Name Thomas Scriven
Company Kollider Music Group
Role Title President of A&R Records And Publishing
Headquarters 8923 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
Website http://kollidermusicgroup.com http://dialsapp.com
How did you get started in the music business?
As a young kid in Idaho throwing punk rock shows. One year, we threw a show at the Starbucks in Sun Valley on New Years Eve and had The Deviates (Epitaph) play. The whole Starbucks staff were fired the next day, we knew it was coming, but we enjoyed every minute of the show. I then played in some bands and was a touring guitarist for a few years, but when I had my little girl, Olivia, at 25, I decided to jump head first into the business side of music.
How did you come to start Kollider Music Group?
My partner, Sheri Howell (ex-MTV), and I wanted to start a company that pulled from all sorts of different disciplines in the entertainment business and mashed them under one roof. Kollider, the name, was borrowed from the Large Hadron Collider, which is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator ever built.
What does the Kollider brand stand for?
Kollider is an A&R resource with a keen eye for partnerships and co-operative opportunities. I actually describe us as “A&Entrepreneurs”.
We do the traditional thing of identifying and developing talent musically, but we also really work with them to understand their entire vision, then build teams and business relationships to support each project’s individual needs. Kollider Music Group is a number of things: A label (Kollider Records, an imprint of Atlantic Records), a management company (SuperKollider, in partnership with Velvet Hammer Music Management and a publishing company (Kollider Music Publishing). We do creative branding for other artists and brands under the SuperKollider banner, and we just started developing tech IP.
How would you describe the culture at Kollider?
Highly collaborative. Dog friendly. Music is always on.
Is there an area of talent that you are seeking to add to the company?
Growing our Publishing Company is a priority. We are also focusing a lot of growth in the Technology realm, but mainly tech that pertains directly to the entertainment business, where we can add strategic value upon launch. We have
a startup (Dials) incubating in the office that employs 10 people full time now. It’s an intuitive calendaring app that is designed specifically for creative types and was birthed from my own need to create a better mobile calendar. I was managing 25 different calendars at the time of its inception, and frustrated with everything else out there. I explained my vision to a friend from Reddit, we ran with it, and here we are. It’s going to solve a lot of problems for people that aren’t happy with the modern mobile calendar, especially people who don’t even use calendar apps because they’re too complicated. Managers and Artists are salivating at the UI and the incredibly easy event creation process, as are all the Silicon Valley partners we’re working with.
Tell me about the last year for you?
Personally, I found and lost someone close to me this year. Strange (and sad) how that works sometimes, but people come into our lives to challenge us to grow. I did.
Professionally, I’ve become better at saying “no” to opportunities. Saying “no” is how you focus on what you’ve already said “yes” to. That took me a while to figure out.
Looking into the future, what excites you most about Kollider’s potential?
I really admire the tech portfolios that Scooter Braun (Silent Labs) and Troy Carter (Atom Factory) have built by being marketing partners that can plug a product directly into pop culture, through their artists, for an equity stake. They are creating real financial opportunities for their artists in that arena and I’m looking forward to doing a lot more of that. I’m really excited about developing fledgling talent. An example, is our published writer Noah Loawman, who’s recently had 4 cuts and a giant sync (HBO Spring Campaign, worldwide) in the last 6 months.
What are the areas where you could improve opportunities for growth?
I have the desire to do a lot of in-house creative for my acts. From inception to execution, we already collaborate on videos, artwork, websites, merchandise, photography, marketing materials, etc. All things creative should be derived from the artist’s vision, and I feel the more we are able to provide solid turn around solutions on creative, the more we can control the brand and avoid some of the pitfalls encountered when navigating outsider’s visions of our artists’ brand.
Which artists inspire you on a creative level?
Radiohead, Alt-J, Pink Floyd, Basquiat and Storm Thorgerson.
In what ways can people be more socially responsible for the health of our music industry community?
If something moves you musically, buy it, don’t pirate it. Support your industry.
Editors Note: 8923 W. Sunset Blvd is a location with soul. The office is two doors over from the Whisky A Go Go. The office was one occupied by legendary manager Elliot Roberts, and rumor has it that that The Doors lived there too.
*Photograph by George Byrne