"There have been some massive life changes"
“There have been some massive life changes,” PVRIS singer Lynn Gunn tells us backstage at Reading 2019 before they make their return to the festival’s stage. It seems the band have been in quite the period of transition since 2017 album ‘All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell‘. “Most of them good, some of them weird, but we’re working through those.”
Watch our full video interview with PVRIS above
‘All We Know…’ was written in a “dark place” born of coming to terms with all that comes with coming of age. What’s been inspiring the new material?
“I think just everything else, outside of that,” replies Gunn. “Similar situations but other perspectives. More life, I guess. We’re looking at situations through different lenses and better lenses – more mentally healthy lenses.”
Does she still agree with her mantra to “embrace the darkness but learn to honour that as much as the light”?
“I didn’t know I said that, that’s cool!” Gunn tells NME. “I think it’s always important to acknowledge what you’re going through and feel it. You have to use that as a processing thing to analyse and decode. Once you get through it and sit in it, that’s when you can navigate your way out of it. You learn the most in those times.”
The genre-bending, art-emo stars have also often used their platform to speak out for sexual liberation and understanding. Has their next album also been inspired by the battle lines being so clearly drawn in Trump’s America?
“Some elements. Everybody is influenced by it one way or another; whether they want to acknowledge it and talk about it, or completely escape from it,” Gunn admits. “Right now, both are equally valuable. As important as it is, some people just want to tune out and feel good.”
Bandmate Brian MacDonald agrees, “If we have the platform, then we should use it for things that are good and meaningful for others that don’t have the resources,” before Gunn continues, “But we are going to fuck up sometimes or not know how to fully help some situations. The big answer is just talking and not attacking people who have a different opinion to you. Just level with people and be human. Have those difficult discussions.”
The band have given fans a taste of the future with comeback tracks ‘Death Of Me‘ and ‘Hallucinations‘ – two bold and adventurous journeys into the extremes of the PVRIS sound, and a sign of further exploration on their next EP in October before the album drops in “early 2020”.
“They capture two energies that I think will be pretty present,” said Gunn. “We like to bounce around, do one of everything and keep it fun and exciting. On the EP, I’d say there’s a good mix. There’s one more ballad-y song, there’s very classic brooding dark PVRIS, and there’s one that’s very fun and kinda like a fucked up weird summer jam”.
So other than that, the year will be spent on downtime and reinventing the wheel for album number three. Before then, we’ll leave them to play their show and seek out some decent food at Reading & Leeds. At this point, our conversation turns towards the UK institution of the Yorkshire pudding.
“A Sunday roast is always nice,” says Brian. “It’s like, you’re about to start the week, let’s have this amazing dinner’.”
Perhaps Yorkshire puds should be the latest addition to their rider?
“That could be dangerous,” laughs Gunn. “We were asked this yesterday. Someone asked if we have any weird items on our rider and we really don’t. We need to start to take advantage of this. If we put it on the rider in the States then most people wouldn’t know.
“We played a venue in New Jersey last winter and we were there the night after Marilyn Manson was there. Supposedly on his rider he had a kiddie pool full of red jello.”
Did he swim in it or eat it?
“I don’t know. He requested… I won’t say the next one, it’s kind of crazy.”
We’ll assume it was Yorkshire puddings. Anyway, watch our full video interview with PVRIS at the top of the page as they also tell us about about their “bonkers” history with Reading & Leeds, their dream of going ‘EDM country’ and their plans for the rest of the year.