pretty much non existent in metal.

Has a record store (i.e. the staff) helped you in your musical career/path in anyway over the years?
Road Records put out our first record on their Road Relish label, so yeah, in a very real, practical and actual way. It was (and still is) a great honour to be part of the Road back catalogue. Everyone who was anyone had a split 7”, so we really felt like we were on our way. Dave and Julie in Road were always recommending ours and other local/Irish acts to everyone who would listen, and many that wouldn’t.

What does Record Store Day mean for you?
Kids in the future will wonder what the fuck a record store was, and why they were important. I used to meet people in record shops to do some shopping together. It was hanging out, in a really passive way. Words need rarely be exchanged, just the occasional waving of a record cover at your mate. My children won’t have a clue why I would do that. For us, back then, a tattered plastic bag with a record or two in it was a badge of honour.

The debate about whether iTunes and the mp3 have done more to damage music, or how albums are now perceived, could go for a while, but what is true, for me, is that nothing beats the physical interaction you have with a record. Mind you, your mp3s don’t get fucked when the cat jumps on them as they’re playing!

This will be the fifth annual record store day. Any fond memories from previous Record Store Days you would like to share?
I think it was the first record store day when I finally got around to buying a new record player and then nipped around to Road to watch Villagers play. That is to say, I hung out outside the shop and could just about see in, the place was rammed. It was grand, the sun was out.

Have you had a chance to look at the special limited editions that are set to be released especially for RSD12? Is there any record you will be trying to claim come April 21st?
Willow’s Song from the Wicker Man. On yellow vinyl.

Did you hear Feist and Mastodon are to release a split 7" with Feist covering Mastodon and vice versa?
Fair play to them. It just goes to show what an open mind can achieve. I doubt Genius would put those two artists anywhere near each other.

If you were to release a split 7" with any contemporary artist/band who would it be with and what song would you cover of theirs and vice versa?
I’d personally love to trade songs with Duran Duran, but I don’t think the rest of the band really want to do 'The Union of the Snake'.

If you had to describe the perfect record store in 3 words what would they be?
Subterranean. Malodorous. Cheap.

If you were to own a record store one day, what would you call it?
I used to be cool.

Anything else to add?
We here at Jimmy Cake caves will be releasing our new record on double vinyl, such is our dedication to the wax. We hope to have it out this summer, but meanwhile we’ll be playing it, possibly in its entirety, this Saturday in the Triskel in Cork.

- Record Store Day 2012 takes place on Saturday, 21st April
- The Jimmy Cake, Melodica Deathship and Nanu Nanu play Plugd that night as part of the RSD12 celebrations
- Tickets are priced at €10 and available on the night

Plugd (Cork) -- Wingnut (Galway) -- Tower (Dublin) -- Wingnut (Waterford) -- Elastic Witch (Dublin)
Click here to see participating stores in your area