Logan Mize discusses his influences and writing with Chris Stapleton!
Logan Mize is a fairly new name to me but an artist who I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of over the coming months! Drawing influence from a range of different genres Logan's music has caused industry folk to stop and listen and many occasions. He signed a publishing deal with Big Yellow Dog shortly after moving to Nashville and has supported the likes of Leann Rimes and Lady Antebellum. His single Better Off Gone has been streamed over 18 million times and has been added to numerous major playlists across Spotify and Apple Music. I was excited to chat with the Kansas native and find out a little more about him!
You come from a very musical family, but can you tell me about the moment you first decided you wanted to become a full time Country Singer-songwriter?
Yes, you know I was always too shy to play music in front of people, I was terrified of it and still am sometimes. It was one of those things that happened around the age of 15 or 16, I had notebooks of poems and stuff and I’d been playing Piano for a long time but I picked up guitar. I went to a Country concert, Kenny Chesney, I grew up listening to Elton John and John Mellencamp, I liked some Country, more like the organic stuff but I saw Kenny Chesney and the whole thing - stadiums, the whole thing - I decided yeah this is what I want to do. So I decided when I was 16 I was going to go to Nashville and here I am.
You spoke a little bit about what you used to listen to there, but what did your parents play to you growing up and what are you choosing to listen to now?
My Mum was more into Rock, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly, so my Mum was always playing that but my Dad was into Elton John and John Denver and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band so it was a good healthy balance of those two Worlds so somewhere between Rock and Pop and Country sensibilities. I loved it all they had good taste in music.
Where do you draw inspiration from when it comes to writing your own lyrics, is it mainly personal experience?
Yeah for me to write something I have to have lived it, it has to come from something familiar to me. Sometimes it’s about getting an emotion out and sometimes it’s something I love musically and I have to figure out how to put a story to it. So it’s a combination of those really. As long as I can get it out I can edit and make it the best version of itself but typically it’s very raw. It could just be me shouting and playing chords, words might not come for hours, it’s usually an emotion.
Do you have favourite collaborators or do you like to write on your own a lot?
Yeah I do have people I enjoy writing with, I hated co-writing at first and I still write by myself a lot. My friend Blake Chapman who I wrote a lot of my early stuff with, The Warner Brothers and Lance Miller, some small circles but some great ones!
What’s your favourite aspect of the industry, writing, performing or recording or do they all work together equally for you?
Yeah they all work together and they’re all very different, it’s funny, I was digging through all my work tapes that I’ve recorded, sometimes you record a demo and it’s a full on demo but there’s so many songs I’ve written and recorded over the years that I’ve forgotten about and I was going through them the other day on the bus and I came across one of me and Chris Stapleton, one we wrote six or seven years ago. No one will ever hear the song except for me but it was really cool to have that, there’s a few writers on there who have since become really successful and it’s good to have that early stuff on there, they’re good memories.
What’s the strangest thing that you’ve ever written a song about?
I don’t even know if I could tell you, well I’ll go with the strangest thing that’s PG rated! I wrote a song called Aunt May’s Moustache and it’s about a woman that has a moustache and she’s cooking thanksgiving dinner for everybody but nobody wants to eat what she’s making because she’s got a moustache and that’s about as weird as it gets haha!
I like that, I’d like to hear that song haha! When you’re on stage are you completely focused or do you let your mind wander, we call it your mid-gig thoughts?
Oh that’s a great question because some nights I am completely focused on entertaining people and then theres some nights when we’re really into playing music and some nights where I’m just a space cadet and I’m thinking about what I ate for breakfast and you play two songs on auto-pilot and I don’t like those nights. So it’s trying to find the right combination to get yourself in that mental space to play for people so it depends. Usually I’m really focussed.
Do you have a favourite song you’ve written and a favourite song you wish you’d written?
Yeah, my favourite song that I’ve written that’s out is a song called Sunflowers it’s on my 2012 album that I love and then there’s a song on my new album called Catch a Fish and I love that song. As far as songs I wish I’d written, anything by Mellencamp or Petty, I draw a lot of influence from them and it’s hard to pick just one.
Finally what’s next for you?
We got a single hitting Country radio on February fourth so we’re excited about that. My wife Gill who is a great Country singer, she’s amazing actually, is about to put out a record that I produced and wrote with her, that comes out December 28th so we’re excited about that. Next year looks really busy, we’re going to be out with Carly Pearce and Russell Dickerson in the first part of the year.