featured interview

louis logic When misery meets comedy Hip-hop's Jimi Hendrickx, anti-hero, Drunken Dragon aka Captain Lou El Wino, louis logic has ventured with his long-time associate JJ Brown to release his third full-length baby 'Misery Loves Comed' on Fat Beats, an album about relationships, a tear and a laugh, Giotto and a few drinks.

Wassup Louis? Firstly, is the title of your new album inspired on:
a) The book of I. Brunetti?
b) Fat Joe and NORE's 'Misery Needs Company'?
c) Life?

I didn't find the book until I looked around on-line for a review or two when the press advances went out. I don't know that I've heard Fat Joe and N.O.R.E. on a song together. I guess I'm not the best person to ask about rap records. I just have a fascination with double meaning, thus the titles of all my records.

What word play do you have in mind for your next album title?

That's a secret even I don't know.

One of the main themes in your music is girls, what are you lookin for in a girl?

I like a girl that has a cool enough personality that my buddies actually like her. I'm terribly fixated on breasts, although I don't see the point in having an amazing set and an arse which cannot be distinguished from the flat of your back. I notice teeth first and I can't deal with a space in front too. It's a weird thing I have. I believe bad hair can ruin a pretty face, and bad style can ruin your life. Lastly, I like a moderate degree of quirky unusual appearance. Classic beauty bores me to tears.

Could you say ?Misery Loves Comedy? is your most personal work to date?

I could say it's my most professional work to date, but that's not the same thing is it? No, I don't think I can say it?s the most personal. I get the impression people are taking it that way because it's more serious and chock-full of relationship material. I actually put the challenge to myself to get out of my own laundry basket and still convey sincerity on this record. I think it worked. People keep asking me about the personal nature of the content. I'm either a good writer or a great liar. Maybe both.

How would you compare this album to The Odd Couple album, also how's working with JJ Brown as opposed to workin with Jay Love?

Uh... I'd try not to compare the two. I mean, the Odd Couple record is a 50 plus minute sermon on the merits of complete and utter hedonism. There isn't a redeeming inkling in the entire thing. It's downright silly. It was supposed to be. That's what a thematic novelty is. We accomplished exactly what was intended. I think the new record was intended for an altogether different purpose, and so judging, its success must be done with a different scale in mind. I won't get into the differences between J.J. and Jay Love's work styles, suffice it to say that they are two people as dissimilar as any I've met, as North and South for that matter.

How did you meet JJ Brown?

I'll make this short and sweet. We met at a GAP clothing store and hated each other instantly. Five years later, we knew without a doubt that we'd never worked with another artist as fitting. That was all it took: the simple realization that we sounded better together than with anyone else we'd ever worked with. It was a simple matter of math.

You and JJ form a duo in the tradition of EPMD and Eric B & Rakim (where there's no external features or producers). Are there any other (classic) acts you been inspired by? What made you choose to go that route?

Any others? The question assumes that we were influenced by Eric B & Rakim or EPMD, which, while not entirely untrue, is a much less interesting piece of factoid esoteria than the fact that we always wanted to be like Hall & Oates or Simon & Garfunkel. Don't get me wrong. I'd be lying if I were to say that I didn't give J.J. a lengthy speech about how we should be like Guru & Primo to convince him to become a group. I did. It worked, but I still think we sound more like a rap Simon & Garfunkel than Gangstarr. Go figure.

I believe there was going to be a collabo effort with J-Zone, can we still expect that sometime?

My! You are well-informed. Unfortunately, J-Zone decided he didn't want to do an album with me. He, like I, tries to make decisions consistent with his own system of musical principal, regardless of how fans, critics or record labels feel. I respected his decision and opinion, although I disagreed with him.

What comedians are you diggin? I guess the Bill Hicks kind of comedians?

I love Bill Hicks dearly, of course. I've always liked Steven Wright. I'm kinda partial to that new fella, Dane Cook. With comedy, there are so many facets and subdivisions. I'm gonna stop here before I talk myself into a comedic circle and contradict the pants off myself.

The album leaked on the net, and immediately ?message board-kids? started to compare it to your earlier work. Do you hate such comparisons (as if artists are not allowed to grow, change,...)?

I don't think it's fair to resent that reaction. Listeners are entitled to their opinion, and as an artist you can stay in your little comfort zone if you're too thin-skinned to get a lukewarm reception. I think it's worth the risk. If you don't skimp on quality and effort, the majority of the kids will take the journey with you.

Your debut album also leaked before it was even manufactured, how scared were you the same thing was going to happen now?

The six songs from ?Sin-A-Matic? that leaked served as a first lesson in trust. I don't give my works in progress to anyone these days, so I don't worry about that.

Why did you decide to sign to Fat Beats?

