Favorite Signing Stories

Favorite Signing Stories of 2019

The Stash

Label: Anchor Eighty Four Records
Band Members: Christian Evanko, vocals; Tristen Whitehead, keys/producer; Austin Pritz, guitar; Andrew Gyomal, bass; Michael LaPick, drums
Type of Music: Pop
Management: [email protected]/Word is Bond, inc.
Booking: Word is Bond, inc.
Publicity: [email protected]
Web: instagram.com/thestashny
A&R: Cody Jones

After two years in a band that he thought was going places but didn’t, Christian Evanko found himself disillusioned with the music business. “After the experience of being signed for two years,” recalls the Stash lead man, “I found it difficult to trust anyone.”

After a brief stint as a solo folkie, he thought, “Hey, folk lends itself to the blues, so why not get a whole backing band and bring the songs to light in a different way. We loved folk, classic rock and the blues, but realized we weren’t Mumford and Sons or the Lumineers, and what we really loved was the pop element in all these genres. We decided to be a pop band.”

The Stash were working with manager Erick Droegmoeller and decided to put out some singles online, each with a video attached. Once the video singles got attention, Droegmoeller pitched them, and interest landed with Cody Jones at Anchor Eighty Four. The label struck a deal with the band for all of the songs they had in the can and continue to produce. The strategy has been to release a song each month (with video) online, and seasonal EPs, four songs that lyrically and/or sonically connect to each season. The packages are released on Spotify. “It’s up to the label whether or not to release them physically,” says Evanko.

Evanko also has a deal with a company to pitch TV and movie placement for his songs. “I love it all—I love all the arts,” he says. But when it comes to The Stash, it’s a real partnership. “Production of the music, the videos, we all contribute. Everyone is a one-fifth partner.”

While the band does play live, Evanko notes, “For our genre, just to go out and put dates on a calendar might not be the most effective thing. We look at bands like The Chainsmokers, who have a DJ element but also rock out.”

Wait for the internet to create a fan base. You can’t just play dive bars and do proper service to the music––you need the right sound system. So we really push our fans to pre-save us on Spotify, things like that. We’re focusing on branding, marketing, and getting the best songs out each month.”

“If we had kept going DIY, we would have run out of funding,” Evanko says. Anchor Eighty Four provides the band with distribution, publicity, press, and funding for recording music and videos. “Cody [label head] has been in the business for more than 10 years, he’s helped develop a lot of successful artists. Every time we speak with him we learn something.”

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