Ever wonder why Canadian indie rockers Arcade Fire signed with North Carolina-based Merge Records? The company wisely knew the best way to a band’s heart is through their collective stomachs.
Label founder Mac McCaughan’s wife is to thank for their signing. Andrea McCaughn is a James Beard award-winning chef who runs the kitchens at Chapel Hill Pan-Asian restaurant the Lantern, where, he explains in the Food is the New Rock podcast series, he took the band to when Merge was wining and dining them in 2003.
“Richie [Reed Perry] actually credits Lantern with them signing to Merge, because when they first drove down — before we’d signed them, but they wanted to come down and meet everyone and see the label — we ate at Lantern,” he proudly says.
If more labels employed this strategy, perhaps they too could land a Grammy-winning group by appealing to their appetites in addition to their musical prowess.