INTERVIEW by Craig Mather
Laymar have been a diamond in the rough for too long since they formed just over three years ago. After a change in line ups and recent surge of more shows and a new found power the band feel deserved of more attention, and its glaringly obvious the band deserve it if you have seen them live. In an overcrowded bar ManchesterMusic ask the band why things have taken so long and where they go from here.
MM: Where does the variation in you music come from?
Laymar: “We listen to so much, there would be a much shorter list of what we don’t like than what we do like”
Kieran “We take it on board, and adapt”
MM: “You’re influences must have changed from when you started, because you sound very different”
Shifting subtly the band have undergone a transformation that saw them go from heavy organic and raw angry men, to something more intellectual and poignant whilst still retaining the authority and aggression that was the catalyst for great songs on a first EP.
MM When did you start playing as a band?
Kieran “ Seems like fucking ages, since we were 16”
MM “Usually there’s a make or break it time when people have been in a band longer than three years plus, where things change”
Dave: “When we lost our old guitarist things really changed”
MM: “Why did he leave? Was it a musical decision?”
Kieran: “No… haha. When he left had to do a lot more as musicians though, we found ourselves having to try more melodic things as he was a large part of the melodic side to our band.
MM: So are you happy with the sound you’ve got at the moment?
Kieran: “Well, we can always do better, I don’t think we’ll be satisfied”
MM: “You haven’t put anything on record since “Product of A Daydream” three years ago, are you thinking of recording anything else?”
Dave: “Well we’ve been offered a six months contract from someone who wants to put out some singles”
It was unavoidably going to happen, and at the moment there is no more deserved band than Laymar having but their heart and soul into what they do and sensitively worn their hearts into the floor, thankfully for us there seems to be even more hope and a real purpose to the music with ambitions riding high.
MM: “It sounds like a good idea especially if your chameleon tendencies continue, at least you’ll be able to track the journey, and of course there’s the chance to send it out to people who want to listen to it.
Kieran: “Absolutely, but we’ve always struggled live because we put so much into the songs and in the studio it might take more time than we think”
Colin: “Because we’ve played the songs for so long though, and turned them inside out it might be easier than expected”
Dave: “We can add so many things in the studio and experiment, it wont be simple”
MM: Do you fear if you do that it will make you record less accessible, especially seems you songs aren’t traditional pop or even straight up rock songs to begin with? Do you want people to listen to it and get it, or muse over it for a while?
Kieran: “ We want people to get into it, and not make it a passive experience, we want people to get actually involved in the music and if that means having to study it for a while, then so be it, because I’d much rather someone study it and say it’s shit than have them not study it and think it’s shit, I presume that’s what it stems back too”
Colin: “We want a chance, that’s what were saying, everyone deserves a chance don’t they? Haha”
Dave: “We’ve ended up playing with Indie bands for three years and I think that’s been a problem and possibly why we’ve not been given a proper chance”
Laymars live shows are urgent, normally half hour sets of subterranean excitement yet the band always appear composed, modestly doing all they can with their instruments.
MM: “Your bands hard to define eh, possibly because of the electronic elements?”
Colin: “The electronic element is the newest addition to the sound”
MM: “Have you ever thought about making a dance record? A certain band in Manchester at the moment finish their set with an excellent dance track. When people use electronics in there music, people anticipate that the band in question might just try making something like that.
Dave: “I don’t think we’ll ever try and intentionally do anything, whatever we create will always be a natural progression”
Kieran: “Because we’re still evolving as people, and going through rough patches in our lives, the music’s going to change as we do”
MM: “I think the only thing that has stayed the same since you started making music is the black ties you wear. Why black? Uniform?
Kieran: “We’ve always said when we’ve seen bands live, dressed the same like that, it looks intimidating. Its another element to the band”
Dave: “It takes the focus off us as individuals as well”
Colin: “Anything Laymar do is as a group thing”
Dave: I think that’s one of the special things about our band, the relationship we have with each other. You always hear of bands fighting and stuff, I don’t think we’ve ever had a serious fight
Now mature and quick witted the band are surprisingly no less impulsive and spontaneous than they have always been.
Kieran: “Whatever bothers us, we put in the music, that’s one of our main aims.
MM: “What’s next on the cards then?”
Colin: “Some kind of E.P, some kind of funding”
Kieran: “some kind of recognition”
MM: “Does that mean you want to be famous?”
Kieran: “No. Just recognition that’s going to be beneficial and help us keep going”
Dave: “Hmmm. The music is it’s own motivation, I love the way it makes us feel”
Kieran: “I love the feeling when we write a song and it makes my spine shiver.
MM: Your music has a cinematic quality at times, have you ever thought about putting your music to film?
Kieran: “I’ve always thought it would be great if we could do that on stage”
MM: “How about playing a film in front of you on a screen, silently, with you behind it?”
Kieran: “It’ll certainly make people watch”
In some sort of humble way, it does not seem apparent to the band that if things carry on the way they are doing, there are a lot of good things around the corner.
MM: It does seem you like reactions though, any choice of film to play on the screen?
Kieran: “It would be interesting to get an independent film maker to work something”
MM: “Maybe he could film you playing live and then play it on the big screen whilst you were actually playing”
Kieran: “Before revealing the real band”
The bands are as real and as straight up as any key band in Manchester’s history. It’s a mix of stern simplicity and romantic ambiguity that have meant the interest in this band is for a very good reason. Laymar give straight answers but like everyone should do, hate to give everything away.
MM: “The band never speaks when they play live? Is that because you don’t feel a need to explain your music”
Colin: “I’m not sure. Some people have said it comes across as arrogant and bigheaded, when it’s actually quite the opposite. We’re thinking of making samples saying thank you etc”
Kieran: “We care about the audience because we know what it’s like to watch bands, we all do. We just want to get into what we’re playing so then they can get into it.
MM: “Does it make you feel detached from the audience not speaking though? Having films play in front of you might make you even more detached? Does that bother you?
Kieran: “Well, when I’ve seen bands that don’t talk much and are very intense, it makes me want to know more, it leaves me intrigued. Waltzing on stage just isn’t our thing”
Dave: “Our only purpose on stage is to play our music. We care about the audience because without them the music is inherently useless. Without the Audience we’re nothing, then again, we’re not making it for the audience”
MM: Sometimes I feel the band hide behind things as a personal safeguard?
Colin: “It’s definitely a safeguard, there are things called nerves”
MM: If somebody asked you tomorrow to go to America and support someone in a venue the size of the Apollo, would you do it?
Dave: “It’d scare the shit out of me, but we’d do it”
Kieran: “If you look it as a challenge, it’s ok”
MM: “So can you see Laymar playing in much bigger venues, to bigger audiences one day soon? If something happened during In The City this year for example?”
Dave: “I don’t think we’re digestible enough for In The City. You can’t sit down and read a novel in five minutes can you? Not if it’s something emotional with longevity, and that’s what makes it good. It’s good to communicate on a level that is deeper than most, which becomes communication at its most musical and intense.
MM: “It’s been said your music could be called drug music, what do you think to that? Would your music sound better on a certain drug?”
Colin: “We don’t want to promote any drug use…”
Kieran: “But… if you pick the right time, and the right one, then it may well enhance things”
And drugs or not . . Laymar have a proven power .............
words: Craig Mather
images: (c) Laymar - edited by MM
(c)(p) september04 - musicdash / manchestermusic.co.uk 2004