By: Laura C. Anderson
SKYN sits down with talented up-and-coming musician, Logan Carpenter, and learns about his journey, his aspirations, and his new single, Fantasy HD.
It all began with four chords. That’s what our 25-year-old upcoming artist, Logan Carpenter says while strumming the thin strands on his vintage-style guitar. Dark inked script creeps out from under a fitted button down. Just below his collarbone is the word, “Actualize” in some sort of italicized cursive typeface. His nose is pierced, along with his ears, and his head is shaved on the sides while long blonde locks falling from his Mohawk shade his eyes. He’s bobbing his head in rhythm to the progression as he lets out a laugh and a big white smile finds its home on his face.
Carpenter was very young; maybe eight or nine, when he began plucking these four chords for the first time. He sat on his bed with a thirst for song writing he’d eventually learn would never be quenched as he learned how to play guitar. “I guess this was the first piece of music I ever created,” Carpenter recalls jovially.
His first instrument was the drums. Carpenter was six years old when one of his older brother’s band mates, and to this day close family friend, Pat Gerasia, gave him his old drum kit to fool around on. The drum set sat in his basement waiting for Carpenter to get home from school. He practiced his newfound passion everyday until he was skilled enough to fill in for his brother’s band, Lost Exit, at shows whenever Gerasia couldn’t make it.
“I was playing in local bars before the age of ten, which is hilarious to me thinking back,” Carpenter says before adding, “Pat now plays for a very successful band called Red Sun Rising and I could not be happier or more thankful for the inspiration and influence he brought to my young brain.”
Performing in local bars prompted Carpenter to progress musically. He picked up the guitar and began singing and writing his own songs around age ten. “I was in seventh grade when I started my first band, American Panorama.” Many other bands followed before Carpenter created his YouTube popular band, Restless Streets. “Ever since then I have been completely immersed in my music,” he recalls. His musical counterparts make up a large part of his story. For Logan, these are some of his closest friends and family, but to the world and his fans, they’re known as Restless Streets.
Restless Streets has been an active and ongoing part of Carpenter’s musical world for fifteen years now. As the lead vocalist, his pop/emo band toured all over the United States playing in hundreds of venues. The band name derives from where Carpenter grew up, in Albany, New York. The constant bustling and high-traffic noises associated with New York City seem to be a staple for the state because Albany’s downtown area is very similar. “No matter what time you’re out there are people around working, drug dealing, loving, fighting, drinking, and playing ball. This city never sleeps and we grew up with the sounds of its restless streets outside of our windows,” Carpenter says.
While Carpenter remains close with his band mates, who comprise of John Alund on bass, Brandon John on guitar, Brian Nellis on piano, and Aaron Uline on drums, he realized his passion was pulling him into a different direction. It all began when he was approached by his good friend, Randy Benitez, who Carpenter had the pleasure of touring with in 2014. Benitez sent him the track and in no time Carpenter was spit firing lyrics and humming melodies. It was an instantaneous attraction that birthed the finished product we know as Fantasy HD.
“My solo music has recently taken on a different attitude,” Carpenter admits. Since he can remember, he’s been writing acoustic music in his free time. Our aspiring famous musician would play songs for his friends and the girls he dated. With such positive feedback he felt the urge to create more. Today he draws influence from artists like Tory Lanez, Trey Songs, Mayday Parade, and The Japanese House.
“I think my new music is a mix of early 2000’s pop and emo music mixed with current mainstream R&B. I utilize hip-hop style beats and melodies with emotional, sultry inflections in my voice. My lyrics are also more involved and specific than current hip-hop, R&B, and rap. I don’t just speak about my bank account or how many women I can have sex with. I like to talk about real things that affect my life and mold me,” Carpenter says.
Carpenter’s vocal evolution paints a trepid story. After listening to Fantasy HD, its clear Carpenter’s music intercepts classic R&B and a newer-age rap. His newest single icons the shadowy and druggy ailments of R&B culture while splicing the hypnotic melodies commonly associated with artists like The Weeknd or Drake. Find out for yourself by checking out his new solo below.
You and me could be a late night special,
Or we could count green backs, god bless em.
Did you make out alright?
Did everyone treat you nice?
Stuck in the middle.
Do I regret it?
No, not even a little, I knew.
I knew what I was missing out on, yea.
I knew the second I pursued you,
I'd say some crazy shit to move you.
I'd lay you down and do what I do best.
But you don't know what I'm dealing with.
Am I so wrong to be feeling this?
I wanna hurt the ones who hurt the innocent.
Make em pay for it, make em pay for it.
I wish I saw the fuckers eyes.
I woulda drove to the house that night,
I woulda drove to the house that night.
I'd end up winning first prize.
A little word of advice,
You shouldn't have drove to my house that night,
You shouldn't have drove to my house that night.
I miss the calm of a cool white winter,
Fireside, sparks fly within her.
I've heard stories of the California weather.
Yea, the whole east coast doesn't know any better.
Yea, you learn so much when you've seen bad weather.
Yea, she only cane close cause she knew I would let her.
Say my name like you're proud of this,
Scream it out loud like an accomplishment.
I want to stay tucked away in these sheets,
Make your fantasy my reality.
You'll be screaming, oh yea.
Hands around my neck, oh yea.
Kissing on your chest, oh yea.
Fucking you the best, oh yea.
You'll be screaming.
Now I'm just glad this shit is done with,
and you, you're living life inside a cage.
Now look what good your fucking gun did.
You're eating dry bread when you could have had cake like me,
Could have had steaks like me.
Could have kept a good name like me.
You're dressed in black like me,
But you'll never be a thing like me.]
Carpenter has mastered a slick intimacy in his lyrics. Fantasy HD ends with the piercing line, “But you don’t know what I’m dealing with.’ At first the audience interprets this song the way we do any hip-hop/rap song – by assuming it’s about a girl, about a relationship gone wrong. And to some extent we aren’t too far off, but before we call this song a Taylor Swift mockup of love gone wrong, we peel back the layers of this single and hear so much more.
There’s a hidden dialogue Carpenter is expressing in this unnerving song. In his own words he’s, “inviting the audience into his life, taking them on a trip inside of his mind” when he performs. After divulging more and opening that safe space up to us, we learn the rollercoaster he’s been on this past year.
With grief in his voice Carpenter says, “I don’t write anything that isn’t based directly off events in my life. In this song I wrote about relationships and choices. I wrote about my heart and I related it to the last place I lived.” He went on to explain an unfortunate event that took place a little over a year ago in has last home.
“My housemates and I awoke at 3 am to two intruders in our house pointing guns in our faces, demanding our money,” Carpenter takes a moment to clear his throat before continuing, “This event obviously had a profound effect on me, my sense of security, and my perspective of the people living in this world. Someone breaking into your home is very similar to someone breaking into your heart. You often don’t have much control over who enters and you’re often left a different person once they are gone. I became very guarded after that night - both romantically and physically.”
Fantasy HD evolved from an event we can only assume would leave most people a shell of their former selves. Not Carpenter, though. He took tragedy and essentially made it art. This song brings us through such an intimate struggle we can all relate to – the struggle of deciding whether or not to open our hearts up again, feel vulnerable, and let the outside in. This makes sense given the darker, thrilling, and eerie reflections we can hear in Fantasy HD.
He writes his own lyrics and finds much needed solace in singing them to the beat of a track he truly connects with. His voice expands and collapses in Fantasy HD as he delivers a solo reflection of insecurities, fears, and lost innocence pleasured by his devotion to those he loves and the constant fight he endures to keep them safe.
Carpenter promised himself he’d never let anyone come in and hurt him or the people he loves ever again. It was through his music and the support of his friends and family he was able to find the strength and confidence he lost down the barrel of a gun. Carpenter says his family and friends have been his life support through all the battles he’s faced over the years – both in his music career and personal life.
“They are the most amazing people on Earth,” Carpenter says in regards to his support system. His mother, father, two brothers, and younger sister are undeniably a huge part of his life. Luckily for Carpenter he’s also blessed with incredibly supportive fans from all over the world. He receives kind words and uplifting drawings and pictures from places like Australia, Japan, and Indonesia.
For our young musician it isn’t the compliments feeding his desire to make music and art, it's watching people act kindly towards one another. “I’m very happy to know such wonderful people exist. I find peace in the fact that I have been lucky enough to meet so many genuine, loving people in my small city alone. I can’t help but believe there are thousands of other people with hearts just like ours around the world. That is why I am so eager about traveling the globe while sharing my music,” Carpenter says.
