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INTERVIEW: LOGAN RASKIN of The Raskins, July 2016

| 18 July 2016 | Reply

Two years ago I was able to speak with Logan Raskin just before The Raskins launched their debut release on the world and on the brink of an opening spot on the Motley Crüe tour.  Looking back on that conversation, I was excited to speak with Logan once again, as they drop their new single in advance of their sophomore disc and a short tour with Ted Nugent…

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Logan: Hey, Todd.

Toddstar: Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule, man. I know you’re busy.

Logan: Hell, no. It’s my pleasure, man, believe me.

Toddstar: Let’s talk about what’s going on in the world of Raskin. It’s been a couple of years since I last spoke with you. You were out with Scott Weiland at the time and looking forward to the Motley Crüe tour. How much has the world changed for you guys in two years?

Logan: It’s changed quite a bit, actually. Back in 2014, we were in the process of releasing our debut album, and we were out on our own club tour doing that, and then we got the call to go out on the Scott Weiland tour, which was pretty exciting for us. We released a single leading up to that tour, which the single actually started doing really well. It started doing well on radio, and the video kind of went viral and had almost a million and a half views on it. From that tour, we were in the middle of touring with Saving Abel, and then we were waiting on the Motley Crüe tour, and then we found out that we were confirmed as the third act on there. We literally had like two weeks to prepare for that, and we hopped off the Saving Abel tour and onto the Motley Crüe tour, and did seventy shows with Motley Crüe, playing in arenas all across the United States, which was a trip. You go from playing clubs in front of five hundred people, then Scott Weiland in front of two thousand people, and then our first show was in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the Van Andel Arena, and we played in front of over eighteen thousand kids that night. That’s kind of what that tour was. That was an exciting year for us. Nevertheless the album did really well for us. After that tour, my brother and I took a few weeks off and then basically we went back into the studio for about eight months and recorded our second record. We actually ended up recording about forty demos and finalized fifteen of those. We’re going to have twelve tracks on the new Raskins record. We just released a single about a week and a half ago called “Never Too Late.” We started this summer off and we got asked to go out with Ted Nugent, which we’re actually in the process of right now. We’re about seven shows into that tour. Yeah, it’s an exciting time for the Raskins. We got the second record finished, and that was an exciting process for us. Being asked to go out on the Ted Nugent tour, for us was pretty much like, “I can’t believe it. A dream come true.” Getting to play with so many of these rock icons and then starting off with this new record and having the single release and then being asked to go out with Ted Nugent really has just been an honor. It’s been a great ride so far, and the shows have been going tremendously well so far on this tour.

Toddstar: That’s awesome. You mentioned the new single, “Never Too Late,” which is coming off the new album. When can fans expect to wrap their hands around the new disc?

Logan: What we’re probably going to do is, and we were going over this with our management team and agent as well, I think what we want to do is, we release this single. We’d like to release another single towards the latter part of the summer, possibly end of August, maybe beginning of September. When we finish with the Ted Nugent tour, we’re going to shoot the music video for “Never Too Late.” We’re going to release that. We’re going to release a follow-up single, and then the album is going to follow. The album’s going to drop probably in the fall of this year or early next year. I think that works best for us. It just kind of builds momentum coming into the new album and gives us an opportunity to work the singles with our local radio markets. This gets our fan base excited about the new upcoming album as well.

Toddstar: It seemed to work for you the last time out. You guys dropped a single three to four months out ahead of the album release last time, and it helped you build that momentum as well.

Logan: Yeah, yeah.

Toddstar: You’ve been lucky, just big names in your young career. How different do you guys prepare for a Ted Nugent tour than you do for a Motley Crüe tour?

