Boxspring began shortly after Layton finished music school at Musician’s Institute and got a gig touring with a metal/electronic band. While Layton found this to be a great experience to have under his belt, he found himself lacking an outlet for self-expression.
"I was touring with them, but it wasn’t my band. That gig came to an end, and I was left with more spare time and even less music inhabiting my life, so I decided to fill that void with some songs. I didn’t really know where the songs were going, but I didn’t have a band and I wanted to write songs that might not work for a band."
Some songs, he says, were salvaged from ideas he had shelved over the years, others, written and recorded in just a few hours. Layton explains, "A lot of it was just on the tip of my tongue. I’ve worked with a few artists since that first touring gig, but it helps to have Boxspring as a source for creativity. Lately the music I’ve been playing for other people has been in genres that aren’t so near and dear to my heart. It’s great to have opportunities to play, but writing my own songs is totally cathartic and I try to chase that feeling."
Perhaps we can credit a certain early-2000s smash hit for making Layton want to play music in the first place... "My friend showed me 'Meant to Live' by Switchfoot when I was maybe 11 and as soon as I heard that opening riff I thought it was the coolest thing in the world."
Layton and his friend wished to start a band together and since his friend played drums, Layton decided he would picked up guitar to fill out the lineup. While he and his friend were young and the band ultimately fizzled away, Layton’s passion for music certainly did not. In fact, it turned out to be just the platform he needed.
"I wasn’t great at sports and I was relatively shy, so the idea of rocking out and playing music on a stage seemed like a way to cut loose and have an absolutely fun time. Most of the people I’ve looked up to have been musicians, so that definitely made me want to do what they do."
"I’ve been a pretty big fan of some chaotic hardcore/math-core bands, or whatever you want to call it," says Layton, whose current favorites include The Chariot, Norma Jean, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Every Time I Die, just to name a few. Most recently, he says, he’s been getting into bands like Daughters, Drug Church, Microwave, and Jimmy Eat World. "Almost none of that applies to Boxspring, but it’s what I listen to," Layton explains. "A big songwriting influence is Nirvana, and bands like Basement and Title Fight definitely had an influence in how I write music."
And what of his influence when writing 'Scribble,' specifically?
"To put it lightly, I wasn’t doing great," Layton says of his headspace when writing the vulnerable track—a time during which he was taking a break from his medication. "I felt… Different. It’s kind of hard to describe, but I was very on-edge. I was pretty exhausted and on my days off from work, I was sleeping a lot, probably too much. My days off are weekdays, and so no one is available to do anything, and I spent most of my time alone and inside. That alone is a recipe for disaster, and I really started to get cabin fever despite trying to be productive." He continues, "I just remember feeling pretty hopeless and wanting to do something about it, but not knowing or seeing any way I could do anything about it. I was too broke to go out and do stuff and I didn’t see any point in doing anything, anyway. That feeling subsided, but the song was made out of that moment."