Paul Klein of LANY talks new album, touring with John Mayer and the band’s whirlwind success.
Love is a crazy, crippling thing: just ask LANY, a three-piece band from Los Angeles. The trio’s heavyhearted love songs are wrapped up in a synth-filled, dream-pop package. Their tracks are emotionally multi-purpose, feeling like a breath of fresh air and a stab in the heart at the same time. For Paul Klein, lead vocalist and lyricist, LANY’s music is about conveying something meaningful and emotional.
“It’s all about communication,” said Klein. “How well I can communicate a sentiment, how universal can I make it, how relatable can I make it, how honest can I make it.”
In 2014, Klein, Les Priest and Jake Gross came together to make music in LA . No set goals – well, not really. The only objective: make music and have fun. However, less than a week after putting a couple songs online, they heard from head honchos of major record labels. It catapulted LANY to a level none of them ever could’ve predicted. Well, except maybe Paul.
“The second I got in a room with Jake and Les and heard what we were doing, I knew that’s where I wanted to go [creatively],” said Klein. “This had been what I had been itching to make, dying to create.”
The band signed to Polydor Records and hit the ground running. Singles and EPs poured out from LANY, with dozens of tour dates never far behind. One of their most recognized tracks, “ILYSB,” gained significant traction online. The past few years have been a whirlwind for LANY, and the band loves the chaos. “Let’s keep the ball rolling, and keep the touring going,” said Klein after releasing their third EP in 2015. “Keep going. Keep going.”
Now in 2017, late-night TV appearances, a headlining tour and millions of Spotify plays are in the mix for the group.
“It’s all exciting when the trajectory is ramping up,” said Klein. “It’s exciting times when your dreams can be realized.”
April itself was a dream for LANY. For seven nights, the trio toured with John Mayer, hopping from Columbus to Las Vegas and a few cities in-between. Klein soaked up every second of Mayer’s performances – even getting a tattoo to commemorate the “best seven nights” of his life. Seven tally marks are now etched on his body because of the hospitality and graciousness of the Battle Studies singer. “He was my everything growing up, and honestly, he’s still my everything right now because of the way he treated us.”
During the tour, Klein experienced what it’s like walk out to a crowd unfamiliar with LANY. It wasn’t an foreign feeling or exercise for the band (LANY has toured with Halsey, Troye Sivan, Ellie Goulding and other artists). But it’s always a daunting task.
“It’s kind of like dating, isn’t it?” he laughs. “Those 40 minutes.” 40 minutes to own the stage in front of a new (and admittedly older) crowd. It was a task they didn’t shy away from – and one they never will. “People saw the talent and the musicianship and the songwriting,” said Klein. “It made them feel something.”
Feeling something is a concept LANY is all too familiar with. Their latest single, an airy and raw track called “The Breakup,” previews what is sure to be an emotional record. “You think you wanna be alone / Just wait until you’re crying on the shower floor,” Klein screams out.
“But it doesn’t feel depressing? That’s kind of the cool thing,” said Klein, speaking on the new album as a whole. He hopes LANY is a breath of fresh air for listeners despite the sometimes devastating subject matter. Cry a little, dance a little more: a concurrent thread in many alternative albums this year (just ask MUNA or Paramore).
The self-titled album is a little over a month away from its June 30 release, and Paul feels it’s the perfect time for it. “We’ve been working on it for a while,” said Klein. He’s excited to see what opportunities arise after its release.
But it’s not like this year hasn’t already been the one of the most successful for LANY already. With a fall tour booked and so much more on the horizon, 2017 promises to be a fruitful year for the band.
Klein’s mother told him growing up, “You have not arrived. You will never arrive. You should always be getting better.” Seems like Klein took his mother’s words to heart.
He promises that LANY’s music will continue to strike a cord in all of ours.
LANY stops in Charlotte and Asheville next week and Carrboro and Atlanta this fall. Tickets for LANY’s headlining tour at the Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte on Wednesday, May 17 can be purchased HERE. Showtime set for 8 p.m.