Being the first support act for Ellie Goulding’s massive UK tour would be daunting for any artist; it is to Lany’s credit that they delivered a solid performance in the short time that they played (about 25 minutes). Starting bang-on 19:00, Lany opened to a relatively small crowd, though with a capacity of nearly 9,000 people the word ‘small’ is perhaps misleading. Lead singer Paul delivered a strong and energetic vocal performance, and the band seemed at ease playing in such a big venue.
Lany accurately describe themselves as an alt-pop band, and their tracks Bad, Bad, Bad, ILYSB and new song WHERE THE HELL ARE MY FRIENDS exude potential; Lany are certainly a band to watch out for in the coming months. It’s shame, however, that the venue’s size and the time they were playing somewhat limited the impact they had on the audience; a smaller, more intimate stage would have helped listeners hear the many subtle intricacies that make Lany so promising.
Overall a valiant effort by one of LA’s hottest new acts, and the group more than delivered on their goal to get the audience hyped before John Newman and Ellie Goulding’s set. If you’re pining for a new artist in the vein of The 1975 and alt-J, then Lany are definitely worth checking out.
We were fortunate enough to interview Lany before their set; check it out below.
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to me. Have you been enjoying your time in Liverpool?
Well we only just got in last night but so far so good.
Congratulations on supporting Ellie Goulding! How did this come about?
We recently signed a record deal with Polydor, the label that Ellie’s on, and they decided that getting the opening slot with Ellie would be good for the band. People say stuff all the time in this industry but it never actually happens, so it was cool that it actually came about! To be really frank, we’re on this tour because we’re label mates with Ellie; but we’re still super thankful for this opportunity though!
Being a new band they’ll be a lot of readers who haven’t listened to your music; how would you best describe your style of music for them?
It’s kind of like synth-pop or dream-pop meets R&B and alternative-pop. We write pop music – we’ve been told it’s not cool to say that – but at the end of the day: it’s pop.
Tell me about how you guys first met and formed the band.
Paul: I met Jake at a YMCA – it’s a gym over in the states – and Jake lived with Les. We were friends for a couple of years first and we only talked about making music together. Jake and Les eventually started to make music together in LA so I decided to meet up with them; that’s how we started.
What’s the story behind your band name Lany?
We knew we wanted a four letter word as our band name but literally every four letter word was taken! We moved on to acronyms and from there we got Lany; it represents the span if the country from LA to New York.
How would you say the UK music scene differs to that of the States?
You’re radio format is very different – you’re far more open minded! In American radio you have to meet a very select criteria in order to be played, where as stations like Radio 1 play a wide variety of music. That’s why we signed to a British label; this country is a lot more open-minded to our kind of music. The record labels over here have better taste and are willing to take a chance.
You’ve stated previously that you started out on SoundCloud; how easy was it for your songs to stand out? Why do you think your tracks stood out where others failed to do so?
I’d actually say it’s easy to be ‘popular’ on SoundCloud; the trick is getting out of SoundCloud. So many people blow up to a certain extent there but it’s such a niche group of people. We write honest songs with a unique sound and that’s why we’re here today, and we’re so thankful for SoundCloud. Establishing yourself as a credible live band is key to success; that can’t be done on SoundCloud alone.
What would you say has been you highlight of your career so far?
All of it has been amazing; there have been a few times where we’ve shown up to a city not expecting a big turn out and there was 2000 people there. We did a festival in Birmingham Alabama which was incredible, and coming over to the UK has been amazing.
Are there any artists that have particularly inspired you as a band?
We don’t know exactly who our influences are; as a band we never set out to look or sound like someone, and we just want to write songs that feel really good. A lot of our inspiration comes from walking around in a city and looking at life-style photography and fashion. Emotional events in our lives also heavily inspire us, as does the feeling some music gives us.
Are there any artists that you’re into at the moment?
Yeah, we’ve been listening to this artist called Gallant, and the new The 1975 record is really cool. Also the new Lapsley album is really good.
Finally: what are your plans for the rest of the year?
Oh man, it’s going to be a nuts year. We’re with Ellie until the end of March, and then we’re spending April finishing off our record. Then there’s a headline tour in May, which is routed around a bunch of festivals in America. I think we’re also doing Reading and Leeds; it’s pretty full-on!