By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Photo by Matt OttoLove makes you do funny things—no, not your pathetic human love, but passion, like the passion for something that spins on a turntable. That kind of love can lead to costly endeavors such as opening a record store specializing in garage, gothic and psych, among other genres of commercial suicide. Enter Third Eye Records owners and fools for the love of vinyl, Brian Flores and Gary Farley. Farley gushes about the music retail path less taken.
How did the store come together?
I've wanted to have a record store as long as I can remember. From a music buyer's perspective, there was a void: specifically garage, experimental, noise and psychedelic music. A lot of stores around here are punk rock and indie music—that's great, but there are so many bands that have influenced those bands that a lot of people have missed out on.
Was it ever a consideration to sell music with more of a commercial upside?
I've always been a proponent of underground music. I really want to support that in any way possible, and encourage people to do so as well. I think it's very important for stores like this to always be around and give kids something they can have to call their own.
Anything that you love yet can't sell for the life of you?
Of course. That goes with any kind of record store. We had a vision in mind when we first opened, like I said—we focused on garage and experimental stuff. I used to have a club—I DJ-ed gothic music. That's where I'm coming from. I love that stuff, but it's really difficult to sell. I always say to people, kind of jokingly, "It's coming back." I have this huge collection. One day people will be as appreciative as I am.
Do you have regulars who collect very specific things?
We have a couple of customers that only buy really eclectic, avant-garde noise compositions, what we call 20th-century classical music. We have people that only buy that. If it weren't for them we wouldn't carry it, to be honest.
Do you sell anything that you wish you didn't have to?
No. The beauty of having your own store is that you have the power to veto anything you feel that you don't want to sell. There's only so much room you have to work with, so we try to focus and streamline our store.
Are there any local bands you're proud to sell?
The Geisha Girls are really good. I think they're going to be quite popular very soon.
THIRD EYE RECORDS, 2428 NEWPORT BLVD., STE. 7, COSTA MESA, (949) 650-0043; THIRDEYERECORDS.COM.