I Prevail w/ We Came As Romans, The Word Alive, & Escape The Fate at Electric Factory
Tuesday, October 24th, 2017
ALL AGES | Doors: 6PM | Show: 6:45PM
∫∫∫ I Prevail ∫∫∫
Certain moments in life change everything. The trajectory splinters, and there’s no turning back. I Prevail—Brian Burkheiser [clean vocals], Eric Vanlerberghe [harsh vocals], Steve Menoian [guitar], Dylan Bowman [rhythm guitar] —explore this phenomenon within the title of their full-length debut, Lifelines [Fearless Records].“ When we started diving into the record, we all sat down and thought,‘ Wow, everything has changed in the last year,’” explains Brian. “ Everyone encounters those moments that really define where the rest of their lives are headed. We’ ve all grown from everything that’ s happened. When we sat down and got to work, we really wanted to share our journey through these songs. Lifelines are a great visual for certain points in your life,” adds Brian.“ It’s a line you can’t go backward from or ignore. For us, the path split from the moment we all created I Prevail.” I Prevail are no strangers to this experience. After the release of the quartet’s 2014 debut EP, Heart vs. Mind, nothing would ever be the same. The EP moved over 100,000 copies as the Detroit band toured with the likes of Hollywood Undead and Crown The Empire. Meanwhile, the group’s cover of Taylor Swift’s “ Blank Space” sold 300,000-plus singles, went Top 20 on Active Rock Radio, and generated over 22 million views on YouTube and 17 million-plus Spotify streams (consistently remaining in the Top 10 of the platform’s Viral Chart). The band would be nominated for “Breakthrough Band” at the 2016 Alternative Press Music Awards and garner features from Billboard, Detroit Free Press, AXS, Loudwire, and many more. Everything has aligned and set the stage perfectly their debut full-length, Lifelines.In early 2016, the boys retreated to Wall of Sound Studios in the small and secluded town of Riley, Michigan to work with trusted producers B.J. Perry and John Pregler. With nearly two years on the road under their collective belt, the group had fully realized their style, merging entrancing hooks and a powerful and pummeling sonic backdrop.“ On the EP, we were all getting to know each other’s style,” Brian goes on.“ We spent a year working on it without ever launching publicly. We wanted to make the best impression possible. Then when we put it out, we spent the next year-and-a-half doing everything we could to promote it. Writing Lifelines was such a different experience. We had so much more time to grow together and really had a clear vision for the sound we wanted to create on the album.” The first single “Scars” gallops from a propulsive riff into an unshakable refrain teetering between a hypnotic harmony and a hard-hitting groove. It’s immediately infectious.“ Being away from family members and going through relationships that have died off, sometimes made me feel anxiety and depression,” admits Brian. “Sometimes, you have to look in the mirror. We wanted to create a song that was personal to us, but still relatable. That’s how we got the concept of ‘Scars.’”
Elsewhere on the album “ Stuck In Your Head” sees a magnetic vocal charge ahead in tandem with a bombastic drumbeat and hyper-charged guitars making the song live up to its name.“ Basically, we’ re comparing a relationship to a broken record,” continues the singer. “ It’ s dedicated to a certain ex of mine, and I can say a couple of the other guys dedicated it to their former relationships too. Things are really good for a while. All of a sudden, the record starts wearing, and things get rocky. In my case, I always felt like the bad guy. So, the song’ s a final send-off saying, ‘ Thanks for the memories, but I’ m glad you’ re out of my life. Here’ s a song for you to go out to.’” Ultimately, Lifelines sees I Prevail take another big collective life step. “ We wanted to create something that can showcase every emotion,” Brian leaves off. “ It’ s anything you’ re feeling or looking for.” “ LIFELINES are the fine lines between order and chaos and the time we spend between them.” Lifelines debuted at #3 on Alternative Albums, #4 Hard Music Albums, #5 Rock Albums, #9 Top Album, and #15 on the Billboard Top 200, with Alternative Press naming Lifelines one of the Best Debut albums of 2016, nominating them in Breakthrough Artists in 2016 Alternative Press Music Awards.
