Aug 5, 2010
CHECK OUT LOGAN LYNN’S INTERVIEW IN CURRENT (AUGUST 2010) ISSUE OF ‘Q TOWN MAGAZINE’! READ IT HERE NOW!!!
Q Town Magazine interviewed me for this month’s issue (on stands now in Virginia, online HERE. Check out the full transcript below! I talk about the usual things people talk about in interviews: cocaine, butt sex, being a jerk, fucking my life up, Jesus, etc.
From Q TOWN Magazine (August 2010 Issue):
It’s been quite a trip for Portland electronica artist Logan Lynn. From his first studio album, This Is Folk Techno in 1998 to his latest From Pillar To Post, Lynn transports us away to his buzzing trance-like world. Famous for edgy lyrics and playful beats, Lynn creates excitement on MTV, Logo, VH1, Spike and in the pulsating indie music scene.
Q town recently caught up with Logan to chat about hooking up with The Dandy Warhols, his connection to his fans, and how queer culture influences the mainstream.
QT: Your style has been called electro-house mixed with folk, which is a really interesting combination. How did these two come together for you?
LL: I was always really interested in both genres separately growing up and coming into my own musically as a songwriter. At some point in the late 90’s I started blending the two together. Back then nobody really understood what I was doing. I would have shows and people would just stand there and scratch their heads. I could tell they were like “What the hell is this guy doing?”, but that was mostly because they just had no reference point. That was WAY before The Postal Service or some of those groups that came along in the mid 2000’s. Once that all started getting big is when people really started to gravitate to my music. I repackaged and re-released the same record in 2005 that I had released in 2000 and the reaction was amazing so I immediately recorded all the songs I had been writing during that 5 year hiatus from making records and got the ball rolling for my self-titled record in 2006. I’m glad people get it now.
QT: How did you hook up with the indie-rock band The Dandy Warhols and what has that experience been like for you?
LL: I was working on an ad campaign for a company in Los Angeles in 2005 & we hired a photographer from Portland named Ray Gordon who I ended up partying with for days in LA. He fell in love with some of the new material I played him and just happened to be really good friends with Courtney Taylor-Taylor (the Dandys’ frontman). He knew they were starting a label, Courtney and I met, he got really into my record, they signed me in 2007 and released my last record “From Pillar To Post” on their Beat The World label in 2009. It has been really great to have access to their studio and to be able to learn from them. It has been quite the journey from there to here.
QT: Can you tell us the inspiration to the lyrics behind your sharply-titled single, “Bottom your way to the top”?
LL: Well, I was in a very long-term relationship that started ending in 2007, but eluded finality until a little over a year ago. At one point, as our 6 years together were dissolving, the words “Just go and bottom your way to the top, then” was yelled my way….so I wrote a song about it. That whole record (“From Pillar To Post”) is about that time in my life. I was immersed in cocaine partyworld and was losing my love. I didn’t react very well to the breakup initially. I acted out in ways that were, well…song-worthy.
QT: We really love the video for “Bottom your way to the top”. In addition to being a musician you’re also a visual artist. Did you help contribute to the concept behind the video?
LL: Nice one! Thanks. I am always involved in some aspect of everything, but I think much of my success has been found in letting the people I work with do their jobs (be it on songs or videos). I have yet to drink my own Kool-Aid to the point where I think I know how to do everything better than everyone else. That’s bullshit. Anyway, the director Jeffrey McHale (from Chicago) had a very clear vision. I came to him because I felt like he and I had a similar point of view. It turned out that we did. He introduced me to an illustrator named John Parot who came on board to illustrate the video which Jeff then animated. Interestingly enough, John Parot is a contestant on Bravo’s “Work Of Art: The Search For The Next Great Artist” this season. He does amazing work. I love that we got him on that video. His drawings are really what next-leveled that one.
QT: What would you say is the best part of being a performer?
LL: I love the connections I make with people. I think because my songs are so personal they tend to find people that are similar to me. That’s been the case thusfar at least. That connection, that shrinking of the world to a size I can deal with, has been the best part of all of this so far. I like feeling like my crazy is understandable my hundreds of thousands of people. Like…other people aren’t running away from my ugly parts on display so maybe I’m not such a fucking psycho after all?
