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By Suzanne

Interview with Kenny Loggins of "Archer" on FX 2/26/14

This was a very fun call. Kenny Loggins is a huge star whose sang so many wonderful hits, especially when I was growing up in the 70's, like "Danny's Song", and "Whenever I Called You Friend", and then later "Danger Zone", "Footloose" and he also helped write "What a Fool Believes", as well as singing on the classic song "We Are the World". So it was awesome to speak with him on the phone. Even thought there were quite a few of us on the phone, he couldn't have been nicer and let everyone get a chance, no matter how long it took. And how we're Twitter buddies so that's super! LOL! I hope you got a chance to see his cartoon doppelganger on "Archer" on FX this week.

Final Transcript
February 26, 2014/10:30 a.m. PST

Kristy Silvernail, FX Networks / Senior Manager, Media Relations
Kenny Loggins, Archer / “Kenny ‘K-Log’ Loggins”


Moderator Welcome to the Archer conference call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Kristy Silvernail.

K. Silvernail Hello, and welcome to the Archer conference call with legendary musician Kenny Loggins. In addition to lending his voice to an animated version of himself, referred to as “K-Log” in next week’s episode, Kenny also joins the reimagined alter ego, “Cherlene,” to sing a duet of “Danger Zone” that will be performed in the episode and available via digital platforms March 3rd with the release of Archer’s 12-track album simply titled Cherlene. I’d like to thank everyone for joining us today, and remind you that this call is for print purposes only; no audio may be used.

Archer airs Monday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific only on FX. As always, we respectfully request that you do not post spoilers pre-air to help protect the viewing experience for our audience.

With that said, let’s go ahead and take the first question.

Moderator Our first question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue from The TV MegaSite.

S. Lanoue: It’s an honor to speak with you. I grew up in the ‘70s, so I listened to all your songs on the radio.

K. Loggins: Cool. Where are you?

S. Lanoue: Do we have to call you “K-Log”? Oh, I’m in Hawaii right now. I grew up in San Diego, though.

K. Loggins: Okay. Okay …

S. Lanoue: Yes. So we have to call you “K-Log” now?

K. Loggins: Yes, yes, that’s it from now on. It beats the nickname.

S. Lanoue: Oh, which one is that?

K. Loggins: Oh, I probably shouldn’t say it.

S. Lanoue: Oh, okay. All right. It’s X-rated. So how did this guest starring appearance come about for you?

K. Loggins: Well, as you know, Archer’s been referring to “Danger Zone” for a quite a while. So I have five kids, my oldest is 33, and he thinks it was inevitable that they would call and say “would you like to be a character on the show.” So I think they just finally went, well, we’ve gone so far with this joke we have to take it all the way.

S. Lanoue: So did they just call you up or any details you can give us there?

K. Loggins: Oh, it just came through my manager. So I guess an agent called the manager, something like that.

Moderator: We have a question from Andrea Reiher from Zap2it.

A. Reiher: Was it fun for you to get to play such an outrageous version of yourself?

K. Loggins: I think that’s what I love about it the most is that it really takes and extends the character beyond anything that I’ve ever been, and I’m total badass in this episode and it’s fun. In an interview I did this morning he referred to it as opposite world, and I don’t know if I’d go that far, but it’s pretty fun.

A. Reiher: Is there any other song from your discography that you think would make a good country song?

K. Loggins: Well I never would have thought “Danger Zone” would make a good country song. But, yes, “Footloose” was rerecorded by Blake Shelton, because it always had country roots to it. Especially the early stuff, the Loggins and Messina era, lends itself to being countrified easily.

Moderator: We have a question from Lenny Pierce, The Nerdist.

L. Pierce: I have a couple questions. So did you see the promo for season five when they did an homage to the original “Danger Zone” video?

K. Loggins: Yes I did.

L. Pierce: What did you think of that?

K. Loggins: I thought it was really well done.

L. Pierce: Yes. It’s pretty great, right?

K. Loggins: And they hinted at my character without actually giving it away.

L. Pierce: Right. Yes. That was pretty cool. A lot of like shot-for-shot stuff there, which was pretty awesome.

K. Loggins: Yes. Really.

L. Pierce: I have another question, so these Kenny Loggins references they stuck around for five seasons. At this point it’s a pretty seasoned reference to the show. If this goes on for more and more seasons, if the references go on, would you be ready to make a second, third, fourth appearance?

K. Loggins: Well, I really enjoyed doing it, and I’d be happy to do another appearance. I’m sure they’re watching to see how it goes over, and I think the episode came out better than we had anticipated. It really works, and I’m hoping to get to do it again.

