Originally from Kansas, but now calling Nashville home, Logan Mize has broken out in a big way with his current single, “Can’t Get Away From A Good Time.” Newly signed with Sony, he released his debut EP with the label, Pawn Shop Guitar, on May 19th. Poised for a big 2015, Mize kindly took the time to talk about the album, being a “new” artist and more.
It has been a few years since we heard new music from you. Congratulations on the release of the EP, Pawn Shop Guitar.
Thanks, I’m very excited to finally put new music out!
Pawn Shop Guitar is your first release with Sony. Was the process of making the record with a label much different from doing it independently?
When I was independent I felt like I had to beg people to work with me. This time around I have people who want to work with me, which is nice. It’s also great to be able to have the time when you are in the studio. Before, I was always on a budget and had to work fast to get things done. This time around, I had the time, which I used to really listen to songs. I changed players up a lot on the record, too. Previously, I kept it consistent and had the same band for the whole project, but I had a good mix of folks playing on this thing. I still played a lot of acoustic and electric guitar, but I had two different drummers, different bass players, and several guitar players. I rotated players to come up with different styles and sounds. It was a blast making this EP and I'm excited to get a full album out in the future.
What is the significance of the title of the record?
If you listen to “Thank God For You” pawn shop guitar is mentioned in one of the lines of the song. When I first moved to Nashville I didn’t have any money. I was working odd jobs here and there, but of course I needed a guitar. There were a lot of times I would have to go to a pawn shop where I was constantly trading things for a guitar, golf clubs, silver coins, whatever I could drum up to get a guitar so I could go play a $30 a day gig. I was always in and out of pawn shops, so I chose that as the title.
All of the tracks were written or co-written by you. Were these new songs or ones that you had in your pocket?
They are a collection of things that I had over the past couple years of writing. “Can’t Get Away From A Good Time” I wrote about three and a half years ago, but “Thank God For You” was a really recent song that we just barely got on the record. I wrote it with Blake Chaffin, Jon McElroy and Randy Montana. We really liked the demo and decided to put it on the EP.
Being that you are a happily married father of two, what is the story behind the song “Better Off?”
I wrote that with Casey [Beathard], who is a good friend of mine. I really liked the melody, thought it was really catchy and we just rolled with it. It turned out to be the first song we wrote together. It isn’t anything that I can relate to in my life currently, but I can definitely relate to it from past relationships and think probably others can, too.
The lead-off single “Can’t get Away From A Good Time,” was really championed by Sirius XM’s The Highway. Do you think their support of the song and how well it did on satellite radio was the catalyst for where you are now?
Yeah, definitely. John Marks was so good to me by playing that song. When I wrote it, I never thought in a million years it would do so well. When I turned it into my publishing company I thought they were going to laugh at me, but everyone loved it. Prior to that, I had a song, “Used Up” that XM played. I had thought that one was going to be “that song,” but it wasn’t selling quite as well. I wanted that song to be successful, but being that everyone is all into the party thing now, I gave “Can’t Get Away From A Good Time” to John and he loved it. I expected it to do well because of the nature of the song, but it’s kind of propelled me from independent guy to someone who is now on a major label.
You’re also the guy who has been named one to watch by the Huffington Post, Taste of Country and Spotify. Even though you have been making music for a while, you are considered by many to be a new artist. Do you feel like this is new chapter for you?
Yeah I do. I’m excited because I was so used to being in my own world [as an independent artist]. I’m getting used to being a part of Sony and operating under this umbrella. It’s so foreign to me to have people in your corner and setting things up; my manager Charly and I used to be the ones to do everything. It definitely feels like a new chapter. It’s nice, it’s very nice.
This year, you have played Stagecoach, and the Key West Songwriters Festival and will be playing at Boots on the Beach and CMA Fest. How has crowd reaction been to the music?
So far, it’s been a great reception, both at shows and at country radio. It doesn’t matter that I have been around, I’m happy to be the new guy. The reception has been so good that I am almost kind of worried--I feel like I need some haters (laughing).
Besides the live show, people can get to know you more through your video series, Road To A Good Time. Talk about that a little bit.
We did six or seven videos, short clips, and made a series out of them. I’m not the best at talking about myself, but I tried really hard that day. I don’t know if they’re any good, (laughing) but I figure that if there is anyone out there crazy enough to want to get to know this Logan Mize character, this is a pretty good way to do it.
In addition to the aforementioned festivals, what are your other touring plans for the summer?
We’ll be playing lots of fairs and festivals with some really cool artists. Last spring and summer we did our own tour and had seven breakdowns in my Dodge Sprinter. We moved into a bus in December. It’s been weird to get into a moving vehicle and show up at a venue with eight hours of sleep. I almost feel like I’m not working hard enough (laughing).
Is there anyone you would specifically like to tour with say, in the fall?
Of course I have a few in mind. I would love the call from Gary Allen to go on his tour. We’ve played some shows with him, but I’d love to go on a big tour with him. Dierks Bentley and Little Big Town would be great, too. They’re all really talented people whom I could learn a lot from.
Is there any recent release that you listen to while you are on the road whether in van, bus or car?
I listen to so many different things, but the most recent record I know of is Jon Pardi’s new one [The B Sides]. I just started listening to it this morning. I’d say go get that one.
Switching gears a bit, you are a Kansas Brand Ambassador. What are your responsibilities in that role?
It’s been something that I have really been enjoying. In fact, I just got in last night from Kansas. We were out filming some tourism videos to promote the state parks. Kansas is known as a flyover state, but it has so much history and so many cool destinations that people don’t know about. As an ambassador, I am helping bring some of those things to light and letting people know about the good stuff most people wouldn’t seek out otherwise.
So if I were going to Kansas, what is the one attraction that is a must see?
The Symphony in Flint Hills. It’s amazing. You can see for like, sixty miles in every direction. Every year they set up and have a symphony under a tent. This year Lyle Lovett will be performing. I have a show in New York that day, so I am going to miss it, but I am sure it will be epic. If there is one thing to experience in Kansas, I would say to do that.
For more information visit his official website
Find him on Facebook
Follow him on Twitter
Purchase Pawn Shop Guitar here