Jeff Krones, Agent, Creative Artists Agency
– Jeff Krones
– Jeff Krones
Jeff Krones is making an impact in country with Dan + Shay’s breakout, but some of his other major successes have come from working with non-country acts, outside of his home base.
This includes rock act NEEDTOBREATHE and Grammy-winning alternative duo Twenty One Pilots, whose most recent concert gross, according to Pollstar Boxoffice data, was an impressive $2.18 million earned over two nights at Mexico City’s Palacio De Los Deportees on May 2-3. That followed a lengthy European arena leg where Twenty One Pilots sold more than 14,000 tickets apiece in Madrid, Paris and Manchester. A full North American arena leg – that also includes a handful of headlining sets at festivals such as Lollapalooza and Outside Lands – kicked off earlier this month.
Krones has developed an impressive roster since joining CAA as an intern following his graduation from Furman University in Greenville, S.C.
“One of the things CAA has allowed us to do was to not look at genres specifically,” he says. “So me being based in Nashville, not just having a country hat or just thinking about rock ‘n’ roll, but rather just thinking about finding great talent, lets me do all kinds of things and figure it out later. We’re seeing now that there’s a lot more crossover and nothing is really siloed anymore, because that’s not the way kids listen to and enjoy music.”
That sort of thinking led to one of Krones’ latest signings, The Band Camino, a Memphis-spawned, Nashville-based rock trio, which recently signed with Elektra Records and launches a tour this fall that will hit 1,000- to 1,500-capacity venues.
“The way we found them and started working with them is because two of my country clients, Devin Dawson and Dan Smyers of Dan + Shay, said they loved meeting with these guys and writing with them,” Krones explains.
Your favorite laminate:
I still have my Kid Rock laminate when I was hanging out with [CAA Co-Head of Contemporary Music] Rick Roskin. It just reminds me of the fact I met Kid Rock.
The show that changed your life:
I don’t know that it changed my life, but I remember being in the lawn every summer throughout high school at Starwood [Amphitheatre in] Nashville being like, “How the hell do this many people care about this one guy every year?” I remember that.
Best career advice received
Be your own agent, keep your head up and try to figure out your own career path.
What would you like to tell our friends at the record labels or radio?
By our powers combined we can do anything.
Where can you be found during a show?
Front of house with a drink in hand.
Artist to watch – breaking in the next year:
The Band Camino…They’re like The 1975 meets Judah and the Lion.
Gratuitous email. Other agents overly submitting their acts for your tours.
Technology that has most impacted your daily work or personal life:
I think we’ve done a good job at CAA building a super useful tool we use internally as we try to find the next artists we want to work with. Some different platforms we use to aggregate social info and data we use to figure out what’s going on with artists and to see who we want to bet on. I love taking some time every day to go through Twitter and really understand what’s going on the landscape. Having it on the tip of your fingers on your phone rather than going through a bunch of magazines is fantastic.
Ten years removed from the Great Slump, can it happen again?
I think people’s appetite for music is never going to go away, but everything is cyclical, so anything is possible. But with that said, at the end of the day artists are doing a way better job of engaging their fans. And hopefully they can keep that engagement going long term for a career, rather than just a song. Right now there are a lot of acts, like Maggie Rogers, who haven’t even gone to radio yet and already have that engagement — if they can keep that going. Maybe there are some people out there that get too greedy and get too big of a check, do too many deals like that. To me you got to do a fair deal so the promoter is winning and we’re winning and we keep moving forward. Move from 2,000 tickets to 5,000 to selling out the Garden. That’s the whole thing. That’s what we’re doing here. People need to not overplay things and not be too reliant on festivals. At the end of the day, let’s build new headliners. That’s what we need. People are a little scared we aren’t going to have those, but if we all play our cards right and are smart, there’s no reason we’ll have what happened 10 years ago.