Bobby Franks is a self-professed vinyl dork. With a collection numbering in the hundreds, he knows a cool-looking platter can mean the difference between a record selling at a show and ending up in a dollar bin—a major factor behind the 28-year-old Las Vegan's recent decision to found Running in Place Records, a vinyl-only label.
He also did it to help out his pals. Since taking a full-time job that requires him to work nights, the former Of Faith and Fire singer and 'zine publisher has found himself removed from the music community. "I don't have time to do a band, but if I didn't do something with my friends somehow, I'd go nuts," he says. "So I figured I'd help out my friends and put out records."
Franks' formula is simple. Take the label's first release, 300 custom-colored 7-inches for local indie outfit Action Cat, titled "The Glasgow Sailor": Franks put up half the money for pressing ($350 of $700) and covered expenses for art and distribution; he and the band ended up with 150 copies apiece to sell.
"The band has complete control," says Franks, a 15-year veteran of the Vegas scene. "They license me the music, give me a recording, and then I press them."
Running in Place's future plans include a 12-inch EP by hardcore group I Am the Thief for November and a 7-inch for freak-rockers The Fucking Party in 2009.