Mumford & Sons manager Adam Tudhope has teamed up with Gotye’s manager, Danny Rogers, to launch their first foray into music publishing, And Publishing. The company, which will operate from offices in London and Sydney, has been formed in partnership with Kobalt, who will handle administration and synchronization (excluding North America), as well as provide funding.
And Publishing is Tudhope and Rogers first joint venture and will have an initial staff of five, including U.K.-based A&R Thomas Child, Australia-based A&R Travis Banko, its two founding directors, plus synchronization manager Justin Reeve of Los Angeles-based Hidden Track Music, who will look after the company’s sync business in North America.
Prior to forming And Publishing, Tudhope and Rogers enjoyed considerable global success in artist management. In addition to representing Mumford & Sons, Tudhope, who is founder and managing director of London-based Everybody’s Management, also handles Keane, British folk artist Laura Marling, Wolfgang and Willy Mason. Meanwhile, Danny Rogers is managing director of artist management and touring company Lunatic Entertainment, which has offices in Sydney and London and represents Gotye, The Temper Trap and buzz U.K. band Chvrches. Rogers is also the co-founder of the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, which is held annually across Australia, Singapore and New Zealand (and just announced its entry into the. U.S. market)
Speaking exclusively to Billboard.biz ahead of And Publishing’s official launch at SXSW, Austin, Texas on Mar. 14 (which will feature performances from Chvrches, Flume, Jamie N Commons, among others), Tudhope outlines his vision for the company, why it chose to partner with Kobalt and the “heart and core” of Mumford & Sons’ global success.
Billboard.biz: And Publishing marks your first professional partnership with Danny Rogers. When did the two of you first meet?
Adam Tudhope: We first met a show at CMJ in New York a few years ago when The Temper Trap were on the same bill as Mumford and Sons - one of the first trips to New York for both bands, I think. And we just fell in love with each other’s bands and the bands fell in love with each other as well. Then, when Danny moved over to the U.K., I rented him some office space. Gradually we realized that both of us as managers had a whole bunch of resources, ideas and now staff that we could bring to bear in relation to artists. But we didn’t necessarily feel that either of us had the bandwidth to take on more management clients - at least not right at this very moment, while there is so much going on for both of us. So we thought that a way into helping new acts without having to be managers was publishing.
What distinguishes And Publishing from other recent start-up enterprises and your far larger competitors? Are you adopting a traditional approach to running a music publisher?
It is absolutely a traditional publishing company, in the sense that those are the only rights that we are planning to [own]. From a practical point of view, yeah, we're hoping to do more than that. There’s a whole bunch of stuff that we know from having been mangers of globally successful acts that maybe other publishers just don’t have access to. Let’s say a new act with a manager that we sign from Australia wants to come and tour in Europe. Well we can help connect them to the right promoters or agents. We can help give them some advice on which venues they should be playing because we’ve done all of that before.
From a creative point of view, a lot of doors have opened up for Danny and me over the years, to our clients with regards to songwriting for other people - not just their own artist projects - and also in the world of sync. I feel that they are doors that we can leave open for our publishing clients.
What attracted you to Kobalt as partners?
The flexibility with the way that they do deals means that we can be really flexible with the way that we do deals, too. I think the way that we’ll win, as it were, is by finding new acts, probably with younger managers, who want someone to help shepherd them through the process. But also people that have a long term view and are willing to back their own success, which I have to say is something that I think Danny and I have always done with our management clients. The best deal is not necessarily the one that pays you the most money. The best deal can be the one that offers you the most flexibility.
Do you have any artists signed to the company at present?
We’re launching at SXSW and that’s when we start. We’re obviously looking at lots of stuff, but we thought that we would launch, let everyone know that we exist and then probably make a couple of offers on things, post SXSW, that we have already been looking at.
How many acts are you looking to sign going forward?
Two or three a year, no more than that. Certainly, for the first two or three years we won’t do too much. Most of all, the thing that Danny and I really agree on is that it has to be fun for us. That’s the point of this, really. That it’s a really fun thing for the two of us to do together - to find some new acts, who we really love, with managers that we like, and to have a good time doing it.
Following the international success of Mumford, Gotye and The Temper Trap, are you and Danny planning to expand your standalone management businesses?
No. We don’t want to do that. There’s a lot involved in doing what we do and both of us are really close to our acts. We have staff and people that work with us, but we’re not, at least at this stage in our careers - I think Danny would agree - interested in stepping back from having those direct relationships that we have with our artists that we [currently] have as managers.
Finally, the past twelve months have been a phenomenally successful period for Mumford and Sons. Did you ever anticipate the band getting this big?
Phenomenal success has never been part of the plan or ambition. It was not what we were trying to do. The heart and core of the band has been the same since they first met in a little after-hours [drinking] club on the Chelsea Road [in London] six years ago or whenever, which is just to play live, meet people and to have fun doing it. That’s what we’ve always aimed for and that’s what we’re still doing.