Sunday, March 7, 2010

An Interview: DJ Logic

J-man: I appreciate you doing this.

Logic: Yes, thank you for having me.

J-man: You play so many different styles of music, what style do you find to be the most challenging to spin to?

Logic: (Laughs) That’s a good question. I mean, all of them are quite a challenge, you know? They’re all a learning challenge, which I like. You know, it’s just like picking up a guitar and learning your first two notes. Or learning the piano. It’s more just feeling comfortable with the people you’re playing with and feeling comfortable with you. Once you have that confidence and everyone is comfortable, you’re just passing the ball around. Because every situation for me is different. That’s how I approach it.

J-man: You’ve played with so many of the top bands across a plethora of genres, how do you manage get yourself out there to the point where all of these artists from Medeski, Martin & Wood to Carly Simon are seeking you out?

Logic: It’s just me being a musician and a good listener as well as a well-rounded DJ. It’s basically just being a good listener and having my ears to all the musical genres. The people that I work with, before I even go in, I do my homework and stuff. Just kind of talk with them and get the vibe and feeling. One thing leads to the next… So, just me having a good ear and being able to work around them.

J-man: I saw at Bonnaroo 2002 you sat in with Robert Randolph and the Del McCoury Band… I never thought I would see turntables with bluegrass music, how did that come about and what were your thoughts on that experience?

Logic: Well that was a wonderful experience, because I never thought that I would be playing with a bluegrass band. You know, and it being the Del McCoury Band, who are the coolest guy in the world. I love their music as well as Robert Randolph being the greatest guy. It was just something unique and we all kind of looked at each other like “Yeah, I think this could work” You know, with the banjo and the pedal steel and the turntables. There kind of a relationship in a way between the blues and folk. I always look at the turntables as a washboard, being that acoustic instrument. Nobody would have thought that a washboard would go from an appliance to an instrument. You hear it in the blues and folk and stuff like that. So, I kind of looked at my turntable like that, kind of doing certain moves and stuff in between the groove and it worked well and people dug it. It was great to see the smiles on the audience faces because they were so intrigued. We all got to groove and we all kind of just let it be and it was a wonderful experience. It was a great time, and I did it again actually, with those guys. We played the Jammy’s together. That was with Rob Wasserman, The Del McCoury Band and I think we had a beatboxer there as well… I’m not sure, I think it was Rahzel or something like that. (Laughes)

J-man: How much does it validate what you do to have guys like Christian McBride, or MMW ask you to record an album with them?

Logic: Oh, man… It’s always a privilege and an honor to play with Medeski, Martin and Wood and Christian McBride because they all bring something new and unique to the table. We just hit it off… We just have a wonderful time… They have very creative minds, you know?

J-man: What is it about your playing that sets you aside from so many other DJ’s and how long have you been spinning?

Logic: When I started out, just being an eclectic DJ. I was just open-minded and I wasn’t scared to listen to music. I’d pick up a record and just listen to jazz or funk, listen to folk, blues… You know, I kind of did my homework and I always wanted to find a certain artist or musician playing on a jazz record. He was also on a funk record… I was like “wow, let me check this guy out, let me follow him.” You had, Ron Carter doing stuff all over the place, you had Miles Davis incorporating rock, fusion, blues and stuff like that. So I was intrigued by those artists… as well as the rappers, you know? Like Rappers Delight and Furious Five and all of those guys. They also incorporated live instrumentation and stuff like that. All the old school hip-hop guys… and some of the new hip-hop guys. I was just an open-minded DJ and I just kind of wanted to make a name for myself and do it “Logically” That’s how my name… You know, I wanted my name to stand out, just like my peers before me. I wanted to have a cool name and a name that represented what I do… Logically, it made sense.

J-man: How long have you been spinning?

Logic: Uhhh… Man, I’ve been spinning for like… twenty something years. It’s been a long time. Every time I sit down to do an interview I start thinking about when I started out, where I started out, all of the different places that I’ve traveled, because all of the pictures and all of the memories are all built up in my head… One day, I’ll be able to lay all of that stuff out, so that everybody can see the movie in my head.

J-man: I thought the John Popper Project was pretty interesting; how did that come about and are there any future plans for that group?

Logic: Wow, well the John popper Project, man; that was something unique as well. That all came together with me and John. We met back in the day at the H.O.R.D.E. tour when I was with Vernon Reid Then we reconnected again in California… San Francisco. We did a thing with Rob Wasserman and John was like “Hey man, I’d love to do something with you.” and I was like “Sure.” We didn’t know what to expect and we just took a chance on it. He had some time off from Blue Traveler and we did a couple of shows in New York at the Knitting Factory and Suite 16. These are just little shows, you know? Five dollar shows… Some shows were free. So we just basically improvised; me, John, Tad, who played bass, and Marcus Bleecker… These are all John’s good friends. It was just a comfortable unique foursome. We just improvised and came up with melodies and grooves just from that. It was cool; turntable, harmonica, drums and bass and that’s all we needed to make everything sound so full. You know, we also had special guests on it, but everything else was just all us. We kind of just vibed off of each others sounds and ideas and we just brought it to the table. John didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know what to expect… It just came together nice. We took it on the road and people loved it and I’m looking forward to doing the next record. Me and John have been talking about it, so when we have the time to do it… But we have been touring and stuff with the project off and on.

