Process your emo­tions…”

“On tour, there’s no time to

Kerrang! (UK) - - Kerrang! (uk) -

This sta­sis was per­haps a mo­ment Lynn had been dread­ing. with­out the thrum and bus­tle of life on the road to pro­vide a dis­trac­tion, she was left alone with her thoughts and a chance to re­flect on what she and her band­mates – gui­tarist Alex Babin­ski and bassist Brian Mac­don­ald – had achieved in such a short space of time.and, whether she liked it or not, it was a chance to take an hon­est look at the black­ened shells of bro­ken re­la­tion­ships that lit­tered the road­side of the past few years.

“On tour, you get swept up in a world where you have your game face on con­stantly and have your shit to­gether,” says Lynn.“there’s no time to ever re­ally process your emo­tions. In the past, I’d check them off and come back to it later in the day. But it be­came a snow­ball of com­part­men­tal­is­ing my emo­tions and hid­ing them un­der the bed. I had to be strong for the peo­ple around me and would sup­press things so much I be­came numb. I wouldn’t feel any­thing.

“I re­ally was my own worst en­emy through­out the past few years,” she adds.“i was in­cred­i­bly hard on my­self. I didn’t know how to love my­self.that all came full-force after we got off tour, be­cause I could re­ally process ev­ery­thing go­ing on.”

As their month-long break drew to a close, Lynn found her­self in a “su­per-rough spot, men­tally” as they headed to up­state Newyork to record their sec­ond al­bum.

It was here in Utica, some 240 miles north of Newyork City, that Lynn Gunn would make not just the most im­por­tant record of her life, but fi­nally find her­self.

There’s an old church at 2317 Ge­ne­see Street which is no longer a place of wor­ship.the build­ing was sold in 1998 and trans­formed into the Big Blue North record­ing stu­dio. Lo­cated on a leafy street, the church – which is said to be haunted – would be­come the band’s home for the best part of three months as they worked with Blake Har­nage, who also pro­duced White Noise at his not-at-all-spooky home stu­dio in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful build­ing, and we had a lot of weird stuff hap­pen while we were there,” re­calls Lynn.“there’s a base­ment where peo­ple would hear foot­steps and they’d turn around and no-one was there. It was never any­thing harm­ful or ma­li­cious, though. Places have an en­ergy.things get im­printed into build­ings.

“I’ve never had any­thing too crazy hap­pen,” she adds of her One mem­ber of PVRIS who wouldn’t rule out the ex­is­tence of ghosts is Alex, who spent a lot of time in the base­ment work­ing on ideas alone. “I’d hear peo­ple com­ing down the stairs and no-one would ap­pear,” he says.“it was so weird. I didn’t know it was haunted un­til we got there, so it was a nice sur­prise that it was spooky – our vibe.we were hop­ing to cap­ture noises for the record, but didn’t have much luck with that.” Creepy noises or not, Lynn, by her own ad­mis­sion, was too busy strug­gling with her own per­sonal ghosts to be par­tic­u­larly both­ered by things that go bump in the night. “I wasn’t too fo­cused on it be­cause I was too wrapped up in my own storm cloud,” she ad­mits. “Work­ing on this record was such an end goal and a light at the end of the tun­nel when we were on tour. It was all I was look­ing for­ward to. But when we got to the stu­dio, I didn’t want to be there ei­ther. You would think that after hav­ing the past few years that we did, that we’d be step­ping into the stu­dio with full con­fi­dence and feel like we’re on top of the world. But for me per­son­ally, I felt the com­plete op­po­site; I felt com­pletely de­tached from ev­ery­thing. I felt so small and beaten down. “I would wake up in the morn­ing and not want to get out of bed,” she con­tin­ues. “I was ac­tu­ally dis­ap­pointed when I would wake up. I knew that wasn’t okay.” Ask Lynn when she feel like the de­mands of the band be­gan to oblit­er­ate her work-life bal­ance and she’ll say that it re­ally came into play in the sum­mer of 2015 dur­ing the no­to­ri­ously gru­elling Warped Tour. “It got wrapped up into per­sonal life things, over­lap­ping and con­flict­ing with time off and see­ing fam­ily,” she says.“i kinda liked it be­cause I could run away and have an ex­cuse for avoid­ing cer­tain sit­u­a­tions. I un­der­stand that it’s not the most noble men­tal­ity, but over time, I started to get re­sent­ful be­cause I felt I didn’t even have time for my­self at that point. I’m still fig­ur­ing that out and nav­i­gat­ing it. We’re con­stantly mov­ing.”

