What music did your parents raise you on? Bette Midler and Neil Diamond? Or were your folks as cool as Sam Cornelius’? “My dad was a hardcore punk back in the day, and then mum’s always been very finger-on-the-pulse in the alternative scene,” he says. “And that’s definitely where my passion for music has come from, and my drive to keep on discovering and creating.”
With a father-and-son vinyl collection that possibly exceeds 10,000 LPs (“It’s a lot of money! But it’s worth it”), Sam says he’s got a great basis for trying DJing further down the track should he feel like it, but in the last five to ten years it’s been about playing and producing. Of the latter, he says it can be tough to start out. “You learn the basics by yourself, and then as you get more into the scene you slowly pick up little tips and tricks, [and] meet people who are willing to pass on their knowledge,” he explains.
He’s been collecting vinyl for around eight years, and has scoured every single op shop, marketplace and JB cranny in Hobart for rarities. “My most prized possession would be an original Australian pressing of Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced, which they only pressed one round of in Australia – so it’s very, very sought after! And Dead’s Kennedys’ first pressing of Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death.” New releases he’s digging include IDK’s Is He Real? and JPEGMAFIA’s All My Heroes Are Cornballs (“He’s definitely decided that he wants to go down the path of obscure production over hardcore lyrics, which I’m all for, but it’s a very weird album.”)
The Rosny Park JB clientele aren’t hugely into their punk and hip hop, but Sam sees this as an opportunity to expand the way he understands music.
“It’s interesting to talk to people to see how they perceive music, compared to what I think,” says Sam. “[We sell] a lot of popular and classical stuff, which I can definitely vibe with – I did classical piano for almost 14 years [from age 5], so I have an appreciation for that sort of music, and it definitely helps in chatting to customers about the kind of music they’re listening to. And that’s what music’s all about, really – it’s about sharing ideas, and connecting with people on something that’s almost more than an emotion. It’s a feeling that you get. Trying to describe that feeling to people – that’s what I enjoy.”