Iconic New Zealand label Flying Nun Records has landed back where it started.
The pioneering label's founder Roger Shepherd has taken ownership of Flying Nun from long-time parent Warner Music New Zealand, both parties confirmed today (Dec. 21). Financial terms were not disclosed.
Through the new arrangement, Warner Music NZ will continue to team with Flying Nun in the capacity as exclusive physical and digital distribution partner on the indie label's catalog and future releases.
Shepherd, a record-store worker in Christchurch, formed Flying Nun back in 1981. In the years that followed, Flying Nun would go on to carve out an identity as one of New Zealand's most influential labels with a roster of acts which included the Clean, the D4, Headless Chickens and Tall Dwarfs, Chris Knox, Straitjacket Fits and the Verlaines.
Flying Nun relocated to Auckland in 1988. Its status as an "independent" began to fade in 1990 when Australia's Mushroom Records took a 49% stake in the business. Shepherd cut his ties with the business in 1999. The following year, it was fully absorbed into the merged Festival Mushroom Records (FMR) operation. In 2005, Warner Music acquired the imprint as part of its purchase of FMR.
Shepherd is adamant the label will stay true to its roots. "It is a privilege and pleasure to once again be heading Flying Nun Records," commented Shepherd in a statement. "While the historic catalog will be maintained and promoted," he notes, "the label will continue to promote new and innovative New Zealand music."
Warner Music New Zealand GM Phil Howling added, "It is great to see this iconic label re-connected with its founder. Roger is one of the great pioneers of the New Zealand music scene and his expertise and passion is valued extremely highly by all that work with him."
The label celebrated its quarter-century in December 2006 with the release of the Flying Nun 25th Anniversary Box Set.