L. Pierce: Well, I think the fans feel the same way, this one included. So another question, a cartoon version of you in this episode really pushes for the nickname “K-Log.” Is that an Archer creation or has anybody ever called you “K-Log” before the show?

K. Loggins: No that’s a total Archer creation. I had a few friends do it jokingly years ago when that was actually something that people were doing, but it was always a joke. So I’ve never been called that. That’s why it works; that’s why the joke works is because it’s so absurd.

L. Pierce: Right. Yes. And if it catches on in real life are you prepared to own that nickname in real life?

K. Loggins: I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Moderator: We have a question from Noel Manning from WGWG.

N. Manning: Kenny, you mentioned that you have five kids that have connections to the love of Archer. At what point did you realize that there was an Archer/Kenny Loggins connection?

K. Loggins: Well, I’ve been a fan of Archer from the beginning. My oldest boy, Crosby, turned me onto Archer right at the very beginning. I missed the last season, but I got back in. Yes, so I’ve watched I think from the very beginning. Everybody was calling me going, “Have you seen Archer’s referring to ‘Danger Zone’?” Absolutely. We saw it right from the beginning.

N. Manning: At what point did you realize man, I’d love to be a part of this. I know that you mentioned the agent, but was there a time even before that that you said, “Oh, I’d love to be on this show”?

K. Loggins: Absolutely. No, my son, Crosby, has been--now he’s 33--and he’s been writing letters to the Archer team at FX now for a couple years saying, “When are you going to put my dad on the show?” I’m sure they’ve been blowing it off, but he kept telling me, “Dad, you should get somebody on this. You should be on that show.”

N. Manning: Just one more quick question, what was the process like for you once you committed to doing this?

K. Loggins: They sent me the script, as first they wanted to see if I was interested, then they wanted to check and see if I’d be willing to sing “Danger Zone,” which I was on both counts, and then they fleshed out the script and sent it to me. They fleshed out the images; there were about four different versions of me as a cartoon that they had wanted to run by me to see which one I liked the best, and the one that they used is sort of a composite of three different versions of “K-Log.” So I was in on it a little bit; I was in on the dialog a little, I was in on the image a lot. From there I just had to go into the studio, and the director and the writer were on the phone ISDN live with me and I was in the studio in LA, and they directed me on how to deliver each line, do three or four passes on each line in different ways so they had a lot of options in the editing room.

Moderator: We have a question from Ernie Estrella from

E. Estrella: Can you talk about or share maybe your experience with accepting the idea that your song was going to be countrified and also the recording of that. I know that Archer tends to record separately each individual, but for the song itself did you actually do the duet together?

K. Loggins: No, her vocal was done already. I met the girl who was the voice of “Cherlene” at a show recently. Really cute girl and good voice, but enough like “Cherlene” that it actually works. That’s the bizarre part. I didn’t believe that they could turn “Danger Zone” into a country song, which makes it even funnier, because that’s the last song of my repertoire that you’d expect to be turned into a country song.

I don’t remember exactly what your question was, but I—

E. Estrella: Well, I mean like the arrangement itself of the music just had to be something different, so—

K. Loggins: No. Right. No, they went ahead and did that. They had that all done when I went in the studio and they played it for me there, and then I just learned her phrasing and sang along with her.

E. Estrella: And then do you expect to play this song in the future in this format?

K. Loggins: At this point no. When people come to my show I think they want to hear the original and you never know, stranger things have happened. I could see me doing a duet with her. It’d be interesting to do an animated version of “Cherlene” singing her part and I would play the video and sing live with that.

E. Estrella: That would be worth it. I’d go see it.

K. Loggins: Yes, let’s do that at the Emmys.

Moderator: We have a question from Bryan Cairns, Comic Book Resources.

B. Cairns: I just want to know what do you attribute to how amazing the endurance of “Danger Zone” has been?

K. Loggins: Boy, go figure. Certainly Archer has helped it the last five years. But for some reason three of the movies I was in on have become cult classics. Caddyshack, Footloose, and Top Gun all are still in the hundred most rented movies, and when you think about the thousands of movies that have taken place since those were made it’s amazing that they’re still up there in that iconic level of rentals. I have no idea. They have nothing in common with each other except my music, and I’m not saying that that’s why. But “Danger Zone,” Top Gun, I think there are plenty of pseudointellectual reasons for that, but who knows really.

B. Cairns: I wanted to ask, because you mentioned Caddyshack, Harold recently passed away. What do you recall about landing that gig and how instrumental was he in developing the song?

