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Paul Klein is quickly becoming music’s biggest style icon

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LANY has released not one but two albums during this pandemic. How has being at home and not being able to tour impacted your creativity?

It was really tough. It’s still hard. We released our third album, Mom’s son, on October 2, 2020, and it became pretty clear in the middle of 2020 that we weren’t going to be touring anytime soon. Music needs moments to latch onto, and people need life experiences to really fall in love with the songs, and touring is such an important part of that. The day after the album came out, it was like “Alright, now what?“We can either sit on the couch and wait for the world to open up again, or we can go make another album and also sit on the sofa and wait for the world to reopen. So we made another album.

Mom’s son was a complete and total departure from what people know of LANY. The way I had talked about this album was like when you go out with someone for a year or two and you want to take it to the next level. You think to yourself, “I should take you home and meet my family and friends, just to contextualize my existence for you. There’s going to be things you like and things you don’t like, but it’s just a necessary step, and we should do it.” And that’s what Mom’s son was with our fans – we were bringing them home. Hey, we’re not from Los Angeles. We’re this West Coast pop band that’s cool and doing our thing, but we’re actually from middle-income families, from Central America, from Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri, and we would love to show you that side of us for a second. So what GG BB XX was like, “Okay, everything went well at home. We’re still together. Now let’s go back to regular programming, but let’s do it on a really big pop scale.” So we went to make a big pop album.

Your style is sick and so individualized. Has your style always been like this or has it evolved over time?

I remember getting into it when I was in college. I’m from Oklahoma and I didn’t fit in. I worked on a ranch during the summers, so I know what guys generally look and wear in Oklahoma. I was the first child to wear skinny jeans. I remember bleaching my hair and everyone thought I was so different. I feel like I know when things will come back. I used to go to Dave’s in New York before construction clothes was a thing, before everybody wore Carhartt, and I would buy all the camo pants that nobody wanted, and I wore them. I remember wearing camo pants in 2015 and people were like, “What are you wearing?“I was way too early.

I also started painting my nails in 2018 and then Harry Styles decides to paint his nails in 2020 and is apparently the first guy on the planet to do so. So I was like, “I’m just too early again.” I love clothes, I love clothes, I love style, I just love expressing myself in a really unique way. I used to pay the price for it because I was from Oklahoma, but now people think it’s really cool, but I was completely mocked and ridiculed for it.