LANY's Paul Klein on Performing to Sold Out Crowds in Manila: 'It Feels Amazing'

The popular American act will stage five shows in Manila this November.

It will truly be a November to remember for LANY fans in Manila. The duo is coming back to perform for five straight nights—four which have already been sold out—at the Mall of Asia Arena. The American band initially announced three nights of performances in the Philippines last June, but early and vigorous ticket sales told organizers that more shows were called for. After just four days, concert producer Live Nation Philippines informed fans of an additional night. A few days after, LANY surprised fans with an announcement of a fifth show via social media for its A November to Remember 2022 World Tour’s Manila stop. 

“It makes me feel amazing,” front man Paul Klein told Esquire Philippines during an exclusive virtual interview. “It's one of the best feelings. There’s nothing better than walking into a room (that’s) sold out and everyone is there for the same reason. It’s a really a powerful thing. And Manila is our last stop for this year. We’ve been on tour all year, basically. And so, it's nice to really finish strong in Manila. It's gonna be a great, great finale, if you will.”


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LANY, currently led by Klein with drummer Jake Gloss, last performed in Manila in 2019 to promote their Malibu Nights album. They were then with keyboardist Charles Leslie Priest, who announced his departure from the group in April of this year. 


Klein said Manila has “really taken us by surprise” every time they visit. “The first time we showed up, we just really had no idea what we were walking into,” he revealed. “(This) was amazing; there was a much bigger audience than we thought. And then every time we come back, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger! We feel so blessed and lucky and honored. Our fondest memory would be just the last time that we were there. We did three nights at the Arena. This time, we’re doing five, and it’s just a beautiful thing. We’re very excited to come back.”

The duo resumed touring after halting performances for almost two years. The vocalist shared that the pandemic “impacted everything,” in terms of the band’s plans and schedules. “There's so much out of our control,” he recalled. “We started making Mama's Boy, I think around the middle of November in 2019. And, you know, just a couple of months later, the world completely shut down. 

“We were forced to finish Mama's Boy via e-mail. I was honestly sneaking into studios and finishing recording vocals and stuff like that,” he revealed. “We chose to still put out that album, even though we knew that we weren't going to be able to tour for it. And at the end of putting it out, we were kind of stuck at home. We decided to go back into the studio and make another album. And I am so glad that we did because it has allowed us to go and play a lot of shows with a lot of new material and a lot of new songs. I think just similar to how everyone around the world was forced to make the most of a pretty terrible situation, that's kind of what we tried to do. I’m very proud of our team and everyone who worked really hard during that time.”

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Mama's Boy is LANY’S third studio album and peaked in the US Billboard’s Top Alternative Albums at No. 2 and US Billboard 200 charts at No. 7. It includes released tracks “Good Guys,” “If This is the Last Time,” “You,” and “Cowboy in LA.” LANY stands for “Los Angeles New York,” based on the band’s vision for their music to reach all corners of the United States. It was initially pronounced as L-A-N-Y, until the group settled for “lay-nee,” after confusion from some on how the band’s name should sound. 

Released in 2015 in the group’s debut EP Acronyms, “ILYSB (I Love You So Bad)” remains one of their biggest hits. The act has since released four EPs and four studio albums, LANY (2017), Malibu Nights (2018), Mama’s Boy (2020), and gg bb xx (2021). 

LANY was formed in 2015, with the members moving to California to pursue a music career. The decision inspired its members to write songs such as “Pink Skies,” according to Klein. “We wrote (this song) a little bit earlier in our career,” he shared. “We’re all from kind of the middle part of the country. It's a great place, but it doesn't really compare to California in the landscape department. And so, when we moved out to California, I think I just really appreciated it. 

“You know, I think people who grow up here might take it for granted. But when I got out here, I was just kind of stunned by the beauty of the place and the scenery and the sunsets. After moving out here for a couple of years, we all moved to a house in Malibu. There's this certain part that's in between Topanga and Santa Monica. I would go and just watch the sunset. I remember being out there one night and thinking I want to write a song called ‘Pink Skies.’ So, I went home and wrote it.”


LANY has also collaborated with various artists through the years. Klein said most of these joint ventures can be credited to their fellow singers reaching out to work together. “Kelsea (Ballerini) reached out (for ‘I Quit Drinking’ in 2021). I remember Lauv sending me half of ‘Mean It’ (2019) and asking me to help them finish it. We’ve been very lucky that there has been like a lot of opportunities that have come in. 

“And really, I just I think that when those opportunities arise, Jake and I decide if we love the song, if we believe in the song, if it feels authentic to us. It’s been really fun to say ‘yes.’ I love our songs with Kelsea, Lauv, Julia (Michaels for ‘Okay’ in 2021), and 220 Kid (‘Stupid Feelings,’ 2021). It's been really great. And Bazzi recently (for ‘dlma,’ 2022) which is another opportunity. He just came to me and asked if I’d be on it, and it was great!”

Klein lists Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift as his dream collabs. “I would love to write songs (with them),” he admitted. “Then, there are other people in the music industry that I would just love to meet and talk to. Somebody like Chris Martin, who I think is one of the greatest frontmen alive. There’s so much to learn from him. So, any of those would be great and those would be amazing opportunities that I would take in a heartbeat.”

And yes, LANY is working on the next album already. “I was in the studio today,” the vocalist shared. “It’s coming along slowly but surely. It’s the first time that we’ve worked on an album then gone on tour and came home. It's been really very cool because it’s allowed us some time to live with what we’ve been doing in the studio and go back and make changes. So, it’s just in and out. But we’re definitely making another album.”

Does Klein credit his body of work to date more to people who have loved him, or those who hurt him, we asked. He takes a pause before answering. “Probably both,” he replied. “I think the most important song we’ve ever written is ‘I Love You So Bad.’ That was based out of love. I think our biggest song is ‘Malibu Nights’ which is based off of heartbreak. There are a lot of songs that fall in between. But both are very important. And I think we’ve done a good job so far exploring both ends of the spectrum. And the human experience is incredibly nuanced. So, there’s always going to be stuff to write about.”

And does LANY’s front man prefer sad or happy songs? “I just prefer songs that feel good and have a really infectious melody,” he said. “Songs that I like really believe in. So, if the person’s actually really happy, and it comes through to the music, I really like that. And if they’re actually really sad, and I feel they’re genuinely pretty upset about something, I really like that, too. I don’t think I prefer one over the other. You can kind of tell when someone means what they’re saying. I really like that.”


LANY performs at the Mall of Asia Arena from November 11 to 16, 2022. Tickets for the November 16 show are still available via SM Tickets. 

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