There are a few things you can count on from a Josh Logan show. First and foremost, expect to be impressed by his voice. (Dude has some serious pipes). Then there’s the stellar original material that showcases the longtime Manchester, New Hampshire resident’s trademark blend of soul, funk, and rock. Complementing both is Logan’s unique mixture of cover tunes — his choices range from Sublime to Snoop Dogg to a version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” that’s so good it gives you chills. And no need to worry if the power in the club goes out, as it did momentarily on the night I saw Logan and his band perform — it didn’t faze him for a second. He continued the show without missing a beat, literally.
Of course, this shouldn’t really come as a surprise; Logan’s had a good deal of practice. He’s been at it since the age of 15, when he began his career as lead singer of the band Gunshy. After a few years together, Logan went solo to further develop his talents as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. In 2003, he formed his own band, Josh Logan & Nobody’s Business, releasing a self-titled album the following year.
In the summer of 2006, Logan came to the attention of music fans nationwide as a top ten finalist on CBS’ “Rock Star: Supernova,” the show that sought to find a lead singer for a supergroup comprised of Gilby Clarke, Jason Newsted, and Tommy Lee. Building on his success from the show, Logan next toured Canada and Iceland with some of his fellow “Rock Star” finalists.
Currently, Logan and his new band (guitarist Nate Comp, drummer Ryan Barrett, bassist Matt Reignkin) are applying the finishing touches to his upcoming album, “Gone Tomorrow, Here Today,” which is slated for a summer release. I had a chance to sit down with the guys recently to talk about Tommy Lee, why they’re so excited for fans to hear the new album, and how long, annoying airport layovers can be surprisingly inspiring.
Interviewed by: Heather Kobrin | June 2007
It’s been almost a year since your “Rock Star: Supernova” experience began. How has your life changed as a result of your participation on the show, both personally and professionally?
Josh: It’s been great, everything is just falling into place, and I knew it was going to. I was a little worried when I got back as to what I was going to do — if I was going to be solo, if I was going to try and hit up labels and get signed. But Nate found me, and Ryan had been in my past band, and I definitely didn’t want to work with him, but I had no choice, because he’s the only guy who got it.
Ryan: He settled for me (laughing). He tried every other drummer in the city.
Josh: I did try some, and no one got it, except for Ryan, and I knew he had it in the first place. He’s a great drummer. And Nate knew Matt — I didn’t know Matt from anybody.
Matt: Nate and I actually grew up as teenagers together.
Josh: So when he came to us I was a little skeptical, but he totally fits in. And now I have this killer band.
Matt: So you were skeptical of me?
Matt: Do we have to do this here, in front of everyone?
Josh: (laughing) We’ll talk later! We’ll talk later!…No, everything’s great now.
I know you have a lot of fan support in Iceland.
Josh: It’s huge.
Can you tell me about the experience of performing there with some of the other “Rock Star” finalists?
Josh: It was great — like a high school reunion. The people there just love music. Our venues were sold out two nights in a row. We played to 6,000 people a night, which is 2% of the population. I rave about it to these guys all the time, and we’re going back as soon as possible.
I heard you have some exciting Tommy Lee news.
Josh: I can’t believe we have Tommy Lee on the album. I mean, he and I got along really well, and he always said, “Yeah, I’m totally gonna do it, I’m really excited to be on the album,” but I thought he was full of shit. But apparently he wasn’t, because he really came through. I had to push him a little bit, because, you know, he’s a rock star, and he doesn’t have to really do anything. He didn’t have to do it, which is what blows my mind even more. It’s in the mail, it’s on its way to us right now. We’re all excited to hear what it sounds like.
Which song will he be on?
Josh: “Painful Breath.” It’s probably going to be pretty wild, knowing Tommy’s drumming style.
Josh and his Rock Star Supernova castmates
On the title track from the album, “Gone Tomorrow, Here Today,” the lyrics seem to speak to the importance of seizing the day. What inspired you to write it?
Josh: I wrote that song when I was sitting in my car before I was going in for my job — my shitty job as a salesman at a music store — that I really didn’t want to be doing. I was thinking, “Wow, there’s got to be something better than this,” but then I realized, you have to make the best of it. When I wrote the song, I didn’t really think about the words, and then it was just there, it was all there. I didn’t have to go back and erase or scratch out lyrics, it just poured right out. It’s evolved, definitely, with these guys, especially Nate…plus Bobcat, our producer at the studio. The three of us together are an amazing writing team.
Can you take me through the album’s other tracks?
Josh: Sure. “Nobody Feels,” which was off of a release I did prior to this one, but we wanted to remake it and give it more of a hip-hop/DJ vibe. We’ve got DJ Midas scratching on there.
Nate: “In The Dark,” with horns this time.
