AS THE FRONTMAN OF LOS ANGELES BASED ALT-POP BAND LANY, PAUL KLEIN HAS HAD A PRETTY SPECTACULAR 2017, RELEASING THE BAND’S DEBUT ALBUM, SUPPORTING THE LIKES OF JOHN MAYER AND TRAVELLING THE WORLD ON THEIR OWN HEADLINING TOUR (OVER 135 SHOWS IN MORE THAN 28 COUNTRIES, MOSTLY SOLD OUT!). FORMED IN 2014 IN NASHVILLE BY THREE FRIENDS WHO MET AT MUSIC COLLEGE (PAUL + JAKE GOSS AND LES PRIEST), LANY HAVE ENJOYED A METEORIC RISE AND GAINED A DEVOTED FAN BASE SINCE THEY BROKE ONTO THE SCENE WITH THEIR FIRST TWO TRACKS MADE ON A LAPTOP IN THEIR LIVING ROOM AND UPLOADED TO SOUNDCLOUD. THE SECRET OF SUCH SUCCESS IS A COMBINATION OF DREAMY ELECTRO-POP BANGERS WITH HONEST, STRAIGHTFORWARD AND RELATABLE LYRICS WHICH SPARK AN INSTANT CONNECTION WITH THEIR PREDOMINATELY MILLENNIAL AUDIENCE. THEIR ENERGETIC AND EARNEST LIVE PERFORMANCES HAVE ALSO MADE THEM A FAVOURITE ON THE FESTIVALS CIRCUIT AND ARE ALREADY SIGNED UP TO PLAY THE LIKES OF COACHELLA AND THE GOVERNORS BALL THIS YEAR. WE CAUGHT UP WITH PAUL OVER WHATSAPP FOLLOWING OUR SHOOT IN DALSTON, EAST LONDON, TO CHAT ABOUT HIS REFERENCES, INSPIRATION AND FAVOURITE THINGS… HIS INNATE EFFORTLESSLY COOL STYLE IS QUICKLY GETTING THE FASHION INDUSTRY’S ATTENTION, AND WE ARE DELIGHTED TO HAVE HIM AS THE COVER STAR OF OUR JANUARY ISSUE.
Hey Paul, how are you doing? Where in the world are you?
Hi Sara! I’m doing well. In Hollywood right now.
Lucky you… I was at your London show last month, it was great! Another sold out show!! What whoud you say was your favourite show/best crowd and in general your highlight of 2017?
Ahhh thank you so much!! London is always really special for some reason. I’d say my favorite was Shep Bush in London or Night 2 at The Wiltern here in LA.
Cool. And where are you off next? U particulary looking forward to any date on your tour?
I’m home for the next 2.5 months actually. I think it’s the longest stint at home since we started the band. Feels so good. Our first few shows in 2018 will be in Australia. But I’m really looking forward to playing Coachella.
Yeah I saw you guys are doing all the festivals! Definitely must feel good being at home for a bit, you seem to be constantly on the road… Coachella will be fun! Talking about our shoot… I really love it, so (fire) hope you enjoyed it too… Any favourite pieces/looks from it?
Ahh the shoot was so good. Thank you for letting me do this. Lorenzo did such a beautiful job styling. The Numero Ventuno shoes in the green and white striped look were fire. And the 2 Marni suits I wore were perfect.
Yeah such cool stuff. You obviously have a pretty strong fashion sense and aren’t afraid to experiment. It’s effortless but really well put together. It’s a very cool look. Do you style yourself? And are you a vintage lover? Any fave brands/stores you rely on?
Oh thank you! Means a lot. Yea, I style myself haha. Would be cool to work with someone in the future though! Because I travel a lot, most of my things are gathered from little shops around the world. No real brand loyalty at the moment.
That’s always the best way, collecting bits while on the road! Your visual are pretty dreamy too… what aesthetically are you interested in these days? And how’s your approach to LANY’s visual concept?
