Lay Low - Bay City Hardcore

Lay Low - Bay City Hardcore

Lay Low have burst onto the scene and become one of our favourite hardcore bands. We were lucky enough to be able to ask Lay Low some general questions about the band and their process.


What inspired the formation of your band, and how did you all come together?

The band came about in late 2019/early 2020 when Corey had left his previous metalcore band and was looking to start something new in hardcore. He’d been constantly running into Zak and Jake at local/Melbourne shows, so they knew we were all on the same page for band influences. After a bit of writing and rehearsing at Pivot City Music where possible (thanks Covid), we were on the search for a vocalist. JD is Corey’s go-to barber and over a couple of haircuts they got talking about JD jumping back into a band again, and the rest is history! 


Can you tell us about the journey of your band so far, from its inception to where you are now?

Thanks to Covid and lockdowns over the course of 2020/21, we spent a lot of time writing ideas, demoing songs and rehearsing while live music was out of the question. We put out our first single, Chokehold, which got a pretty good response, and next thing you know, we’re getting asked to jump on a few shows, which was awesome. Considering the band started out as something ‘to have a bit of fun with’, it really got some momentum going, and playing a heap of shows over 2021/22 was a good chance to get out name out there. Once we hit 2023, we knew it was time to release some more substantial material, so we got stuck into recording our Desolation EP, which has also had a great response.


What sets your music apart from other bands in your genre?

I think our music has a bit of something for all heavy music enjoyers. We’ve got some faster parts, we’ve got some heavy beatdown parts, we’ve got a couple of more ‘metal’ parts. We try our best to make them flow well, and not pigeon-hole what we write too much. On top of that, I think our eagerness to bring an energetic live show is another key factor. The live music aspect of hardcore is such a crucial element.


How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music before?

Heavy and aggressive; music to spear-tackle your mates to.


Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and how do they impact your sound?

Plenty of hardcore bands such as Incendiary, Terror, Hatebreed, Pain of Truth; they all have so many hard-hitting sections that are great for the moshers. Bands that live on that hardcore/metalcore border like Knocked Loose, Kublai Khan, Jesus Piece and The Acacia Strain also influence some of our tracks, and how bands can generally appeal to more one heavy music scene.


Can you walk us through your songwriting process?

Where do you draw inspiration from? Most of the time Corey will bring a full demo to the table to get everyone’s thoughts on, or Zak will provide riffs for Corey to put some midi drums over and they’ll work together on structuring the song. After this we get bass sections locked down, followed by vocals at the end! Once we’ve rehearsed the songs together a few times, there’s always an opportunity to say “what if we tried this section this way instead?”, which is where the real fun is in making the heavy parts even heavier.


What themes or messages do you aim to convey through your music?

Most songs offer either some kind of inward reflection of how we’ve navigated things in the past, or an outward reflection of the society we have to navigate in this day and age. It feels like a lot of things are approaching breaking point, and people are frustrated with the lack of change for the better.


How has your music evolved since your first release?

We’ve definitely taken on some new influences and changed things up since starting. A lot of the earlier demos we did were a bit more metal and focused on a HM2/Swedish Death Metal style guitar tone inspired by bands like early Imprisoned, early Harms Way, and Lifesick. We’re still influenced by them bands, but as time went on we moved away from that HM2 guitar style so we could tap into the beatdown aspect of hardcore a little more and find ‘our sound’. We’ve also just tuned our guitars from C# down to C, so that’s been cool to experiment with and change things up a bit.


What has been the most memorable moment or experience for your band so far?

Seeing participation in the crowd (moshing, singing along, ect.) grow with each show, regardless of where we are on the lineup, or what type of show it is. The energy at live shows is what we all do it for.


How do you handle disagreements or creative differences within the band?

We’re all pretty good at sorting that stuff out, we like to think we can find some middle ground to keep everyone happy. We’re all getting too old to deal with petty arguments hahah. Even if we do disagree on something, I think we’re pretty good at articulating why we don’t like it, and can offer some kind of alternative to keep things productive.


What are your thoughts on the current music industry landscape and the challenges facing independent artists?

Some aspects are pretty grim at the moment. You make next to no money on the music itself, and venues to play at keep closing left right and centre. It certainly makes it tough to weigh up whether you should pour in all that time and money as a band. But on the flip side, alternative/heavy music is growing bigger than ever at the moment, especially with the hardcore scene in Australia, thanks to bands like Speed currently taking over the world. All ships rise with the tide. Anything that inspires more people to check out shows, or pick up an instrument and start their own band, is a massive win, especially for local scenes.


Can you share any upcoming projects or releases that your fans can look forward to?

We’ve got some gigs to announce shortly and are definitely working on releasing some more music this year, watch this space!


How do you engage with your fans, both online and offline?

To be honest, we’re just four normal dudes who are a part of this scene just as much as anyone else. If we’re floating around at a gig and we’re not in the middle of something, we’re always down for a chat!


What has been the most unexpected fan reaction or interaction you've experienced?

I think the fact that our music has made it outside of Australia to listeners internationally is pretty wild to us. When we dropped our Desolation EP, about a month after release it really took off in the US and got a fair few plays there too, which we are so stoked with.


How do you balance your musical career with other aspects of your life?

It can be tricky, especially now that we’re all a bit older and have full time jobs, some of us have mortgages, some have kids; there’s things we have to make the band work around. And you know what? That’s completely okay. I think going in with little/no expectations and just trying to enjoy the journey makes you appreciate the smaller victories even more.


Finally, where can fans find your music and stay updated on your latest news and performances?

You can find links to all our socials, music and merch at this one convenient link!

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