VINYL BOOTY CALLS Pirates Press

The music industry
pitches and yaws, merch company Pirates Press comes to the… rescue?

 

BY RANDY HARWARD

 

With a music industry apocalypse looming, and vinyl rises
like a waxier zombie of the dear, decomposed love of your life, it only makes
sense to mix metaphors and bring up pirates. Allow us to introduce you to Pirates
Press
, a San Francisco-based vinyl/merch company and record label skippered by
Eric “Skippy” Mueller and his motley crew of “fifteen pirates, most here in
S.F., but a couple spread out across the country and two in Prague, as well.”

 

Aaarrr! Mueller
started Pirates Press with the ostensibly ironic intent to “protect independent
labels, bands, artists and businesses from being swindled and handicapped by
big corporate manufacturers who really don’t care about them.” Now PP is the
go-to company for indie and major labels alike looking to manufacture cool,
collectable booty and loot. Vinyl is the specialty, and PP handles everything
from recording to design to fulfillment-but design is their forte; they put out
the good ol’ black wax as well as visually stunning picture discs and
multi-colored, swirly platters that look good enough to eat. They also produce
T-shirts and promo swag-anything a band needs to promote themselves, or just
wants to see their name on because it’s cool. In a short five years, over 2500
entities-bands from Bongzilla to My Chemical Romance, labels from Relapse to
Reprise; comedians from Lewis Black to Brian Posehn – have had their products
Pirated.

 

To explain the success of Pirates Press, Mueller invokes the
ubiquitous business maxim, “You make one happy customer, and they tell ten
others.”

 

Recently, Mueller and crew turned their talents inward and started
a label, releasing music and Pirates products for Cock Sparrer, the Re-Volts,
Lucky Stiffs and The Ratchets. “We’re probably all most proud of the stuff
we’ve put out on our label,” says Mueller, adding it’s tough to choose a
favorite among his babies. “We’re involved in so many amazing projects for
others, and they’re the reason we have the privilege of being a label [too]. That’s
why this business is so amazing.

 

“Vinyl just keeps on keepin’ on,” he continues. “We do all
we can to stay up with trends-and even start ‘em. As the industry changes and realizes how strong it really is, the sky
is the limit. Just wait… Fisher Price will start making turntables again!”

 

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