A fire in Banning, California is looking like it could have massive impacts on what has become a booming vinyl record industry. The fire took place at the manufacturing and storage facility of Apollo Masters - one of only two companies in the world that makes the lacquer needed to produce the master disc for a record (this is what is used to mass produce vinyl records). The company also makes the styli used in the vinyl pressing process.
Luckily - no one was injured in the blaze - but the damage caused has some people pretty worried about the future of vinyl production.
A note on Apollo Masters’ website reads:
“We are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time.”
Third Man Records' ( a major producer of vinyl records) co-founder Ben Blackwell told Pitchfork:
“I imagine this will affect EVERYONE, not just Third Man Pressing and Third Man Mastering, but to what extent remains to be seen...I don’t want to be an alarmist. But I’m attempting to be realistic as opposed to Pollyannish.”
Toronto-based vinyl pressing company Duplication tweeted that “vinyl pressing turntimes will go back to being 6 to 9 months!”
David Read, a vinyl production and sales coordinator at Duplication told Pitchfork: “(the fire) will directly affect all vinyl plants, bands/labels, mastering engineers, plating facilities etc., anyone who used lacquers as part of their vinyl production ... In my almost 40 years experience the vinyl industry as a whole is incredibly resilient, and filled with talented professionals who will, and already are, teaming together to find a way out of this current problem.”
Let's hope his optimistic opinion is right