Search The Line of Best Fit
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LANY continue to impress with album finalé "It Was Love"

07 April 2017, 10:00 | Written by Matthew Kent

LANY share sprawling new track "It Was Love" and chat in depth about their upcoming self-titled record.

Taken from the band's long-awaited debut, "It Was Love" not only closes the album, but also closes their live sets.

The track sees the band as we've never really heard them before; best-known for their often simple and catchy compositions, "It Was Love" has a fuller sound and gives Jake Goss, Les Priest, and Paul Klein the opportunity to shine as they hash out keyboard, guitar, and drum solos. As the album closer, "It Was Love" marks a definitive end, drawing all the loose ends of the narratives explored on the record together - those narratives can be seen as journal entries as chief lyricist Klein explains below.

We caught up with the band following their sold-out show at KOKO to see how they were feeling after that big night and to find out some more details about upcoming release LANY. Hear "It Was Love" below and read our chat after.

You’ve played new tracks "Purple Teeth", "The Breakup", and set closer "It Was Love" during the tour, what’s it like to air these songs before the album comes out?

Klein: I don’t think we’ll keep doing it. I think we took “Purple Teeth” off [the band played “Purple Teeth” in Manchester and Birmingham, but not London], because it just felt like maybe one too many new songs on the set list. It felt good to put “Quit”and “Dumb Stuff” back on there. We were also interluding our set twice with this interlude on the album called “So , Soo Pretty”, but we’re just trying some stuff out. “The Breakup” feels really good and “It Was Love” feels really awesome.

One of the things that comes with a new tour is new merchandise, and this time you have a hoodie which says "Female Fanbase".

K: We always get - not always - but quite often we get the question: "How do you feel about your fanbase being primarily being female or teenage girls?" It’s such an odd question to me, because it kind of implies that we have a problem with it.

Priest: Or that we should.

K: I just thought it would be so sick to make a piece of merch that would hopefully mean nobody would ever ask us again how we feel about our fanbase being mostly female anymore. We’re super proud of it and wouldn’t really want it any other way. It’s not strictly female obviously.

Why did you decide to keep just the one 'older' track - "ILYSB" - on the album?

K: It’s because we truly believe that everything we’ve put on the album is better than what we’ve put out before, and also we never wanted to come out with a debut album that was just a culmination or a collection of our EPs or our favourite songs from the EPs. It’s a massive progression sonically, lyrically, conceptually.

Goss: We’ve seen it with bands who put their favourite EP songs on the album and it’s just not as special an experience compared to having this really exciting discovery.

Were you always writing specifically towards an album?

K: We’ve always been writing for it, since we started this band. "The Breakup", "It Was Love", and "Hurts" were songs that could’ve been on the kinda EP, but we decided not to. Some of these songs we’ve had for a while.

G: "Dumb Stuff" too.

K: Yeah "Dumb Stuff" we’ve had for a while. "Super Far" was the last track that we wrote for the album. It’s really a culmination of 15 months of writing when we we’re not on tour. The one song that was recorded on tour was "Tampa" and that took the whole tour.

When you first started working together did you ever think three, four years later you’d be at this stage?

K: The goal was to like maybe play at SXSW one day.

G: It’s true, it really was.

K: Like our tenth show was South By.

G: It was a fun week.

P: We checked that one off quick.

What was the most difficult part of making the album?

K: Creative endeavours are mentally exhausting, maybe even physically exhausting.

P: I think just the sheer number of songs and the whole task at hand is different to what we did in the beginning. Like what we did before, we just did a song here, two, three songs at a time you know? We could just put it out and it was off our plate. Then all of a sudden we’ve got to mix and make this body of work that’s pretty massive. It’s a different thing.

K: Just pulling from emotional experiences that maybe I personally moved past and then revisiting them. I really searched the depths of my soul on this album, as far as lyrically. When we had everything done it was an overwhelming thought for me that Les has to mix like 20 songs. That was stressing me out. I don’t really know how he did that. It’s a lot of material.

P: I mean we’re definitely hanging on to songs that I think are awesome. We’re still excited about the stuff we have in the bank.