I had faith in the team. They were building and I believed that this label would be more of a home than any I'd worked with before.

So wassup with Superegular Rec?

There is no more Superegular Records.

On the Fat Beats website you're stated to ?break down the barriers of hip-hop?, what do you understand with that and how do you feel you're accomplishing that?

I'm not entirely sure who came up with that phrasing, but what I think you want to know is what specifically I am doing to distinguish myself. Well, for one thing, I'm educating myself about music theory, learning voice and piano. Maybe my own adventures will inspire rap artists to demand more of themselves than rapping, making beats and DJ'ing. All that great music we make ours out of, requires serious dedication to musical study. I want to be a part of it, and I want to use what I'm learning to further the ambition of my work.

We checked at Amazon and people who bought 'Sin-A-Matic' also bought Viktor Vaughn (MF Doom) - Vaudeville Villain, Atmosphere - Lucy Ford, Cunninlynguists - Will Rap For Food and Brother Ali - Shadows Of The Sun, do you feel related with those artists?

Does having likewise consumers make us related? Is it that we all make indie rap records? I'm really not sure how I relate to my peers. Maybe I should get out more.

You're often in Europe, what's your view on the European fan crowd?

I love European touring. The crowd is filled with friendly, stylish and attractive people who don't want to shoot each other. Listeners trust their own tastes, not just the tastes of music video and radio station broadcasts.

What do you like about Europe in general?

It's pretty amazing driving to places as close as neighbouring states in my country and finding an entirely different culture. The architecture is awesome, and the landscape is so diverse. I love it. I'm a freakin' Europhile.

On a lyrical tip, you never collaborate, on a production tip you have only a few producers you work with, why do you stick with this formula of limited guest musicians?

The best explanation for my confined associations would be that I've been trying to concentrate on efforts that represent only the very best that I am capable of. I never want to do another collaboration just for money, name-dropping or the simple fuck of it. This stuff will last forever. I want to make it count.

What are your favourite rock groups of the moment?

My favourite artists of late are first and foremost, Rufus Wainwright, then, let's see, Regina Spektor, The Shins, Fiona Apple, Radiohead, Death Cab For Cutie and even though he's dead and he probably doesn't count as a recent artist, Jeff Buckley.

What makes rock so much nicer to listen to than hip-hop?

I think the necessity to choose your words very carefully in order to say something in a rock vocal appeals to me. I love how the songs evolve and change from the beginning of the arrangement to the end. It's certainly no small factor that I am an absolute sucker for a good singer with a distinct voice and a fuckload of charisma and/or mystique.

What was the first record you bought?

My first record was U.T.F.O.?s ?Roxanne, Roxanne?.

Does a Drunken Dragon spit fire or malt?

These days, the Drunken Dragon spits more saliva on stages and into wind screens than anything else. It's less fun and glamorous, but I've been touring and working so hard I don't get to go out binging like I used to. I can still put 'em away though. That's my true talent.

What's the best beer in the world? Do you recognize that Belgium got the best beer in the world?

I wouldn't profess to know the best beer in the world, but I think one might make the argument that the Belgians are the best brewers. It's an ancient tradition. I think they're a bit too sweet and sour for my palette, but as a long-time beer-tasting enthusiast, I can certainly recognize the amazing craftsmanship and brilliance of a good Belgian Abbey or Lambic. I'm just hooked on the bitters and darks.

Have you ever appeared drunk on stage?

I've been drunk enough to ruin a show before, and I promised myself I wouldn't cheat my audience like that again.

Do you drink when you write music?

I might have a few while writing.

Have you seen the movie 'Barfly' with Mickey Rourke?

Of course I've seen ?Barfly?. I have a copy in my DVD collection. It's superb.

What movies have you checked out lately and which one can you recommend?

Of late, I stumbled onto a few great cinematic finds. I'm loving ?It's All Gone Pete Tong? and this old Jack Nicholson flick ?Five Easy Pieces?.

What books have you read recently?

I'm reading ?The Fountainhead? by Ayn Rand at the moment and it's stunning. If you're patient enough to read a 700 page novel about the very worst and best in human spirit and architecture, I recommend it in good conscience.

So what's next for Louis Logic?

Next on the menu for me is an inhuman Fall tour schedule, including a European tour, and a side-project with me on the vox and a Danish production duo called Nick Nack on beats. After that, more Louis and J.J. It may sound funny since we just released our new record, but we've already started our new album. In another year and change, you message board computer cowboys will have lots to talk about.

Any shout-outs?

I don't really have anyone to shout. I'll just thank Belgium for it's amazing strides and history in brewing which have undeniable influenced the culture of beer as a whole. Cheers.



POSTED 06|01|2006
conducted by cpf

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