In light of recent supply chain issues and manufacturing bottlenecks, Jack White has called upon major labels to build their own vinyl record pressing plants.
White’s Third Man Records began focusing on vinyl production in 2009, taking the effort a step further when he opened Third Man Pressing in 2017. The pressing print has since been available to anyone to press a record.
In the past year, partly due to the supply chain issues triggered by COVID-19, White has invested in more record presses, more employees, and more shifts to accommodate the growing demand for vinyl products.
“At least once a week, without fail, someone will reach out asking me to help expedite their vinyl record manufacturing. It’s a natural thought… knowing that I own a pressing plant and have my own record label,” White says in a statement. “With industry-wide turnaround times for vinyl currently leaning towards the length of a human pregnancy, it’s obvious, in a world so contingent on being of-the-moment and timed just right (a single, an album, a tour etc.), these timelines are the killers of momentum, soul, artistic expression, and far too often, livelihoods.”
He continues, “While the entirety of vinyl investment and framework in the past decade has originated from independent companies and investors, the bigger problems we now see require major solutions. In this spirit, I turn to our collegial big brothers in the music world, Sony, Universal, and Warner, and politely implore them to help alleviate this unfortunate backlog and start dedicating resources to build pressing plants themselves.
“The issue is, simply, we have ALL created an environment where the unprecedented demand for vinyl records cannot keep up with the rudimentary supply of them,” White adds.
White goes on to explain that it has never been easier to purchase a vinyl press in the past four decades, signaling that major labels have no excuse not to join in.
“We’re all on the same team with the same goals. I truly believe that with a good faith investment in the infrastructure that got us here, we can continue on this upward trajectory and further inspire the worlds around us. Now is the time,” White sums.
White also announced the special guests for his upcoming, aptly-named “Supply Chain Issues Tour.” North American guests include Sugar Tradition, Olivia Jean, Geese, July Talk, Men I Trust, Starcrawler, JD McPherson, Be Your Own Pet, Briston Marone, Chicano Batman, Natalie Bergman, The Afghan Whigs, The Kills, The Backseat Lovers, Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Ezra Furman, Cautious Clay, and Glove. UK and European dates will see White supported by Chubby & The Gang, Yard Act, SONS, Doctor Victor, Ko Ko Mo, Larkin Poe, Equal Idiots, and Mdou Moctar.
The tour, which features White’s first headlining shows in four years, begins with two sold out album release shows on April 8 and 9 at Detroit’s Masonic Temple Theatre, and continues through late August. For a full list of upcoming shows, click here.
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