This week sees the release of All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell, an album which is sure to define Pvris as one of the leading rock acts in the world. A huge progression sonically on their first album ‘White Noise’, it is a fascinating evolution and sure to be in many best-of-year countdowns. Just before they played the main stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals for the first time, I caught up with lead singer Lynn Gunn to chat about the new record.
Thank you for joining us Lynn! How is it all going at the moment, you must be in a whirlwind? It’s the last few days before the album’s out, some great reviews coming in. How does it feel at the moment?
It doesn’t feel real, we are in the middle of rehearsing for Reading & Leeds, getting some promo in and doing a lot of press right now. So busy working! It just doesn’t feel real, we have been working on this for so long and now the time is finally here – it just feels like it’s not here yet.
You’ve not quite had time to enjoy it yet then! After the way that everything blew up for you after White Noise, was there a big pressure on you to repeat it. Did you get to enjoy that feeling?
There wasn’t too much pressure to repeat it. The main focus on this record again, was just to concentrate on making really great songs. Just kind of following our taste in what feels good. There were some hurdles to go over mentally and personally, but other than that it was a really fun process.
The album is fantastic. It sounds a lot more expansive, a much bigger sound. Was that an ambition beforehand or was it just a natural progression?
No, I think it just happened naturally. It’s actually interesting, I was thinking about this recently. I went back and was listening to a lot of the demos that we had been working on before we got to the record. A lot of them are pretty stripped back, not minimal sounding but just a little bit smaller sounding if we are talking in terms of size. And then it ended up as a very big record sonically, and I think that just happened naturally. We had a lot more resources, and a much bigger environment to be working with and a lot more instruments to be experimenting with. We had three drum sets at all times, two grand pianos, a Rhodes piano, organs. There’s a lot of tools to be used on this record, so we just really went wild and had a lot of fun with it.
It works great! You mentioned before that you had 40 to 45 songs in demo form. How do you decide what makes the cut?
We really just sat down and went through them. There wasn’t really rhyme or reason to it, it was just whatever we vibing with in the moment. Whatever we felt best at that time became the songs that we worked on. We jumped around to a lot of different ideas, and just whichever ones we ended up completing were the ones that made it on to the record.
Were there any that you discarded and came back to? Or were you quite ruthless, once it’s gone it’s gone?
No, there’s a lot that I definitely want to come back to at some point. One I can think of in particular, I guess we didn’t come back to, but was hesitant about the song ‘Winter’ that we just put out. I definitely didn’t feel fully sold on it when we were first working on it, but it eventually won me over.
Was it Alex and Brian that persuaded you or did you just come back to it?
We just kind of came back to it, stepped away from it for a bit and I think, by giving it that time, it really did it for me personally.
So the album is called All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell. What’s the story behind that?
It’s a pretty happy accident. I was up in Sacramento, finishing editing the first video that we put out with the director and we wanted to put a quote, or some type of dialogue that summarised the video. Something to give a feel for the transition, really mark this period for us. I had been looking for something all day, and just gave up. Later that night I was falling asleep and watching a TED Talk, and the woman in the talk quoted the Emily Dickinson poem. And I was like ‘Ooh’, it lit a lightbulb for me.
Funny how you find yourself sometimes in the perfect moment.
Yeah, exactly! It’s actually interesting because one of my friends had sent me one of her poems the week before. I kind of disregarded it, I thought ‘this is cool, but I don’t know if it will work with what we are trying to do’. And then, it had popped up a couple of days after I had initially heard the line and looked up the poem. It popped up again on something else, it’s staring us in the face then.
Recently you’ve been touring with Muse. How’s that been?
It’s been great. It’s been a super weird tour, it’s been spread out over the past few months. We will play like four dates and then have a few weeks away from them, another four dates and then that again consistently. It doesn’t feel like a real tour. But they’ve been amazing, everyone has been great to us.
When you talk about expanding your sound, Muse are famous for that. Is that a hint to where you will go next? Even bigger?
Who knows? If the world wants us to, it will help. If we are meant to go there, we will.
Reading & Leeds this weekend, it must be such a great buzz hitting festival season with all these new tracks and people going wild for them. How do you feel about this weekend?
Definitely very intimidated for the main stage, but definitely very, very excited at the same time. When we got the offer, I was like “they have the wrong band I think…”
Have you played there before?
Yeah, back in 2015. It was a crazy show, amazing so we are really excited to see how this time goes.
We are going to see you back in the UK later on this year aren’t we?
Yeah, we’ll be back!