After more than 35 years on the books of Warner Music, legendary Australian rock group Cold Chisel are taking the DIY route.
When the rights to all of their recordings recently reverted to the band for the first time, they grabbed the opportunity. The rockers launched an imprint, Cold Chisel Music, through which they will relaunch their catalog across Australia and New Zealand.
Cold Chisel — comprising frontman Jimmy Barnes, keyboardist and principal songwriter Don Walker, guitarist and singer Ian Moss and bass player Phil Small (drummer Steve Prestwich died in 2011) — is the quintessential Aussie pub rock group. The band has sold six million albums over a career that has yielded such hits as “Cheap Wine,” “Khe Sahn” and “Forever Now.” In 1993 they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. It has been said the songs of Walker have become the fabric of the nation.
“Having our own imprint will give us complete control over how our recordings are presented to people over the coming years”, explains Walker. “Ian, Phil, Jim, Steve and I always liked to do things our own way so this feels like the right next step for Cold Chisel”.
The band has also shifted their distribution to the Universal Music Group, with effect from Oct. 1, a decision which will “inject a fresh energy into the marketing and promotion of their music,” according to a statement.
Chisel came out of hibernation for the 2011 national comeback tour, “Light the Nitro,” which sold more than 300,000 tickets. Earlier, they’d switched managers when veteran industry execs John Watson and John O’Donnell came onboard to jointly oversee their activities.
Cold Chisel returned to the studio for “No Plans,” their first in 14 years, which peaked at No. 2 on the national ARIA Album Chart following its release in April 2012. The set was certified gold within weeks of release. A string of U.K. tour dates rolled out July 2012 in support of the set.
“We’re proud of all the albums we’ve made and the impact the band has had and we’re keen for people to keep discovering Cold Chisel’s music”, comments Barnes in a statement. “We think that having our own label will give us the best shot at doing that”.