This past Friday, I got the chance to speak with Eric Vanlerberghe, unclean vocalist for post-hardcore band I Prevail. They just started their tour opening for Hollywood Undead and Crown The Empire, and we got an interview in before the show! Eric was incredibly nice, and although the interview started later than planned, we worked around it. It was great talking to him, and see our conversation (as well as a quick tongue-twister!) below.

Indientry: Have you guys had any weird fan encounters?

I Prevail: Well, there have been some.. One that happened that I can remember the most was when this fan drunk off his butt just came over and, I don’t know why, just started trying to fight someone. That was pretty interesting.

I: What have you been listening to lately?

IP: A lot of heavy stuff, metal… More recently, a lot of pop-punk. So, one band I love and want to listen more of is Senseless Fail… Let me think about my newest playlist. Senseless Fail, the new Bring Me The Horizon record is great… What else is there? Childish Gambino! I know his last album is from a while ago, but it was so good! Oh, and The Weeknd.

I: Shortly after your guys’ cover of Blank Space was released, you guys started getting a lot more attention. Thoughts?

**see below for Blank Space video**

IP: Oh, it was just crazy. We were writing and recording for about a year before that, we just didn’t announce anything, but we dropped that cover and then a week or two later, a radio station in Colorado picked it up, and it went viral. That was just so unexpected. We were hoping for a thousand, maybe five thousand views in a month, and within a month, it was a million or something like that. It was crazy.

I: Speaking of your cover, what do you think made it stand out from all of the other Taylor Swift covers?

IP: I think that, like, for example, when you listen to the covers on the Pop Goes Punk albums, the not-so-good ones are the ones are the ones that change it too much, or try to stick to the song too much. I think what we did was kind of change the tempo, and it was a little darker, but we kept the original song in there.

I: Who would you say that your musical influences are?

IP: As a band, when we started, it was definitely A Day To Remember, We Came As Romans was a big one. Then individually, it was different, like for me, I like the heavier stuff.. But as a band, it was probably ADTR or WCAR.

I: A lot of your fans suffer from depression or anxiety or other mental disorders, and knowing that your music has helped them in some way, how does that affect the way that you guys perform and create music?

IP: Good question.. Um, never would I have thought that our music would make such an impact on someone. It’s still humbling and blows my mind every day. When I was growing up, and I still have, dealt with depression, and stuff like Senseless Fail really helped me through a dark time. I wanted to be a band like that who changed someone’s perception or gave someone else hope, and never would I have thought that we would give someone else that hope, but it’s awesome that we took out a feeling and we’re finally able to put it back in.

I: At the moment, a lot of your social media, like Facebook, seems pretty personal with your fans, in terms of replying to them. Do you hope to keep that as you grow bigger?

IP: We want to keep that as much as possible. I mean, each of us has our own social media. I do Instagram, and someone does this and someone does this, and I remember, me and Ryan were talking when we started, and we thought that the most memorable bands that we liked were the ones that would reach out to their fans as much as possible. Say one day, fingers crossed, we get to a level where that’s hard, we’re gonna still try. We’re gonna try to have little VIP things, where we meet everyone. It’s not fair for a band to get huge and not do something for their fans.

I: Your big song lately is Crossroads. How do you think it’s different from everything else that you’ve made? Or is it that different?

**see below for the music video**

IP: I think it’s the one that’s the most upbeat and the lightest song, it’s the most openly positive, whereas the other ones you listen to the lyrics and you learn and you get the feeling of positivity. In Crossroads, the lyrics are blatant, where the other ones are a bit more poetic.

I: Speaking of, like, the lyrics being poetic, I’ve heard your music described as having more meaningful lyrics than a lot of other bands in the genre…

IP: That’s crazy. Um, I don’t know what to say to that. It’s crazy that we recorded this EP in a basement and the fact that we all can team up and write something that moves someone, it hasn’t really sunken in yet. People really enjoy our lyrics.

I: How would you describe your sound for someone who’s never heard of you before?

IP: I’d say, um, post-hardcore, rock, it’s a bit metal-y… It’s like a mixture of hard rock and rock, I’d say.

I: What’s in the future for your band?

IP: After this tour, I’d say releasing the album that we’ve been working on, and once we have that out, we’ll be touring on that album.

I: Speaking of the tour, you just started this tour with Hollywood Undead and Crown The Empire yesterday. What do you think of them so far?

IP: Love it. It’s the best tour we’ve ever been on, so far. So many sold-out shows, biggest crowds we’ve played for in a while. It’s like going to these huge cities and playing with these guys. They’re just awesome.

I: Heart Vs Mind has gotten a lot of positive feedback. Do you think your next album will be similar?

IP: As an artist or a musician, you don’t wanna put the same album out over and over, so I wanna keep the same elements of the heaviness but also lightness, the electronics, I guess what’s gonna be similar is the same mentality. Yeah, I guess we try to be into the same kind of music, but we’ll have a couple of new influences, a bit of a fresher sound.

I: One more thing. My parents are both auctioneers, so we do this warmup all the time in our house. It’s called “Betty Bauder”. I have it here on a sheet of paper, if you don’t mind…


Thanks again to I Prevail for fitting us into their busy schedule. We wish them the best of luck on the rest of the tour, and we’ll be waiting with bated breath for the new album!

Originally published on Indientry on October 13, 2015.