In the US, Rough Trade Publishing started as a company called House of Hassle Publishing, founded by Lyle Hysen, Ken Weinstein and Gandhar Savur in 2007. Launched in downtown New York City, House of Hassle was borne from a union between Bank Robber Music, a boutique tv/film licensing firm representing some of the best labels in independent rock, and Big Hassle Media, a widely respected music publicity company. The founding principal of House of Hassle was to be more service oriented than the traditional music publishers, and to create a company that could serve as a safe haven and like-minded community for gifted songwriters. Over the next 10 years, HoH did exactly that, signing over 250 of the best independent rock bands in the process, and opening offices in NYC, Nashville and LA.
In the UK, Rough Trade Publishing was founded in 1991 by Cathi Gibson and the late Peter Walmsley, with a likeminded goal to support independent artists in the wider world of music publishing. The company grew out of the famous Rough Trade record store in London that eventually spawned the record label of the same name in 1978. For 25 years, RTP continued on as one of the most respected independent music publishers in the UK. Acknowledging the striking similarities between the ethos behind both companies, and that music publishing done right is a truly worldwide service requiring global operations, House of Hassle acquired a substantial interest in UK based Rough Trade Publishing in early 2016, as part of an exciting deal that contemplates acquisition of the remainder of the company within two years.
Both HOH and RTP now operate together under the name Rough Trade Publishing, with a combined staff and roster. RTP operates as the publishing arm of Bank Robber Industries, a music industry umbrella group comprised of numerous companies including Bank Robber Music, Bank Robber Europe, Big Hassle Media, and Music House of Hassle, with headquarters located in the heart of the financial district in New York City. Cathi Gibson remains the Managing Director for the UK. She is joined by famed Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis and partner Jeannette Lee, who act as co-directors of UK A&R. Newly appointed President of Rough Trade Publishing, Lyle Hysen, will oversee the company’s global creative affairs.
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