LANY’s Paul Jason Klein on Group’s Upcoming Album: “We Left No Stone Unturned”

On Wednesday morning (June 7), Nashville-bred pop-rock group LANY released “Love At First Fight,” the lead single for their upcoming studio album I Really Really Hope So.

Videos by American Songwriter

Their first release since their November 2022 live album live from the Forum, which includes performances of songs from all throughout their catalog, “Love At First Fight” is a unique combination of old and new for the band.

First, the song sees the group reconnect with esteemed British producer and engineer Mike Crossey, famed for work with Arctic Monkeys and The 1975, who helped craft most of the songs on LANY’s second and third albums Malibu Nights (2018) and mama’s boy (2020). But, while revisiting previous methods of songwriting, the group’s lead vocalist Paul Jason Klein’s performance over the forceful pop drums brings a new vigor and essence to LANY’s music.

Under the moonlight
Clenching your jaw and that’s when I saw
The fire in your eyes
Clothes on the floor, you stormed out the door
And that’s when I knew
That I can’t livе without you
It was sparks at first sight
But it was love at first figh
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“Love At First Fight” was also accompanied by a music video on Wednesday, which sees Klein and the group’s drummer Jake Clifford Goss metaphorically use toothbrushes as their guitar and drumsticks, calling back to the song’s verses where a toothbrush serves as a signifier for Klein’s first argument with his lover.

“There’s a bit of surrealism to the video,” Klein said of the visuals.

Along with “Love At First Fight,” LANY plans to put out a few more promotional tracks before the release of I Really Really Hope So, which will contain 13 songs in total. Crossey also helped contribute to more of these songs on the track list aside from Wednesday’s single, as Klein explained that their reunion with Crossey was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He’s really our favorite guy,” Klein told American Songwriter. “We call him coach because he literally just like makes us better. He identifies our strengths and our weaknesses. And then we work on albums together. So we had the time of our lives making it.”

I Really Really Hope So, which is LANY’s fifth studio album, is set to release on Sept. 29, two years and 26 days after their prior LP gg bb xx came out in 2021. It will also be their first full-length release since the departure of their writer and producer Les Priest, which made them a duo instead of a trio.

In our conversation below, Klein speaks about life without Priest, the process of crafting I Really Really Hope So, LANY’s constant touring, and much more.

American Songwriter: What would you say that your fans can expect from the single and the music video?

Paul Jason Klein: I think the single is pretty indicative of where we went sonically on the album. I think that’s why we chose it first. I hope it’s the perfect amount of shocking and familiar if that makes sense. Some balance between, “Oh, that’s that familiar sound that I’ve like grown to love from the guys, but I can tell that they’re pushing the boundaries here and this feels like shockingly new and slightly different.” And I think that’s where we’ve gone on this album as well.

AS: Could you give some insight into the process of writing and recording the songs for the album? And how would you define this new era that this album is going to commence?

PJK: I believe this is the most time we’ve spent on the writing and album-making process. I wrote the first song for this album, which was “XXL,” Dec. 18 2021… It’ll be close to two years once the album drops. Part of that is due to going on tour last year, and playing 85 shows around the world… It was really cool because we got on tour and that would inspire some ideas and some sonic choices in the studio. We left no stone unturned really.

AS: Why did y’all decide to dedicate all of last year to being on the road? And what was that experience like? Were you more relieved or sad when y’all got home at the end of it?

PJK: When you’re making music, you put it out and you upload it to the internet and you hope people like it. But it’s in real life when you go and you play a show and you see the people, how much it means to the people that that you made it for and they’re singing it back to you word for word. That’s really what gets me out of bed every morning. We’re always going to tour. We make albums to go on tour. That’s what we do.

AS: Touching on last year, y’all dealt with the departure of Les Priest. How did he approach y’all about that and how did that process go?

PJK: It’s been beautiful and it’s been all love. I think I saw coming from like a mile away. I’ve never told this story. We were playing Nashville in 2021 on our gg bb xx tour, and Les was staying home because he had just had a baby. So he wasn’t on that tour with us. But he lives in Nashville and we got a coffee before soundcheck and he just let me know at the table, while holding his baby in his lap, he said, “I think my time’s done in the band.” He had already told Jake the night before because Jake got in town before. It was pretty casual, but it was a beautiful moment.

Then he came to the dressing room for the show and we all cried and hugged and said thank you. Les had to follow his heart and do what he thought was best for himself and his family and that’s awesome. But, he never expected Jake and I to quit the band with him, you know? He knows that what we’ve built is really, really special and there’s a lot of people all over the world counting on us to continue to make music to live their lives to. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. It was a beautiful goodbye, and we just gotta keep going.

AS: With that being said, how would you say that your songwriting approach has evolved? And how has your process and communication with Jake changed since the beginning?

PJK: In the beginning, it was less at the computer and more of me just sitting over Les’ shoulder and I’d be like, “Try this, try that.” Now, it’s just me doing that with Mike Crossey. So I’m just always looking over someone else’s shoulder and Jake’s in the room with me. It’s been cool to see Jake really step up. We’re both in there fighting it out and trying to find the best songs and the best ideas and the best sounds. It’s cool to be kind of arm and arm with him and running full steam ahead.

AS: This upcoming album will come out almost exactly two years after gg bb xx. If you had to explain it to fans, how would you say that the music and y’all as a band have changed since then?

PJK: Well, there’s an element of change that is so good, and then also there’s staying true to who you are is also really good. So I think it’s us trying to find that balance and walk that line of being who we are, but also trying new things and new stuff.

The music definitely sounds pretty different than gg bb xx. I’m really, really proud of it. All I know is that we worked really hard on it and I’ve got nothing left in the tank, and I think that’s a good feeling. I definitely don’t feel like we half-assed anything. You do your best, and then you just throw your hands up, which really plays off the album title, like I really, really hope so. I hope people like it, we tried our best. If not, then maybe next time. We’ll get ‘em on the next one.

Photo by Adrian Martin / Courtesy The Oriel Co.

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