Interview Logan Thompson, guitar tech & stage manager for TBSD

Logan Thompson at Graspop Metal Meeting
Logan Thompson at Graspop Metal Meeting, just before the show. Photo credit: Maron Stills

Today we have the chance to ask Logan Thompson some questions. Logan is the guitar tech and stage manager for Tyler Bryant And The Shakedown (TBSD) and it’s because of him that we can enjoy every show and that’s why he deserved this week’s blog!

Logan, first of all, thank you for making some time to answer my questions. Much appreciated!

So can you tell us a little bit on how you got the job?

Persistence! I became aware of Tyler’s music before they were even named the “Shakedown” thanks to the digital age we live in where new music is so easy to stumble across. I discovered their music on YouTube and never looked back. I felt that they were special in a time where all the rock music on the radio sounded almost exactly the same to me and I started attending shows whenever they were within driving distance. Going to shows turned into hanging out, which turned into helping them load their gear in and set up, which led to being convinced to move from Cleveland to Nashville to officially start working with them.

How long have you been working for them?

October 30th, 2018 is what I consider to be my five year anniversary with the Shakedown, as that was the first show on the Kiss Kruise that we ever ran guitar switches. However, I’ve been hanging around for six or seven years now.

What has been the most stressful moment you had on the road?

There are a number of different stressors on the road. Lack of sleep, being away from loved ones, not having space to set all the gear up, etc.

February 14, 2016 in St. Paul, MN on the AC/DC Rock or Bust tour – Greg Howard, Stevie Young’s guitar tech extraordinaire and amp wizard over at 3 Monkeys, gave us a noiseless cable for Tyler to try out, this is before we went wireless. Everything through soundcheck was fine, my pre-show line check was fine, but between my line check and the band hitting the stage, that cable had died so when Tyler went out nothing came out of his amps when he played. Instead of having the thought to just change out the bad cable, we went to the extreme and just plugged his loom (the bunch of cables that go from pedalboard to amps) right from his amp directly into his guitar. He didn’t have any of his effects and wasn’t as mobile as he usually is, but it ended up being a good show regardless. During a live situation you don’t always have time to troubleshoot so you just have to go with a solution you know will work.

What is the most beautiful moment you had on tour?

Being on tour is full of beautiful moments but probably my favorite is making new friends, exploring new/different cultures, trying new food, sharing new experiences, opportunities, accomplishments, and seeing new places with my brothers. As Tyler sometimes says – we starve together and we feast together. I am very grateful for the feast over the past couple of years.

Logan Thompson_2
Logan taking good care of Tyler’s Stratocaster. Photo credit: Robby Klein

What’s the biggest mistake you made as a guitar tech? How did you and the band get along with it?

June 1, 2016 – Leipzig, DE on European leg of the AC/DC tour: I forgot to turn Noah’s bass rig off of standby before the show and he went out and had nothing. He fixed it on his own and we talked about it after the show. I only need to make that kind of mistake once and I learn my lesson.

There has also been a few instances where I’ve brought out the wrong guitars or the guitars weren’t in the correct tunings. I only need to make mistakes like that once or twice before they never happen again.

What part of the job you love the most?

I really enjoy all the travel and the opportunity to work with bands that I grew up loving and still love to this day. As someone who is still relatively new to this line of work, their crew members have been a wealth of knowledge and have all been willing to teach me from their personal touring expertise.

And of course there’s this one to follow, what part do you hate the most?

I don’t know that there any part that I ‘hate’ but sometimes we find ourselves in new places that I don’t get to explore because there is work that needs to be done, which is just part of it. We’re here to work… it’s certainly not a party all the time.

Up until now, what has been your favorite country or city that you have been to with the band?

In the US, I love going to the Pacific Northwest: Washington state and Oregon. In the EU I really like Prague. But special shout out to Belgium, as one of our biggest shows ever was in Werchter and we’ve gotten to do some really great festivals there… and I love Belgian fries.
And now the last question. If you were not working for TBSD, what job would you be doing right now?

Before I started working for the Shakedown, I was a medic in the US Army for 8.5 years and I do miss it sometimes. I’d probably still be doing that or working in some capacity in the medical field.

Thanks for making some time to answer these questions and wish you all the best!

Why did I interview Logan? Well, a band needs a good, hard working man behind them to make everything possible. Because I really love Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown I thought it was time to shine a light on their silent force.

-Tom.

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