How To Assemble an EP: The Layne Greene Way.

 

Layne Greene - Vocals, Guitars, Piano

 

http://laynegreene.bandcamp.com/album/break

Notice: Just a reminder that any sales of this are being donated to New Glasgow’s Art at Night http://laynegreene.bandcamp.com/album/break $2 guys!-Layne Greene.

 

Recording an EP is no joke for any singer/songwriter. There are steps. And after the steps , the process. Now, just because you have a great album out there doesn’t mean you can celebrate and jump off the window. It is a continuing process of promoting and talking to bloggers to advertise your work. Also a seemingly endless hours of uploading to various sites like soundcloud, bandcamp and other formats used by musicians these days. Layne Greene  is no stranger to recording, mixing and mastering. At 17 he was able to come up with professional sounding tracks. Now as a Marketing major in Nova Scotia, he is planning to master the economics of music while staying true to his passion which is composing and recording songs. He recently worked with other artists. This is a continuing artistic growth of this Canadian indie genius. The EP we are talking about in this Q & A is called Break. Photos from the recording session can be found here.

Info:

Released 01 February 2013
Layne Greene – Vocals, Guitars, Piano
Bryan MacDonald – Guitars
Lloyd White – Bass
Alex Lank – Drums
Art by juliegnome.tumblr.com

Conception and Creation:

Baxter: I feel that you are very happy with the new EP. Can you give us an overview of the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ that happened in the creation of this EP called Break?

Layne Greene: I think this is probably the most work I’ve put into a project so far. We were working with some pretty tight time constraints for tracking the rhythm section for this EP. The way things worked out we had to fit the lead guitars, drums and bass into a six hour tracking session, it didn’t really leave a lot of time to work on mic placement or to run the songs a few times with the guys. I’m also obviously a very amateur recording engineer, so the whole mixing/editing process was fairly frustrating.

I heard the whole thing  before its official release. I’d say to future listeners that it’s really a collection of tracks with ‘bigger’ sounds. So, can you say something about this approach?

I think the big thing for this project was going into it with a “think caveman” mentality. In some ways the rough recording process helped with the atmosphere I was going for. This was actually the second time we tracked this EP, we started to work on it late last August, but it just wasn’t working so we went back to it when everyone was home over the holidays. The first time round we took the cymbals off Alex’s kit just to help get the vibe right. This time round we didn’t quite go to those extremes but I think the mood was definitely present for the session. Bryan’s guitar work is ambient as always, with some really killer solos, and Lloyd really knows how to play what I want. With all these guys I don’t usually have to say much, they’re all fantastic musicians and we have similar tastes.

Recording:

I have heard all of your recordings and they are fantastic! But I can say this is the first time you deal with bigger sounds and also working with other musicians who are into other types of music. How does it feel to go out of your usual style and venture into this domain?

I think it feels very natural. It is definitely different than the previous EP and the covers project, but I think this is the sound I’ve been trying to find for my music. I want there to be an almost primitive attraction to these arrangements. I want these songs to draw people into them on the most basic level possible.

You like to have a kind of sound mixing that has that fat middle range and not so much on the deep or high end of the sonic spectrum. It is something I describe as :” frequency for vinyl lovers.” Was working with several people in this recording, made you push the sonic flavor that defined your recording style? We are not talking about playing or composition here but rather the mixing and mastering.I know you are the kind of musician who knows what he wants in a recording.

The biggest problem I have with mixing is that I know what I want, but my engineering skills are very limited and I don’t usually know how to get the sound I’m looking for. There’s a lot of trial and error, at a certain point I had to stop and realize that it wasn’t going to get any better with my limited knowledge. The big thing working with other people was to make sure we were all on the same page with how the EP was going to sound.

 

Releasing the EP:

Now that the EP is released and it is available in bandcamp for only $2 which is actually reasonable considering the hard work that went with it, what is the next thing for you?

Next thing will probably be some writing, trying to book some more shows and trying to promote this EP. Thinking about an album, but nothing super concrete yet.

Insights:

With all these experiences in recording for the past year and working with different people, what did you learn about music making? What valuable insight can you give readers who are yet to produce and album?

I guess the biggest thing I’ve learn would be that you need to be patient. This was our second attempt at recording the EP, and after trashing the entire first draft it was really hard to come back to it without feeling a little pressure to get it right this time. You really need to take the time to get it right, if in a year you go back and listen to it and you aren’t happy with it, it’s going to really ruin a lot of those songs for you.

Have you experiences this feeling before where you’re not happy with the entire thing?

Definitely! When I go back and listen to the first EP there’s a lot of things that I really like, but as a whole I think it’s really a fairly bad recording.

Supposing I have just released an EP and still really new to this. What are the steps I must do in getting my work out there?

I’m probably not the best person to answer this question, but to sum it up shortly, shameless self promotion. No body is going to work harder than you to promote your work, if you’re relying on other people to get it out there it’s probably not going to get very far.

 

 

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