PVRIS open up about new album All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell...
When PVRIS’s debut album White Noise was released in the latter months of 2014, it didn’t get much fanfare, but that’s certainly not the case this time round for their second LP All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell.
Produced once again by Blake Harnage, the album takes the band’s bombastic electronics to the next level as you can hear below on new hit single ‘Heaven’.
We spoke to the trio a few weeks before the album hits shelves and found why recording in a haunted church brought their new LP to life...
How did making this new album compare to making White Noise?
Brian (McDonald, bass/keyboards): “It was different in every single way you can imagine, we had every instrument you could ever need, we were in this massive church, everything was there.”
Lynn (Gunnulfsen, vocals/guitars/keyboards): “We came into this record on the back of three years of touring, this time we knew what to expect and what we were getting ourselves into. The circumstances were different, but our mentality was the same, don’t box yourself in, don’t have any rules, run free.”
Alex (Babinski, guitars/keyboards): “It got weird sometimes.”
You did the album with Blake Harnage, who also produced White Noise, was that a different experience to the first time?
Lynn: “He’s one of our best friends now and a real part of the family. You get a lot of honesty and a lot of transparency. It was very natural and very easy. White Noise was our first time with him so we had to figure each other out, it was a lot more comfortable and open. We really trust him.”
Tell us about the church you recorded in, did you take advantage of how amazing those places sound?
Lynn: “It was up in Utaka in New York and it was built in 1910. It was definitely haunted.”
Brian: “We used every bit of that place. We had two or three drum kits set up in different rooms. We were taking pieces from every room for each song.”
Lynn: “We had this kit set up at the bottom of the bell tower and one in the main room, it just sounded huge!”
Was it an intense record to make?
Lynn: “It was intense. But for different reasons for all of us. We’d just stopped touring and we were still decompressing, it took us different amount of times to adjust and there were definitely some demons to battle.”
Did you get much of a break? You’ve been touring non-stop for three years...
Alex: “I had about two weeks at home and then I just missed everyone and couldn’t wait to get back on the road.”
What kind of album do you think this is in lyrical terms? Does it have a common theme?
Lynn: “I think it’s a lot vaguer than White Noise, but also a lot more direct. That album has a lot of ghostly metaphors and supernatural references, this one is a lot more straightforward. There’s a duality to the words, but it’s still very dark.”
When did you all settle on the title?
Lynn: “Only a few weeks ago. There was another title the whole time we were in the studio, but it never felt quite right. We like to sit back and wait if things don’t seem right and the right thing always seems to unfold. We let the universe do its work. I was actually up late one night watching a TED Talk on love and loss and this woman quoted the Emily Dickinson poem where we got the title. It captured the energy of the record and it’s really beautiful. It’s also just gone out of copyright too, so it felt like things were lining up.”
You always put a lot of emphasis on your look and aesthetic. Has it been fun coming up with a new look for this album?
Alex: “It has. It’s been very easy, super natural.”
Lynn: “Super natural. Not supernatural. We’ve actually been quite inspired by the UK, a lot of the architecture from the Victorian era, I looked at a lot of photographs from the turn of the century, it really makes sense for the songs and how they make us feel.”
What have you got planned for live production?
Lynn: “Lots of ghoulish s**t. We’re always having meetings and having crazy new ideas, when the record’s out it’ll be so great to see what we can do with the production. We’re always looking for bigger and better.”