K. Loggins: Unfortunately, I didn’t have a relationship with Harold. When they brought me in the movie was almost done and they had one more scene to shoot with Rodney Dangerfield, which was the close of the movie. I saw a rough edit of almost the completed movie by the time I came in to do “I’m Alright,” so I never really met Harold.

Moderator: We do have a question from Liz Raftery,

L. Raftery: I was wondering when your character is first introduced in the episode it’s kind of an outsized version of yourself that I imagine is probably not very true to life, so I was wondering—

K. Loggins: A bit. Kind of, yes.

L. Raftery: I was wondering what you thought when you got that part in the script?

K. Loggins: Well, I laughed out loud. I thought this is great, it’s a great way to push the character. I was hoping that they’d take it out of the norm, and they sure did.

L. Raftery: Did you actually get to meet Jon Benjamin and some of the other creatives?

K. Loggins: No, unfortunately. I would love to. Everything was done on the phone.

L. Raftery: I was wondering if they had ever gotten the chance to explain to you where their obsession with “Danger Zone” came and how this became a recurring joke on the show?

K. Loggins: That’s a good question, and, ironically, I never thought to ask it, you know why me, why that song. But you don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I love that they did. He says he’s a big fan and that it just sort of came out of a writing session, so I’m guessing that it was a spontaneous thing.

Moderator: We have a question from Lauren Beverly, Rogers Revue.

L. Beverly: I was wondering what makes a good movie soundtrack, in your opinion.

K. Loggins: Well, something that may or may not be actually happening anymore, but I always think that the music should enhance the visual moment that’s taking place and not necessarily be a crosscurrent to it, but actually make the emotion of what you’re seeing much more palpable. In my experience, the challenge as a writer for films has been to take what they give me and make it even more powerful if I can.

L. Beverly: Who are your favorite movie composers?

K. Loggins: You’re making me dig into my gray matter here. Actually, here I’m going to have to go to my iTunes to answer that question. Do you want to ask another one while I look that up?

L. Beverly: Sure. What advice would you give to upcoming artists who want to break into the music business?

K. Loggins: What’s my advice?

L. Beverly: Yes, sir.

K. Loggins: If you can quit, do it. You might as well go to Vegas. My son tried it from the time he was like 18 to 29, and it’s just extremely difficult. I’m looking here for my playlist. But I think that you have to become a master of social media to break in and really pay attention to what it is and how it’s being done. I have a new band, and it’s like starting from the very beginning.

Let me see here. I have my playlist up and I’m looking. John Barry. Do you know John Barry’s work, Out of Africa?

L. Beverly: I am not familiar with his work.

K. Loggins: Somewhere In Time. John Barry, I almost wrote with him, he’s one of the great composers. He’s up there with John Williams, in my opinion, that kind of composer.

L. Beverly: One more question for you, could you please tell us about your upcoming projects?

K. Loggins: Yes. I have a new band that I’m working with. We have one record out already called Finally Home. The band is named Blue Sky Riders, R-I-D-E-R-S, it’s Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman out of Nashville. Gary’s in the Songwriter Hall of Fame with sixteen number one songs to his credit and Georgia has three, and we write everything together and sing everything together. And that’s pretty much a crazy project, because everybody says they’re never going to play your stuff, you’re too old, but mostly as a creative endeavor to hopefully write some great songs and get to stay in the studio and keep doing what I love.

L. Beverly: That’s wonderful.

K. Loggins: Yes. And we’re working on our second record right now.

Moderator: We’ll go to the line of Rich Milko with

R. Milko:First off, I would totally love to see that duet at the Emmys, so wherever I have to sign that check let’s get it going.

K. Loggins: Okay. You have a deal.

R. Milko:What, if any, animated shows did you enjoy when you were younger, and are you still watching animated TV today?

K. Loggins: Yes, animated show when I was younger, well, you could probably fill in the list; I watched a lot of them, if not all of them, when I was a kid. And, of course, The Simpsons for years. I guess Archer is pretty much the last of the animated shows that I watch. What am I forgetting? Yes. No. I know the others that my son watches I don’t watch, because I just don’t have the time, that …. There’s a new one that they’ve been advertising a lot on. Oh, oh, of course, Family Guy.

