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Support NZ Record Stores - Part 4: Ride On Super Sound

Support NZ Record Stores - Part 4: Ride On Super Sound

C.C. / Q & A by Willa Cameron / Photos courtesy of Ride On Super Sound / Wednesday 29th April, 2020 2:08PM

Aotearoa has made it out of Level 4 lockdown, which not only means everyone's immediately making a beeline to the closest burger joints, but also "non-essential" postal deliveries are finally back in action and contactless collections are now available. Consider it your civic duty to keep supporting our heroic local record stores by ordering online – safe in the knowledge your shiny new wax and / or must-cop merchandise will be delivered direct to your doorstep, or you can cruise in while keeping a sensible distance and pick them up.

We've teamed up with the New Zealand Music Commission for a four part series highlighting the crucial work of record stores across the nation, this week spotlighting Canterbury independent flag flyers Ride On Super Sound, who also sell a mean selection of local comics. Record Store Day has been postponed from mid-April to Saturday 20th June, but NZMC's Willa Cameron has cooked up a short Q & A for teams across NZ to introduce themselves. Dive into our previous week's features here, and scroll downwards for Ride On Super Sound's insights below.


What have been the best releases for you this year?

Put from our buddy Ben Woods has been selling pretty well, because it’s excellent, and we shift a lot of good stuff from local labels like Melted Ice Cream and Dust Up and out of towners like Hairy Palm, Cocomuse and Stick Magnetic. Mousey’s Lemon Law has been doing well, too. Everybody's digging the AK79 reissue, and we recently scored the final copies of legendary nineties Christchurch compilation Avalanche. And you didn’t ask, but local comics-wise, Ross Murray's Rufus Marigold, Chris Stapp's Killer Goodlooks and Brent Willis's Action Wizards vs Sexy Robots have made a bunch of people happy [check out the full stock list right here].

Tell us about the best merch for sale right now?

That’d be a tie between Spencer Hall's Behind The Wheel Of A Large Automobile – a zine in which T-54 and Salad Boys guitar hero Joe Sampson is interviewed about every car he's ever owned; Stink Magnetic's 'Authentic Tape Wolf Hairs' – which are actual authentic artificial hairs plucked from the shaggy mane of trashy surf howler The Mysterious Tape Wolf; or Norman's Rice – which is a styrofoam bowl of rice abandoned by weasel-faced Walking Dead TV star Norman Reedus when he came to Smash Palace for some dumb show about motorbikes [see photo below]. We didn't meet him, but our mate Alex snagged his half-eaten meal. We almost got one of Aldous Harding's half-eaten cheeseburgers, but another collector beat us to it. We also have an excellent selection of indie band shirts, if you like that sort of thing.

What’s the best cover you’ve seen lately?

They're all pretty old, but lately we've been into Swamp Dogg's Rat On! because it has a man riding on a rat, the Rogernomix Punch A Nazi In The Face seven inch, because it has a Nazi being punched in the face, Czarface vs Ghostface because it looks like a Marvel comic from the seventies, and Nervous Jerk's 1994 EP because it has a drawing of Dan on the front. Dan is responsible for curating our punk and hardcore section, which is pretty bloody extensive.

Do you love this work? Why?

Well, yeah. I mean, spreadsheets are kinda hard, we barely make enough money to keep the doors open, and we have no idea what we're doing, but we're the best record, comic, zine, merch and lamp repair store in the whole Canterbury area. The earthquakes shafted a lot of indie retailers, and it's important to have somewhere for the weird kids in the middle of all the chain stores and tilt slab. We’ve been open a year and a half, and since then we've paid out almost $60,000 to New Zealand bands, artists, cartoonists and zinesters, so we're pretty proud of that (we take a 25% margin and the rest goes to the artists). We built all the shelves with salvaged stain and scrap wood, we’re all volunteers, and we really only exist because we’ve got indie vendors who trust us with their stock, and because Smash Palace let us move in after we got sick of our old spot. It was nice being next to a venue, but it meant that daytime hours were pointless and we’d keep the shop open ‘til one in the morning to sell records to drunk gig goers or our drunk selves. Our new location is way calmer.

I guess you could say we’re doing this for cool points, but nobody thinks we’re cool. Because we’re not.

Shine a light on your team! Let us know some insider info: i.e. favourite or strangest smoko snack for example.

Our preferred smoko snack would be a pint of delicious Bodgie Beer, which is conveniently available downstairs because our shop is inside a bar and we like to drink. John and Nick would like to make a souvlaki from one of the stray urban rabbits in the vacant lot next door, but Michael is an animal lover and has thus far thwarted their plans and broken their traps. None of us have ever tried Norman's Rice.

Bonus Fun Facts:

We also stock a lovingly-curated selection of local and imported zines and comics.

Hamish Kilgour once came into the shop and complained to his friend that our records were too expensive.

Our mysteriously unpopular "Problematic" section contains albums from Bill Cosby, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kim Fowley and local metal band Igni.

Michael DJs downstairs at Smash Palace, plays in Dark Matter and does themed radio shows for Christchurch streaming station 8K. He was in The Clean’s 'Beatnik' video. He’s the oldest.

Johnny Electric plays in BnP, and designs and makes lathe cut records. We’re hoping to have his new self-service record cutting machine installed in the shop by the time the world returns to normal.

Isaac makes weird noise records as Casper Thomson, and runs the Dormarch label.

Mieke draws comics, paints lots of gummy toothy people, and does most of our graphics. She is the youngest and also shop heartthrob. Her selfies get the most likes on the socials.

Nick acts in sketchy infomercials and makes band posters.

Last year we released our first lathe cut record, which was a square folding 4-dimensional seven inch featuring Wurld Series, BnP, Best Bets and Avon Dads. It was hinged on one side, and the audio quality is dubious. We’re hoping to get more weird stuff out later this year.

We are the only New Zealand record store to have been blocked by another New Zealand record store on Instagram.

We genuinely repair lamps, if you’ve broken any lately.

Ride On Super Sound is located upstairs in the little shack inside Smash Palace at 172 High Street. We’re open Thursday to Sunday from 3pm ‘til 9pm and by appointment or chance. Everyone should come and have a beer with us when Jacinda and science defeat the virus.


Ride On Super Sound

NZ Music Commission are calling for all landlords of music venues to give urgent rent relief to their live music tenants here.


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