Nov 27, 2009
So exciting. “Out” Magazine has me as one of their featured stories today over at their website. To check it out, CLICK HERE.
You can read the full transcript from the interview below as well.
From “Out” Magazine:
“NEED TO KNOW: LOGAN LYNN — The singer chats about his new album, feuding with Jeffree Star, and “putting the discomfort back in disco.” Plus: see his new video, “Bottom Your Way to the Top.”
Logan Lynn’s emo-disco-pop blend has already made him a hit with gay guys who like to hear their lives — from the highs to the lows — set to music. His ability to capture melancholy and melody is really no surprise, given that the grandmother who taught him about music also taught a similarly emotional man, Johnny Cash. We sat down with Lynn to find out about “bottoming his way to the top,” feuding with Jeffree Star, and just what “putting the discomfort in disco” actually means.
Out: I heard you have a very intimate connection to Johnny Cash.
Logan Lynn: My connection to Johnny Cash is that my grandmother on my dad’s side, LaVanda Mae Fielder, taught him how to sing and play the piano back in the day. In his autobiography he tells a story about my grandma telling him not to ever take another singing lesson because they’d ruin his voice. She just thought he had natural talent.
Out: Has that connection influenced you at all?
LL: Well, it didn’t really influence me until later on in life when I cared about Johnny Cash or stuff like that. I did learn how to play the piano on the piano that he learned how to play on. So as an adult, I’ve kind of had moments where I thought that was cool. You know, obviously, I’ve spent a lot of time around my family who were all pretty musical as a result of her sort of passing that on. I grew up in the church, and we weren’t allowed to listen to Johnny Cash. We weren’t allowed to listen to anything secular. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve explored his music and thought that connection was cool.
Out: Logo calls your music “moody dance-pop.” Do you think that’s fair?
LL: Yeah, I do think so. My sound has changed a little bit over the years, obviously, as I’ve grown and started working with other people. But I think my roots are still firmly planted in electro-pop. I think to say it’s moody is sort of an understatement. [Laughs.] I think it’s very moody. I don’t think it’s dark. I find a connection with the rawness of what I’m saying. I try not to hold back. A lot of times that comes off as immature [laughs], like I’m sort of stuck in my own zone or whatever. But I think those feelings are universal — feelings of love, and loss, and some of the darker themes that people are going through.
Out: It seems like your following is a big influence on you.
LL: I think that’s true. I’ve spent the last few years getting to know the people in my network, which is maybe different than some other bands. I know their names, I’m in communication with a lot of them back and forth. I’ve really spent a lot of time since 2006 building up that relationship and trying to find out not only what kind of music they want, but how they want all that to look. I think it’s definitely more about my fan base and my following than my label. We sort of followed suit, looking at similar bands who used Topspin [a media company that helps artists bring music to their fans], like Metric. Some of those other bands that are just completely self-made and having huge successes. And a lot of that has to do with listening to their fans and figuring out what they want, instead of just marketing them the same way we would the High School Musical soundtrack. You’ve got to kind of know your audience and figure out what’s valuable to them, versus what the industry thinks is valuable.
Out: Your catchphrase is “putting the disco back into discomfort.” What does that even mean?
LL: Um, I’m not exactly sure what that means. [Laughs.] It’s been around for a few years. I think before I needed some kind of quick one-liner thing to get people’s attention. You know, I kind of built this all up on MySpace. You have that little tag line area — it needed to fit there. Someone had written that, I believe, at some point after a show I had performed, and I kind of just adopted it early on. I think that’s changed a little bit as my music has become a little less disco. And maybe it’s less about discomfort and more about trying to find the light or whatever. The material, lyrically, is kind of heavy at times, and it’s sort of this “spoonful of sugar” idea, where the music itself doesn’t necessarily sound as heavy as the lyrics. So together it makes it so the listener can process it, and it’s not like a huge bummer.
Out: Did you, as one of your new song titles suggests, (see the video above) “bottom your way to the top?”
