Q&A with Waxwork Records
This week we’re going to answer some commonly asked questions by customers, answered by one of Waxwork’s co-founders, Kevin Bergeron.
Q: Are all past pressings eligible for represses, or do you ever lose the rights after your initial pressings?
No, not all titles are available to be repressed. That’s why everyone should buy every release they can before they sell out. I know that sounds intense, but you'd really be surprised at just how many e-mails we receive daily from potential customers that missed out on a Waxwork title that sold out several years ago. It's a lot, and we really wish we could sell directly to them instead of them having to find an overpriced copy on eBay. Some people get very upset at missing out.
Q: Since y’all are opening a pressing plant, can I get my ashes pressed on an album?
We are 100% offering this. Also, I used to be a cremator before Waxwork, so I have quite a bit of experience on the process and how to respectfully handle loved ones' remains after the cremation process. You see it all the time in movies where an urn comically falls off a fireplace mantle, shatters, and ashes scatter everywhere. There's a bit more to it than that, and that shouldn't ever happen in the event of an accidental spill. Pretty funny in the movies, though.
Q: Who picks the variant colors for each release?
Waxwork's co-owner and myself. Oftentimes, a composer or studio executive will have some color or vinyl effect requests and we are more than happy to work with them to make their vision a reality.
Q: What is the decision process on what colors / designs get chosen for the different variants?
We like to pick colors and effects that vibe with the movie, scenes in the movie, essential elements in the storyline, etc. So, for example, “Re-Animator re-agent green.” No one was doing this before we released our Re-Animator soundtrack back in 2013, and it's quite fun to now see so many labels and artists getting super creative and naming their vinyl color variants.
Q: How and who decides what your yearly releases will be and what are the steps taken after?
We release titles we are fans of, you know? It's got to be genuine. That’s the first step. We don’t look at threatrical release dates and then try to schedule “anniversary” releases. We’ve never done that and any anniversary releases we’ve had were happy accidents! Our yearly schedule is usually created by myself, but we've gotten to a point years ago where a curveball will be thrown to us and a studio or composer will reach out and request for Waxwork to release a new, upcoming movie soundtrack. So, the schedule is usually in a state of musical chairs and pushing things forward and back.
Q: From securing rights, to creating artwork, and pressing the vinyl, how long does it take to make an album?
That really depends, Before the pandemic, we would oftentimes have releases secured and manufactured so quickly that our warehouse and distribution center would be at capacity. We're living in a different landscape now where pressing plants are struggling to keep up, but the silver lining is that vinyl is very much in demand. On average now, it takes about six to eight months from start to finish, but some releases have taken over five years! Hiccups can occur at every stage mentioned so it really always varies.
Q: Why are some products (e.g. The Fog) only available to purchase in the US?
Licensing. We can only sell certain titles in specific territories.
Q: Do you guys have any plans to open a retail shop (or storefront) in New Orleans?
Not at the moment. We’re very busy building a pressing plant, though! Read about it here!
Q: So no tours, either?
Probably not. We're just not set up for it, especially with the pressing plant build, safety concerns, etc.. Although, Glenn Danzig did stop by to check it all out, and well, you know... It's Glenn!
Q: When you get a title which allows for new artwork, do you guys already have an artist in mind or is it a bit of a thinker?
On a rare occasion, we will already have an artist in mind, like for example with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Æon Flux. Having someone other than the creators of those titles create the album artwork wouldn’t feel right. But usually, choosing an artist takes time and consideration. It’s definitely a bit of a thinker. Approach, style, availability, budget, and several other factors all play a part.
Q: What’s the wildest packaging you wanted to do for a release that you had to scrap because it just wouldn’t work?
We’ve almost always managed to pull it off! We were toying with doing the breakaway ice slipcase for THE THING in a frosted plastic case… imagine what we did but with injection molded plastic instead of a film laminate wrapped heavy chipboard shell, which was also very expensive. But, the plastic case idea was much too expensive. Just astronomical.
Q: When can we expect the Next new Stephen King soundtrack & what will it be?
The ice is gonna break in 2023! That's all I can say at the moment.
Q: Along the lines of licensing- are there any you’ve tried to get but were refused?
We once asked to license PJ Harvey’s “Rid of Me,” and the studio literally emailed me back, “no.”
Q: When you were naming Waxwork Records, was “House of Wax,” or anything else considered?
For a very short time we toyed with some other names, but they didn't feel appropriate. Sue Ellen, Waxwork's co-owner, came up with the name Waxwork Records. And its perfect. There's some depth to it. It's a double entendre. There's a spooky, horror vibe to it. Also, vinyl records are sometimes referenced as "wax". There's also this utilitarian, industrial factory ring to it. That part might just be living in my head, but to me it feels strong.
Q: Years ago you teased a photo of a clay sculpt of the head from House of Waxwork Volume I- Whatever happened to it?
We actually made some real deal Halloween masks of the Die-Rector from our House of Waxwork comics, but we never put them into production. Maybe we will in the future… we aren’t done with comics just yet!
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Can you comment on which releases you no longer have the rights to and cant repress? That way I know which ones to look for on ebay :)
I love these blog posts! And this had me cracking up: “We once asked to license PJ Harvey’s ‘Rid of Me,’ and the studio literally emailed me back, ‘no.’” Don’t mess with Polly Jean Harvey! :-)
Such an awesome read. Thanks for posting Q&A.
Will we get a new pressing and maybe even new packaging of The Thing this year for its 40th anniversary? Will you be doing any other The Thing related merchandise?
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