Interview with GR2 Records
[Conducted in January 2009]
We all remember when Grand Royal closed it's doors and we were all very interested when we heard the stock was being sold at auction. It's been a few years so we thought it was about time we asked the winners from that auction what has been happening...
When did you purchase the company?
We purchased the assets of Grand Royal, LLC in 2004
How many staff members are there?
We currently have 4 people that work with GR2 in varying capacities
Were you a fan or is this purely a business opportunity?
We are certainly fans but also are in the music business so we have the infrastructure to support taking a project like this on.
Did you get EVERYTHING?
We did not get everything…no Beastie Boys, Ben Lee, among a few others
What is the plan for the more unusual items (DAT tapes, Test Pressings etc)?
We are still going through everything...after the bankruptcy to say things were a mess would be an understatement.
Where is all the stock stored?
We have two facilities in LA with all the stock
What have been the best sellers since starting up?
Liquid Liquid has been a solid seller for us
Will there be new GR products again (like clothes or stickers)?
We are exploring that now
Will the record label exist again?
GR2 is up and running and we have plans to release more. We have all of the back catalogue available digitally and we re-released Liquid Liquid and Butter 08 physically.
Are you associated with any other labels for distribution? The old GR used have deals with ZubiZaretta, Digital Hardcore Recordings (DHR) and Wiiija Records
Last year we did a license deal with Yardley Pop to release the Lets Go Sailing record. We're always looking for opportunities that make sense though. BTW all of our releases are distributed through Fontana (Universal's Indy Distribution Arm).
Did you have anything to do with the 12" Grand Royal bootlegs that have been released in the past few years?
We do not but would love to hear more about them.
Are there any restrictions on what you can do with the company name now?
We do not own the name Grand Royal…it is owned by the Beastie Boys. We offered to buy it…they were reluctant to even discuss it.
Do you own the rights to www.grandroyal.com?
No, this is owned by the Beastie Boys
What about all the old GR Logos. Do you own the copyright to those or did you have to come up with your own new logos?
We do not own the old logos but have asked for the opportunity to purchase them. We did create our own logos for GR2.
We heard that Ben Lee bought his back catalogue back from the company. Have any of the other artists contacted you?
This is correct…Ben did purchase his masters back before the sale as did a few others (At the Drive-In, Bran Van 3000).
Do you have any contact with the Beastie Boys?
Do you have any experience in running a company like this?
In your opinion, why did Grand Royal fail the first time?
They had great plans, ideals, and artists but I think bottom line was that the company was not run as efficiently as it could have been. They were also a victim of the new model of the music business (the on set of the internet, file sharing, etc) and everyone was figuring out how to handle that. Grand Royal was also playing the game with the majors at that time and it is very tough for an independent company to compete dollar for dollar with major corporations.
What are your plans for the company now?
We plan to continue evaluating the assets, come up with new and interesting ways to market the catalogue, and release quality records that keep true to the spirit of the original company.
Visit the GR2 Website here.