Today we’re taking a look behind the curtain at an online shop that I’ve personally bought countless records from over the years, All That is Heavy. Recently Casey and Taylor Kelch took over ownership and have been giving some new life to the store that’s based in Texas and founded in 1997. It’s the first online record store dedicated exclusively to all things stoner rock, doom metal, sludge, drone and psych rock.
I had to do a little arm twisting since Taylor isn’t one to be in the spotlight, but I’m happy to introduce you to this mom of four who in the little free time she has between helping run a business and home schooling also really enjoy’s cooking: “I pride myself in being able to cook almost anything from scratch, but I’m a bit of an anarchist and I hate recipes so I don’t use them, which means I can not bake anything other than rustic breads”. She also describes herself as “I’m super shy, ex-mormon… I’m short and I don’t wear makeup. Thats about it.” But I a can assure you there’s much more to her than that!
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
Honestly, it was Casey (my husband) who got me into it. Music has always been his life’s passion. I have trauma issues and have always been super sensitive to sound and it wasn’t until I started healing from those things that I began to even be able to enjoy music. Working at All That is Heavy has helped me see the music and the people in a different light then ever before, too.
I love that I get to work with bands, labels and fans all over this world. So many of the people I’ve met have been incredible and like minded which has definitely helped me in my healing. I absolutely love it now. Like, seeing Sunn O))) at Psycho (Las Vegas) was a very spiritual experience for me (and not just because of the insane amounts of weed used that week.) 🙂
2017 was a terrible year of losses for us and when one of my most favorite people in the world didn’t wake up one morning we were reminded that tomorrow is never promised to anyone. I didn’t want to die without having lived first, and we set forward to change our life and focus on what mattered most to us. We jumped in, relocated to a place that was more stoner rock and family friendly, and started doing this full time not long after that.
What is a day in the life like?
Well, we have four kids and until recently we homeschooled all of them. So, I spend a lot of time wife-ing and mom-ing, but we still get hundreds of emails and social media messages every day. That and packing the boxes probably take up the most time.
What has been your favorite / the most gratifying thing you’ve worked on?
Shortly after we bought All That is Heavy Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area, where we lived at the time, very hard. A lot of people we knew lost everything they had, including our parents. We helped donate rare records from our Vault collection to the End Hip End It Hurricane Harvey Fundraiser show a couple months later.
We also had a table there right next to one of the three stages to sell records and got to meet so many amazing people that day. It was also my first time to see a lot of great bands like Elder, Forming the Void, and Acid King. I met so many great bands at that event and even added local bands to the store after that show. I still talk to friends I made that day. In fact, we even ran into a few people from that show at Psycho a few weeks back!
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
I think sometimes some people forget we aren’t amazon. We are two humans (who have four young kids and a cat named pickleflower underfoot) and the occasional nasty message hurts. Also, shipping and all that goes into our shipping process to make it as great as it can be is quite literally exhausting, but I’m always thankful for the work!
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Casey worked in manufacturing for around 17 years so when we first decided we wanted to get into working with vinyl it made sense for us to look into starting a pressing plant. We spent a lot of time looking into that and we called other plants and equipment distributors and asked questions. We also took small business classes and looked into all the different programs that were offered near Salt Lake City, where we lived at the time. Casey was already on the mailing list for All That is Heavy, and so when the newsletter went out announcing that it may become for sale we decided to look into that instead. Trying to purchase it was actually really difficult and we felt like it was never going to happen and that we wouldn’t find a way to make it work, but we just kept trying. We were determined to make some big changes in our life at the time and i feel like All That is Heavy was the right opportunity at the right time for so many reasons.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
Casey collects, yes! He was a DJ long ago and when we first started dating and he moved in with me he had to borrow a trailer just to get his records into my house! I’ve bought and kept favorites over the years, more so recently than ever before, but still I’d say 90% of the records not for sale here are his.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
I love ultra limited variants…but dude I hate the flippers! They are definitely a turn off, but I’m sure every industry has some version of them.
What’s the band that’s on constant rotation at the moment?
I really love Forming the Void right now!
All That is Heavy: @allthatisheavy