Interviews anglais

PVRIS (09/05/17)

Version française

After a sold out show the night before at the Trabendo, we had the pleasure to speak with Alex, the band’s guitarist on a sunny parisian rooftop about their life on the road and their new album “All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell”. A chance to reflect about these last very busy three years and the band’s future.

First of all, let’s go back into PVRIS’ history. “White Noise” has had a worldwide success. Did you expect it to be this big?

Alex Babinski (guitar): We absolutely did not expect “White Noise” to be as big as it really was. When we recorded it we had no expectations, it was kind of our first record for the world to hear. We put it out and our expectations were blown away like ten fold.

You spend a lot of time on road promoting the album. How did you manage to find inspiration for “All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell” with this hectic lifestyle?

Alex: It was definitely tough but also almost very natural at the same time because we were all learning so much through touring while at the same time going through life experiences, just growing as people. So it was easy to find things to write about not so easy to find the time to write it but, we wrote the new record mostly on the road.

You had your own mobile studio?

Alex: Yeah we all kind of bring our laptops as portable studios in our backpacks. We can pull it them out at any time, any given day when we have time. find someone and go “oh look I have this idea”. That’s kinda how this record was written, while on the road. While we were going through the craziest times of our lives, we were writing all this.



This kind of success can create a lot of pressure on the band. How did you manage to overcome that?

Alex: It’s tough but we’re trying not to thing too much of the pressure, definitely the difference between these two record releases was that when we put out “White Noise” of course there was no pressure because there was no expectations or given timeline etc. But on this record, people have expected us to sound a certain way. However I think people’s expectations are going to be different from reality. There’s not two songs on this record that are the same but it’s also still very dark.

Did you have to shut yourself out from social medias, if not the outside world, to get over that?

Alex: I definitely shut myself out on social media almost not on purpose but I just got so sucked into it for a while. When “White Noise” came out, I did everything I could to promote it. I actually took a step back these past six months or so. After we did this record I kinda stayed off, but now that people know about this record, that’s it’s been announced, I’m being pretty active on social medias promoting it. I was kind of laying low for a while to distance myself.



So let’s talk about the new album. In the trailer you can see Lynn break the “White Noise” hand mirror. Was it necessary for you to symbolize going from an era to another?

Alex: Yeah totally. It’s actually funny how that happened too. Lyndsey and I while we were directing, we both wanted to break it at some point. We didn’t know when or when it was the right time and Lyndsey was like “why don’t we smash it right at the beginning?” and we were all like “that’s perfect, let’s do that!” . It was just the perfect transition from the last “White Noise” video, “You And I”, into the new stuff – a bridge to the new album.



PVRIS has this particular black and white aesthetic. How did you go from the “White Noise” visuals to the new record’s? And what was the inspiration behind that?

Alex: I would say a lot of inspirations on this record in particular are turn of the century, victorian era… just very dark. We actually recorded it in this old church that got converted into a studio so, we were just so sucked into it. We almost wanted to come to Europe to record, because we wanted to be in this environnement, like a church, on this record. Just somewhere really, really old. Luckily we found this church up New York and it was great. We recorded some really cool stuff!

Before all that, when did you feel it was time to move on from “White Noise” and who initiated the process? Was it a collective decision or someone came up and said they wanted to work on new material?

Alex: It was kind of very natural, we didn’t expect to tour for so long off “White Noise” and we basically went from touring into the studio right away but we were very ready for it. We were writing on the road for the 3 years we’ve been on tour. We were writing probably everyday, so when we went off to the studio we had roughtly 40 song ideas, then it had to be narrowed down to 10 but we actually ended up tracking 15 so we may do something special with those extra songs someday.



Maybe another deluxe edition?

Alex: Yeah or maybe we throw them out to the world and release them! We will figure something out for sure. It was tough to narrow it down but it was also great because then we got the make the album the exact way we wanted to! No songs are the same but everything flows, it’s very cohesive, which is very soothing to me.

Let’s talk about “Heaven”. Could you tell us what inspired the song and why was it picked as the lead single?

Alex: We definitely all unanimously decided that “Heaven” would be the first one and it was actually the first song we ever worked on for this record. It was the first song that came to life probably over two years ago. Lyndsey had reacted just the instrumental for it and it changed so much, almost enterely when we actually recorded for it. The song changed a lot but we always knew it was going to be the first song that we wanted to put out for the people. Recording that song was the easiest one for me, probably because it was so familiar to what we were doing. It was one of the songs I was the most excited for!

It really feels like a song that could be on “White Noise” but at the same time has a whole new sound.

Alex: Exactly, we felt like it was the perfect song to put out first. It wasn’t too different for the public, it was the closest to “White Noise”.



We also heard a new song, “Half”. Is it a hint about a new single?

Alex: Honestly, as of right now there aren’t any plans for that song. We just really wanted to play it live! It was just a really fun one, it’s also one of my favourites, I wanted to play this song live so bad! It will eventually be out, hopefully before the record comes out. We do have plans about releasing more stuff before the album that comes out in August since we have plenty of time!



Meanwhile, you’re going back on tour this summer!

Alex: We finish our European tour then we fly straight home to start our US tour with Thirty Seconds To Mars and Muse, a dream tour! When we first started PVRIS, we joked, sat in a room “what’s your dream tour?” or “What bands do you want to tour with?” and honestly, every band were on this list, Thirty Seconds To Mars and Muse were too. I remember when we got the call, we thought it was a joke or that someone was pulling a prank on us! At first, I think I may have actually laughed thinking “it’s not happening, you’re kidding me!” but we were all on board right away. Even though we had to actually move our schedule around because it starts in May but actually end in September for a total of 15 shows. We are going to be very busy but it’s worth it. We’re going to play big venues, I know a lot of our fans are also Thirty Seconds To Mars fans. Personally, I’m a huge Muse fan. My brother was a Muse fan too and I think that band is more of his generation so I’m excited to play for different fans, or people who may not know who we are, it’s a new demographic, a new group of people!

After this great line up, you will be back in Europe this fall!

Alex:  In November at Elysée Montmartre, yes. I have heard it’s quite a big venue, I’m pretty scared! We will have our new record, tons new songs to play for you and a big production! You don’t want to miss it!



To finish, our website is called “RockUrLife”, so what rocks your life Alex?

Alex:  Right now, what rocks my life is my family. They keep me going, I’m on the phone with them as much as possible. I give them account on everything that we are doing. They are my rocks right now. I live with my two older brothers right now and they have my back through everything. They’re the best people around for me, they are the best people, their support means the world.