Tanja, record collector and metal lover from Helsinki – Finland


This is now 2019 and our first stop in our adventure to meet the record collectors is in Helsinki. We met Tanja, a record shop owner and we discussed about record collection and her love for the Finnish black metal! Let’s discover her interview!

Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

I’m Tanja, a 26 year-old girl from Helsinki, Finland. I run a record shop in the centre of Helsinki called Record Shop X. It’s part of a record shop chain that has eight shops in Finland. I’ve worked for Record Shop X for years but I’ve been running mine for four years now. I have my dog, Dave, there with me.

How and when did you start you record collection? How many do you own today?

I used to buy only CDs but my boss gave me few vinyl records as a Christmas gift back in 2011. I got excited about vinyl and started to buy them after that. I now own a little bit fewer than one thousand records.

record collection

What started your interest in music?

My parents used to listen to a lot of music when I was a kid. I guess the biggest thing that affected me was my big brother’s taste in music. I followed in his footsteps all the way from childhood to my teenage years.

What was the first record you ever purchased?

First CD was HIM’s Love Metal. First vinyl was W.A.S.P. debut album.

tanja and her dog in front of her vinyl collection

“Vinyl culture is probably going to stay alive

What are your 1st musical influences?

I’m a 90s kid so SPICE GIRLS! Aqua’s Barbie Girl is the first English song I learned to sing.

What kind of music was playing in your house when you were a kid? Did your parents have records?

Bands like Queen, ZZ Top, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, etc. My mom is really into hard rock and heavy metal, dad likes stuff like Pink Floyd. My parents didn’t collect records when I was a kid, but we did have CDs. My mom has started to collect vinyl again now that I run a record shop.

tanja and her dog in her record shop

Do you collect a particular genre of music?

I try to buy all kinds of music that I like. I mostly have metal vinyl and soundtracks.

What is your best find ever?

My favourite finds are mostly very basic albums that are on a good price. But my favourite find that comes to mind is not the most typical album, it’s Roky Erickson and the Aliens – The Evil One, 1981 pressing. It’s one of my all-time favourite albums and has a great cover.

vinyl records

Any regrets about a lost record or about records you did not buy?

I was in London in 2013 buying records when I saw the most disturbing seven inch single ever. It was from the movie E.T. and it only had ET’s quotes on it. I have no idea why anyone would need it but I really really regret not buying it. It would’ve been so freaking weird and a dumb thing to own.

What was your latest purchase?

Sargeist’s Satanic Black Devotion. Very classic Finnish black metal album.

vinyl record

What is the most expensive record you bought?

The Thing soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. It cost me 100€.

vinyl record

“I try to avoid online shopping

Is there an artist or label in particular that you are trying to get the full discography?

I collect John Carpenter’s soundtracks and soundtracks of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

Which records are still on your want list?

The soundtrack of the first A Nightmare on Elm Street movie. I only have it on cassette.

tanja holding a record

It’s the end of the world, you can only take 5 records from your collection with you! Which ones and why?

  • Mercyful Fate’s Don’t Break the Oath because it’s my favourite album ever
  • Midnight’s Satanic Royalty because I never get tired of it
  • Reverend Bizarre’s Harbinger of Metal because it’s the best Finnish record ever made
  • ZZ Top’s Eliminator because it makes me feel great everytime I listen to it
  • Judas Priest’s Sad Wings of Destiny because I can’t live without Rob Halford’s amazing voice

tanja holding a record

Original pressings or re-issues? Why?

Both. I’m all about finding good quality albums that are in a good condition. The pressing doesn’t really matter unless it has different artwork or something like that.

What kind of digger are you?

I try to avoid online shopping, I only order stuff if it’s impossible to find otherwise. I love record shops so living in Helsinki is like a dream come true! Besides my own shop there’s a lot of great shops here. I like visiting thrift shops, too, but it’s quite rare to find good stuff there nowadays.

vinyl records

Do you think that collecting records helps to preserve our musical and cultural legacy?

I really hope so. There’s still a lot of stuff that doesn’t exist yet on mp3 or CD. Vinyl culture is probably going to stay alive always in some way since there’s a lot of new record collectors around and I’m sure it’s never completely going to go away even if it gets a lot smaller again.

What attracts you in a record?

Definitely the artwork! And the band’s logo and the album name. Most of the time you can get a good sense of what kind of a record it is from them.

tanja holding a record

How do you organize your collection?

I have some different genres organized. Like metal-Finnish-rockpop-soundtracks. And everything is alphabetized in those sections.

What does your record collection say about you?

That this girl is crazy about King Diamond and Mercyful Fate. There’s a lot of albums by King in my collection, I love him.

vinyl records

Want to add something about yourself? Now it’s the time 😉

Check out our record shop chain at www.recordshopx.com !

record shop x, helsinki

More About Tanja:


Photo credit: Courtesy of @darkthronetane

Thank you Tanja for this interview. It has been great to talk to you about music and record collection.