Q&A

Lany singer moved by fans' devotion

Paul Klein says he wept when seeing long queues for the pop trio's concerts during their tour

After 1½ years of putting gigs on hold due to the pandemic, American pop trio Lany returned to the stage and played a concert to launch their fourth album, gg bb xx, earlier this month.

Seeing fans queue for the show at iconic Los Angeles club Troubadour was an emotional moment for the group's frontman Paul Klein.

"I definitely drove past the line a couple times - I don't think anyone saw me. Then I went and cried in my car," the 33-year-old says in an online press conference for Asian media.

"That was really encouraging, to see that people still cared about us and still wanted to be there after a year and a half."

Formed in 2014, the trio is made up of Klein and multi-instrumentalists Charles "Les" Priest and Jake Goss.

They are known for hits such as ILYSB (2015), Malibu Nights (2018) and Super Far (2017).

The LA show was no one-off gig. The band are going on a tour that will take them not just across the United States, but also Canada, Britain, Scotland and Ireland.

Klein says they had to cancel some of the shows due to changing regulations brought about by the pandemic.

"But my fingers are crossed," he adds. "We've been in rehearsal for weeks now, and practising and just making sure we're prepared. But if we can't go, it's completely out of our control."

The new album gg bb xx comes less than a year after your previous one, Mama's Boy. Have the band been more productive since the pandemic hit?

We put out Mama's Boy in October last year and we were faced with a decision. We could sit on the couch and hope the world opens back up or we could go and make another album. So, we chose to do that.

What inspired the songs in the new album?

I am obsessed with listening to people and their conversations, being hyper-aware of what is happening around me, understanding the social dynamic and psycho-analysing people's relationships with their friends, loved ones and the Internet.

I am always looking for new ways to describe and explain very universal feelings and relatable topics, so it was a very fun exercise.

Do the songs flow like a story or is there a theme that ties them together?

I did not want to make a concept album and write 12 songs about the same thing. If you were to look at the album, it is not like the last three pages of my journal, but it would be like the last three or five years.

The ebb and flow of human emotion over the course of five years is drastic and huge. I like making that kind of album.

What was the recording process like for gg bb xx?

We were incredibly efficient. I did not do anything but work on this outcome for the last nine or 10 months.

I have done nothing else - this is everything I have lived and breathed for and dreamt of.

I went on vacation for five days with my family and that was it. While I was there, I worked the entire time. It was awful.

To be honest, I could use a day off.

You mentioned that Lany's music is very visual. If gg bb xx were a colour, what would it be?

I have never seen album art look just like the way music feels. The motion and the blur coming off the back of the head, and the mix of colours - the warm pinks and oranges with the cool temperature of the purple and the blues and greens - that was such a huge achievement for us, to make this album art. It is something we are very proud of.

Are there any artistes whom you would love to collaborate with?

I would love to write a song with (English pop star) Ed Sheeran - I think he's the greatest songwriter alive. And a song with the Chainsmokers (American electronic DJ duo) would be humongous - a huge pop song with massive melodies and a big drop. I think that would be so fun.


• gg bb xx is available on music streaming services.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2021, with the headline 'Lany singer moved by fans' devotion'. Subscribe