Alternative Friday

because great new music doesn’t always get the exposure it deserves

photo by Paul Blakemore

Run Logan Run are a Bristol duo made up of Andrew Hayes on saxophone & FX, and Dan Johnson on drums & percussion, and together they play a wonderfully heavy & instrumental mix of spiritual jazz. I’ve previously described them as being placed “somewhere between Melt Yourself Down and Yussef Kamaal“, but you can make up your own mind, as they’ve just released their debut LP ‘The Delicate Balance of Terror‘, which was recorded live at London’s Total Refreshment Centre. They’re touring the UK this month in support of the release, but they’ve also taken time to face a Q&A, so read on to find more about the duo, album, off stage style… and vegetables!

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~ What’s the background to Run Logan Run & how did you first meet?
Dan: We met at a funk/soul jam session about 3-4 years ago now. We started out as a strictly improv duo, but here and there ideas came up that we really liked so we decided to start incorporating composition as well.

We’ve both been in a bunch of bands/duos in the past and still play with other projects now. We both have a history of playing in a really broad range of genres, and I believe that this is one of the key factors when it comes to our music, we’re both open to everything.

We’ve both also done lots of solo work, Andy has a solo show coming up in June, and I have a solo tape that should be out towards the end of the year.

~ What’s your usual writing style, and how did the tracks for the album come together?
Dan: We pretty much write everything together in the practice room. Occasionally one of us may bring an idea to the table but most things come through improvising together.

Most of the album was written this way about two weeks before the recording was scheduled, and the last track ‘Cleansing’ was improvised on the last day in the studio, the version on the album is the first and only take of the track.

 

 

~ What did you find most challenging about making the album?

Dan: For me the biggest challenge was the combination of brand new material and only 3 days to record. The songs were so new, I didn’t feel like I was very good at playing them at the time, plus not having much studio time meant that I had to make some quick decisions re: composition/drum parts.

Andrew: I was super excited to be working with the guys at Total Refreshment Centre so I guess the the most challenging thing for me was to stay calm enough to get in the right headspace to play!

~ You’re touring the UK at the moment, so how would you best describe your live performances to someone who’s yet to see you?

Dan: The live show is where it’s at for me, the album is killer but it represents a time in space, it is what is is…the live shows are always evolving…the live shows are now, the album is then.

~ If you could add a third musician for a day, who would it be?

Dan: I think Keiji Haino or Suzanne Ciani would have cool ideas.

Andrew: Bon Iver because his voice is DEEP

~ Which spiritual/crossover jazz or heavier instrumental albums have influenced your sound?

Colin Stetson ‘New History Warfare Vol. 1, 2 & 3’
Pharaoh Sanders ‘Tauhid’, ’Journey to the One’
Alice Coltrane ’World Galaxy’
Sonic Youth ‘Evol’
Can ‘Ege Bamyasi’
Lightning Bolt ‘Wonderful Rainbow’
Boris ‘Akuma No Uta’
Pauline Oliveros ‘Deep Listening’
Fire with Oren Ambarchi ‘In the Mouth – A Hand’

~ If you were invited to curate a festival stage, what six artists would you invite to perform?

Andrew:
Black Pus
Nik Bartsch
Benjamin Clementine
Dan:
Julianna Barwick
BORIS
Ata Kak

~ Are there any other new bands or musicians local to you in Bristol, or wider south west area, that you recommend we check out?
Yes…
Hysterical Injury
Kuro
The Brackish
Yama Warashi
Greg Cordez
Modulus III
Mermaid Chunky
Harrga
Jesuits
Thought Forms
Harpoon
Bloom Collective

~ What’s the most impressive thing either of you can cook?

Dan: I’m just happy that I like to eat vegetables now!

Andrew: I used to cook quite good but my girlfriend has ruined me. She spoils me rotten with amazing food all the time.

~ Your music is instrumental, however what song / guilty pleasure would you sing at a karaoke?

Andrew – Fleetwood Mac ‘Go Your Own Way’.

Dan – Ariel Pink ‘Feels Like Heaven’ it’s not a guilty pleasure, I just love it.

~ Which other double act best resembles the two of you (off stage)?

Dan: First one I thought of was Scooby & Shaggy, it made us laugh.

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