October 21, 2014

Burger Records Starts Publishing Company With Mothership


Burger Records, the bustling indie label out of Orange County that has given new meaning to the term “artist-friendly” while sending shockwaves across the underground music scene, has formed a publishing company in partnership with Mothership Music. Under the terms of the deal, Mothership will administer and provide all backroom services for the new entity.

The partners in the Burger Music Publishing joint venture are Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard, the dynamic young entrepreneurs who founded and run the label; experienced publishing exec Danny Benair, who serves as the liaison between the two companies; and Mothership’s co-presidents, Brett Gurewitz, the founder/owner of Epitaph Records, and Lionel Conway, best known for launching and overseeing Island Music and Maverick Music. Thus, the new pubco brings together decades of hands-on publishing experience with envelope-pushing innovation.

A bit of background: Burger Records is housed in an unprepossessing mini-mall storefront in Fullerton that does triple duty as a creative center for Burger’s roster of acts, a record store and Bohrman and Rickard’s crib; these roommates live modestly.

“The store here started in 2009; the record label, now run out of the back, two years before,” New York Times staff writer Ben Ratliff wrote in a recent profile of the label. “Burger headquarters is a round-the-clock freak lab and extended promotional happening, building a cultural movement from tiny resources. The word is spreading. Burger, at this moment, in its way, gives you a sense of SST in Los Angeles or Dischord in Washington: a label as a culture, and a regional attitude, from which its artists are nearly indivisible.”

“Taking pride in being the most artist-friendly label in history, we’re pleased to announce another pillar to our empire, Burger Music Publishing,” reads Bohrman and Rickard’s characteristically feisty joint statement. “We look forward to reshaping the music business with help from our friends at Mothership Music.”

“Sean and Lee are building the most exciting rock ‘n’ roll music company to hit the West Coast in decades, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it,” says Gurewitz.

“Brett and I wanted to be part of the Burger Culture,” Conway explains. “We love the passion they have for their artists and the love they get back from their fans.”

Benair puts things in perspective, pointing out that “When Brett, Lionel, Sean, Lee and myself sat down to lunch discuss being in business together, it was all about music — period.”

It’s a mutual passion that led the principals to form Burger Music Publishing, and that same passion will permeate and energize what promises to be a breath of fresh air in the independent publishing sector

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