Featured Artist Interview: LAYNE
Posted on July 30 2017
By Tory Savannah
I'm just going to start this off by saying I'm super excited to have interviewed one of my new favorite bands, LAYNE. I've been obsessing over their music since I first heard it last summer, so it was amazing to get the chance to ask them about their inspirations, the challenges they've overcome as artists, and what they're looking forward to this year!
Lead singer, Layne, wearing our Caption This tee.
Drummer & Oregon native, Alex, in our NRTHWST sweatshirt.
Let's start with some basics for anyone who's just getting into you guys! What do you play, how did you meet, and when did you start LAYNE?
Alex: I play drums! I met Layne through a booking agent, who told me she wanted to start a band and was specifically looking for a drummer. This was 2 and a half years ago. We met at a coffee shop in Silverlake and the next day we went into a studio in Echo Park and started making music.
"Good" was the first song I discovered of yours and shared with our Spotify followers on our Dream All Day, Drive All Night playlist. I was instantly hooked by Layne's vocals, and the moody, mysterious vibe of the track. What was the inspiration behind this song?
Layne: "Good" was a song I wrote about sitting in an emotional space with someone. Not necessarily good or bad just knowing that no matter the way you feel you’re never alone. A lot of the imagery I used was inspired by growing up in the Black Hills and a trip to the Gorge in Portland I had taken with my significant other at the time. So happy to hear that you dig that song! It came from a feeling of comfort in knowing that we may feel totally alone in sadness but when you've got a friend or gf/bf that will go there with you you realize you’re not so alone after all.
It's easy to hear the passion coming through in your music and voice. What would you say is the driving force behind that passion?
Layne: I’m an incredibly emotional person. Its hard to put my finger on where that comes from but I think I may have just been cursed or blessed depending on how you look at it with an intense passion for the things and people I love and a hyper emotional brain.
Layne, I read that your dad is a musician and your living room was often a gathering place for his musical friends. I loved reading this, because mine and Tahnee's dad is also a musician, and we grew up with live music in our home too. Would you say you get your love of music from your dad? (And feel free to elaborate more on any specific memories you have of playing music with him as a kid!)
Layne: Thats amazing! So cool to hear you guys grew up with that as well. And yeah Idk if it came directly from him but it was such a huge part of my life. I was kind of thrown into music at a very young age just because my parents would always have people over and we’d all sit in the living room around the fire in the winter or on the deck in the summer and play music. My brother was also in bands and we had so many instruments laying around the house that I just naturally started picking them up and learning on my own when I was younger. Then to nobodies surprise I just didn’t stop.
Who are some of your musical influences and who did you both grow up listening to?
Layne: I grew up with a lot of pop punk and indie rock. I had an older brother that was listening to a lot of Blink 182 and Death Cab all the time as well as my parents who would always blast Bob Dylan, Elton john and Prince. But as I got into my early teens and started using the internet more I explored so many genres on myspace and every where else that was popular at the time and found myself loving bands like Paramore, Lights, The Postal service, MGMT etc.
Alex: Micheal Jackson, Pheonix, Paramore, etc...mostly hip hop, pop and punk music.
Would you say you're most at home on stage or in the studio?
Layne: They both feel equally as beautiful and exciting to me. That's a hard question because I love them both for so many different reasons. Making music and being in the studio is so rewarding and exciting and Devon Corey who co produces everything with me is one of my best friends so it's always so pure, relaxed and fun to be in the studio. But on the other hand there is nothing more fulfilling than playing a good show. Not to sound sappy but Its the closest I’ve felt to spirituality and a true sense of community.
Alex: On stage. It feels so good to play in front of a crowd of people and watching them react. Not only that, but when we're on stage nothing else matters. It's the greatest escape from reality.
Name 3 things you have to have with you when you tour!
baby powder.. Luckily I have blonde hair haha
baby wipes.. I tour with all guys mostly
and a mirror.. 99.9% of the time I’m having to do my make up in a moving van or in a venue bathroom or green room. Its always handy to have a mirror
Alex: Black soap, headphones/earplugs, baby powder.
What are your proudest or most memorable moments in your careers so far?
Layne: I think the fact that we’ve made it through this and haven’t stopped for anything. I feel proud and lucky every day to have the team that I do and there's nothing that feels better than that.
Alex: The loyalty of our fans on social media and our live shows. All the posts, stories, and dm's we get from fans are what makes me the most proud of my career so far.
What's the most challenging thing you've had to go through as artists?
Layne: Almost everything is challenging. This is not an easy thing to do emotionally or financially. I will say that on our first tour I broke my arm, we ran out of money, and had to drive across the country to get home which was absolutely devastating because my broken arm took away my ability to play guitar which was like taking away a runners legs; it was an incredibly sad and testing time for me and the entire band, but we made it through and are more prepared then ever to take on anything that comes our way on tour now.
Alex: The constant let downs from the industry. And people who tell us that the music isn't quite there. They just don't get it like our fans do.
Ok, since Alex is from Oregon, I have to ask, what's your favorite thing about the PNW?
Layne: AHHH! I Love Portland and most all of the northwest. Alex and I both dream of having tiny houses up there someday so we can go whenever we want to. Thats such a hard question I love all of it. I did once go to a good will spot with giant bins then hit a diner in the area afterwards which Ive heard is a very portland thing to do. I also love the Gorge. Also hanging out Cathedral Park while it rained was a very beautiful experience for me. There is something about the environment of BN north west that feels so right to me, just stepping outside so its hard to say what my favorite thing is.
Alex: The seasons, the cold ones especially. I love the Forest and the rain. It makes me feel weightless and free.
What's next for LAYNE?
Layne: We have SO MUCH music and content coming. Don’t want to give away too much but this is going to be a busy next couple of months and next year. And we can not wait to come back and play some shows in the northwest.
Alex: Getting ready to release some new singles and an ep! Also, hopefully be out on the road touring close to the end of the year.
Thank you Layne & Alex for the exclusive Q&A!
Catch LAYNE live on August 2nd in LA at The Viper Room, and August 14th in Reno with K.Flay at The Saint.