With a sound that combines the best of bands like The 1975, PVRIS and Halsey, LAYNE have one hell of a year ahead of them, and their new video for "Good" is a testament to that. On top of the hauntingly beautiful "Good," the duo is also preparing to release their new EP, The Black Hills, and if their previous singles are any indicator, this in-depth introduction to LAYNE promises to be one of the best releases of 2016. Lead singer-songwriter/guitarist Layne Putnam recently talked with us about the story behind "Good," the new EP and her perspective on the Los Angeles music scene as a transplant from South Dakota.
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
Can you tell us a little bit about LAYNE for anyone who may not be familiar?
First and foremost we are an Indie/ pop/ rock band based out of Los Angeles; musically driven by emotion, environment and a live show that bridges the gap between an emotional rock show and a pop show. The music is ridden with tight single note guitar parts; tough drums; and atmospheric synths. I think of LAYNE as a collective more than anything. I've been LAYNE my whole life ( Layne Putnam ) but after I moved to LA and started working with everybody on the team I realized how much bigger it was than just me. Now the idea of LAYNE is an expansion and evolution of not only me but also of the team around me who have helped The project become what it is now.
How has being based out of Los Angeles impacted you as artists? What is the best part about the music scene in LA?
Its given me a new perspective on what life in a city full of culture is like. Los Angeles is for the fighters. If theres one thing I've learned its that being here is not always easy but its the ones who keep pushing and fight through the struggle who sometimes end up making the "dream" a reality. The music scene in LA is amazing. We've gotten to frequent so many sick venues as performers and audience members and meet so many amazing bands. Its become such a huge part of our life. Were constantly seeing amazing new bands and getting to experience events and shows that mimic the creativity and restlessness of this city.
You just recently released a music video for “Good,” which is stunning! What is the story behind the song?
“Good" is a song about living in a sort of darkness and meeting someone there. Finding happiness in being sad together. A lot of the lyrical content plays on a location I've created in my head called "the in-between" that mimics the headspace I find myself writing songs from.
“Good” isn’t on it, but you’re also planning on releasing your new EP, The Black Hills this summer. What can you tell us about this new EP?
The Black Hills EP is a collection of songs that I've written over the past year. This is going to be our more in depth introduction into what LAYNE is. At the end of the day music is the most incredible way to create relationships; feel good; and get over heart break. This EP is an emotional journey with a lot of self discovery and introspection. But I hope it can make at least one person feel less alone if they relate to any of the songs. So they can know that I've felt it to. It's also a good introduction into who we are musically. I'm a guitar player and musician before anything so I'm excited for everyone to hear the guitar parts and compositions as a whole. The production and instrumentation is huge in creating the overall feeling.
Did you have any major goals when working on The Black Hills?
I try not to ever walk in with a goal. Sometimes it can stunt creativity or create a box. I think the goal was to express how I was feeling in the best way possible and however it turned out I knew it would be "right" because I was true to a feeling.
What would you like listeners to take away from the EP?
I hope listeners can find empowerment and confidence in this EP. I also hope it makes some people think about how they are feeling and why, I think a lot of us tend to ignore the source of negative emotion rather than acknowledging it and facing it head on. I'm very introspective lyrically and just writing this EP has really helped me figure out a lot about myself. But most importantly I really hope it reminds people that they aren't alone. We've all felt darkness, doubt and insecurity my goal is to find power in that. Emotion is the most powerful thing we've got. As dumb as it may sound sadness and happiness are both feelings we only get to feel for so much time. They are equally as important and I think its a blessing we get to FEEL anything at all.
Can fans expect to hear any new songs from The Black Hills any time soon?
I wish I had an exact date for you as to when but yes! Soon we'll be releasing some things. If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter ( @laynesworld_ ) you'll see me start to drop hints and begin to explain visuals and feelings that are all leading up to the EP.
On top of the new EP, do you have any other big plans for 2016?
We've got a lot in the works for the rest of 2016 including tours, a couple possible festivals. New releases and a lot of new relationships to make with people who want to meet us in "the inbetween"
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for the support!