Thursday, June 28, 2012
Interview with musician, writer, composer, singer Logan Lynn
The Pride Review
Interview with musician, writer, composer, singer, and LGBT activist from Portland
Who is Logan Lynn today?
I'm still trying to figure that out.
Was music your first love and who was your first human love?
Music and I have always loved one another. My first human love was a boy in high school. He was an 18 year old senior and I was a 14 year old freshman. I ended up having to move to Tennessee midway through the school year (without saying goodbye) when a Christian counselor I was made to see outed me to my parents and then said if they didn't remove me from the school he would report the boy. So, I left the next morning. It was devastating. When I returned later that year, we picked up where we had left off, but he moved away for college after that summer and we didn't see much of each other after that.
What can we learn from our first love?
I learned to keep my fucking mouth shut to Christian counselors.
What can we learn from music?
I've explored the deepest parts of myself through songwriting and have said things melodically that I never would have had the courage to speak. For me, it's the most honest place.
How did you get into the music business and did you experience it as a fair play ground?
I got signed originally in 1999 and my first record was released in 2000. Nothing really took for another few years, though. I'm pretty sure this "fair" you speak of doesn't exist in any business, music or otherwise. I've been really lucky at times and down and out at others. It's a tough business, and I've made a few really public fuck-ups over the years.
What are the experiences you feel like you had to go through and which were a waste of time?
I don't think any of my experience has been a waste of time, though I would take back the 16 year addiction to cocaine and alcohol in a heartbeat if I could. Even the very difficult stuff has informed who I am today.
How can one prevent others from the pit falls of stardom and how close did you come?
I didn't handle my transition from private to public very well. The success of getting signed with The Dandy Warhols and working with Caroline Records and EMI (and all the exposure that brought with it) was just enough to make me totally lose my shit. It's one thing to be a raging coke head, but once people start giving you all of theirs for free, it's all over.
Do you feel like you’ve been fed to the wolfs in the past?
Yes. People are dicks.
What is the pillar in your life and which post are you leaning on?
That record, "From Pillar To Post", got that title because that was a saying my grandmother used to say. It means "to run amuck", which I know plenty about.
Activism, what does that stand for and what role does it play in your life?
I feel passionate about equality and work a lot with the LGBT community, my community, to try and make the world a better place for queers. For me, activism happens through everything I do as an out gay man. Visibility alone is advocacy. I think it would be wrong for me to have this kind of platform and not use it. There's more to life than being cool and selling records. People are still being killed for being queer. I feel honored to be a part of the change.
Religion, what is it good for?
As long as your religion isn't harming others, go for it. Once churches and organizations start preaching hate and violence, though...I don't think it's good for much more than an eyeroll and a lawsuit.
Pride what does that mean to you and has gay pride been misunderstood?
I live proud 365 days a year. Pride for me is never about getting drunk and fucking strangers from Grindr. It never has been and it never will be. I wish more people were in touch with the history and importance of the origins of our movement. It's a challenge to figure out how to engage a new generation in queer activism, but we'll get there.
How has your song writing changed form the beginning of your career?
I'm a lot easier to listen to now, I think. That early work ("GLEE", Logan Lynn") is so dark and rough. It's the difference between the kind of music a fucked up 17 year old junky makes and the kind of music a happy, adjusted 32 year old sober person makes.
What is your new single/album about and where do you try to fit into the music landscape?
The new single "Turn Me Out" was released on June 5th and debuted at #30 on the iTunes Pop 100 New Releases, so that was cool. I've been on hiatus for exactly 2 years and am working on a record now for later this year. I don't care where I fit into the music landscape. Never have. I'm out floating in obscure dance pop world, as ever.
How much are you into your audience and what are the financial dynamics in today’s digital Universe?
Music sales aren't what they used to be. You have to be creative to get around it. It's cool to get to know people all over the place who listen to my songs and feel some connection. Sometimes I wish I were more anonymous, other times I wish I were more known. It just depends on the day and where my own psychology around the whole thing is at any given moment. It fluctuates.
What kind of community do you strive for?
A healthy, happy one that's valued and celebrated by all other communities.
What is a gay voice and are we becoming more needy to be gentrified?
There are many different gay voices. All are valid. I don't feel the need to be gentrified, but I'm into having rights.
How comfortable are you about being an out gay artist and gay in general?
100%. I came out early and stayed out. I have never been in the closet during my career. That sounds way more stressful than homophobia.
Is the strive for equality similar to that of the black community and what can we learn from their fight?
I think each experience has its own identity, but there are definitely parallels. Equal rights for ALL means everybody. I think a lot of the LGBT movement has been lifted from the civil rights movement. Ultimately, we are also fighting for our civil rights.
Is their a difference for you between queer and gay?
Not for me, but...to each his own.
What gives you confidence?
I kind of thought you were done with the music business. Could you see yourself live a life outside the stage lights?
I kind of thought I was, too. It turns out I just needed a 2 year break. I can totally see myself live a life outside of that...and have been since 2010...though it never really went away. Sometimes I dream of moving to the country and writing books in solitude. We'll see where the next few years take me, I suppose...
What kind of role does aggression play in your lyrics and is their a place for it in life?
I used to be very aggressive in writing and in life. That went away when I quit drinking 4+ years ago, for the most part.
You have assumed a role as a bridge builder to the conservative arm of Christianity. Is this sustainable?
I'm just trying to make the experience of queer kids who find themselves in those churches better. It has been my experience that, the more they get to know us, the less they hate us or are afraid. I have been in conversation with many different religious leaders from the evangelical church over the past couple of years and that work continues. I'm not sure I will want to stay in that role forever, and it may not always work, but I am into trying.
What role can the gay community assume in the greater society and do you feel we are still trapped in shallowness and victim hood?
We can be productive members of society and prove people wrong about us by being ourselves. I don't think the queer community is any more trapped in shallowness and victimhood than the rest of the world. Everybody's fucked with regards to that. It's not just a gay thing.
What is the soul to you and do you believe in a G.O.D a greater overall design?
I believe we are more than our bodies, though I am agnostic to the core. I'm open to something spiritual existing, but have not found it yet.
What is the medicine the world has to swallow but doesn’t want to?
What do you do for fun besides music?
I watch things and lay perfectly still.
What have you been doing in NewYork and is that a city you could live in?
We were there on vacation. I interviewed some folks and did a little bit of press stuff while we were there but mostly we just hung out with Joey Arias and Lady Rizo and all my favorite NYC peeps!
Are you going to stay in Portland and if yes why?
Time will tell. I tend to move away and come back after a few years. This is the longest I've been here. It feels like home, though I sometimes wish I didn't live here.
Have you buried the past or are you carrying it with you?
It's here. Mine, my loved one's...it doesn't seem to know its place.
What are you looking forward to for tomorrow?
Feeling better. I miss my fucking dog.
Where can we see you perform live next?
No shows booked yet. I'm sure that's more of a 2013 thing, though. I'm still enjoying my time away from the stage lights.
keep up with Logan at
LL Website: http://www.LoganLynnMusic.com
LL on Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/logan-lynn
LL on Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/LoganLynn
LL on Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/LoganLynnPDX
LL on YouTube: http://www.YouTube.com/LoganGLEE