Thanks for joining me again to talk about the Lennox Head music scene.
This week we had a chat to our great mate Mario Fraietta who is the owner of Howl & Moan Record store on Carlyle Street, Byron Bay.
As any die-hard music fan knows, a store like Howl & Moan is an extremely important part of the fabric of a local music scene. Cruise into Mario’s store and grab an espresso and flop down on his super comfy couch and you will be ready to learn from one of the most passionate music supporters we have ever met.
Mario tells us he grew up in a household that was a bit ‘anti-music’, and of course like any good teen this only ensured that Mario’s interest was piqued. An older cool cousin intro’d Mario to his big vinyl collection and soon Mario’s teen brain was being melted by mix tapes full of artists like Hendrix, AC/DC, The Hard Ons, Stones and more. Early 90s the saviour of rock was grunge and Mario like many of us became a disciple of noisy alt guitar bands. Mario became a massive fan of the band Magic Dirt. He worships GOD (the band) and of course King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.
Mario started to indulge his passion for music in business opening a coffee roastery and live music venue in Young which hosted performances from artists like Tim Rogers, Mia Dyson and Deborah Conway. In 2017 Mario purchased Good Dog Records in Byron and renamed it Howl & Moan.
We at Lennox Groove got to know Mario well, not just because of his amazing vinyl collection, but also because of his support for live music. He has been at heaps of our gigs and been a big support for our bands including WHARVES and Garage Sale. Mario has also hosted dozens of live gigs in his store, normally at no profit to himself, with plenty of bands who might not overwise have gotten gigs in Byron. Having said that more than a few bands that got that opportunity have gone onto great success including WHARVES, Miniskirt and Seaside to name a few. This sort of support is essential to developing live music, giving young artists and music fans a welcoming and safe place to let loose and be who they want.
Mario got some great recognition recently when he hosted his own stage as part of Falls Music Festival in Dec/Jan 2019. The stage had a huge buzz about it, showcasing great indie rock-n-roll and raw passionate performances.
Mario has met some amazing customers in his store Howl & Moan including Matt Damon, Chris Hemsworth, Bernard Fanning and Don Walker. But it was Henry Rollins calling in to buy and album and get a photo with Mario, that saw our local music community go totally crazy. Rollins and his 1980s punk band ‘Black Flag’ hold a very special place in the psyche of the local punk and indie scene as a massive influence.