Thoughts About The Devil Wears Prada Signing With Roadrunner Records
It makes perfect sense.
Fits in with Roadrunner’s new business model — which to some extent is governed from the top via Warner Music Group (exactly how much so is unclear) — of signing established groups that fit generally under the heavy music umbrella. Roadrunner is not really interested in signing fresh, unknown talent and “breaking” new bands anymore. And why would they be? It hasn’t worked for them in a while. The label made a play at re-establishing their metal credibility amongst a younger/cooler audience with Kvelertak — which could almost be viewed as a loss-leader, in a way, even if that band loses the label money — and now they’re going for broke with big guns like The Devil Wears Prada, who are stupidly and beyond all comprehension really fucking popular.
The Devil Wears Prada young up Roadrunner’s roster a bit; Megadeth are now gone, but Dream Theater, Opeth, Ratt, Rush and Queensryche (I think?) remain. Korn are an interesting anomaly, neither young nor old, per se (I guess “old” by default at this point). Killswitch engage aren’t getting any younger. Neither are Nickelback or Theory of a Deadman. Or, for that matter, Slipknot. I guess there’s Trivium… but they’re not exactly spring chickens anymore either.
It also makes sense logistically. The Devil Wears Prada were previously signed to Ferret but ended up in the WMG system (handled by the Independent Label Group, or ILG) when Ferret’s founders stepped away from the company a few years back. Now that Roadrunner’s offices are with the rest of WMG’s in midtown, the band “stays in the building,” so to speak. Roadrunner staff charged with working this project (and lord, please have mercy on the poor foot-soldier souls at Roadrunner who have to pretend they like this derivative crap) can talk to people in the building who have worked the band already. Maybe they’re even the same people.
So, yeah, that happened. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Roadrunner signing more bands like this in the coming months and years.
I don’t wanna be all doom and gloom, though; can we get a round of applause for how Roadrunner has handled Gojira? The band had plenty of momentum on their own, sure, but I have no doubt that the extra push of a big company like Roadrunner has helped propel Gojira to a point where they’re able to put on big stage shows like the one they have on their current tour. We saw them last night in Brooklyn and… HOLY SHIT. Best live band in metal right now. Conversation over. And the amount of “ROADRUNNER RUINED GOJIRA HERPADERP” backlash has been minimal through it all. So, yeah, job well done there.