Los Angeles based babes LANY launched the first wave of their dreamy, electro-pop sound in 2014 after uploading a batch of songs to the internet. 135 shows later, the Californian trio are rounding off their epic year in Berlin in December before creating a second album, due in 2018.
We caught up with Paul Klein, Jake Goss and Les Priest, before their sold out headline show at The O2 Ritz in Manchester.
Your tour this year has been huge starting in Melbourne in July. Who’s been your favourite crowd?
Paul: Yeah, it’s been crazy! London is always so much fun to play. We’ve played there twice this year – we played KOKO at the beginning of the year which was, up until last night, probably one of my favourite shows ever, then we played Shepherd’s Bush Empire last night which was amazing! Along the way in the US we had some places that surprised us like Detroit. That turned out to be one of our favourites. It’s interesting how it always changes.
Les: We had a really insane crowd in the Philippines too.
How are the European crowds compared to home?
Paul: They’re good, they’re a little different. I think people in America are a little more rowdy. But then you know, London was really rowdy too. Whereas Brighton and Bristol were more reserved. Glasgow was nuts! We like that!
Your lyrics are very emotionally driven which fans find easily relatable – are they all directed to personal experiences?
Paul: Yes. All of them.
How did LANY form?
Paul: Jake and Les started a band in 2014 and were putting stuff on the internet and ended up getting really cool blog write ups. I called Jake and asked if I could fly to Nashville and write some songs with them and if they were cool maybe the three of us could start another band. So we recorded our first two songs and put them online and you know, the rest is history!
You’re based in LA, but how did the NY in your name come about?
Paul: When we started out we wanted a four letter word for our band name for aesthetic purposes. Every four letter word in the English dictionary seemed to be taken so we thought about symbolism… Los Angeles and New York are both massive cities; very culturally diverse and progressive and both on the opposite sides of the country so we thought we’d mix it up and put them both together.
We love your take on Harry Styles’ ‘Sign of the Times’ what made you want to cover that song?
Paul: Ah cool thanks! We were going back and forth on a bunch of songs. We were going to do Super Rich Kids by Frank Ocean and we were thinking of some others but landed on that and vocally it felt right. I think Harry is very cool and respect him for going out and making a solo album. It was a good song for us to do because we were able to make it very LANY and it sounded very different to what Harry does. We had a lot of fun with it!
Which artists inspire your dreamy, electro-pop sound?
Paul: We listen to a ton of different music so it’s hard to pinpoint. Artists we’ve collectively listened to the most are probably John Mayer, Michael Jackson, Frank Ocean and Phil Collins. We all like a mixture of different music.
You started off recording in your home in Nashville – how did you get from there to here?
Paul: Our debut album was also actually made in a kitchen! Part of it was made in a kitchen in Malibu, and part of it was made in a kitchen in Nashville. So not much has changed… we’re keeping it authentic!
Did you play a lot of gigs before you were signed by Polydor?
Paul: We put our first songs on the internet and within six days we got an email from Polydor, along with Parlophone and Island UK. It wasn’t until a year and half later that we signed a deal with Polydor.
We probably played around fifty shows before that. For that first year all we wanted to do was make really good music and let there be a demand for a live performance and not being like “hey please come see us play” – we wanted people to be like “please come play!” Waiting gave people time to discover us and fall in love with what we were doing. Our first show was 400 people, 200 people over capacity, so it was amazing.
Who’s your favourite band or artist that you’ve watched live?
Jake: I saw The Killers live, that was a stand out. The difference in listening to the record and seeing them live was awesome.
Paul: The 1975 were very good live, they are amazing.
Les: The National were so good.
Your tour finishes in a few weeks in Berlin, what are your plans for Christmas?
Les: We’ll go home for a bit, spend Christmas in LA!
Paul: Yeah LA. Sometimes on tour we’ll go for five nights in a row. We try to stack them all up. When the year’s done we’ll of played 135 shows, so we’re ready for a break!
What can fans expect from you in 2018?
Paul: It would be nice to put out some new music. We’re going on tour from March until August. We have January and February off to write and record and we also have August through to December to make album two, so that’s what next year is looking like for us! We’ll be recording album 2 at home in LA.
Words by Sophie Eastham // @sophyvictoriae