From Pillar To Post Artwork by Logan Lynn (2009)

You can read the post via “Queerlife South Africa” HERE, or you can check out the transcript below.

Logan Lynn is one of the world’s up and coming young queer artists. Our own Ulla Kelly caught up with him…

In your own words, you’re a gay artist on a straight label – how did that come about?

Well, the “gay artist” thing I was born into, so that came about the usual way— Mom + Dad = Gay Artist. Lyrically, I tend to write about my experiences with love and life as a gay man in the world, but I don’t think that the songs I make are “gay” in and of themselves (whatever that means), which has made what I do more universally accessible to everybody. I sing about sorrow and loss and feeling alone which I think resonates particularly well with many in the LGBT community, but applies across the board on a human level.

When the folks at Beat The World (aka The Dandy Warhols) got their hands on the demo that Carlos and I made in 2007, they thought we were doing something cool and that it was worth putting out to the masses, so they signed us and gave us the keys to their kingdom to make the record we would not have been able to make otherwise. I think that the gay and straight worlds in Portland have all sort-of melted together through the years and it’s all one scene now. Portland is a bit of a Utopia like that, though…we may be on a different timeline than the rest of the country for exacting change here. I think that, when it comes down to it, what sets us apart at our label is not the fact that I’m gay, but that we aren’t making Rock and Roll.

Do you ever feel that you’re treated any differently because of your sexuality?

It really depends on where I am at geographically. In Portland I really don’t ever feel that. Nobody gives a shit. When I go visit my family in Texas that answer changes, tho, and I remember how lucky I am to live in such a forward-thinking place. I grew up in the Midwestern and Southern United States—Nebraska, Kansas, Michigan, Texas, Tennessee—and my experience there was less than nurturing. I came out at 14 in a very religious home and generally felt ostracized on all fronts. Luckily, things have gotten better through the years with my family accepting me and with the rest of the world wanting to kill me less. I escaped to Oregon in ’96 and have stayed coastal ever since. I’m sure that progress has been made for gay kids in the places I’m from, post “Will and Grace” or whatever, but I have chosen to live in a place of overall acceptance in my adult life to make up for the total lack thereof early on.

Have you encountered much homophobia in your music career?

Actually, no. I have been surprised by how things have turned out with all of that…I was programmed early on to hate myself for who I was, and by high school came to expect that I’d get my books knocked out of my hands in-between classes and that I was probably going to get my ass kicked by the end of the day. I guess I expected that I would have a similar experience once I put myself out there in the public eye, but that has not been the case. If anything, since 2006, the fact that I am gay in many ways accelerated the process of getting “out there”. It has been a perfect storm in that respect…from Folsom Street Fair to MTV’s gay channel Logo to Local Gay Press everywhere, it has been nice to be so embraced by the community…and to have everybody else jump aboard has been crazy awesome. The straight world would never have heard of me if it weren’t for the support of the gay press and my fans in the gay community. I’m glad the rest of the world has changed enough where who I put my dick in can be a non-issue when it comes to them listening to my music.

You featured significantly on MTV’s Logo network – what have you been up to since then?

Those Logo kids rule. I hosted an episode of “NewNowNext” last year and my “Feed Me To The Wolves” video was picked as one of the Top 10 videos of the year by the network, so that was all very exciting. Carlos and I have been in the studio making “From Pillar To Post” since 2007. We took nearly two years and it paid off in the end, but my entire life was consumed by the work during that time. It was intense.

What are you up to now and how’s the most recent album doing?

Well, the new record comes out this Fall. So far, the early reviews have all been really great, so I’m looking forward to people actually getting to HEAR where I’ve been for the last couple of years. We are making a video for the first single “Write It On My Left Arm” now and begin shooting the video for the second single “Bottom Your Way To The Top”, next month, so I’m busier than ever these days. Carlos and I are also planning a US tour for Fall so we are gearing up for all of that. Life keeps getting progressively crazier and things are moving along faster now, so I’m feeling on track.

Are you getting any hot gay groupies?

Hell yeah! I will say that there has been a lot of my partner rolling his eyes and having a “this again?” face on when we encounter those folks, hot or not, in the wild…but we’re weathering the change in my anonymity fairly well I think. That is something I don’t think either of us was prepared for, and is probably WAY more fun for me than for him. It’s funny what seeing someone on TV and then seeing them in the grocery store does to some people. Whoa, dude.

Where does your songwriting inspiration come from?

It all comes from a place of me trying to sort shit out. I am on a journey in my life, and I am just documenting my feelings as I go. Right or wrong, I write what I am feeling. It’s more about questions than answers at this stage in my life…I’m looking for truth. Still looking…

Logan LynnDo you think gay celebrities should come out or are they entitled to their privacy?

I guess I think that everybody should do whatever the hell feels right for them. It’s definitely better for ME to be MY authentic self so I suppose I would recommend that for everybody, but I’m not as worried about closeted celebrities as I am closeted politicians in Washington. Those assholes scare me.

Were you out before you achieved your success?

Yes. I’ve been out with my family for 15 years, the general population for 17…which makes me sound old, but really I just came out early. My first record was released in 2000, but the beginnings of success didn’t really happen until 2006. Things are stressful enough as they are, I can’t imagine if I was also trying to keep something like the gayness a secret. It hurts my brain just thinking about it.

Do you have any heroes or role models within the music industry – queer or straight?

Well, I admire bands like The Innocence Mission or The Cardigans and artists like Tori Amos and Liz Phair who have been able to do their thing for so many years and grow with their fans. On a day to day basis, being allowed into The Dandy Warhols’ world and to be able to learn from their first-hand experience as a successful band has been more valuable than anything up to this point. They are so smart about the in’s and out’s of things having survived for so long in such a fickle industry, and I really have learned a lot from them just taking me under their wing.

The song “Bottom Your Way to the Top” – Logan, are you maybe a little kinky?

What on earth would give you that idea? Yeah, Ok…maybe a little

Category: Interviews, Music, News, Press


Leave a Reply