After seven years of performing, writing songs and recording, identical twins Evan and Jaron Lowenstein are finally enjoying the success of a major radio hit, “Crazy for this Girl,” on Sony/Columbia Records.
Born and raised in Atlanta, the brothers were destined for sports careers – they traveled the country as semi-pro baseball players – until Evan decided to drop everything for music after hearing Elvis Costello’s “Allison.” He talked it over with Jaron, and the two decided to pursue writing music and becoming rock stars.
But simultaneous actions weren’t a new thing for these twins. Together they thought up the master plan to get their indie music on mainstream radio.
It’s All In The Name
After hearing from several commercial radio stations that the stations couldn’t play anything that wasn’t on a major label, Evan and Jaron determined to start their own indie label, appropriately named “A Major Label Records.”
Jaron recalls, “I’m not sure which one of us came up with exact name, but it was within the same sitting that we also came up with Warn Her Brothers Records, So Knee Records, etc.”
“I think we ended up choosing the best one and it worked for what we needed – it got us attention,” he adds.
The brothers are individual songwriters. “The extent of what we do together is edit each other’s work,” says Jaron. “There is no lead writer. We both write as much material as we can for a record and then try to unbiasedly decide what will best serve the record.”
Picked Up By Island
After they got a bit of radio play with their strategically named indie label, Island Records approached the duo with a record contract. But the record they released with Island died after only 10 weeks. “We like to call it our ‘limited edition’ record,” jokes Evan.
“We regrouped and decided to write songs that would hopefully catch the ear of other major labels,” explains Jaron. “In that time we wrote both ‘Crazy For This Girl’ and ‘From My Head to My Heart.'” They recorded the tracks for these songs in a studio in their hometown of Atlanta, and then shopped the demo around.
“To our excitement, labels were convinced that we had hit songs on our hands,” says Evan. “We decided to go with Columbia, because they have the best promotional team in the business.”
From Roland To Mac-Based Recording
Songwriting artists often dream of putting a personal recording studio in their home. Evan and Jaron first turned to a Roland VS-1680. But for the ultimate in portability, Evan picked up a PowerBook.
The New Single. See the QuickTime full-length video of Evan and Jaron’s single “From My Head to My Heart,” premiering May 18 at 12:01 a.m. (PT).
“It’s not that I didn’t like the Roland, it’s just that even with its mobility it couldn’t compete with the power, the disk space, capability or the portability of the PowerBook,” says Evan. “I’ve since become accustomed to the Mac, and my Roland is sitting in its travel case inside my closet.
Capturing the Moment
“When I write a new song, I like to put it down on hard disk as soon as possible because I realize that I may never sing it again the way I do the first night I write it,” says Evan.
“Sometimes, that feeling doesn’t end up being the one that works best for the final version, but nonetheless, it’s certainly good to have that first inspiration on hand to draw from,” he adds.
PowerBook on Tour
The Evan and Jaron touring PowerBook is equipped with Digital Performer for recording audio, iMovie and Final Cut Pro for editing footage shot on the road and iTunes for making MP3 copies of their newest songs to send to their friends via email.
Evan records his guitar riffs into the PowerBook via Line 6’s Pod, a classic guitar amp simulator, and his brings his vocal ideas in through the PowerBook’s built-in microphone jack. “I’m also a fan of Native Instruments’ virtual synths,” he adds.
Crazy For The Mac
Evan and Jaron got introduced to Macs when their friend John Fields arrived to produce their latest album. “He had all this stuff on his Mac and I was blown away by what he could do with it,” explains Evan. “By the time the record was done, I felt comfortable enough to make the switch.” The album was recorded using a MOTU 2408 as the audio interface into Fields’ Mac.
“Now I’m able to send a guitar/vocal track that I record on the bus to him through the Internet and he can add stuff in his studio and then send it back with his ideas,” he adds. “So then when I get to my studio I can add more stuff, as we decide how to develop the song from remote locations.”
Fleetwood, Medeski and Wilson
While playing at Music Bridges, a cultural music exchange in Cuba, Evan and Jaron made friends with Mick Fleetwood (of Fleetwood Mac), who later played on two of their songs.
John Medeski (of Medeski, Martin & Wood) also contributed on keyboards for six tracks of Evan and Jaron’s album. And Dan Wilson of Semisonic co-wrote the song “Ready or Not” with Evan remotely, exchanging tracks while Wilson was on tour. The two never met until after the song was completed.