HOBOKEN, NJ - Since November 1995, Tunes has been cranking out the music on Hoboken's main drag, and picking up crowds of loyal fans along the way. From relatively humble beginnings at 315 Washington Street, the shop moved a block south in 1999—purchasing the building that holds its current 1,800-square-foot location at 225 Washington Street. Now celebrating 25 years of business, Tunes continues to buck industry trends and stay very much in the record store game.
"I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and I’ve never, ever not wanted to go to work," said owner Chip Heuisler. "I really, truly love what I do and consider myself incredibly lucky to make my living this way.”
Owning the storefront clearly saved the brick-and-mortar retailer from the crushing weight of soaring commercial rents. That, combined with sweeping changes to the music entertainment industry, have made the road rocky for a lot of Tunes' colleagues in the business.
We spoke with Heuisler to learn more about how he has manged to keep playing his Tunes after all these years...
TAPinto Hoboken: Given the seemingly constant upheaval in the music industry, how has Tunes evolved to meet the ongoing challenges on the retail end?
CH: It is hard to imagine what has happened to the live music scene since March of this year. Sadly, I know that some venues will permanently close their doors. I think it is going to take time before people are ready to go back to certain live music environments. Artists and venues have been creative, hosting virtual performances or finding ways to host small, socially-distanced events. I know it will not be easy, but hopefully 2021 brings expanding opportunity for the local and national music scenes.
CH: Wow, that is a tough one! I'm going to go with Bob Marley - Trenchtown Rock.
'One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain. So hit me with music, hit me with music now.'
For music fans looking to shop local this holiday season, Tunes will be open at 9:00 a.m. on Black Friday, November 27 for Record Store Day.
Stop by and see Chip.