Though he’s enthusiastic to share his passion with the world, he hasn’t forgotten the countless hurdles he’s faced throughout his years as an artist. “I think everyone experiences hardship no matter what they are doing. The music industry is exceptionally cold and unforgiving, however. Like many entrepreneurs starting their own business, nobody cares about your passion like you do. You really need to have tough skin and be willing to persevere in the face of rejection and failure.”
And that’s exactly what Carpenter continues to do – persevere. In every way, our hipster musician embodies the identity of the poster child for hard work and dedication. He’s on his way to the top and he won’t stop until he gets there. His motivating factors include his desire to make music as a full time career and buy back his parent’s old house, which they were forced to sell.
As his fingers, which are calloused from years of strumming, glide against the strings on his guitar he looks up with a pure smile in his eyes and says, “I live my life as a song. Everything I do has a rhythm, it comes from my soul.”
Below is our sit-down interview with Logan, where you’ll learn more about this artist, his decision to pursue solo music, and what makes him who he is today.
SKYN: Let’s start simple; tell us who Logan Carpenter is.
LC: I am a compassionate, excited, inspired individual. I try to see the positivity in everything each day. If you see me without a huge smile on my face, I’m either dead, or asleep – and even then I’m usually smiling. I feel lucky to be alive, and to be surrounded by music, friends, and a beautiful family.
SKYN: How would your friends describe you?
LC: My friends would probably describe me as an energetic, funny, and confident person. I like to make my friends laugh and I rarely hold back from voicing my thoughts as they arrive in my mind. I say some pretty outlandish shit fairly often. I create scenarios a lot of the time and take them way too far when telling my friends about them. I think my friends love me a lot and I love them. I have a very real, honest core group of friends. I am comforted by the fact that I have such great people supporting me.
SKYN: What are the most important things in your life?
LC: The most important things in my life are the people I love, and care about. I would be absolutely lost if anything were to happen to anyone that I love. My friends and family are an enormous contribution to my constant happiness, and enthusiasm to live each day to the fullest. I live my life through music, so its presence in my life is incredibly important to my well being.
SKYN: Tell us, what makes you unique?
LC: I truly care about everyone and I make a conscious effort each day to show people whether I know them or not that they are loved and cared for. I want everyone to know they are special and they deserve to be happy like me. Everyone who is breathing has a REASON to be happy. I strive to get people to open their eyes and look around at all the beauty that each day holds. Our world is mesmerizing, terrifying, gorgeous, and miraculous. I believe my soul is very young, and playful. I’m lucky that I am able to preserve that youth.
SKYN: I can see you’ve got a lot of tattoos. How many do you have and what do they all mean?
LC: I have five tattoos: Actualize, RS, One Life, Pineapple, & Together.
Actualize (chest): I got this tattoo when I was 19 years old and it was my first. I got it done at dead presidents lounge in Albany, NY. I got this done so that I would wake up every day and be reminded that nothing in my life will happen unless I make it real. Self-actualization in a nutshell is to reach your highest potential. The key to success is perseverance, doing whatever you can to make your thoughts and dreams your reality.
RS (right thigh): Ashley McMullen in Clifton Park, NY did this tattoo. Ashley was featured on Spike TV's "Ink Master". I just got this tattoo with my boys from Restless Streets. We all wanted to carry a piece of our band with us wherever we go as a symbol of our commitment. I had three baby pigs jumping on me the whole time it was getting done which was both adorable and terrifying due to the fact that a tattoo is a painful open wound.
One Life (ankles): I like words, and I love my life. I wanted these tattoos because I always want to be conscious of the fact that we only get one chance to live the life we dream of. I got these done at Dead Presidents Lounge in Albany, NY.
Pineapple (left thigh): This tattoo was a very spontaneous decision. I was with my girlfriend and one of our good friends at our work having a pineapple cider (delicious). We were so passionate about them that after about 3 or 4 we decided to walk to the local tattoo shop, Modern Body Art and get a pineapple etched onto our skin for life. The tattoo artist's favorite things to tat are pineapples, so we totally lucked out with that.
