ONI LOGAN INTERVIEW:
March 27, 2006
Oni Logan is best remembered as being the lead singer in George Lynch’s post-Dokken band Lynch Mob. After departing that group he formed Violets Demise with Dio’s Rowan Robertson, but record company politics killed any momentum they may have had. After stepping away from the spotlight, Oni has returned this year to appear on the star studded Liberty N’Justice CD and is awaiting the release of his new solo album.
SR: You recently recorded a song for the new Liberty N’Justice album, how did you get involved with that project?
OL: Mike Lane, the producer of “Soundtrack of a Soul” brought up my name to Justin Murr from Liberty N’Justice. My name was on their wish list for their new CD. So Justin reached out and found me on the other side of the planet and asked me if I would be interested in singing a song for a Christian rock album.
SR: What was it like recording Show Me The Way (which happens to be my favorite track)?
OL: Thanks very much for your compliment regarding “Show Me the Way”. I’m looking forward to hearing the other tracks on the album. As far as the recording, to be honest I was a bit jet lagged from the trip over, so it took me a little while to get into singing mode. But they made me feel very comfortable and within a few hours it was done.
SR: Liberty N’Justice seems to be touted as a Christian rock record, do you feel you fit into that category?
OL: I think a lot of artists and musicians can fit into this “category” that you are talking about. Whether they consciously know it when there creating a song is another matter.
I myself feel, that if it has a positive influence on our existence in some small way, then it has done its job. Therefore I don’t categorize religion or beliefs. Everyone has their own right to choose who they will or want to follow. My main duty as a singer/songwriter is to answer to the silent voice that whispers in my ears.
SR: Do you have any other projects in the works right now?
OL: There is an idea for a project in my mind, but I will keep it to myself until it develops into a reality, if you don’t mind.
SR: Did your solo album Stranger In A Foreign Land ever get released?
OL: “Stranger In A Foreign Land” will be released, though there hasn’t been an actual date slated, for the moment we ask all that are interested to hang in there.
SR: Did you recruit a backup band for this project or is it you and a bunch of your friends? What musicians appear on it?
OL: All the musicians that participated on the recording of “Stranger In A Foreign Land” were chosen for there originality and talent. The Gypsies from Mars are, Bekka Bramlett on backups and 2nd lead vocals, Don Airey on the Hammond and piano, Bertram Engel on drums, Michael Voss on electric guitars, Martin Huch on pedal steel, lap steel, mandolin and dobro, Steffi Stephan, Eda Miles and Matthias Rethmann providing the bass duties, Nippy Noya on percussion, Max Teschner on Fender Rhoads and Hammond keyboards and last but not least Steve Lukather appears on one track.
They all did a wonderful job and it was a great pleasure to have worked with them all.
SR: I’ve never heard it myself, what does it compare to your other releases?
OL: This album doesn’t compare to any of the other albums that I’ve done in the past. This was a conscious decision to use my voice in a different manner. To discover another tonality and delivery for a vocal rather then to sing on ten the whole way through.
SR: Who were your biggest influences and when did you decide to pursue music full-time?
OL: Lets see, there are really quite a few in the classic soulful rock category, but I’ll mention one of many: Paul Rogers, a wonderful pure voice on those BAD CO records. When I decided to be a musician goes way back to when I was around 5 years of age.
SR: There are all sorts of rumors about how George Lynch snatched you away from Marc Ferrari, but how did it really go down?
OL: To be honest it’s been many years so I’m a little foggy on that whole matter, but I will tell you this much it had the makings for a Spinal Tap script.
SR: Did you as if you were letting your Ferrari bandmates down by leaving so close to recording the debut?
OL: Yeah, it was a horrible thing to do. I made a lot of people angry in the industry over that, but I’ve managed over the years to make an honest effort to apologize to a few of the Ferrari fellas.
SR: What are you best memories of recording Wicked Sensation?
OL: Listening back to the recording of it in the studio on the big monitors when it was finished.
SR: What bands did you tour with, and how did they treat you?
OL: Queensryche in Europe, were very nice people to tour with, Cinderella in the states as well, and one of my favorite people Ronnie James Dio.
SR: What finally led to you and George Lynch parting ways?
OL: I think anyone who was or is a Mob fan has heard the story enough times to have grown tired of that messy ending. That time period and chapter is closed for me I do not care to relive it.
SR: After Lynch Mob you started working with Rowan Robertson, how did that project come together?
OL: It was Wendy DIO who had suggested that we get together for writing a session, from that point on we were VIOLETS DEMISE.
SR: Violets Demise managed to get a major label deal, but the album never came out, what happened?
OL: We were considered a big risk and not a commercially viable product that’s what led them to consider us a tax write off.
SR: Did the music industry leave a bad taste in your mouth when the Violets Demise album with Robertson was shelved?
OL: Yeah it did, it took me years to get over that one, especially because I believe it to be a great album, it was and is. I don’t think that I’ll make another one quite like that one again, “really special”, not only for Rowan and I but for our close friends that have it and remind us of how ahead of it’s time Violets was.
SR: In 1998 you were back in Lynch Mob for the Syzygy EP, looking back how do you feel about that release?
OL: The Syzygy EP was recorded with the idea of it being used solely for a demo purpose for a few record company’s to have a listen and decide weather or not they wanted to sign it, but in the end it ended up on Lynch’s website for purchase, ultimately I thought that the recording didn’t hold up to the legacy of our debut album and never should have been made available.
SR: The hard rock scene always seems to revolve around sex and drugs, did you get caught up in that philosophy?
OL: There was a time, but as time passes on, you grow up.
SR: What is the strangest thing you’ve ever seen happen on the road?
OL: I don’t think it would be appropriate to mention the story I have in mind.
SR: Anthony Esposito recently said that the two of you were interested in a Lynch Mob reunion, but George turned it down. What transpired there?
OL: Ant and I got together for dinner when I was in California for the holidays. Obviously when two fellas from a band get together, these ideas will always come to the surface, either on a serious level or just out of curiosity. I did bring it up to Ant solely for the purpose of giving the fans the follow up to the “Wicked Sensation” album. I think ultimately we may have learned a few lessons on our journey through life so here’s the story.
You see here in Europe I was surprised to see how many people dug the Lynch Mob, and I’m not excluding the States cause I know you’re out there, but I think the promoters especially here in Europe genuinely still believe in Rock ‘n’ Roll. That’s why these festivals have such a great turn out. I’ve been to a few and there were always people I ran into with one question. Why don’t you get the Lynch Mob over here for some dates? So I thought why not bring up the idea. So Anthony had the task of putting it out there, but the reply that we got from George’s camp was that he was putting together some super-group and that he was not interested. End of story.
SR: Do you have any regrets about the way your career has unfolded?
OL: No, ’cause I’m alive.
SR: Any last words?
OL: “FREE YOURSELF” from all mental slavery.
Thanks to Oni Logan