Mute Becomes Indie Again
Mute is to become an independent record label once more following an agreement between owners, EMI Music and Mute founder Daniel Miller.
The company, which was established in 1978, was sold to EMI eight years ago and represents artists including Depeche Mode, Moby, Goldfrapp, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Erasure and Richard Hawley.
The new label will operate under the trademark Mute, which it will license from EMI, and tap into the major’s Label Services division for sales, distribution, synch and licensing and merchandising in the US, UK, Canada and Ireland.
Miller will continue to head the company with EMI taking a minority equity interest. To help with funding, the major will also license Miller part of the Mute back catalogue as well as providing operational support in areas such as royalty administration and business affairs.
EMI Music CEO, Europe & rest of world David Kassler says Miller is a “beacon” for the artist community and “one of the great label entrepreneurs.” Kassler adds, “This new partnership will allow him to build a new independent label whilst enabling us to continue to work with him in a productive and creative way.”
As part of the new agreement, Miller will also take a consultancy role with EMI Music and Mute artists Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp, Richard Hawley, Kraftwerk and White Rabbits will remain signed to and marketed worldwide by EMI Music, with Miller continuing to work with them in his new position.
The remainder of the Mute roster will move over to Miller’s new independent label including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Grinderman, Yeasayer, Erasure, Andy Bell, Liars, Polly Scattergood and A Place To Bury Strangers.
In the UK, the new Mute label will be housed with Miller’s existing music publishing and management business in Albion Place, West London, and in the US in a new location in New York.
It is proposed that the majority of Mute’s 18-strong staff in the UK and USA will also move over from EMI to the new company, while a number of UK-based Mute marketing staff are expected to remain with EMI and continue to work with EMI-signed Mute artists.