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When LANY came on the scene back in 2014, its three founders – Paul Jason Klein, Jake Clifford Goss, and Leslie’ Les’ Priest – became some of the most recognized names in alternative rock and indie pop. The band, after signing to Polydor and Interscope Records, went on to release a slew of singles like “Okay” and “Mean It” and multiple albums, including three top 40 projects – LANY in 2017, Malibu Nights (2018) and Mama’s Boy (2020).
They’ve since gone from a trio to a duo and even from Interscope to Virgin Records, but what don’t we know about the popular band? Here are 23 fun Lany facts you didn’t know before about the band and its members.
1. Two Cities Inspire Their Name
The name for the band is a combination of America’s two largest cities, New York and Los Angeles. From it, the trio got what they wanted in finding a name with only four letters so that it would be visually and aesthetically pleasing. When they couldn’t find a four-letter word that was not already claimed, they started thinking of acronyms, even thinking about TTYL, aka “talk to you later,” until lead singer Paul Klein had another idea.
“I just remember driving around and thinking about the two major cities in America … we’re an American band. … I just sounded it out, and that’s how we got the name.”
2. LANY Pays Close Attention to Design and Aesthetics
LANY’s emphasis on being aesthetically pleasing didn’t stop with finding a band name, but it was a crucial part of their extended play, “Make Out.”
“I want everything about LANY to be just a little bit more beautiful than real life,” Klein has commented. “I want it to be extremely aspirational, so whatever we do, sound, vibe, and our appearance … I want to just be like very out of touch with reality like the colors are just a little bit brighter, the sounds are just a little bit louder, the lyrics are just a little bit, almost unreasonably, emotional. I want it to be aspirational in that sense.”
3. Les Priest Left to Focus on Being a Writer and Producer in Nashville
“We love him and his family with all of our hearts and are forever grateful to him for building LANY with us into what it is today,” the band said on Instagram, noting that “no one will ever be able to replace him” so LANY would continue as a duo.
Priest further said on his personal Instagram, “Being in LANY was a true gift. A gift with many ups and downs, joys, and heartaches. There is a time and place for everything. Now is the time for a new chapter.”
It seems there’s no bad blood between the three friends.
4. Paul Klein is a Former Model
Paul Klein isn’t just talented musically. He is also used to be a successful model. He has modeled for such fashion industry brands as Banana Republic, Prada, and Zanerobe.
5. Jake Goss Co-Founded Another Band
Before becoming one of the founding members of LANY, Jake Goss was the founder of another band with his friends. They were called Very Special Guests.
6. LANY Has Festival Performance Experience
The next time you’re at one of your favorite music festivals, remember that LANY has been able to add many of them to its list of performance venues. LANY has performed at festivals like the Bonnaroo Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Firefly Music Festival, and Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival.
7. The Trio started in a Bedroom
The original trio of Paul Jason Klein, Jake Clifford Goss, and Les Priest go way back, meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, before they even started working together. Although they initially pursued separate projects, a later visit between friends led to them writing and producing songs like “Walk Away” and “Hot Lights.”
“We’re really good with working with what we have and what we’ve got, and we kind of let our limitations define our art,” Klein has said. “Since signing to a major record label, we’ve kind of been able to maybe move out of the one-bedroom apartment that we’ve been living in together, and now we have some space to put in a real drum kit.”
8. Goss and Priest Had a Project Together Before LANY
When Paul Klein initially moved away from Nashville to pursue his own music, Jake Goss and Les Priest had another project called WRLDS. They discontinued the project, however, after the bedroom session that led to the formation of LANY.
9. Jake Goss was Accepted to Belmont University
Jake Goss spent several years taking lessons with Chester Thompson at Belmont University in Nashville. He was later accepted into the school of music program.
“Twice a year since I was in eighth grade, my parents and I would drive from Bentonville, Arkansas to Nashville, Tennessee, for a week of lessons with Chester. This would change my life,” Goss said. “Studying with Chester and visiting Nashville made it an easy decision to audition and get accepted into the school of music in Belmont.”