Everything you do, musically, is in house - would you say you were perfectionists?

P: Perfection’s a weird word, but we definitely pick apart everything we do.

K: You should see my mix notes.

G: They’re novels. [all laugh] We get dramatic with it.

K: That way when it’s done, you know you already ripped the whole song apart and there’s a lot of peace of mind in that, for me at least.

What does the album represent?

K: It’s a big monumental statement of who we are as a band. I know we’ve done EPs, but there’s this lack of commitment and even credibility when it comes to EPs. People take you more seriously when you put out an album.

P: There’s a still a tonne of people who have no clue who we are... a lot of people are going to hear us for the first time through this album and I think it’s going to say a lot.

Do you think the album has changed while you’ve been working on it?

K: No. I think if you took any one song off though, it would feel like a completely different album. I think everything song depends upon what it’s surrounded by. If you took of "Purple Teeth" and that might not be everyone’s favourite song, but if you took it off the album would just feel different. I think that’s actually kind of sick that they all play off each other.

Which new tracks are most excited for people to hear?

G: That’s a toughie because pretty much all of them. I love that you love "Hericane", because we love that one.

K: That’s the one we tried to get John Mayer to play on and then he asked us on tour. I wanted him to play on the third chorus, maybe we can still get him to do it and re-release it as a new track or something...

Are there any tracks that you’re a little more anxious or nervous about people hearing?

K: "Tampa" for me.

G: Also super excited for "Tampa". Yeah that’s the one we wrote on the road. We’ve done some fun new things, there’s this song called "Pancakes" and the way we made that song is unlike anything we’d done before. So I’m really excited to see the reaction to that.

Do you guys have an absolute favourite track from the album?

K: I think I’ve listened to "13" the most.

G: I think it changes on the daily.

Are there any themes or messages you want people to take away with them from the record when they hear it?

K: Not really, we’re not writing a book, so there’s not an overarching storyline or plot, but I think the main theme that runs through it is literally the ups and downs of everyday life. I want it to feel like you’re flipping through a journal and then maybe people feel like they were the ones who had written the journal when they listen to it. We’re just talking about really common stuff. I take a lot of joy in trying to romanticise even the most mundane details of life, lyrically anyways.

Before "ILYSB" plays on the album you’ve got the "Parents" interlude which features Susan Goss, Jake’s mum.

G: I got a tattoo with a heart and the words 'parents' in it and I got a voicemail from my mum, because she saw it on Instagram and that voicemail is her reaction to my tattoo, which is hilarious. When we were decided on the record and the tracklist we wanted to give a nod to Acronyms, how "(OMG)" [an introductory track on the band’s debut EP which also features a voicemail from Goss’ mum] comes before "ILYSB", so we put "Parents" before "ILYSB". Brings it all together.

You played "Purple Teeth" at your Manchester and Birmingham shows. Can you tell us a little bit more about that track?

K: That song’s about just thinking you’re in love with someone that you’re not actually in love with - part of that’s because of the wine, but you also have these insane conversations that maybe you’re scared to have without some wine. They’re about God and life and this person is so engaging to you, but you’ve always kind of known that in the depths of your soul that’s not the person you want to be with. It’s about confusion, but this really romantic setting of confusion and inebriation pretty much. [laughs] It sucks explaining your own songs, just listen to the freaking song and come up with your own meaning.

Is that something you want people to do with the album? Interpret it in their own way?

K: Well I never thought that I needed to spell my songs out for people, because I’m pretty straight shooter, but maybe I will and maybe that’s cool. Maybe that’s a new thing for me. I really look up to Frank Ocean and he really challenged me, over the last few months with Blonde, to explore more ways to write, but I don’t think I’ve ventured too far away from who I am as a songwriter.

What are you plans for the rest of the year?

K: It’s all about LANY, it’s all about the album. This year is all about making sure as many people in the world have heard the name LANY and our songs. I mean we’re a band so we make albums, we write songs, and we go on the road and we tour. I don’t know what else there is other than that. Probably not going to be in any movies, probably not going to be any collab fashion design lines or anything like that... definitely no sponsored posts.

"It Was Love" is out now. LANY is out 30 June.
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