Roadrunner Records’ Dramatic Turn Of Events

There’s been a lot of wild news about Roadrunner Records being reported over the last few days so I wanted to make sure that I posted something for our readership to be up on the developments as well. The first bit of shocking news is how the labels founder Cees Wessels has left the label, the move coming about 17 months after the labels complete sale to Warner Music Group.

The WMG company had purchased a major stake in Roadrunner Records back in 2007 and at the time many were hopeful that this would allow Roadrunner to flourish better and have a bigger financial armament behind them for use in their efforts of keeping Metal in the public eye. My own view at the time was that this would be great for the bands that fell into the Metal genre and who needed to have a label behind them but didn’t perhaps fall into the current focus of what Warner might have been doing. Now with Roadrunner being owned entirely by Warner we are learning of full office closures and additional staff layoffs. At the time of this writing, the UK and Canada office are closed and word seems to point to Netherlands office going as well. On top of this we have learned of stateside layoffs. From this one has to wonder what will end up happening to the US representation of the brand.

I am hopeful that the stateside offices remain intact because I feel the label does serve the Metal fans well and has kept us enthralled with releases by Opeth, Nightwish, Dream Theater, Slipknot and too many others to line out here for so many years. Yes some fans might slight them for paying mind to bands like Nickelback or weirder signings like Lenny Kravitz, but at the end of the day everyone needs to keep cash flowing in to keep afloat. This kind of corporate stuff is not fun at all and I am speaking from personal experience having seen my own jobs of the past vanish due to it on more than one occasion. It really is a disruptive process so I wish anyone facing it the best. Clearly there is a need for a sound Metal focused label, as we have just celebrated the 30th Anniversary of Metal Blade Records and that proves the fans are out there for the genre.

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