J-man: So the trio project with you, Steve Molitz & Freakbass; can you tell me a little about it and how that project came about?

Logic: Oh, man; that’s Freaky, Logic, Molitz right there. (Laughs) We’re just doing our Freakiness, and Logicness and Molitzness, you know? That was a project where, I was actually was doing a festival in Pittsburgh and Molitz was out there and we talked about getting together and doing some stuff. I work with Particle and stuff and we talked about collaborating and Freakbass was also out there and performing with his band. I saw Freakbass doing his thing with his band and I was like, diggin it. I was like “Wow, that guy is bad on bass”. I was like; it would be cool to have him sit in with me and Steve. Once we got up there on stage it was just a vibe, you know? Everybody was listening to each other and we just went from one place to the next. So I was basically laying down grooves and beats and stuff. Molitz was laying down colors and stuff on the keys, and some funk sounds and stuff like that. Freakbass was doing his thing on the bass, being freaky. So freaky and funky I should say. It just became a wonderful project and I’m looking forward to touring. We’ll be out on tour in April actually.

J-man: Great.

Logic: Yeah, and hopefully we’ll put a record together right after that. We’re just working out each other’s schedules and just having fun with it.

J-man: I heard you got injured recently and had to cancel a few dates, what happened and are you back to playing shows?

Logic: Yeah, I’m back to playing shows and yeah, I injured myself… My first injury in quite some time. I’m a very athletic guy. I was on Jam Cruise and I was playing a pick-up game of basketball, you know; basically artists versus fans, artists versus artists. I had some of my rivals there so… we were all going at it and stuff. It was a good game of pick-up basketball and I actually was driving to the hole. We were winning actually, so put that in there; we were winning and then Logic was driving to the hole with the basketball and yeah. All of a sudden I pulled my Achilles. I didn’t even know what that was, you know? I hear all that happening with football players and basketball players, you know… and I know how to play ball. So, I just thought it was like a twisted ankle. I was walking on it and my leg was swelling up and I was like “Oh, gosh.” Finally when I went to the emergency room they were like “We think you may have ruptured your Achilles.” I’m like “What?” So, I have been in a cast for about two months now. I just got the cast off and I’m very happy. Yeah, I have been going to Stedman Hawkins out here in Vail. I’m at a very good facility and I just got a new boot on. So I’m walking with this boot looking like I got a robotic leg kind of thing. It’s kind of funny. I’m going through a lot of therapy right now, and also doing shows as well, so I’m sitting on a stool while I’m doing shows… Like a bar stool, because I can’t put too much pressure on it. I’m just happy to be back out playing and seeing my fans and friends. I’m loving all of the support from my fans and friends. I’m looking forward to recording and starting on my next record.

J-man: I hope you have a speedy recovery.

Logic: Thank you.

J-man: What do you think of the festival scene and the opportunities that it provides, and what festivals do you have planned for this summer?

Logic: Well, I’ll be down at Jazz Fest, a couple of other jazz festivals… I’m not sure about Bonnaroo; everything comes last minute. I mean, I love all of the festivals, you know? There’s a lot going on and a lot of music to see. It’s good to see something eclectic going on because, like Bonnaroo kind of stirred up a lot of other festivals. So, it’s good to see and I look forward to being out there and playing as many shows and as many festivals as I can, either DJ Logic, or DJ Logic with other projects.

J-man: Of the musicians that you have yet to play with, who comes to mind that you would really like to collaborate with?

Logic: Oh, wow… (Laughs) That’s a good one… I mean, I love playing with people that love to play with Logic and just love to do something unique and different. I mean, I love jazz, I love hip-hop, I love blues, I love rock… Hopefully I’d be able to work with… Let’s see… Wow, damn man. See, that’s why my name is Logic; I like to do something logical… make it a surprise, the people who I work with and collaborate with. That’s what makes it so interesting and tasteful, you know? You see someone on a project and you’re like “What!?!” and then you hear it come out and you hope it comes out good. (Laughs)

J-man: Alright, well I won’t put you on the spot… I like that answer though; leaving it open ended.

Logic: I love that question. Like I said, you know me and you’ve seen all of the different projects I have been working on. I’m just looking to keep making good music and just keep it fresh, you know?

J-man: I do.

Logic: You’ll see me with someone special… I hope. You just saw me with Carly Simon, that was a special thing for me to work with her and have her work with me. We hit it off well.

J-man: As a fan of a bunch of different kinds of music, it’s always a pleasure to speak with someone who bridges that gap across genre’s. I appreciate it.

Logic: I appreciate it to. Oh, and I checked out your website; it’s great, I love it. Keep it up and thank you so much. I look forward to meeting sometime.

J-man: Indeed. Speedy recovery.

Logic: Thank you, take care.


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