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This sentiment is echoed by nearly everyone in the cassette game. "No one has money in this culture we're talking about," says Blair, who doesn't have a home and resorts to couch-surfing and occasionally sleeping at the store or in his van. "[Cassettes] are so cheap to make and so cheap to buy. You can get a whole album for $5."
A run of 300 professionally mastered cassettes comes out to a little more than a buck per unit, translating into a nice profit margin for a band on a tight budget. Unlike CDs, for which a band must buy a run of 1,000 units for that kind of per-unit affordability, tapes provide small-run cost-effectiveness.
"Anybody can make a CD—that's why it lost its charm," adds Bohrman. "If someone makes you a CD, I dunno, you throw it in your car and don't really worry about it because you can make another one really easily. If someone makes you a mix cassette, you're going to take good care of it because someone took really good care in making it. I think that's how people feel about it."
This speaks to another agreed-upon reason bands are drawn to making a cassette. "Novelty plays into it," Galindo says.
Blair expands on that notion. "I have a giant crush on cassettes. They're really cute; they're easy to hold," he says. "I'm sure other people think it's dumb, but whatever. It's the counterculture right now. It's a win-win. It helps the bands, it helps the labels, and people like listening to it. It's good that that's going on."