In this interview I talk to Steve all about music, vinyl and Hair Metal Monday.
Steve: I’m Steve Rabideau, aka @stevedestruct. I actually sort of hate that handle now, but I use it because I got Instagram a couple years before I started actually using the app, and that handle was what I did all my band business online with. The name came from a short lived band I was in called Self Destruct. The band was a self fulfilling prophecy but people in our scene started calling me that and it stuck.
Anyway, I’m happily married with twin daughters and an English Bulldog. Born in Windsor, Ontario Canada, but now I live just outside of the city in a small town called Belle River. I am an HVAC Technician (heating and cooling) by trade. I played in bands off and on from about 1997 to 2008. My first serious band Upstart released a 4 song EP in 2002. We were a Hardcore Punk band, sorta like Sick Of It All with a little more Rock ‘n Roll. The last serious band I was in was called Lunacy and we released a full length album in 2007. The sound of the album is Black Album Metallica meets the Metalcore of the time. I’m really proud of it and think it turned out great. If anyone wants to hear it, it’s not online but let me know.
I started listening to music when I was 11 years old when my Dad brought home a tape that was in a used car he bought. The tape was a band called Metallica. I knew the name as I saw older kids in school wearing their T Shirts. It was …And Justice For All and when I popped the tape in it started on the clean part of “One”. By the time the song was done my life had changed. I spent the next bunch of years getting super into Metal and Hard Rock and when I got to High School I met a group of guys that I eventually played in bands with that got me into Hardcore and Punk Rock. I started playing Bass when I was 13 trying my best to become Cliff Burton. From around that point until I met my wife in 2007 my life pretty much centered around music.
How long have you been collecting records and how many do you have in your collection?
I started collecting records in 2010. This year marks 10 years as a collector. The funny thing is for the first 28 years of my life I thought records were stupid. You can’t play them in a car, you have to handle them with care, you can’t easily skip songs. They force you to pay attention to everything…which now are some of the main reasons I love records. I was given a record player by my cousin who was moving out of the country and couldn’t bring it. It sat in a box for 6 months until I was bored one day and hooked it up, incorrectly in fact. I didn’t even know you needed a preamp. She had given me one of those as well. So after some research and “borrowing” what was left of my parents record collection, I was off and running. The Rolling Stones’ “Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass)” was the first record I played and I was hooked. Even on my original rudimentary setup(I still had that Gemini record player when I started my Instagram account, but I’ve since sold it and upgraded) the difference between Analog and Digital had me floored. I started expanding my collection in dollar bins, when you could still get decent stuff in them and actually bought a couple collections online. Both those collections numbered in the hundreds. I kept what I wanted and sold/traded the rest and that allowed me to get some really cool stuff. At one point my collection was a bigger than it is now, but I would rather have quality over quantity. In the last 7-8 years I’ve probably got rid of 500 records. Counting box sets as one, my collection is currently sitting at around 900 records.
Why did you decide to start a vinyl themed Instagram?
I had Instagram for a while before I started using it because quite frankly, I’m no photographer and didn’t know what to do with it. I stumbled on the vinyl community and knew that I wanted to be a part of it. When I got into it I had to find my niche. My pictures are mostly basic and I’m just not creative in that way. So within a few months my captions balloned into full blown reviews/opinion pieces. While I haven’t hit a lofty 10k follower plateau, the feedback I get from my account is that people seem to enjoy what I’m writing as I don’t sugarcoat things. If an album or particular pressing is great, I’ll say so, and if it isn’t, I’ll say so too. People seem to appreciate the honesty. I post other things too, Tapes, CD’s and other stuff I like with the same sort of captions. But it’s mostly vinyl.
Hair Metal Monday is doing well that you and Steve G started. When did you two come up with the idea?
