It's the day after the Super Bowl, the American football game that shuts down America, and LANY frontman Paul Klein is unimpressed by the scorn directed at Tom Brady, the quarterback for the losing New England Patriots, who is considered by many observers to be the greatest player to ever command the crucial position.
"I'm not the guy who hates someone because they're the best, I'm the guy who cheers for the best," Klein says. "If you worked hard you deserve what you can get. It's the worst quality to hate somebody because they're the best. I think it's awful and cheap."
Klein's attitude extends from sport to music, where it's starting to have a palpable effect. LANY (short for Los Angeles New York) formed four years ago, when Klein travelled to Nashville to work with old friends, producers and programmers Jake Goss and Les Priest. Now the synth-pop trio has emerged from a successful first album cycle with an international fan base and the chance to test themselves with leading producers for the follow-up due later this year.
"Recently I spent three days in a room with Malay, who produced Channel Orange and Blonde for Frank Ocean, and to be working with someone like that on songs I wrote was a full circle moment," Klein says.
"Frank is one of the greats of all time, and Malay is so cool about it," he adds. "I think with Frank there were 70 versions of one song, but we had just four. I'm stressing on the couch about suggesting something and Malay is just like, 'This is easy!'"
The initial LANY writing sessions in Nashville were vindicated when the first two songs the band released online drew instant recognition. Since then LANY has been a touring machine; by the time their self-titled debut came out last June, they'd already undertaken three Australian tours, and they're back again for a quick-fire three East Coast gigs in three nights this month.
Klein got a tattoo to commemorate a series of shows opening for singer and guitarist John Mayer. The satisfaction LANY has derived to date has also been the impetus for not repeating what they've done previously. It would be too easy, Klein explains, to pull up the synth sounds from the first album on a computer and write a similar batch of tracks.
"Instead tomorrow I'm going into a room with Frank Dukes, who produced Real Friends for Kanye, and I'm scared out of my mind," Klein says. "That's a lot of pressure and I don't know what it will be like, but it's pushing me forward."
According to Klein, the outcome of these songwriting sessions can be divined on his drive home to Malibu from that day's Hollywood recording studio. When you work with the best, the possibilities are a breakthrough or a breakdown.
"I either drive home listening to the song on repeat, with this incredible feeling, or I tell myself just to give up and drive straight into the ocean," Klein says with a laugh. "There's no in between."
LANY play at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Saturday, March 24; and the Big Top, Luna Park on Sunday, March 25.
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