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Rough Trade.jpg
Rough Trade.jpg

These guys get to watch bands play for a living


These guys get to watch bands play for a living

WATCH: Paul Jones and Ryan Naideau are A&R representatives for Rough Trade, a legendary UK-based independent record label. They gave us the scoop on what it is like scouting bands at South by Southwest.

Rough Trade Records is an independent record label founded during the heyday of punk in London, in 1978. They signed influential bands like The Smiths, The Libertines and The Strokes, and now have record stores in London and New York. In it's modern era, they are known for signing bands like Warpaint, Dean Blunt and Houndmouth.

A&R stands for artist and repertoire. It is the responsibility of A&R reps to seek out new talent for the record label to sign, and then to develop that talent. Or more simply, the coolest job int the world. When we spoke at SXSW in Austin, Texas, it was Jones' seventh time attending the festival, and Naideau's first. As hundreds of bands and artists played at venues across the city, it was the responsibility of the two to see as many new bands as they could, and start or continue to develop relationships with artists that could one day end up on Rough Trade. 

Rough Trade Record Store

WATCH: A tour of the Rough Trade London shop

We never really sign anything, I don't think so, until they've seen them live. I think that's the rule of thumb.
Paul Jones, Rough Trade

Warpaint - Disco//Very - Keep It Healthy (Official Video)

WATCH: Warpaint, a band Rough Trade found at a previous SXSW

The Smiths - This Charming Man (Official Music Video)

WATCH: Rough Trade released four albums for The Smiths

Linoleum - On a Tuesday

WATCH: Jones played music on the side too, in Linoleum

Nude Beach - Walkin' Down My Street (Official Video)

WATCH: And so does Naideau, in Nude Beach

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