∫∫∫ We Came As Romans ∫∫∫
We Came as Romans hail from Troy, MI, an upscale Detroit suburb that gave birth to the band�s blend of post-hardcore and melodic screamo. Guitarist Joshua Moore, bassist Andy Glass, drummer Eric Choi, guitarist Lou Cotton, and vocalists David Stephens and Kyle Pavone headlined shows in the Michigan area before graduating to the national circuit, where they opened shows for the likes of Our Last Night, Gwen Stacy, and The Number Twelve Looks Like You. We Came as Romans took time off in September 2008 to record an EP, Dreams, which they released for free two months later. Over 50,000 copies were downloaded within its first week of availability, and the band used that momentum to sign a contract with Equal Vision Records in early 2009. They returned to the studio with Joey Sturgis (who had previously recorded the group's EP) that same year to work on a full-length album, To Plant a Seed, which was released that fall. The band toured ceaselessly following being signed to Equal Vision, with multiple trips across the United States, Canada and Europe as well as New Zealand, and Australia. In 2011, the band began work on Understanding What We've Grown to Be, a lyrically darker affair than To Plant a Seed. Amid constant touring and Joshua Moore contracting bacterial meningitis, taking him out of commission for a short while, the band released the record in September of 2011 to positive reviews, peaking at the number twenty-one slot on the Billboard 200. 2013's Tracing Back Roots offered up a cleaner, more melodic take on the genre, a musical shift that became even more pronounced on 2015's eponymous We Came As Romans.
∫∫∫ The Word Alive ∫∫∫
THE WORD ALIVE — Telle Smith (Vocals), Tony Pizzuti (Guitar), Zack Hansen (Guitar), Daniel Shapiro (Bass), Luke Holland (Drums) — On their fourth full-length Dark Matter, produced by Matt Good (From First To Last), The Word Alive amplify every aspect of their signature sound. The lyrics are more personal, the melodies are more engaging, and the songs are bigger. The Phoenix heavy alternative quintet began transmitting their message in 2009. 2010's full-length Deceiver solidified them as a fan favorite as they tirelessly toured alongside the likes of Killswitch Engage, The Devil Wears Prada, A Day To Remember, Motionless In White, and more — in addition to numerous stints on the Vans Warped Tour. Alternative Press and Revolver have sung their praises, Modern Drummer has featured Luke for his work in the band and mega-popular YouTube covers, Guitar World has spotlighted the interplay between Tony and Zack and their twin attack, and the band has graced the cover of Outburn Magazine. 2014 saw the band's latest release 'REAL.' land at #4 on the Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums Chart and #33 on the Billboard Top 200. However, everything paved the way for The Word Alive's biggest, boldest, and bravest statement in 'Dark Matter.'
∫∫∫ Escape The Fate ∫∫∫
When a band has had as storied and, at times, controversial a first decade in the limelight as Escape The Fate, there is often a temptation to focus on that past, rather than concentrating on the future. Yet after releasing their fifth, and arguably most significant studio album to date, the upcoming chapters of the Vegas quartet’s career not only look bright, but are set to resolutely be their best yet.
“This new album is, without any question in my mind, the best thing that has ever borne the Escape The Fate name, by a distance,” enthuses frontman Craig Mabbitt with no hint of hesitation. A remarkable statement given the last two ETF records gatecrashed the Billboard top 30. “Sonically, we’ve always been a diverse band who have everything from ballads to really heavy songs — and our fans expect that — but I think on this album we’ve gone full force with it. The heaviest songs are the heaviest we’ve ever written, and the poppy songs are the poppiest we’ve ever done. We came to this kind of ‘who cares what people think of us’ realization this time around — we’re amplifying everything that we love about this band in all directions and it has been incredibly liberating.”
