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I Prevail Talks ShipRocked, Making New Music, Carrie Underwood, On The Road Hobbies And Much More

I Prevail is a hard rock band formed in Southfield, Michigan in 2013. The band is composed of clean vocalists Brian Burkheiser and Eric Vanlerbeghe, lead guitarist Steve Manoian, rhythm guitarist Dylan Bowman, and drummer Gabe Helguera.

They released their debut EP Heart vs. Mind in 2014 and rose to popularity from their viral metal cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” which eventually was certified platinum in the US. Since then, I Prevail has become extremely popular, going on tour all over the world, and releasing dozens of singles.

They have performed at some of the biggest rock music festivals across the globe including Warped Tour, ShipRocked, Welcome to Rockville, and Download, just to name a few. Their debut album Lifelines was released in 2016 and was subsequently certified RIAA gold. 

I Prevail Talks Making New Music
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Their next album, Trauma, released in 2019, received two Grammy Nominations; the Best Rock Album and Best Metal Performance for their song “Bow Down.” In 2022, the band revealed their third studio album, True Power, and announced their True Power Tour which ended in November of last year. 

I Prevail is currently working on new music, and hopes to release a new album soon. They will be touring in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and around Europe beginning in May and are on the line up for Inkcarceration in June. 

They also just announced a co-headlining summer tour with Halestorm featuring supporting artists Hollywood Undead and Fit For A King. The tour kicks off on July 9 in Raleigh, North Carolina and runs through August 17 in Las Vegas. 

We met up with vocalist Eric and rhythm guitarist Dylan on ShipRocked this year. We talked about their unexpected fan, Carrie Underwood, their nerdy downtime habits, and their French Bulldogs.

I Prevail Talks Making New Music
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Are you working on new music to follow up “Deep End?”

Eric: Yeah, we just started writing some things. Just jamming on the road. It’s the first time that we brought the equipment out to write on some days off. Obviously not here on the boat, we’re too busy partying. We’re just demoing some ideas so the next time we go around to write a record, we’re not sitting and waiting for a year and a half working on it. Nothing concrete just yet, but just getting the creative juices flowing.

What’s inspiring you to write right now?

Eric: I think just the way things are in the scene right now. It’s no longer writing a record or taking a long time to sit down and work on music and putting a record together and then releasing the record. It’s now with this TikTok generation. You just gotta keep feeding the machine quicker and more often. 

Getting with that trend, being able to write and be creative while on the road, not just go from touring, playing shows and compartmentalizing it and then going to off time and writing. It’s trying to mix the two, finding new challenges, but also finding new creative methods and being more inspired. Being able to find inspiration on the road while we’re touring, and to be able to pull from that rather than taking those instances and waiting six months until we’re off the road to start working on it.

It’s been very moving and inspiring. But looking at our career and our future of putting music out, we gotta just keep it up. The fans are hungry. They want to hear more. Even while you’re working and playing shows, you still have to be writing and making content. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

I saw you guys at Welcome to Rockville and I thought the show was great. It’s a crazy venue. Do you have a favorite Welcome to Rockville moment?

Dylan: These guys convinced me to shave my head into a mohawk at Rockville. So, I’ve been rocking that since. I had a good time with that. 

Eric: We had to take the shuttle from the bus to the stage we were performing at. That was definitely cool to be on the track.

I Prevail Talks Making New Music
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

What’s your favorite ShipRocked moment from the past or present?

Dylan: You know, I’ve had some really cool moments with fans where they’ve asked me to just sit down and talk and I remember one person in particular. I walked by and I mentioned I wasn’t really sure how to play Blackjack and they sat me down. They’re like, “Come here, dude, I’ll even get you some chips.” They taught me the ins and outs of Blackjack. Now I see him all the time at all these festivals too. It’s cool to make lifelong friends in these situations. 

Eric: It’s a family out here. 

Dylan: Honestly, dude, I have never seen anything like this. Literally everywhere I’ve gone. I don’t know how many people have asked me, ‘So how many is this for you?’ Everybody knows exactly what you’re talking about too. 

Eric: They’re not talking about the beers in hand. Dylan and I try to go see hockey games and sh*t in between shows on tour and to be going to an arena, you know, in the middle of the country and some couple comes up saying, ‘ShipRocked! We saw you on the boat!’ and we’re like, ‘ShipRocked. Yeah!’ 

It’s a cool family. It’s a cool special club to be a part of. 

Well, I love country music too. I recently saw Carrie Underwood is a big fan and you guys made the workout playlist and she just came to your show. You guys went to her show. How did all that come about? 

Dylan: Man, I don’t know. I have the way that it went in my head where we just played a show and out of nowhere she was like, ‘I love you guys!’ So, I just kind of go with that version.

Eric: You know what it was, she did an interview with CBS Sunday Morning. That’s what. They asked her what music she was listening to and she didn’t just list off some bands and songs, she went in and was like, ‘Oh, it’s I Prevail, and it’s this record and it’s this.’ She’s talking about it and she wouldn’t stop talking about it. I was like, ‘Holy sh*t. What?’ So, yeah, it went from there. People were blowing it up. My parents and all our moms were like, ‘Oh, okay, this is really happening.’ 

