LOGAN LYNN – MUSICIAN, PORTLAND RESIDENT, SELF DESCRIBED
"EMO-PROPHET" – TALKS ABOUT HIS STRICT CHRISTIAN UPBRINGING, COCAINE ADDICTION, AND THE JOYS OF JOY BEHAR. Edited by Kirsten Matthew
DIRTY: WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
LOGAN LYNN: The Midwest, but we moved around a lot: Nebraska, Michigan, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas. I moved to Portland when I was 16 and, aside from a few failed attempts in larger cities, have basically stayed put.
D: ASIDE FROM SINGING, DO YOU PLAY ANY INSTRUMENTS?
LL: If you put quotation marks around the word “play”, then yes. I took just enough piano and guitar lessons as a child to know my way around the basics in both, but I write lyrics and make vocal melodies, mostly. That’s my instrument.
D: HOW PRESENT WAS SINGING IN YOUR CHILDHOOD?
LL: Singing was always very present. I was raised in an A cappella church and my parents were both choir singers. My Dad was a preacher and I was not allowed to listen to secular music. I watched a lot of “Kids, Incorporated” though (so I heard 80's pop music), and “The Mickey Mouse Club”. Every now and then CCM Magazine, a Christian music magazine that I subscribed to, would review a record by a secular band. In 1989 they reviewed the self-titled first release of “The Innocence Mission”, because there was an old Catholic song tagged to the end of it. This changed my life for sure. I got really into them and began following their career. I had a real connection with Karen Peris’s lyrics and they would, in time, be what got me through much of the solitude I was faced with growing up, as well as the rehab-laced, drug-fueled solitude of my 20's. I still listen to her songs still now; they have the same effect on me that they used to.
D: WHAT IS THE FIRST SONG YOU CAN REMEMBER FALLING IN LOVE WITH? HOW OLD WERE YOU?
LL: Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” was the recital song for my tap and jazz dance class when I was eight. It was the first record I destroyed by playing over and over. It was love for sure.
D: HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU WROTE YOUR FIRST SONG? WHAT WAS IT ABOUT?
LL: I was pretty young when I started making up my own lyrics and melodies. Basically, as soon as I could speak I started to sing. There are cassette tapes of me singing original material dating back to when I was two or three.
The first proper song that I wrote, recorded, and performed was when I was 12. I had just gotten heavily into drugs and wrote a song about Windowpane [LSD] that I recorded in my cousin’s studio and then performed at a Christian talent show. Needless to say, I didn’t win.
D: WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES?
LL: The Innocence Mission, Styrofoam, The Breeders, Simian, Of Montreal, The Sundays, The Cardigans – and a bunch of bad pop and techno from the 80's and 90's.
D: WHEN DID YOU JOIN YOUR FIRST BAND? WHAT WAS IT CALLED?
LL: I’d always either been a DJ or a solo artist until 2006, when I started forming bands to perform with me. When I was a kid my brother and I performed after dinner for my parents and whoever else was around. I guess that was kinda like a band.
D: YOUR LATEST ALBUM IS TITLED “FROM PILLAR TO POST”. WHAT IS THE ALBUM ABOUT FOR YOU?
LL: It’s about my life turning from bad to worse; my journey away from a 16-year cocaine addiction; and a six-year relationship with my former partner coming to an end. It’s a snapshot of my life from 2007 to 2008. It journeys through some dark stuff, but out the other end into the light again.
D: DO YOU FIND THE DARKNESS HAS HELPED YOU GROW?
LL: Definitely. The record I’ve been working on for the past few months has taken shape in the light and is turning out to be about what I’m doing to put the pieces back together in my life. I have a much clearer perspective on the subjects addressed in “From Pillar To Post” and feel like I’ve grown a lot. I’m not so heartbroken and confused these days – just a little roughed up from the journey.
D: ANY UPCOMING TOURDATES FOR LOGAN LYNN?
LL: I’m playing some regional shows on the West Coast this summer, then we are planning to add cities in the rest of the country this fall. We are still ironing out the details with tour stuff, but one thing is for sure: The next show is on June 27th with the Gentry at the Cuff Block Party in Seattle, WA.
D: WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
LL: Mainstream pop or Indie pop that sounds mainstream. I’m going through a phase: All La Roux, all the time.
D: YOU'RE GOING ON A LONG TRIP AND YOU CAN ONLY BRING A PLAYLIST OF 10 SONGS WITH YOU. WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
1. The Vaselines: “You Think You’re A Man”
2. Kings of Convenience: “I’d Rather Dance With You”
3. Simian: “LA Breeze”
4. Jaguar Love: “Up All Night”
5. The Sounds: “Painted By Numbers”
6. Styrofoam: “The Long Wait”
7. The Dandy Warhols: “Mis Amigos”
8. Console: “14 Zero Zero”
9. Liz Phair: “Headache”
10.The Innocence Mission: “July”
D: BEST ALBUM OF ALL TIME?
LL: Rickie Lee Jones: “Ghostyhead”
D: IS THERE ANYONE YOU HOPE TO MEET SOMEDAY? WHO & WHY?
LL: For fun, Joy Behar. I wanna be on “The View” in the biggest way.
D: DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE VISUAL ARTIST?
LL: Charlie White. I want my world to look like his photographs.
D: IS THERE A DECADE IN WORLD HISTORY YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE BEEN ALIVE TO EXPERIENCE?
LL: I’m fascinated by the 1920's, but I’m into being alive now. It feels right.
D: WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE FILMS EVER?
LL: “The Garbage Pail Kids”, a live-action movie from the 80's. Oh, and “Showgirls”. That was two. Sorry: I’m historically bad with limitations.
D: WHAT’S SOMETHING THAT NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT YOU.
LL: I’m really very frightened of being in love, of being close with someone. I’m obviously someone who craves closeness; I’ve written and released over a decade of songs about it, for fuck’s sake, but when it comes down to it I have a really hard time being close with anyone. It’s something I’m working on. My guess is it’s something I will always be working on.
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