Bank Robber Industries, the parent of NYC based indie licensing powerhouse Bank Robber Music, has announced its acquisition of UK publishing company Rough Trade Publishing (RTP).
BRI has attained 50% of RTP’s stock, with an option to purchase the remaining 50% in two years. RTP and House of Hassle Publishing, the publishing arm of BRI, will be merging operations and going forward worldwide under the name Rough Trade Publishing. The new RTP will be positioned within Bank Robber Industries, with operations run out of Bank Robber Industries’ New York, Nashville, Los Angles, and London offices, and will assume House of Hassle’s role as Bank Robber Industries’ publishing arm.
Bank Robber Music founder/HoH co-founder Lyle Hysen has been appointed President of the new Rough Trade Publishing and will oversee global operations. Hysen will work alongside newly appointed RTP Chief Strategic Officer/Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs Gandhar Savur and Chief Financial Officer/Senior Vice President of Operations Douglas Smith. Original RTP co-founder Cathi Gibson will stay on as Managing Director and will head the UK operation. Also remaining will be RTP Deputy Director of A&R and Creative Services Matt Harris.
In addition, legendary Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis and longtime business partner/current Rough Trade Records co-director Jeannette Lee will be joining the new venture as Senior Directors of UK A&R, overseeing RTP’s A&R efforts for the UK. Travis and Lee’s involvement in the new RTP reunites the independent industry icons with Gibson a quarter century after she departed her post as Rough Trade Music General Manager to start Rough Trade Publishing.
“Jeannette and I are happy to join forces with good people whom share the same philosophy of creativity, humanity and fair business practices as music publishers.” says Travis. “We hope to help Rough Trade Publishing become the destination home for the best songwriters.”
Creative Services for the new Rough Trade Publishing will be lead in the US by newly appointed Head of US A&R AJ Tobey and Head of West Coast Creative Sarah Smith.
“I have been involved in underground or alternative music since I was 14 years old,” says Hysen. “Since starting Bank Robber, it’s been my privilege to work with such pioneers as Mac MacCaughan and Laura Balance of Merge Records, Thrill Jockey’s Bettina Richards, and Ian Mackaye of Dischord Records, each of whom achieved extraordinary creative and popular success on their own terms. Entering into this new partnership with Geoff Travis and Jeannette Lee marks a landmark moment for me on that same path which I set out on so many years ago. The impact that Geoff and Jeannette have made on music will last forever. I look forward to working together with them and Rough Trade Publishing to continue that incredible legacy.”
“We thought our vision here at House of Hassle was unique,” says Savur, “but we soon realized Cathi Gibson and Rough Trade Publishing were doing something remarkably similar in the UK to what we had set out to accomplish in the US. Cathi was essentially our UK counterpart and had been actively furthering similar goals in the UK for decades. She and I began speaking regularly, discussing our shared ideals, our distaste for the current state of music publishing, and our ideas for how a global publishing company should be run in the 21st century. Our views were so obviously aligned, the decision to join forces and unite our two companies was inevitable.”