10. Paul Klein Also Went to College
While he didn’t attend as prestigious a school as Jake Goss, he also went to college. He studied music and business at the University of Nashville.
11. Paul Klein’s Favorite Food
Paul Klein may be slim, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like to indulge every once in a while. His favorite food is cheeseburgers.
12. Les Priest Used to Work for the Post Office
It’s always fun to find out that our favorite celebrities used to hold down regular jobs. Somehow, though, we can’t imagine Priest collecting and sorting mail.
13. Jake Goss was Featured in Modern Drummer
Jake Goss was featured in Modern Drummer in 2017. It must have been a childhood dream come true, considering he had been a follower of the publication since he was 11 years old.
“A little bit of my background starts with getting a drum set when I was 11 after seeing the movie That Thing You Do,” Goss said in the interview. “I wanted to be Guy Patterson and play in bands.”
14. Jake Goss’ Parents Helped Him with His Music Career
Speaking of Modern Drummer, it was in that interview that Goss revealed his parents’ influence on his career. “My parents were awesome and smart enough to immediately put me in lessons.”
15. “Make Out” is a self-explanatory representation of their music.
“Make Out” is a remastered version of LANY’s music, including a stripped-down version of their popular single, “ILYSB.”
Klein once said of the early stages of the song’s title, “One of my friends once said, ‘You guys make make out music.’ I just thought that was so cool, and I even thought ‘Make Out Music’ would even be a cool title, but we wound up going with just “Make Out,” and there’s really nothing more to it than that. I just thought it was kind of clever and thought-provoking and kind of provocative.”
16. LANY Opened for John Mayer
LANY, along with their own headlining tours, have been supporting performers for many high-profile tours, most notably John Mayer’s The Search for Everything World Tour in 2017.
They have also been supporting acts for Zella Day, Elli Goulding, Troye Sivan, and Halsey.
17. Paul Klein Dated Dua Lipa
Paul Klein was one of many love interests for the “Be the One” singer. The pair dated only briefly; however, their relationship only lasted from August 2017 to January 2018.
18. Dua Lipa Largely Inspired
Speaking of Paul Klein’s relationship with Dua Lipa, while their relationship was pretty short, it was obviously intense for the LANY lead singer. Reportedly, Klein wrote much of the songs for Malibu Nights following their breakup, with many of the songs being inspired by the relationship.
19. Music Isn’t All That Inspires LANY
While many artists talk about other music that influences them, LANY’s work is inspired more by visuals, especially movies.
“Movies we talk about a lot together like The Secret Life of Water Mitty, the influence in that, all across the board like visually and the soundtrack … we love that, we love the shots in that movie,” Jake Clifford Goss once explained. “Drive and The Placed Behind the Pines because we’re huge Ryan Gosling fans, and we love the music. How [that] can elevate a movie like that … the soundtracks are amazing.”
20. Paul Klein Started as a Piano Player
Paul Klein has been in music for as long as he can remember, but he didn’t start off with vocals. Klein was 5 years old when he started taking classical piano lessons.
21. Paul Klein Wrote His First Song at 16
As Paul Klein’s musical abilities developed, he started singing and writing as well. His first song, which he wrote at 16, was dedicated to his first love. In it, he had his own version of a “promposal” as he invited the girl to prom within the song’s lyrics.
22. Paul Klein Was Accused of Emotional Abuse
In 2020, a woman with the X (formerly Twitter) handle @hahlys accused Paul Klein of being an emotional abuser after posting screenshots of a conversation with an unnamed ex. She wrote: “if you don’t know now u know – paul klein is an emotionally manipulative manchild & has domestic abuse allegations. and these are all coming from a recent ex. don’t support LANY [sic].”
23. Paul Klein Has Multiple Tattoos
Some of his most notable tattoos include a heart on his elbow, the number 9 on his left arm, and “LA” on one of the fingers of his left hand. With those and more, we wonder what tattoo might be coming next.
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