Kate & I caught up with the rather magnificent Logan Mize in London on his recent stint at C2C Festival this March. Once Logan had rid himself of Willy Wonka’s pet hate (a chewed one too many times piece of flavourless chewing gum) and we’d figured out our seating arrangements – which ended up with Logan perfectly positioned – sitting back with an aura of relaxed confidence on a pink leather sofa in between Kate and myself – we were ready for our chat:

Caroline: Hang on, I need a swig of water I’m thirsty…

Logan: Man, I got dehydrated. We’ve been running nonstop in Germany…

Kate: You were in Berlin, how was it?

Logan: It was great, Berlin was awesome. I’d never been and so it was really cool. I enjoyed Hamburg too, but I was hoping we’d get down to Bavaria, but we didn’t get there, so Cologne and Munich are still on my to do list…

Caroline: So, the last time we saw you in the UK was at Nashville Meets London…

Logan: Yeah, yeah…

Caroline: That was the first time I’d seen you…you’ve done a lot independently haven’t you?

Logan: Yes, I’ve done a LOT independently. I was on Sony for a while and then right now I’m on an Indie label. There’s also some backing from a major but no-one has to know that (cue laughter from the 3 of us!). 

Caroline: So, you’re on an Indie label and your album charts in the Billboard top 20…

Logan: Yeah it was, it was really cool, because it really did come out independently, there was no backing from anybody there. We were just coming off the heels of coming off Sony and trying to figure out what to do next. So, when that album came out it did really well the first week and then it kind of went quiet for about a year, and so we went on the road. It just kept growing and growing and by the end of that year everything’s just been exploding. It’s been really cool.

Caroline: CMT said your video was one of the must-see Indie artists videos to watch and AOL & AXS had you down as one of 2018 ‘must watch’ country artists. It really does seem like 2018 exploded for you. What was your stand-out moment of last year?

Logan: Well, we got to headline our own tour on the West Coast, which is cool because it’s so hard to get out there as you have the whole rocky mountain chain there, and there’s nothing. Usually we tour the Midwest all the time and a few dates sporadically in the Rockies cause everything’s so far apart, but to get out to the West Coast, it’s really a big commitment – it’s like going to another country – so you don’t really know if anyone’s going to show up. We got out there, we announced all the dates and we had sold out shows through California and Oregon, also in Washington, so it was really cool. 

Caroline: I read that you described your album as having a more Midwest feel rather than a Southern feel. Can you explain that?

Logan: Maybe that’s more just me, but country music is just so dominant, it’s such a Southern genre, most of the artists come from the South. I mean there have been lots of successful artists who haven’t come from the South, but I guess I’m just a Midwest, heartland kind of guy from Kansas. I don’t say y’all. I don’t have a problem with it, it’s just I come from a completely different type of environment. I mean I still farm part-time…

Kate’s just noticed that Logan has nail varnish on his finger nails and points at them…

Logan: Oh, my daughter painted my finger nails for me…

Kate: Pink socks and red nail polish! 

Logan: It’s nothing suspicious!

Caroline: I like your style…

Logan: Thank you! Yeah, my 4-year-old did it…

Kate: (Laughing) Purple and red…

Logan:…and pink!! Oh yeah, and my toenails are blue…

Caroline: To be fair, it fits with the Indie image, Indie label – I like it, making a statement! Very Emo.

Logan: Right (laughing), maybe I can put out an emo album next, that’d be cool!

Caroline: OK! Back to the questions…I wanted to ask you about your inspirations and musical idols. I know your great uncle Billy Mize (a key figure on the California country scene of the 1950’s) was a pioneer of the Bakersfield sound and steel guitarist for Merle Haggard. Is this the kind of person who you aspire to be?

Logan: Not to go back to the independent thing, but it’s like that spirit is definitely alive in me. You know? They set out to do something different than what Nashville was doing so I can really relate to that, and it wasn’t like on purpose. It was just like hey, let’s create our own music scene out here. What’s really cool is like you had the Rolling Stones and The Beatles and stuff, that all drew their inspiration from the Bakersfield sound. It was really, really, like ahead of its time as far as what everyone else was doing sonically. Yeah, so I’m really drawn to that school…

Kate: A lot of the Americana acts have that kind of sound. Caroline & I are both into our Americana in a big way. For instance, I’d rather go to Americana Fest for a week than CMA Fest for two weeks.

Logan: Yeah, I’m into the Americana artists a lot. There’s a lot of really great ones I’m into and honestly, that’s usually what I typically gravitate more towards when I’m writing a song, but also, I like to feed my family. I’ve got to toe the line!

Kate: So, it’s like when you’re an actor and you do a trashy film because it makes money and allows you to do the theatre…

Logan: Yeah, you’ve got to play the game…

Caroline: So where does your song writing inspiration come from?

Logan: Everyday life, and if I’m wise enough I’ll just open my eyes and look around and take in my surroundings. Usually I’ll find something, you know? Cause I’m not one of those guys who walks around coming up with catchphrases all the time of, like, really clever things. When I write something, it has to come from somewhere real and typically it starts musically, you know, I really just like fooling around on the piano and the guitar and I’ll do that for an hour before a single word appears, but usually when a word or a line appears, I’ll chase that for a while…

Kate: So, you’re not sitting there with about 4 other people saying right c’mon on (clicking her fingers)…thinking of ideas….

Logan: (playing along) Today, let’s write a song about….Barns! Nah, no (laughing), I’m no good at that!! I could do it, I could probably free write something, but I don’t think it’d be any good!

Kate: What’s the very first song you remember singing to an audience, paid or unpaid?

Logan: Oh, I know exactly what it was, but I’m not going to count Kid’s choir because I didn’t sing, I lip synced because I was too nervous to project my voice! I stood on the risers at the back and just moved my mouth and my teacher would always just look at me and say, “you’re not singing!” So, the first time I sang was in a talent competition, I was 18? 17 or 18. I sang a song by Tim McGraw called ‘All I Want is a Life’ and I messed up, I sang the first verse again in the second verse.

Caroline: But did anybody notice?

Logan: (emphatically) OH YEAH! One of the judges of the talent competition was an executive from Curb Records who Tim McGraw was signed with!

Caroline: Well, did you win?

Logan: (Pause) Oh, no. I think I got third. I actually entered with a song I wrote, and I wanted to sing that and they said, “you can’t sing your own songs! You’ve got to do a cover song, everyone else is doing cover songs!” So, I said, okay, I’ll do a Tim McGraw song.


Caroline: Are you working on any new music? When can we expect to hear it?

Logan: Yes, we are. We’ve already started on the next record but it’s going to be a while. This album right here has just taken off so we’re going to be working it for a while. It also depends on how long this single keeps going as its still climbing the charts in the US, so it could take a full year.

Caroline: I forget how long it takes in the US for the album singles to come out and climb the charts…

Kate: Yes, for us in the UK if it’s not in the Top Ten after 3 days, then it’s usually goodbye…you’re gone, haha!!

Caroline: So, this is a question I like to ask everyone. Your house is burning down. Your family is safe. You’ve got three minutes to run in and grab one thing…what would it be?

Logan: That’s tough, man! Probably one of my guitars but I’m trying to figure out which one it would be, you know…probably my acoustic guitar, which is my ‘69 Gibson J45…that’s my favourite.

Caroline: Nice guitar and good choice! Thank you so much for your time Logan and enjoy C2C.

Logan: I will! Thank you, guys.

Caroline & Kate

Logan’s album ‘Come Back Road’ is available to download on ITunes, Amazon Music & Spotify.

 
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