Extreme Duplication: CD Edition
PCX Media.com has quickly become the one-stop shop for any DIY band looking to make a CD. Their low prices, huge selection, and many quantity options make turning your music from a CD-r demo into a snazzy-looking CD a breeze. They’re also expanding into pins, posters, and t-shirts- soon there won’t be anything they can’t handle. We recently had the opportunity to get an interview with PCX’s owner Tony Felty, Jr.
Independent Clauses: What prompted you to start PCX media?
Tony Felty: My band needed CDs! We had looked into how to make them to save money and just kinda stumbled into making them for other people. (We made CDs for my band about a year after we started!)
IC: How can you afford to keep your prices so low?
TF: Buying in bulk, reducing waste, doing stuff right the first time, not sucking ass. It’s not that we do something else to keep our prices lower, it’s that other people just charge way too much I think. We’ve been doing this for over two years now and yes, our prices have gone up (only a few dollars here and there) but not to the extremes that other short run facilities have. Our Package A price has actually stayed the same since we began this operation.
IC: In your opinion, what’s in the best CD package you guys offer?
TF: I’m really a fan of our “Package A” disc. It’s a four panel insert and disc tucked into a poly sleeve. I had seen the idea a long time ago and thought it was very creative, resembling old record packaging. I believe we were the first duplication house to package them this way, although there are one or two others who have similar packaging now. Regardless they are dirt cheap and bands sell the hell out of them.
IC: What’s one of the largest projects you’ve ever worked on?
TF: We’ve done a HUGE amount of discs for a publishing company. I’m not quite sure the specifics of the contents, but it was something to do with Hare Krishnas. The project consisted of 56 different discs and a DVD. 50 of each disc, and 200 of the DVD’s. It was a project we didn’t mind taking on although we learned our production capacity very quickly. Because of the short runs of each disc a replication house couldn’t do the project for them, and no other duplication shop had the patience to make them! We love doing custom projects like this.
IC: Do you think that your type of company will gain prominence in the music industry soon?
TF:Duplication companies have been around for years, they’ve just stayed with the current media. It used to be records and tapes, now it’s CDs. If everything goes digital we’ll have to find something else to do! That’s why we’re making posters and doing other types of printing and we’re always looking for other ventures. Screenprinting might be in our future. We’d like to stay in the merch business.
IC:Why is what you do so important?
TF:First and foremost, it can be a struggle for small bands to get by. Saving a few dollars can really help. I’ve played in my share of bands and I know what it’s like when the rehearsal space rent is due, and you have to pay for recording, tshirts, buttons, stickers, etc. It all adds up. If I can help some kids save a few dollars I’ve done my part in lessening the burden on them. The less they spend on the discs is more money they can make selling them at shows too which always helps!
(Buy CDs from small bands! you’re supporting more than just the band!)
I work because I love it. I’ve always wanted to be self employed, ever since I was little kid. I used to bring candy to school and sell it to kids for twice what I paid for it (supply and demand!) and for a while I made skatewax outta Gulf Wax and some other crap and sold it. This was before I was in high school! Through high school I ran a record label (although we weren’t very successful) but I learned a lot. It’s a dream, and putting up with the stress, long days and occasional grouchy customer are well worth it at the end of the day. I’m rewarded by my success. I love being self employed, I can look you square in the eyes and tell you there is nothing I would rather do than what I’m doing now, unless I could sleep in ’till 1 everyday and do this too. That would be heaven.
IC: How big do you want to make PCX media? Will you always stay on the duplication or will you ever go to replication as well?
TF: We’ll get as big as we have to. We can only handle so much and we bite off more than we can chew sometimes (which really sucks!). Our turnaround times suffer on occasion because we can only handle so many orders a week. We are constantly upgrading equipment and production methods to keep up.
Replication would be real cool to do, but we’ll have to watch the market and see where CDs are going to be in the upcoming years. They might disappear along with 8 tracks and laser disc!! Seriously though, I don’t think CD’s will ever have the nostalgia of records or tapes.
IC: Do you have any funny stories relating to PCX media?
TF: We did a project for a female vocalist one time when we first got started. Somehow one of her discs ended up in a hardcore band’s set of discs packaged just like their discs. That was an interesting phone call. We’ve since learned how to keep our projects separated. =)
Oh, one more thing. The ‘X’ in PCX stands for Xtreme! 😉
IC: Do you listen to the music that you help release?
TF: About once a month when we get sick of the music on XM and in our mp3 collection we dig through the masters we’ve received and spend a day listening to all the bands we’ve worked with that we haven’t heard yet. It’s nice to hear new talent.
IC: What’s one of your favorite releases you’ve helped put out?
TF: My favorite release…we’ve put so many discs together it’s hard to choose…My own band Faye’s disc because it’s interesting to be involved in every part of the process, from writing the music to recording to CD manufacturing.
IC: What crappy bands did you look up to as a kid?
TF: Hell.. I listened to a lot of Fat and Epitaph bands when I was young…back when the Offspring and Rancid were on MTV. My first punk comp was Fat Music for Fat People when I was like…9. That was what, 94? I traded a Bosstones disc for it. The favs were always Bad Religion, Propagandhi, and Social Distortion though.
IC: What have you been listening to lately?
TF: Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Kind of Like Spitting, Minus the Bear, and the guys in my band turned me on to Anberlin.
-Interview Conducted by Stephen Carradini