Certain things make me feel a certain way. I think the best “aesthetic” is an aesthetic that involves multiple aesthetics. Hahaha how many times can you say “aesthetic” Paul? But what I’m trying to say is that it’s really nice to not be bound by one color scheme or one medium or one genre. If a black and white photo’s got you feeling some typa way, then run with it. Even if everything up until that point has been pastel for me, it’s all about feel and intimacy. Everything you see from LANY should draw you in not push away.
Makes perfect sense, it’s a really nice way of putting it… and by the way you can say aesthetic as much as you want Paul ;)
And for merch… Merch ranges are becoming full on capsule collections in their own right. Your stuff is really on point… Do you design/come up with the concept? Are you really hands on with your merch ranges?
I am! I’ve designed everything from day one. It’s really fun for me!
Wow that’s awesome…would you want to possibly expand on that skill?Do that more in the future?
Yes! I’m obsessed with clothes and the way things look. Been talking to Giuliano, designer of Gcds, and have sent him preliminary sketches of ideas for a collab to work with someone like him and learn from him would be an absolute dream.
That’s super cool, I’ll be watching that space! I’m also curious about your songwriting process. How does it work? Is it three of you All collaborating? Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Sure! Most of the time, it’s the 3 of us huddled around a computer building beats and writing chords and melody. The boys entrust the lyrics to me.
Who/what would you say inspires your sound? And fellow musicians you look up to?
I think Frank Ocean, Francis and The Lights, and Disclosure inform a lot of our sonic decision. As far as lyrics go, I think Drake is the greatest communicator on planet earth. If I could articulate feelings and sentiments half as good as him, I’d be elated.
That’s such a cool thing to say. And agree with you! Your debut album with LANY that you released last year was great. Do you enjoy more the studio time or the performing side?
Hmmm… this is a tough questions. Playing the songs tat you’ve worked so hard on and seeing them connect with a lot of people is really rewarding. But there is no feeling like knowing you just wrote an absolute banger. And the magic that happens in the room while writing and recording is unbeatable.
I can imagine. And I saw the crowds going wild during your performance, so I’m sure the combination of the two (creating and also performing) is very powerful.
Yea!I’m so lucky to get do this.
Are you guys working on a second album already? Anything in the pipeline?
We are! We started yesterday.
YAS!Great news ;)
And I’ve already listened to what we wrote a hundred times hahaha, I’m such a nerd.
I bet it’s great! Really looking forward to it… any release dates yet or too early to say?
Might be too early to say. Let’s see how these next 2 months go.
Sorry just being impatient cause I wanna listen to it ;)
Hahaha you’re the best.
Ok, now I’d like to ask you just a few one word back-and-forth questions to finish off (and give our readers a little taste of your influences)
Favourite film you have watched recently?
Watched “State of play” recently, It’s a not a new film by any means, but it’s excellent.
And fav film of all the times?
Shit… Dumb and Dumber? haha.
Ahhh yeah that’s always a good option, book?
Of all the times or as of late?
Hmmm maybe of all times? Unless you read something amazing you bought recently (I’m always looking for good books recommendations)
“Damn good advice” and “The war of art” are 2 books that I’ve learned the most from, I think. Need to get more into fiction eventually maybe haha.
Great, adding them to my Kindle list. Last record you bought?
Kind of a streaming guy :D last full album I listened to was the new Francis and the lights.
Fave city in the world?
Of course ;) Dream holiday you have been to or would love to do?
Went to Capri a few months ago and never seen anything like it, would love to go to Santorini one day.
Capri is one special place! Ok and finally dream collab? Can be music, fashion, art whatever… and with a living artist or even someone of the past…
I ‘d love to shoot with Hedi Slimane one day. And I really love Frank Ocean so much.
*.* to both. Ok amazing! Thanks so so much Paul been so cool chatting to you.
Yeaaa thank you so much!! Honored to be in the mag.
Interview by Sara Maggioni