Three-piece dream pop band LANY split their time between Nashville, LA and NY; they used to make music in airless rooms and less-than-comfortable apartments, but all that’s changed, except their sound: pop music to live entire days to.
Get “yea, babe, no way” on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/YeaBabeNoWay
Thanks to LANY
Thansk to Anthony L.
Photos : MERCURY
Interview Patricia Tavares De Oliveira
We just got on this tour, a week and a half ago. We started off in Leeds, then Glasgow, worked our way around the UK. We also played in Ken, Belgium and Amsterdam. We’ll be playing in Berlin, Copenhagen and Oslo. We have another week and a half in Europe and then back to LA for a week, and then we’ll be touring North America for two months.
Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline?
We are working towards a debut record.
How would you describe your sound? Has anything changed over the years? How is LANY different from your previous band WRLD?
LANY is way more accessible. LANY is very much the three of us all together. [Paul Klein]: I had a solo career. I was doing the singer-songwriter thing. LANY is very synth-driven.
Who writes the lyrics? Is it a group effort?
Paul writes his lyrics and comes back and we drop some beautiful bombs on them. [Paul Klein]: The lyrics are about my life, my experiences. I write about love quite a bit.
How did you guys meet?
We met in Nashville. Jake was living with Les and three other guys and when I met them we would just hang out, go to the gym, play sports. We’d never play music. Jake is very established in Nashville. He would go on tour with people; he would play in sessions for records and things like that. I was very unsuccessful in Nashville. I never had the guts to ask him to be in a band with me. Les was working at a post office. He is a genius when it comes to engineering and mixing. And I guess, finally, after leaving together forever, I left Nashville and these two decided to try it out and start a band. [Jake]: We like music and we used to talk about music we liked but we never discussed making music as a band.
How did it all happen?
[Paul]: I was doing the solo artist thing. Some people would ask Les to mix or produce their songs and Jake has his own thing going.
[Jake]: We definitely all had our own unique positions in music before this.
[Paul]: I was wiping tables at a restaurant, just barely eking by. I moved to LA. I just felt like I was supposed to be out there. When I had shorter hair, I got picked up off the street to model a little bit. That was coming super easy to me, whereas I’d struggled to get anybody to listen to my songs. I thought maybe I should take this as a sign from the universe and let go of the music thing and try to model or whatever. I think maybe modelling changed the way I made music or wrote music. It really toughened me up, going to castings and being turned down and then learning to be really comfortable and confident about what you have to offer and bring to the table, whether that’s with your looks or with your creativity. It did make me a lot more confident and it allowed me to write from an even more comfortable place.
What did you guys grow up listening to?
[Jake]: I was into the Grunge Scene, Pearl Jams, Red Hot Chili Peppers.
[Paul]: I listened to a lot of Coldplay and John Mayer growing up. I also love some smooth jazz and started listening to stuff like Gerald Albright. In sixth grade, I was in a middle school jazz band and started studying jazz piano.
[Les]: My parents always had Top 40 radio on. I listened to a lot of 80s pop, even classic rock.
How do those diverse musical influences come together and make LANY?
We came together beautifully. You know how a lot of bands rehearse and play together and try to find their sound, covering bands they like. We’re all over the place. We didn’t know what our sound was going to be. We had no expectations. It was a very special thing to see what our sound became. There are no rules. Let’s throw every idea we have on the table and be open. It there are things that sound like mistakes, let’s keep them cause they have feeling.
What was the response from the audience to your first EP?
Our first write-up compared us to Phil Collins and Jungle. Pretty cool! In six days, he had an email from a record label. We put two songs “Hot Lights” and “Walk Away” on the internet, and within six days we had an email from our record label. It was really bizarre. We put our songs on Soundcloud, we had 0 followers. We don’t know who heard us first, who posted or reposted but in six days, we had a response. That’s how immediate it was. It got serious from there. They asked what else do you have, what else can we hear.
[Paul]: I had flown to Nashville for four days to make those two songs and that’s all we had. After that we put out “ILYSB” and “BRB”. The first label that got in touch with us was Polydor, that’s who we wound up signing to. I had no idea if these people were real. That’s why we brought Rupert (their manager) on board. I’d spent years trying to get somebody to my music and then in six days we get emails from these record labels. We thought it was a joke. We didn’t know how this stuff worked. It turned out to be a legitimate interest. We just kept writing music and wound up getting to the point where we needed to sign to a label to take us further than we could take ourselves.
Tell us about your latest EP “Kinda”.
The first two EPS were made in the front room of the house in Nashville or in our one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood. Neither had room for drums so everything was done on a drum pad or an iPhone drum machine, we would use anything. When we signed to Polydor, they gave us a recording budget. A lot of bands will use that budget on a studio and a producer and mix engineers, but we’re a self-sufficient band. Our living situation was pretty grim, no air conditioning. We’d reached our creative capacity. So we asked if we could use that budget to get us out of there and find us a little house somewhere where we can breathe and create and maybe pull out some drums and guitar amps and stuff like that. We moved into that house and started writing and recording and we knew we were working towards a debut record. We never set out to make an EP, we had no clear vision. We were just LANY, making songs the way that we make songs. The time came when singles weren’t enough anymore, putting a song out every three months is lame. We needed to give something people can live with and dive into. That’s when we decided we’d put something together for the summer. This EP turned out to be massive. These are the songs that people know the most and love the most over here in Europe. We wouldn’t be able to be on this tour without “Kinda”. We’ve been touring the other two Eps for a little bit but this EP makes the experience a lot greater.
Why do you think people are more responsive to “Kinda” than your other two Eps?
We don’t know if it’s more. Maybe here people just figured out who we were. That’s the first thing that they’re hearing, whereas in America, we have spent more time touring, so we’ve been able to reach a little bit more people. I hope every time we release something it’s better than the ones we did before.
How soon will we hear your debut record?
We’re working on it. When it’s coming from the three of us and it’s so pure like that, that’s what gives us identity. What we do is so authentic. That’s what makes us LANY.
Any current musical obsessions?
[Paul]: This EP by this kid named Matt DiMona. He remixed one of our songs “Bad, Bad, Bad”. He did it a while ago and just came out with the EP.
[Les]: I’m still listening to M83’s latest record. I didn’t actually like it at first but it’s grown on me.
[Jake]: I like HONNE’s new record.
Where do you find the inspiration for your songs?
[Paul]: Walking around cities is really inspirational to me.
[Jake]: I love listening to podcasts about musicians and actors that I love.