Racked with guilt for hav­ing neg­a­tive feel­ings to­wards some­thing she’d worked so hard to achieve was weigh­ing heav­ily on Lynn’s mind as she en­tered the stu­dio to be­gin work. But after two dif­fi­cult weeks, the vo­cal­ist had an epiphany.

“I was on a down­ward spi­ral,” she ad­mits.“but I pulled my­self out of it. I sat my­self down and thought, ‘This is what I’ve been work­ing to­wards for the past three years, and if you can’t en­joy this, you should not be do­ing mu­sic.’ I felt noth­ing from what we were do­ing and need to start feel­ing again.”

When it comes to mat­ters of the brain, there’s never a quick fix, but, grad­u­ally, Lynn found her­self en­joy­ing the record­ing process as she had hoped. But at what point did she be­gin to feel bet­ter?

“It took a while and I don’t re­mem­ber a spe­cific mo­ment, but be­ing out­side in na­ture was a huge help,” she ad­mits qui­etly.“it was a big fac­tor while we were record­ing.we’d go on lit­tle day trips and stuff like that.”

While many of Lynn’s lyrics on White Noise “hid be­hind” metaphors and ref­er­ences to the para­nor­mal,all We Know Of Heaven,all We Need Of Hell sees her take a dif­fer­ent tack.

“At one point, I thought,‘fuck it!’” she says, bright­en­ing .“that was one of the big­gest things for me. I was so sick of find­ing cre­ative ways to not nec­es­sar­ily wa­ter-down ways of how I was feel­ing, but not fully own it and not fully say it. I was so afraid to ad­mit that and be open about how I was feel­ing. I don’t need to prove to any­one how I’m feel­ing. Only I can say that it’s valid, it re­ally doesn’t mat­ter what any­body else says. It’s about tak­ing own­er­ship of your feel­ings and emo­tions and men­tal state.

“Wher­ever I was when we were mak­ing White Noise in a quote-unquote ‘dark place’ was small com­pared to what I was go­ing through and deal­ing with when we made this record,” she adds.“this record is a lot more stripped-back, like,‘here’s the is­sues and they’re a lot big­ger than they were be­fore!’ It was about re­mov­ing those masks and fac­ing things head on.”

Aweek be­fore our in­ter­view, Ker­rang! was sent seven songs from the al­bum.the tracks are still un­mis­tak­ably PVRIS; that shad­owy, omi­nous elec­tro-pop is still there, but it’s quickly ap­par­ent that there are also new, di­verse el­e­ments at play which barely hint at the strug­gles Lynn was go­ing through.

“We didn’t think about it too much,” says Lynn of the writ­ing and record­ing process.“we fol­lowed our tastes on White Noise and what felt the best or most cathar­tic or hon­est.after grow­ing up on the road for three years, de­vel­op­ing as hu­mans, that’s a nat­u­ral

pro­gres­sion in it­self.we com­bined that with the same ap­proach we took to mak­ing the first record along with hav­ing more re­sources.”

“When we did the first record, it was in a small bed­room in Florida with limited re­sources,” says Brian.“but we chose this stu­dio be­cause it had a spe­cific con­sole that we wanted to record on; there were dif­fer­ent amps and pianos, and it was a great en­vi­ron­ment to work in – even though it was sup­posed to be haunted! We weren’t limited as to what we could do this time. It was the best feel­ing ever when we fin­ished; I want to go back and make an­other!”

“It has the same heart and soul, it’s just got new clothes on,” Lynn con­tin­ues with a laugh.“we didn’t want to make the same record twice, but it was im­por­tant to have the same mind­set and just fol­low your in­ner com­pass.a lot of it was about let­ting go of con­trol for a mo­ment to let things come to you.”

Three years after record­ing their de­but, it’s clear the time spent on the road has af­forded the trio a wis­dom be­yond their years. Lynn’s lyrics are more di­rect, and the seven songs we’ve heard are shot through with the world-weari­ness of a young woman who has grown up in pub­lic and faced her own per­sonal chal­lenges along the way.

