(My first publication of a story about a band/music!)
The following story appeared on the cover of the Monroe County Citizen on September 1, 2011.
Chasing Layne, Chasing Fame
Becoming a rock star is a popular dream, but one that, in time, most abandon. When the dreamer realizes that there is more to it than just standing in front of a crowd and smiling (like that whole actually being able to play a musical instrument and sing, sometimes even at the same time, factor) they usually decide to move on and pursue more practical ambitions. There is one band of south-central Kentucky boys, though, that aren’t ready to give up on that dream quite yet.
Chasing Layne, who call Mt. Hermon their official hometown, have been playing, writing and recording together in their current incarnation for almost five years now, but music has played a central role throughout the majority of their lives. Guitarist Justin Myatt, bassist Evan Harper and drummer Chase Blakely grew up playing music together in Monroe County. Chris Clines, the band’s singer, and Kevin Groce, who plays lead guitar, have also played music together for multiple years in their native Glasgow.
Now, as the band releases their second album, Sin and Regret, they feel that all their years of work are finally getting close to paying off.
“We really took our time making this album,” Harper said. “It did take a while, but we’re really happy with how it turned out because we put a lot of work into it.”
The album’s title, Sin and Regret, reflects things that have happened in the lives of each band member in the past, and many of the songs fit into that general theme.
“The idea of sin and regret is something that everyone can identify with,” Myatt said. “Whether they admit it or not, everyone has done things that they shouldn’t and feel bad about, and the songs on the album reflect that. But there are also songs about being proud of who you are, despite your past.”
The release of Chasing Layne’s sophomore album marks the conclusion of one chapter of the band’s rock and roll fantasy in a book filled with times when it looked like completion of the second cd, or any future for the band at all, was not going to happen.
“The thought of just quitting has crossed all of our minds. I’ve honestly thought about it on several occasions,” Myatt said. “There are so many frustrating things that bands have to deal with, from club owners to venders, even the other band members, but I have this illusion that we have a good chance to make it. We just need luck and the right person to hear our music.”
Spite also plays a big role in the band’s motivation to keep working toward a future in music.
“A lot of people don’t think that we can do this and that we’re just wasting our time,” Blakely said. “But that just makes us work harder to try and prove them wrong.”
The pursuit of a career in music is a difficult dream for most outsiders to respect and believe in. It would be easy to assume that it would be so much simpler for all five guys to just push aside the band and instead focus on their “real” jobs. But that assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. Making and playing music is what the five guys of Chasing Layne believe they are meant to do.
“It’s hard to understand, I know,” Blakely said. “But I guess the best way to sum it up comes from a line in our song “I Want It All.” It’s pretty simple, but it’s what we’re living by: ‘I want it all, I don’t care what it takes’.”
Copies of Sin and Regret are available through most online music retailers, including iTunes. It will also be for sale at Chasing Layne shows, the Great Escape in Bowling Green, Apollo PC in Glasgow, or by contacting any band member.