Nuclear Blast Announces New International A&R Leadership Team

Since its acquisition in 2018 by Believe, Nuclear Blast has placed digital front and center in their activities to become the most innovative digital company operating in the heavy music landscape. The label also continues to expand its offering of best-in-class services to artists, with its unique global solution and direct-to-fan capabilities attracting the largest community of metal fans in the world.

Marcus Hammer, Managing Director for Nuclear Blast, comments:

“We have been constantly developing and improving our approach to offer the best services to our artists across all channels and nail our position as the #1 label in heavy music. We are convinced that we are taking a further step now to an even brighter future, and I wish Nathan, Shawn and Tommy the best of luck and great success in their new roles.”

Since joining Nuclear Blast’s A&R team in September 2020, Nathan Barley Phillips has made an immediate impact, signing 12+ new bands across the group’s Nuclear Blast and SharpTone label brands, as well as helping to power the latest album from Metal legends In Flames to the No.1 album spot in four separate European countries.

Nathan Barley Phillips, Head of A&R, Europe, comments:

After two and half years at the label, I’m honoured to be given the opportunity of leading the A&R department, as we usher in a new era for our genre. Throughout my career, I have always tried to push the envelope by signing artists that have had a progressive outlook and attitude. It’s massively important to me that we continue to move our culture forward, and I’m relishing the prospect of delivering on that mission here at Nuclear Blast.

Previously, Nathan served as the Head of TuneCore, UK (2018-2020), where he was responsible for all operations and relationships with artists, managers and industry partners working with TuneCore’s distribution service in the UK. Before joining TuneCore, wholly owned by Believe, Nathan founded Basick Records in 2005, a forward-thinking record label for heavy music. Giving emerging UK artists such as Enter Shikari, Bury Tomorrow and Sleep Token their first commercial releases, the Basick label soon became synonymous with the cutting edge of heavy genres, going on to sign and release music from Misery Signals, SikTh, and Monuments, among many others.

Shawn Keith joins Nuclear Blast after co-founding SharpTone Records in partnership with the parent-label in 2016. Focused on diverse alternative genres, SharpTone has signed established acts like Story Of The Year, We Came As Romans, and August Burns Red, as well as developed new talent, such as Loathe, Currents, Dying Wish, and Don Broco, whose latest album ‘Amazing Things’, debuted at No.1 in their native United Kingdom in early 2022. 

Shawn Keith, Head of A&R, North America, comments:

Over the last six years, I’ve collaborated with Nuclear Blast on creating SharpTone from its inception, developing artists with creative freedom, passion and purpose. They’ve given myself and my team the control, trust, support and resources to establish a label that values just that. I’m honored for the opportunity to cultivate the next chapter of a new era, while adding my own influences to the historic metal legacy that is Nuclear Blast Records. That mission starts right now.” Before co-founding SharpTone, Shawn served as Vice President at Sumerian Records for 8 years (2007-2014). The fledgling indie startup launched Asking Alexandria (who released four RIAA-certified gold singles with the label) and instrumental heroes Animals As Leaders. Newly entrusted with both the Nuclear Blast and SharpTone rosters, Shawn Keith’s emphasis on creative freedom, dedication, and a fierce work ethic is a crucial factor in the evolving expansion of heavy music.

Tommy Jones has been working with Nuclear Blast for 14 years, initially as an independent contractor before being made a permanent employee and relocating to Los Angeles amidst a successful campaign with Slayer in 2015. Through Tommy’s tenure at Nuclear Blast, he has worked in Digital Marketing, content creation and most recently was the Head of Operations, prior to transitioning to the Label Manager role for Nuclear Blast America. Tommy has relocated back to the East Coast and is strategically positioned in between NYC and Philadelphia, and in between Los Angeles and Nuclear Blast’s European offices.   Tommy Jones, Label Manager, North America, comments:“As Label Manager for Nuclear Blast America, I look forward to handling A&R responsibilities for our extensive roster alongside of the Jedi, Monte Conner. I’m excited for this new chapter of Nuclear Blast with Shawn and Nathan and stoked to be a crucial part of it.”   In his new role, Jones will report to Jérôme Riera, Label Director of Nuclear Blast, whilst Keith and Phillips are reporting to Marcus Hammer, Managing Director Nuclear Blast.   Known for setting trends in the Metal community and always going against the grain, Nuclear Blast believes in investing towards the future. The label is actively building new teams across the world in their offices of Donzdorf, Los Angeles, Paris, Hamburg and London, in an effort to continue the signing and development of new talent whilst providing best-in-class services for their artists; from hands-on A&R, to true global marketing, promotion and distribution. In this exciting new era, Nuclear Blast is committed to building the future of Heavy Music.
About Nuclear Blast For 30 years and counting, Nuclear Blast Records is synonymous with the worldwide advancement ofheavy metal, extreme music, and hard rock. Founded in Donzdorf, Germany in 1987, Nuclear Blastboasts a roster of over 150 bands representing eighteen countries. Their satellites offices in LosAngeles, London, Hamburg and Paris have helped build the label’s trusted global reputation withnumerous Billboard album chart entries, high-profile tours, and continual signings of new & heritageacts. The label has additional representatives in Australia, Brazil, Finland, Italy and Sweden, amongstothers.   About Believe Believe is one of the world’s leading digital music companies. Believe’s mission is to develop independent artists and labels in the digital world by providing them the solutions they need to grow their audience at each stage of their career and development. Believe’s passionate team of digital music experts around the world leverages the Group’s global technology platform to advise artists and labels, distribute and promote their music. Its 1,650 employees in more than 50 countries aim to support independent artists and labels with a unique digital expertise, respect, fairness and transparency. Believe offers its various solutions through a portfolio of brands including Believe, TuneCore, Nuclear Blast, Naïve, Groove Attack, AllPoints, Ishtar and Byond. Believe is listed on compartment A of the regulated market of Euronext Paris (Ticker: BLV, ISIN: FR0014003FE9).


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