Laylines is starting to receive some attention for his genre-defying, alternative approach to music, and it’s extremely well deserved. Spearheaded by Caleb Gatling, Laylines has released a series of singles recently, including the newly released “For Whom Doth the Light Turn?,” which features Rian Cunningham and Glo. Like most of Gatling’s musical output, it’s hard to situate this song stylistically, with its mix-up of R&B, hip-hop, and alternative rock. The song itself is about the struggle that comes along with arguing with someone you love and having to make that difficult decision between keeping the fight going to maintain your pride, or putting that pride aside and deciding to make amends.
Gatling has fashioned Laylines in a way that keeps things interesting, by balancing these different genres and songwriting styles, while still keeping things original and engaging. “For Whom Doth the Light Turn?” follows up the release of other recently released and well-received singles like “Entrance Made,” “Lucid Dreams,” and his cover of Carrie Underwood’s hit single “Before He Cheats.” As you observe from these songs, Laylines is not merely content with staying in one musical lane; he’s interested in reinventing his sound, not just from album to album, but from song to song.
Gatling has joined us today for another edition of Level Up in which we spoke with the singer and songwriter about his introduction to gaming, his favourite RPG, and how gaming has inspired his songwriting.
What video game introduced you to the world of gaming?
Laylines: “The first game I can remember playing was probably Syphon Filter and I just recently downloaded the PlayStation 5 port to revisit it. I remember I got into video games when my uncle brought over his gaming system to play games with my father and I had really wanted to join them in the fun.”
What are your favourite types of games to play?
“I am a huge fan of RPGs, whether it be action RPGs, JRPGs (Japanese role-playing games), or turn-based tactical RPGs, but any game that really makes me feel like I have the most control over my characters and makes me feel like I am a part of their world will always get my dollar.”
Have video games ever inspired you musically?
“Very much so! One of the first songs I can remember singing to is ‘Simple and Clean,’ the theme song for the first Kingdom Hearts game, and Kingdom Hearts was the first game to introduce me to the world of action RPGs. One of my biggest goals as an artist would be to get one of my songs into a video game one day.”
What is the most beautiful game you’ve ever played?
“It would definitely have to be Ghost Of Tsushima. I love samurai movies and media so getting to play one in such a beautiful world based on the movies I loved was such a blessing! It should have won game of the year!”
What is your favourite trading card game (eg. Magic, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Hearthstone, etc)?
“Definitely Magic: The Gathering (MTG). I love the system and playing commander lately has definitely revitalized my love for trading card games, and I love that most people in my area either play MTG hardcore or have a casual knowledge of it so you can always find a game around here. Plus, my fiancé also plays and beating my fiancé’s decks always makes me feel like a tactical master.”
“What is your favourite role-playing game (eg. Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, etc)?
Dungeons & Dragons 5E (DnD) is probably my main, but I have been super into Vampire The Masquerade 5E. I first got into tabletop RPGs during the pandemic, I was always told that DnD was demonic and the devils game growing up, but after stumbling across some philosophy that really challenged my world view I decided to look into DnD because I figure if the adults in my life were wrong about other things then why would DnD be any different.
“I instantly fell in love with it. DnD laid the groundwork for pretty much all of my favourite video games so it was only natural I would love it. After spending the next few years getting into DnD, I decided to branch out into other systems and found Vampire: The Masquerade and I fell in love with its risk and reward systems and lore.”
“What is your favourite character you’ve ever created?
I have two that I love almost equally, One is Syanar, a Drow Pact of the archefey warlock who works primarily as a bounty hunter/private investigator and his slogan is ‘I’m Syanar, from Sayonara’s P.I. agency and we’re the good guy to make your bad guy go goodbye,’ and my other favourite character is Demetrius Vileblood of the Silverheart Quintet. He is a Dhampir Twilight Cleric who aspires to own his own carnival, but for now, he will settle for saving the world with his wild band of misfits until he can save up the gold to do so, and he has a pet moorbounder named Shasta who can be quite a handful.”
Have you ever made a Game Master rage quit?
“I never made a GM fully rage quit, however in a persona-based TTRPG, I made my GM tell the party to take an hour break to figure out how he was going to sort out the shenanigans that I had just pulled by attempting to summon my persona into the real world. I am still considered the chaos gremlin in my group for that.”