Certain moments in life change everything. The trajectory splinters, and there’s no turning back. I Prevail—Brian Burkheiser [clean vocals], Eric Vanlerberghe [harsh vocals], Steve Menoian [guitar], Dylan Bowman [rhythm guitar] —explore this phenomenon within the title of their full-length debut, Lifelines [Fearless Records].
“When we started diving into the record, we all sat down and thought, ‘Wow, everything has changed in the last year,’” explains Brian. “Everyone encounters those moments that really define where the rest of their lives are headed. We’ve all grown from everything that’s happened. When we sat down and got to work, we really wanted to share our journey through these songs.”
“Lifelines are a great visual for certain points in your life,” adds Brian. “It’s a line you can’t go backward from or ignore. For us, the path split from the moment we all created I Prevail.”
I Prevail are no strangers to this experience. After the release of the quartet’s 2014 debut EP, Heart vs. Mind, nothing would ever be the same. The EP moved over 100,000 copies as the Detroit band toured with the likes of Hollywood Undead and Crown The Empire. Meanwhile, the group’s cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” sold 300,000-plus singles, went Top 20 on Active Rock Radio, and generated over 22 million views on YouTube and 17 million-plus Spotify streams (consistently remaining in the Top 10 of the platform’s Viral Chart). The band would be nominated for “Breakthrough Band” at the 2016 Alternative Press Music Awards and garner features from Billboard, Detroit Free Press, AXS, Loudwire, and many more. Everything has aligned and set the stage perfectly their debut full-length, Lifelines.
In early 2016, the boys retreated to Wall of Sound Studios in the small and secluded town of Riley, Michigan to work with trusted producers B.J. Perry and John Pregler. With nearly two years on the road under their collective belt, the group had fully realized their style, merging entrancing hooks and a powerful and pummeling sonic backdrop.
“On the EP, we were all getting to know each other’s style,” Brian goes on. “We spent a year working on it without ever launching publicly. We wanted to make the best impression possible. Then when we put it out, we spent the next year-and-a-half doing everything we could to promote it. Writing Lifelines was such a different experience. We had so much more time to grow together and really had a clear vision for the sound we wanted to create on the album.”
The first single “Scars” gallops from a propulsive riff into an unshakable refrain teetering between a hypnotic harmony and a hard-hitting groove. It’s immediately infectious.
“Being away from family members and going through relationships that have died off, sometimes made me feel anxiety and depression,” admits Brian. “Sometimes, you have to look in the mirror. We wanted to create a song that was personal to us, but still relatable. That’s how we got the concept of ‘Scars.’”
Elsewhere on the album “Stuck In Your Head” sees a magnetic vocal charge ahead in tandem with a bombastic drumbeat and hyper-charged guitars making the song live up to its name.
“Basically, we’re comparing a relationship to a broken record,” continues the singer. “It’s dedicated to a certain ex of mine, and I can say a couple of the other guys dedicated it to their former relationships too. Things are really good for a while. All of a sudden, the record starts wearing, and things get rocky. In my case, I always felt like the bad guy. So, the song’s a final send-off saying, ‘Thanks for the memories, but I’m glad you’re out of my life. Here’s a song for you to go out to.’”
Ultimately, Lifelines sees I Prevail take another big collective life step. “We wanted to create something that can showcase every emotion,” Brian leaves off. “It’s anything you’re feeling or looking for.”
“LIFELINES are the fine lines between order and chaos and the time we spend between them.”
Lifelines debuted at #3 on Alternative Albums, #4 Hard Music Albums, #5 Rock Albums, #9 Top Album, and #15 on the Billboard Top 200, with Alternative Press naming Lifelines one of the Best Debut albums of 2016, nominating them in Breakthrough Artists in 2016 Alternative Press Music Awards. The band’s single “Stuck In Your Head” reaching #1 on SiriusXM Octane Radio and the band is lined up for multiple.