By Brian Tucker
Logan Tabor is a local musician – a member of Mood Mechanics and recently a drummer for Mountain Thrower. He’s been working for Mojotone in Burgaw nearly seven years in a variety of positions, currently he’s in the marketing department for the guitar and amplifier products and parts company.
When Tabor’s girlfriend planned a cross country trip she suggested he come along. After requesting time off for the trip (Tabor would fly to Portland, Oregon and drive back with her) the Mojotone owners proposed squeezing in sales meetings with guitar and amp retailers.
Tabor had additional idea, create a blog with stories about the trip and people he encountered. Tone Movement is the official blog site for Mojotone and Tabor has been posting stories since February. The project was a big commitment, from planning where to stop to timing up meetings with musicians and retailers.
His idea was to break away a little from the Mojotone brand and try a new image. Tone Movement is that, designed to convey a grassroots and homegrown atmosphere in which people could interact and share stories.
“I wanted to have a venue where I could speak freely and relate to people on a personal level,” Tabor said from the road. “I thought it would be great to go into shops and get pictures of things that not only make them great thinkers, but the things that make them intriguing individuals.”
Throughout the trip Tabor will visit fifteen cities, that’s the plan. Some cities are customer related, some for fun. He’ll be writing from the road, posting about a dozen articles about his journey. He began with an article on a company based out of Wilmington (Swart Amps) and hopes to end with another locally rooted story.
Below is more with Tabor about the Tone Movement blog, meeting new people, and putting on a face on those in the music business we don’t always get to see.
What are the challenges?
Tabor: One challenge has been a somewhat loose schedule. I have to make sure my customers are able to be flexible by a day or two just in case we run into any problems along the way. My editor and I met with a man named Hanan Rubinstein in New Jersey and at the last minute he was forced to move some things around to fit us in. Instead of meeting at his apartment as originally planned, we had to meet him and his fiancé at a sushi place in Jersey City for a quick meet and greet.
Hanan is an amazing session guitarist who does a lot of work in New York City and is currently employed as the guitarist in Alicia Keys’ band. He uses a ton of Mojotone gear so we wanted to sit down with him, get some pictures of his rig and have a nice chat.
How long was this idea in the works for you?
Tabor: The owners have long felt the desire to get their products into the hands of small and large dealers all over the U.S. for some time, and they saw this trip as an open door. Being in the marketing department my curiosity quickly took me in a different direction. Instead of going to all of these retailers to pitch our products to them, we decided to take an entirely new route.
I was to visit with manufacturers of all kinds. No matter how small or large the company was, I would visit guitar builders, pickup makers, amp companies, repair shops, professional artist and hometown heroes all over the country. I would have the opportunity to sit down with these innovators, find out what makes them unique as engineers and as people, and help expose how they were using Mojotone products to get their jobs done.
Was there a specific goal?
Tabor: The goal was to humanize the artist and help define their independence. The guitar and amp market is flooded with competitors and it seemed like a good idea to help our customers and supporters establish their own identity within the market. I’ve always believed empowering your customers empowers you. I figured I would create a new industry. An industry that would compliment and promote the common interest we have always shared with our customers. Tone Movement.
What are your hopes of discovering people making music?
Tabor: This is a month of driving and meeting customers, taking pictures, writing articles and trying to promote them to a relevant audience. Once this initial chunk of traveling is done I will have a number of leftover stops to make in the N.C. region. There are a few articles I want to include that were not initially on the agenda, some for personal gain and some out of pure ambition.
Regarding discovering music makers across the country, I can’t say I know what to expect, I just know I’m excited about it. I get to go meet with a whole bunch of guys and girls that I share a particular passion with. I just want to get to know some new people, see where they are coming from and help them continue to do what they love doing.
What’s harder – meeting new people or crafting blog entries?
Tabor: Hard to say. Neither of those things has proven to be too difficult. I feel privileged to meet these new people, they’re impeccable in their hospitality as well as their craft. As far as the blog entries they are a delight. The language used in the blogs has not been restricted to any formality. I am speaking to an audience that I feel like I’ve already met.
I feel I can be myself and explain things the same way I would explain if the reader were standing in front of me. Casual conversation is the name of the game. I hope to be inviting. I don’t want to fill articles with tacky plugs and over-the-top technical jargon. My idea is to appeal to anyone who might be interested, and I think that requires a certain level of accessibility. Hopefully I am able to achieve that.
What is your background at Mojotone?
Tabor: I have had the opportunity of working in about every department the company can offer. I started in warehousing. They swiftly moved me into a small-time management position and soon after I was charged with furthering the company’s CAD division.
I worked closely with one of the owners for over a year and together we were able to take a few basic laser engraving machines and turn them into an intelligent system of CNC routers, metal benders, and other futuristic robots that have become an integral part of the company. Presently, I design newsletters, print ads, web banners, and do just a little bit of whatever.
Everyone (at Mojotone) has played in bands; everyone can speak articulately about music and about sound, and we can talk about how that sound got there. We all get to hear different amps and A/B test speakers and discuss the impact of one type of capacitor versus another. We are constantly making one another better suited for our jobs.
Short answer, I have been playing music forever and using tons of different equipment in that time. Mojotone has given me a chance to hear and learn about more gear than I could have on my own.