Hi Logan, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hello, VENTS! I’ve been great; been on the road the past week or so and just arrived to my new home in Colorado by way of Virginia. Plenty of change to keep me busy, confused, and inspired.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Every Town”?
“Every Town” is one part a cautionary tale and one part a reminder to myself. It’s a song about the happiness and excitement of leaving the familiar with the reminder that the familiar will always be ingrained in who you are.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
I had taken a trip back to Nebraska a few years back and was having some beers with my dad in his hometown and one of his old friends explained to us that my grandfather had stopped having coffee in his normal spot in town because they raised the price of coffee marginally – something like ten to twenty cents. It was a story I always laugh at, and I think it’s very representative of the mindset of where I grew up. Ultimately, I think the song is me telling myself to get out and go explore, not be scared of discomfort, not be scared of heartbreak – because there are a million places to settle down into once you’re ready.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Maybe not for “Every Town” specifically, but I’ve been in talks with some folks about a video for another one of the other tracks on the EP. More on that soon.
The single comes off your new album In The Presence of the Kingdom – what’s the story behind the title?
“In the presence of the kingdom” is a line pulled from a song on the EP called “Battle Royale.” A song written at a time I was really interested in whether or not I wanted to keep playing music or settle into something more “normal.” The “Kingdom” referenced is kind of an all-encompassing entity that includes government, parental advice, rent, taxes, parking tickets, etc. The full line reads, “In the presence of the kingdom, I don’t even think that we can be ourselves.” Which is my way of saying “how the hell can we accomplish the things we’d like to with this deck stacked so high against us.”
How was the recording and writing process?
Relatively slow. I was in Virginia and making weeklong trips to Brooklyn to work with Daniel; making a slow, acoustic record amongst the movement of the city is a really interesting thing. We had a killer cast of session players who really worked in the subtleties that make the EP as full as we desired it. There was a very conscious decision to not make anything too large. It’s absolutely an EP to showcase songs and not dress them up too much.
What was it like to work with Daniel Mendez and how did that relationship develop?
Daniel is, as you would expect, a pro at what he does. I had only made one album prior to this, so sharing creative control was a new thing for me – but Daniel made that transition a pretty easy one. We met via email when I was searching for a new engineer/producer; I was interested in the sound he gets out of his singer/songwriter records. A few weeks later, I played a show up in the city and he came out to listen, and wee got to work shortly thereafter. He and his label, Head Above Water, have been incredibly good to me and I’ve really enjoyed the relationship built and the whiskey drank.
How much did he get to influence the album?
I came to Daniel with a lot of these songs dressed up in rock n’ roll. Together we stripped them down and warmed them up into what you hear. I would say his biggest influence comes in that way; in trimming the fat, if you will. Daniel is a big believer in the song and the concept that, though it may take more time, a good song will get heard.
What role does Virginia plays in your music?
Virginia is my adult home. Even now, in Colorado, I will happily tell people I’m from Virginia. Every song on this EP was written while living in Norfolk and being a part of the special songwriter scene that exists there. Virginia encouraged me enough to keep me at this, and I thank it for that. “Linen” on this EP was in part recorded in Norfolk with my friend Mark Padgett (Mae) and Andrew Benfante (The Last Bison) on keys. If you’re reading: I love and miss you, Virginia.
You grow listening to Grunge music in your formation years – what draw you into folk music?
My big transition into songwriting music came in my early high school years in Nebraska when Saddle Creek Records (Omaha) sent out an email sampler with a song called “Waves of Grain” by Two Gallants. It’s just this very dense, ten minute song and somewhere in it, I realized I needed to at least try and write songs like that. They remain my favorite band to this day. From there, I jumped off into the deep end of songwriters and started trying to write.
What aspect of your life did you get to explore with this record?
Well, the record tells everything I had to tell at that point. It starts us in Nebraska, longing for home, changing and traveling. It highlights the leaving of Nebraska with “Every Town;” it gets into my adult independence with “The Candidate;” the fear of what to do with that independence in “Battle Royale;” and finally, moves us into “Linen” which hesitantly tells the story of the breakup with my best friend, and girlfriend of eight years. The flow of the album is that section of my life.
Any plans to hit the road?
I just wrapped up a week on the road and am currently working on booking out for the fall as we speak. Trying to make my very first trip out to the west coast 🙂
What else is happening next in Logan Vath’s world?
I am currently writing for the next record and working on integrating into the Colorado music scene. I’m taking advantage of the outdoors that CO has to offer, motorcycling, and reconnecting with family that I’ve been distant from since my move to VA in 2009. In short, I’m spending a couple months to relax and work and appreciate some things that are both new and old to me. Thanks for chatting with me!
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