I Prevail most definitely had a March to remember! Not only did they make their way to Australia for the second Download Festival, prior to the trip they also announced the release of second album ‘Trauma’ and also celebrated the release on March 29th.
Getting time to speak with the multi skilled and co-vocalist Eric Vanlerberghe about the recently released ‘Trauma’, the first topic of conversation was about the excitement within the band upon the March 29th release date. Venderberghe quipped “man we were so excited, relieved and anxious all at the same time!”, letting out a small chuckle and continuing “it’s funny as I actually had a social media memory pop up of me out in LA, working on one of the first songs of the record! So to look back today and reflect that it had been a whole year plus a few months of working on this release and this record, had just been building up to that moment.”
Taking time to discuss how long I Prevail had been sitting on the finished version of Trauma, Venderberghe points out “not very long actually, maybe a couple of months if that! We were actually working down to the wire, as we wanted to release it with all the plans we were working on for tours and festivals; that meant we only had a certain window. We were working all the way up until around Christmas time, so it was only a few months after that thankfully!” Venderberghe then took time to go into greater detail about why I Prevail chose March 29th to release ‘Trauma’:
“It coincided with a few things, mainly the touring and how we’ve been out without a record. We knew that we wanted to have a record at the end of last year, but we were still working on it. Then the offer came for it to be out the first half of this year and we responded with how it HAD to be out in the first quarter, as we had tours and festivals we wanted to do; but not only that, we also wanted give the fans new music! We didn’t want to sit back on our heels for three years and have our fans waiting for what would happen, so we wanted to get it out as soon as possible. Plus, it’s a weird feeling going out and playing a song from ‘Lifelines’, knowing we’ve got all these new songs almost ready to go”
Venderberghe wasn’t afraid to let his sense of humour shine during the interview, as this interviewer was soon to find out! When asked whether there were any hiccups during the creation of
Trauma’ or if things went relatively smoothly, Venderberghe was quick to quip “there’s never a smooth run when writing a record” before delivering a good insight into just how things took place:
“There’s always growing pains, learning curves and outside forces trying to get in and get their footing in. But this time round when we started, we started doing it the way we thought we wanted to do it; but we didn’t feel it was right, so we started a whole new process where we worked with people we never work with before! We bought in Tyler Smith from a band called Danger Kids who we’ve been friends with for a while, but trying to learn and write music with a new person in the room is a little nerve-wracking; you don’t know how the energy is going to be in the room or if it’s going to go over well. Thankfully things worked out great and we came up with a product that we’re SUPER happy with, we 100% put ourselves into and we had no people in our ear telling us we should do it this way or that way. We did it 100% the way we wanted to do it!”
Venderberghe then delivered an unexpected insight into another possible hurdle I Prevail faced during the creation of ‘Trauma’, as he pointed out “there was also the anxiousness of getting Brian back into the studio after having vocal surgery, and seeing how the sound was going to form; whether the band was going to change or he was going to come back 100%. Luckily after the surgery, he came back better than ever! So something we were nervous about, ended up not even being a concern during the process (chuckles) I’m just super glad things worked out for the best and went super smoothly; that was a huge weight off everyone’s shoulders!”
Whilst the fact Venderberghe bought Burkheiser into the conversation when he did was quite unexpected, it also helped the topic of conversation move to how they decide amongst themselves what style of lyrics fit throughout each track. Venderberghe pointed out how “I feel that it’s just something that happens when we’re writing songs, as it comes from the feelings then; if we’re going into a ballad, there’s no need for screaming or some kind of harsh vocals over it. And with this trying this whole rapping thing, maybe it doesn’t fit there and it needs to be a clean, pretty part. Whereas going into Paranoid we wanted to do something different! Instead of it turning into a very typical generic song with me singing all the way through, we decided “why not add a little rap here and see how it feels”. After trying this and trying that, it just comes to a point where we honestly sit back, listen and realise that it feels great and that was the part! So it’s a lot of give and take, a lot of trials and a lot of failures (laughs)”
Taking time to pick Venderberghe’s brain on the vocal recording process further and if he laid down all three styles of vocals (clean, unclean and rap) before deciding which one to use, Venderberghe was quick to “use Breaking Down as an example; I scream, I yell and shit, but I also throw some rapping into it. That was just us working with one of our producers David Pranic, before I kicked everyone one else of the room and did it 15-20 times, until it just fitted and felt right! A lot of the time though, we’ll be listening to the music, working on the lyrics and we have thoughts like “yeah, I can hear this melody”, “that would be really cool to have a rap part over it” or “that part hits really hard and it needs to say something real mean and aggressive”; it just comes from the instrumental I think.”
Drawing the interview to a close, it was time to speak with Venderberghe on a personal level. Taking time to discuss not only what his personal favourite song is, but as to why, Venderberghe was quick to state “oh man, that’s tough!” before pointing out “right now, I’m going back and forth between Paranoid and Bow Down. Paranoid just because it’s something we’ve never really tried before and it’s a shorter song, so it doesn’t really go into a big bridge with an open chorus at the end of it; plus it’s got this weird electronic drop where the chorus typically would be. It’s a really cool song that shows another side of us that we’re trying to explore, as well as showing some of the elements of other music we’re influenced by and grew up listening to! Bow Down on the other hand, I just got to go in there, be pissed and mad which is what the song is about (laughs) I was able to be as aggressive as I could with the vocals, as well as trying different things and tones; I love playing that song live, even though we’ve only played it twice so far!IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY DONE SO, YOU CAN PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF ‘TRAUMA’ HERE, IN A RANGE OF VARIOUS FORMATS TO SUIT YOU BEST!