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Logan Lynn Cover Story and Interview in July Issue of HIM Magazine

Logan Lynn in HIM Magazine - July 2014 Issue

I’m one of the cover stories in the July issue of HIM Magazine, which just came out yesterday. We talk about everything from music and love, to growing up in a non-affirming Christian church, to surviving the violence of my youth and the near-fatal addiction (and triumph over said addiction) which followed.

Read the interview online HERE or you can read the full transcript below.

From HIM Magazine (July 2014 Issue):

Him Magazine July 2014 Edition

“From Preacher’s Kid to Pop Artist: An Interview with Gay Musician Logan Lynn”
By Dominique Robbins
(Photos by Adrian Sotomayor Photography and Leonard Martin Hughet)

Logan Lynn is an American singer, songwriter, and producer. His music pushes the boundaries of what we call “pop” and it challenges us to look inside ourselves and find that person within. His latest album “Tramp Stamps and Birthmarks” give us a little glimpse of who Logan is as an artist and as a human being. With songs like “Turn Me Out” which focuses on his sexual side and even his cover of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” which gives us a glimpse of his singing background growing up in church, it is safe to say that Logan is well rounded and well brought up. Growing up a Preacher’s kid with a dad who had an on the road ministry to being sexually abused by a close family friend, Logan has surely endured much in his young life and had no problems talking about the ups and downs of his childhood and his beliefs after going through all he went through to get to where he is now.

I now present Logan Lynn:

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Dom: Hello Logan

Logan: Hi! Nice to meet you.

Dom: I’d like to start off with, growing up as a preacher’s kid (PK) must have been tough, especially since your fathers ministry was on the road mostly. How did that help mold you into the person you are today?

Logan: Well, you’re right that it was tough, but queer and trans kids who are born into non-affirming families have always had it tough.  I’m not the first person to arrive on this planet in a gay-hating Christian cult in rural Nebraska, and I won’t be the last… though, I wish I could be.  It’s not the most pleasant way to come into oneself.  I seriously f@#$ing hate it when people use the term “character building” with regard to LGBTQ youth being tortured, but it absolutely was.

Dom: What did you learn about yourself during the time frame of being on the road most of your life and having to watch as your dad preach the word of God?

Logan: Being constantly under the microscope of not only the elders or the congregation, but of some idea about a mean man in the sky who created you wrong and thinks you are bad — that can mess with a person.  It messed with me for sure, and if I’m being totally honest, it still sometimes does.  When I left the church as a very young man I had to completely rewire my brain and replace all this garbage information I had been fed, so the part of the experience which has molded me the most is probably found in my escape from that world, rather than in my experience of growing up in it.  I learned to survive very early on, as many of us do when our families and communities reject us for being whoever we are, and there is power in that which I am very thankful for.  I’m also really thankful that the church I grew up in believed that instruments were “displeasing to God” so I received a killer Acapella vocal training in pews all over the country, which has served me well from the time that I was a teenager.

Dom: Would you call yourself a Christian now or No? Explain.

Logan: Oh, hell no.  I am religiously non-religious.  I did think that the actor who played Jesus in that “Son of God” movie last year was hot, though.

Dom: We all know what the bible says about homosexuality, but what do you believe after coming out and moving from being the good Christian stand by his father boy to a Gay man who is an LGBT activist and artist?

Jesus never said one word about homosexuality. If I were a believer, I would only be listening to Jesus. There are plenty of LGBTQ-affirming churches out there, if that’s your thing. To each his own. I do not believe in the “Gays VS. God” narrative. That’s a tool which breeds hate. As for the other part of your question, I was never a good Christian stand by his father boy. That was the problem.

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Dom: If you don’t mind sharing, how did you come out to your family and friends?

It happened in a variety of ways, most of which were incredibly scary and painful. I have actually been OUT for 20 years as of this year — I was a very brave 14 year old.  In York, Nebraska this was a very dangerous thing to do, so only a very few people knew.  I was outed by a Christian counselor to my parents without my consent and went through more “pray the gay away” BS after that, but did not tell my family I had the intention of living my life as a gay man until I was nearly 16.  Back then, it was revolutionary.  This was pre-Will and Grace, so it was pretty radical.

