Beccy Hill Meets Lynn Gunn

Taken from The Street Issue, our EIC Beccy Hill interviewed Lynn Gunn from band Pvris.

A lot has happened since we spoke to Pvris. They won Best International Newcomer at the Kerrang awards in June, completed a summer stint on the US Vans Warped Tour, and have just announced a string of shows supporting Bring Me The Horizon in October.  And at the moment, I’m greeted by a huge poster advertising their debut album ‘White Noise’ when I step off the tube to work in the morning. I guess 2015 has really been their year - and rightly so.

From the first listen of St Patrick, I was hooked. Front woman Lyndsey Gunnulfsen (better known as Lynn Gunn) has the kind of voice that manages to pack a super sassy punch, then melodically soothe it better. Writing about how music sounds has never been a strong point of mine (I usually leave it in the far more capable hands of James Uden) so I can only apologise for my questionable analogy. “It’s all about being haunted by your ghosts, whether they’re something tangible or internal,” Gunn tells me. When I ask her how she would sum the record up to those yet to hear it (again, avoiding doing it myself at all costs) she retorts, “the wise ass in me would tell them to just go listen to it for themselves.” Clearly a girl after our own heart.

Last year the band got signed to Rise Records, home to every emo band you’ll have currently heard of, but Gunn stands as the only female on the rosta. “We honestly didn’t even know until people began pointing it out. We don’t look at it any differently than just being any other band on the label, we have to hustle just as hard and make the best music we can make.” This nonchalant, unphased attitude pleases me. I find it highly irritating that in 2015 I’m writing about a female fronted band in the (for lack of a better word) alt music scene. On one hand yes, gender is irrelevant in correlation to quality of music, and attention shouldn’t have to be drawn to it. To quote Gunn, “We’re just a band, it’s as simple as that. Female-fronted isn’t a genre.” I couldn’t agree more, however, a big part of me feels that as a female killing it in yet another heavily male dominated arena, it is something to be highlighted. I still shudder at the edited image of this year’s Reading Festival line up, exposing the bare bones of females who make up the weekend compared to the male counterparts. It seems widely accepted that, as girl, you’re more than welcome to stand in the crowd, but not on the stage. This is something that has pissed me off for what feels like forever, having been a committed grunger since the age of about 12.

I do share Lynn’s belief that “there’s just an overall lack of female presence in music in general. But I think it’s something that is changing rapidly. ” However, I can’t help but feel that rock as a genre sticks out with its determination to stay sexist. Hannah Ewens wrote an excellent article for Noisey last October, calling out the alt rock scene for keeping lad culture alive. She correctly states that, “the alternative world, generally, is a place where girls are a) side-lined, b) fetished and/or tokenized for having great music taste or c) dismissed as the girlfriend that doesn’t like music at all.” To be honest I was surprised it hadn’t been pointed out sooner (or, more honestly, that I hadn’t pointed it out sooner). I spent my youth queuing up outside the Astoria, have been to at least one festival every year since I was 14 and would unashamedly class Uprawr as a good night out. I’ve never felt that being a girl was a problem in any of these situations, but I have often stopped and had thoughts along the lines of, “Why aren’t I watching more girls play onstage? Why haven’t I heard a female voice being played through the sound system yet? Where are the girl roadies? And why is it only boys who kick the shit out of each other in the pit, and if a girl dares to enter, she gets laughed out on her arse?” They are just things worth questioning, because from where I’m standing, there’s no apparent answer.  

Gunn says her dream band to tour with would be “Linkin Park. They were one of my absolute favourite bands growing up,” which makes me immediately love her. “I also feel like it could be a cool fit.” Do I hear a Collision Course part two? We managed to catch Pvris at this year’s Slamdunk festival in Hatfield, where despite the rain and the early time slot, they were in high spirits. Gunn also tells me she found the time to watch “Don Broco, You Me At Six, H20, A Loss For Words, Architects. Lots of goodies!” which is pretty committed. Onstage Gunn commands attention, and is clearly at home in the boy’s club she has kicked down the door of. “Pretty soon it will be an even distribution, and many more females will be out there kicking ass.” It certainly will be if we have more girls like Lynn, playing music like Pvris.  

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