Logan Lynn is a musician who is gay-identified. He has been writing and making music for a decade and a half. His videos have appeared on LOGO and MTV and he has played across the globe. From 2010 until 2012, Logan took a hiatus from music to devote himself professionally to LGBTQ advocacy at the Q Center in Portland. Logan donated sales from his album, “I Killed Tomorrow Yesterday to the Q Center. In 2012, he returned with the single, “Turn Me Out.”
Logan’s latest music video, “Hologram” can be viewed and heard at http://youtu.be/_fa5WgqY6cA (it is really great!). To access Logan’s music videos, please visit: http://www.YouTube.com/LoganGLEE . Please check out http://www.loganlynnmusic.com for more information about Logan.
Underneath This recently interviewed Logan about identity, music, feminism, as well as the media’s coverage of LGBTQ artists. Check it out below!
What was the process of becoming a musician like for you?
It was a pretty natural progression. I was raised in a fucked up Christian cult that didn’t allow instrumental music, so I was trained as an A cappella vocalist from very early on. When I escaped as a teenager, I fell into the downtown Kansas City 90’s party/rave scene and started spinning records. Then, when I moved to Portland in ’96 I met The Dandy Warhols, Elliot Smith, and a immersed myself in the Portland music scene. I recorded my first record “GLEE” from 1998-1999 and it was released in 2000. From there, I slowly got my shit together bit by bit until I finally got signed to Caroline/EMI in 2007. I was on the label for 3 years and have only just last month regained the rights to the masters from that time. I’m going to be re-releasing “From Pillar To Post” and “The Last High” sometime this year, but for now they are out of print…and I am officially free once again! I released my new record “Tramp Stamps and Birthmarks” in December myself, and it’s been really nice to not have anyone telling me what to do, how to be, and who I need to be around. My major label experience was a fucking joke. It feels good to own my own words and likeness again.
How are you inspired when making music? Who and what have been your influences?
As a songwriter I have always been inspired by Karen Peris from The Innocence Mission, Liz Phair, Regina Spektor, Lily Allen, Elliott Smith…but I always work with different producers for each project, which tends to keep me moving forward…it keeps things exciting. Lyrical content and overall mood for my songs or records really depends on how miserable or in love or fucked up I am when I am writing.
Your music has been alternately described as singer-songwriter, synth-pop, electropop, indie, and emotronic. How do you see your style? How has your work evolved over time?
The early records are all about my being a fucked up junkie who wanted to die, then I got clean from alcohol, cocaine, and crack cocaine in 2007 and things shifted. It started being more about my inner life, longing, and now (years later) love…my songs are much happier these days because I am less lost.
Tell us more about your experience with the Q Center in Portland. What led you to this path?
I came to a public meeting at Q Center in 2010 after my friends were gay bashed in downtown Portland and was moved to try and make a difference. I ended up donating the proceeds from my 2010 record “I Killed Tomorrow Yesterday” to the organization and shortly thereafter decided to cancel my tour midway through and work full time for the queers, which I have been doing ever since. This decision was made easier by the fact that I hated my label and everyone around me at the time…and I was a total burnout…but it hasn’t always been easy. I am trying to change the world, and the world doesn’t ever like change. That goes for queer culture, too. It’s rough sometimes…but I still believe it is really important work and I don’t see a lot of other people in my position jumping in to take my place, so I just keep doing it. I’m going back on the road again this summer to raise money for Q Center, the Ali Forney Center in NYC, Pride Foundation in Seattle, the LA Gay & Lesbian Center, and the Stonewall Project in SF, so it feels good to be ending my hiatus. I’m blending my two loves: Music and queer activism. Let’s party and raise money for LGBTQ programs and services at the same time, friends!
What is your perception of the media’s coverage of queer-identified musicians?
It varies. I tend to think sometimes the straight media is nicer than queer media, but that whole crabs in the barrel story is nothing new at this point. If you want to hear me rant about this, check out a piece I wrote last year for The Huffington Post here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/logan-lynn/gay-press_b_1289436.html
In what ways is your work feminist?
If you are talking about my activism work, I am in the business of making sure that ALL voices be heard, honored, and respected. This goes for all humans; female, male, genderqueer, or undecided. Musically, I tend to write about pretty universal things – longing, love, sex, hurt…ultimately, I am a gay man who loves women, and I identify as a feminist myself…so I suppose in that way everything I do is done as a feminist ally, if not as a feminist myself.
Which projects are you working on currently?
I’m in full-blown tour mode at the moment gearing up for this July when I tour the states with Big Dipper, Conquistador, Rica Shay, and Darling Gunsel! Other than that, I am working on songs with a few of my favorite producer folks from earlier years…I sometimes wish I could take a time machine back to the midwest in the early 90’s and tell my teenage self about who he will be working with in 15 years. He would have seriously loved this. I have a lot to be grateful for. I just celebrated 5 years clean this past weekend, which is an ongoing project as well.
What feedback do you have for aspiring musicians?
Be yourself. Make your own path. In the end, being true to yourself is the only thing that matters.