Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Marty Leblanc from Live Wire Music Emporium and organizer of the Moncton Record Expo!

To keep our record fair momentum going. We now have Marty Leblanc from Live Wire in Moncton as our next interview!

Marty is a great guy and I always enjoy taking a look around his store.

He is the sole organizer of the Moncton record expo which has been a great success. I am sure most of my readers have been to Marty's expo before. The next one is in less than two weeks! I'll see you all there!

Here we go!

Name: Marty Leblanc

City/Town: Moncton, NB

Job: Music Store Owner ( Live Wire Music Emporium)


Maritime Vinyl (MV) - What do you collect? Vinyl; CD’s; Cassettes; 8 tracks; bootlegs; music memorabilia; magazine; etc..

Marty Leblanc (ML) - I’m what they say a “Music Junky” I started collecting when I was 6. I was big into collecting Hit Parader magazines and cassettes back in the 80’s. I was also into old school memorabilia like Beatles/Kiss items ex: 45 holder, figurines, and name brand products with your favourite band/artist. When I was 16, I went to my first flea market and fell in love with all the used items people were selling like Record Players, Vinyl, and 8-tracks. I still remember picking up a Meat Loaf reel-to-reel for $5.

MV - Do you prefer one audio format more than others? (example: vinyl more than cd’s)

ML - I actually like both. I find CDs are quick and easy for trips or walk around the park and have a clean sound. Vinyl on the other hand has a warmer sound to it for that sitting at home and relax time.

MV - What is your favourite genre of music? Some of your favourite artists?

ML - I like 70’s Rock and Metal. I also listen to Blues, Country, and Rap. For my favourite bands/artist well the list is endless but in the top 10 I would have to say The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Hank Williams, Pink Floyd,  Scorpions,  Ozzy/Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper.

MV - How big is your collection?

ML - I have a little over 2000 lps in my personal collection right now and over 5000 lps at the store.

MV - Do you concentrate your collection on one or more artists in particular?

ML - I collect mostly 70’s/80’s Rock & Metal but I do have a variety of Punk, Jazz/Blues, Rap, Country & French records as well.

MV - What is the first album you remember purchasing? Do you still have it?

ML - My first record was Led Zeppelin IV that I found at the yearly Sussex Flea Market back in 1996. I do still have it in my collection but over the years I picked up a better copy.

MV - What is your favourite item in your collection?

ML - I would have to say my banned copy of Guns ‘N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction is my favourite Item.

MV - Do you still actively collect or was this something you concentrated on in the past?

ML - I’m always searching for that odd gem. Even when collections come by the store I bring them home first to compare the condition with my own (the advantage of a record store owner).

MV - What is your preferred way of adding to your collection? Shopping online? Flea Markets? Independent music stores? Etc… Any favourite store or websites?  

ML - My favourite places would have to be Yard Sales and Flea Markets ‘cause you never know what you’ll find. I also like going to stores around Canada. My favourites are Birdman Sound Ottawa ON, Beatniks Montreal PQ, Second Spin Saint John NB, Backstreet Records Saint John NB, Select Sounds Bedford NS

MV - How do you store your collection? Shelves? Boxes? Your attic? I have metal shelves that are nice and secure.

ML - Does your significant other support your collection? Did you have to convince him/her? She doesn’t understand why I need so much music but accepts it knowing I’m a music store owner

MV - What is on your “wish list” at the moment?

ML - At the moment I’m looking for: Beatles – Yesterday & Today (Butcher Cover)

MV - Do you know any other collectors?

ML - I know lots of collectors on line as well around the Maritimes. We always talk about our finds and try to wheel and deal and trade items from our collections.

MV - You have been the owner/operator of  “Live Wire Music Emporium” for a number of years. What is it like to own your own independent record store in 2012?

ML - It’s hard work and exciting at the same time. Hours go by fast during the day when you’re doing something you like and there’s always something to do.

MV - Do you still get a lot of new faces walking into your store or is it mainly repeat customers?

ML - It’s actually both, you’ll get your regulars that come in once a week to chat and share music stories. Then you get what I call “Hawks” which are customers that come in every day to have first picks on anything that comes in the store. Around May – Aug is tourist season so you get all sorts of customers from all around. I’ve seen people from New York, Toronto, California and even England come by to shop.

MV - Are vinyl record collections becoming easier or harder to find?

ML - I find used records are getting harder because there are more people collecting. It’s good that companies are getting back in the game to print vinyl cause it’s easier to find that hard gem for your collection.

MV - What do you think of “record store day” and has it be beneficial for Live Wire?

ML - I love “record store day” ‘cause it’s like Christmas for Record Freaks like myself. You never know what they’ll be printing that year. For us as well we like to have sales and clear out some of our used vinyl for the public.

MV - You also host the semi-annual “Moncton Record Expo”. I have been a vendor at this event before as well as a customer and am always happy to see such a huge turnout for this event. Has it grown since you started the expo?

ML - I find each year the attendance grows higher and higher. We also have variety of vendors as far from Ottawa and Montreal this year that want to book so I’m surprised and happy how much the word went out.


MV - I know a lot of people that plan their weekend around your event. Do you hear of many people travelling far to get there?

ML - Absolutely, It’s all over the Maritimes. From Saint-John, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax, Truro. I also saw people from Bangor, Montreal, and Alberta coming down. If they’re vinyl fanatics and can get a cheap plain ticket or they have family around here they’re definitely coming to spend some money at the Expo.

MV - This event has been a great success and you get a lot of vendors. Are most vendors record store owners? Or do you get many collectors trying to trade their vinyl?

ML - It’s actually both, we have private collectors, music store owners as well dealers from flee markets and internet stores Ex: Ebay, Kijiji


MV - I just did an interview with one of the co-organizers of the Halifax record expo, and he also mentions how he is looking forward to your Moncton expo. Has the Halifax record expo taken away from yours or is it healthy to have both. There seems to be a large crowd at both.

ML - Not a bit, if you’re crazy about vinyl like I am you’ll go to both shows. I’m actually glad that there’s one in Halifax again ‘cause they haven’t had any for a while and for them to be on #3 must mean that they’re doing something right. I’ve only heard positive feedback from the HRF and being in Halifax it brings in a different crowd of vendors and people.

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