LL: [Laughs.] I didn’t personally do that. This new record is all about the ending of my relationship that I’d been in for six years, and trying to get well — ending relationships with chemicals, ending relationships with people in my life. And that was just something my partner screamed at me at one point, and it turned into a song. I think it’s something I’ve gone through in my experience of getting here, not bottoming my way to the top by any means, but running into things with my relationship as my career started to progress. They just weren’t lining up. I take responsibility for half of that, for sure. I did make things extra complicated. When we got together, I wasn’t doing this. So things change.
Out: So are you available now?
LL: Yeah, I’m single. It feels weird. I haven’t been in the single world for so long, I’m finding myself newly sober and newly single, and it’s equaling out to me being a little bit awkward. [Laughs.] I’m trying to figure out how to do these basic things again. When I was single the first time around, I was so wasted that a lot of my experiences, whether that’s sexually or trying to relate to people emotionally or even in my music… it’s all sort of brand new again. It’s making me feel like I’m just hitting puberty, but I’m a 30-year-old man. It’s interesting. It’s a new world, for sure.
Out: Have you found that being an out artist has limited your career at all?
LL: I haven’t. I think I’ve found the opposite of that. I came out when I was 14, so by the time this whole music thing started to happen, which was about 10 years ago, I had been out for so long, that was the only thing I knew how to be. There wasn’t really an option of going back in. But I certainly don’t think I marketed myself that way. I didn’t market myself at all. I kind of just started making records to help my brain along. I would give them to my friends, and they slowly started kind of leaking out. By the time 2006 happened, and I had my MySpace page, I personally started marketing to gay people individually, just thinking we’ll be similar. [Laughs.] I think feeling alone or different — or those themes in my music — resonate with the gay community in a way that was sort of immediate, just because I do write from that perspective. I do think the world has changed enough from the time when I decided I wanted to do this to the time when we started marketing it that it’s almost a selling point at this point. I grew up in Kansas and Nebraska, so I wouldn’t have been able to imagine this in a pre-Will & Grace world. But things have changed enough now, where I think people are listening to the music for the most part, and not even thinking about that. I’m glad that people in the gay community have responded to me like they have, and I’m totally into it. It has made me feel less alone and more a part of the community, to have people in the community and outside of it respond to what I’m doing. It’s been cool.
Out: How much did it suck having the flu recently?
LL: It sucked bad. I’ve never been sick like that. I never get sick. I’m not sure exactly what happened. My brother had a baby a couple years ago, and I love her to death and was hanging out with her. I believe she may have given me whatever she got from the hundred other kids she’s been sticking her finger in the mouth of. It was gross, but I was holed up long enough to sit here and think about things. I was turning 30 too, and I was thinking, oh my God. There’s something about the flu that lends itself to minor depression. I did lose some weight though! I looked good for my New York trip.
Out: Speaking of New York, while you were at the CMJ festival in October you Tweeted that you were going to see Jeffree Star’s set, but he didn’t end up playing. You called it “pretty lame.” Is there a feud brewing there?
LL: [Laughs.] I hope not. I’d be afraid to be in a feud with that guy. No, actually I like him, that’s why I went. I think that’s a pretty bummer thing to do. It mostly reminded me of how I was a couple years ago — something I could have pulled. The CMJ promoters were not very pleased, but it didn’t really affect me. I went there in a Town Car, and then I took my Town Car back.
Out: Lastly, Lady Gaga: Overexposed or overtly fabulous?
LL: [Laughs.] I like Lady Gaga. I don’t know, you might be asking the wrong person. I’m thinking overexposure is in the eye of the beholder. If that’s what you’re going for, which I think is part of the whole deal with her, it seems to be working. I think if you’re exposing yourself in a way that you’re comfortable with, then that’s really your authentic self.
Out: Logan Lynn’s new album, From Pillar to Post is available at www.loganlynnmusic.com and in stores now.