Tuesday – Steve Hall Productions Presents I PREVAIL: LIFELINES TOUR
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. The band’s single “Stuck In Your Head” reaching #1 on SiriusXM Octane Radio and the band is lined up for multiple
Transmission received. Starset’s new sonic codex, Vessels, builds upon a schema where futurism has become fact and imagination is opportunity. The sophomore release from Starset’s aural architect, Dustin Bates, is a data-stream-rendered-in-sound where Bates’ plaintive howl becomes the deus-ex-machina in an age of information overload – the wail of a ghost in an increasingly complex yet ultimately human machine.
Starset’s 2014 Razor & Tie debut, Transmissions introduced not only Starset but also The Starset Society, a shadowy, anonymous-like group of real-world rooted scientists admonishing the dangers of technology and dystopia gone amuck. Now, just a mere two years later, we are seeing Bates’ scientific speculation become science fact. While fully fleshed-out in his recently self-published novel, The Prox Transmissions, Bates’ lyrical themes of exo-planet discovery and colonization, coupled with the impact of rapid advances in technology including 3-D printing, are proving Starset a truly visionary multi-media collective.
While Transmissions was indeed a landmark album, selling in excess of a quarter million combined albums, streams and downloads, and propelled by singles including the unforgettable “My Demons” (which spent an unprecedented 43 weeks scaling rock charts), Bates approached Vessels with a singular intent on pushing boundaries.
Once again produced by Rob Graves (Halestorm, Red) and mixed by Ben Grosse (Breaking Benjamin, Filter) the results speak for themselves. From atmospheric opener, “Back To The Earth” to the driving hooks of the album’s first single, “Monster” to the catchy, nearly progressive moments of “Frequency,” Bates has succeeded in escaping the gravity of formula radio rock. Instead, he has reimagined his genre-defying vision as an arena where Hans Zimmer interfaces with Radiohead and Trent Reznor.
Where Transmissions’ over-arching concept focused on a message from the planet Prox a future haven from a dying Earth, Vessels splits its narrative into an interconnected interzone of four separate dangerous visions. From a return to Prox to an admonishment of the dangers of genetic engineering to a near future where advances in artificial intelligence defy convenient notions of love, life and death, Bates (who is a PhD candidate in electrical engineering and has done research for the US Air Force) has engineered an aural anthology that will challenge the Starset faithful while delivering on the first album’s powerful promise.
In addition to shattering convention on record, Starset’s live “demonstrations” are slaked on that same alloy of ambition, technology and raw emotion. With over 300 shows logged to date, Bates and his helmeted-and-pressure-suited crew (bassist Ron DeChant, guitarist Brock Richards and drummer Adam Gilbert) have distinguished themselves touring with the likes of Breaking Benjamin and In This Moment, while igniting audiences on major US festivals including Rock On The Range. However, it was four planetarium performances in 2015 including Boulder, Colorado’s Fiske Planetarium and Long Island, New York’s Vanderbilt Museum Planetarium that brought Starset’s live promise into laser-enhanced, telescopic focus.
What began as a near-planetary collision of sound, vision and iconoclastic ideologies inspired by the likes of Nikola Tesla and Ray Kurzweil (AKA: The Father of Singularity) has taken a bold step forward with Vessels. Starset’s message has been received and downloaded. Transmission complete.
Vessels is set for release on January 20, 2017 via Razor & Tie. more >>>
Since forming in 2008, they have released three studio albums and four live DVDs, all of them showcasing the band’s signature approach to their craft: grand-scale theatrics and drama married to expert playing and song-writing – a potent combination that has led to them playing hundreds of shows at in their home country, taking over Japanese arenas for multiple nights in a row, a series of annual Vamps-curated festivals (including their legendary Halloween event and late summer Beast Party) and growing a global fan-base dedicated to both the band’s music and message.
“I want our audiences to feel the wild and immoral side of rock culture. And, as we are vampires, our show will obviously be different from that of any other rock band!!” laughs HYDE.