Dom:  Let’s dig a little deeper. During my research it was noted that your family had a good friend stay with you all for a while and during that time frame it stated that you were sexually abused by that person who I am going to assume is another male. What is the story from your perspective after hearing your dad preach all of those years and living a good life on the road with your parents and brother and then that happens? What were you even thinking at the time if you can recall?

Yes, I was hurt by a man we went to church with between the ages of 7 and 9, and I have spoken about that violence publicly on several occasions.  I’m open about it. It’s part of my story and it was the catalyst for my becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol by the time I was 14, which everyone has always known about.  Violence — and sexual violence in particular — leaves a forever mark on a young person — on any person.  I think it’s important in recovery to not get hung up on the symptoms of why you are using, but rather on why you are using in the first place.  I didn’t just decide to become a drug addict as an adolescent.  I was trying to escape.

Dom: Did that experience change you in any way? Explain.

Logan: Absolutely. The impact it had on my life is immeasurable.  I still interact with these ghosts as a full-grown man.  It affects my relationships at times and the way I am in the world.  It informs my feeling about other people — about men — and yet, I am a survivor.  The violence I suffered as a 7 year-old does not define me or my relationships anymore… but it has taken me decades of working on myself to get to this place.

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Dom: How did you overcome that part of your life? I mean after all, that must of hurt you emotionally being hurt by someone that you were comfortable with and knew for a good while.

Logan: First alcohol, then cocaine, then crack cocaine, then therapy.  Ultimately, only the therapy part worked. I don’t think “overcome” is the right word.  More like… adapt.

Dom: Some people after going through sexual abuse or sexual violence sometimes blame that experience for their sexual explorations as adults. Do you at all blame that situation for your sexual explorations later on or did you just go through the motions and figured it out?

Logan: No, I just sing about sex a lot.  In real life I’m a serial monogamist who doesn’t like to be touched by strangers.

Dom: Now let’s talk about happy stuff. When did you realize that you were musically talented and could do very well in that area?

Logan: It’s all happy stuff, man. Even the s#@t part.  I dig who I am and I own the struggle it’s been to become this person. The having survived is happy. The not being a victim of my own circumstance and the reclaiming of my f@#&$d up experience in the world has been at the crux of my power. That’s a beautiful byproduct of suffering. To your question, I don’t know that I have realized any such thing. I just think I’m a storyteller and I have been lucky enough to have a whole lot of people hear and respond to my stories. It has been my outlet for mattering to the world in times when I was otherwise pretty worthless, or at least felt worthless…and perception is everything.

Dom: Do you like singing or making the instrumental more?

Logan: In the early days of my career I did everything myself. I’m pretty sure that’s why those old records sound so s*&$@y. There was something cute about that back then and I routinely feel nostalgic for analog days gone by, but once I figured out that I was really more of a melody and lyric guy and found like-minded collaborators to produce the instrumental parts things became much more cohesive sounding. I tend to change producers every record so the sound changes, too.  My current collaborator and producer Gino Mari and I see eye to eye on things and have a really magical working relationship, so we’ve been doing that for the past 5 years and I don’t imagine that will stop anytime soon.  I do what I’m good at, he does what he’s good at, and together it works.

Dom: Your music is very wonderfully different. Like not every song sounds like something we have heard a million times already. It is consistently new and fresh. How do you keep those ideas coming?

Logan: I’m glad you think it’s a wonderful thing. I would be a much richer man now if they did sound like everything else, I’m sure — but I’ve never been able to do anything other than exactly what I wanted to do, so the music is no different. I surround myself with people who are bada$$#s and bada$$ stuff happens. It’s basic math, really.

Dom: I looked and listened to some of your songs and the lyrics are very open and honest like in your song “Turn Me Out” what is that song initially about and what was the inspiration behind it?

Logan: I have just ended a very important relationship with a man who I loved very much.  That song was about wanting him to see me.  Ultimately, he never really did — but I like that song.  It’s fun to perform live.

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Dom: At this point in your career would you consider yourself an LGBT artist or not?

