Tell us a little bit about yourself: My name is James Mckeown (@jameswardo). I am 31 and live in Salem,OR with my wife and our 3 dogs. I am a musician at heart but work as a sheet metal fabricator. I had a Punk Rock adolescence which occasionally shows itself in my music collection that is primarily Extreme Metal. I have been involved with various musical projects most notably as the vocalist for Witch Breath and solo artist of Necromage although currently my musical talents are just used to jam at home or with friends and of course I spend most Saturday nights at the karaoke bar. I do release the occasional song on my Bandcamp or Youtube Channel
Favorite album: Sorcier Des Glaces - Ritual of the End
First album: Cradle of Filth - The Principle of Evil Made Flesh
Favorite Enjoy The Ride or Enjoy The Toons release: Ace Ventura Soundtracks. I did a Youtube video discussing how awesome these records are. I love those movies and have been quoting them for years, so when I saw these were available I put in my order without hesitation. The gatefold artwork is superb and the Ray Finkle playing card is such a fun inclusion. The record has the bonus audio files hidden in the stop grooves making this whole package an easter egg of Ace Ventura.
Favorite album artwork: Inquisition - Obscure Verses for the Multiverse. The cover art done by Italian painter Paolo Girardi and I love it so much that I have started tatting it on my body. I am fortunate enough to own one of his actual paintings as well thanks to my wife's awesome gifting. Paolo told me himself that the painting was done especially for me making it an absolute marvel in my collection. The painting can be seen hanging on the wall in my featured photo.
What are your favorite local record shops, in case any readers are traveling through your town? Salem, OR has Ranch Records that is just alright but 2nd Ave. Records and Devout Records are the best record shops in Portland and I have found many great things in those shops.
What have you been listening to more frequently lately? Shining - Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends I feel like once a week I return to this one. This album received mixed reviews upon its release because it featured a bluesy feel alongside their usual DSBM style but I have loved this album since day one. The lyrics are in Swedish but I mumble along with them passionately at home or in my car.
What are some of your favorite albums you have in your collection? Nokturnal Mortum - Verity & Profanatica - the Enemy of Virtue are by far the nicest records in my collection. Nokturnal Mortum - the Voice of Steel was recently repressed by Heritage Recordings and my copy will arrive any day now which will then add its name to this list. Nikola Sarcevic - Freedom to Roam is also a very special record as it was a gift from my wife which she had personally signed by Nikola for me. Years later I would finally get the chance to meet Nikola Sarcevic in person as he was playing a show here touring with his Punk Rock band Millencolin.
Any specific albums you wish you had on vinyl? I would love to find a reasonably priced copy of American Lesion on vinyl (Greg Graffin)
What album would you like to be pressed on vinyl? the Seasick Pirates and the Return of Hellicopterman would make me so excited to see in LP format. Epitaph Records Punk o Rama compilation series should find their way to LP. I specifically would like to see Vol. 6 on vinyl as that CD was a big part of my Jr. Highschool playlist. I know that Vol 1 was pressed on LP but im pretty sure thats the only one.
What was the best album(s) you discovered in 2018? I released a video discussing my top 25 albums of 2018 my favorite album of the year was Moenen of Xezbeth - Ancient Spells of Darkness. I love how muddy the tone of that album is. A truly haunted and mesmerizing experience.
Any albums you are looking forward to grabbing in 2019? My most anticipated album of the year is Vaultwraith - Light the Candle in Honour of Devils their Debut release Death is Proof of Satans Power was my album of the year for 2017. Other albums I am excited for are Swallow the Sun - When a Shadow is Forced in (Century Media Records) and Saor - Forgotten Paths (Avantgarde Records)
Scenario time! Lets say you decided to sell most of your possessions + live in a tiny house for the remainder of your years. You can only take 7 records. What are they (Here's the catch - for each person you live with, you have to make one of those choices their favorite album - the more people you live with, the less choices are yours. Yes, this includes tiny humans)? I had to include my dogs so I picked albums that fit their personalities. Wife: Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful; Cara: Urn - the Burning; Tuco: the Aquabats - the Fury of the Aquabats; Twitch: Guttermouth - Friendly People; 3 for Me: Dynfari - the Four Doors of the mind (Sentimental value); Dynfai - Vegferd Timans (Sentimental value) & Witch Breath Demo LP (Sentimental value)