In a new video and written statement, Jack White has begun publicly calling on major record labels to build their own vinyl record pressing plants amidst supply chain issues. Jack White has his own record label, Third Man Records.
In “A Plea to the Three Global Major Labels from Jack White,” the singer cited high demand of his own record label and the vinyl ecosystem experiencing major bottlenecks and delays as reasons for speaking out. In the minute-long video, White shows the creation process of vinyls at the Third Man pressing plant, where he reaffirms that he opened it in 2017 with his own money. White directly names the three major record labels in his address.
“A small punk band can’t get their record for 8-10 months and I now ask the major labels, Warner Brothers, Universal and Sony, to finally build your own pressing plants again,” he states.
Due to a higher demand from audiences to get their own vinyls and an overall supply chain crisis, pressing plants have faced an unprecedented issue related to a backlog and a general lack of resources to work as fast as they must to please artists and fans. White’s full written statement can be read below.
“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, ‘if anyone could help, it’s this guy!’
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.
I’ve done everything within my power to help. Third Man Records began a concentrated focus on vinyl in 2009 with hopes of exposing its wider potential to the farthest reaches of the music industry. In 2017 I furthered my commitment by opening Third Man Pressing… a plant which has always been open to anyone and everyone who walks in the door and wants to press a record, from bedroom hip hop artists to field recording documentarians. And in the last year, I’ve doubled down and invested in even more record presses, more employees to run them, and more shifts to try and accommodate the insane growing demand for vinyl product.
There are people who will say – isn’t this good for Third Man? More demand than you can handle? To which I say, even though Third Man benefits in the short term, in the long term it ultimately hurts everyone involved in the vinyl ecosystem given the bottlenecks and delays. Something needs to be done.
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.
To be clear, the issue is not big labels versus small labels, it’s not independent versus mainstream, it’s not even punk versus pop. 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.
ses. It’s easier to purchase a vinyl press now than it has been in four decades. And with more ancillary innovators popping up every day helping advance every facet of the industry, this isn’t a difficult decision to make. It’s a no-brainer.
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. Thank you.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat