Big Machine Records and John Varvatos Records Announce Joint Label Venture 

Scott Borchetta, 2017
John Shearer

Scott Borchetta photographed on Aug. 1, 2017 at L27 in Nashville, Tenn.

The new label's first signing is California-based rock band badflower.

Big Machine Label Group head Scott Borchetta and music-centric fashion designer John Varvatos today announced a joint venture to discover and develop rock acts with their newly created Big Machine Records/John Varvatos Records. California-based rock band badflower is the JV’s first signing.

“The cultural fashion of John Varvatos has always been a powerful rock and roll brand and one I’ve aspired to be a part of," said Borchetta in a statement. "John and I immediately connected with our outrageous love for rock music. When I discovered that he was more than just a fan, and has a true eye and ear for rock talent, I was blown away. Combining our two brands together will help us achieve our goal in finding and enabling the next great rock artists.”

The venture, as the release points out, is not the first time Borchetta and Varvatos have teamed-up. The duo  previously partnered on Zac Brown Band’s 2015 release JEKYLL + HYDE. In fact, the duo along with Republic Records entered into a joint venture in 2014. Varvatos has a long history of enlisting musicians including Willie Nelson, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Chris Cornell, Joe Perry and Green Day among many others for its ad campaigns

Borchetta and Varvatos, according to today’s announcement,  met more then five years ago at an Aerosmith concert where Cheap Trick, who Borchetta had signed and begun managing opened.. Cheap Trick went on to play a 35-year anniversary show celebrating At Budokan at John Varvatos Bowery location (the former site of the legendary CBGBs).

“Scott and I are extremely passionate about the future of rock music,” Varvatos stated. “Having the opportunity to partner with the BMLG team is the perfect match and timing to find the next rock and roll rebels.  We are looking for artists with passion, angst and a soul, and those that have a voice to be heard during these troubled times.  People say rock is dead... we say, ‘Long Live Rock!”

In related news, it was announced today that Borchetta and Varvatos will be judges on Cumulus Media’s new rock band competition show neXt2rock 2017 along with Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Gavin Rossdale and Bob Ezrin. The winner of the radio-based show, which lasts four months, will get a label deal through Big Machine Records/John Varvatos Records.

The Big Machine Label Group encompasses Big Machine Records, The Valory Music Co., BMLG Records, Nash Icon Records and publishing company Big Machine Music as well as its own digital radio station, Big Machine Radio. BMLG artists include Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Brantley Gilbert, Hank Williams Jr., Ronnie Dunn, Cheap Trick and Jennifer Nettles. Additional acts include Justin Moore, Eli Young Band, Brett Young, Aaron Lewis and Midland among others.

John Varvatos recording artists have included  Andrew Watt, Tyler Bryant and the shakedown, Amos Lee, and badflower.