Love them or deeply, deeply hate this band, I Prevail have just sold out an entire Australian tour off the back of their debut album, ‘Lifelines’ and their online presence continues to grow by the day. I Prevail are set to hit our shores next week to deliver their popular yet widely polarising poppy metalcore sound (and that Taylor Swift cover). With each show sold out, we spoke with screamer Eric Vanlerberghe (what a fuckin’ last name) about this Aussie tour, their debut album, their marketing, and the life and times of a metalcore band on social media in this day and age.
Hey there Eric, how are you?
I’m good Matty, I’m good. How are you?
Yeah, not bad. How’s your day been so far?
I can’t complain! It’s a little rainy here in Oregon but got a sold out show to play so I really can’t complain.
Nice, man! You nervous?
Oh, nah! Takes a lot to get me nervous these days!
Oh, so you’re one of those people who don’t get nervous you just get excited.
Yeah, exactly. I’m always excited. It’s always like a first show to me. I love just walking out in front of the crowd. I love that feeling.
Speaking of sold out shows, Eric… I Prevail aren’t doing too badly down under.
[Laughs] Yeah, we’re so excited. We had no idea what to expect when booking our first shows down there and so just seeing how quickly it’s all sold out, we can’t be more excited to come over!
Well, you guys did pretty well in our charts so there must have been an inkling it was gonna go well.
Yeah, I mean, you’re never sure how the numbers translate. Like, did they by the record but will they bother coming out to the show? So we were just hoping for a decent crowd but instead, we sold out all the dates.
I can get that, ‘cause one of the things about your band is that you’re quite polarising. You get a lot of love but you also get a lot of shit flung at you. Like, our site itself didn’t have any nice things to say about you guys. Do you give a fuck about that at all? Or are you someone who just could not care less?
We get posts all the time that call us out and call us “dogshit” and what not. And I see some of these posts and I’m just like, “I’m doing what I love and I’m having fun. We’re having more kids come out to shows every tour so keep wasting your energy talking shit whilst I’m here having fun and making a living.”
Though in saying all that, just because an artist is successful doesn’t mean criticism is unfounded. Or do you think that when someone’s successful you can dismiss and criticism that goes their way?
If someone is successful and a fan doesn’t like that music then… well, you’re never gonna please everyone. If someone isn’t happy and is critical of a band then… you can always play better. You can always perform better but when kids are just trolls and talking shit then I say, “waste your energy on whatever you want.”
One of the other criticisms you guys get though is often that your social media is very clickbait driven, very corny and cringy with those “top text, bottom text” videos and the memes you share. Do think people have a point with those comments?
At first, I was very hesitant. It is kind of clickbaity but we are proud of our product and we know that people who are into our genre will probably like our music so why wouldn’t we want to reach as many people as possible. The music industry is very based around getting your product out to as many people as possible. So if people want to say it is click bait and cheap then you’re obviously not succeeding and failing. Show me another band that does that without trying to get their music out there through social media without those memes and gifs and marketing themselves? We found a way that works for us.
And some of those memes we come across are on Instagram and Tumblr and we think they’re funny and we just share them. We didn’t expect that [“Belieber meme”] to go off like it did. We were kind of surprised.
A lot of the hate you get also comes from that Taylor Swift cover you did. People can’t detach I, Prevail from so for some you will always be “that Taylor Swift cover band”. Does that worry you or do you see it as a challenge to prove you aren’t that band anymore?
It does worry me but I never lose sleep over it. I will always think about it like, are we going to be a one hit wonder? But if how well our last album is doing then I don’t think we’ll have to worry about that. Not to be cocky but I know that if people stumble across us through that cover, then they’re gonna hear our record and go, “Oh, this is even better.”
So what’s next for you guys? Obviously, you’ll write a new record but are there any grand plans you have for it or are you just gonna live in this moment for a bit?
Up until the winter, we’ve got plans for tours and all that but we do plan to get into the studio and start demoing ideas for the next album. But yeah, right now I just wanna see the world and ride this album cycle.
Awesome, Eric. Well, that’s all we’ve got time for today. Thanks so much for speaking with me and best of luck for the show tonight. Hope it goes well.
Thanks, Matty, I really appreciate that. Take care!
If you like what you hear and haven’t gotten a ticket to see the I, Prevail boys then tough titties – that shit is all sold out. Just take a look below. You can read my brother’s savage review of ‘Lifelines’ right here.