Logan Mader has faced many challenges over his two decade plus career in music. Whether it was coming up the ranks with a much talked then new bands like Machine Head or Soulfly, or his many studio production projects, he has found his way around each situation and helped shape their sound into what is now heard publicly.
He spoke about the creative process behind the album, and how he managed to write and record songs while he still maintains a busy schedule in the studio at the same time.
“It’s happened real fast. We initially had three songs over the course of two months. It was done sporadically. It was in between jobs I was doing. I would get together and write with Lauren. We did actually four songs over a short period of time in May/June 2014, and then I shopped it in the summer time. I got this demo together and put a band together and shopped it to seven record labels. Six of them passed on it and one said yes and they believed in me. They were getting it,” he explained.
He bucked the trend of joining the stereotypical supergroup model for collaborating with younger, hungrier musicians who are driven to find success. Considering the circumstances behind maintaining a new band, he likes the potential he is working with in Once Human.
“It’s a real brand new band in that respect. These guys are doing it for the first time. There’s something special about that because I got to do that for the first time with my first band Machine Head. It was huge and amazing. That inertia, inspiration, dedication, and willingness to get out there and do it for passion…and passion is first.”
“I would get a bunch of guys that were more experienced and older. It’s not as easy to hold it together. At that point they have other bands and other responsibilities. They’re just hungry and ready to get in a RV and tour. It feels good. I want that around me. It’s a new experience for me too.”
While he is no stranger to shopping various musical projects to recording labels over the years, he quickly learned the realities of getting a new band signed and where he needed to be in order to make it happen. Even a guy as connected as Mader found various roadblocks along the way, and things became tougher than expected.
“After a while there was a lot of rejection. I was quite discouraged actually. I did shop it prematurely. Normally a band in 2015 can’t just make a demo and shop it and think you’re going to get a record deal, even if you have history and reputation like I do. It’s not easy to make that happen. Your band has to grind it out for two years and play shows in their local scene and then try to get on some tours and have to have social media numbers and an existing fan base and a story. We had nothing. No announcement of the project and no social media. We had never played a show. We just had the music and my name and this amazing frontwoman on it. So I can’t blame them.”
“Monte [Conner] wanted to sign it actually. He liked it but his bosses at Nuclear Blast in Germany didn’t want to do it. So he was the first person I got it to. I have a lot of history with Monte as well, and Nuclear Blast is a great label. I’d like to be on that label.”
“For the rest of the labels, the main thing I got was that it didn’t really fit into any kind of currently trending subgenre of metal. You can’t put your finger on what it is. I think it is pure metal. It’s heavy as fuck. It is whatever it is. It is what we were feeling at the time or feeling right now, like being the guitar player, our collaborative energy as a creative team – it’s our souls. It’s real and we feel it. It’s a passion project. I don’t think anyone’s gonna get rich off of it but I feel really fulfilled creatively about it and I’m happy playing it.”
He eventually found a home for Once Human in EAR Music, and Mader talked about their new home.
“EAR Music in Germany – it’s Edel Music Group which is a pretty big European label and they have good info structure for distribution and with a team of marketing. The guy who runs it used to work at Roadrunner in Italy when I was signed to Roadrunner in Machine Head many years ago. He took a chance on this thinking and believing something good will come out of this. I think he was right. Once we got the green light for the record deal, then he put the pedal to the metal and started writing the rest of the album. The first five songs on the album were all written after the deal offer came. A few of the songs were…I feel like really were starting to find our groove and our sound, and started to define our own identity more so than on our first couple of songs that we wrote.”