Indeed, with the group (completed by drummer Robert Ortiz and guitarists Thomas «TJ» Bell and Kevin «Thrasher» Gruft) now blessed with the most stable and creatively fertile line up they’ve enjoyed in years, Escape The Fate are gearing up to show the world the scale of the talents that, in truth, they have long possessed. “We wrote probably 50 or so songs in total,” explains Thrasher. “There are songs on this record that I’ve worked on in private for years but have only just come to fruition. There’s probably half a decade’s work wrapped up in this thing!” “It has been a real team effort this time around,” continues Mabbitt. “We have all worked on lyrics, all contributed to the songwriting process. We’re the most unified as a team I think we’ve ever been, certainly in my history in the band. I actually wish we hadn’t done a self-titled album already because I think this is our most definitive statement yet.”
A significant part of fine-tuning statement has been the introduction of Grammy nominated producer Howard Benson (Papa Roach, My Chemical Romance, Mötörhead) to proceedings. “He pushed us incredibly hard to expand ideas beyond where we initially thought they could go,” says TJ. “He’s a master at looking at a song and picking out the smallest details of what could be improved but doing so in a way which makes sense for the overall tone of the record.” “He challenged me more than anyone ever has in a studio environment,” concurs Thrasher. “From technique to tone, he fine-tuned everything we were doing and made sure we were giving 110%. I won’t lie, it was stressful at times, but he is a great producer — you only need to look at his track record to see that!”
Indeed, for new new blood Thrasher — both playing and writing extensively on his first Escape The Fate album, it has been an opportunity to really earn his stripes. “I wanted to show exactly what I can do,” explains the axe-man. “Having been a session player for years but always loving this band’s output, there was a responsibility on my shoulders to prove myself. I tried to take everything I’d learnt over all the years of playing and pour it all into these songs. And what’s great is that the guys gave me all the support I needed — it’s been one of the most free and enjoyable writing environments I’ve ever enjoyed.”
The end result of this hard fought creative battle is a collection of songs spilling over with stadium-wrecking hooks, as well as a significant slice of the jackhammer punch fans of the band have come to know and love. Perhaps most crucially though, there is an abiding sense that this is Escape The Fate at their most bruisingly motivated. “Lyrically, a lot of these tracks are based around the hate we’ve received over the years and just embracing that and using it to our own advantage,” says Mabbitt. “I’ve had to step up to the plate lately, for the fans as much as anything else, because they take the name Escape The Fate very seriously and I owe them something for that, for all the support they’ve shown us over the years. It’s very humbling for me to be able to listen to this collection of songs and think about where we’ve come from and what we’ve been through to get to this point.”
To that end, the first single, the anthemic “Alive,” comes replete with a lead-heavy dual guitar attack and a sky-scraping solo, underpinned with a soul-baring vocal performance that underlines, emboldens and italicizes both the band’s survival instinct and their indefatigable determination to emerge victorious. From there, the lung-bursting chorus of “Remember Every Scar,” the album’s second single, serves as a powerful lament to life at the bottom of the bottle while the likes of “Breaking Me Down” and “Let Me Be” revel in a dynamic rise and fall which sees the band on taking their sound to a place that is sure to raise the eyebrows of both fans and critics alike. Naturally, those with a penchant for the heavier stuff are amply catered for too with “Just A Memory”, a circle-pit starting sonic landmine to match anything in the band’s catalogue to date: truly, this is a group at their most diverse and powerfully self-assured. “Like I say,” says Thrasher with a smile, “I think there genuinely is something in there for everyone.”
And so, what we witness is a re-incarnated, reborn, rejuvenated Escape The Fate firing on all cylinders once more. With a stint supporting HELLYEAH already under their belts this year and upcoming dates across the UK, this is a band who, after a ten-year tenure, are still as hungry as they’ve ever been. “It’s the start of a new era for us,” confirms Mabbitt. “We’re getting back on our feet, putting our middle finger up to the world and proving ourselves individually and collectively. Everyone in this band now wants the same thing: we want to play our music for as many people as possible and be a unit, a gang. We’ve been envious of bands who have always had that but now we have that and it’s a wonderful feeling.”
The message from the Escape The Fate camp is louder and clearer than it has even been in the past: “We’re coming for everyone and we aren’t taking any prisoners,” concludes Mabbitt.