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.
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.
WATCH: Warpaint, a band Rough Trade found at a previous SXSW
WATCH: Rough Trade released four albums for The Smiths
WATCH: Jones played music on the side too, in Linoleum
WATCH: And so does Naideau, in Nude Beach