Logan "Element" Howard on Whether or Not He's Retiring from the Turntables
In December, local turntable institution Logan "Element" Howard dropped a major bombshell on New Year's Eve: After 16 years of wowing crowds with his skills, he was finished with the DJ biz, saying, "It's time to call it quits." As in done-zo. Retired. Over and out.
Nightfuse Logan Howard in his element.
A few weeks later, in mid-January, Howard announced he had one more gig in his arsenal and it would take place at the Blunt Club in Tempe. He even implicitly stated it was considered to be his "final show in AZ."
Apparently, he changed his mind and re-thought the whole retiring thing (especially after an outpouring of support from fans and fellow DJs), which might be why he started calling Thursday night's Blunt Club gig "The Rebirth of DJ Element." But then again, maybe he hasn't.
Confused? So were we when speaking with Howard via telephone recently and trying to nail down specifically whether he's hanging up his headphones.
Though DJs are no strangers to changing their minds about life-altering decisions (Remember when William Fucking Reed was supposed to move to NYC? Or Anthony "Hartbreaks" Hart for that matter?), Howard seems genuinely conflicted (and conflicting) about whether or not it's gonna happen. Decide for yourself when reading our interview below.
So was last night's event called The Rebirth of DJ Element
I actually couldn't find a fitting enough title, so I didn't know what to call it. I thought putting retirement on it sounded like I was 70 or 80.
Is it rebirth in the sense that you're moving on to other things?
Yeah, other things such as production, other avenues that I could pursue with music and not always being behind the turntables.
Why did you decide to do step away from DJing?
I just thought it ran its course. To be honest, it's almost like reinventing myself, I guess you could say. I don't have a deep, serious meaning behind it. At the same time, I didn't want to give anybody false news, but a lot of people have been asking about it.
What sort of reactions have you gotten?
Well, I went to a few places -- like, a friend of mine, Akshen, was teaching a DJ class near Metro Center at [Cyphers: The Center for Urban Arts] and I was his guest for their final class. And I didn't realize that a lot of these kids even knew who I was. I'm not saying they weren't supposed to -- I know they have Internet and stuff -- but I didn't think I was that big of an influence.
Yeah. So I had all these questions coming at me and I didn't realize [that] aside from playing clubs, shows, concerts, tours -- just anything that came across -- that it's almost that I realized that I inspired so many -- not just my age bracket, but even the younger generation -- to get into DJing. So it woke me up in a sense [that] I have a bigger responsibility to teach the . . . next generation.
So are you going to start teaching classes?
I'm not going to be teaching classes at [Cyphers]. I was actually going to start my own. But I was still looking into venues and figuring out the ins and outs. I have a manager, so along with her, she was helping me out. But at the same time, a lot of other things started to pick up, so I realized I couldn't walk away from this. So again, it came full circle of, "Do I really want to call this quits?" And I had a lot of people calling me talking to me. Z-Trip was one of them.