LOOSE LOGIC TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT HIS CD ETERNAL
DOING SHOWS WITH THE YING YANG TWINS AND DJ QUIK
AND TAKING HIS CAREER TO THE NEXT LEVEL
INTERVIEWED BY BRIAN LUSH
At the age of twenty five, rapper LOOSE LOGIC (IAN WESTBROOK) has picked a surprisingly young age to take stock and inventory of his career. His latest release, ‘ETERNAL’, is a 19 track opus which according to the pretty fly white guy documents his life up to this point. While the CD is comprised of new material, some tracks from his 2007 release ‘BEFORE THE STORM’ return for an encore such as ‘R.I.P.’, ‘CALI SHIT’ and the grand epic ‘BEAUTIFUL’. and get this – the CD is free! In a genre of music that is all about keeping your mind on the money the money on your mind, it seemed especially curious to me why a fella like LOGIC would wanna put his latest release out there for nothing. “I’m starting to work on a new album right now and I wanted to do a concept album for a very long time and I just felt like there were a lot of songs that I had done in the past that wouldn’t see the light of day and I wanted them to have the chance to do that because I really love the songs.” says LOGIC. “I liked what these songs had to say and I felt like people needed to hear them now while they are relevant. That isn’t to say that I don’t think that the songs will lose their relevance. I think they will hold up as time passes but it is something that I just felt that I needed to get out.”
ROCKWIRED spoke with LOOSE LOGIC over the phone. Here is how it went.
How have you been?
You’ve just released ETERNAL and I can see already that some of these tracks look familiar. With that being said, what do you think is different this time around?
What I tried to do was make some kind of a concept type record.
The record is telling a story of a certain period of my life throughout the CD. I used some older songs from prior recordings but I felt like I needed to get out. ETERNAL is actually something that I’m not selling. I’m just giving it away and hoepfully it will give everyone a chance to listen to it and to hear where I’m comng from. Every song is a different part of that period of time.
How did you get to be acquainted with ACROPOLIS RPM?
One of my friends owns a tattoo parlor and he gave them my first CD a long time ago (ONE STORY – 2006). He was playing it one time and they happened to hear it and said ‘Who is this guy?’ He gave them my number and they asked if I wanted to play a show at the HOUSE OF BLUES.
I asked because they’ve been on my e-mail list for a while. It would’ve been nice if they found out about you from me, but they didn’t. How are the shows going right now?
Shows are going good. I just did a show with the YIN YANG TWINS last Monday. The show was good. There were about seven hundred people there. I got a pretty big show coming up on Fenruary 2nd. I think I’m allowed to talk about it now. I’m opening up for LUDACRIS.
I believe at the LA SPORTS ARENA.
Yeah. So I’m looking forward to that.
You’ve been doing this a while and still pretty much independent. Is it getting easier or is it about the same?
You know, it’s easier to an extent but harder in certain areas. Before there was less that I really knew that I had worry about when it came to making a song or doing shows or anything like that. Back then, it was more about if my timing was right or if what I was saying was good and wondering if it sounded good. Now, there is a lot more that goes into it. The way that I write is different. I’ve been learning all of the poetic devices and finding out how to get in groove with the beat as opposed to just floating on top of it. You become one with the music so you are controlling the beat and not vice versa. There is a lot more that I’m working on now and its all the little things that have to be done make the sound more polished.
The last time I spoke with you, you had hinted at issuing a non-hip hop release under the name IAN WESTBROOK. Whats happened with that project?
It’s kind of on hold. It’s funny that you bring that up because I’m in the studio right now and I was talking to the engineer about that. He asked me about that album and for right now, it’s just been put on the side. I still want to finish it but I’m only three or four songs deep into it.
Talk about some of the new tracks on ‘ETERNAL’ that stand out for you the most.
One of them is a song called ‘LIGHT CHANGE’ and the interesting thing about that is that when I wrote it, I was writing the track for another project. It was kind of a writing exercise where I took two words, ‘light’ and ‘change’. The challenge was to make a song out of two words. So that was how that song came about and I tried to tell a story of people that I knew who had a similar situations as mine and I knew it was something that was very relatable to a lot of people.
What is motivating you to release ‘ETERNAL’ for free?
I’m starting to work on a new album right now and I wanted to do a concept album for a very long time and I just felt like there were a lot of songs that I had done in the past that wouldn’t see the light of day and I wanted them to have the chance to do that because I really love the songs. I liked what these songs had to say and I felt like people needed to hear them now while they are relevant. That isn’t to say that I don’t think that the songs will lose their relevance. I think they will hold up as time passes but it is something that I just felt that I needed to get out.
Obviously the song ‘BEAUTIFUL’ is a significant track for you because you ended the last album with that track.
It kind of symbolizes the end of that particular era in my life. The point in time when that whole period of my life was put to an end.
In doing this as long as you have now, what has been the biggest surprise for you?
Yeah, what didn’t you expect?
