INTERVIEW: I Prevail Talk New Album, Their Massive First Shows In Germany & More
Metalcore outfit I Prevail finally made their way to mainland Europe for a handful of shows on the festival circuit. Among the planned shows was their absolutely massive debut on Rock Am Ring/Rock Im Park, where the band played for literal thousands of people while it was the first time the band played the country.
Just after their set at Rock Am Ring, we sat down with Dylan and Eric to discuss the incredible show they just played, the new album of course and what's next for the band. During our chat, games, movies and more. Here's what went down:
Q: That show was insane. What a turnout. Did you expect your first German show to be this big?
A: No, we definitely didn’t know what to expect. So early in the day and first time playing Germany and we go out there and people are just screaming “I Prevail! I Prevail!” so we just thought “Holy shit!”. I feel like when we watched videos of past years, you get an idea like “Germany just loves rock music, so it will turn out” but for us we just weren’t sure.
When knew going into this that it was going to be a pretty big deal, which we were excited for and the European culture for metal is so much more accepting than in America, everybody loves it here.
Q: Are there any particular festivals you’re looking forward to playing this summer? A: We played Rock Im Park yesterday, we’ll play Nova Rock in Austria and then we play Download UK. So two-and-a-half weeks over here, getting our feet wet and hoping the next time we come through we can do a full headliner through Europe.
Q: Any other bands in the line up you’re hoping to catch? A: Yesterday, we saw Architects, nothing,nowhere. and Die Antwoord and today, we are getting ready to see Bring Me The Horizon for the first time, so super excited for that.
Q: Do you draw any inspiration from the bands that you watch? Eric: Yes, definitely. Especially on stage presence.
Dylan: Not necessarily the bands that are playing here, but a big influence of mine is Breaking Benjamin. I take a lot from singing and playing the guitar at the same time the way their lead singer does. Eric’s favourite band is Slipknot and they are playing tomorrow so hopefully, we will see them and Eric can learn how to control and play a crowd like Corey Taylor, haha.
Eric: We watched Architects yesterday and he has got control of the crowd and just smooth-talking up there and it looks so professional. When we were starting out and played small festivals I’d go out there and it would be very static-like “Hi, I’m Eric….. we’re I Prevail” and I’d just think “shut up, man” and we’d pick up on how the pro’s do it and that’s nice to see.
Q: Earlier this year you’ve released your latest album “TRAUMA”. If you had to describe it to somebody who hasn’t heard of I Prevail before, how would you do so? Dylan: I would say that it’s very collective and it’s divided into subgenres and blends together in each song. There’s a lot of influence from video games and movies and not just from other artists and I like that very much about that. It gives a whole dark feeling.
Q: When you say you draw influence from video games and movies, could there in the future be like an album release together with a movie or a video game? Dylan: We would love that! The other day, we kicked around the idea of doing a short comic book series of something that ties together with our music. Another thing that I would like to do is to create music for a video game. I’m a huge video game nerd and just to be able to be a part of that art form, to have your art cross over into another type of medium, that gives me goosebumps. There are so many great games, like “Doom”, which is actually an influence for a couple of the tracks from the album, which has like a scary metal vibe to it.
Q: You guys blew up almost overnight, it was insane how fast you guys grew. How do you think that happened? Eric: We did the EP and we took the whole year to make it and to record 7 songs and then right before we were about to release it, we got the idea to do a cover to get our foot in the door.
We heard Taylor Swift was coming out with an album and we heard it right when it came out. So we picked the song “Blank Space” and we recorded it in literally three days. We wrote it, recorded it and put it out a week later. Then, that cover got picked up and we had music to release right after so people were like “oh, I wanna here more” and we could immediately give it to them. And then right away, we went on a headliner tour.
Dylan: What happened to us was, we got thrown into the frying pan. We were either gonna do it or die. We had the EP behind us and we were headlining shows with 8 songs and that typically doesn’t happen. How are you gonna fill an hour with 8 songs?
It is a very positive feeling of course, but what most people don’t realise is that there are some negatives as well. We can play Rock Am Ring for 25.000 people now and then next week, we can sit at home by ourselves. So there are a lot of highs and lows and that can bring depression with it as well, which is what part of “TRAUMA” is about. Feeling the depression of when we’re not on stage and we are just a person and people don’t hit us up and that can take its toll.
Eric: That goes along with when we wrote “TRAUMA” we stayed true and honest with the lyrics and what we feel. It was all about going through these hard times and when we wrote the album Brian had his vocal injury and I had just lost my best friend to suicide. Each of us had gone through these traumatic things and to write the record, we didn’t want to tell people to keep their heads up, because we weren’t keeping our heads up. But there’s something therapeutic about things not always being easy and it’s not always going to be sunshine and daisies and it’s gonna suck, but don’t worry we are going through that too.
We’re not bullshitting anyone and we’re saying what we really feel and I think people latch onto that and appreciate that.
Q: Given the context of the new record, is it safe to say that you wrote most of it at home? Dylan: Most of it was done in an Airbnb in a small quiet town in Northern Michigan. We obviously had some trips out to L.A. and stuff like that, but we had our producing team come in and locked ourselves in. That was the most lonely point in the band. For a year and a half, your fans are trying to get you to respond and to get you to go on tour and you have to just say nothing. As soon as you say anything, people are going to ask you about new music. So the first post you make has to be about new music.
Q: What advice would you give to young bands who are just starting out? Dylan: Before this band, I have a different band that did not get off the ground and we did it the completely wrong way, and then I joined these guys and they showed me the way. My best piece of advice is, if you’re gonna start a band, find your sound, collect your thoughts and create a record good enough to put out.
Don’t create one song and put it out right away because you are so excited to show everyone. If you only have one song and you show it to somebody, they are going to want more and you don’t have that. So you are out of sight, out of mind. When we came out, we had 8 songs ready to go after the cover. So give them enough to attach to, making them want to wait for more.
Eric: You got one first impression, don’t forget that it’s not just passion but it is also going to be your career. If you are just doing it for the fun of it, that’s great! But if you have a perfect balance, so you have fun but you also treat it like a business, that’s golden.
Get all your songs ready and your social media ready and be ready to go. So prepare yourself and look at it seriously.