Interview: Kenny Loggins


Zooglobble: What did you listen to as a kid?
Kenny Loggins: Well, my parents tried "What's Up, Doc?" But I had big brothers, and so I listened to Bob Dylan, Buddy Holley, the Rolling Stones. I listened to Dick Huggins, who had a rockabilly show. I'd listen with the covers over my head at midnight. He played early R&B -- "forbidden music." There's was a joy sharing that with my big brothers.

Eventually I came around to James Brown, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino...

Tell me about how you got into the kids music genre...
I remember that after Leap of Faith, Danny, my executive at Sony called me and I said I wanted my next album to be Return to Pooh Corner. He said no, but I insisted.

I had a real clear picture in my mind of what I wanted to do. The secret to calming the child is calming the mother. Is it possible a parent could love something as much as my kid?

The album became the biggest-selling kids' album of all time -- I hit the adult audience, too. I got thank you notes from Quincy Jones, Don Henley.

Right now the kids music genre is still defining itself, figuring it out through trial and error. It's so unclearly defined that I don't completely trust the definition.

What was the inspiration for the new album?

KL_with_kids_lowres.jpgWell, I wanted it to be more uptempo than Return To Pooh Corner, which was scarier. The material had to be material that people would know, trust and love so that parents would enjoy it too.

You sing a couple songs with your daughter Hana - how did that come about?
Well, I noticed how good she was when she sang the jump rope scene on the Feist song. The more she sang on the album, the more sophisticated she got. By the time we got to "First There Is A Mountain," the last cut we recorded, there was a huge difference.

What were your favorite memories from the session?
The kids loved coming into the studio. They're not professionals, they're kids. Not like KidzBop, where it's "record for 3 hours, union break at 3."

I loved making this album. We did it in 2 1/2 months, the fastest ever for me. "Go with what you know," as they say...

I bought an Rickenbacker bass off eBay -- we mixed in some Beatles songs (like "And Your Bird Can Sing" at the end of "Two of Us").

How about the cover of Mika's "Lollipop", which could be interpreted in a very kid-unfriendly way...
Yeah, I liked the song, tried to come up with an idea of how to fit it appropriately on the album. It was the subject of a lot of debate with the label president. Finally, I asked Hana what she thought the song was about, and she said, "If you try too hard, you won't find love."

It's sort of like "Hound Dog," which I hear as pure joy. That's how a child experiences song.

What's next?
Well, I'm already collecting ideas for the next kids album, writing a little at a time -- it'll be a lullaby album. I want it to be a double album, 20 songs, with 10 of them new. I want to record "Because" with Hana, my daughter Bella, and a friend.

We've also got the Loggins & Messina second reunion tour, and we're working that out now.

My last album, How About Now, was an emotionally difficult one. This [the lullaby album] is where I'm going.

Photo credits: Pamela Springsteen