Gay singer-songwriter Logan Lynn began professionally making music nearly 15 years ago. Since then he has released a slew of albums, has seen his videos featured on LOGO and MTV, performed around the world.
In 2010 Lynn announced that he would be taking an extended break from the music industry to work full time for LGBTQ equal rights at Portland’s Q Center. He even released an album, “I Killed Tomorrow Yesterday,” with Producer Bryan Cecil and gave the proceeds to Portland’s Q Center, the only LGBT community center in the Pacific Northwest.
Now he's back with a new single, "Turn Me Out" (see the video above), and an upcoming album. We caught up with Lynn to find out what he's been up to since he left the music industry, why he's coming back, what to expect from the new album and more.
The Huffington Post: You're just coming off a two-year hiatus from the music industry. Why did you take the break and what have you been up to?
Logan Lynn: In 2010, after five straight years of nonstop working and touring, I just needed some time to step back and not feel so consumed by the industry. At the time I was really lonely and tired and felt overexposed in ways that I wasn't really able to deal with, so I canceled the second leg of my tour, severed ties with The Dandy Warhols and my label, fired my publicist, fired my manager, freaked out publicly in the press and gave the record I had been working on for over a year away as a fundraiser for Q Center, Portland's queer community center. I pissed a lot of people off during the process of breaking free and in retrospect I would probably be a little less public about the whole thing... but back then it felt like the only way to take some time off and get rid of the toxic people I had surrounding me was to completely blow everything up, so that's what I did. Once the career suicide dust settled I started giving all of my time to the queer community and have been helping to build the infrastructure of Q Center ever since. I needed real people in my life again and that's ultimately what I found in my work with the community. Working with people in need really puts your own need in perspective.
You' ve landed in a bit of hot water and controversy around some of the activism work you have been doing. What exactly went down between Portland's queer community and the Mars Hill evangelical church?
At the end of 2011 the Mars Hill church bought a building in Portland and announced they were opening their doors in our community. Its founder has publicly equated homosexuality to cancer on society, amongst other very charming hate speech about the gay community. Part of my mission as an activist and an out queer man is to encourage a dialogue with those who oppose us or would do us harm, so I reached out to their pastor and we began meeting together. From there, we decided to assemble nine people from Portland's LGBT community and nine members of the traditional Evangelical community and we have been meeting once a month with a conflict resolution expert ever since.
It has been very difficult at times, particularly since my meeting with them has been met with a variety of responses from inside the queer community. Not everyone agrees with my tactics, but I remain convicted that I am doing the right thing and have already witnessed changes as a result of the project. Education is power. The more we actually know about the other side, the better off we are. It's easier for homophobic people to wish death upon us when they have no human face put to it. My goal has been to be myself with them and force them to see that I am not the monster they have made us all out to be. Change never comes easily. I have had many threats made against me both by queer people who think I'm a traitor and by the religious right... but I believe the risk is worth it. Kill me if you must but the work will continue.
What made you decide to return to music?
Well, I met a man and changed my life and I just started writing again. It's funny how these things happen. Almost as soon as I rejected the chase and stress of it all, opportunities started falling out of the sky and into my lap. Ultimately, I just couldn't pass up working with the people I am working with right now. I had announced that I would take at least 2 years off and that's what I did. It just feels like the right time to start things up again.
Now that you are back, will you continue your activism work?
Definitely. It may get complicated to keep my current schedule once I start touring again next year, but I will always care deeply about the LGBT community and give my time to the cause. Additionally, I will continue to contribute to Huffington Post and I have a monthly column at Just Out magazine as well as a few other outlets to get my outspoken queer voice out there to the world. My role as activist isn't attached to one particular position or agency. I am in this role around the clock, wherever I go. I will not stop until we are all free, safe, and celebrated for who we were born to be. The end.
The video for "Turn Me Out," the first single off your upcoming record "Tramp Stamps and Birthmarks" was just released. What's the song about?
The song is about being in love and wanting so badly for that person to love you back. It's also about wanting to get the shit fucked out of you by said loved one.
So, you're in love? It sounds like you are in major lust as well.
Yeah. I'm deeply in love...and lust. I'm a total whore for him and it feels really great to have found someone so wonderful. He really helped pull me out of the dark, lonely place I had inhabited in the world for so many years. Even if our relationship were to end today, he has played a vital role in my coming back to life.
How does he feel about your relationship being on display so publicly?
I think he goes back and forth on it. There is something magical about being the muse, but I'm sure it gets annoying to have everyone know our business. That even gets annoying at times for me, so I'm sure it's even less exciting for him. That being said, he is incredibly supportive of my career and has been adapting expertly to the sudden spotlight.
When is the album out? Is "Turn Me Out" representative of its overall sound?
I think "Turn Me Out" is a pretty accurate first glimpse into the sound we are exploring this go-round. Most of the songs on this record are banger dancepop tracks and, for the first time in my 12 years of recording and releasing music, I am happy in my life... so the songs are happy. It's really different than anything I've released so far and I think it's my best work to date. I'm really excited for people to hear the next single, "Do You Want Me Or Not?" We just started working on that video as well. It will be out in September. The record comes out on Tuesday, December 4, but the next single will happen in just another month or so. Waiting is hard!
We are finishing the mixing of the record as we speak, then we are going to rework my live show into the electro spectacle it has always wanted to be. I will be booking some shows for the end of this year and early next and then tour the new record from there. What's next for me is a bunch of really hard work! I'm so excited about how things are happening, though. It doesn't ever really feel like work.