PVRIS have been tearing up the scene with their pop oriented alt since their debut album White Noise, slowly building up a tide of success in their wake. We caught up with frontwoman Lynn Gunn during their recent Aussie tour with The Amity Affliction, Beartooth and Make Them Suffer, to ahead of the release of their new album ‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’.
Words: Matt Doria.
You guys are on an Aussie tour with The Amity Affliction right now. How has it been so far?
It’s such a heavy bill, so we had no clue what to expect, but it’s been great!
As you mentioned you are on tour with heavy bands like Make Them Suffer. And it’s cool as a fan because PVRIS is a lot more low key, a lot more pop-driven, so there’s that contrast of styles. What’s it like on your end, being a pop band with a bunch of dudes smashing breakdowns?
I think we, like initially when we first started, those were the kinds of bands we were touring with or around so it isn’t too intimidating or scary. I think now for me personally, I definitely notice it, I’m like “ooh… does this work now”? But I think we’ve always had that mentality, just with the live show, of bringing as much energy as intensity as we can. While the music’s different, we try and match that performance-wise.
Do you see it as more of an opportunity to show what you’ve got to an audience that maybe wouldn’t give you a chance otherwise? And is that something that you’ve seen pay off?
Totally. And you can even see it as we’re performing. A lot of people are standing and soaking it in and stuff but people are also looking at their friends like “this is cool”!
Do you think it gives you a limit of freedom to experiment with your music?
Yeah – I mean, our mentality with it in general in creating is like “don’t box yourself in, don’t limit it”, so yeah, it goes perfectly with that.
Speaking of your music, we’re not long away from the release of your new album, ‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’. Three years on from your debut ‘White Noise’, how does it feel?
So good. It feels like we’re caught up with ourselves now.
I feel like ‘White Noise’ was such an important record for the scene. When it hit it was visceral and unique, it really shook things up. How does this new record build on what you started with ‘White Noise’?
Honestly, a lot of people are asking like, “what did we do different, how are we one-upping it”? And we really didn’t make any deliberate efforts to one up or make sure we did this, there’s no set intentions. It’s really just like the same mentality as ‘White Noise’. To do what comes naturally, and what we’re stoked on, and follow your tastes and don’t box it in. Take risks. So this record had the same approach and obviously just the usual progression of us as human beings. And I think the course of three years is what I guess did the one-upping it or that progression.
It feels like this second record was a bit of a long time coming. What made you guys take your time?
I mean, I think time is so important with any type of art, whether it’s music or visuals. I think good things take time and you can’t force everything. Especially with music, I think you’ve gotta put time into it. It’s like raising a baby (laughs). I don’t really know how raising a baby is actually, but I would assume.
Not just in the alternative scene have you had success but your music has actually had an impact on mainstream culture, like your song being used in a Netflix show recently. Did that impact shape the new record at all?
I don’t think so. We don’t even think about that at all. It’s kind of like we’re just in this weird tornado, and occasionally we get a glimpse inside of it.
You realised your single “What’s Wrong” recently – I was wondering if you could give me a little bit of background on the track and what it signifies to you guys as a band?
As far as lyrical content, I don’t really feel comfortable talking about it just yet. When we put it out I actually felt really weird and vulnerable and like, crazy. I’ve never felt like that with a release before. But it’s drenched in a lot of cynicism. And the production is a really cool contrast to that… that’s all I’ve got to say about it, really.
In true PVRIS fashion, the music video is pretty intense…
It was so fun!
What was the creative vision for it?
Again, the song is very cynical and it’s very focused on the irony that exists in a lot of the shit we’ve been through and been in so we really wanted the song to reflect that.
You mentioned it was fun.
So fun! We got to work with this choreographer Nina McNeely and she’s done stuff with Banks and Rihanna and alot of diverse pop artists and she was really cool and fun to work with. That was a new element brought in on the video that was really fun and exciting.
Ever since the early days you guys have been very subversive and polarising with art in a great way, and that shapes the aesthetic and atmosphere around your music. What is it about that visual that entices you artistically?
It just entices us, I dont know! As far as with the music, I’mdon’tays looking for something that gives me like a really weird tingle, so we always try and match that to a degree.
Finally, what other stuff is coming in the lead up to the release? Should we all be expecting the unexpected?
That’s for us to know and you’ll find out! (Laughs).
‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ drops August 4th via Rise Records/Warner.