Vagrant Records

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Vagrant Records
Vagrant Logo.svg
Parent company BMG Rights Management
Founded 1996
Founder Rich Egan, Jon Cohen
Distributor(s) Fontana (US), eOne Music (CAN), PIAS (Europe), Sony Music (Worldwide)
Genre Indie rock (current)
Emo, punk rock (former)
Country of origin US
Location Santa Monica, California
Official website

Vagrant Records is an independent record label based in Los Angeles, California and is run by President Jon Cohen. The label is home to artists such as The 1975, Eels, Bad Suns, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, CRUISR, Active Child, PJ Harvey, School of Seven Bells, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, James Vincent McMorrow, Black Joe Lewis, Wake Owl, Blitzen Trapper, Bombay Bicycle Club, and more.

Vagrant Records was founded in 1996 by Rich Egan and Jon Cohen. The label’s original roots were in punk rock, pop punk, and emo and included artists such as Dashboard Confessional, Saves The Day, The Get Up Kids, and Alkaline Trio.

It was acquired by BMG Rights Management in 2014.[1]


The first band signed by Vagrant Records was Boxer and their album, The Hurt Process, was released on May 5, 1998. The pop-punk album notably featured drummer Chris Pennie, who would go on to play with Dillinger Escape Plan and Coheed and Cambria.

The Get Up Kids[edit]

In 1999, Vagrant Records signed Kansas City, Missouri, band, The Get Up Kids, and the band's Vagrant debut, Something to Write Home About, was released in September 1999. Egan and Cohen borrowed US$50,000 from Cohen's parents to fund the recording of the Get Up Kids album, derived from the mortgaging of the family house.[2] The album was wildly successful, and single-handedly made Vagrant Records one of the top independent labels in the country.[3][4]

Rapid growth[edit]

They signed Los Angeles punk rock trio Automatic 7 and released the bands 2nd album "Begger's Life" on July 25, 2000.They followed this by signing and releasing albums from heavyweights in the emo scene like Alkaline Trio, Saves the Day, and Dashboard Confessional. Dashboard Confessional's video for "Screaming Infidelities", directed by Egan's sister Maureen and her partner Matthew Barry, earned Vagrant the MTV2 award at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.[5]

Paul Westerberg[edit]

The label then went on to release solo material from The Replacements frontman, Paul Westerberg, signifying an initial departure from its roots of nineties punk and emo.[6]

Genre diversification[edit]

They soon signed Eels and released their album Blinking Lights and Other Revelations. In 2005 the label acquired New York City indie label Startime International, with whom they co-released albums from The French Kicks and The Futureheads. During that time Vagrant signed The Hold Steady and The Lemonheads.

Poquito Records[edit]

In 2006 Vagrant formed a children's label imprint, Poquito Records and released Vagrant artist The New Amsterdams' side-project The Terrible Twos' debut album "If You Ever See an Owl".

Density Records[edit]

In 2007 Vagrant formed another imprint label, Density Records, which will release heavier material than has traditionally been released on the label.

On August 5, 2009, Rammstein, the Berlin-based industrial metal sextet, well known for its controversial and fiery live performances, signed a US marketing and distribution deal with Vagrant Records.[7]

Current bands[edit]

Former bands[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Alternative Press Issue 204 "Say Goodnight, Mean Goodbye: The Oral History of The Get Up Kids"
  3. ^ Paul, Aubin, About Vagrant Records, Punk News, retrieved 2008-03-02 
  4. ^ Grubbs, Eric (2008), Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore-1985-2007, iUniverse, pp. 224–266, ISBN 0-595-51835-4 
  5. ^ Heller, Greg (2000-09-10), Bands Seek Emotional Rescue, San Francisco Chronicle, retrieved 2008-03-02 
  6. ^ (2012). "Exclusive: Paul Westerberg Returns On Vagrant". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  7. ^
  8. ^

External links[edit]