There’s no I in team, but there is an eye in Bob Log, two eyes in fact, and they are about the only parts of his body that don’t play an instrument.
His feet work away on two drums, his fingers slide effortlessly across the guitar and the thrift store helmet he wears atop his head warbles his voice.
Bog Log III is a helmet wearing, drum playing, guitar picking, sing songing, one man band, who started in good old Mississippi at the tender age of fifteen.
“When I was young, I started listening to Mississippi Fred McDowell. I got his cassette, it was like his thumb was its own animal. So that’s where I started to learn finger picking and slide.”
Before the suit and the helmet Log was in a delta blues band called Doo Rag, who toured America, a simpler time when all you needed to fill a venue was a harmonica and a broken heart.
“Yeah for six years, it was cruisey, we had way more fun than any band should’ve had. We didn’t have a record label, we didn’t have anything. We were just two guys in a van, selling shit out of the car.”
The band was later arrested for selling stolen goods off the back of a truck and Bobs’ band mate was taken to Guantanamo, never to be seen again, or something equally believable. Regardless, Bob found himself alone, a solo man, a modern day soldier in the war against sensible music. It was here he discovered the first step towards enlightenment, the Helmet.
“The helmet actually happened the day Doo Rag ended. My drummer left and we had a show that night, so I thought I’d try by myself. I was playing with Ween so I called them and told them what happened, then offered to wear a funny helmet I’d bought in a second hand store, they liked it so it was on.”
“It was born out of sheer panic. The best ideas come when you’re panicking.”
Helmet in hand, Log set about trying to give the audience a more interactive role, a ‘choose your own adventure’ for the music scene.
“It’s about getting the audience involved. I get great pictures that sum up my shows. Five people dancing, two people fighting and one girl passed out with sunglasses on.”
Not all his shows end in debauchery. When the audience isn’t used to Log’s high tempo, slap you silly music, the result can be a little uncomfortable.
“I did a tour with Franz Ferdinand, you know with 4000 people in the crowd. So I bet anything I made 500 friends and the other 3500 will fucking hate me, but I’ll take those friends and we’ll have a good time.”
Having a good time is important, but it’s all fun and games till someone loses an eye. Or takes a shit on you. Part of the sensual experience that is Bob Log, involves him inviting willing audience members to come sit on his knee. This backfired when a unnamed Frenchman decided Bob’s knee was as good a place as any to defecate.
“I had a strange experience recently, and I’m still not sure what happened, but it was a show in France. This dude jumps up, and I swear to God, he took a shit, in his own pants. The song was called ‘I Want Your Shit On My Leg’, I should’ve figured some day this would happen.”
The ‘shit on the leg’ incident is only one chapter in the sordid list of events that litter Bob’s history. His helmet was stolen in Wollongong, only to be later found untouched backstage, he played to 3000 angry lesbians at an Ani Difranco gig and just recently entertained a school of deaf children.
“They seemed to enjoy it, there was enough vibrations for everyone.”
Although Bob’s music seems suited to a small bar, when you’re ten vodkas deep and starting to slur, he also takes the time out to record his unique style. His newest album is overflowing with Log classics and is humbly named.
“It’s called My Shit Is Perfect. It’s fun to make but when you listen to it, you don’t see the helmet, you don’t see me bouncing people, you don’t see that I’m doing everything. But I still think the record makes you like the songs anyway, so when you see it live it’s a bonus.”
Fearing he is beginning to toe the line of normality Bob has upped the ante in his live show. Becoming wireless has meant he is able to perform from an inflatable boat while surfing a crowd of people, or singing from the ladies bathroom, which may result in some serious lawsuits.
“Yeah anywhere I feel like. I have been putting boats on the crowd, hopping in and seeing how good of an ocean the crowd is. Once the crowd stir me up, it’s on baby.”
“No one has gotten hurt amazingly. It’s just a bunch of drunk people holding me up.”
Bob is hoping those same drunk people are prepared to lay their livers on the line when he tours later this year. As an entrée to the main course purchase My Shit is Perfect when it drops in February!