INTERVIEW: LANY

In the UK, if you hear the names Les, Paul, and Jake you’re probably expecting some sort of lads-lads-lads football fan types. But fiercely reclaiming those names to the realm of effortless cool are LANY, the rising US indie band who are making waves with their new single. They’ve also supported Ellie Goulding on tour in the UK, which is where they were when David Yates had a chat with them…

So the band name is based on LA and New York but you actually met in Nashville. We feel deceived to be honest. What gives?

Paul: Well I knew that I wanted a four-letter band name for aesthetic purposes, design purposes and as you can imagine every other four letter word is taken for a band name (laughs). So I started thinking of symbolism, acronyms and the fact we’re an all-American band. But I was living in LA when we started the band and actually wound up and moving to New York – so that’s how about came about.

So which would you say is better, LA or New York?

Paul: This is so hard for me! It’s like apples and oranges! New York is apples and LA is oranges. I really love LA but when we play New York that city is just… so magical.

Jake: L.A! Woooo!

We’re going to agree with Jake, soz. So speaking of Nashville, are you guys a fan of the TV show of the same name?

Jake: Umm… my parents love it?

Wrong answer – let’s move on before this gets ugly. So sticking with the geographical theme, you’re over in the UK now. How do you vibe with the place?

Paul: I miss ice in my drinks! I know that’s really American to say but I love lots of ice. If we had any complaints it would be more about food cause well, we eat junk. I speak for myself here, Jake is a really healthy eater but I love the fry up breakfasts you have – so good! In terms of audience, we haven’t seen a difference yet – the people that gravitate towards a music, it seems pretty universal.

Tell us about touring with Ellie Goulding. Serious dirt, come on.

Paul: It’s probably the hardest thing we’ve done. When we got this schedule, we were super stoked to play The O2 in a couple nights so that’s going to be legendary – like, we’re playing two hours before Ellie so there’s not going to be a lot of people but our songs sound enormous and it’s so much fun hearing your songs echo off the walls in an arena. There’ll be a ton of people that have no idea that we even exist before we get on the stage and playing to half a empty arena isn’t the most inspiring thing but we’ll play still playing just as hard and just take the experience of playing in front of anyone.

Three lads in a band, then. What do you guys get up to on tour?

Paul: Well we’ve only been playing live for year from a tiny little club in Hollywood to an arena tour is a really cool story and a testament to our team. We played our first summer festival last year in Birmingham and I’m sure we were the first act for the entire weekend. We didn’t have very high expectations but we went out to find 2000 + people there and nobody else was to play after us for another 3 hours so we had such an engaged audience – it was a real cool experience. We’ve gotten to spend time with Halsey and Troye Sivan on tour, they’re two incredible acts that we love dearly.

So how does making music between the three of you work. Is there one with the final decision or..?

Paul: It’s totally a collaborative effort, Les engineers everything that we do and Jake plays drums. A lot of our songs will start with a groove or a drum loop, something like that and the chords around it, are ’cause the guys are really good with melodic structure and they let me write the lyrics.

The gritty questions now: who’s the most eligible bachelor amongst the three of you?

Les: Maybe Jake..

Jake: Umm…

Paul: I’ll probably say Jake, I have more stories of failed dates. I think Jake has the best date ideas whereas I’ve hit a girl with a door before when opening it for her.

Suppose we should talk a bit about music. Who does LANY take inspiration from musically?

Les: Tears For Fears – two of their records are my favourite records in the world.

Jake: I would say U2 and for now… Ryan Gosling.

Aesthetically, you mean? He’s certainly inspired us on some nights, that’s for sure.

Jake: He’s just too good!

Paul: Oh and I once watched this Brandon Flowers interview and he was talking about the early stages of The Killers and I really resonated with a lot of the things that he said. So Brandon Flowers too.

We feel LANY are very symptomatic of the acronym generation – songs like ILYSB, BRB. So: WTF? 

Paul: Well our first release was titled Pop Life with Walk Away on it. Our second release, I actually wanted to title it ‘Acronyms’ so I had a song I wrote called ‘I Love You So Bad’ and then thought, ‘why not call it ILYSB’ and that’s why we wrote BRB too. I guess our band name is an acronym as well.

On the topic of text talk, which emoji describes each of you the best?

Paul: Well I like the rose emoji a lot.

Jake: I like to go for a good old smile.

Les: I’m going to say the peace sign.

Big fans of the coffin these days over here. Very final, probably symbolic of our own career. But hey, let’s talk about your current single ‘Where Are All My Friends?’ – has someone been ditched lately?

Paul: We haven’t been out! I haven’t hung out with anybody other than this band for the last month and a half! (laughs)

Who’s been keeping you company on the road then?

Paul: I really like the new 1975 record. An artist named Gallant, too… The new M83 track…

Jake: Yeah! And the new Foals record, we like them a lot!

And our final question, as always: favourite Beyonce song?

Les: Paul doesn’t have one…

Paul: Yeah, that’s too hard.

Les: I’m going to say XO. All day, XO.

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