Krewella Lawsuit: Sisters Move On to Preserve Their Reputation
Popular EDM group, Krewella, exploded in 2012, appearing on many festival stages and landing headlining shows across the country. It didn't take long for Columbia Records to notice their talent and sign them to their label. By 2013, they dropped their Get Wet album and took off for a world tour. Sounds like the group really had their priorities in line and were solely focused on their musical careers. Behind the scenes however, things weren't so perfect. Kris began abusing substances such as alcohol and marijuana, failing to fulfill the promises he made in contract. So why is Kris suing the sisters? He is accusing Jahan and Yasmine of forcing him out of the group and not granting him the full 33.3% of their collective profits. The sisters' story is not in sync with his at all. The case file link I've posted below describes the details of their cross complaint in full, but following the link is a summarized run-down of their side of the situation.
Let me begin by saying that I will probably sound completely biased towards the girls, but after reading their case file it's easy to understand why Kris is in no position to be accusing them of "forcing" him out of the group. One common misconception that Krewella fans believe, is that Kris is the one behind all the music production and the sisters are just singers and "performers". The three of them are all very musically inclined but they had help from other producers while they were trying to get their name out to the dance music community. They each agreed to learn how to DJ and produce electronic music full time in order to each receive their 1/3 share of their profits. However, Kris developed an addiction concerning substance abuse that limited his ability to be able to learn how to DJ efficiently and coherently. The sisters claim that Kris would rarely show up to lessons, and if he did he was either intoxicated or high.
Kris's addiction became such an issue that he would often appear on stage completely belligerent and tamper with the sisters' control boards or simply cut off the music altogether. He was putting their reputation at stake by his obnoxious behavior during their performances, but the sisters kept this issue away from public knowledge, and instead approached Trindl with a deep concern for his well being and insist that he get help at a rehab facility in Malibu. He agreed to attend a 30 day program, and when he completed it he would then be able to continue contributing to Krewella with a clear head. Even while he was in treatment, Kris received at least $45,000 for basically agreeing to get sober, and nothing else.
Trindl claimed to be working on music in LA to explain his absence to the fans who had noticed his disappearance at shows. Jahan and Yasmine repeatedly asked Kris to send them music that he promised he was working on since he wasn't on tour full time but he never did. Kris was a liability to them at this point, but they continued to let him prove himself to them that he could learn to produce high quality music in order to fully contribute to the team.
- "Jahan and Yasmine have sung live and/or DJ’d at over three hundred shows since May 11, 2012, whereas, while appearing at only roughly one hundred of these shows, Kris has DJ’d only two songs (not whole performances) and played acoustic guitar for one song."- Defendant case files (P.18; Claim III, paragraph 92.)
Kris's sobriety didn't last long and he continued to be a nuisance to the sisters both at shows and back in the studio. Kris still received money even though his contribution to the group was minimal. Instead of being granted his full 33.3% both he and the sisters agreed he only really deserved half of that. For not doing too much and continuing to engage in the usage of mind altering substances, the numbers are actually still pretty significant:
- "a. Between August 30, 2013 and September 30, 2013, during his time in rehab, Kris received at least $45,000.00 from the Krewella LLCs combined.
- b. Between December 2013 and June 16, 2014, Trindl has received at least $177,000.00 from Krewella Music LLC alone.
- c. Between March 26, 2014 and August 1, 2014, Trindl has received at least $410,000.00 from Krewella Live LLC alone.
- d. Between June 30, 2014 and August 1, 2014, Trindl has received at least $255,000.00 from Krewella Live LLC and Krewella Music LLC combined." Defendant Case Files (P.14, Claim II, Paragraph 68)
The sisters sought help from other producers to improve their music production skills and performance, while Kris did nothing. Trindl stopped participating in live shows completely on March 16, 2014. Despite not being on tour and not producing any music for Krewella LLC, he was still paid about $410,000, for no reason. Yet he proceeded to sue Krewella for $5 million dollars after getting paid to basically sit around, feed his addiction, and verbally abuse the sisters every time they asked him to either help them or get help himself.
Krewella has always been on the low key about publicity on anything other than the success of their music. No real significant word was spread about Kris's addiction and the struggles and drama the group was experiencing. They wanted to keep giving him chances to redeem himself by giving him the task of creating music full time for the album Jahan and Yasmine had been writing while he was relieved of his obligation to tour with them. If the sisters wanted to sabotage Kris's reputation and have him kicked out of the group, they would have done it two years ago when he began to neglect his duties. The fact that Kris is claiming to be "forced out" of the group and suing them for an extremely excessive amount of money in addition to the money he already received for doing nothing, is absurd.
Kris Publicly Displayed His Drug Use on Twitter to Over 40,000 Followers
August 24, 2013
“Too many ppl [sic] saying ‘stop doing drugs’ to me. I support marijuana, never have tried anything else.”
January 5, 2014
“New Year’s resolution: smoke more weed.”
January 25, 2014
February 28, 2014
“I need weed.”
An Operating Agreement was drafted for the group in order to maintain a professional standing by prohibiting the use of drugs and alcohol while on tour. However the draft was never signed because Kris refused, as it did not enable him to engage in his unhealthy lifestyle. Jahan and Yasmine still made an effort to have Kris take their music seriously by promising not to drink until the end of one of their tours in 2012, yet Kris drank throughout the majority of this tour and continued to put their reputation at risk during live performances.
So, people who think that Kris is the talent behind the success of Krewella are clearly mistaken. Kris has only been an asset when Krewella first began but he's been nothing but a hindrance since then. The EDM community needs to be set straight in their allegations regarding the Yousef sisters only being in the group to sing while having minimal participation on the production and DJing end of performance. True Krewella fans should in no way believe this misconception if they attended shows and noticed that Kris was rarely in the DJ booth in between Jahan and Yasmine as advertised. The sisters were considerate enough to not publicly expose Kris of his addiction even as he continued to send threatening and hurtful messages to Jahan in particular.
If those who believe that the sisters are greedy and kicked Kris out of the group for financial purposes even though "he does all the DJing", than explain to me why they would want to rid themselves of "the talent" in the group when Kris would ultimately be the source of all their revenue? Why would they want to get rid of "the only person who does anything in the group" in order to only have to split their profits between the two of them when they aren't the ones who actually produce the music and DJ in front of live audiences? If people who think the girls don't do anything are kicking him out for the money, I'm curious as to where you think they're going to get booked or make money from now on since apparently they don't have the capability of doing everything that Kris did.
I'm hoping this cleared the air on a lot of different misconceptions people hold over Krewella. The sisters are primarily the source of their success and they were considerate enough to allow Kris to be part of their group even when he was nothing but detrimental to their performance and reputation. They tried to get him help, and they offered him multiple chances to be a contributing member of Krewella, but Kris took their kindness for granted and continued to abuse their trust throughout the past couple of years. I think that Jahan and Yasmin will prove that they're more than capable of keeping Krewella's name alive now that they have nobody and nothing holding them back. It's all about complete dedication to their music from now on, without having to worry about the possibility of someone embarrassing them on stage. It's only up from here for the girls, they just have to prove it to everyone else who doubts them.