We sat down with Paul, Les and Jake from LANY before their sold-out show at Gorilla in Manchester, where we talked about their love of John Mayer, their upcoming debut album and the future of music streaming.
Last year, you did 117 shows in 12 different countries, which is crazy! Do you ever get tired of touring?
P: I actually really like it, it’s a lot of shows, but it’s a lot of fun.
I saw you at Leeds Festival last year and you absolutely smashed it, but other than that, have there been any other festivals that you’ve enjoyed playing recently?
P: We enjoyed Outside Lands and Bonnaroo last year, we’re playing Splendour in the Grass in Australia this year which is supposed to be really amazing.
You’ve just been on tour in Australia and The Philippines – what was it like performing so far from home?
P: We were surprised by how many people know our music in The Philippines, it was pretty overwhelming. Australia was amazing as well, we’ve always wanted to be an international act, so we’re going to be doing this globetrotting for a while I think…
Your Spotify figures are certainly showing that, since you’re the most streamed artist through the ‘Discover’ feature and your song ‘ILYSB’ is also the most streamed song through that as well, how does it feel to have so much support from Spotify?
P: It’s really cool, they’ve been supporting us from the beginning. We’re stopping by the Spotify office when we’re in London for a show tomorrow. We’re big proponents of them and streaming in the age that we live in.
In terms of the future of streaming, do you think it’s fair to have people paying to subscribe to platforms such as Spotify Premium?
P: We all pay, we gladly pay.
L: I’ve been paying for about 6 years now…
P: I don’t even think about it, it’s fair even with things like Netflix and Amazon Prime, you pay for access to stuff. Entertainment is valuable and I think people place a high value on entertainment. It also costs a lot to make music, just like it’s expensive to make a movie. And time is money, and these songs take a lot of time to make.
You had a really cool band supporting you in Australia, called Pumarosa, what do you think of their music and how did that come about?
P: I think it was arranged by our booker, a lot of the time we reach out to bands because we’re fans of their music and we’d like to have them with us. But other times, we have people on our team who suggest cool bands that we could have as our support.
Did you get the chance to watch them from the side of the stage?
J: They reminded me of Radiohead, I heard hints of Depeche Mode in their music as well, I loved their set and being a drummer, I of course loved their drummer.
You’ve previously supported Halsey and Troye Sivan, what is your relationship with those two artists?
P: I got a tattoo of dice with Halsey, she had us out for 4 shows and they were pretty huge shows, she has some of the best fans in the world. Troye was at our first show ever in Hollywood, and he ended up coming back to our one-bedroom apartment after the show where we hung out and worked on the melody of a song together. Halsey even flew out to one of our shows in Minneapolis because she just wanted to come and show her support for us headlining our own tour.
You’re supporting John Mayer in April, how inspirational has he been to you?
P: He’s single-handedly shaped me as a musician and songwriter.
L: Even down to the people he has featured on his records, to the way he writes his music, he’s amazing…
What do you think of his new material?
P: It’s cool, I like it a lot, it’s amazing because he’s been doing music for a long time now and yet he feels like an up-and-coming new artist right now, which is fascinating. It shows you how well he’s done getting older whilst still feeling so fresh and new and young.
Your debut self-titled album is coming out in June, how excited are you to finally release it?
P: It’s gonna be awesome, we cannot wait. We finished it but never really celebrated it.
L: It still seems so far away!
P: When it finally comes out, it’ll feel nice.
J: I have a feeling that on June 30th, we’re gonna be going crazy!
You just released ‘Good Girls’, which is going to be on the album, how have your fans reacted to it?
P: The response has been overwhelming, it’s had almost 1 million plays in just a few days.
J: It’s crazy…
P: I’m sure big artists get that all the time, but for us, that’s the fastest moving track we’ve released. And our monthly listeners aren’t particularly skyrocketing, it just means that whoever is listening to us is really listening, which is a really good sign. When you have a song like ‘ILYSB’, as a songwriter, you’re always trying to better yourself.
Looking at the track listing for your debut album, most of the songs are new, we’ve never heard them before, which is really cool because you’re not recycling old material. With that in mind, is there anything different we can expect from this record?
P: I think it’s the same vibe, it’s very ‘LANY’, but as you’ve noticed, 15 of the 16 tracks have never been heard before by fans, which I think says a lot about how we feel about the songs. We could’ve easily built the album around ‘Pink Skies’, ‘Someone Else’ or ‘Walk Away’, but we strongly believe that this album is our best work ever, sonically, lyrically and conceptually. Even the label said ‘It’ll sell better if you have more hit songs on it’ and they’re still trying to put those songs on the record, but we’re not going to do that.
Finally, is there any new music are you digging at the moment?
P: I found this band called Khruangbin, they are so cool! It’s very vibey, guitar-funk music.
J: They were playing a lot of Future Islands when we were eating breakfast this morning, I think they’re awesome.