The lifespan of an album only begins during the recording and release process. From there it takes on a whole new life through the live stage and the energy and understanding that the crowd give it. This is how LANY’s second record has continued to evolve and grow in such a bold way.
Malibu Nights was a record that captured lead singer Paul Klein’s devastating heartbreak in an intimate and vulnerable way. But on the live stage, these songs are transformed into a hopeful and euphoric energy that celebrate the loss and the growth that he’s been accustomed to.
“It’s the beauty of redemption” Klein tells Music Feeds. “The songs on Malibu Nights are sad but there is an overarching sense of hope that all of this is going to turn around and I’m going to make it and be okay”
The Los Angeles three-piece are currently down under for their biggest Australian tour to date. With sold out shows across the board, their growing fanbase are just as passionate as ever.
Never doubting the energy that they could bring to the live stage, this new show was always aimed to be a triumphant night and a pure experience of euphoria. Klein admits he never thought the shows would be a sad experience even though the album’s subject suggests otherwise. He wants people to walk away feeling inspired and thinking that they can only get this feeling at a LANY show.
“I want that to be my legacy. It’s really sparked the hunger in me to be the best in the world. I know that sounds crazy, but if you’re going to do it this much then you wanna be the best at it. At the very least, you want to be the best YOU at it”, he pauses before adding, “I take those 80 minutes we are on stage VERY seriously. The rest of my life I don’t really take too seriously but that is a sacred 80 minutes. I would even consider the stage as holy ground”.
Citing Chris Martin as a massive influence and a “god like figure for the frontman he is”, Klein perfectly embodies that mix of euphoric energy and gentle calmness that helps him seem so fierce on stage.
A couple of days earlier, the band were in Brisbane playing a sold out show to a crowd that were screaming along religiously to every lyric. They sung along to deep album cuts like ‘Run’ and ‘Taking Me Back’ which, along with creating an electric energy, seemed also to visibly surprise the band. Staring out into the crowd with a massive smile on his face, Klein’s disbelief demonstrated how humbling the thought must be to him that this crowd were really cheering him and his best friends on.
Fans of the band have lovingly dubbed the phrase “a LANY show is home” which he reflects on as the biggest honour and compliment. “Tonight our show in Sydney is going to be our 79th show this year and we are playing a hundred. It sounds corny but literally my home is a LANY show. It’s the most consistent thing in my life and that’s where I’m at the most. So being onstage really is home for me and it’s so beautiful that our fans feel that too.”
With the raw and emotionally fuelled subject of the album, it would be understandable if there was a sadness that haunted parts of the set. But the band and the crowd unite together during these shows to deliver a sense of hope and to celebrate the humanisation of heartbreak and love.
During the Brisbane show Klein broke down and started crying during the vulnerable album cut ‘Valentines Day’ but the reason he cried wasn’t to do with the lyrical content.
“I normally tend to lose my shit on stage because I’m so thankful for the people that are there. I’m not crying because the songs are making me cry. I’m crying because our fans are making me cry in the best way.
“You travel all over the world and you can’t believe that even one person has taken the time out of their day and spent their hard earned money to come see you play music. That never escapes me. I’m always so grateful that people come to our shows and at times it can be overwhelming and makes me cry,” he laughs.
He admits that the meaning behind their songs haven’t changed for him either. They’ve stayed very true to their origin and their place of birth for him as a songwriter.
“When I sing ‘Thick And Thin’, I’m still thinking, replaying and revisiting what that song is exactly about when I wrote it on January 4th, 2018. I’ve completely moved on and healed. Time is amazing, time heals all wounds. But those were real things I went through and it’s not hard to still mean it because I meant it then and I still mean it now”.
In bringing these songs to life on stage, the band have developed a breathtaking light and visual show that is projected over three tiers of LED screens. Klein has always had a fascination with aesthetics and that dates back to his childhood and being in awe of his Aunt Anne’s house and her personal aesthetic. Never one to rest on his laurels those live show visuals are constantly changing as Klein is continuously thinking of how to better articulate his feelings. “Four shows ago I added the car driving off at the end of the show. I was like ‘how did I not think of that earlier? It was so obvious to me. Like how the fuck did I not think of that’,” he laughs. “I feel like it’s a never-ending work in progress because it’s my life. Like, I might think of something different for the song ‘Valentines Day’ tomorrow and manifest it and bring it to life.”
The passion from the fans on this tour are one of the key reasons why the euphoric energy has been manifested. “Honestly the crazier the crowd, the better the show for me” he proclaims before adding that he doesn’t get pressed about people using their phones. “Like honestly PLEASE get your phones out. I want you to record every second.
“Do you know how many people we can play to if everyone gets their phone out? That’s like a million people and there could only be 2000 people in the room. I think it’s so stupid when artists tell people to put their phones away because its basically 2020, shut up and get your phones out,” he says.
2019 has seen the band play a show almost every day and while they are living their dream, some of the routing logistics can take its toll.
“I don’t take anything for granted,’ says Klein. “We have worked way too hard to get to where we are. It’s just cost us too much at this point for us to become nonchalant about anything. We have basically lived, breathed and died to be able to play this many shows to this many people. However on the physical side of things, no matter how fit I think i am or how hard I think I am, it is going to wear you down. You can’t play 79 shows and be like ‘I’m in peak physical health and my vitamins are up’” he laughs.
With only 20 shows left for this tour, he is excited to switch off and do a few superficial things to find that much needed down-time. From going out on a lake and just sitting on a boat, to moving into his new place and trying to make it a place he can call home, he also reflects on something else that may seem nonchalant to others. “I’m really excited to do dumb things like buy groceries. I can’t wait to go to the market and buy food and just feel like a normal human being for a second. I’m really pumped to do that” he laughs.
But for now, the road is where he is and the stage is his home and that brings him a sense of calm as he’s celebrating his heartbreak and his self triumphs.
“Coming full circle to saying that home is a LANY show, is that I’ve been to almost every part of the world and played a show there except for Africa. But no matter where you’re at, it all kinda feels like home. If you’re at a LANY show there is going to be a euphoric feeling. Whether it’s in Vienna, London, Buenos Aires or Sydney and that’s a beautiful thing”.
LANY’s new single ‘Okay’ featuring Julia Michaels is out now.
Remaining LANY Australian Tour Dates 2019
Friday, 19th July
Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne
Saturday, 20th July
The Gov, Adelaide
Sunday, 21st July
Astor Theatre, Perth