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Interview: LANY on acronyms, albums, and artwork.

Interview: LANY on acronyms, albums, and artwork.

LANY is a LA-based three-piece made up of Paul Klein, Les Priest, and Jake Goss. They formed in 2014, and have since amassed over 40,000 follows on Facebook and 26,000 on Soundcloud. If you’re not already familiar with these glittering alt-pop gems, you’d better get in there quick, as they’ve already got several big-name fans in the bag, having embarked on supporting slots on tour with Twin Shadow, Tove Stryke, Halsey, and Troye Sivan.

Earlier this year, before Sivan tweeted using the hashtag #LunchWithLANY, the band actually had lunch with someone slightly less well-known - us! And while we might not be YouTube famous (yet), we still found plenty to chat about when we caught up with them in London. A LANY album might still be a long way off, but these guys aren’t slacking. We talked album art, remixes, dream support-slots, and how a voicemail from Jake’s Mom made it onto one of their EP's before heading outside to take hall-of-mirror selfies in the hotel carpark.

"...[Our image] is so important but the music is for sure number one..."

COUP DE MAIN: LANY is still a relatively new project, how did you guys all come to be working together?
PAUL KLEIN: I was living in Los Angeles, and before we became LANY we all did music independently. Jake was playing drums for a few people, I was writing songs for myself and trying to be a solo artist, Les was engineering and doing stuff like that on his own. Jake and Les lived in a house together and they started making music as a project called ‘Worlds’. I was still doing ‘Paul Klein’ out in Los Angeles and I decided I didn’t wanna do that anymore, so I called Jake. I was like, can I fly to Nashville and write some songs with you guys and just see what we come up with? That’s how we began.

CDM: Do you guys have any plans for an album yet?
PAUL: Realistically, we’re gonna start writing it this year, but release it next Summer or Fall.

CDM: You’ve got a lot of acronyms going on, which are obviously a running theme with the band. There’s the band name, song-titles, the ‘Acronyms’ EP - was that a conscious choice?
PAUL: It wasn’t - we wrote ‘ILYSB’ [I Love You So Bad] and we tracked it a little bit and had some good momentum on it. We went to dinner and I was like, "Yo, what if we put out an EP called ‘Acronyms’, and the next song we write, it would be an acronym." We would just write another song with an acronym in it. ‘ILYSB’ was already an acronym that me and my friend had come up with, and then I was like, that’s an acronym, let’s come up with another one. I remember writing down BRB, TTYL, like, a lot of different things, and so wrote a song called ‘BRB’. Then his Mom left a voicemail…

CDM: I was gonna ask about this!
JAKE GOSS: Yeah, that’s my Mom!
PAUL: That’s a real voicemail, by the way. Her first words in it were, “Oh my god!” So then we were like… ‘(OMG)’!

CDM: You’ve also got this thing with the numbers 143 and 153, can you explain that?
PAUL: Sure. 143 just means “I love you.” Our EP is called ‘I Loved You’, which adds a fifth letter. So there’s one letter in “I”, 4 letters in “love”, 3 letters in “you” “I loved you” there’s a fifth letter, so 153. There you go.

CDM: We’ve actually seen a couple of people wearing your 153 tees.
JAKE: That’s amazing!
PAUL: Oh really? That’s so cool!

CDM: LANY stands for Los Angeles/New York, so… Los Angeles or New York?
<All three ‘hmmmm’ and ‘ahhh’ for a bit>
PAUL: Well, we live in Los Angeles, but both are great. Yeah, Los Angeles probably.

CDM: Do you have any survival tips or recommendations for places to go in LA?
LES PRIEST: Find friends quick!
JAKE: Yeah, there’s some good coffee out there. Bluebottle, Intelligensia.
PAUL: Downtown’s cool.
JAKE: Ace Hotel.

CDM: Do you do all your artwork yourself?
PAUL: I really like that stuff, I get really into it. We have a guy that I’ve known from back home who moved out to LA - his name’s Zedek Chan - he helps me with a lot of that stuff. He takes some of our photos. He’ll take an idea that I have and bring it to life. We work really closely with him.

CDM: Do you plan to keep that close control over your image and artistic direction?
PAUL: We’ll never let anybody do that for us. [Our image] is so important but the music is for sure number one. I can honestly say that when I was writing [solo] songs, it wasn’t. I was more excited about cover-art and stuff, but that’s not the case. Our first cover, we had already recorded the songs and I literally took a phone photo of my black jeans. I took a photo, and I made it black, and we literally typed “LANY” over it. It looked really cool.
JAKE: And then ‘Acronyms’ was a disposable camera.
PAUL: A disposable camera of the leaves outside their house.
JAKE: So fun.

CDM: So we hear you’ve been working with Troye Sivan recently, how’s going?
Paul: That’s a funny way of putting it but yeah… we’ve been hanging out with him. We love him. He came over to the apartment and we kind of wrote a little idea together. We played Lollapalooza - that was our first time ever, I’d never even been to Lollapalooza. It was his first music festival in the States, and we played an afterparty at Virgin Hotel. He came to that with Connor [Franta] and that was really awesome.

CDM: Is there anyone in particular at the moment who you would love to work with?
PAUL: To be honest, we’ve tried the whole co-write thing and it doesn’t work out too well. We always make the best music when it’s just us three in the room, so, no, honestly! We would love to maybe have some older guys that have done it for a long time and just sit in the room - just be there for advice if we ever wanted to turn around and be, like, what do you think? But for the most part this is who’s gonna make the music.


A photo posted by LANY (@thisislany) on

CDM: A few people have remixed you now, what’s it like hearing their interpretation of your stuff?
JAKE: Awww, it’s amazing. We love that.
PAUL: Yeah, it’s really fun. We just got a new remix the other day for ‘youarefire’.
JAKE: It’s great.
PAUL: Yeah, we love that.

CDM: Is there anyone you consider particularly inspirational in the music you’re making?
LES: It’s hard to pinpoint. We all come from such different places.
PAUL: I don’t think we sound like anybody, which is awesome! I do think we all have people we look up to and respect, we love the way they do this and we love the way they do that.

CDM: So it’s more like there are people who inspired you to do music, than people who inspired the sound?
PAUL: Yeah.

CDM: Who are you guys listening to at the moment?
JAKE: We listen to a lot of stuff. On the way out here I listened to London Grammar, because I just kinda feel like I’m with them right now!
PAUL: I’ve been listening to this band called Gang Of Youths, a little bit of Post Malone.
JAKE: Frank Ocean… still waiting!

CDM: Who would your dream support-slot be for?
PAUL: Lorde?
JAKE: I feel like we’d have to get in line! Next time you run into her, let her know we exist!

For more LANY, check out:

LANY’s ‘kinda’ ep is out now - click here to purchase.

Watch the ‘Where The Hell Are My Friends’ music video below…

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