All Access Exclusive: Scott Borchetta And Chris Stacey Talk About Dot Records Relaunch
March 24, 2014 at 12:21 PM (PT)
As ALL ACCESS first reported earlier TODAY (NET NEWS 3/24), former WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE SVP/Promotion CHRIS STACEY has joined the BIG MACHINE LABEL GROUP and will serve as GM for a re-launching of the legendary DOT RECORDS.
ALL ACCESS was able to speak with BORCHETTA and STACEY TODAY (3/24) about more plans for DOT RECORDS, which was formed in the '50s and became home to a diverse roster of artists serving all genres, not the least of which was Country music.
TODAY’s move confirms a months-long rumor that had STACEY joining forces with BIG MACHINE Pres./CEO SCOTT BORCHETTA in some capacity. And like BMLG’s partnership with UNIVERSAL REPUBLIC out of NEW YORK for its REPUBLIC NASHVILLE imprint, STACEY told ALL ACCESS, “This is a partnership with MONTE and AVERY LIPMAN at UNIVERSAL REPUBLIC in NEW YORK. So as we launch the DOT brand in conjunction with them, we'll be a NASHVILLE-based independent record label that has global capabilities through a partnership with a major label.”
BMLG’s tremendous success and the current climate for Country combine to make great timing for adding a fourth label to the company; how did you decide it would be DOT?
BORCHETTA: “Actually, when you look at the history of DOT, that it started just outside of NASHVILLE (GALLATIN), and the bandwidth for different types of music they were involved with, it was a label I always had an awareness of and affinity for growing up. When we looked at available imprints, it just made a lot of sense. So, every time I ran into CHRIS and other executives it was like, man, that sounds cool. For everybody to go back and do their homework and understand more about it, we had an incredible time learning about the label. It made all the sense in the world to add a heritage label brand to the BIG MACHINE LABEL GROUP because they’re all new brands. To add DOT into the platform seemed like the right thing to do.”
CHRIS, what was it about this move made you want to leave WMN?
STACEY: “Anyone who’s ever done promotion aspires to run their own label one day and SCOTT gave me that opportunity. I can tell you, after competing against BIG MACHINE for years and years, you always have concern about your competition, but when you go up against any of the BIG MACHINE LABEL GROUPs, you had to think harder and strategize more about that particular battle. They have a big arsenal and you never know what’s coming. The opportunity to get in the sandbox with them, play in the same game on the same team, while getting the chance to run my own label, was something I just couldn’t pass up.”
SCOTT, your quote in THE NEW YORK TIMES hinted at a wider musical lane for DOT, based on its heritage. Will that be the case?
SB: “When you look at all the opportunities to start something brand new, you take everything you’ve learned, observe everything happening in the marketplace and understand what is happening to our business. We’ve always been doers and movers. To take all that and start anew with a blank sheet of paper today is exhilarating. We know what’s happened with streaming. We know what’s happening with digital music and where consumers are running. We get to take all that and re-launch. It’s so invigorating to do this. For a while we did a new label every two years. That wasn’t by desire; it was by need. We’re on the eve of REPUBLIC NASHVILLE’s fifth anniversary and JIMMY HARNEN has done such an amazing job with that. To bring in great new executive power, ideas and vision, it makes us all better. It’s an extension of the heart and soul of why we did this in the first place.”
Can you tell us anything about what artists we’ll see coming from DOT or news about staffing yet?
CS: There’s no timetable, but if you know SCOTT and I, we operate on a hyper-sense of urgency. So you can count on something coming soon. Nothing to share today, but suffice to say I am in the process of finding the best people and music available. The second we are able to formalize that, we will jump into the marketplace.”
Will DOT be built from ground up, or will another BMLG artist merge into the imprint?
CS: SCOTT, thanks for sending me TAYLOR.
SB: I’m a giver.
CS: No, actually we are starting from the ground up and actively pursuing our A&R visions.
SCOTT, does the new iteration of DOT give you any access to catalogue from its previous life?
SB: All of those masters are assets of the UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, so we do have the ability – and we will go back – to create some cool packaging and re-issues. A lot of that falls into the special markets space, but we have ideas and we’ll be talking to that office to help make some noise, so yes, we’ll have some fun.