Interview: PVRIS – Lynn Gunn

Since the release of their debut album White Noise in November 2014, PVRIS seem to have taken the world by storm. Selling out their first London headline show in the middle of their first UK tour, supporting Lower Than Atlantis, the sky really is the limit for the US trio. We caught up with lead singer Lynn Gunn towards the end of the tour.

So you’re at the end of your first tour of the UK, how’s it been for you guys?

It’s been so fun, this is the first time we’ve been here so we’re getting to see everything.

What was it like touring with the other bands? Did you hang out a lot or do you tend to keep yourselves to yourselves?

Everyone’s super nice. I’m not anti-social but I do kind of keep to myself a lot, it’s nothing personal to other people.

I don’t know if you saw but the demand for tickets for your London headline show was huge. Are there any plans for another UK tour in the pipeline at the moment?

It was crazy! Yeah, we’re planning another headliner, actually I think it’s all planned out but we can’t really announce anything yet. But it’s definitely happening.

What do you guys miss most when you’re on tour?

I miss free time. I’m always like drawing or making shit on my computer or making music, I have a little studio set up at home. So I miss being able to do that and having time to just vibe and do whatever you want, so that’s biggest thing for me.

You’ve just been announced for Reading & Leeds this year. You’re quite high up the line-up for a band whose debut album came out less than a year ago! Are you aware of the legendary status that festival has?

I think so! Yeah for sure! We always see people posting about Reading & Leeds.

Are you nervous?

Umm, I think it’ll be fine. You just have to see it as any other show so you don’t freak out about it. [laughs]

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I know it’s early days but has any thought been given to roughly when you want to release new material?

Yeah, I can’t really say but I mean I’m always working on stuff, making shit on my laptop, writing music. I was doing that 2 minutes ago before you came in so there’s a lot of new material but I can’t really say.

I heard you recorded White Noise in a very nocturnal way? Could you tell me a little about that and how that ended up happening?

Yeah, so we did the record with Blake [Harnage, guitar in Versa] and Blake was on a weird sleeping schedule. Whenever we work with him it’s always like that so we’d wake up at like 2/3 in the afternoon and work ‘til like 8/9 in the morning.

And did that work for you?

Yup! Well the boys would come during the day, we’d do a lot of individual tracking during the day and then at night, probably like 10 or 11 Blake and I would do vocal stuff.

What’s the thinking behind keeping PVRIS as a trio? Is it just that the chemistry works so well with you three?

Yeah it’s definitely a chemistry thing, we love our touring drummer but the 3 of us have a chemistry that I don’t think can be altered. It works for us and we don’t wanna mess with that.

A lot of musicians describe a certain moment/gig where they decided music is what they wanted to do their whole lives. Did you have a moment like that where you knew music was the career for you?

Yeah I think I kinda always wanted to do it before I even started going to shows or anything I was always very into music, I always had it in my head that I wanted to do it but I knew it wasn’t realistic, or so I thought. But I went to see Plain White T’s, Paramore and Jimmy Eat World when I was in Middle School. I remember seeing them and being like “That’s cool! I wanna do that.”

Are there any bands or artists that you tried to incorporate into your sound on the album? With some bands it’s easy to pick out influences but it’s not as easy with White Noise. Were you using anything as reference material when you were recording?

Umm, yeah we try not to do that. We definitely referenced stuff, production style, and instrumentation. But it was kinda like a clean slate, we have so many influences and we listen to so many different things.

So what would you say are some of your main influences personally?

Florence + The Machine, Ellie Goulding, The Weeknd and Saosin.

Are there any bands about at the moment that you’ve heard that you’d love to tour with if you got the opportunity?

Years & Years, they’re so good!

Rig wise, what sort of gear are you using?

Alex uses a lot of the Strymon pedals, I use a lot of TC Electronic stuff and then over here we’re using Marshall stuff. Alex has a Marshall head at home, I have an Orange.

So you’re going with the Brits!

Yeah! You guys know what’s good!

Is there any advice you’ve received over the years that’s stuck with you? Or any advice you’d give to people starting out in the industry?

Yeah I think the biggest piece of advice I ever got, which is actually kind of funny. One of my old, old bands opened up for VersaEmerge [now Versa] probably like when I was a freshmen or something in high school and I was really into them at the time. Sierra [Kay, Lead Vocals] watched our set and she came up to me when we were heading out and she was like “Yo, awesome job! You’re doing something not a lot of people are doing! Just keep doing it and don’t stop.” And I was like “Shit! Alright.” And I just kept that in my head for years and years. I thank her to this day and it’s just funny because we ended up doing the record with Blake and she was there for a bunch of it.

Did you tell her?

Yeah I told her recently and I was like “I hope that’s not fangirly or anything” but she was like “Really?! I’m so glad I could contribute to that.”

So you’d pass her advice on to anyone?

Yeah I’d pass that on. Just don’t stop imagining it and don’t stop believing, just keep working.


You can catch PVRIS in the UK at this years Slam Dunk Festival and Reading & Leeds.