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Hard Rock Launches Record Label; Not In It For The Cash

Hard Rock Launches Record Label; Not In It For The Cash

Everyone knows the Hard Rock. Maybe you’ve eaten at one of the brand’s notorious cafes or perused music memorabilia or gambled at one of its amplified casinos. The name is (obviously) synonymous with music and music history, but the brand has yet to try their hand at music making. Enter the 2012 launch of the new Hard Rock venture, Hard Rock Records. For the first time, the company will have its own label and the founders are using this as their chance to assist artists in making it in the biz. Offering free services for a year, this new addition to the music landscape is sure to make some waves. Melodysiac spoke with James Buell, co-head of Hard Rock Records A&R about what’s in store for the label’s future, along with first client, Rosco Bandana.

Everyone knows the Hard Rock. Maybe you’ve eaten at one of the brand’s notorious cafes or perused music memorabilia or gambled at one of its amplified casinos. The name is (obviously) synonymous with music and music history, but the brand has yet to try their hand at music making. Enter the 2012 launch of the new Hard Rock venture, Hard Rock Records. For the first time, the company will have its own label and the founders are using this as their chance to assist artists in making it in the biz. Offering free services for a year, this new addition to the music landscape is sure to make some waves. Melodysiac spoke with James Buell, co-head of Hard Rock Records A&R about what’s in store for the label’s future.

Melodysiac: Isn’t it odd that a brand so focused on music wouldn’t already have its own record label?
James Buell: Hard Rock has been part of the fabric of music for over 40 years, and we hope Hard Rock Records gives us the opportunity to connect with musicians and their fans at a different phase in the life cycle of music. Why that hasn’t come about sooner is difficult to say, but we’re very excited it’s here now.
 
Why start a record label now when the music industry is seemingly suffering?
Now, more than ever, feels like the right time to establish our footing – because we’re not a label in the traditional sense. We’re not structured around revenue or album sales. Our artists keep ownership of any recordings as well as all the profits from their release. Our goal is to give back to the music community. And, our focus is on finding passionate people who create great music and to help them realize their potential.
 
Each artist that signs to the Hard Rock label will receive assistance with recording, production, marketing, promotion, distribution and touring. Will this assistance be given by outside professionals and musicians, or by hired hands within the new Hard Rock label?
Since we’re in our infancy as a label, there’s not a cookie cutter approach. Each band will be different depending on need. Rosco Bandana recorded their album in Los Angeles with Greg Collins. And I think he did an amazing job. He was a perfect fit for what they needed to help capture their sound.
 
The idea is that at the end of that year, the artist walks away with ownership of any recordings, as well as all the profits from their release. How does that work for the label; how will you be making money off of the artists?
We’re not trying to make money from this. It’s not about that. It’s about making music and helping emerging artists. And, hopefully, enriching the lives of these artists and their fans.
 
Americana band Rosco Bandana is the first to sign with the label. Will the group be staying on past the year?
Each band signed to the label has a one-year commitment from Hard Rock Records from the release date of their album. So, Rosco Bandana will be with us until September, 2013, (their debut album comes out this September) and we’re confident we’ll find them a home that’s better suited to meet their long term needs. We want to touch as many bands and as many fans as possible, and the one year commitment gives us the flexibility to do so.

Images courtesy of Hard Rock Records and Rosco Bandana

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victor

July 26th, 2012

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