SVEN KOBE – A Dive…
Some people have bigger record collections than most of us. We have recently been digging a little in the collections of major collectors in "A Dive …" and our next target is Sven Kobe from the "Extreme Metal Vinyl" Facebook group.
There is no doubt that you are a person who prefers vinyl. What is it about vinyl that makes you prefer it over the more space-saving formats such as CDs and digital files?
Hi Rune, first thanks for this interview and sorry for not answering in perfect english. You’re right that I prefer vinyl. It all started with tapes (trading), then came vinyl for me and unfortunately, a long period in which I have bought only CDs. A few years ago I returned back to vinyl. I have my entire vinyl & CD collection catalogised. I also have sold some. It was just too much here that I simply did not like and I concentrate more on my favorite bands and try to fill the gaps. Of course, I also buy vinyl of bands I come across and I like.
Why vinyl? I just love a slice out of the case to get to put on the record player to launch the needle, the crackle part, and the sound. And the artworks! 1000 times better than on a small CD.
What kind of turntable do you have?
I have no special record player. It’s an OKANO PL 350 I bought years ago. I bought it after my Technics turntable gave up. But it makes what it should do: play vinyl properly.
Do you remember the very first record you bought or stole?
I have never stolen a record 🙂 The first original record I bought was "Metallica – Kill’em All" on Tape. The first vinyl I bought were "Tankard – The morning after" & "Morgoth – The Eternal Fall". It’s like I said earlier, before buying I was very much into tape trading and copying.
What is the rarest album you’ve got?
That’s always a difficult question. I think the rarest at the moment are Testpressings of "Carcass – Surgical Steel" (don’t know how many exist) and "Amon – Liar In Wait" (only two exist). Testpressings are always rare. Don’t have that many, but some of Sodom, Desaster, Kataklysm, Voivod…My personal rarest records is "Carnivore" first press personally signed by Peter Steele! My holy grail. Or a signed "Carnage – Dark Recollections" in my collection is rare, too….
Does Sven’s record collection consist of metal only? What else can one find that Sven highly appreciates?
You only find Metal here. But all kind of Metal! I have a very wide taste in metal music. Death, Thrash, Black, Speed, Heavy, Power, Hardcore, and so on….And not only old school of the genres….
Do you go to many record fairs and second hand stores and stuff?
Since the introduction of the Euro and internet time, I do not visit record fairs very often. There are not any second hand shops with relevant vinyl in the areal. When I was young and lived near Hanover, it was different. Unfortunately I only had my pocket money or later my small income as a trainee.
Do you spend a lot of time surfing websites / auction sites like Discogs and Ebay?
Yes, and that’s very exepensive for me. But there’s a rule in "Extreme Metal Vinyl" Facebook group:
Rule #1 – Don’t think just buy.
How do you preserve your collection? Is it categorized or is it just helter skelter?
As I wrote in Question 1: Everything is cataloged in tables. But not only on paper. Also the vinyl and the CDs and everything else is sorted properly. I hate unordered collections.
Favorite albums and bands can be a challenge to pick for some of us. You mentioned prior to this interview that you don’t have any specific favorite band or favorite albums, but normally everybody have their favorite bands, especially when we are teenagers. So, what was your first favorite band?
My first favorite Bands were Overkill, Slayer & Metallica
If I say Carcass "Surgical Steel", what do you say?
Carcass is another group which I have liked for years. All their records. But I’m very careful when Bands make an comeback after such a long time like Carcass. When I heard they will do a reunion and make a new record I was very surprised & curious. When I got to know that they got a deal with Nuclear Blast on shore, I thought to myself: This album can only be a really good comeback album. And I was not disappointed. For me it is one of the best comeback albums ever. When the first pre-orders were available on Nuclear Blast, I naturally started ordering. But there is so many different versions which I did not expect. Today I am happy about every single version and glad that I have no gap of this album.
