Interview: Indie Folk Songwriter Logan Pilcher Challenges The Identity Of American Culture In New Single ‘Other Than War’

Once-avowed “rolling stone”, 25-year-old indie-folk artist Logan Pilcher has since grounded himself in the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, Georgia.

His fingerstyle guitar picking technique along with his love and appreciation for the classic folk-inspired sounds of the 60s and 70s has had a definitive influence on his signature sound. However, amidst the ongoing pandemic, a newer sound for Pilcher has developed. 

From his bedroom quarantine came the self-discovery of wanting to try his hand as a music producer. About this experience, Pilcher says, “2020 forced a lot of us to slow down…I had forgotten what I wanted in life and what I was working so hard for. It all came to a head right as the nationwide lockdown hit.” This new, self-produced sound birthed his new single, “Other Than War”, which hit streaming services September 10th.

While Pilcher’s preceding music has been written from a more introspective angle, “Other Than War” is a bit different. Having been written during the pandemic, it comes as no surprise that this is a song with political undertones. The soft folk-pop track, with a sound similar to Novo Amor or The Paper Kites, examines the divisiveness of human beings and is a longing plea for unity and kindness.

We had the chance to chat with Pilcher to learn more about who he is as an artist, the new single, and much more.

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So where did you grow up, and who or what got you into writing and playing music?

I grew up in a small town in South Georgia called Ellaville. I come from a musical family. In a lot of ways I had no choice in whether I would learn an instrument or not. If I wanted to hang out with my brothers, I had to be able to jam. I started out on drums and after a backyard football incident, I broke my leg and was gifted a ukulele as a condolence from my little brother. This plus experiencing a Noah Gunderson concert created the dream of being more than just someone who knows how to play an instrument but also someone who creates songs and stories.

How would you describe your sound and style to those wondering what you’re all about?

My sound is mostly inspired by singer-songwriters from the 60’s and 70’s. I love artists like Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, and Simon and Garfunkel. I am not solely focused on music from the past but also have a respect for indie pop music from this day and age.

What does a day in the life of Logan Pilcher’s songwriting process look like?

Usually melodies and chord progressions come to me quickly when songwriting. On days where I am inspired most, I will conceive several songs in their beginning stages. I tend to write and complete songs in the order of the projects that I am working on. Some songs can be made in a day, other songs can take weeks or months for me to finish writing. I have found that I really don’t have a choice in the subject matter of my songs. I feel like I am starving for inspiration and whenever it comes to me, I grab hold of it and am grateful for the opportunity to create again.

So I was hoping you could talk about your new single, “Other Than War.” What’s the inspiration and influence behind it?

When writing “Other Than War”, I started off with a repetitive major scale guitar lick. To me, it felt very American. I immediately pinned the lyrics, “sunshine, french fries, life is such a breeze”. I remember spending time with this song in the middle of the pandemic when tensions were high politically. This song is a juxtaposition between the bright, happy mask that American culture wears and the darker truth that life isn’t a breeze in America right now. The goal in my writing is to challenge the identity of America. Are we bullies or are we kind? On a personal level and on a global level.

Where was it produced and who helped it come to life?

“Other Than War” was self-produced and recorded in my room as well as LaCrypte studios in Nashville. Only close friends played on this single and the rest of the album. Players as well myself include include: Conner Rogers, Blake Tallent, Andrew Blooms, Landry Lowrimore and Ethan Standard. This song was mixed by Hunter West and mastered by John Naclerio.

How do you know when a song is finished, and do you find it hard not to keep tweaking and changing things about it? Anything like that with this single?

I am guilty of getting lost in “demo land”. I will alter and change everything about the song and go down every rabbit hole until I find my favorite version. This process is very strenuous emotionally and creatively, but I find peace in knowing that the final version is my absolute favorite. Creating this single and album throughout the pandemic enabled me to stretch myself and become a better producer. I had the time on my hands so it was easy to make constant revisions to get that perfect sound I had in my head.

What does success as a musician and songwriter mean to you?

I feel like my answer to this question is constantly evolving. This has looked a lot of different ways throughout my career. I am no longer naive to the financial burden or brutal effort it takes to be a successful indie artist. I only wish to create and share my art with anyone who can appreciate and relate it to their own lives. Success right now is simply having the opportunity to share what I have created over the past year. The goal is that this will translates to live shows and future tours where I can connect with people face-to-face.

If you could describe your lifestyle as a musician in one word, what would it be?

Grateful.

What might fans expect from Logan Pilcher as we coast into fall, and frankly, the rest of the year?

Fans can expect a 10-track album titled, Most Days (I’m Trapped in My Bedroom Dreaming of a World I Don’t Know), coming October 1st. I will be releasing live videos and additional content online as well as doing a show on December 11th at the Smith’s Old Bar in Atlanta, GA. Early 2022, there will be an east coast, full-band tour that I will be announcing soon. Fans can get updates on social media as well as loganpilcher.com.

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