One of the best record stores in Italy and Europe, Radiation Records works a lot online too. However, its heart are two dream places for all music lovers where you can find jems and rarities of any genre. Radiation Pigneto has been there for more than ten years, whereas a smaller Radiation, in the beautiful Rione Monti, has recently opened. The Circonvallazione Casilina 44 (Pigneto) shop closes its shutters! It moves to Via Romanello Da Forlì 14, still in Pigneto, a lively and punk area of Rome.
We met the founder, Marco Sannino, with whom we talked about this new adventure and the musical and life path that brought him here. A great music lover, Marco tells us “I find it magical that as far away in time a feeling or a memory can be, the simple touch of the needle on the disk is able to bring it back again or to make me relive it.

Go to meet him and touch with hand what we are talking about tomorrow, Friday 30th and Saturday 31st of March. In the new Radiation Records Pigneto you will enjoy two days of great celebration. There will be tons of records never exposed due to lack of space and the Giuda that will present their new single. All this during shop opening hours, so up to 8 p.m.

Let’s start from the next opening of the new shop. Why did you choose to leave the historic store?

We have been thinking about it for a while. The store has been stuffed for years now. And it was a bit cramped, both for us and for our customers, who are luckily often many.

The opening of a second store in Via del Boschetto last year made us breathe a sigh of relief. It temporarily removed the problem, at least. But then I found a place three times bigger, very close to the Pigneto store, and I thought about moving everything and leaving.

Tell us about the guests of the opening, the Giuda. Radiation has the exclusive distribution of the single they will present with a signing session.

Giuda are a rather well-known Roman group, maybe more abroad than in Italy. They made 3 great records and they are a cult band that fills-up venues everywhere. A punk rock band, with a strong focus on the sounds and aesthetics of that proto punk who flirted with glam and pub rock. They are, according to also to very remarkable signatures, one of the most exciting things that happened to rock ‘n’ roll in recent years. I follow them from the beginning, I am a fan, they are friends and frequent visitors of our stores, and most of them live in Pigneto. So we have a special fondness for them, but they are definitely not a recent discovery.

And now let’s talk about you. Music has always been a constant in your life, you played, were a DJ, organized concerts, worked for Goodfellas. How was this great passion born and what does it give you in everyday life?

It is a passion that I already had as a child. I loved Kiss and Iron Maiden, then the Pistols and the Ramones, then thousands of other things. I like music, in itself, and I really like records, CDs, and all those things. The fact that a succession of objects so dense with absolute meaning then has a different value for me fascinates me. A value that can be different from the intrinsic one, linked to the moments of my life when I listened to them or bought them. I find it magical that as far away in time a feeling or a memory can be, the simple touch of the needle on the disk is able to bring it back again or to make me relive it.

Tell us about how your life has changed from distribution to opening your own place.

In some ways it changed little, I worked with music before and I continued to do it later, even if with a different mindset. For others, it has changed substantially, because I had no guarantees and the success of the thing depended only on me.

It was a brave choice to open a record store in the era of Napster & co. Was it a rash decision to follow your passions? How did it go in the beginning?

So, I guess that here the literature on the subject would want me to tell you that it came out of madness because I only follow passions in life. It would be false: I believed in it from the beginning. Napster or the others never convinced me, even when downloading seemed like an invincible monster. I had the clear impression that it was a straw fire.

Today Radiation Records is an important reality in Italy and in Europe. Tell us what Radiation is. What are the factors of this success and why do you think so many others have closed and continue to close?

I don’t think there’s any secret, we work hard and leave our customers satisfied.

What is your favorite musical genre and which artists have inspired your path?

I come from punk rock. I like shoegaze, indie rock, rap, 60s garage rock, soul, funk and rockabilly, but my heart beats for punk and rock ‘n’ roll. My favorite group are the Ramones.

Tell us about the differences with Radiation Records in Rione Monti. There is a greater turnout of tourists I guess. Do foreigners stop buying or prefer to buy records at home?

Actually tourists reach us intentionally in both locations, in Monti many pass by chance. And yes, they stop by, many of them. Almost 80% of the clientele is made of foreigners.

And now the usual ShopAround question. Recommend places to someone who does not know Rome but who would like to live it as a local. Where to have breakfast, where to eat, what shops to visit and what to do in the evening.

I can recommend a nice day at Pigneto. So have breakfast at Necci, then go to Radiation, stay there until lunch, then go to So What?!? which is a great vegan restaurant. Even in the evening there is a lot to do: it is one of the liveliest and most interesting neighborhoods in the capital.

What song would you like to listen (or maybe you’re listening to) right now?

I don’tt know if I should be proud of it, but I’m listening to GG Allin.

You can surely be proud of your work, Marco. A big good luck from us of ShopAround!

Radiation Records | official site

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!