The iconic Hard Rock brand has ventured into the record label business. The Hard Rock name is synonymous with the cafes, hotels, and casinos worldwide and stakes claim to the world’s largest collection of music memorabilia. “When you think about Hard Rock, you think about a brand that plugs you into musical experiences,” explains John Galloway, Hard Rock’s Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Music is important to us. It’s what differentiates us. There are a lot of companies in the hospitality space, but one of our main differentiators is being a brand that plugs you into music.”
An artist who’s signed to the Hard Rock Records label will receive assistance with recording, production, marketing, promotion, distribution, and touring in exchange for a one-year commitment to the label. At the end of that year, the artist walks away with ownership of any recordings as well as all the profits from their release. Hard Rock has no expectation for remuneration of any funds spent developing the artist. “All the money from album sales goes back to the artist,” says Hard Rock Records co-Head of A&R James Buell. “We don‘t take any publishing. The artists own the music and hopefully, when the year is done, they have a better standing in the music community and we have a great ongoing relationship with them. The best thing that could happen for us is for another label to say we really like this band and to sign them and further their career after we helped get them started.”
The first artist to be signed, Mississippi band, Rosco Bandana will perform at the Hard Rock Records Launch Party, June 19, 2012 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Nashville, TN. Hard Rock Records plans to sign roughly three bands each year.