LANY are heading down to Australia for Splendour In The Grass and a series of headline shows in July, after popping down for a series of tiny shows earlier this year. They’re also releasing their debut, self-titled album, LANY, on June 30th. With so many exciting things happening in their camp, we had the chance to have a chat with the enigmatic frontman Paul Klein, which you can read below:
You’re about to head back to Australia in July- you were only here a couple of months ago. Are you excited to be heading back here so soon?
Yes m’am. I love Australia.
You’re playing much bigger venues this time – what should people be expecting from your live show this time round?
Well, I’m trying to figure it out right now if we can bring lighting. Like, stage design and production. It might be like- I don’t know, I would prefer to, obviously. I think that adds these additional elements to the show, but I’m not sure if they’re economically viable or not. But I am trying to figure that out. I mean other than that, we’ll be playing more songs off the album. I don’t know, I just feel like LANY shows are really unique. And you’ve been to one, you know what it feels like in the room, and to just kind of sing along with everyone, the whole vibe- it’ll be really energetic, and it’ll be really good to be back in Australia.
Last time you picked up a phone from one of the kids in the front row, and you were taking selfies on it which we thought was pretty cool! So a bit more of that then?!
(laughs) Yeah, classic.
You’re also playing at Splendour In The Grass! Do you feel there is a big difference between your performance at festivals and your headlining shows?
Yeah, a little bit. Because when you do your own headline shows you obviously have access to the venue, and can kind of vibe out the place. And you have soundcheck, and time to get things dialled in. And then also, everyone who’s in the room is there for you. Whereas at festivals you get kind of like, thrown up on stage and you’ve got 30 minutes to set your stuff up and figure it all out. And you’re playing to a lot of people who probably don’t even know that you’re a band, or that you even exist. So you try to like, only play the ones that most people know, and don’t play too many slow songs so that people don’t walk away and go get a beer. I don’t know, you’ve gotta think about that sort of stuff.
Last time we talked, you hadn’t performed for an Australian crowd yet- what did you find the Aussie audience like compared to America?
It’s really the same. It’s interesting now that we’re starting to play more around the world, people always ask us if the crowds are different. But for the most part, it’s really the same. Everyone is really intuitive, everyone seems to know every word. Obviously there are some places that are more flat-footed than others. But those are few and far between.
And Australia isn’t one of those places?
Oh no. Wait you know what? Melbourne was a bit- wait I’m gonna be really detailed and try to recall perfectly but Sydney was more hyped than Melbourne. Maybe I’m putting out the challenge to Melbourne. Show up!
For sure- let’s call them out!
You guys were recently on late night with Seth Meyers! What it’s like performing on live tv?
Oh, well that was forever. So there’s a lot of pressure. And to be honest it was new for us. I mean, I was nervous. I was nervous and you kind of understand the weight of the situation. But Seth was such a nice guy, he came back in to the dressing room before we went out and he was super warm and friendly. And I think that now that we’ve done that we’ve kinda got one under our belt, and we know what to expect. And we’re really looking forward to the next opportunity to do that.
Last time we talked you were all really excited to be going out on the road with John Mayer- tell me what that experience was like?
I mean, it was the best seven nights of my life. I actually got seven tally marks tattooed on my arm to remember it forever. He was everything you could want from your hero. He was so aware of us, and who we are and what we do, and so complimentary, and nice and came back in to the dressing room and introduced himself and thanked us for being so pumped to be on tour with him. He just like, knew little details about us and our band. And he admittedly did his research, and read up on everything about us. And to be acknowledged like that by somebody you’ve looked up to your whole life, is an amazing feeling.
What his audience like- were they receptive to you guys?
