Fort Lauderdale's Evan Rowe Signs Music Deal, Gets Remixed From New York to Poland
Photo by Bongo
Evan Rowe has been a part of Fort Lauderdale's music scene for over a decade now. If you're a newcomer or a young-ish millennial following music around these parts, you probably know him as the often-tutued half of the cross-dressing outfit Travalonia, a band name that mashes the moniker of his former group Catalonia with the first name of local singer-songwriter and Rowe's musical partner, Travis Newbill.
Catalonia was most active during the early 2000s, with the buzz surrounding the band mainly defining the members as a bunch of intelligent guys with a knack for songwriting. Locals paid attention, but the band never really found a foothold and eventually disbanded in 2008. Rowe still uses Catalonia as a stage name at times, though.
We caught up with Rowe, now an adjunct professor of history at Broward College, known also for his political rabble-rousing, after some of his material was picked up by a publishing company and subsequently remixed by DJs from New York to Poland.
You've recently signed a music deal. Tell me about it.
I connected with [Expedition Recordings] through a submission site called Musicxray.com. The jury is still out on Xray, but I sort of buy into the model, at least so long as there are so many problems with the music industry (and content industry more generally). Basically, what they do is they use submissions, and charge money to submit in order to control the flow of submissions. The problem with the entire content industry, as I and many others have already pointed out, is the massive oversupply of digital content, and the inability to monetize based on supply and demand models.
MusicXray is trying to deal with that. I think they are in the right place. I don't like it [as a] long-term [solution], but only because I think better models can be built. For the time being, Xray filters the endless content stream and tries to connect artists to various music deals.
As for the publishing company, they are called Expedition Recordings. They picked up a submission which I never thought would get much traction. I recorded the song ["My Liver Is My Friend"] about three years ago and put a YouTube video together with a montage of images I snatched off Google combined with stuff from the Disco Infiltrator years. And I had that laid out, and the label probably thought that was a bit crazy, and let's face it, who doesn't love a nice piece of crazy. I'm not sure if they ever even watched the video or not, but based on the blurb and the track, decided to take a chance on it.
The label, basically, is a publishing and record label. They took the existing track, and remixed it and arranged remixes with artists from the electronic music industry. They have released tracks from DJ Caron, Dax Electron, and Science Versus Nature (who are the primary players behind the label), and their background is primarily in that area. It was foreign territory as far as I was concerned, but I liked the idea of what they wanted to do. They take 20 percent of the publishing rights of the song, then have it remixed, then promote it through their existing global electronic music connections. They basically promote the original by promoting the remixes. It's a good concept.
The remixes, especially Flatpack's, are really good! What were your thoughts going into it? And were you surprised with the result?
I didn't know what to expect from it, honestly. It wasn't the sort of thing I had ever produced before, and I had no preconceived notions. They explained their idea simply, and I liked the sound of it. The way it works is they basically take the existing "stems" from each song, and then mostly use the vocal, but it can be drawn from whatever parts of the song they think works the best. It's really another art form, and I definitely can see myself working in this capacity again.