Louisiana: best known for crawfish, Zydeco, Jazz, The Saints, corrupt politics, and unfortunately, the dubious connection with Hurricane Katrina…. But something else is brewing among all things indigenous - something homegrown that's not entirely categorized by the adjectives “spicy” or “funky.”

It's an independent rock and roll company in the small tree-lined city of Mandeville, 30 minutes north of New Orleans across the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway, the longest bridge in the world over water. More importantly, it's a partnership among friends who are at the epicenter of what's cool and heavy in rock ‘n roll, and on many levels, music in general.

Gene Joanen, a scientist by training but a musician/artist at heart, for numerous years, has been gathering a team of longtime colleagues and confidants who collectively are a huge force in music. Starting out years ago in the New Orleans music scene, Gene helped create the Voodoo Music Experience, now in it's 9th year, featuring bands in 2007 like Rage Against the Machine and The Smashing Pumpkins (last year's headliners included Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Flaming Lips), and is the curator of all archival footage from his own video/audio recording work. Gene is also the proud owner of two state of the art recording studios, Balance Productions. , with his high school comrade and fellow local boy David Fortman.

Dave left for California in the early 90's to play guitar in Ugly Kid Joe. After a couple of hits, the band soon broke up, and Dave moved back home to produce the local Mandeville band, 12 Stones. That band signed to Wind-Up Records, who promptly hired Dave to produce their newest act, Evanescence. Two albums, a Grammy nomination and multi-platinum worldwide success later, Dave has become one of the best producers in the biz, most recently working with Mudvayne, and currently in the studio with A Simple Plan.

In the meantime, Gene has created his own artist-friendly label called Nocturnal Records, who at the moment have released some of the best in hard rock from New Orleans proper and surrounding territories. Groups such as Suplecs (formerly on Man’s Ruin), Rock City Morgue (featuring Sean Yseult from White Zombie), Fall From Eden, and Pleasures of Zer0, along with some diverse projects like Jazz legend Warren Batiste and Alt-country band Invisible Cowboy all share a common bond on this fraternal roster.

Fast forward a bit to 2006, Nocturnal expanded its horizons and signed Scottish alt-rockers Terra Diablo, whose second compact disc came out September 18th, 2007. Gene has also opened an in-house studio, The Artist Incubator.

2007 has begun Nocturnal’s full-scale coming out party. Joanen had previously tapped longtime friend, music business attorney, manager and label rep Patrick Files in Chicago as Head of Legal & Business Affairs. He then hired artist manager, promoter and label consultant, Adam Sloat, as the label’s General Manager. Sloat quickly agreed to relocate from his then home of L.A. to the more familiar surroundings down south. With in-house video production, graphic design and more, this is an exciting young label which is no longer content hiding out on the north shore of New Orleans.

In a move to complete this southern rock ‘n roll powerhouse, Gene has teamed up with another longtime local buddy, Philip H. Anselmo (metal legend/lead singer of Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritual), on a joint venture with Phil’s own Housecore Records. Housecore is the definitive collection of Anselmo side projects and also music he believes in, with 2008 releases coming from Arson Anthem, Christ Inversion, Body & Blood, The Manson Family Soundtrack, Donovan Punch, and more.

Nocturnal/Housecore recently has acquired distribution via Sony/RED to complete the package.

Gene has also formed Nocturnal & Diurnal Media as a publishing company venture to help place his bands' music in television, film and video, with success already visible on various MTV shows.

In his continued quest to support the artists, music to the fans and stay competitive, Gene has started The Media Pawn Shop to act as a filtered content media site for downloads, streams, radio, merchandise and more. He has partnered with Jason Berry and Media Marshall to integrate digital music with a widget/player that allows bands, lifestyle retailers and labels to provide music for purchase directly on their own websites. The player will provide all sorts of artist/fan-friendly touring updates and music features, while at the same time, giving bands the means to sell their own downloads, just as they would their own CD's at their own shows. The Media Pawn Shop will package it, and the artists will sell it, along with streamlined uploads, and accounting and tracking features as well.

Welcome to the new world.

Nocturnal Records: A necessary evil.

Marginal Way

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