QT: You’ve been a fixture on MTV, VH1, Spike TV and Logo Online and you’ve got a huge following. How did it feel to break into the biz?
LL: It felt different than I thought it was going to. It is amazing that I get to live out my lifelong dreams and have been able to get to the point I’m at currently with this whole thing…but I’ll be honest and say that I always had it in my mind that I would get here and suddenly be happy, suddenly feel like I belong. Unfortunately, that is not the case so I’ve had to mourn the loss of that delusional notion as it has become clear that there just simply is no golden ticket. I love singing, I love writing, I love that there are so many people who feel a connection with me and my songs…but it’s isolating, too. That’s sort-of the nature of the beast I guess…but I wasn’t prepared for that part. It gets lonely on the island, ya know?
QT: Do you think the queer community has more of a cutting-edge taste in music?
LL: I think it’s possible, but I tend to think of the queer community as equally diverse as the rest of the world which means that statement only applies to SOME queers. There has always been a queer underground that has influenced the mainstream, though. That part is safe to say with total assurance. I’m hesitant to say that we are more cutting-edge as a community after playing all these gay pride shows this Summer though. There are just as many lame fags with bad taste as there are lame straight people with bad taste. Being stupid is universal.
QT: Growing up in the Midwest, you were really influenced by the rave scene – where did the folk influence come from?
LL: I blame The Innocence Mission, The Sundays, Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Liz Phair and all the other folky singer-songwriter-y alterna-ladies I grew up listening to. Emotional songs have always been a part of my life. I listen to the same shit now that I listened to 20 years ago. I am just as inspired by The Innocence Mission’s music today as I have ever been. There is much of me that doesn’t change as time goes by. I listen to new stuff as well, but I have my roots planted firmly in old Sundays and Innocence Mission records from the 90’s. It’s real.
QT: Not many people have performed in front of a crowd of 400,000, let alone for their first time performing live. Did that totally freak you out or did it just come naturally?
LL: It totally freaked me out, as has every performance since. (Laughs) It’s gotten a lot better in recent years but I have had to deal with working through some pretty crippling stage fright. It’s still with me, but I am so many years in at this point that the fear has left except for a split second before I go on stage. Once I’m out there I am good to go…it’s the getting me on stage that’s the hard part. I had to kinda relearn how to be vulnerable in front of a crowd when I got clean in 2007. It was suddenly scary again…but having done this sober for so long now I honestly can’t imagine trying to do it wasted. Progress…
QT: Do you find it easier to write music and lyrics now after getting clean?
LL: It’s definitely easier to feel things now, so yeah. I think so. It’s different for sure. I think this new record I just finished recording sounds smarter…like I have my words back or something. When I listen to these new songs I hear someone who is much more sure of himself than on records past. I’m not so lost, the lyrics aren’t hopeless anymore. It’s more confused now than hopeless which seems like a step in the right direction…for my mind, at least. I was worried about cleaning up, like that I would lose my outlook, or like that maybe the drugs were my link to the creative world but that all turned out to be junkie bullshit I was feeding myself to authorize otherwise completely unacceptable behavior. If anything my career took off and my writing got better when I quit killing myself. Go figure.
QT: Are you seeing anyone special right now?
LL: No. I’m finally at a place where I would be open to someone’s specialness, though. Bring it on, universe!
QT: What kind of guys are you into?
LL: I like nice guys who tell the truth and don’t give a shit about being famous.
QT: What was it like coming out to your fundamentalist Christian family?
LL: It was hard back then, but I was like 14 years old and it was before “Will and Grace” had won over the hearts of middle America so…it would have been hard no matter who I was telling. In the end, we have all grown together as a family and I’m glad that things went down the way they did. I am very close to my parents now. None of us are who we used to be. It’s great.
QT: From your experience, what’s your advice to someone who wants to come out to a religious
LL: Don’t listen to them. They are ALL wrong about you and they are ALL wrong about the world.
QT: Where can people find your music?
LL: It’s pretty much everywhere these days. I always tell people that if they buy stuff directly from the store on my site the chances that I will see some of the money go up and the evil middlemen stand to make less…but my music is available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Target.com, Barnes & Noble, Tower Records, etc. if you prefer to give the evil middlemen a cut. I’m also on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, DList, Last.Fm, iLike, and a bunch of other sites online where you can stream my tunes.