Josh: We’ve got Overdrive Horns, this awesome horn section… it sounds unbelievable. Very funky, very Prince-esque.
Ryan: Same thing with “Daydreams.”
Josh: Right, “Daydreams,” we added the horns in there too. And that has a very James Brown-y kind of feel also. “All That’s Left” is our softer track; we’ve got our buddy Bob playing keys on that…I’ve got great players all over this album. Lisa Guyer, who plays in a band called Mama Kicks, she was on the last Godsmack album. She came up and did some awesome backing vocals on a few tracks…What else? “Times Are Hard For Everyone,” which was almost the title of this album, we wrote right as we were going into the studio.
Nate: Actually, that’s a great story about how that chorus came about. You (Josh) were stuck in the Philly airport when you went to Toronto, and you had a 12-hour layover, and you wrote the chorus of that song. And you came home and you said, “You know what man? Times are hard for everyone,” and I said “That’s a song! That is a song right there.” And then it wrote itself.
Josh: Yep. Because I was totally pissed that I had to sit in this airport forever. And then we sat and wrote it that night…That one’s definitely going to be a single…“Feel Better” I wrote on the show, when I was just bummed about being in this frigging surreal life mansion. We had this little recording setup, so I was up at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, and we wrote this track for my fiancée who was back home, because she was bummed that I had been gone for so long. It was supposed to be a love song, but it ended up being really dark, and I was like, “I don’t know how that happened…” It’s one of the sickest tracks on the album. I actually sent it home from California to my fiancée here in New Hampshire, and I got kicked off the night before I sent it, so I arrived when the CD arrived. So we just sat and listened to it together. It was pretty awesome. And I’m like (sad voice), “Yeah, this was supposed to make you feel better, but now it’s making me feel better, because I got kicked off the frigging show.” But it’s all good; everything happens for a reason.
What can you tell me about your studio experience on this record?
Nate: Things have evolved in a way that we could never have predicted…
Josh: I can’t believe what’s happened to some of these songs…
Matt: It’s just nice when you can take your time building an album, when you can actually sit there and digest each song and come up with ideas as they happen and not have to say, “Okay, we have two weeks and we’re gonna pull 14-hour days,” and you hear it when you listen to the album…not having had to rush and compromise.
Nate: The way that we usually work is that we’ll pick one tune to focus on for a week and a half, two weeks, and then we’ll go back and listen to something we did three weeks ago that we haven’t even heard in a while. And then we’ll say, “Wow, we did that?” We surprise ourselves, which is pretty rare, because we’re our own worst critics.
In conjunction with the album’s release, you’ve also got a DVD that’s going to be coming out. What can your fans expect from that?
Josh: They’ll get the music from the CD, so I think the DVD should really represent our attitudes and personalities and…ridiculousness, in Ryan’s defense (laughing). Just so they can see where our heads are at, and then they’ll listen to the tunes and they’ll get it more. And there’s probably going to be some performance clips, and studio footage.
The MySpace quote on your band site is “You can’t deny who you really are.” Was there a time in your life when people around you were trying to influence you to be someone you’re not?
Josh: Yeah. It was called “Rock Star: Supernova.” They wanted me to be a bunch of things that I wouldn’t be. I was close to maybe doing something to cater to their likings, but then I said, “Screw it.” I really got fed up in that place. I didn’t want to be there after a while. So, I kind of, I think, created my own destiny and knew that if I played my guitar they were going to kick me off the show, so I played my guitar. Other than that, I’ve always done what I wanted to do.
I generally like to include one “unprofessional” question in my interviews. Is that cool?
Josh: Nice. Awesome. I’m totally unprofessional.
Do you ever refer to yourself as “J.Lo?” Because you know, you totally could.
Nate: We call him that.
Josh: I want to get that on a license plate, actually. I think for lawsuit reasons I’ll keep it off shirts and other things…. No, I think I’ll stay away from the J.Lo. I don’t think its right.
If you had to pick a personal theme song, what would it be and why?
Josh: Wow. (after a long pause) “Shooting Star.” That’s why I played it. That’s me, dude. Except I’m not going to eat a bottle of pills and die.
Do you see yourself staying in Manchester, NH long-term?
Josh: Someone said to me once that the music scene is never going to come to New Hampshire. You have to go to New York, Boston, California, Nashville. And for that reason, I would definitely get out of here to go and further my career. I think all of us would, and if they wouldn’t, I’d make them.
Matt: I think this is always going to be home, no matter what…but you do have to travel elsewhere.
You’ve been performing professionally since you were 15 – that’s a long time. What do you enjoy most about playing live?
Josh: Just the satisfaction that I’m a musician. I get to play music for a living and have fun doing it. You can’t beat that.