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PVRIS’ Lynn Gunn learning to cope with success

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From left, Alex Babinski, Brian MacDonald and Lynn Gunn are PVRIS. (Courtesy Eliot Lee Hazel)

Lynn Gunn appeared to have it all three years ago. The frontwoman for synth-rock band PVRIS (pronounced “Paris”) had a hit debut disc “White Noise” with the trio, a maniacal fan base and a comfortable relationship with her sexuality after coming out to her parents at 18. But beneath the surface, she was falling apart, to the point where she even lost her voice. That was documented on the self-recriminating 2017 sophomore album “All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell,” with dirges such as “Walk Alone” and “What’s Wrong,” in which she snarls: “Don’t wanna see another damn inch of my skull. … I’m miserable.”

You should have been in the catbird seat. What went wrong?

I think a lot of musicians and people in the entertainment industry can agree that it’s a very isolating and weird life to navigate. It can really mess with your head and bring out anxieties that you didn’t know you had, and it can trigger a lot of things that maybe you haven’t dealt with until you get into the industry. So I definitely dealt with some anxiety pretty heavily — still do — and a bit of depression, as well. But I navigated through it and I’m definitely in a much better place now.

When did you realize it was a problem that needed addressing?

We were working on our second record — after two, three straight years of touring, with no time off, no time to be creative — and we were just looking forward to getting into the studio and sink our teeth into making some music. But we got there, and I was just completely shut down from everything. I had no emotions to really draw from because I’d spent so much time on tour feeling stressed out and pressured, and I’d swept every type of emotion, and inner and outer conflict, under the rug just so I could get through it. I was suppressing everything.

How did you overcome this, learn to cope?

I feel like it’s been an ongoing, lengthy process and a very gradual one. So it’s really about taking it little step by little step. My vocal coach really helped me, mentally, helped me bring down my anxiety a lot, just through tiny changes in your day that can make such a huge difference. She had me start doing gratitude lists, where every day you write down 10 things that you’re happy for. You go to a little café, have a croissant and coffee, and you write it down. Expressing appreciation helps keep you in the present, as New Age and cheesy as that sounds.

IF YOU GO
PVRIS
Where: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. March 9
Tickets: $28
Contact: (415) 346-6000, www.ticketmaster.com

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