A new rock record label has been launched by two former executives from Roadrunner Records. 

Blue Grape Music, formed in 2022, is the brainchild of Roadrunner Records founder Cees Wessels and the company’s former head of A&R David Rath. The two formed the new label “to empower its artists with the support and tools needed to create the kind of music and art that inspires the culture and propels it forward.” 

To do this, Blue Grape Music is working with Sony Music’s The Orchard for distribution of its releases. This will give their artists “the muscle and reach of a major with the attention and dedication of an indie. With a global staff, each artist’s team is carefully crafted to best serve their creative vision and goals.”

Wessels and Rath have been working within the rock music sphere for decades. Roadrunner Records was started by Wessels in 1980 in order to bring the music of American metal bands to Europe and eventually moved to New York to become a home for these same bands on their own soil. Rath has been in A&R for more than 21 years and oversaw projects by the likes of Slipknot, Korn, Gojira, Coheed And Cambria, Slash, The Amity Affliction, Trivium, Stone Sour, Dream Theater, Megadeth, Turnstile, Code Orange, White Reaper and Motionless In White.

Said Rath about working with Wessels on the new label, “My time with Cees developing some of the most important bands in music history was the most valuable in my career to date. I couldn’t ask for a more knowledgeable partner to begin this journey with.” 

Blue Grape Music’s first signing is hardcore band Code Orange. The band released its first album on the label, What Is Really Underneath?, this past Friday, February 17. 

Said frontman Jami Morgan about the label, 

“I have been lucky enough to be on the ground floor with Dave Rath and co. watching them build the foundation of Blue Grape Music. There is no group of people that I have more faith in to create a fresh, forward leaning home for rock music and beyond. Code Orange are plank walkers. First goers. That is exactly what we intend to do here and why we have chosen to partner with BGM. We are excited to establish an artist friendly home for those looking to forge new ground on a major level. As a team we will learn from the past and build the future.”

More artist signings will be revealed over the next few months. Blue Grape Music is headquartered in New York City with European operations out of Amsterdam.