With their summer headlining tour only a month away, lead guitarist Steve Menoian from Detroit’s I Prevail gave us a look into the progress of their new record, band history and more. The band left their mark in the scene with their cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” which went viral, and ever since then has opened new opportunities for the band.
Q: Where did the name I Prevail come from?
A: We’re all from the Detroit area. There obviously have been a lot of hard times here in recent memory. We wanted a name with a positive message that spoke to where we came from. We saw so many people in our area persevering through hard times. “I Prevail” was a way to embody the spirit of that and set the stage for our message as a band.
Q: How would you describe your music to new listeners?
A: I’d say we’re a rock band with a little more edge. We mix big melodies with heavy guitars, harsh vocals and a taste of some electronic elements. We’re also not afraid to drop down to the acoustics and sing a ballad. We really try to hit on a wide range of style and emotions.
Q: What was it like growing as musicians in Detroit?
A: Very inspiring. Everyone knows the big ones… Kid Rock, Eminem, Bob Seger, the entire Motown era, etc, but the heavy music scene is very strong here. There have been quite a few bands to come out of Detroit and Michigan as a whole.
Q: What musicians/bands do you feel have influenced you the most?
A: Our biggest influence as a band is A Day to Remember. Those guys were pioneers in mixing heavy and melodic music together. That was the one band that all four of us really liked when coming together, but we all have our own tastes individually that bring a uniqueness to our sound. For me, I can say Bring Me The Horizon’s “Sempiternal” was the most influential album for me in recent years. That album changed my life.
Q: At what point did you feel the “big break” for I Prevail was?
A: I’d say our big break was shortly after we released our EP and cover in late 2014. Things popped off almost instantly. Our cover went viral and people were finding and really connecting to our original music. We hit the road a couple months later and toured for almost nine months straight everywhere in the country. Seems like a blur looking back.
Q: What is your guys’ writing process like? Do you all jam in one room and go from there, or is it done in a recording-like environment?
A: We’ve always leaned toward writing in a studio environment. I’ve always believed your mind can be more creative than your hands can be on the spot. At lease for me anyways. So the studio has always been more conducive for us creatively. Although we’ve had times at practice where we come across a cool riff or grove to work off of.
Q: Word on the street is that you guys are currently working on a debut record that is set to release this year. What new things can we expect on the record compared to “Heart vs Mind”?
A: That is true! We’re in the very final stages now. I feel like we got to know each other better as a band and as writers. Our EP “Heart vs. Mind” was the first thing we had ever done as a band. I think we laid the groundwork for our sound with that, but this album definitely takes a step up in terms of song-writing and maturity. The hooks are catchier and the heavy parts are heavier. We also took some chances that were a little outside of the box. If you liked our EP, I promise that you’re gonna love this album.
Q: When it comes to lyrical content, what theme(s) do you feel you focus on the most?
A: The concept of the new album centers around the idea of going through life altering events. For us, it was starting this band and the new path that created almost instantly. We wanted to share our journey and the different things that happened to us over the past couple years. But it was also important to us that the message be relatable. I think we found a good balance. Everyone encounters a handful of forks in the road throughout their life, and they always create havoc. This album is about those forks in the road and the madness that ensues.
Q: What is your favorite part about playing shows?
A: Playing shows is a way to connect with people and find a new level of energy. It’s hard to explain, but it’s almost a way to escape yourself for an hour a night. We’re able forget our own issues and create something in the moment that brings people together.
Q: What is the best part about meeting fans?
A: Hearing how our songs have helped or inspired people is amazing. We all are fans of music first, so we know exactly what it’s like to have a band get you through a tough time or just brighten your day. It’s exciting to be able to give back to a community that has given so much to us.
Q: You guys will be hitting the road this summer with The White Noise, My Enemies & I, and Bad Seed Rising. What are you most excited for?
A: I’m just excited to get back on the road again. We’ve been off the road for over six months creating this album. We get to play a few new songs and this is a great lineup. Can’t wait!
Q: When packing for tour, what are your top 3 necessities?
A: Lots of socks, lots of underwear and video games!
Q: If you could tour with any three bands, which would they be and why?
A: ADTR would be amazing. Then I would say Bring Me the Horizon… and for a curveball, The Neighbourhood. I personally love that band and think they created a really unique sound.
Q: Any advice for up and coming bands wanting to further their music careers?
A: Obviously master your craft in terms of your instrument and song-writing. Then learn how to market yourself. No one will know how to reach the people you wanna reach better than you. No one will ever care as much either. I think we’re in an era where artists need to be more self-sufficient than ever.