PVRIS: The Act Breaking Alternative Norms


Formed in 2012 under the name “Operation Guillotine,” alternative pop-rock band Pvris has changed drastically in the decade since their genesis. 

Initially a five member band, current vocalist Lyndsey Gunnulfsen, professionally known as Lynn Gunn, was performing as the group’s guitarist. 

The act only recorded one unreleased EP before realizing that their art needed to take a different direction. 

“We waited about like a year to release it and then by the time we were gonna release it, we were like, we don’t want to do this anymore. We want to do something completely different. So we went back into the studio and that’s when we were like, we should be this band instead. And so it kind of was just, in the studio that we transitioned over to PVRIS,” said front-woman Lynn Gunn  In a 2014 Interview with Blast Magazine.

It was during this transition that Gunn branched off from Operation Guillotine to form the band “Paris” with fellow bandmates Brian MacDonald, Alex Babinski, and Brad Griffin.

In 2013 the group produced their self-titled EP “Paris,” independent of any label. The extended play featured five tracks.

This EP is starkly different from the original “metalcore” sound of Project Guillotine’s unreleased one, and ventures closer to the alternative, electropop style that is echoed in the groups’ later work. 

In the summer of 2013, “Paris” signed with Tragic Hero Records and changed their name to “Pvris” after discovering that Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac already had legal rights to the name. 

In September and October of the same year the band went on the Rise Up Tour along with “I The Mighty,” “Wolves at the Gate,” and “For All Those Sleeping.”

Soon after the tour was concluded Pvris parted ways with drummer Brad Griffin. Later that year they began working with songwriter Blake Harnage to record their first studio album “White Noise.”

Gunn and Harnage collaborated to write the lyrics for all ten tracks featured on the album. Unintentionally, this project would continue the groups transformation from hardcore to electropop and alternative. 

“I don’t think we aimed to have a unique sound, but it just came out that way,” said Gunn in an interview with Classic Rock’s Gavin Lloyd. “We did it subconsciously, but I never thought we’d be a band people couldn’t pinpoint.”

In June of 2014 it was announced that Pvris would become the first female fronted group to sign with Rise Records, a product of the friendship between their manager and Sleeping with Sirens frontman Kellin Quinn. A music video for their song “St. Patrick” was posted to their youtube channel that same month on the 24th. 

“St. Patrick” peaked at number 4 on the Kerrang! Rock Chart and remained in the Top 20 for 15 weeks. 

Gunn described the band’s excitement with their first release in an interview with HuffPost. “We’ve been waiting over six months to release anything, it feels incredible to finally unleash it to the world. So many more people are into it than we even imagined,” she said. 

HuffPost continued praising the fresh act, naming them on their list of “18 artists you need to know now that we’re halfway through 2014,” describing Gunn as, “a force that cannot be denied, redolently poignant in both her most excitable and serene vocalizations.”

The group’s first title track, “White Noise,” was released on October 16, 2014. The full length album was released on November 4th, six days before it was announced that Pvris would be supporting Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens on the second leg of their headlining US tour, along with Mallory Knox

On June 11, 2015, Pvris won the Relentless Kerrang! Awards 2015 for Best International Newcomer. Just over a month later, on July 22, 2015, the group won “Breakthrough Band” at the Alternative Press Music Awards.

The group continued forming connections with other alternative acts, supporting Bring Me the Horizon on tour during October and November of 2015, later supporting Fall Out Boy for their US tour during February and March of 2016. 

On January 5, 2016, Pvris made their network television debut by performing “My House” and “White Noise” on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

On April 22, 2016 they released a deluxe version of their debut album “White Noise,” featuring both a studio and stripped version of their new single “You and I” as well as a new track titled “Empty.”

On May 11, 2016, Pvris began their first headlining tour in Nashville, Tennessee. The tour wrapped up in the act’s hometown of Boston on June 10. 

Starting in July of 2016, Gunn began teasing their next release on social media, and confirmed that their second studio album had been recorded on February 13th, 2017.

A premiere of their new single “Heaven” was released two months later on April 30th. The next day it was announced that their second studio album, “All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell,” was set to be released on August 4th. 

Prior to the album’s release, singles “Half” and“What’s Wrong” premiered in May and June, respectively. 

After their run with Rise Records (before the label’s absorption by BMG), the band signed to Warner Records in July of 2019. Their single “Death of Me” was released that same month as the first song for their upcoming third album.

On October 19th, 2019, the group announced that they would be releasing the five track EP “Hallucinations”, which featured “Death of Me”.

On March 4th, 2020, the band released single “Dead Weight” and announced that their third studio album “Use Me” was scheduled to be released on May 1st, however it was delayed twice, eventually being released on August 28th, 2020. 

Just two days before “Use Me” was dropped, a statement was posted to the group’s twitter stating that guitarist Alex Babinski would no longer be associated with the act due to allegations of Sexual Misconduct. 

Subsequently, following the release of “Use Me,” it was revealed not only had their third, but also first and second albums, had been envisioned and created entirely by Gunn. 

In an interview with Kerrang!, Gunn described her struggle to keep up the image of a collaborative ensemble. “I can actually talk about the process openly now. I never did in the past because I was trying to fit into this narrative about how things were operating,” said Gunn.

Gunn’s leadership as the creative director of Pvris exemplifies the strength and capability of women in the music industry- and is especially impactful for those who are part of the LGBTQ community. 

“I think it’s really important – for young women especially – to know that you can fully lead your teammates, particularly in a day and age when there’s this constant conversation about what it’s like to be a woman in the [music] industry,” she said. 

Her openness with both her sexuality and responsibility in Pvris’ creative process serves as inspiration for women – whether queer, young, both, or neither – and solidifies Gunn as one of the most influential and positive female figures in the modern alternative scene.