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October 20, 2021

Interview with Mario Fraietta of Howl & Moan Records

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Store highlights have been hosting debut shows for local bands such as PAFF

Howl & Moan at Falls!

Howl & Moan Stage at Falls Festival |  31 Dec till 2 Jan  

Howl & Moan Records has become a Byron Bay institution for musicians and record lovers. Over the past few years owner Mario Salvatore Fraietta has fostered the grassroots northern rivers band scene, supporting emerging artists across a variety of genres. This year at Falls ten local bands reach an ever larger national audience with Fraietta curating a dedicated Howl & Moan stage. Mario spoke with The Echo about the big picture of Mario Fraietta.

Mario, what was the inspiration for setting up Howl & Moan Records? 

As a lifelong lover of music and collector of records, to delve into this passion all day every day and share it with like-minded people is an amazing opportunity. 

What is the ethos of Howl & Moan musicians? 

Originality, enthusiasm, a will to impress the audience; we don’t impose any restrictions!

You have transformed your shop into a vinyl lounge /music venue. How does that enhance the experience for musicians and music lovers? 

Most people have only ever heard compressed digital music (CDs, mp3, streaming) so when they sit down and actually listen to a vinyl record, they immediately hear more sound, more of the feeling the artist wants to convey in the manner they intend to through their track listing! The only thing better than a vinyl record is a live performance; when there is no barrier between audience and musician and no competing activities such as a bar or pokie room, the experience is magnified!

Is there an element of ‘nostalgia’ or a nod to the past with some of the music that you carry? 

Yes, totally, but music has always been about building blocks from the past, so without classical, jazz, or blues we would not have rock’n’roll, disco, funk, hip-hop, punk or heavy metal! Giving the listener a full range is essential.

What are your top 10 vinyl releases of all time?

1. AC/DC – Let There Be Rock

2. Magic Dirt – Signs of Satanic Youth

3. Rowland S Howard – Teenage Snuff Film

4. PJ Harvey – Rid of Me

5. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Let Love In

6. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation

7. Dirty Three – Horse Stories

8. You Am I – Sound as Ever

9. Blonde Redhead – In an expression of the inexpressible 

10. Abbe May – Howl & Moan

How many gigs have you hosted so far? What’s been the highlight? 

Close to 300 individual acts. The highlights have been hosting debut shows for local bands such as PAFF, No Parade, Dicklord, Float Therapy, and countless more! 

What have you got planned for Falls Festival? 

A non-stop musical experience, from some of the best local bands to visual artists and filmmakers; from when we take over the stage at around 5.30 each night we will have non-stop sound and visual action. I don’t think this has ever happened at a music festival and I’m super excited to have so many talented artists and musicians locally who will make this a reality!

So pop by the Howl & Moan stage if you are at Falls Festival to catch the best in northern rivers screaming punk and rock and punk rock. If you like your music full tilt, this is the stage for you – featuring Miniskirt, Stoker, Captain Squidlicker & The Sinking Ships, PAFF, Hobo Magic, Pineapple Lazer, From Crisis to Collapse, Demi Casha, Masochist, and Bedclub.

Falls Festival runs from 31 Dec till 2 Jan. For more info head to fallsfestival.com.au.


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