Heavy Metal Collectors: An interview series
Part 23: Naberius (Ohio)
Inspiration can come from a number of unique sources. The concept behind this interview series was developed over time but recently crystallized in my mind. As the owner of a large library I’ve often pondered about the nature of collecting Heavy Metal music (Cassettes, vinyl, CD’s, memorabilia etc) and how and why people accumulate Metal ‘stuff’. In 2017, Martin Popoff wrote a book called METAL COLLECTORS which I read, thoroughly enjoyed and reviewed. It occurred to me that there are lots of people out there with pretty massive Metal collections so I decided I wanted to chat to some of them and interview them for the site.
My concept is to, over time ask people with some pretty impressive, monster collections the same series of questions. I’m basically stealing that idea of METAL COLLECTORS (Sorry Martin!) and expanding into an interview series. Lastly, the name for this series was spawned by a gentleman by the name of Ray Wawrzyniak. He appeared in the Rush documentary TIME STAND STILL. Ray is a Rush super-fan and in one particularly charming scene in the film, the genial and friendly (but clearly obsessed) Ray shows off one piece of his Rush collection and refers to it with barely hidden glee as ‘Spectacularly Majestic’. It was in fact ‘just’ an old piece of paper, (a Rush ad from a magazine from 1979) but that phrase alone and his enthusiasm I feel embodies the spirit of Metal collecting, because I suspect that many Metal collectors have those same moments. Check out the 1:30 minute mark of the video below.
If you, or know someone you know, has a monster Metal collection (in the 1000+ range) please feel free to get them in touch with me!
Tell us a bit about yourself! Where are you from?
Well, my name is Tim, or “Naberius,” depending on where you find me. I’m from Ohio and play in the black/death metal band Manticore and the black metal band, Contagious. I collect a lot of different things, including music (obviously), horror movies, paperback horror books, and action figures from the 80’s and 90’s.
Tell us how you started collecting Metal! When did you start?
I never really set out to collect metal, it just kind of happened that way. When I was a young teenager, around 13-14, we have a used music/movie/video game store here that used to sell their used extreme metal CDs for $2.50 a piece because no one knew what they were. I’d spend countless hours just going through their selection and picking out things that looked like they might be good based on band name, album art, etc. since this was in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, before information was as easily obtainable on the internet. I’d bring a little stack home every week or so and next thing I knew, I had 100 CDs, 200 CDs, and so on. It just spiraled from there. It became like an addiction and I couldn’t get enough of discovering new bands. I got a lot of good first presses and such back in those days. The store is still around and I still go from time to time but, unfortunately, they’ve caught on to the metal craze in the last 10 or so years and price their items off of eBay and Discogs and such. Shame.
How big is your collection?
I currently have 4,069 items in my collection. Not as big as some, but it is a good 95% metal and it grows constantly.
Can you give us a break down? (Vinyl, vs. Cassette, vs. CD vs. digital)
12″ vinyl: 255
10″ vinyl: 7
7″ vinyl: 119
8 track: 5
I don’t collect digital unless it’s a band I really like and that’s the only option.
How do you count your collection? For example. If you have say for example, multiple copies of KISS-Destroyer on the following media; Vinyl, 8-Track, Cassette, CD, and digital format do you count that as five items or just 1 item?
Actually, I do have Rock and Roll Over on CD, vinyl, cassette, and 8 track haha. They’re counted as 4 items. My question was always how do people count split releases by bands? Personally, I count them as one since it is one actual item but technically they are releases in multiple bands’ catalogs, so…?
When you collect certain bands, do you buy all of their stuff such as Live albums, EP’s, Compilations, box-sets etc?
Yes, if I’m talking about bands I actively seek out and collect, I will get anything that they release. Other bands, well, if I see something for a good price, I’m not going to pass it up.
How do you organize your collection if at all; by genre, Chronologically? Alphabetically?
My collection is alphabetized and then chronological, with splits at the end, followed by compilations and soundtracks, all still alphabetized in their respective grouping.
Do you insure your collection?
I don’t. I should probably look into that as it keeps growing.
How do you store your collection?
The CDs are stored in media shelves bought from department stores or Amazon. All the tape racks I’ve built with old pallet wood that I’ve brought home from work and painted and sanded, etc. My vinyls used to be on display on a shelf with the spines facing out but my cat decided one day that he was going to try to use them as a scratching post, so they have been moved to milk crates on a bench in the closet. Little bastard.
What is your preferred genre(s)? Do you have a genre break down of your collection? For example 15% Death Metal, 25% Black Metal etc?
My preferred genre is definitely black metal followed very closely by death metal. If I had to guess, I’d say my collection is about 40% black metal, 40% death metal, 15% thrash, power, doom, heavy etc and 5% odds and ends. That, of course, leaves out the bands with big discographies, ie. Kiss, King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, Black Sabbath, etc. as those are huge chunks of it, I’m sure.
Do you sell and trade or strictly buy?
I really don’t sell unless someone makes me an offer I just can’t refuse. I used to trade but I had some pretty bad deals, of my own accord, that left a bad taste in my mouth. Trader’s remorse rather than bad trades. Got rid of some stuff I should not have way back in the early days when I was scoring those first presses for cheap so I mainly just buy now so there’s no remorse. Unless I find extra copies of something. Then I’ll sell or trade those.
What is your preferred format?
My preferred format is CD. It’s just simply the best format. It’s easy to store, takes up little space, lasts for a LONG time etc, etc. I did the vinyl thing before the big craze hit some years ago but I’ve all but stopped buying it. It’s big and bulky and unmanageable and sounds like shit unless you have a good system. Plus, it’s in fashion right now so prices are ridiculous. Same for tapes. So people are getting rid of their CDs for good prices right now because it’s a media on it’s very last breath. It’ll be back, though. Just like vinyl and cassettes. It’s a cycle.
How do your track your collection? Do you use a spreadsheet or one of the on-line services or even a hand-written list?
I use Discogs. It’s just a really great tool for collectors, no matter what anyone has to say about it. I do have a backup spread sheet, though. A website could shut down at any given moment and I don’t want to be left at square one.
What is your most valuable piece? (not in terms of sentimental value, but in actual terms of resale value on the open market. ie. Goldmine etc. )
According to Discogs, my two most expensive pieces are the Samhain CD/VHS box set and Type O Negative’s “Dead Again” box set on double vinyl with the shirt, etc. The funniest part is they are both items I paid nothing or nearly nothing for. The Samhain box set was given to us by our frequent mechanic down the street that we got to kind of know when he saw my wife’s Misfits tattoo and was like “Hey, I have this just laying around if you want it.” The Type O box set I got in the clearance section of FYE shortly after it was released for like $13.
What is your rarest item in your collection?
Rarest in terms of limited in quantity by other bands would be my Geimhre “Unholy Celtic Land” tape. Very minimally known band out of Canada. From what I’ve read, the tape was limited to around 10 or so copies and just given out to friends at the start of the band. I also have the vinyl test pressing of Craft’s “Fuck the Universe” album, limited to like 8. But, playing in bands, I also have some rehearsals and such that are technically unreleased and limited to 1 so I suppose those count.
What is the most you have paid for an item?
I think the most I’ve paid for a CD is like $35. I don’t feed the trolls. My wife has bought me some vinyl nearing $100 for my birthdays and such, but I’ve personally never paid that much.
Do you collect other non-music Metal memorabilia such as books, DVD’s, T-shirts, stickers, hot sauces, wine/beer etc.
Absolutely. I have DVDs, VHS, books, stickers, posters, hats, hoodies, patches, shirts, etc. I have it all.
What is the one item you have been searching for that you cannot seem to find?
I’ve actually been looking for a black/death metal band out of Florida called Yeti’s CD, released on Skaught Productions in 1998 for a decent price. I have all of the tracks, plus apparently some unreleased ones, but I still want a physical copy of it.
Why do you collect Metal music?
I don’t know. It’s just how my brain is wired. There’s just something about sitting in a room full of endless possibilities of music that I don’t think non-collectors can understand.
In a morbid and Metal question, what do you plan to do with your collection when you die?
I had originally told my wife to get with someone that knows something about the values and sell everything because she could probably pay off the house and buy a new car, but my teenage son is starting to show interest in this type of thing so if he sticks with it, it’ll probably go to him.
Final thoughts? Feel free to use this space to share any unique or interesting items about you and your collection and/or share ideas and advice for your fellow collectors.
I guess just thanks for the opportunity to run my mouth some. Death to digital!