Dylan: And our wives, too, honestly. They were like, ‘Whoa.’

Eric: She invited us up to her show in Detroit. We got a chance to meet her and then return the favor. In Nashville we got to bring her out and introduced her to the rest of the band and it was cool. She’s a sweet human being. She’s a very, very nice person.

I Prevail Talks Making New Music
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

You guys started with “Blank Space”, the first hit, Taylor Swift. Are you guys still Taylor fans?

Dylan: Oh, yeah. It’s weird. So I am by proxy. Every time I get in the car, my wife plays Taylor and I feel like I’m discovering a new Taylor Swift song all the time. I have some songs I find myself singing throughout the day. I’ll be like, ‘Man, that’s such an undeniably great song.’

Eric: It’s undeniable songwriting. She’s a phenomenal songwriter and she’s got an awesome voice. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Will you guys do another Taylor cover?

Eric: I don’t know. If we do another cover, it’s gonna have to be something different. We started off our career with the cover, and then we had to grow past that and really stake our name and be like, ‘Alright, we’re more than just a cover band.’ So, if we do another cover, it’s gonna have to be something that’s just as exciting and as unexpected and flashy. We’ll see. If we have to, maybe we’ll do another.

I Prevail Talks Making New Music
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

What are your must pack travel items?

Eric: My “Magic: The Gathering” cards. It’s a card game.

Dylan: Yeah, I’m gonna say my gaming laptop. I have quite a few games: Valorant, Fortnite. I’ve been playing this really obscure one, Project Zomboid. Palworld. There’s so many great games out there.

Eric: Now you’re finding out we’re a bunch of nerds. We love being on the road and exploring. But sometimes after a couple of weeks, it’s something to take your mind off everything and just escape for a little bit. Video games, trading cards, board games, card games. We’re nerds.

Eric: Everyone’s got their thing that they got to go back and tap into to feel like a human again. We’re all on the road touring together and doing this job we f*cking love. But sometimes, after a couple of weeks, it’s like, ‘Man, I just need to feel like myself again.’ So to be able to bring something out or have things to look forward to in the downtimes really helps. It’s a nice little reset.

I Prevail Talks Making New Music
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

What would you do on a perfect day in Detroit?

Eric: The perfect day in Detroit was when we went and saw and got drunk in Detroit watching the Lions win, and then went and saw the Red Wings game. That was a great day.

What bars were you at?

Eric: All of them. The Old Shillelagh.

Dylan: What would be the perfect day for me in Detroit? Sometime in early spring, Red Wings hoisting a freaking Stanley Cup. Eric and I right in the front row, hammered and watching them hoist that Stanley Cup. That’s a perfect day in Detroit. Then we leave and go to HockeyTown for dinner, stop at Bucharest on the way home and then take shots with Eminem. 

Eric: Yes. Perfect day. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Are you sad Lions fans?

Dylan: Not as sad as Brian, our vocalist who pretty much worships the Lions, and he seems blue. Week in and week out in years past, he’s always like, ‘This is our year!’ And then of course it’s not. Of course, this year wasn’t our year either.

Eric: But it was close. We’ve all talked about it, and none of us are sad Lions fans. We’re all very, very hopeful. We like the way that the program is going.

Dylan: We just got 13 wins this year I think. 

Eric: We’re not complaining. We got a taste of what it takes, and I think next year will be the year that we go all the way.

I Prevail Talks Making New Music
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

What does 2024 have in store for you guys?

Eric: Lots of touring. We’ve got some US touring, some international touring. We’re trying to find some time to chug along on some new music and then just work on some new projects. Just keep things fresh and fun.

Dylan: Projects at home and spending time with our awesome dogs. We specifically got dogs together a few years ago. Eric has Lily. They’re two French bulldogs. We actually got three out of the litter. My parents have one, Eric has one, and I have one. I have Duncan. 

Do you let them play together?

Eric: It’s been a while, but another playdate is coming soon.

Dylan: Eric’s is like 30 pounds and then mine is the big old fat guy. He’s like 56 pounds. He’s so adorable I love him. We’re big dog people.

I Prevail Talks Making New Music
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Have you found any hidden gems you would tell somebody to go to as a tourist?

Dylan: The Japanese bar that we were in. Rockaholic.

Eric: In Tokyo, Japan, near Shibuya.

Dylan: One of the most fun places. I gotta be honest with you guys, I went there and I wasn’t able to drink. So, the whole night I stayed there and didn’t drink one drop of liquor. I still had the most fun I’ve had in years. You take little pieces of paper and you write music videos that they’ll play over the bar. So, you get to sit there with your friends and drink and show off music.

Eric: The company is awesome. I feel like it’s somewhat pseudo famous. Enough people know the area. I remember the one night we were drinking there, I think I went back there three nights in a row, there were two different groups of dudes from France. There was another group of US dudes. There are people from all over the world in this tiny little bar and we had an awesome, awesome experience just jamming to different metal bands and drinking. That was the bar I had that Habushu at.

Dylan: Oh yeah! That’s the alcohol with the snake venom in it.

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