Despite releasing their first songs together just four years ago, Paul Klein, Jake Goss and Les Priest of LANY are already well on their way to conquering the music world.
With over 300 million Spotify streams under their belt, the band was well-positioned to play its biggest gig to date last weekend on the Main Stage at Coachella, the same stage that was home to Beychella, HAIM, Eminem, The Weeknd and SZA. In other words, LANY is in the best possible company out in the desert.
And all of this is without a major radio hit -- yet. The band has been able to successfully parlay their huge social following and internet popularity into sold out shows around the world -- most notably a 22,000-person show in Manila -- but next on their radar is mainstream success.
Ahead of their Weekend 1 performance at Coachella 2018, LANY caught up with AOL Entertainment to talk about playing their biggest show to date, using social media to their advantage and their strategy for releasing new music. Check it out below.
How much prep has gone into your Coachella performance?
Paul Klein, lead singer: There's been no real prep outside of just the 350 shows that we’ve played. [Laughs]
Point taken. Are there songs from your upcoming album Malibu Nights in the set?
Paul: Actually, we would prefer to let people hear that for the first time in a recorded, confined setting and then go out and play it.
We're here at Coachella, which I'm sure all three of you have been at in varying capacities over the years, and you're playing on the Main Stage! That must feel pretty surreal.
Paul: It's so crazy. Two years ago, I was coming just here as a spectator. Someone gave me a ticket, and I was standing in the VIP area watching M83 play the same stage that we’re going to play. It’s surreal. Last year, we put up a billboard that said our band name, LANY, and it said “Have fun at Coachella, listen to us on Spotify!” because we weren’t playing it last year. This year we put up the same billboard that said, “Have fun at Coachella, watch on Sunday!” [Laughs] It really is a dream come true.
Jake Goss: And it’s a dream that came true in just two years! It’s wild.
2018 VS 2017
SUNDAY, COACHELLA STAGE, 3:35PM pic.twitter.com/wPFqIe30Ba
— LANY (@thisisLANY) April 11, 2018
You've played a ton of different festivals. What sets playing at Coachella apart from the rest?
Paul: Being what people consider a California band and being able to play the biggest festival in California -- maybe the biggest festival in the country -- is really, really special. Coachella started off as a very little thing that grew into something big, which is cool and not totally dissimilar to what we are, and it’s just a real honor. Anytime you can get on a festival lineup like this and to be around so many acts that we love and admire is extraordinary.
Jake: They really take their time choosing who gets to play this festival, so for us to be one of those bands is an honor.
So, your name LANY stands for Los Angeles-New York, but it seems as though you've been spending most of your time in California over the past couple of years. Do you ever worry about not incorporating enough of that "NY" into your aesthetic or sound?
Paul: The name really comes from the idea of the two major cities in the country being not only on completely opposite ends of the country, but also just being completely opposite from each other as a whole. L.A. is almost the antithesis of New York. There’s a lot of that contrast in our music: Really sad lyrics with really positive over- and undertones and sounds, so I think the cultures of those two cities manifest in our music.
Les Priest: It’s also just about where we’re rooted, too.
See photos from LANY's Coachella 2018 Weekend 1 performance:
You talked about getting bigger and more popular, and social media has really been a huge part of how you guys have been able to do that. In your words, how have you guys been able to take advantage of social media to benefit LANY's success?
Paul: We get that question a lot, and I think it’s a compliment. It’s 2018, and anybody who’s anybody these days has had to find a way to utilize the internet. To be honest, the internet is the greatest thing to ever happen to us. It allows you to get a lot of information to a lot of people almost instantaneously and that’s a luxury. We just sold 22,000 tickets in Manila, we just played our first two arenas and sold them out immediately, but that wouldn’t have happened without the internet. We’ve been a band for three years. Most bands would’ve had to play for ten years to finally do that. It’s about knowing the time and age you live in and utilizing the tools that all of us have.
Les: We do it well, though, too. Paul’s really good about not beating people over the head with useless information. It’s like, "This is what we want to put on our social media, and here’s the important information."
Jake: There’s a lot of thought and attention put into it, just like our music and our art and graphics.
Totally, and it's also allowed you to release music in kind of an unusual way: Several songs at a time, dropping one song here and there, releasing a full-length album.
Paul: The best thing about the age that we’re living in is that there really aren’t anymore rules, you know? You can kind of do it however you see fit. If you think that putting out a song at a certain time is the way to do it, then that’s the way to do it. For us to put out an album last year and to go, "We just wrote our second album" almost by accident -- well at least not on purpose -- to be able to put another album out a year later is remarkable, and we’re going to do it in a way that we think is very 2018.
So, once the album comes out, is the plan just to keep touring and incorporating those new songs into your sets?
Paul: Yeah, the reason that we’re here and as big as we are is because we’ve been out playing shows. We haven’t had any songs on the radio or any big viral moment on the internet. It’s been a slow and steady word of mouth about our music. It’s about friends telling friends and bringing them to a show, and that’s how we’ve built this.
And is that your ultimate goal as a band? To get a major radio hit?
Paul: Totally. We want to be the biggest band in the world!
Tickets to LANY's headlining tour are available here, and Malibu Nights will be released later this year.
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