author PP date 09/08/06

Apiary, one of the most up and coming hardcore acts from California, recently released their debut album "Lost In Focus" through Ironclad Recordings. Our scribe Tim Larsen wrote up a set of questions for the bands guitarist Peter Layman. We received some interesting answers back regarding the 'scene' people and the bands private life. But especially his insight on how much artists earn when they're not selling hundreds of thousands of records is what made me see the importance of supporting bands at the early stages of their career in a new light. Go see your favorite bands and buy their merch at the shows! Read on for the entire interview.

RF.net: For our readers who don't know you, could you please

describe the sound of your band, and maybe mention some of your most important influences?

Peter: The best way to describe our sound is by calling it dissonant metal. We think of our music as very ugly and dark, while still being very energetic. Our important influences are basically personal experiences and other art forms. We all listen to different styles of music, so that is quite difficult to corral.

RF.net: You just released your debut album "Lost in Focus". Could

you tell us your thoughts about creating this album? Did you have a concept or plan in mind, and how do you feel about the final result?

No, we did not have a concept in mind when we began writing, but a familiar pattern kept appearing; which is how I perceive the album title fits our music.

RF.net: What were your thoughts behind naming the record "Lost in Focus"?

The title to me, describes the times in life where you put all of your energy and efforts into many directions, spreading yourself so thin for the world; only to lose the true reason you're doing everything that you do. This album contains songs that were created out of that feeling.

RF.net: Now that you have your first album out, what are your plans for the future? Will we see some tour action from you guys? (Maybe a gig in Denmark sometime?)

We're planning to be touring for at least 7-10 months out of a year. Touring Europe is more than essential to us. We believe that the album is receiving much more press and praise in Europe than in the US. European music fans understand music, and appreciate it; something that a lot of kids in the US cannot claim. We have done the US tours, and they're extremely fun. But I can't wait to go to Europe on tour. Denmark is a place that I has intrigued me for years, so being able to share our creations with such a beautiful country would blow us away.

RF.net: If you could go on tour with any band in the world right

now, which one would you choose and why?

Very tough. I'd have to say I would love to tour with Cult of Luna. They are an incredible band, and I can't get enough of them. Seeing them play live every night... Amazing. Fortunately, we're working on heading out again with our friends Full Blown Chaos; and the astounding band Eyes of Fire (from California as well) may hopefully end up being a part of that tour. It will be a North American tour, but we're really excited about it.

RF.net: Can you give us a short summary of the best and worst

moments that happened during your last tour, or the last couple of months?

I can't recall any really bad moments right now.. We lucked out on our last tour, by avoided some very dangerous weather. We barely missed a tornado in Kansas by about 25 minutes. I would say not getting our guarantees at shows was probably one of the hardest things. Gas (petrol) costs so much now in the US (roughly translated, it costs 3.03 Euros for 3.78 liters), and not getting paid after driving 13 hours really hurts, since we're quite broke.

RF.net: If you guys weren't playing music, what would you probably be doing? Is Apiary your full-time 'job' now, or do you still work on the side of it?

Apiary is definitely our full-time life. Unfortunately, the band is very new, and we don't generate enough money to only do the band. We all work full-time, and save up in between tours to make this happen. The other guitarist, Mike and I work in a cubicle all day, transferring old film reels of home movies to DVD. If I weren't doing Apiary, I would want to be involved in music in one way or another - be it tour managing, or running a label. After this band has run its course, I would love to move to Europe.

RF.net: What do you think is the single most annoying/discouraging

thing in the music-scene today?

The "scene" aspect is hands down the most disappointing part of music. People that come to concerts only to show off their new haircut, shoes, and dance moves are not tring to understand and appreciate music. I don't mind if you get into the music and want to dance/mosh/whatever, just don't hurt the innocent bystanders.

RF.net: Can you mention one fact that everyone should know about

your band (or someone in it), that hasn't been revealed before?

I'll have to think hard on this one.. We're pretty open with everything about us, especially the lame things that we think are hilarious. We like to do a lot of non-band things together, like head up to this cabin that a friend owns and ride dirt bikes and ATVs. Dave crashed once, but not too bad. Come to think of it, he wiped out big time when he was riding a jet ski with Jay on the back of it. He made a real sharp turn while going about 25mph and spilled all over the lake.

RF.net: Do you have any specific dreams/goals as a musician, and if

so, what are they?

I want to tour as many places as possible, create a lot of different music, and hopefully make enough money to where I can create full-time and not starve.

RF.net: How do you feel about downloading music? Do you approve of the "try-before-buy" policy, and have you ever practised it yourself?

I think people should be able to listen to the music before having to buy an album. The way I hear new bands is from my bandmates usually. I think online streaming of songs is a good way to "try before you buy."

RF.net: Does music downloading affect the industry in a negative or a positive way? How do you think it affects your band?

Basically, it hurts the label more than it hurts the artist. Yes, it is nice to be able to say "we sold X amount of records," because that can be used to the artist's advantage (by getting better tours, etc.) But the artist rarely sees a dime from record sales. The good thing about record sales for the artist, is that it pays off any recoupable debt owed to the label, and it must be paid off completely before the artist sees any money. Rough business, but that's why we love to tour!

RF.net: Thanks guys, the last words belong to you. Feel free speak your minds:

Thanks for the interview! If things go the right way, we hope to be in Europe sometime early next year, which means Denmark will be on our agenda. Take care, enjoy the album!

- Peter Layman, Guitars

Related: "Lost In Focus" review

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