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Primary Wave Invest $5 Million in Joint Venture With Rough Trade Publishing

Variety logo Variety 4/28/2017 Roy Trakin
© Provided by Variety

Primary Wave Music Publishing has acquired an equity interest in Rough Trade Publishing in a deal valued at more than $5 million to provide financing for global expansion and joined services. The investment will help the New York-based Rough Trade, with offices in Nashville, Los Angeles, and London, fund new signings, including their most recent, LVL UP (Sub Pop Records) and 888 (Island Records).

In addition to funding co-publishing deals, the joint venture will have access to both Primary Wave’s marketing and creative team and Rough Trade Publishing’s vast synchronization relationships.

Rough Trade SVP Legal Affairs Gandhar Savur said the company has been looking to partner with a company that “is as motivated as we are to sign bands and do exciting deals,” adding, “We’ve finally met our match with Primary Wave. We couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.”

Primary Wave Music Publishing President Justin Shukat added, “Rough Trade is a legendary brand in the music business. Their vision and hard-working team made them an ideal company for us to do business with.”

Rough Trade Publishing administers the catalogs of such bands as War On Drugs, Superchunk, Grizzly Bear, the Magnetic Fields, Against Me!, and Future Islands. It started as House of Hassle Publishing, founded in 2007 by Lyle Hysen, Big Hassle Media chief Ken Weinstein, and Gandhar Savur. House of Hassle was born from a union between Bank Robber Music, a boutique TV/film licensing firm representing some of the most prominent labels in independent rock, and Big Hassle Media, founded by publicity veteran Weinstein, whose clients include alt-J, Amanda Palmer, Ben Folds, Brantley Gilbert, Cheap Trick, Craig Finn, Drive-By Truckers, Gregg Allman, Jack White, Michael Kiwanuka, Phish, Robin Hitchcock, Shakey Graves, The Pretenders, and Young the Giant.

In 2016, House of Hassle acquired a substantial interest in the UK-based Rough Trade Publishing and now operates under that name with a combined roster and staff, including legendary A&R executive Geoff Travis and his partner, Jeannette Lee who simultaneously run Rough Trade Records and are responsible for signing such artists as The Strokes, The Smiths, and The Libertines.

Rough Trade Publishing operates as the publishing arm of Bank Robber Industries, a music industry umbrella group comprised of numerous companies including Bank Robber Music, Bank Robber Europe, Big Hassle Media, and Music House of Hassle.

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