Some people have several or even all different versions of their favorite albums. Like me, I have 18 different vinyl and CD versions of mine and we had a guy here in this series a couple of months ago who had 46 of his. What about you? Do you have all or just a single version of the album if you like it?
It’s not easy to have all Versions of your "favorite" Album when you have more than one favorite Album in all different styles of metal music which you’re listen to….For me, the first pressing is important. And the first pressing in all versions if possible. Whether you buy a re-release in different versions or not, everyone should decide for themselves. It’s all a question of your money and the price. When it’s possible, why not? I buy, when I can and it’s one of my favorite album. In the moment it’s Carcass with "Surgical Steel" with 26 Vinyl & 10 CD & 2 Tape Versions in my collection. Look to all the different Earache FDR pressings of all their cult albums. I love them all, but I can’t buy them all. Or the Bolt Thrower Versions on Metal Blade which were repressed and so on…Perhaps later…But that’s a question of the price….
Which albums would you say are good competitors to "My favorite album" title?
That’s not easy. It depends on my mood. There are so many Albums I like. But most of all it’s this one:
Slayer – Show No Mercy
What about your favorite band?
Fuck, there are so many Bands I like….Too many to write down…Sorry!!!
You are home after a long day’s work and want to relax with some music. What do you, most likely, want to listen to?
Slayer or some kicking in your face Hardcore to come down….
What was the last record your purchase?
Last purchase were all three Puteraeon Albums on vinyl & pre-ordered all versions of "Desaster – Live in Bamberg"
What purchases are you most pleased with?
I’m always pleased with all purchases which I bought from my wantlist to fill my gaps in my collection. Really great are the latest or newest Albums of Carcass, Deicide, Protector (great comeback Album, too), Kataklysm, Amon Amarth, Suffocation, Broken Hope, Legion Of The Damned, Revel In Flesh, Slaughterday, Puteraeon, Hypocrisy, Protector, Sodom, Skeletal Remains, Kreator, Pro-Pain, Overkill and so on.
I just have to ask about this too; which purchases are you least satisfied with?
Massacre -"Back from Beyond"
What’s in or on your player right now?
"Morgoth – Cursed" on the turntable
Where do you stand when it comes to original albums? Do you want a first press or are you pleased with re-mastered re-publications?
I prefer first presses. But when it’s too expensive I take a second press or re-release too. Like Mayhem – Deathcrush, Bathory (yellow goat). Would be great to have a first press, but I don’t pay such prices…I’m satisfied then with a second press or good made re-release…But it must not be remastered…Original Sounds please….
There are split opinions about live albums. Where do you stand and what’s your ultimate live album? What’s so special about this record?
I don’t really like Live Albums… But there are three which I like very well and listen to:
1. Slayer – Decade Of Aggression
2. Running Wild – Ready For Boarding
3. Overkill – Wrecking Your Neck Live (CD)
They all have a real Live Power, when you listen to them. I feel like being on the concert.
What about the gender distribution in your collection; how is that coming along?
There are not much girl Bands in my collection…Astarte is a great girl Band… hahahhaha But there are two other bands with a woman on vocals which I like: Holy Moses & Arch Enemy
The vinyl tax collector is standing at your doorstep and demanding one – 1 – vinyl record as an instant charge. What record do you choose to give away?
I hope that I never need to make a decision like that. Either I would not open the door or give him an album which I could buy back the same day.
Are there any specific albums you are looking for that you absolutely must have in your collection before you die?
There are 4 records I need before I die:
1. "Mayhem – Deathcrush" first press with original inserts
2. "Mayhem – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" first press
3. "Bathory – Bathory" first press with yellow goat Cover
4. "Morbid – December Moon" with white cover and golden logo
Who is the lucky one who takes over the treasure when Sven’s gone? Or will you have an extra-large chest and bring the gold with you into eternity?
The most difficult question of addicted collectors. I would prefer that my collection will end up with someone who is continue collecting and holds in honor.