|Parent company||BMG Rights Management|
|Founder||Rich Egan, Jon Cohen|
|Distributor(s)||Warner Music Group|
|Genre||Indie rock, alternative rock, rock|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||Santa Monica, California|
Vagrant Records is an American record label based in California. It was founded in 1995 by Rich Egan and Jon Cohen. The label focuses on rock, but features artists in a variety of other genres including folk, soul, electronic, and pop. It is home to artists such as The 1975, Death Spells, Eels, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, CRUISR, Active Child, PJ Harvey, School of Seven Bells, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, James Vincent McMorrow, Black Joe Lewis, Wake Owl, Blitzen Trapper, and Bombay Bicycle Club. Originally, Vagrant Records was mostly focused on emo bands such as Dashboard Confessional, Saves the Day, The Get Up Kids, Senses Fail, and Alkaline Trio.
The first band signed by Vagrant Records was Boxer and their album, The Hurt Process, released on May 5, 1998. The pop-punk album notably featured drummer Chris Pennie, who would go on to play with Dillinger Escape Plan and Coheed and Cambria.
In 1999, Vagrant Records signed Kansas City, Missouri, band, The Get Up Kids, and the band's Vagrant debut, Something to Write Home About, was released in September 1999. Egan and Cohen borrowed $50,000 from Cohen's parents to fund the recording of the Get Up Kids album, derived from the mortgaging of the family house. The album was wildly successful, and single-handedly made Vagrant Records one of the top independent labels in the country.
They signed Los Angeles punk rock trio Automatic 7 and released the bands 2nd album Begger's Life on July 25, 2000. They followed this by signing and releasing albums from heavyweights in the emo scene like Alkaline Trio, Saves the Day, and Dashboard Confessional. Dashboard Confessional's video for Screaming Infidelities, directed by Maureen Egan and Matthew Barry, earned Vagrant the MTV2 award at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. Rich Egan is cited as saying the MTV Video Music Award win "changed everything" for the label.
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 2007, Vagrant formed another imprint label, Density Records, which will release heavier material than has traditionally been released on the label.
On August 5, 2009, Rammstein, the Berlin-based industrial metal sextet, well known for its controversial and fiery live performances, signed a US marketing and distribution deal with Vagrant Records.