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Logan: That’s a very, very good question, and the truth of the matter is, we don’t prepare much different. The Raskins, we’re a simple rock band. We’re relatively stripped down in the way we set up on stage and our sound. We don’t use a lot of effects. We don’t use a lot of pedals. We’re pretty much straight-forward rock ‘n roll, and that’s how we like it. You know what I mean? There’s not too much flash to us. Our music is simple and easy to digest, and that’s how we want the fans to perceive it. Basically with the Motley Crüe tour, we kept that same philosophy going in. Obviously that was a much bigger production, so for us it was just a matter of them telling us, “Okay, it’s time for you guys to load the stage,” and our crew would load the stage with our same setup that we’ve done on our club tours, that we did on the Scott Weiland tour, that we’re doing now on our Ted Nugent tour. It’s a philosophy that we tend to keep with and it’s basically a philosophy around our music, simplicity, easy to digest, and straight-forward rock ‘n roll, and the only difference is basically that we were playing, maybe on Motley Crüe … You’re playing in front of twenty thousand people. You’re playing the Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, whereas with Ted Nugent, you’re playing venues that can hold about twenty-five hundred or whatever. For us, it’s the same mentality. I get that same nervousness before each show, and we put on the exact same show. In my mind, I’m playing with Ted Nugent, so Ted Nugent is, for us, he’s a rock icon, and he’s someone we’ve looked up to musically. When the opportunity had come and they asked us, “Do you guys want to go out with Ted Nugent?” I knew personally, my brother and I, we knew it was going to be a great fit for us and something that we definitely wanted to do. Whether or not our agents or management or people surrounding us, I don’t know if they were 100% sure on it, but we were 100% sure on it. It was something that we wanted to do. We actually wanted to do this back in 2014. Ted was out touring as well, but we couldn’t because we were tied up with Motley Crüe that whole year. Yeah, the philosophy stays the same. It’s obviously a different kind of production, but as an opening act, basically you try to be flexible and try to work with the production team that’s on hand there. I think we do that exceptionally well. We did that well with Scott Weiland’s team. We did that well with Motley Crüe’s team and same with Ted Nugent. So far, it’s been going flawlessly for us. The shows have been great. Their production team is amazing. We hung out with Ted Nugent the other night. He sent his tour manager into our dressing room and said that, “Ted wants to hang out with you guys before you go on tonight.” I think this was in Orange County. We did a couple of shows at the Coach House in Orange County, California. Yeah, we hung out with Ted. We were talking about old school rock ‘n roll, his influences. He even sat down with my brother and was teaching my brother a bunch of guitar licks on guitar. I turned to my brother and said, “How cool is that, man? You just got a guitar lesson from Ted Nugent.” Listen, man, it’s like we’re in rock ‘n roll fantasy camp and the fantasy just keeps continuing for my brother and I. It’s been a dream ride and we just want to continue and keep pushing forward in growing the Raskin name and brand.

Toddstar: Awesome. You mentioned earlier, and you’re about halfway through, I think you had seven out of the sixteen shows wrapped up. Unless they wind up extending this, which personally I hope they do because Ted’s swinging through here in August. How is the new music coming across? I’m sure you’re peppering in a few of the new tracks.

Logan: It’s interesting, we basically have what we define as a Raskin sound, which is basically… it’s rock ‘n roll, it’s aggressive rock ‘n roll, but my brother and I, we sing and we harmonize together. The courses have a lot of hooks on it, and the fans really dig it. They dig the energy. They dig the vibe. They dig what we put out to them every night because we go 100%. We mix in a few covers as well, so we’ll throw in a cover at the end of the set list and we’ll possibly throw in a cover in the middle of the set. We do a Greg Kihn cover, “The Breakup Song.” The last couple of nights we did “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar, or we’ll throw in an Iggy Pop cover, something like that, something that if there’s some new fans out there or they’re not familiar with the Raskins, it gives them something that they can sink their teeth into and possibly sing along to. Surprisingly enough, there’s been a bunch of Raskin fans that come out to the shows and they’re familiar with us and our sound. We try to mix into our set list a couple of new songs from the new album, a couple of older hits from the debut album and throw in a cover or two there. It’s a well-balanced set for us, and it seems to be working for us so far, and the fans have been really digging what we’ve been doing.

Toddstar: Cool. You have the new album coming out at a date to be announced. How much pressure did you guys put on yourselves going into this, because with the last album, you guys had a Top 5 heat seekers album? That’s pressure on a band when they’re going to put out a sophomore. What did you guys do different or how did you handle that pressure?

