Nuclear Blast owner Markus Staiger has joined forces with former Roadrunner Records A&R chief Monte Conner in the formation of a new U.S. partnership — Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
The new record label, which will share most major operations with the existing U.S. branch of Nuclear Blast, will announce its first signings in the coming months.
Conner recently departed Roadrunner after a 25-year run that saw him sign most of the successful hard rock and metal bands on the label, including SLIPKNOT, SEPULTURA, MACHINE HEAD, TRIVIUM, FEAR FACTORY, STONE SOUR, TYPE O NEGATIVE, SOULFLY, COAL CHAMBER, LIFE OF AGONY, BIOHAZARD, DEVILDRIVER, DEICIDE and most recently, RUSH and GOJIRA.
Plans are also underway to expand Nuclear Blast's strength in the U.K. market and the label has now paired with former Roadrunner U.K. managing director, Mark Palmer. Palmer will open Nuclear Blast's first U.K. office. Palmer had been with Roadrunner almost from the start and had built the U.K. branch of Roadrunner into one of the most respected and successful local record company teams the metal world has ever seen.
Says Conner: "What Markus Staiger and his incredibly dedicated staff have built over the last 25 years is quite an achievement, and it has all happened almost concurrently with my time at Roadrunner Records. I am very pleased to align myself with a team of loyal, hard-working people and am looking forward to playing my part in the continued evolution and dominance of this worldwide metal powerhouse. I hope to both complement as well as expand on all the great things already happening at Nuclear Blast, especially when it comes to the U.S. market and Nuclear Blast Entertainment. I feel Markus and I can be an unstoppable force in metal and beyond, and with my long-term colleague Mark Palmer also now aboard in the U.K., this already feels like home to me."
Adds Palmer: "I am really excited at the prospect of working with the amazing staff at Nuclear Blast and putting together a new team to strongly develop their business and profile in the U.K."
States Staiger: "I am absolutely thrilled to welcome metal veterans Monte Conner and Mark Palmer to the Nuclear Blast team. I am continually striving to strengthen Nuclear Blast on all fronts as a worldwide force, and with the addition of Monte and Mark, I feel we just took major steps in two key territories."
Nuclear Blast was founded by Staiger in Donzdorf, Germany in 1987. With offices in Donzdorf and Los Angeles and a worldwide staff of 150 people (including a thriving mail order business), Nuclear Blast is one of the biggest independent labels in the world. Some of the label's current artists are MESHUGGAH, TESTAMENT, NIGHTWISH (Europe only), CHILDREN OF BODOM, ANTHRAX (Europe only), DIMMU BORGIR, ALL SHALL PERISH, EPICA, EXODUS and ACCEPT.
Pictured below from left to right: Monte Conner, Markus Staiger and Mark Palmer