By Peyton Schmidt–
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Burkheiser. Burkheiser is the vocalist of the American post-hardcore band, I Prevail. Formed in Southfield, Michigan, I Prevail has been in action since 2013.
The band formed through mutual friends, the internet and even a youtube video. Though none of the members knew each other before officially creating the band, they all shared the same goal: they wanted to make good music. Burkheiser noted that he had no idea how in sync they would end up being.
Upon asking what musical genre I Prevail would fall under, Burkheiser described the band as “hard rock with heavier sub genres” including post hardcore and metal core. Burkheiser stated several musical influences such as Under Oath and A Day to Remember. Along with hardcore influences, Burkeheiser explained I Prevail also enjoys sprinkling in elements of pop music and R&B into their melodies in order to give them a unique and stand-apart sound.
Though I Prevail had a notable fan base when they first started, they gained global fame in early 2015. This jump in fame was due to their massively successful cover of Taylor Swift’s (perhaps you’ve heard of her) hit song “Blank Space.”
Burkheiser shared with me their popular cover earned the band a Top 20 slot on the Active Rock radio charts, over 300,000 copies sold and over 20 million streams and views on YouTube.
Laughing, Burkheiser described the reaction from the fans as “crazy.” Already having their debut EP album recorded and ready to drop, he explained the band wanted to strategically release a cover first in order to get their name out there as well as encourage fans to also check out their EP. However, what Burkheiser and the band didn’t plan for was worldwide fame essentially overnight.
The band also plans to release their debut album LifeLines later that month. Burkheiser explained the fans can expect to hear a very diverse album compared to I Prevail’s usual sound. He explained the band’s intention was to portray a different emotion with each track on the album.
“We didn’t want it to sound the same,” Burkheiser stated, noting there would be new lighter acoustic songs along with their usual heavier ones. Though they’ve kept their essential core sound the same, Burkheiser added, “I Prevail reached for the stars on this one.” I Prevail hopes to give back to fans what they have so graciously given to them.
Three headlining tours, thousands of copies sold and millions of views later, I Prevail will head to Louisville on Oct. 1 to play at the Louder Than Life Festival.