Gibson Guitars isn’t just about selling instruments, anymore; with a newly created label, Gibson Records, the company is also in the business of selling albums — starting with a flagship release by Slash, of Guns N’ Roses fame, who’ll be putting out his next record through the imprint.
The guitar company has entered into what it calls a strategic label partnership with BMG, which, unbeknown to many, is the world’s fourth-largest music company, in no small part thanks to similar alignments with indie labels.
“It’s an honor to be the first release on the new Gibson Records,” Slash said in a statement. “It’s a zenith in our partnership, for sure. and having worked so closely with Gibson for so long, I know they will be a label that genuinely supports their artists creatively. Not just me, but all the artists they choose to work with. It’s perfect.”
Slash’s album will find him rejoining Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. Slash’s previous album, 2018’s “Living the Dream,” was his third successive effort with those collaborators and came out via Snakepit/Roadrunner.
“Launching a record label that is in service to our artists is the natural evolution of our 127 years of history,” said Cesar Gueikian, Gibson Brands’ brand president. “Gibson Records will work with Gibson artists to capture, record and promote their music under an artist friendly partnership,” he said, “and will keep all of us at Gibson focused on our artist first culture that is engaged and connected to music.”
Said Thomas Scherer, BMG’s president of repertoire and marketing, “This is the perfect match between two global brands with an unrivaled reverence for iconic artists and respect to service their creative talents.”
Gibson Guitars named Slash as its first global brand ambassador back in 2017. His debut on the Gibson record label is set for 2022.
Historically, it’s not the first time the branding department of a musical instrument company has started a label imprint, although it may be be the first time one has launched with a “name” artist. In 2012, Yamaha instigated the Yamaha Entertainment Group label with an album by the group Leogun; Yamaha’s website currently boasts four artists — Nathan East, Pull Start Rockets, Jason Webb and Frederic Chih — signed to the label.