Musician learns from a ‘Restless’ development

Jenny Caulfield
Managing Editor

img_9105Jenny Caufield|The Hudsonian

Logan Carpenter is a full-time college student by day and a musician touring across the country by night.

25-year-old Carpenter has spent the last 10 years of his life devoted to his band, Restless Streets. Touring across the U.S multiple times and being signed to InVogue Records, Carpenter is often recognized by students and faculty across campus.

“We signed with InVogue and went on tour for, like, four years, and then we wrote an album for a year, but a bunch of shit went wrong with our record label,” he said.

Although they had a good run with touring and writing, Carpenter and his band started having doubts. Carpenter, along with the rest of his bandmates, started to learn the dangers of being musicians.

“We kind of pulled back the reins after we learned about the music industry and realized what it was really about and like,” he said.

With their new lives as touring musicians not going as planned, Carpenter was struggling to keep up with the demands of the business. “[Things] like how hard it is on the road, how hard it is to be in a band and the dangers of being in a band. If you’re not constantly gaining momentum, gaining success and making money, you’re kinda fucked,” said Carpenter.

With tensions high and the stress settling in of what being musicians really entailed, Restless Streets decided to separate themselves from their contract with InVogue Records.

“[InVogue Records] signed us, and they had all these promises; certain budget amounts for music videos that they didn’t pull through with, and they just didn’t hold up the contract, so we could have just sued the shit out of them,” he said.

According to Carpenter, simple things like having physical cd’s of their music to go out on tour with and having the budget pulled the day before their music video for their song, “Crazies”, with no explanation, led to the bands rationale of separating from the label.

“We just decided to be like, ‘If you let us get out of this, we’ll just call it quits and not say anything about you or what you’ve done wrong’.”

Eight years later, Carpenter has returned to Hudson Valley in the business administration program due to its pertinence to Restless Streets.

“Because I’ve been so business-oriented with the band, and I’ve done our merch store and all our marketing, the business program just applies to everything I’m doing right now. I just wanted to learn more about business and how it works,” he said.

Although he is learning business, he only is using it to benefit the band and his music career. “It’s not necessarily for a job; I know I’m going to play music for my whole life,” he said.
After graduating high school, Carpenter came to Hudson Valley to get a psychology degree at 17 years old.

“In the beginning, I was a psychology major because I had been crazy forever, and a lot of people who go into psychology, I feel like, are just trying to study what’s wrong with them or what’s going on inside their head.”

While in his third semester at Hudson Valley, Carpenter had plans to transfer early to the College of Saint Rose to finish his degree. Despite this plan for his future, Carpenter was given a life-changing opportunity that altered his career path.

“I got my acceptance letter for Saint Rose and my contract for InVogue Records in the mail on the same day when I lived at my parents house,” said Carpenter.

Left with the decision to finish his degree or pursue his dream as a musician, Carpenter had to make a decision quickly. “I put them down on my desk and I thought for a while, and I pretty much immediately made my choice that I was gonna’ go with the record label and go on tour.”

Restless Streets has been a part of Carpenter’s life since he was 14 years old. A graduate from Guilderland high school, Carpenter and his friend started the band not knowing what success they would find in the coming years.

“We played sold-out shows at the Washington Avenue Armory with Avenged Sevenfold when I was 15 years old,” he said.

At that show, Carpenter recalls spending time with his brother in the green room of the Armory with Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine. Carpenter’s brother, who snuck into the green room, convinced Carpenter to come down as well where Bullet For My Valentine had alcohol and strippers.

“We hung out for Bullet For My Valentine, and they gave us, like, $100 in $1 bills, like little kids, to have like, lap dances, which we didn’t do, I’m ashamed to admit. The Avenged Sevenfold guys came in and I was just like, ‘what the fuck is my life right now?’ I was just like, ‘I’m never gonna’ even believe that this is real’, but it was real.”

Having experiences so young playing with rock icons like Avenged Sevenfold, and their drive high and passion unending, Carpenter dedicated most of his time to Restless Streets and playing shows in the area.

“When we were getting on a lot of the Step Up Presents shows and the band was doing really well and gaining popularity, I had a lot of hope in it,” he said.

Despite their separation from InVogue Records, Restless Streets is still recording and releasing new music since their 2014 release, “We Had It Perfect”. Devoting their time to writing, Restless Streets have a full-length album expected to drop in 2017.

