After a successful Kickstarter campaign, a critically acclaimed release (the delightfully epic, philosophical, cinematic double album Heterotopia– one of Proglodytes’ albums of the year in 2017), festival performances, mini-tours, and an award from Prog Magazine for Best New/Unsigned Band, Lainey decided to pause before the next step.
Fans of Schooltree know that Heterotopia was an incredibly challenging album to make from the start. Crowdfunding an album is always a difficult undertaking, but then when you add in personnel changes, a grand concept with a dense philosophical narrative, health problems, and many more factors, it would make sense to reassess before you started the whole cycle again and wrote Heterotopia II.
But, that was likely never the plan for Lainey anyway. As an artist that embodies the progressive ethos of pushing boundaries and seeking inspiration far and wide, Lainey has been preparing for almost a year and a half for her next big step. In her own words, “I’m at my best when I’m working on something epic that’s making me miserable”.
What does that look like?
Well, for starters, Lainey has decided to open a Patreon page. Why Patreon? Well, it makes sense. Creating good art is not cheap, and being a musician that relies on album sales alone is not financially sustainable. After relying on grants and fickle crowdfunding, it makes sense that an artist would choose a platform that could translate into a more sustainable cash flow. Citing the successes of Amazon, Netflix, and other streaming services, Lainey points out that “the subscription model drives excellence”.
Lainey, who considers herself “a pretty reclusive and private human”, decided to utilize Patreon as a more immediate way to connect directly with Schooltree fans. With several tiers and a variety of creative perks (ranging from a Discord-based live chat to a monthly funny hat hangout- it’s exactly what it sounds like), she intends to open up her world to her subscribers, inviting them to see glimpses into her mind and life.
What else is on the horizon? Well, new music! Whereas Heterotopia was more in the vein of traditional progressive rock, Lainey’s looking to the future for her inspiration. Musically, Lainey’s exploring “EDM, jazz fusion, dubstep, vaporwave, and pop”- in other words, veering away from her more familiar styles- a move that is more than welcome in the context and framework of a genre that often gets blamed for being too nostalgic. Thematically, Lainey’s studying a variety of future-facing thinking topics, such as “urban design, machine learning, Big Data, IoT, artificial intelligence, “smart” cities”, and so on.
Furthermore, Lainey and I have chatted extensively about game design and interactive technology, and part of the master plan involves translating her music into a more interactive template. If that doesn’t sound progressive, I don’t really know what does. Progress for Lainey’s musical and artistic projects, as well as other creative pursuits, will be outlined and detailed for subscribers to Lainey’s Patreon page.
One thing is clear: the future is bright for Schooltree.
Buy Heterotopia and her other brilliant albums on her page here.