Logan: Oh, I didn’t realize I had a choice in the matter.  Even so, of course I am an LGBT artist!  I have always been OUT from the first time I ever released a song, so I have not ever known this industry any other way.  My first record came out 15 years ago when I was 17 and I was singing songs about taking ecstasy and sucking c@#k, so…that definitely set the stage for me to find a gay audience first.  Logo and hosting “NewNowNext” definitely sealed that deal and getting signed to Caroline Records / EMI by way of The Dandy Warhols brought the mainstream up from behind.  I can’t imagine trying to be anything other than who I have always been — myself.  It’s not always marketable — and publicists and managers hate this about me — but I don’t do “image”.  I only do truth.  When my truth was “f@#$#%d up drug addict teenager” that’s what my songs were about; when I became a “cleaned up lovesick adult” that’s what my songs were about.  Many people have tried to take me and make me into what they think will sell, but I always just tell them to go fuck themselves and end up doing what I want.  If that means taking a 5 year break in between records, that’s what it means. If it means I cancel my tour halfway through and go work for a queer community center, deal with it.

Dom: You mentioned that you hosted NewNowNext on Logo. How long did you do that and what was it like?

Logan: Yes. I played a party for NYC Gay Pride 2007 and the head of MTV artist development came to the show. By the following month my videos were in heavy rotation. My “Burning Your Glory” video was picked as one of the “Top 10 Videos of 2007″ by Logo and my “Feed Me To The Wolves” video was picked as one of the “Top 10 Videos of 2008″. In 2008 I hosted the show, which aired to 26 million homes something like 15 times over the course of that following year.  I also shot commercials for the network and was one of the original artists to have their videos featured on both “The Click List” and “NewNowNext Music”. From 2006-2012 they aired 7 of my videos, so… Logo was definitely what gave my career wings. I owe them so much. RuPaul’s Drag Race ruined the cool thing Logo had going in the early years. Now they don’t play music videos at all, just like most of the other MTV channels. It was a fantastic, magical era that I was lucky to be a part of from the beginning.

Dom: You are a great example of unlimited creativity. Do you believe more artists need to take more of a creative approach vs. going with what’s popular to sell a record that will probably only last a week?

Logan: It’s certainly not the easy route to get somewhere, but it has proven to have staying power.  I don’t know many bands who have been consistently releasing records and videos since the late 90s where people still care.  It’s a very lucky position and not one that I take for granted.  I think people are drawn to my unpredictability, and working with new folks each round has really helped to keep me inspired and trying new things.

loganlynn_amazoncd_jul14Dom: What do you believe, having been in the music game for about 15 years now if I counted correctly, is the key to maintain integrity and consistency in music?

Logan: Be careful who your friends are. Be careful what deals you sign. Be careful not to believe what people say about you in good times or in bad times.  Everything but the work is fake. I learned that years before I got into making records and still had to relearn it a few times after that. To stay authentic in light of that fakeness, to learn how to make that bullshit people try to put on you work to your advantage, means you have won… but as soon as you buy into the myth, it’s all over. I don’t think there is a key to doing anything worth doing in this life, but really being who you are is a great starting point. There is nothing worse than becoming something other than you are for someone else and then having that person rejected.  When you do you, people may hate you — but at least it will actually be you they hate. That’s worth a great deal to me.

Dom: So before I let you go Logan, why not tell the good people how they can stay in contact and follow your updates and get your music?

Logan: I’m all over the place. My website is LoganLynnMusic.com and I’m on Twitter@LoganLynn and on Facebook at Facebook.com/LoganLynnPDX

Dom: Thank you Logan I really appreciate it!!

Logan: Anytime!  Thanks for chatting with me.

Category: Arts & Culture, Community, Interviews, LGBT, life, Logan Lynn, Love, Music, New Releases, News, Oregon, Portland, Press, Queer, Reviews, Sexual Abuse & Recovery, Uncategorized

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LISTEN


Rich and Beautiful

2020 - Single

© Sony ATV / Logan Lynn Music


Unpeeled (LIVE)

2020 - Acoustic EP

© Banana Stand Records


Name Your Trouble

2019 - Single

© Netflix / Logan Lynn Music


My Movie Star

2018 - Double LP

© Logan Lynn Music / Mohr Media


  ADIEU.

2016 - LP

© Logan Lynn Music


  Tramp Stamps and Birthmarks

2012 - LP

© Logan Lynn Music


  I Killed Tomorrow Yesterday

2010 - LP

© Logan Lynn Music


  From Pillar To Post

2009 - LP

© Caroline Records / EMI / Beat The World


 

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