PVRIS are in the middle of a huge tour of the UK in support of their still-excellent debut album White Noise. We caught up with Lynn and Alex before their show at London's Kentish Town Forum to chat through their crazy year and sudden rise to rock stardom.
Pop-Buzz: So this is your biggest UK shows ever - how has the show changed from the one you were playing in the tiny clubs?
Lynn: In all aspects of the show its completely changed. We've been able to bring out production and lighting, we play a full set now - it's not just like 20 minutes of trying to win people over and then leaving. But also I think just mentally we are all in a much better place. I feel like when we first came over here, we were kinda like the hype, buzz band so everyone went "alright - all eyes on you", waiting for us to f*ck up. Like little circus monkeys - "do something funny!". So I feel like that was kind of the vibe the first couple of times we've been over here, and we've had some crazy milestones where the pressure was on. So I used to be really stressed out when we were here before but now, finally, it's like "this is our tour" and we got to set it up in the way we wanted. And being able to see that literally in the span of a year - the difference - how much we've been working and how hard it's paid off has been really cool.
PB: It's easy to forget that it's only been a year. That's crazy. Did it take you by surprise how quick this dedicated fanbase has come together?
L: Definitely. I feel like over here especially things move very very quick. So that was like shocking in itself too. But, I mean, like I said, we've been busting our butts the past year and a half, two years, so it is nice to see it paying off.
PB: And people are finally learning how to pronounce the band name right?
L: Yeah, yeah and even if they don't know it's totally fine (laughs).
PB: All the videos for the album have been shared massively online, how do you see yourself topping it for album 2? A movie?
L: I mean, all depending on what we can do budget wise and what we are able to do with gonzo. We work with Raul Gonzo on all our videos and he's amazing. He can make something out of nothing so even if we don't have a lot of stuff to work with or the resources for everything we can still make stuff really work. So he and I are excited to get back together and work on new stuff together.
PB: Sure, visual has always been a huge thing with you guys right?
L: Yeah it is. We really like to be able to elaborate on the atmosphere that the music creates and really just go full...not 3D but just bring in a whole other dimension and element to the band as a whole. But on the next record...I have a lot of vision boards and stuff brainstormed for the overall aesthetic and the vibe but theme wise and conceptual wise I'm still kind of thinking and brainstorming. But I think that will come along as the music comes along.
PB: It's cool you say aesthetic because you guys and The 1975 in particular are the two bands with that big visual aesthetic that's so distinctive and the tumblr fandom are all over it. Have you had a look at any of the stuff online reacting to it?
L: Yeah I saw a list on tumblr of like, I think it was the top most reblogged bands on tumblr, and it was like them, us and 8 others. It's funny 'cos I've been on tumblr and seen bands and thought "oh thats cool, that'd be sick if we got reblogged on this website". It's cool.
PB: You guys were just touring with Fall Out Boy, how was that? That must be some of the biggest venues you've ever played...
L: Oh yeah, Madison Square Garden!
Fall Out Boy
PB: Wow, how was that?
L: It was awesome. Usually when we have big milestones for the band I usually choke or I just get in my head and ruin it for myself. But something like possessed me that night and it was really enjoyable.
PB: Did you feel like the pressure was off a little bit?
L: Yeah it was also like...we were opening, its not our tour. But people would still be like "Madison Square Garden - how do you feel?" and we'd be like "we don't know what to feel!". But it was really, really cool. Their crew was super nice and super good to us...
PB: It seems like they always try and look out for the next generation of bands...
L: Definitely. They were all super busy but every time we crossed paths with them they were super welcoming always checking like "everybody being good to you, everything good?".
PB: I noticed you guys have started to do meet and greets on tour now - have you had to do any crazy poses yet?
L: We've done zombie poses, charlie's angels. We did one where we pretended we were all fighting so we were all punching each other and sh*t. We try to see how creative people can get.
PB: Have you got any cool gifts from fans yet?
L: Yeah I mean, it sounds cheesy but the biggest one is a genuine talk cos we don't get that a lot. Other than that, a lot of people have been getting us books and stuff lately, I think because I posted about someone getting me a book. But people have been getting us some really thoughtful books. Somebody got me a Sylvia Plath poem book. People pay attention.
(At this point Alex enters the room with a fresh new haircut just for the show).
PB: Alex, what's the best gift you've had from a fan?
L: Oh I know yours.
Alex: Well I've got so many but recently I got a full set of dragonballs. A full kit. It's insane.
PB: We interviewed Tonight Alive the other week at this very venue...
L: Aww, I miss them so much!
PB: Well when is the collaboration going to happen?
L: We love them so much, they're like our second family on the road. We'd love to but it's just about paths crossing and timing. The Fall Out Boy tour we just did, they were doing their US tour like one day behind. We'd be in New York then they'd be in New York the next day, so close! We haven't seen Jenna since August and we haven't seen the whole band since almost...a year or two years? Oh wait no we went to surprise them when they were recording over the summer. We went to surprise them in New Jersey cos we were staying in a hotel an hour or two away. We looked at the maps and were like "well this is the closest we'll be in a while".
A: It was already midnight, we'd just got in.
L: Yeah we got there at like 2am.
PB: So sweet! Ok, time for stupid questions. What is your go-to karaoke songs?
A: "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey
L: I really like "I Kissed A Girl" by Katy Perry. That's my go-to. It's ironic. But not ironic.
PB: Describe the song "Fire" in one word that isn't fire.
L: Angry. (laughs). Pissed.
PB: What was the worst band name you ever had growing up?
A: We share one.
L: Shall we say it? Everyone knows it anyway, there's no hiding.
A: We played in a band called Operation Guillotine.
PB: I've heard worse, far, far worse.
L: It's funny that Operation Guillotine is kind of French. Thats kind of weird.
PB: Favourite cereal?
L: I had Lucky Charms this morning but its definitely not Lucky Charms.
A: I like Crunch Berries, Captain Crunch. I like Reese's Puffs.
L: I'm gonna sound like a total asshole but I really like the Kashi Granola stuff. The classic one.
PB: That's cool. Ooh by the way, meant to ask, what is your vocal warm up like before shows? You're hitting some pretty big notes up there!
L: I used to never warm up and it was probably pretty stupid. It definitely was stupid. But I have this app called Vocalize You and you just play it and you sing along to it. You do 8 or 9 exercises. Then you do an evaluation every week and it goes "OK you need to work on this and this" and it will give you a warmup to do based on that. It's pretty cool, pretty high tech sh*t.
A: The future has arrived!
PB: If you were gonna do a "Punk Goes Pop" style cover of something out right now, what would you go for?
L: Ooh that's a good one. I thought of this recently.
PB: I think you guys would nail "Pillowtalk".
L: I haven't heard it.
A: I watched the video when it first dropped but that's the only time I've seen it.
L: I really like his voice, that would be cool. I'd say something by him or Bieber. "Company" or something (she hums the chorus and nails it - it would be a good choice).
PB: Do you guys watch any Netflix stuff? What are you watching right now?
A: I actually just downloaded Mr Robot, I recommend it highly. I downloaded it for other people to watch cos I've already seen it. That's my favourite one right now.
PB: One tough question to finish guys - sum up the album in 3 emojis.
L: Ok, can I look at my phone?
PB: Of course.
A: Yeah I need to look too.
L: I love emojis, honestly.
A: I haven't downloaded the new update though so people keep texting me and it comes up as question marks!
L: These would be my three!
L: The magic emoji is my favourite. "Wanna get dinner?" (Does magic hands). "You look great today" (magic hands again).
A: Here's mine.
PVRIS' re-release of White Noise is due out April 22nd.