In the wake of two international album releases, ‘SEX BLOOD ROCK N’ ROLL’ in 2013 and ‘BLOODSUCKERS’ in 2015, the VAMPS name is being talked about beyond their native land – continuing down a path started in 2010 when the band recorded a live DVD in Chile (‘VAMPS LIVE 2010 WORLD TOUR CHILE’), a title which hit the #1 spot on the Japanese DVD chart; in addition, their album of the time, ‘BEAST’, was a Top 5 entry on the South American chart, the first time a Japanese artist achieved such a feat.
In support of ‘SEX BLOOD ROCK N’ ROLL’, VAMPS teamed up with Live Nation in 2014 for a tour across Europe, including a performance at Download Festival in the UK.
2015 saw the global release of ‘BLOODSUCKERS’, a Top 5 Japanese album including the singles ‘WORLD’S END’ (featured in Sony’s Xperia mobile campaign), ‘VAMPIRE’S LOVE’, a Top 3 single launching Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Dracula Untold’ in Japan; ‘REPLAY’, the theme song for ‘Dark Labyrinth’, a world famous smartphone app from ‘Dark Summoner’, downloaded over six million times; and ‘THE JOLLY ROGER’, featured in the TV commercial for Nissan’s X-Trail SUV.
“The ‘BLOODSUCKERS’ release was a significant moment for us,” reflects HYDE, “as it’s always been our ambition to be in the same position as artists from the UK or the US, artists I listened to when I was a kid. It was actually this desire to be successful around the world that drove me to create VAMPS and to get the whole project moving forward…
“Our goal is to get our music played on the radio right after the songs from other bands I admire, to perform on the main-stage at rock festivals, to enter the US Billboard chart… all of the things that most acts want to achieve in their career.”
“Music shouldn’t really have any boundaries,” sums up K.A.Z, “everything should be possible.”
VAMPS’ 2015 world tour kicked off in Jakarta, before the band headed out on a US run with Sixx:A.M. – the band they had invited to play at their own festival, ‘VAMPARK FEST’, earlier in the year (Gerard Way, Nothing More and Buckcherry were amongst the other names on the bill), and Apocalyptica. Vamps also headlined shows in New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong, Taiwan, San Francisco in 2015, as well as a sold-out show at the world renowned Roxy in Los Angeles and performed at some of the biggest US Spring festivals including Rock On The Range, Welcome To Rockville and Fort Rock. They concluded the year with an extensive South America tour (hitting Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico) before returning to UK soil as Special Guest on the Apocalyptica UK tour in late November – a darky thrilling on-the-road package supported by the collaborative single of the two bands, ‘SIN IN JUSTICE’.
“We decided to think differently,” says HYDE, “to take a whole new approach. By bringing overseas artists to Japan to play on our shows, we feel we can start to work more organically with them, to create a certain bond…”
“The ‘exchange tour’ concept is a great way for our fans to hear the music of other bands,” nods K.A.Z, “and of course it can work the other way too, creating opportunities for us to perform outside of Japan and to collaborate on fresh musical projects. It’s a wide world, and it’s always exciting to have the chance to try something new.”
In early 2016, the band went into the studio in Los Angeles with Grammy nominated producer Howard Benson (Papa Roach, Three Days Grace) to work on new music for a Fall 2016 EP to be released via Spinefarm Records, who have been working with VAMPS internationally since ‘SEX BLOOD ROCK N’ ROLL’.
The first double single, “Inside Of Me/Rise Or Die” will be released on September 16th, with the former song featuring guest artist Chris Motionless from Motionless In White, and the latter being co-written by VAMPS and Richard Z. Kruspe from Emigrate/Rammstein.
VAMPS will be playing six Tokyo shows in September (with In This Moment and Apocalyptica supporting) before heading back to the US for headline dates this November.
VAMPS are currently writing their long-awaited follow up album to ‘BLOODSUCKERS’ which is slated for release in 2017. more >>>