News•December 6, 2011 10:27 PM ET•4,407 views
Kataklysm frontman launches booking agency
Official press release: The North American metal scene just got a lot heavier. The launch of Rock The Nation America celebrates a groundbreaking booking agency partnership between Kataklysm frontman Maurizio Iacono, his agent and Canadian metal promoter Stephan Mellul, and Century Media Records. Rock The Nation America will be focused on bringing the best names in heavy metal to North American audiences, while maintaining a razor-sharp focus on emerging acts and artist development. Iacono will capitalize on his decade as frontman of the Canadian death metal band Kataklysm as he heads the agency's artist relations efforts, while Mellul will build on his history as one of Canada's premier metal promoters and agents. Based out of the same Los Angeles offices that the Century Media and Nuclear Blast record labels call home, the pair will be supported by Century Media for all marketing and administrative needs. "I spent the last 15 years touring and learning what being on the road is all about, and my partner, Stephan Mellul, has been booking shows for 18 years - together, we decided to bring something different to the industry," says Iacono. "We decided to create an agency that will help new artists develop, as well as preserve and grow the careers of established bands. I'm a soldier on the field, I understand the touring life, I still live it... and the fans deserve unselfish packages and lineups that are worth paying the ticket price. We thank Europe's premier agency, Rock The Nation, for joining forces." "Rock The Nation going overseas was always a big wish of RTN Europe," says Stefan Hattinger, CEO of RTN Group Europe. "We found experienced and hard-working people in Maurizio and Steph who know the market and what the artists need, thus the right people to run Rock The Nation America." At their launch, the Rock The Nation America roster contains more than two dozen acts spanning the extreme metal market, including Hammerfall, Hypocrisy, Kataklysm, Wintersun and more. The agency's first tour will be Paganfest USA Tour 2012, a package featuring worldwide metal acts Turisas (Finland), Alestorm (Scotland), Ex Deo (Rome), Arkona (Russia) and Huntress (USA) - a complete itinerary will be announced shortly. "What really excites me about this agency is that it is a true metal organization," says Century Media founder Robert Kampf. "From metal agents, metal bookers and metal bands, straight to metal fans - when I heard of this I wanted nothing more than to be a part of it... Horns up!"