Seven Layer Piano Cakes – Interview 12/2/22

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We were lucky enough to catch up with Seven Layer Piano Cakes following the release of his superb single ‘Remy’. Enjoy the full interview now!

Hi Seven Layer Piano Cakes, tell us about yourself?

I wish I could say I am actually a platter of baked goods, but in reality, I am Justin Hoyt, a Los Angeles-based lawyer and law professor by day who, at night, turns into Seven Layer Piano Cakes.

I am a classically trained pianist and vocalist, but also play the bass and rhythm guitar on my original material in the studio.

What is your songwriting process?

I begin by getting intimate with the mood I’m feeling at the time. Then I work on chord progressions and basic ideas for the melody without respect to much else.

At this point, the ideas are fluid and abstract. Then, if I like what I’m hearing, I get more technical regarding the bass line and then the beat usually follows that.

After that, I really nail down the chord progression and melody. Lyrics always are the last part of the process for me.

Tell us about your latest release?

I just released ‘Remy’. It’s a song about my son and how I have felt watching him grow up so fast and how much I miss him when we are unable to be together.

Musically, it is probably best characterized as a blend of dream pop, pop-rock, and synthpop.

What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?

I have no idea what the listener thinks or feels when they hear my songs, but I am hoping that the takeaway is to be as present as possible with your loved one’s time flies.

Who are your musical influences?

The Beach Boys, Beach House, Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Radiohead, Avenged Sevenfold, The Weeknd, Washed Out, Depeche Mode, Grizzly Bear, The Strokes, Oingo Boingo, Haken, MGMT, Ultravox, later-stage Blink 182, M83, and, last but not least, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I am aware that my list probably makes no sense, but it’s the truth!

Who are your non-musical influences?

Leo Tolstoy, Kyle MacLachlan, Patrick Bateman from “American Psycho,” Lindsey Vonn, Derek Jeter, and Tiger Woods. Definitely not the dude from that Netflix documentary “Tinder Swindler” or any cult leader.

What’s the best gig that you have ever played?

I got to play the bass with Green Day for one song at a big show. It was great because after the song was done, I did a stage dive, and the folks in the pit actually caught me, a big guy, perfectly. It was like landing on a Tempurpedic mattress.

What is your funniest gig moment?

I was once debuting a brand new song and completely forgot the lyrics to the second verse. There was no way out; I just started singing the melody to different variations of “I totally forgot what I am supposed to be singing now.” It probably went over better than had I actually remembered the lyrics.

What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?

Making songs that are both creative and true to the band/artist and yet ‘fit’ into popular playlists both regarding genre and technical production choices.

So few people listen to full albums in a proper setting and sitting these days. It seems that the best way to get out there is to make music that is better for background noise, and that is just another cog in the playlist wheel.

It’s hard to make songs that are original and still work in this modern era of streaming and playlists.

What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?

Make sure the first 10 seconds of your song are extremely catchy, whether it is setting the mood or if you’re going for a pop audience.

The days of long, gradual instrumental intros a la Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin are over unless you already have a sizable following. It’s a real shame, but it is what it is.

What are your hopes for the next two years?

I’d like to write, produce for, and perform with other bands and artists, play more live shows, and get some songs licensed to tv/film/commercials.

Besides that, I will be making more and more of my original songs, and we’ll see what the future holds for that.

FVMusicBlog February 2022

We reviewed ‘Remy’ read the full article here.

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