Thursday, April 26, 2012


According to LAMBGOAT and METALSUCKS, WARNER MUSIC GROUP are shutting down ROADRUNNER RECORDS European offices,(including the UK and CANADA) corporate downsizing regarding financial cuts as WARNER MUSIC GROUP absorbs ROADRUNNER RECORDS via the acquisition/ merger two years ago in 2010... WARNER MUSIC GROUP acquired a majority stake and has 100% owned ROADRUNNER since 2010. ROADRUNNER RECORDS has existed as primarily an extreme metal label since 1980, know then as ROADRACER RECORDS (changing the labels name to ROADRUNNER in the 90's). In the 1990's ROADRUNNER RECORDS featured groundbreaking extreme metal artists CARNIVORE,SEPULTURA, KING DIAMOND, FEAR FACTORY, ANNIHILATOR, LIFE OF AGONY, TYPE O NEGATIVE, DEICIDE, SUFFOCATION, DEATH, OBITUARY ect.                                                                                                                                         At the turn of the new millennium, ROADRUNNER RECORDS opted for the new wave of American heavy metal (metal core/hard rock/nu metal), as ROADRUNNER's extreme metal bands opted for other indies. In 2k and beyond, ROADRUNNER signed SLIPKNOT,MACHINEHEAD, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE,TRIVIUM, NICKLEBACK and veteran acts KORN, OPETH, DREAM THEATER, KISS, MEGADETH and RUSH.

"Concurrent with his departure, the label is being realigned so that it will utilize the Warner Music Group for back-office and other support capabilities while retaining frontline label functions like A&R, marketing, promotion and publicity.

"In the U.S., Roadrunner will continue to operate as a standalone frontline label, although 16 staffers in the States are losing their jobs.

"Internationally, Roadrunner's staff will continue to carry out some label functions, such as marketing, promo and publicity. Other responsibilities, principally support functions, will be carried out by Warner Music teams, which means that 20 staffers will lose their jobs.

"Roadrunner, which continues to be a strong brand in rock music, will continue to have personnel in every territory it does currently, with the exception of the Netherlands office, which is being shuttered. Wessels founded the label in the Netherlands in 1980.

"Longtime label President Jonas Nachsin, who has served in that role since 1999, will remain on staff." 

Within the past hour, news has begun to circulate suggesting that Roadrunner Records UK was closing. Further research has unveiled mention of their German offices are closing as well. However, strangely, we cannot yet find a source for all of the buzz. If you know anything, hit us up.

Update #1: According to Ed Stone, "Roadrunner cuts today are international and not just in the UK."

Update #2: We've been told that Roadrunner parent company Warner Music Group is closing Roadrunner's European offices in a cost cutting move.

Update #3: Roadrunner publicist Kirsten Sprinks has the following to say via Twitter: "It's true - we are all out of a job... So, it's safe to say it's a truly horrible day."

Update #4: In addition to Roadrunner UK closing, we can confirm that Roadrunner Records Canada has closed as well, with its employees now terminated.

Update #2, 6:30 pm: According to Billboard and METAL INJECTION:  
Roadrunner CEO Cees Wessels is parting with the label as well. 36 employees total were let go today — 16 from the U.S. office. So this isn’t just having an impact on the label’s international offices. The trade further reports that “Internationally, Roadrunner’s staff will continue to carry out some label functions, such as marketing, promo and publicity. Other responsibilities, principally support functions, will be carried out by Warner Music teams.”
Update, 2:21 pm: Roadrunner Canada is gone now, too. 

Rose Slanic, the general manager of Roadrunner Records Canada tweeted:
“Not sure what is going on, but it doesn’t feel good to work at RR today!”
“Today was my last day at Roadrunner Records. Thanks everyone for a great seven years!”

The label was launched in 1980 as "Roadracer Records" in the Netherlands. Roadrunner's initial business was importing North American metal-band recordings into Europe. In 1986, Roadrunner opened its US headquarters in New York City and later opened offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, Denmark and the latest in Canada. Early successes included albums from King Diamond (the first Roadrunner artist to enter the Billboard Top 200 albums chart) and Annihilator.
The label also handled early Metallica releases in the Scandinavian region. The end of the 1980s saw the release of two albums that are now considered classics of their respective genres: Obituary's Slowly We Rot and Sepultura's Beneath the Remains.
On November 11, 2010, Warner Music Group announced they had acquired the remaining of Roadrunner's stock. Roadrunner will continue to operate as a distinct brand within WMG, according to sources. Cees Wessels, the label's founder, remains CEO 