R. Milko:Oh yes.

K. Loggins: Yes. Family Guy I was watching forever. I haven’t watched it this year, but that’s all based on time.

R. Milko:One more question, how do you feel rock music has changed since your first album in 1977?

K. Loggins: How has rock music changed since actually ’71 it would be.

R. Milko:’71. You’re right.

K. Loggins: Yes. Well, I think that electronics has probably changed, the use of electronics and digital recording has changed the face of pop music the most dramatically. I don’t know whether you’ve read David Burns book or not, but he really does an in-depth history of the evolution of rock and roll from Bill Haley on. I think that creating music to be perfect using electronics has changed what music is most dramatically and the listener’s experience of music. The live music was the predominant music, and now live music is not the predominant source of music. Everything is pretty much canned. And I guess that’s the answer to your question in a nutshell.

Moderator: We have a question from Kristyn Clarke,

K. Clarke: I’m curious how you feel about the legacy that your music has left across the entire realm of entertainment; it’s obviously crossed into film and television and not just music in particular.

K. Loggins: Yes. I’m proud of the fact that it’s permeated pop culture as successfully as it’s done, and also for as long as it’s done. It is a trip. On the one hand it’s a very positive thing, my career to still be a part of pop culture, on the other it makes it really difficult for my kids to want to go into music, and we talk a lot about that. But I would say that the answer is it’s just something that I’m proud that it’s still relevant. It’s what I worked very hard to do as a writer was write things that would matter to people, and they seem to still matter.

Moderator: We have a question from Suzanne Lanoue with The TV MegaSite.

S. Lanoue: I was wondering, your new band, Blue Sky Riders, will you be going on tour with them?

K. Loggins: Yes, they’re going to be. Every year the last three years I bring Blue Sky Riders out with me, and I, we, open for me. So we also do about two weeks of headlining on our own, but for the most part we’ll go out for 10 weeks or 12 weeks and open for Kenny Loggins, whoever he is.

S. Lanoue: In the summer?

K. Loggins: Yes, in summer starting July.

S. Lanoue: And my friend, Emma, who works for my Website, wanted to know if you would be coming any time this year to her town, Toledo, Ohio?

K. Loggins: It might be; we don’t have everything on the books yet.

Moderator: We have a question from Jamie Steinberg, Starry Constellation.

J. Steinberg: I was wondering what do you think it is about Archer that makes it such a favorite program for many people?

K. Loggins: It’s funny, it’s smart, it’s very hip humor, and it’s very funny. I think that’s the only reason it survives.

J. Steinberg: And you’re a part of the social networking site Twitter. Are you looking forward to the instant feedback you’re going to get after your episode premieres?

K. Loggins: Absolutely. I’m looking forward to all aspects of this. And don’t tell anybody, but I kill “Archer” in this episode. So that’s a spoiler alert there.

J. Steinberg: Well, I’m not sure how the show will continue after that, but maybe Kenny Loggins takes over his body. We’ll see.

K. Loggins: Yes. Right, I’ll take over.

Moderator: We have a question from Bruce Eisen from HereIsTV.

B. Eisen: Two questions. Any chance we’re going to see a Loggins and Messina reunion?

K. Loggins: Well, we’ve two of them. We did one in ’05 and again in ’09, and we’re always talking about whether or not to do another so it’s a possibility.

B. Eisen: I’ll keep my fingers crossed on that one. The other question I had is, I heard you say earlier you don’t have much time for TV, but are there any shows that you like to watch?

K. Loggins: I’m trying to think if I set up to tape anything here. Not this year. There was—I can’t remember. I’m sorry.

B. Eisen: No worries. Thanks a lot and take care.

Moderator: We have a question from Stacy Roberts,

S. Roberts: What was it like to see your animated self, and did you choose the ‘80s version of yourself?

K. Loggins: No, they wanted a ‘80s version, and every composite that they sent me, every shell was a variation of the ‘80s Kenny Loggins because they just felt that would be the most recognizable, and I have to agree.

S. Roberts: What was it like to see yourself in animated form?

K. Loggins: Well, I thought I looked a little bit like a terrorist. I kept saying, “Can we push it a little bit more towards the way I actually looked?” And they said, “Well, we think it is.” And I went, “Okay, well let’s work with that then.”

S. Roberts: How different is it to record a voice over as compared to a song?

K. Loggins: Oh, it’s dramatically different. You never think that you’re speaking— Most artists I know, and myself included, we never think that our speaking voice is the same as our singing voice. Our singing voice is our alter ego. And that’s the one I’m most comfortable with, so I haven’t really used my speaking voice that much. But I enjoyed the process; I was in the studio for a couple hours, they directed me in different ways to do it or the lines, and it was really fun.

Moderator: We have a question from Noel Manning, WGWG.

N. Manning: You talked a little bit about the change in rock music and popular music throughout the years. How have you been able to acclimate to that change and continue writing and continue doing what you love doing? Because sometimes that’s difficult for performers.

