Dreamy Vibes and Aspirational Visuals with LANY's Frontmuse, Paul Klein
Paul Klein, one-third of the beloved synth-pop band LANY, has taken the role of frontman and amped it up into a brand all his own ever since they showed up to the scene and debuted their very first two songs on the Internet to “literally zero followers” back in 2014. Now he’s what we call a frontmuse. Klein’s model good looks are perfectly backed with the emotive qualities of a John Hughes heartthrob and his vocals only kick all those elements into high gear when he hits the stage.
Klein and LANY’s fiercest currency comes in the form of its faithful fans. We dare you to try and stand still at a LANY concert. Actually we double dare you. It won’t happen. It’ll be hard to hold your ground as the wave of fans wash over you. They’ll lull you into a trance. Welcome. This trinity of talent - comprised of Klein , Les Priest (Keyboards, Guitar, Synthesizers) and Jake Goss (Drums) - is your new religion. Klein is here to be your kind leader so don’t worry, you’re in good hands. Klein’s songs will serve you nothing short of crisp and dreamy vibes coupled with aspirational visuals that’ll hook you right into his world.
And it all started when Klein was growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You can thank Klein’s mom for his first forced exposure to music (thanks mom!) when she made him take classical piano lessons at a teeny 5 years old. His love of music only grew as he discovered his ability to write songs, love songs to be exact. Imagine a 16-year-old Klein, on guitar, trying to get a girl to go to prom with him. He played for her, she said yes, they kissed (his first kiss) … the end. As they say the rest is history.
Fast-forward to today and Klein’s song writing is insatiable, as is his need to mold and maintain the image and aesthetics of LANY via their merch, album covers and social media presence. We sat down with Klein for a chat in the middle of the chaos that is a packed touring schedule. Alright, here we go. Feel free to play “ILYSB” (I Love You So Bad) while dipping into our conversation because we all know everything’s better with a soundtrack.
It’s been four years since you debuted your first two singles and you've played hundreds of shows since then. Now we’re here a couple of days after LANY played the main stage at Coachella (April, 2018). Talk about your thought process from just looking at yourself maybe since you guys dropped your debut self-titled album back in June, 2017 to where you've landed now?
It all kind of stands out really. It's been a little bit of a whirlwind. We dropped the album on June 30th and we just went on a massive tour. We started in Australia and then did North America, then went over to Europe at the end of the year. We just got back from Asia. We were there for three weeks and then I flew home and two days later we went to Coachella. We haven't had a whole lot of time to really sit back and reflect. I try to have those moments as many times as possible, I think it's probably healthy. We were going to take January and February off, but I'm just not very good at chillin’.
You seem to really reveal your personal experiences through your writing. Do you consider yourself an emotional person?
The most emotional probably. It's probably my greatest strength and my greatest weakness.
That kind of feeds into the next question, from a quote we read. It says "Pinoys love LANY so bad." That was after your performance in the Philippines when you apologized on Instagram for "ugly crying." What did that performance trigger in you?
We’ve just worked so hard. We really started with absolutely nothing. Not that we’re somebody now but we were nobody before and it’s always kind of been a dream inside my heart, to play arenas and to play all over the world and to play stadiums. That was our first time as LANY playing a LANY show in an arena. I wasn't expecting to cry. I walked backstage, totally pumped and I don't know what it was, I think I just started hearing the intro, then I heard how loud the crowd was and it all just kind of hit me. It was a little too much.
"The most emotional... it's probably my greatest strength and my greatest weakness."
Talk about what inspired your upcoming album "Malibu Nights” and what we can expect?
It’s a really, really honest album and I found myself in some sort of pain or hurt that I really had never felt before. So it's me - the album is me exploring pretty much every crevice of that. I didn't know what we were going to call the album, but I live in Malibu and I spent every night in Malibu either drinking myself to sleep or crying myself to sleep. So, I thought it'd be appropriate for the album title and it's just really about being human and experiencing a sort of pain.
As a fashion magazine, we want to know how you’d describe your style?
It's always evolving and changing. I have always liked oversized clothing. I mean, there was a point, I think when I was like 13, you know the thing was to wear a t-shirt as tight as possible and I actually think that's probably going to come back. Fashion is fleeting but style is forever. So I think it's easy to discern what is kind of just like in the moment and what's forever. So I tend to try to find those more forever pieces and then if you can mix those with, you know, something that might be more trendy. I think that's a nice blend.
Are you super aware of what you wear or would you say you’re a little more relaxed?
I'm pretty relaxed. I have my go-tos. I've never really been able to afford massive pieces that I want, you know, like maybe I can get a nice Gucci belt … I think that’s a great little flex, you know? I wouldn't be getting Gucci from head to toe, but I think a Gucci belt would be nice … I think that's the best way to go.
One of the necklaces you wear is from a fan. Do you typically keep fan gifts?
Sometimes the gifts are a little bit more up my alley than others and I'm like … I'm going to wear this a lot and I think that's amazing. Sometimes fans will give me things and they just don't fit. But it's still so sweet and the sentiments are amazing. We have a storage room where we keep as many gifts as possible and letters and notes and memorabilia like that.
What kind of mark do you want to leave on this world?
I just want to make it a better place. That's why we do what we do, just to give people some hope, to be inspiring. There were so many people that I looked up to when things were kind of shit at home or at school … looking up to them and being like, okay, this is what they're doing. That gave me a lot of hope and really inspired me and if I can do that for just one person, that would be amazing.
Lastly, what would you like to say to those people reading this who believed in you and LANY from day one?
To all of our fans, our family and our friends, thank you so much for all of the support! It has been incredible and carried us when we couldn't carry ourselves and I hope that we make you proud with everything that we do and we're going to be with you forever.
But luckily you won’t have to wait forever to receive your own personal thank you in the form of a musical love letter from Klein. LANY’s next and 2nd album “Malibu Nights” comes out later this year. Prepare your ears and hearts to be taken hostage. It’s the LANY way.