The Circles interview team arrived at 4503 W. Sahara here in Las Vegas, the colorful sign immediately captured our attention as we read the letters ZIA. As we entered the store, we met with Carl the manager, and he brought to the back of the store among a plethora of vinyl records where we conducted our interview, and this is how it went…
Who founded ZIA Records?
Zia was founded by a gentleman back in the Phoenix area. His name is Brad singer, Brads no longer with us he passed away. He started the company in 1980.
How long has ZIA Records been around?
A little over 36 years and in Vegas since 2005.
How has downloading and streaming affected record stores?
I think it’s affected it a little bit on the CD side records are really big now we only had 3 rows of records new when we open there store. And now we have records all along side of the wall. It just gets to show that the music is alive. We still do well with CDs but not as well as we use to. The downloads didn’t really hurt us as bad as we thought it would.
What’s the difference between a vinyl and a digital copy?
They have been making vinyl since around 1944 now vinyl is a little thicker in some areas on some releases, Digital is all done through the computer, where they’re taking the binaries and they are able to make sounds that’s what digital is making sounds out of math.
How has ZIA Records managed to survive the transition into the digital age?
Well we do sell some mp3s on our website. We don’t sell mp3s in the store at this point, but that doesn’t mean we won’t in the future. At this point all we sell is CDs, vinyl and other items that are not music, like DVDs, Blu-ray, toys and things like that. Some stores carry cassettes we don’t carry them here.
What’s are some of the most popular artist that have performed here?
We had a couple good ones, The Deftones, John Densmore, the drummer from the doors, we had Slug from Atmosphere, and Hollywood Undead was here several years ago, so we’ve had quite a few artists come through here.
Do you get any tourist traffic?
Not as much if we were down on the strip. We are a neighborhood store. The tourist we get are visiting because they heard of us online or from Coachella we did for 5 years, which is the second biggest music festival in the country.
What are your top 5 records in the store?
David Bowie-Ziggy Stardust, Back seat change, dead can dance, Beirut, and the Cocteau Twins.
When and where did your love for music begin?
It started with the David Bowie song Ziggy Stardust-The Space Oddity. I saw it at a planetarium theater, and it blew me away. And that’s when I knew this is what I wanted to do, I started this in 1981.
How many records do you have in the store and what’s your rarest vinyl?.
We have about 23,000 used records. New records it’s hard to tell, about 5 to 6,000 new.
The rarest record we have and the most expensive was a Miles Davis one is worth $250.
Visit them at www.ziarecords.com.