K. Loggins: Well, yes, the state of pop music has changed so dramatically. I pretty much follow what feels right to me, which is where the fun is and whatever feels like it’s something I can express myself in. My music has always been sort of separate from whatever the pop trend is, because I write what excites me and gets me connected to what I’m feeling. So over the years I’ve shifted and changed.

I think one of the things that’s allowed me to be around for so long is that I had two big brothers who were in two different kinds of music, so they raised me on country music, folk music, and R&B, rock and roll. My one big brother was into Platters, Coasters, Little Richard, on into Elvis, and all the rock and roll that came, including the Beatles years later, and so he was always guiding me in that direction. My other brother was big into folk music and some country. So I like to say I have two cradle languages, and I’ve recorded in a couple of different styles because they come natural to me.

Right now I’m working with Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman out of Nashville, and our sound is more country rock again, like where I started with Messina, and that’s comfortable for me, too. So I don’t feel like I’m pretending or trying to put on a cowboy hat and be cowboy Ken; it’s just part of what I’ve done my whole career.

Moderator: Our next question is from Ernie Estrella from

E. Estrella: I wanted to know was there a particular line that you had to do over and over again or that maybe you had trouble with?

K. Loggins: Good question. I wish I had a good answer. There was one line that was a little bit trouble. It was around the swimming pool scene. I don’t have the script memorized so I can’t remember the line, but I must have read it about 10 different ways. I think it was getting sucked out of the pool and that whole kind of screaming thing, “Scream it louder. Scream it different.” Where you going to go with that?

But that would be a good question for the writer, whose name is escaping me right now—I should have his name here—because there were a few lines that we went around on, and more than once. Because the thing was they weren’t exactly sure how they were going to play this, and I think they were leaving it open to see how well I would read their lines and how I would interpret what they had so that they would write based on my ability. But I’d like to think they were pleasantly surprised and we could go pretty much anywhere they wrote, so that allowed them to lock down the direction they wanted.

E. Estrella: Then you also said that you’ve become a fan of Archer. What’s your take on this particular season that you’ve been able to see at least a few episodes of it in that—

K. Loggins: Yes. I was surprised when they decided to go into the cocaine business and I wasn’t sure what they were going to do with that, still not. I was a little worried on those first couple episodes, because I didn’t do a lot of laughing, and I thought, well, they must be trying to establish this premise and they may be having trouble finding the humor in it. But I think certainly last week it’s taken off now, so I’m not worried.

E. Estrella: Do you have a particular favorite character of Archer?

K. Loggins: Sort of. I think, of course, “Archer,” who always has the good lines. I like “Lana,” she’s the voice of reason this year certainly, almost always.

E. Estrella: Are you a “Pam” fan?

K. Loggins: “Pam” has definitely taken on a bigger role this year, and, of course, “Cherlene.” I guess I should be a “Cherlene” fan now, now that she’s so good at singing. Who am I forgetting? “Krieger.” Right. I feel like I’m forgetting one of them, but definitely “Lana” and “Archer” are on the top of my list.

Moderator: We have a question from Suzanne Lanoue, TV MegaSite.

S. Lanoue: I was wondering, what do you think is in that briefcase?

K. Loggins: I’ll tell you, I think a second episode is in that briefcase.

S. Lanoue: Well, I hope we find out, because it’s driving me crazy.

K. Loggins: Yes. No, it’s the souls of the damned are in there. Yes.

S. Lanoue: Well, “Archer” has to be in there, and his mom, I guess. All right. Well thank you for talking to us today. I really appreciate it. I enjoyed the episode.

Moderator: We have a question from Stacy Roberts,

S. Roberts: Kenny, having been on three of the biggest soundtrack songs of all time have you ever thought about getting into acting?

K. Loggins: Off and on I have, but not seriously enough to actually dedicate myself to doing it. I’m thinking it might be fun to try, though, because if you can take your career and the legacy that it’s built over this 30 some years and use it for something, well, if I really wanted to go into Broadway or a film maybe I can parlay it into that. I haven’t really pursued that. I like the voice over thing; I’d like to do more of that.

S. Roberts: Well, hopefully Archer will bring you back again and again.

K. Loggins: That would be fun.

K. Silvernail: We don’t show any more questions in queue, so I want to thank everyone again for joining us today, and especially Kenny. We really appreciate your time. As a reminder, Archer airs Monday nights at 10:00 Eastern and Pacific only on FX, and you can get your hands on a digital version of Archer’s Cherlene album on March 3rd. Thanks so much, and have a great day.

Moderator: That does include our conference for today. Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T Executive Teleconference. You may now disconnect.

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