Mistersalt – The Artist Interview

24 May 2022
Mistersalt with some of his custom 45 sleeves

Firstly, we love having Mistersalt as a member of The Forty Five Kings Collective.

There’s a number of reasons why, he digs 45s like we do, he’s active and involved with what we do, plays on our streams, has done 2 fantastic member mixes, has contributed to our wonderful ‘Stories About Records’ series of interviews and has been a Sponsor of our fundraising activities via donations of his incredible artwork that is heavily inspired by 45 culture.

Besides all of this, Mistersalt’s artwork is fantastic and after receiving one of his unique and beautiful hand painted ’45 Boxes’ as a gift, I thought I needed to delve deeper into his artwork and why he does it.

Tell us about yourself as a Dj and Collector of 45s and vinyl generally and how this influences your art pieces. What kind of pieces do you do?

Thank you for inviting me to do this interview Rob. 

I would consider myself a DJ primarily and a collector by default.

I bought my first records around the age of 10 and started to DJ at 16 so really if we go right back to my first purchases, then I’ve been collecting for nearly 40 years.

My collection grew over the years through DJing. Some I sold (all regretted) and some stolen many years ago but it still grows day by day and it’s only really now that I start to look back at it and appreciate it as a collection.

I have always been satisfied just to have the song on vinyl so that I can play it but these days I find myself seeking out some songs that I already own on a LP or as a 12” so I can have the 7” version as well!

Mainly because I enjoy playing sevens a lot more but this has by default turned me into bit of a collector as well now. 

There is something about the 7” we all love and for me it’s not just the hit of a 3 minute song or the fun of spinning them.

The artwork has always played a part.

I’m a big fan of company sleeves and label art.

The restrictions of the donut shaped labels add an extra challenge to the designer so it’s interesting to see all the different layouts, use of fonts and logos all fitting into that circle that we are all so familiar with.

Being a painter and a lover of music, in particular the vinyl format, it was only a matter of time really before the two came together so a few years ago I started to focus mainly on new work directly related to the 45s scene that I was becoming more involved in.

Since we have met through the Forty Five Kings Collective you’ve been an active member and supporter of the group’s activities whether it be through doing mixes, live streaming as part of the crew, buying merchandise and sponsoring our raffle with your incredible paintings. What is it about the Collective you enjoy and keeps you putting so much time and effort into it?

I think the two main words here are Community and Support.

I rejoined Facebook in 2019 after about 10 years off the platform, mainly to try and promote my Mixcloud profile and get more listeners to the mixes I was uploading there.

I was listening to people like yourself and ScottieboyUk for a while on Mixcloud and I think it was a reggae mix of Scottie’s for The Forty Five Kings that drew my attention to the group and that’s when I joined the collective. 

With so many people into 45s, sharing music and tips I knew straight away it was a good place to be.

Then came the global lockdown and it became the ONLY place to be.

Twitch subsequently blew up and brought people back into direct contact with each other through webcams and chat rooms. This was something I wanted to get involved in and the first stop for advice on streaming was of course The Forty Five Kings Facebook group and thanks to Criztoz (25THC) among others for the advice he provided and continues to do for anyone keen to get involved.

The Coffee And Donuts show on a Saturday morning brought us all together through our love of 45s and the group has played a massive part in keeping my sanity intact through the pandemic.

Contributing to the collective is a way for me of returning what I get from it. 

Tell us about your custom record boxes/bags that both myself and 25ThC are lucky enough to own.

I started to do a few 7” label recreations on 12” canvas but I also wanted to create something that was useful as well as being art yet still connected to the scene so that’s where the idea of creating the customised 7” record cases came from. 

They are all hand painted and lacquered and most of all, unique.

They’re good to carry your music around in or to just sit on a shelf as art.

Right now I’m up to SaltBox #5 with a new one on the way.

I’m planning on another label painting after the next box is finished and then after that, I have an old Coca Cola cooler box with a built in FM radio to convert into a unique record box. 

On Wednesday 25 May and Wednesday 29 June 2022 you will appear on my Hump Day 45s show, tell us why you said yes to playing on this show and what we can expect?

I’m always keen to play on any shows associated with the collective and Hump Day’s no exception.

I like the fact that it adds pressure because I know there’s going to be more viewers in than if I were to stream on my own channel.

I think it’s cool that probably 80 or 90 percent of people watching are also DJs and that there is this shared respect of all types of spinners.

I used to have the attitude of “if you can’t beat match or scratch then your not a DJ” but now a lot of my favourite DJs that play on Twitch don’t mix at all.

The quality of the music and the variety of styles of DJing that I’ve seen over the last couple of years on the Kings channel is amazing and it’s always a pleasure to join any line up. 

As for what to expect when I play, to be honest, half of the time I don’t know what to play until the last minute. Sometimes I find it easier to go with the flow, listen to what’s been played before me and dig out stuff as I’m playing.

Other times I’ll plan a set. It’s about 50/50 but for the May show I’ll be playing a fiesta of Brazilian 45s to try to bring out some sunshine ahead of a big bank holiday weekend here in the UK. 

If you’d like to support Mistersalt and commission a ‘SaltBox’, a painting or order some custom 7′ sleeves get in contact with him on Facebook.

Check out Mistersalt’s Mixes for the Forty Five Kings

Check out Mistersalt’s Interview about his most cherished 45