Oni Logan has a stellar history as a performer. Multiple albums and EPs with Lynch Mob and a long time vocalist with the Dio Disciples. Oni sat down with Shockwave before his set at M3 to discuss Lynch Mob’s latest release, his memories of Ronnie James Dio and his time away from Lynch Mob.
Shockwave: We’re sitting here with Oni Logan from Lynch Mob and thank you so much for taking some time with us.
Oni Logan: Thanks for having me.
I wanted to start off with the new record that you just put out with Lynch Mob.
Yeah, we put out Rebel but that was last year. It was August so it’s been some months but it’s a great album. Of course, I’m sure I’m going to say it’s a great album but we’ve managed to put out a nice stellar album and some solid songs and we’ve been touring it and playing some of the songs off of Rebel and we look forward to doing another one.
Awesome. Is the current band that’s performing with you today, the same band that recorded the album?
No, we have Sean McNabb on bass and we have Jimmy D’Anda on drums from the BulletBoys and they didn’t play on that particular album. We had Jeff Pilson (bass) and Brian Tichy (drums) on that. We just brought in Jimmy and Sean into the fold less then five months ago. They’re great musicians and we plan on doing another album with them.
So, you’ve done work with Lynch Mob at M3 before as well as with the Dio Disciples. How has this festival always been for you?
I’ve always had a great time here, to be honest with you. Granted, today, the weather is whatever it is, the Baltimore blues here with the rain and cold but that’s alright. The last time we were here we did it with the Disciples and that was a beautiful day and we played the main stage and that was fantastic. Playing Ronnie’s (James Dio) music and honoring his legacy with the Dio songs and the Rainbow songs is a great honor for me to do that.
Does Dio Disciples typically run as a solo singer? I saw you guys a couple years ago at House of Rock in White Marsh and I don’t know if you particularly remember that gig because it’s a small little club but anyway, you were doing it as a co-singing show with Ripper (Tim Owens.)
Yes and that’s the way it was planned to be for the Dio Disciples because there’s not one singer that can fill Ronnie’s shoes. So, Wendy Dio’s (Ronnie James Dio’s widow) choice and decision was to have two singers because there’s no one singer that could ever replace Ronnie. She wanted to have family involved and I knew Ronnie since I arrived in LA in 1989. He produced my first demo. Wendy was my first manager and we’ve kept in contact and we’ve shared holidays together with Ronnie and Wendy and I was sort of a constant in that family and clan.
What was it like recording the Dio tribute album (This Is Your Life) that came out a couple years ago? It’s a really stellar record.
That was fantastic! Brian Ticky on drums, Rowan Robertson, who played with Dio when he was sixteen on the album, Lock Up The Wolves.
We love Rowan! We’re buddies with the Bang Tango camp. We love those guys. [Laugh]
Fantastic! He’s such a beautiful soul. We talked, pretty much, every other week between Rowan and I. I’ve known him since he was sixteen, when he came to play with Ronnie. So, now he’s up there and we won’t mention where because I’m up there even more. So, when he arrived into LA, I was one of the first people he met and we continued to be friends throughout all these years and that was ’89, ’90. But, Rowan’s played some Dio Disciples gigs when Craig (Goldy) can’t so it’s a family affair.
Everybody that knew Ronnie in some shape or form played on that album or had met Ronnie. For me, the recording was fantastic. I chose that song only because I felt it was handed down to me by his spirit. Wendy asked me if I wanted to participate in the album and I was, “Well, Yeah!” [Laughs] She’s got all these cats like Rob Halford, Glenn Hughes and everybody on this album and he asked me what song I’d like to do and right away I said, “I.” I’d never sung the song before but I knew that happened to be one of Ronnie’s favorite songs of the whole Black Sabbath period but that was one a later album Dehumanizer. So I picked that song and we got Brian Tichy on drums and we got Jimmy Bain on the bass, the late, great Jimmy Bain, and Rowan Robertson who did a fantastic job and I just had to step up and give it all I’ve got for that song and I thought it came out pretty good.
Getting back to Lynch Mob, you are and were the original voice of Lynch Mob when the band started. I wanted you to talk a little about your decision to depart the band for a while and what brought you back to the fold.
I think that we came to a decision, both parties, that I should maybe do something else and I just left. The next thing I knew, I had a deal with Atlantic, with Rowan Robertson in a band we had called Violets Demise and we did the album with Dave Jerden, the producer of Dirt (Alice in Chains,) Jane’s Addiction and I was off and I didn’t come back. Then we resurfaced, George (Lynch) and I, I think, in ’97 to do an EP (Syzygy) and then I moved to Europe for about seven years and I came back in 2010 and we started working again. We did this album titled Smoke and Mirrors and that was with Marco Mendoza on bass and Scot Coogan on drums and we went out and toured there. We get together, we do other things and we get back together so it’s kind of a constant flux between George and I. He’s got projects, I’ve got other things to do but we like to keep it fresh. We come and go but when we collide together and the stars meet then we have something to say together and that’s basically our story. It’s not always a perfect marriage but when we’re on the honeymoon, it’s beautiful. [Laughs]
Absolutely. Oni, thank you so much for taking a second to talk to us.
Thank you, thank you so much.
Lynch Mob has tour dates booked solidly up to the Monsters of Rock cruise in early October.