2015 looks set to be a huge year for electro-tinged hard rockers Pvris; with a fantastic debut album in the bag they’re now hitting the road hard to support it and show the world what they have to offer. They recently filled some gaps in their support slot with Lower Than Atlantis to play their first headline show in Birmingham – only their second ever UK headline gig in fact – and really made a mark with a special performance.
A few hours before taking the stage, all three members of Pvris – singer/guitarist Lynn Gunn, guitarist/keyboardist Alex Babinski and bassist/keyboardist Brian MacDonald – took time out to chat to Birmingham Live.
Welcome to Birmingham! You must be excited to have sold out this venue so quickly for what is your first visit here?
Alex: Yeah! We’re so excited to play here. This is the second of two shows we’re headlining after London last night and we managed to sell them both out, which was great.
Have you been surprised at the buzz there has been about you in the UK?
Lynn: Yeah, definitely.
Alex: We don’t see it much back home, so when we got here it was like “woah, ok!”
Lynn: It was only when we finally got over here that we really realised what was going on.
How does playing here compare with shows back home?
Lynn: I like it here more!
Alex: Tonight will be our sixth or seventh show over here and at the end of each show we all just think how great it has been going.
Your debut album came out last year and is fantastic – are you pleased with the reactions you’ve had to it?
Brian: Oh yeah!
Lynn: We’ve taken aback by it as we really didn’t know what to expect when we realised. Obviously we were really proud of it but we weren’t sure how other people would take it. The response has been insane and we’re super grateful for that.
It seems like a lot of the songs have elements of ghostly goings on or the supernatural – is that just you being a storyteller with your lyrics or are they based on real ghostly experiences?
Brian: A bit of both really.
Lynn: Brian has been through a lot of supernatural stuff and all of us are really into all that supernatural stuff too.
Is there a scary film or scary story you’d like to see Pvris’ music added to the soundtrack of?
Lynn: American Horror Story.
Alex: yeah, that’d be awesome.
You’re part of an increasing list of successful bands fronted by dynamic and powerful women, along with peers such as Paramore, Tonight Alive and We Are the In Crowd – are these comparisons a help or a hindrance?
Lynn: I think those comparisons come around from people who don’t listen to a lot of music and they don’t understand that there’s a difference. I think it’s mostly ignorance – not in a mean way, but people genuinely not knowing any better and not knowing what else to compare it to. If we were fronted by a guy people would easily be able to differentiate us.
Brian: That’s very true, I was just going to say the exact same thing.
It feels like the rock and metal scenes are still overwhelmingly boys’ clubs – is it tough being a woman in such a male world?
Brian: It’s the same.
Lynn: Yeah, it’s not really any different.
Brian: She doesn’t get any special treatment and she’s still busting her ass like the rest of us – she’s still one of the guys so it’s really no different.
You’re already being hailed as a role model for other women who have hopes of making it – how does that sit with you?
Lynn: It feels pretty good; I didn’t have anyone to look up to when I started out except for maybe one or two people, so if I can add to that list of people that are out there it makes you motivated not to be an asshole!
Brian: People can be influenced by her, start making music and get to the next level.
Lynn: A big thing for girls in music is just seeing other girls doing it and thinking”oh, I can do that too!” – that’s what happened to me, so if we contribute to that and add to that it would be great, and then eventually the whole ‘girl being in a band’ thing own’t exist and it will just be a band.
We don’t have to wait long in the Midlands to see you guys again as you’re back next month for Slam Dunk Festival – are you excited to be part of that?
Alex: The lineup is awesome – there are so many good bands playing.
Can we expect anything special from your set?
Lynn: I’m gonna play in my underwear…Brian is going to play with a bear mask on and Alex is going to wear his UK underwear.
Alex: Just my UK underwear. Haha!
After Slam Dunk, what does the rest of the year look like for Pvris?
Alex: Right after Slam Dunk we have few weeks until we start Warped Tour in America…
Lynn: We have a lot more touring to get through!
Brian: Right after that we are touring for the rest of the year.
Lynn: Lots of touring, lots more writing and general scheming.
And can we expect another visit to the UK?
Lynn: Yep, it’s already being sorted, we just can’t say anything about it right now.
Pvris play the main stage of the Slam Dunk festival, which hits Wolverhampton on Monday 25 May.
Words and photograph – Dave Musson