New Noise Magazine
Senses Shattered by Darkness: Interview with International Noise Curator Silvio Novelletto
Bandcamp is a lot of amazing things to a lot of different people. A digital store where you can purchase music and merch directly from your favorite artists. A platform for supporting important social causes. A community space for music enthusiasts. But I think everyone would agree, that one of it’s best functions is as a discovery tool.
Who amongst doesn’t spend a few nights a month clicking through recommendations? Scrolling profiles, learning about connections between obscure music scenes, and jamming out to artists you just discovered but now can’t imagine living without.
One of the best functions of Bandcamp are the fans profiles, curated catalogs of releases chronicling one music lover’s exploration of the site and the artists they believe are worthy of attention and whom they’ve opened their pocket-book to.
Now imagine a record label that was run on the same principles as a Bandcamp fan page.
Enter Silvio Novelletto, the curator behind Nailed Nazarene Industries, an international record label, a sonic art gallery and living record of the global harsh noise, anti-music, and extreme sound underground. Novelletto takes the curatorial aspect of a record label one step further, transforming it into an engine for preserving and showcasing fresh, extreme music in a way that revivals the effectiveness of most ac active blogs and news websites.
I was able to catch up with Novelletto over email to get a sense of what motivates him to run such an ambitious operation and learn about his journey to becoming an international extreme sound mogul. Below is the transcript of our conversation, edited slightly for the sake of clarity.
What was the inspiration behind starting Nailed Nazarene Industries last year?
I used to do lists on Rate Your Music and one day I noticed that there was a guy who had rated a lot of the same albums and I decided to click on his profile (BBozeman).
I found that he had rated some projects in the genre of harsh noise. I had never heard of the genre before.
After looking into harsh noise on Bandcamp, I can say that I became inspired by the owners of Basement Corner Emissions and Imploding Sounds (kv&gr/recs). I bought their full discographies. They had projects like Hana Haruna (Ken Jamison) and TAB IN/TAB OUT (Tim Burkland), so I decided to contact these artists. They were the first ones to help me figure out how to run a label on Bandcamp. They sent me their work to be released under Nailed Nazarene Industries and introduced me to the guys behind I, Eternal and PROTOMIT.
After that I got the noise fever and started looking for artists as I still do, asking for materials I can publish through Nailed Nazarene Industries.
How many albums have you put out so far?
723 releases as of September 18. I already have over 50 releases in draft form for the rest of this year. 2 releases per weekday till October 15th.
How has the pandemic effected your operations?
As Nailed started to be known, I decided to create Nailed Physicals where I planned to release CDs on demand at cost through a manufacturer in New York named Kunaki. Then due to the mess with the mail service, we were having problems with delivery, so I decided to refund those who never received their CDs and closed its activities.
As I live in Brazil, exchange rates and mail taxes are a major problem if you want to be able to do this at a reasonable price, and as I don’t do it for profit, it just gave me a headache.
Can you explain your transition from hardcore and metal into the world of harsh noise? What bands and albums were your entry point into the genre?
Like you said, I started listening black metal and crust bands like Venom, Hammerhead, Anti-Cimex, Discharge in 1984, while my school friends were listening to AC/DC and Iron Maiden.
Then came the second wave of black metal and I was listening to Emperor, Darkthrone, and Satyricon until I discovered bands like Borknagar and melodic death metal.
After all these bands become popular, I start listening to Gnaw Ther Tongues, Crowhurst, The Body, Thou, sludge, blackgaze, and that takes us back to the BBozeman story.
I feel that I really went deep into harsh noise when I started looking into the style on Bandcamp and I decided to create my own project, FERRA-RETO in June 2019. I started asking for splits with the bands who I was listening to on Bandcamp and who I liked the most. When they started to answer “yes,” I made almost 50 splits. I developed a good relationship with most of these artists and that is when Nailed Nazarene Industries started to grow in an insane way.
Nowadays I release my own projects on a separate Bandcamp (Novelletto) and really have very little time to make splits.
What are your criteria for releasing an album on Nailed Nazarene Industries?
I contact the artists that I liked or I feel have potential. If the person understands and agrees with my non-profit policy then I release their music. Or else they are an artist that already has released an album with Nailed Nazarene Industries.
Can you explain your “No Profit” ethos and why it’s important to you to not run the label as a pure business?
Sure, I will try to explain it by asking another question, ok?
If I say that you can buy more than 700 albums for $1.00, what would you do?
Now, what if I say that any album costs $1.00?
And if I say that only 60 people bought full discographies but you have more than 10,000 free downloads, would you try to make it pure business?
To make this a pure business, you would need to release albums in physical format, but only those artists that you know would sell, and sell at a profitable price to make back your investment, right?
So what happens with all those artists that are unknown, or who will not sell enough records?
What continuity does an operation like yours have with the legacy of tape trading during the 80s and 90s?
In those days, we had limited access to music and today we have too much music and too little time to listen.
I like to think that Nailed Nazarene Industries is a place where you will have daily updates, better than what you could search for on Bandcamp on your own, and for free.
But I liked your parallel of trading tapes. What if the digital labels start adding a cassette cover-art as a bonus for those who buy the album?
How would you suggest a newcomer approach listening to and appreciating such a high volume of releases?
I would say to think that you are in that scene of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder singing “Pure Imagination” at the garden where all is edible.
“Everything inside is eatable. I mean edible. I mean you can eat everything.”
We asked Silvio to select a handful of releases to help us break into the immense catalog that his label has acquired in the last year and a half. You can check out the selections and a statement prepared by Silvio below.
At Nailed Nazarene Industries, I like to mix some known names in the underground noise scene with newcomers that I selected from daily research on Bandcamp, and not just harsh noise, but every artist that make relevant music.
Sometimes an artist just needs a little space and promotion to be motivated and feel part of a friendly environment with other artists. After learning the way we work, they may even start their own labels, refreshing the scene and bringing new artists in. So it flows into a chain of collaborations that makes for a more vibrant scene.
I’ve inspired a number of artists to start their own labels, like Apocalypse Sounds who created Foolish Records, Gnawing the Flayed with Isolacionist Recordings, and Death/Vow and FIX REC, with whom we are working on some releases that will be out on the same date, and which we are collaborating on promotion.
Five Entry Point Selections from Nailed Nazarene Industries’s Catalog:
1. AnonymousMasturbaudioum – Self Sucking
I am a fan of his work and he is huge in the scene. With a simple video I made for this release, we reached more than 1,500 views on YouTube! – Silvio
2. Atualittà Nera – Pornochanchada Vol.1
Another project that I am a big fan and they made a special release for Nailed based on a Brazilian soft porn comedy from the ’70s. – Silvio
3. I Corpi Presentano Tracce di Violenza Carnale – Il Mito del Cannibal Ferox
This is an amazing project from one of the legends of noise music! He’s also the musician behind Atrax Morgue. I got so excited about this project that I joined with Michele Bianchi from BRTHRM and we made a soundtrack project inspired by the Italian horror film Torso, which is the short name for I Corpi Presentano Tracce di Violenza Carnale. – Silvio
4. Ivan Sandakov – Ritual Cellar
Ivan is a major name in the Russian noise underground and owner of several labels. I have had the pleasure of organizing a streak of splits between projects he represents and 5 artists who I asked to represent Nailed Nazarene Industries. He opened the doors to me with his friends and lead me on a deep dive into the Eastern European noise scene. – Silvio
5. Interzona – Espiral
This guy is well known for his project Suzana’s Bauten but Interzoa is his noise project; He is from a city in Brazil that is most known for its Carnaval. I have become close friends which him, besides being a fan, and I have released several of his albums. – Silvio