There are themes of love and loss, but they res­onate with a quiet strength of some­one who has bounced back after mend­ing a bro­ken heart:“the song Lung re­flects on that and tak­ing own­er­ship of why things went south,” she ad­mits.

And with the ben­e­fit of hind­sight, some of the ad­mis­sions of heart­break which were writ­ten and de­moed on tour took on a dif­fer­ent mean­ing en­tirely when they walked through the doors of that lit­tle haunted church on Ge­ne­see Street.take the song Any­one Else, for ex­am­ple.

“The first verse was writ­ten when we came off Warped Tour and I’d just bro­ken up with my girl­friend of three years,” she ex­plains .“ev­ery­thing kinda came crash­ing down.the first verse is meant to be this re­ally en­dear­ing love song, even though we’d parted ways. I wrote the sec­ond verse while we were in the stu­dio.time had caught up and I didn’t feel that way any­more and I re­alised how toxic a lot of as­pects of that re­la­tion­ship were.”

The slow-burn­ing and ethe­real Sep­a­rate, mean­while, was the re­sult of a stay in a creepy man­sion while they thrashed out new ideas in New Or­leans.

“It re­ally freaked me out,” she says.“i was too afraid to go to sleep, so I would stay awake un­til five in the morn­ing when the sun would come up. On the last night, I was es­pe­cially scared and we started that song and it all came flood­ing out. Sep­a­rate is one of my favourite songs on the record.”

There’s also ex­plo­rations of past lives on a track called Bells, which is a work­ing ti­tle and may change when the al­bum is re­leased.

“The idea of past lives was one thing I was ob­sessed with over the last few years,” she re­veals.“past lives, rein­car­na­tion, soul con­nec­tions and ev­ery­thing in that world.that was a heavy thing for me and I found a lot of com­fort in that. It was a beau­ti­ful thing to ex­plore.” Which his­toric era do you most iden­tify with, then? “If I had to pick one time pe­riod, it would be Vic­to­rian Lon­don, es­pe­cially the ar­chi­tec­ture and paint­ings,” she says with­out miss­ing a beat.“the turn of the cen­tury ties in with the record and the vi­su­als and over­all at­mos­phere of the songs. I def­i­nitely feel this crazy long­ing for that time pe­riod. It be­came so preva­lent to me and I re­ally dove into it.”

It may come as no sur­prise that the in­trigu­ing al­bum ti­tle comes from the pen of the late Amer­i­can poet, Emily Dick­in­son.a pro­lific writer, who wrote over 1,800 po­ems that dealt largely with themes of death and im­mor­tal­ity, lived and died in the band’s home state of Massachusetts.the ti­tle, taken from the two-stanza Part­ing, pre­sented it­self to Lynn quite by ac­ci­dent while she was med­i­tat­ing on the themes of love and loss while watch­ing a video ony­outube.

“It was to­tal serendip­ity,” says Lynn.“i was stay­ing in Sacra­mento edit­ing the mu­sic video for Heaven with our di­rec­tor Raul [Gonzo]. I was look­ing for an en­tire day and stepped back from it. I was watch­ing a TED Talk on love and the woman men­tioned the last line of the poem and a light­bulb went off. I looked up the poem and thought it was beau­ti­ful. It was a happy ac­ci­dent. That’s an­other thing that’s present on the al­bum – let­ting things go and let­ting them come to you. I love the du­al­ity and bal­ance of the words.”

rock’s most Haunted! RED HOT CHILI PEP­PERS When the band rolled up at Rick Ru­bin’s Man­sion to work on 1991’s Blood Sugar Sex Magik, gui­tarist John Fr­us­ciante wasn’t phased by shar­ing their space with its in­vis­i­ble ten­ants. “They were very friendly,” re­mem

re­la­tion­ship with the para­nor­mal.“i’ve only had a cou­ple of un­ex­plain­able things hap­pen to me, but I’ve al­ways been open to it. I’ve had friends and rel­a­tives who’ve had things hap­pen and I feel it’s fool­ish to rule it out.”

At one with na­ture: PVRIS be­fore their new al­bum cy­cle prop­erly kicks off

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