EDGEOUT Records Launches, New Rock Label With Live Focus: Exclusive


The new label arrives with an exclusive global label services deal with Universal Music Group.

EDGEOUT Records, a new record label focused on developing rock bands, launched today. The label is headed by veteran music executive Tony Guanci and has an exclusive label services deal with Universal Music Group. It will be headquartered out of UMG’s offices in Santa Monica, Calif.

The record label’s core mission is to develop every aspect of a band or artist’s career, including overall sound, business strategies, assembling a team, synchs, branding, publishing and especially live performance and touring.

“More than any other genre of music, successful rock bands have historically built their fan base through touring and live performances,” stated Guanci, the label’s founder and chairman who is also vice-chairman of independent rock promotions company Danny Wimmer Presents. “I plan to use my 30 years of experience and connections in touring and promotion to ensure our artists have access to the most coveted tours and festivals, which will allow them to organically reach new audiences and promote their latest tracks.”

This, Guanci told Pollstar, will be achieved with his seasoned executive team. 
“We’re all from the live space and other associated businesses,” he said, “which gives us the advantage of seeing a lot of young talent that might not be considered and needs development.”

Indeed, Edgeout’s executive staff is rounded out by Cheryl Benson, head of A&R and artist development, who has 25 years of experience in the live event and show production fields, and Colin Philips, A&R coordinator and label representative, who is a career musician experienced in music branding, marketing and distribution. Additionally, Edgeout has assembled a board of live entertainment veterans.

The new label’s exclusive agreement with Universal Music Group (UMG), allows Edgeout the flexibility to work closely with UMG’s various labels and utilize its estimable resources to break artists around the globe. “The label sits at the center of Universal, what we call a ‘center label,’ meaning that we’re not committed to any particular UMG label,” Guanci explained. “We have the ability to sign bands who we’ll either upstream to one of their labels or we’ll do a self-distribution deal with one of Universal’s companies like Caroline or one of their promotion and marketing units”

Edgeout also has a publishing arrangement with Universal Music Publishing Group.

As part of Edgeout’s artist development plan the label is launching Studio Edge, a six-month artist development program based in Los Angeles for up-and-coming acts. Through an extensive submission process, selected bands will be offered an exercisable recording contract prior to the session’s start date. At completion, the label will evaluate each artist and determine the agreement.

(Photo by Bryce Hall/DWP)

The JACKS performing at the Aftershock Festival in Sacremento, CA.

Edgeout’s first signing is The JACKS, a Southern California rock quartet heavily influenced by classic British invasion bands. The group will perform at Danny Wimmer Presents’ new Sonic Temple Festival this May and is slated to play a prominent, nationally televised event that has yet to be announced.

The label’s emphasis on the live sphere couldn’t come at a better time. The thriving North American live entertainment business is estimated to be worth some $10 billion with record-setting revenues forecast for this year. Ticket bundles, which bake the cost of a new album into the price of a ticket, continue to help artists hit No. 1 on record charts (most recently seen with Andrea Bocelli’s new album Si).

At the same time, however, “rock bands are not being developed,” Guanci said. “There’s a huge gap in the development of rock music. We need to find the young, talented rock bands, develop them and get them ready to fill the shoes of headliners for arenas, festivals and stadiums.” He explained that rock acts continue to over-index in live despite their flagging recorded music sales and radio presence.

Examining Pollstar’s 2017 Year-End Top 100 North American Tours chart bears this out. Eleven of the top 25 tours were staged by rock acts. Yet under the leadership of 41-year-old Chris Martin, the youngest act, Coldplay — who some may not consider rock — are no spring chickens. Rounding out the rest of the top touring rock graybeards are U2 (Bono, 58 years old), Metallica (James Hetfield, 55), Guns N’ Roses (Axl Rose, 56) Roger Waters (75), Billy Joel (69), Red Hot Chili Peppers (Flea and Anthony Kiedis, both 56), Paul McCartney (76), Neil Diamond (77), Dead & Co (Bob Weir, 71) and, sadly,  the late Tom Petty. The need for young blood to replenish the genre is easy to see.

Edgeout’s modus operandi is more than willing to do just that. “It begins and ends with music, of course,” Guanci said, “but live is such an essential ingredient to any band’s success. I don’t know that there’s ever been another label that’s really gone in this direction before.”

For more information on Edgeout Records go to Edgeoutrecords.com