WHITE NOISE

LYNN GUNN GOES FACE TO FACE WITH THE GHOSTS HAUNT­ING HER ON THE TI­TLE-TRACK OF PVRIS’ DE­BUT SMASH-HIT

Kerrang! (UK) - - News - WORDS: JENNYFER J. WALKER

It’s no surprise that PVRIS’ White Noise video was in­spired by 1982 movie Poltergeist. As singer Lynn Gunn rolls around the walls and ceil­ing in a red sports jer­sey, as if be­ing at­tacked by a sin­is­ter force, her ghost-hunt­ing band­mates fid­dle with a static tele­vi­sion set in an at­tempt to make con­tact with their es­tranged friend.

Such a di­rect homage for the video – di­rected by Raul Gonzo – was a no-brainer since the song it­self was heav­ily in­spired by the old hor­ror flick. White Noise was writ­ten in Port St. Lu­cie, Florida, in the home stu­dio of pro­ducer Blake Har­nage. “There was one day when Blake had to go do some­thing in his dad’s house,” re­mem­bers Lynn of their time work­ing on their 2014 de­but. “He was like, ‘Just stay here for the day and do what­ever you want.’ He left his com­puter open with all these pro­grams run­ning, so I ended up mak­ing White Noise and I wrote about Poltergeist; I just tried to paint a pic­ture of that story and what it’s all about.”

The first verse, she explains, hints at the fact some­one is stuck in the TV, only able to com­mu­ni­cate through white noise and static, so the sig­nif­i­cant other can’t un­der­stand it, doesn’t re­alise it’s them, and just turns the vol­ume down and shuts them out.

“It’s all about try­ing to get their at­ten­tion,” says Lynn. “And be like: ‘Can you hear me!?’ The sec­ond verse is about that sig­nif­i­cant other – since you’re in the TV, you’re in their bed­room, and you’re watch­ing them bring some­one home, so ‘a brand-new face on your pil­low case’ hints at them mov­ing on. They’re sleep­ing with them and you have to watch it ’cause you’re stuck in the TV.”

Creepy de­mon beasts with a thing for young girls aside, there was a dark­ness to the song’s lyrics in­spired by real-life feel­ings. An en­tity which is equally as in­sid­i­ous, but a whole lot more real. Lynn de­scribed a year-long bout of the blues not quite as de­pres­sion, but as a “re­ally rough patch and a low point in my life”. It in­spired the ma­jor­ity of the songs on White Noise – St. Pa­trick, My House, Ghosts, Let Them In and, of course, the ti­tle-track.

“White Noise [tied] into the whole de­press­ing time,” explains the lyri­cist. “When you can’t ver­balise things prop­erly, and you can’t talk about things and con­nect with some­one be­cause of that…”

It’s a sen­ti­ment echoed even more ob­vi­ously on Ghosts. “I was de­pressed and up­set and I couldn’t re­ally un­der­stand why,” re­calls Lynn. “I couldn’t ex­press my­self, and my girl­friend [at the time] didn’t un­der­stand it and couldn’t re­ally help. So it was about her al­ways try­ing to help me out of it, and com­fort me, and fix it, when she couldn’t… as a re­sult I ended up push­ing her away. I was like, ‘It’s not you, it’s the shit in my head. Please stay.’”

My House, mean­while, be­came a break-up track, af­ter Lynn split with her girl­friend in the midst of record­ing the al­bum. The story is told via the metaphor of a ghost; a pesky ghoul go­ing through your house, and you telling it to ‘do one’. “It’s a metaphor for ei­ther a per­son, or an is­sue, your demons…” explains Lynn. “It’s about try­ing to tell that thing or that per­son that you’re not theirs, and it’s your house – get the fuck out! When I wrote it, it was a lit­tle bit metaphor­i­cal, but also once again, [it re­ferred to the] trou­ble I had a while back.”

Mean­while, Let Them In – the ‘Them’ of which refers to the “shit go­ing on in your head, bad times and de­pres­sion” – is about “try­ing to get [that stuff] out and it al­ways forc­ing it­self back in on you and try­ing to get in­side your head, and take over you. It’s about that, and fail­ing, and let­ting it in, ba­si­cally.”

Though there are many songs per­tain­ing to de­pres­sion on White Noise, St. Pa­trick is per­haps the most pos­i­tive, and tri­umphant. Un­like the oth­ers, the words held within talk of some­one you meet help­ing you out of that omi­nous black hole in your mind, by giv­ing you ‘some­thing to think about that’s not the shit in my head’.

“I didn’t think I was ever gonna get bet­ter,” says Lynn of her low pe­riod. “Then this per­son came along and gave me some­thing to think about and some­thing to talk about, and I felt like they were a straight-up mir­a­cle. So that song’s a lit­tle shout-out to that per­son.”

“I don’t re­ally know what it was,” Lynn told Ker­rang! of her dark year in her first proper K! fea­ture in March 2015. “I just know that I was not okay. I didn’t ever get it checked out, and I didn’t ever talk to any­body about it, or re­ally get help for it, so I don’t wanna call it ‘de­pres­sion’, but it felt pretty se­ri­ous, and def­i­nitely was a bad time.”

Dur­ing that pe­riod, Lynn would get up­set over noth­ing, didn’t see the point in any­thing, and just couldn’t find a way to be happy or pos­i­tive. “There was shit both­er­ing me, but I didn’t know what it was or how to talk about it or ex­plain it,” she added. “I woke up so many morn­ings just be­ing like, ‘What’s the point of this? What am I even do­ing?’ Even­tu­ally I just fig­ured out how to write about it and fig­ured out how to get over it. As much of a bum­mer as it is, the best stuff comes out of you when you’re [at your] most vul­ner­a­ble and feel­ing an­gry, sad, or up­set about some­thing.”

And White Noise is the proof of ex­actly that.

PHOTO: PAUL HARRIES

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