Agency Intel: CAA’S Jared Martin On Agenting Being At The Intersection Of The Live Biz

Jared Martin

CAA music agent Jared Martin grew up playing in bands in high school, with a childhood dream of becoming a baseball player. After a semester of baseball in college, he decided he instead wanted to get into the music business.

Martin says, “I knew pretty early on I didn’t have the chops to be a star, but I wanted to be in the business.” He worked at a local recording studio in Orange County, California, during college and then landed a job at Sony BMG’s independent distribution arm before discovering a listing for CAA via a temp agency. He adds, “I fell in love with it the first week I was there. And here I am, 15 years later.”

His client roster includes Against Me!, Alice Cooper, Alice In Chains, Asking Alexandria, Bad Religion, Counting Crows, Danzig, Deftones, Iration, Rob Zombie, Simple Plan, The Gaslight Anthem, The Offspring, The Original Misfits, The Used, and Tom Morello, among many others.

Pollstar: What initially appealed to you about being an agent?
Jared Martin: I thought I wanted to be an A&R person, which is what a lot of people from
my generation wanted to do. That was the sexy music business job that everybody knew about because A&R people were portrayed in movies and books. I had an interview with an A&R guy at Columbia who told me in 2007, “You seem like somebody who’s passionate about being in this business and wanting to do it for the rest of your life. I don’t think this place is for you. I’m just looking for somebody to answer my phone; we’re not really looking for scouts.”

At that point, the record business was having its struggles. He said you should check out an agency and I found my way to CAA. There’s a book “The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up” and there was a line that stuck with me – and it’s what
I love about being an agent – “agencies are the intersection of all things in entertainment,” especially the music business. You deal with lawyers, managers, record labels, publicists.

A big part of what we do at CAA and what I like to focus on is understanding how it all works and being an integral part of the artist team.

Some of your acts have put on their own festivals. What can you share about that?
Starting with the Offspring, Dexter from the band has a hot sauce that he does on the side, Gringo Bandito, and as a vehicle for his hot sauce to get exposure we did [Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival] in Orange County … [featuring] a taco eating competition … all of The Offspring’s favorite bands played. We did 20,000 people on the beach at Dana Point, where they’re from.

Another example of an artist-driven festival that just had a successful year, three years in, was The Deftones’ Dia De Los Deftones in San Diego. It’s something we’ve built up and the first year back from the pandemic, [the 2022 event] sold out immediately. That’s something that we pride ourselves on … helping [artists] achieve things that they’re passionate about beyond just playing normal shows.

What’s the latest with Rob Zombie?
There’s a team that has really taken pride in our active rock, hard rock and punk rock business. Rob Zombie being one of those acts and there’s a group of [artists] from Slipknot to Disturbed, Korn, Breaking Benjamin [playing] mainstream rock festivals every year like Sonic Temple, which just announced last week, Welcome To Rockville in Jacksonville and Aftershock and Louder Than Life in Sacramento and Louisville, respectively. At CAA we typically book north of 50% of the headliners on those things; we have a great relationship with Danny Wimmer who promotes the festivals I just mentioned.

We’ve developed a really successful amphitheater and arena business with those acts who are doing numbers that are better than they’ve ever been in their career. Deftones, for example – I work on that act with Jenna Adler. We do a lot of our acts in teams at CAA.

Rob Zombie came out of the pandemic and his first tour, he packaged with Mudvayne – Rob Zombie’s biggest headline business he’s ever done in his career. Last year, in the amphitheaters, he averaged over 10,000 people a night and his festival business is as good as it’s ever been.

Seems like the rock market is doing well these days.
Totally. I’m thankful to work with some real visionary agents at CAA who have represented some of these bands for 20-plus years. Another act I help out on, with Rick Roskin, is Iron Maiden, a band that’s been around more than 40 years and they too just did a really large tour – some of the best business they’d ever done.

One thing we do with a rock act to achieve this is we develop a really solid ecosystem of these summer packages in amphitheaters and arenas. We’re able to get a lot of these acts to take out [artists] that we hope are going to be headliners on their next tour. An example of that is Rob Zombie and Mudvayne … Mudvayne will hopefully grow into their own amphitheater headliner with the package we’re putting together this year.

Another highlight of last year was Alice in Chains headlining amphitheaters with Breaking Benjamin.

There’s a big wave of country rock. I think they’re similar to a lot of what the rock acts were doing 20 years ago, but have the country label because they started in the country genre. You look at acts like HARDY who has a record that just came out, that’s half country, half rock. We just signed this kid Austin Snell that I was a part of. I’m not a country agent, but I’m someone who looks forward to the future of rock and there’s a lot of [acts] coming up via the country path … something we’re really excited about.