Interview: Nick Acosta of New Morality Zine

Posted: by The Editor

What made you want to start a label?
I’ve always wanted to be “active” in the scene (a byproduct of really getting a chance to see labels, promoters, etc, while living in Seattle) and so when I moved to Chicago I had the desire to keep that going. Initially I tried to start a band, and when that didn’t take off I began making the zine. About three years into the zine I got the itch to do a record. In my head it seemed like a natural extension of the zine since it was my way of continuing to promote and talk about music I love, but in a more direct way. I definitely was taking a page out of the playbook of all those zine-to-labels that have happened in the past.
NMZ seems to mostly focus on hardcore and shoegaze. What is about those two genres that draws you to them?
Yeah, I never really intended for it to be that way. I didn’t set out with a specific sonic vision, but more so just bands that I really love and wanted to push. My roots are definitely in hardcore. That was the genre of music that captured me entirely in terms of being both a fan and actively involved. I could see myself in HC. And the zine has its roots in HC so it made sense that it would be a focus of the label. With the genre in particular though, I try to focus on stuff that I like and is just a little left of center. There are so many good bands and so many other good labels that do HC just right that I try to vary it up a bit. As far as the shoegaze focus goes it essentially all started with Downward. It was never my intention to release music of that genre but when a record fell through and I got linked with Downward I immediately knew I had to put it out (although you could argue Downward is not shoegaze). Since then I’ve had a lot of bands in a similar vein. It is honestly something I am trying to stray away from. I like to think that if I were to bucket NMZ a lot of it can also fall into a post-hardcore bucket.
Are there any albums you’ve put out that stand out to you as big moments for the label?
Shit. Good question. I feel like I’ve had a lot of releases that have given the label specific milestones. Whether personal or public, so it is hard to nail them down. Downward’s Downward was the first LP I did, so that was huge for me. And it’s a record that now people are still looking for. Buggin’s Buggin Out was a really fun one. I had known B for years before they started Buggin so when I was asked to work with them I was really excited. They started with a very singular mission to have shows be fun and they achieved that. Anything that came out 2020 honestly, haha. That was the year a lot of stuff really popped and being able to work from home allowed me a lot more time to be intentional. We had a great run with Downward’s 2 Songs, Fake Eyes’ A Drip Is All We Know, Excide’s “Actualize/Radiation Reel,” Holy Figures’ “Lucille.” Then cursetheknife’s Thank You For Being Here–we were super specific about how we split this release up and then dropped it as a double LP and this band gained a huge reach and hit audiences way outside the normal NMZ fanbase. Anything Sunstroke!This band has been a ride or die for me since pretty much day one. And every release! Fuck, haha, I could honestly talk about each release in a specific way but those are a couple earlier on.


Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

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