Yeah! It’s a really wide demographic, you know- like you have younger girls, but you also have people that are older and have been listening to him for 15+ years. And so, it was cool because every night we were getting in front of around 20,000 people. But they’re music fans, and all of us were trained in music. So we ended our set with It Was Love, and I riff a huge sick solo, and Jake goes off on the drums, and there was this real respect. I remember we got a standing ovation a couple of nights from the crowd that was there. Which is so cool because they’re there to hear John Mayer, solo for like two and a half hours. So we gave them a little bit of a solo at the end of our set and it was kind of this nod, like ok respect- you guys can play instruments, and you guys are musicians and you’re trained and you know whats up, and that’s cool. And that was just really awesome.
Your debut self titled album is out June 30, what are the biggest differences between recording and releasing an album, and releasing your previous EP’s?
There’s not going to be a massive difference sonically, because it is our debut album, and it would be pretty counterintuitive to release something thats completely different on a debut album. The difference is that its going to be longer, you know, there’s 16 tracks. It was really important to us that our debut album wasn’t just a culmination of the most popular songs from our previous EPs, surrounded by a couple of new songs. We just did not want to do that. We wanted to put out an entirely new body of work, so the only song that’s on the debut album that’s been previously released is I Love You So Bad [ILYSB]. We love that song, and obviously a lot of people love that song, so that was even done more strategically for radio purposes. You know, taking that song to radio and giving that song a shot at radio, that’s why that song is on the debut album.
In writing the new songs for the album, what inspirations were you pulling from?
I mean, I write a lot of love songs. We’re known for that. And I just feel like, those are the best kinds of songs in the world, the ones that stand the test of time, and they’re usually about love. So, I guess I’m either really sensitive, or really dialled in to the details, and the- I don’t know, the subtleties of relationships and the things that you go through emotionally. And so I write from very personal experience. And you know, when you’re LANY and you play 130 shows a year- like I don’t know how anyone who doesn’t write their own songs performs night in and night out. Like, how do you stand up on stage and do that? For me, that would be impossible. The only thing that saves me and keeps me sane is that for the 75 minutes that I’m on stage singing these songs, I know exactly what I’m saying and exactly what I’m feeling. And I know what I know, and I know what I’ve experienced, and this is my account of that experience. And then I share that, and people find peace, and they find hope in that, and they can draw the parallels between what happened in my life and what happened in their lives. And I think sometimes the similarities are just uncanny. They’re almost identical for some people. And thats kind of what I do as a songwriter.
You touched on it briefly before, how you construct a setlist for a festival, but I’m interested in how you collate a setlist for a headline show given that some LANY songs have cult status among fans. How do you balance what the fans want to hear, with what you want to perform?
Well fans always come first. So everything that we do, is with them in mind. And there’s times when we might have a setlist and then halfway through a tour we might change it. Because for me it’s all about ebb and flow, peaks and valleys. Peaks and valley is like a visual metaphor, like here’s a big moment so let’s follow it with a valley and bring it down. It’s all about the ebb and flow. But knowing that ultimately as you peak and valley, you want to hit the crescendo at the end. I mean, I guess that’s how I piece together our sets, if that makes sense.
You’ve got a lot of new material coming out on your album, is there a particular song you’re most excited to see the fan reaction to?
Hmm… There might be a couple. So, we’re putting out another song this Friday called 13, which I think is my favourite song off the album. It’s definitely one of my favourites, if not my favourite. It’s really simple as far as the production of the track goes, it’s two tracks of guitar and beat machine, and then just some vocals. Lyrically and conceptually it just means a lot to me. There’s another song called Super Far, and I think it has a pretty wide appeal. Sort of like ILYSB where it just sort of resonates with people. And then there’s some really intimate ballads; like Hericane where I talk about my struggles at home, and family dynamics, and stuff like that. And so that will be interesting to see if people pick up on that. Because like I said, we do write love songs, and we are known for that. I think it’s interesting that sometimes the details and the subtleties of our songs get overlooked, and I would really like to see that change a little bit.
Word on the street is there’s still limited tickets to their Australian shows, but you’ll wanna act pretty quick. Full details below:
Melbourne; 20 July, 2017
Max Watts Melbourne
Sydney; 22 July, 2017
You can pre-order LANY’s debut album HERE (and you really should- it’s a goddamn MASTERPIECE).