Lynn Gunn: ‘The Rock Mindset is Never Going to Die’
American electro-rock band PVRIS’ vocalist discusses their new music, women in rock and the need to speak out on LGBT issues
When PVRISÂ debuted theirÂ their first full-length albumÂ White NoiseÂ in 2014, thereÂ was no doubt they wouldÂ stand out. The trio’s haunting synthpop/rock sound and comfortless musicÂ videos lent them a mysterious vibe thatÂ was hard to ignore. “I think our band hasÂ always done dark and moody stuff,” saysÂ vocalist Lynn Gunn over the phone whileÂ on tour of the American East Coast. “So inÂ terms of visuals, we wanted the aesthetic toÂ complement the music.”
Owing to their positioning, PVRIS”“ which also comprises guitarist AlexÂ Babinksi and bassist Brian MacDonald”“ have drawn comparisons with alternativeÂ rock giants Paramore, CHVRCHESÂ and The Neighborhood, while also amassingÂ fans worldwide. “We never imaginedÂ having a reach that far out of the UnitedÂ States,” says Gunn. “It’s absolutely insane.”
What also makes PVRIS a success amongÂ their fans is their alternative rock leanings.Â “I think the rock mindset is never going toÂ die,” Gunn states, adding, “It’s always somethingÂ that’s changing and evolving, so it’sÂ going to take on different forms and differentÂ styles.”
Symbolism and continuity have alsoÂ played a key part in building the band’sÂ appeal ”“ for example, the use of a mirrorÂ on the album art for White Noise and inÂ their music videos. “The mirror acts as aÂ portal between the music videos. SoÂ we’re thinking in terms of something toÂ connect one thing to the other [on the nextÂ record] but I don’t want to think about it tooÂ much and box ourselves in,” she says.
Now on the last leg of their currentÂ tour, PVRIS are ready to go back into theÂ studio and add to the sound they’veÂ built so far. “We want to go above andÂ beyond anything we’ve done before. WhetherÂ that’s changing the vibe or expanding onÂ it and making it bigger and better, we definitelyÂ have a variety of ideas we want toÂ try,” Gunn says about the follow up to WhiteÂ Noise, careful not to give away too many details.
Apparently, the band spent aÂ lot of time searching for the rightÂ studio to record the next album in. “We’dÂ just been looking into old studios andÂ old houses and places with a really coolÂ atmosphere because we wanted a certainÂ energy,” she says, adding that their huntÂ came to an end when they found a ”˜haunted’Â church-turned-studio in upstate New York.Â “We thought that it just worked out perfectly.”
The band’s latest track “You and I” hasÂ earned praise from Paramore’s lead vocalistÂ Hailey Williams, who was glad to see anotherÂ woman in the scene. Says Gunn, “I thinkÂ if you look at statistics, there are absolutelyÂ fewer females than there are males [inÂ rock]. But it’s something that’s rapidlyÂ changing right now… With girls seeing moreÂ women in rock and pop, [it] will graduallyÂ inspire more female artists.”
As a gay woman in the industry, GunnÂ is likely a source of inspiration to many.Â In the wake of the Orlando shooting onÂ June 12th that targeted the gay community,Â Gunn feels that the only way to positiveÂ change is through discussion. “I feel a lotÂ of people are really quick to shut [othersÂ down if] they don’t have the same opinion.Â They will automatically crucify you and notÂ explain why. I think that’s the biggest problem:Â people don’t talk.” She is firm in the beliefÂ that a person’s sexuality should not defineÂ who they are. “At the end of the day it’sÂ about who you want to love and there’s nothingÂ wrong with that.”
Watch the video for PVRIS’ track “You and I” below: