So far the story of Lay It On The Line has been short but sweet - having only formed in January this year, they played their first show in March and released their debut EP in June. An EP I reviewed as 13/13 at the time; "A Lesson in Personal Finance an EP written, perfected, recorded and mixed in just four days, combines guttural vocals with heavy yet melodic guitar and blast beat drumming, to invoke a dark and violent scene".

I sent some questions to vocalist Mike Scott to get a feel for the early life of the band.

R13: So who are you and what do you do in Lay It On The Line? Can you give us a brief introduction to the band?
MS: My name is Mike and I do the vocals for Lay It On The Line. We formed at the start of the year because we all missed playing in bands/touring and stuff. We didn't have much of a plan other than we all fancied starting a hardcore band. The rest has kind of come organically.

R13: To the average hardcore fan who's unaware of your band, how would you describe yourself?
MS: Well we only really set out with the plan of doing a demo about a guy who spent a week in Las Vegas and lost all his money/his mind. We kind of decided any future releases would be about a certain story, like concept releases only. Our EP is about a teacher at mine and Matt's school, who was murdered by some kid, who it turned out he had hired as a prostitute but he hadn't paid him. Needless to say that story doesn't fit too well with the school's image, so it was hard to research it properly. But we've done the EP and dedicated it to him.
Sound wise it's, I guess, melodic hardcore/modern hardcore. Somewhere between The Effort, Dead Swans and Bluetip. Maybe. Apologies to any of those bands if they take offence to the comparison.

R13: Right so your new EP is out now, what can people expect from 'A Lesson In Personal Finance'?
MS: Like I say, it's a 4 song EP about the story above. It's actually got Dave, the guitarist who just left us, on guitar. He was massively into his Bruce Springsteen and Lucero, that kind of stuff, so it's textured anger I guess. We have had a longer record planned since before we even played a show, but knew it might take till the end of this year to record, so we quickly wrote 4 songs and recorded them with a guy called John Hannon, who Jon from The Filaments recommended. Within like a week we'd written it, recorded it and stuck it on Bandcamp. So it's kind of a product of not thinking too hard. When you already know what you want the songs to be about and you got some riffs ready, stuff kind of writes itself.

R13: You also play solo, how has that affected the band?
MS: Not a great deal to be fair. I have been playing solo since my old band, Phinius Gage, broke up in 2008. I played like 100 shows last year and just needed something polar opposite. Lay It On The Line gives the outlet that an acoustic doesn't. I have been quite quiet on the gig front for solo stuff this year, to concentrate on the band. I played at Rebellion Festival and have just finished recording my 2nd solo album, but otherwise the two are quite separate. Two different things I can pick up depending on my mood.

R13: How are you finding it trying to make your way as a new band in the current musical climate?
MS: Er, well it's great! The last time I started a band that I took seriously you couldn't spread the word round the world with such ease. Putting up a .rar file online and contacting blogs about your band means people hear you that you could never have imagined reaching a few years ago. I think, if anything, it's easier than ever. If you back your music completely; spread the word and people will listen. That is a nice feeling.

R13: Do you think the UK hardcore scene is particularly strong at the moment?
MS: It depends what people refer to by that I suppose. There are some really good bands at the moment, I love the new Landscapes album. I guess it is strong but then I suppose it has been for quite a long time.

R13: Do you have any recommendations for people to check out?
MS: I would recommend, if people like their melodic hardcore Ignite style, that they check out The Human Project. They played with us when we supported Ignite the other week. Get yourself a copy of their EP, Trials.

R13: Thank you for your answers. Any final words?
MS: Thank you for the interview Jacqueline. And people, please come get our EP (or our demo) from our Bandcamp; (I hope) you won't be disappointed.