Logan: There definitely is pressure, but the beauty of what it is that my brother and I do and the way we have everything structured is basically… We are our own record label, so we released the first album on our own record label and Sony picked up the distribution. Basically we’re doing the same this time. The reason why we do that is it gives us creative control with the album. We can take our time writing the album. We can write anything we want. We can take the album and the content in any direction we want. My brother and I, we’re perfectionists in our own right in regards to our songwriting. We put our time and our effort, and we took our time writing the second album. It took us about eight months, and everyone kept asking, “When are you guys playing out? When are you guys playing out? When are you guys playing out?” We said, “Soon, soon, soon, soon, soon,” but we wanted to make sure we got everything off our minds and all the ideas that we had that we felt we wanted to bring forward on the second album, and I think that we were able to accomplish that. Of course, the first album did relatively well and charted really well. We had two singles that charted really well. For us as a debut independent album selling a hundred thousand plus units, for us was a very big success. My brother and I want to try to duplicate that success but surpass it. The whole point of what we’re trying to do is to grow our fan base and to expand and to try to get our music out to the masses and to grow into bigger and different markets. Hopefully we’ll be able to do that. Listen, all you can do that the end of the day is give your 100% best, and I know what we do that and that we have done that. I felt like we’ve done that on this follow-up record. I feel like we do that every time we do a performance we give 100%. I think that the fans really seem to see that and feel that. Listen, we keep trying to grow and we keep trying to move forward and grow as a band. I think that we are accomplishing that thus far.

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Toddstar: Awesome. You’ve got the tour coming up. You’ve got the album coming out, your sophomore album. You guys have had some big tours, some great successes. If you had to pick one moment or one occurrence in your career so far, what’s the one thing you would go back and change?

Logan: Listen, my brother and I, even though this is our second album we’re on, we did our debut album in 2014, which really wasn’t that long ago, but people don’t realize that my brother and I, we were pushing at this for quite some time leading up to that debut album. We’ve had multiple bands that my brother and I had been in or that we put together, or projects that we tried to do that have fallen short or fallen by the wayside. Listen, along the way, you make mistakes. You make mistakes inside the music industry with certain relationships, with certain relationships involved with the music industry itself, but there was no one there to teach my brother and I whether or not my parents, both of them were in the music industry, but they were in the music industry at a very, very different time, and the music industry has changed tremendously. The only way you learn with anything in life is to step out, take a chance, take risk, and you learn from your mistakes. Let me tell you something. My brother and I have made plenty of mistakes – plenty. And we’ve learned from those mistakes. It’s part of the growing process and the music industry is a tough industry, you know what I’m saying? But the way the industry has changed via the internet, it has put the power back and the control back into the hands of the artist, and that’s where things changed for my brother and me, because the labels owned you. Seven years ago, they had all the control. You couldn’t make a move without them. Now you can put your own record label together and you can release your own records. You can record your own music. You can reach out to all your fans via the internet. Once my brother and I learned that, everything changed for us. Our whole world turned around, and we learned how to master the art of the internet, staying in touch with our fan base via the internet, recording our own music, learning about that process, learning how to do that, learning how to release an album on your own and promote it. Listen, it’s been a process. It seems like for most people that are familiar with the Raskins, they think it’s something that’s happened overnight, but it isn’t. It’s been a long, tough, interesting, exciting journey for us, and we continue to push forward and grow. Listen, we’ve been excited about the process, and we’re excited about the future to come.

Toddstar: Listen, Logan, I can’t thank you enough for taking time out for us and sharing everything that you have.

Logan: My pleasure.

Toddstar: Last time we spoke, it was a fun discussion. This time, the energy and the enthusiasm still oozes from you, so it’s cool that you haven’t been jaded yet, so that’s cool.

Logan: No way.

Toddstar: Listen, man, we wish you guys well with the “Never Too Late” single, with the album when it drops, and the tour for the next nine days.

Logan: Thank you so much.

Toddstar: Hopefully you’ll make your way to Michigan, and we’ll sit down and chat again.

Logan: That would be great. Todd, I really look forward to it. Listen, one way or another we will definitely be back playing in Michigan for sure, man. We love it out there.

Toddstar: Sounds good, brother. We’ll talk to you soon.

Logan: All right. Thank you so much, my friend.

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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