Five seconds about me:
Five minutes about me:
After graduating from Stanford with a weighty degree in Philosophy, I had no choice but to start a band.
I began learning the music business by managing my band, combined with a memorable first job (err, internship) at Virgin Records in Los Angeles. Working in Virgin's publicity department in the 1990s meant answering phones, sending faxes, and cutting out newspaper clippings about roster artists such as The Smashing Pumpkins and Ben Harper.
Translation: it was a very different era.
Plus the head of the department wore dark sunglasses in the office while making calls from his desk. This made me appropriately nervous.
In 2002 I took the leap of managing other bands, when my business partner Nick and I met Tegan and Sara. This started a wonderful 18-year management relationship that resulted in multiple gold and platinum records, JUNO awards, an Academy Awards nomination, and a New York Times Best Seller. I also had the honor of being personally nominated for a Grammy Award for my work producing the Tegan and Sara Get Along documentary.
I was a co-pilot as two self-described queer kids from Calgary built a global audience and empire, using their platform to shine a light on the LGBTQ+ community while also moving consciously into the mainstream to amplify their voices. From performing their Lego Movie song "Everything is Awesome" at the Academy Awards, to receiving the Governor General's Performing Arts Award – Canada's highest national honor in the arts – our run with Tegan and Sara was foundational to my life in the music business.
During the early Tegan and Sara era we were mentored by legendary manager Elliot Roberts, who had signed Tegan and Sara to their first record deal. From Elliot we learned how to plan and sustain the arc of a long career path, just like he had done with his longtime management clients Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. Learning principles directly from Elliot was irreplaceable, and being invited to dinner parties at Neil's house during many Bridge School Benefit weekends made me even more nervous than my first internship at Virgin Records.
In 2005 we took on a second client, Buck 65, and with that became a bona fide management company. Buck 65, aka Rich Terfry, took us around the world with his singular brand of underground hip hop, commanding stages from the JUNOs to Coachella, and eventually putting his roots down in Toronto to host one of Canada's flagship national radio shows, CBC Drive.
For many years I crossed the moat between artist and industry, playing in my former band Jets Overhead while managing the business of other bands. One memorable week I was with Tegan and Sara for their Glastonbury performance in the UK, and then hopped a plane to Shanghai for a Jets Overhead performance at the World Expo. The flip between skillsets was a thrill, and performing myself on significant stages – from Coachella to Bonnaroo – kept me in touch with the challenges that touring and recording artists face. I hope it made me a better industry executive.
Along the way I've had the honor of working with many other exceptional artists including Bedouin Soundclash, The Librarian, Luca Fogale, and The Funk Hunters. As a lifelong musician, I still love playing guitar and piano in the studio with my current project Astrocolor.
Besides my music career, I’m interested in technology and am an active investor in multiple venture capital funds. I'm also a sports fan, having grown up playing tennis competitively before hanging up my racquet in favor of a guitar.
I currently live in Victoria, Canada with my wife India Young, who is a Curator of Art at the Royal British Columbia Museum.