Q-Prime buys into Volcano

Deal returns label to BMG fold

Q-Prime, the artist management firm behind Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins and Hole (and co-manager of Madonna), has purchased half of Volcano Entertainment, the record company created last year by former BMG Entertainment exec Kevin Czinger.

The New York-based label — originally named Zoo before being renamed Volcano and later Freeworld when pro-ducer/artist Dallas Austin merged his operation with Czinger’s — ran into financial trouble late last year following the withdrawal of Wall Street financing after the name change to Freeworld.

The deal follows the purchase last month of Volcano by Zomba Recordings in a deal orchestrated by Zomba chairman Clive Calder.

It returned the label to the BMG Entertainment fold, which had jettisoned Zoo when the red ink on the balance sheet started to spread and Czinger made an offer to buy the label.

BMG, which will continue distributing Volcano through BMG Distribution, owns 20% of Calder’s Zomba Records group, which includes Jive Records.

“There is a definite synergy with (Q-Prime) and myself,” said Calder. “They have always looked at their artists’ images and success over the long term. They are more interested in careers than any short-term gain, (and) they have worked in an artist management capacity with almost every label. They know how to approach the managing of a label from the artist’s perspective.”

Volcano has a catalog of 50 albums and a current artist roster consisting of Tool, Matthew Sweet and Akinyele.

Q-Prime principals Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch will oversee the operation of the New York-based Volcano with Calder.