the detroiters

Joe Giuliani/Marcus Norwood

"Reason Amidst Chaos": The Men Behind The Record Answer Our Four Questions



The Record - Detroit's Music Journal started publication in March. Since then it's been taking a serious (and oft times irreverent) look at the music scene of Detroit. Publisher Joe Giuliani had the idea for years and when he returned to Detroit from Chicago The Record was launched. More recently Marcus Norwood has joined the fray, officially as the Creative Director/Operational Strategist, or more appropriately as the "Grounded voice of reason amidst the chaos."

Since September has been pleased to bring you music coverage online courtesy of The Record.

What follows is a conversation with Publisher Giuliani and Norwood as told to Nick Sousanis.


JG: I chose Detroit because I am from here.

I didn't make a decision to move to Detroit to start a magazine about its music scene. (Actually yes I totally did do that now that I think about it.) I moved back from Chicago where I'd lived for five years specifically to do this. My point is, I'm from here and it just happens that I'm lucky enough to have such an amazing subject: Detroit's history, significance, and the uncanny way it breeds talent. I love music, I love this city.

MN: Why not Detroit? In the Midwest, other than Chicago, there's no strong music scene. And secondly Detroit is a stone's throw away from Chicago. We've got a lot of quality musicians, artists with Windsor as well and I don't feel that that segment is being delivered to people who want to hear it.


JG: There is so much talent that it deserves to be covered properly.

99 percent of music journalism sucks, as does 99 percent of journalism as a whole. Real music journalism doesn't exist anymore. I can do it better. It's insane what passes for quality in entertainment and news. The bar has been officially lowered. It ain't going up anytime soon. You take away the technology, and we still live in the Dark Ages. Most publications, magazines and papers are all just a place to sell ads. Look at any publication, and compare the number of pages of ads to editorial. Granted this business has a very slim profit margin by nature, but come on, with 99 percent of publications the focus - and the focus of a business is very important - is on business performance, not news coverage. Rolling Stone used to be good. Now it's just glossy toilet paper (to paraphrase abstrakt intellekt.)

The Record is Music journalism as it's supposed to be done - it isn't dumbed down, and it isn't fawning.

MN: The other music journalism magazines are not meeting the specific music needs of a strictly music-driven newspaper in the city of Detroit or Windsor. These are voids that need to be filled, not only because they are not being filled, but because I know that there is more music than is being done so by the other publications.


JG: The future of Detroit is receivership. Other than that, I believe a few people are going to make a ton of money in a short period of time.

MN: The future of Detroit, the Motown Era has proven that Detroit has many, many quality music talents that are available and need and want to be heard. We need to start a rebirth of something not like the Motown Era but something different. So where artists really have their songs, have their music, have their art displayed by Detroiters for Detroiters.


JG: I'll do this for a while, it won't get the support from the community it needs, and I'll have to quit. People don't read very much anymore. The illiteracy rate of Detroit is generally said to be around 47 percent. So almost half the city can't read my mag if they wanted to. That alone is an obstacle. But nobody reads much period. I know a guy who's been in the bookstore business for 20 years. He says has seen a noticeable difference in sales each year. Look at the circulations of the freep and news. It's half what it was before the strike. The Detroit News Sunday circulation is something like 220,000. That's pathetic. There are 9 million people in this state, and less than a quarter million read the state's biggest city's major daily. That's a sad fact. (Of course the news sucks ass, so the tragedy isn't that people are missing out.)

MN: Total journalistic coverage of all music genres - rock, rap, hiphop, folk, country, of Detroit, Windsor and all the tri-county areas that surround us.

- Nick Sousanis

Who will be the next detroiter to face our four questions? Watch this space...

For a look at detroiters past, here's a few:

Artist, Gallery Director, Monte
Mayoral Candidate, Freman Hendrix
State Senator, Hansen Clarke
Arts enthusiast, James Dozier
Community Leader, Detroit Synergy Co-Founder David Naczycz
"The Passenger" writer/director Jamie Sonderman
DEQ founder, DJ Shortround
Author Lynn Crawford
Godfathers of Techno, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson
Theatre Artistic Directors Oliver Pookrum and York Griffith
Art Gallery Directors Aaron Timlin, Phaedra Robinson, and Mitch Cope

Other (non-4 question) Detroiter interviews from our archives:
Artist Charles McGee
Artist Tyree Guyton
Artist Scott Hocking
Artist John Ganis
Sculpture Conservator Giorgio Gikas
Artist Peter Williams

© 2002