Mind Cures to Cruel Noise

By Matthew Miramontes- 12th Grade, Cornell High School

As of August 2nd, Pittsburgh history changed as the local record store Mind Cure was taken over by Cruel Noise records. The switch was welcome by all as the future of Cruel Noise is a flourishing one.

Mind Cure was a staple of Pittsburgh, a record store that had deep roots in the local music scene, as well as the nationwide hardcore and punk scene as well. Mike Seamans who was once the proud owner of Mind Cure Records has now passed the torch, or the needle in this case to another proud collector of vinyl records with an interest in the local music scene.

John Villegas is the new avid owner of Cruel Noise Records, the prolific record store that while Villegas has only just taken over, has already seen a wealth of new customers coming to purchase records all over again.

When first asked about the state of Cruel Noise and how he can see the growth in the future, Villegas replied “It is still too early to say for sure, but I know that people are excited about collecting again and I’m proud to be a part of that.”

Originally a Mind Cure customer, Villegas was simply asked by Seamans if he could take over the store while Seamans went on a hiatus. Villegas seemed like the perfect candidate to take the reigns as he has been involved in the local music scene in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Richmond, and has been collecting records for as long as he could get his hands on them.

Ever since Villegas was a child, he was obsessed with music and the scene that surrounded him. Originally from Pittsburgh, Villegas fell in love with rock n’ roll, and the hardcore scene, stating, “when I was like 12 or something young like that, I first heard the sound of punk music. I immediately decided this is what I want to do, skate and make hardcore.” Villegas did exactly that after forming his own hardcore band, Drug Lust, and making short tours of the local scenes in other states.

His love for music and collecting now has ties into Cruel Noise, and as his personal collection seems to only grow and prosper, so does Cruel Noise’s.

The new and included stock of Cruel Noise comes from Villegas’ personal collection and only makes up about 25% of the entire store, the rest was all Mind Cure’s stock that has now seen a change through two different store-fronts. Most of Villegas’ work that does not include buying new records, or doing re-shop, includes settling down and trying to find time to enjoy the new found ownership of one of the birth places for Pittsburgh hardcore.

While it may seem that vinyl records are a thing of the past, that is actually farther from the truth as according to a study by Fortune, just in 2015 alone, vinyl sales hit $416 million dollars. That is a huge amount of records sold, and judging by how many bands are now going back to vinyl, I am willing to bet that Cruel Noise is going to have no problem thriving in Pittsburgh.


IMG_1658Matthew Miramontes is an incoming senior. He lives in Pittsburgh and has been with Pittsburgh Youth Media for two years. Matthew is also the Chief Editor of his school newspaper, and has now started his own music website (mattsmusicmine.wordpress.com) that acts as a key of reviewing and previewing up and coming music.

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