Nina Co-Founder Eric Farber Codes to Heavy Metal
This is SOUND ADVICE, a weekly destination for playlists curated by Interview’s friends, enemies, and lovers. Over the past few weeks, we’ve gathered playlists from Mia Moretti, Izzy Spears, and Devon Ross. This week’s guest is Eric Farber, a co-founder of the music streaming platform Nina Protocol. Unlike Spotify or Apple Music, Nina is designed to give artists total ownership over their work, which is uploaded, stored, and streamed on their blockchain-based platform without a subscription fee. The project began in 2021, amidst the hype around web3 and NTFs, when Farber and his co-creators Jack Callahan and Mike Pollard joined forces to create a streaming platform that actually reflected the communal ethos of the scenes they’d grown up in. Pollard is the creator of the label Arbor, which put out early music from artists like James Ferraro and Oneontrix Point Never. As a result, Nina’s staff picks and blogposts provide an unparalleled level of real, human curation. In that very spirit, Farber made us a party playlist on Nina, below, and took our Sound Advice questionnaire, where he reminisced about Pink Floyd and his American Apparel era.
Where do you dance? Anywhere but mostly at home recently. I’m overdue for a proper function.
Bluetooth or wired headphones? Wired at home, Bluetooth at the office, AirPods walking around. Never let them know your next move.
Who do you trust most with the aux? Aux cords are for sharing. Brad and Jeff from Stubborn are always reliable to show me some shit that I don’t know but should.
What song reminds you of your childhood? ‘The Wall” by Pink Floyd.
Do you play an instrument? I play the guitar and I love playing it.
What’s your music taste red flag? I don’t know if I have one. I like hearing “bad” music.
What was your first concert? I saw Korn when I was 11 at the Worcester Centrum Center. Got wrecked in the pit.
What song do you have on repeat? Future Games – Fleetwood Mac.
Fuck, marry, kill: SoundCloud, Limewire, Napster. Kill Limewire, Fuck Napster, Marry Soundcloud. This is a real toughie.
Favorite album cover of all time: Les Rallizes Denudes – Heavier Than A Death In The Family.
What’s the best album to code to? Koloss by Meshuggah. Extreme Metal === Good Focus.
What song is playing in the metaverse? Idk. Hopefully a YouTube ‘Heavy Rain and Thunder Sound for Sleeping’ live stream with a chatroom.
Nina Protocol founders are former underground scene kids. What was your go-to show outfit? I fell into underground music at the pinnacle of the American Apparel era so: skinny jeans, white chucks, faux-hawk, zip up. Standard fare but make it ‘do’s and don’t’s.
Name your favorite artist no one knows about. Soltero. This was a local songwriter in Boston that I think lives in Germany now. Never got his shine but made records that meant a lot to me and some people I grew up with.
Which Nina artist is on your party playlist? Eric Alves. We recently featured their release JERSEY GOES DRILL NYC. He’s uploaded under a bunch of pseudonyms and has a catalog that spans from Jungle, DNB, Screw, trance. Very tight shit.