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Interview: LANY

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With a week run across parts of Europe, LANY show no signs of stopping. Just hours before their near sell-out show at O2 Academy Liverpool, Paul Klein, Jake Gross and Les Priest sat down with The National Student to discuss their upcoming second album, playing Coachella, and how they built their fanbase.

Despite hailing from Los Angeles, California, the band seem at home in the UK setting. “It’s really familiar you know? We’ve been here a lot of times,” says frontman Paul – but having just awoken from a three-hour nap, he apologises for what must still be a suffering of jetlag.

“We haven’t played Liverpool as 'LANY', we were here last time with Ellie Goulding I think”.

Since the release of LANY, their 2017 debut LP, the band has had an intense touring schedule which saw them playing across the UK in Birmingham, Manchester and London amongst others, with fans welcoming them in open arms. “It feels very familiar,” they emphasise.

Their debut self-titled full-length album was released in June last year, and Klein attempts to put into words how they have got to the position they are in today. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but really really fun. The only way we’ve gotten here is by playing shows. We’ve never really had a song on the radio, never had a big internet moment or anything – just built it from the ground up one show at a time”. This notion of starting from nothing echoes throughout LANY’s aura as something which they are incredibly thankful for.

From posting two songs – ‘Hot Lights’ and ‘Walk Away’ – to a zero-follower Soundcloud account in 2014 to becoming one of the biggest American bands around right now, the internet generation of fans have a lot of credibility. “That’s a large part of our fan base – it’s been amazing. Those are our people, we want to make music for everyone, but definitely those people that we hang out with or hang out on the internet with”. They’ve been open in interviews before about the somewhat unprofessionalism of recording previous music through a Dell computer, and the three-piece are still totally humble about their smooth sun-drenched sound.

Klein is keen to talk about their next album despite keeping it anticipatingly low-key, “we’ll put out a new album this year, and that’s about all we can say so far”. Jake, the band’s drummer, adds in humour “those are all the juicy details”.

“We were home for January to February and just went for it. There’s a lot to be said and there’s a lot of things I wanted to do musically and say with songs. So, we just did it, and weren’t really planning on it; it just happened”.

Fuelled by a geography and sound that oozes Californian vibes, album two claims the title Malibu Nights. We all live in Malibu together, in a house, and I still live there,” Klein explains. “We are very autobiographical, every line that we put into a song is truth. It’s called Malibu Nights because that’s where I go to bed every night, it’s all really honest”. The concept of love and its struggles is chronicled throughout their sound, with the lens of love being rose–tinted but honest and real.

Humbly boasting their progression further, LANY express their Los Angeles homecoming in playing the main stage of Coachella 2018. “It was really cool to be able to play that, to be next to bunch of other artists that we really admire and respect. We’ve dreamt of playing Coachella since we started the band”.  Their stage presence is unparalleled, and when asking what to expect if you’re someone who has never been to a LANY show, Paul is quick to answer “That”.

Goss also adds: “for the Governors Ball in New York, Rolling Stone did a little review – best stage presence went to LANY”, the trio unassumingly laugh. “Gotta give our boy Paul here some credit for his dance moves and energy”, he continues. Paul expands to say “but we just go for it. We love playing shows and a lot of time fans give us back what we give to them, and that’s what makes it such an exciting experience”. Building on their Rolling Stone acclaimed title even further Jake continues to promise “Les has a signature dance move that’s sick” as he bounces back to say “they’re the best moves” – “it’s iconic” Paul finally adds.

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