Vagrant Records is an independent record label, founded by Face to Face manager Rich Egan and friend Jon Cohen in 1996. The label has become increasingly popular, garnering gold albums and MTV Video Music Awards. In 2001 Interscope Records acquired a non-controlling interest in Vagrant Records, but in December 2006 the terms ended and Vagrant became a fully independent record label, with record distribution through Fontana Distribution.
The first band signed by Vagrant Records was Boxer with their album The Hurt Process released on May 5, 1998. In 1999 Vagrant Records signed Kansas City, Missouri band The Get Up Kids who released their Vagrant debut Something to Write Home About in September 1999. Label founders Rich Egan and John Cohen took a large gamble on the band, borrowing $50,000 from Cohen's parents, who mortgaged their house to fund the album's production. The album was wildly successful, and single-handedly made Vagrant Records one of the top indie labels in the country. They followed this by signing and releasing albums from other 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.
The label then went on to release solo material from The Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg, beginning the label's transition away from their roots of punk and emo. 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.
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". In 2007 Vagrant formed another imprint label, Density Records, which will release heavier material than has traditionally been released on the label.
Saves The Day, Senses Fail, Protest The Hero, Alexisonfire, Thrice, School Boy Humor, HORSE The Band, Moneen, Fact, Two Tongues, Dustin Kensrue, Murder By Death, The Get Up Kids, City and Colour, MonstrOVisit Website
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