Between playing the Vans Warped Tour, releasing an EP and recording a full-length album, PVRIS (pronounced Paris) has had a whirlwind 2013.
Lynn Gunnelfsen, the lead vocalist and guitarist of the Lowell trio, recently announced a new tour as a supporting act for the pop punk band A Loss For Words, to a great deal of support from fans.
“We posted it, like the dates and stuff, and we weren’t expecting anyone to be like, ‘We’ll see you at this state,’” said Gunnelfsen. “The first tour we did, nobody knew who we were.”
Blast’s Ellie Williams got the opportunity to sit down with Gunnelfsen to chat about where the trio has been, their new album due in the summer, and what the heck is up with those V’s.
Blast Magazine: You formed PVRIS in what, 2012?
Lynn Gunnelfsen: I think so.
Blast: You guys have had a busy two years! You let out an EP, you started touring, you signed to a record label. So 2014 is going to be as big a year do you think?
LG: Yeah even bigger.
Blast: Bigger? Okay. I know you guys just finished recording the new album, so do you have a name picked out yet?
LG: We’re thinking of calling it Haunt cause it’s very—it has a lot of ghostly aspects to it. Either that or we’re going to self-title it. I don’t know yet.
Blast: And how different do you think it’s going to sound from the EP?
LG: It’s very different…it’s a lot more pop-based like electronic-based, it still has that rock drive to it though, so it’s not straying too far from it, but it definitely has a lot of new aspects that could be like, “where did this come from?”
Blast: Kind of jumping off of that with the pop-y influences, what are your biggest influences? Either yours or the band’s.
LG: We all listen to like The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding and Rihanna. Like Top 40 stuff… Did I say Ellie Goulding? I think I did, but that kind of little niche. I forget the term for it…I think people call it hip-pop, not hip-hop.
Blast: Very interesting. Even more recently, you guys just announced that you’re going on tour again [with A Loss For Words], so what are you looking forward to most about that?
LG: Meeting new people, ‘cuz we posted it, like the dates and stuff, and we weren’t expecting anyone to be like, “We’ll see you at this state, we’ll see you at this state.” And there’s like, kids on every site being like, “See you at this! See you at this!” and I’m like, “They’re gonna see us! That’s really cool.” ‘Cause the first tour we did, nobody knew who we were so nobody was like, see you then. It was kinda cool to see the growing audience from that.
Blast: I was looking up some of the reviews and I was noticing that a lot of people are comparing you to Paramore and Flyleaf—
LG: Yeah it’s a given.
Blast: I feel like every female-fronted rock band that comes out gets lumped into that same category. Do you have any thoughts on that?
LG: I can understand why people do it but it’s also, I think it’s just, they’re just not very cultured in music when they say that because…I don’t know. I don’t take it offensively, but at the same time I get annoyed by it ‘cause it’s like, listen to more music and you’ll understand that they’re completely different. But at the same time it’s if you’re comparing us to Paramore, Paramore’s an awesome band so I don’t get offended by that. But the new stuff I think will completely eliminate that, I’m hoping. And if we still get it, I’m gonna be like, “you straight up did not listen to this record at all.”
Blast: Are you guys thinking of doing any more collaborations?
LG: Not PVRIS and Love, Robot, but Alexa [San Roman of Love, Robot] and I are working on a song right now. We’ll probably post it around the Spring or so. So it’ll basically be like Love, Robot and PVRIS cause we did the song together for that but this one it’ll just be me and her. So, yes!
Blast: Well I’ll be looking forward to that then! Do you guys have any upcoming shows other than the tour [with A Loss For Words]?
LG: Not yet. I think we’re trying to do some kind of hometown show before that, in between. Probably around Lowell or Boston, not sure.
Blast: So at what point did Brad [Griffin] leave the band? Is he still involved at all?
LG: He’s not involved whatsoever anymore.
Blast: In that case, then who’s drumming?
LG: We’re probably going to do just a touring drummer, like we’ll be promoted as a three piece kinda thing but he’s in the running [points at Josh] for being one of the touring drummers. Fingers crossed! But yeah, we’re probably gonna just do a touring drummer, kind of not really have anybody in the band, if that makes sense. Paramore kind of does that.
Blast: For you personally, why are you involved in music?
LG: Cause I love it! I like making it, I like listening to it, I like playing it, and I like the connection between everybody. I’ve literally met all of my favorite people through music, so if I can do that for other people, then, yeah!
Blast: So how exactly did PVRIS come to be?
LG: We started out as that previous band I’d mentioned. We were called Operation Guillotine and it was a really, really shitty like, Metalcore band basically, we had a screamer and everything. And we went into the studio and recorded an EP, it had scream breakdowns and like the whole shebang on it. And we met our manager when we were recording that, and when we were recording that he was like, you guys should really take the time to really think about releasing this and planning things out. And so we waited about like a year to release it and then by the time we were gonna release it, we were like, “we don’t want to do this anymore. We wanna do something completely different.” So we went back into the studio and that’s when we were like, “we should be this band instead.” And so it kind of was just, in the studio that we transitioned over to PVRIS. So we did an EP that we never released, and then we went back and did that EP with did release and then that’s when we became PVRIS, if that makes any sense. The studio was the transition here.
Blast: Very cool. And then, I gotta ask, what’s with the V’s?
LG: Oh okay, so we ran into like, legal issues with the A, with just regular Paris. One of the guys from like Fleetwood Mac has a side project called Paris, I guess. And so we ran into the trademark issues and stuff so we were like, “We don’t wanna stray from the name” cause we had enough of a following already, so we tried exclamation points, the little accents over the A and the I and stuff. Nobody like, was like legally allowing it or whatever, so we were like, there’s like a trend right now with making the V’s, I mean, the U’s V’s and the A’s V’s. So we were like, let’s do this! But I didn’t even know it was a trend but my friend was like, “make an upside down A with a V” and I was like, “okay!” And then on social media, I noticed a lot of people were doing it anyway, so I was like, “it worked! It fit right in. We didn’t even mean to.”
PVRIS will be playing in South Weymouth, MA on March 28 with A Loss For Words. Their self-titled EP can be purchased on their Bandcamp page.