Its hard to say because I always had dreams of making it but I didn’t expect it to happen the way it did. For a while it seemed like I was working for a long time and nothing was happening and then all of a sudden, things turned around and I was doing shows with KRS 1, DJ QUIK, and THE YIN YANG TWINS. Now I’m going to be doing this show with LUDACRIS. I’ve been doing shows throughout the county, in Los Angeles, and up north and in other states, and people know who I am now. My name will be mentioned and people will be like ‘Oh yeah, I know him.’ The name is growing and I’m getting recognized more and more and it’s not like I’m signed t a major label or anything like that.
Everything that you’ve done on your own so far has been quite commendable. Do you really need a major label behind you?
If I was going to move a million units, I probably would.
So you’d be open to that then?
I would. Definitely. I would still want to have my own creativity in a sense and do the songs that I want to do. I feel like I’m getting more creative as time goes by. I know there is always going to be some force above you that says that you can only do this one and that one, but I defintely would sign on the dotted line if I was given a contract.
The last time I spoke to you, you brought up an interesting point about how some big rappers don’t write their own rhymes which actually came as surprise to me. Don’t you think that if you were signed to a major label that a situation like that will be forced upon you?
Hopefully, that wouldn’t happen. I think they do that for people who can’t actually deliver it. If you’re signed under the basis that ‘this guy can write!’ than that is not going to be a problem. I can see it the other way around where people are asking me to write stuff for them and that ends up being a bigger career move then actually me being the artist.
Who all have you written for?
I don’t know if it’s anyone that is really notable but there is an upcoming mix tape that is in the works right now. It’s DJ ARCANE and it’s called WHO’S NEXT VOLUME ONE and its taking a bunch of unsigned talent and putting them all on a mix tape and it’s artists from all over the country. Every artist on it gets about two songs on it. It’s going to be hosted by this guy named CASSIUS who is signed to EMINEM’s record label and it’s going to be distributed through SHADY AFTERMATH, so that is kind of cool.
I was watching REAL TIME with BILL MAHER a couple of weeks back after OBAMA was elected and it got me thinking about the future of hip hop. Do you think the future for it is?
I’m not really sure at this point. I hope that it sort of goes back to talking about real stuff and having real things to say. There are people out there who have albums that are full of nonsense and you can’t get anything out of it. It’s fine to have party songs but I hope it comes back to people saying stuff that matters.
Like your friend KRS 1.
Do you ever keep in touch with any of the people that you’ve done shows with.
Sometimes. I try to but it’s kind of hard because they are playing all over the place and you get as much in with t em as you can while you’re at the show. One thing that was cool when I performed with DJ QUIK and AMG was that after I opened for them they came on and after their gig, I went back stage to try to get a picture with them and they were l like ‘Hey, you’re LOOSE LOGIC, right?’ and I said ‘Yeah!’ It blew me away that they actually paid attention. The people that I’m probably the most in contact with mow are DJ ARCANE and CASSIUS. I talk to them every once and a while.
Just noticing this from a far, it seems that the hip hop community is really a community as opposed to rock n roll. What is your take on that?
I just think that it’s kind of the nature of the music. In rock, you don’t really have a bunch of features – you might have someone making a guest appearance doing a guitar solo – but it basically comes down to that band sticking to their own. With hip hop, it’s like ‘Who is the hottest guy out there right now. Let’s get him on my record!’ It’s kind of a marketing strategy and it pushes their stuff to before it comes out because they are on someone elses record that is going to be big. From that they grow from being acquaintances to freinds and hanging in the same circles. It’s just the whole mentality of hip hop. You’ve got to see what the next guy is doing because it’s like a competitive sport and you’ve got to stick with the people that you feel are at the top of their game.
That’s probably why the thing has grown so much.
I have to ask the white guy question again. I’m just checking up on you. Is it getting easier or was it ever a problem really?
It wasn’t really a problem before. Not on a performance level but it might’ve been a problem in terms of selling records. There are two different sides to it I suppose.
What kind of music are you listening to now?
I listen to all kind of muisc. I still listen to a bunch of stuff from the early to mid nineties. I’ve also been listening to a lot o f jazz as well and I might be doing a show with a reggae band so I’ve been listening to some of that music a little more. I’m just trying to broaden my horizon.
Speaking of horizons, we’ve seen rockers grow old. I won’t say gracefully, but we’ve seen them grow old and we’re starting to see that happen with hip hop artists also. How about you?
It depends on if I make it soon. If I make it, then hopefully, I can keep it going for a long time. Other than that, there is going to have to be some kind of back up plan but I don’t think I’m ever going to stop making music.
How old are you?
That’s a great age! I miss twenty five.
The cool thing about it is that I don’t really look as old as I am and that is another thing that helps out a little bit.
What’s next for you?
Next, I’m going to try to get something onthe radio and tfrom theiresigningon to a label. I think that is the only next step for me. I could either do what I’m doing now and stay at this level or I could take that next step.