On Saturday, March 3rd 2012, the Branx in Portland, Oregon showcased some of Portland’s finest metal acts–Ethics, Young Turks, In Her Memory, Ocean of Mirrors, and It Prevails. The venue filled up moderately well, not a packed house (well, the bar stayed pretty full), but by no means a dead show.
I was very impressed with the melodic metalcore style of It Prevails. As expected, the crowd reaction during their headline set reached its peak for the night. From kids hardcore dancing to moshing, to grabbing lead singer Ian Fike’s shirt, face, and microphone throughout each song, to the entire crowd chanting for one more song at the announcement of the show ending – It Prevails boasts an extremely loyal fan base in their hometown of Portland. Not to mention, It Prevails’ performance packed the front of the stage and completely cleared out the bar.
The best part of the night? The sound guy playing music from Diablo 2 as the crowd was clearing out. Oh, and I managed to snag an interview with Ian Fike, lead singer of It Prevails.
How do you feel the show on Saturday at Branx went?
Hey man, thanks for hitting me up and wanting to cover the band for this interview. I really appreciate it. Honestly, I would say that it is probably my favorite Portland show we have been a part of. I feel that we are at the point musically, with each other now, that every performance seems to get better and mold us into better musicians. And between that, all my friends, family and girlfriend being there and the incredible response from the fans, It is debatable as my favorite show we have ever played anywhere. Haha, funny to say considering we’ve played probably near 1000 times now over the past eight years.
Your fans are dedicated, and they love your music. That much was obvious. What do you think was the secret to It Prevails developing and maintaining a loyal fan base?
Although our music has changed in sound over our span, the ideals and message has never driven too far off. We have always been a positive band. Generally discussing altruistic actions and reflecting from our experiences of regret, frustration, love and passion. That and we have never settled on our sound from the music. We have always put every ounce of effort into creating big, heartfelt music that never goes way left field or loses its energy. The lyrics and the music are something people really have seemed to attach themselves to with all of their hearts. That is why i am so proud of this band.
I, uh, noticed after your set that your mouth was bleeding. How did that happen?
Aha, well joking around with the other guys in the band after the set, we laughed our injuries off and said, it wouldn’t be an It Prevails show if one of us wasn’t bleeding or broken somewhere. We try to convey our love for our music by putting as much energy into our live show as we can without coming off pretentious. It’s safe to say almost every member has sustained some type of injury during one of our performances. My record thus far is, broken hand, broken ankle and cuts of all types in quite a few areas. This time it was a busted upper lip from someone trying to grab the mic from me while i had it against my mouth. This has happened COUNTLESS times to me.
Did your drummer really fly to Portland from New York on his own dime just to do the show?
Oh yes. Not only him but me and the lead guitar player Chris flew over 2500 miles to celebrate where we come from and where the band originated. Although we have all found new homes away from homes on
our paths in our lives. Portland will always be our hometown and obviously our favorite place to play.
It Prevails has gone through some member changes over recent years, how’s the chemistry with the current line-up for the band?
Yes, we have had quite a few over the years, but I look at it like this, when you have been a band for so long and toured as much as we have, some of the individuals involved are bound to find that some of the aspects of being in a band like ours is not fit for them or their tastes. I think that’s a natural thing and can be related to a lot of other things on this earth. But hands down, this is the most solid lineup of people who hold the deepest passion for the music the band makes. Most have been around for quite some time now. Jarrod(new drummer) is the only member who hasn’t been in the band for over a number of years.
Is the band happy with the success and response from their 2011 Stroma release?
We feel it is our best release. It shows the maturity level in our writing and the type of musicians we have grown into over years of work. We’ve discussed it quite a bit, and feel that if we hadn’t played so many shows and recorded as much music before it as we have, it would have come nowhere near where it did. We couldn’t be happier. I can especially speak for myself, I feel my vocals on Stroma are light years ahead of the previous releases. I can’t tell you how much work I’ve put into getting them more well rounded and finding the best ways to show what I’ve been able to discover with my range. The fans have seemed to really love this album as well and we gained quite a few new ones from it. We are very happy
with it overall.
Any album release, or touring plans for 2012?
We will definitely be recording a new album at some point this year. It may not be released this year because we really want to make it our most special and obviously greatest release thus far. We are really going to take our time with it, and it will be worth it. Right now touring is not really something we are focusing on compared to writing. We are however playing a few upcoming shows around the country and are very excited about all of them.
What was the deal with the Polar Plunge 2012 thing? Did your bassist Nate really jump into ice cold water?
Yeah he actually did it, haha. He was supposed to have it filmed it just never really quite worked out with having so many people around. He said it was awesome though.
Every album or EP release from the band has been under a different label, or independent. Does the band intend to stay with Mediaskare for a while?
Yes we will be. They treat us very fairly for our whacky schedules and ideas as musicians. We will be releasing the new album through them indefinitely.
Just out of curiosity, do you dig hip hop music? And if so, what are your influences and/or favorite artists from the genre?
Man do I love Hip Hop. And I would like to think my flow of lyrics kind of reflect it actually. Top artists of the genre would have to be Mac Dre, Big L Aesop Rock, MiilkBone and my absolute favorite group, Gang Starr. Their lyrics were something I feel helped define me somewhat as the lyricist i strive to be. That and DJ Premier is my all time fav, so any group he has been in always gets a few regular listens. There have been talks of a future hip hop project between me and a few of my close friends actually :)
Who looks the best naked in the band? (My girlfriend wants to know.)
Hahahaha who knows man, Maybe Nic or Nate? They are the skinniest for sure haha. We have always been a bunch of chubby kids and damn proud of it :P