Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta and fashion designer John Varvatos announced Thursday a new joint venture that will find the two discovering and developing new rock acts. The new venture is called simply Big Machine Records/John Varvatos Records, and its first act is California-based rock band Badflower.
The pair first met over five years ago at an Aerosmith concert where Cheap Trick, whom Borchetta had just begun managing and signed to Big Machine, were the opening act. They previously partnered on the 2015 release of Zac Brown Band’s album “Jekyll + Hyde,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Varvatos’ label deal with Republic Records, also associated with that release, has ended.
The new company is also taking part in Cumulus Radio’s neXt2rock 2017 competition, a four-month-long “grass-roots search for America’s newest rock star.” Borchetta and Varvatos, along with producers Bob Ezrin and Desmond Child, Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and Bush’s Gavin Rossdale will serve as mentor judges for the competition’s finale. The winner will receive a deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records. Contestants can enter via participating local station websites (see full station list at next2rock.com.)
Of the joint venture, Borchetta said: “The cultural fashion of John Varvatos has always been a powerful rock and roll brand and one I’ve aspired to be a part of. John and I immediately connected with our outrageous love for rock music. When I discovered that he was more than just a fan, and has a true eye and ear for rock talent, I was blown away. Combining our two brands together will help us achieve our goal in finding and enabling the next great rock artists.”
“Scott and I are extremely passionate about the future of rock music!” Varvatos enthused. “Having the opportunity to partner with the BMLG team is the perfect match and timing to find the next rock and roll rebels. We are looking for artists with passion, angst and a soul, and those that have a voice to be heard during these troubled times. People say rock is dead… we say, ‘Long Live Rock!’”