Hanks grew up in Sacramento, where Tower Records first began. As he tells NY Mag's Vulture column: "The fact that it was based there was sort of a point of civic pride, so I've always had this connection with Tower based on its location but also its history, which is incredibly fascinating."
The actor says, "I spent a lot of time in Tower Records. I'm a huge music nerd, and Tower was instrumental to me when I was growing up."
It's kind of ironic that the movie, about how the Internet helped kill the music industry, was funded by the grassroots Kickstarter site.
And Hanks admits the debate over digital vs. vinyl has significance not just for music lovers, but for the movie industry as well.
Hanks says of getting music online, instead of from a bricks-and-mortar store, "I've been able to find just as much interesting, exciting music through the Internet and iTunes.... The personal interaction is not the same, and I'm not walking out of a store with a physical thing, so there's definitely an element that is lost, for sure." But if he had to choose: "I'm in the minority, because I'll buy the vinyl if it comes with a digital download, every time. I've become a little bit of a vinyl fanatic."
Although he's paying tribute to the end of an era, he's not overly sentimental about it: "That's just the way it is, and it's not going to go back to the way it was." Will people be saying the same about movie theaters soon?
Everyone in my industry, the movie industry, is looking at the music industry and going, 'How do we avoid that collapse?' And I don't know if you can, to be quite honest! Having come up in the era where movies are only movies if they're released in the theater ... I don't know if that holds true anymore. I've been involved in some movies that have gone 'direct-to-video,' and that used to not be a good thing, but now it's different. It's not just direct to video, it's direct to your audience."
Here's Hanks's video fundraising pitch on Kickstarter: