Grassroots music scene makes its way to the big stage
A NORTH Coast business owner who has helped foster the local grassroots music scene is now taking it to the next level.
Owner of Howl & Moan Records at Byron Bay, Mario Fraietta, has been invited to curate a stage at Falls Festival Byron Bay this year.
The Howl & Moan Records stage will feature the sounds of the Northern Rivers with bands performing everything from psychedelic rock and grunge to extreme metal, hardcore punk and experimental noise.
Mr Fraietta's store is every music lover's dream with music being central to everything in the store, including a wide range of more underground vinyls for sale.
Globe lights hang from the roof, Nick Cave portraits scream from the walls, and the gig posters of underground acts line the walls with the greedy gaudy colour scheme that oozes rock.
"I spent a life time in the corporate world, I've run hospitality, I've done live music venues, so this was the logical next step where I could do something a bit different," Mr Fraietta said.
"I like to explain my space as a sensory experience - you can sit down listen to the music, you can see the records, you see posters on the wall, you can smell the vinyl and second-hand vinyl has a smell."
That passion for music has created a unique live music space as well.
Mr Fraietta opened it up for local acts to showcase their music at a time when underground acts in the area were looking for a new niche experience.
He always saw the connection with the local community and musicians as a key ingredient to long term survival.
Within the first few days of operating, Howl & Moan Records hosted their first in a long series of live shows that has seen the small record store host more than 100 bands and performers, giving many local bands their 'first ever' live performance but also travelling overseas acts including bands from the US, UK, Finland, Denmark, Italy and Germany.
This unique thriving hub will now be showcased to a national audience at Falls Festival.
The band P.A.F.F was born out of this hot spot of music passion.
An experimental noise-dancerock trio by Byron locals Cameron Spike-Porter, Luke Davies, and David Ely, P.A.F.F. lends itself to time bending madness that melts the minds and hearts of its victims.
"Howl & Moan Records is honoured to have been granted the opportunity to curate a stage at a prominent national music festival and it is super exciting to invite those bands that have made our regular Tuesday night sessions a success," Mr Fraietta said.
Howl & Moan headliners include Miniskirt, Stoker, Captain Squidlicker & the Sinking Ships and P.A.F.F. with additional performances by Hobo Magic, Pineapple Lazer, From Crisis to Collapse, Demi Casha, Masochist and Bedclub.
From Crisis to Collapse guitarist Chad Ellis said they had played at the venue three times and it was an incredible space to indulge one's love of music.
"We were surrounded by disbelief when we got the call up for Falls and then overwhelmed with pride for Mario and all the hardwork he has put in for the community," he said.
Masochist drummer Ned Cain was also filled with praise for the strength of the local music community and the amazing space Mario had created.
"We are so grateful for the opportunity and it is awesome what he has done here," Ned said.