EMI Music Australia has landed the rights to a brand new independent label called Eleven: a music company. The company's first signings are ARIA Award winning electronic musician, Paul Mac, and multi-million selling Newcastle rock trio, silverchair.

Eleven: a music company will be operated by label President, John Watson, and General Manager, Melissa Chenery. The pair have already had considerable record company experience having both worked in A&R and marketing at Sony Music between 1990 and 1995 before leaving to manage silverchair.

EMI's Managing Director Tony Harlow said, "it has been a successful part of our strategy to embrace a wide variety of A&R sources, and to work with the most creative talent in the industry. This fits our concept of ensuring that EMI/Virgin stay close to the musical community at all times. I foresee Eleven playing a crucial part in our further developments. John and Melissa bring a full service approach - from A&R to management, marketing to promotion. They bring great experience in the business. They bring great music - some new, some established. And they bring the ability to go one louder - something we all share a vision on."

Eleven's first album release will be by noted remixer and Itch-E & Scratch-E member, Paul Mac who is also a client of John Watson Management. The highly anticipated disc, which features several very prominent Australian singers, is slated for release early in 2001. Mac recently previewed material from the album in an acclaimed performance at the Pacific Circle Music conference.

The company's head of A&R, Simon Moor said, "it was exciting for me to see the A&R potential of the label being developed from the start. The new project from Paul Mac has already caught the imagination of those who have heard it including mine."

As a result of the Eleven/EMI deal future silverchair recordings will also be released and marketed by these labels in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. The band will sign separate new recording contracts with another company for other overseas territories. Details of this other new deal will be announced within the next two weeks.

The unique arrangement between Eleven and EMI sees silverchair forsaking the opportunity for windfall signing bonuses in exchange for longer term benefits such as ownership of their copyrights and complete control over the creation and marketing of their music.

The group has sold more than six million albums over the last five years, enjoying more top 20 singles during the 1990's than any other Australian artist. They are currently rehearsing material for their next album which will be recorded in 2001.

"We aren't looking to build any kind of empire with Eleven", explains silverchair's manager and Eleven's President, John Watson. "We simply want to develop a very focused, boutique operation which can be a vehicle for long term, global career development of Australian artists. Everything you need to know about our approach is contained in the label's name. Like the amplifier in the movie 'Spinal Tap' we don't just want to go to 'ten', we want to go to 'eleven'. We believe EMI really shares this vision and we're looking forward to working with Tony and his team over the years ahead."

"We want to provide a greater level of career support for artists than is usual at bigger companies these days", explains the label's General Manager, Melissa Chenery. "We want to do all of the extra things that can be done to help our artists' music reach the biggest possible audience. Plus, it's "a music company" - we want to release innovative and exciting new music by talented artists like silverchair and Paul Mac who want to keep developing long term careers."

In addition to silverchair and Paul Mac, it is envisaged that the boutique label will eventually sign approximately three other artists for release through EMI/Virgin.

In keeping with the company's pledge to do things a little differently Eleven's first release will actually be an online EP by a duo called "I Can't Believe It's Not Rock" - an "accidental" pairing of Paul Mac and silverchair's Daniel Johns. "I Can't Believe It's Not Rock" will feature five experimental home recordings by Mac and Johns which will be available primarily via the internet. The EP will be available online from December 1. More details about this release will be announced shortly.