A veteran of indie bands such as Repeater, Forsythe owns Analog Record Store in Tustin and specializes in vintage audio equipment as well as new and used vinyl. After a coronavirus-impacted year, he’s looking forward to Record Store Day on July 17—a celebration of independent record stores worldwide.
Growing Up With Vinyl
My dad was a soft rock guy. He loves Dylan and The Band and rock acts like that. My mom was more of an Ozzy gal. She turned me on to Black Sabbath and eventually Alice in Chains, which is pretty funny. They still have their huge collection, which is probably equal to mine. It’s fun because they have first pressings of all the good classic rock and folk records, so I don’t have to take any of that stuff home.
Going Into Business On An Impulse
Truly, it was incredibly impulsive. I’ve been a musician my whole life. I did the whole band and touring stuff. When you get into your mid-20s, you start to wonder if you can sustain it. It’s a lot to be in a band with a bunch of dudes, and going cross-country all the time. When I would come home from tours, I was working retail jobs in a million different stores. So retail is what I knew. I didn’t have an idea to open a store, but the opportunity presented itself when I opened my first (now-shuttered) store at The OC Mix.
Stocking The Shop
What sets us apart from some of the other record shops is we (sell) vintage audio equipment. I think a lot of people like our shop because we have a lot of cool ’70s receivers, turntables, and speaker sets that have been serviced. If people like vintage, they like to enjoy them on the older systems. Musically, we’re pretty much across the board. We have everything from Frank Ocean to Frank Sinatra, and everything in between.
Keeping Vinyl Relevant
I think having a tangible collection is something a lot of people really enjoy, and with everything moving to streaming, people have less of a tangible connection to music. I think that’s driving people more and more toward vinyl. Before, if you had an iTunes collection and you downloaded songs, you still had a library of your favorite stuff. And CDs are gone now at this point. So vinyl and streaming are the two main ways that people get music. With a record, you’re listening to it how it was meant to be listened to: all the way through.
What Record Store Day Is All About
For Record Store Day, a lot of labels get together and create cool one-off pressings of records. It might be a rare reissue of something people haven’t been able to find in a while, or a live set of a band people love, or a special boxed set. They’re all limited editions of things that we aren’t allowed to put out until we open that day. People line up like crazy. Last year, there was a Rolling Stones “Let It Bleed” reissue on red vinyl. People come out like crazy for these records. We usually do a big sale on top of that. We also put out a bunch of dollar records and make it a big day.