Will Benoit (Constants): “ I’ve been turned on to a lot of bands by taking a chance on an album in the record store“

„I support Record Store Week, because  if you don’t support the good record stores, all you’ll have left is Media Market.  No one should have to buy a coffee maker, a refrigerator and the new Mastodon record in the same place… „

Constants (Pressefoto/Alive)
Constants (Foto: Alive)

How important is the specialized trade for you in times of the Internet and MP3, as a musician as well as a customer and music fan?

Essential!  It’s already hard enough to make a living selling
records, so having good, localized record stores that support bands and the  local music scene is really important to keeping music alive.  We are lucky  here in New England to have local chains like Bull Moose and Newbury Comics  that help keep prices down and really support local music.

What meaning do record stores have for the music culture in the general and  for your music in particular?

I’ve been turned on to a lot of bands by taking a chance on an album in the record store.  „Browsing“ on myspace for new bands doesn’t compare to the experience of flipping through albums and checking out artwork while
there is music blaring in the background.  I love seeing end caps: what are the top 10 albums being sold in this store? what are the employee picks this week?  What „sounds from the underground“ are on sale?  It’s cool to be able to immerse yourself in music culture in a way that you just can’t do with a computer in front of you.

When and where did you buy your first records or CDs and what memories do you connect with record stores?

There was a tiny indie record store in my hometown that I would ride my bike to literally every day.  It was the only place within 20 miles where labels would send promos, and those promos would end up in the „used“ bin.
I was turned on to so much good music as a result.  I befriended the store owner and he’d let be borrow his Miles Davis records and I’d go home and make tapes of everything he lent me.  I truly believe that little record
store is single handedly responsible for me having eclectic taste in music.  From „kind of blue“ to „heartwork“  I found it all there when I was a kid.

What are your current CD tips and which musicians and albums should not be  missing from any CD shelve?

So far this year, the new albums from Mastodon, the Appleseed Cast,  Darkest Hour, and City of Ships are all excellent and come highly recommended.