I stumbled upon I Prevail, a post-hardcore band out of Michigan, when someone posted their cover of "Blank Space" on Facebook. Needless to say I was hooked, and I shared my new obsession with anyone who would listen. I bought their Heart vs. Mind EP, and it did not disappoint. With strong vocals and meaningful lyrics, I Prevail will certainly do just that.
I recently had the pleasure of catching up with vocalist Eric Vanlerberghe and touring guitarist Dylan Bowman prior to their first Vegas show; it was great getting to know them and a bit more about the band.
The band really started coming together in December of 2013, when Brian and Steve met online through social media. About a month later, a friend of a friend put in a good word for Eric, and he recorded on a couple of tracks they’d already done. They found Lee on YouTube, doing drum covers, and liked what they saw, so they reached out and luckily he lived in the area. They picked up Tony, their touring bassist who’s a good friend of Eric’s, and Dylan was brought on through their producer.
After "Blank Space" went viral, I Prevail saw album sales go up, even though the cover wasn’t included on the EP. They purposely left it off, as they wanted to see what people liked or didn’t like when it came to their music. They wanted to cover something major, and when Taylor Swift’s first single dropped, they knew there would be a ton of covers so, they waited, and got a hold of an early copy of "Blank Space", and the rest is history. They slowed it down, and put their own twist on it, and they’ve hit the 10 million mark on views for it so it’s worked well.
Their recent success has certainly changed relationships with family and friends. Eric’s family has been especially supportive, while other members have had to let go of some relationships for the betterment of the band. The guys all agree it's hard being in different time zones and catching up, but you really see people’s true colors, and regretfully, you lose some friends along the way. Eric made a great point with his statement, “People just don’t realize how much work goes into this, because you only see the 45 minutes we’re on stage, and not the other 23 hours and 15 minutes of stress and hard work that we put into it. It’s hard to keep up, it’s a 24/7 job now. We all miss our families. We use phone calls and social media to keep connected, but it’s hard at times. “
Their demographic remains undefined, as they have fans that range in age from 8 to 45+, and it’s ever changing. Every demographic they’ve touched loves something different about their music, from 8 year old girls, grandmas, to beefcakes, they all have one thing in common, and that’s the love of I Prevail.
They are strong stage performers, with high energy, and strong vocals throughout their set. They opened with "Heart vs. Mind", a song that really deals with the anxiety and uncertainty of taking risks, specifically around their recent success and how it changed the reality of their lives. They rounded out their set with "The Enemy", "Love, Lust and Liars", and after teasing the crowd with a snippet of Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff", of course closed with their "Blank Space" cover.
After their set, they immediately moved out to their merch table, where they spent over an hour greeting fans, taking pictures, and signing merchandise. They are as devoted to their fans, as their fans are to them. It was quite refreshing to see them so at ease and engaged with the fans, making each experience personal. Overall, I Prevail is an evening well spent, and I look forward to seeing them again soon.
A message from I Prevail to the fans:
"Thank you to our fans for the ultimate and incredible amount of support. It’s unreal to think about how quickly things moved and in 6 short months we’ve accomplished so much and it’s all because of our fans, so thank you so much."
All Photos ©Stephy Hayward / ZRockR Magazine