"We’re doing all this shit with red carpets and pictures, hanging out with people we’ve always looked up to as musicians… it’s so sick. I’m stoked just talking about it.” - Eric Vanlerberghe.
The 2020 Gammy Awards are TODAY, and I Prevail have stormed it, picking up their first ever nominations.
I Prevail's 2018 album 'Trauma' is up for Best Rock Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards, and are competing against Bring Me The Horizon, Cage The Elephant, The Cranberries and Rival Sons.
Additionally, I Prevail have also scored a nomination for Best Metal Performance for their single 'Bow Down', which they're competing against Tool, Candlemass Featuring Tony Iommi, Killswitch Engage, and Death Angel.
Ahead of the ceremony today, we caught up with I Prevail vocalists Eric Vanlerberghe and Brian Burkheiser to talk about how they're feeling, representing our world at the biggest music awards ceremony in the world, and more.
When you found out about the Grammy Nominations, what was running through your minds?
Says Brian: “It was a pretty wild experience. We were on tour with A Day To Remember and Beartooth and only had a couple of days left, so were starting to get into the holiday mood and getting ready to wrap things up for the year. It was like six in the morning, and suddenly I heard people screaming, opening each other’s bunks. It turned into this party on the bus, within a couple of hours everyone was celebrating. All we wanted was to write a record that was real to us and that our fans could relate to. That’s the coolest part of all of this, that an album that means so much to Eric and I has been received that well. Win or lose, being nominated alongside the likes of Bring Me and all the other bands, Killswitch, Cage The Elephant… it’s pretty insane.”
Does it make it even more special that it’s for ‘TRAUMA’ too. It feels like there were a lot of people surrounding the band who had ideas of what the band and that record should be, but you doubled down on your own vision…
Says Eric: “Yeah, we didn’t go into the studio with the mentality of achieving or winning anything other than being ourselves, putting something out there that didn’t feel stale musically, something that we thought was unique and a little different to what we were used to. We just hoped that our fans would enjoy it. Going into the studio we’d had pressure from all these outside sources, being like how it always seems to be like: ‘This is probably the right direction for you to take’, or ‘You need to make sure it has A, B and C…’ And we were like, ‘Nah, we’re good. We’re gonna take a chance on ourselves and on what we want to do.’ To come out and not only be happy with it, and not only see how happy the fans who’ve been with us since day one are with it, but also the growth of the band, seeing other kids going, ‘This is my first time hearing you, and I’m so glad it’s off this record.’ It’s super rewarding. And then the icing on the cake is where we’re at now, being nominated for two Grammys, which is insane to me. Speaking for myself, I don’t feel like it’s really sunk in yet. Once it hits me, it’ll be like a punch in the mouth. We’re doing all this shit with red carpets and pictures, hanging out with people we’ve always looked up to as musicians… it’s so sick. I’m stoked just talking about it.”
It’s cool that ‘Bow Down’ has been highlighted too, as it’s that big, defiant moment on the album, sending a message to the doubters…
Brian: “That song brings together our whole story. Going into this record a lot of people had their hands in the cookie jar, and it felt like our whole process got derailed. So it really was a message to those people in the industry around us, saying, ‘Hey, we worked our own way to get here, this is our moment’. We used to spend so much time worrying about the voices and the bands who talked us down, but eventually we’d realised that we had to stop focussing on the negativity, and start focussing on the people who did support us.
"So when you hear how fucking heavy that song gets, and know that it’s been nominated for a Grammy? People in the rock world should be pretty excited about that. I can’t tell you how many times over the years we’ve had people come in and say, ‘Eric needs to not scream as much, it’s not going to work. It’s needs to be more mainstream, it needs to be pop-punk, yada yada yada.’ It’s an eye-opener for us. It not only furthers this type of music people able to progress, and get in the ears of the type of people who don’t normally listen to it.”
Reflecting on your journey, from the start of the band to walking the red carpet at the Grammy Awards, what are you thinking?
Brian: “When we were just kids writing our EP back in the day, the good thing was having the foresight to say, ‘Hey, we don’t want to just sit in one pocket’. Having two vocalists, we’re able to do a lot of different things. One band that we’ve always looked up are Linkin Park, how diverse they were with their music, and groundbreaking with the things they did. Nowadays, the biggest rock acts linking up with the biggest rappers? It feels very unlikely, but back in the day, when Jay-Z and Linkin Park joined up, it was so cool to see the hip-hop space and rock space come together, and those two fanbases come together. Hopefully we can inspire other bands to think in that sort of way too. We don’t want rock to stay in a little bubble and with things like the Grammys, we’re getting this music into ears that might not hear it otherwise.”
The 2020 GRAMMY Awards are set to go down in Los Angeles today, January 26.