Dance Gavin Dance are a band of many colors. Consider how the Sacramento quintet have, throughout their 15-year career, folded elements of post-hardcore, prog-fusion, top 40 pop, rap, Latin rock and much, much more into their repertoire, mostly recently with their especially eclectic ninth album, Afterburner. The physical presence of their catalog is equally kaleidoscopic, with the act having delivered myriad shades of colored vinyl for fans to collect over the years. That said, album pressings on wild tone combos like "Coke Bottle with Doublemint splatter," "Yellow Highlighter" and "Purple Smoke" can sometimes appear in runs of just 100, which, in turn, have been flipped for hundreds on resale markets like Discogs.com. Co-vocalist Jon Mess' shout of "only eight editions of the limited left" on Afterburner single "Three Wishes" rings especially poignant — frustrating, even — to the folks that missed out on the pre-sale. Dance Gavin Dance are, in reality, a completist's nightmare.
While Afterburner was released digitally back in April, COVID-19-related delays at the pressing plant pushed the arrival of vinyl and CD copies to July 10th, and today (July 21st) a Revolver-exclusive, limited-edition "White & Bone" vinyl variant was just revealed. (Pre-order yours now before they're gone!) With the rainbow's worth of Afterburner variants finally hitting turntables, bassist Tim Feerick — a rabid record collector in his own right — spoke with Revolver on the ins-and-out of Dance Gavin Dance's vinyl empire.
DO YOU HAVE MANY DANCE GAVIN DANCE VARIANTS IN YOUR OWN COLLECTION?
TIM FEERICK Rise is usually pretty cool and will send us each a lot of copies, so most of us have all the variants — at least from the first batch of them. If they keep making variants on the same record for another year or two, then they don't send us those, because it's just ridiculous at that point. "Stop sending me this record — I already have five!"
THE PHYSICAL COPIES OF AFTERBURNER ARE STARTING TO SHOW UP THIS WEEK. WHAT VINYL COLORS HAVE YOU SEEN SO FAR? WHAT ARE YOU HOLDING ONTO?
I've seen so many of them that I've actually forgotten what they all look like. The last one I saw looked like Slimer from the Ghostsbusters — it was green. It was bundled with a blanket, or something crazy like that. [500 copies were bundled with a 50" x 60" woven blanket, which are now sold out.] My favorite are the tri-colored ones, those are my jam. We don't do a ton of marble or swirl, but those are cool, too.
I mean, it's funny with the variants. Some people will think, "Aw, man, this is such a cash grab," and, well ... yeah! We're trying to make money! We're not trying to grab the cash out of your pocket, though, because you don't have to get it. I get both sides, because I'm a mega vinyl collector [too]. There are times where I'll see a record that I already have, I'll see a cool [new] color come out and I'll buy it. I'm not a completist, though. That's a tough road to go down, especially if you're a Dance Gavin Dance fan. You'll never be done.
DOES THE BAND HAVE A HAND IN CHOOSING THE SPECIFIC COLORS?
It's totally in Rise's hands, [but] if there's anything specific that any of us are dreaming of, we'll push for it. I did text Sean [Heydorn, Rise's founder] to do a picture disc, and he was already three steps ahead of me. I was like, "Do a picture disc!," and he sent me a picture of it [already made].
WAS THAT FOR AFTERBURNER?
Yeah. It came out really cool, too. It's got a pentagram on it!
THE EARLIER DANCE GAVIN DANCE RECORDS DIDN'T RECEIVE VINYL PRESSINGS UNTIL THEY WERE COLLECTED IN A BOX SET IN 2013
I remember we were on a tour when the box set came out. It was such a good deal. Like, 50 bucks for six records.
THE OTHER SIDE OF IT IS THAT PEOPLE HAVE RESOLD THOSE ON DISCOGS FOR OVER $400 — THAT'S THE HIGHEST IT'S GONE FOR SO FAR. AS A COLLECTOR YOURSELF, DO YOU FEEL FOR FANS THAT ARE PAYING THOSE KINDS OF PRICES?
I feel for them, in a way, but I fall for that, too. I'll totally go online and buy some record for a hundred bucks, and then the company will reissue it six months later for $20. It's such a weird game of impulse, you know? You just impulsively buy something. I guess at that point they thought there was no chance it would get printed again, but that's never true. Any band whose label still exists, and where there's a market for people to buy that record, it'll get reissued. I always tell people that if they really want a specific record, just wait. It's going to get reissued.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE RAREST DANCE GAVIN DANCE RECORD MIGHT BE?
It seems to fluctuate, but for a while it was the Happiness album, the first pressing outside of the box — that was hard to get. Now, I think it's the tour exclusives. I've heard the tour-exclusive, instrumental version of Artificial Selection is hard to come by. We did some alternate covers for Mothership with pretty sweet artwork. But anyone who wants our records can get 90 percent of them for normal price.
ISN'T THERE ALSO A MISPRINT RECORD WHERE YOU'RE MISTAKENLY BILLED AS "DANCE DAVIN DANCE"?
That's the Acceptance Speech CD. The first huge batch of them say "Dance Davin Dance" [on the spine]. I know our vinyl records have misspellings and lyrical errors, too. It'll have a song title with a totally different song's lyrics next to it. There are little things like that [across the catalog]. I always liked misprints — it's kind of funny.
WHEN DID YOU START COLLECTING RECORDS?
I started buying records when I was 19 or 20, just for fun. I would go to thrift stores. I know the first records I got were John Lennon's Imagine, and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. I went very classic with it.
YOUR INSTAGRAM PROFILE SUGGESTS YOU HAVE A THING FOR SOUNDTRACKS FROM MONDO, THE SMALL-RUN MOVIE SCORE IMPRINT BASED OUT OF AUSTIN.
It feels like they haven't put out much stuff I'm into lately, but they've covered so many good [soundtracks]. Actually, I just bought [John Williams' score to] Jaws. There was a Jaws anniversary celebration last month, so I finally got the record. The artwork was super sick. I love the Mondo artists — Tyler Stout is my favorite. I don't know if you saw the Guardians of the Galaxy one he did. He did the art for Drive, too.
WHAT'S THE SWEETEST VINYL SCORE YOU'VE MADE?
I worked at a record store maybe 10 years ago, and the whole time I worked there I didn't leave work without bringing home three or four records every shift. We would get used records, but I think my craziest scores have just come from being in the right place at the right time on the internet. I remember when Death Grips' Ex-Military came out. I grabbed a copy, and those are worth $500 now. I should've bought five! But I've got one to listen to.
DO YOU GO RECORD SHOPPING ON TOUR?
Big time. I do it before getting food. I'll put myself together [in the morning], get a coffee, and then I'll look for a record store or a comic book store. The crazy thing is, where we live all the record stores have pretty much been wiped out. When you tour, you start to see that there are still surviving record stores across America, which is rad! I always come home with a big stack of stuff.
ON THE NEW ALBUM'S "THREE WISHES" THERE'S A PART WHERE JON SCREAMS, "ONLY EIGHT EDITIONS OF THE LIMITED LEFT." HOW DOES THAT LINE RESONATE WITH YOU, AS A RECORD COLLECTOR?
He says that? [Laughs] I don't know what the hell that means, but if I see him this week I'll ask him, for sure. With [Jon's] lyrics ... sometimes I need a booklet, man.