This week meet Ashley Sarchia she is a production coordinator at United Record Pressing (URP) which was founded in 1949 in Nashville, TN. The company was known for pressing one million records per month and for unique history. United also boasts a storied collection of pressing a variety of influential musical titles. No matter what your relationship is with vinyl be it a collector, in manufacturing, or something else you’ve likely heard of URP.
In her free time you can find her watching Buffalo sports (Sabres, Bills, and Beauts), playing guitar and drums, attending concerts (music and stand-up comedy), gaming, crate digging wherever and whenever she can, continuing to build her toy, movie, and music collections, and hanging out with her cats, dogs, and bunny.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
I’ve always loved music and have collected various music formats my entire life. As my passion for vinyl continued to grow, I’d read about vinyl manufacturers in the United States and even tried talking my dad into starting a pressing plant of our own. When I moved to Nashville in 2016, I had the full intention and desire to work for URP. I consider it my own Music City Miracle (Go Bills!) that things fell into place the way they did.
What is a day in the life like?
Every day is different in vinyl manufacturing, no matter your role in it. Not only is every record we make unique, but each record has its own story. While I strive to perfect each step of the process, there are so many parts to making records, it is nearly impossible – which seems fitting since records are not a perfect medium.
Some things I do in a day include corresponding with customers and colleagues, keying in and regularly monitoring a high volume of orders, visiting various departments to ask questions and get order updates, and preparing orders for production by gathering all necessary print components and metal parts.
My days are packed, but I always make time for wisecracks with my coworkers and keeping my office decor on point.
What has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
My favorite project so far has been Michelle Branch’s “Hopeless Romantic.” I’d been a fan of Michelle’s, like many, since I was a teenager. I was at a show at The Basement East to see local Nashville band ELLE MACHO, and Michelle was there as well, so I invited her and now husband Patrick Carney to come check out their record when it was on press. Sharing the process with them meant the world to me. I wish more artists had the opportunity to see their work come to life like this. It’s still mind-blowing to me, and I consider myself spoiled because I get to see it every day!
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
I’d say the most difficult part of my job is not having the ability to control every step of making records. It’s a delicate process with many steps, eyes, ears, and hands involved along the way. There will be times where things don’t go smoothly and on-the-spot problem-solving has to kick in. While any hiccups along the way can cause some frustration, I always see them as a learning opportunity, and it’s a rewarding feeling to take knowledge from a challenging situation.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Working at a pressing plant takes passion, patience, and strong attention to detail.
If you love vinyl, want to create a beautiful product, and want to work with others who are equally passionate, this is the right place to be.
Vinyl is a growing industry, and there’s likely a pressing plant in your area. Or you could always move to an area that has one, like I did.
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.
Seeing new pressing plants sprout up excites me. I love learning about new technology in the industry, whether it’s new presses, new vinyl colors and combinations, or new packaging. I really like the direction that box sets are going. Have you seen the South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut soundtrack from Record Store Day? That was an awesome package!
Tell me what you’re listening to right now:
United Record Pressing: @UnitedRecordPressing
Facebook: United Record Pressing