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Rhubarb Records has become a staple of the record culture of Perth. Since 2013, RR has been selling records both old and new, as well as pressing local vinyl, such as the Rhubarb Jam , capturing some of the local talent of Perth.

We sat down with Dylan Sainsbury, the mastermind behind the Rhubarb brand, in the lead up to Record Store Day on April 13.

Hey Dylan, how are you?

I’m great, pretty amped for Record Store Day this year.

What does Record Store Day mean to you?

It’s a day where indie bricks and mortar stores celebrate with all the people that have supported them over the year. We get to throw a party, stock some amazing collectable vinyl and catch up with lots of friends we have made through our shared love of music and vinyl.

When was the moment that you fell in love with music?

I was a night owl even as a kid so my parents used to let me listen to the radio before bed to help me wind down and get to sleep. I used to catch the countdown back in mid-80’s and often stay awake for hours afterwards listening to music. I had music posters all over my walls which were arranged crookedly because that was the cool thing to do at the time. Lol! Everything from The Cure to Icehouse.

What was your first vinyl?

I started with boxloads of 45’s that my grandad used to pick up at swap meets for me when I was around 8 or 9. He used to make a bit of money on the side as a wheeler and dealer at car boot sales after he retired and was a Cockney with the gift of the gab so used to do pretty well. He must have noticed I enjoyed music fairly early on because one day he gave me a little second hand white retro turntable, with built in speakers and a box of 45’s. After that I had a pretty regular supply and remember spending hours listening to them.

What’s your favourite local pressing you’ve bought?

Photograph: ABC: Claire Moodie

Photograph: ABC: Claire Moodie

Well we press our own vinyl through another business venture XVinylX and run the Rhubarb Records label specialising in local music. I’d have to say I’m most proud of our Rhubarb Jam series which focuses on independent WA bands and features local artists and graphic designers. It’s a way for us to celebrate and help promote the amazing talent we have here and we have shipped copies all over the world.

How do you think the Perth music scene has evolved over the years?

From strength to strength! We really are on the map now. There are so many talented new bands coming on to the scene that it’s hard to keep up with sometimes. The culture amongst the music scene here is extremely positive and supportive. We’ve got some amazing long standing music venues plus some exciting new ones coming onto the scene. There’s also a huge amount of local music support from community radio stations like RTRfm which play a massive role in promoting the local music scene. As for evolving, I think that the music scene is learning to move with technology quickly because we have to. There might not be as many big label deals but bands and labels that are operating independently now have more tools at their disposal than ever before to promote and publish their music. There is a lot out of music out there but it’s a lot easier to find thanks to sites like Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook etc. Vinyl has again become a good revenue stream for up and coming bands as well as a promotional tool. So we’re mixing the old with the new just like bands might prefer the sound of old gear but most probably are going to record it digitally. I feel like there’s a lot more exciting things to come in the Perth music scene and there’s a real buzz at the moment with so much talent and activity at all levels.

How do you see Rhubarb evolving into the future?

We definitely love the bricks and mortar aspect of our business and creating places for people to meet and on the occasion bands to perform, so we have no plans to change that. We’re always looking to improve what we do and what we offer at our stores and through our label and will continue to do so.

What deals/events do you have for Record Store Day 2019?

We’ll have bags pre-loaded with prizes including merch and vinyl for the first 20 people through our doors at each store. Our biggest RSD vinyl stock ever with absolutely ridiculous amounts of Record Store Day Vinyl.  A massive prize pool for the days raffle valued over $500 including an Audio-technica turntable. Then to top off the day we’re throwing a free RSD after party at Nowhereman Brewing Company with live music from; Moana, Myths and Tanaya Harper. Everyone is welcome and there will be plenty of craft beer and pizza to be had. Full details at:


Callum Noone