Kings of Leon and Bug Music Launch Record Label

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Videos by American Songwriter

Southern rockers Kings of Leon have teamed with publishing giant Bug Music to launch a brand new record label. The future of Bug (whose catalog includes “What a Wonderful World,” “Happy Together,” and hits by Woody Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt, Ryan Adams and Wilco) is now partially in the hands of the Followill clan.

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Southern rockers Kings of Leon have teamed with publishing giant Bug Music to launch a brand new record label. The future of Bug (whose catalog includes “What a Wonderful World,” “Happy Together,” and hits by Woody Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt, Ryan Adams and Wilco) is now partially in the hands of the Followill clan.

The partnership, developed late last year and announced Wednesday, grants Kings of Leon artistic freedom in hand-picking new bands for the label. Despite the unconventional arrangement, Bug CEO John Rudolph is not apprehensive. He insists, “Caleb, Jared, Matthew and Nathan are extraordinary tastemakers and constantly absorbing new sounds from all over the world. The honesty in their music is what draws them to genuine artists.” The Kings, who are signed to RCA, will be responsible for finding underrepresented musicians to utilize this powerful vehicle.

The band has chosen Some Kind of Salvation, the newest effort from another Nashville institution, The Features, for the label’s inaugural release. Having toured extensively with the group, the members of Kings of Leon are confident that the Feature’s psychedelic blend of catchy rock riffs will win over listeners and are hopeful that the band will thrive under the commercial prowess of Bug Music.

In announcing the label’s creation, Rudolph remarked, “We are excited about developing new artists together as Bug Music continues to innovate and challenge the industry’s traditional thinking of a publisher.” If all goes as planned, this marriage of band and publisher will promote indie attitudes and innovations in a field rife with dying mega-corporations.

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