Carpenter feels the band has shifted direction from its original demographic with their new record, making the focus less on heavy music and more a pop-style.

“We just wanted to separate ourselves from the heavy bands. We are not a heavy band; we love pretty chords and pretty and catchy vocal melodies,” he said.

Although there is still some screaming on the new record, Carpenter does not scream to make the songs heavier.

“Screaming was always something that was just more emotional than trying to be heavy, so on the new record there is screaming, but it’s not like any screaming that you’ve heard. It’s more like I’m speaking so loud that it’s raspy.”

With their new style going forward, Carpenter hopes the record will appeal to a larger fanbase, especially with the way they have written and created their music since separating from InVogue Records.

“It didn’t stop us from being motivated and feeling confident with ourselves. We put out one single, “Sugar Free”, which is like kinda the new taste of everything, but there’s a whole new full-length album that’s been done that we recorded ourselves.”

Being separated from InVogue Records also let the band learn how they wanted to handle themselves as a group and how they wanted to go about who works with their music.

“We never slowed down, and we never stopped the amount of time we put into the band, but we decided that we weren’t gonna’ sign to a label or give our music to anybody until we had a solid team lined up this time,” he said.

Hoping to learn from the mistakes of signing with InVogue Records, Restless Streets is waiting until they have their full-length album finished, and then are putting a team together to find the right label to work with.

“InVogue wasn’t really set up to make careers for bands; it’s kinda just set up to be like a jump-off platform. If you weren’t huge on your own, they weren’t really there to facilitate the next step,” he said.

Taking the time to write and separate themselves from InVogue Records, Restless Streets is looking for new labels now that they have learned more about the industry.

“We kinda realized a lot of labels, even major labels, a lot of the time aren’t set up to support you and to kind of propel you to the future. You really gotta’ read your contract and you gotta’ set yourself up for success. You can’t really rely on anybody else to set you up for that.”

With the new album coming together, Carpenter plans to release four music videos and plan ahead for upcoming shows and tours in the spring to get Restless Streets on.

“Hopefully, we’ll be on the South By Southwest and So What?! festivals this upcoming spring; that’s in the works. We’re not on it yet, but we’re working on it.”

After signing with InVogue Records, Carpenter spent years touring across the country performing their first full-length album, “Sincerely”.

“[We] played all 12 songs from [Sincerely] on tour at different times, so we conquered that album,” he said.  “A lot of bands write songs that they don’t play. They just write them, which is totally fine, but it’s different to be able to play them and be able to perform them live; that’s two totally different things.”

Over the course of his years touring, Carpenter finds his favorite band he’s performed with is Memphis May Fire.

“We actually traveled on their bus to a few dates and hung with them a lot, and sometimes Luke Holland from The Word Alive would be on it, or Tyler Carter from Issues, or Danny Worsnop from Asking Alexandria; they’re all friends.”

Carpenter also found himself close to Ronnie Radke, frontman for the band Falling In Reverse. Carpenter was initially given an offer from frontman Radke to move to Las Vegas and be the drummer for Falling In Reverse before the band was legitimized.

“Ronnie actually asked me to drum for Falling In Reverse before they were even like, a band, and move to Las Vegas, but I couldn’t do that; I was still super involved with Restless Streets,” he said.

Even though Carpenter loved performing with Memphis May Fire, if he could pick any band to be on a tour package with, it would be Taking Back Sunday. “[Performing with] Taking Back Sunday would be where I would say I’ve made it for sure.”

Along with their success from touring, Carpenter also recalls the excitement of his band being published in the popular rock magazine, “Alternative Press.”

“Being published in AP Magazine when our album came out was huge. Seeing the advertisement for that in AP was awesome,” said Carpenter.

Along with his success comes immense amounts of hard work, which Carpenter stresses to any student musicians on campus.

“You have to be willing to give up a lot and always put music first, or else there’s going to be someone else who will.”

Carpenter also stresses going out to shows to do networking, working with other people for criticism and keeping yourself in positive spirits. “You have to be strong, take criticism well, and you have to learn to love rejection because if you don’t, you’ll get crushed and you’ll give up real quick,” he said.

He added, “You have to have confidence in yourself, always, because you’re your biggest fan, and you always will be.”

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