One of the biggest electronic dance music (EDM) acts in the country is now permanently divided over a major lawsuit involving a founding member that claims he was kicked out of the group for getting sober.
Kris Trindl is suing sisters and fellow founding members of Krewella, Jahan and Yamsmine Yousaf, for at least $5 million in damages. The Chicago trio launched Krewella in 2010 and progressed to headlining EDM festivals around the world, but Trindl claims his fellow band members were upset that he no longer drank and partied after attending rehab for alcoholism.
Suing for Sobriety
The lawsuit alleges that Jahan and Yamsmine Yousaf kicked Trindl out in order to revamp the band as a duo, and also to steal his one-third share of the group’s total earnings.
According to the court documents, Trindl began using alcohol “to cope with the pressure” of the group’s newfound success. He eventually entered a detox program during the summer of 2013, followed by a 30-day rehab stint. Trindl attended AA meetings while on the road, but acknowledged relapsing twice and missing the Electric Daisy Carnival in Mexico City this past March, one of the biggest EDM events in the world.
Mistaking Trindl’s teetotaling lifestyle for depression, the Yousaf sisters held an intervention to demand he receive treatment for alcoholism. After he explained that his new mood was simply part of the recovery process, the lawsuit alleges that the sisters “figured they could always hire outside people to write and produce music for far less money than it would cost to continue splitting their income equally with Kris, as they have done. It was not Kris’ health or sobriety the others were thinking about, it was all about keeping him off the road so Jahan and Yasmine…could reap greater financial rewards.”
None of the band members have publicly commented on the lawsuit.
Is the EDM Culture to Blame?
Unfortunately, drugs have become a major part of the EDM scene. The prevalence of MDMA, or Molly, at festivals around the globe has led to numerous deaths in recent years. A 15-year-old girl died from a reported MDMA overdose at the Electric Daisy Carnival in Los Angeles in 2010, while the drug was responsible for the deaths of two others at last year’s Electric Zoo Festival in NYC. This past June, 36 people attending an EDM concert in Boston were hospitalized for issues reportedly related to drugs and alcohol, while a festival in Maryland this August left two dead and 19 hospitalized.
I have no doubt that if electronic dance music didn’t exist that people would be using MDMA.-Dr. Matthew Johnson
Despite the apparent trend, some medical experts are hesitant to specifically blame EDM festivals for these tragedies. “I have no doubt that if electronic dance music didn’t exist that people would be using MDMA,” said Dr. Matthew Johnson, associate professor of psychiatry and behavior sciences at John Hopkins University.
“Most people that are exposed to MDMA aren’t taking it to a rave or another dance music venue. They’ve gotten it from their friend. They’re trying it at home or somewhere else at a party.”
Learn more about the available treatment options for drug and alcohol addiction.
Image Source: Trindl/Instagram