A couple of notes. Funkhouser attended Bunbury Music Festival 2016 over the past weekend. Matthew Mahone delivered with Day One coverage. However, neither Matthew or I could make day two. However, we did meet up for Day Three, and this is that coverage.
Day Three of Bunbury looked to have a very ominous start, as the clouds began to turn black as the gates were getting ready to open. Hundreds of people were lined up at the gates of the festival, looking up at the sky to see if the rain would hold off, or if they would be subjected to the downpour which looked to be imminent. Luckily, it was the former, as the clouds passed, bringing a beautiful day for numerous musical acts to perform between Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Just as the gates opened, I rushed off to go meet up with Dreampop band, LANY (Lay-Nee). The trio has been together for just a couple of years, recording out of their apartment, starting in Nashville and now residing in Los Angeles. Their song, ILYSB (I Love You So Bad) has 22 million streams on Spotfiy (between three versions), and their new single, Where The Hell Are My Friends, has been stuck in my head for about a week. I sat down with LANY (Paul Jason Klein, Jake Goss and Les Priest) for a brief conversation before their set.
Richmond: Being from different places, how did you all end up together.
Paul Jason Klein: We all met in Nashville.
R: So, how did you all end up making your way to Los Angeles from Nashville?
PJK: I had moved out there by myself first, before we even started this band. We all were in Nashville doing music kind of on our own terms, but it really wasn’t working out for me, so I flew out to LA for a change of scenery, to see what would happen. I ended up calling (Jake & Les), to see if I could fly back and make some songs with them, ’cause Les is an amazing engineer and knows how to do all of that technical stuff. We wrote and recorded our first two songs in the front room of their house. They lived together with three other guys, and that’s kind of how LANY started.
R: From what I understand, you all are still recording in the apartment?
PJK: Well, we moved out of our apartment, but we got a little house where there’s a little more room, but for a year it was three of us in a one bedroom apartment.
R: Still, being able to record in your own space is kind of unique.
PJK: It’s a luxury.
R: How does that work between the three of you in terms of engineering all of that?
PJK: (Les) is the guy on the computer, and Jake and I will kind of play the parts, and come up with some cool stuff. Sometimes Jake will a drum groove, or I will have a chorus idea or chord progression, then we kind of plug everything in. We write and record at the same time, so there’s not like, I don’t come with a demo idea.
R: You all just came off of your first headline tour, and sold out. How was that feeling after just being together for two years?
R: Where were some of the most exciting places you got to play during the tour?
PJK: Salt Lake City was really insane, the most insane I’ve ever seen anything. The second would be like L.A., we played two shows at the Troubadour. Houston was wild too, definitely some interesting cities.
R: ILYSB has gone kind of wild, it has 21 million streams on Spotify between the three versions of the song.
PJK: Wow, oh yeah.
R: How did that song pick up steam, how did people latch on to it so quickly?
PJK: We first put it out on July 1, 2014. We put out our first two songs, I Love You So Bad and BRB were our first two songs. The reaction was pretty immediate, but we were so much smaller and nobody, Nobody, had heard of us at that point. But, as we’ve gone out and toured and grown, it’s probably been the song that people have latched on to. That’s probably the song we’re known for at this point.
R: And then, Where the Hell Are My Friends, I’ve had it stuck in my head for the last week.
PJK: That’s awesome.
R: But, what’s so bad about Wine and The Internet on a Friday night? (a reference to a lyric in the song)
PJK: Actually, it’s not that bad. That’s such an honest lyric. (The song) is kind of a universal sentiment no matter what city you’re in, it kind of always feels like your friends are out without you, whether it’s in LA or Cincinnati.
R: So what’s happening after Bunbury, are you working on a new album?
PJK: We’ve been working on a debut record that will probably come out in March, but right now it’s a ton of touring. We won’t get home until July 3rd and we’ve been gone since the beginning of May. Before that we were out all February and March with Troye Sivan and Ellie Goulding. We’re headed to Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Outside Lands, Mamby on the Beach, Firefly.
R: Do you all get time to watch any TV or Movies?
Jake: I just saw The Nice Guys. I loved it, it was really good.
PJK: My friend is into Peaky Bliners, so I’m trying to get into… I’m a big House of Cards guy, I think that’s an amazing show.
R: Being on tour, I assume you get to watch a lot of Netflix?
PJK: Yeah, I mean, our WiFi went down in the van.
J: I re-downloaded a bunch of Friday Night Lights so I’ve been watching Friday Night Lights.
