Lizard inks with WMG

East West will provide promotion, marketing services

The indie label that discovered one of the hottest bands of last year, the Killers, has inked a deal with Warner Music Group as part of its incubator system.

Lizard King Records, based in London and New York, has inked an exclusive, multiyear deal with WMG’s East West Records. East West, a label for emerging rock artists, will provide promotion, marketing, distribution and sales services to future Lizard King releases in the U.S. The Alternative Distribution Alliance, WMG’s distributor of independent record labels, will handle distribution.

Outside the U.S., Lizard King will continue to be distributed by its network of licensees and distributors. The Killers’ debut, “Hot Fuss,” was released in the U.S. by Universal Music Group’s Island Records.

Lizard King, founded in 2002 and chaired by former Arista exec Martin Heath, has produced records by garage rock outfits the Go and Clear Static. Lyor Cohen, chairman and CEO, U.S. Recorded Music, Warner Music Group, worked with Heath when he was at Island in signing the Killers.

“With the backing of East West and Warner Music Group, Lizard King now has a major partner to take artists from the Barfly to the Hollywood Bowl with no artistic compromise and first-rate marketing and promotion,” Heath said.

“New industry challenges require new approaches to handling artists’ careers,” Heath added. “Our access to the crucial U.K. market, as we have shown with the Killers’ success, gives us, in partnership with WMG, a key advantage in attracting the best acts. Lizard King needed a strong and flexible U.S. partner.”

Lizard King will remain an independently owned company.

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