Together (right ribs): I got this tattoo after class the other day. This is the title of my band's new album. I love this word and there are so many different ways you can look at it and think about it. I decided a half hour before I left class that I was going to go get it done and an hour later Sean from Shocker Tattoo in Albany had his needle blasting my ribs. I'm very stoked to have this as a part of my body.
SKYN: You seem to be really energy sensitive and all about positive vibes, have you always been this way?
LC: I have always been the person that my friends come to. I feel like I have a strong capacity to listen to people and retain what they are telling me. I am able to break things down with people and simplify the issues they are struggling with. I love everyone and I always strive to be an energetic, happy person simply because I am capable of making myself happy. I view my happiness and positivity as a gift and I feel like I have an obligation to spread that positivity as far and wide as I can. There are many people who cannot get over humps in their lives and they continuously struggle. I am blessed to be able to help those people and lift the weight off of their chest with my positive notions and my open heart.
SKYN: Outside of music, what are your hobbies, other interests?
LC: I honestly love spending time alone. I am a very busy person and I’m often running around checking things off my list every day. When I have the chance I love to sit and meditate. I find comfort within my thoughts and it’s nice to just take in the silence. If it is warm outside you’ll always find me barefoot, most likely with my guitar in hand. I also love writing poetry and spending time with my family and my incredible group of friends. I’d say camping, boating, hiking, and drive-in theatres are all some of my favorite leisure activities.
SKYN: Okay, now we can dive into the good stuff. What made you fall in love with music?
LC: I really don’t have a great answer for this question. I don’t think there was ever a point where I fell in love with music. Music makes me feel things that nothing else I’ve experienced has. I feel like the only way I can express the true feelings I have for something, or someone is through music.
SKYN: Which artists inspire you most?
LC: I am incredibly inspired by the late Freddy Mercury of Queen. Not only was Freddy one of the most incredible performers I’ve ever heard both live and on record, he was also fearless. I learned from this man that the only way to find true happiness is by being yourself and doing the things that you love. People loved Freddy for who he was and he didn’t put on a face for his audience. When you feel free to do as you please and people love you for it, you are able to give them exactly what they came for…THE REAL YOU. I think living your truth, and being adored for doing that, is not only inspiring to so many, it is the definition of true peace, and happiness.
SKYN: What does performing mean to you?
LC: Performing gives me the ability to connect with people. Many people have a hard time sharing feelings or talking about the problems they face. I know I have felt trapped and alone before. I have felt as if I was the only person in the world dealing with something and no matter who I talked to they wouldn’t understand, or they would criticize my suffering. Music is something that can let someone know that they are not alone in their feelings and there is someone else out there, even someone that they look up to who is dealing with the same thing. I don’t even have to know anyone or see anyone for them to hear my music, relate to it, and ease their mind knowing there is someone else out there going through the same thing, and they are not strange, or crazy, or alone. Performing to me means connecting, and relating to beautiful people.
SKYN: Do you have a favorite memory performing?
LC: I remember the first time I got to lay down on the crowd and have them surf me around the venue while performing. We were in Atlanta, Georgia at a venue called “The Masquerade”. That was a pretty exhilarating moment. Musicians always thank people for their support, but I got to thank my fans in a very literal sense for supporting me that night.
SKYN: We have to ask. What prompted the solo career?
LC: I have always written music separate from my band since I started playing music. I usually keep it to myself, and I’ve got quite the catalog of music on my laptop that dates back years. I think it keeps me fresh, and it keeps my mind functioning musically. I recently decided to start releasing solo music because I’ve been getting better and I think I finally found a direction that I would like to head in with my own style.
SKYN: Describe the dream gig.
LC: I have always said to my friends that going out on a run with Taking Back Sunday would be a very climactic, fulfilling accomplishment for me. They have always been a timeless favorite, and an enormous influence of mine, and I don’t think that will ever change. There are so many things that I’d like to do with my music, but that is one that always comes to mind whenever anyone asks me a question like this.
SKYN: Where do you see yourself with your music career in five years?
LC: Hopefully I’m selling out arenas across the globe. I want to buy my parents old house back for them to live in, and I want to create music as a full time career.
To keep up with Logan and Restless Streets hit the links below:
@loganatrest | @restlessstreets
Laura C. Anderson | @s0mebl0nde
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