Entering into a songwriting contest isn’t easy especially when it involves sorting through pages of your best songs and narrowing them down into one or two. This is an interesting dialogue because the songwriter(and also the lead guitarist of The Tea Kettles) has been creating a lot of intricate songs in terms of arrangement and production. His music is an amalgam of folk,classical jazz and even rock. A native of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Layne juggles between writing, performing music, college and acting. There is this thriving film/television business where he lives and I sometimes wonder how he keeps everything together-having good friends and being contented with what life has in store for him.
SM: I see you are ready for the upcoming songwriting contest with your two entries Wintersong and Inflation. I admit rummaging through your compositions was hard considering that you have a lot of strong songs. Any particular reason why you came up with this final list?
Layne:It’s always hard to pick a song for something like this. It gets harder every time I write a new one, there’s this feeling a lot of the time (for me anyway) when you write a new song and you feel like it’s the best you’ve ever written. But then that sort of fades away as you get over the thrill of actually finishing one! I finally narrowed it down to either Inflation or Wintersong, and I went with Wintersong just because I feel like it’s a better song.
SM: What can we expect to see in this contest?
Layne: Good question, not so sure myself. It’s a local thing, so there will be lots of great entries!
SM: I notice that you continue to grow as a performer and songwriter. Each year you add layers to your distinctive style. Do you sometimes wish you could have done something different in your old songs?
Layne:There are small things that I think about changing from time to time. But it’s kind of like deciding repair your microwave by yourself, there’s a small chance that you’ll fix it, but most likely you’ll just make it worse. So I try to just leave them as they are.
SM:There is a new TV show where you have an appearance. Can you tell me more about it?
Layne:I had a small part in a new comedy on CBC called Mr.D, I was only in one episode. It was fun though, and from what I’ve seen so far it’s pretty funny!
SM:What can we expect from you musically this year?
Layne:It’s hard to say right now, I’m hoping to play more than I got to last year and hopefully get some new material worked out. I’ve been trying to write more music for my band, but I keep coming back and working on solo stuff, which is ok I guess. I’m trying to find a middle ground with songs that work well acoustically or in the band setting, there’s a song up on my soundcloud that doesn’t have a real title yet (temporarily called “New Song”) that’s an example of what I’m trying to go for.
Layne is working on a debut album ( with a renowned Canadian producer) which will be released in the middle of 2015.