I hopped on a call with LA based up and coming band PVMNTS to discuss everything from touring and new music to high school and making out. PVMNTS is the new passion project of LA based trio Tyler Posey, Freddy Ramirez and Nick Guzman. With their first UK tour completed last May, I wanted to know more about the driving force behind the band and their music as well as any other exciting stuff they had coming up.
Inspired by Blink-182
Being pretty new on the circuit, I wanted to know what prompted the trio to start putting their stuff out there and how they’re finding breaking into the scene so far. “I’ve been inspired by Blink-182 ever since I was about 10 years old and that kinda ignited the leap into music, I just got into punk ever since then”, Tyler says. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar, or mosh in a band. Then I met Freddy through a band when we were about 16 or 17 years old – that band didn’t really go anywhere but we started our own band that kind of got some exposure. We played a lot of sold out shows on the sunset strip in Hollywood… that was a huge accomplishment for us.”
The band pretty much jumped into the deep end and are thriving as a result. “We ended up opening up for The Ataris…”, Tyler says. A short break later and PVMNTS really started to kick off. “Freddy and I were really busy for the last few years and then once work started to kinda cool down for us we started this new band (PVMNTS) and brought in our buddy Nick”, Tyler says.
PVMNTS’ sound draws on an array of different sources whilst remaining inherently personal and individual. But what about the writing process? “It’s different for us all”, Freddy says. “Personally I start off with like a guitar melody, or chord progression and then I add lyrics to it, and have a melody in mind and stuff like that. That’s how I work. Tyler, I think you have a different process, right?”. “I do yeah”, Tyler says. “It’s kind of all over the place but just like you said, sometimes I’ll be like randomly walking around and a catchy tune and a lyric will pop into my head, something I think sounds kinda cool. Sometimes I’ll just go from that, I’ll write a song based on what I think that lyric means,”
“All I ever wanted to do was play guitar, or mosh in a band” – Tyler
But it’s not always that simple, and there’s multiple ways that inspiration can hit you – the process is fluid. “I’ll sometimes do what Freddy does where I’ll be playing guitar and I’ll think of a really cool guitar chord progression and write something on top of that. Sometimes I’ll write both guitar and vocals at the same time”. Interestingly though, Tyler tells me the music flows better when vocals and guitar are written simultaneously. “I find that the best songs that I write are songs that I wrote the vocals and the guitar for at the same time. Sometimes I’ll write a song for vocals, then write a guitar to it maybe a week or so later and it just doesn’t flow right ‘cause it didn’t really happen at the same time. It doesn’t feel organic.”
Inspiration behind the lyrics
For any artist, inspiration is one of the most important parts of creation. “A lot of my inspiration comes from when I was younger”, Tyler says. “Like, angsty teen stuff, high-school stuff, girls, getting drunk for the first time, sex. As I got older and started dealing with life more I guess I kinda got really into writing songs about depression and stuff like that. Where the songs begin as kind of depressed and then towards the end of the songs you find your way or find a coping mechanism or something like that. That’s kind of where I’ve been lately. But I think the songs kinda change with you as an individual and a person, kinda what you’re going through. Your song-writing process reflects that.” “100% yeah”, Nick agrees. “As far as the song-writing process goes I mean we all have our things to add, we all kind of equally come in. We all assist with making changes, or making it a group process as much as possible. It’s more so a PVMNTS song rather than just a Freddy song or just a Tyler song or y’know, we all come together with that.”
“A lot of my inspiration comes from when I was younger… angsty teen stuff, high-school stuff, girls, getting drunk for the first time, sex” – Tyler
Whilst the writing process is pretty collaborative, PVMNTS’ sound draws from a rich array of experiences and sources and means something different to each member. “Blink-182 I think is an influence with all of us”, Freddy says. “I started playing a lot of like Metalcore guitar in my earlier years and a lot of that influences my guitar playing nowadays. I make it sound a little prettier, a little happier, instead of like all angry and in your face but we make it work.”
Balancing the differences
The trio balances their individual tastes and influences flawlessly, resulting in music that is packed with a refreshing newness teamed with a commentary on the classic sounds of pop-punk. “The differences we grew up with musically… we think that really shows in our music because it has a little taste of what each of us grew up with”, Freddy says. “A nice eclectic mix. And that makes it unique in our opinion and y’know, we all can enjoy playing the same music but with our own little influences in it which makes it a whole lot of fun.”
The thrill of touring
I asked the guys what the most exciting part of being in a band was for them – is it touring, that initial spark of inspiration, hearing the final mastered track? “I think the most fun is when we go to play in front of people, playing what we’ve worked so hard on”, Freddy says enthusiastically. “The creative process is also really fun as well because you get those songs that just kind of come to you, where that idea just blooms out of your head and you just have to write it down right now – whether you’re stuck in traffic going somewhere or whatever. Recording is, at least for me, the most tedious part but it’s the most rewarding as well.” Tyler agrees that touring and playing shows is the most exhilarating part, at least for him: “Totally playing them in front of people and seeing their reaction to what we’ve worked on.”
“The creative process is.. fun as well because you get those songs that just kind of come to you, where that idea just blooms out of your head and you just have to write it down right now” – Freddy
Playing shows overseas
Speaking of playing live, the band are setting out on their first headlining UK tour this May, playing a string of dates including London, Leeds, Manchester and Cardiff. I think it’s interesting that the LA based band are deciding to take the leap across the pond, touring internationally being something that a lot of bands don’t tend to do in the early stages. “I think it’s pretty crucial in starting a band that has somewhat longevity, by touring in the UK, or starting elsewhere”, Tyler says.
Whilst touring overseas is a good way of reaching new people and growing traction, Tyler says how much he just likes the scene in the UK. “The crowd response there is just really responsive and the scene is just really huge over there. It always has been, so that’s one reason why we’re really excited to go over there because I feel like we just fit in there y’know – that scene is what we grew up on, I feel like it’s really abundant there. There’s no macho-ness or animosity it’s just all like love for this genre and that’s kinda what this genre is about. It’s just kind of a perfect setting for us as an up and coming band, hopefully up, not just coming”, Tyler laughs.
The band are working on a ton of other projects besides their UK tour. “We’re talking to a director right not about filming a video for a new single we dropped”, Freddy begins. “We’re talking to a tattoo artist who designs some merch and logo ideas for us. We’re getting in the studio with Kyle Black who’s recorded State Champs and countless punk bands – we’re getting in the studio with him soon to record a quick EP. We’ve got a bunch of tours that we’re talking about doing, just finalising things. And we’re gonna be making out with each other a lot too”, Freddy laughs.
If you’re lucky enough to live in the UK, don’t miss PVMNTS this spring – both on their headlining tour and their sets at Slam Dunk and The Great Escape (Brighton). With so much love for the UK this spring we’re pretty sure the States won’t be getting the boys back. Watch this space!
Listen to ‘Jumping Stairsets’ (Demo) on Spotify
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Words by Jay Whitehead
Photos courtesy of pvmntsband.com / atticus.com