PJK: It’s the greatest show in the world, man. So good.
J: I just re-watched an episode the other day.
PJK: That’s so where I’m from, being from Tulsa, football is everything in Oklahoma.
R: Arkansas football for you Jake? The Razorbacks going to do anything this year?
J: Probably not, no. But I’ll be there for them every game.
The guys from LANY were very cool, and we at Funkhouser wish them the best for what comes to them in the future. As I left the photo pit, I could hear Paul say to the crowd that “this was one of the biggest crowds we’ve played for, and I wish my mom could see it. So can I take a picture with you all?” This is the result:
— LANY (@thisisLANY) June 6, 2016
After getting to listen to LANY, I met up with Mahone and we bounced back and forth between the stages. We got to check out the sounds of bands like Bayside, Mad Anthony and, what seemed like, the screaming at the crowd of Flint Eastwood. We had taken a bit of a snack break at a great Cincinnati Mexican restaurant, Mazunte, and we kept hearing this yelling on the loudest stage of the festival. We turned to see Flint Eastwood shouting out commands at the audience, telling them to tell the people next to them “I don’t know you, but I’m going to dance with you”. It was a little off-putting from afar, but the crowd totally seemed in to it.
Before seeing the two big acts of the night, I stopped with my wife to check out the cool sounds of Coleman Hell. We weren’t really sure who it was at the time, but we knew that this was a sound that we were totally into. If you’re not familiar with the name Coleman Hell, I’m sure you’ve heard his song “2 Heads”, which starts “There must be something in the water…”. You’ve heard it, you know you’ve heard it, and you should definitely check out some more of Coleman Hell if you haven’t yet. He had the smaller crowd of the three stages, but he also had the pre-Of Monsters and Men slot, so a lot of people had already migrated over there.
I’ll be 100% honest, I didn’t realize that I knew as many Of Monsters and Men songs as I actually did. The indie-pop band from Iceland brought the house down with a number of their big hits, starting off with Thousand Eyes, Empire and King and Lionheart. Standing in the photo pit, I could hear two things. One, obviously was Of Monsters and Men rocking the house with their amazing sound, as Nanna switched between her guitar and pounding on the drum, but secondly, the crowd behind me singing along with every word of every song.
Of Monsters and Men is one of those bands that has a collection of so many songs that you just want to sing along with. They’re those kind of songs that when you watch an indie film, and its in the last two minutes of the movie, there’s a positive resolution, and the protagonist kind of walks off into the sunset, Of Monsters and Men songs play as the credits begin to roll. These are the songs that leave lasting impressions on you as the very last thing you hear, and they stick in your head because they’re just that good.
I thought the crowd was big for Of Monsters and Men. Holy Cow, after OMAM got off the stage, practically no one moved in the hour between that and Florence and the Machine. In fact, the crowd just grew larger. It was as if everyone said, “Nope, we’re not leaving until we see her.” I’ve never experienced anything like that before. As photographers, we were ushered into the middle of the crowd, as Florence would be entering the stage from the front. The anticipation built as the band got on stage and started making a little music, as we waited for almost 3-4 minutes for Florence to make her entrance. As soon she did, just inklings of even possibly seeing her, the crowd erupted. Once Florence was on the stage, we were rushed to the front for the two songs we were able to take pictures of. It was hard to actually take pictures, as you just wanted to take in the crowd, taking in Florence + The Machine. Moments into the first song “What the Water Gave Me” the crowd is already into full song:
“Lay me down
Let the only sound
Be the overflow
Pockets full of stones”
It was a little haunting, and 100% incredible. Florence + The Machine followed up with Ship To Wreck, which was just as powerful as the opener, and the mass of people were just belting out, leading into the chorus:
“Did I drink too much?
Am I losing touch?
Did I build this ship to wreck?”
Florence beckoned out to the audience, asking if they were going to get high with them tonight, and if they would take off an article of clothing. Florence + The Machine have a very tight connection with their audience, who is clearly infatuated with her. The band played hits “Shake it Out” and finished with “Dog Days are Over”, while playing covers of “Sweet Nothing” and “You’ve Got The Love” between. Needless to say, Florence + The Machine closed out Bunbury 2016 with an unforgettable performance.
A big shout-out goes to our own Josh Juckett for getting Mahone and I all set up with Bunbury 2016. Thanks to Bunbury for hosting us and we look forward to seeing what the remainder of music festival season has to bring us!