LANY On The Importance of Patience

The band sits down with Hypebeast ahead of their newest album release.

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Los Angeles-based band LANY is having quite the year. Following their newest released single “XXL,” members Paul Klein and Jake Goss are gearing up to release their fifth studio album, which arrives two years after their last record. Whether they are touring the world, playing sold-out shows, or back home creating new music, the duo seems to always be working on mastering their craft. 

Currently on their “LANY: First The Moon, Then The Stars: A Tour Before A World Tour,” the band returned to Hong Kong after six years to play a sold-out show. Hypebeast had the chance to catch up with Klein and Goss, discussing lessons learned over the years, the importance of patience, and connecting with your audience. 

How does it feel to be back in Asia, specifically in Hong Kong, for the first time in a while?

Paul: It’s been good. When we first started coming here, a bunch of Asian countries and cities that we were also touring in, were growing really quickly and we didn’t see the same here in Hong Kong. So when we put the show on sale this time, we were just trying to get a gauge on what it was like here for us. It sold out in I think in a few minutes or that morning so we’re really encouraged by that.

Jake: It’s such an iconic city, so it’s fun to be back.

You’ve now toured around Asia a few times. What would you say makes Asia a standout destination?

P: It’s just super different than what we’re used to, it’s far away. The shows are really big here, which is so fun, and really encouraging and inspiring. It’s just awesome to know that if you just keep showing up, people keep coming back.

You seem to be frequently working on fresh material and have a constant flow of new projects. Do you ever face creative challenges with that? 

P: Sure I mean, I think you can get burnout. We haven’t put out an album in a couple of years, so it will be nice to do that soon. We’ve taken our time on this one and spent a lot of time on it. But we love this, it’s our job and everybody works. We just work on LANY. 

From when you came out with your debut album to the latest one, what are some of the differences in terms of how you put together a record? 

J: We made our first record in a bedroom and a kitchen. And then to now, we’re working with a producer we just admire and love. And we did our ‘Malibu Nights’ record with him, Mike Crossey. And he has an amazing studio setup, so going in with an amazing producer who is just way better than us at stuff is great. It’s fun to work with people that are really, really great. 

P: I think in the beginning, we had a couple of keyboards and we didn’t fully know what we were doing, we had an idea but we’ve learned a lot over the years. It’s been amazing to work with someone older and wiser who can give us feedback and help us be the very best versions of ourselves.

“I’ve learned that perfection is super boring. I like the raw parts and I like the mistakes, I just allow all of that in the process.”

Are there any lessons you’ve learned along the way?

P: In the beginning, there was very little vocal production. Les would just have me sing into the microphone about eight times and that was it. To now, where it’s been really cool to get picky about vocals and keep singing it. It’s amazing to listen to your first take versus your 20th. A lot of times Mike will have me go back and resing the first verse after I’ve already sung the whole song because he can then hear that I’m really warmed up. I think patience is awesome and learning that in the studio as well. 

J: I’ve learned that perfection is super boring. I like the raw parts and I like the mistakes, I just allow all of that in the process.

Over the years as your fan base continues to grow, has your approach changed at all when getting ready to go on tour?

P: We’ve always taken it really seriously and we’ve always practiced as if we were playing the biggest show of our lives, even when we were playing the smallest ones. So we still go into rehearsal about two weeks before we hit the road, sometimes longer, sometimes we do setlist rehearsals and then we do production rehearsals. It’s been cool because I feel like recently live performances have gotten more important for artists, and people are appreciating them more and that’s something that we’ve always taken so seriously. So I’m really happy that we don’t have to catch up to try to get better for that.

J: It’s fun too, one of the problems we have is building a setlist because we actually have a lot of songs now, which is crazy. When we first started we had maybe five songs, and our set was done in 23 minutes. So now it can be difficult to pick them, we want to just get the right setlist for our fans.

“Just know that things are not going to come immediately. But if the art is good and you just give it time, it will find its audience.”

What are some factors that you take into consideration when putting together a setlist for tour? Does it ever vary depending on what city you’re playing in?

P: Yeah, you want to think in terms of tempo, momentum, ebb, and flow. You also have to think about transitions so that you’re not stopping and starting in between every song. I mean, I think some artists do that and that’s great, but we like to try to put together three or four at a time. I think right now where I’m at personally is wanting to play the songs that I want. Maybe in the past, we were trying to, I don’t know, guess what people wanted us to play. But I think if we are having fun and we love the setlist, then that’s going to be the best show for everybody.

You do have to be cognizant, for example, hardcore fans that love to brag about knowing the deep cuts. They might chime in in the comments section “play “Pancakes,” play “Purple Teeth”,” but the truth is people would sit down or leave the room if we play those songs because they’re not that popular. You want to play the stuff from the new album, you want to play the hits, and you want to keep everyone engaged, it’s really tricky.

If you could give a piece of advice to LANY when they were just starting out, what would it be? 

P: I think just trusting the process, things that I was frustrated with in the beginning, I now am so thankful for. Just know that things are not going to come immediately. But if the art is good and you just give it time, it will find its audience. I’m still trying to tell myself that every single day.

J: I think I’d probably just say “Hey, as long as you’ve got Paul, you’re good,” which I said on day one and I’m still saying it on day 7,000.

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