Los Angeles, California three-piece LANY have made strides with their own flavor to the alternative rock scene. Starting off opening for acts such as Halsey and X Ambassadors, the band is making their on indent with their own ascetic, great songs, and a very dedicated and devoted fan base that is sure to grow when their first album is released this year. I caught up with lead singer Paul Jason Klein for an interview about the name of the band, their new album, and more.
MEB: You guys kicked off your show with Whitney Houston‘s rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” from Super Bowl XXV. Whose idea was that initially?
Jake and I had literally been talking about it for the longest time. We’ve only been playing live for a year and a half. For as long as I can remember, we wanted to one day get to the point where we could afford production and open up our set with Whitney Houston singing the national anthem. That is the best rendition of that song and it’s so effortless. Now we got to the point where we could work it into our set. I remember the conversation of being obsessed with that video
How was the overall response been for “The Kinda Tour”. Looking at social media, there are a lot of fans excited about it and sharing their experiences from it.
It’s been awesome. We’ve played major cities and then we also found ourselves in really tiny markets. We don’t have a song on the radio or anything. We don’t have any business playing these smaller markets like Omaha, St. Louis, or Birmingham – places like that. We decided that we were going to go for it and build this thing from the ground up. It’s been awesome playing all the way up to New York City. I mean, St. Petersburg, these are smaller cities, but we have just been kinda going everywhere and doing our best. It’s been amazing that people are showing up.
You mentioned that you guys don’t have a song on the radio, but you have a huge amount of fans. Is it more satisfying building it from a grassroots perspective?
Yeah, definitely. We are signed to a major label, but we have the best relationship and game plan. We are with Polydor Records in the U.K. and Interscope Records in the U.S. We’ve always said from the get go that we were going to live and die by radio. Radio doesn’t equal fans, it doesn’t equal ticket sales – it’s gotta be more than that. I think the way we operate is let’s make the best possible music we can and make songs we believe in that are true to us that are honest to our artistic integrity. Let’s build a fan base, let’s tour, let’s go everywhere. If a song gets on the radio – amazing. That would be awesome for awareness and letting people know that we exist as a band, but we are not going to make songs for radio and we are not going to change our sound for radio.
I’ve checked some previous interviews you guys had done and there’s was mention that around recording songs, you utilize social media almost like a living journal. Sometimes, if you had an idea for a song, you’ll make a quick post on Instagram. Do you feel that helps the process keeping the fans engaged?
I had done that. When I wrote “Made In Hollywood,” I knew what the chorus is going to be. I just threw it up on Twitter. I didn’t do it to see “let’s see the engagement of this post,” it was more about, I just live-tweet my life. Then I put up a photo of a palm tree one time and the caption was “current location.” There were all before people noticed that these songs existed. I think it’s more fun for people to go back and see and be like “omg, look”. It’s almost like foreshadowing. There are some people who go back and comment on that photo of a palm tree and it’s a cool discovery for our fans. Everything comes from the three of us – I run our social media for the band. Everyone knows that – [they] can hear my tone and that’s what has been beneficial for us. Our fans know it’s coming from me and it’s not a generated tweet from a guy in a cubicle at a record label.
Let’s talk about the Kinda EP. I noticed a lot within the band’s lyrical structure – it’s a lot more conversational. With the opening lines of “Quit,” your talking to someone instead of an artist writing from a third person perspective. Is that structure intentional?
It is. I don’t know anything else. That’s the only way I’ve ever really written. I got a little bit self-conscious of it because I was listening to other artists and seeing the success that they were having and I noticed that there were a little bit more ambiguous. Maybe a little bit more poetic. I was like, “man, do I need to change the way that I sound? Do I need to change the way I write things?” I realized that that was just kind of my lane. That’s my artistic mark. I really enjoy taking complex emotions and boiling them down into one liners, so it’s easy to understand.
Within the EP, there’s a nice, even playing field with up-tempo tracks like “Like You Lots” and “Where The Hell Are My Friends” and then you have slower tracks like “yea, babe, no way.” Was there a conscious decision to make the EP level?
The Kinda EP, we didn’t set out to make it. It was more of just a season of writing to nail down every idea that we had. The label wanted to put out a single, so we put our “Where the Hell Are My Friends”. Then [we] wanted to put out another single, but I started to get the feeling that a single wasn’t enough anymore and I wanted to give people a little bit more. Give them something to dive into and live with. We decided to put out an EP that sound-tracked people’s summers. We picked the songs that felt the most cohesive.
I understand that you guys are recording a new album and doing the majority of recording in LA. I’ve previously talked to other bands that have chosen L.A. as a recording spot. This is your debut album, how is L.A. cathartic in this experience?
It started out – we all lived together in a one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood. We make everything ourselves. We write it, record it, mix it – at one point, we were even mastering our songs. So, we didn’t need a budget for studios or producers, so we asked if we can use that budget for rent and we all moved up to a little house in Malibu. That’s where we wrote all the songs for Kinda and other songs that will be on the debut album.
You mentioned you all living in a one-bedroom apartment and with the current day music industry, it’s not necessarily easy for bands. You guys have previously toured with Halsey, Ellie Goulding, X Ambassadors. Now, LANY is selling out their own shows and breaking out with a big fan base. How would you summarize the rise of the band?
It’s all with team. I think we have the best team and it’s rewarding because we spent a whole year supporting other artists. A lot of that was supporting the right artists and getting on the right bills. We’re lucky to be working with the people that we do that were like, “this artist has an amazing fan base, we can tap into that”. Those four shows that we played with Halsey were life-changing along with the ten that we played with Troye Sivan. These are crucial, key elements to our growth as a band. It’s amazing to work that hard all year and step into our own.
Watch the video for “ILYSB (i love you so bad)” below. LANY will also be on tour later this year, to which you can check out the tour dates below. Follow the band on their main website, Instagram and, Twitter accounts for more updates.
2017 Tour Dates:
April 24: Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
April 25: Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
April 27: Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
April 29: San Antonio, TX @ The Paper Tiger
May 1: Little Rock, AR @ Revolution Music Room
May 2: Columbia, MO @ Blue Note
May 4: Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave II
May 6: Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe
May 8: Cincinnati, OH @ 20th Century Theatre
May 9: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
May 10: Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
May 12: Providence, RI @ Fete Music Hall
May 13: New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
May 14: Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
May 16: Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater
May 17: Charlotte, NC @ The Underground
May 18: Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
May 19: Charleston, SC @ Music Farm
May 24: Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theatre
May 21: Gulf Shores, AL @ Hangout Music Festival
July 14-16: Louisville, KY @ Forecastle
Main Photo Credit: Thomas Wood