Trivium's Matt Heafy has subsequently taken to Twitter to rant:

Matt Heafy on Roadrunner closures


For you RR closing offices may be about your favorite BAND but in reality it's about the PEOPLE WHO MADE YOU AWARE OF YOUR FAVORITE BAND that worked at RR! From the Girl answering the phone to the ART department to the A&R who FOUND your favorite band in some small club and WORKED to sign them ! To the PRESS persons who work day and night to get your favorite BAND in Mags on websites etc so they became visible and had a Shot at making their dreams come true! So while you want to worry and it's alright to do so for YOUR FAVORITE RR BAND / you should stop and take a moment to think about all the jobs lost , families out of work and band that will be getting dropped. You should TAKE THE TIME TO THANK IN WRITING ALL THE HARD WORKING PEOPLE BEHIND THE SCENES THAT BELIEVED IN YOUR FAVORITE BAND BEFORE YOU EVEN HEARD THEIR NAMES ….
Sad to see the closing of our friends at Roadrunner in Europe and the UK. What happened today to Roadrunner is one of the biggest reasons I never sold to a major. When we started 30 years ago we worked with Roadrunner. They distributed our stuff in Europe and we did their stuff in the USA. Sad day. We always had a great relationship with everyone at Roadrunner from Cees Wessels on down. Great label,sorry to see so many out of work. We always had a great relationship with everyone at Roadrunner from Cees Wessels on down. Great label,sorry to see so many out of work. The music business changes all the time. Please support the bands and labels you like. Thanks!
Sad to see Roadrunner Uk/EU close, had many of the best bands and hardest working staffers there. Changed once Warners owned 100%. Some corporate twonk at Warners thinks promoting Machine Head & Opeth can be done just like Linkin Park & Green Day?

 “Metal fans stop buying music, they download it ‘for free.’ Labels dont make money with selling metal music anymore. Labels first cut down their offices and staff, then they will drop all the artists who don’t sell CDs anymore. Metal bands are the first to go. It’s a small niche compared to mainstream music.”
She added that with no label, most metal bands would be unable to survive. “Bands have no label support anymore, thus won’t get any tour support, so they cannot go out and build a live profile / make a name as a good live band anymore. The only real income for a band these days. This results in lack of touring offers in general. Every time you rip music for free, you tick the ‘I don’t care if my fave band will die’ box in a way. Think about it. Twice.”

FROM Maurizio Iacono (KATAKLYSM, EX DEO): 
"This is just the beginning Not buying albums is affecting the labels who in return invest in the bands, tour support, recording .. it's destroying all newcomer bands and its making middle class musicians poor. You're not hurting the labels by illegal downloading, you're killing the bands.

Starting a band these days is a suicide mission. If music becomes a hobby for musicians, then no more tours, no more good music. Dark times ahead. Well, wait, we have holograms now, don't need REAL people on stage... my bad ...

It's not true that bands don't need labels. Ask a 16-year-old kid who just started a band what to do. The power of record labels to fly journalists, to market, to distribute is SUPER important. With time you get the knowledge to do a lot of things, but to run a business (yes running a band is business) + touring worldwide to please fans that want to see you is nearly impossible. You need labels. Wven if they become more of a management thing in the future, you need them.

Right now, with record sales getting lower and people buying less and less product, labels are saying 'Sure, we'll buy your flights, we'll promote the band, we'll give you tour support to buy a van or rent, but give us your merch.' After you do that you starve to death.

Again, it's not about me. I've had a great 20 years; if it ends tomorrow I can keep my head help up high for what I've done, but what about the new comers and the future of music? NOT good. It's not you the fans' fault, don't get me wrong. It's the system that let it happen. Governments, etc. could have stopped it. They didn't. Now it's up to us, the fans, to help out.

Buy a shirt, CD, vinyls, download on iTunes, Amazon, the songs you like .. DO SOMETHING! I love you all, and always remember, you guys have all the power to build or destroy, we are only messengers of your voice."
We are so sorry to hear the news about our friends at RoadrunnerRecords and all of the layoffs there. Hang in there!


Slipknot’s Clown said: “It’s a sad day. It has been brought to my attention that many Roadrunner offices around the world have been closed permanently.
“This means to us, Slipknot, in my opinion that a lot of our very close friends and comrades will no longer be around to help the art and business known as the Slipknot family.
“You are in my thoughts and prayers now forever. I will always consider you close friends and I will make every attempt to stay in touch with as many of you as possible.”

Thanks-Stay Metal, Stay Brutal-\m/ -l-