Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Q and A With Singer/Songwriter Kate Lynne Logan

Photo By George Bentley
I recently had the opportunity to conduct a long distance interview with singer/songwriter Kate Lynne Logan. The tagline under her name on her website is "Americana In The Emerald City". She says about Americana "it means a ‘modernized version of Old Country.’ I think it means the contemporary version of artists like Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton. I would love nothing more than to be compared to such artists."

Kate grew up among the wheat fields of western Washington. She now resides in the emerald city of Seattle and has released five studio projects including her most recent full length album, 2014's Animal Dreams.

She is currently finishing up another project which includes the song "Roosey Roads" which Kate says is "the true (love) story of how/when my parents met in the 1980's. We all think the perfect love story doesn't exist, but my parents will celebrate 33 years this October. That kind of love happens in real life."

The music business is tough. Always has been. The climate today is so much different than at anytime in history. It's much easier to get music out there with all the technology, but that means there is a lot more out there which creates a lot of music to wade through. Without the push from a label, how hard is it for an independent artist like you to gain any traction?

You know, that's an interesting question. I feel like it's extremely difficult even WITH the support of a label and mass exposure. Take shows like The Voice or American Idol. Even people who win are easily forgotten. I think I could name maybe 4-5 people who did well on those shows. But American Idol ran 14 seasons...that's a lot of contestants and a lot of winners who mostly faded back into obscurity. They had everything they needed to stay on top - the voice, the look, a record deal, a hit song, radio play, and regular TV appearances in front of millions of people.
Given that I don't have most of those key things, well, you can imagine how hard it is to get up there and stay up there.

It's interesting that you mention American Idol and The Voice. I have been in contact with an artist from one of those shows who did not win but made it far into the competition. While the exposure was great, it's not a magic ticket to success. The name recognition is invaluable, but the grind doesn't end.
Speaking of the grind, how much does that wear on you? Does it ever feel like you're just banging your head against a wall?

Yeah, it's worn on me tremendously. I don't have the same enthusiasm for every show that I used to. So I stopped playing every show, and only play shows that really matter to me. I've been given a lot of tremendous opportunities. But I can't take them all.
Some of it is just plain hard. But some of it is just figuring out who I am. I've learned I'm not a performer - I feel most comfortable in the studio. So of course show after show is going to wear on me in a different way than someone who loves performing. That's not to say I don't like performing at all. It just takes a special kind of energy that takes a lot out of me, and that doesn't come naturally, as opposed to the hundreds of studio ideas I have that flow more freely.
Music is just hard. It's hard to get good, hard to make a living. But what's hardest is trying to live up to my own expectations. I still have moments where music is still magic, still therapeutic. I'm still sorting through what music means to me. It's definitely time for a break. But that doesn't mean permanently, necessarily. I am an all or nothing person, so it feels permanent right now. But what I feel isn't always true.

You say that you're taking a (hopefully temporary) break. Is that immediate, or do you have anything unfinished that you will complete before your break?

Sure. I have an EP release November 8, as a last hurrah. And then all will be quiet on the music front after that. That's the only thing public. I have other unfinished work that is for commercial placement only.

I've heard some ideas, some hair-brained, some that make sense about what is broken and how to fix the music industry. What do you think can/should be done, if anything?

That's a really, really tough question. I feel like it's not just for music that I would want to encourage empathy and understanding. People are truly horrible to one another online - especially young people. They don't see someone's face when they say something horrific. It's just words behind a keyboard. Same thing with music. People don't see the dire need of certain musicians. It's just downloading songs from a keyboard. People fail to see their personal impact. Which is sad not just for the people exploited - it's sad for the people exploiting. Because they don't know their own worth. I'm guilty myself. I downloaded music for free as a teenager.

You mention the horrible things people say online, hiding anonymously, for the most part, behind a keyboard. How much of that have you personally experienced and how has that affected you?

It's yet to happen with music - but I assume that's only because I haven't had any exposure at all, aside from Seattle. But it's happened over personal beliefs. And that's been hard. Because I'm going to write music from personal beliefs.

I'm sure it's difficult for you to see or have anything tangible to grab on to, but as someone sitting in the middle of West Texas, you somehow have had some exposure outside of Seattle. Thank you so much for doing this. Selfishly, I hope that your break from music is short lived. Best of luck to you going forward. As we end this, is there anything else you want to say?

I guess just, thanks for listening. It means the world. It doesn't matter to the world. But it matters to me.

Kate Lynn Logan links:

Here is "Whisky Sea" form the Animal Dreams record. Enjoy.


  1. I really like this song! I sometimes find it difficult to get into slower, more stripped down stuff...but something about this is really appealing to me. Maybe it's her voice, or the more atmospheric vibe? I will definitely check out more of her music.

    Thanks for sharing! I love reading these Q & A's- you are asking thought provoking questions that produce really interesting answers! Keep it up!

    1. Thanks Carrie. I think why you like this song is simple. It's just a good song. No matter the genre, a good song is a good song.