Hair Metal Monday is something I sort of stumbled on in early May. My wife and I were building a house and it was a super stressful time. My records were packed away but I still had access to Tapes and CD’s. I was trying to keep my account active until our house was done and could have access to my vinyl again. On a Monday evening after a particularly stressful day I wanted to unwind with some fun music. What’s the most fun music out there? HAIR METAL. I posted a Ratt tape and made the hashtag. The idea is basically that Mondays suck, and hopefully some fun music can make them better. I asked some Vinyl Community friends to participate and it slowly got rolling from there. When my Hair Metal brother Steve G @diggin_n_pickin started posting in August though is when it really started to gain popularity. He shares my love for the genre and took it on his own to promote the hell out of it. His posts are really creative in general and he does hilarious stories with everyone’s posts. If not for him, the hashtag probably would have died and I’d have stopped doing it. I started posting vinyl around that time again, so that helped. We joke around and he calls me the Father of Hair Metal Monday, and I call him the Stepfather.
What’s your favourite vinyl you own and what is your holy grail?
Same answer for both questions. My favorite and my Holy Grail is my original pressing of Metallica’s Ride The Lightning on Megaforce Records in VG+ condition. For those who don’t know, Metallica got their major label deal on Elektra shortly after the release of this album. Elektra bought their contract from Megaforce owner John Zazula with a few stipulations. Megaforce had pressed 75,000 copies of the album on vinyl, which Elektra allowed them to sell with all further pressings being done by Elektra. Megaforce still retained the rights to Kill ‘Em All until 1988 I believe when they reverted to Elektra. Since Megaforce did multiple pressings of Kill ‘Em All vs. the one pressing they did of Ride The Lightning, that’s why you’ll see an original pressing of Ride The Lightning sell for more money than an original pressing of Kill ‘Em All. The funny thing is I bought it before I really knew anything about vinyl and got it for a really great deal. A couple years later I realized what I had and was floored. I’ve heard multiple different pressings of RTL, I even own a Canadian first pressing, and none compare sonically to the original press. From the opening acoustic guitars of “Fight Fire With Fire” to Cliff Burtons growling bass fills on “The Call Of Ktulu”, everything is so crisp and defined. There is apparently a European Music For Nations Direct Metal Mastering pressing that sounds just as good, but that’s one I’ve never heard.
Who’s in your top five of favourite bands?
In no real order:
Metallica – My first musical love. I don’t love everything they’ve ever done, but there’s no denying their first 5 albums are flawless and Load is a damn good Hard Rock Record. As far as vinyl goes, they are a collectors dream.
Megadeth – While Megadeth’s musical output isn’t as consistent as I’d like it, when they are at their best there’s no one better. They were among the first bands I found after Metallica introduced me to Metal. And straight up, Dave Mustaine is the best riff writer in metal not named Iommi.
Anthrax – Once you find the Metallica and Megadeth, you find Anthrax. Anthrax is a personal favorite due to the fact their music still crushes, but their lyrics aren’t always doom and gloom. They have a sense of humor.
Motley Crue – Around the same time I found Metallica a childhood friends Uncle introduced us to Hair Metal. That’s where my love of the genre started, and the Crue is the best.
Guns N’ Roses – It was hard to love music in the early 90’s and not love Guns N’ Roses. They were the biggest band in the world and were quite literally everywhere. And they rule. Original US pressings of Use Your Illusions 1 & 2 are my white whales.
If you could have dinner with any musician from any time, who would it be and why?
I’ve been lucky enough to meet and in a few cases converse with a few musical heroes of mine including Dimebag Darrell, Scott Ian, Jamey Jasta, Jimmy Gestapo, the guys in Armored Saint, the guys in Sick Of It All, and they were all super cool. But if I had to pick one person, it would be Lemmy. Motorhead is one of my favorite bands and the stories that man could have told, I couldn’t even imagine.
Any recommendations on movies, tv shows or music?
One of the reasons I joined the Vinyl Community was for music recomendations, I am sort of a musical recluse. I don’t really seek out new music as much as I should. Cheap vinyl (when it was cheap anyway) helped with that, but I love seeing all kinds of records I haven’t heard of.
As far as TV, I just finished Season 2 of Mindhunter which was great, Chernobyl was a favorite from this year as and When They See Us was heartbreakingly good too. I am very behind on movies due to watching so many with my kids but I watched Dolemite Is My Name last week and it was really good.