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INTERVIEW: European Tour, Lessons Learned & More With I Prevail’s Eric Vanlerberghe

We sat down with Eric Vanlerberghe in anticipation of the upcoming massive European tour to see what he and the band are up to these days, what we can expect from the upcoming tour and more! This May, I Prevail will be playing some of their biggest shows in Europe and the UK. Vanlerberghe shared with us that we can expect a bigger production for these shows, with an LSD-screen setup and a varied setlist. Even though the shows will be of epic proportion, new music-wise we should not expect too much. The band are still riding the wave of their 2022 album TRUE POWER, which saw a great reception and took the band to bigger venues, especially in and around Europe.

The band’s last tour saw I Prevail take on two shows in The Netherlands, one in Melkweg the Max, which sold out with a capacity of 1500 people, as well as a show in Tilburg’s Poppodium 013. This time around, I Prevail will play one massive show in Amsterdam’s AFAS Live, which has a capacity of 6.000 for standing concerts. Luckily for you, there are still tickets available.

Even when there’s no new music to be revealed yet on these shows, Eric Vanlerberghe did share with us that there’s new music in the works. When asked about their creative process, Vanlerberghe laid out the foundation of their songwriting process, sharing that it’s a collaborative effort. On some occasions, band members would come with a riff, a melody or a lyric, but I Prevail do their best work when they are all in the room together, writing their songs as a collective.

We then asked Vanlerberghe about the division of lyrics, drawing the comparison with Dance Gavin Dance, who also have 2 vocalists. When we chatted with former DGD vocalist Tilian Pearson, he shared that each vocalist writes their own lyrics, which makes the division easier, but with I Prevail that works a little different. As the band usually write their stuff as a collective, the division of lyrics is also a collaborative effort, but one, Vanlerberghe ensures us, that always goes smoothly.

It is crazy to realise that it has already been 10 years since I Prevail burst onto the scene with their infamous cover of Taylor Swift‘s Blank Space. We took advantage of this anniversary by asking Eric Vanlerberghe some of the biggest lessons he’s learned being in a band for so long. The answer Vanlerberghe gave us is quite insightful and can honestly be of use for many people in all walks of life. He shared with us that throughout the years, he’s learned to be more flexible and agile when it comes to planning, touring and just life in general. Life on the road, or life as a musician in general is not one for the weak, but being able to adapt to all the ad-hoc changes, the different people and stakeholders is a mindset that has proven useful to Vanlerberghe.

If you are a fan of I Prevail, you know their lyrical content is filled with uplifting messages, but also discovers the darker themes of life, mental health being one of them. Songs like Deep End would be a stellar example of that, a song that has resonated with millions of people since its release. We asked Vanlerberghe whether they also draw inspiration from current world events, politically or socially. He shared with us that even though it can sometimes seep in, I Prevail try to refrain from making political statements and themes in their music. While they are aware of the state of the world, other themes are more important to them when it comes to writing their music. Not all music has to be political!

To re-visit the earlier anniversary of 10 years of being on the scene, we also asked Eric Vanlerberghe how he has experienced being in a band and how he feels about the ever-changing scene we’re all so fond of from the perspective of being a band. Herein, Eric Vanlerberghe shares another insight that can be valuable to all. Over the years, Eric Vanlerberghe has learned to stay true to himself and the people closest to him. If you’re making waves as a band, there’s always going to be someone who wants to get involved, whether that be managers, labels, or ‘suits’ as the creatives tend to say. It’s important to stay true to yourself, your art and the people you make that art with. In I Prevail’s case, staying true to themselves has paid off in a major way, as the band currently has more than 4.5 million listeners a month via Spotify alone, making them one of the bigger names in the rock and metal sphere.

For our last question, we shared Vanlerberghe a story of our interview with Escape The Fate drummer Robert Ortiz, which occurred in 2017. After their current tour in Europe, Escape The Fate were slated to appear as a support act for I Prevail on their massive US tour. We asked Ortiz if it was hard to open for a band that has been around way shorter than Escape The Fate has. Robert Ortiz responded by sharing his admiration for I Prevail’s music, as well as their work ethic and their business savviness. We asked Vanlerberghe about said business savviness. Vanlerberghe shared that being great musicians will only get you so far. To make a musical act into a sustainable business model, one needs to approach the band as a business in addition to appreciating the art. I Prevail are a very hands-on band, artwise but also business-wise. In recent years, I Prevail have done a giveaway with a custom-made I Prevail PS5 bundle when they were still limited and they have an Inner Circle supporters system in which fans can get exclusive I Prevail opportunities and items.

Starting May 10th, I Prevail will be playing some of their biggest European shows, with a stop in Amsterdam on the 19th of May, for which tickets are still available, but we suggest you be quick about your purchase! In addition, we would like to apologise for the different format of the interview for this chat. Unfortunately, due to technical issues, the recording of our chat didn’t include audio and we didn’t find out until a week after the chat like the amateurs we are. Stream TRUE POWER below to get ready for the upcoming tour and let us know if you are going to any of the announced shows!

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Glenn van den Bosch