As a veteran of 2006′s Rock Star: Supernova, Josh Logan knows better than any of his current Voice counterparts what national TV exposure can do for the career prospects of a working musician — and how important it is to capitalize on said momentum.
“After Rock Star, I was definitely doing more high profile gigs. I was playing in Iceland. I was playing in Canada. And I was making a hell of a lot more money than before,” Logan recalls. “The problem was, I really didn’t move as quickly as I should have. I dropped the ball.”
Logan says he won’t make that mistake now that he’s coming off an 11th-place finish on Season 5 of NBC’s ratings juggernaut. “I’m going to maximize this experience [of being on The Voice],” he insists. “Now that I’m home, I want to hit the studio and work on a single or a three-song EP. And then I want to be on the road. I want to be living out of a suitcase in a different city every day.”
TVLine caught up with Logan to talk about his favorite Voice performance, his affinity for Stevie Wonder tunes and his reasons for rejecting the coaches’ criticism of his cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”
TVLINE | You’d already made a name for yourself on Rock Star: Supernova. Did that take some of the pressure off for your Blind Audition [to Alex Clare's "Too Close"]?
I initially auditioned [for producers] in New York City, and I played “Too Close,” a James Morrison song and “Man in the Mirror.” So when I got to the Blinds, it was a toss up between a few songs, and I ended up with “Too Close” because I really am a big fan of Alex Clare and I figured the song was fresh in people’s heads from that Internet Explorer commercial. Plus, there were some things I was going through that made me connect with those words. I’ll tell you what, though: I had some nerves sitting there waiting for my turn to go on. Staring at the backs of those chairs was pretty significant. All I could do was imagine it was like a bar gig where [people] are not paying attention to me as usual. [Laughs] They just go out to drink and you’re trying to get their attention with your music. You just want to spin their heads, and that’s what I was trying to do in the Blinds — spin the coaches’ heads. And I spun three of them.
TVLINE | In the Battle Rounds against Michael Lynch, you guys had to tackle Maroon 5′s “Harder to Breathe” — in front of Adam Levine. Was that intimidating?
Well, me and Mike became buddies, too, so that made it even more difficult. It really wasn’t intimidating to sing it to Adam, though. I just wanted to sing the hell out of the song and have him be proud of it. And I think he was flattered by that performance. That was one of my favorites, looking back.
TVLINE | The coaches usually pair like-vs-like in the Battles and Knockouts, but for the latter round, [your coach] Christina [Aguilera] put you against 17-year-old R&B singer Amber Nicole. Were the two of you wondering, “Wait! How did this happen?”
I couldn’t believe that pairing at all! [Laughs] Plus, they had us go first, and I hadn’t even had time to warm up my voice, to do the typical regimen I do to be prepared to sing — especially sing a Stevie Wonder tune that’s up there for me range-wise. And Amber is such a powerhouse. She’s 17 years old and she can just belt. I was like, “I’m going home. That’s it for me.” [Laughs] And she really kicked ass on the stage that day. I was really worried that was going to be my last performance, but I guess Christina saw it a different way. She really believed in my voice and what I was doing. But it was a good knockout and interesting to watch back.
TVLINE | Let’s delve a little more into “Living for the City.” It’s kind of an unwritten rule on reality singing competitions not to go anywhere near the Stevie Wonder songbook — because of the degree of difficulty and the perils of matching the original. Did you have any reservations?
No. No, I’m not scared of singing Stevie tunes at all. That’s my thing, that’s what I’ve been doing in bars as a live musician for years and years — and that’s what people come to see me do. I use a lot of what Stevie does in the way that I sing. In my book, there’s no better male vocalist out there. When I got the song I felt like it was a gimme — because it gave me the freedom to show people all these different things I can do — and not a lot of people can do those things. I’m not being cocky, but I’m just saying that I spent a long time studying him and his mannerisms and the way his voice works. So, to get to do that on national TV was so exciting and I think the iTunes came out really great, too. I’m proud of it. I hope that Stevie digs it, as well. That [performance] was definitely my high point.
TVLINE | Let’s talk about your Top 20 Week cover of “Crazy.” You got some tough feedback from the coaches about infusing it with too many runs. Watching it back, was the criticism warranted?
I mean, I get what they were saying about me being so riff-y, but in my mind I’m thinking, “This is a vocal competition and we’re supposed to show those kinds of gymnastics, show what we’re capable of.” So, I figured if I was going to go out, I would go out doing some crazy stuff. I’m trying to one-up other people here. I’m trying to have that edge. [Laughs] I don’t think I really dig the fact that they tried to almost dumb down what I do — not that that’s what their intention was. I just think that they were trying to help me within the realm of the show and what works. But at the same time, I know who I am as an artist. I’ve been doing this a long time and I feel pretty comfortable about what I’m capable of and what I’m good at. I strayed away from what I was good at with that last performance, “Man in the Mirror,” by just doing those solid notes. I sing in a very different way back home. With “Crazy,” I think it was exactly what I needed to do at that time to show people what else I had. Just come at them with something wicked, y’know?
TVLINE | Tell me about “Man in the Mirror.” Was there a psychological hurdle for you going into that performance because of the less-than-enthusiastic reception for “Crazy”? Do you feel like that got in your head as you approached the song?
Yeah. Definitely. The comments from “Crazy”…They wanted me to bring it back and take it down a little bit. I was thinking about that today. They wanted me to almost dumb down my style. Maybe that’s not necessarily what they said, but it felt like the fact that I was doing too much was a problem, and it made me start thinking about how I was going to sing the song rather than going with my gut, my instinct. I probably should have just done [the latter], even though I think the end result was good with that song. There were a couple other runs that I normally do that I didn’t do — and maybe that could have made a difference [in the voting]. Who knows? Either way, I have no regrets with any of my performances. I feel confident that I did my best and my friends, family, and supporters know that too.
TVLINE | If there’s one other song you could have covered this season, what would it have been?
Just to come out of left field completely, maybe Audioslave’s “I Am the Highway” or something by James Morrison. I was thinking if I went more toward the rock realm, maybe they would have liked some of that more powerful, screamy kind of stuff. You know, more performance-based stuff. Christina gave me so many opportunities and saved me and believed in me and supported me, so it’s a bummer that I let her down. I really thought that after I did “Man in the Mirror” that I was going to at least get another one or two performances to show another side. There’s just so much other stuff that I have to offer.
What did you think of Josh’s Voice run? Were you a fan of “Crazy” or did the coaches have it right? Would you still like a chance to hear him cover Audioslave? Sound off down in the comments! And for all my reality TV recaps, news, exclusives and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!